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.)
February 22, 2012
AND NOW a report from the "The Island of Misfit Toys. " It's at least possible that one broken mess in Harrisburg starts to get cleaned up this week. Possible, that is. This broken mess is the one around the Legislature's once-a-decade job of drawing new House and Senate maps to reflect population shifts after a census - a/k/a gerrymandering redux. The job should be finished by now, but you know how your Legislature operates. Its first attempt was rejected by the state Supreme Court as unconstitutional because the pols divided more municipalities, even political wards, than the court deemed necessary.
February 19, 2012 |
LONDON - When it comes to religion, British politicians tend to heed the advice of Tony Blair's spin doctor, Alastair Campbell: "We don't do God. " In contrast to the United States, the deity is rarely invoked on the campaign trail or in political speeches. But a Muslim cabinet minister has become the latest member of Prime Minister David Cameron's government to urge the country to embrace its Christian heritage. Sayeeda Warsi also said "militant" secularism posed a threat to Europe, a comment that has angered atheists and highlighted the divisive political potential of religion.
February 3, 2012 |
IT'S REPUBLICAN primary season so that means every day some musician is complaining that his/her/their song is being used without permission. A few days ago, the fellow who wrote "Eye of the Tiger" was upset that Newt Gingrich had appropriated his song (which may be replaced by Beck 's "Loser"). Now K'Naan is annoyed that Mitt Romney used his song "Wavin' Flag" during his Florida primary-victory speech. The Somali-born, Canadian-based rapper said in a statement that Romney's campaign hadn't sought approval to use the song and that he would not have granted permission if it had. He says he wants to make sure Romney does not use his song again and is seeking legal action.
January 30, 2012
WASHINGTON - Once a year, the people who run New Jersey take a walk to the nation's capital to hear the governor speak at a special congressional dinner. Or do they? At the annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce dinner in Washington, reality isn't always what it seems. Held Thursday and Friday for the 75th time, the annual event is the Garden State's version of the Pennsylvania Society gala in New York City, as politicians, lobbyists, business executives, union leaders, ntonprofit heads, and journalists schmooze, booze, deal, and wheel.
January 26, 2012 |
TRENTON - Two of New Jersey's most influential black leaders blasted Gov. Chris Christie yesterday for proposing that gay marriage be put to a popular vote in November, but the Republican governor insisted that he's offering a reasonable compromise amid his personal opposition to same-sex nuptials. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Newark Mayor Cory Booker said in separate forums that civil rights were guaranteed by the Constitution and don't belong on the ballot. Booker said that baseball great Jackie Robinson would not have had the opportunity to break the sport's color barrier had the matter been put to a vote and that the mayor himself would not have had the opportunity, years later, to be elected to lead New Jersey's largest city.
December 29, 2011 |
Most days, Jeff Nash, a lawyer and Camden County freeholder, wears a suit and tie. On Sunday, he'll dress as an octopus, with eight black tentacles stretching from his hooded sweatshirt and with his face and shoes painted gold. Nash, who is also vice chairman of the Delaware River Port Authority, is part of an intermittent Mummers comic brigade known as the Golden Schleppers. The group of South Jersey politicians, county, and municipal workers and their friends came together in 1990 but hasn't participated for 10 years since a key member died, Nash said.
December 28, 2011 |
TAKE ARLEN SPECTER . . . Please. Actually, the former longtime Republican - and ultimately Democratic - U.S. senator from Pennsylvania showed he has a knack for comedy last night at the Helium Comedy Club, on Sansom Street near 20th. Welcomed by a big round of applause, Specter, 81, took a crack at big-name politicians including Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and even embattled former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. Here's a sampling from his repertoire: * "Will Rogers said that when Congress tells a joke it becomes law and whenever Congress passes a law it turns out to be a joke.
December 27, 2011 |
What would M say about this? Daniel Craig , the sixth James Bond in the 007 film franchise, does not mince words about politicians in a new interview in the December-January issue of Men's Journal. He starts with former British prime minister Tony Blair - the man who would have been Bond's boss. Craig, now starring in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo , said politicians too often try to cozy up to celebrities, hoping to be seen as cool: "Tony Blair started it much more than anybody's ever done.
December 24, 2011 |
KINSHASA, Congo - Congo's opposition leader held a private ceremony inaugurating himself president Friday after police prevented him and his supporters from gathering publicly, a spokesman said, a move that comes three days after President Joseph Kabila was sworn in for a second term. Police fired tear gas at supporters of Etienne Tshisekedi as they tried to reach Kinshasa's Martyrs' Stadium. Police also gathered near the home of Tshisekedi, 79, prompting him to hold the ceremony Friday afternoon in the company of about a dozen colleagues, said party spokesman Jean Marie Vianey Kabukanyi.