Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, January 16, 2014, 8:44 AM

Governors Corbett and Christie, each of whom have their share of challenges these day,cannot be heartened by a new study of states' fiscal conditions just released by George Mason University.

The study uses multiple measures to rank states. It cites problems ranging from rising health-care costs to crushing pension debts, cash flow and infrastructure maintenance.

In the overall category "fiscal condition," Pennsylvania is ranked 42nd and New Jersey is ranked 50th.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 9:01 AM

The Washington Post offers up a fun map showing where every U.S. president was born.

It may not surprise you to know that PA, the keystone of the colonies, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, the home of the Liberty Bell, has had only one president.

And he, James Buchanan, (1857-1861), is best known for showing up on virtually every list of worst presidents. He advocated protecting slavery on the eve of the Civil War. He also had been a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 9:24 AM

Two stories, one invovling wine, one likely to draw some whines, raise questions about how Pennsylvania operates.

The first is a philly.com story about a Chester County lawyer busted for selling wine, good wine, wine that (of course) you can't get in the state stores.

Really?

POSTED: Monday, January 13, 2014, 9:18 AM

After a long holiday break and before taking a long budget-hearings break, your state lawmakers are back in voting sessions this week. Here's some of what they're up to.

Apart from the usual heavy-lift tasks of naming bridges and highways, there are a few of pieces of legislation that make sense and, in one case, certain to garner attention.

In the House, Beaver County Republican Rep. Jim Christiana has a bill ready for votes (HB 1411) creating a searchable website to allow the public to look at details of school districts' revenue and spending.

POSTED: Friday, January 10, 2014, 9:03 AM

Perhaps you've noted that legalizing marijuana is a smoking-hot topic these days.

And maybe you saw that Gov. Corbett got some play on the issue after it was reported in the Harrisburg Patriot-News that the Guv's anti-weed position was "softening," at least with regard to medical marijuana.

Well, that report was quickly dashed by the Guv's office noting that what he said was he'd consider a shift only if the FDA approved weed for medical use which, as the Inky reported, ain't happening since such approval would have to be preceeded by medical trials, which can't happen so long as the drug remains a federally-banned substance.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 8:48 AM

(A brief conversation twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)

BE: I assume you're following the breaking controversy over photos of Canadian farmers?

JB: Ah, yes. The Corbett campaign caught red-handed using pix of farmers from Canada on its campaign website. Proof positive that the silly season is upon us.

POSTED: Monday, January 6, 2014, 9:05 AM

Okay, look, I was off for a long time and full details on jobs numbers trickle in but want to keep you as up to date as possible on where exactly we are these days.

Why?

Job creation and unemployment are always key in big campaigns and certain to play a role in PA's race for governor.

POSTED: Thursday, January 2, 2014, 8:50 AM

Just in time for holiday over-indulgence to start wearing off and new year's resolutions about drinking less to start kicking in, comes a study that purports to show how one's booze preference can indicate one's political leanings.

Yep, nothing apparently goes unstudied these days.

The Washington Post offers a chart showing brand-name booze linked to voters' political preference.

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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