GAZA CITY — Four young Palestinian boys were killed Wednesday when two explosions hit a jetty and beach where they were playing at the fishing port of Gaza City, an area that had been considered relatively safe from the intense Israeli bombing campaign of the past nine days.
My congressman, Pat Meehan, seems like a nice enough chap, the kind of politician that -- if I may be allowed to coin a new phrase here -- you'd like to have a beer with. Had he been elected to Congress 40 years ago, my sense (and I could be wrong, I often am) is that he's be an ultra-moderate, Rockefeller-style middle-of-the-road Repuiblican. However, he was elected in 2010, the year of the Tea Party, and so instead he spends most of his day doing things like voting repeatedly repeal Obamacare, even as some of his constituents are finally gaining health insurance. He's fully earned his share of the blame for some of the least productive sessions in Congress in American history.
But no more!
Here, in its entirety, is press release sent out today by the Delaware County rep, a press release that may go down in the annals, if you will, of congressional press releases:
It's kind of funny that with all the debate about "papers, please" policies in border states like Arizona, it never got mentioned that places like McAllen, Texas, were already checkpoint-laden "constitution-free zones" where the cherished American right of free movement is illusory. My former Daily News colleague Jose Antonio Vargas, now arguably the nation's leading immigration advocate, learned that the hard way yesterday:
THREE YEARS AGO, Jose Antonio Vargas was a 30-year-old with the kind of career that most young journalists only dream of - a share of a Pulitzer Prize with the Washington Post, a coveted byline in the New Yorker - when he decided to risk everything on the truth.
The former Daily News intern confessed in a magazine article that he's been in the United States as an undocumented immigrant - brought here without papers from the Philippines at age 12 - and then announced he was leaving journalism to fight as an activist for the rights of some 12 million people who share his plight.
MSNBC launched a new show yesterday -- hosted by Jose Diaz-Balart, a Cuban-American journalist best known for his work on Telemundo -- and for Day One he did something that should be commonplace but was actually remarkable: Instead of some blathering congressperson, he interviewed a young woman, Maria, who fled the violence in Central America. It's important -- check it out, and I'll be back before the end of the day with more news on the undocumented immigration front.
I don't write about Mayor Nutter as often as I should (if only he'd been at Kent State, right?), but when I do, I often make some variation of the same point: That he's been the most honest mayor Philadelphia has seen in a half-century, by far (yes, that includes this guy) -- and yet in spite of fulfilling a dream of many of us who wanted to see good government in Philadelphia, he's been more than vaguely disappointing.
Some of that clearly wasn't his fault -- he didn't cause the long recession that struck not just Philly but the nation and the world, in his very first year in office -- but some of it clearly was indeed his fault, especially a lack of vision.
After years of all of us decrying corruption as the problem, why was Philadelphia's first squeaky-clean mayor since the JFK administration such a let down?
...knows nothing about the economy. Who could have seen that coming? :-)
It was just this time last week that I told you about a Harrisburg scandal -- first reported by the StateImpactPA website -- that was flying under the radar screen. It seems as if Pennsylvania state workers were going out of their way to avoid talking with citizens who had health concerns about the air they were breathing and the water they were drinking.
The reports said that roughly a year after the aggressively pro-fracking Tom Corbett administration took office, workers with the state Health Department were given a list of "buzzwords" about fracking that kicked calls from the public to another office, where they seemed to mostly disappear down a black hole, and that workers were also barred from attending public meetings about fracking.
Now comes a new bombshell, courtesy of the Associated Press: