Morning Headlines: Will Supreme Court Battle Derail Toomey?
Good morning, Philadelphia. Watch out for those icy spots out there. Here’s what you need to know today.
Sen. Pat Toomey wants the next president to pick Antonin Scalia’s replacement. Will that affect Toomey’s chances at reelection?
After Scalia, the conservative Supreme Court justice, died over the weekend, Toomey joined a chorus of Republicans saying that President Obama should defer an appointment to the next president. The Morning Call reports: “The next court appointment should be made by the newly elected president,” Toomey said. “If that new president is not a member of my party, I will take the same objective, nonpartisan approach to that nominee as I have always done.”
The New York Times says Toomey is one of five GOP senators running for reelection who are taking chances with that stance. “What all of these vulnerable senators have in common is that their success depends on winning a fair share of relatively moderate voters who traditionally vote Democratic in presidential elections. All of the Republicans won in no small part by faring better than Republican presidential candidates usually do in socially moderate areas, like the suburbs around Philadelphia, Columbus and Chicago.” But, the Times concludes: “The policy stakes of replacing a conservative justice with a liberal one on a divided court are so high that it might still be rational for them to oppose Mr. Obama’s choice at all costs.”
The cause of mass illness at Ursinus College has been diagnosed: Norovirus.
More than 200 students became ill last week at the Montgomery County college. 6ABC reports that classes will resume today, and that college officials believe they’ve addressed the root of the problem — working with the county health department to “aggressively” clean all the common spaces on campus. “Our cleaning service provider brought in additional staffing so we could be very aggressive in the cleaning and sanitizing,” a college spokesperson said. The CDC describes Norovirus: “Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.”
Donald Trump is making hay out of lost jobs at a Northeast Philly auto parts manufacturer. But what can he do about it?
Philly Mag’s Jared Shelly writes: Back in January, I broke a sad news story about Cardone Industries announcing more than 1,300 layoffs, as the company plans to ship jobs from Northeast Philly to Matamoros, Mexico. I felt terribly for the people losing their jobs and hoped it would spark a conversation about the death of the middle class in Philly and Corporate America’s lust for cheap labor. Sure, it got a few comments on the Philly Mag Facebook page but no politician said a peep — until Saturday when it became a talking point in the 2016 presidential election. None other Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump called out Cardone Industries for the layoffs, saying on his Facebook page: “I am the ONLY one who can fix this! We need to keep jobs- here in AMERICA!” So far, it’s got 66,000 likes, nearly 7,000 comments and 12,000 shares.
Trump has been telling anybody who will listen that he’s the best candidate to stop companies from shipping jobs overseas. How exactly will he do that? Can he magically get manufacturers to stop their labor price wars, and get consumers to stop being so price-conscious? I reached out to his campaign but didn’t immediately hear back. We’ll keep you posted.
Pioneering Philadelphia journalist Acel Moore has died. He leaves quite a legacy.
Philly Mag’s Sandy Smith eulogizes: Moore got his start the old-fashioned way: After high school (Overbrook) and a three-year stint in the Army, he got hired as a copy boy at the Inquirer in 1962. At that time, the paper had only one black reporter, and a group of ministers was threatening a boycott. Moore also reported the old-fashioned way: He went out into the neighborhoods he knew and talked to people. His ability to ask the right questions and his respect for his sources made converts of cops who at first regarded him with disdain and got people who didn’t talk to reporters to talk to him.
His ability to earn the trust of sources proved key to reporting his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1976 investigation into patient abuse at Fairview State Hospital in northeast Pennsylvania. And when he migrated across the line that separates reporters from opinion writers, he continued his advocacy for the ill-treated and ignored, especially his fellow African-Americans. After he retired from the Inquirer after 43 years in 2005, those who followed the path he cleared let him know just how valuable his work was: He was showered with accolades upon his retirement, and the NABJ honored him with a lifetime achievement award at its national convention in Philadelphia in 2011.
Penn’s mummies are getting all shook up.
Workers are dismantling an 850-car parking garage right next door to the Penn Museum, and authorities there are worried that the collection of ancient artifacts might be damaged by the vibrations. The shaking “can really mess with the integrity of the artifacts,” one official told AP. Some exhibits will be closed and moved as the demolition and construction process gets more intense, but the museum has installed shock-absorbing materials in some areas, and vibration sensors in others. Said Lynn Grant, the head conservator: “We’ve tried to minimize our impact on the visitors, so that we’re keeping things up as long as we can and as much as we can.”
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