March 17, 2016
If Merrick Garland were a team in the NCAA basketball tournament, few if any office-pool brackets would have President Obama's Supreme Court nominee making it past the first round. The odds are against Garland's Senate confirmation, but not because he isn't qualified. In fact, less than a week before Obama's announcement Wednesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the longest-serving Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Garland "a fine man" for the court. Hatch further opined that Obama would nominate someone more liberal "because this appointment is about the election.
March 16, 2016
ISSUE | PATRONAGE Brady should heed the bar When it comes to determining who will become a local judge, U.S. Rep. Robert Brady has more power than anyone else in Philadelphia. How ironic that he is shifting blame to District Attorney Seth Williams for the Democratic Party's support of a judicial candidate, Scott DiClaudio, who was publicly disciplined for incompetent and unethical conduct as a criminal defense lawyer ("Judge receives a public rebuke," Thursday). The Philadelphia Bar Association has repeatedly requested that the Democratic Party endorse only judicial candidates who are "recommended" following its independent and thorough investigation process.
March 15, 2016 |
THIS YEAR'S Ides of March, a.k.a. this Tuesday, can send this year's crazy politics toward some striking history, including in Pennsylvania. It's that kind of season - for both parties. Let's start with the madcap GOP. If Donald Trump prevails in winner-take-all primaries in Florida and Ohio he'll likely have done to the Republican Party what the 44 B.C. Ides of March did to Julius Caesar. And about the only thing at that point the party can say is, "Et tu, Christie?" For if Trump takes a doubleheader, and especially if he also carries other states voting Tuesday where he holds leads (Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina)
March 9, 2016
It was William Bennett, education secretary in the Reagan years and the Republican Party's premier moralist, who embedded a phrase in the American consciousness when he bemoaned the fact that "our elites presided over an unprecedented coarsening of our culture. " Well, to borrow another famous phrase, it is Bennett's party and two of its presidential candidates in particular, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, who are merrily defining our politics, our discourse, and the American presidency down.
March 8, 2016 |
When Donald Trump retweeted a quotation attributed to him but actually uttered by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini - "It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep" - it was a victory for Gawker, which had set up the automated Twitter account to poke fun at the Republican front-runner. It was also perfect fodder for a new digital politics program at Rutgers-Camden, which melds political science with digital studies. "The digital is not incidental to the conversation; it is core to the conversation," said Jim Brown, the English professor who heads the Digital Studies Center at Rutgers-Camden.
March 3, 2016
ISSUE | PA. BUDGET STALEMATE Don't play politics with university students We, the student-body presidents of Pennsylvania's four state-related universities, have joined to voice the growing frustration and worries of 110,000 students. Because of gridlock in Harrisburg, Penn State, Temple, Pitt, and Lincoln University face the prospect of receiving zero dollars in state allocations this year - a $600 million shortfall ("Threat of layoffs at Penn State," Saturday). If action is not taken, tuition increases, staff layoffs, and program cuts will be needed.
March 1, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 Political revolt? A Signe Wilkinson cartoon showed Donald Trump being sworn in as president on his book The Art of the Deal with a quote from its pages: "I play to people's fantasies" (Friday). It might not be "people's fantasies" at work; it might be their frustration and anger with Washington. This campaign cycle is filled with the same rhetoric and the same promises of reform from the political establishment on both sides, except for two outsiders.
February 20, 2016
By Robert Maranto The key to understanding why Bernie Sanders has peaked in Iowa and New Hampshire - and will ultimately fall short - lies in an obscure, half-century-old scholarly work by an Israeli American political scientist with a Philadelphia connection. Back in 1966, Daniel Elazar, who divided his time between teaching at Temple University and at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, published American Federalism: A View From the States . Elazar argued that America has three regional political cultures: the moralistic political culture of upper New England and much of the West and Midwest, the individualistic political culture of the middle-Atlantic states and diverse big cities like Chicago, and the traditionalistic political culture of the South.
February 15, 2016 |
WASHINGTON - The death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday sparked an immediate partisan battle over whether President Obama should be allowed to nominate his successor, even as leaders mourned the passing. "Today our country lost an unwavering champion of a timeless document that unites each of us as Americans," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.). He also said in a statement that the Senate controlled by his party should wait to confirm a replacement. "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice.