El Somnambulo

rss feed Author's Website

El Somnambulo's Latest Posts

The ‘5’ Royales Make The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame…Finally!

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on December 16, 2014 1 Comment
The ‘5’ Royales Make The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame…Finally!

Inducted as an ‘Early Influence’, they’re so good that they should have gone in long ago. An extremely important link between early r & b, soul, and gospel. Led by a neglected genius in Lowman Pauling, who wrote songs that you know, and created a guitar style that was far ahead of his time.  Please listen, you will enjoy these……

Continue Reading »

The 2014 MVP Awards! And the winner is…. Mike Matthews.

Filed in Delaware by on December 16, 2014 16 Comments
The 2014 MVP Awards!   And the winner is…. Mike Matthews.

Granted, it wasn’t a great year for progressives in Delaware, to put it mildly. A business uber alles governor, a congressional delegation that aids and comforts the enemy, more shenanigans from narcissistic elected officials, and a refusal by the General Assembly to address financial shortfalls that will soon impact Delaware’s infrastructure.

However…we began to see the emergence of coalitions that may well have a profound and positive impact on our future. We also saw some elected officials step up their game. And we saw members of the public lead in challenging some of the most wrong-headed assumptions of our elected officials.

So, here they are: The 2014 Bob Stachnik Memorial MVP Awards.   Dedicated to a man who epitomized the spirit of those who created this very blog. A man who, literally and figuratively, sought to ‘re-twinkle the stars’.

Continue Reading »

Jack Markell Offers Another Phony Choice. Just In Time for Christmas: Coal for the Laborers.

Filed in Delaware by on December 13, 2014 21 Comments
Jack Markell Offers Another Phony Choice. Just In Time for Christmas: Coal for the Laborers.

OK, kids, take some time and read this article. It’s not long. I’ll wait.

Markell sets up a completely phony choice as the supposed upcoming battle for the ‘soul of the Democratic Party’.  According to Markell, the choice is middle-class jobs vs. ‘income redistribution’, aka a living wage:

Markell said Democrats should pursue an “agenda around growth rather than an agenda around redistribution,” saying that “there aren’t a lot of people with middle class jobs who are aspiring to an increase in the minimum wage.”

So, on behalf of this state’s economic overlords, our putative Democratic governor wants to set up a battle of the middle class vs. those who need a living wage.  Uh, by the way, in such a battle, neither the middle class nor those in need of a minimum wage wins. The economic overlords do. BTW, Jack, there’s no reason whatsoever why you can’t or shouldn’t pursue an agenda that promotes both growth for the middle class and a living wage. Geez, some of those people earning a living wage could become, dare I say it, middle class.

Continue Reading »

The Best Speech I’ve Heard All Year…

Filed in National by on December 13, 2014 5 Comments

Elizabeth Warren, echoing, among others, Teddy Roosevelt. I dare you to watch to this and not want her to run for President:  

Continue Reading »

Final Call For MVP Nominees

Filed in Delaware by on December 11, 2014 10 Comments
Final Call For MVP Nominees

C’mon, now folks. You have until midnight tomorrow to nominate those Most Valuable to the Progressive Cause in Delaware for 2014.

Yes, I know it was not a great year for progressivism in Delaware. But that opens the door to some below-the-radar picks, those deserving of greater recognition. I’ve got six, and only six, real solid choices, some of them off the beaten track.

So, there’s plenty of room for your suggestions.  You’ve got until midnight Friday to submit your choices.  A ‘Bulo Tip of the Sombrero awaits… I will post the list next Tuesday right here at 10 am, and will then go on the Al Mascitti show to discuss it.

Continue Reading »

In Praise of DMV And the People Who Work There

Filed in Delaware by on December 9, 2014 9 Comments
In Praise of DMV And the People Who Work There

The next time someone makes an ad hominem attack on state workers, please commend to them the people who work at DMV. In my case, the facility just south of Wilmington off of Rt. 13 across from Casablanca.

I had to take my car through inspection today,  and I’d lost my registration card.

So, before going through the lanes, I stopped inside to get a new card. They have a help desk right inside to route people to the proper services, two people answering questions. I told them my problem, and I was told that there was no need to get a card just for inspection, just let the inspectors know.

I went through inspection. When I got to the inspector who handles checking the lights and emissions, I recognized him.  He’s been there forever. Many years at the Bancroft facility, and now here. Working a tough job in all kinds of weather, breathing in all those fumes. Always very professional and always has a kind word.  When I last went through two years ago, I got a chance to talk to him, and he’s had all kinds of health issues. Yet here he is, doing a great job.  When I think of why state employees deserve good pay, I think of him. I dare any of those reptilian Rethugs from Chateau Country to do his job for even one day.

Then, I was able to handle the entire transaction of getting the new registration and tag w/o leaving my car. Using the Jetsons technology.  Don’t think it took more than three minutes.

I almost look forward to going to DMV now. A wonderfully crafted customer-centric system and great workers. When you consider the range of issues and the range of clients they deal with, you just have to take your hat off to them.

Continue Reading »

Now Accepting Nominations for 2014 MVP (Most Valuable to the Progressive Cause) Awards…

Filed in Delaware by on December 3, 2014 2 Comments
Now Accepting Nominations for 2014 MVP (Most Valuable to the Progressive Cause) Awards…

Every year, I recognize those who were most valuable to the progressive cause in Delaware. The nominees can be progressives, but they don’t have to be. In fact, they can be members of the Forces of Evil who unwittingly advanced the progressive cause. They can be elected officials, appointed officials, candidates, or any member of the general public. Maybe even a group as opposed to an individual. Knock yourselves out.

I am putting together this year’s list, and I need your help (but then, you already knew that).

Deadline is Friday, December 12 at 11:59 p.m. Please don’t just provide names, but rather, tell us how they advanced the progressive cause in 2014.

You are now officially on the clock. Whaddayagot?

Continue Reading »

DL Exclusive: Rep. Bryon Short Considering Run for State Insurance Commissioner

Filed in Delaware by on December 2, 2014 11 Comments
DL Exclusive: Rep. Bryon Short Considering Run for State Insurance Commissioner

State Rep. Bryon Short (D-Highland Woods) today told Delaware Liberal that he is considering a run for State Insurance Commissioner.

While he has not made a decision on the race, he told me that it’s important that the IC’s office does an effective job of ‘setting the marketplace’ to ensure competition and consumer choices, and to ‘effectively address the concerns and problems facing consumers’. He also said that the work of the office ‘is very important,  but unfortunately people aren’t made aware as to just how important it is, and how it impacts them’.

Short has attended the last two NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) meetings in order to  extend his knowledge for both his House committee work and to possibly prepare for a statewide run.

Continue Reading »

The 62 Project: Not Better Late Than Never. But It’s Finished. Just In Time To Change It.

Filed in Delaware by on December 2, 2014 27 Comments
The 62 Project: Not Better Late Than Never. But It’s Finished. Just In Time To Change It.

I was planning to finish this in time for…well, some time before now. However, sloth and other events intervened. So here we have it, 1-62, for each and every member of the 147th Delaware General Assembly, based on their careers, not just the past session. For those I previously profiled, you can click on the links. For the rest, the floor is open for questions and vitriol.

1. Sen. Karen Peterson: A fierce negotiator/advocate who successfully leverages her bargaining power to pass progressive legislation. Imagine that. Accruing power not for personal ambition, but to pass a progressive agenda. An easy choice for #1.

2. Rep. Mike Barbieri: Quietly does outstanding work on kids’ issues, and has helped turn back the neanderthal mandatory sentencing excesses of the Sharp/Smith/Vaughn/Brady years. He’s impressed me from Day 1. A thinker and a doer. We need more social workers in the General Assembly.

3. Sen. Bob Marshall: Has gotten better and more effective as he’s gotten older. He serves as perhaps the leading Democrat from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party in challenging Jack Markell’s DINO-ism. He’s got at least one more minimum wage increase in him.

4. Rep. Melanie George Smith: Her work, along with Barbieri and others, on sentencing reform, was legislating at its best.  It wasn’t easy, it required a tremendous attention to detail, plus political smarts. Forget her political roots, focus on her legislative skills.

5. Sen. Dave Sokola: Anyone who thinks it was easy for a legislator from the Pike Creek/Hockessin area to support progressive reform wasn’t around when he got elected. That’s what he did and that’s what he does. And, while he gets criticism from some of our education people, he stood up to the ‘forced busing’ bashers, including his own Pro-Tem, Tom Sharp.  His sponsorship of civil unions reflects the kind of person he is.

Continue Reading »

Coming Tuesday: The Entire 62 Project Unveiled.

Filed in Delaware by on December 1, 2014 6 Comments
Coming Tuesday: The Entire 62 Project Unveiled.

The Bataan Death March of projects reaches its ultimate destination tomorrow.

Both here on DL and on the Al Mascitti Show beginning at 10 am. You can listen right here.

The entire 147th General Assembly legislative roster ranked from 1-62, based on legislators’ careers, not just the past couple of months.

I think the project got bogged down b/c, although it’s really easy to write about the best legislators, the worst legislators, and the most eccentric legislators, there was a group of legislators ranked somewhere between 40 and 50 who were not particularly interesting to me. Legislators who were just there. I lost my mojo. Finally got my mojo workin’ last weekend.

Anyway, once the list is posted, I’ll tweak the list before the start of the 148th to account for injustices, new info, and, of course, to address both the departed and the newcomers.

Since the list is completed and will not change before tomorrow, feel free to predict your #1 and #62.

Continue Reading »

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…

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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?

Continue Reading »

‘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…

Continue Reading »

‘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.

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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%?

Continue Reading »

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!

Continue Reading »

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).

Continue Reading »

‘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?

Continue Reading »

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!

Continue Reading »

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:

Continue Reading »

‘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….

Continue Reading »

‘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….

Continue Reading »