July 31, 2013
THE PASSING OF William Warren Scranton at age 96 on Sunday leaves me awash in memories and thoughts. I met him many times, the last maybe 15 years ago, and always was struck by his graciousness, other-directedness and, that last time, his elegance even in his 80s. I was in Scranton for lunch with his son, former Lt. Gov. William W. Scranton III, many years after I worked on the younger Scranton's 1986 campaign for governor. "Young Bill" and I emerged from a downtown restaurant and saw the former governor walking toward us. As he drew closer he said, "I saw you two and wondered, 'Who's that guy with John Baer?
July 9, 2013 |
Eulogies for William H. Gray III, the minister and former congressman who died last Monday, will pay tribute to his fight against apartheid, his rise to majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, his service as head of the United Negro College Fund. But in the Philadelphia political world, Gray may be best memorialized as the pillar of a group of independent black activists who emerged from outside the Democratic Party structure to gain unprecedented power and spawned a generation of political and civic leaders.
July 5, 2013
Emilio Colombo, 93, a stalwart Italian politician who held top government positions for nearly five decades and led his country as prime minister in the early 1970s, died June 24 in Rome. The Italian news agency ANSA reported his death but did not give a cause. He ranked among the most prominent leaders of the Christian Democrats, the party that dominated Italian politics for decades after the fall of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Dubbed the "lay cardinal" for his religious fervor and political savvy, Mr. Colombo was elected to Parliament in his 20s and reportedly was the last surviving member of the constituent assembly that abolished the Italian monarchy after World War II and reframed the nation as a constitutional republic.
June 7, 2013
By Terry Golway Here's something you need to remember about politicians: They think like, well, politicians. Which means that they are different from you and me. So when a sitting officeholder is called to the great Electoral College in the sky, it takes no more than a nanosecond for politicians to put aside their grief and begin plotting, scheming, and otherwise preparing for what comes next. It may sound callous, but that's how politicians think. Frankly, that's how they should think.
May 28, 2013 |
TOKYO - An outspoken Japanese politician apologized Monday for saying U.S. troops should patronize adult entertainment businesses as a way to reduce sex crimes, but defended another inflammatory remark about Japan's use of sex slaves before and during World War II. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, coleader of an emerging nationalist party, said his remarks two weeks ago rose from a "sense of crisis" about cases of sexual assaults by U.S. military personnel on...
May 21, 2013 |
We know American politics are dysfunctional. But after a week of scandal obsession during which the nation's capital and media virtually ignored the problems most voters care about - jobs, incomes, growth, opportunity, education - it's worth asking if there is something flawed about our democracy. Our circumstances have their own particular disabilities: a radicalization of conservative politics, over-the-top mistrust of President Obama on the right, high-tech gerrymandering in the House, and a Senate snarled by nonconstitutional supermajority requirements.
May 13, 2013 |
In September 1774, when America's First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, there were no "united states," just a collection of British colonies largely going their separate ways whose primary loyalty was to a distant British king. The brilliant, though occasionally cranky, Massachusetts delegate John Adams described the assembled delegates as a "gathering of strangers," complaining that "the art of address of Ambassadors from a dozen belligerent Powers of Europe . . . would not exceed the Specimens We have seen here.
May 10, 2013 |
WE'LL NEVER know what Juanita Bennett whispered to Barack Obama. It was during his 2008 campaign for the presidency. He was in Philadelphia for a TV appearance, and Juanita was doing his makeup. Juanita, whose makeup clients included a staggering list of eminent people in politics, entertainment and every other kind of field, all yearning to be beautiful, didn't just do makeup. She always had something to say, always of an encouraging nature. But what she confided to Obama is something she always kept to herself.
April 30, 2013 |
The policy mystery of our time is why politicians across much of the democratic world are so obsessed with deficits when their primary mission ought to be bringing down high and debilitating rates of unemployment. And since last week saw a cross-party celebration of the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library, I'd add a second mystery: Why is it that conservative Republicans who freely cut taxes while backing two wars in the Bush years started preaching fire on deficits only after a Democrat entered the White House?
April 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama joked Saturday about his plans for a radical second-term evolution from a "strapping young Muslim Socialist" to retiree golfer, all with a new hairstyle like first lady Michelle's. Obama used this year's annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner to poke fun at himself and some of his political adversaries, asking if it was still possible to be brought down a peg after 41/2 years as commander-in-chief. Entering to the rap track "All I Do Is Win" by DJ Khaled, Obama joked about how re-election would allow him to unleash a radical agenda.