July 11, 2013 |
CAIRO - Egypt's military-backed interim leader named a new prime minister and won $8 billion in promises of aid from wealthy Arab allies in the gulf on Tuesday in moves aimed at stabilizing a political transition less than a week after the army deposed the Islamist president. The armed forces warned political factions that "maneuvering" must not hold up its ambitious timetable for new elections next year. The sharp message underlined how strongly the military is shepherding the process, even as liberal reform movements that backed its removal of Mohammed Morsi complained that now they are not being consulted in decision-making.
July 8, 2013 |
Fed up with a lack of competition in "safe" legislative districts, California voters ditched the state's conventional primary system two years ago and implemented the "Top Two Open Primary. " The initiative was called Proposition 14, a concept I embraced on this page. Here's how it works: Candidates choose whether to associate themselves with a particular party or run unaffiliated. All candidates are then listed on the same ballot, and every voter, regardless of party affiliation (or lack thereof)
July 6, 2013
Struggling school was a lifesaver As Girard College addresses its financial problems, it's worth noting that the school has saved many lives ("Reprieve for Girard's Class of 2015," June 21). When I was growing up in North Philadelphia in the late '70s, the neighborhood had become increasing problematic. My uncle heard of Girard and recommended that my mother enroll me to get me out of the neighborhood. I entered Girard at 7 - young for second grade. Although it took me several years to figure out why my mother sent me away, I now realize her decision also saved my life.
July 6, 2013 |
CAIRO - Tahrir Square was largely empty Thursday. The smell of rotting garbage hung in the air. The crumpled banners, empty soda cans, and old corncobs of the Egyptians who had celebrated the ousting of their president lay smashed and strewn across the pavement. Those Egyptians who remained spoke of hopes for an "honest" president to replace the deposed Mohammed Morsi. They said they were optimistic that the military, bolstered by an uprising of millions, had given Egypt a new beginning - a chance to get the country's revolution right after 21/2 years of misfires.
July 3, 2013 |
THERE WAS a time when Democratic politicians in this town wouldn't order lunch without checking with Bill Gray. When the kingmakers and ward-heelers convened in back rooms to decide who would carry their banner in the next election, it was often Bill Gray who called the meeting to order, set the agenda and cast the deciding vote. From the late '70s until his sudden and shocking retirement from Congress in 1991, the city Democratic Party rarely ran a candidate for citywide office who had not passed Bill Gray's muster.
July 2, 2013
As the city kicks off its annual Independence Day celebration, it's important to remember that there is little freedom without participation. And freedom was threatened last year not only by voter-ID laws, which set up barriers to legitimate democratic participation, but also by confusion at the polls in Philadelphia, where thoughtful revolutionaries once gathered to write the Declaration of Independence. Seven months after the Nov. 6 election, three separate investigations - by Mayor Nutter, City Controller Alan Butkovitz, and the City Commissioners - have examined why more than 27,000 city voters had to use provisional paper ballots instead of voting machines.
June 27, 2013 |
BOSTON - Longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey defeated Republican political newcomer Gabriel Gomez in a special election Tuesday for the state's U.S. Senate seat long held by John Kerry, a race that failed to draw the attention that the state's 2010 special Senate election did. Markey, 66, won the early backing of Kerry and much of the state's Democratic political establishment, which was set on avoiding a repeat of the stunning loss it...
June 24, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - As the final week of legislative frenzy begins before Pennsylvania's June 30 budget deadline, there is little friction between Gov. Corbett and lawmakers over the proposed $28.4 billion spending plan itself. The governor's three major policy initiatives? That's a different story. Already, his fellow Republicans controlling the legislature have shown little inclination to give Corbett what he wants on his big three - privatizing the sale of liquor, cutting public employee pension costs, and creating new funding for road, bridge, and mass-transit projects.
June 21, 2013 |
MAYOR NUTTER'S "Election Day Fact-Finding Team" released its report yesterday on the Nov. 6 election, in which the city saw an unprecedented spike in the use of provisional ballots. City Managing Director Rich Negrin pointed the finger at poor management by the three city commissioners who run Philly's elections. "It's all about management," Negrin said. "It's clear from this report that we need to do a better job. " By the numbers, the findings were not substantially different than previous reports on the topic.
June 18, 2013 |
TEHRAN, Iran - The newly elected president showcased his reform-leaning image Monday by promising a "path of moderation" that includes greater openness on Tehran's nuclear program and overtures to Washington. He also made clear where he draws the line: No halt to uranium enrichment and no direct U.S. dialogue without a pledge to stay out of Iranian affairs. Hasan Rowhani's first post-victory news conference was a study in what may make his presidency tick. Rowhani may be hailed as a force for change, but he also appears to carry a deep and self-protective streak of pragmatism.