7 Presents Philadelphia Should’ve Given Pope Francis

Can you believe the mayor of Philadelphia went to the Vatican and gave the Pope a freaking football jersey?

Pope Francis actually got jerseys of six Philadelphia sports teams: The four major sports, a Union jersey — which is at least a sport that’s popular in both Italy and the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s native Argentina — and the St. Joe’s Prep football jersey above. Yes, the Pope now owns a Phillies jersey; he can dress like Macklemore.

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Pope? Nope.

Turns out Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett won’t get the private audience with Pope Francis today, after all.

AP reports: “Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and other public and corporate leaders and their spouses would be presented to the pope during today’s regularly scheduled public audience in St. Peter’s Square. There, (a spokeswoman) said, each would be able to present gifts to Francis if they have them, and speak “a few words” with him. She did not explain the change in plans.”

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Before Pope Meeting, Philly Delegation’s Italian Holiday

The Daily News reports on the visit of Mayor Nutter, Governor Corbett, and Archbishop Chaput to Rome to invite Pope Francis to Philly for 2015′s World Meeting of Families. The meeting itself doesn’t happen until Wednesday; that leaves time for a bit of fun:

Hours after arriving in Rome, the local delegation did a photo op outside the Pantheon for Philadelphia journalists who made the trip.

Reacting to the herd of camera crews following Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett, confused Italians and tourists crowded around and asked one another who the celebrities were.

Ever the politician, Nutter dived right in, greeting strangers as if they were potential voters at a campaign stop in Philly.

He ended up finding a couple from Gettysburg and posted a selfie with them on Twitter.

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Nutter, Corbett, Chaput Make Vatican Visit

6ABC reports:Governor Tom Corbett and Mayor Michael Nutter arrived in Rome on Monday ahead of a meeting with Pope Francis in anticipation for the World Meeting of Families conference to be held in Philadelphia in 2015. They, along with Archbishop Charles Chaput, will be in Rome until March 27 to work with Vatican officials on the event.”

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Welcome to Pennsylvania. Would You Like Fries With That?

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Yes, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate has dropped again. No, it’s not as great as it seems at first blush.

Take a gander:


So yes, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania declined to 6.2 percent in February. Almost makes the economy seem normal, right? 42,000 more Pennsylvanians are working than a year ago; there are 13,000 fewer looking for work.

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Wind Energy Fight! Tom Corbett vs. Katie McGinty

A representative for Gov. Tom Corbett says Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty misrepresented the governor’s positions on renewable energy during a recent interview with Philadelphia magazine.

In that interview, McGinty was questioned about why she blamed Corbett for the closing of Gamesa, a wind engine turbine plant in Cambria County. Her response:

This governor actively worked against good manufacturing jobs in his own state in two ways. One, becoming one of the only governors to oppose extension of the federal production tax credit for renewable energy, and to stand against bipartisan legislation here in Pennsylvania that would have expanded the market for renewable energy. And in the face of that aggressive and hostile set of actions by the governor, the company had to shut down. And hundreds of good manufacturing jobs were lost. … It was unacceptable to say the least.

Patrick Henderson, Corbett’s deputy chief of staff and point man on energy issues, told Philly Mag this week neither claim was true — the governor neither opposed wind tax credits, nor did he oppose legislation. McGinty’s claims, he said in an email, “demonstrate a propensity by Ms. McGinty to not be confined to what all Pennsylvanians ought to be able to expect of their leaders: telling the truth.”

Let’s break it down:

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On Food Stamps, Tom Corbett Deserves Praise

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

So, which Tom Corbett are we voting for this November?

Is it the governor who slashed education, cut benefits to Pennsylvania’s neediest families, and tried to make pure destitution — as opposed to mere impoverishment — the standard for receiving food stamps? Or is it the white knight who, when the food stamp program was threatened by federal cuts, this week suddenly and unexpectedly rode to the rescue?

I’d maybe vote for one of those guys. But probably not the other.

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Corbett Orders State to Offset Food Stamp Cuts

Smells like an election year:

“Citing a desire to protect the state’s neediest, Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration said Wednesday it will provide additional heating assistance to undo food stamp cuts to Pennsylvania that were part of the federal farm bill signed last month. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Welfare said the $8 million in supplemental federal energy assistance that the state will put toward ‘heat and eat’ would preserve $300 million in food aid for up to 400,000 families statewide. Those families would have otherwise seen their food stamp benefits decline by an average of $65 monthly had the state not acted.”

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