Wolf Calls Republican Budget “Ridiculous” “Garbage.” Promises Line-Item Veto

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Wolf says he is rejecting parts of a $30.3 billion state budget plan that's already a record six months overdue, but he's freeing up over $23 billion in emergency funding.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Wolf says he is rejecting parts of a $30.3 billion state budget plan that’s already a record six months overdue, but he’s freeing up over $23 billion in emergency funding.

Last week, in a pre-Christmas shocker, the state’s Senate — contrary to reports that they’d reached an agreement with Gov. Tom Wolf on his “framework” budget — reversed course and signed off on the House’s “stopgap” version of the state spending bill. When Wolf’s swift response did not include the word “veto” (he’d previously promised to strike down the stopgap version should it make it to his desk), many wondered if the state’s protracted, damaging and — let’s be frank — embarrassing budget standoff had finally ended.

Not so fast! In a statement yesterday, Wolf showed his veto pen is not just for show. Read more »

Photos: Mass Exodus After Pope Francis’s Parkway Mass

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Mass exodus on the Parkway. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Following Pope Francis’s massive Mass on the parkway, a whole lot of people have found themselves making their way home, or to their hotels, or AirBnBs, or couch stays and the like. Jeff Fusco captured the scene at Broad and Walnut, and reports that crowds at Broad and Spring Garden station were also large. Bradley Maule caught the crowds at 30th Street Station.

SEPTA has some helpful tips for  the commute home, but first suggest: Perhaps you might grab a bite because you may be waiting a while otherwise:  Read more »

Joe Biden Gets Emotional in Gripping Stephen Colbert Interview

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in New York. During the event, Biden, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and actress Mariska Hargitay announced almost $80 million in grants to help eliminate a vast nationwide backlog of rape kits.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in New York. During the event, Biden, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and actress Mariska Hargitay announced almost $80 million in grants to help eliminate a vast nationwide backlog of rape kits.

Veep, former Delaware Senator and son of Scranton Joe Biden got deep on the third episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. In an interview that was light on jokes and heavy on substance (watch below), Colbert and the vice president got candid and personal when discussing family loss (which both host and guest have experienced) and Biden’s will-he-or-won’t-he flirtation with a presidential run.

“Go, Joe! Go, Joe!” chanted some in the audience, to which Biden smiled, “Be careful what you wish for.”

“I’d like to address the elephant in the room — which in this case is a donkey,” quipped Colbert after discussion of the “one job” being the president’s confidant and policy advisor prepares one for. “Do you have anything to tell us?” Read more »

Poll: Joe Biden Passes Bernie Sanders, Gains on Hillary Clinton

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A new Monmouth University poll shows that still-not-a-candidate Joe Biden is gaining momentum, having passed (democratic) socialist Bernie Sanders and gained ground on problem emailer Hillary Clinton among voters who are registered or lean Democrat.

Of 339 respondents, 22% said they would back Veep, former Delaware Senator, son of Scranton Biden if the 2016 election were held today — up from just 12% a month ago. (FWIW, he scored 16% in this measure back in April when his nascent candidacy was extremely nascent.) While Sanders was eclipsed by Biden — granted, in a poll with a 5.3% margin of error — his support has also trended upward; his 20% support is up from 16% last month. The big “loser” here, of course, is Clinton, whose numbers ticked down from 52% to 42%. Read more »

Pope Francis Parkway Ticket Details Released

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Following today’s successful (and quick) disbursal of tickets for Pope Francis’ Independence Hall address, the Archdiocese has announced the details for ticket access for the pope’s two Parkway events.

Some 10,000 tickets for Pope Francis’ appearance at the Saturday Festival of Families will be released on Wednesday, September 9th at 4 p.m. at www.worldmeeting2015.org/tickets. 

Then, at 8 p.m., 10,000 more tickets for the pontiff’s Sunday Mass will be available at the same address. Read more »

10,000 Pope Tickets Go On Sale Today

Pope Francis greets faithful during an audience to Parish groups promoting evangelization, in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.

Pope Francis greets faithful during an audience to Parish groups promoting evangelization, in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.

Well, you can either wring your hands and gnash your teeth over the World Meeting of Families’ controversial papal ticketing policy, or you can shut up and get clicking.

The first of the announced-last-week pope tickets go on sale today — 10,000 of ’em (up from an initially announced 5,000) to see the pointy-hatted one make his address about religious freedom and immigration at Independence Hall on Saturday, September 26th. The tickets, which the Archdiocese of Philadelphia stresses are super-duper free, will go on sale online at noon at worldmeeting2015.org/tickets, will be limited to four per person, and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Note: Should you score a ticket, there is an extensive list of things you won’t be allowed to bring with you, from the obvious (explosives, firearms, or weapons) to the less so (balloons). Read more »

Drexel Announces iPad Vending Machine

Had they unveiled it a day earlier we might have thought it was a prank. Drexel and the Free Library — spurred on by the success of the school’s MacBook dispensing unit —  announced yesterday that an iPad vending machine of sorts at the Dana and David Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships will make a cool dozen Apple tablets available, free of charge and for four-hour stretches, to Drexel ID-brandishing students and library card-carrying residents of the neighboring Manuta and Powelton Village neighborhoods. Read more »

Indicted Senator Robert Menendez: “This Is Not How My Career Is Going to End”

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Newark, N.J. Menendez, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was indicted on corruption charges, accused of using his office to improperly benefit an eye doctor and political donor.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Newark, N.J. Menendez, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was indicted on corruption charges, accused of using his office to improperly benefit an eye doctor and political donor.

Embattled New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez went on the offensive last night in the wake of news that he’d been indicted on federal corruption charges related to his dealings with Florida ophthalmologist/campaign donor Salomon Melgen.

The Department of Justice alleges that Menendez accepted gifts worth nearly $1 million — including flights on private jets, Caribbean and Parisian vacations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions — in exchange for using his office to promote Melgen’s interests, including influencing visa proceedings for Melgen’s foreign girlfriends as well as contractual and Medicare billing disputes worth tens of millions.

Menendez, in a blustery statement last night, says it’s a load of bull. Read more »

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