April 24, 2015
THE WASHINGTON Post yesterday offered two items - one on trust in government and one on how much lobbyists spend - that just might be connected. The first item comes from a Pew Research Center study showing just 23 percent of Americans trust the federal government to do the right thing "at least most of the time. " The second item compares government spending on congressional staff to private-sector spending on lobbying Congress. The latter is greater than the former.
February 12, 2015
DOES IT MATTER if Brian Williams ever returns to his anchor chair? Not to me. I'm not among the 26 percent of Americans watching network news daily. But his story is important - for what it tells us about ourselves, for what it means to journalism. On one level it's familiar: a person in a powerful position pulled down by his own faults; a case of obvious intelligence overridden by judgment gone AWOL. We see such stories regularly. It's just that this one involves someone at the pinnacle of a profession who's supposed to seek the truth yet, sadly, seems to have trouble knowing it when he sees it. The "NBC Nightly News" boss, who early in his career (1986-87)
February 1, 2015 |
Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord will plead guilty to federal charges that he used his office to strong-arm political contributors during his failed gubernatorial bid last year, his lawyers said Friday. McCord, in a video statement, apologized for what he called a mistake, saying he "stepped over the line" in dealing with two potential donors in spring 2014. "I essentially said the potential contributors should not risk making an enemy of the state treasurer," he said.
December 24, 2014
ISSUE | KANE MUTINY Party's voice can make a difference I agree with Congressman Robert Brady's criticism of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane for her handling of the bribery probe of state lawmakers from Philadelphia ("Brady calls Kane 'asleep at the switch,' " Dec. 18). There is something particularly unsavory about elected officials being recorded receiving envelopes stuffed with cash and other gifts - officials who then claim they thought they were simply birthday gifts or that they have no recollection.
July 11, 2013
THERE IS an unofficial rule in journalism that three makes a trend, which means that Mark Sanford (disgraced former governor, now a South Carolina congressman), Anthony Weiner (disgraced former congressman, now running for New York City mayor) and now Eliot Spitzer (disgraced former governor, now running for New York City comptroller) have made 2013 the year of the quick-return-to-politics-after-a-sex-scandal-that-was-supposed-to-end-your-career. Whether this phenomenon is new or not, we find it worrisome and a little sad. It's not that we think that sex scandals should disqualify a person from holding public office.
July 8, 2013 |
In light of Edward Snowden's recent National Security Agency tell-all, pundits and politicians have been debating one question: Which should carry more weight: Individual privacy or collective security? Unfortunately, that hypothetical question can't be definitively answered. There is a question, however, that hasn't been asked enough, and it's the one that matters most: Who gave the senior leaders of the United States the authority, with neither the knowledge nor concurrence of the American people, to secretly intrude deep into the private lives of our citizens?
March 16, 2013
Former Philadelphia Police Inspector Daniel Castro cried, begged, and vowed he was a changed man at his resentencing on extortion charges Friday, but in the end got the same punishment: Five years in prison. After a nearly two-hour hearing, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III said he saw no reason to change the sentence he meted out in October 2011. Castro won a bid for resentencing after an appeals court last year overturned his jury conviction on the separate count of lying to federal investigators.
February 6, 2013
By Jim Sleeper The Senate Judiciary Committee was told often enough last week that the United States' intolerably high levels of murder and maiming by gunfire would drop sharply if we had the gun control of other developed nations. (Only Mexico and Guatemala have constitutional provisions resembling our Second Amendment.) It won't happen, unless we dissolve the deep bond between our libertarian individualism and our glorification of runaway corporate engines that are disrupting public trust more brutally than their own managers ever intended or know how to stop.
October 23, 2012 |
FEDERAL OFFICIALS announced on Monday a new public-corruption hot line aimed at rooting out wrongdoers in public jobs. "All corruption leads to an erosion on the public trust and a weakening of the city," said George C. Venizelos, the FBI's special-agent-in-charge in Philadelphia. Venizelos said the new tip line was not a response to any uptick in corruption cases. Rather, he said, the FBI has renewed its focus on finding and punishing anyone who would use public money or a public position to do wrong.