National

Does Kansas Offer an Example for Delaware’s “Sane” Republicans ?

Filed in National by on September 17, 2014 17 Comments

Nobody handicapping 2014 races as recently as three weeks ago factored in the possibility that Kansas, of all places, might become a sudden GOP sinkhole. Now Sen. Pat Roberts is in real and consistent trouble against independent candidate Greg Orman, as part of what appears to be a self-conscious revolt of moderate Republican voters who are also threatening to throw Gov. (and former Sen.) Sam Brownback out of office.

“A self-conscious revolt of moderate Republican voters…?” Go on…

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Tuesday Open Thread [9.16.14]

Filed in National by on September 16, 2014 11 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [9.16.14]

Charlie Cook: “Two things may be keeping Republican strategists up at night: money and the Democratic ground game. Perhaps the biggest untold story of this election is how so many Republican and conservative donors, at least those whose last name isn’t Koch, have kept their checkbooks relatively closed… Many Republican and conservative donors appear to be somewhat demoralized after 2012. They feel that they were misled about the GOP’s chances in both the presidential and senatorial races that year, and/or their money was not well spent. In short, they are giving less if at all, and it has put Republican candidates in a bind in a number of places.”

“Another reason things might not turn out for Republicans is if the highly touted Democratic Senate ground game comes together. Clearly the Obama campaign and Democratic allies had a superior voter-identification and get-out-the-vote operation two years ago… In midterm elections, if Democrats can crank up the turnout among young, female, and minority voters, then their chances of success this year increase.”

We have more polls painting a pretty happy picture for Dems.

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Why I’m Totally Psyched for Scotland’s Historic Vote

Filed in National by on September 16, 2014 23 Comments
Why I’m Totally Psyched for Scotland’s Historic Vote

Full Disclosure: I lived in Edinburgh for around a year when I was 20, so Scotland is close to my heart. However, beyond the “Screw yoo, Ya English Bastards!” nationalism that I imbibed with the beer while I was over there – I’m psyched for this Independence referendum vote on Thursday for more practical reasons. […]

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Monday Open Thread [9.15.14]

Filed in National by on September 15, 2014 3 Comments
Monday Open Thread [9.15.14]

The New York Times on what we politicos know to be true: the disaster in Kansas, both fiscally and for Republicans politically is a direct result of conservative tax policy. We have known it for years: cutting taxes does not, repeat, does not lead to increased revenue. Duh, it cuts revenue, meaning that the government has to cut spending. Conservatives are just fine with cutting spending. They do not care about their constituents. But unfortunately for them, their constituents vote.

“Although every statewide elected official in Kansas is a Republican and President Obama lost the state by more than 20 points in the last election,” Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) “proudly conservative policies have turned out to be so divisive and his tax cuts have generated such a drop in state revenue that they have caused even many Republicans to revolt[.]

“Projections put state budget shortfalls in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually, raising questions of whether the state can adequately fund education in particular. This has boosted the hopes of the Democratic candidate, Paul Davis, the State House minority leader, who has shot up in the polls even though he has offered few specifics about how he would run the state. Many disaffected Republicans might give Mr. Davis their vote because, if nothing else, he is not Mr. Brownback.”

Democrat Davis will win the Kansas governorship, and a possibly Democratic-leaning Independent will unseat a longtime incumbent GOP Senator, all because the Republicans finally cut taxes too much, and their own voters noticed they were getting screwed. Finally.

Politico reports that GOP Operatives are scared “that an ambitious Democratic turnout initiative will give the party a potentially significant 1- or 2-percentage point boost in some key states.” Damn. I was hoping they would sit back and enjoy the Republican leaning polls that have been giving prognosticators the giggles that the GOP has the Senate in the bag. But then again, the Democrats have done the job on the state level to maintain control. Nate Cohn:

“A few months ago, the Democratic path to a Senate majority looked long and arduous… But today the Democratic path to victory looks as clear as it has at any point this year. That path remains narrow, to be sure. The Democrats will probably still need to sweep those five fairly close races. Yet with just two months to go, the Democrats appear to have an advantage in four of them. And the Democrats have other opportunities that might give them more breathing room.”

“If Colorado and Michigan are penciled into the Democratic column, the Democrats would then need three more states to get to a majority. The Democrats have a fairly broad set of options for those states, but the likeliest possibility is that the election comes down to three states: Alaska, Iowa and North Carolina.”

Recent polling out of all three is positive for the Dems, plus we are leading in Louisiana and are competitive in Georgia, Arkansas and Kentucky. And let’s not forget Kansas.

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Why I’m not voting for Ken Simpler

Filed in National by on September 15, 2014 39 Comments
Why I’m not voting for Ken Simpler

“Excuse me, do you have the time?”

“Is this seat taken?”

“Do you happen to know, is this the line for registration?”

Everyone has millions of these forgettable little interactions every year. To make one of these little encounters between strangers memorable, you would really have to be a huge dick.

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QOD — Get Your Gameface On

Filed in National by on September 14, 2014 5 Comments

This image seems to be going viral fast and is a photoshopped version of an ad that is part of the Cover Girl Game face makeup (WTF?), and is accompanied by a pretty strong message to fire Roger Goodell. What do you think?

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Apocalypse: From U.S.Petro Or ISIL?

Filed in National by on September 12, 2014 14 Comments
Apocalypse: From U.S.Petro Or ISIL?

Ok, then. From the President’s speech we’re sort of at war with ISIL? Not exactly war, according to John Kerry, but sorta. Let’s just call it large scale counter terrorism, he says. More like humanitarian bombings.

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Mayrack v Suspenders

Filed in National by on September 12, 2014 15 Comments

It is strange to think that the marquee races this year are for Treasurer and Auditor. It is strange to think that these are even elective office, but they are so let’s take a look, shall we? To me this comes down to whether Suspenders is even going to put up a fight. As of […]

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Constitutional Amendment to Undo ‘Citizens United’ Moves Forward

Filed in National by on September 12, 2014 4 Comments

Being an incumbent and 1%er, he is no doubt a beneficiary of the Orwellianly named “Citizens United” decision. But to his credit, Coons appears to be trying to get rid of this affront to Democracy.

Bill to overturn Citizens United takes important step forward
Judiciary Subcommittee passes constitutional amendment to restore protections against corruption

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights has approved a resolution cosponsored by U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and restore Congress’ authority to regulate spending on campaigns. On Wednesday, the Committee approved S.J. Res. 19, a constitutional amendment crafted in response to Supreme Court rulings that have drastically expanded the role of money in politics, including Citizens United and, earlier this year, McCutcheon v. FEC.

“Our Constitution guarantees every American political equality and the equal right to participate in elections,” Senator Coons said. “Today, that right is in jeopardy, as a bare majority on the Supreme Court has systematically expanded the political influence of the wealthiest Americans at the expense of average citizens. By dismantling decades-old, commonsense measures to limit the influence of money in politics, the Supreme Court has disregarded the principle of political equality on which our democracy was founded.”

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Thursday Open Thread [9.11.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on September 11, 2014 3 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [9.11.14]

It’s the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and there are memorials and remembrances everywhere. You can see the front pages of newspapers worldwide as printed on 9/12 from the Newseum. Here’s the NJ front page from that day:

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Liveblog President Obama Speech on ISIL

Filed in National by on September 10, 2014 16 Comments

The President interrupts your Prime Time at 9PM EDT to tell the nation about his plan to deal with ISIL. The Guardian has a good overview of what to expect from tonight’s speech, because apparently the American outlets are occupied with 1) the optics, 2) the horserace, 3) the appetite of Americans for bloodshed and 4) President Obama’s poll numbers. Sheesh.

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The Primary Winners [2014]

Filed in National by on September 9, 2014 17 Comments

Winners

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Joe Biden Shows How To Speak About The Ray Rice Abuse/Assault

Filed in Delaware, National by on September 9, 2014 5 Comments
Joe Biden Shows How To Speak About The Ray Rice Abuse/Assault

I love Joe! Here are his comments regarding the Ray Rice “incident” or – as it’s known when it happens outside of a relationship – assault. It’s never, never, never the woman’s fault. No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman. No means no. [...] The one regret I have is […]

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NCCo. Civic League Candidates Forum Scheduled for 9/16

Filed in National by on September 9, 2014 0 Comments
NCCo. Civic League Candidates Forum Scheduled for 9/16

Put this on your calendar now. I’ll be there. All of the candidates for offices in and for New Castle County will be invited, and I assume that includes offices from County Council and Recorder of Deeds to all the State House and Senate candidates. I wonder if it also includes Chris Coons and John Carney and the other statewide offices like Auditor and Treasurer.

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Primary Day Open Thread [9.9.14]

Filed in National by on September 9, 2014 16 Comments
Primary Day Open Thread [9.9.14]

Here is the state of play in the US Senate. The GOP needs to gain, or net, 6 seats to win 51 seats, which will be enough for a Republican majority. Remember, if they win just 50, chances are highly likely that Vice President Biden will have the tiebreaking vote and thus give the Dems the majority.

They have three seats already in their pocket: West Virginia, Montana, and South Dakota. They need three more. Their targets, and of course, the competitive races are Arkansas, Louisiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado and Alaska.

The Dems have been doing well in Alaska and Colorado, so let’s assume we win those two races. The recent poll out of Iowa looks good for Braley, so let’s assume for now that the Dems retain that seat. That leaves North Carolina, which a recent poll paid for by the NRSC shows a tied race (which may mean that in actuality Hagan is leading), Arkansas and Louisiana. The GOP appears to have taken a consistent lead based on all the polls above in Arkansas, though it remains a toss up. In Louisiana, we have two polls showing both a Landreiu and a Cassidy win, so that is a toss up.

The GOP needs to win all three. And they need to do so while retaining all their seats. They seem to be doing a good job of that in Kentucky recently, with McConnell taking a consistent lead over the Democrat Grimes, but that is still a competitive race that could go either way. And the Dems still lead in Georgia.

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“I’ll be the Lady GOP version Chip Flowers” (paraphrase)

Filed in National by on September 8, 2014 12 Comments
“I’ll be the Lady GOP version Chip Flowers”  (paraphrase)

Sher Valenzuela on why she should be (insert name of elected office here).

If Ken Simpler loses the primary to this outright dumbass – the GOP really is beyond hope.

Extra Prediction – The Cape Gazette will overtake the News Journal as Delaware’s newspaper of record within 8 years.

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Thursday Open Thread [9.4.14] [Updated]

Filed in National by on September 4, 2014 19 Comments

Governor Markell just tweeted this:

You wanna see the photo? Come inside…

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Wednesday Open Thread [9.3.14]

Filed in International, National by on September 3, 2014 15 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [9.3.14]

What concerns me more is this:

“As Ukrainian leaders warned on Monday of ‘a great war’ with Russia, NATO leaders meeting in Wales this week were expected to endorse their most concrete response yet to increased Russian military intervention in Ukraine: establishing a rapid-reaction force capable of deploying quickly to Eastern Europe[.] The new force of some 4,000 troops, capable of moving on 48 hours’ notice, will be supported with logistics and equipment pre-positioned in Eastern European countries closer to Russia, with an upgraded schedule of military exercises and deployments that are intended to make NATO’s commitment of collective defense more credible and enhance its deterrence.”

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Late Night Video — The List of Rules for Women

Filed in National by on September 2, 2014 2 Comments

The incomparable Jay Smooth works in this new video (about 2 and a half minutes long) at trying to round up the current set of rules for women so that women can get their humanity respected. After trying to grapple with the ever changing rules that (mostly) men prescribe for women to be able to make their way unassaulted in the world for awhile, he does note that it might be easier to provide a list for men:”Hello, Asshole. Women are human beings.” BAM! Still, let the mansplaining begin.

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Bezos Promotes Politico Founder to Publisher of WaPo

Filed in National by on September 2, 2014 5 Comments
Bezos Promotes Politico Founder to Publisher of WaPo

This is some bullshit.

Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos has replaced publisher Katharine Weymouth with a co-founder of the newspaper’s competitor Politico, the company announced Tuesday.

Weymouth’s departure is the end of an era of Graham family involvement with the Post. Her great-grandfather bought the newspaper in the 1930s, and her uncle Donald Graham sold it to Bezos last August for $250 million.

She’ll be replaced by Frederick J. Ryan, the founding CEO of Politico and a former Reagan administration official.

Anyone who thought that Amazon ownership of the Post was going to be good for American journalism can put away that childish naivety.

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Labor Day: Honoring The Labor Leaders I’ve Known

Filed in National by on September 1, 2014 2 Comments
Labor Day:  Honoring The Labor Leaders I’ve Known

This 2014 Labor Day give me the opportunity to reflect on the labor leaders and organizers I’ve had the privilege to know. Few of those among us who are not union members appreciate the brutal, thankless work done by labor leaders in this country that make our working lives at least halfway tolerable. I want to honor the several such leaders who have impacted my life so positively.

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The Weekly Addresses

Filed in National by on August 30, 2014 0 Comments


President Obama


Governor Markell

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California’s “Yes Means Yes” Bill

Filed in National by on August 29, 2014 135 Comments
California’s “Yes Means Yes” Bill

The California state senate unanimously approved a bill on Thursday that defines when “yes” means “yes” to sex. Instead of “no means no” – the phrase commonly associated with sexual assault prevention – the law would require “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” by each party to engage in sexual activity. If Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs the bill into law – he has until the end of September – colleges and universities would have to adopt the so-called affirmative consent standard to continue receiving state funds for student financial aid.

Under the proposed standard, the fact that a person didn’t say “no” is no defense in a campus sexual assault investigation.

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Friday Open Thread [8.29.14]

Filed in National by on August 29, 2014 3 Comments
Friday Open Thread [8.29.14]

Here are some more polling goodness for this Friday before a long Labor Day Weekend. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

KANSAS–SENATOR–SurveyUSA: Sen. Pat Roberts (R) 37, Chad Taylor (D) 32, Greg Orman (I) 20.

PENNSYLVANIA–GOVERNOR–Franklin & Marshall College: Tom Wolf (D) 49, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) 24.

MICHIGAN–GOVERNOR–EPIC-MRA: Mark Schauer (D) 45, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) 43.

More inside…

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Vance Phillips Crashes Gaffney Interview with 5th RD Opponent

Filed in National by on August 29, 2014 15 Comments
Vance Phillips Crashes Gaffney Interview with 5th RD Opponent

OMG – please podcast this…

Radio talk show host Dan Gaffney called a segment of his Aug. 28 morning show “damned odd,” while Republicans locked in a primary battle for the Sussex County 5th District council seat called the show “crazy” and “surreal.”

Call it what you want – bad timing, miscommunication or a calculated election-year ploy – an exchange on a local radio talk show has ignited swirling controversy.

During the segment, the two Republican candidates running for the District 5 seat both used up airtime. According to Gaffney, one of the two – incumbent Vance Phillips of Laurel – was not invited during that time slot. About half way through a scheduled interview and call-in session with Republican challenger Rob Arlett of Frankford, Phillips entered the studio and put on headphones.

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