Archive: May, 2011
Philadelphia "guerilla knitter" Jessie Hemmons last month did one of her whimsical "yarn bombing" exploits in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On April 2, she decked out the Rocky statue with a neon pink sweater that reads "Go See the Art." Sorry I missed the event. Sweater must have been an XXXL. The moment is reported in today's New York Times on "Graffiti's Cozy, Feminine Side."
Hemmons' sweater speaks the truth. Too few tourists, and probably residents as well, stop to snap the statue, race up the stairs, and don't venture inside. Perhaps the PMA should explore selling the sweaters at the gift shops.
Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid is falling apart faster than you can say “DSK.”
Closer to home, support for Chris Christie’s “I’m not running” campaign looks softer, too.
Three new polls, including the latest Monmouth University survey, suggest that those who know New Jersey’s governor best -- in other words, people in New Jersey – are less enamored of The Great Disrupter than, say, voters in New Hampshire. Familiarity breeds discontent, it seems.
Readers offer insight on Tuesday's historic low mayoral primary turnout, and ways we might improve the system.
Al Jara from the Northwest writes: "As an independent voter I could not vote in the primary. When I was registered with a party I didn’t miss a primary or a general election. I am surprised changes are coming. Why are there some running unopposed? No one should run unopposed. I will not vote for anyone running unopposed. We must end gerrymandering for the good of the city. not just the good of incumbents. How can we do this? I plan to vote for change in the coming general election. All who are in I will vote out. There is someone else who may be better. Perhaps each party taking a real stand on issues instead of the fluff they hand us will set a fire in those who don’t vote. Jobs, education, DROP and race would be a start. Please vote. We deserve better."
Someone who only identifies himself as "thomast" in an insulting (at least to this writer, typical of our nastier posters) but still insightful post: "The reasons why turnout is so low: the structural and legal obstacles that incumbents have put up to protect themselves. I voted yesterday, but if we had open primaries, instant runoff/preferential voting, publicly financed campaigns, or any other of a host of plans that have been put forth by those who want to see real change, then people would see that voting CAN result in real change, and then they'd vote more. But low turnout makes the situation easier to control for those already in power, and so they try and keep it that way."
Did anything change Tuesday? Not much. as I write here.
OK, so the Councilman from Aruba, Frank Rizzo the Lesser, who was often on the island during important votes, who signed up for beloved Deferred Retirement Option Plan, then really, really regretted his action, wasn't selected to be on the November ballot.
And then there's this inspirational quote from Democratic boss Bob Brady:
And the review of the bust of Bruce Springsteen that's risen in Asbury Park is just warming up.
Looking at election results, refreshing every few seconds, the real story appears to be that there is no story.
All the incumbents, Mayor Nutter, City Council district and at-large candidates running for re-election are currently ahead -- with the exception of Republican at-large candidate Frank Rizzo, a prisoner of the anti-DROP sentiment.
Rizzo, conceded after 10 p.m., discovered that DROP is the election kiss of death. Also, perhaps, it didn't help that he was sometimes in Aruba missing important Council votes.
When one shoe drops in the dissolution of a long-standing public marriage, you generally only have to wait a matter of days for the the other shoe to thunderously crash.
This week, that scandal belonged to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had a 20-year affair and 10-year-old child with a member of his household staff, and that his patient, too-understanding, long-suffering wife Maria Shriver only learned the news late last year. She stayed with him so he could finish out his term as California's governor. In an additional irony, one of Arnold's first post-Sacramento jobs was to do cartoon as a superhero called "The Governator."
This follows the weekend's revelations, which continue to unfold, of IMF managing director Domique Strauss-Kahn's alleged attack on a Manhattan luxury hotel chambermaid. The papers in Europe and New York are filled with reports of Stauss-Kahn's serial history of reprehensible behavior toward women, the attempted rape of a reporter and coercian of a subordinate at the IMF. More power to the chambermaid, an African immigrant, for coming forward and pressing charges. The powerful Stauss-Kahn, who was expected to be the next Socialist candidate for president, was remanded to Riker's Island without bail.
I caught up with the T. Milton Street Sr. campaign this afternoon, hours after Street, who is challenging Michael Nutter for mayor, voted in the Mayfair section of the city.
Clearly the underdog, Street campaigned throughout the neighborhoods on a platform which advocated for ex-offenders and the poor. Street was still campaigning in North Philly late Tuesday afternoon while his son/campaign manager, T. Milton, Jr., pounded the pavement in Germantown.
You would think that low voter turnout -- which analysts put at under 10 percent across four council districts as of Tuesday morning -- would put Street at a disadvantage. But Milton Jr. wasn't so sure.
In Philadelphia Tuesday, 35 Democrats are vying for 10 positions on the Court of Common Pleas.
You've got a couple of deadbeats, a former prosecutor, some able attorneys and experienced jurists, plus nine people determined by the local bar association to be not worthy of the bench.
Good luck remembering who's who.
James Frey, the writer/liar whose made-up memoir A Million Little Pieces inspired Oprah Winfrey to give him a public spanking in 2006, is back in the hot seat.
I caught a piece of the first installment of his two-day (!) appearance during this next-to-the last week of Oprah’s long goodbye, which threatens to rival the “farewell” tour of The Judds.
Like that singing sister act, Frey, too, refuses to go away.