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Archive: December, 2011

POSTED: Sunday, December 18, 2011, 6:19 PM

I'm out until after the new year begins. I leave to you all to growl when appropriate.

POSTED: Thursday, December 15, 2011, 11:57 AM

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

JB: Yo, boss, merry and happy are we!

BE: And by "we" you mean?

POSTED: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 10:25 AM

Driving into Bellefonte in pre-dawn darkness Tuesday reminded me of another drive to that borough back in 1999.

This time, I was headed into the media maw surrounded by blockaded streets, security and tight local rules about who could go where when and who could sit in Courtroom 1 to witness Jerry Sandusky face his accusers. That event, of course, ended before it began after Sandusky waived his hearing on the child-sex charges against him.

Last time I drove in darkness to Bellefonte was July 6, 1999 as a media witness to the late-night execution of Gary Heidnik who was to die by lethal injection at Rockview State Prison for the kidnap, torture and rape of six women in his Philadelphia home.

POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011, 10:15 AM

Among the hotel lobby talk and sidewalk encounters during Pennsylvania Society weekend in New York, I get predictions on the presidential race from two former Guvs (both national figures) and thoughts on the future from two would-be mayors.

First, I ask former Gov. Rendell if he sees any chance Hillary Clinton ends up on the national ticket as President Obama's running mate instead of VP Joe Biden.

"No," says Ed, "unless they're behind eight or nine points in June or July. Then you go to Biden and say, `You always wanted to be Secretary of State and we need Hillary to pull us through.' But I don't think they'll be behind eight or nine points in July. I think they'll be behind maybe one or two points."

POSTED: Thursday, December 8, 2011, 12:37 PM

The fiery voucher debate threw off another spark yesterday as Philly state Sen. Vincent Hughes went off on an email from the conservative Commonwealth Foundation that refers to underperforming public schools as "hellholes" that prepare pupils for "future jail stays and welfare."

The email says the foundation bought 4,300 white roses to send bouquets of 17 to each state lawmaker as a symbol that the legislature should "wave the white flag" to surrender in the battle to free kids from "violent, failing schools."

It went on to say "you and I are stuck paying for these hellholes – not to mention for future jail stays and welfare for the students whose lives are ruined in them."

POSTED: Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 10:27 AM

Ever notice how government spends money to help taxpayers save money by cutting government costs?

Ever wonder why year after year, no matter who's in charge, we foot the bill for outsourced, private-sector studies of how to make government more efficient?

I do. And I wonder why nothing ever seems to change as the money for this near-constant flow of new reviews lines the pockets of those whose pockets already are very well lined.

POSTED: Monday, December 5, 2011, 11:34 AM

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

JB: You know, boss, I'm not one to say "I told you so."

BE: Actually, you say that all the time.

POSTED: Friday, December 2, 2011, 9:56 AM

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

JB: Ya know, boss, I'm starting to wonder about Jerry Sandusky's legal defense.

BE: You mean the guy who gave new meaning to the term "Jerry's Kids," which for decades was only associated with the annual telethon by comedian Jerry Lewis for kids with muscular dystrophy.

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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