Tag: Pennsylvania

Trump and Economic Nostalgia: Pittsburgh Edition

 

Trump_PittsburghIn a Pittsburgh speech yesterday, Donald Trump illustrated what I call “nostalgia economics.” Trump, according to Politico, “vowed to bring back Pittsburgh’s once-thriving steel and coal industries at a rally here on Wednesday night.” Just as he has vowed to reverse decades of globalization and automation to “bring back” manufacturing jobs from Asia. But, as Politico’s Ben Shreckinger points out, Trump’s depiction of Pittsburgh might be outdated:

And his economic message may feel a bit anachronistic in a city that prides itself on its decades-long recovery from the collapse of the steel industry, which is no longer the major employer here. Pittsburgh’s dynamic mayor, William Peduto — a new-school Democrat who held a rally with Hillary Clinton here last week — has sought to make the city a laboratory for urban reinvention by luring tech companies and boosting its university-powered research sector. After years of decline, the economy has begun adding jobs again, albeit slowly, and unemployment rate is just under the national average.

Pittsburgh is now a leader in the emerging robotics industry, which Trump did not mention on Wednesday. Google opened a major research office in the city in 2006, housed in a former Nabisco factory. And Uber, the ride-sharing company, last year poached dozens of robotics engineers from Carnegie Mellon University to open a center to research self-driving cars. In February, Uber announced it is acquiring a former locomotive roundhouse along the Monongahela River — where the LTV Coke Works long ago belched out the kind of toxic smoke that once earned the city the description “hell with the lid off” — to serve as a proving ground for its new vehicles.

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Throughout the Republican campaign, many conservatives (here and elsewhere) have been frustrated by Trump’s lack of specificity when it comes to his Presidential plans. What exactly does he mean when he says he wants to “Make America Great Again?” Well, I think things are beginning to clear up. Preview Open

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The meandering morass of roads crisscrossing Pennsylvania is a tangle of coiling concrete arteries, gnarled turnpike exchanges and dog-legged country back roads. But that labyrinth is nothing compared to how we get our delegates for the GOP convention. For years it hasn’t mattered much how PA delegates came to be, since our primary is in […]

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The beam of the car headlights framed flakes as they drifted, barely there. “Well, kids–it’s really snow,” said our dad. Snow. Snow. We stared out the front windshield and talked loudly. The faint precipitation didn’t rate the stir going on in our vehicle. Dad finally told us to settle down.  But we had been waiting for months–since September, […]

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is no friend to conservatives and gun owners alike. Once considered a rising star in the Keystone State Democratic party, now she’ll be lucky to avoid prison bars.  Even as she contends with state criminal charges, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane is also facing scrutiny by the FBI, The Inquirer […]

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Pennsylvania Law as a Model for Dealing with Same-Sex Marriage

 

love-park-philadelphia-600x400This is a little on the end of “cart before the horse,” but it’s definitely a predictable direction that legislative action can take in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when it comes to dealing with the recent SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage. Of course, since the ruling, there has been a flurry of commentaries and stories about potential lawsuits against churches that refuse to sanctify these unions. That problem may not play the same in Pennsylvania as it will in most other states.

The commonwealth already has two forms of marriage licenses available in many counties, because our law permits self-uniting marriage licenses. Enjoy the irony if you like, but that is because of a religious belief – Pennsylvania is the Quaker state, and Quakers do not believe that a human being can stand between God and couple when they enter in a covenant of marriage. Their beliefs only permit people to witness that covenant, so we have marriage licenses that only require signatures of two witnesses. Until 2007, it was possible for a county to refuse to issue those licenses without verifying the religious beliefs of the couple, but now they cannot do that. Anyone can opt for the self-uniting license, if they are willing to pay a little more for it.

Because the difference in price isn’t significant (it’s just $10 more in the City of Philadelphia, for example), same-sex couples in Pennsylvania that might want to sue a church over refusing to sanctify a marriage will be a little difficult. If our legislature would happen to change how people get marriage licenses in the first place, those lawsuits would be impossible to start in the first place.

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Here in Pennsylvania, we figured our state legislature had gerrymandered us out of having any interesting Congressional races until 2020.  In particular, you’d expect Rep. Bill Shuster of the ninth district to be safe.  He’s a Republican in the state’s most Republican district.  He’s chairman of the Transportation committee, following in the footsteps of his father, […]

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