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Philly.com politics headlines.



Published: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:14:06 GMT2017-08-18T20:14:06Z

 



Trump would be bonkers to listen to Blackwater founder's plan to use mercenaries in Afghanistan| Trudy Rubin

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:14:06 GMT2017-08-18T20:14:06Z

Hiring a mercenary army outside Pentagon control violates everything America stands for.



Frank Rizzo statue defaced, suspect in custody

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:42:27 GMT2017-08-18T19:42:27Z

Calls to take down the statue of the controversial former mayor have resurfaced in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Va.



Dead bodies and billions in tax dollars: The secret, profitable world of private prisons

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:38:44 GMT2017-08-18T19:38:44Z

America's $5 billion private prison industry - with deep Philadelphia roots - faced possible ruin last year. It now thrives under the Trump administration.



Trump won places drowning in despair. Can he save them?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:36:06 GMT2017-08-18T19:36:06Z

ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) - One-hundred-fifty baskets of pink petunias hang from the light posts all over this city, watered regularly by residents trying to make their community feel alive again. A local artist spends his afternoons high in a bucket truck, painting a block-long mural of a little girl blowing bubbles, each circle the scene of an imagined, hopeful future.



History on the move: 316 years of archives heading to Northern Liberties

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:31:56 GMT2017-08-18T19:31:56Z

A city founded in 1701 has a lot of baggage.



Less howling helped Wolf with legislature, but PA budget fight needs his bark

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:31:45 GMT2017-08-18T19:31:45Z

With his Democratic Party in the minority in Harrisburg, and Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai vying for his job, Gov. Wolf is in a tough spot. But he must defend the public's interest.



Cherry Hill man is major distributor of white-supremacy music and merchandise

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:20:55 GMT2017-08-18T19:20:55Z

Steven Wiegand, owner of Micetrap Distribution, is among the largest purveyors of white supremacist merchandise and music in the country. Over more than two decades, while keeping a mostly low profile in South Jersey, the 45-year-old has built a full-time business and carved a solid spot in an industry that feeds and profits from the proliferation of hate.



Trump ousts White House strategist Steve Bannon

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:06:45 GMT2017-08-18T19:06:45Z

Trump had been under mounting pressure to dispatch with Bannon, who many officials view as a political Svengali but who has drawn scorn as a leading internal force encouraging and amplifying the president's most controversial nationalist impulses.



Fox's James Murdoch slams Trump's Charlottesville response

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:54:11 GMT2017-08-18T18:54:11Z

NEW YORK (AP) - The CEO of 21st Century Fox denounced racism and terrorists while expressing concern over President Donald Trump's reaction to the deadly violence surrounding a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.



Murphy's camp says he's seeking $1.3B in new taxes, not $75B

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:45:12 GMT2017-08-18T18:45:12Z

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Democrat Phil Murphy is proposing $1.3 billion in new taxes in his campaign for New Jersey governor, not $75 billion as his Republican opponent has claimed, the Murphy campaign said Friday.



Seriously, Pennsylvania, pass a severance tax already

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:42:20 GMT2017-08-18T16:42:20Z

The state has been desperate for new revenue sources for at least a decade. By not imposing a severance tax, it has left a large amount of money on the table.



Trump approves plan to create independent cyber command

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:37:21 GMT2017-08-18T16:37:21Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has approved a long-delayed Pentagon plan to create an independent and more aggressive cyber command in order to beef up cyberwar operations against the Islamic State group and other foes.



Tillerson condemns hate speech, says bigotry is un-American

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:25:59 GMT2017-08-18T16:25:59Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday condemned hate speech and bigotry as un-American and antithetical to the values on which the U.S. was founded and promotes abroad. He also lamented a lack of diversity in the U.S. diplomatic corps and pledged to increase minority hiring.



Members of presidential arts commission resigning to protest Trump's comments

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:40:05 GMT2017-08-18T15:40:05Z

Members of the President's Commission on Arts and the Humanities cite the president's recent words and actions in response to violence in Charlottesville.



Three fund-raising giants cancel plans for galas at Mar-a-Lago

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:32:14 GMT2017-08-18T15:32:14Z

The defections expose a key business vulnerability at President Trump's Palm Beach club.



Menendez trial brings high stakes for N.J. and Democratic fight against Trump

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:10:41 GMT2017-08-18T14:10:41Z

If the New Jersey senator is convicted for corruption and forced from office, the result could tilt Washington's political balance by allowing Republicans to claim one more Senate seat.



Clout: Move over, Mix Master Mike Nutter, DJ Darrell Clarke has arrived

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:53:40 GMT2017-08-18T09:53:40Z

Have you met DJ Darrell Clarke? The Council president cut loose last at a recent fundraiser. Plus: Another move at the DA's Office. And the Philly GOP welcomes a Donald Trump ally to its annual clambake.



AP Explains: Why is Trump tweeting about a WWI general?

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:11:54 GMT2017-08-17T22:11:54Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is being criticized once again for lauding the alleged tactics of Gen. John Pershing in dealing with Islamic extremists in the Philippines at the turn of the last century.



Pelosi calls for removal of Confederate statues from Capitol

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:57:42 GMT2017-08-17T21:57:42Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Thursday for the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol as the contentious debate over the appropriateness of such memorials moved to the halls of Congress.



Pennsylvania lawmaker waives hearing in drunken-driving case

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:55:44 GMT2017-08-17T21:55:44Z

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Republican state House member from Allegheny County is waiving his preliminary hearing on charges he drove drunk in the Harrisburg suburbs earlier this summer.



GOP senator says Trump hasn't shown stability, competence

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:27:08 GMT2017-08-17T21:27:08Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - A prominent Republican senator delivered a stinging rebuke Thursday of Donald Trump's short time in office, declaring he has not shown the stability or competence required for an American president to succeed.



In letter to staff, DeVos condemns Charlottesville violence

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:54:07 GMT2017-08-17T20:54:07Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - Facing criticism over her muted response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday condemned those "tragic and unthinkable" events and blasted "neo-Nazis and other racist bigots" in a letter to staff.



Why an elevator ride in one of Philly's public buildings can be scary | Editorial

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:19:31 GMT2017-08-17T20:19:31Z

A former maintenance supervisor says he warned his bosses that maintenance reports on elevators in the Criminal Justice Center were "dummied up" to make it appear the elevators were regularly maintained.



Before Camp David talks, Mattis says Afghan strategy is near

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:00:34 GMT2017-08-17T20:00:34Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - After months of sometimes heated internal debate, the Trump administration has almost reached a decision on a new approach for fighting the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday. He gave no hint of what the strategy would look like.



Cory Booker: Remove all Confederate statues from U.S. Capitol

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:42:27 GMT2017-08-17T19:42:27Z

The New Jersey Democrat added, "This is just one step. We have much work to do."



Trump calls efforts to remove statues of Civil War generals 'foolish'

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:05:19 GMT2017-08-17T19:05:19Z

The president's support for some participants in a white supremacist march has provoked widespread outrage.



Analysis: Trump has failed to offer moral leadership after Charlottesville. These 10 people are filling the void

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:54:22 GMT2017-08-17T18:54:22Z

You don't need a fancy title to be a leader.



Israeli leader resists calls to criticize Trump

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:53:36 GMT2017-08-17T18:53:36Z

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's prime minister faced growing calls on Thursday to denounce President Donald Trump's response to the racially charged violence and anti-Semitic displays in Charlottesville, Virginia, even at the risk of angering the American leader.



Trump attorney jumps into racial controversy by forwarding inflammatory email

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:13:32 GMT2017-08-17T17:13:32Z

John Dowd, a veteran of Washington scandals, says his action does not mean he agrees with the email's contents.



Trump aide: No military solution in North Korea

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:57:54 GMT2017-08-17T16:57:54Z

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) - President Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."



Thousands march down Broad Street for 'Philly Is Charlottesville' rally to condemn white supremacy

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:59:49 GMT2017-08-17T13:59:49Z

The Philadelphia-based interfaith clergy group POWER held a march against white supremacy. Thousands of people participated.



Trump's lack of discipline leaves new chief of staff frustrated and dismayed

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:51:58 GMT2017-08-17T12:51:58Z

John Kelly's early attempts to impose order on the White House are derailed by the president himself.



Apple CEO Tim Cook blasts Trump's response to Charlottesville, donates $2M to anti-hate groups

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:13:46 GMT2017-08-17T12:13:46Z

The company will also match employee donations to groups battling hate.



Wolf urges Trump to continue insurance subsidies

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:34:53 GMT2017-08-17T11:34:53Z

The Pennsylvania governor spoke out one day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned that halting the insurance subsidies - could increase premiums for many plans by as much as 20 percent next year and increase the federal deficit over the next decade.



Council OKs hiring of attorney to push for Allentown mayor's ouster

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:21:19 GMT2017-08-17T11:21:19Z

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania city council has approved a resolution allowing the hiring of an attorney to investigate ways to force the ouster of the mayor, who has been indicted on federal corruption charges.



FactCheck: Trump's hollow claim about 'inner cities'

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:11:55 GMT2017-08-17T11:11:55Z

The president has said his urban agenda would focus on education and crime, but the reductions to other programs that benefit cities cut much deeper.



Donald Trump's die-hard supporters show no signs of straying

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:27:06 GMT2017-08-17T03:27:06Z

NEW YORK (AP) - They wash their hands of neo-Nazis and wag their fingers at leftists. They denounce a press corps they see as biased and controversies they view as manufactured. But in the frenzied blame game over the deadly violence at a rally of white supremacists, Donald Trump's loyal base is happy to absolve the president himself.



Trump signs bill expanding college assistance for veterans

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 01:36:04 GMT2017-08-17T01:36:04Z

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law an updated veterans' education bill that marks the largest expansion of college assistance for military veterans in a decade.



Ousted chief justice makes runoff in Alabama Senate race

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:45:05 GMT2017-08-17T00:45:05Z

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Ousted Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is trying to play usurper to deep-pocketed Republican forces after making a runoff with incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in the state's Senate primary.



Pence will no longer speak at Koch brothers-hosted summit

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:52:55 GMT2017-08-16T23:52:55Z

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence will no longer be speaking at a Saturday event hosted by a group backed by the conservative Koch (kohk) brothers.



Campbell CEO did right thing in quitting Trump's jobs council

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:29:03 GMT2017-08-16T23:29:03Z

The company's rationale for Denise Morrison's earlier decision to remain on the White House panel had left a sour taste



White House: Gov't to make health law payments this month

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:24:21 GMT2017-08-16T23:24:21Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government will make this month's payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law that President Donald Trump still wants to repeal and replace, a White House official said Wednesday.



Ex-presidents Bush and Bush ask Americans to reject racism

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:11:00 GMT2017-08-16T23:11:00Z

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) - Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush are responding to racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms."



In Charlottesville, some in the left came armed, too

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:53:16 GMT2017-08-16T22:53:16Z

Most of the counterdemonstrators were peaceful, but a subset came ready to rumble.



Pa. treasurer warns legislature short-term loans can't continue

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:16:50 GMT2017-08-16T22:16:50Z

Joe Torsella tried to put pressure on the legislature by warning he might cut off the flow of short-term loans to the general fund.



Campbell Soup CEO resigns from Trump council just before he disbands it

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:53:47 GMT2017-08-16T21:53:47Z

Trump disbanded business councils after his remarks on national TV created an uproar,



Sessions blasts sanctuary cities, calls Miami 'good' example

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:45:11 GMT2017-08-16T21:45:11Z

MIAMI (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed Wednesday to continue fighting cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities until local governments follow Miami-Dade County's example and reverse policies.



Pence won't address Trump comments but condemns supremacists

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:38:31 GMT2017-08-16T21:38:31Z

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday skirted questions about President Donald Trump's comments voicing sympathy for Charlottesville protesters, but said he stands with the president nonetheless.



Governors of 2 pot states push back on Trump administration

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:36:26 GMT2017-08-16T21:36:26Z

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Governors in at least two states that have legalized recreational marijuana are pushing back against the Trump administration and defending their efforts to regulate the industry.



Christie tells Trump White House "NO" on coastal energy

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:35:54 GMT2017-08-16T21:35:54Z

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday signaled his opposition to a Trump administration proposal to search for natural gas and oil off the state's nearly 130-mile (209-kilometer) coast