February 28, 2014
B UZZ: Hey, Marnie, I saw this TV ad with Amber Rose drinking whipped-cream vodka. How do you make vodka out of whipped cream? Marnie: That's easy, Buzz - you don't. What you're thinking of is flavored vodka, where a neutral base spirit gets dolled up with fancy flavors. Advertising can blur the lines of what's an ingredient and what's an added "flavor. " Buzz: And have you seen that "wedding cake" vodka? Is wedding cake even a flavor? Heck, my wedding cake was made out of beef jerky.
February 20, 2014 |
Why is the price of gold rising when inflation seems benign? For years, investors have been told the yellow metal is a hedge against inflation; so why is gold rising with little or no inflation? Charles Gave may help explain this conundrum. Gave, who founded the GaveKal research firm after managing money for many years, is trying to puzzle out the price rally in gold, which this week shot back up over $1,300 an ounce after a steep correction from $1,600 last year. Gold is rallying for reasons that make little sense: on news that the Federal Reserve is cutting back on its long, huge bond-buying binge, and despite low consumer prices and flagging money supply.
February 1, 2014 |
The "hawkish combination" of Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles I. Plosser and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher , free-market-friendly economists who have rotated onto the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee this year, "may prove to have substantial power in setting the agenda" for Janet Yellen 's first year as Fed chair, writes Guy LeBas , boss bond strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott L.L.C. , of Philadelphia. The two outspoken critics of departing Fed chief Ben Bernanke 's strategy of "quantitative easing" - buying up mortgage bonds and other non-U.S.
January 16, 2014 |
If 13 part-time city recreation employees were double-dipping by working for other government agencies, what about the deputy mayors with extra titles? That is the question Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz wants the Nutter administration and its chief watchdog to examine. On the heels of Inspector General Amy Kurland's finding of double-dipping and a Republican ward leader's published contention that top Nutter aides are in effect doing the same thing, Butkovitz said Tuesday he was launching his own inquiry.
January 16, 2014 |
Gov. Christie's call in Tuesday's State of the State address for lengthening the school day and year drew initial support, but it also raised some questions - and some eyebrows. His proposal came one day after he vetoed a popular bill that would have allowed a study of full-day kindergarten - an inconsistency to some observers. Others wondered where the money and resources to support a longer day and year would come from. And still others questioned whether any changes would be a collaboration between the state and local districts or whether they would simply be imposed.
January 14, 2014
WE ELECT members of Congress to represent our interests and our views. Does that mean that Congress' view of Americans is, in fact, how we see ourselves? We hope not, because that view is unflattering, to say the least. Case in point: In December, more than a million people ran out of unemployment benefits, Congress having failed to pass an extension of federal jobless benefits that kick in after the typical 26-week state programs expire. Last week, the Senate advanced a bill that Republicans in the House say has little chance of passing.
January 8, 2014 |
It was, it seemed, the tale of two mobs. During closing arguments Monday at the racketeering retrial of reputed mob boss Joseph Ligambi and his purported consigliere, George Borgesi, a federal prosecutor described a thriving Philadelphia chapter of La Cosa Nostra that rules gambling and loan-sharking rackets through fear and force. "The evidence in this case shows not only how the mob makes money," argued Assistant U.S. Attorney John Han, "but also how the money flows upward to the leadership.
January 1, 2014 |
Is Bill Green interested in becoming chair of the School Reform Commission? Sources say he is a finalist for the job; Green is mum on the subject. But the current city councilman is clear in his view that the Philadelphia School District is failing far too many children, and change must come quickly. "Eliminating all the bad seats in the School District is a concept I think is important to pursue," Green said Monday. "There are tens of thousands of kids in underperforming schools.
December 8, 2013 |
Residents of the upper floors at the Philadelphian are accustomed to exclamations of "Wow!" from first-time visitors. The condominium building faces the Parkway and offers panoramas of Center City, the Art Museum, the Schuylkill and Boathouse Row. In the condo of artist Bebe Weiss, however, the "wow" comes as soon as a visitor walks in, before those enviable vistas are even in sight. A red foyer provides a dramatic backdrop for her stunning bronze-toned sculptures and black-glazed ceramics.
November 3, 2013 |
HARRISBURG Witnesses to future executions in Pennsylvania will, for the first time in recent memory, be able to see and hear the entire procedure. Under an agreement to settle a federal lawsuit filed last year by The Inquirer and the Harrisburg Patriot-News, witnesses will view the process from the moment the condemned person enters the death chamber to the time he or she is pronounced dead. "This is a victory for First Amendment rights and the public's right to know," acting Inquirer editor Stan Wischnowski said.