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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: March, 2012

POSTED: Monday, March 19, 2012, 10:23 AM

No one who has paid even casual attention to Pennsylvania politics and government can be surprised by the state's C- grade released today by the national Center for Public Integrity.

After reporters in every state researched 14 categories ranging from access to government information to legislative accountability, from lobbying disclosure to ethics enforcement, the Keystone State -- which, because of its history as the birthplace of the nation, should be a model of good government -- barely passes the integrity test and ranks 18th among the states.

Interestingly and instructive, the state gets flat out failure grades in areas critical to a sound democracy.

POSTED: Friday, March 16, 2012, 2:00 PM

And in the category of "ya-never-know-what'll-circle-around-and-bite-you-in-the-ass" comes unwantd national attention for Gov. Corbett.

The Guv's brief comment this week suggesting a proposed state law requiring a woman seeking an abortion to first view an ultrasound isn't all that bad since "you just have to close your eyes" went viral on the Internet and drew significant attention from the likes of MSNBC and The Huffington Post.

You can read about it and watch a clip of the Guv's comments on my colleague Amy Worden's blog here.

POSTED: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 11:07 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Boss, see the story about John Wilkes Booth bobblehead dolls being pulled from the shelves of the Gettysburg National Park visitors center bookstore?

BE: I did. It's gone national. It's in the New York Daily News and the Washinton Post. Guess some folks took exception to a doll depicting Lincoln's assassin holding a drawn hand gun. Costs $20. Comes in a box made to resemble Fords Theater. Pretty far out, eh?

POSTED: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 10:41 AM

Rick Santorum is having what you just might call a very good day.

Not only did he win two southern states last night with primary victories in Alabama and Mississippi, a new Quinnipiac University Poll out this morning has him crushing Mitt Romney in the April 24 Pennsylvania primary.

The poll has Santorum 36-22 over Romney with Ron Paul at 12 percent and Harrisburg-born Newt Gingrich at a mere 8 percent.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 10:33 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

BE: Another Tuesday, another GOP primary day and two southern states, Alabama and Mississippi, have their say. What say you?

JB: I say I'd rather wade through a backwater bayou barefoot at night than predict today's outcome.

POSTED: Monday, March 12, 2012, 10:51 AM

You might think your Legislature's bold action to spend your money to stop alleged fraud at the ballot box with a new law requiring voter ID is the only way your electeds are looking out for your best interests this week.

Well, you'd be wrong.

Not only is the Legislature poised to pass a new ID law that Democrats say is designed to reduce turnout of older, poorer urban residents and that Republicans say is simply a common sense protection of the sacred right to vote (debate is scheduled in the House today; it'll pass and the Guv will sign it), but lawmakers are also poised to push other vital issues.

POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012, 10:39 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

BE: Well, JB, I hope you notice my boy Rick is back in the thick, challenging in the South after a strong Super Tuesday showing and promising a fight to the finish.

JB: Yawn.

POSTED: Thursday, March 8, 2012, 10:31 AM

I don’t watch liberal comedian Bill Maher’s TV show.

I don’t listen to conservative Rush Limbaugh’s radio program.

But I know both make a habit of denigrating people they disagree with and both have no qualms about calling women degrading and/or misogynistic names.

About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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