America’s Gun Problem Isn’t Pat Toomey’s Fault

Pat Toomey, Joe Manchin

I get that it’s an election year and thus partisan attacks won’t always be fair, but still: It seems pretty silly that Democrats are taking aim at Sen. Pat Toomey, of all people, on the gun issue.

Why? Because a few years ago, after the Sandy Hook massacre, Toomey became the rare Republican to buck the NRA — he joined Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and sponsored a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases. Modest? Sure. Watered-down? Probably. And yet: It was still too much for the Gun Caucus to accept. The bill never came close to passage.

Despite this, Toomey is now being criticized by his campaign rivals for not doing enough to end the scourge of mass shootings. Read more »

Police: Suspect in Sexual Assault of Temple Student in Custody


Philadelphia Police today announced the suspect in the sexual assault and robbery of a Temple student has been apprehended. He was taken into custody sometime late last night or early morning by federal agents, a police spokeswoman said. The suspect’s name has not yet been released, nor were other details of the arrest available.

Police had released surveillance footage of the suspect on Friday of last week. Read more »

A.D. Amorosi on City Paper: I Have a Slightly Different Take on Things


Philadelphia City Paper ends today, and with it, we lose a large part of what made alternative media great in the first place: the loosening of language restrictions, the unique investigative looks at news and arts, and the creation of new stars in every field. City Paper was written for the young at heart and the avant-garde of spirit and penned by people who were passionate about providing that script.

All the warnings about newspapers dying mean nothing when an outlet actually closes. The thud is still deafening. What will be louder, though, is the hooting and hollering that CP’s staff and freelancers, friends and family will make come Saturday when its funereal celebration is held at Pen & Pencil.

Like any good wake, there have already been richly sad and cheery eulogies — here, here and here. Read more »

U.S. News: Penn 14th Among “Global” Universities


Penn ranks among the world’s very best universities, according to the latest ranking from U.S. News & World Report.

The magazine ranked Penn 14th on its list of “Best Global Universities,” tied with Ivy League neighbor Yale, and one spot behind Princeton. The best university overall was Harvard; the best non-U.S. university was Oxford, in the United Kingdom.
Read more »

So, Will The Flyers Be Any Good This Season?


The Flyers used to be a sure bet for the playoffs every year. Ed Snider would assemble a team of French Canadians, Regular Canadians, Americans and maybe a Scandinavian or two; the Flyers would finish in the top half of the conference and they’d make the playoffs. This happened every year except one from 1994-95 season to the 2011-12 season (when hockey wasn’t locked out). It didn’t really matter that the Flyers never won the Stanley Cup; the team would draw nearly 20,000 a game every year to South Philadelphia, and things were good. What other Philadelphia sports team could boast such (regular season) success?

In two out of the last three years, however, the Flyers have not made the postseason. The one year they did (2013–14) they lost in the first round to the Rangers. Instead of coming into this season as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders — hockey playoffs are weird and long, any team that qualifies can make a run — they are coming in defending themselves. “Philadelphia Flyers out to prove critics wrong,” is the headline on a story by longtime Courier Times Flyers beat writer Wayne Fish. “Giroux out to prove Flyers better than expected,” reads today’s Daily News back cover. Even Comcast SportsNet, which has the same parent company as the team, headlines its piece: “Claude Giroux: Flyers using outside doubt as motivation.”

It’s true: Not one ESPN expert has the Flyers winning the Metropolitan Division. No writers at Sports Illustrated picked the Flyers to even make the playoffs. “With [backup goaltender Michal] Neuvirth as insurance,” SI writes in another article, “do the Flyers defensively challenged Flyers pick up enough points to challenge for a playoff berth?” The Flyers are such an afterthought no one has even fixed that typo yet.

Which leads us to this: Uh-oh. Are the Flyers going to be bad this season? Will this year of Philadelphia sports horror never end? Read more »

Obama’s DOJ to Release 6,000 Prisoners

The NAACP's Annual Convention is here in Philly this week, and features dozens of speakers, including President Obama, former President Clinton, Mayor Nutter, and many more. There's also a host of panels, discussions, workshops, and celebrations throughout the multi-day event. Through July 15th, various times and prices, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street

The NAACP’s Annual Convention is here in Philly in July featured dozens of speakers, including President Obama.

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here is what you need to know today.

Last July, President Obama visited Philly and called for transformation of the criminal justice system. Now he’s following through — by releasing 6,000 federal prisoners.

“Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we’ve got to do something about it,” Obama said in Philly. Now, the Washington Post reports, his Justice Department is going to release 6,000 prisoners “to reduce overcrowding and provide relief to drug offenders who received harsh sentences over the past three decades.” A change in sentencing guidelines could result in early releases for 46,000 of the nation’s drug offenders.

Prison will be increasingly reserved for violent offenders, instead. “I think you can send the correct message which is – illegal drug use won’t be tolerated,” Sen. Bob Casey told the Sinclair Broadcast Group. “But at the same time we’ve got to make sure we have the resources to track down and to incarcerate the most violent members in our society.” Read more »

American Government? What a Waste.

I understand that Republican leaders in Congress are working to repeal Obamacare. What a splendid idea that is: to try to rid the country of a law that, while it has its flaws (mostly, it doesn’t go far enough), by all credible accounts is working remarkably well. This is their 61st attempt to jettison the health-care legislation. Way back in July of 2012, Nancy Pelosi tweeted that House Republicans had thus far devoted 88 hours and 53 minutes to trying to kill Obamacare. Can you imagine what that total is now, three and a quarter years later? Read more »

Ex-Flyer: Local Cops “Take Care” of Flyers Players

Todd Fedoruk spent his first four seasons of his NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers. He was in his early 20s. Like many young, newly rich professional athletes, he partied. Later in his career, he had problems with drugs. Fedoruk is retired now.

In an interview with Canada’s TSN, he opened up about his out-of-control drug abuse. He’s trying to encourage players struggling with the same problem to get help.

He also claimed that, occasionally, police in the area look the other way. Read more »

Al Roker Meets Johnny Doc’s Union on the Today Show


Last week, we told you about a letter that Johnny Doc’s Local 98 union sent to the Department of Homeland Security, alleging that NBC 10 committed a “serious security breach” by having its fill-in cameramen fraudulently gain access to papal events. (The cameramen and other technicians are on strike; NBC10 denied the union’s claim). And on Wednesday, Local 98 continued to do that thing that it does, sending protestors to the set of the Today show on NBC. Read more »

Suspect in Custody, No Injuries, After Germantown’s MLK High Locked Down This Morning

Martin Luther King High School. Image via Google street view.

Martin Luther King High School. Image via Google street view.

This morning, for the third day in a row, class at an educational institution in Philadelphia was disrupted by the specter of gun violence.

Today’s scare: Martin Luther King High School on Stenton Avenue in Germantown.

The school was locked down just before 9 a.m. following a report that an unidentified male student may have had a gun in or in the vicinity of the school, according to a statement released by Philadelphia Police.

District officials said there was never any gun found inside the school and the lockdown was out of an abundance of caution, 6 ABC reports. Read more »

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