Where Is the Outrage Over James Foley’s Beheading?

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There have been two weeks of outrage over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The details of the shooting are still fuzzy, but the anger is crystal clear and exposes a still deep and ugly divide in America.

In sharp contrast, the beheading of James Foley by Islamic State extremists did not prompt the same outrage or protests. The details of the beheading are on video for anyone with the stomach to watch (WARNING: GRAPHIC). The international divide it exposes is equally ugly and far more dangerous. It should unite us as Americans, as the Islamic State on the other side of the divide wants to kill us all, regardless of color or class.

And yet the growing threat of the Islamic State is a secondary story to Ferguson. It speaks more to our national media than the greater population. Ferguson is easier and much less expensive to cover. The growing threat of ISIS — the greatest threat to America and the civilized world in recent history — is more dangerous and more expensive to cover.

And besides, stories that divide us rather than unite us make for better TV. Two sides yelling at each other is the formula for cable news success. The importance of a story and journalistic responsibility lost in the battle for ratings and revenue long ago.

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Bring Rocky the Musical to Philly

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Andy Karl in Rocky the Musical.

This Sunday, August 17th, the curtain will close for the final time on Rocky the Musical on Broadway.  It opened with such promise, a star-studded opening night and decent reviews. But Rocky had trouble filling seats, meaning it is doubtful we will ever see Clubber Lang or Ivan Drago belt out a tune in Rocky II through V: The Musicals.

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7 Ways to Flip Atlantic City’s Image

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I travelled to Atlantic City this week to appear on the popular Harry Hurley talk radio show on WPG, which stands for World’s Play Ground, a leftover moniker from a time gone by. Since I had to be up early in the morning, I was put up in Resorts International.

My father was born and raised in Atlantic City, but I am not an “AC guy,” meaning I don’t gamble and I have a family. Ocean City is my shore resort of choice. I’m not certain anyone in the area chooses Atlantic City for the summer or for the week, just for the night or a wild weekend. But I checked and found there was a pool at Resorts and so I brought the wife and kids. They could stay safe poolside, while I made my radio appearance, and then we would head to Ocean City for the rest of the day.

At least that was the plan.

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Thanks to Obama, Democrats Will Lose the Senate

President Barack Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River near Wilmington, Del. Photo | Patrick Semansky, AP

President Barack Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River near Wilmington, Del. Photo | Patrick Semansky, AP

Philadelphia and the entire tri-state area is so dyed-in-the-wool Democrat blue that it is difficult sometimes to have a conversation about national politics, especially about President Obama. It is fascinating to watch the conflict in thought as the topics of the Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Israel, the border children, immigration or the Affordable Health Care Act come up. On topic after topic, the blue-as-Smurfs party loyalists will complain, but somehow the President gets a pass.

Not so much in the rest of the country.

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Delaware Casino Bailout Stinks

 

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Something stinks in Delaware and it’s not just the horseshoe crabs decaying on the beaches of the Delaware Bay.

It is the bailout of the state’s three casinos, which may be the worst deal in the history of bad state government deals.  And that is really saying something considering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave Revel casino in Atlantic City $300 million last year, and this year Revel is declaring bankruptcy.

The Delaware deal stinks even more than that one.  Let’s go through the reasons why.

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The 10 Idiots You Meet Every Year at the Beach

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I have been going down the shore, Ocean City to be exact, since before I can remember. On the beach, an instant community is formed of all types — including outcasts. The outcasts are the ones who engage in some perverse, imposing and inconsiderate activity that breaks the serenity of the day for everyone else. I call these selfish bastards the “beach idiots” — blunt, not very clever, but appropriate.

A day at the beach should be void of confrontation and the stress it brings, so most tag-wearing, well mannered folk put up with the beach idiots without saying a word, knowing their annoying behavior can usually only last so long.

As a public service, I am here to call out the beach idiots in the desperate hope that they will see the error of their obnoxious ways.

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Why Wilmington Is So Dangerous

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Bobby Cummings seems like a great guy, quick with a smile, easy to talk with, a full-grown Boy Scout. Honest, courteous, kind, the whole package.

And that’s why I feel so bad for him. He just accepted the nearly impossible task of turning around the most dangerous city in AmericaWilmington, Delaware. Recently it passed Camden and every other city in the country in per capita murders, shooting and violent crimes.

It’s not that I don’t think Cummings can make a difference. He can, if the City of Wilmington will let him.

I didn’t realize how much Cummings is handicapped by bureaucratic idiocy until I sat down with him for a TV interview on MeTV, Channel 2. Within the first three minutes of the interview I was stunned.

I asked an obvious question, “Do you need more police officers?” And I got the obvious answer, “Yes.” Like any police chief in the history of police chiefs would say no.

“How many do you need?”

It was the answer to that question was the stunner. Cummings said, “If I could get 50 more police officers, I could start a homicide unit.”

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You Can’t Be Too Rich or Too Thin

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Fat, poor, and uneducated. On the bright side…

What is the hardest place in the Philadelphia area to live?

Thanks to data reporting by the New York Times Magazine, we have an answer. The Times used six data points to rate the livability in every county in the country: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment, disability, life expectancy and obesity.

Clay County, Kentucky was determined to be the hardest place in America to live. Los Alamos County in New Mexico, a hub of scientific research, is the easiest place to live.

But let’s get back to Philadelphia. Is anyone shocked that the City of Philadelphia is the hardest place in the area to live using these metrics? But it was Chester County, not Montgomery County, that was the easiest.

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The I-495 Debacle: Who Approved the Dirt That Broke the Bridge?

Crews work on the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River near Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, June 3, 2014, after it was closed due to the discovery of four tilting support columns. The closure created heavier-than-normal traffic conditions for motorists on Interstate 95, a major East Coast artery. The bridge normally carries about 90,000 vehicles a day. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Crews work on the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River near Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, June 3, 2014, after it was closed due to the discovery of four tilting support columns. The closure created heavier-than-normal traffic conditions for motorists on Interstate 95, a major East Coast artery. The bridge normally carries about 90,000 vehicles a day. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The blame game continues in Delaware as investigators try to figure out who broke the I-495 Bridge.  And at least one Delaware official is calling for a federal investigation.

The heavily travelled federal highway will be closed all summer after an engineer noticed that the bridge’s support piers were damaged.  The emergency repairs are expected to cost $20 million.

An investigation found that someone dumped 55 thousand tons of dirt under the bridge causing the piers to shift and crack. Keogh Contracting owns the dirt and is helping to haul it away, but that much dirt doesn’t just appear overnight. It has to be approved with government permits, especially since much of the dirt was piled high on state owned land.

Charles Copeland, a former state legislator and chair of the state Republican party, isn’t ready to put all the blame on the contractor.  “He didn’t just wake up one day and say ‘I’m just going to start dumping dirt under 495,’” Copeland told me during a television interview. “He did that under contracts, he did that under authorities.”

So who approved the dirt that broke the bridge?  Read more »

Dream Delaware Senate Race: Coons Vs. Castle

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Our Delaware Senate race dream: Mike Castle (left) vs. Chris Coons

When did compromise become a dirty word in politics?

This country was founded on compromise. The United States Constitution is the result of a vociferous debate by two strong-willed factions, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. They fought over states’ rights and personal liberty versus a big powerful federal government.

If that debate sounds familiar, it’s because it continues to this day, only it is uglier and more unproductive — more theater to raise money than substance.

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