Here’s What’s in All Those Porngate Emails Kathleen Kane Keeps Talking About

The binder of Porngate emails, available at the Supreme Court Office of Prothonotary at City Hall. | Joel Mathis

The binder of Porngate emails, available at the Supreme Court Office of Prothonotary at City Hall. | Joel Mathis

Here’s the bottom line: A binder full of porn — about 400 of pages of it, several inches thick in total — is anything but erotic. It’s gross and sexist and occasionally racist and definitely misogynistic and homophobic now and again, but if you are forced to page through such a binder, you might just find your libido dying from an odd mix of disgust and anger.

But here’s the knowledge to be gained from paging through such a binder after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court took the wraps off the “Porngate” emails that Attorney General Kathleen Kane has said are crucial to her defense against charges she leaked secret grand jury information as part of a political vendetta against Frank Fina, a former member of the attorney general’s office who now works for Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams:
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PhillyVoice Defends Use of Virginia TV Shooting Images

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The PhillyVoice.com website came under criticism Wednesday after it posted images from the shooting of two Virginia journalists earlier in the day.

The images included a screenshot of the gunman as seen from the cameraman’s fallen camera — and, more controversially, a screengrab of a video taken from the gunman’s point of view, in which he aims a pistol at the unaware journalists seconds before shooting and killing them.

The website took immediate criticism on social media after posting this Tweet: Read more »

Chesco Attacker Had Jumped Fence at White House

The person responsible for Tuesday’s attack at the Chester County Justice Center was Coatesville man arrested last spring for jumping a fence at the White House.

“The suspect is identified as Curtis Smith of Coatesville, Pa.,” 6ABC reports. “Investigators say Smith entered the Justice Center around 12 p.m. with a knife, and attacked a sheriff’s deputy, slashing him.” Another deputy returned fire; Smith was later declared dead at Paoli Hospital, according to reports. Read more »

Catholic Org: Pope Visit Being Organized by Pro-Choice Politicians

From the Lepanto Institute's report on ties between the World Meeting of Families and Planned Parenthood.

From the Lepanto Institute’s report on ties between the World Meeting of Families and Planned Parenthood.

A key leader for the World Meeting of Families has come under attack from a conservative Catholic “investigative group” that says he donated campaign funds to pro-abortion candidates.

The Lepanto Institute said Robert J. Ciaruffoli, currently listed as chairman (but sometimes listed as president) of WMOF’s board of directors, has, in various years, given campaign donations to Allyson Schwartz, Chaka Fattah, Bob Brady, Joe Biden, and Bill Richardson — all pro-choice Democrats. (The donations can be affirmed at the Federal Election Commission website.) The donation to Schwartz, a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic before her stint in Congress, was singled out for criticism.

“The Church simply can’t afford to have event leaders so cozy with Planned Parenthood’s political cheerleaders,” said Michael Hichborn, the Virginia-based Lepanto Institute’s president. He sent the story out to reporters with the headline: “President of World Meeting of Families Funded Planned Parenthood Director’s Political Campaign.”

Ciaruffoli did not respond to a call and email for comment. Read more »

Passenger Says SEPTA Driver Mocked His Disability

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SEPTA bus | Jeff Fusco

A Philadelphia man says a SEPTA bus driver mocked his disability during a 2013 ride.

“Get up and give me some money,” the driver allegedly told the disabled man. “You can walk.”

Steven Gary sued in federal court last week, claiming the encounter with the Route 26 driver — identified as “John Doe” — occurred when Gary attempted to board the bus on a motorized scooter. Gary says he has “disease and/or injury” to his right leg that has left him with a disability.

According to the lawsuit, here’s what happened next: Read more »

Most Americans Completely Oblivious to Pope’s Philly Visit

Gabriel Sozzi/Wikimedia Commons

Gabriel Sozzi/Wikimedia Commons

Yes, the city of Philadelphia has been a wee bit stressed lately about the impending visit of Pope Francis. It may not surprise you to find out the rest of the country isn’t so worked up — hey, they’re not hosting — but it is interesting to note that most Americans simply have no idea that he’s coming. At all.

A survey released today by the Public Religion Research Institute indicates that 52 percent of Americans — a majority! — “have heard nothing about the pope’s upcoming visit to the U.S.” About a third of Catholics had no idea. (Henceforth, they will be referred to as: “Bad Catholics.”)

The survey touched on other issues affecting the church, including some that might have some resonance locally. Some highlights: Read more »

Terry Egger Named New Publisher of Philadelphia Newspapers

Terry Egger, then publisher for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is shown during a news conference in St. Louis in this June 3, 2005, file photo. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Terry Egger, then publisher for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is shown during a news conference in St. Louis in this June 3, 2005, file photo. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Terry Egger, former publisher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has been named the publisher at Philadelphia Media Network, overseeing the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

He was named to the position by PMN’s owner, Gerry Lenfest, who had assumed the title of publisher after buying the papers in 2014. Lenfest had said he would hire a replacement after reaching deals with the newspaper’s unions — a process that concluded over the summer.

“Terry is a proven leader in the industry and has a tremendous vision and understanding of what we need to do to keep our printed papers strong while also expanding our digital news portfolio,” Lenfest said in a statement. “His strong leadership and management skills will serve us well as we continue to transform this company into one of the most innovative media organizations in the industry. He understands the importance of strong journalism as our lifeblood.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity indeed,” Egger added, “and with Gerry’s ownership, a strong new Board of Directors in place, the talented professionals working at PMN and a vibrant community, we have what we need to evolve and succeed. I can’t wait to get started.” Read more »

What Can Joe Biden Learn From Five Pennsylvania Presidential Losers?

From left: James Buchanan, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum, William Scott Hancock.

From left: James Buchanan, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum, William Scott Hancock.

Pennsylvania has long been regarded as a kingmaker when it comes to presidential politics — we still get awarded “swing state” status by pundits even though it’s been a generation since the state swung to Republicans in a presidential election. But we do a lousy job of electing our own.

The only native of the Keystone State to actually win the presidency? James Buchanan. You might remember him from his stint as The Worst President in American History. (That tends to happen when you stand by and let the nation devolve into ugly, bloody Civil War.) As Joe Biden — Scranton native, longtime U.S. senator from neighboring Delaware (aka “Pennsylvania’s third senator“)  — contemplates his own run for the presidency, he might want to consider the woes that have befallen his predecessors.

Here are five notable Pennsylvanians who failed to win the White House: Read more »

Off-Duty Police Sergeant Dies in One-Vehicle Accident

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An off-duty Philadelphia Police sergeant died after a single-vehicle wreck late Saturday night.

Police say Rafael Ali, 32, was driving southbound on the 6000 block of Henry Avenue when his truck mounted the center median and struck a large tree. Emergency crews extricated him from the wreck. Ali was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m. Sunday. Read more »

Biden Pondering Presidential Run

biden

Vice President Joe Biden — the Scranton native and former longtime U.S. Senator from Delaware — is pondering a late entry into the 2016 presidential race, multiple reports say.

“Vice President Joe Biden met privately with Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday in his residence at the Naval Observatory, CNN has learned, another sign he is seriously deciding whether to jump into the Democratic presidential race,” CNN reports. “Warren and Biden discussed economic policy during a meeting that lasted about two hours, a person familiar with the discussion told CNN, adding that the presidential campaign or Biden’s future was not a particular focus of the discussion.” Read more »

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