Experts: McCaffery Clearance “Unusual”

We told you Tuesday night that Seamus McCaffery, the (suspended) Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, had dropped his defamation suit against the Inky. That paper had reported on referral fees McCaffery’s wife took while he was on the bench: The case went away when the paper agreed to report that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had issued a statement clearing McCaffery of wrongdoing in the matter.

The Legal Intelligencer says today that such statements by federal prosecutors are pretty unusual.
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Dick Morris Leaving Philly Talk Radio

Dick Morris | AP Photo

Dick Morris. Photo | Whitney Curtis, AP

That didn’t last long. A year-and-a-half after he arrived on the Philadelphia airwaves (with some recent bad press trailing behind him) Dick Morris is leaving his post at WPHT to campaign for Republican candidates in 2016. He’ll stay on through this year’s mid-term election.

Morris’s departure may portend some changes at the talk radio station.

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Archbishop Chaput Speaks Out Against Church Liberalization

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

While liberal Catholics greeted signs of growing openness to gays at a recent summit of cardinals and bishops at the Vatican, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput — a noted conservative — found much to criticize. He expressed his unhappiness in a Monday night speech that is getting wide play across the country.

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Philly Principals Are Hungry for Money

Photo |

Photo |

If you want to get a better idea of the financial squeeze Philly’s public schools operate under, just take a look at how some of them were going to use money freed up by the SRC’s unilateral cancellation of the teachers’ contract.

Central High School was going to hire teachers.

Commodore John Barry School was contemplating the same.

And Greenfield Elementary? More paper and pencils.

Those plans are on hold now that a judge has halted the School Reform Commission’s decision this week. Before that happened, though, the SRC announced that the cancellation had freed up $15 million — money that had previously been spent on health insurance premiums for teachers — to give directly back to schools, to be used as they choose. (A spreadsheet of each school’s cash expected disbursement can be found here.) And the principals were happy to choose.

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Could Comcast Investment Solve Customer Service Issues?


You know Comcast has been in trouble lately over customer service issues? Comcast Ventures, the (natch) venture capital arm of the company, just made a big investment that might help resolve those issues.

Portland Business Journal reports that Comcast Ventures was the big investor in Lytics, a software company that just raised $7 million in funding. Andrew Cleland, a partner at Comcast Ventures, will join the Lytics board.

And what does Lytics do?

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Daryl Metcalfe’s Bad Religion


Let’s give this to Daryl Metcalfe: If you wanted to create a religious-right bogeyman that almost perfectly fit the fevered nightmares of liberals, he’d pretty closely fit the bill.

Metcalfe is the Pennsylvania Republican probably best known for silencing openly gay Rep. Brian Sims on the House floor last year because Sims’ comments in favor of gay marriage would’ve been “against God’s law.”

“I’m a Christian,” Metcalfe said at the time. “Based on the command of Jesus Christ, of Almighty God, I love my fellow man. I work to protect their liberties.”

Unless, of course, his fellow man is an immigrant. Or somebody trying to help an immigrant. Or, worse yet, someone trying to help an immigrant child. Then Metcalfe’s love somehow disappears.

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Council Committee Approves Hate Crimes Bill

A City Council committee on Tuesday afternoon gave preliminary approval to a bill that creates municipal hate crimes protection for people victimized because of their sexual orientation.

The bill is intended to extend protections not available under the state’s hate crimes law, which doesn’t cover sexual orientation. It was sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and Councilman James Kenney following the September attack on a gay couple in Center City. Tuesday’s hearing was held by the council’s Committee on Public Safety.

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When Ron Castille Called Seamus McCaffery a “Sociopath”


Ron Castille and Seamus McCaffery don’t much like each other. Anybody who has paid attention to rivalries on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in recent years knows that.

But McCaffery’s Monday suspension from the court over the “Porngate” scandal was accompanied Monday by a jeremiad from Castille, the court’s chief justice, that displayed a level of enmity rarely seen in American public life anymore.

Here are five of the most dramatic statements from Castille’s Monday concurring statement, which mostly agrees with the order to suspend McCaffery from his duties while the Judicial Conduct Board investigates:
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