Open Thread

Wednesday Open Thread [3.26.14] – The DL Common Core Edition

Filed in National, Open Thread by on March 26, 2014 72 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [3.26.14] – The DL Common Core Edition

I have mostly been ignoring the debate over Common Core education standards, pretty much because the opponents and proponents are all speaking in a language that is foreign to me. I don’t have kids so I have not been confronted by these issues. So I have left education blogging to DL’s expert, Pandora, and to Delaware’s best education bloggers, Kavips and Kilroy, as well as Mike Matthews anbd John Young and others focusing on specific school districts like Christina and Red Clay. It is fair to say that I myself have ignored the debate because it did not concern me. That thinking is wrong but it is what has happened.

And because of that, DL has gotten a reputation of being pro-Common Core or pro-Markell in this education debate, because we were less outspoken on the issue than Kavips or Kilroy or Nancy Willing. I don’t that is a fair characterization. A more fair one is that we have been ignorant.

So, I have a few questions….

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Monday Open Thread [3.24.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on March 24, 2014 3 Comments
Monday Open Thread [3.24.14]

If Rand Paul really really wanted to be President, he could pretty much guarantee his election right now by sticking to a Libertarian foreign policy of non-interference and continue railing against the NSA. If he did that, he would probably defeat Hillary Clinton.

But he has already tarnished his Libertarian credentials in this Ukrainian crisis. Being a true libertarian in the modern GOP takes courage when it comes to foreign policy. The bully Neocons will call you unAmerican, a Hitler lover, and a coward. So it takes real courage to stand up to that. His father had that courage. Rand Paul does not.

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Sunday Open Thread [3.23.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on March 23, 2014 6 Comments

The always astute Paul Waldman takes to the pages of the WaPo today to diagnose what is wrong with the Sunday Yack Shows. The only reason to watch these shows is to get a handle on the news narrative that is being crafted for the upcoming week. Because the manipulation and laundering of talking points into the reporting narrative *is* what the much vaunted journalistic objectivity looks like from the political reporting machine. This really is a boring exercise — populated with the same old voices, arrayed in spectacularly silly ways — when did it get to be a thing to balance a panel of wingnuts with a journalist? And is there any reason at all for George Will or Peggy Noonan to be on TV still? I get that the Sunday Morning shows are basically Company Town TV, but you’d think that a Company Town with as much people churn as DC has would be able to reach out to more voices.

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Saturday Open Thread [3.22.2014]

Filed in Open Thread by on March 22, 2014 3 Comments

How about that Dianne Feinstein? Looks like she and her husband are making bank on the closing of some Post Offices. Coincidence? Probably not — her husband’s firms made a good deal of money during the BushCo too:

Between 2001 and 2005, Feinstein vetted and approved $1.5 billion in defense contracts for Perini Corp and URS Corporation – both owned by her husband, Richard Blum. In 2009, Feinstein successfully introduced a bill that routed an additional $25 billion to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), some of it for the purpose of marketing foreclosed property owned by banks that had gone under with the housing and markets crash. In a curious twist, CBRE later received a $108 million FDIC contract to market foreclosed property.

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Tuesday Open Thread [3.18.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on March 18, 2014 2 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [3.18.14]

Glenn Thrush has written a pretty neat profile for Politico Magazine on Vice President Joe Biden.

“The only thing I know is I ain’t changing my brand. I know what I believe. I’m confident in what I know. And I’m gonna say it. And if folks like it, wonderful. If they don’t like it, I understand.”

Vice President Joe Biden and I were riding the Amtrak to Philly on a frigid February day. I had asked about 2016 and whether America was ready, at long last, to elect a guy with such a mouth. There he was, barely cracking double digits in the polls, abandoned by the party big shots, and appearing, beyond all good sense, like he wanted nothing more than another crack at the presidency.

I feel sorry for Joe. For all intents and purposes, a sitting Vice President is the de facto frontrunner for the presidency, especially for the party in power’s primary. But not this time.

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Monday Open Thread [3.17.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on March 17, 2014 3 Comments
Monday Open Thread [3.17.14]

Marc Ambinder: “One undeniable truth: Iraq weakened the U.S. more than anything done since. Maybe Obama overlearned its lessons; maybe we all have. But nothing empowered Vladimir Putin more than America’s squandering of moral standing in the early part of this century.”

Today, Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) will release the first revenue forecast of 2014. In December, DEFAC added $42 million to incoming revenues, but that still left a hole of about $125 million for Gov. Jack Markell to fill in his budget.

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Friday Open Thread [3.14.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on March 14, 2014 5 Comments
Friday Open Thread [3.14.14]

South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Dave Feliciano (R), a teabagging Christine O’Donnell wannabe, is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Said Feliciano: “It’s about time that South Carolina says hey, We’re tired of the ambiguously gay senator from South Carolina. We’re ready for a new leader to merge the Republican Party. We’re done with this. This is what it’s about, all of us coming together and saying, one way or the other, one of us is going to be on that ballot in November.”

Given the homophobia of the right, I bet his poll numbers go up.

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Thursday Open Thread [3.13.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on March 13, 2014 9 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [3.13.14]

Are you following the dissapearance of the Malaysian Airways plane? It is remarkable to me that somehow this flight just vanished without a trace — and that it seems that the flight may not have been on the track it should have been. Then there is the WSJ reporting today that the plane was in the air (or at least the engines were running) well past the time currently suspected.

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Wednesday Open Thread [3.12.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on March 12, 2014 8 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [3.12.14]

I am up in the wonderful Clarion, Pennsylvania on business today and tomorrow, so my presence here will be limited. But here is a polling fix to sooth the pain of the special election loss down in Florida (which was entirely predictable, as I said yesterday, since it has been a Republican district and seat since the Eisenhower Administration).

PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL BACK UP–A new Bloomberg Poll has President Obama’s job performance rating at 48%, a jump of 6% since December. His favorability rating is nearly the same, at 49%.

DEMS TAKE THE LEAD IN THE GENERIC BALLOT–A new Public Policy Polling survey finds the Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot, 43% to 40%, after trailing by two points in January.

“One key difference is that Democrats are at least happy with their own party in Congress, giving it a 66/21 approval, while Republicans give their own [party] a negative assessment at 43/48.”

So as the supposedly liberal media carps today about a coming Republican wave in November as predicted by last night’s loss in FL13, keep in mind that two prerequisites to any GOP Wave is presidential approval at or below 40% and a lead in the generic ballot. Neither of which favor the GOP at this point.

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Wednesday Open Thread [2.26.14]

Filed in Delaware, Open Thread by on February 26, 2014 4 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [2.26.14]

Delaware is not sharing its salt with Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

Salt-strapped New Jersey had asked Delaware to share its salt earlier this week, and Delaware said it has enough to last a few more storms, but isn’t willing to share. When asked again if they’d share with neighboring states, {DelDOT Jim] Westhoff told WDEL, “No way.”

LOL. A story about a responsible squirrel and his acorns comes to mind.

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Tuesday Open Thread [2.25.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on February 25, 2014 1 Comment
Tuesday Open Thread [2.25.14]

“I think we got off that track when we allowed our government to become a secular government, when we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that He wrote the constitution, that’s based on biblical principles.” — Former Rep.Tom DeLay (R-TX), in an interview on Global Evangelical Television. The sound you hear is our Founding Fathers, and most notably Thomas Jefferson, rolling over in their graves.

“Once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.” — Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin (R), quoted by Slate. And that’s how Republicans view women. As receptacles and hosts. Not as humans and mothers.

“There are several possible explanations for why Republicans would not denounce Nugent and his statement in unqualified terms. One is that they aren’t all that offended by what Nugent said. A second is Nugent is on their “team” and therefore needs to be treated with kid gloves. A third explanation is that they fear that in denouncing Nugent they will upset elements of the GOP base. Any of these explanations is an indictment,” – Pete Wehner, Commentary.

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Monday Open Thread [2.24.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on February 24, 2014 5 Comments
Monday Open Thread [2.24.14]

Arizona’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a pro-discrimination bill last week that gives government sanction to any form of discrimination that a bigot wishes to practice. Now, obviously this law is blatantly unconstitutional and it will not survive its first encounter with a judge, any judge, anywhere. And Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a similar bill last year. So there are hopes that this bill will never take affect as law. But to prod Brewer along, and to punish the bigots who call themselves the Republican legislators, George Takei has sent a message to the people of Arizona.

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Sunday Open Thread [2.23.2014]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 23, 2014 0 Comments
Sunday Open Thread [2.23.2014]

This is an eye-candy Open Thread — a very cool infographic featuring visuals for 50 Incredible Natural Phenomena. The magnetic north one might be controversial, but this infographic is not for creationists:

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Saturday Open Thread [2.22.2014]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 22, 2014 6 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [2.22.2014]

Michael Tomasky has taken to the NY Review of Books to speculate about A New Populism in the Democratic Party. He sees signs of the party “soft-shoeing” its way leftward:

For example, the Center for American Progress (CAP), under its new president Neera Tanden, has pushed “middle-class” or “middle-out” economics as the left’s alternative to supply-side, trickle-down economics. The idea of middle-out economics is that the government, instead of investing in the top 2 percent by means of tax and other privileges, should instead invest in the broad middle through a number of left-leaning policy choices from which the bounty would radiate out to all sectors of the society. These would include a much higher minimum wage, paid family leave, and improvement of decaying infrastructure. Obama’s Knox College speech on inequality is one expression of the middle-out view in the way it ties middle-class investment to growth.4 CAP has been pushing the White House to take up these arguments, not the other way around.

John Podesta, CAP’s former president, helped launch a new think tank, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, devoted specifically to issues related to inequality. Podesta is now a White House counselor, which gives these issues respected representation in debates in the Roosevelt Room and the Oval Office.

This is all a welcome shift in emphasis, but of course it doesn’t mean that populist policies are going to become reality anytime soon. There is opposition to them within the Democratic Party and its broader policy solar system. Not nearly as much as there once was; the radical rightward shift of the Republican Party has, perhaps inevitably, moved the Democratic center of gravity leftward. But the opposition to populism continues.

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Thursday Open Thread [2.20.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 20, 2014 4 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [2.20.14]

So, now that Governor Chris Christie has been destroyed as a credible Presidential candidate in 2016, some in the GOP have turned their lonely eyes to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin (R). Walker is a golden boy in the GOP hive mind for talking on the public sector unions and winning, and then surviving a recall, but I have never pictured him as a viable presidential candidate for one very important reason: he has what I call a permanent Eli Manning Face. You know that face, right? Come inside to see some picture comparisons if you don’t.

Anyway, Mr. Walker, like Mr. Christie, has an email problem.

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Wednesday Open Thread [2.18.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 19, 2014 3 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [2.18.14]

Jonathan Chait on how the House Republicans really screwed their Presidential candidates and doomed their hopes for 2016. Seriously, these guys are such experts at foot shooting, they should teach courses.

“The decisive case for inaction that Republicans made to Boehner has been that moving an immigration bill would divide the party in advance of the midterm elections. Republicans are anticipating a favorable midterm election, with a shrunken and more demographically favorable electorate, along with a Senate map tilted heavily toward red states. They don’t want to instigate right-wing infighting when they can instead spend every day harping on the multitudinous evils of Obamacare.”

“Yet, once the midterms pass, the presidential primary will quickly command attention. Republicans again will be competing for the loyalty of a heavily white, distinctly anti-immigrant electoral base, and the candidates will again face pressure to lock themselves into positions that will alienate Latino and Asian voters. They could still win anyway if the economy is weak enough, or some other major scandal envelopes the Obama administration. But in an electorate that is both increasingly hardened in its partisan inclinations, and growing steadily more Democratic-leaning in its basic shape, the GOP’s outlook is, if not hopeless, decidedly grim.”

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Tuesday Open Thread [2.18.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 18, 2014 3 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [2.18.14]

Teabagger Senator Ted Cruz is apparently not very well liked by his fellow Republican Senate colleagues, and last week was yet another example as to why. You see, the debt ceiling bill, which had passed the House by a bipartisan majority of all of the Democrats and 28 of the non-gutless Republicans. Ideally, what the Senate Republicans wanted to do was to pass the bill with little fanfare, quickly and quietly by unanimous consent. Then Ted Cruz stepped in, and filibustered the bill, requiring a recorded vote that needed 60 votes to pass. That meant 5 Senate Republicans had to vote yes. But the Senate Republicans are even more gutless than the House, and the Republican leadership were having a hard time coming up with the votes. So they, the leadership, i.e. Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, had to vote yes. And the votes probably guaranteed McConnell’s defeat in his primary, and gave a serious boast to John Cornyn’s teabagger challenger.

Go read Dana Millbank’s account of the incident. You will be amazed at how close our nation came to utter disaster because of the cowardice of Senate Republicans and Calgary Cruz.

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President’s Day Open Thread [2.17.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 17, 2014 32 Comments
President’s Day Open Thread [2.17.14]

Late on Friday, Michael Dunn (the middle-aged white man who shot a black teenager who wouldn’t comply with his demand to turn down his music) was convicted on 4 of the five charges:

Dunn, who is white, fired 10 shots into an SUV, killing Jordan Davis, 17, who was black. The shooting in a convenience store parking lot in Jacksonville erupted after Dunn asked the teenagers in the vehicle to turn down their music.

Dunn was charged with first-degree murder, three counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of firing into a vehicle in the Nov. 23, 2012, shooting. The jury couldn’t reach a decision on the first-degree murder charge, but convicted on the other four.

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Saturday Open Thread [2/15/14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 15, 2014 10 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [2/15/14]

Even though Volkswagon had no issues with the formation of a union at their plant in Tennessee, the GOP lied and howled and threatened enough to help narrowly defeat a vote for a union yesterday. The take away, of course, is that every time you hear someone in the GOP talk about the middle class or a better deal for workers, you know that is a lie. Because the only people the GOP were defending here were themselves and their anti-union special interests. Of course, you won’t hear one word from the usual “Government should stay out of the way of business” crowd denouncing the GOP’s clear interference with Volkswagon here.

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Valentine’s Day Open Thread [2.14.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 14, 2014 4 Comments
Valentine’s Day Open Thread [2.14.14]

This Open Thread *may* be late because DD decided to be early to his date with Frank Underwood and the House of Cards crew. Season 2 is on Netflix today and the early reviews strongly point to binge-watching. Apparently even President Obama is a fan, and tweeted a warning for No Spoilers:

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Tuesday Open Thread [2.11.14]

Filed in Delaware, Open Thread by on February 11, 2014 2 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [2.11.14]

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) sent us what they called a guest post, but it was more like a press release, concerning the General Assembly’s passage of SB 6, the Minimum Wage Bill. I am very happy that the DLCC is working up the state legislative races across the land, because, as we have seen across the country, when Republicans get control of them, they everything and anything they ever wanted to pass. Forced gun ownership. Complete abortion bans. Voter suppression.

So I wish them well in there efforts to link the state legislative into the Democrats’ overrall midterm narrative of income inequality.

But… sometimes these national organizations miss some of the local politics that take place. Come inside to see their guest post / release and what I mean by that…

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Sunday Open Thread [2.9.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 9, 2014 5 Comments
Sunday Open Thread [2.9.14]

VP Joe Biden tells CNN that he’ll make a firm decision about running for President Summer 2015:

Vice President Joe Biden joked this week that being able to drive his Corvette – is one good reason not to run. But, when asked to give another good reason not to run, Biden responded simply.

“I can’t.”

“There may be reasons I don’t run, but there’s no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run,” he said in the interview with Kate Bolduan on CNN’s “New Day.”

Biden went on to say he would make a decision “realistically, a year this summer.”

Is it me, or is this a little late? Realistically, there ought to be operations need to get stood up in Iowa and NH right around then right?

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Saturday Open Thread [2.8.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 8, 2014 0 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [2.8.14]

In a bit of good news for freedom of speech, Beau Biden’s office has withdrawn its subpoena to find out who Peaceful Rioters for Wilmington, Delaware is. The relevant bit:

“They decided it wasn’t essential to the investigation and that’s a good thing,’’ MacRae said. “They have to be very discriminatory when they seek private information like that.’’

Joseph S. Grubb, the chief New Castle County prosecutor, said Biden’s top supervisors decided this week to withdraw the subpoena because the information would not further the criminal case – not because of criticism or opposition.

“The investigation kind of took a turn,’’ Grubb said. “It’s proven less likely there’s a relevant connection’’ between the creators of Peaceful Rioters and the Hockessin-area missives about top county officials.

Translation: We got caught in a fishing expedition and we’re trying to put a good face on our backing out of this strategy.

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Friday Open Thread [2.7.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on February 7, 2014 3 Comments
Friday Open Thread [2.7.14]

The American Nazi Party had more than 4,000 followers on Twitter, and at least two of were influential conservative and Republican organizations (I don’t call them ‘think tanks’ because thinking is the last thing that occurs there): The Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Yesterday, after being discovered, they quickly unfollowed the Nazis and apologized. But, why where they following the Nazis in the first place? Trying to find new ideas?

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Thursday Open Thread [2.6.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 6, 2014 2 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [2.6.14]

PPP does some interesting polling in Alaska, finding that Hillary Clinton leads Sarah Palin in a matchup for President (44-43), with Palin still having pretty awful approval ratings (39% approve). Alaskans overwhelmingly approve of legalizing pot for medical purposes (74-22) and by a smaller, but still majority margin for recreational use (55-39). I’m especially interested in the polling for a referendum measure that looks to repeal Senate Bill 21, the Oil and Gas Production Tax which provided a big tax cut to carbon energy companies. This was a controversial thing and right now Alaskans say they will vote to repeal 43-31%. People do know when they are being screwed over for special interests and maybe if more of these had to be voted upon by taxpayers, there’d be fewer efforts to pad the pockets of the people paying for elections. The caveat, of course, is who knows what will happen with the special interests ramp up their fear and loathing campaigns.

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