El Somnambulo

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RIP: Jimmy Ruffin (1936-2014)

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on November 19, 2014 2 Comments
RIP: Jimmy Ruffin (1936-2014)

The older brother of the Temptations’ David Ruffin (one of the greatest soul singers of all time), Jimmy Ruffin  recorded one of Motown’s most unforgettable hits.  When I saw “Standing In the Shadows of Motown” at Theatre N, this was the song that closed the movie, and this was the song that we ALL sang as we left the theatre…

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Who ‘Killed’ Sean Matthews?

Filed in Delaware by on November 18, 2014 8 Comments
Who ‘Killed’ Sean Matthews?

No, this is not one of those comic book ‘dream’ issues. Somebody ‘killed’ Sean Matthews. And apparently 200 or more of his supporters.

The ‘deceased’ did not know of their demise until someone from the Democratic Party caught wind of the massive tragedy.  And subsequently raised them from the dead.

Here’s the unbelievable story: Both Sean Matthews and Dennis E. Williams had access to the Democratic Party Voter File…until the 10th R. D. officially endorsed Dennis Williams. At that point, only the endorsed candidate had access to the file.  Until after the primary, that is.  You will recall that Matthews defeated the incumbent D Williams.  Which meant that, as of September 10, Matthews was able to access the file.

Only, something had happened in the interim. Someone had gone into the Voter File and marked over 200 voters as ‘deceased’, including Sean Matthews. Only the Williams people had access to the file, and someone or some someones had to actively go in and change the status of these voters to deceased.  It wasn’t the Party. They were the ones who spotted the mischief-making and alerted Matthews right away. BTW, virtually none of the alleged deceased were in fact deceased, if any.

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Jobs For Delaware Graduates = Jobs For Political Hacks

Filed in Delaware by on November 17, 2014 16 Comments
Jobs For Delaware Graduates = Jobs For Political Hacks

Does anybody here remember the inception of Jobs For Delaware Graduates?

I do. Pete duPont created this repository for some of his less-qualified lackeys back in 1978. It was basically modeled after other Federal jobs programs, but with the bar set so low that it could claim success even when said success was dubious at best, and would never have been accepted under federal requirements:

It was designed in 1978 by five working groups in Delaware, drawn from business, educational, workforce, labor union, and community leadership. The purpose of the organization was to address simultaneously with Delaware’s unemployment rate and the dropout rate (?).

So, you’re saying to yourself, well, Steve, this is all well and good, but, so far your headline is false advertising.

Ladeez & Gentlemen, meet the new President of Jobs For Delaware Graduates…STATE SENATOR NICOLE POORE. major conflict: Didja know that this ostensibly ‘private non-profit’ gets about $1.4 million annually from the Grant-In-Aid bill? Taxpayer money appropriated by the same General Assembly to which Sen. Poore belongs? And now she’s drawing a salary from them. From the same $1.4 million?

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‘Bulo’s Fave New Tunes: October 2014

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on November 14, 2014 9 Comments
‘Bulo’s Fave New Tunes: October  2014

Best stuff I heard for the first time last month, pretty damn good month, IMHO:

Marc Broussard: ‘Hurricane Heart’  (I’ve GOT to get this guy to the Arden Gild Hall…)

Famy: ‘A Ho A Hand’

Nick D & the Believers: ‘Bang Bang’

Come inside for more…

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‘Bulo On Al Mascitti Show Tuesday

Filed in Delaware by on November 10, 2014 0 Comments
‘Bulo On Al Mascitti Show Tuesday

We’ll talk the 2014 Delaware election results, look at how 2016 might shape up, and maybe even look at the issues facing the upcoming General Assembly session.

I’ll even talk about how Tom Carper is showing some signs of vulnerability.

All this and your calls, this Tuesday, 10 am to 12 noon, WDEL 1150-Newsradio.

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To 2016…And Beyond!!??

Filed in Delaware, National by on November 7, 2014 93 Comments

I figure it’s time for a clean thread to discuss what might happen in Delaware and nationally during the upcoming election cycles. I’ll start.  Looks like we’re gonna have a Carper proxy vs. a Biden proxy in the D gubernatorial primary:  John Carney (Carper) vs. Tom Gordon (Biden).  Word on the street is that Gordon […]

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Gambling News Not ALL Bad For Delaware

Filed in Delaware, National by on November 4, 2014 7 Comments
Gambling News Not ALL Bad For Delaware

We’re attracting lots of degenerates from NJ and PA who just have to get their fill of betting on NFL games:

From the Philly Inquirer:

The total wagered on NFL games in Delaware _ with barely one-tenth the population of New Jersey _ was $31.5 million last year, more than triple the mark set in 2009, according to Vernon Kirk, the director of the Delaware Lottery. Kirk added that the state’s share was $5.2 million, with casinos and the state’s horsemen also getting a portion of the net revenues after expenses.

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El Somnambulo Predicts ‘Em All For You!

Filed in Delaware by on October 28, 2014 68 Comments
El Somnambulo Predicts ‘Em All For You!

The tough races are really tough, the easy races are really easy. I know I’m not running the table, but I don’t know where I’ll falter. I just know that I will. If there’s a unifying theme, I think it’s that D’s will struggle in Delaware more than usual, which is exactly what I expect to happen nationwide. Hope I’m wrong. These predictions are also going up a week out, and there’s plenty of movement in some of the races.

With that depressing, but not hopeless, forecast out of the way, here we go:

United States Senate: Chris Coons over Kevin Wade, 58-40%, with Andrew Groff of the Green Party at 2%. I’ll be among the 2 percenters.

US Representative: This provides the true measure of how many people will vote Republican no matter what.  Does Rose Izzo get over 30%? I’m going Carney 67%, Izzo 29%, with the Green and Libertarian candidates maybe getting 4%.  For me, it’ll be August in November.

Attorney General: Matt Denn will win, does he break 60%?

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Will Phils Hire Best Manager in Baseball?

Filed in Sports by on October 24, 2014 10 Comments
Will Phils Hire Best Manager in Baseball?

Well, if not the best, at least 1 or 1A along with the Giants’ Bruce Bochy.

Joe Maddon  opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay today. He has taken that chronically-underfunded team to great heights, four times in the playoffs and one World Series appearance.

This is not a pipe dream. He is from the area. In fact, his mom is still a waitress in his home town of Hazleton, PA. He’s a Lafayette grad, and he comes back here often. This is Pat Gillick’s call, not Ruben Amaro Jr’s.

Pat, for the sake of what’s left of my sanity, Make That Call!

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KWS Goes to Bat For Mega Insurance Company

Filed in Delaware, National by on October 23, 2014 35 Comments
KWS Goes to Bat For Mega Insurance Company

Our purported insurance regulator, Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart, is instead trying to run interference for Met Life.  Check out this article from the state government website: fer cryin’ out loud:

DOVER, DE  – In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and other federal regulators, Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart has urged them to reconsider their vote to propose that MetLife be labeled as a “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI) and therefore subject to tougher federal regulation. “Based on my experience as an insurance regulator (insert joke here), and a regulator of one of MetLife’s larger insurance subsidiaries, I do not believe that MetLife’s businesses and corporate structure create the kind of systemic risk that Dodd-Frank’s SIFI designation process was designed to address,” she said. Stewart argues explicitly against the designation of MetLife and said state regulators are capable and competent to continue the oversight of the company (insert joke here).

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‘Bulo’s Fave New Tunes: Sept., 2014

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on October 21, 2014 0 Comments
‘Bulo’s Fave New Tunes: Sept., 2014

Best stuff to hit my ears last month, lotsa diversity:

Melaena Cadiz: Neon Drag
Elliot Bronson: New Pain
American Wrestlers: I Can Do No Wrong
Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear: Live By Water
Circa Waves: So Long
Leonard Cohen: Almost Like The Blues
Amber Run: I Found

What’d you like? What great stuff have you heard lately?

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Why Not Invest A Few Shekels in These Candidates?

Filed in Delaware by on October 7, 2014 31 Comments
Why Not Invest A Few Shekels in These Candidates?

1. Sean Matthews, 11th RD: Even if you backed Dennis E. Williams in the primary, you’d have to admit that Matthews is infinitely preferable to R candidate Judy Travis, whose support comes from far out of the political mainstream. As opposed to your traditional Brandywine Hundred R, Travis is one of only two House candidates to get the support of the Delaware chapter of the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

2. John Mackenzie, 22nd RD: A rarity. Campaign stuff that’s worth reading. Click on this and on this.  Not only is it clear that he wrote his own copy, but he comes across as someone who will be a serious legislator and quite the progressive. He perhaps reminds me most of Michael Barbieri, who is one of the most outstanding legislators we have.  We could use several more legislators like him, and Mackenzie is in that mold.

3. Marie Mayor, 20th RD: Well, let’s see. She’s right on the issues, she’s running a great campaign, she never really stopped running after the 2012 election, she almost won last time, and she, too, would immediately take her place as one of the best legislators in Dover. The political stars could also be aligned, as the anti-Obama folks won’t overrun the Sussex County results like in 2012.  I also believe that, once she’s elected, her constituent work will enable her to get reelected several times over. Let’s help her win!

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Can We Talk About Pedophilia?

Filed in National by on October 7, 2014 54 Comments
Can We Talk About Pedophilia?

No, not the act of abusing children and/or engaging in inappropriate behavior with them.  Such activities are criminal and should be subject to the strongest enforcement the justice system can bring.

I’m talking about adult attraction to children which never rises to the level of physical contact, but which may include viewing images that we find abhorrent, and may cause acute mental anguish for those with this condition.

A thought-provoking piece in Sunday’s New York Times argues that pedophilia is a mental illness and makes an effective argument that we’re treating it improperly. Read the whole thing before reacting reflexively. Here are some salient excerpts from Prof. Margo Kaplan‘s op-ed:

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‘Bulo Presents Charlie Hunter/Scott Amendola w/the Dinkendo Family Band Tonight!

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on September 26, 2014 0 Comments
‘Bulo Presents Charlie Hunter/Scott Amendola w/the Dinkendo Family Band Tonight!

Shameless plug, and I’m totally not ashamed. I’m presenting a superb concert tonight at the Arden Gild Hall. If you show up, first drink’s on me.

Charlie Hunter is an amazing instrumentalist and plays a hybrid guitar/bass that has seven strings. Yes he plays both the bass and guitar parts at the same time!  He and drummer Scott Amendola have extraordinary telepathy with each other that can only happen after years of playing together.  They have been called the ‘jazz scene’s funkiest duo’ for good reason. Come inside for more information….

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‘Bulo’s Fave Tunes: August 2014

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on September 4, 2014 7 Comments
‘Bulo’s Fave Tunes: August 2014

Another month, more great music to listen to….

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El Somnambulo Predicts ‘Em All For You

Filed in Delaware by on September 2, 2014 23 Comments
El Somnambulo Predicts ‘Em All For You

This column will self-destruct sometime around 9 p.m. next Tuesday. Or perhaps Saturday, according to Dave Tackett’s latest mailer (seriously, he has the wrong day for the primary on his mailer.) Time to pick the primary winners (and losers).

State Senator-SD 11 (D):  Even with pretty good name recognition, it’s hard to win a D primary against a popular incumbent when your ideological base resides within a right-wing evangelical church. Bryan Townsend gives Dave Tackett a well-deserved whooping, I mean whoooping, 62-38. (Memo to Dave: Next time, try Spell Check. Despite what it says on your latest piece, there are only two o’s in ‘trooper’, not three. Oh, and political mailers should have a disclaimer as to who paid for them. You’re welcome.)

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Delaware Political Weekly, Or An Approximation Thereof: August 16-22, 2014

Filed in Delaware by on August 22, 2014 35 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly, Or An Approximation Thereof: August 16-22, 2014

This article got lost in the Chip Flowers Implosion, Version 4.0, but it shouldn’t have.  House D’s facing primary challenges sending out thinly-veiled campaign lit on the public’s dime. A practice that was discontinued under Speaker Gilligan (Terry Spence was the Godfather of this practice), but reinstated by Speaker Schwartzkopf just in time for the primaries. Now here’s the rest of the story. Complaints regarding this practice were filed with Elaine Manlove of the State Department of Elections. She determined that she had no legal jurisdiction over the complaints, that they did not technically violate state law, and referred them to…The House Ethics Committee. Did I mention that the House Ethics Committee is chaired by Valerie Longhurst, one of the two legislators who it’s been confirmed have sent out these mailers on the taxpayers’ dime? Now, that’s the Delaware Way.

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House Incumbents Spending Taxpayer $$’s To Fend Off Primary Challengers?

Filed in Delaware by on August 13, 2014 26 Comments
House Incumbents Spending Taxpayer $$’s To Fend Off Primary Challengers?

It sure looks that way. Both Valerie Longhurst and Dennis E. Williams have sent out official House correspondence to their districts that are little more than taxpayer-funded campaign pieces. There may well be others who have done the same.

The supposed deniability comes in that these are allegedly legislative updates to constituents. They are sent on their personal House letterhead, in House envelopes, and likely through state mail. And they are prepared in-house by state employees on state time. They tout the alleged accomplishments of the legislators, and, as campaign pieces are prone to do, try to mislead voters on issues where the incumbents are vulnerable. Oh, and so far, they’ve only been sent out by incumbent House members facing primaries.

When I worked in the Senate, we were forbidden from doing this. During the brief time that I worked for the House, then-Speaker Terry Spence allowed us to send such mailings. Of course, it’s likely not coincidence that this policy was set during the election season that the Rethugs were desperately trying to hold onto their majority, and if they did it, he had to let us do it. Truth be told, most of July and August were spent on preparing and sending these mailings.

Only one person can authorize such mailings: The Speaker of the House. It’s likely legal, as the General Assembly routinely exempts itself from laws that apply to everyone else. In fact, apparently it’s technically legal to send out these sorts of mailings up to 35 days prior to an election. But I submit that it’s a wasteful misuse of taxpayer funds.

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‘Bulo’s Fave New Tunes: July, 2014

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on August 5, 2014 4 Comments
‘Bulo’s Fave New Tunes: July, 2014

Reigning Sound: Falling Rain

Chuck Prophet: Wish Me Luck

Plus much more inside….

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Brenda Mayrack Lures ‘Bulo Out of the Shadows

Filed in Delaware by on July 31, 2014 8 Comments
Brenda Mayrack Lures ‘Bulo Out of the Shadows

Other than doing door-to-door with Bryan Townsend and hosting Mitch Crane at the Arden Fair, I’ve not been out front in actively campaigning for political candidates since I took my leave of the Delaware General Assembly.

Brenda Mayrack has changed that. To the extent that I’ll be on her Host Committee for this upcoming event:

Darley House Meet & Greet

Thursday, August 7, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Darley House (Corner of Philadelphia Pike & Darley Road)
3701 Philadelphia Pike | Claymont, DE 19703

Additional parking available next door at the Church of the Ascension.
Buy your tickets now.

Friend: $30 | Supporter: $75 | Host: $100

That’s right. As a host, I’m ponying up $100. Why?

Because, for all intents and purposes, we haven’t had an auditor, let alone a competent auditor, for however long Tom “Suspendered Disbelief” Wagner has been in office. I’ve argued on this blog for years that we really need a competent auditor. A competent auditor can and will save the state lots of dollars. It’s not even mostly about waste, fraud, and abuse, it’s about working with agencies to save the state money while not cutting services.

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“Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?”: Chapter, Oh, 1,000,000 and Something.

Filed in Arts and Entertainment, Delaware by on July 30, 2014 14 Comments
“Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?”: Chapter, Oh, 1,000,000 and Something.

Wilmington City Council pays $1000 so that Councilman Mike Brown can fly back from Florida on the city’s dime to cast the deciding vote to override the Mayor’s veto of cuts to the Fire Department budget only to come up…TWO  VOTES SHORT.

Oh, and for reasons that not even Mike Brown can explain, he lied about where he was vacationing. Why? I have no idea. Apparently, neither does he. From Amy Cherry’s WDEL story (watch and listen)…

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Carney Sides With Pesticide Polluters

Filed in Delaware by on July 28, 2014 9 Comments

To be fair, he hadn’t cast any real egregious votes for a few weeks now. That has changed. Carney sided with pesticide polluters who don’t even want to get a permit to spray in waterways. This despite the fact that there had not been a single complaint from a single state or provider urging a […]

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Far Right Rethuglican Organization Endorses…Dave Tackett!!??

Filed in Delaware by on July 24, 2014 18 Comments
Far Right Rethuglican Organization Endorses…Dave Tackett!!??

This is truth, not fiction. The Delaware Chapter of the Faith & Freedom Coalition has endorsed putative Democrat Dave Tackett in the Democratic Primary against State Sen. Bryan Townsend.  Tackett was endorsed along with a bunch of R’s. The Faith & Freedom Coalition is the home for the usual suspect right-wing nut jobs. Ralph Reed is the founder and chairman. Their endorsers include Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, Marco Rubio, the Christian Broadcasting Network, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, and Ted Cruz, among many others. This group, this group, has decided to endorse Dave Tackett.   For those who doubt me, here is the press release….

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Sen. Colin Bonini Diverts State Bond Funds to Private Religious Institution

Filed in Delaware by on July 24, 2014 6 Comments

We all know Colin Bonini.  The Senator who votes against the Budget pretty much every year and publicly scolds the General Assembly for failing to make the ‘tough choices’.  Meaning failing to shred the social safety net while cutting taxes and screwing unions. This self-same Colin Bonini sits on the Bond Bill Committee. A superb […]

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Delaware Political Weekly: July 12-18, 2014

Filed in Delaware by on July 18, 2014 66 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: July 12-18, 2014

The Democratic Party endorses neither candidate for the State Treasurer primary. Kremlinologists no doubt will enjoy parsing the following sentence:

Given the Committee’s perception of quality both Democratic Treasurer candidates possess, the committee failed to reach consensus on the endorsement of either candidate.

Might I suggest that this is one endorsement that neither candidate really wanted? How could Chip run as the anti-establishment candidate if the establishment endorsed him, and how could Barney run as someone not beholden to the Carpers and Carneys of this world if he got the endorsement? My vote will ultimately come down to this: What can we least afford? A self-delusional narcissist who has had his hands effectively tied, or the next Carper or Carney?

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