July 15, 2016 |
First, the good news: All of the decorative "donkeys around town" are safe and accounted for. Now, the scare: Two of the 57 fiberglass donkeys, representing Democratic delegations from U.S. states and territories and posed artfully around Philadelphia to celebrate the upcoming Democratic National Convention, went missing briefly. The donkey representing Guam, perched at the top of the iconic steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was picked up and tossed into some nearby bushes, according to former Gov. Ed Rendell, chairman of the DNC host committee.
July 10, 2016 |
ONE NIGHT this past week, I was looking for something to watch on TV and stumbled upon the Olympic trials for Track and Field in Eugene, Ore. The women's 800-meter race was about halfway through, and the announcer was talking about Alysia Montano, a prerace favorite. All of a sudden, a collision left Montano falling to the track. By the time she was able to get up, she was weeping, because she knew her Olympic dream had ended. She nevertheless bravely finished the race, and the crowd roared their appreciation for her courage.
July 1, 2016 |
The topic was "voter anger" in the 2016 presidential election, but columnist and TV and radio host Michael Smerconish suggested that many Americans are not seething with discontent. "If there's a new silent majority in the nation, it's not tea-party activists, it's not millennials who are feeling the Bern, it's the tens of millions of Americans who are not angry but too complacent," he said. Smerconish was the featured speaker Wednesday at an event hosted by Philadelphia Media Network, parent company of the Inquirer, the Daily News, and Philly.com, at the Independence Visitor Center.
June 30, 2016 |
WHEN ELIZABETH Warren and Hillary Clinton campaigned together in Cincinnati this week, they raised clasped hands, looking very much like a two-gal ticket. Lots of newsies went gaga. NBC's Luke Russert tweeted that if you believe you win with your base turning out, "there really is no other option ... than Warren as VP. " The Boston Globe's Amanda Katz tweeted, "Want to watch a female Baby Boomer get visibly excited to canvas? Say these words: 'Clinton-Warren 2016.' " And Peter Hamby, formerly of CNN and now head of Snapchat's news section, offered, "I'll say it again: Picking anyone other than Warren for VP makes no sense.
June 28, 2016
WILL BUNCH attacked me and the Host Committee of the Democratic National Convention for not being transparent about the list of our donors. I certainly agree with Will that transparency is important, especially when it comes to donating to candidates and conventions. What Will is missing is that there will be transparency. A comprehensive list of donors, as well as information related to our fundraising and spending, will be made available to the public 60 days after the conclusion of the convention.
June 26, 2016 |
DEAR BEN, I am writing you this letter to give you tips on how to become a beloved athlete here in Philadelphia. But before I get into that, a few general tips you might find handy as you get acquainted with our great city: The easiest way to ingratiate yourself to Philadelphia is by telling anyone that asks you about American football, "I don't know much being an Australian, but I do know that I hate the Cowboys. " I saw you on TV eating a cheesesteak from Dalessandro's in Roxborough (my favorite)
June 24, 2016 |
AT A TIME when bipartisan cooperation is needed more than ever, I was disappointed to see former Gov. Ed Rendell suddenly attack Sen. Pat Toomey in these pages with partisan talking points and misleading statements. For a long time, Rendell has praised Toomey as one of the senators who has done the most to encourage bipartisan gun safety reform in Washington. Rendell described Toomey as "a man of uncommon decency and a man who wants the process to work" after his bipartisan efforts with Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, to strengthen gun background checks in 2013.
June 17, 2016 |
DEAR PAT, You know that we have had a good working relationship, and I believe you to be a decent and honorable man. In fact, you have used that quote in a campaign commercial. Now is the time for you to demonstrate that decency in what might take a strong dose of political courage, as well. I am sure you were as shocked and disgusted as we all were when you heard about the carnage that occurred in Orlando, Fla., in the early hours of Sunday morning. You probably watched, as I did, a news conference on Tuesday morning, when a governor, mayor, police chief, sheriff and FBI supervisor all said what a great job the first responders, police and medical personnel did. They all went on to say how the community has banded together in common grief with unprecedented unity.
June 17, 2016 |
DEAR ED, Thank you for your kind words about me in your recent "open letter" in the Daily News. I have long enjoyed our good working relationship, and look forward to continuing it. In this time of extreme partisanship, it is very valuable for our state and our country to have mutual respect across the aisle, as you and I have shown is possible. On the critical issue of stopping gun violence, we share much common ground. As you noted, in 2013, I was proud to cross the aisle and join Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, to support an expansion of background checks to prevent more people with criminal histories and dangerous mental illnesses from obtaining guns.