Delaware Dem's Latest Posts
Yes, this is not an April Fools Joke. This Mushroom-looking House at the Winterthur Country Estate and Museum in Montchanin is actually called the Tulip Tree House, and it is located in the Enchanted Woods portion of the estate’s gardens. The Enchanted Woods and Tree House were built in 2000 and 2001 as a family-friendly, […]
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that by a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans support the notion of striking a deal with Iran that restricts the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions.
“But the survey — released hours before Tuesday’s negotiating deadline — also finds few Americans are hopeful that such an agreement will be effective. Nearly six in 10 say they are not confident that a deal will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, unchanged from 15 months ago, when the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia reached an interim agreement with Iran aimed at sealing a long-term deal.”
So while the GOP may freak the fuck out, remember that they desire war and the death of thousands of Americans so as to line defense contractor pockets. Remember that they do not represent the American people.
The old New Castle County Courthouse, on Delaware Street in New Castle. The courthouse was built in 1730 on the site of the 1689 courthouse that was burned in a 1729 jailbreak. Now that’s badass. You break out of prison and then burn it to the ground. Probably easier back then when the jails were […]
In the event that Iran and the members of P5+1 group reach a preliminary agreement on Iran’s nuclear program this week, we can expect a release of sound and fury from conservatives about how it sets the world on fire. To prepare yourself for making your own determination about the value of any such agreement, read Jeffrey Goldberg’s list of the five questions you should ask.
The last remaining lock of the original Chesapeake & Delaware Canal is in Battery Park in Delaware City. The lock was built in 1825, and was rebuilt in 1854 when it was widened and lengthened. In the distance is Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island, built in the 1850s with the threat of the Civil […]
By us. Progressives. If you doubt that, look at what is happening to Indiana. Sure, idiot racist theocrats can still pass discriminatory legislation into laws in Republican states, but those states will then be destroyed through boycott. Indiana Governor Mike Pence is in full panic mode now, because he knows that his state’s economy is […]
Scott Walker is the best candidate to bridge both the Establishment and the Tea Party. But he just did something that will give a huge opening to Ted Cruz.
“Likely GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker told a private gathering of New Hampshire business leaders earlier this month that he supports providing some illegal immigrants with a pathway to citizenship,” the Washington Post reports.
“The position would mark a significant shift from away from the hardline ‘no amnesty’ stance Walker has taken in public in recent weeks. The Wisconsin governor also told the small group that illegal immigrants seeking citizenship should not receive preferential treatment over applicants who are already in line, according to the person, who was not authorized to speak about it publicly.”
Remember, allowing any illegal to stay here is amnesty and unacceptable. The Tea Party cannot have that.
So Rand Paul is giving up entirely any notion that he is a libertarian or has libertarians everywhere, if they are to have any credibility, must publicly condemn and disown him.
“The First Amendment says keep government out of religion, not religion out of government.” — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), quoted by David Brody, speaking at a private prayer breakfast in Washington, DC. Uh, no Rand, that is not what the First Amendment says. It says, with regards to religion, the following:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof[.]
So yes, the Amendment says keep government out of religion, in that it prohibits any law interfering with the free exercise of religion. But Rand skips over the first part of the Amendment, that saying prohibiting any law respecting an establishment of religion. That means religion must stay out of government. No national religion. No law compelling people to attend religious services (attention Arizona). No law allowing people to use religion as a reason to discriminate (attention Indiana and Arkansas). Perhaps radical Christian Conservative Rand Paul means there is no law against mixing religion and politics. That’s true.
Talk to enough Republican insiders about the presidential primary field, and you’ll get a common sentiment when it comes to Jeb Bush. Most strategists agree that Bush has to overcome serious hurdles to win the nomination, but they say he’s a formidable candidate thanks to his deep political network and ability to dominate the competition in fundraising. “I can’t see him dropping out before Florida,” said one former GOP congressman well-connected to the field.
But there are signs that a worst-case, crash-and-burn scenario for Bush is more realistic than even his skeptics recognize. He’s underperforming in early public polls and is receiving a frosty reception from Republican focus groups. His entitled biography is at odds with the Republican Party’s increasing energy from working-class voters, who relate best with candidates who have struggled to make ends meet. The Bush name is a reminder of the past at a time when GOP voters are desperate for new faces. And after losing two straight presidential elections, Republican voters are thinking much more strategically—and aren’t nearly as convinced as the political press that Bush is the strongest contender against Hillary Clinton.
If they are thinking strategically, they would be more inclined to support Bush. But I feel that they thinking ideologically and are not willing to swallow an Establishment candidate that can win.
A new CNN/ORC poll “finds 53% saying things are going well, 46% badly. That’s the highest share saying things are going well that CNN/ORC polls have found during Obama’s time in office…Assessing Obama’s presidency overall, 50% consider his time in office a success, 47% a failure. And for those who say his time in office has been a failure, 37% say that’s been because of his own actions, while just 9% attribute it to Congress blocking the President from action…Nearly two-thirds (63%) disapprove of the Democratic leaders in Congress, while 74% disapprove of the Republican leadership. That’s worse than in March 2011, when 64% said they disapproved of GOP leadership a few months after the party took control of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Well that was quick. The Senate Judiciary Committee held its hearing on SB 40, the Death Penalty Repeal bill, yesterday, and has already voted the bill out of committee for consideration by the full Senate. I suppose the fast action should not be surprising, since passage by the Senate may be a foregone conclusion since it passed 11-10 last year.
Once and a while the Republicans in the General Assembly introduce legislation that is actually good, even though their Republican sponsorship is often times cynical and an attempt to bait or embarrass the Democratic Leadership. But hey, one of the complaints of the GOP is that their bills never get a hearing or a vote on the floor. Rep. Deborah Hudson’s HB 61 requires that all public meetings of the boards of education of public school districts, vo-tech school districts, and public meetings of charter schools’ boards of directors be digitally recorded and made available to the public on the districts’ and charter schools’ websites within seven business days. That is open government transparency, and a no brainer for Democrats to get behind. Speaker Schwartzkopf, let’s get this bill on the floor.
Rep. Dukes’ HB 67 requires all statewide and other candidates that may appear on the general election ballot to disclose whether or not all their State and Federal personal income tax returns are filed and any tax due has been paid and whether or not all their real property taxes have been paid. Sure, this bill is making a political point, but I think it is still good policy nonetheless. Placing this bill in the House Administrative Committee, with is Speaker Schwartzkopf’s version of a desk drawer veto, is only giving the Republicans the issue and more time to harp on it. It is self defeating.
Finally, SB 38. This is intriguing. This bill is sponsored by Senator Colin Bonini, and allows a terminally ill patient, and his or her treating physician, to decide if they will pursue treatment with an investigational drug, biological product or device, which has successfully completed Phase One of a clinical trial. That is downright compassionate, one or two steps away from Death with Dignity, and it comes from a Republican. Shame on Democrats for not introducing this bill themselves.
Well, would you look at that. The Delaware General Assembly has gone and updated their webpage with a sleeker design and easier navigation. I’m still figuring it out, but the one bug I see right away is that when you click on a particular piece of legislation, you are not taken to that legislation’s URL landing page, but instead you view it in window on the main page. Now, individual URLs for specific legislation are still available and are provided as a link in the Vote Tracker below. You simply click on the Bill number and your browser will take you to that page.
We have finally the first voting action on one of the bills we are following. The Senate unanimously passed Senator Sokola’s Senate Bill 31 to continue to enable Teach for America to recruit and train teachers to teach in Delaware. It moves over to the House.
Senator Poore’s SB 33 was voted out of the Senate Education Committee on its merits, and then laid on the table in the Senate yesterday, March 24. Laying on the table does not necessarily kill a bill, but it suspends or postpones consideration of it. So I guess we need to know why, since the Bill would have implemented one of the many task forces’ we turn to in this state whenever we have a problem. And the problem here was reforming the individualized education program (IEP) process, which is the way educational programs and services for students with diagnosed disabilities in Delaware public schools are determined. I have seen no explanation yet in the media as to why we are postponing considering this bill.
Sen. Robert Marshall (D) has introduced legislation that will increase the minimum wage up to where it should be: $10.25 an hour. The bill calls for 50-cent, per-hour increases over the next four years until minimum wage hits $10.25 an hour by June of 2019. I’d prefer we just increase it straight away to $10, whatever games we have to play to get legislators onboard, let’s play them.
Most importantly, Senator Marshall has introduced SB 39 to increase the minimum wage to $10.25; and Senator Peterson has introduced SB 40, the repeal of the Death Penalty in Delaware.
Bill Boyarsky at TruthDig writes that the GOP is planning to use a desired War with Iran as a campaign strategy for 2016:
The Republicans want to frighten the voters into believing that the Democrats will sell out Israel and the United States.
Selling this phony message is tremendously important to them as they get ready for the 2016 election. Domestically, their arguments against the Democrats are vanishing. Obamacare is increasingly popular as signups become more efficient. The deficit—the Holy Grail for Republicans—is shrinking. Unemployment is declining. All they can do is complain that Obama and the Democrats are surrendering to Islam.
“I wish Reagan would rise from the dead and come back.” — Pat Robertson, on his television show The 700 Club, while noting President Obama “does not believe in America” and was mentored by “leftists who don’t really love this country.” Ah yes, Pat Robertson, who runs the Christian “700 Club” that of course believes in a wonderous heavenly after life, endorsing the return of Zombie Reagan, which seems somewhat blasphemous to me.
Once again, our real headlines have become the Onion. Here is a segment the Onion did a number of years ago.
Last week, the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council or DEFAC released its latest revenue projections, reporting a $45 million dollar loss in revenue. Last Friday, the News Journal had a story on the Structural Revenue Review Committee and what they see as the reason for the revenue drop:
As the legal or corporate home for hundreds of thousands of businesses, Delaware is allowed to take intangible assets such as dormant checking and savings accounts, uncashed checks and unclaimed dividends and stocks after a certain number of years if the owners can’t be found. [...] But corporations that are required to turn over their unclaimed property have challenged Delaware’s enforcement methods, including estimating the amounts due when no actual records can be found. Meanwhile, only a fraction of companies subject to the escheat laws are complying with the reporting requirements. [Secretary of State] Bullock noted that while increased compliance might bring in more abandoned property revenue, technology has made it easier for companies to track ownership of the assets, meaning there likely will be less for the state to claim in the future.
Meanwhile, the state also faces challenges when it comes to gambling revenue, as newer and bigger casinos in neighboring states continue to draw gamblers who used to come to Delaware’s three casinos, panel members were told. Lottery and gambling revenues contributed about $215 million to the general fund in fiscal 2014 but have declined steadily in recent years, with even more competition from other states on the horizon.
So the budget gimmickry that has allowed Delaware to operate on a half-flat income tax structure for decades is coming to an end. So what are our options?
Alternate title to this post: ::Get your Popcorn:: As you know, the right wing has lied for years that President Obama was not born in Hawaii, and was instead born in Kenya. This lie has continued despite the fact that both the short form and the long form birth certificate from the State of Hawaii have been released proving that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, and despite the fact that a birth announcement regarding the young President’s birth was placed a couple of days later in the Honolulu Advertiser. Anyway, the right wing could not handle the fact that a non-white man had been elected President, and they reacted by making the President an “other,” an “alien,” literally.
Well now their tea party champion, Ted Cruz, has decided to run for President. But he really wasn’t born here. But the right wing has no problem with that. Well, all except The Donald.
The New York Times says that the “roughly 300 emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private account that were turned over last month to a House committee investigating the ]Beghazi] attack showed the secretary and her aides closely monitoring the fallout from the tragedy[, but] they provided no evidence that Mrs. Clinton, as the most incendiary Republican attacks have suggested, issued a ‘stand down’ order to halt American forces responding to the violence in Benghazi, or took part in a broad cover-up of the administration’s response, according to senior American officials.”
I always wondered what Republicans thought Hillary did. That she personally ordered the attack? That she ordered a stand down order to prevent Marines or other military from responding to the attack? I suppose that is akin to those on our side of the aisle that believe that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney personally ordered the 9/11 attacks. The difference is, our crazies don’t control a political party or Congress.