Author

John L. Micek

John L. Micek

John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. He's been covering Pennsylvania politics for more than 20 years and most recently served as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Micek's commentary is syndicated to more than 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. And he's a regular contributor to a host of broadcast outlets in Pennsylvania and abroad.

Report sheds new light on Pa. lawmaker’s role in Trump’s election pressure on Justice Dept.

By: - October 12, 2021

A newly released congressional report on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to pressure the U.S. Dept. of Justice and overturn the 2020 election prominently highlights a Pennsylvania lawmaker who is a close Trump ally, and who was in the vanguard of lawmakers who objected to certifying President Joe Biden’s victory last November. The […]

COMMENTARY

Everything we know about work is wrong. The pandemic proved it

By: - August 31, 2021

So what can the plight of a little cafe tell you about the state of the American economy and the changing face of work? A lot, as it turns out. The other week, the bistro where my family and I have been grabbing brunch every Sunday since the start of the pandemic announced that it […]

COMMENTARY

In our mad, polarized, COVID surge summer, the only way out is through

By: - August 16, 2021

It all kind of piled up: COVID hospitalizations and deaths are up. We’re still trying to convince the unvaccinated to get vaccinated, even as intensive care units fill beyond capacity. As the Delta variant of the implacable virus attacks our children. Florida’s governor threatens the withhold the wages of educators who want to protect the lives of young people in their charge. People […]

COMMENTARY

Billionaires slipped the surly bonds of Earth, but couldn’t escape its problems

By: - July 26, 2021

Billionaire space cowboys Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have rightfully been taking some flack for sub-orbital jaunts earlier this month that garnered plenty of headlines but little in the way of actual scientific advancement, apart from trying to normalize the idea of routine spaceflight for other, exceptionally rich people. With all the power of the rockets that propelled them […]

COMMENTARY

Voting against medals for cops, 21 Republicans hit a new low in insurrection denial

By: - June 21, 2021

So just how desperate are some Republicans to deny the reality of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol? Desperate enough that 21 of them voted against a slam-dunk of a bill earlier this week awarding one of the country’s highest civilian honors, the Congressional Gold Medal, to the law enforcement officers who defended […]

COMMENTARY

The return of work requirements: The GOP gets its Herbert Hoover on

By: - May 14, 2021

Having tired of the culture wars, state and national Republicans have returned to the familiar and comforting battlefield of the class wars, using last week’s disappointing jobs numbers as an excuse to call for the end of extended unemployment benefits, based on the slender and debunked premise that it has discouraged people from seeking work. Neil Bradley, the […]

COMMENTARY

In speech to Congress, Biden bet on democracy. It’s up to America to prove him right

By: - April 30, 2021

During his anything-but-typical address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, President Joe Biden used the word “democracy,” over and over again. Some were run-of-the-mill evocations, as was the case when he spoke of “revitalizing” our democracy — a promise made by more than one more president, and a bromide meant to soothe […]

COMMENTARY

While the GOP carps about Biden’s infrastructure plan, voters already are saying ‘Yes, please’

By: - April 9, 2021

Here’s a quiz for the Republican politicians among you, check as many as apply. Do you support: Repairing and rebuilding America’s deteriorating network of roads and bridges, including the interstate highway system brought to life by GOP President Dwight D. Eisenhower? Ensuring that every American public student isn’t drinking water out of lead pipes and […]

COMMENTARY

Transitional? Biden is on his way to being the most transformational president in decades

By: - April 2, 2021

What caretaker presidency? If you thought that President Joe Biden was going to be content whiling away his four years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, serving, as he once described himself, as a “transition[al]” candidate and president, then the last few weeks should put that misconception to rest. Even if he stopped at the $1.9 trillion American […]

COMMENTARY

Congressional Dems bent the universe toward justice last week. We need to keep pushing

By: - March 2, 2021

Hopes of getting an increase to the piteously low federal minimum wage tucked into the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill were dealt a serious blow last week when the U.S. Senate’s Parliamentarian ruled that it couldn’t be included in the massive legislative package now moving through Congress. The announcement that came Thursday night was widely […]

COMMENTARY

‘Is this America?’ A Black Capitol police officer’s question is what the Trump trial is all about

By: - February 12, 2021

Earlier this week, in an emotional moment among emotional moments, lead U.S. House Impeachment Manager, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., shared the story of a Black Capitol police officer and the racist abuse he endured when a mob with murder on its mind sacked the seat of government last month. “I sat down with one […]

COMMENTARY

Biden’s executive orders aren’t the problem. A broken Congress is.

By: - February 1, 2021

It was tough not to chuckle at a New York Times editorial this week chastising President Joe Biden for the barrage of executive orders that have gone flying out of the Oval Office during his first week behind the Resolute Desk, as if he were the first president ever to do so. “This is no way to make law. A […]