El Somnambulo

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The Deliciously-Ironic Demise of Ken Starr

Filed in Featured, National by on May 24, 2016 4 Comments

I can’t make this stuff up. We all remember Ken Starr. The self-righteous, lip-pursing prig/special prosecutor who took great delight in preparing an ‘ independent report’ designed to get Bill Clinton impeached, and designed to provide every salacious detail the prudish prig could produce. The man reeked of moral rectitude. As the Huffington Post reported: […]

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Matt Denn Comes Right Out and Says It: Delaware Is A Police State.

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on May 21, 2016 27 Comments
Matt Denn Comes Right Out and Says It: Delaware Is A Police State.

This is one of the most important stories of the year. Attorney General Matt Denn admitted that the main reason why no officers were charged in the shooting death of Jeremy McDole was b/c the law enabling police to shoot first and face no consequences is so broadly written that it’s virtually impossible to charge police in any shooting.  From the News-Journal article:

Denn’s decision didn’t rest solely on the facts of the case. Hamstringing the AG’s efforts was that Jeremy “Bam” McDole was killed in Delaware, a state that essentially immunizes law enforcement officers from criminal responsibility when they use deadly force in response to a perceived threat.

Here, a police officer doesn’t have to prove the use of deadly force was “actually necessary to protect the officer against death or serious physical injury,” according to the recent state Department of Justice report. “All (the officer) must show is that he believed that to be the case at the time that he used deadly force, whether that belief was reasonable or unreasonable.”

So, am I missing anything here? If an officer states that they ‘believed’ there was a threat, even if no other reasonable person would believe such a thing, he can shoot at will and w/o fear of consequence. 

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Delaware Political Weekly: May 13-19, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on May 20, 2016 22 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: May 13-19, 2016

We have a Democratic Primary in the 9th RD.

OK, kids, some of you (well, LG) will remember that this was the district that Rebecca Walker vacated after the filing deadline in 2014, meaning that the voters didn’t get to pick the D nominee. R Kevin Hensley defeated D appointee and Walker choice Jason Hortiz, a former R candidate for Clerk of the Peace, 3290-2950 in the 2014 General Election. You may also remember that, back in 2010, Walker, who had lost to Dick Cathcart back in 2008, told the RD committee that she wasn’t running.  Into the breach stepped one Richard Griffiths, who was endorsed by the committee. Then Cathcart ‘retired’, after his dirty dealings at Del-State were revealed, and Walker jumped back in. She defeated Griffiths handily in the primary, 970-258, and edged out John Marino in the general, 5583-5301. Then, of course, she got a job where she can help the police cover up evidence that police might, just might, have been engaged in wrongdoing.  (Have I mentioned lately just how corrupt and incestuous the politicians in this state are? Oh, and did I mention that her husband is an ex-cop?)

But, I digress. Richard Griffiths has filed to run in the 9th, and he has a primary opponent, one Monique Johns.  All I’ve got for Griffiths is his 2010 announcement notice. Johns appears to be, uh, the wife (‘First Lady’) to a Bible Fellowship pastor.  I know that Liberal Geek was real high on Griffiths back in 2010, can you fill us in on what’s going on, Big Guy? Can a D knock off Hensley this year?

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., May 18, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on May 18, 2016 12 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., May 18, 2016

I need our readers to enlighten me on two roll calls that took place yesterday: 1. HB 330 (Heffernan), which unanimously passed the House, was defeated in the Senate. 7 Y, 13 N, 1 NV.  That’s rare, especially with both houses in control of the D’s.  And this vote didn’t reflect a partisan split. Here’s […]

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Tues., May 17, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on May 17, 2016 6 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Tues., May 17, 2016

I’m back from Oregon, and I see that I didn’t miss much.

The General Assembly is currently in collective thumbs-twiddling mode.  I now understand why they took a week off recently.  It’s not like they have nothing to address (like minimum wage), it’s just that they’ve chosen not to address much of consequence. Cowardice in an election year, who’dathunkit?

Can we just talk about minimum wage? Please?  While places across the country are passing $15 an hour minimum, idiot/legislators like Andria Bennett and Quin Johnson turn up their noses at a far less ambitious proposal by accepting Chamber talking points w/o even looking on their own at how higher minimum wages have impacted communities that have implemented them.  Plus, if one of them should ‘falter’ and eventually go against the Chamber, there is always the no-longer-running-for-Congress business lackey Bryon Short waiting to deep-six the proposal. When it comes to minimum wage, Delawareans did better when the R’s controlled the House than they do now.

As to the notion of raising taxes on Delaware’s wealthiest, I wrote about this last year. If it wasn’t even gonna be considered in an off-year (thanks, Pete), it certainly isn’t gonna be passed in an election year. The General Assembly made the decision to give more to the 1%, hence the corporate bailouts that were rushed through in January.  More and better Democrats are few and far between in Dover.

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‘Bulo’s Fave Tunes: April 2016

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on May 4, 2016 7 Comments

A couple of these pieces lend themselves to just sitting back and letting the musical experience waft over you.  We’ll start with one of those as it’s the perfect day for it:   Brian Eno channels Lou Reed. In 2016. Who’da’thunk? Another ‘wafting over you’ song. And it’s GREAT: Had no idea this was a […]

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Tues., May 3, 2016.

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on May 3, 2016 11 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Tues., May 3, 2016.

By far the most important bill on the House Agenda is SS2/SB 130(McDowell).  The bill:

defines criteria for a local government to enter into an agreement with the Department of Transportation (“Department”) to create transit-oriented development districts, called Complete Community Enterprise Districts (“District”), for the purposes of promoting economic development. A District may be designated in downtown or urban core areas, traditional towns or villages, or regional activity centers. A District is characterized by its mix of land uses, efficient use of public infrastructure, efficient use of public services, and multiple modes of public transportation combined with environmentally friendly private transportation.

I  look for this bill to pass some time this week.

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Why Lisa Dean Moseley Matters–Even If Her Death Doesn’t.

Filed in Delaware, Featured, National by on May 2, 2016 22 Comments
Why Lisa Dean Moseley Matters–Even If Her Death Doesn’t.

Sherry Freebury. Elmer Setting. Lisa Dean Moseley.

We all know that Freebury and Setting, at the time they accepted favors from Moseley, were/are among the most powerful people in New Castle County and deeply connected to the county police.

Freebury received, and publicly admitted that she would never have had to repay, a $2.3 million sweetheart loan from Linda Dean Moseley allegedly in exchange for county approvals for a country club that Moseley wanted.  At the time she received that loan, she was Tom Gordon’s CEO, as she was from 1997 to 2004. She previously was the head of NCC police, as was Gordon.  There’s so much more on Freebury and Gordon.  This article serves as a good starting point.

More recently, the longstanding ‘rent-free’ deal that current NCC Police Commissioner has enjoyed from Moseley was documented in the this WDEL story.  He claims he provides ‘security and maintenance’ for the property.  (BTW, didja know that one of Lisa Dean Moseley’s marriages was to her gardener? Another was to her gynecologist. But more on that later.)

Lisa Dean Moseley died recently.  Here is the obit from the paper.

I searched for anything recent in the News-Journal to place her life and death in context.  After all, context is everything.  So far, nothing.  If she had merely had the two clearly inappropriate relationships with Freebury and Setting, that alone would have warranted such an article.  Two law enforcement officers at the highest level being paid off for their ‘services’.

But here’s another reason why anyone from law enforcement should have had nothing to do with Moseley, and perhaps a reason why they did. 

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More Proof the ‘News’-Journal Has Jumped the Shark

Filed in Delaware by on May 1, 2016 8 Comments
More Proof the ‘News’-Journal Has Jumped the Shark

I can’t vouch for the tipster’s claim that two ex-sportswriters are penning the editorials, but this classic from today’s opinion page speaks for itself: “Two years ago, Ken Simpler became the highest-ranking Republican in Gov. Jack Markell’s administration when he was elected insurance commissioner.” Besides the fact that Insurance Commissioner is a separate office and not […]

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Delaware Political Weekly: April 22-28, 2016.

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on April 29, 2016 15 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: April 22-28, 2016.

While the Trumpster talks about building a literal wall between the US and Mexico, Bryan Townsend is building a figurative electoral wall around the greater Newark area.  His campaign HQ is in Newark, the preponderance of his grassroots efforts so far have been in the greater Newark area, and all of these endorsements are from legislators who more or less are from that area.  It makes sense to me.  Shows that his grassroots campaign is paying off.  He now starts with a solid group of supporters largely based on geography.  That’s a nice chunk of voters who he can count on.  The question will become: To what extent can he expand and replicate that grassroots either throughout the state as a whole or in a more specific sense. A great start though.  Haven’t contributed to his campaign for, oh, three weeks or so.  Might be time to ante up again.

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One Of the Good Guys Leaving Elective Office.

Filed in Delaware by on April 19, 2016 1 Comment
One Of the Good Guys Leaving Elective Office.

Thankfully, for a good reason.  Sussex County Justice of the Peace John Brady will take a court appointed position in Sussex County and will not run for reelection.

He has been an integral figure in the expansion of equal rights for all Delaware citizens, and he’s changed things for the better.

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Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Tues., April 19, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on April 19, 2016 2 Comments
Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Tues., April 19, 2016

Oh, Jeez, Frank Luntz must be consulting with the House R’s again.  Today, Greenville’s Debbie Hudson and Monsignor Greg Lavelle are pushing the, wait for it, Parent Empowerment Education Savings Account Act in the House Education Committee.  If the bill’s title leads you to suspect that this is another scheme to take $$’s away from public schools, you are correct:

This bill provides opportunities to parents of special needs students to select the most appropriate and productive educational pathway for their children by using funds otherwise allocated to their residential school district.

The co-sponsors of this legislation appeal to the General Assembly to dignify parents of special needs children, by approving an innovative experiment to empower certain parents with the authority to design their special needs children’s education plan, subject only to state approval of vendors to be managed by the state Department of Education or its designee.

And, of course, those parents who aren’t ‘empowered’ will find resources even scarcer than ever. Why do Rethugs hate public education?

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Delaware Political Weekly: April 8-14, 2016.

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on April 15, 2016 7 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: April 8-14, 2016.

NCC Councilman Joseph Reda passed away yesterday at the age of 73. A ‘sheet metal worker, union man, bartender, husband and politician’, Reda earned the affection and admiration of all of his colleagues, regardless of political differences. I encourage you to read the obituary. He did a lot of good for a lot of people. People really liked him. Folks like that deserve to be remembered.

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Support Verizon Workers!

Filed in National by on April 14, 2016 45 Comments
Support Verizon Workers!

Verizon is a despicable, union-busting, company. My brother-in-law is on strike. He looks like skin and bones after working mandatory 6-days a week, 12 hour shifts. Whatever you do, support the strikers. Here’s a great article laying out in detail what’s at stake here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/15/the-verizon-standoff-and-the-future-of-labor-communication-and-privacy/ Some key excerpts: The current ownership of the Verizon Communications […]

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., April 13, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on April 13, 2016 17 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., April 13, 2016

I don’t think it was on yesterday’s Senate Agenda, but this was the best, and potentially most important, bill passed yesterday. SS2/SB 130 (McDowell) creates Complete Community Enterprise Districts, and here’s the statement of policy as to what they’re supposed to do:

(1) Encourage development that maximizes the economic value to the citizens and the government of the State of both existing and new transportation infrastructure.

(2) Strategically deploy transportation funds in ways that meet the mobility needs of the people of the State at the lowest total economic cost to the people and government of the State.

(3) Encourage transportation solutions that enable the formation of new households in the State that have less than one vehicle per adult worker.

Should the bill become law, local communities could enter into agreements with DELDOT to create districts using the synergies described above.

McDowell has been at this issue for virtually his entire career.  Troglodytes like Kermit Justice and a succession of like-minded Transportation Secretaries have kept Delaware far behind the national curve when it comes to innovative mass transportation alternatives.  Justice fought commuter rail tooth and nail.  Until, of course, his conviction for taking kickbacksJason330’s new BFF, Colin Bonini, was a co-sponsor, leaving only three downstate Troggs to vote no. Hocker, Lawson and Simpson.

It looks like this bill has the strong support of the current DELDOT secretary, so maybe better things are ahead.  I know that this would be a boon for the ongoing Claymont renaissance, so I’m for it.

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Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Tues., April 13, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on April 12, 2016 13 Comments
Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show:  Tues., April 13, 2016

The Governor and leaders of the General Assembly, along with the State Chamber of Commerce, are repeating the same strategy they employed so effectively to emasculate a decent minimum wage increase two years ago.

The exact same strategy, in fact. Step One: Get some DINO like Brian Bushweller to express reservations about the bill, thus requiring supporters to weaken it in order for it to pass the Senate.

Step Two: Have Speaker Pete put it in the House Business Lapdog Committee, instead of the Labor Committee. Step Three: Get a couple of putative D legislators to parrot Chamber talking points and express ‘concerns’ they have with the bill. Step Four: Either kill the bill in committee or, failing that, make the bill even weaker than the bill that passed the Senate.

While states like New York and California have passed bills establishing a $15 minimum wage, and while several municipalities have done the same, what passes for D leadership here seeks to water down a bill that would provide a phase-in of an eventual $10.25 minimum wage.  This, of course, after tossing something like $50 mill to corporate serial polluters to stay here.

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‘Bulo’s Fave Tunes: March, 2016: Volume 2…With Special Bonus Track for Dave & Everybody!

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on April 8, 2016 4 Comments
‘Bulo’s Fave Tunes: March, 2016: Volume 2…With Special Bonus Track for Dave & Everybody!

OK, I couldn’t wait. This guy thrilled us at the Arden Gild Hall back in February. Yes, everything you hear is him:     Man, this one will almost certainly be in my Top 10 at year’s end:   SPECIAL BONUS CUT!!!: While this was cut around Halloween, I only found out about it when […]

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‘Bulo’s Fave Tunes: March 2016…Volume I!

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on April 8, 2016 2 Comments
‘Bulo’s Fave Tunes: March 2016…Volume I!

I can hear some of you scream, “Oh, no!”  Well, Jason330 anyway. Fear not. Too much great music last month, one of the best months ever. Too much for one post.  A real wide diversity, something for everybody. Enough talk: Blue-eyed soul from…Australia? Remember his name:  

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Delaware Political Weekly: April 1-7, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on April 8, 2016 40 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: April 1-7, 2016

That was a pretty weak non-denial denial, wasn’t it? The person who could shed light on it refuses, claiming that it is a confidential personnel matter. If nothing happened, if he never took those lists, then wouldn’t a simple ‘He did his job, he didn’t take the lists’ be justified? I also love the part about how the complainant was invited to come in, but didn’t. You live in Section 8 housing, you’re gonna head on up to Cop-land? Whole thing smells like a cover-up to me with ex-cops acting as the enforcers. Since Gordon is no stranger to ethical violations or even illegalities, and since everyone knows it, I don’t know whether it will impact him. But he clearly did a 180 on that tape when he found out who the alleged miscreant was. Will the primordial ooze flowing through county government flush him down into one of NCC’s sewers this time? It depends on whether his D opponent, Matthew Meyer, runs an effective and aggressive campaign. It’s also possible that if Barry Nahe, who has filed as an R for County Executive, turns out to be a non-ideological candidate running on the issues of transparency and competence, he could defeat the ethical black hole that is Gordon. Nahe has been Chief of Building Operations and Maintenance in NCC since 2008.

As to Bethany Hall Long, I think it could damage her campaign for Lieutenant Governor. Even if it turns out that Dana Long did nothing wrong, she could unfairly wind up as collateral damage. She barely got a mulligan on the first one (the sign-stealing), but people may start seeing this as a pattern, even if there’s no pattern. It also places John Carney in a bit of a predicament. He’s made no secret internally that he would prefer to run on a ticket with BHL. If he no longer prefers to, her candidacy takes a huge hit. Does Carney want to risk having Gordon sewage all over him? I don’t think so. BTW, let me go back to the sign-stealing thing for a moment. Long didn’t just steal signs, he was a serial sign-stealer. Dana Long got caught b/c his opponents’ signs had gotten stolen so much that they got frustrated and essentially set him up on camera. I fully understand that. My signs were selectively stolen when I ran against Wayne Smith, and I fantasized about catching the thieves in the act. So, Dana Long doesn’t get a pass from me. As of now, we don’t know if Long did anything wrong and/or if BHL knew about anything he might have done wrong. Don’t know if people are in the mood to give her the benefit of the doubt this time.

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R. I. P. Merle Haggard

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on April 6, 2016 1 Comment

No, he wasn’t an Okie from Muskogee.  He was a country bard from Oildale, California, and he was one of the most empathetic songwriters of the last 50 years.  I also think he was one of the greatest.  He was especially attuned to the plight of working people.  Here are some of my favorites, all […]

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Delaware Political Weekly: March 18-24, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on March 25, 2016 6 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: March 18-24, 2016

Realtor Jim Startzman startz anew. Doesn’t even look like his webpage has been updated. Here’s why he says he’s running:

You’re probably wondering why I’ve decided to run for State Representative and what it is that makes me more qualified than the incumbent. During the last 6+ years I have become more and more aware of the negative effect of our state government towards the citizens of Delaware.

Ho-kay. Anyway, Williams defeated him in 2014 by a 3128-1788 margin. She is one of Delaware’s best legislators and best progressives. She’s part of the solution.  My theory as to why Startzman’s running? Real estate business must be slow.

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Tues., March 22, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on March 22, 2016 16 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Tues., March 22, 2016

Another week down, another 8-figure payout of taxpayer money transferred to the corporate giants. We’re told that we have to do it, otherwise someone else will.  You see, the people who keep getting their pittance of health care cut, the state workers who have to beg for a pittance of a raise, they don’t count. We don’t have to do anything for them, they’re lucky they get what we give them.  No, we need the big-paying jobs, or, to be accurate, the tiny fraction of those jobs that will remain, more than we need a more equitable and humane system.  Oh, and to go ever-so-slightly off-topic, our sleazy County Executive is gonna throw yet millions more of taxpayers’ money at these extortionists. $7.5 mill for startersOur money going to pay the big corporations and their biggest earners.  That is what’s known as a transfer of wealth.   BTW, all those Rethugs who publicly rended their garments in outrage over Gov. Markell’s efforts to at least bring new industries to Delaware?  They all voted for both (so far) of these corporate bailouts.  They don’t object to transfer of wealth, they just object to it not going to the usual suspects.  What this Governor and this General Assembly just did is pretty much similar to throwing money at the casinos…except that these jobs pay more.  More money for ever-diminishing returns. Our money.

Yes, SB 200 (Blevins) passed the House and was immediately signed into law by the Governor Thursday.  Nobody even had to be late for their St. Patty’s Celebrations.  Betcha there was some passin’ ‘o the green to go along with the wearin’ o’ the green that night.  Only people who got screwed? Delaware taxpayers.  And maybe an inebriated legislator and an appreciative lobbyist or two.

Before I move on, I have a question for my County Council member.  These companies are staying, at least for now, whether or not the County hands them $7.5 mill of our money.  Could you at least please vote no against this unnecessary and unwarranted giveaway? Thanks for reading.  You, the reader, may want to call your Council member to express similar sentiments.

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Delaware Political Weekly: March 11-17, 2016.

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on March 18, 2016 12 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: March 11-17, 2016.

The more I think about it, the more I’m impressed with the kickoff to Matt Meyer’s campaign for County Executive.  It’s as if the campaign emerged fully-formed out of nowhere. I’m sure a lot of people worked on preparing this, but I hadn’t heard even a hint about his candidacy until yesterday.  Perhaps, as an attorney, he didn’t want to give Gordon the chance to threaten his employer until he was already in. The ad is brilliant, effectively lays out his message. My favorite bit: “Your search found 1 result”.  And his bio is compelling.  Especially the stuff about Ecosandals:

Matt chose to move to Nairobi, Kenya, where he taught himself Swahili and started Ecosandals, a footwear business he created that has sold environmentally-friendly footwear to customers on 17 countries in 5 continents for over two decades.

Numerous groups and organizations have recognized Ecosandals’ work in creating innovative job opportunities in neighborhoods facing extreme poverty. Those groups include CNN, the United Nations, the World Bank, BBC, Al Jazeera and Current TV, which on national TV called Matt an all-around super human. Ecosandals continues to create employment opportunities in neighborhoods of Nairobi, Kenya where residents are desperate for meaningful work.

Think about it: Tom Gordon or Matt Meyer…gotta ask my wife if we can send Matt a few bucks. Besides, Friends grad and a math teacher? Hey, that’s  my daughter’s  bio!

BTW, Tom Gordon filed yesterday, so the game is on.

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., March 17, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on March 17, 2016 6 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., March 17, 2016

The proposed constitutional amendment mandating that $10 mill must go to Agriculture Lands Preservation annually did not come close to a 2/3 majority in the House.  20 Y, 17 N, 4 A. The only upstate D’s to vote for the bill were Gerald Brady (?) and…Bryon Short (!).  Oh, did I mention that there are 8,000 Delaware Farm Bureau members? A cheap (it wasn’t going to pass with or without his vote), politically expedient, and intellectually dishonest vote by the least progressive D candidate for Congress in Delaware.

Guess there was no controversy surrounding SB 202 (Sokola) after all. Mitch Crane was right, the bill merely reflects the self-insured nature of the state and its school buses in this matter. Bill passed unanimously in Senate.

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Tues. March 15, 2016

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on March 15, 2016 13 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Tues. March 15, 2016

This entire session has been one giveaway after another to the corporate behemoths.  Thursday’s session continued the trend with the Senate voting unanimously to fatten the corporate coffers (at the expense of the state’s coffers) by $10.6 mill by FY 2019.  Look, I understand that we don’t want to lose any more jobs, but the state has essentially become a one-trick pony in recent years.  And, for all that we’ve doled out in corporate welfare, we’ve only retained a small fraction of the jobs that once were the backbone of our economy.  And now the county is jumping on the bandwagon.  And all the public officials are praising each other for moving so swiftly to ‘save’ the paltry number of DuPont jobs that were ‘saved’.  What is lacking is the ‘vision thing’, to quote Bush the Elder. Plus, a thoughtful discussion as to whether the millions we’re tossing to the companies extorting us would be better spent elsewhere.  Thankfully, we’ve got John Carney bringing his inspiring vision to–uh, never mind.

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