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Wednesday Daily Delawhere [3.25.15]

Filed in Delaware by on March 25, 2015 0 Comments
Wednesday Daily Delawhere [3.25.15]

Above the Henlopen in Rehoboth. Photo by Sky Jack.

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Tuesday Open Thread [3.24.15]

Filed in National by on March 24, 2015 16 Comments

“I wish Reagan would rise from the dead and come back.” — Pat Robertson, on his television show The 700 Club, while noting President Obama “does not believe in America” and was mentored by “leftists who don’t really love this country.” Ah yes, Pat Robertson, who runs the Christian “700 Club” that of course believes in a wonderous heavenly after life, endorsing the return of Zombie Reagan, which seems somewhat blasphemous to me.

Once again, our real headlines have become the Onion. Here is a segment the Onion did a number of years ago.

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Redrawing School District Lines

Filed in Delaware by on March 24, 2015 12 Comments
Redrawing School District Lines

I have been on record saying that Delaware has too many school districts. 19 public/Vo-Tech school districts and 18 (and counting) charter districts. Each charter school is its own district. To me, that’s simply too much administrative overhead. Which brings us to the plan of reducing the number of districts in the city of Wilmington. Something I support, but know that the devil’s in the details.

When the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee (WEAC) submitted its report to the Governor, one of its suggestions was removing Christina and Colonial School Districts from the city and having the only two districts (Red Clay and Brandywine) serve the city.

As a city resident the idea of fewer school districts sounds wonderful. Having four districts fractured the city’s voice. It was hard to organize and advocate for city kids since school districts would only listen to people who lived in their district about concerns with their district. I do understand that, but it was extremely frustrating. Especially since 99% of our concerns applied to every district. But those district lines sent us off in four different directions, with less people, and were easily ignored. And, make no mistake, we were ignored. The districts’ go-to solution was always to form a committee to study the problem. Where all those committee reports ended up… I have no idea. And it was infuriating to keep bringing up the same concerns year after year only to have district administrators feign surprise and call for a new committee. So, most city residents would be happy with fewer school districts – if it’s handled correctly.

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Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Week of March 24-26, 1015

Filed in Delaware by on March 24, 2015 7 Comments
Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Week of March 24-26, 1015

Yet another sneaky maneuver from Markell’s Merciless Minions in their ongoing war on state employees. After agreeing to postpone their plan to screw state employees and retirees by shifting more health costs onto them, Ann Visalli and her henchpersons nevertheless convened a meeting of the ironically-named State Employee Benefits Commission to ‘temporarily’ increase premiums. In other words, shifting more costs onto the workers. And going back on their public promises. When it comes to state employees, Markell is taking his cues from Scott Walker. Or perhaps vice versa.  From Day One, Markell has done little to hide his disdain for the worker bees. Guess he admires smooth-talking used car salesmen like himself much more.  Right back at’cha, Jack.  Glibness made you rich and made you governor.  Hey, maybe that’s why Jack looks down on state employees…not glib enough for him and, of course, not wealthy enough for him. Memo to the General Assembly: We’re watching. It’s time to tax Jack’s pals. They collected all the spoils of the so-called economic recovery.  Stop Markell’s transfer of more wealth to the wealthy.  This. Is. Unconscionable.

The Delaware General Assembly has a new easy-to-navigate website.  It’s really really good, but does not lend itself to linking as well as the previous website. Rather than doing a cut-and-paste of huge swaths of text, I’ll post highlights and encourage you to check out the site.  It’s definitely much easier to access and search than it used to be, which makes me even less essential (I know, I know).

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Our Choices for Raising New Revenue

Filed in Delaware by on March 24, 2015 32 Comments
Our Choices for Raising New Revenue

Last week, the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council or DEFAC released its latest revenue projections, reporting a $45 million dollar loss in revenue. Last Friday, the News Journal had a story on the Structural Revenue Review Committee and what they see as the reason for the revenue drop:

As the legal or corporate home for hundreds of thousands of businesses, Delaware is allowed to take intangible assets such as dormant checking and savings accounts, uncashed checks and unclaimed dividends and stocks after a certain number of years if the owners can’t be found. [...] But corporations that are required to turn over their unclaimed property have challenged Delaware’s enforcement methods, including estimating the amounts due when no actual records can be found. Meanwhile, only a fraction of companies subject to the escheat laws are complying with the reporting requirements. [Secretary of State] Bullock noted that while increased compliance might bring in more abandoned property revenue, technology has made it easier for companies to track ownership of the assets, meaning there likely will be less for the state to claim in the future.

Meanwhile, the state also faces challenges when it comes to gambling revenue, as newer and bigger casinos in neighboring states continue to draw gamblers who used to come to Delaware’s three casinos, panel members were told. Lottery and gambling revenues contributed about $215 million to the general fund in fiscal 2014 but have declined steadily in recent years, with even more competition from other states on the horizon.

So the budget gimmickry that has allowed Delaware to operate on a half-flat income tax structure for decades is coming to an end. So what are our options?

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Tuesday Daily Delawhere [3.24.15]

Filed in Delaware by on March 24, 2015 0 Comments
Tuesday Daily Delawhere [3.24.15]

Above Lewes. Photo by Sky Jack.

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At Least He’s Consistent

Filed in National by on March 23, 2015 3 Comments
At Least He’s Consistent

Alternate title to this post: ::Get your Popcorn:: As you know, the right wing has lied for years that President Obama was not born in Hawaii, and was instead born in Kenya. This lie has continued despite the fact that both the short form and the long form birth certificate from the State of Hawaii have been released proving that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, and despite the fact that a birth announcement regarding the young President’s birth was placed a couple of days later in the Honolulu Advertiser. Anyway, the right wing could not handle the fact that a non-white man had been elected President, and they reacted by making the President an “other,” an “alien,” literally.

Well now their tea party champion, Ted Cruz, has decided to run for President. But he really wasn’t born here. But the right wing has no problem with that. Well, all except The Donald.

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Ted Cruz has a burning flag/Al Jazeera logo

Filed in National by on March 23, 2015 0 Comments
Ted Cruz has a burning flag/Al Jazeera logo

UPSO notes that “Ted Cruz’s new logo looks like a mix between the Al Jazeera logo and a burning flag. Weird.” TedCruz.org (Thanks, UPSO!)

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Monday Open Thread [3.23.15]

Filed in National by on March 23, 2015 13 Comments
Monday Open Thread [3.23.15]

The New York Times says that the “roughly 300 emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private account that were turned over last month to a House committee investigating the ]Beghazi] attack showed the secretary and her aides closely monitoring the fallout from the tragedy[, but] they provided no evidence that Mrs. Clinton, as the most incendiary Republican attacks have suggested, issued a ‘stand down’ order to halt American forces responding to the violence in Benghazi, or took part in a broad cover-up of the administration’s response, according to senior American officials.”

I always wondered what Republicans thought Hillary did. That she personally ordered the attack? That she ordered a stand down order to prevent Marines or other military from responding to the attack? I suppose that is akin to those on our side of the aisle that believe that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney personally ordered the 9/11 attacks. The difference is, our crazies don’t control a political party or Congress.

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Do Men Really Trust And Believe Women?

Filed in National by on March 23, 2015 34 Comments
Do Men Really Trust And Believe Women?

Add this article, Men Just Don’t Trust Women – And It’s A Huge Problem, to another thing I find fascinating. The author admits that he basically doesn’t trust and believe things said by his wife. He downgrades the emotional importance she attaches to a problem. He states: “Generally speaking, we (men) do not believe things when they’re told to us by women.”

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Monday Daily Delawhere [3.23.15]

Filed in Delaware by on March 23, 2015 0 Comments
Monday Daily Delawhere [3.23.15]

The Wilmington Skyline from Wilmington Hospital.

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Weekend Open Thread [3.22.15]

Filed in National by on March 22, 2015 2 Comments
Weekend Open Thread [3.22.15]

The Washington Post reports that Hillary Clinton “is already running her presidential campaign — against the Republican Congress.

“In blasts of rapid-fire Twitter messages just this week, Clinton accused Republicans of waging a war on women, playing politics with a black nominee, shortchanging students, endangering the economic recovery and trying to yank health-care coverage for 16 million Americans.”

What I want from Hillary is no triangulation. I want her to run against Republicans in Congress and out, and run with and support Democrats inside Congress and out. Let’s elect Democrats, not just the Clintons.

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Biden on VICE Rebukes Climate Change Deniers

Filed in National by on March 22, 2015 1 Comment

Biden’s interview was featured in an outstanding edition of the program (one that is unfortunately no longer available for online viewing) focused on the ravages of human-caused climate change, and the malevolent forces preventing the United States from leading on this issue.

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Obama: Should’ve Closed Gitmo on the First Day

Filed in National by on March 22, 2015 3 Comments

I agree. And now basking in his lame duck freedom, he should do everything he can within his power to close it now. Since he is saying he should have closed it himself on the first day, he is implying that it is within his solitary power to do it. If that is the case, do it now. If not, if he needs an act of Congress to fully shut it down, well then, yeah, all we can do is chip away at it. Because we all know Republicans love their concentration camps and torture.


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Sunday Daily Delawhere [3.22.15]

Filed in Delaware by on March 22, 2015 0 Comments
Sunday Daily Delawhere [3.22.15]

St. Edmonds in Rehoboth. Photo by Sky Jack in warmer, greener times.

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The Weekly Addresses

Filed in Delaware by on March 21, 2015 13 Comments

President Obama called on Republicans in Congress to stop playing politics with law enforcement and national security and confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States.

Governor Markell again address the defining issue of education this week, this time talking about the importance of identifying unmet student needs and developing a comprehensive plan that addresses all schools in Delaware.

This week’s Legislative Update from the Delaware House Democrats features Rep. Melanie George Smith and Rep. Trey Paradee talking about their new bill to help people with disabilities save for their futures. Rep. Debra Heffernan discusses her relaunched legislation to add e-cigarettes to Delaware’s indoor smoking ban.

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Saturday Daily Delawhere [3.21.15]

Filed in Delaware by on March 21, 2015 0 Comments
Saturday Daily Delawhere [3.21.15]

Indian River Bridge. Photo by Sky Jack.

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While More Men Are Wanting Babies/More Women Are Considering The Child-Free Option

Filed in National by on March 20, 2015 7 Comments
While More Men Are Wanting Babies/More Women Are Considering The Child-Free Option

I find stuff like this fascinating.

In a nationally representative survey of single, childless people in 2011, more men than women said they wanted kids. (On the other hand, more women reported seeking independence in their relationships, personal space, interests, and hobbies.) A different poll from 2013 echoed those findings, with more than 80 percent of men saying they’d always wanted to be a father or at least thought they would be someday. Just 70 percent of women felt the same.

It really hasn’t been that long since women actually had control in having children. My grandparents had a lot of children. Without effective birth control (along with societal and religious expectations) people of that generation had a lot of kids. The Pill came onto the scene in my mother’s generation – and there was much rejoicing! – however, the idea that people get married and have kids was still the only plan on the table.

And while I’ll admit the “get married and have kids” plan still strongly exists (ask any couple who’s decided not to have kids how often they’re asked when they’ll have kids, or told they’ll eventually change their minds if you don’t believe me.) this survey shows an interesting trend. And the reasons women cite for not wanting children (seeking independence in their relationships, personal space, interests, and hobbies) seem to really come down to this…..

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up: Week of March 17-19, 2015

Filed in Delaware by on March 20, 2015 16 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up: Week of March 17-19, 2015

That was quite the dust-up between Sen. Karen Peterson and Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf this week.  The argument? Why won’t Schwartzkopf allow a floor vote on legislation eliminating the death penalty? Both legislators make legitimate points.

Pete Schwartzkopf by and large does control the fate of the bill.  As Speaker, he not only decides what committee receives the bill, he determines the members of the committees. Put the bill in a committee in which the majority does not support death penalty repeal, and the bill isn’t coming out unless petitioned out.  Going against the Speaker to petition a bill out has its own set of perils.  So Peterson is correct there.  Pete has taken steps to stop the bill, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

However, Schwartzkopf has offered a compromise:

Schwartzkopf has said that he would oppose any repeal legislation that did not include exemptions for those inmates convicted of killing members of law enforcement, including correctional officers.

Not including those exemptions would endanger every correctional officer working in the state’s prisons, he said. He added that he offered amendments to repeal legislation last year, but those requests “fell on deaf ears.”

He said that compromise is needed on the bill. Peterson, he said, is not willing to compromise.

“This building is bigger than one bill,” Schwartzkopf said.

This raises two questions: (1) Would Schwartzkopf take steps to ensure the bill’s consideration if this compromise was accepted; and (2) is it worth it to have a repeal bill with these exceptions?

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Clinton expertly trolls Republicans with “camps” reveal

Filed in National by on March 20, 2015 10 Comments
Clinton expertly trolls Republicans with “camps” reveal

I love how the Clintons allow their adversaries to drive themselves crazy. It is easy to predict that this discussion of “camps for adults” will cause countless aneurisms and heart attacks in GOP-world. “We really need camps for adults,” Clinton said at the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey’s Tri State CAMP Conference. […]

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Friday Daily Delawhere [3.20.15]

Filed in Delaware by on March 20, 2015 1 Comment
Friday Daily Delawhere [3.20.15]

A tanker from Monrovia, Liberia unloads its cargo in Delaware City. Photo by xzmattzx.

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Thursday Open Thread [3.19.15]

Filed in National by on March 19, 2015 12 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [3.19.15]

This is freaking excellent: FEMA will no longer give any disaster aid to states that do not plan for climate change. Florida is likely the state that suffers the most, as their Skeletor of a Governor had declared that no state employee can even mention the term ‘climate change’ without being burned at the stake. So when a Cat 5 levels Miami this September, Florida is shit out of luck. And all those tornado alley states are fucked too. Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, all deny climate change. Good luck rebuilding.

I love blackmail.

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How wingnut welfare is killing the GOP

Filed in National by on March 19, 2015 23 Comments
How wingnut welfare is killing the GOP

This Kim Messick piece in Salon is great. It discusses the GOP’s love letter to Iran in terms of the rise of the GOP’s congressional fanaticism. But I found this brief description of how wingnut welfare is playing into the destruction of the GOP as a legitimate national political party particularly insightful.

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Thursday Daily Delawhere [3.19.15]

Filed in Delaware by on March 19, 2015 0 Comments
Thursday Daily Delawhere [3.19.15]

The C&D Canal, by the Flying Inn on Flickr.

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Wednesday Open Thread [3.18.15]

Filed in National by on March 18, 2015 6 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [3.18.15]

Josh Marshall: “The relationship between the Clintons and the press and the political class generally is codependent, toxic and frankly ridiculous on both sides – with extreme self-protection and legalism on one hand [The Clinton's] and hyperbole, nonsense and wolf-crying penalties on the other [the press and pundits]. Like any perennial and bad relationship it is exhausting to watch and generally impossible to pick apart where one part ends and other starts. Which is a reaction to the other, which is first? I have no idea anymore. It hardly matters.”

The public doesn’t care. Despite the controversy over her use of private email while Secretary of State, a new CNN/ORC poll finds 57% of Americans say Hillary Clinton is someone they’d be proud to have as their president.

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