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Saturday Open Thread [7.19.14]

Filed in National by on July 19, 2014 12 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [7.19.14]

The world would be a much better place if John McCain were put back on his meds, if he just retired to a home, or just slipped away. His hyperbolic statements are getting a little outrageous lately. Yesterday, I saw a quote from notorious murderer and former Congressman Allen West (yes, he killed someone intentionally and yet was elected to Congress) that blamed President Obama for the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. You can chalk up that kind of quote to the insanity of Mr. West. Then McCain repeated it.

Mr. McCain said that Mr. Obama is running a “cowardly administration that failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.”

Mr. McCain, how… IN THE FUCKING WORLD… would this intentional act of murder on the part of the Russian backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine been prevented by the President giving Ukraine weapons?

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The Weekly Addresses

Filed in Delaware, National by on July 19, 2014 6 Comments

President Obama

The West Wing Week, with its focus on Delaware…

Governor Markell hasn’t posted a weekly message update on his YouTube channel (which is where I always check) in three weeks. Sussex Watcher informs me that he has hidden his weekly messages at part of his state website. So he been posting messages, just not publicly to his YouTube channel. So here is this week’s update:

And over the craziness of the last few weeks, I forgot to post this legislative wrap up from the House Democratic Caucus from Valerie Longhurst and Speaker Schwartzkopf. I do highly encourage the House and the Senate to continue these weekly messages from various lawmakers, even when the General Assembly is out of session. One of the travesties of our democracy is that everyone knows who the President is, but very few know who their local state representative and senator are, and those officials are the ones who are and are supposed to be most responsive to your needs and requests. Keep it up GA.

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Saturday Daily Delawhere [7.19.14]

Filed in Delaware by on July 19, 2014 0 Comments
Saturday Daily Delawhere [7.19.14]

Sunrise on the Inlet by Rich Renomeron on Flickr.

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Sussex County Got a Little Brighter This Afternoon

Filed in Delaware by on July 18, 2014 7 Comments

Bill Colley was finally fired from WGMD. I think I can hear the cheers from here!

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A Republican for the 9th? [Updated with my call with Speaker Schwartzkopf, and responses from Andye Daley]

Filed in Delaware by on July 18, 2014 24 Comments
A Republican for the 9th?   [Updated with my call with Speaker Schwartzkopf, and responses from Andye Daley]

State Representative Rebecca Walker (D) has represented this district for four years, first elected in 2010. She has risen quickly in the committee structure of the House, chairing the House Judiciary Committee (and thus bottling up some more progressive legislation like death penalty repeal) in the last term. She has a reputation for being overly cautious politically (like not going for her rematch against the forever vulnerable former Republican Majority Leader Dick Cathcart in 2010, to whom she lost in 2008, until Cathcart dropped out) and not being an overly good campaigner. This year, while some of us expected her to retire and not run, she surprised us and refiled to run. And then, two days after the filing deadline, she announced she was withdrawing and not running for reelection. The reason she did this was to not allow the voters in her district any control or any voice over who their nominee was going to be. For you see, after the primary filing deadline passed on July 8, the RD Committee for the district gets to decide who the nominee is, usually under severe pressure from higherups in the party.

Well, that is what is happening. The candidate being pushed directly by Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf is Jason Horitz.

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Friday Open Thread [7.18.14]

Filed in National by on July 18, 2014 2 Comments
Friday Open Thread [7.18.14]

We got a huge polling dump for you. And we have a video of Israelis cheering missile strikes in Gaza, and I have some pointed thoughts on that. It was a quiet week until yesterday.

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Delaware Political Weekly: July 12-18, 2014

Filed in Delaware by on July 18, 2014 66 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: July 12-18, 2014

The Democratic Party endorses neither candidate for the State Treasurer primary. Kremlinologists no doubt will enjoy parsing the following sentence:

Given the Committee’s perception of quality both Democratic Treasurer candidates possess, the committee failed to reach consensus on the endorsement of either candidate.

Might I suggest that this is one endorsement that neither candidate really wanted? How could Chip run as the anti-establishment candidate if the establishment endorsed him, and how could Barney run as someone not beholden to the Carpers and Carneys of this world if he got the endorsement? My vote will ultimately come down to this: What can we least afford? A self-delusional narcissist who has had his hands effectively tied, or the next Carper or Carney?

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The President in Delaware

Filed in National by on July 18, 2014 3 Comments
The President in Delaware

We have the President’s full remarks at the Port of Wilmington inside. I worked from home yesterday, covering some conferences and a deposition over the computer and the phone. But around lunchtime, I headed down Concord Pike to hit M&T Bank to deposit some checks, and I had just passed the Charcoal Pit and was coming up on the light at the old Rollins Tower, when the President’s motorcade came barreling up north on Concord Pike. That was unexpected. I knew the President was in my lovely state, but I expected him to stay south. After a delay of a few minutes that allowed the President to pass, traffic south of the Charcoal Pit was allowed to move again, so I was only slightly inconvenienced, not that I care. I thought it was pretty cool.

Here is something that Cassandra saw yesterday that was hilarious. If you have any stories or pictures from yesterday, share them here.

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Friday Daily Delawhere [7.18.14]

Filed in National by on July 18, 2014 0 Comments
Friday Daily Delawhere [7.18.14]

A newly cleaned front of Legislative Hall from Mike Mahaffie on Flickr.

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Why Would Anyone Shoot Down a Malaysian Airline Plane over Ukraine?

Filed in National by on July 17, 2014 22 Comments
Why Would Anyone Shoot Down a Malaysian Airline Plane over Ukraine?

Seriously, I was astonished and sick when I heard that this plane disappeared from radar, then heard it was shot down. The pictures are horrific and while the Ukrainians and the Russians have rushed to say they were not responsible, someone shot down that plane. There’s not much anyone knows at this point, but why would anyone shoot down this plane? Tell me what you think in the comments.

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RIP: Johnny Winter & Elaine Stritch

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on July 17, 2014 2 Comments
RIP: Johnny Winter & Elaine Stritch

Two serious soulful performers gone. A guitar god who sometimes placed speed (in both ways) ahead of pitch or accuracy, and one of the most galvanizing stage performers (for whom pitch was thankfully never the point) I’ve ever seen with a particular penchant for the music of Stephen Sondheim….

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Thursday Daily Delawhere [7.17.14]

Filed in Delaware by on July 17, 2014 1 Comment
Thursday Daily Delawhere [7.17.14]

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Wednesday Open Thread [7.16.14]

Filed in National by on July 16, 2014 14 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [7.16.14]

Anne Marie Cox thinks the GOP is now destroyed as an option for the Millennial Generation.

Late last week, the Reason Foundation released the results of a poll about that generation, the millennials; its signature finding was the confirmation of a mass abandonment of social conservatism and the GOP. This comes at a time when the conservative movement is increasingly synonymous with mean-spirited, prank-like and combative activism and self-important grand gestures. The millennial generation has repeatedly defined itself as the most socially tolerant of the modern era, but one thing it really can’t stand is drama.

Which probably explains why Millennial approve of No Drama Obama.

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Funding Highways by Underfunding Pensions

Filed in National by on July 16, 2014 9 Comments
Funding Highways by Underfunding Pensions

This is the latest from the Congressional brain rust — this time trying to find money for the Transportation Trust Fund. This time, it is Hoouse Republicans who are looking to use this trick to look like they are paying for the extension to the Transportation Trust fund. Instead of looking at rational ways of raising revenue (taxes, closing tax loopholes), they’ve decided that undermining America’s already hemorrhaging pension system is the right place to get money to pay for our roads. But this is apparently not the first time this accounting gimmick has been floated to actually fund something. The Democrats tried using this mess into a bill to extend unemployment insurance and it was part of the funding mechanism for the last temporary Transportation Bill. Which means that this bit of business is available for some appalling bit of bipartisanship. (Even though the GOP looked at the pension smoothing plan to pay for unemployment benefits and said that it paid for nothing. Now they are all for it.) So what is Pension Smoothing?

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Wednesday Daily Delawhere [7.16.14]

Filed in Delaware by on July 16, 2014 1 Comment
Wednesday Daily Delawhere [7.16.14]

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Late Night Video — Jon Oliver Explains Income Inequality

Filed in Open Thread by on July 15, 2014 0 Comments

Very good — one more rant by Oliver showing how a nation of strivers are too busy striving to make sure that rich people aren’t paying taxes:

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Markell to Children: Drop Dead

Filed in Delaware by on July 15, 2014 94 Comments
Markell to Children: Drop Dead

Don’t look for gimlet-eyed Jack Markell to lift a finger to assist in the humanitarian crisis at the nation’s borders.  Delaware Gov. Markell turned down a request from The US Department of Health & Social Services to even consider making any state resources available to stem the humanitarian crisis. He blames congressional ‘dithering’. As if the kids placed in the middle of this crisis can do anything to overcome congressional dithering.

From today’s News-Journal story:

Markell, who is among a number of the nation’s governors who fielded federal requests for help, said there are no state facilities available that could properly accommodate the children while they await immigration hearings. But he said some Delaware faith-based organizations might be in a position to offer assistance.

“I don’t really see the possibility of any state facilities housing these kids,” Markell said Monday. “I don’t think that exists. If private organizations choose to do so, that’ll be up to them.”

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Tuesday Daily Delawhere [7.15.14]

Filed in Delaware by on July 15, 2014 2 Comments
Tuesday Daily Delawhere [7.15.14]

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Cape Henlopen School Board: Banning Books And Emails

Filed in Delaware by on July 14, 2014 15 Comments
Cape Henlopen School Board: Banning Books And Emails

I’m sure everyone is familiar with latest book banning drama from the Cape Henlopen School Board.  If not, here’s the recap:

Cape Henlopen School District’s decision to take a book off a summer reading list for incoming high school freshmen has drawn protests from librarians, some parents and teachers.

The young-adult book, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” which features a main character who is gay, was removed from the list by the school board in late June. The board majority cited foul language, not sexual orientation, as the reason for their action.

Which was followed by this:

Several Cape Henlopen School Board members indicated a willingness to reconsider their vote last month to remove a young adult novel from a freshman summer reading list at a Thursday meeting where librarians and a parent criticized them for it.

Now, this isn’t the first time the Cape Henlopen School Board went after a book.  It’s obviously a “thing” for this school board.

But today’s article in the Cape Gazzette brings a new tactic to the the table.

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In Wilmington, bullets and violence

Filed in Delaware by on July 14, 2014 13 Comments

Wilmington gun violence

Wednesday night, 27-year-old Otis Saunders was gunned down in Wilmington, the city’s 15th homicide victim this year.

While police seek answers behind this latest death, the answer to this question continues to elude everyone: how to reduce the violence?

Continue reading at Newsworks

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Expanding the Port of Wilmington

Filed in Delaware by on July 14, 2014 16 Comments
Expanding the Port of Wilmington

You’ve probably seen this article in Sunday’s NJ that spins out a vision by Tom Gordon to expand on the Port of Wilmington by building a new facility directly on the Delaware River capable of handling the larger ships coming through the world’s seaways. This new facility would be south of the current port, just south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. I give Tom Gordon some credit for thinking about capitalizing on the current Port asset. I wrote about this alot when I was writing about Kinder Morgan and I’m still surprised that this isn’t higher up on the economic development agenda.

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Monday Daily Delawhere [7.14.14]

Filed in Delaware by on July 14, 2014 0 Comments
Monday Daily Delawhere [7.14.14]

From Tom Dressel on Flickr.

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So, Corporations Think They’re People?

Filed in National by on July 13, 2014 6 Comments
So, Corporations Think They’re People?

The Hobby Lobby case gave us yet another reminder that corporations are pushing for full recognition as people; in this case a person with a particular religious belief. The Supremes seem totally hell bent on actualizing this fiction which historically started with a very mistaken decision based on an event decades ago in a area where I went to college, Santa Clara, California.

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Contact the FCC NOW On Net Neutrality

Filed in National by on July 13, 2014 2 Comments
Contact the FCC NOW On Net Neutrality

July 15 is the closing date for comments on the FCC’s proposal to let ISP’s create fast lanes to the internet — charging people for faster service, while likely deteriorating the service of those who can’t or won’t pay more. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Unfortunately, the FCC is considering a plan that would allow some Internet providers to provide better access to some websites that pay a fee to reach users faster. This kind of “pay-to-play” Internet stifles innovation. New websites that can’t afford expensive fees for better service will face new barriers to success, leaving users with ever fewer options and a less diverse Internet.

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Wilmington City Council Steps Up to Try to Control the City’s Costs

Filed in Delaware by on July 13, 2014 24 Comments
Wilmington City Council Steps Up to Try to Control the City’s Costs

The last city budget process highlighted once again the difficulty of using that fast-track process to start implementing some budget discipline within the city’s operations. Indeed, that budget not only raised the property taxes of city residents, but also left the city with a surplus – a surplus that no one understands its purpose. There were multiple problems brought up during the hearings – the number of vacant but budgeted positions, the fact that the city isn’t paying its portion of the water and sewer bill, and the fact that the budget largely ignored the WEFAC finding that the city’s financial difficulty can’t be resolved by taxing its way out of it. On top of that, city residents really pushed back on city council people over the passage of that tax increase.  To respond to this, City Council is finally exercising its prerogatives as the body that approves spending, to start pulling spending back. This week they started with the staffing at the Fire Department, and they promise to look at all City Departments with an eye to reduce funding for vacant positions and look for better efficiencies.

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