Did Obama Help Produce Philly’s New Sick Leave Law?

President Barack Obama

Did President Obama help produce Philly’s new sick leave law?

That’s what USA Today suggests in a story that assertss the president has done an end-run around Congress to produce progress on progressive priorities. The paper notes that Mayor Nutter vetoed two versions of the bill from council — but that Philly is one of several cities to pass a paid sick leave law since the president called on municipalities to do so in his State of the Union address. Read more »

Obama Visits Camden to Talk Policing

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama is visiting Camden today, taking a close look at the policing operations of a city that appears to be becoming safer.

“The newly-established Camden County Police Department has gained national recognition for the strides its made in its use of community policing,” KYW reports. “During his visit, the president will tour the Real-Time Tactical Operational Intelligence Center at the police department’s headquarters.” Read more »

Obama to Support Efforts to End Conversion Therapy for Gay and Transgender Youth

obama state of the union gay lesbian bi transgender

The death of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, who committed suicide in December after her parents forced her to attend conversion therapy, has initiated a lot of reactions, perhaps the largest of which is a whitehouse.gov petition that calls for an end to conversion therapy on gay and transgender youth. The petition has garnered more than 120,000 signatures—enough for President Obama to make a response and take action to forbid mental health practitioners from working to “repair” LGBT youth.

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50 Years After Bloody Sunday, a Push for Racial Fairness in Sentencing

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I caught up with State Sen. Vincent Hughes on Sunday afternoon by phone — he had spent the weekend in Selma, Alabama, joining the 50th anniversary celebration of the “Bloody Sunday” march that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, and was driving with former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to the airport to return home.

“Pretty powerful,” Hughes, the Philadelphia Democrat, told me. “Pretty powerful to stand on the same ground where, 50 years ago, people were beat in the head … just to secure the right thing, was just a powerful thing.”

“People took charge of their own destiny, and they changed the country in a meaningful way,” Patrick added. “That’s an important lesson about the power we have when we look up instead of looking down.” Read more »

Ramsey-Led Policing Commission Makes Recommendations

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, co-chair,  the President's Task Force on 21 Century Policing, listens to witnesses at the Newseum in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, co-chair, the President’s Task Force on 21 Century Policing, listens to witnesses at the Newseum in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The presidential task force on 21st century policing led by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has issued its “interim” report. Ramsey will hold a press conference on the findings this morning with Philly media.

NBC News reports:

In a report released Monday, Obama’s task force on police reform did not embrace proposed policies like requiring police officers to wear body cameras or linking federal funding for local police departments to requirements all of their officers undergo racial bias training.

The 11-person task force, chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, a professor of criminology at George Mason University, instead recommended less sweeping changes.

Its “overarching recommendation” was for Obama to create a so-called National Crime and Justice Task Force to suggest more ideas. The report also urged, as civil rights leaders have long demanded, that police departments collect more precise data about the race and other demographic characteristics of people who are stopped and arrested.

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Gov. Wolf to Obama: Help Prevent Oil Train Accidents

Photo Credit: AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Photo Credit: AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Every week, as many as 70 trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation pass through Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf says. Many are en route to Philadelphia.

Wolf wrote a letter to President Barack Obama Friday, asking him for help preventing a tragic accident involving the trains. Here’s the letter:

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Is President Obama Really Christian?

Reverend Dr. Luis Leon (R) looks on as United States President Barack Obama (C) prepares to leave St John's Episcopal Church after an Easter service, in Washington, 31 March 2013. Photo by: Drew Angerer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Reverend Dr. Luis Leon (right) looks on as United States President Barack Obama (center) prepares to leave St John’s Episcopal Church after an Easter service, in Washington, on March 31,  2013. Photo | Drew Angerer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Forget the Oscars. Here’s how Erick Erickson, the blogger-activist recently labeled by The Atlantic as America’s “most powerful conservative,” entertained himself this weekend:

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Former Comcast Exec Gets Permanent Secret Service Job

In this July 10, 2009 file photo, Secret Service Agent Joseph Clancy, right, holds the door open for President Barack Obama upon arrival at the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday, a day after bitingly critical questioning by Congress about a White House security breach. There had been increasing calls for her departure during the day. Pierson will be replaced by Clancy, a former special agent in charge of the president's protective detail who retired in 2011.

In this July 10, 2009 file photo, Secret Service Agent Joseph Clancy, right, holds the door open for President Barack Obama upon arrival at the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. 

Joseph Clancy, the Comcast executive plucked by President Obama to be interim director of the Secret Service in the wake of some notable security breaches, has been picked to take the job on a permanent basis.

“White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted last fall when Mr. Clancy was named interim chief that Mr. Clancy is trusted by both the president and first lady Michelle Obama, who were said to be livid about the White House security breaches,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Mr. Clancy was the head of the agency’s Presidential Protective Division until 2011, when he left the government for a job in corporate security at Comcast Corp. In his last Secret Service post, Mr. Clancy traveled alongside Mr. Obama in his personal detail.”
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