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Saturday Open Thread [5.2.15]

Filed in Open Thread by on May 2, 2015 11 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [5.2.15]

Pope Francis is set to release his first Papal Encyclical and it will be on climate change. The Pope is recognizing that climate change is real, it is caused by humans and it needs to be addressed now. Conservatives are losing their minds — this Pope has immense moral credibility — and the Heartland Institute is so upset that they are trying to get a meeting with the Pope to make him an offer he can’t refuse, presumably. Seriously, the hubris of these people to think that a man with the world’s greatest minds at his fingertips could find the Heartland Institute’s propaganda compelling. This Pope is not a clueless American conservative.

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(Late) Friday Open Thread [5.1.15]

Filed in Open Thread by on May 1, 2015 12 Comments
(Late) Friday Open Thread [5.1.15]

And what the heck is going on in Rehoboth Beach? Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats has plans to revitalize their space and the zoning board in Rehoboth turned down their variance. Because they would invite too many people to that part of downtown Rehoboth, even though the plans call for fewer restaurant seats than they have now. And one of the Zoning Board members invited Dogfish Head to move to another town. That’s some economic development plan, right there.

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Proof that America is Not a Christian Nation

Filed in National by on April 19, 2015 12 Comments
Proof that America is Not a Christian Nation

According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of Americans know that innocent people can be killed via death penalty sentences, yet still support the death penalty: The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Mar. 25-29 among 1,500 adults, finds widespread doubts about how the death penalty is […]

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The Creation of the Clinton vs the Progressives Narrative

Filed in National by on April 18, 2015 26 Comments
The Creation of the Clinton vs the Progressives Narrative

It is fascinating to watch and of course Mark Halperin would be at the tip of the spear of this bullshit. According to him and his interlocutor here, Hillary Clinton is “terrified of the left”. Setting up this narrative of Clinton vs “The Left” is all about demonizing “The Left” and its ideas in a way that Halperin would never do for the Tea Party — who are demonstrably dangerous. Which might be why he feels that he can do this — there’s no downside to him for taking sides against “The Left”. He won’t be the only one, of course, but this is the first I’ve seen of this narrative in the wild this cycle.

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Zombie Casinos, Replicating

Filed in Delaware by on April 7, 2015 18 Comments
Zombie Casinos, Replicating

Delaware State News reports today that there is a plan percolating in the GA to *add* three more casinos to the mix as a way to address the state’s declining revenues from the current three. Read that again — 3 casinos that are suffering from a declining market share will have 3 more casinos in state to steal their market share PLUS lose their share of out-of-state players.

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Governor Markell to Hold Open Auditions for Lt. Governor Vacancy

Filed in Delaware by on April 1, 2015 1 Comment
Governor Markell to Hold Open Auditions for Lt. Governor Vacancy

From the Press Release:

Dover, DE – Recognizing the obvious void felt following the departure of former Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn who was recently sworn in as Attorney General, and his anxiety about a possible Jeff Bullock term as Governor, Governor Markell announced today he would be holding open auditions to fill the Lt. Governor vacancy. Candidates must be Delaware natives, have a 5th grade reading level or a degree from Yale Law School and children more photogenic than the officeholder.

“During his tenure as Lt. Governor, Matt spent a majority of his time at elementary schools or attending events I was ‘too busy’ to attend,” said Governor Markell. “One of his most endearing qualities was his ability to blend in with the crowd – whether it was a bunch of 3rd graders or a knitting club in Long Neck. Any respectable candidate should embody that same quality.”

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Moral Monday Prayer-In Tomorrow

Filed in Delaware by on March 15, 2015 0 Comments
Moral Monday Prayer-In Tomorrow

Tomorrow (March 16, 2015), the first Delaware Moral Monday will take the form of a Prayer-In on East Steps of Legislative Hall in Dover. From the press release:
The issues facing our state are both deeply spiritual and social. In response to the hyper-criminalization of people of color and the evident disparities present within the state’s criminal justice system, participants will gather to pray that the God of justice would intervene on behalf of the marginalized during this legislative session. Both specific and general criminal justice concerns will be at the forefront. The repeal of the death penalty, one such matter that will be introduced in the Senate on March 18, will be advocated.

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Wilmington’s Business Community Says Enough Is Enough

Filed in Delaware by on January 12, 2015 16 Comments
Wilmington’s Business Community Says Enough Is Enough

Yesterday, the NJ published a lengthy article where Wilmington’s business community officially went on the record to voice their disapproval of the Williams’ Administration’s approach to managing crime in the city. While news and complaints about the crime problem are not new, the fact that portions of Wilmington’s business community is willing to talk to journalists about their concerns is new and huge, I think. Previously, they could just reach out to the 9th floor and they usually had not just a sympathetic ear, but also an administration that at least tried to address their concerns. Not, the problem (while admittedly not that much bigger than before) is exacerbated by both the glib promises made by the Mayor and his people as well as an administration that is utterly MIA on this issue. It isn’t just that no one from the Administration will speak or even be seen to be proactive on safety issues (even the perception of safety issues), Wilmington’s business community has met with the Administration multiple times asking how they can help AND communicating that they can be counted on to support solutions. This effort has been met with silence.

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Late Night Video — NYPD #PMS

Filed in National by on January 11, 2015 76 Comments

This is Bill Mahar hilariously commenting on the NYPD snit over accountability:

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John Carney Mad About the Fight Over the Dodd-Frank Rollback

Filed in Delaware, National by on January 10, 2015 18 Comments
John Carney Mad About the Fight Over the Dodd-Frank Rollback

We already know that a provision to roll back the Dodd-Frank provision that forbid banks from booking their deriviatives in the the parts of their business that is insured by taxpayers. They would have to keep them in the portions of their business where losses were borne entirely by the bank and their shareholders. Elizabeth Warren led what Bloomberg called The Great Swaps Rebellion during the Cromnibus negotiations. And John Carney was peeved:

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RIP, Mario Cuomo

Filed in National by on January 2, 2015 4 Comments

As you’ve likely heard, 3 time governor of NY Mario Cuomo died yesterday. Cuomo was one of the best voices for progressive politics in my lifetime, and a frustrating leader who couldn’t seem to commit to leading the charge to implement those politics — turning down opportunities to run for President and to be on the Supreme Court. Still, he was a brilliant speaker, providing some of the best defenses and descriptions of liberal politics ever:

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Murdertown, USA

Filed in Delaware by on December 10, 2014 78 Comments
Murdertown, USA

That’s the title of Newsweek’s article looking at the crime problem in Wilmington. I thought that this article mostly tried to leverage off of articles like this one, that rank the safety of small cities using FBI crime stats and articles from the News Journal also reporting on Wilmington’s crime issues. The author mentions a “tale of two cities” quality to the city (that’s true) but doesn’t really do this theme justice, which might have told us more about the problem. And if you google “Murdertown”, you see places like Flint, MI, Chicago, IL, various towns in Texas and Youngstown, OH, tagged with it, so the title to this article is even a little worn. Still:

This year, there have been 27 homicides in Wilmington, tying its record 27 murders in 2010, and 135 people have been shot. Twenty-two of them died. With a population of just over 71,000, Wilmington had a violent-crime rate of 1,625 per 100,000 people last year, according to the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report (that crime rate measures murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault). The national average was 368 per 100,000 people. Wilmington ranks third for violence among 450 cities of comparable size, behind the Michigan towns of Saginaw and Flint, according to a Wilmington News Journal report.

The stats are bad, but if the number of murders could be cut by one third or so, Wilmington would fall right off of those top 10 lists. The city would be a little safer for the folks who live in the neighborhoods where the guns seem drawn all of the time, but would the problem be resolved? Probably not, because:

When you ask people in Wilmington about the root causes of the city’s crime epidemic, their answers read like the devil’s Christmas list: poverty, racism, lack of economic opportunities, drug and alcohol abuse, gun violence, high dropout rates, teenage pregnancy, stressed families and more.

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Post-Mortem Long Reads

Filed in National by on November 6, 2014 10 Comments
Post-Mortem Long Reads

Lots of interesting ink has been spilled about the National election and it seems to be converging on the idea that Democratic Congressional candidates simply could not provide voters with a real reason to get out and vote for them. They couldn’t beat a GOP candidate in Staten Island who is under indictment, threatened to throw a reporter off of a balcony in the Capitol building and was otherwise just clueless. I’m going to provide some links to the better pieces I’ve read so far, but we’ll start with Bill Maher’s assessment (from his Facebook page):

I feel bad for the people Democrats are supposed to represent, not the Democratic candidates. They remind me of the Iraqi Army – running when they should fight.

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Sign This Petition — Rep. Smyk Should Apologize

Filed in Delaware by on October 30, 2014 29 Comments
Sign This Petition — Rep. Smyk Should Apologize

Sexual assault is serious and traumatic for its survivors — and there is no comparison to paying taxes. Insisting on that comparison is certainly callous and certainly stupid. Two things that may, in fact, be habit with Rep. Smyk. He needs to apologize (and stop chasing down people he thinks are responsible for circulating this) and he needs to apologize now. Please sign this petition that calls upon Smyk to apologize for his stupid and offensive use of the word “rape” in trying to defend corporate interests.

Then, make sure you go vote for Marie Mayor, who will certainly respect and represent her constituents better than this.

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Is This What’s Happening at the News Journal?

Filed in Delaware by on October 26, 2014 5 Comments
Is This What’s Happening at the News Journal?

We all know that the NJ is working on the lastest Gannett revenue extraction scheme — the Newsroom of the Future — that mainly looks like a way to implement a staff reduction while re-orienting their attention to their website, rather than the paper. This article from the Nashville Scene provides some details of what is going on at The Tenneseean (another Gannett property going through the same thing):

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Rep. Smyk Thinks Delaware Casinos are Being Raped

Filed in Delaware by on October 26, 2014 28 Comments
Rep. Smyk Thinks Delaware Casinos are Being Raped

So he says in this recording of a debate answer defending his vote for bailing out casinos. Smyk is — surprise — an ex-cop and the district he represents is the area where Bradley committed his crimes against children. And this career cop wants you to believe that the taxes paid by casinos are the equivalent of rape. A comment that completely diminishes the violence of real rape and completely devalues the real trauma endured by its victims. To be sure, plenty of Ds voted for this bailout too — but none of them would tell you they were somehow in the rape prevention business. His opponent, Marie Mayor, has a great response — that the revenues from casinos ought to be in use the fix Delaware infrastructure, which is exactly right. So the choice is between the R who wants to reduce the casino taxes vs the D who wants to help get our roads and bridges fixed. There’s no point in re-electing Smyk if the only people he plans to represent are a handful of casino owners.

Come inside for the video….

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Sheriff Christopher Screws Up and Cost Sussex County $7,426,461

Filed in Delaware by on October 17, 2014 17 Comments
Sheriff Christopher Screws Up and Cost Sussex County $7,426,461

It is all laid out for you in this Delaware Right Guest Post by Georgetown lawyer John Sandy. Sandy took a look at the recent bid documents reprocuring process serving services in the County. The Constitutional Sheriff couldn’t bring himself to follow the requirements of the RFP and lost the contract. A contract that should have added about $7M to Sussex County coffers. Seriously — go read the whole thing. Mr. Sandy provides documentation to back this up and also takes a look at how Christoper paid for his lawsuit via a non-refundable retainer with one of the law firms that represents the County. He claims that since it was a non-refundable retainer, that his lawsuit where multiple courts told him his view of the constitution wasn’t even worthy of a fiction award, that the taxpayers paid no money for his defense. Sussex doesn’t operate on a retainer basis and Sandy provides a summary of the invoices presented to the County to defend his boondoggle. Seriously folks, go read the whole thing. Not only is Christoper a bad constitutional scholar (?), he’s been an incompetent administrator of the office, losing a major revenue stream. And he is a liar. Sussex County citizens should send him to jail.

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Late Night Video — Jon Stewart Schooling Bill O’Reilly on White Privilege

Filed in National by on October 16, 2014 0 Comments

This is a thing of beauty — watching Stewart explain it and and O’Reilly stubbornly insisting on the fiction of equality:

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Late Night Video — Shep Smith Tells You there is No Ebola Outbreak in America

Filed in National by on October 15, 2014 17 Comments

Shep Smith says: “These are the facts — we do not have an outbreak of ebola in the United States. Nowhere.” And he takes the media (radio and TV) to task for hyperventilating when it isn’t needed. Bravo, Mr. Smith. When he’s on, he’s on:

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Debate Night!

Filed in Delaware by on October 15, 2014 6 Comments
Debate Night!

There’s a debate for Attorney General Candidates (I don’t know if this includes all of the ballot-qualified candidates) at Widener tonight, starting at 6pm, conducted by WDEL. You can listen on WDEL or go over to Widener to see it in person.

Delaware Public Media and the University of Delaware Center for Political Communication sponsor debates with the major party candidates for U.S. House and U.S. Senate tonight at Mitchell Hall. This website provides the times (House starts at 7 and the Senate starts at 8), and there are rules for the debates there as well. Not sure if you can still attend in person, but that is likely there at the website. You can also watch a live stream (I think!) of the House and Senate debate.

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Wednesday Open Thread [10.15.14]

Filed in Delaware by on October 15, 2014 3 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [10.15.14]

South Carolina Prosecutors Say Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Apply To Victims Of Domestic Violence. Well, of course not! Stand Your Ground is for white men who want to shoot people with impunity! So silly to think that an expansion of 2nd Amendment rights would apply to you women and colored people:

In the cases of women who claim they feared for their lives when confronted with violent intimate abusers, prosecutors say the Stand Your Ground law shouldn’t apply.
“(The Legislature’s) intent … was to provide law-abiding citizens greater protections from external threats in the form of intruders and attackers,” prosecutor Culver Kidd told the Post and Courier. “We believe that applying the statute so that its reach into our homes and personal relationships is inconsistent with (its) wording and intent.”

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Brenda Mayrack is Wiping the Floor with Tom Wagner

Filed in Delaware by on October 14, 2014 11 Comments
Brenda Mayrack is Wiping the Floor with Tom Wagner

I’ve been listening to this debate on WDEL and Brenda Mayrack is really crushing it here. Wagner is crouching behind a story that his is a technical and complex job, which is why he isn’t doing accountability and watchdog roles — even though he thinks he should be re-elected to do accountability and watchdog work. He sounded *very* condescending to her and she bypassed that BS to stay on her message. Wagner spent a great deal of his time explaining how the real work of accountability belongs to agency management and the legislature. Basically, Wagner wants you to know that:

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Tuesday Open Thread [10.14.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on October 14, 2014 7 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [10.14.14]

The GOP in Asheville, NC objected to a rainbow flag hung at city hall (voted on unanimously by Asheville City Council), and the GOP hung a Nazi swastika flag alongside it as a protest.

This is how we know them, right?

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Monday Open Thread [10.13.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on October 13, 2014 18 Comments
Monday Open Thread [10.13.14]

This ought to be the talk of everyone today — with the Texas Ebola problem, we are seeing how the US Public Health system has been deliberately broken:

That chart is from a great piece in the Scientific American, showing how Public Health spending has been on the decline. The author, Judy Stone, provides some context for how Public Health considerations have been undermined over the past few years. Read the entire thing, then take a look at some of the material she provides in the links at the end of the article:

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QOD — How Can An Accountability Testing Scheme Produce Such Low SAT Scores?

Filed in Delaware by on October 13, 2014 27 Comments
QOD — How Can An Accountability Testing Scheme Produce Such Low SAT Scores?

We found out this week that approximately 25% of Delaware’s High school students are college-ready, in terms of their SAT scores. Leaving aside that SAT scoring is not the most reliable measure of college-readiness, what is the correlation between the SATs and the DCAS testing regime in Delaware’s schools? It seems to me that if DCAS measures what a kid is learning (yes, I know that is a BIG IF), and the kids are taking a curriculum that makes them ready for college, how can the SAT scores be so out of line with all of this testing? It is pretty remarkable to me that DCAS is used as an accountability test, but that it apparently all of that learning it measures doesn’t translate to better SAT scores.

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