July 5, 2016 |
In 2010, Kerri Kennedy was training women in Afghanistan to run for office when she noticed a stark statistic. That year, 28 percent of elected officials in Afghanistan were women, while in the United States, women held just 17 percent of such positions. A friend told her that while the work Kennedy did was commendable, she could have a bigger impact helping women in her own country get elected. "She said, 'You're not walking the talk,' " Kennedy recalled. Six years later, Kennedy is one of more than a dozen Philadelphia women who run Represent!
July 2, 2016
With prospective Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looking for a running mate, Gov. Christie's stingy school funding plan could give him street cred with fiscal conservatives. But it ignores New Jersey's court-ordered commitment to spend more to aid the state's neediest schools. In announcing his school funding plan, Christie said it made no sense to continue giving extra money to mostly urban school districts where "failure is the rule, not the exception. " He instead wants to give every district a flat rate of $6,599 per student and use the resulting savings to help largely suburban districts reduce property taxes.
June 29, 2016 |
In a brilliant and riveting Julius Caesar , the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival presents Shakespeare's depiction of the fear of impending political chaos. In this play - written in 1599, when Queen Elizabeth was nearing her end - we meet Caesar, as well as his rivals, conspirators, and common citizens, a virtual tableau of everyone touched by the struggle for power. Actually, Caesar appears in only three scenes (though he hangs on as a ghost). Keith Hamilton Cobb captures his imperious hauteur.
June 28, 2016
ISSUE | IMMIGRATION A political mess The Supreme Court, in a 4-4 vote, has allowed to stand a lower-court ruling that voids President Obama's executive order on immigration (" Supreme Court defeat for Obama ," Friday). Instead of shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and making then eligible for work permits, the ruling ensures that the immigration situation remains in turmoil and limbo. Never has the hubris of the Republican Party's obstructionist agenda to block Obama's governance been more transparent.
June 28, 2016 |
AS HARRISBURG moves toward a new state budget, let's take a look at the short- and long-term politics involved. You might want to sit down. This gets dizzying. First, the budget's getting done more or less on schedule without any big-time personal taxes and amid a new cordiality under Harrisburg's Big Top. I sense you have questions: Didn't the last budget take for-freaking-ever because our Democratic governor and Republican Legislature are ideological opposites, and isn't that still the case?
June 27, 2016
Jennifer Rubin writes the "Right Turn" blog for the Washington Post The stunning United Kingdom referendum vote to exit the European Union was in many ways a long time coming. Tories for years bemoaned the heavy hand of EU regulators and diminished British sovereignty. On one level, it was part of a long history of British antipathy toward the continent. But Brexit also tells us something about our own politics. It surely debunks the notion that our current turmoil is unique to the United States or can be attributed to one political charlatan.
June 22, 2016
A political crisis is usually preceded by an intellectual and moral crisis. Dominant ideas that once seemed to hang together lose their hold when they are exposed as contradictory and incoherent. Similarly, moral claims made on behalf of a worldview can, gradually or suddenly, come to be seen as empty. Demoralization comes before defeat. This is what happened in the Soviet Union. A corrupt and dictatorial system fell for many reasons, but its demise became inevitable when even those with an interest in mouthing the old slogans and defending the old ideology came to realize that almost everyone around them thought they were extolling bunk.
June 21, 2016 |
How much money do public companies spend on politicians, and what do they disclose? An index offers a peek at the juicy details. For the first time, the 2015 CPA-Zicklin Index gives a breakdown of every company in the S&P 500: which policies each company maintains on political contributions; if the company even has a policy; and links to how much moolah it donates. The index, started in 2009, shows the largest publicly held U.S. companies' political activity in a high-spending era marked by an unprecedented flood of dark money, said Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability in Washington, which partnered with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to create CPA-Zicklin.
June 20, 2016 |
The day after Philadelphia became the first big U.S. city to tax soda by the ounce, Mayor Kenney got powdered up for a CNN interview as the phones in his office kept ringing. Other cities wanted to know how he'd done it. National headlines said, "Philadelphia passes soda tax after mayor rewrites playbook. " Ed Rendell's brother, a lawyer, texted from Texas: "Congrats on the soda tax. " Former Gov. Rendell gushed Friday: "This is a big win for Jim Kenney. Being the first major city in the country to do this is significant, and he did it for the right reason.
June 18, 2016 |
Call it a coincidence. Gov. Wolf, who supports merit selection for Pennsylvania's statewide appellate courts, nominated Superior Court Judge Sallie Updyke Mundy, a Republican, to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court on Monday. That will likely generate political goodwill for the Democratic governor as he closes in on a state budget with the Republican-controlled legislature. But Wolf appears to have ignored a list of judges, screened by his own blue-ribbon panel and ranked by merit, in making the nomination.