March 28, 2016
ISSUE | PUBLIC SERVANTS Eakin's example scares one straight My father always said, "Whatever you do, stay out of the courts and hospitals. " I once figured he meant not to get sick or in trouble. The older I get, the more I realize the second part meant not to deal with lawyers or judges. The Inquirer's reporting on former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin certainly confirms that. I am glad he resigned; I am sorry he faces a limited financial penalty ("Eakin to Keep Pension, Pay Fine," Friday)
March 19, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf is calling on the legislature to champion good government and curb the influence of special interests. At a news conference Thursday in Pittsburgh, Wolf said banning gifts, imposing limits on campaign contributions, and requiring public officials to disclose in more detail their outside income are among measures he believes would strengthen public trust in the government. "Pennsylvanians need to have confidence in the decisions made by their government - that those decisions are the product of a robust competition of ideas - not rewards to special interests with the deepest pockets," the governor said.
March 16, 2016
By Charles Lewis The United States has a noisy and utterly imperfect representational democracy, disorderly and dysfunctional in many ways. But as Founding Father James Madison famously observed, "A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. " Unfortunately, in terms of a national "right to know" law, it took 144 years for the American people to begin to arm themselves with palpable knowledge about their government.
March 9, 2016
By Neal McCluskey The cost of college is almost certainly too high, and a consequence of that is alarming student debt. Does that mean our goal should be to make college debt free? Depends how you do it. First, let's be clear: While the cost of college is probably much higher than it should be, and millions of people enter but never finish, a degree still tends to pay off handsomely, with the average graduate making far more over her lifetime - some estimate $1 million more - than someone who ended their education after high school.
February 20, 2016 |
Airline passengers' complaints to the federal government were up 29.8 percent last year compared with 2014 levels, according to the U.S. Transportation Department's Air Travel Consumer Report, released Thursday. During 2015, the department received 20,170 consumer complaints, up from 15,539 the year before. The bulk of the complaints, 6,433, were about flight cancellations, delays, and misconnections, while 3,133 were baggage problems, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics said.
February 9, 2016 |
Nicolai Gogol wrote The Government Inspector long ago (nearly two centuries) and far away (Tzarist Russia). He had decided, he wrote, "to hold everything up to ridicule at once. " Well, social satire doesn't travel well - especially not over time as well as space - so it is puzzling that Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium decided to present this labored farce now and here, especially when there is so much in contemporary society and government that begs to be satirized. The basic plot is that a small provincial town is thrown into a tizzy by a rumor that a government inspector is coming, indeed may have already have arrived in mufti.
February 7, 2016 |
John Yoo is a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a former Justice Department official. He is coeditor of "Liberty's Nemesis: The Unchecked Expansion of the State. " The Obama administration's ongoing scandals over immigration, health care, the Internal Revenue Service, and national security share a common denominator: the inexorable growth of government. If Americans are ever to restore accountability to Washington, they must fundamentally change their approach to the Constitution and executive power.
February 6, 2016
By Tom Taft Although it will come as a surprise to many, the NFL is a socialist institution. As the country prepares to watch Super Bowl 50, are there any lessons to be learned from its success? The NFL is essentially run by a central government that has the final word on everything. It's a government determined to compete effectively to maximize its share of available entertainment and advertising dollars, even at the expense of the performance of a given person or group within the system.
January 15, 2016
The year is 2016. The scene: a street in West Philadelphia. A local physician is in his car, stopped at a traffic light, when a man with a gun rushes out and begins firing at the car. Miraculously, the doctor is not killed, but he does suffer serious bullet wounds to his left arm and leg. The assailant runs down the street, then tackled by an alert town watch member, who manages to subdue him and call the police. Later, at a news conference, police officials identify the physician at a staff member at a local nonprofit clinic that performs abortions.