El Somnambulo's Latest Posts
While educators and politicians throughout the land are recoiling at the notion of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, Democrats created her. Or someone like her. The Democratic Party’s embrace of corporate education, corporate textbooks, corporate testing and corporate-sponsored ‘education reform’ is what led to this.
Wow. Just…wow. We must have had at least 50,000 people there. My wife really wanted to go, and I was more than happy to tag along. My wife and I got to Philly around 9 and to Logan Square around 9:15. I’ve never seen so many clever signs. Many of them employing the vulgarism that […]
The first set of John Carney’s nominees sailed through the Senate yesterday. Republicans could not contain themselves from raining effusive praise on these nominations. And why should they? It’s basically the same set of characters with whom they did business during the Markell years. Which, at first glance, is what the Carney Administration appears hell-bent […]
OK, kids, this gets a little tricky. Yesterday morning dawned with Jack Markell as Governor. Today, John Carney is Governor. There are only two weeks until the General Assembly breaks for budget hearings. Gov. Carney wants to have his cabinet in place by then. What to do? Well, last week President Pro-Tem David McBride announced […]
Yes, today I offer you a brief respite from all of those ‘Markell legacy’ pieces emanating from…the Markell Administration. Which ends today. No, not the self-serving legacy pieces. The Markell Administration. Maybe this means that state workers can take off their body armor. I certainly hope so. When you take a closer look at the […]
If memory serves, this is a far more modest proposal than in recent years. SB 10 provides for a 50 cent increase each year for the next four years, and then, post-2020, ties minimum wage increases to Social Security Cost-of-Living increases.
I really hit my TV stride with this one. ‘First’ at 5:30 pm. Mark Eichman and I talk about the General Assembly and, specifically, the budget deficit. I’m pretty sure I managed to diss the current and future governor and most of the members of the General Assembly. In other words, I was on target. […]
Here is the press release: Dover, DE – Governor Jack Markell today unveiled a balanced Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal that promotes increased job and educational opportunities for Delawareans, while maintaining fiscal responsibility that has repeatedly earned the state a AAA rating. The budget appropriates 98 percent of available revenues and sustains a fully funded […]
Exciting news! We have our First Agenda of the Year! There is one bill on it! The bill on this agenda pretty much defines everything you need to know about the General Assembly. It is a House Agenda. It is a House Bill. And, yes, the bill creates a new Special License Plate for veterans. […]
If grassroots progressive politics is your thing, especially when you’re part of a group of real cool energetic volunteers, I’ve got just the opportunity for you. Delaware United is in the house! Who, you may ask, is Delaware United? I suppose I could be churlish (it’s not that much of a stretch) and merely point you […]
Check out who is paying for Carney’s Inaugural soiree. No foreseeable conflicts-of-interest here, nosiree: “Thank you to our Sponsors* Platinum – $10,000 AT&T The Chemours Company, FC, LLC Comcast JP Morgan Chase & Co Morris, James LLP Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP Saul Ewing LLP Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor Herbert & Patrice Miller […]
You wouldn’t know it from today’s News-Journal, which used to be a newspaper, but the 149th Delaware General Assembly will convene today for its first session. Technically, the State Senate met post-election to consider some gubernatorial nominations, but today marks the official start to the two-year session. The first day invariably consists of ceremony. The […]
19 bills have been prefiled in the House. Several of which are important bills. Here is the full list. Here are the ones that jump out at me: The Rethugs are wasting no time in trying to get rid of the Estate Tax. Looks like David Bentz might be a progressive champion. His HB 11 […]
$350 million. That’s the projected budgetary hole that soon-to-be-installed Governor John Carney will face this year. There is more than a little irony in that. Just like Ruth Ann Minner and John Carney had kicked the fiscal can down the road, leaving successor Jack Markell to deal with a budget shortfall in 2009, Markell has […]
How John Carney Can Jump-Start His Term, Reinvigorate Democrats, and Win a Special Election–All With One Move.
So, we’re facing a Special Election for State Senate. The candidates, D Stephanie Hansen and R John Marino, have been chosen by their respective parties. The election has been necessitated due to incumbent Bethany Hall Long’s winning of the Lieutenant Governor spot. She takes office later in January. The date for the Special Election has not been set, and it’s not clear whether outgoing Gov. Markell or incoming Gov. Carney will set the date.
Barring an unexpected flip, the winner of this seat will determine which Party controls the Senate. The Republicans are motivated as they can end umpteen years of Democratic control of the State Senate. They will have no problem motivating their voters.
The Democrats? If you are a Democratic voter and aren’t necessarily plugged into the party structure, what will impel you to come out to vote? I know that some of the usual suspects on the blog are minimizing this concern, I think it’s real and I think it’s a major problem for the special. Why should D’s come out to support the D candidate other than out of some sense of duty?
Unless…now hang with me for a minute.
This was the first year where I really had to leave a lot of songs I loved off the list. Usually, I’m scraping for the last five songs or so, but not in 2016. Because of all the riches, I decided that no artist would have more than one song on the list. In terms […]
2016 marks the conclusion of the public life of State Senator Karen Peterson. Karen Peterson has been the single most effective progressive official in Delaware throughout her career. She has been invaluable in pushing progressive causes–everything from open government to gun safety to equal rights for all. Not just pushing for progress, but achieving it. Over and over again. She is smart, tough and politically savvy. Oh, and relentless. Come to think of it, forget about words like ‘progressive’ or ”liberal’. To me, she defines what it once meant and still should mean to be a Democrat. Standing up for what is right and just and standing up for people who don’t have the power to purchase politicians with campaign contributions. As I look for ways to have an impact moving forward, I’ll try to take the lessons that Karen taught us and put them into action. She is, after all, the Most Valuable Progressive I have known during my time in politics in Delaware. A role model for all of us. Starting now.
OK, kids, time for the annual countdown of this year’s MVP’s…..
Let’s first look at the terms of this unholiest of marriages. In exchange for being perhaps Big Pharma’s most dependable stooge (Sen. Menendez of New Jersey is also in the running), Tom Carper has received compensation from the industry commensurate with his stoogery. Big Pharma has contributed $225,010 to Tom Carper from 2011 to the present (end of year contributions not yet reported). Of that amount, $194,410 came from PACs as opposed to $30,600 from individual donors. 86.4% of all dollars from the industry in PAC dollars. Open Secrets has it all right here. If you look at Carper’s 20 Top Contributors, the following all have significant involvement in Pharma: Astra Zeneca, Ashland, Pfizer, and DuPont. In addition, the following big donors have holdings in, and/or are lobbyists for, the pharmaceutical industry (relevant links provided): Blackstone Group, Akin, Gump, et al, Skadden Arps, et al, and King and Spalding.
So, what exactly did/does Big Pharma get from Tom Carper? A lot. Carper’s obstructionism on behalf of the industry paid off handsomely during Obamacare negotiations. And, yes, people who rely on government insurance programs bore the cost.
Perhaps no issue defines who Carper represents in the Senate and who he doesn’t represent in starker terms than his leadership in screwing families down on their luck in favor of the big banks and credit card operations. MBNA, to be more specific.
In Carper’s world, any feigned empathy consistently takes a back seat to the banking and financial interests who fund his campaigns. While there is so much to dislike about his record, this issue, in my opinion, is the clarion call for his replacement in 2018.
You see, Charles Cawley and MBNA had a dream. A dream that came to them almost every day and night. They dreamt of a world where down-on-their-luck folks could no longer get out from under huge credit card balances by declaring bankruptcy. No exceptions.
The dream was funded by campaign contributions. Huge sums of money dating back to the early 1990’s. One of the earliest beneficiaries of MBNA’s largesse was then-Sen. Joe Biden.
Lots to enjoy, including a legit contender for Best Song of the Year. See if you can guess which one. BTW, The Japandroids are back!: WARNING: NSFW!: I’m a sucker for Bon Iver…even when it’s not Bon Iver: See ya at year’s end with…the 50 Best Songs of the Year! I know you can hardly […]