Sometimes real life means more than politics

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Hello from the Coastal Bend of Southeast Texas — which hopefully will be the home of the new Times’ Texas bureau — where folks are bit more concerned about real life and less about politics and the political silliness that comes from places such as Washington or Harrisburg or Austin. Here, folks are about one thing: recovery. When...

PA Supreme Court throws out Congressional district maps

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times The Pennsylvania Supreme Court If you felt a certain fondness for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has bad news for you: after a 4-3 ruling by the court Monday, it’s gone — and will be replaced by a newly shaped district by mid-February. A majority of the justices ruled that the 2011 redistricting “clearly, plainly...

GOP Congressman laud tax bill, Democrats decry ‘gift’ for wealthy, donors

The U.S. Senate last night passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — a sweeping revision of U.S. Tax code, that depending on who is talking is either a spark for job and wage growth or a massive, deficit busting giveaway to the rich, political donors and corporate America. The House voted Tuesday to approve the package, but will have to revote Wednesday because of three provisions in the original bill...

Tuesday’s election results were not all about Trump

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times Not to mince words, but Tuesday was a bit of a stunner. With the county’s Democrats sweeping the county row office races and making pickups in virtually every category from township supervisor to District Justice, it is clear that Chester County is no longer a one-party county. And yes, to be sure, it was a bit of a referendum on President Donald Trump, as we...

Costello, Meehan back measure to help students with loan problems

WASHINGTON, D.C, — U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-6), Patrick Meehan (R-7), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Seth Moulton (D-MA) have introduced the SIMPLE Act, legislation to reduce administrative burdens on struggling student loan borrowers. The legislation allows vulnerable borrowers to automatically enroll in affordable income-driven loan repayment plans, and it removes burdensome paperwork requirements...

Unintended consequences and Newton’s Third Law

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times While Democrats wept over special election results this week, U.S. Senate Republicans — in secret — put together their version of the health care reform, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which apart from some minor details, appears to be a lot like the house health care plan, the American Health Care Act: it cuts benefits for the poor, could lead to big...

It is time to try to dial back the anger

We’re deeply thankful that Costello, Meehan and Smucker are OK after DC shooting By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times Rep. Ryan Costello (R-6) should have been at his usual perch, at shortstop, next to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Wednesday morning, when a lone gunman opened fire on Republican congressman and staffers Wednesday morning — but he missed his ride by a couple of minutes. The congressmen...

Is a ‘cross-fire hurricane’ bearing down on the 6th District?

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times “I was born in a cross-fire hurricane And I howled at the morning driving rain But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas But it’s all right. I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash It’s a gas, gas, gas” — The Rolling Stones, Jumpin’ Jack Flash. It’s pretty clear that politics over the next 18 or so months will be anything but calm,...

Costello, Meehan, Casey rip Trump decision on Paris Agreement

Three of Chester County’s federal elected officials, U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-6), U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan (R-7) and U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D) took strong issue with President Donald Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw from the Paris Agreement to limit carbon emissions. The county’s other two elected officials — U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-16) and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey appear...

The final straw

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times Maybe it was when the U.S. House Representatives voted Thursday to blow up the increasingly popular Affordable Health Act and replace it with a non-vetted, closely-held replacement supported by less than 20 percent of voters (the cheering and beer party at the White House didn’t help, either). Or maybe it was when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents...