February 25, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - A Centre County judge tapped by Gov. Wolf to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy is withdrawing his nomination after coming under fire last week for an e-mail that some claimed was racially insensitive. Judge Thomas K. Kistler, the president judge in Centre County since 2012, confirmed Monday he is removing his name from consideration. In a statement, Kistler made no mention of the e-mail or the furor surrounding it. Instead, he said that "several circumstances have developed here, at home, in Centre County, which have dramatically altered the legal system and require my full attention.
February 23, 2015 |
All the potential candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination are on record favoring the traditional definition of marriage: one man, one woman. So far, though, most are not talking much about it. Same-sex marriage has become a much more complicated issue for Republicans since 2004, when master strategist Karl Rove helped put gay-marriage bans on the ballot in key states to boost the party's base turnout and help reelect President George W. Bush. Voters, including many Republicans, have become more open to allowing gay men and lesbians to wed, and the right is now recognized in 36 states.
February 22, 2015 |
The fate of a Centre County Court judge whom Gov. Wolf nominated for Pennsylvania's highest court was unsettled Friday as legislators and others questioned whether an e-mail he sent was racially insensitive. Wolf told The Inquirer that he had not seen the e-mail forwarded by Judge Thomas K. Kistler. "We're looking into it, and I'll be making a decision once I'm confident that I know all the facts," Wolf said in Washington, where he was attending a governors' conference. At the same time, questions also emerged about a harassment complaint once filed against Wolf's other nominee for the high court, Ken Gormley, a dean at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.
February 6, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - When he started working on defense issues, Ashton Carter said Wednesday, there was just one big worry: the Cold War and its threat of nuclear disaster. "Those were the good old days," said Sen. James M. Inhofe (R., Okla.). Now, as Carter stands poised to become the civilian head of the U.S. military, the Abington High School graduate faces a much more complex tangle. "We are in a time where the number and severity of risks is not something I've seen before in my life," Carter said during the first hearing on his nomination to become secretary of defense.
February 5, 2015 |
SO, A COUPLE of Academy Award nominees are teaming up to do Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard. " Big deal, right? You can't swing a rolled-up Playbill in New York's theater district without hitting some big-time movie or TV star taking a huge pay cut to hit the boards. (Paging Bradley "Elephant Man" Cooper!) But when David Strathairn (nominated for "Good Night, and Good Luck") and Mary McDonnell ("Dances With Wolves," "Passion Fish") hit the stage Feb. 11, they will be, according to Mapquest, exactly 114.72 miles southwest of Times Square, at People's Light & Theatre Company, in Malvern.
January 28, 2015 |
The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee put off a planned vote Monday on Gov. Christie's nomination of Robert Barr to the Pinelands Commission, a decision hailed by opponents of a controversial gas pipeline proposal. State Sen. Kip Bateman (R., Somerset), a committee member, said afterward it appeared the vote was not held because there was not enough support for Barr to win approval. He said he thinks the governor is trying to stack the commission to enable the pipeline. In a related development, the chairman of the Pinelands Commission said he would seek to tighten its regulations to make it difficult for utilities to win waivers for nonconforming projects such as a pipeline.
December 13, 2014 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie's pick to head the state Education Department won unanimous approval Thursday from a Senate panel, even as one conservative lawmaker and members of the public expressed unease with his embrace of the divisive Common Core State Standards. David C. Hespe, who was education commissioner under Gov. Christie Whitman, has served as acting head of the department since March, following the resignation of Chris Cerf. He was chief of staff in the department during Christie's first term and returned to the administration after a stint as president of Burlington County College.
December 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - He walked into a room named for Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, just behind President Obama and Vice President Biden, as members of the president's inner circle and national defense elites stood and applauded. Ashton Carter, born in Philadelphia and raised in Abington, had a bright moment in the spotlight Friday morning as he was nominated to become secretary of defense, which would put him in charge of the world's most powerful military and a host of vexing challenges.
December 7, 2014 |
This year's twist in the Grammy nominations was to roll out the announcements little by little, all day Friday. The first of the major noms, announced by Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams on CBS This Morning , was record of the year. The last ones, for album of the year, were revealed on A Very Grammy Christmas Special Friday night on CBS. Nominated for album of the year are Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour , Beyonce's self-titled release, and Williams' G I R L , along with Beck's Morning Phase and Ed Sheeran's X . And the nominees for record of the year are: Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX, "Fancy"; Sia, "Chandelier"; Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"; Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass;" and Smith, "Stay With Me. " The song of the year slate was nearly identical, with the tracks by Sia, Trainor, Swift, and Smith, plus the intriguing "Take Me to Church," by Hozier.
September 17, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The civil rights lawyer whose path to a prominent post in the Obama administration was blocked by connections to the Mumia Abu-Jamal case has withdrawn as a nominee and joined a high-profile law firm. Debo Adegbile, whose nomination to lead the Justice Department's civil rights division was derailed in March by a charged Senate vote, has joined Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr L.L.P. as a partner, the firm announced Monday. In an interview, Adegbile defended his work on Abu-Jamal's case, which drew a chorus of criticism led by Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.)