Bruce Springsteen Shows Stand Between Philly and Total Hopelessness

When corruption, Andy Reid, and the sorry state of the Constitution Center get you down, listen to the Boss.

Sometimes there are so many juicy news topics to pick from that it is hard to figure out where to shoot first. Perhaps the perfect antidote to the increasingly nutty debate taking place among the GOP presidential candidates are the upcoming Bruce Springsteen shows in Philadelphia. Springsteen’s just released CD, Wrecking Ball, gives a voice to those who are struggling while the rich get richer. Springsteen taps into an America that seems to have lost its way. He captures the state of play in the song “Shackled and Drawn.”

Gambling man rolls the dice, working man pays the bill
It’s still fat and easy up on banker’s hill

Having said that, the Springsteen exhibit at the National Constitution Center is out of place. Who the heck wants to look through Springsteen’s attic?

More to the point, the exhibit has nothing to do with the Constitution Center and is really just a crass attempt to attract visitors. I’d rather see Springsteen live than treated like a dead relic.


Springsteen shows provide one of the few escapes these days. Not even sports can be counted on for much fun and entertainment anymore. ESPN’s sophomoric highlight show and the river of money have combined to pretty much ruin professional sports.

Now comes the disturbing news of a bounty system administered by New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that encouraged players to injure opponents. How sick. What’s next, feeding Christians to the lions?

Between the concussions, league parity, Andy Reid’s play calling, and Ed Rendell’s inane analysis, pro football has become unwatchable. Thank god for March Madness, the Masters and spring training. That may be the best few weeks of sports all year.


While hope springs eternal in Clearwater, Florida, back in the cesspool known as Philadelphia government, some things never seem to change. Even the reform mayor is rumored to be bowling for blondes. Then there is Philadelphia Traffic Court, where Judge Willie Singletary resigned after allegedly showing an employee a photo of his genitals. What a moron. Of course, Singletary, who doesn’t have a law degree, should have never been on the bench.

Then again Traffic Court has long been one the city’s hack havens. Any flunkie who knows someone can get a job there. The hard part is getting fired. That’s what makes Singletary’s departure such a surprise. After all, he was elected to Traffic Court in 2007 despite having $11,500 in outstanding traffic violations and a suspended driver’s license.

During the campaign, Singletary was caught suggesting contributors would receive favorable treatment in his court. At a biker rally, he said: “There’s going to be a basket going around, because I’m running for Traffic Court judge, right, and I need some money. Now, you all want me to get there. You’re all going to need my hookup, right?”

And you thought justice was blind.


Speaking of hookups, the more interesting scandal brewing is the investigation into the business dealings of the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah. The FBI raided Chaka Fattah Jr.’s Ritz-Carlton apartment and office.

In particular, investigators want to know what Fattah Jr. did for David Shulick, an attorney who owned a for-profit education company that received millions of dollars in contracts from the financially struggling Philadelphia School District and other area schools.

This is priceless: Fattah Jr., 29, who didn’t graduate college, owned American Royalty, a concierge service that handled clients’ needs, including arranging private jets.

Talk about filling a market need. Perhaps Fattah Jr. was servicing all the high rollers jetting in for SugarHouse. Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that his dad is a congressman.

No one has been charged and everyone denies any wrongdoing. But the episode offers a good time to ask what exactly has Fattah Sr. done in all of his years in public service? At least junior helped the wealthy find their way around town and catch a private plane.

Now that is a public service.