Can Conservatives and Liberals Be Friends?

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Photo | Shutterstock.com

For nearly seven years now, Ben Boychuk and I have jousted weekly on the pages of many newspapers across the country. We co-write a syndicated political column — I’m the liberal, he’s the conservative, and every week we debate the issue du jour. Ben hates Obamacare, isn’t a fan of gay marriage, has very little nice to say about teachers’ unions, thinks rich people spending money like crazy to influence elections is a great expression of First Amendment values. I think he’s wrong about nearly everything, he thinks the same thing about me, and sometimes the never-ending disagreement can be pretty damned irritating.

Ben is also one of my best friends in the world. I think he’d say the same about me.

It’s not supposed to work that way. We live in terribly polarized times. Liberals and conservatives watch different TV, live in different places, and mostly think the worst of each other.

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Anti-Gay Flier in N.J. Senate Race Has “Cory Brooker” Typo

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New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is likely to coast to re-election next month. He’s way ahead in the polls against conservative businessman Jeff Bell.

But that hasn’t stopped the Public Advocate of the United States, a conservative Christian advocacy group that is against gay marriage, taxpayer-funded art, abortion, hate crime laws and the “mainstream media’s promotion and glorification of drug abuse, teenage sex, gangs, atheism, homosexuality and other immoral behavior and beliefs.” It’s a nonprofit 501(c)4 political organization.

And, yes, it misspelled Cory Booker’s name as “Cory Brooker” on a flier sent to New Jersey residents. (The one above was sent to a Mercer County resident.)

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Councilman Calls for Hearing on Bed Bugs

Photo by Piotr Naskrecki, courtesy of CDC/Harvard University.

Photo by Piotr Naskrecki, courtesy of CDC/Harvard University.

Councilman Mark Squilla is calling for a City Council hearing on bed bugs, saying he’s heard anecdotal evidence they’re becoming more prevalent in Philadelphia, particularly in the city’s rowhouses.

“Neighbors have had bed bugs, and it’s creeping into their properties,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “and those people can’t afford to get the bed bugs exterminated.  If you have a person who is on a fixed income, and they found out they have bed bugs, the cost could be thousands of dollars in extermination fees, not counting materials you might have to buy to encase your mattresses and get rid of some of the stuff you have.”
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Pa. Man Has Been Mistaken For Eric Frein More Than 20 Times

James Tully, left. Eric Frein on the right.

James Tully, left. Eric Frein on the right.

Pity poor James Tully. The Monroe County man does not have a car and has to walk five miles to work. That’s enough of a hassle, except he keeps getting mistaken for Eric Frein, the man charged with killing Pennsylvania State Trooper Byron Dickson and wounding fellow trooper Alex Douglass last month.

Tully says most of his interactions with police — including being stopped seven times in one day — have ended fine, with police checking his identification and sending him on his way. But recently a man in camouflage jumped out of a car, sent Tully to the ground and pointed a rifle at his head. “I will break you right here,” Tully said the man asked. “What is your name?” After a state trooper came by to confirm his identify, Tully went to the ER with severely bruised ribs.

But a positive has come out of one man being mistaken for a suspected cop killer more than 20 times.

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Pennsylvania Curbs Investment in Iran

The Pennsylvania Legislature is making foreign policy now, apparently.

Gov. Tom Corbett this week signed a bill that makes companies choose: Do they want Iran’s business? Or the Keystone State’s? Because you can’t have both.
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Like Him or Not, Nick Foles Is the Eagles’ Quarterback of the Future

Photo | Jeff Fusco.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Here is the definitive report on Nick Foles:

He doesn’t dazzle you in any aspect of the game. Sometimes he looks really good shooting the ball down the field to open crossing receivers. And sometimes he has peculiar moments of uncertainty, heaving balls to the middle of the field off his back foot. Those are the moments that allow fans to drift into negative land with thoughts that Foles may not the quarterback who will lead this franchise to future riches.

But know this: Foles will be the franchise quarterback going forward — because the Eagles really don’t have any other choice.

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UPDATE: Judge Faces Charges for Accepting Bracelet

[Update 11:37 a.m.] District Attorney Seth Williams brought the $2,000 Tiffany bracelet with him to the press conference:

Photo | 6ABC

Image via 6ABC

Williams said the case against Tynes is “press and play” — prosecutors will just have to play the tapes of Tynes accepting the bracelet, recorded by investigators during the sting operation.

These are the only charges brought out of that investigation so far, but Williams said the investigation continues against Philly state representatives who were also caught on tape taking gifts from an undercover informant.

He added that any suggestions of racial profiling — offered by Attorney General Kathleen Kane as a reason for originally dropping the case — are a distraction.

Williams’ official statement on the case:

The grand jury’s findings:

The office also released three photos — one of Tynes, two of the bracelet:



[Original 10 a.m.] Thomasine Tynes, a retired Traffic Court judge, will face state corruption charges, Fox 29 reports.

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Comcast Earnings Rise 12 Percent

Gryffindor shirts for sale on display during a preview of Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gryffindor shirts for sale on display during a preview of Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Comcast reported its third-quarter earnings today. It made a lot of money. A lot of money. Harry Potter money.
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