January 21, 2015
THE STATE of the Union address is a constitutional requirement, as well as a symbolic act whereby the current president pushes his ideas and agenda. But the real job of the State of the Union address is to provide a coherent narrative about who we are and how we are doing at this moment in time. This annual story - and our need for it - is more important some years than others. For example, George Bush's State of the Union following the 9/11 attacks was an important moment to reiterate the country's strengths.
November 19, 2014
ISSUE | APPRECIATION Central to great art The William Glackens exhibit at the Barnes Foundation museum is a pure delight - despite Thomas Hine's negativity in his critique and the reluctance of the curator to mention the Ashcan School, in which Glackens and company were popularly classified ("William Glackens: A career divided," Nov. 9). And cheers for two Central High boys - Glackens and Albert C. Barnes - who made good. |Henry and Bobbie Shaffner, Bala Cynwyd Send a critic to cover The state's massive deficit should make for interesting theater when the legislature tries to explain how the budget crisis is the fault of Tom Wolf.
May 30, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The wave of political support for same-sex marriage crossed another threshold in Pennsylvania on Wednesday when Rep. Charlie Dent became one of only a few Republicans in Congress to back the idea. "The American public's views on this issue have shifted. So have mine," Dent said in a statement. Dent, of Allentown, is one of the GOP's most vocal centrists and is now the only congressional Republican from the Philadelphia region to support same-sex marriage. In an interview off the House floor, Dent told The Inquirer the recent federal court ruling striking down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage, along with conversations he's had his wife and three teenage children, helped shape his views.
July 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In the courts of law and public opinion, congressional Republicans increasingly accuse President Obama of exceeding his constitutional authority for the benefit of special interests, most recently by delaying a requirement for businesses to provide health care for their workers. In one instance, Senate Republicans formally backed a lawsuit challenging the president's appointment of three members of the National Labor Relations Board without confirmation. The Supreme Court has agreed to review a ruling in the case, which found that Obama overstepped his bounds.
February 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Amid the capital's snarled politics, the Philadelphia suburbs have helped provide at least some break from partisan gridlock. In moderate districts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, President Obama and Senate Democrats found partners for compromise twice in the early days of 2013: Seven Republican members of Congress from the area voted to pass bills to avoid the fiscal cliff and approve a $60 billion package for Hurricane Sandy aid,...
August 18, 2011 |
An unsolicited memo to Barack Obama: Mr. President, can you speak Truman? If you want to stay in office beyond 2012, you need to channel his language. Enough, already, with all your overtures to the Republicans. Why bother trying to extend your hand to people whose primal impulse is to devour it? You surely remember what happened the other day. You suggested extending the payroll tax cut in order to boost consumer spending, and key House Republicans naturally said no. They won't even cooperate with you on a tax cut. That alone proves there's no point in talking to them anymore.
November 4, 2010
Good government wins with Perzel loss Hallelujah! Good government advocates have something to celebrate from the defeat of former state House Speaker John Perzel. Not even this year's Republican tide could sweep Perzel back into office because the residents of his district finally put their foot down. It was audacious of Perzel to seek to represent the 172d House District as he awaits trial for a raft of criminal charges alleging that he misused state employees and state resources to ensure perpetual reelection.
March 1, 2010
A new analysis of congressional spending shows that lawmakers still have too much of an appetite for pork. The final count on earmarks for fiscal 2010 shows Congress spent $15.9 billion on no-bid contracts, up slightly from $15.6 billion last year. Spending rose even though the total number of earmarks dropped, from 10,363 to 9,413. At first it appeared that Democratic leaders had reduced pork spending significantly. But the independent watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense conducted a thorough study of both years' spending bills, eliminating certain accounting tricks, to come up with a more accurate picture.
November 2, 2006
Vote the GOP out By endorsing candidates for the U.S. Congress based on their individual credentials, The Inquirer is failing to address the most important issue of this year's campaign. The Republican Party has brought us record deficits and the quagmire in Iraq, meddled in the lives of the Schiavo family, and ignored the inappropriate actions of a child predator. The Republican Congress has served as a rubber stamp for the Bush administration. The central question for any candidate this year is "Are you a Republican or a Democrat?"
June 24, 2003
AFTER SEPT. 11, 2001, Americans wanted to do something for their country. President Bush urged them to volunteer and promised to expand Americorps to help do it. Fast forward and what do we find? The Republican Congress is starving most government programs that help the unrich, and it's slashing the national service program that helps harness volunteers to fill in a few of the gaps in an increasingly tattered safety net. Action by Congress last weekend provided an inadequate fix to the program.