THIS IS NOT ->Delawareliberal


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


This health issue should not obscure the fact that Castle sucks

I think there is a tendency in the human heart and mind to only hold one opinion of someone at a time.

So, I'm worried that Castle "the ill" will crowd Castle "the corrupt" off the political stage. I'll be back blogging about Castle's sweet insider deals with chemical companies next week. In the meantime let's not forget that this illness does not confer any nobility on Mr. Castle while his voting record strips away a great deal of nobility.


I saw this coming

What a week to be away. I have always said that Michael Castle is beatable and everyone has to admit that he is even more so now.

While Dana quotes an outdated Farliegh Dickinson poll - all serious political observers have to know that Castle's stroke has turned over the chess board.

My best wishes go out to Castle and his family and I hope that they view this as signal to retire from politics.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Castle Hospitalized

Congressman Mike Castle hospitalized

Patrick Jackson, The News Journal

Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 at 4:39 pm
Rep. Mike Castle was taken to the hospital this morning after officials working for him said he fell ill at his beach house in Rehoboth.

“He was taken ill at his beach house this morning and went to Beebee Medical Center to get checked,” said Elizabeth Wenk, Castle’s spokesperson. “From Beebe he was transferred to Christiana [Hospital] where he is undergoing tests.”

No other information was available at the time.

Castle, 67, is seeking an eighth term in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a former state legislator, lieutenant governor and governor of Delaware.

The 67-year-old Republican was first elected to the house in 1992 and is currently in a 4-way race for re-election.

Contact Patrick Jackson at 678-4274 or

Posted: Sept. 23, 2006


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle was undergoing medical tests Saturday evening at Christiana Hospital near Stanton after feeling sick in the morning, his deputy chief of staff said.

Castle, a Republican up for election this year, was at his beach house in Dewey Beach with his wife Jane. He first went to Beebe Medical Center in Lewes and then was helicoptered upstate.

His office was releasing little information beyond a one-sentence statement shortly after 4 p.m. from Elizabeth B. Wenk, the deputy chief of staff. It said: "Rep. Castle woke up feeling ill, was taken to Beebe Medical Center and transferred to Christiana Care, where he remains under observation."

Castle had put in a full week, beginning last Saturday when he held a fund raiser at the DuPont Country Club in Rockland with House Majority Leader John A. Boehner and then was in Washington for the congressional session.

Castle, 67, of Wilmington, has held statewide office for 25 years as a one-term lieutenant governor, two-term governor and seven-term congressman. He is being challenged by Democrat Dennis Spivack and two minor-party candidates.


Okay - I'm gone for real this time.

Check out Donviti for "Around the Horn" and other news while I'm away. Also check out these other fine blogs.

Tommywonk , Delaware Watch , Down With Absolutes and The Delaware Way.

See you in October.


May the bigger BOGEYMAN win!

Beau hates pedophiles. (A very safe choice when it comes to hating)

Ferris hates Mexicans. (An equally safe choice these days.)

This November we'll find out who Delawareans are more scared of.

As for me - I wish one of these guys hated the politicians that have sold us out. But you know me. I'm crazy like that.

UPDATE: Please see Nancy Willing's "The Delaware Way" for the most recent blogospheric take on the Castle/Carper Corporate gravy train.

As for these payoff's being unethical but "legal" don't be so sure. That is what I'm getting into when I get back.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Very Light Posting Until October

I'm going away for a week - but don't let the Castle/Carper Tariff Suspension story die while I'm gone. With Dave's FSP contribution we now know that when Carper and Castle talk about "bipartisanship" they are talking about stealing hundreds of millions of dollars (if not billions) from the treasury and pushing it across the table to their corporate shot callers.

Here is a short list of people who should be helping push this story into the sunlight:

Dennis Spivack
Jan Ting
Mike Mathews
Dana Garrett
Dave Burris
Celia Cohen
Doug Williams
Ron Williams
Allan Loudell
JL Miller
Patrick Jackson
Drew Volturo
Al Mascitti
Goofus & Gallant (Fulcher and Jensen)

If find something, but can't interest any of the people listed above in the information, here is Joe Stephens email at the washington post: stephensj(at)


Tariff Suspension Story Builds Momentum

UPDATE: Dave at FSP is all happy because he found Carper's tariff suspension bills. (Kilroy beat him by about a week, but whatever). So what now? Was Dave saying both sides do it so it is okay? I sure hope not. Was he saying Jan Ting should start beating Carper up about this? Well, that would be great. The more light we can shine on this practice the better.

Dave is a big balanced budget fan - but he wants it balanced by eliminating social security. Maybe he can see the merit in getting rid of these earmarks first.

Four newspapers picked up The Washington Post story about how Congressmen like Michael Castle are working with large companies to stiff American tax payers.

Salt Lake Tribune: Tariff suspensions, often initiated by companies based overseas ...
San Luis Obispo Tribune: Thomas backs tariff suspensions, often initiated by companies ...
Fort Worth Star Telegram: Big importers quietly seek tax gains at expense of small firms
Arkansas News: Wal-Mart's tariff measures face criticism


So who do you like? - The Delawareliberal Presidential Tracking Poll - September 06

It is that time again.

I'm getting more scientific in this very unscientific poll. This time I'm taking the names from current Tradesports contracts rather than just plugging in people I like.

Remember, I'm looking for two things:

1) Which Presidential candidates get the basic "thumbs-up" from Delawareliberal readers and
2) Which campaigns have some nascent online ground game.

So vote and then freep the poll by emailing your list of "Delawareans for____________" and getting them to vote.

If the election was held today, which candidate would you vote for to be the next President of the United States?
Clinton (H)
Other Democrat
Bush (J)
Other Republican
Free polls from


Who is Castle Really Working for? Part IV-c

I sent the Castle earmarks for chemical companies and corrsponding donnations to his campaign to Joe Stephens last night. This morning I got an email thanking me and asking me to send anything else I turn up.

How idiotic is Doug Williams at the News Journal going to feel when he gets scooped by the Washington Post while he is running the "news" that Carper has a huge lead on Ting as a front page item? Very idiotic one would hope. What a dolt. The News Journal is less than useless. I sincerly hope that questioning the silence of the local press while this scam was going on becomes part of the Post story.

If you have a moment today write a letter to the editor of the News Journal asking them to cover the "Tariff Suspension Earmarks" story. They probably will not publish the letter, but at least there will be a paper trail showing that they willfully ignored the story.

I'm working on one more post, but that will not be out until at least October 2nd. In the meantime keep sending me little bits and peices as you find them - and thanks for the help along the way.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Who is Castle Really Working for? Part IV-b

UPDATE (3:45pm)

BREAKING - The Washington Post is interested in the "Castle On The Take" story.
I emailed Joe Stephens and told him about my work uncovering the little racket Castle has going and he email me right back asked me to forward him my stuff. If nobody in Delaware is interested, at least I now have the ear of someone in Washington.
The Washington Post published an article yesterday titled: A Quiet Break for Corporations

In the article Joe Stephens catches a lobbyist in an unguarded moment:

Most of the tariff suspensions involve obscure chemicals and dyes, but many other products show up, including boilers for nuclear reactors, green peanuts, child potty seats, unicycles -- even chocolate coatings for laxatives.

"It's become sort of a lobbyists' dream," said Jim Schollaert, a former State Department trade specialist who now represents domestic manufacturers. "It's a gravy train, and there's little work to it."

The bills in Congress generally give no hint of whom the suspensions have been designed to benefit and sometimes refer to the products only by strings of numbers linked to phone-book-size tariff tables.


While Schollart's honesty is refreshing, I'm not exactly thrilled that my Congressman is working with people who are so casual about giving us tax payers the finger.

One note: My use of "gravy train" this morning and this lobbyists use of the same phrase was coincdental, but it goes to show that it is hard to describe this racket in any other terms.

Maybe the Post article will nudge our MSM here in Delaware to shine some light on Mr. Castle's record of taking cash for selling the US treasury down the river.


Fulcher Gone Wild

I had the misfortune to have my car radio tuned to WDEL when I just went out to run an erand and heard Fulcher go into a splittle flying rage over Beau Biden's new radio ad. I have not heard the ad yet, but it seems to mention John Walsh and it must be doing something right to get the sophmores at St. Ferris' School for Dolts in such a snit.


Who is Castle Really Working for? Part IV

Okay. Where do I sign-up for the gravy train?

I love beer. I really love McEwan’s Export which nobody carries. I’d love to import that beer. I’d have to pay import taxes and duties though.

It would be great if I could import the beer and not pay the taxes. I wish I could call up my Congressman and say I wanted him to sponsor a bill that would allow me to buy that beer without paying the taxes. That would be awesome.

It would be doubly awesome if sassy bloggers like Mike Mathews and Dana Garrett decided to let me and Castle get away with it without blowing the whistle. AND it would be awesome to the 10th power if dumb-ass radio morons like Gerry Fulcher and lap dog journalists like Celia Cohen decided to take a pass on the story.

Sure, it would deny the government treasury a few thousand bucks. But, after all, I’m a constituent. It would be a win/win for me and Mike so he would be willing to slash my import tax bills right?

Probably not. But what if I greased the skids with a nice campaign contribution or two or twenty. You think Castle would sponsor that beer bill?

Well, it might work if my name was Jason DuPont, Jason Ciba or Jason Syngenta. In fact I know it would work because it has worked.

My feable review of public records reveals a troubling pattern of behavior by our Congressman.

Since 1993, Mike Castle has been the sole sponsor of 103 bills which apparently were intended to provide relief to certain chemical and agribusiness companies from customs duties imposed by the federal government on the importation of certain chemicals. During the same period of Mike Castle’s congressional career, the chemical industry, including some (if not all) of the companies directly benefiting from these Castle-sponsored bills, contributed over $106,000 to his campaign committee.

Let’s focus on the current Congress, the 109th. Since the beginning of this Congress in January 2005, Mike Castle has been the main sponsor of 63 bills. Of those 63 bills, 29 are pieces of legislation which, if passed, would suspend a tariff on a specific chemical, or extend a pre-existing tariff suspension on a chemical. You can review Mike Castle’s most recent legislation here.

Apparently, as part of the process for this type of legislation, the United States International Trade Commission reviews these proposed tariff suspensions to determine the cost imposed on the US Treasury if the tariff is suspended. Of the 29 tariff suspension bills, Mike Castle sponsored, I was able to locate 18 memos on-line from the Commission, each of which discussed the effect of suspension of a particular tariff.

$120,000,000 to the chemcial industry. CHA-CHING!!

Based on our own government’s estimates, just these 18 of Mike Castle’s tariff suspension bills would cost the US Treasury over $21,000,000 in lost tariff revenue. I know this is a rough extrapolation, but if you take the average lost tariff revenue of these 18 ($1,166,666) and multiply that by the 103 bills like this Mike Castle has sponsored, it appears Mike Castle has provided over $120,000,000 of benefit to his chemical industry contributors. To see one of these Commission memos on one of Mike Castle’s bills, click here.

These bills are, in essence, earmarks to Mike Castle’s contributors. Isn’t that the same kind of pay-for-favors activities that is behind the Abramoff scandal? Shouldn’t someone in the main stream media be digging into this? Don’t any of the News Journal reporters aspire to win a Pulitzer Prize? Drew Volturo, you seemed hungry. What about our sassy bloggers?

(....the sound of crickets chirping in the distance…)

Okay forget about the papers and the bloggers – What about us? Shouldn’t we have a problem with having a Congressman who is basically on the payroll of DuPont and Syngenta?

Don’t we have any better uses for the $120 million Michael Castle saw fit to give away to the drug companies? Isn't America still a Democracy?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


More Reformed Ticket Splitters for Spivack

I missed this one:

It is said that one sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Last week President Bush was quoted saying that he would try to privatize Social Security again in 2007, if the Republicans retained control of the Congress. He's going to do it again and he's expecting a different result. Maybe our president is crazy, or maybe not.

I, for one, don't want to gamble on this. Social Security is too important to our country to risk sending our Republican representative back to Washington. Castle can be counted on to vote with Bush 90-plus percent of the time. During the last assault on Social Security he made a big show of listening to the voters but he took no position. To save Social Security Delaware needs to elect Dennis Spivack.

R Young, Newark

Another NJ reader makes a strong case:

Castle should step aside so issues get addressed

For all of congressman Mike Castle's admirable qualities as a person and a politician, I believe the time has come for him to be turned out of office by voters.

As long as he and his party remain in control of the congressional agenda, nothing will ever get done about the real issues of concern to Americans: health care, declining wages, lack of good jobs, increasing energy costs, and the incompetence of the Bush foreign policy, notably the disaster of Iraq.

Castle may often be at odds with his party leadership, but he still votes to empower them and their appalling agenda. That includes tax cuts at a time of record deficits, no minimum wage increase; not dealing with the crisis in health care; not confronting global warming; not encouraging stem cell research against deadly and debilitating diseases, and not dealing with rising energy costs.

The only problems this Republican Congress seems to want to solve are gay marriage, flag burning, and what they now label Islamofascism -- which used to be terrorism but has only grown in intensity due to the mindless diplomatic and military policies of the Bush administration. Congress has done virtually nothing to check or balance it.

This country needs a change in Washington. Electing Dennis Spivack to deal with the real problems facing our country is the only way for Delawareans to get that change.

D. Pritchett, Smyrna


Delaware GOP: Faithful to Bush

Did you get this email from the Delaware GOP?

To our Republican Friends:

Delaware has always given the Bush family a warm welcome!. And the Bush family has had a wonderful relationship with Delaware Republicans....

The fact is George Bush is nearly universally reviled and loathed for his terrible management of the country and only three in ten Delawarean's think he is doing a good job, the leaders of the Delaware GOP still can't get enough of the Bush regime.

We are at a point in history where faith in George Bush is no longer justified on any level. And yet, the Delaware GOP has given itself over to Bush worship. How is this worship any different from the woman in this video who says that she wants to teach children "lay down their they do in Pakistan and Palestine".

Both are counterfeit faiths that mock God they are only different by a matter of a few degrees. In both cases the issue is faith triumphing over decency and humility. As someone who considers himself a person of faith, I understand where this sentiment is coming from. But I have to believe that faith in George Bush is not what the Bible calls for.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006



UPDATED: Two THREE brewing upsets to report:

In the 9th RD Rebecca Walker could knock off a distracted Dick Cathcart. Cathcart is a beige nothing who made the papers this year only because he messed up and got his employer, DSU, in hot water. Let's face it, if you are the guy who makes DSU seem anti-black you've got problems. Meanwhile, Walker has a resume and work ethic that makes hummingbirds look lazy. Add to that the fact that the 9th went for Kerry over Bush and straight-ticket-voting-north-eastern-liberals like me have been streaming into the district for the past 4 years - this could be a shocker to people who are not paying attention.

Eric Levin in the 11th RD looks poised to upset incumbent Greg Lavell who appears to running scared. The 11th went for Kerry by 54% and Lavell was unopposed. Maybe that explains why he cavalierly okayed a redistricting plan that put even more Dems into his district. Now, Lavell clearly feels the heat and has decided to respond by running the dirtiest campaign of the season. Based entirely on push-polling, Lavell's Rovian campaign has long-time district residents up in arms and is an embarrassment to the Delaware GOP trying to distance itself from its failed national brand. This race was Lavell's to lose and he seems to be losing it.

John Feroce in the 14th Senate District might have a slim chance to knock off Jim Vaughn. Dixiecrat Vaughn's impressive old school machine trounced Mark Scheafer last time out without Vaughn lifting a finger. Some of that outcome might be chalked up to a general dislike of the mayor of crazy-town, but most of it belonged to Vaughn. Now it is not so clear that the antiquated Vaughn machine can make it to the finish line. Feroce is for real and benefits somewhat from the influx of new residents who might favor a more energetic representation. In a photo finish, Allsopp probably spoils this one for the "R's".

Monday, September 18, 2006


Jefferson Jackson: The Blue and Gold Rundown*

Ruth Ann Minner: Blue Holy crap! How did she ever get elected? Lee must have been a stiff of the first order.

Tom Carper: Blue Boring lackluster speech delivered poorly. To say he is phoning it in against Ting wildly overstates the kind of energy Carper is going to put into that race. [These first speeches were so bad that nobody noticed that the sound system in the back of the room was not working.]

Ken Salazar: Blue(ish) Okay I guess for a guy who's goal was to get out of Delaware ASAP. At least, for a DLC guy, he sounded like a Democrat.

Beau Biden: Gold He rocked. Wharton is in trouble. He is like Joe Biden but without the embarrassing gaffes and self importance.

Matt Denn: Gold What he lacks in looks he makes up for in smarts and hard work. Tonight he also showed that he is funny. Denn just took a small role (introducing subdivision awards) and used it to take a huge step forward in the race for Lt. Gov.

Jack Markell: Gold Jack used his speech to excoriate Republicans and GOP style malfeasance. Awesome. Lets face it - it is not just George Bush, it is REPUBLICAN malfeasance that has this country in the state it is in.

John Carney: Blue He hit the right notes, but it was way too studied and politician-y. Kind of like Carper Junior.

Dennis Spivack: Gold Dennis gave the best speech of his candidacy AND got major props from Joe Biden. Spivack has Castle pinned down, so the Chemical Congressman can't spend his time and money helping other R's which makes him even more likeable.

Joe Biden: SOLID GOLD He got off to a slow start, but really brought the house down when he had the audience imagine what the day after 9/11 would have been like if JFK or FDR had been the President when we got attacked. I got goose bumps. He seriously made me rethink his run for the White House.
Bonus Round

Del Dems Admin: Gold Molly Jurusik, Renee Bensley, Kristin Dwyer, Amanda Lamar, and Alexander Snyder-Mackler pulled off an real winner of an event. The Democrats are as together and efficient as the Republicans are F'ed up and out of control.

Down Ticket Dems: Gold Pat Morrison, Eric Levin, Richard Korn, Bob Walls, John Kowalko, Mike Barbieri, Jeanine Kliemo and the rest have a 2 - 3% boost if the top of the ticket pours it on like they did tonight.

Republicans: Blue The word is out. You are wrecking this country and the Democrats are going to do something about that.

*The check is in the mail Celia. Thanks for renting me your "Blue/Gold" framework.

Here is Drew Volturo's State News Recap

The NJ's Patrick Jackson has a story about meeting Ken Salazar (more DLC Bullshit talking points) in the print edition, but nothing online. There is a difference between being bipartisan and accomodating George Bush's failed Presidency. [By the way Patrick, you might have missed this - but the DLC now admits that they are not really "Democrats"].

And Celia has not filed her story as of 7:05 AM - but I'm sure clicking here will bring you to her recap sometime today.


Who is Castle Really Working for? Part III-b

Budget Neutral

These duty suspensions, tax cuts, corporate welfare - whatever you want to call them, purchased by Syngenta and Dupont through Mr. Castle are illegal would have been illegal if Democrats were in charge.

The budget act of 1990 requires that all significant revenues losses be “offset” by a spending cut or a revenue increase elsewhere in the federal budget. However, revenue losses of less than a half-million dollars are considered de minimis and do not require an offset. hhlaw PDF

Since the benefit to DuPont and Syngenta and the corresponding loss to the treasury is over $210 million it is clear that these earmarks are illegal.
Where are all my conservative balanced budget hawks?
PayGo expired in 2002; Russ Feingold tried to renew it but the renewal died in the Senate on a 50-50 vote.

The Hill: PAYGO can work again

By Sens. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.)

"When PAYGO was on the books during the 1990s, it worked. While it was not perfect, it worked well enough to help lower the deficit and, eventually, balance the federal budget. (snip) PAYGO expired in 2002. It is no coincidence that in that same year, the budget plunged back into the red."

Thanks GOP! That is some good GOP style governing!! And thanks to a Delawareliberal reader for the catch.


Who is Castle Really Working for? Part III

How much does it cost to rent Congressman Castle?

Like I said in an earlier post, I'm not the right person to be doing this. However, the more I look into Michael Newbold Castle's record, the more serious questions are raised, and the more I feel compelled to keep digging.

For readers joining the program in progress here is a quick recap:

I found 29 bills introduced by Michael Castle that benefited a very narrow constituency. Each if the 29 bills dealt with the suspension of tariffs for various chemical compounds that I thought were related big pharma. As it turned out the bills are designed to benefit of the bio-ag-chemical industry. So, I must have missed the press conference, but Michael "Straight Arrow" Castle seems to have taken the poor downtrodden bio-ag-chemical industry under his wing.

What $100,000 dollars gets you

Check me on this, but using, I have so far found that Mike Castle has collected over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the chemical industry during his congressional career alone.

I'm ready to say that Castle actually traded these legislative favors, the tariff suspension bills, for contributions. Could I convict him for it? Probably not. Not yet anyway. But tell me if you don't smell something fishy.

Well-timed contributions

To me, this smells funny. Castle introduced one of these bills (H.R.2913) on June 15, 2005. The bill'’s purpose was "To suspend temporarily the duty on Thiamethoxam,” a pesticide promoted by Syngenta. About five weeks later, on July 25, 2005, Castle received a $1,000 contribution to his campaign from the Syngenta PAC.

That'’s one piece of evidence. Is that timing just a coincidence? Well, if one set of circumstances is just a coincidence, do two make a pattern?

Can Castle explain the timing between his $5,000 contribution from the DuPont PAC on June 20, 2005 and his introduction two days later, on June 22, 2005, of a bill (H.R.3025) "“To extend the suspension of duty on Esfenvalerate, a pesticide manufactured by DuPont.

The timing of these contributions and our Congressman'’s action don't prove an illegal quid pro quo but do raise some questions that someone (with more standing than me)should be looking into.

I mean, I don't Castle just woke up one morning and said "I think the tariff'’s on Esfenvalerate are too darn high, and by golly I'm going to do something about it."”

What would St. Ferris Wharton say?

Clearly, someone had to ask the Congressman to propose these pieces of legislation. Who at DuPont and Syngenta contacted Castle about the legislation? Did the companies volunteer the campaign contributions —or were they shaken down? Did Castle solicit these contributions directly? Or did someone on Castle'’s staff do the dirty work?

Perhaps, our Congressman and the companies involved would be willing to voluntarily disclose all of the e-mails and other communications regarding those bills and contributions, so we can understand how Castle came to sponsor these measures. (HA!!! I kill myself.)

No. I don't think Castle and the chemical companies are going to come clean voluntarily. Maybe our crusading U.S. Attorney, Colm Connolly always concerned about public corruption could issue a subpoena and get to the bottom of this.

Or how about this...maybe this could be a debate question posed to Ferris Wharton and Beau Biden : "“Do you think a federal investigation of Congressman Castle's relationship with big donors and the possibility of an illegal quid pro quo for his introduction of tariff relief legislation should be opened?" I think the AG candidates response to that question would help me make my voting decision.

Now seem like a good time to see if Wharton is "“above politics"” as they say he is.

Either way, I am nowhere near the bottom of this. The research continues. I'’ll let you know what I find.

Update: Welcome WDEL listeners. Relax, stay a while.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


A Happy Occasion

Life goes on...and at times, life is sweet

I had the great privilege to see two fantastic people get married today at the Tylar Aboretum near Media PA. I was further blessed to be able to give the "best man's" toast. Here is a rough transcript:

Shawn and Amber asked me to make a toast but first I just want to say, and I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say, thank you for not getting married in the middle of the might have been too hot.

Well, in life it is hard to look down the road and know what is going to happen. But not today.

Today, when I think about how great Shawn is and all the qualities he has that make him a great friend, and I think about Amber and how wonderful she is, they just make the world a better and brighter place by being together. So, I am not wondering about what their life is going to be like.

I know their life is going to be full of happiness and love. Just like the happiness and love that was so obvious to me when I saw them together for the first time. And just like the happiness and love that is nearly overwhelming today.

So here is the toast. To Amber and Shawn and the love and happiness that you find in each other today ...and the love and happiness that you show to the world everyday. Cheers.

The toast was an homage to Amber and Shawn - but also to Mr. Knuckles who delivered the best "best man toast" EVER at my wedding to Mrs. Delawareliberal 12 years ago next month.


Warning: this post contains curse words


Celia covers right wing idiot John Boehner campaigning for Castle. I totally forgot that bastard was coming to Delaware.

As you may recall John Boehner, is the Bush-loving out of touch moron who said, "The problems are in Baghdad and within a 30 mile radius of Baghdad. The rest of the country is peaceful."

Castle pals around with this piece of shit and stand by like a dumbass while Boehner ads insult to insult by saying this bullshit, "Taking on the terrorists and defeating them is the only option we have. As a Republican, I'm happy that George Bush is our president," he said. "He's always acted in the best interest of the country, regardless of the political consequences."


"I listen to my Democrat friends, and I wonder if they're more interested in protecting terrorists than in protecting the American people."

So Castle's buddies think George Bush is doing a great job and Democrats are protecting terrorists. What a surprise.

Dennis Spivack had some choice words for the fake-moderate's buddy and his asinine quip :

"That was as irresponsible a statement as someone can make. It's such an irresponsible statement that if Mike Castle had the guts and backbone that I will bring to Congress, he would have canceled John Boehner coming in,"

Nope. Guts and backbone are not words that come to mind when I think of Castle. He allies himself with scum, ignores the war and hopes nobody notices. [If you want to see the a gigantic a-hole Castle considers a friend, Boehner will be on Fox News this morning telling Chris Wallance that we are winning in Iraq and all we need is another tax cut and for Democrats to shut up.] .
Here again, are Delawareans who died outside of Bagdad. In the "peaceful" places according to asshole Boehner:

Harmon, Darren - Newark
Staff Sergeant
U.S. Army Reserve
203rd Military Intel BN, 205th Military Intel Brigade

James, Richard Z. - Seaford
Lance Corporal
U.S. Marine
3rd BN, 8th Marine REG, 2nd Marine DIV II Marine Exp Force

McGowan, Stephen M. - Newark
U.S. Army
1st BN, 9th INF REG, 2nd INF DIV
Ramadi (Tamin Distr.)

Clifton, Richard C. - Milford
Lance Corporal
U.S. Marine
2nd BN, 5th Marines, 1st Marine DIV, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Garyantes, Joseph P. - Rehoboth
Staff Sergeant
U.S. Army
B Company, 1st BN, 63rd Armor REG, 1st INF DIV
Muqdadiyah (near)

Roberts, Anthony P.
Lance Corporal
U.S. Marine
2nd BN, 4th Marines, 1st Marine DIV, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Rippetoe, Russell Brian - Seaford
U.S. Army
3rd BN, 75th Ranger REG
SW of Haditha Dam

Long, Ryan Patrick - Seaford
U.S. Army
3rd BN, 75th Ranger REG
SW of Haditha Dam

McGinnis, Brian Daniel - Seaford
U.S. Marine
HMLA-169, Marine Corps Air Station
Jalibah Air Base (Near)

For the record one of ours died in Bagdad and two in the hospital.

Moudy, James S. "Shawn" - Newark
Sergeant 1st Class
U.S. Army
1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry REG, 10th Mountain DIV

Thompson, Jarrett B. - Dover
U.S. Army Reserve
946th Transportation CompanyHE lived
Walter Reed Medical Ctr.

Palmer, Cory L. - Seaford
U.S. Marine
2nd RECON BN, 2nd Marine DIV
Brooke Army Med Center, TX

Sean Barney was shot by a sniper in Fallujah.

The Bottom line: Michael Castle hanging around with his buddy Boehner spits in the faces of the familes of these men.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Who does Castle REALLY Work for? Part II-b

On a personal note...

I feel uniquely unqualified for this type of research. I'm an undisciplined slacker at heart for one thing. On top of that my spelling and typing suck so I have to type search terms two and three times. But the worst thing is that I am a well known Castle critic. While this started as just another "Look how much Castle sucks" post I'm getting the feeling that this could be very big.



I saw senior civil servants from agencies like Treasury, Energy . . . and Commerce denied advisory positions in Baghdad that were instead handed to prominent RNC [Republican National Committee] contributors."

Read this Washington Post article if you want every bad thing you think about George Bush and Republicans to be confirmed.

Tommywonk has a coda to the article. All in all, the only thing left to be said is "Stratgic Hamlet".

Friday, September 15, 2006


Who does Castle REALLY Work for? Part II

Hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare doled out, and all I got was this stupid shirt.

Yesterday I started looking into bills introduced in the 109th Congress by Michael Castle of Delaware. Bills that benefit a very narrow constitiency. Bills like:

H.R.2915 : To suspend temporarily the duty on Brodifacoum Technical. Sponsor: Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] (introduced 6/15/2005) Cosponsors (None) Committees: House Ways and Means

There were 29 of these things that appeared to be tax breaks for big pharma.

Not being a chemist or an economist, I cross posted at DailyKos and the Kosacks came up huge.

It turns out that the chemicals listed in the 29 bills pushed by Castle benefit the agribusiness units of AstraZeneca, Dupont and Syngenta. They use chemicals such as benzenesulfonamide, brodifacoum, triasulfuron, and many others that are no longer produced in the United States as herbicides and pesticides.

Since these chemicals are not produced in the United State, they have to be imported. Companies that import things frequently have to pay a duty which is a tax on the item being imported. Duties can be set up to protect an industry from low priced imports or they can be revenue sources for the goverment. The duty on these chemicals that Syngeta wanted fell in the revenue generation category.

... they want to get the duty removed "temporarily", and are using the excuse that some multinational has decided to produce the chemicals in Switzerland.

On the other hand, tariffs at these levels are not primarily protective tariffs, they are primarily revenue tariffs (if they were protective tariffs, they would be fairly obvious flops, since there is no domestic production).

There is little rationale for cutting taxes on poisons imported into the US when there is a massive trade and budget deficit, except for the obvious rationale that Sygenta leased the Congressman so they could write these bills so they could on balance save from the reduced tariffs.

The most plausible reason that they are "temporary" rather than permanent would be that Sygenta has only paid enough to lease the Congressman ... buying him outright costs more.

This all stands to reason.

As we all know Republicans and large corporations HATE paying taxes [the fact that we are at war seems to be lost on these guys].

Anyway, Syngenta set about to remedy the duty/tax situation. (check out the address on the letterhead)

PESTO! Michael Castle introduced 29 bills into the 109th Congress. However, this it is not a simple cash grab.

While Castle is probably not above simple graft, much more is going on. Syngeta took the lead but this is corporate welfare involves a web of companies pushing to make seeds into "intellectual property".

A Delawareliberal anon commenter explains:

AstraZeneca has 50% share in Syngenta.

It's not just about profiting from tax breaks on the sale of the chemicals. The herbicides support sales of the new genetically-modified croplines developed by AstraZeneca and Dupont, among others.

The herbicide is important to Dupont, even if they don't manufacture it themselves, because Dupont is still selling GM seed that is genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides like Triasulfuron.

They spray the whole field and the weeds die, but the Triasulfuron-resistant GM crops survive.

So Dupont, Syngenta, AZ, Castle, etc all want to make sure farmers can buy cheap subsidized Triasulfuron - because that also locks them in to buying the Triasulfuron-resistant seed.

Hell, all the pharma/chem companies have a division playing this game."

Again, no wonder the guy has a million bucks in his campagin going into re-election. He is delvering BIG TIME for the agribusiness interests - and what benefit do we get? .....That's righ, seeds that only work if you apply specific chemicals. SUPER!!! Thanks Mike!

More as this developes.


Who is Castle REALLY working for?

Take a look at these bills introduced by Castle in the 109th Congress and you decide...

H.R.2913 : To suspend temporarily the duty on Thiamethoxam Technical.
Sponsor: Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] (introduced 6/15/2005) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means

H.R.2914 : To suspend temporarily the duty on Triasulfuron Technical.
Sponsor: Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] (introduced 6/15/2005) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means

H.R.2915 : To suspend temporarily the duty on Brodifacoum Technical.
Sponsor: Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] (introduced 6/15/2005) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means

That is just a sample. The list goes on to list 29 tax cuts for "Big Pharma". I'm not chemist, but it seems that the drug companies sure hit the jackpot when they got Newbold into office. And here I thought his passion was commemorative coins. Anyway, no wonder the guy has a million bucks in the bank.

I have an idea. He should combine his passions and introduce legislation to create a commemorative coin in honor of benzenesulfonamide .


Around the Horn Friday: The "What a Week!" Edition

Befor I start I have a request. All of you bloggers talking about Spivack - can you mention what a complete freaking disaster Bush/Castle has been somewhere in your post? That would be great. Okay then...

Batting leadoff, Tommywonk gets wonky on how the way we pay for trash disposal doesn't encourage recycling. An Issue...?! What's that?
Kilroy sees more strife ahead for voters in the 20th. Nick (Manolakos) was poised to help with Brian Moore’s campaign and then suddenly enter the race....The democrats are going to pull out all stops to gain back the 20th. With the number of registered democrats and independence with many republican votes thrown in, I foresee Manolakos camp going on the attack and spending less time on the issues.
Mike M was just getting props from Al on WDEL for his JCC debate coverage befor the stream got all flakey on me. WDEL, fix your damn stream. I need me more Mike!
Dana's JCC coverage has me wondering. Which Anti-DIP is it going to be for him - KHN or Berg? One thing is clear, it aint Spivack for the Delaware Watcher.
The excitment of primary night killed Politakid. His last update was 10:15 on the 12th.
Karmic Jay is on the earth beat: "Arctic sea ice in winter is melting far faster than before, two new NASA studies reported Wednesday, a new and alarming trend that researchers say threatens the ocean's delicate ecosystem. " If you are into methane - it is going to be SWEET!
I feel for Nancy at the Delaware Way. She tries to spin "Ruth Ann Minner did not vote in the primary." into a pro-KHN story. Nancy, meet RAM. There is no sub-text, because there is no text.
Hube wants to free Duane "Dog" Chapman, the famous bounty hunter. How weird would it be if Dog got killed by a sting-ray while in Mexico?
Donviti gives in to the urge that all bloggers have to be restaurant reviewers. "Believe it or not I am one of those guys that opens the coupon "Valu Pak's" that come in the mail." for me, that sentence is the hallmark of all good restaurant reivews.
Blogger, Celia Cohenstill has not published my letter to her on her BLOG "Delaware Grapevine".
Dave at First State Politics has picked up my Tradesports addiction. He is happy about the "Bush Bounce" in the GOP Controll of Congress markets. 53 more days Dave. People have to stay scared of Nazi's and ignore abject failure for 53 more days.
Mike Mahaffie blogs about the Wooster Collective. "It's heartening to find another positive result of the attacks of 9/11. It shows that humans are capable of creating good from evil. You have only to keep looking, and keep your heart open." You just want to hug the guy don't you?
Ryan at Joker's to the Right is now able to do 4 decent push-ups in a row. Keep it up Ryan, that Army recruiter will be eating his words in a few months.
Peace Out!


Give 'em hell Dennis

I hear passion. Bush/Castle has been a complete train wreck - so to me the passion makes sense and is what the times call for. I understand that not everyone agrees.

- Video Via Down With Absolutes


Black Box (electronic) Voting is FUBAR

I got this email from a reader:

I work in IT, and I don't know ANY IT professionals who are in favor of electronic voting. All the electronic systems out there are just wrong and insecure in so many ways. Give me a #2 pencil and a paper ballot.

Read this blog entry from a poll worker in Maryland:

The least pleasant part of the day was a nagging concern that something would go terribly wrong, and that we would have no way to recover. I believe that fully electronic systems, such as the precinct we had today, are too fragile. The smallest thing can lead to a disaster. ...When our poll books crashed, and the lines grew, I had a sense of dread that we might end up finishing the day without a completed election. As an election judge I put aside my personal beliefs that these machines are easy to rig in an undetectable way, and become more worried that the election process would completely fail.

Clearly republicans (so far) have been the beneficiaries of shady voting, but decent, reliable elections should be a non-partisan issue. We need to get over the idea of having instant results in favor of having accurate results.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Calling all Chickenhawks !

Bush and Republicans can't get enough of stabbing our service men and women in the back:

(According to) an Army briefing making the rounds in Washington, fully two-thirds of the Army's operating force, both active and reserve, is now reporting in as "unready"—that is, they lack the equipment, people, or training they need to execute their assigned missions. Not a single one of the Army's Brigade Combat Teams—its core fighting units—currently in the United States is ready to deploy. In short, the Army has no strategic reserve to speak of. The other key U.S. fighting force in Iraq, the Marine Corps, is also hurting, with much of its equipment badly in need of repair or replacement.

In terms of ground-force readiness, the United States is in worse shape than at any time since the aftermath of Vietnam, when revelations about a "hollow" military sparked defense buildups from the Carter and then Reagan administrations. While most press coverage of the Iraq conflict has understandably focused on loss of life and the damage done in that country by the insurgency, the readiness of the U.S. military has also been a casualty.

Hey Ryan, How many push-ups are you up to? Er...I mean how is that Pat Buchanan book you are reading?


I like Carper, I just hate his votes

He invited me to his office Christmas party once when I lived in DC. He gave me a cookie cutter shaped like Delaware as a kind of party favor. Nice guy, a real class act.

If I decided to run as a "write in candidate" it will be to call Carper out on these specific votes:

Carper pulled a Lieberman on Samuel Alito, voting for cloture when it mattered, but against confirmation to cover his tracks. That was just shitty.

Carper voted for the Iraq War resolution. Yes, Bush lied his ass off, but to my knowledge, Caprer has never fully owned up to this horrible vote.

Carper voted for The Patriot Act renewal. True, he voted for the slightly watered down version that passed because only he and 14 other (mostly red state) Democrats voted for.

Carper also voted for CAFTA. The CAFTA vote is rank. CAFTA simply enriches corporations at the expense of the American worker. Very Democratic of Carper to vote for it along with 10 other Democratic Senators.

The killer, however, is Carpers vote for passage of and cloture on the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. Not only did he vote for this anti-middle class monstrosity, but he was a co-sponsor of the bill, along with Joe Biden. While Biden voted for a few of the Democratic-proposed amendments, like Dick Durbin's amendment to ensure that those making below median income would not be subject to means testing, and Durbin's other amendment to exempt members of the armed service from this monstrosity, Carper did not.

Finally, in terms of writing blank checks for George Bush, Carper beats out many many republicans:

"There were two votes on amendments to this year's budget act where he was the only Democrat to vote NAY (even Ben Nelson voted YEA). These amendments (including this amendment by Debbie Stabenow to fully fund first responders and this amendment by Byron Dorgan to fully fund Native American programs) would have funded certain programs by closing corporate tax loopholes, so the only reason to vote against them is if you support corporate tax loopholes, and that's completely unacceptable." - Democraticluntz

I agree. And so maybe I'll run against him. It's a free country right?

In the end I don't really want Carper to lose the election (Ting would be worse) - but I want Carper's votes to BE A WHOLE LOT FRIENDLIER to the middle class and A WHOLE LOT LESS FRIENDLY to corporations and George Bush. I'll leave the poll up and if I get a groundswell of support I might consider tilting at this windmill.

From "Who is the worst blue-state Democratic Senator?"


Should I run as a "write in" candidate against Carper?

I've been thinking about how everything I've been saying about Castle could also be said about Carper. Carper voted FOR Bush's vanity war, and for blank check after blank check for Bush. He voted for the terrible bancrupcy bill and even for killing the exemption to protect our service members from the terrible bancrupcy bill, and he still supports the third party candidate in the Ct. Senate race.

What do you think?

Should Jason Scott run for the US Senate as a "write in" candidate against Tom Carper?
Sure. At least one Democrat should be in the race.
No. Carper does not need a wake up call.
Free polls from


I'm not sad about this...

NJ's Chris Barrish says: Delaware GOP in complete spaz-out mode

Castle still gets a free ride. Where are you "R's" going to get a clue about how much damage Castle's dithering worthlessness is doing?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The Cohen Effect

I just got an email from someone telling me that I should take it easy on Celia. That she is "good people" and I'd like her if I ever got to know her.

Maybe she is good people, and having met her I don't doubt that she is a nice person. However, as far as taking it easy on her, I reply: Bullshit on that.

Having just finished my weekly radio gig with Dace and Dave on a Celia Cohen bashing note, I have more clarity around the issue of what is wrong with Celia than ever.

The end of the hour turned to the low turnout and how to fix it. Some suggestions were offered regarding finding good candidates and the usual blah blah blah and it came around to me. I said,

"People also have to breakthrough the News Journal's editorial position that their votes don't count....that the winner of the race is a forgone conclusion so they might as well stay home. Celia Cohen is also a big proponent of that position and it is wrong. She wants people to stay home."

I think Dace was a little taken aback by how stirred up I was about it. Anyway, there it is. Celia Cohen is bad for America. Her lazy lapdog reporting and cheerleading for the status quo and sneering contempt for any and all challengers is hurting our way of life. I will never stop calling her out on it.

Of course, if she ever decides to actually look at Michael Castle's voting records (or Carper's for that matter) and ask legitimate questions about why he continues to support President Bush I might reconsider. I'm not holding my breath though. Dana suggested at one point that she actually works for Castle. I don't know about that. I think it may be that she just finds the world a much happier and predictable place if she can simply close her eyes and repeat "usual 70%...usual 70%....usual 70%" ad nauseum like some kind of mantra.


Iraq For Sale

Watch the trailer:

Watch the whole thing:

Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed, and Uncovered) takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of corporate greed in the reconstruction of Iraq. Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private security companies making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to do so.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 11 2006 07:00 PM
TICKET PRICE: FREE, RSVP required (click here)

Also meet candidate Patricia Morrison, 5th State Senate District.

HOSTED BY: Progressive Democrats for Delaware.

WHERE: The Buzz Ware Village Center Arden, Delaware 19808


Who is to blame for the Republican disintegration....?

When you look at the Republican results a clear picture of a party that is adrift emerges. Like the DNC of four years ago under the thrall of the the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)- they have turned from a political party into a repository of empty slogans which taken together stand for nothing. They have no clear brand, no unified message and no passion.

Unlike the Democrats who have leaders that deliver a clear message of rational, results based governance - the Republicans are rudderless. Without a clear ideology or leader.

So who let it get this way?

People will point to Ken Grant, Priscilla Rakestraw and Dave Crossan, but that is too easy. These folks don't formulate the message - they only deliver it.

No, the real culprit is Michael Castle. His brand of wishy-washy faux liberalism on social issues combined with his stealth-wingnutism on security has left his party in the lurch. Sure, it works for him and he has racked up election win after election win playing each side against the middle, but what is the legacy of his unwillingness to lead....?

If you are a Republican - you just got a taste of it.


If Karen Hartly Nagle and Michael Berg want to change Washington now is the time

Every person who is not in a coma or "on the take" agrees that the the Bush/Castle years have been absolute disaster. What to do about this disaster is a matter that reasonable people can have a wide range of opinions on.

However, in practical(1) terms, the best thing we can do to help return the country to pursuit of its highest and best ideals is to defeat Michael Castle. Michael Castle is Bush's dependable rubber stamp and has voted with the administration on every war resolution that has come around.

Castle must be comforted that Delaware's liberal and progressives are not unified in their opposition to him. At a time when is reactionary voting record has been laid bare by events Karen Hartley-Nagel and Michael Berg seem poised to peel votes away from Dennis Spivack that could be vital to his victory.

Of course it is not fated to turn out that way. Karen Hartly-Nagle and Michael Berg could decide that beating Michael Castle is more important than having their egos stroked over the next few weeks. They could move a respectable number of votes and energy into the Spivack camp in a concerted effort to dislodge the truly loathsome Michael Castle. I don't think they will, but they could.

Castle is beatable this year and they have a window of opportunity in the next day or two to play a role in his defeat, if they pass on that opportunity it seems likely that they will be playing a role in continuing the Bush/Castle's reign of cruel idiocy.

(1) By "practical" I mean "capable of being put into practice" "doable", "sensible". Now, I know a lot of liberals have grievances against the Democratic party, and have left the party in protest over its accomodationist stance toward George Bush. (Believe me, I've been tempted to do that myself.) However, the fact remains that the Democratic Party has the party structure and the resources to challenge right-wing Republicans. Taking a third party stance might sooth your liberal conscience - but in he end it helps George Bush, Karl Rove and Michael Castle continue in their malfeasance. That is a simple fact.


Celia Cohen gets a big case of amnesia

The Queen of all Delaware on September 4:

Moore was hand-picked by retiring Rep. Roger P. Roy, a 30-year-Republican, and has been planning on running for years. Outlook: Safe Republican

The Queen of all Delaware today:

A Republican endorsement failed to carry Brian N. Moore, who lost to Nick Manolakos in a Hockessin legislative district. Manolakos has the benefit of a Republican edge in registration against Democrat Richard J. Korn in the election for a seat held for 30 years by state Rep. Roger P. Roy, a Republican who is retiring.

The Queen of all Delaware on September 4:

Peterman is a Kent County Levy Court commissioner, but the Democrats really like their candidate in the race to succeed G. Wallace Caulk Jr. Outlook: Likely Republican

The Queen of all Delaware today:

Harold J. “Jack” Peterman, another endorsed Republican, also lost in a Republican legislative primary, despite being a sitting Kent County Levy Court commissioner. The nomination went to Ulysses S. Grant for the election to replace retiring state Rep. G. Wallace Caulk Jr.

What a joke. She wrote "Only in Delaware" four years ago and IT SHOWS!!

Does anyone, other than me, even read her hackneyed-conventional-wisdom masquerading as journalism?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Live blogging from Del Dem HQ

I just got here and it looks like people are just coming in from various polling places. I'll update every five minutes from here on out.

8:23First Results: Spivack 54.9% Nagle 45% of course that is only 71 votes couted so far.

First Rumor: Ting could lose.

8:26 - Big cheers for Dennis Spivack

8:45 - Spivack 60% Nagle 40% still too few votes to tell. Is Protack pulling away from Ting? Way too early to say.

8:57 - More chit chat. This low turn out could overturn the chessboard. Some RD's had as few as 30 people voting.

9:13 - Moore lost 8 of 9 reporting. Grant looks to have upset Peterman. Republicans are not happy. The voters are delivering a vote of no confidence to the GOP leadership.

9:15 - O'Donnell is acting as a spoiler for Protack. Protack was just bitching on WILM.

9:29 - Mike M from Down with Absolutes just popped in. His take: Korn better watch out. Manolakos could give him big problems. I suppose Dana gets some credit for this upset. Maybe he did his job too well?

9:37 - Feroce wins. Ting might pull it out.

9:46 - GERALD L. BRADY 48 . 1% LORETTA WALSH 46 . 2 % 12 of 14 reporting.

9:58 - Markell "This is the begining. We need to get together around these winning candidates and get the job done."

McWilliams: "I'm very thrilled for the entire party. This makes me feel really confident about Novemebr based on what we did tonight."

Spivack: "I just want to thnak everyone. This is a trenendous victory for the Democratic party. If we want to change what is happening in Washington we have to change who we send to Washington.

Tomorrow: Celia Cohen eats a huge-ass crow.


Primary Day Open Thread

Here is the Dept. of Elections Results Page.

Nothing so far - 3:31pm

Also - check out First State Politics for ongoing coverage. While you are waiting for results watch this 9 minute Borat video.

Borat gets votes for USA American.


Mighty fine blogging

I missed this while I was away, but it is worth noting that Mike kicks ass.

from the Protack, Ting, O'Donnell survey:

Question 3: Because you’re a Republican, this means you hate liberal social policies (and liberal-affiliated folk in general). Please put the following things in order from most morally evil to least morally evil:

a) The homosexuals
b) The secularists
c) The abortionists
d) Muslims
f) Michael Moore
g) Dixie Chicks
h) Science
i) Mexicans


Olberman on the WTC 5 years later

"Of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast — of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds… none of us could have predicted… this.

Five years later this space… is still empty.
Five years later there is no Memorial to the dead.
Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.
Five years later this country’s wound is still open.
Five years… later this country’s mass grave is still unmarked.
Five years later… this is still… just a background for a photo-op.
It is beyond shameful.

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial — barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field, Mr. Lincoln said "we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.
Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We can nto dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground." So we won’t.
Instead they bicker and buck-pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they’re doing — instead of doing any job at all."


Why the DLC is bad for America

Reason #652 - Promoting RNC Strawmen Arguments

Over the last week, we've been treated to some good ol' fashioned McCarthyism - that is, attacks on unnamed groups of people who supposedly advocate for signing a peace treaty with Osama bin Laden, and who supposedly think President Bush is a greater enemy to our country than terrorists.
There was Rush Limbaugh on CBS last week who said:

"Some say we should try diplomacy...Some Americans, sadly, are not interested in victory...Critics are more interested in punishing this country over a few incidents of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay than they are in defeating those who want to kill."

Then, like clockwork, the Democratic Leadership Council chimed in through their spokesman Marshall Wittman, a former top official for the Christian Coalition. In his 9/11 piece shedding crocodile tears for the rise of polarization he purports to hate, he makes this outrageously polarizing and inflammatory statement:

"Some believe that our President is a greater threat to our security than the Islamic-fascists."

You'll notice, of course, that neither Limbaugh or the DLC actually names anyone. Instead, like the loyal McCarthyist disciples they are, they prefer to use the nebulous "some." Why? Because they can't actually name any single political figure who even comes close to fitting their dishonest descriptions. Sirota Blog


I wonder if Tom Carper (the Vice-Chair of the DLC) even knows what this idiot Marshall Wittman is doing to America by way of the DLC's press office? Let's listen for clues....

What a bunch of crap. Can someone please inform Mr. Carper "bi-partisan" acquiescence to George Bush's anti-American whims is no virtue. - Video Via Down With Absolutes

Monday, September 11, 2006


Truth in Crappily Photoshopped Pictures

Make plans now to VOTE FOR DENNIS SPIVACK in the primary tomorrow

Click here to find your polling place if you are not sure where to vote.

If you need a reminder of how important your vote is here is a visual aid.


UC Berkeley law Professor John Yoo, is a Justice Department lawyer was one of the Bush administration's chief legal theorists:

"We are used to a peacetime system in which Congress enacts the laws, the president enforces them, and the courts interpret them. In wartime, the gravity shifts to the executive branch."

Actually, I'm pretty sure that it's always the case in America (or at least it used to be) that "Congress enacts the laws, the president enforces them, and the courts interpret them." That's pretty fundamental to how our country works. In fact, the whole structure of the Constitution is based on that system -- not just the "Peacetime Constitution" we have, but the actual Constitution itself.

The Constitution is actually pretty clear on that score.

Castle believes in the fatastical George Bush/John Yoo "wartime" constitution.


The RNC Onslaught is Nigh

When people want to defend Michael Castle on the grounds that he is a "nice guy" or a "moderate" I'd like them to think about the fact that his voting record shows him to be a dependable cog in this diabolical machine.

"Next week, I'm informed via troubled White House sources, will see the full unveiling of Karl Rove's fall election strategy.

He's intending to line up 9/11 families to accuse McCain, Warner and Graham of delaying justice for the perpetrators of that atrocity, because they want to uphold the ancient judicial traditions of the U.S. military and abide by the Constitution. He will use the families as an argument for legalizing torture, setting up kangaroo courts for military prisoners, and giving war crime impunity for his own aides and cronies.

This is his "Hail Mary" move for November; it's brutally exploitative of 9/11; it's pure partisanship; and it's designed to enable an untrammeled executive. Decent Republicans, Independents and Democrats must do all they can to expose and resist this latest descent into political thuggery. If you need proof that this administration's first priority is not a humane and effective counter-terror strategy, but a brutal, exploitative path to retaining power at any price, you just got it. "
- Via Andrew Sullivan h/t digby



While reasonable people can disagree about whether or not George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, nobody disputes the fact that he wanted a "pearl harbor" type event (see below) to happen in order to create a pretext for attacking Iraq. And while nobody denies the fact that George Bush has been the biggest beneficiary of Osama Bin Laden's inhumanity, I think it is probably a stretch to say that he was "happy" that the attacks happened.

That is as far as I'll go.

The events of 9/11 were, to the NEOCONs, a dream come true.


I'm Back

Did I miss anything?

Regular posting to return Monday.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Thumb: A Joke By Brian Beatty

I got a paper cut opening a Band-Aid wrapper. My bleeding thumb tasted just like irony.


Something like this could spoil your vacation

Human heads dumped in Mexico bar

Armed, masked men have burst into a bar in Mexico and flung five human heads onto a crowded dance floor, in an apparent warning to a rival drug gang.

An official said 20 men entered the bar in Uruapan city, Michoacan state, fired into the air, forced revellers to lie down and then "threw down five heads".



LONDON, Sept. 7 — Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce today that he will step down within the next 12 months, a spokesman said today, a move that appeared to be a concession to a growing revolt within his own party.

The announcement comes a day after an extraordinary procession of eight junior aides resigned to protest Mr. Blair’s refusal to set a date to leave office soon.

Bush just lost another lap dog.


"Stay The Course" Castle

Subsitute "Castle" when they say "Sweeny" and "Spivack" when they say "Gillbrand" and this ad is still 100% accurate.


Rove's Fight Club

I'm trying to figure out how Bush, Rove and Castle can play Americans for a bunch of suckers and get away with it every single time. I'm trying to figure out how ABC can promote this right-wing nonsense that blames Clinton for 9/11 and many Democrats can just say - "oh well."

And I'm trying to figure out how Castle can go into this election standing for absolutely nothing other than getting re-elected and be ahead. Then it came to me...

You know how in movies when someone gets kicked or punched in the balls they bend over for a second and then keep on fighting like nothing happened?

Well that is not what happens in real life. In real life if someone gets hit squarely in the nuts they go down for the count. The fight does not go on for another twenty minutes. The fight is over.

Karl Rove knows this. He knows that everything other than the kick in the balls is a sideshow. He knows that the winner of the fight is not determined by the judges scorecard. He knows that the winner of the fight is the guy who does not end up sprawled out in a pool of his own blood and vomit. David Crossan and Ken Grant know this and are managing Ferris Wharton's campaign with this knowledge. Beau Biden probably knows it. We'll see I guess.

Not many Democrats seem to know about the real rules. We still have Democrats who want to dance around and fight using the "Marquis of Queensberry Rules" who think a referee is going to raise the better man's hand at the end. That is fine as far as Rove is concerned. He can just wait for that opening and...WHAM!

In a thread below people commented on the Spivack campaign. To me, Dennis seemed to be the kind of fighter who could deliver the GOP style kick in the nuts. The kind of Democrat, in short, that the times call for. Maybe the DLC's Tom Carper bought him off with his $10,000 contribution and told him not to deliver the groin punch. Maybe his consultants warned him off it. Maybe he has that punch, but is waiting for his opening. Who knows.

One thing is sure. Until WE Democrats take a page out of Rove's handbook - WE are going to be the guys with blood in OUR piss who are comforted by notions of our moral superiority.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


About damn time...

Regular readers know that I don't have many any kind words for Tom Carper. In the interest giving credit where credit is due - he FINALY decided to speak out against George Bush.

"The truth is, the president's policies haven't worked and they've not made us safer," said Carper, noting that 14 Delaware soldiers have been killed in Iraq since 2003. At the same time, he said, the number of insurgents in Iraq has risen from an estimated 5,000 in 2003 to 20,000 today.

Read the whole thing at Tommywonk.


Citizen Activism

As seem on


Can wisdom prevail over ambition?

I sure hope so.

Friends of Hillary hint she may pull out of presidential race

“I would not be surprised if she were to decide that the best contribution she can make to her country is to forget about being president and become a consensus-maker in the Senate,” said a leading Democratic party insider. “She believes there is no trust between the two political sides and that we can’t function as a democracy without it.”

- Via the left coaster
Yes, Senator Clinton has a war chest of $22 million. And Yes, Senator Clinton would be a great President, BUT....she is way too polarizing to win in a landslide. (And just between you and me, we are going to need a landslide to overcome the black box voting).


My letter to Celia

Dear Grapevine,

I have become accustomed to your mewling reverence for Michael Castle, and your disdain for actually looking at his record, but your recent article "King of the Middle of the Road" has taken you to a whole new level of sycophancy.

Reading that puff piece was as unsettling as getting a glimpse into your bedroom and seeing creepy candle lit stalker alters to Castle set up in every corner. Your relentless cheerleading for Castle makes me wonder if you have notebooks full of nothing but the words "Mrs. Celia Castle" scrawled over and over, each occurance surrounded by doodles of hearts and wedding dresses.

If you do have the kind of stalker crush on Castle that your puff piece indicates I suggest that you see a qualified therapist. If not, I suggest that you check out his record of voting consistently to support the Bush Presidency prior to absent mindedly repeating the lie that he is a moderate.



Castle AWOL in the war

While Republicans like to huff and puff about personal responsibility - when it comes to actually being accountable for his votes enabling Bush's debacle of a war - Castle says "Look! a Stem Cell! Cute Aint it?"

I have to hand it to Patrick Jackson though. He at least for at least tried to get Castle on the record about the war. But Castle is nothing if not a smooth and slippery politician and for every direct question about the war Castle had a handy dodge or a clever non-response.

Have the Republicans screwed up Iraq and let the Taliban off the hook in Afghanistan?
"Us military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror are looming large on voter's minds."

Do you agree with Bush that we are winning the war on terror?
"The Democrats are trying to make this a referendum on the war, but I don't know if they can..."

Do you regret supporting George Bush given the fact that he lied us into the war?
"I have concerns about our rail and port security."

A majority of Americans believe we should get out of Iraq - Do you?
Illegal immigration is a big issue for voters"

Castle has got more ducks than LUMS POND.

In a story that fittingly jumps to the obituary page, Jackson tries in vain to get a straight answer from Castle on the war. Instead of being a man and admitting that he was taken in by George Bush, Castle gives a preview of how he will attempt to skate into November by not talking about the war.

All in all it is not a bad strategy. If the electorate is as sleepy as Castle seems to think they are - he might well be able to slip through with his clever dodges and red herrings.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Toward a Democratic Congress

I don't think the bettors are reacting to Castle's lack-luster announcement speech, but something is going on.

GOP to hold Congress down to 40.

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No Transcript...What is Castle hiding?

It is standard operating procedure for a campaign to release a transcript of remarks along with a press release on the day of a big announcement such as announcing your candidacy.

As of 1:46pm neither the DEGOP nor Michael "Newbold" Castle has released a transcript.

UPDATE II:"The speech lasted about 15 minutes and I hardly heard a damn word. Rep. Castle was speaking into a microphone with no amplification system." ...and that is not the funny part. Just read the whole DWA post. It makes me want to form a Delaware Blogger's Association so I could give Mike some kind of award.

UPDATE: According to at least one person who went to the Leg Hall event - "There is no transcript."

Very interesting indeed. To pull something like this, Castle must be more on the ropes than I ever imagined. He is hoping that this break with the basic conventions of campaigning goes unnoticed and has judged that the possibility of this being noticed is less damaging than having the transcript of his half-truths, obfuscations and out right lies in circulation.


Fact Checking Al Mascitti

I was just on the radio with Al who holds to the myth that Castle is a moderate. Here is the database I mentioned which puts Castle's votes into context.

Washington Post

Click on this database and you will find that in the “narrow margin” votes, where having a “moderate” Congressman break with the radical right-wing of his party would have made a difference, Michael Castle voted WITH the radical right-wing 4 out of 5 times this year. So, when the chips were down, Castle was a faithful rubber stamp for the Bush agenda. He knows who he works for.

In votes with larger margins, when the outcome is not in doubt, Castle does tend to throw an occasional crumb to the moderates. Naturally those meaningless votes against the Bush regime make gullible Democrats happy and drive the Delaware wingnuts berserk. Some of those wingnuts go so far as to call Castle a RINO (Republican in name only) thereby feeding the myth that he is moderate. However, the record actually shows that he is a category unto himself, a MINO. Moderate in name only.

Monday, September 04, 2006


A Serious Threat

On Tuesday July 30, 1996 CNN carried the following story:

President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess. "We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue," Clinton said during a White House news conference.

Clinton urged the GOP Congress to act - but the Republicans decided to play politics instead.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, "These are very controversial provisions that the [Clinton] White House wants. Some they're not going to get." ....[Hatch] also said he had some problems with the president's proposals to expand wiretapping.

While Republicans blocked Clinton, some Democrats continued to work to get the GOP Congress to take terrorism seriously.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said it is a mistake if Congress leaves town without addressing anti-terrorism legislation. Daschle is expected to hold a special meeting on the matter Wednesday with Congressional leaders.

That would have been Wednesday July 31st, 1996. I know Castle was in Washington on the 30th because he voted in favor of the Fiscal Year 1997 Department of Defense Appropriations on the 30th. He was back in DC by September 17th to work on the very pressing Dolley Madison Commemorative Coin Act AND the "Black Revolutionary War Patriots Commemorative Coin Act"

The question is, was Castle in this meeting with Tom Daschle on the 31st - or did he blow it off?

I'll keep working on finding an answer to that question but this much is clear. The GOP Congress and Michael Castle are a serious threats to our security. Castle and the GOP ignored terrorism until it became politically attractive to them. Instead the GOP played politics while Castle built his legacy out of commemorative coins.

Tomorrow Castle will claim that he is the best person to represent Delaware in Congress. It will also be the 10th anniversary of the day he could have actually done something in that body.



It is in vogue right now to bash unions - even among Democrats. I'm not tempted to join in. Not even for a second.

The reason - my grandfather's strike against the Pennsylvania Railroad.

I'm here because he had the guts and determination to stand up to the biggest, most poltically connected company of the day. For most of his life he worked 6 days a week for the rail road and that was because the union won that day off. Prior to the strike the company had a saying "If you don't come in on Sunday, don't bother coming in on Monday."

He was detemeined to send his son, my father, to college and thanks to the union and the GI Bill he did. So when Democrats bash the unions or say they have too much power within the Democratic party - I say "They EARNED it."

Happy Labor Day.


My full quotes to JL Miller

The blogger story is out. Overall, an okay job. I just have two questions for JL.

Question 1:What happened to my full quotes ?

As I recall I said...

"Smyrna is a good example because the records were out there. If [Republican U.S. Rep.] Michael Castle wins, it's not because I didn't work hard enough to find his record [of being a rubber stamp for George Bush and get it]out there," Scott said.


"I'm waiting on the edge of my seat for Castle's announcement speech, because I'm going to pull that thing apart," he said. "I know it is going to be full of half-truths, obtusifications and outright lies."

I think the full quotes would have given the article a little more punch.

For the record, I also chewed his ear off about how blogs are a response to the lap dog media we have in this state that can't ask tough questions like: Does Michael Castle regret supporting George Bush? If so does he owe the people of Delaware an apology? I'm not surprised that calling out Patrick Jackson and Celia Cohen by name did not make it in.

Question 2: Who the hell reads Paul Smith ?


Governor & Lt. Governor Poll Results

Who should be the next Governor of Delaware ?

Karen Petersen 44%
Jack Markell 36%
John Carney 17%
Chris Coons 3%

AT this point I like Markell and he clearly has a ground game in place. I also like Petersen and clearly I am not alone. She has a lot of fans in the blogosphere (and in real life for that matter). She would certainly be a breath of fresh air in a race that could end up being to be all too predictable.

Who should be the next Lt. Governor of Delaware ?

Matt Denn 32%
Karen Petersen 23%
Peter Schwartzkopf 23%
Other 23%

Now this one was a surprise. I have no idea if Denn is interested in this. I put him in just because he is the hardest working guy in Delaware and (DLC affiliation aside) he is a great Democrat. However - I have since learned that there are probably another 5 or 6 Dems looking at this race. So this could turn into a real donnybrook. Ted Blunt could be one of those people and I'll include him in future tracking polls. As for the others - let me know who you are and I'll put you o the list.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Will Castle face reality?

Tommywonk notes that GOP message discipline has broken down. The breaking point: Support for Bush's failed war and his catastrophic failure of a Secretary of Defense.

The New York Times reports that New Jersey senate contender Thomas Kean, Jr. has joined the ranks of GOP candidates calling for Donald Rumsfeld to resign:

Still, Mr. Kean’s call for Mr. Rumsfeld to step down comes as more Republicans are distancing themselves, however gingerly, from Mr. Bush and an unpopular war.

In the past I have theorized that Castle would try to skate into November without mentioning the war. This type of news makes that strategy untenable.

He'll either have to continue to support Bush with his announcement speech or head for the hills. It is my sincere hope that he will have an attack of integrity and face reality.


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