Thursday, September 3, 2015

POSTED: Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 5:20 PM
Bill O'Brien, the former Penn State coach, is introduced as the new head man of the Houston Texans. (Associated Press)

Penn State fans are taking delight in piling on Bill O’Brien, who left Happy Valley for a pro coaching job with the Houston Texans (“O’Brien exit leaving fans blue,” Jan. 2).

Well, give the man a break. He appears headed for a successful career in politics, or, at the least, as a guest contributor for a neocon news program.

Consider that he failed to honor a commitment and fled for a better opportunity. (A certain former governor of Alaska did the same thing.)

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 5:20 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 3:30 AM

Evan Feinberg’s commentary stating that young people are and should be avoiding the purchase of health insurance is misleading at best and political propaganda at worst (“Millennials aren’t buying it,” Dec. 29).

He fails to mention that his organization, Generation Opportunity, is a Koch-funded group that advocates that young people opt out of Obamacare. With his commentary, it is obvious that Feinberg’s primary motivation is to reduce participation by young people in the health-insurance marketplace, which in turn would sicken the pool, forcing higher premiums for all who participate, and ultimately triggering the failure of Obamacare. This cynical distortion encourages young people to take a potentially life-altering gamble to further a right-wing political agenda.

The Inquirer should properly identify the sources of articles it publishes so that readers can accurately identify a rant from an hyper-partisan idealogue being passed off as a reasoned point of view. (By the way, employees of Generation Opportunity are afforded health insurance as part of their benefit package.)

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 3:30 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, January 6, 2014, 11:10 AM
Cranford Coulter of Souderton prepares food for the homeless in Center City. (CLAUDIA VARGAS / Staff)

I wish members of Congress during their holiday break from Washington DC had done a little self-education.

If so, they would have taken the same Food Stamp challenge that Mayor Nutter, other politicians and many local residents took a year ago.

The challenge takers lived for a number of days on the amount of food stamps the average recipient gets. They experienced fatigue, depression, hunger. Of course, since then, benefits have been cut further, and recipients are dealing with further threats of cuts ("'Heat and Eat' cuts might hit hard").

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 11:10 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 2:35 AM
Alan Greenspan (left) was succeeded as head of the Fed by Ben Bernanke, whose own term ends soon. (Bloomberg)

Mark Zandi's optimism about Dodd-Frank reforms (Currents, 12/29) of the financial system are not well taken.

As we speak, efforts to weaken the Volcker Rule -- by reducing or eliminating the differences between workable (QRM) and less workable mortgages (QM), by loosening the restrictions on investment banking to deal with the very derivatives that forced banks to accept government bailouts, by allowing banks to risk client money in other banks' risky securities (even if they are not allowed to trade in their own accounts). Zandi's confidence that banks have huge capital cushions is brought into question by banks like Zions Bancorp, who were counting on valuing their failed investments in mortgage backed securities at full value, when many of those same investments had no prospects of being anything more than worthless pieces of paper.

Consumers are not cheerful, indeed. Our unemployment figures in this country count only those making claims for unemployment insurance.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 2:35 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, January 6, 2014, 2:55 AM
Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" was put on hiatus from A&E before they reversed their decision, while Paula Deen was dropped by Food Network after admitting to using racial slurs.

So another “liberal” has issued an apology because some people might be offended (Melissa Harris Perry) by something they said or that happened on their show. And another self-identified conservative Christian (Papa Duck) has proudly stood by his statements and been enfolded back into the flock, fold, whatever, of A&E.

I guess that liberals are supposed to know better and therefore need to apologize or/and be fired if some people might be offended by something. And Christian conservatives just need to say it is in the Bible (or an interpretation of some particular part of the pre-Christian old testament) and it is ok with no consequence.Even getting down on the Pope for being a bit too Christian.

Maybe Paula Dean should have figured out how to point to a Biblical passage somewhere so she could continue her cardiac-inducing cooking career.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 2:55 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, January 5, 2014, 2:50 AM
People enter an unemployment registry office in Madrid, Spain. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Measuring the impact of prematurely eliminating federally-funded unemployment benefits is not merely an issue of dollars and cents, although certainly that sum is worthy of a moment’s consideration.

As Monday’s editorial notes (“Cutting jobless aid will be costly”), the 1.3 million long-term unemployed who rely on this infusion of cash-$25 billion across the U.S.-spend those dollars meeting basic needs. And if Congress fails to reinstate the program, another 3.6 million people will lose access to these long-term benefits before the end of 2014.

But beyond the food, heat, and mortgage and car payments made possible by these federal dollars, we should consider the devastating effect of falling through the safety net while not knowing how much farther one can plummet. Investing in these families now, before they hit bottom, is a far more efficient use of resources, and a far better demonstration of a shared belief in the value of the common good.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 2:50 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, January 3, 2014, 11:49 AM
Mayor Nutter poses with young artist and winners of the Parks and Recreation's Kids Mummers Poster contest during a press conferences at the Independence Visitors Center to annound plans for the 2014 Mummers Parade. ( RON TARVER / Staff Photographer )

Once again, it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions. As mayor, I resolve to make Philadelphia the best city it can be – smarter, safer, greener, cleaner and more welcoming. This year, I also want to make a resolution on behalf of the city – a resolution to help prepare young Philadelphians for their future by offering high-quality summer jobs to every interested young person.

Studies show that early work experience can improve academic performance, increase future earning potential and wage growth and, overall, improve employment rates. But our young people have less access to these kinds of on-the-job learning and skill-building opportunities than their suburban counterparts.

Through WorkReady Philadelphia, the city’s youth workforce development system, we are able to offer academically-enriched summer jobs to young Philadelphians, ages 14-21. These enriched summer jobs provide young people with invaluable real world work experience, knowledge and skills and connect them with successful mentors while teaching them about responsibility, workplace decorum and the value of a dollar.

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 11:49 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 1:26 PM

City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown has introduced a bill to allow bill boards, building wraps and other signs on school district owed or controlled buildings. The bill specifically exempts the signs from the Zoning Code. The Councilwoman's intent is to raise much needed funds for the schools, a laudable goal that might well backfire.

There is school district controlled property in almost every residential neighborhood, including East Falls. Do you want to see a billboard from your bedroom window or as you walk around your neighborhood? This bill, as written, would allow billboards in places where they have been prohibited for decades.
Concerned about this proposal, the Crosstown Coalition of neighborhood civics arranged a meeting with the Councilwoman's staff to talk about it.

First, we asked if anyone had considered the impact of such advertising, or even the possibility of such advertising, on nearby residential property values or future residential development? In fact, someone has. The Fels Institute did a study last year and concluded that there would be a negative effect, that there is a statistically significant negative impact between proximity to bill boards and property values. The property value reduction was $30,000+ for homes within 500 feet of a billboard and the more billboards in a census tract, the lower the values. I suspect that the impact is way higher for higher value residences. Would you want to buy a home across from a bill board, if you had a choice, for any price? Would a developer considering a residential project want to build near a legal bill board site?

Inquirer Editorial Board @ 1:26 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
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The Inquirer Editorial Board's Say What? opinion blog showcases the work of the editors and writers who produce the newspaper's daily and Sunday opinion pages.

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