It was Saturday night at the King of Prussia Mall and my 8-year-old son, David, wanted to see Santa. He took a picture with his mom’s iPhone of some toys he just saw and wanted to show Santa. Welcome to life in 2014.
We got to the Santa area in the middle of the mall and his helpers were putting up the velvet rope. “Santa has to take a quick break,” we were told. I pleaded and they allowed just one more. The velvet rope clipped on the pole and I was dad of the day.
As I stood waiting for my son’s turn with the big man, the helper confided in me that he needed to rush Santa out of there before the “Die-In.” A large group of people protesting the shooting deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner were going to sprawl themselves like so many dead bodies next in the fake snow and next to the giant candy canes, in hopes of disrupting Christmas shopping and visits with Santa.
On cue a little girl cried at the news that she would not be able to talk to Santa. She was told that he needed to feed the reindeer. In truth, his security team had to whisk him away before the embarrassing photo op of Santa standing jolly amid the mock dead.
It was surreal until the anger set in. How dare they!
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Photo Credit: Benny Sieu – USA Today
Read Mike Missanelli on why Chip Kelly’s gaudy numbers might not get the Eagles to the postseason.
Since Chip Kelly is heralded by the Philadelphia media and fan base as a genius who revolutionized football, I decided to take a look at Kelly compared to his peers.
The best way, maybe the only way, to rate NFL head coaches is by wins and losses. With that criterion, many in Philadelphia will be surprised to find out that Kelly is not even the best of his class. That distinction goes to another guy with Philadelphia ties; former Temple head coach Bruce Arians, who took over the Arizona Cardinals job the same year Kelly took over the Eagles job. In fact, Kelly has the exact same record as the man he followed as Eagles head coach, the much-derided Andy Reid.
Here is the win loss record of the seven men who became the new coach of their respective teams in 2013:
Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals 21-9
Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles 19-11
Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs 19-11
Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers 17-13
Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills 14-16
Mark Trestman, Chicago Bears 13-17
Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars 7-24
Of those seven teams, only Arians’ team is assured a playoff spot with two games yet to play.
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In this March 3, 2005 file photo, a workman slides a dustmop over the floor at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va. Senate investigators have delivered a damning indictment of CIA interrogation practices after the 9/11 attacks, accusing the agency of inflicting pain and suffering on prisoners with tactics that went well beyond legal limits. The torture report released Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee says the CIA deceived the nation with its insistence that the harsh interrogation tactics had saved lives. It says those claims are unsubstantiated by the CIA’s own records. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Read Chris Freind’s defense of “enhanced interrogations” here.
I am sickened by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s extensive use of torture during the War on Terror after the attacks of 9/11.
I didn’t expect to be. I thought those decrying waterboarding and other methods of enhanced interrogation were dangerously blinded by their own naivete in a world where our enemies behead Americans and fly planes into buildings. I thought it too easy to look back from a time of peace and judge the methods used at a time when our country was reeling in the wake of 9/11.
And then I read the report.
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Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
The Eagles season is far from over and already the provocateurs on Philadelphia sports talk radio are speculating about next year and the years after. The favorite topic of the speculation set is the future of the quarterback position, ripe with options.
- Start Nick Foles next year
- Re-sign Mark Sanchez and start him (less popular after the Seattle game where Sanchez was less than mediocre)
- Trade with the Washington Redskins for Robert Griffin III, also known as RG3, and start him.
- Draft the quarterback of the future and start him or let him play behind Foles for a year.
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National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri’s governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.
I like Mike Missanelli. I could listen to him talk sports and pop culture for hours on end, and have. Mike is the afternoon host on 97.5 The Fanatic radio station and a fellow contributor to PhillyMag.com. But he is wrong in continuing to use the police shooting in Ferguson as an example of a pervasive racial bias in police departments across America.
Missanelli made his case on this site last week when he chastised sports commentator and Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley because he “didn’t express outrage at the non-indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the confrontational shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.” And because Barkley said “the grand jury was righteous in its weighing of the evidence, and defended police officers as deterrents to even worse things that can happen in the ’hood.”
All of that is true and based in fact. Barkley is right.
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It is far too early to tell whether CNN’s Don Lemon is embattled or just growing his brand. He is becoming a household name for all the wrong reasons — but he’s becoming a household name all the same. When CNN does its talent research, Lemon’s name recognition will creep up on the network’s stars like Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, even though Lemon’s fame is fueled by his becoming an Internet joke.
The latest Lemon embarrassments are photographs, which have gone viral, of Lemon flashing gang signs and grabbing his crotch at a party. This comes after CNN’s bizarre gas mask reporting from Ferguson, when Lemon trapped smoke inside his own gas mask and couldn’t breathe. And while buildings were on fire and stores were being looted, Lemon complained about the smell of marijuana in the air. That follows Lemon’s even more bizarre interview with one of Bill Cosby’s alleged rape victims. Lemon essentially asked the woman why she didn’t defend herself with her teeth.
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It was one of the most bizarre interviews ever on TV news. CNN’s Don Lemon, who used to work in Philadelphia at NBC10, asked one of the women who is accusing Bill Cosby of rape, why she didn’t do more to prevent it. He went so far as to basically ask Joan Tarshis why she didn’t just bite Cosby’s penis.
That bizarre exchange gave birth to #DonLemonReporting, #DonLemonRapePreventionTips and #DonLemonQuestions, with tweets applying Lemon’s warped logic to other situations. It is the top trending hashtag on Twitter:
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As an attorney accuses the Philadelphia Police of “crucifying” the man known as Philly Jesus, further infuriating those who find the character’s whole act sacrilegious, there just might be some method to the madness behind arresting a guy dressed as the Son of God.
For a lesson in madness there is no better place to go than New York City, Times Square to be precise.
Have you been recently? It is a children’s fantasy nightmare straight out of a Fellini Film. People dressed like Elmo, Mickey and Minnie, Batman, Hello Kitty, Buzz and Woody stalk you and your children to take pictures. Sometimes there are as many as 80 of them and the costumes are just off enough, just dingy enough to make them a tad frightening. Imagine your childhood favorites recreated by Edvard Munch. And if you don’t tip them a few bucks, things can get out of hand fast.
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It has been widely reported that Wilmington, Delaware has the highest per capita homicide rate in the country last year. This year it’s worse. Wilmington is on a pace to set a new record for murders.
What hasn’t been as widely reported is that the area around Delaware has shown a dramatic and consistent drop in crime over the past two years. The murder rate in the rest of New Castle County has dropped 55 percent since 2012; and the new man in charge is getting a lot of attention from the international law enforcement community for the unique crime fighting system he put into place.
“We recently had to bring in a translator for one of our meetings because some diplomats from Colombia wanted to see what we were doing,” said Colonel Elmer Setting, New Castle County’s police chief and new star.
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This is an article that I know full well most of you don’t give two dung heaps about — the midterm elections.
I know this because poll after poll shows that only half of the American public are interested in the upcoming election and about 10 percent of them are lying. In the last 10 midterm elections, voter turnout has been consistently around 40 percent.
The big national story in Tuesday’s voting will be the fate of the United States Senate. It is easy to lose interest in that narrative locally because our two local Senators up for re-election, Chris Coons (D-DE) and Corey Booker (D-NJ), are expected to coast to victory, as our area becomes bluer and bluer.
Of course, we have the Pennsylvania Gubernatorial election and there have been some signs that Republican Incumbent Tom Corbett is gaining ground. But President Obama’s campaign visit to Temple University on behalf of challenger Tom Wolfe is a sure sign that the Democrats believe they have the race in the bag. The President has only been campaigning for candidates who are far ahead in the polls. Candidates in competitive races don’t want the President anywhere near their campaigns, and some have even refused admitting to voting for the President in the last election.
Here’s why you should care more about the future of the Unite States Senate.
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