Monday, October 30, 2006

This Week In State Budget Surpluses: Ever Upward

Way to go New York! You've just achieved your first budget surplus since the late 1990s, thanks in part to your consistent record of unbelievably high taxes and fraudulent accounting practices.

That one billion big ones you just raked in will go a long way towards fixing road infrastructure, paying off the interest on New York City's debt, cutting rebate checks for upstate taxpayers, and... . And it's gone. Sorry about that false alarm, Rochester. See you again in the year 3021.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Light at the End of the Tunnel

No one uses the Wabash Tunnel. Super-sleuth reporters from the Post Gazette unveiled the obvious today, outlining how the $10.9 Million Wabash Tunnel (not to be confused with the $435 Million Allegheny River Tunnel from Downtown to the "North Shore") costs nearly $12/user on a daily basis, burrowing a substantial hole in PAT's operating budget.

I remain baffled as to why Paul Skoutelas, primary architect of all of these bullshit projects, wasn't unceremoniously dumped on his face. $500 million might have provided a solution for us poor Downtown to Oakland commuters forced to share our 1.5 sqft of alloted space on the 71C with the trench-coat flasher and "Showtime," the walking meth lab. Never has anyone raised so much public coin for public transit in Pittsburgh... Nor has anyone ever spent it so poorly.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You Know You're Rich ... Right?

Hey, yesterday Forbes released their annual list of top earners among our dearly departed celebrities. Congrats to Kurt Cobain, this year's winner. The former Nirvana frontman and current moldering corpse grabbed a whopping $50 million in 2006. Wow! Now if only you hadn't gone and killed yourself and destroyed the future of all music that figure could actually still mean something. Whoops.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Russia Attempting To Set Record For Most Suspicious, Politically-Motivated Killings In a Month

When are the neo-authoritarian rulers of this gas-and-oil mafia state simply going to realize that violence only begets more violence.

I mean, sure, your secret police can keep disappearing, shooting, and stabbing to death every person who has a twinge of disagreement with the statist policies of your media consolidation and natural-resource monopolizing, not to mention your oh-so-friendly relations with eternally corrupt leaders around the globe -- but really, doesn't that just send the wrong message to the children? Do you, Mother Russia, really want your loved ones growing up in a country that butchers free-speech activists and routinely guns down other political dissenters in cold blood? Of course not. You want the Chechens to have that.

Hey! Ho! Let's Go! No, Seriously, Get Out.

Happy now, squares? You killed punk rock.

New York's own CBGB's, the legendary music venue and destination of choice for suburban hipsters and recreational drug users, has officially played its last power chord. Sunday marked the final concert held at the East Village club which helped to launch the careers of the Talking Heads, Blondie, Television, and The Ramones while ushering in new musical genres such as punk and new wave. Patti Smith, Deborah Harry, and other 1970's luminaries showed up to give the historic spot a proper send-off. Even newer, shittier bands offered their two cents.

As someone who took in a few shows during his time safely ensconced in a Westchester, New York, prep school, CB's was a great way for this humble blogger to learn about the immediacy of music, the value of anger, and how to falsify your age in order to buy cheap beer prior to a thrash-metal matinee. Rock on, losers.

Vote for Congressman Sherwood

Dear Congressman Curmudgeon,

The Internet, while invented by socialist Al "Algore" Gore, is a powerful weapon that can be used to promote or destroy you. Just ask your colleague Don Sherwood. He's the physically abusive philander and secret love-child of Dick Cheney and Bob Schieffer. Check out his reelection site at

Wait a minute, darnnews. That doesn't look like Don's site at all!

A clever curveball, huh Mr. Curmudgeon? Next time you are running for reelection Mr. Curmudgeon, ensure that you've maximized your web presence. If you don't know who to turn to for help, ask your slacker son and/or skanky daughter.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Traffic citation issued to: YOU

The following parties are banished from the passing lane:
1. Minivans and other automobiles that offend refined taste and geometry.
2. Motor carriages that display stuffed animals in the rear windshield. Thanks, Daingerous.
3. Ohioans.

Human ambien causes senator's head to explode during debate

Best. debate. ever.

Ohh, Baa-ma. My love will turn you on.

They held a boxing match last night and a debate broke out. Bobby Casey, the human equivalent of Ambien managed to avoid a bare-knuckle fist-fight with Rick Santorum.

I listened to this debate on the radio. Santorum came across as angry and desperate. Later, I watched it on television. Santorum was genuine, mildly insane, but clearly the victor.
Santorum's early smile quickly became a scowl, but he used this agitation to his advantage. If he was aggressive, he reminded viewers, it was only because he was passionate for Pennsylvania. During his closing statement, I thought Santorum might shed a tear, not because he fears losing, but because he believes in his heart of hearts that only he can fight for Pennsylvania.

This was vintage Santorum. The firebrand conservative reinspired that fealty from his followers, which has been missing since his endorsement of Arlen Specter over soulmate Pat Toomey in 2004 GOP primary. Santorum flashed a quick wit, and reputed with aplomb Casey's assaults.
Santorum routinely punctuated his answers with jabbing questions of Casey's meandering replies and at several points, openly mocked his opponent. When Santorum criticized Casey for merely repeating Democratic talking points, he went so far as to mimic Casey's droning speech pattern. "Moving forward...a new direction." It elicited a hearty chuckle from this analyst and I imagined, many independent voters.
Give credit to Casey, who appeared more bemused by Santorum's antics than offended. And while missed his opportunities to remind voters that Santorum is an ideological zealot out of step with most Pennsylvanians, he didn't look desperate.

Santorum's strength is in his aggressiveness. He reminded western Pennsylvanians of his local work. One of the benefits of incumbency is knowing intricate details of legislation. And he contrasted this with the dearth of factoids from Casey's treasurer tenure. This was, Santorum said, evidence that Casey was lazy and opportunistic. Finally, Santorum's camp has found something they could latch onto. Saying Casey is a liberal won't work. Bitching that Casey hasn't been forthright about his positions has failed. Painting Casey as lazy and disinterested?

That might make it a race.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bus Fare

DATELINE PITTSBURGH: Eggheads Suggest New Tax, Citizens Pissed.

A Philly think tank has suggested an additional regional tax to support transit in Pennsylvania's larger cities. The PA Economy League likes a good proactive government to take charge of these problems. And if that means taxation, then so be it.

The Economy League is right in that these are regional problems, but really wrong in how they suggest solving them. This Egghead humbly suggests the following:
  • PennDOT should focus on arterials. If they weren't paving low-volume cowpaths on behalf of poor municipalities, they wouldn't be broke.
  • Small governments should be merged so they can pick up the tab for smaller roads. These shitbox Mill-burgs and Buckwheat Townships can't keep the lights on at city hall let alone fix a pothole... time to give up your dumpy feifdom, Pops.
  • Growth Boundaries restricting sprawl. More infrastructure for less people is a surefire way to go bankrupt. If we don't restrict sprawl, then we'll have add more traffic lanes and bus-lines up I-279. More to pay for, and less people to pay it.
Lets try to avoid the last issue, namely less people, by dumping this latest proposal for more taxes.

Sharp-dressed man

Economic sanctions have been extremely hard on North Korea. The country is short on food, building materials, and clothing. The only retailers allowed to sell product in the communist country are the Army/Navy Surplus store and Goodwill.

Sorry, Lil' Kim. Mahmoud was voted 'Best-dressed Dictator' by the readers of Commentary.

Sienna wants grown-up drink with dinner

Jude Law fuck-buddy and semi-famous actress Sienna Miller shat on Pittsburgh...again.

Last Saturday night, Ms. Miller's parents allowed their angst-ridden pre-teen daughter to accompany them to dinner at Folino's Young Tavern on Carson Street. When the doorman refused entry to Sienna because she lacked proper identification, the harlot snuck in the restaurant only to be escorted out by the owner.

According to the Post-Gazette, Sienna ripped off her hat and said, 'I am Sienna Miller. I am a famous actress!'" Ms. Folino said. "That's what she did. She was basically throwing a temper tantrum."

Here's the best part of the story:

[The doorman] suspected Ms. Miller had sneaked in through a side entrance.

So he walked to her table and asked again for ID. She didn't have it. Then, after he escorted her to the exit, one of Ms. Miller's parents produced a copy of that morning's paper.

"Don't you know who this is?" Ms. Miller's mother asked the bouncer, according to Mr. Kovacs [the doorman].

"Yeah," he responded. "It's the mayor."

I'll drink to that! Here's to a a good old-fashioned Pittsburgh snub!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Comparisons by Beth

The effervescent, loqacious and gorgeous Beth VanWinkle offers our dear readers two comparisons. We report. You decide.

"I'd like to smother his head in broccoli and cheese."