El Somnambulo's Latest Posts
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 […]
I was gonna release these at a more leisurely pace, but this one sticks in my craw. Well, they all do, but I couldn’t let this one slide any longer. When it comes to grandstanding, Tom Carper is right there with the best. With support for the military (and braggadocio about his own service) near the top of the list. When the rubber meets the road, though, that’s a different story. This one is about how Tom Carper screws the grunts in the military…
I think a lot of people view Tom Carper as an essentially well-meaning, if occasionally eccentric, public servant. That includes a lot of Democrats and plenty of liberals who I know. They are wrong.
His votes and stated positions, all a matter of public record, and easily discovered via a simple Google search, reveal that he largely ignores the needs of those who routinely vote for him. He does, however, pay fealty to those who finance his campaigns, and he also gives away votes on behalf of his search for bipartisanship. That search, like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football held by Lucy, never comes to fruition.
Carper’s desire to ‘reach across the aisle’ becomes even more dangerous in the era of Trump and Republican-controlled government. He could well end up as the key D who enables the gutting of Medicare and Social Security.
So, while it will take several pieces to flesh out his many sins of commission and omission, let’s get started.
Tom Carper and the Keystone Pipeline…..
Delawareans can no longer afford the risk of having Tom Carper in the United States Senate. He is, in his own way, as dangerous as Donald Trump because he does not represent the people of this state, but rather represents those who control the lives of ordinary people through undue influence.
We have long referred to Carper’s corporatist leanings, but we perhaps haven’t spelled them out so that people truly understood the extent of them, and the extent of the damage he has caused and can cause.
Today we begin.
Yes, time to honor those who most contributed to the progressive cause in Delaware in 2016. It was a real tough year, but there were some distinct bright lights, including longtime stalwarts and intriguing newcomers.
While I, of course, have some ideas, I fully expect many of those on the final list, and the order, to come directly from you.
The rules are simple. Make your suggestions, and explain why they deserve mention. Keep in mind that individuals or groups are welcome as are those who aren’t progressive, but somehow contributed to the progressive cause. For example, Christine O’Donnell won this award the year she took out Mike Castle.
I’m also hoping that this may serve as a catharsis to get us all feeling more optimistic about the future and to inspire us to redouble our efforts. After all, marching isn’t just important, but it’s a great way to lose weight.
While DD recharges his batteries, we will have special guest threadmeisters filling in for a few days. And, since today is my turn, I will open and close this thread with the two songs that came to mind on the morning after the election. Stephen Sondheim’s “Another National Anthem” is from his brilliant show “Assassins”. […]
in Tuesday’s election results. Let’s get a big long list. Maybe we’ll feel a little better. I’ll start: 1. Jack Markell won’t be Secretary of Education. 2. There will be no Special Election for Tim Kaine’s Senate seat. 3. TPP is likely dead. 4. Obnoxious blowhard and friend of Bill and Hill’s Fast Eddie Rendell […]
This race shouldn’t be close. But it is. Why? Because, IMHO, the Clinton Campaign had an incredibly powerful message to attract working-class voters, but decided not to use it. Virtually every commercial and everything thrown out by the campaign against Trump that I’ve seen falls under one of two themes: (1) He doesn’t respect women. […]
You can leave the earplugs at home for this show as you will want to hear every tasty musical morsel. I’m very proud of this bill, which features headliner Ben Sollee, cellist/singer/songwriter/storyteller/political activist and musical collaborator. I’ve been wanting to bring Ben back to the Hall for six years now, and I’m thrilled we finally got him. He will perform with his long-time percussionist, Jordon Ellis, and will introduce new songs from his first full-length album in four years. Here’s a tiny bit of what you can expect: