All posts by MariaEvans

Doubting Robert

37th District candidate Rob Robinson was on WGMD yesterday afternoon and I took the time to tune in a check it out. Bill Colley came right out of the gate with questions about the candidate's relationship to "Working Families For Delaware's Future." a group that was canvassing the 37th with "hit" literature about Robinson's opponent, Ruth Briggs King. Robinson indicated he had a "disclaimer" on his website, asking the group to basically lay off. It wasn't the first time questions were asked about the candidate's relationship to the group, there had been a flyer circulated, and stories floating around. He said his campaign tried to contact the group but they were unsuccessful. A "listener" sent in an e-mail. It took the listener "30 seconds" to find the group's contact number with an Internet search, it was the third listing. The listing is for the canvassing job on craigslist, Read more

House Education and Labor Committee Calls For Investigation Of President’s Speech To Students

Yeah, you heard me, the year was 1991: Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush's appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech. "The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC," Ford began. "As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event." Meanwhile Democratic Leadership was quick Read more

Obama Grabs More Power And A Lebanese Man

The White House is appointing itself "The Interrogation Czar" in yet another move that makes me wonder if Congress is ever going to step in and do some of the stuff we elected them to do: President Barack Obama has approved creation of a new, special terrorism-era interrogation unit to be supervised by the White House, a top aide said Monday, further distancing his administration from President George W. Bush's detainee policies. The administration has also decided that all U.S. interrogators will follow the rules for detainees laid out by the Army Field Manual, according to senior administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision. That decision aims to end years of fierce debate over how rough U.S. personnel can get with terror suspects in custody. President Barack Obama has approved the creation of a new interrogation Read more

Senator Carper’s “Video Chat”

From the event’s host, The News Journal:
Join a Web video chat with Sen. Tom Carper on the plan to reform health care live at 5 p.m. today on DelawareOnline.com. You can be a part of the discussion by posting your comments and questions.
Will this be the new forum for health care discussions across the country so our elected officials won’t have to face their constituents?

UPDATED: OBAMA’S ASTROTURF

Yes, "astroturf" has finally been located at a town hall meeting about health care. I'm going to give you the Cliff's Notes version, and urge you to read the original blog post by Matt Bramandi at LoneStarTimes.com with a big ole HAT TIP to him for knowing when to use Google. Here's apparently how it went down: At the Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee health care town hall meeting where this happened: During a question from Tracy Miller, self-identified as both a constituent and a cancer survivor, Rep. Jackson Lee picked up her cell phone from the podium and took a call. The entire room was abuzz, with both those for and against recognizing the rudeness of such behavior. It didn’t faze Rep. Jackson Lee at all, she continued talking and finished her conversation. (*cough cough* Reps. Pelosi and Hoyer? is that an "un-American" etiquette faux pas, too?) Rep. Lee takes a question, Read more

Part IV: “Silent No More” Rally The (Dearth of) Elected Officials

Let's just get to the point. Politicians were scarce yesterday. One lone elected official, State Senator, Colin Bonnini, showed up at the event. Not only did he show up, he gave a speech about fiscal responsibility (yeah, I know, it's not Obama's birth certificate, but it can be scandalous especially when you're talking about Delaware), and the crowd absolutely loved it. Both before and after he was on the stage Senator Bonini was surrounded by concerned citizens. And it was marvelously civil, and the people asking him questions carefully absorbed his answers and thanked him. Senator Bonini mentioned that another state senator really wanted to be there but couldn't. I would let you know who it was, but the name totally escapes me. See what happens when you just send your regards and don't show up? There was also a former State Representative there to check out the Read more

Part III: “Silent No More Rally” The Videos

I walked around the Silent No More Rally in Dover yesterday and talked to most of the people who were involved in putting together the event and the organizations who had tables at the event, and one guy with a good hat. I guess I should mention that I was there from about 12:30 until well after 5:00 and I didn't see one bus pull in to drop off protesters. No air conditioned tour buses with people from Montana, nothing. And, for the record, I know exactly what people bussed in to attend rallies look like, I was at two of the three public hearings on casino gambling. So here's a little video of some of the key players behind yesterday's "Silent No More" rally. It's all very simple, I asked them for their names, the name of their organization, how their organization was funded, and their raison d'etre. (OK, so French doesn't seem appropriate here, but I'm using it Read more

“Silent No More” Rally in Dover Today

I went to the "Silent No More" rally in Dover today pretty much to satisfy my own curiosity about who was attending this stuff I'm hearing so much about on TV. You know, were they "grassroots" or "astroturf"? I'm going to do this in a few parts, starting with the signs. I tried to get pics of as many signs as possible. That wasn't my original intent, but about a half hour into the rally I saw someone from Dover's local corral of journalists checking out people's signs and letting them pass by...then one woman cruised through with a sign he found, I guess, "extra interesting," posed her in front of some big "Don't Tread On Me" flags, and took her pic. The perfect scenario. Anyway, that made me decide to try to take pics of as many signs as possible, without the "artistic flair", and leaving out the people behind the signs so I don't have to live with the guilt of them someday Read more

House Republican Leaders Set The Record Straight

Representatives Cathcart and Short swing back: Rep. Schwartzkopf took unjustified jab at House Republicans Dick Cathcart and Dan Short Recently, State House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf wrote a column in which he used one arm to pat House Democrats on the back while using the other to take an undeserved swipe at House Republicans. We take issue with what he said, but more so with what he omitted. For instance, the column credited House Democrats for enacting legislation that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation. Conveniently forgotten was that similar legislation cleared the House during the 141st, 142nd and 143rd General Assembly sessions. On all three occasions, the House was controlled by Republicans and the legislation was blocked in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Another accomplishment attributed to House Democrats was the enactment of House Bill 1, Read more

“INDECENT”

The Lubna-Ahmed al-Hussein trial in the Sudan will resume on September 7th. Who is this woman and what did she do that has her facing 40 lashes for "indecency" in the Sudan? She wore pants in public: Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who waived the immunity she has as an employee of the United Nations Mission in Sudan, will be sentenced Tuesday. She has been charged with violating Article 152 of Sudanese law, which metes out a punishment of 40 lashes for those who commit “an indecent act which violates public morality or wears indecent clothing.” Hussein was one of a group of 13 women arrested July 3 for wearing trousers in public in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. Ten of the women agreed to receive 10 lashes as punishment, but Hussein took her case to trial instead, according to the AFP reports. The hearing today was adjourned as protesters, including some women in...gasp...pants, were Read more

Harry Reid’s Selective Memory Kicks In

According to a report in The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is blaming the media for setting the August deadline to pass healthcare legislation: Reid said reporters created a fictitious deadline of a successful vote by the August recess, and downplayed the fact that the chamber won’t meet that mark. “That is a deadline that you created,” Reid told a group of about 75 reporters. “It’s not like we don’t have a product. Significant progress has been made … The mere fact that this wasn't done by last Friday or by five o’clock doesn't mean we’re not going to get a quality product." So, I've gotta ask, where was Senator Reid when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, was sure she'd meet Obama's deadline in an article from this past May: Speaker Nancy Pelosi told President Obama today that the Democratic-led House will have a health care bill on the floor before Read more

Back When…

…I worked for Judge Bill Lee’s gubernatorial campaign last summer, I was fortunate enough to get a chance to check out this company. I spoke about the company frequently when I was at DelawareTalkRadio.com because they invented a vending machine that makes hot, fresh, french fries, and they wanted to open up a manufacturing facility in Western Sussex. It was clear they had the support of the local politicians like Rep. Biff Lee, who gave us the “heads-up” about them, but they couldn’t get to square one with the Delaware Economic Development Office. Thankfully, it looks like that’s changed.

READ THE BILL

Rep. John Conyers finally admitted what we already knew, that our elected officials on Capital Hill don't read those pesky pieces of paper that turn into laws and taxes and even wars because it's just too darn hard: “I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Conyers. “What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?” I say enough is enough, you people (yes, I said, "you people" and I mean it) wanted to be in Congress and the Senate, well, it's time for you to know what you're voting on. It's time that you start doing your homework instead of having lackeys and lobbyists do it for you.... That's why I'm proposing that all Representatives and Senators attend a mandatory, Study Hall from 9am to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so they Read more

Polly Wanna Participate Now?

The Sussex Countian is reporting that Polly Adams has decided to participate in the Sussex League of Women Voter's forum on July 30th at the County Council Chambers on the circle in Georgetown: Democratic State Senate candidate Polly Adams Mervine confirmed on Monday that she will take part in a Thursday candidate’s forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters.... “Thursday will be a very tough day. Dad was the rock of our family and the fair was a big part of his life,” Mervine said. “But so was serving the people of the 19th District and I think he’d want me at this forum explaining how I plan to carry on that commitment to service.” I guess her Dad wouldn't have wanted her at the Crossroads Community Church forum in her hometown of Bridgeville in between Bridgeville and Georgetown. Meanwhile another blog is reporting that Sweet Polly Purebred had a little...um...issue...at Read more

Secretary of State Clinton Gets Another Ouchie

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to India to perform an act of contrition on behalf of United States for our Global Warming sins and to ask India not to do the same thing: "We acknowledge now with President Obama that we have made mistakes in the United States, and we along with other developed countries have contributed most significantly to the problem that we face with climate change," she said. "We are hoping a great country like India will not make the same mistakes." India, in response, basically told Clinton to stick it her personal methane exit ramp: “There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have been among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions,” Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister told Mrs Clinton. “And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries Read more

UPDATE: Polly Ever Wanna Face The Voters?

It appears that the plot may be thickening when it comes to the alleged candidacy of Polly Adams Mervine Polly Mervine Adams. When we last left the alleged candidate, she apparently tried to get Senator Bob Venables to stand in for her at tonight's forum at Crossroads Community Church in her hometown of Bridgeville, got shot down, and was planning on showing up just to make an opening statement, then bailing before she actually had to answer any questions so she could go to what is looking like a fundraiser. Meanwhile, the rumors are still a-swirling that Ms. Adams' campaign isn't responding to outreach attempts from a certain talk radio station that has a heck of a lot of listeners in the 19th. And to top all of that off with a tiara, I have learned that as of right now, there is only one other live debate/forum between tonight and the special election in the works, and Read more

Polly Wanna Stand-in?

I've heard from multiple sources that Polly Adams Mervine, a faux painter (that's someone who paints stuff with sponges or stencils) who's vying for her deceased father's state senate seat on a platform of blatant nepotism, wanted to have Senator Bob Venables stand in for her at a debate in her hometown of Bridgeville. Yeah, you read that right, Senator Bob Venables. What better way to prove you're ready to step in as a state senator during precarious times then having another state senator answer questions for you in a debate. But alas, my sources tell me that the venue, Crossroads Community Church, rejected the stand-in idea so Mervine will be bailing on the debate part of tomorrow night's debate. Don't get me wrong, apparently Mervine is going to be there, she's just not going to answer any questions. Instead, she's showing up to give an opening statement, giving her best Read more

The UK Outsources Its Green Economy While Promising Green Jobs

Check this out, Britain is going to build more wind farms, they're just not going to do it with turbines made there: One of Britain’s biggest employers in the green energy industry is to cease production within hours of a government announcement today pledging as many as 400,000 green jobs by 2015. Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, will claim that Britain will become a world leader in low-carbon technology and manufacturing. He will argue that raising household energy bills to pay for investment in wind, solar and tidal power is justified not only by the dangers of global warming but also the opportunity to build a new “green economy”. However, tomorrow morning the Vestas factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, Britain’s only significant manufacturer of wind turbines, will produce its last batch of seven-tonne blades. More than 600 people employed at the Read more

The Bold And The Milton Police Chief

The Milton Town Council packed it in today for a "public" hearing over whether or not their police chief will keep his job. I sat in on a bit of the hearing today because let's face it, I love a good Milton drama. Incidentally, the "public" was prohibited from speaking during the hearing. Here are some of the interesting tidbits: One of the accusations against Chief Phillips is: Carrying an unauthorized weapon, not issued by the Milton Police Department... Apparently The Chief was sporting a "silver handgun" instead of a MPD issued weapon. Now, it may be perfectly usual for law enforcement officers to carry their own super cool gun on duty, but I couldn't seem to get this image of Dirty Harry out of my head all day: Then there was this taser accusation that sounded pretty scandalous... Failure to file a Use of Force report following the use of a Taser. ...until Read more

Memories…

Remember back when presidential candidate Barack Obama said this: When there are meetings between lobbyists and a government agency, we won't be going to the Supreme Court to keep it secret like Dick Cheney and his energy task force, we'll be putting them up on the Internet for every American to watch. Well, apparently that's out the proverbial window. The White House is keeping information about Obama's meetings with coal executives and lobbyists a secret: CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request [PDF] to the Secret Service on May 15, requesting “all records relating to any visit” made to the White House by the CEOs of 16 major coal companies and lobby groups. In their response to the request [PDF], the Secret Service claimed that the logs qualify as presidential and vice-presidential records and thus aren’t covered by FOIA—and could also be protected Read more

Hooray For Open Government!

resolutedetermination over at Resolute Determination has this inspiring report up:
I just called the Division of Research at Legislative Hall to get my hands on a copy of the budget. I was told that the public has no right to review the budget until after the General Assembly passes the bill.
So how can any Delawarean make suggestions about what should be cut from the budget if we can’t see the budget? Get it, noman?