Thursday, February 11, 2016

Archive: August, 2013

POSTED: Thursday, August 29, 2013, 8:56 AM

Results from the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll were released Thursday and reported here by my colleague Chris Brennan.

Good thing Gov. Corbett's vacationing at his condo in Hilton Head. Maybe his new staff will allow the Guv a respite from the drumbeat of bad news and not share results until he returns to Harrisburg.

I suppose things could be worse for Corbett, but it's hard to see how.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 8:56 AM

And so in the heat of the city's school funding crisis at least two of Philly's two-dozen-plus state lawmakers are offering sound, solid solutions.

Well, at least in their own minds.

I'd note that schools are run by the state and that citizens of the city elect representatives to the state in order to work on their behalf with the state.

POSTED: Monday, August 26, 2013, 8:56 AM
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington, D.C., in Aug. 28, 1963.

As the nation this week recalls the historic 1963 march on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, The Washington Post reminds us that sometimes the press misses the point.

Robert Kaiser, an associated editor at the newspaper who was a summer intern and one of 60 people covering the `63 march and speech for the Post, writes that the 1,300-word lead story the next day that appeared under a page-one banner headline did not mention King or his speech.

(You can read that full 1963 story here.)

POSTED: Thursday, August 22, 2013, 8:42 AM

Sometimes obvious stuff isn't so obvious until you see the data.

Take, for example, Gallup's findings on just how President's Obama's overall approval ratings are so tightly tied to the state of the economy.

Even as the president pushes plans to make college more affordable and bring economic relief to the middle class, as mayhem rules in Egypt and Syria, as immigration issues continue to simmer and as fear and loathing surround Obamacare, the major factor in the president's job approval (and the most important issue to Americans) is still the economy.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 9:06 AM

Drop into New York City politics these days and you see lots of reporting and opinion writing about sex, hookers and lesbians. And that's without even mentioning "pervy pol" Anthony Weiner.

The New York Post, for example, offers an item suggesting city controller candidate (and disgraced former governor) Eliot Spitzer cost the state more than $10,000 to pay for staff accompanying him on trips to see hookers in Florida and Washinton in 2008.

A Spitzer spokesman calls the report "untrue and outrageous."

POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 8:43 AM

Okay, kids, as promised, here are the jobs numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor for July.

These are state-by-state numbers than come out a week or so after the unemployment rates. They reflect net jobs, meaning all non-farm employment, seasonally adjusted, a good measure of total jobs tracked in each state.

I offer these on a monthly basis so you can avoid the spin of Democrats using only one part of the total survey to show estimated job loss and Republicans using only private-sector jobs to show job gain.

POSTED: Monday, August 19, 2013, 8:26 AM

My Monday column on the Legislature's flawed per diem expense policy that allows lawmakers to take up to $185 a-day in tax-free expenses without providing receipts got me thinking of ways to, at least, liven things up a bit.

As the column notes, a report last week by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says our duly-elected representatives grabbed $1.3 million in expenses in 2011 and 2012 for days when the Legislature wasn't even in session.

The per diem leader was, as usual, Philly Democratic Rep. Mark Cohen.

POSTED: Friday, August 16, 2013, 8:38 AM
Gov. Corbett kayaks along the Juniata River, north of Harrisburg on Thursday Aug. 8. Thursday was the second day of Corbett's annual kayak voyage in Pennsylvania. (LUKE RAFFERTY/Staff Photographer)

I tend to mostly ignore the almost daily back-and-forth emailed taunts between Republicans and Democrats at both state and national levels.

But a Youtube video PA Dems put together, a compilation of TV news reports on Gov. Corbett's latest little issue, is actually pretty clever.

The issue, if you missed it, was first reported by the online new service StateImpact and has to do with the Guv (and a former cabinet member) failing to report vacation homes on annual Code of Conduct financial statements.

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

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

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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