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The 18th RD Special Election — Start Your Engines

Filed in National by on July 22, 2015 24 Comments
The 18th RD Special Election — Start Your Engines

As you know, State Representative Mike Barbieri has resigned to become the new director of Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health under the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). His resignation shall be effective on July 31, 2015, though it was earlier reported that his resignation will be effective on August 3, 2015, which is the Monday following the Friday of July 31. Delaware law requires a special election be held between 30 and 45 days after the date of the vacancy (i.e. the effective date of the resignation, which is why whether the date is July 31 or August 3 is important). If it is the latter date, the election will be held between September 2 and September 16. If it is the earlier date, then the election will be held between August 30 and September 14.

The state Democratic Party has announced that there will be a meeting this Thursday night (i.e. tomorrow), at DelDems headquarters, to select the candidate from the Democratic Party. That’s a lot of notice!

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Wednesday Daily Delawhere [7.22.15]

Filed in National by on July 22, 2015 0 Comments

Home again, by Mike Mahaffie on Flickr.

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PDD Honors the Democratic Six in the House and Leading Education Reform Activists in Summer Tribute

Filed in National by on July 21, 2015 5 Comments
PDD Honors the Democratic Six in the House and Leading Education Reform Activists in Summer Tribute

At the Fifth Annual PDD Summer Social at the FireStone Roasting House (110 S. West Street, Wilmington, DE 19801) this Wednesday, July 22nd, at 7-9 pm, the Progressive Dems will be honoring the NO votes of six progressive Democrats in the House on the Budget, and leading education activists from around the state. But I’ll let new PDD President Nancy Willing tell you more…

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Tuesday Open Thread [7.21.15]

Filed in National by on July 21, 2015 24 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [7.21.15]

The New York Times again on how the economy will impact the 2016 election:

“They said they believed that unemployment would be the lowest it has been during an election since George W. Bush and Al Gore faced off in 2000, when it stood at 3.9 percent. The median forecast for the unemployment rate when voters go to the polls in November 2016 was 4.8 percent (which would be down from 5.3 percent last month). They saw only a 15 percent chance of a recession starting by next Election Day. Interest rates, inflation and gasoline prices should all be a bit higher than they are now, they said, while staying quite low by historical standards.”

“On its face, all of that points to an election with dynamics similar to 1988 or 2000, when the nominee of the incumbent party (George H. W. Bush in 1988 and Mr. Gore in 2000) could promise continued prosperity. That bodes well for the Democratic nominee, though as Mr. Gore’s loss despite winning the popular vote shows, even a favorable economy doesn’t assure victory, given the workings of the Electoral College.”

Al Gore also ran AWAY from the Clinton Presidency when he should have embraced it with both arms and legs, while at the same time, George W. Bush pretended that there was no difference between him and Gore (and given an assist by the evil Nader voters) with his “Compassionate Conservative” pitch. So that makes 2000 an outlier in my mind. In 2016, you are going to have Hillary Clinton embracing the Obama record, and the GOP candidate will do everything he can to run away from Obama and push an extremist and radical agenda. And that all benefits Hillary.

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Tuesday Daily Delawhere [7.21.15]

Filed in National by on July 21, 2015 0 Comments

Entering the Harbor of Refuge, by Mike Mahaffie on Flickr.

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Monday Open Thread [7.20.15]

Filed in National by on July 20, 2015 9 Comments
Monday Open Thread [7.20.15]

USA Today:

We had hoped to pay no attention to the Trump sideshow. But that became harder to do when he jumped to the top of the recent USA TODAY/Suffolk and Fox News polls of Republican voters. Then, over the weekend, Trump’s big mouth became, not surprisingly, impossible to ignore. [...]

Like meteors that flash across the sky and burn out, flawed candidates have a way of self-destructing. That’s one of the few benefits of our endless, grueling presidential campaigns.

The classless attack on McCain might or might not turn out to mark the end of Trump’s presidential ambitions. This much is assured: The mouth will keep moving, and one day it will open wide and swallow his candidacy whole.

I will be curious to see if Trump’s attack on John McCain this Saturday (which by the way was just like the entire Republican Party’s attack on John Kerry in 2004, so it is ok to attack a veteran and question his service so long as that veteran is a Democrat) affects his poll standing at all. Right now, Trump still leads.

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Monday Daily Delawhere [7.20.15]

Filed in National by on July 20, 2015 0 Comments

Photo by Skyjack.

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Sunday Daily Delawhere [7.19.15]

Filed in National by on July 19, 2015 16 Comments

Photo by Photojack

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The Weekly Addresses

Filed in National by on July 18, 2015 0 Comments

The President explains the comprehensive, long-term deal announced earlier this week that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

In his weekly message, filmed at Lewes Dairy, Governor Markell highlights Local Produce Week and the significant impact the agricultural industry has on Delaware’s economy.

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Saturday Daily Delawhere [7.18.15]

Filed in National by on July 18, 2015 0 Comments

Photo by Skyjack.

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Friday Open Thread [7.17.15]

Filed in National by on July 17, 2015 3 Comments
Friday Open Thread [7.17.15]

Keith Koffler writes that “despite what you’ve read in the media, even some outposts of the conservative media, these Trump acolytes in general are not racist against Latinos and they have not been seized by madness.”

“They are, however, angry. Very angry. And many are agonizingly fearful about the future of the nation. They believe that vast changes to the country are being wrought in ways that are undemocratic, dishonest and perhaps even illegal. Trump, who seems perpetually angry, is an expression of the angst of conservatives who believe the United States has gotten so deep into a mess that a little extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. What they adore about Trump is that he is a pugilist who has emerged at a time when someone needs to start throwing punches.”

Chris Matthews echoed this on MSNBC recently. That Voters are Angry!!! Well first, which voters? I am not angry. People need to clarify that racist Tea Bagger voters are angry. And yes, they are losing “their” country. That is a good thing. No longer will there be discrimination. We are a multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious country now, where there is equality for all and tolerance of all. And if they don’t like that, they can go fuck themselves. I really really do not care if their feelings are hurt or if they are angry. In fact, I enjoy it. Their tears are delicious.

And if they want to throw punches, I will throw them right back.

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Friday Daily Delawhere [7.17.15]

Filed in National by on July 17, 2015 0 Comments

Photo by Skyjack

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Keep Calm and Override

Filed in National by on July 16, 2015 6 Comments
Keep Calm and Override

Governor Markell announced today that he vetoed House Bill 50, the Opt-Out bill, which would allow for any student to be opted-out of any state or district assessment. He tried to soften that blow, and prevent an override vote, with some nonsense about signing a Senate Joint Resolution that seeks to get recommendations from various groups and school districts and boards.

I have a better idea. Let’s override that veto. HB50 passed the House twice by two-thirds margins, 36-3 and 31-5. And it passed the Senate twice by two-thirds margins, 14-7 and 15-6. Both chambers can vote again.

Let’s force them.

Sign the Petition.

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Delaware’s Disclosure Law Upheld

Filed in National by on July 16, 2015 0 Comments
Delaware’s Disclosure Law Upheld

In its unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today affirmed the constitutionality of the Delaware Elections Disclosure Act, which was proposed and signed by Governor Markell in 2012. The act requires third-party groups and individuals to disclose their donors to the state elections commissioner if they publish advertisements or other communications that refer to a candidate in an upcoming election. Previously, only groups that directly advocated for or against a candidate were required to disclose their donors.

“Delaware Strong Families,” a group that sought to distribute voter guides in the 2014 elections, challenged the law because they thought disclosure of their funders would make them weak I suppose. Actually, they said the regulations were “burdensome” and it would “chill” its right to free speech. And they got an Federal District Court judge to agree with them, hence the appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Thursday Open Thread [7.16.15]

Filed in National by on July 16, 2015 4 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [7.16.15]

Commissar Obama, this is Comrade Delaware Dem at the Houston Front. Operation Jade Helm 15 has succeeded. Donald Trump, the Iran Deal and Planned Parenthood video were perfect diversions to distract patriotic conservatives at the last minute. The Texan homeland was undefended!

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Thursday Daily Delawhere [7.16.15]

Filed in National by on July 16, 2015 1 Comment

Fireworks. Photo by Skyjack.

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Wednesday Open Thread [7.15.15]

Filed in National by on July 15, 2015 19 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [7.15.15]

Greg Sargent says that Republican shrieking over the Iran deal increase the likelihood that 2016 will be the rare elections in which foreign policy is a reasonably big deal. But he suggests that’s a debate Democrats should “lean into” rather than running scared like little cowards like they did in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s.

[T]he argument that develops around the agreement may also take shape around the virtues and risks of international engagement. And this could join other issues to feed into a broader contrast, in which Republicans are opposing international engagement on multiple fronts — including Cuba and climate change (on which we may have an accord later this year). Meanwhile, Clinton may well embrace international engagement on multiple fronts, and use this contrast to cast the GOP as too inward looking and trapped in the past to confront the challenges of the future.

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Wednesday Daily Delawhere [7.15.15]

Filed in National by on July 15, 2015 4 Comments

Wilmington. Photo by Nick McNevich.

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Remember, Conservatives Always Oppose Peace and Diplomacy

Filed in National by on July 14, 2015 21 Comments

Proof?

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Tuesday Open Thread [7.14.15]

Filed in National by on July 14, 2015 3 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [7.14.15]

Steve Benen pauses to take stock in the generational and historical scope of this day and this agreement:

At the start of the process, the smart money said these talks would fail. The hurdles were simply too great. Indeed, plenty of very credible observers feared that the attempted diplomacy itself might be a mistake – failure would leave the world in an even more precarious position than before the talks began.

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry recognized the challenges and risks, and they took it on anyway. Their success will likely put a stop to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, but it also marks one of the most dramatic diplomatic accomplishments in generations.

I’ve seen some suggestions about this being Obama’s “Nixon goes to China” breakthrough, but the comparison is imprecise – the Obama administration’s task was far more difficult. I’m reminded of this piece from the Washington Post’s Steven Mufson, published in March.

…Obama is not Nixon, and Iran is not China, and the comparison – made in newspaper columns and by some foreign policy experts – is illuminating largely because of important differences it exposes.

Nixon’s visit to China was a powerful symbol – a longtime anti-Communist president strolling along the Great Wall and dining with senior party leaders. Unlike Nixon, Obama lacked a political record that would shield him from criticism for reaching out to a longtime foe.

China also welcomed Nixon’s visit, whereas Iranian leaders still harbor suspicion of the United States.

[T]he nuclear agreement with Iran is arguably a greater diplomatic accomplishment than anything we’ve seen in modern American history.

As Andrew Sullivan often said… Meep Meep Motherf*ckers. Barack Obama will go down as the greatest President since Franklin Roosevelt.

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The 18th RD

Filed in National by on July 14, 2015 6 Comments
The 18th RD

For years, the 18th Representative District was represented by the Republican Speaker of the House of Representative, Terry Spence. Spence was first elected in 1980, and he was reelected over Democrat Ronald Queen with 62.5% of the vote in 1982. Spence won two other easy reelections in 1984 and 1986, and then ran unopposed in seven of his thirteen reelection campaigns. Even though his district was becoming increasingly Democratic.

Until 2006. The district, by then, was 49% registered Democratic, with only 26% registered Republican. So the Democrats finally decided to actually run a credible candidate, and they found Mike Barbieri, a behavioral health professional Mike Barbieri to run against Spence. Barbieri came close, but he lost by 12 points.

In 2008, Barbieri defeated Spence 52% to 48%. In a rematch in 2010, Barbieri won 53% to 47%. And he has been unopposed ever since, save for a quixotic primary by Christopher Piecuch. Piecuch is a young man, the owner of Owner of PQ’s Landscaping LLC. He garnered 18% of the vote against Barbieri’s 82%. In real votes, due to a low turnout primary, the votes were actually 577 to 123.

Christopher Piecuch is running again, having already announced on Twitter…

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Tuesday Daily Delawhere [7.14.15]

Filed in National by on July 14, 2015 5 Comments

Lewes Beach, Delaware.

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State Rep. Mike Barbieri Resigns…. to take a State Job he is actually qualified for.

Filed in National by on July 13, 2015 10 Comments
State Rep. Mike Barbieri Resigns…. to take a State Job he is actually qualified for.

State Rep. Mike Barbieri has resigned from the General Assembly effective at the end of the month to take a job as the Director of the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Substance Abuse.

I normally balk at a situation where a State Representative takes a state job, because it normally looks just too damn convenient. Like the situation with Rebecca Walker and others before her. But this is a situation where it seems like Barbieri is the most qualified and experienced guy for a job.

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Monday Open Thread [7.13.15]

Filed in National by on July 13, 2015 5 Comments
Monday Open Thread [7.13.15]

The Washington Post’s Robert Costa had a bizzare interview with renowned bankruptcy and divorce expert Donald Trump on his private plane following his seventy-minute rant of a speech in Phoenix during which he used the Nixonian phrase “the Silent Majority.” Costa was wondering if Trump was concerned that he had borrowed the phrase from a disgraced President. Trump replied:

Nah. Nobody remembers that. Oh, is that why people stopped using [the phrase]? Maybe. Nobody thinks of Nixon. I don’t think of Nixon when I think of the silent majority. The silent majority today, they’re going to vote for Trump. Remember, many Republicans didn’t vote for Mitt Romney. He didn’t inspire people. They’re going to vote for me.

Actually, Mr. Trump, Republicans and conservatives did come out to vote for Mr. Romney. The reason why you lost is because Democrats and Independent also showed up. And the reason you Republicans were so surprised on election night that year is because you thought the turnout would be closer to 2010 percentages, and not 2008 percentages. Yes, the turnout would be higher, but the percentage breakdown between Democrats and Republicans and Independents would be the same.

You were wrong. And then you cried. And we smiled. Some of us laughed and pointed.

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Monday Daily Delawhere [7.13.15]

Filed in National by on July 13, 2015 0 Comments

The tree line median on the Bancroft Parkway in Wilmington.

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