Is Sam Katz Running for Mayor Again?

Photo | HughE Dillon

Photo | HughE Dillon

Former Republican mayoral candidate Sam Katz loves to tell the story about when a reporter asked him if the rumors are true that he still wants to be mayor. Katz’s response: “I’ve wanted to be mayor since I was a seven years old.”

Today’s announcement that Katz is resigning as chair of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Board (PICA) is being read by some as the first sign that he may be considering another run in 2015.

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Requiem for a Meme: Bob Costas’ Pink Eye

The 2014 Winter Olympics just became a whole lot less entertaining with the announcement that Matt Lauer will replace Bob Costas in the main anchor chair for a day. Costas’s infected left eye quickly became the star of Sochi and the source of fountain of entertainment on Twitter. There are at least a dozen handles and five hashtags paying homage to Costas’s affliction. And the tweets have been more entertaining than the games.

When the infection worsened and spread to the right eye, both NBC and Costas agreed, for the good of America and the world, it was time for a new host (if only temporarily). In memory of Bob’s red, swollen, half-open oozing eyes, here now is a sampling of the best tweets of the past few days.

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Suburbs Continue to Struggle Without Power, Start Getting Testy

Photo | Larry Mendte

Photo | Larry Mendte. See more of Larry’s photos here.

Frustration is growing in the suburbs. Facebook friends in Bucks, Montgomery and Chester Counties, in Trooper, Devon, Bryn Mawr, Horsham, Huntingdon Valley, Glenside, Bensalem, Exton, Oxford, Chester Springs, Newtown, Churchville and Concordville all report power still out. PECO puts the number at a quarter-million. The situation is causing some to hit the Jersey Shore, some to get reacquainted with family and still others to turn on their neighbors.

“No water, power or heat over here in Concord,” Erin O’Neill reports from Delaware County. “I am able to stay at my fiance’s home, however, the rest of the family is old-schooling it and staying at home.” Erin keeps checking on her disabled mother who is stuck at home and has been told she will be without power until Sunday.

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Mike Missanelli Responds: Deadspin Is Journalistically Corrupt

roster-mike-missanelliThere is so much wrong with the Deadspin story “Philly Radio Host Gets All Homophobic In Email Fight With Listener,” I am not sure where to begin.

The story was leaked to them by an Internet troll who has reportedly been baiting and heckling Mike Missanelli, a radio talk show host on 97.5 the Fanatic, for years. In the Deadspin story the troll is allowed to remain anonymous. Yet before running the story, Deadspin never reached out to Missanelli to get his side of the story. I know because I did reach out to him. It was easy and he responded immediately. It is a basic tenet of journalism to attempt to get both sides of the story.

Or as Mike Missanelli puts it,“Deadspin doesn’t even know the IDENTITY of the guy and they ran it! Journalistically corrupt.” Missanelli went on to call the person who leaked the story “a lonely loser psycho, allowed to create drama in this day and age simply through social media.”

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Five Reasons Ending Philadelphia’s “Resign to Run” Law Would Be Bad for the City

City Hall

Photo | Jeff Fusco

We gave politicians the right to be corrupt. We did it when we gave them the power to pass legislation that benefits no one but themselves. It is a power they flaunt and abuse regularly when they give themselves pay raises, manipulate campaign laws and grant themselves immunity from insider trading laws.

Philadelphia is especially adept at abusing its ability to pass laws that benefit the members. The Council sets its own budget, giving the members cars, expenses, cell phones and staff with no hearings or oversight. And, of course, there is the DROP boondoggle that allowed council members to dip into the city’s pension fund without retiring.

Now Council is about to abuse its power by changing the rules again.

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Pennsylvania Experiencing Widespread Flu Outbreak

flu-chart-940

Source: state.pa.us

We are in the middle of one of the worst flu outbreaks in recent history and it just keeps getting worse. Last year was the worst flu season since 2007, but this year isn’t over yet and the flu is spreading faster than anyone predicted. There were almost 3,000 new lab-confirmed cases in the state last week alone (see below). The cold weather seems to be to blame for the rapid increase.

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False Start: The Big Problem With the Chris Christie-Carl Lewis Story

Photo | Mel Evans

Photo | Mel Evans

Chris Christie, once the darling of the media and the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination, is now the national whipping boy. He hasn’t just been knocked down a few pegs; he has been knocked to the ground. And now every hack with a political grudge is ready to kick him while he’s down.

Enter Olympic star and wannabe political hack Carl Lewis. From Houston he delivers another kick to the gut claiming that Christie bullied him out of the New Jersey Senate primary race against Christie friend and supporter State Senator Dawn Addiego. According to Lewis, the Governor threatened to drop a plan to appoint the gold medalist as the state’s first physical fitness ambassador.

I am certain that some will express Captain Renault-like shock at the story. Renault was the character in Casablanca who was “shocked that there is gambling going on in here” as he collected his winnings. Are we supposed to be shocked that this kind of backroom deal-making happens in politics? My reaction to this faux-scandal is a yawn so big that the National Weather Service may have to name it.

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As Promised, Welcome to Chris Christie Scandal No. 3

AP Photo | Julio Cortez

AP Photo | Julio Cortez

Don’t you hate when people say “I hate to say I told you so” — when you know at that moment there is nothing they relish more than saying those words? I am at that moment right now. I won’t lie. I love telling you I told you so. As promised in my post last week, the third in the continuing series of Chris Christie scandals is here.

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Coming Soon:
Chris Christie Scandal No. 3?

We will see if Chris Christie is indeed “Stronger than the Storm.” I doubt it. This storm is political and it is ugly and mean, at least as powerful as Sandy. I suspect we have not yet seen the worst of it.

First came the allegation that Christie orchestrated a four-day traffic jam as political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey. I wrote about this last week and thought the Governor exonerated himself at an unprecedented two-plus hour news conference. I ended my post with the caveat, “If one word was a lie, he’s done.”

I should have also added the caveat of other scandals surfacing.

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I Changed My Mind About Chris Christie During the Bridgegate News Conference Yesterday

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gestures during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Photo | Mel Evans

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gestures during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Photo | Mel Evans, AP

I have been lukewarm on the “Chris Christie for president” media crusade. Although I like the Harry Truman-style straight talk, I don’t like the Nixon-like temper he is quick to display in public. But Christie’s performance at his Bridgegate news conference has changed all of that. While the MSNBC fan club is gleefully predicting the demise of the one candidacy that could have derailed the Hillary coronation, I now am now all in for Christie. He took something I have not seen a candidate so willingly and so humbly take in a long time – accountability.

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