Writing Archive

The Town that Built the Tanks and Bombs that Won This Country’s Wars

I’m driving cross-country in a couple of weeks and I feel compelled to visit Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, home of such great Americans as Mike Ditka and Gust Avrakotos.
I was planning on picking up a Primanti Brothers sandwich and eating it in the grandstands of Aliquippa High School Stadium — aka The Pit.
What else do I need [...]

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A Philadelphian Rest His Hope on Steelers Country

During World War II, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers came together to form the Pennsylvania Steagles. It was about the last time the cities united on anything.
Despite both being Keystone State cities, Philly and Pittsburgh have always been cultural and political rivals. Philly is a Metroliner city founded by English aristocrats that [...]

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Pelosi and the San Francisco Earthquake of 2010

When was the last time that Georgia and San Francisco struck the same chord? It was probably 1971 when the Allman Brothers Band played at the Fillmore West. Since then, the two places haven’t had much in common culturally, economically, and most of all, politically.
And so it was no surprise that Rep. Jim [...]

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Obama Launches Fire Up the Base Tour

Usually when a Philadelphia fan is throwing something, it is in contempt. Angry Philly fans lobbing snowballs at Santa Claus or chucking batteries at players come to mind. But on Sunday, a fanatic who was reportedly enamored with Barack Obama threw a book at the president with the hopes of lobbing it on [...]

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Lives of the Party

Ronald Reagan famously explained in 1962 that “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”  Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Rep. Parker Griffith (R-AL) made similar statements when they hopped the aisle, but as primaries proved this month, their moves were less successful.
Sean Trende noted back in December 2009 that party switchers have [...]

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The Week in Electoral Maps

No fancy maps today, just the Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Arkansas primary maps for your records.  It took a Canadian blog called World Elections to produce these great ones (which should come as a challenge to all American cartographers and political junkies).
In “the alcoholic republic,” on the Democratic side, Jack Conway cleaned up in the Louisville [...]

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Republicans Regress in Pennsylvania-12

True, the DCCC is the Don Shula of special elections.  But as Tom Davis said, “If you can’t win a seat that is trending Republican in a year like this, then where is the wave?”
Pennsylvania’s 12th is well-known as the only seat that went from Kerry to McCain. Fayette County is perhaps its best battleground [...]

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The Battle for Westsylvania

Voters across the state of Westsylvania go to the polls today to select their nominees for the U.S. Senate and to chose a successor to the late Rep. John Murtha. Where, you may ask, is Westsylvania? It was the proposed 14th colony in the western mountains of Virginia and Pennsylvania, whose borders would [...]

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Map of the Day: Democrats On Notice in Clintonian Belt

One of the best predictors of Democrats’ fortunes in the Fall is the ole Clinton vs. Obama electoral map.  Incumbents in what can be called the Clintonian Belt are on notice.  Last week, 18-year Rep. Alan Mollohan (D) was defeated in a primary in northern West Virginia, a state where Clinton won with 67%.
On Tuesday, [...]

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Murtha’s District Likely to Go Republican

Question: What was the only district to vote for John Kerry in 2004 and John McCain in 2008?
Answer: Pennsylvania’s 12th District, which was represented by the late John Murtha.
This district will be filled by a special election that will likely be March 18.  In a race between a generic Democratic and a generic Republican, the [...]

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