Monthly Archives: October 2012

#sandyinphilly (UPDATE)

Philadelphia seems to have escaped Hurricane Sandy mostly unscathed. I’ve been in touch with friends in almost every neighborhood, from the northeast to South Philly, Kensington to Strawberry Mansion and Brewerytown and everyone is safe and dry. Everyone has power. All are … More after the jump

Posted in Environment, Greater Philadelphia Tagged , , ,

PA Bill Punishing Poor Women For Having Kids: Part of A National Trend

A quick follow up on the bill championed, and then quickly dropped, last week by five PA state reps. The bill would have punished low-income women who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (the anemic remnants of the New Deal cash welfare program Clinton gutted), by … More after the jump

Posted in Budget, Issues, National Politics, Social Services Tagged , , , ,

Right-Wing Extremism and The Department of Homeland Security (Book)

I just finished reading Daryl Johnson’s Right-Wing Resurgence: How A Domestic Terrorism Threat Is Being Ignored, the memoir of a conservative, Mormon, pro-life, gun-owning, Republican and lifelong law enforcement employee, who became the target of a right-wing smear campaign and … More after the jump

Posted in National Politics Tagged , , ,

State Reps to Poor Women: Prove You Were Raped or Lose TANF Assistance (UPDATE)

From Think Progress, new depths of barbarism from our state legislators (House Bill 2718). A Pennsylvania House bill seeks to limit the amount of TANF assistance that low-income women receive based on the amount of children they give birth to while covered under … More after the jump

Posted in Economy, Health, Regional Politics, Social Services Tagged , , ,

Is Montco’s Vereb Plotting a PA House GOP Leadership Challenge?

Why would a state representative from a moderate suburban Philadelphia district: – Boast of his 100% rating from the far-right American Conservative Union by posting this photo, – Post a photo of himself shaking hands with unpopular-in-Southeast-PA Gov. Corbett on the occasion … More after the jump

Posted in Education, Greater Philadelphia, LGBT / Gay Rights, Regional Politics Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Re-building America’s Welfare State

Presidential elections focus our attention on the current parameters of political conversation, which doesn’t suit the left particularly well. How much does Obama differ from Romney on abortion (a lot), the safety net (a lot, with disquieting wiggle room), or drone strikes … More after the jump

Posted in Budget, Elections, National Politics, Social Services Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Election Surprises Brewing in Central PA?

It’s probably been decades since Democrats held any of the 20-plus state House seats in south central PA other than the 3 that are based in the cities of Harrisburg, Lancaster and York. (One exception that I know of: Jeff … More after the jump

Posted in Elections, Harrisburg / South Central, Regional Politics Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Toohil-Gate: Unanswered Questions, and Her Evasions – Will the Media Follow Up?

The travails of Tarah Toohil continue, in part because she has left unanswered questions hanging out there. There’s a lot for the media to follow up on – but will they?

Posted in Northeast PA, Regional Politics Tagged , , , , , , ,

Philadelphia’s Restaurant Industry Creates A Lot of [Bad] Jobs

Yesterday Next American City published my piece on the implications of low-income jobs, and non-traditional labor organizing, for our cities.  The second half of my post, which I’ll focus on today, is about the restaurant industry (which, unlike Wal-Mart style retail, I’ve had personal experience in). … More after the jump

Posted in Economy, Greater Philadelphia, Labor and Unions Tagged

Wal-Mart, Fear, and Inequality in America

I have a piece up on Next American City today about the increasing prevalence of low-wage work, the decline of traditional unions (due to our broken labor laws), and the unconventional organizing that is trying to fill the void. Income … More after the jump

Posted in Economy, National Politics Tagged , , , , , ,