Monday, September 15, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 8:15 AM

Okay, let's agree that those ubiquitous emailed jokes and barbs about politicians generally aren't worth the time it takes to hit delete.

But there's one flying around the Internet now that might make you smile.

It's titled "Why did the chicken cross the road?" and it includes answers from the left and right, sort of like, you know, looking both ways.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 8:58 AM

Been watching the stuff bubbling up about Mitt Romney maybe running for president again in 2016?

Silly, right? I mean isn't two tries enough?

Still, the national polarizing forces of MSNBC and FOX are having fun with it.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 8:17 AM

Let's see what they left behind.

State lawmakers adjourned until mid-September after delivering a no-new-taxes budget to Gov. Corbett's desk and after leaving the Philly cigs tax issue unresolved in a way that threatens the opening of city schools this fall.

But they also left behind a litany of unfinished and, for those who care about government reforms, much-wished-for actions.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 8:57 AM

Not that Gov. Corbett needs more attention over things that he doesn't get done, but The Washington Post on Tuesday took a look at his state's budget mess.

It notes Pennsylvania is just one of 11 states with lower revenue than projected and could face a downgrading of its bond rating.

For as of Tuesday morning, the done-but-not-done annual budget remained uncertain on two levels.

POSTED: Monday, July 7, 2014, 8:43 AM

Want something done or stopped in your state Capitol?

Gonna cost ya.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Harrisburg lobbying expenses -- at least those actually filled with the state -- topped a half-billion dollars in 2013.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 8:44 AM

June didn't bring PA a budget. It didn't bring Philly sought after help for schools. But the Legislature and Gov. Corbett at least managed to bring Pennsylvania its own official firearm.

Yep, quietly (I don't recall any announcement, press release or bill-signing event), the House and Senate passed (by wide margins) and Gov. Corbett signed a measure making the Pennsylvania longrifle the state's official gun.

Got some international attention. Reuters reported early in June that the measure was on the move and that PA could join four other states -- Arizona, Indiana, Utah and West Virginia -- in having an official firearm.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 8:47 AM

In addition to reflecting Republican goals of passing on time with no new taxes, the state budget now sitting on Gov. Corbett's desk -- whatever it lacks -- keeps some things intact.

For example:

-- the Legislature remains untouched as a measure to reduce its size dies in the Senate; its reserve (slush) fund of $153 million in taxpayer money stays in place; and it's annual operational budget gets a one-percent boost to $280 million.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 8:25 AM

And now we hear from the heart of Pennsylvania's political "T."

The "T" is that section of the state that runs up the middle and across the top and is known for its conservative Republican constituency and it's bleed-blue-and-white love for Penn State football.

So what says the "T?"

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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