September 11, 2012 |
When did fact checking get so sexy? I arrived home the other night to catch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert going on about the rising class of sharpshooters who aim to separate substance from spin. The factcheckstapo, Colbert called them, as he dismissed those who balked at a few things Paul Ryan told the GOP convention in Tampa. Stewart, for his part, accused the entire Fourth Estate of falling down on the essential job. "When did fact checking and journalism go their separate ways?"
August 23, 2012
EVER NOTICE how the shake-your-head kind of stories in politics tend to repeat themselves? For example: I bump into state Rep. Mark Cohen in the Capitol. I smile and ask, "How you enjoying being back in the news?" He doesn't seem all that happy to see me. "You started it, John," he says. Indeed I did. Back in 1990, I reported that the Philly Democratic state House member led all 253 lawmakers in expenses. He took more than $104,000 in a year and a half (including $11,000 for airline tickets to fly between Philly and Harrisburg)
July 12, 2012 |
U.S. TRANSPORTATION Secretary Ray LaHood blasted America's "unenlightened elected officials" on Wednesday while speaking in Philadelphia at the first international conference on high-speed rail to be held in the United States. Those elected officials, of course, did not include his boss, President Obama. "Common, ordinary citizens are enlightened about this issue," said LaHood, referencing polls that show a majority of Americans want bullet trains. "The bottom line really is this: High-speed rail and passenger rail and the kind of investment that needs to be made cannot be done unless there are people of vision" in government.
May 19, 2012 |
With warm weather bringing out swimsuits, it's time to think about fitness, and a return to the gym. So there I was at the gym, and there it was, up against the wall, a gleaming new machine I hit hard for half-an-hour. It had everything I wanted: Snickers, M&Ms, Three Musketeers, Babe Ruth, Butterfingers, Skittles, iced tea (uh-oh) ... Summer brings not only swimsuit (and Hawaiian shirt) weather, but also the Stu Bykofsky Candidates Comedy Night, steaming into its 22nd year in August.
April 26, 2012 |
DOVER, DEL. - A bill that would allow illegal immigrants in Delaware to pay in-state tuition at colleges and universities has failed to clear a Senate committee. The so-called DREAM Act, which stands for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, failed to win enough votes Wednesday to be released by the Senate Education Committee. The bill would have permitted undocumented students to pay tuition and fees at the in-state, resident rate at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical and Community College.
April 20, 2012
WHERE'S ALL our so-called minority leadership in the positions of authority in this city? I grew up in South Philly, my mother is black, and the one thing I'm proud to say is that we are represented in local and state government. That being said, where are the results? Why is this city no safer? Now, if we had a plethora of white faces in these same positions of authority, we'd be screaming that they "don't care" about the bad minority neighborhoods because they "can't relate. " Guess who else can't relate?
April 11, 2012
THE Daily News ' editorial, "Hush, Doctors: Gas industry gags physicians" is false and shows a lack of understanding by the Daily News and Sen. Leach of Act 13's disclosure provisions. Some due diligence would have revealed that Act 13 contains one of the nation's most forward-thinking disclosure requirements. Our law, which provides for disclosure through the publicly accessible online database known as FracFocus.org, was modeled after Colorado's new law. The Colorado law was embraced by a broad spectrum of environmental groups, such as the Environmental Defense Fund.
March 21, 2012
JOHN PERZEL was that rarest of Philly birds - an elected Republican with power. Today, he's expected to be sentenced to prison for abuse of that power. The 62-year-old Mayfair native was scheduled to be in a Dauphin County courtroom in Harrisburg this morning. He pleaded guilty in August to eight felony counts of conflict, conspiracy and theft. The plea came after he was charged with running a scheme to spend millions of tax dollars on computer technology to help GOP campaigns.
March 8, 2012 |
A WESTERN Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to cut state funding for the database used by gun dealers to check prospective buyers' criminal and mental-health records before selling them a firearm. State Rep. Tim Krieger, R-Greensburg, contends that the database, the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS), wastes money because such a check can be made in a federal database, the National Instant Check System (NICS). Legislation he introduced in January requiring dealers to make presale checks with NICS instead of PICS is under review in the state House Judiciary Committee.
March 6, 2012
THE WAR on women - especially over their contraceptive and reproductive rights - has entered a new, younger battleground, as witness the warped airwaves of Rush Limbaugh as he attacked a young law student for her stand on contraception. And now, an Indiana legislator has lowered the age of this war's targets even further to include girls. State Rep Bob Morris made headlines recently when he refused to join in a resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA. (The first Girl Scout meeting was held in Savannah, Ga., on March 12, 1912.)