January 14, 2015
THE NEW state House majority leader, one of the most powerful posts in Harrisburg, isn't exactly a carbon copy of leaders in Pennsylvania. In fact, Dave Reed, of rural Indiana County, "Christmas Tree Capital of the World," seems an odd fit for leadership in a legislature known for sameness. He was sworn in last week. He's far from the same ol', same ol'. He's in the party of old men but, at 36, is the youngest GOP legislative leader in the state's modern history. He started life in a trailer park, but holds an Ivy League master's degree from Penn's Fels Institute of Government.
January 8, 2015 |
After being away from the Wells Fargo Center for 19 days, the Flyers returned home Tuesday night and ended their five-game losing streak in dramatic fashion. Wayne Simmonds scored the game-winner in the fifth round of the shootout as the Flyers outlasted Ottawa, 2-1, at the Wells Fargo Center. Goalie Steve Mason was brilliant in the shootout (four stops on five shots) and the 65 minutes as the Flyers snapped a 10-game, two-year losing streak in shootouts. They had been 0-5 in shootouts this season, and are now 28-56 since the breakaway competition started in 2005-06.
January 7, 2015 |
TUNE INTO any baseball telecast, especially in the bottom of the ninth with the game on the line, and you're likely to see a particular hitter's career numbers against that pitcher flash on the screen. In hockey, you're only likely to see a goaltender's career record against a certain opponent. Individual matchups are often lost in hockey. "Well, at least I know a lot of coaches pay attention to that type of stuff," Flyers netminder Ray Emery said, laughing. The game-inside-the-game tonight will be Senators forward Clarke MacArthur going up against Flyers goaltender Steve Mason.
December 18, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - An unusual thing happened in Congress this month: The Senate and the House each passed legislation likely to create a law, with massive bipartisan support. Sen. Robert P. Casey (D., Pa.), a sponsor of the bill, wound up on the same side as House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress. The beneficiaries of this cooperation: families facing the lifelong costs of disabling illnesses such as epilepsy or Down syndrome. If President Obama signs the bill, people with disabilities and their families would soon have the option of creating tax-sheltered savings accounts to help pay for long-term care.
December 6, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The debate over U.S. military action against the Islamic State, pushed to the background for some time, came to the forefront again Thursday in one of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez's last hearings chairing the Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) forced the issue by trying to advance a plan imposing limits on the ongoing fight in Syria and Iraq, prompting a tense debate that crossed party lines. The fight put Menendez, a Democrat, in charge of a weighty international debate for one of the last times before Republicans take the Senate majority in January and he gives up his gavel.
December 2, 2014
LET'S TAKE a moment to think about what lies ahead if the Legislature decides to hold a voting session in early January. You heard about this, right? Emboldened by picking up stronger Republican majorities in the House and Senate, some GOPers are considering exercising those majorities to, you know, get what they want and stick it to the incoming Democratic governor. Hey, that's what people with power do. It's misnamed a "lame-duck" session. But newly elected and re-elected lawmakers get sworn in Jan. 6; the only lame anything is Gov. Corbett.
November 21, 2014
UH-OH, HE WENT and did it. President "I Hear You" Obama heard someone, not the Republican majority, and last night announced his not-so-long-threatened executive action relieving the (mostly baseless) fear of deportation of about 5 million people from other countries who are here illegally. (I am not allowed to use the I-Word, and I don't mean Immigrant.) He didn't mention 5 million, analysts did. Here's a snapshot of what Obama said: For supporters, a warm, emotional anecdote about family values.
November 21, 2014 |
The 1984 federal law that spawned the generic pharmaceutical industry was designed to use the basic idea of economic competition to lower the cost of prescription medicine for millions of Americans. The law has largely served its intended purpose. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in January that the national rate of retail prescription drug spending slowed in 2012, growing only 0.4 percent because of "numerous drugs losing patent protection, leading to increased sales of lower-cost generics.
November 16, 2014 |
The wave was even bigger than it looked on the networks' election-night maps. Republicans picked up so many seats in state legislatures that the party will control 68 of the nation's 98 partisan chambers come January - the most since 1920, a time of flappers, bathtub gin, and the Model T. They'll have legislative control in 30 states, to 11 for the Democrats. Counting Republican governors, the GOP will dominate the governments of 24 states (to six for Democrats). By one calculation, that means about 48 percent of the U.S. population will live in states where Republicans can drive their agenda without significant Democratic opposition.
November 13, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Republicans in the state Senate executed a leadership coup on Wednesday, ousting moderate Sen. Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County as majority leader and replacing him with a more conservative lawmaker from the middle of the state. At the same time, House Republicans elevated Majority Leader Mike Turzai of Allegheny County to replace retiring Speaker of the House Sam Smith of Jefferson County. The new leadership slates, assembled during lengthy and contentious elections among legislators, leave the southeast without a voice in the top ranks of either chamber.