December 20, 2013
ENOUGH snooping. The onslaught of news stories about the National Security Agency's gathering of mass data on Americans' online habits and phone records reveals a startling erosion of privacy rights. But there is more. British and American spies have posed as fantasy characters in popular virtual games such as "World of Warcraft" and "Second Life," according to news reports. The agency claims it is collecting useful intelligence. Nonterrorist individuals supposedly have nothing to fear - nothing except a government that uses the guise of protecting public safety to justify Orwellian behavior.
December 2, 2013 |
What do Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Bill Clinton all have in common? They all supported the idea of national health coverage. In stepping back from the issues at hand with the Affordable Care Act, it's important to note how the idea of national health coverage has crossed party lines, from Republican to Democratic hands, and has been more than a hundred years in the making. Though Barack Obama is the first American president to succeed in passing a universal health-care plan, in his new book Mother of Invention (Oxford University Press, 336 pp., $55)
November 18, 2013 |
Right about now, foes of 2010's health-care reform are gleefully pointing to the law's rocky rollout as evidence for Ronald Reagan's famous declaration that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. " Even some Obamacare supporters worry it's a sign that government can't get things right. But before you fall for a notion that helps too many Americans gloss over the government's achievements - say, Social Security, Medicare, and the moon landings - you might want to consider the epiphany reported recently by University of Chicago economist Neale Mahoney.
November 10, 2013 |
Wall Street reacted positively to the Department of Labor's jobs report Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing at an all-time high. The report, showing an increase of 212,000 private-sector jobs, was better than expected given the federal government shutdown in October. "There was no impact from the shutdown," said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody's Analytics in West Chester. "I would have expected to see some of the shutdown's fingerprints on the report, and I didn't.
November 1, 2013 |
A BICYCLIST injured in an accident yesterday morning on Martin Luther King Drive got some help from a good Samaritan - Mayor Nutter. The accident happened about 9 a.m. near Sweetbriar Drive. Police said the 63-year-old man was biking in a crosswalk when he was struck by a Ford Focus, causing him to get hit by a second vehicle. Nutter's special assistant, Lauren Walker, drove past the accident and called to alert the mayor, who takes the route to work. When Nutter arrived on the scene, he said, the cyclist was lying in the road, bleeding.
October 21, 2013 |
Ben and Sharneka Hunter are a fast-food family. The Wilmington husband and wife work at Burger Kings in different cities - Ben, 43, in Wilmington, Sharneka, 30, in New Castle. Both earn hourly minimum-wage salaries of $7.25. And both need food stamps and Medicaid to augment their combined $17,000 yearly salary - $2,500 under the federal poverty line - so that they and their 9-year-old daughter can survive. "I don't think it's fair to be underpaid," Ben said. The Hunters' plight is shared nationwide, according to a report released last week by the University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.
October 17, 2013 |
If the U.S. government defaults on its debt, what will be the impact in the financial world, and what does it mean for the average citizen? The answer: There would be a lot of pain to go around. Perhaps most disturbing would be universal doubt about the creditworthiness of the United States. It would be an unprecedented shattering of the international image of the nation. Right behind that comes wave after wave of fiscal uncertainty. That doubt will roil the markets, but it goes beyond just bad times for investors.
October 16, 2013 |
A liberal group based in Harrisburg will fan out across the state and into the Philadelphia suburbs Tuesday to try to put pressure on Republicans in Congress toward ending the federal government shutdown. Michael Morrill, executive director of Keystone Progress, said hundreds of people will place "cease and desist" posters outside the district offices of House Republicans, placing the blame on them. The National Republican Congressional Committee has called the protest a partisan stunt that ignores efforts by Pennsylvania's GOP House members to end the impasse.
October 12, 2013 |
Former Gov. Tom Ridge, who understands Washington from the perspective of both a lawmaker and a presidential cabinet member, had harsh words Thursday about the government standoff. "I've gone from disappointment to disgust," Ridge said in an interview. Ridge served six terms in Congress, from 1983 to 1995, and it was a time, he recalled, when there was bipartisanship on any number of issues. He would go on to be elected to two terms as Pennsylvania governor before being picked by President George W. Bush as the nation's first secretary of homeland security.
October 11, 2013 |
Fear and frustration grew among furloughed federal workers in the Philadelphia region Wednesday, as dozens staged a noisy protest to demand that elected officials end the shutdown and put them back on the job. About 50 chanting and sign-waving employees from agencies including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency gathered in Center City outside the Wanamaker Building, which houses several government...