THIS IS NOT ->Delawareliberal


Thursday, August 31, 2006


Drinking Liberally Insights

Two things. One political and one personal.

The political

The Republicans are in big trouble over the next 15 years. Alexander Snyder-Mackler's intelligence and drive is not the exception - but the rule among the young Democrats that comprise the staff of the Del Dems and the various state campaigns.

The personal

It was nice not being around a bunch of old Democrats at a function. It was nice until I realized that I the oldest person at the event. Then it was strange. Like the strange feeling you get when you realize that you are older than your dentist. I'll need to make sure I do some outreach next time and get some 40ish folks on board.
UPDATE: Mike M keep the youth theme going at DWA. He profiles of "Joe Z" and his myspace political marketing in the crowded 4th RD Dem primary.


Holy crap!

I was reading Arnaud de Borchgrave who is one of those conservatives who occasionally make sense - when I came upon this:

...sometime before the end of his second term President Bush will order a massive air attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers. Mr. Bush is convinced a nuclear Iran would pose an intolerable threat to U.S. national security and, as one former intelligence topsider put it, "he is firm in his faith that God agrees with him on that point, and certain that history will eventually recognize and properly appreciate his courageous and visionary leadership."


Drinking Liberally TONIGHT

The first *Delaware* Drinking Liberally group will meet TONIGHT, Thursday Aug 31, at 7pm at Deer Park in Newark.

Drinking Liberally is a social organization - a way to meet new progressives and to catch up with old ones! It was started in NY and now has chapters throughout the country - and tonight we are adding Delaware to the list!

All are welcome! Join us tonight from 7-9pm at the Deer Park Tavern . Find us at the second floor bar.

Thanks!! DanaR

UPDATE: I am definitely going to this.

Also – if you can’t make this DL meeting but still want to create a durable democratic infrastructure, build Democratic strength at the grassroots level and help reform the Democratic party, be sure to go to the Progressive Democrats for Delaware meeting on September 6th.


If Osama is Hitler, and Iran is Japan - remind me again why attacked Iraq ?

Out of ideas, out of time, and out of their minds with stupidity - the Bush crew turns to the only metaphor left.

Godwin's Law (also Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a mainstay of Internet culture, an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. It is particularly concerned with logical fallacies such as reductio ad Hitlerum, wherein an idea is unduly dismissed or rejected on ground of it being associated with persons generally considered "evil".

The law states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

Godwin's Law does not dispute whether, in a particular instance, a reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be apt. It is precisely because such a reference or comparison may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin argues in his book, Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age, that hyperbolic overuse of the Hitler/Nazi comparison should be avoided, as it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.

When Rumsfeld and Bush can no longer discuss the war on the terms they have claimed to have fought it on, killing nearly 3000 Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have no arguments left. We have entered the world of Godwin's Law.

They aren't suggesting that the American people are appeasers, they are begging for one more chance by playing on nostalgia: "We're America, we're fighting a good war, give us more time". But time has run out.

The problem for Bush is that he tried to do his war on the cheap and that war needed to go as they planned. And it so didn't. Iraq is worse now than at any time in modern history. They kill people in hospitals.

This is the last ditch argument, the tug on the heartstrings of failures, but instead of rekindling nostalgia, it has enraged people. What Terri Schiavo started and Cindy Sheehan amplified, Katrina shouted. These people are clueless, they have no ability to get anything done right. When a choice is to be made, they will make the worst one possible.

So now, they use nostalgia to save themselves, because they have nothing else to use.

- Steve Gilliard


I'm glad they caught this guy

Warren Jeffs is one creepy looking freak. I'm glad he is off the streets.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Why does Bush love Iran so much?

Joe Conason lays it down:

From the botched Iraq war to threatening Iran with "regime change," neoconservative policies have been a boon for Tehran.

If the neoconservatives were not so adept at claiming the patriotic high ground for themselves -- and convincing the nation that they are interested only in advancing the security of America and Israel and the cause of democracy -- it might be time to start asking which of them are actually agents of Iran. The question is pertinent because "objectively," as they like to say, neoconservative policy has resulted in enormous profit to the Iranian mullahs, at grave cost to the United States and with little or no benefit to Israel.

Given our leadership, this story would be funny if it was not so freaking spot on.

WASHINGTON, DC— In a nationally televised address Monday, President Bush urged all citizens, regardless of race, creed, color, or political affiliation, "to quiet down for just one minute" so he could have "a chance to think."

I'd just like to remind everyone that Michael "Rubber Stamp" Castle thinks Bush is doing a great job.


Castle's communication operations seems to be in complete disarray

I called my Congressman Bush's man from Delaware again this morning. Here is the rough transcript.

Hugh: Good Morning Congressman Castle's office.

Me: Good Morning, could I speak to Elizabeth Wenk please?

Hugh: May I tell her who is calling?

Me: Sure, Jason from Delawareliberal.

Hugh: Hold on please. (on hold...) I'm sorry, she is on the phone would you like to leave a message for her on her voice mail?

Me: Yes, but let me ask you a quick question. Congressman Castle is making some sort of announcement on September 5th - do you happen to know what that is about?

Hugh: No. I don't know.

Me: Okay - well I guess I'll leave that message.

Hugh: Hold please. [transfers to voice mail]

Me: Elizabeth. Hi this is Jason. I understand Mr. Castle is making some sort of announcement on September 5th. I was just calling to see what that was about. I was hoping that maybe he was going to announce that he was sorry about supporting Bush - you know I still have not gotten a response to that question. So, okay. If that is the announcement . Great. You can reach me at (302)6xx-xxxx or at Thanks. (Click)

So, not only do they not respond to a simple question: Does Castle regret supporting Bush?, but his mouthpiece hides under her desk when I call to ask about this mysterious September 5th announcement.

Castle's DC number is (202) 225-4165 if anyone cares to try and get my question answered.


Stream "WILM/blogger radio" today on your computer

Dave Burris is bringing a great guest today. Christopher Caldwell the Senior Editor at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Caldwell wrote this penetrating and thoughtful piece on Sussex County's influx of Guatemalan immigrants that rises far above the usual huffing and puffing from both the right and the left:

"If the border is controlled--and if the book is thrown at all those Mam-speaking chicken workers with their phony IDs and their alcoholic binges and their unusually hard-working children--there will be a price to pay. There is not a demand in Georgetown for a certain quota of different-looking poor people. There is a demand for people from Tacana who have two decades' experience in the peculiar Delaware economy of chicken, soybeans, and retirement homes, and two decades of ties to the community out of which that economy grows. It is not, in fact, certain that the economy of Sussex County could survive without them, for Delawareans have gotten too old and too rich to maintain it on their own.

Read Caldwell's Hola Delaware here.

Caldwell, for the most part, is a quiet observer who lets the facts speak for themselves. The facts make it clear that we cannot survive the shallow right-wing thinking currently so popular with Ryan S/Pat Buchanan-types. And yet, while the economic reality of immigration is like a freight train headed east, there is another train on that same track headed west. That west-bound train is our notion of what it means to be a "Delawarean".
The "streaming audio" should work, although when Rush Limbag is polluting the airwaves I think it cuts out. Give it a try between 3:00 and 4:00 and let me know if it works.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Michael Newbold Castle: A Profile in bumbling Impotence.

Blue State Rising absolutely kills Michael Castle on his horrible voting record related to Katrina recovery and preparedness.

- Stengthen Levees; H.R. 4939... Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) voted against the funding for levees.

- First Responders; H.R. 5441, vote 218: ... Mike Castle voted to NOT increase the funding.

- Disaster preparedness and First Responders; H.R. 5441, vote 210: This was a vote to kill a Democratic amendment that would have added $600 million for equipping and training first responders and increasing disaster preparedness. It is fully paid for by slightly rolling back the Bush tax cut for millionaires. Again, the House Republicans (including Mike Castle) killed it.

But this one takes the cake:…
- Voted to cut billions from Homeland Security; H.C.R. 376, vote 158: This adds hundreds of billions to the already record budget deficit and includes a provision to increase the debt limit by $653 billion to $9.6 trillion. It cuts key programs like education, health and veterans programs. The budget resolution cuts $6.1 billion over five years to functions that fund port security grants to (among other things) tighten the physical security of our ports and law enforcement terrorism prevention grants for first responders. Additionally, it includes cuts that could reduce the size of the Army National Guard by up to 17,000 and includes a $39 million cut to the critical Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which is a program that helps prevent terrorists from obtaining loose nuclear material. Every Democrat in the House voted against. 12 Republicans crossed partisan lines to side with the Democrats, and again, Mike Castle was NOT one of them. He voted for this.

The list goes on and on. The bottom line is that one year later, the Republican Congress has kept us less prepared than we can or should– be in the event of a natural disaster.

How do Republicans get away with this shit? Tommywonk has the key. Crappy government is the natural result of electing people who have contempt for government.



I guess you could consider my Lieberman obsession a bit much. However, I might be spending so much time on it because it Lamont's upset win proves that the Democratic party is moving toward becoming a real opposition party (in spite of a few Democratic Senators who still don't get it).

Anyway here is today's news:

Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), a longtime Lieberman supporter, has announced that he is pulling his endorsement of Lieberman's independent candidacy. The Honolulu Advertiser reports that Inouye was under fire by Hawaii Democrats for his steadfast support of Lieberman and that there is precedent in Hawaii for Democrats facing disciplinary action within the party for backing a third-party candidate over the voters' choice.

Only 5 senators remain in the Losercamp.
Via Bob Geiger at the huffinton post

Hmmm....disciplinary action from the party for backing a third-party candidate...that sounds good.

When will Carper drop?


What are the real chances that the Dems will take the House?

We all have gut feelings about the answer to that question, don't we? We all want our team to win. But emotions can cloud our judgment. For example, I could be reading too much into Stu Rothenberg's statement that "the only question is how big will the Democratic wave be?"

So - all emotion aside. What are the facts? Where can you go to get a straight answer to the question - will the Democrats take over Congress?

I like to turn to the British bettors who have the purest of pure motives when considering question like this: making money. The bettors at Tradesports have NO feelings or emotions bound up in the outcome of the elections what-so-ever. So where is the smart money headed?

alt="Price for Republican Party 2006 Mid Term Election Control at"
title="Price for Republican Party 2006 Mid Term Election Control at" border="0">

I look at the trendline of that graph and I think, "Speaker Pelosi".


Another new addition to the blogroll

Last week I mentioned Markell's blog and he has since demonstrated that it was not a "Hey, look at me - I have a blog too" kind of operation.

This week I'm glad to welcome the Delaware Democratic Party to the blog-party. Alexander Snyder-Mackler who has been simply kicking ass since he took over the communications of the party has rolled out the Delaware Democrat's blog Blue State Rising.

The Democrats have been much more focused and "on message" this campaign cycle. Snyder-Mackler deserves the credit for this significant victory. Unlike the Republicans, where everyone gets the same talking points and sticks to the script for maximum impact, the Democrats are a very loose collection of people who think they know everything and everyone who does not agree with them is a fraud. (That is my philosophy anyway.)

So, well done and welcome.

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, here is my unreasonable demand:

Rather the text based posts (like your Beau Biden) I'd like to see 2 minute Youtube clips of the candidates. I think just casual, informal chats in front of a camera - with some incendiary direct quotes from candidates - can be more effective than more text.


From the Department of Predictable Headlines:

DuPont cutting pension plan

The retirement plan changes announced Monday will affect some employees at DuPont's headquarters in Wilmington. "We need to be competitive on a global basis," a DuPont senior vice president said.

Following the lead of other large U.S. companies that have scaled back their pension plans in recent years, the DuPont Co. said Monday it will make sweeping changes to its plan, affecting as many as 30,000 U.S. workers and all new hires.

Did you catch that? All you lazy, no good, so called "workers" are herby on notice. There is someone in Bangalore India and ten people in Beijing who can do your job at a fraction of the cost. And, yes I'm talking to you professionals. Your fancy "science" and "accounting" is going for peanuts now - so get used to it.

Monday, August 28, 2006


A Celebration

In TIME'’s September 4th issue, there is a profile of Nancy Pelosi that should serve as an encouragement to voters everywhere who are looking forward to the Democrats taking control of the House. Here is a revealing excerpt on how the Dems saved Social Security from George Bush's wrecking ball:

When Bush announced his Social Security plan last year, Pelosi told House Democrats they could never beat him in a straight-ahead, policy-against-policy debate because he had the megaphone of the presidency and was just coming off re-election. So the Democrats would thunderously attack Bush and argue there was no Social Security crisis and therefore no need for them to put out their own proposal. Some members were leery, concerned that Pelosi would make the Democrats look like the Party of No. As the spring of 2005 wore on, some pestered her every week, asking when they were going to release a rival plan. "Never. Is never good enough for you?" Pelosi defiantly said to one member. When Florida Democrat Robert Wexler publicly suggested raising Social Security taxes as the solution, Pelosi immediately chewed him out over the phone. Only one other Democrat signed on to his plan.

No rival plan was needed because the notion that Social Security is in crisis is nonsense. While the republicans could trick their brain dead followers into thinking that Social Security was in crisis and thereby create windfall profits their Wall Street cronies, Pelosi did not allow the debate to unfold that way and a major Bush catastrophe was averted.

In addition to thwarting President Dumbass on Social Security, with the Dems take back the House, Pelosi, and a Democratic Congress will have "subpoena power"” and the ability to begin to dig into the many crimes committed by George Bush and Dick Cheney.

If you want to hasten the country's return to reason, logic and common sense go to ActBlue right now and donate to the House candidates on the slate.

h/t First State Politics


Election Watching Guru, Stu Rothenberg, Gives a Dennis Spivack a High Five

Contrary the "whistling past the graveyard" thinking at First State Poltics, Stu Rotherberg thinks things are looking great for Democrats. Even long-shot Dems like Dennis Spivack.
Our latest race-by-race review of Congressional districts around the country convinces us that a Democratic wave is building and that the party is poised to take control of the House of Representatives in the fall. The only question now is the size of the November wave. (snip)

At the district level, voters are more critical of Republican incumbents – and supportive of even unknown Democratic candidates – than they usually are at this point in the election cycle.

Boohya!! I call that a high five, baby. And Rothenberg is no partisan cheerleader. He is the above the fray go to man for the straight dope in DC.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Does Your Prius Get 100 mpg ? It could.

It would not take an "Apollo Program" to change our energy policy from one that props up Iran to one that our grandchildren could live with. It would just take leadership. Since leadership from the top is ...uhhhm...lacking - these folks have decided to lead from the back.

My new favorite TV channel, TreehuggerTV has the story.

100 mpg Calcars are are patriotic.


Rubber Stamp Reichert Gets YouTubed

Watch the video and substitute the word "Castle" every time some one says "Reichert".

Fits like a glove.


Dispatches from the GOP's War on Science

This NYT article is just another sad artifact blowing around the ruins of our science community. People who pay attention to science are used kicking through this gargbage that spills, like the so many greasy Taco Bell bags, out of this adminstration on a dialy basis.

Evolution Major Vanishes From Approved Federal List

Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

Bob S is a fellow traveler from my Howard Dean days who knows a bit about science policy. This is from a recent email:

"One of the hallmarks of the Bush Administration is its haughty
disregard, if not contempt, for advisory processes of any kind.

Whether the issue is pre-war State Department concerns about
aftermath planning for Iraq, four-star generals worried about wartime
force levels, or, now, protests by highly respected scientists about
crippling NASA's science program, intolerant arrogance is the order
of the day.

Concerns about the viability of NASA science led to the departure of
three of the NASA Advisory Council's (NAC's) most deeply-thoughtful
members last week. It is important to realize both that high-level open
discussion is precisely the historical function of the NAC and that 2
of the 3 departing scientists are former Associate Administrators of NASA
science offices who both understand precisely how the NAC is supposed
to work and are passionate about the success not just of science but
of the agency itself.

Below are this morning's comments by NASA Administrator Mike
Griffin. The tone speaks volumes." is neither germane nor useful for NAC members to offer
advice on whether Science ought to have greater priority within
NASA as compared to manned spaceflight, or whether the SMD portfolio should
be rebalanced to emphasize Earth science over planetary science, or
whether the Moon is an appropriate focus (in comparison to Mars) for the next phase
of the manned spaceflight program, or other similar issues. As I am sure
you know, there are other venues (such as your own NAS/Space Studies Board)
for such questions, but the NASA Advisory Council is not one of them.

The most appropriate recourse for NAC members who believe the NASA
program should be something other than what it is, is to resign.

An article on this topic also appears here.

The bottom line: Once again thoughtful people who try to advise this administration are given the second-finger salute and told to like it or leave. How many wonderful, talented people have been driven from public service by this group of dumb-asses? How much have we lost? It is impossible to measure.

If we don't get a Conrgess that can say "NO!" to this President I think we can forget about being a "second rate power" - we'll be lucky to rise to the level of "fourth rate power".


Brian Moore Unlikely to Survive Primary

Richard Korn might not have Brian Moore to beat up on in a few weeks.

Dana's excellent post on the Moore accountability problems and the ensuing scandal should deal a death blow to Roger Roy's hand picked heir. Here is the money:

"But given Moore's capacity to shift the blame onto others (even his in-laws for God'’s sake!) for his repeat offenses, I believe the voters of the 20th Representative District should ask themselves: Does the Delaware Legislature need yet another politician who will not take responsibility for his actions and inactions but, instead, will most likely blame others? Haven'’t we suffered from too many legislators in Delaware like that already?"

Not only does Moore look horrible - but Korn is emerging as just the kind of crusading bulldog that these times call for. While Moore tries to pretend that this is not an issue, Korn's work on this points out that paying attention to the rules is the issue this year.

Whether it is "undisclosed conflict of interest" "fundraising", or "illegally distributing absentee ballots" or in Michael Castle's case "rubber stamping" the brain dead decisions of higher-ups - the modern Republican party is constantly on the side of defending some unethical is not illegal practice.

The Bottom Line:

Moore is displaying all the arrogance and high-handedness of an incumbent without the benefits incumbency. While it is true that Moore's primary oponent, Nick Manolakos, probably still has an uphill battle against the GOP anointedted golden boy, and Moore's candidacy has only been dealt a "death blow" if voters are paying attention. [I don't need to tell anyone that is a big "IF" in Delaware.]

At the very least, Celia Cohen will have to revise her take on this race and move it from the "Likely Republican" to "Tossup" and if she is struck by a bout of honest, maybe even "Likley Democratic".

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Jack's blog

Okay - A couple of things to note.

1) Markell is all over the technology of modern campaigning. That is a good thing. He is getting some PR mileage out of the the Bike Tour - but I think the longer term impact of him getting into YouTube and blogging is the real story. [I'd to see some Spivack YOUTube clips - I'd have them up so fast your head would spin.]

2) In the clip above - you did not get to see me asking him questions, but I did. I asked Dave Burris's question - "Is the State Treasurer job just a stepping stone job for you to other elected office?" And unsurprisingly Jack gave the only possible response to that question he could give, "I'm just thinking about this race."

I asked, "What are the issues in this race since you don't have an opponent?" And he said that he believes he has an opponent. That was news to me.

3) You know when you hear an audio tape of your voice you think "I sound like that?" Well when ever I see a video of myself I think, "Am I that fat?"

Click here to go to Jack's "Blog for Delaware".


Bank of America Needs the Money

Check out Donviti's De la whare on the corprate citizenship of Delaware's new 600lb gorrila.

Bank of America, which bought MBNA last year, will not continue the decade old MBNA Foundation Scholars Program, which has provided more than $22 million to 1,508 Delaware high school seniors.

The commentary is first rate.


Is it me...?

or have Republicans completely lost it?

We all know about Michael "Old Man Newbold" Castle's break with reality and his claims about America being "more secure today" because Saddam has been deposed - and we've all heard about George "Macaca" Allen's Confederate fetish.

Now we have this from Katherine Harris (R-FL):

ORLANDO, Fla. _Rep. Katherine Harris said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that a failure to elect Christians to political office will allow lawmaking bodies to "legislate sin."

"If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you're not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin."

I feel like they are saying "We give up. We can't be in charge anymore."


Castle Sabotaged by Someone Within the DEGOP

These pictures of "Old Man Newbold" were in the announcement email. If someone in the DEGOP is trying to make Castle look like a crazy old fart - it is working.


No "soft landing" for real estate (or the larger economy)

Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital Predicts Crashing and Burning

During the unprecedented run up in housing prices over the last decade, most economists and real estate professionals firmly declared that the market would always move higher. When the recent cooling dashed those hopes, many reluctantly fell back to the “soft landing” hypothesis, which predicts that price appreciation will return to historically average rates. However the latest housing data, particularly this week’s figures on new and existing home sales, have made these overly rosy assumptions untenable. The “hard landing” scenario, which envisions real estate prices moving sideways, or actually posting moderate declines, is finally gaining broader credence. But, even this forecast will prove overly optimistic. The real estate market will not land soft or hard, it will crash and burn. Those who did not have the foresight to bail out may be faced with a distinct shortage of parachutes.

"We are going to go through one of the most trying financial times in U.S. history, including the Great Depression," Schiff says.

Nouriel Roubini and Builders agree

The Biggest Slump in US Housing in the Last 40 Years: These are not my views but those of the Toll Brothers, the famous luxury McMansions homebuilders, as CNN reported last week. Also, as reported by the WSJ today: In his 40 years as a home builder, Mr. Toll says, he has never seen a slump unfold like the current one. "I've never seen a downturn in housing without a downturn in employment or... some macroeconomic nasty condition that took housing down along with other elements of the economy".

What about the global economy?

From the
Stock markets are still expensive, and investors could be in for an unpleasant surprise once corporate profits begin to weaken, says the Yale University economist who predicted the crash of 2000-2002.

"The equity bust of 2000 produced a mild recession, and was rather short-lived. It's very hard to predict . . . [but] if the real estate market does tank, it will cause a worldwide recession." Falling real estate values "will probably be spread over many countries."

Menawhile Bush/Castle Prefer Fantasyland (Big Surprise!!)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- President Bush had a simple message to deliver Friday after two days spent behind closed doors with his economic team: confidence about the U.S. economic outlook.
"The economy grew at a 4% annual rate in the first half of 2006. This means our economy is maintaining solid growth and performing in line with expectations," Bush told reporters at a brief press conference in Camp David after the meeting.
"All of us here are confident about the future of this country," he said.

All good wingnuts know that there is a magic bullet that can kill this recession befor it starts. For you non-wingnuts, I've placed the simple answer to a difficult situation in the comments.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Around the Horn Friday

You know the drill. Let's get it on.

Dana DEMOLISHES the myth that Tyler Nixon is a "Johnny-come-lately" in the 1st.
Celia Cohen checks in with the Crossans. [Note to Celia - This is exactly the type of story you should stick to. Seriously. ]
Notice anything funny about this blurb at First State Politics ? "The 10th Annual Friends of Vance Phillips Crab Feast and Watermelon Extravaganza is all set for THIS Saturday, August 26th at 3 pm." No mention of Rick Santorum getting all crabby with the DEGOP. Are they trying to keep Senator "man on dog" on the down low?
Politakid went to Philadel...and...he... ZZZZZzzzzzzzz........
Karmic Jay got tagged: "Would you never blog again for $50,000? No. Blogging = sanity I hear you Jay. (Plus George Soros already pays me that PER MONTH!!!)
Nancy covers the "I want a do-over" party's candidate in the 6th RD.
Hube still remembers 9/11. the Iraq war...? Not so much.
Donviti says"The internet is a politicians worst nightmare" and offers GOPer Jean Schmidt of Ohio as proof. (Schmidt doctored a marathon finishing photo). UPDATE: Ooopsie. In Donviti's defense Republican lie so much it is too easy to believe everything that comes down the pike.
"I don't know much about Iraq except that the reasons given for going to war there turned out to be fallacies, that we are now caught in a sectarian civil war that has nothing to do with our national interest, and that the place has turned into an unholy mess. Joe Biden, who has given the matter far more thought than I have, offers his prescription for fixing the mess in today's Washington Post, starting with an acknowledgement of the stark reality of the situation:"

If that Tommywonk intro to a post on Biden's plan does not kick ass - I never heard of ass kicking. (Caution: Only read the Biden plan if you want to know what a thinking politican looks like.)
Kilroy is making exscuses for the hardened criminals supporting Brian Moore.
Mike M + asshat Gaffney = the funny
Peace Out!


Terrorists Want You to Freak Out - That is the Whole Point

...and on Aug. 18, a plane flying from London to Egypt made an emergency landing in Italy when someone found a bomb threat scrawled on an air sickness bag. Nothing was found on the plane, and no one knows how long the note was on board.

I'd like everyone to take a deep breath and listen for a minute.

The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics. The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we're doing exactly what the terrorists want. [Read the whole thing]

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I am so damned pissed off right now

First State Politics reports:

Sources tell me that House Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio will be the featured guest at a fundraiser for Congressman Mike Castle on September 16th in Wilmington.

What's the big deal right?

John Boehner, is the outright idiot-bastard-jack-off who said, "The problems are in Baghdad and within a 30 mile radius of Baghdad. The rest of the country is peaceful."

How much more disconnected from reality can Castle be? How much more of a complete bastard?

For Michael "Stay the Course" Castle and John "the rest of the country is peaceful" Boehner - here is a little tutorial.

Thses 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

Why Michael Castle feels the need to spit in the faces of the familes of these men, I cannot imagine.

UPDATE: Sean Barney was shot by a sniper in Fallujah. He lived, but I wonder how "peaceful" he thinks that part of the country is.


I wish I could say I was shocked.

Hey Bill Ghent and Tom Carper, this is the guy you are staying loyal to...

Joe Lieberman will be campaigning with GOP candidates Jodi Rell and Rob Simmons today at the Groton sub base (the one that Holy Joe claims to have singlehandedly saved). Simmons, you’ll remember, is the GOP candidate running against Democrat Joe Courtney for one of those hotly contested Connecticut House seats.

Where is Schumer and Reid on this? They are betraying a weakness that I quite frankly had no idea existed. - Via Kos


Where is Tom Carper on this? My last email from Ghent (it is pronounced GENT) was this testy crap:

Jason -- The statement i sent you earlier on Lieberman is still accurate. The senator said before primary that he would support Lieberman's independent candidacy and he's not changed his mind. He sees this as an issue of loyalty to his good friend and believes that when and if Lieberman returns to the Senate, he'll still caucus with the Democrats.

That's nice Bill. Carper is going to be "loyal" to someone like Lieberman who would not know loyalty if it bit him in the ass, rather than "loyal" to the voters who elected him. Great!

Did you want to talk about the Survey USA poll as well? We're happy with our approval ratings. Senator Carper's approval ratings are still in the top tier of all senators. The so-called drop is well within the margin of error, and if you break down the polling results (by liberals, by Democrats, by black voters, by white voters) you see how widely many of the subcategories vary, which can affect the month-to-month overall results.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Okay. We'll see Bill. You may be right. Everything might be fine and dandy. On the other hand, if you and Tom are happy hanging out with the likes of Ann Coulter and Joe Lieberman you are no doubt adept at the art of self deception and things might not be as rosy as you think.

For more on just how disdainful Carper is of Delawareans, read this.


Howard Dean is kicking ass!!!

Watch him totally annihilate GOPer after GOPer and RNC talking point after talking point.

On George Felix Allen, Jr
"I served with George Felix Allen when he was Governor. I don't think he belongs in public service. There are Republicans who are capable and smart - thoughtful people - and he's not one of them. "

On Sore Loserman
"Ned Lamont is a Democrat. Joe is the past and I think we need a new direction in this country and it's not just the Lieberman Lamont race. It's all over the country. People are looking for a new direction for the country. "

On McCain's Phoniness
"You know how everybody leaves the ship once it heads in the wrong direction. McCain was a huge booster of the war, until now I guess things are getting hot in the kitchen, so he decided to get out. "

On Shrub's "Press Conference"
"You don't make a permanent commitment to a failed policy. "

- Via Al Rogers Diary


FRIGHTLAND: Seasonal Crack House & Horror Porn Strip Club

ME: IF he really wanted to clean up the (C&D Canal) area it would be a lot cheaper and easier to close down a seasonal crack house known as "frightland".

Mot Newbie: As far as your selfish Frightland comment, dude, get over yourself already. Considering the turnout they get every year and the fact a crap load of that money is forked over to charity, there are enough people that LIKE to keep it around.

Crap load of money? Like too many conservatives, Mot Newbie buys the PR hook line and sinker. Frightland's charitable contributions reached $250,000 last year. That is what they have given to charity over the life of the business.

That comes to less than $10,000 per year. I like you Mot Newbie, but don't be a dope. If you had a seasonal crack house & horror porn strip club opening up in your backyard every year - I wonder how much you'd like it.

While I'm on the subject of FRIGHTLAND - I wonder how much they have paid to have thier lighted year 'round signage up? Since the eyesores are plastered on the side's of barns and trailers I doubt anyone has thought to ask them to pony up like a real business.

Maybe our 9th district rep. Dick Cathcart should look into it? Oh that's right he is too busy defending himself in court.


Celia Cohen is a Shamless Ho. Yes, it is that simple.

Read Celia Cohen's over-the-top-suck up to Carper and Castle and think about the sad fact that most of Delaware regards this gushing school girl as a "political reporter".

Where is the reporting? Where is the news? When was the last time Cohen asked a poltician a serious question? Pitiful.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


What is the deal with lacrosse payers?

SEA ISLE CITY, New Jersey (AP) -- A vacationing police officer was beaten with a baseball bat at the New Jersey shore in what authorities called a hate crime, and three men -- including a university lacrosse player -- have been charged.

The three young men, all white, were charged in Tuesday's beating of the black officer from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. The officer was treated at a hospital and released. (snip)

A second officer was struck while trying to intervene, officials said. The suspects ran but were quickly arrested. Vince J. Giordano, 21, of Moorestown, New Jersey, a lacrosse player for the University of Delaware, was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and bias intimidation.


Markell's Version of Bi(ke)partisanship

I'm biking out to meet him tomorrow at Lorenzo's Pizza in Clayton. Does anybody have any pointed questions you'd like me to ask him?


Chris Bowers Writes a Memo to Dennis Spivack

I hope Spivack reads it.

To: (Dennis Spivack and other) Democratic Congressional Challengers
Re: CA-50 Post-Special Election (Busby-Bilbray) Polling Memo

Fall Election Environment Overview:
This fall, you will face a grotesque political environment, one that requires strategic knowledge, great courage and fortitude to successfully navigate. Facing low approval ratings, Republicans will introduce you to the voters as a flip-flopping, gay-loving, liberal terrorist coddler who wants to cut and run from Iraq, all at the behest of self-absorbed Hollywood moguls and liberal elites.

The establishment Democrats have proven ineffective at combating this positioning, introducing empty slogans like `Together we can do better' that no one repeats or remembers, and policy proposals that few voters believe Democrats are capable of enacting. Most of the polling and advice you'll get from DC insiders and journalists will largely rehash bad information, false choices and irrelevant answers to poorly framed questions. If you take their advice, you will not make significant headway in convincing voters you are best to represent them. And when you lose, it'll be you who ran a bad campaign, not "them." Just ask Francine Busby how that works.

Perhaps worst of all, you will probably face some form of October surprise from the Republicans and your opponent: a game-changing event or message stream. And you will be blind-sided because establishment Democrats will be caught off-guard. Again. And you and your campaign will pay the price of their failure.

Realistically, when it comes to developing a winning position and messaging, you are on your own. Or rather, you are on your own, except that the voters - Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike - agree with the outrage that you feel towards the political system and agree that Republican leadership is the problem. Yet, voters will only vote for change if they know you can deliver on that change once elected.

So far, few believe that will happen, as our data in CA-50 show.

Why CA-50 matters to you and your campaign:
Francine Busby and the DCCC spent more than $5 million on a nationalized Congressional race in California's 50th District. As the Democratic contender in the only partisan federal race so far this year, she was the Petri dish for testing Beltway techniques and messages. She ran on the national party's first semester message of "the culture of corruption" against Brian Bilbray, a former Congressman turned lobbyist in a district where his predecessor is in jail for taking millions of dollars in bribes from defense contractors. A conservative, heavily military district where Dianne Feinstein won in 2000 and where Barbara Boxer lost by less than one percentage point in 2004, she ran as a "bi-partisan Democrat who would go to Washington to clean house and accomplish a seven point policy plan." She dodged the Iraq war as if it were a bullet aimed directly at her. In short, she played by the national insider rules.

And Francine Busby lost. The national committees and insiders have moved on. Her campaign team has simply moved out, taking the blame for doing what they were told by the `experienced' Beltway consultants.

Focus on this: Francine Busby lost a race to Brian Bilbray, a Republican lobbyist and former member of Congress, someone about as "inside" as it gets. Even though Busby ran on the culture of corruption line and Cunningham sits in jail with a mere 6% favorability in the CA-50, and, further, even though few voters believed that Bilbray had credibility on standing up to Bush on immigration, she lost. We know this because we polled extensively in the district this summer to find out why an extremely well funded national campaign utterly failed. Given that this was the only Congressional election so far this year between a Republican and a Democrat, we wanted to learn some lessons. This is the only data set on the only Federal partisan election that has happened in 2006 so far. It is very much worth understanding.

What happened in California's 50th?
California 50th is a right-leaning district, though not overwhelmingly so (John Kerry got 44% of the vote in 2004). The seat was open because Duke Cunningham resigned and ultimately went to jail in the midst of a bribery scandal. Democrat Francine Busby's messaging was therefore focused on the then national message of "the culture of corruption." She ran a policy-heavy campaign, proposing what she asserted was the `toughest' ethics legislation out there, while at the same time attacking Bilbray for his lobbying work. Republican Brian Bilbray focused his campaign on a hard-right message of cracking down on illegal immigrants.

Surprisingly, neither message worked. In an open-ended question, less than 4% of voters cited Republican corruption as a reason for voting for Busby. Similarly, Bilbray voters did not believe that Bilbray had the ability to divert from the Bush agenda and crack down on illegal immigrants. In fact, both candidates were largely undefined to the electorate, despite a highly agitated voter pool seeking change. While there was high Democratic turnout, Busby lost because independent voters did not believe that she could deliver on her policy promises and did not believe she was substantially more ethical than Bilbray. So, in large numbers, they either stayed home or voted for third party candidates.

Busby's lack of definition as a candidate and lack of message credibility allowed Bilbray to solidify his voter base, even though that base evidenced a substantial amount of dissatisfaction with the Republican Party and President Bush.

Lessons for Candidates Around the Country
The obvious problem with Busby's messaging was that she dodged Iraq as though it were a bullet aimed at her head. According to all available polling information, Iraq is consistently the number one issue on voters' minds. The absence of Iraq as an issue in the campaign is one likely reason why turnout was so low in CA-50. This in contrast to record breaking turnout in the Connecticut primary, in which messaging strategy did focus on the war. To the extent Busby discussed the situation in Iraq, it was in the context of a vague withdrawal plan rather than as a challenge to Bush and Republican war strategy.

In our research, we asked respondents in California's 50th a series of questions about Iraq and the political impact of the war situation. The findings were stunning, and reveal a deep split in the Republican base vote.

63% of Republican voters believe that Bush has made some or a lot of mistakes in Iraq.
34% of Republican voters believe that Bush has definitely or probably not told the truth about the situation in Iraq.
34% of Republican voters believe that Bush should probably or definitely be held accountable for the situation in Iraq.
40% of Republican voters believe that the Democratic Party is more likely to hold Bush accountable for mistakes in Iraq.

While the country is open to the idea of partial or total troop withdrawal, according to our data in CA-50 existing withdrawal messaging loses badly to Republican `cut and run' counter-attack messaging. This suggests that voters are seeking a set of actors in Congress who will tell the truth about the war and hold Bush accountable for mistakes. This is in contrast to an immediate end to the conflict and /or yet another withdrawal plan that Congress cannot enact. Voters intuitively understand that Congress doesn't run the military, and that regardless of the outcome of the 2006 election, Bush will be in charge of the military until 2009. As such, framing the election as a choice between rival Congressional military plans sacrifices the credibility of Democratic candidates who can only legitimately promise to hold hearings, restore congressional oversight of military matters, locate and identify blame, and serve as a check on a widely disliked and distrusted President.

Candidates should run aggressively on accountability and the war in Iraq. Here are six specific `rules of thumb' we recommend you use for planning purposes.
1. Iraq must be central in your campaign and you must blame Republicans for it Ignoring Iraq, downplaying its significance, or accepting Bush's framework by not blaming leaders is a sign to voters that you are weak, unlikely to bring change, and not addressing the main issue of the day. Regardless of how you approach the policy going forward in Iraq, the key trait that voters seek is a willingness to hold failed leaders accountable for the debacle. Be willing to uncover the truth, place blame, and demand consequences.

2. The debate on whether Bush is a competent, trustworthy President is over. He is considered among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents a leader who makes mistakes and then won't tell the truth about those mistakes. This is not about competence. This is about massive failure of leadership with no end in sight.

3. Republicans cannot run against Bush and Iraq. Voters do not think that Republicans are willing to hold Bush or other administration figures accountable for those mistakes, so Republican Congressional dissent on the war is unlikely to help Republicans. But dissent will, in fact, work to Democratic candidates' advantage. It shows strength and, most importantly, principle and personal values.

4. `Terrorism' scares only work in the absence of strong accountability messaging, since Republicans are no longer trustworthy on issues of war and peace. Voters know Republicans will let mistakes slide and they want accountability in the face of that.

5. Oversight beats withdrawal. Journalists or other messengers who frame politics in terms of a need to have an alternative plan in contrast to Bush are insulting voters, and should be taken to task aggressively for framing false choices and misrepresenting the role of Congress. Congress primarily serves as military oversight, not military policy. Voters know that.

6. Pick a fight, any fight. Voters need to be convinced that Democrats can credibly challenge Bush. Whether the fight is over de-funding Cheney's personal staff, attacking John Bolton's confirmation, impeachment hearings, or stopping war profiteering with a new `Truman Commission', Democratic candidates must demonstrate strength through aggressive confrontation where the term "accountability" is more than just an abstraction or corporate lingo. It must be made real through a fight you plan to pick.

When presented with squeals from journalists and Republicans over your fight, a resolute willingness to not back off in the face of criticism is key. Your willingness to hold Bush accountable must be made real. For example, demand that the president and the party in power come to account for having squandered lives, security and treasure while enriching CEOs of major corporations such as Halliburton.

Here's a real-world example of this dynamic from US history: Harry Truman became vice president because as a US Senator, he had the backbone to demand that major figures in the American economy either give back money stolen in the provision of shoddy materiel for World War II, or go to jail for treason.
In sum, whatever fights you pick, whether specific local issues or national ones, our poll shows that accountability regarding Bush, Congressional Republicans and your opponent is crucial to building the credibility you need in order to break through with a majority vote in November. Democrats, Independents and even many Republicans want this to occur. Do it.


Data for this polling memo was commissioned by the Courage Campaign, a non-partisan, progressive 527 based in Los Angeles, and, a progressive political blog. Wright Consulting Services conducted all polling. More information is available at

You can read the full report in PDF here: cratic_Challenger_Memo.pdf

The questionnaire for the follow-up questions can be found here: owupquestions.pdf

The clean, easy to understand crosstabs to the poll can be found here: stabs.pdf

Complete information on the MyDD / Courage Campaign Poll can be found in our two earlier memos: Why Francine Busby Lost and Republicans Divided On Iraq, Accountability.


What Michael Newbold Castle does not want you to know about his C&D canal project

Isn't Castle great? Amazing how he pulled the $1.7 in federal money out of his ass for that canal project... right?

He is a real hero...right?

That is what the NJ wants you to believe with its sickeningly sweet ode to Castle in today's paper. However, what is the real story behind that magical $1.7 million?

Well, you "small government Republicans" should know that it is from the $139.6 billion-earmarked-to-death-monstrosity called House Transportation Act. You remeber this budget buster included the famous "bridge to nowhere". That bridge, like this canal project, is Castle's baby. It is the ugly baby nobody wants to talk about.

The other thing you should know about the sudden appearence of this $1.7 million as Castle tries to get his footing in this race against Dennis Spivack is that this is selective vote buying.

You see there are some potential R voters and the old school Democratic ticket splitters living around the canal these days. But when other (less Republican, lets say) voters in Glenview and other parts of New Castle County were flooded out they asked Castle's staff for help getting federal emergency funds into the area. What did they get? Where was Castle's magical ass fund then?

You know the rest. In spite of many meeting with Castle's people and promises to help, they got nothing. The money could have been used to help people who needed it but Castle did not give a damn. There were some soccer moms in the 8th and 9th to think about. Some hero.


Get by a radio this afternoon

Dave Burris from First State politics and I will be on from 3:00 to 4:00 on WILM's (1450 AM) "Money and Politics in Delaware" with Dace Blaskovitz.

This week we will be talking to corporate governance expert U of D Prof Charles Elson in the first half.

The second half is U of D Prof Khan. This from Dace:

IF you missed the show last week Prof Khan created and launched The Khan Plan.

The Dems are wrong about the Iraq war because as the US pulls out, the terrorist will move in. The Rs are equally - and constantly - naive: if you ain't fight to win, IT IS Vietnam! But, The Khan Plan says we get US troops out asap, in order to REPLACE them with an even larger amount of troops. Those troops come from Jordon and Egpt and Kuwait. As Prof Khan points out, we've given Jordon, etc billions of dollars of aid - now they have to do something to get that money.

This sounds an like what Democrats have been saying all along.

"Iraq isn’t Vietnam. America can’t just walk away without horrendous consequences. But “stay the course” isn’t a strategy. And the longer the bleeding goes on there, the harder the electorate will dig for answers—and the tougher they’ll be on those who got us in, and aided, abetted and apologized for them. " - Wes Clark

"A plan for success needs to focus on three interlocking objectives: reducing the American presence, building Iraq's capacity and getting other countries to meet their responsibilities to help. First, we need to remove the image of an imperialist America from the landscape of Iraq." - John Edwards

"I’ve called for a regional strategy and an international Contact Group repeatedly. So have three former Republican Secretaries of State – Shultz, Kissinger, and Powell. It’s what the Clinton Administration did in the Balkans. It’s what this Administration did in Afghanistan. Organized, sustained international engagement can make all the difference. But it will only happen if America leads." - Joe Biden

Clearly, only the Democrats are taking our security interests seriously. The Bush/Castle determination to "stay the course" is not a strategy for winning - but a strategy to stall defeat.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Markell's blog for Delaware

dana r. is an old buddy from our Howard Dean days so I'm glad to welcome her to the sandbox.


What is wrong with this announcement?

Monday, Sept. 18
Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, hosted by the Delaware Democratic Party, with U.S. Sen. Kenneth L. Salazar of Colorado as keynote speaker. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and program at 7 p.m. For tickets at $45, call Democratic headquarters at 328-9036

If you said that Ken Salazar is a DLC-ist scum sucking corporate toady who has pledged to support Joe Lieberman, you'd be correct.

Why the hell is a DLC Democrat the keynote speaker? The DLC is the thoroughly discredited organization that Russ Fiengold recently called out for the abject stupidity of it's strategy of hoping to win by being "a little different than Republicans".

"They (the DLC) are the ones that coalesced with the big corporations to pass unfair trade agreements that hurt America," Feingold said. "It was the DLC that came up with the health care plan with the Clintons that was so complicated nobody could understand it. It's the DLC that has cut off our ability to say things like, `Let's get out of Iraq because it's a bad idea.'"

Feingold said DLC consultants "instill fear in Democrats" by saying opposition to the war would be taken as not supporting the troops. "What I want is us to get the right answer whether it's liberal, conservative or middle of the road," Feingold said.

Luckily, in Delaware Democrats are beginning to realize that the DLC is full of shit.

The once the most approved of politician in Delaware, Tom Carper, is getting waxed for his DLC affiliation and Lieberman flirtations

His approval rating (according to SurveyUSA) has dropped below 62% for the first time EVER!!!

Of course, 59% is still popular, but a 3 percentage point drop this close to an election is not a happy event. if he drops 3% a month over the next three months Ting could have a shot.

The bottom line: Mr. Carper must now know that Democrats are paying attention to his Republican-loving ways.

Although Carper's spokesman, Bill Ghent, has indicated that Carper may support Lieberman - Carper as yet to speak directly on the subject. This poll and the number of Democrats who have taken the time to call his office make me optimistic that Carper is going to do the right thing and stay loyal to the Democratic party and the Delaware Democrats that have elected him, by offering his endorsement to Ned Lamont.

If he does that maybe we can consider that his first step on the road to rehabilitation. As for Salazar - I might decide to go take a smoke while he tells us how to lose in November by being more like Republicans....and I don't smoke.

I have multiple calls in to Carper's Bill Ghent and will report what I find out about the Senators current thinking with regard to the Ct. race.


"We may suck, but I'm telling you, they'll suck more"

I'm listening to Sean Hannity and it is cracking me up. He is essentially saying what Sporlitics found Ken Mehlman saying:

"We may suck, but I'm telling you, they'll suck more"

I know from experience that Dave at First State Politics is of this school of thought too.


Does Michael Newbold Castle Even know that we are at war in Iraq?

That is a serious question.

His campaign web-site the word Iraq appears ZERO times.

Check it out.

Since Bush says that we are going to be in Iraq until Jan 20th 2009 no matter what. Shouldn't our at large member of Congress to have some kind of position on the war?

To give you an idea of Castle's priorities - the word "contribute" appears 5 times.


"Religious Correctness" Overrules Common Sense in Indian River

Give me a "Christmas" Break...

Running a public school district is expensive and I have to figure that one of the bigger expenses is insurance. Instead of managing that expense for the benefit of all the students, teachers and parents, the IRSD has decided to make themselves virtually un-insurable by turning down an settlement with the Dobrich family brokered by their insurance company. In passing on the settlement the district decided to put "religious correctness" above common sense and good business practices.

In general terms, the settlement would have compelled the IRSD to stop its program of creating a hostile environment for non-Christian students and would have derailed the districts push to make Christianity the official religion of the IRSD. More specifically, the IRSD would have had to stop referring to the December holiday as a "Christmas Break" (gasp!) on its calendars and would have had to accept guidelines on prayers at graduations and other public events.

What I'd like to know is - When did the Christians in Sussex County get such flimsy faith? Why is their faith so threadbare that having prayers which acknowledge the fact that not everyone believes in Jesus is such an overwhelming concern? I think that the reality of the situation is that the people of IRSD have sturdier faith than that - BUT they have fallen into the thrall of some "religious correctness" pimps.

Like the Dover, PA school board before them, the IRSD may soon find that these religious correctness pimps (like "Stop the ACLU", Gerald Hocker and the other State Reps who endorsed Christianity as the IRSD's official religion) don't really have the best interests of the IRSD at heart. For that matter, they don't even have Christ's interests at heart. They are in it as a business, to mine this issue for votes and money, and the IRSD just became a motherload for them.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Dispatches From the Republican War on Reality

Feministing reports:

School nixes abstinence ed upon realizing 65 students are pregnant. I guess that would be a hint that your sex ed program is less than successful.

In Canton, Ohio, a school board decided to expand sex education to allow for discussion on contraception after realizing that 13 percent of one high school's female students were pregnant. Yeah.

There were 490 female students at Timken High School in 2005, and 65 were pregnant, WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported.
The new Canton school board program promotes abstinence but also will teach students who decide to have sex how to do so responsibly, bringing the city school district's health curriculum in line with national standards.


I mentioned this on Al's show this morning. When I talk about the GOP being the party of "magical thinking" and putting "wishes and prayers" over "results" I am not just talking about the war.

Every Republican policy championed by Bush, from economics to science policy to sex education is "faith based". The bottom line for Mike Castle and you Bush zombies: Republican style governing simply DOES NOT WORK.


Spivack Blasts Castle on Guard Take Over

Michael Newbold Castle voted to allow President Bush to take over the Delaware National Guard - then changed his mind about it. In today's JL Miller story in the NJ Dennis Spivack calls him out on the flip-flop.

"Governors from both parties adamantly oppose this, and still he sided with the president," Spivack said in a statement issued last week. "Now, after realizing how wrong he was, Mike is frantically backtracking."

Castle pulls the old "Awe shucks folks, I'm just an old doofus who will sign anything they shove on front of me" defense:

"The defense authorization bill is a huge bill which basically is a key bill for the troops, all efforts for the military, and virtually everybody votes for it," Castle said.

Well gosh! I guess this it is okay since "everybody votes for it".

When will Castle see that his style of rubber stamping the President's power grabs IS the problem ? How many wasted lives and how much wasted money is enough for Castle to take a stand. While I'm glad that he woke-up to the fact that his vote for this bill was a mistake, I'm not uplifted by his thinking (or rather his lack of thinking) behind his initial vote.

Note on the photo: That is actual photo the NJ ran with the story. I swear, I did not "photoshop" it or anything. Castle really looks this old, enfeebled and bewildered - which supports the "Awe shucks folks, I'm just an old doofus..." defense he is falling back on a lot lately.

The caption that the NJ ran under the photo in the print edition tells the whole story in eight words "Mike Castle voted to expand the President's powers."

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Me on WDEL

Not that it was hidden, but I just found this podcast file of my interview on WDEL after the Lamont win.


Notice how (simply by telling the truth) I open a can of whip-ass on Michael Newbold Castle.


Here is a sentence I never thought I'd type...

Go visit Politakid.

I gave his page on Delaware's Iraq war dead a brief mention on Friday - but if you glanced over the link and did not click through please do so now.

Given that this midterm election is a referendum on Bush, it is important to think about and honor the men that George Bush and Michael Castle regard as so much disposable human scenery. By ducking any discussion of the war that Michael Castle once referred to as a great "success" he is trying to duck is way to another term of useless impotence.

Not that Castle is alone in trying to shove the war under the rug. You may not have noticed, but as far as the whole right side of the Delawareblogosphere is concerned the war has simply gone away. With the exception of Politakid, the war is never mentioned on the right.

That is too bad for all of the patriotic and well meaning Lance Corporals and Sergeants who continue to be hung out to dry in this fiasco. Too bad for the country that we are letting the Castle's of the world get away with it.

UPDATE: We're fighting them over there they tell us.

"We sent our nation's finest young men and women over there, so we won't have to fight them over here. They promise us nothing will touch us. As if we can be insulated from war and everything that flows from it. As if our troops will come back undamaged and whole after their third, fourth, fifth deployments to hell and back.

They lied. The war has reached our shores.

Read about the breaking of Sgt. Shawn Gianforte here.


Bush Slips Up And Tells The Truth, Irony Ensues

"The first reaction, of course, of Hezbollah and its supporters is, declare victory. I guess I would have done the same thing if I were them." - George W. Bush Remarks to the Press August 18, 2006

Hmmmm....I seem to remember him declaring pretend victory once. That worked out great. Democracy, peace and prosperity gained a foothold in the Middle East as I recall.

Now I see why Michael Castle is such a huge fan. It is that deep strategic thinking.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


How in God's name can Michael Castle Support this shit?

Everyday I wake up hoping that Castle will turn out to be the moderate he claims to be.

...and everyday I am let down when Castle fails to speak out against shit like this email from Ken Mehlman:

Subject: Democrat Judge sides with the ACLU to weaken our security

Dear Patriot,
Yesterday, a Democrat-appointed judge in Detroit sided with the ACLU and ordered an immediate halt to the terrorist surveillance program. This decision is a reminder of what is at stake in 2006. Will we use every tool in our arsenal to respond to emerging threats, or embrace the Democrat-ACLU position that just made it harder for our intelligence agencies to detect terrorist plots inside the United States?

This is just f'ing nuts. Ignore the nonsense argument that illegal wire taps make us "safe". Think about what Mehlman is saying. He is saying our judical system is bullshit and that the executive should not be bound by any laws.

Here is the thing - as many people have pointed out - there is no such thing as a Democrat (sic) judge. Nor is there such a thing as a Republican judge. Judges are judges. If you don't like a judge's decision it is not OKAY to go around saying that they were not doing their duty. It is not okay to undermine our system of justice to prop up your party's failed leader. It is simply not OKAY.

What the hell does Mehlman think he is doing - and why is Castle sitting back and let him do it?

I know I go on about Castle, but he proves that he is a pathetic party-hack and a fraud every single day he is silent about this shit. If he thinks his silence is helping the country he needs to get fired.

Here is the bottom line: I know Spivack is a longshot - so Castle coming to his senses would be bad for Dennis Spivack, but good for the country. (Call me old fashioned but I still put the country ahead of my party.) To that end, can someone PLEASE prevail on Castle to remove his head from his ass ? (Delaware Bar Assoc. - I'm looking at you.)

UPDATE: Ron Williams reports on Castle's approaching freak out.

There may be a generally held belief that the campaign season around here doesn't begin until Labor Day, but no one has told that to the Republicans.

Mike Castle, for one, has the most extensive display of large, green "Castle for Congress" signs up and down the state's major highways. Just when you think Castle's sign engineers ran out of space, there's another one.

Someone said to watch Castle's pocketbook as a guide to how safe he is feeling. If that is a good measure, then this sign barrage is not a good sign if you happen to like Castle's useless, impotent style representation in Congress.


Pretend Bad Asses

I know this is a few days old and I don't know if this scum bag, Troy Gentry, is even a Republican but his lyrics seem to follow the "I'm an ignorant redneck and don't you tell me different" theme so popular these days.

Anyway, I know he something in common with Dick Cheney. They are both pretend bad asses.
Read this:

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Troy Lee Gentry, half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, has been charged with killing a tame bear and then making it look as if it was a hunting trophy, authorities said on Wednesday. (snip)

After using a bow and arrow to kill the animal inside its pen, Gentry and the owner of the preserve tagged the bear and registered it with the state as if it had been killed in the wild. A videotape was edited to make it appear that Gentry had hunted down the bear.

These sick freaks that get off on killing penned animals are just one type of pretend bad ass. The other type is the rich guys like George Allen who try to pass themselves off as redneck bad asses. Recently Sen. George Allen singled out the only non-white at a campaign event and said:

"Lets give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," - Crooks and Liars

This was not an isolated racists outburst for Allen who has pretended to be a confederate bad ass since his school days.

"The May 8, 2006[10] and the May 15, 2006[11] issues of The New Republic reported extensively on Allen's long association with the Confederate flag. The magazine reported that "[a]ccording to his colleagues, classmates, and published reports, Allen has either displayed the [Confederate] flag--on himself, his car, inside his home--or expressed his enthusiastic approval of the emblem from approximately 1967 to 2000." Allen wore a Confederate flag pin for his high school senior class photo. In high school, college, and law school, Allen adorned his vehicle with a Confederate flag. In college he displayed a Confederate flag in his room. He displayed a Confederate flag in his family's living room until 1992. In 1993, Allen's first statewide TV campaign ad for governor included a Confederate flag." - wikipedia

...and when I say PRETENDED, I mean pretended because Allen (unlike other confederate flag enthusiasts) traces no family connection to Dixie and never lived in the South until he transferred to the University of Virginia from UCLA as a sophomore in college.

h/t The News Blog

Friday, August 18, 2006


Around the Horn Friday

I can't get enough of these "Republicans Turn on Bush" stories. You guys seem to have much wider interests....

But first a question. Is Celia Cohen at Delawaregrapevine a blogger? Well, let's take a look see. Transparent bias?...Check. Funded by a shadowy group of millionaires?...Check. Interested more in character assassination than reporting?...Check. Yes. She is a blogger.

Dave at First State Politics switches to wordpress from blogger. No signs of switching from the party of fantasy and wishful thinking to the party of common sense and results.

Check out Politakid's page on Delaware's Iraq war dead. It is nice to know that as many Republicans decide to run away from any and all discussion of Bush's misbegotten war (Dave - Where is that Iraq post?) Politakid is remembering the Lance Corporals and Sergeants that are getting stabbed in the back by Bush and Castle.

Karmic Jay gets the money quote on Friedman's recent column:

Mr. Cheney, if we’re in a titanic struggle with Islamic fascists, why have you and President Bush resisted any serious effort to get Americans to conserve energy? Why do you refuse to push higher mileage standards for U.S. automakers or a gasoline tax that would curb our imports of oil? (snip... Why? Because it might impose pain on the oil companies and auto lobbies that fund the G.O.P., or require some sacrifice by Americans.

Nancy is keeping the heat on Carper with help from Frieda Berryhill.

Hube's coverage CHSD harassment religious intolerance case continues to impress: The settlement was based on a separate lawsuit brought BY the US DoJ's Civil Rights Division based on the [Muslim] family's complaint. This is a wholly separate legal case than the individual lawsuit brought by the family (the mother) that was reported on in the News Journal and NY Times. Hube regrets that the demands of the family include the district's guarantee that the family's daughters wouldn't face ridicule if they returned to the school. No doubt that is an impossible grantee for a district to make when you are talking about writing a policy to cover "student" behavior - but I think a guarantee of freedom from "staff" abuse is reasonable.

Donviti is taking a break. No new posts since Aug. 11th.

Dana is onto Greg Chambers. If you click through to the earlier Chambers story (and you are a Republican), please admit that you are thinking, "WTF?"

Tommywonk looks down the road "I would expect to continue to hear Republicans attack Democrats on terrorism, like this television ad with Hilary Clinton's face next to Osama bin Laden's. (The ad also misspells "fascists" as "facists." I'm not about to give someone a hard time for spelling...but Clinton and Osama? Does the RNC really want to remind everyone about Osama?

Mike M at Down With Absolutes is calling out R's for ducking debates. I'm down with that.


The debate debates

Mike M at Down with Absolutes lays the DE GOP's hypocrisy bare with this post about how St. Ferris is trying to get some mileage out of calling for a debate while other R's duck the debate question.

Now comes word that a Republican running for the 1st Senate District — Gregory Chambers — is steadfastly refusing to participate in debates against primary-opponent Tyler Nixon. Both Republicans, Nixon is seeking to engage Chambers in a hearty debate so that Republican voters in the 1st Senate District will be able to best decide who should represent them in the general election this November.

DWA neglects to mention that the mighty Michael Castle is also playing the Beau Biden card in his refusal to debate Dennis Spivack. Who would have ever thought that the "party of personal responsibility" would be so chicken when it came to standing up in front of actual voters.

On the other hand, If I had Michael Castle’s voting record - I'd try to stay under the radar as well.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Rebublicans defect. Michael Castle STILL loves Bush.

Check out the sea change currently taking hold in Republican thinking:

If you haven’t seen the video posted on Crooks & Liars yet you simply must watch it, because it says it all. It comes from MSNBC’s "Scarborough Country" and proceeds to lay Bush out flat. The title across the screen is: Is Bush an "Idiot"?

Mind you, Joe Scarborough was once a Republican member of Congress. He questions whether Bush is curious enough to be able to lead this country over the next two years. Lawrence O’Donnell said Bush looks overwhelmed with the job of being president. John Fund tried desperately to stick up for Bush, but even he seemed to only mount a half-hearted defense. O’Donnell thinks Bush’s troubles started with Katrina. I just think it was the tipping point. The real reason everyone is walking away from Bush and the Republican Party is Iraq.

It’s the number one topic on everyone’s mind. It’s impossible to shake; the never ending bad news inalterably fixed in our minds. But there’s something else, sort of a Joe Lieberman lesson waiting for George W. Bush in November. After all these months, even years, no one, absolutely no one has been held accountable for the incompetence, the abject failures and the stubborn "stay the course" mind set that has led to an unmitigated catastrophe: an Iraqi civil war. The other cost is that Iraq has put our military at grave risk. - Firedoglake


Castle has yet to reply to my many requests for clarification on his crazy-ass "we are safer now" pronouncments. I wonder when (if ever) Celia Cohen or Patrick Jackson will think to ask him about his ongoing man crush on Bush?


Republicans on warrentless wire taps

Common sense is breaking out all over. According to Crooks and Liars Republicans are beginning to see the light:

Jack Cafferty ripped into the Republican leadership today over the recent ruling that the NSA warrantless program is illegal. For all the wingers that say the NSA helped in the UK terror plot, they should turn to their good pal O’Reilly, who said that they got FISA warrants in that case which proves the point.

Cafferty: It’s not hypothetical. There are laws on the books against what the administration is doing. And it is about time somebody said it out loud. This federal district judge said today that President Bush is breaking the law–by spying on people in this country without a warrant… I hope it means the arrogant inner circle of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. may finally have to start answering to the people who own that address. That would be us–About how they conduct our country’s affairs.

For the local Republican reaction to the Bush Administration being criminals see First State Politics

Dave wants to take the high road but still holds onto the fantasy that illegial wire taps make us safer.

Tyler Nixon (who seems to have kept his wits about him throughout Bush-mania) calls it right: These people (Bush/Cheney et al.) have hijacked our party and are driving it like madmen to the brink of disaster as we speak, along with everything for which patriots past have laid down their lives.


Someone with more experience in this let me know one thing. Do defendants get a "heads-up" when a decision like this is about to be made public? In other words - Did Bush know about this wire tap decision at the same time that he pushed the Brits for maximum PR value instead of maximum security value over the (alleged) bomb plot?


Anonymous said...

Read this:

It will make you sick at how much Carper is supporting Leiberman - and how Leiberman is undermining the Dem's chances of taking back the Senate. Carper must like being in the minority.

Call Carper's office, and (nicely) ask that Carper endorse Lamont. Even if he doesn't stop, he needs to know that real Dems are watching.
(DE) (302)573-6291


Carper has yet to comment directly - but if he supports Lieberman and the argument that Lieberman should retain his seniority in the Senate, I'm ready to vote for Jan Ting. Beyond that, I'm ready to push the idea that Democrats should vote for Ting in protest over Carper's brazen back stabbing.


This is good blogging about a bad situation.

Delaware Democrat Chair John Daniello Should Meet Richard Korn

Yesterday morning WILM’s John Watson had the Delaware Democrat Chairperson John Daniello and the Republican Chairperson Terry Strine on his talk show. They were on the air for at least 1.5 hours. The overwhelming majority of the time they agreed with each other. In fact, their agreement was so pervasive that either one of them could have easily spoken authoritatively for the other. Both of them speaking created a redundancy.

Dana's post points out a big lingering problem with Democrats. When given the chance to rout Republicans and drive them off the field they don't take it. As it stands, Richard Korn will beat Brian Moore, but the election will be decided by 200 votes. We clearly can't coast over the finish line. We need to be on the attack in every race 24/7 from now until the election.

I hope Dana's post means that he is returning to the idea of fixing the Democratic party rather than working for the Republicans by way of the Green Party.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006



So far, no one has been charged in the alleged terror plot to blow up several airplanes across the Atlantic. No evidence has been produced supporting the contention that such a plot was indeed imminent. - Andrew Sullivan

It's increasingly likely that the whole British plot wasn't much more of a big deal than the idiotic nonsense in Florida awhile back. - Eschaton

I wonder if Michael Castle will take this opportunity to remind us that George Bush is great and we are "safer now" since the "Taliban no longer rules Afganhistan"?

Still no comment from his on that whether he stands by that statement by the way. I'll report what his office says when (if) they say something.


Dispatches From The Bush/Castle War on the Middle Class:

Mission "Foreclosure" Accomplished

Bargain-hunting bloggers are calling it the perfect storm: the combination of rising interest rates, variable-rate mortgages and a soft housing market is resulting in a wave of foreclosures that could turn tidal. Banks started foreclosing on 173,579 homes in the first quarter of 2006, about 5 percent more than in the same quarter last year, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. Delinquencies--which foreshadow foreclosures--were up 7 percent, with 1.6 million loans showing past due. Last week 570,000 houses were in a stage of foreclosure, according to research firm , which said its listings--which include categories bankers don't--have grown 39 percent in the last year.

- Newsweek.

If you are super liquid (like this guy) then - this could be a good thing. If you got an ARM - not so much.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Who should the Dems run for Governor?

Dave has this poll up.

Of all the Republicans mentioned for Governor in 2008, who is your favorite?
Charlie Copeland
Wayne Smith
John Still
Alan Levin
Debbie Hudson
Bill Lee


Anyway. I'm going to do a Democratic version and everybody know that this is Markell vs. Carney - but want to include your dream candidates. (Not to say that both Jack and John are not dream candidates, esp. when matched against the motley gang assembled above.)

Put your pick in the comments section and I'll put the poll up in a day or two.

And oh yeah. Freep the First State Politics poll.


Why many R's still have faith in Bush

I came across this passage in Haper's Magazine.

(Dr. Leon) Festinger explained that a committed believer, when faced with irrefutable evidence contradicting his belief - with what Festinger called a "disconfirmation" - would redouble rather htan diminish his efforts to defend his view. Stranger yet, the more harshly reality dealt with a belief, the more feverishly the believer would work to convert others.

The article was about "Peak Oil" and is a great read. I think this pasage goes a long way to explaining why otherwise sane people like Dave from First State Politics and Michael Castle would work so hard to defend Republicanism in general and George Bush in particular.


Democrats File in 425 Races: Only 10 R's Unopposed

The National GOP just got its ass handed to it in the first mid-term election competition: candidate recruitment.

Not only did Democrats break the record, Republicans laid an egg by putting up the second worst total for either party since 1994. The overall Democratic margin, 35 districts, is twice the size of the previous record. That record was set in 1994, when Republicans challenged 18 more districts than Democrats. - via Mydd

The credit for this should go to Democrats like Dennis Spivack who has the guts and the energy to take on people like the loathsome Michael Castle.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Call Castle's Office TODAY!!!

Michael Castle is currently enjoying his last week for summer recess. The Lamont vote has made him more aware than ever of "increasing unsettledness" and "unease" regarding our views on the Iraq war.

According the the Christian Science Monitor:

"Important congressional votes related to the war on terror await lawmakers upon their return from their August recess, and many - especially those dismayed by Senator Lieberman's defeat - are using this month to calibrate the intensity of public sentiment on the Iraq conflict.

Let's help Mr. Castle out in calibrating the intensity of our very public sentiment, shall we? Rattled by Lieberman's loss, it's quite possible Castle is ready to bail on Bush. Let him know that Delaware wants to get out of Iraq, and is in favor of a real security policy not more GOP public relations efforts.

Here are the numbers.

Wilmington Office
(302) 428-1902

Dover Office
(302) 736-1666

(302) 856-3334

Washington Office
(202) 225-4165

When you call, please be polite. The goal this time is 30 calls.

Email this link to any Delawarean you know who thinks Castle's rubber stamp votes to support the President are hurting the country.

Castle's Iraq votes:

Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq & for the President's free hand in any issue related to national security. Reference: Bill sponsored by Hastert,R-IL; Bill HJRes114 ; vote number 2002-455 on Oct 10, 2002 ; Result: Resolution Passed 296-133

Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & The War in Iraq Anniversary resolution. Bill H Res 557 ; vote number 2004-64 on Mar 17, 2004 ; Result: Bill Adopted 327-93: R 222-2; D 105-90

Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. Bill HRES 861 ; vote number 2006-288 on Jun 12, 2006 ; Result: Resolution Passed: 256-153


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