June 7, 2013 |
Does Big Data threaten to play a Big Brother-like role in American electoral politics? Or are concerns about the micro-targeting of voters that arose during the 2012 campaign make a mountain out of a molehill - albeit a very busy and well-financed one? That was the stark range of opinion voiced Friday at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, where more than 30 data experts, scholars, and political operatives gathered to discuss the largely invisible ways Big Data tools are altering politics.
August 4, 2000
You do have to hand it to them. The chutzpah is breathtaking. Republican deliverers of The Message this week in Philadelphia have taken to weaving the phrase "the politics of personal destruction" into their patter. This, in their pitch, refers to the pugnacity of Al Gore, as typified by the Democrats' avid, immediate attacks on Dick Cheney's voting record. Rarely does hypocrisy reach such a distilled essence. Let's be clear about several things. Ad hominem venom is indeed a stubborn virus in our politics.
April 4, 2008
BLACKS ARE voting for Obama. Women for Clinton. Republicans would vote for a moose if it were a Republican. Does anyone vote with their heads? How stupid the public is. Take McCain. He plays on being a POW. That doesn't make him a hero. I was in Vietnam. I don't sit and preach about it. He wants us to stay in Iraq. Anyone who is still with Bush has to be an idiot. The talk-show guys are the best - what robots! Rich Colaianni, Blackwood, N.J.
January 26, 2000
Bowing to public outcry and the dictates of the state Constitution, Frank Serafini, convicted perjurer, will at long last resign from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. You'd like to think that makes the score: The People 1, Politics, 0. But he did hang around long enough to meet the Republican Party's tactical goal of delaying a special election until after the April 4 primary. So maybe the real score, sadly, remains: Politics 1, the Constitution 0.
October 3, 1987
Edgar C. Campbell, ward leader, clerk of Quarter Sessions Court and former city councilman who died Wednesday at 84, was known as the dean of black politics in Philadelphia. He was a soft-spoken man who lived and survived in the fickle world of politics in a career that spanned six decades by following a political philosophy that your word was your bond. He wore the mantle of dean easily and well. He was often sought out by party leaders and younger politicians of all races and ethnic origin who wanted his advice and support.
October 12, 2006
BARBRA STREISAND sang at the Wachovia Center the other night to a sellout crowd. Barbra also politicked, using an actor portraying the president, about her dislike for our president. She has the right to do that, but what strikes me is the fact that many, if not most, of our Hollywood types seem to think that, because they have our attention while on stage, that makes them smarter than the rest of us and gives them the mission of preaching their holier-than-thou politics to us. People spent a lot of money to attend Barbra's concert because Barbra is one of the finest singers on this earth.
June 10, 1991 |
In recent years many men have begun to realize that for them and their father's generation, the necessities of work and career and the rising divorce rate have eroded their relationship to family, community and the natural world. This frustration and alienation has led an increasing number of men to gather in a loosely organized men's movement. Most commentators don't seem to know how to react to this movement. The poet Robert Bly's best-selling book "Iron John" has encouraged thousands of men to venture into wilderness retreats to rediscover the mythic dimensions of masculinity.
September 23, 2008
WE NEED election reform, and we need it fast! Not tomorrow, not the next day, but right now. We need laws that have teeth. We want to know what you are going to do for us, not what the other guy did or didn't do. Talk about yourself, and your plans, not what your opponent does (or what you'd have us believe he or she did). Let him or her tell us what their plans are, not what you think they are. Tell us what your agenda is, and don't tell us what your opponent is going to do or not do. Anyone who talks trash about his or her opponent should be immediately banned from further campaigning.
July 27, 1993
So you're wondering, how can anybody argue for appointing judges when the mayor's wife - among a dozen politically connected lawyers and judges - is nominated for a seat on the federal court in Philadelphia? Fact is, the appointment of federal judges - while it often yields high- quality candidates (like corporate lawyer and, now, U.S. District Judge- nominee Marjorie O. Rendell) - is really a political selection process. A U.S. senator - in this case, Sen. Harris Wofford - names a committee to come up with names.
April 14, 1992 |
WOMEN IN POWER: THE SECRETS OF LEADERSHIP Nonfiction. By Dorothy W. Cantor and Toni Bernay with Jean Stoess Houghton Mifflin. $21.95 Women in Power, a revealing psychological portrait of how women have struggled to share the political spotlight in this country, could not have been written at a better time. Already, with Carol Moseley Braun's upset victory in last month's Democratic Senate primary in Illinois, 1992 is being proclaimed the Year of the Woman in national politics.