Monday, December 31, 2007
Luckily for those still left in town, Donnie Iris' tunes still hold up after nearly three decades. Love, like the brains of Allegheny County's Democratic Party voters, is indeed like a rock.
Friday, December 28, 2007
What does 2008 have in store for The Darn News? Well, for one, it's gonna get a lot lousier. Sorry about that. We're also hoping to move away from our usual blend of original reportage and local news analysis and embrace a less-nuanced approach focused more on making fun of other people and crudely objectifying women we will never meet. And politics -- there'll be some jokes about politics also.
Let's be frank: None of the past year's success could have been possible without you, the reader. Your dedication to flat, obvious blog humor, combined with a reluctance to accomplish anything of merit at your own meager jobs, have boosted our traffic to numbers rivaling 10 or 12 of the best Web sites dealing with Pittsburgh-centric marginalia updated once a day. Thank you. While we're still a long way from the kind of great writing you'd expect from a wordsmith like Perez Hilton or Arianna Huffington or whoever the fuck edits Fleshbot, we think 2008 is going to be our most literary yet. It'll be so smart; it'll be like visiting a liberry from your Internets computer machine.
So farewell, aught seven. We're going to miss your vicious tiger maulings, steroid scandals, dog-fighting scandals, attempted-gay-sex-in-a-public-restroom scandals, and relentless media consolidation. You've taught us that, just when you think America has reached its cultural nadir, someone in Hollywood will produce Delta Farce or give a Chinese dwarf her own bi-sexual dating show. It's sad to say goodbye, but have no fear, 2007. Team DN has a distinct feeling about this one: we only part to meet again.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The Hitch read aloud Tom Lehrer's droll "Christmas Carol" following a drink-soaked comic rant against department-store holiday displays and North Korean totalitarianism. Christopher, we love you, but stick to defending unwinnable wars and using your Oxford education to debate Fox News pundits on "Hannity's Fortress America" or whatever zip code his show calls home. If you intend to do comedy, next time put "Blue Collar" in front of it. After all, you're an American now.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Well, that's the end to the physical integrity of the United States: Tom Tancredo's out of the presidential race.
We're left with candidates who refuse to secure our borders, cultivate sanctuary cities, and favor handing over our daughters to MS13. Or something along those lines.
Congressman Tancredo, from your all friends at the DN, we wish you and that incredibly porous border fence a happy and healthy holiday season. Feliz Navidad!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
PittGirl - Notwithstanding your classy silhouette (now found on T-shirts), we cannot in good conscience add you to our list because no photo exists.
10. Danielle Golden / Kristin Georgi
PRO: will do anything for money
CON: skin an extra-crispy lacquer from years of cheap tanning
We hardly knew ye, Kristen Georgi, before fat billionaire Joe Hardy found a new Fayette County concubine who could empty his bedpan and nod impassively while he blathers on about how jazz was never the same after Max Roach or some crap. Slutitude advantage: Danielle Golden. Congratulations, gals. We just added a good five seconds to your fifteen minutes.
PRO: twinkly eyes, attractive smile
CON: married dumbest person in her high-school class
Erin has been hitched to child emperor and current mayor Lukie Ravenstahl since she was barely legal. Otherwise, this blonde bombshell with the priceless smile would just be another tart rejecting our suave maneuvers on the dance floor of Prive.
PRO: MILF, lobbyist
CON: willing to sleep with Ed Rendell to get Potato Patch fries named the state food
This former Pittsburgh newztart made for titillating gossip fodder in Harrisburg after a Republican senator announced he was hiring a private investigator to examine Mrs. McCombs relationship with Governor Soprano. Henry Kissinger used to say power was the ultimate aphrodisiac. This is what people must tell themselves right before they're forced to schtupp a bean bag.
7. Brandi Engel
PRO: young, fresh actress
CON: soon-to-be old, embittered ex-actress
Mt. Lebanon native Brandi had a bit role in a mindless miniseries on
6. Missy Peregrym
PRO: fully posable
CON: did the horizontal end-zone dance with
Missy is also a bit actress -- she played a gymnast in some movie with one of the Bridges (we're guessing it was Lloyd) -- but she made the Fab Ten because she dated the Stillers' QB. How's it feel to have Lloyd Bridges' sloppy seconds, Big Ben?
5. Sally Wiggin
PRO: Professional, widely respected journalist
CON: No discernible negatives
Before there was Sonni Abatta, there was Sally Wiggin. No Pittsburgh newzbabe is as good-natured and conversant as Sally. Unfortunately, she may be an android.
4. Julie Stimmel
PRO: college degree, willing to sleep with younger men
Stimmel, a former North Allegheny High School English teacher, gave extracurricular lessons to one of her students, with her mouth. Although the Darn News applauds her efforts with a gold star, even Mrs. Stimmel couldn't make Last of the Mohicans readable.
3. Becky Emmers
PRO: has a great rack
CON: has dated Yuri Demetris
2. Danika Wukich
PRO: wears sex-me boots
CON: spins the newz for Boy Mayor
Smart, sexy, and not afraid to wear stripper heels to a press conference. Wukich was the campaign spokescandy for Boy Mayor Ravenstahl. Danika, with an ass like that, you can spin us right round all day long.
1. Sonni Abatta
PRO: stunningly gorgeous, glanced toward us in college
CON: works for Old Media in an increasingly democratized, New Media age which stresses alternative information sources and audience engagement; won't flash her viewers
No list of the Burghosphere's hottest celebs would be complete without the Pride of CMU's humanities college, Sonni Abatta. After an all-night bender, we stumble into our cold, filthy apartment to warm the cackles of these lonely hearts with your sweet visage on KDKA's morning news. Your wine-red lips and come-hither eyes speak only to Team DN. They say, "By the order of Criminal Court of Allegheny County, you may not be within 1,500 feet of Ms. Abatta."
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Here's our fav from Cara's myspace profile.
The offending pictures are not accessible at MySpace. However, some other pictures posted on a MySpace homepage show a more revealing side of of Cara than her signature graffiti imprint:
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Kevin Young, how could you? Say it ain't so, Josias Manzanillo!
Easily overlooked is Mitchell's citing of local baseball columnists across the country who sensed the taint of steroids in baseball long before Congressional investigations. None other than the Post-Gazette's Gene Collier is the first to be recognized:
In March 1992, Pittsburgh columnist Gene Collier addressed the perception that baseball was not a sport for steroids users. Collier derided the suggestion that the game of baseball “is simply too complex to be positively augmented by some injectable.”The report goes on to recount the details of a Ron Cook column a few years later:
In a July 1996 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ron Cook analyzed the possible explanations for the season of dramatic power hitting. Among other possible reasons, Cook wrote: “There are other factors, to be sure. Hitters are bigger and stronger. (Can you say steroids, ladies and gentlemen).”The Dee-N congratulates Collier and Cook, who have penned away for years with none of the national recognition that some of their more charismatic brethren receive. Their ability to forsee the incoming influx of performance enhancers into the national pastime is impressive. No Tribune-Review columnists are cited in the Mitchell Report, lending no credence to the rumors that steroids era was a Clintonian ploy to mask then-President Bill's Oval Office misdeeds.
Before the Bush Administration freedomizes Iran, they may want to return their attention to the Korean peninsula where nuclear tensions seem to have tightened.
President Bush recently sent a personal letter to Kim Jong-Il, reminding him of the deadlines for nuclear disarmament that were agreed upon at the September 2005 six-party talks.
South Korea, presumably worried that Kim Jong-Il cannot be trusted, has already responded. Scientists there have cloned a glow-in-the-dark kitty cat.
Before pro stem-cell research activists demand the federal government restore funding for the lite-brite ferret, they may want to recall that South Korean scientists have a less than honest record on cloning.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
We kicked its ass in 1898; now Spain's exacting her revenge where it hurts most: on the soft underbelly of our strategic funnel cake reserve.
Kennywood Park, for more than 100 years a Pittsburgh-based amusement destination for sexual predators and sexual prey alike, was sold to Parques Reunidos of Madrid on December 11 for approximately $200 million, reports the local fish wrap.
In addition to the hilarious names of its founders (F.W. Henninger and A.S. McSwigan) and the ironic year of its founding (1898 [!]), parent company Kennywood Entertainment has also been blessed with some of the most adorably inept p.r. flacks this side of Fred Thompson For President.
When asked if the park would change under the new owners, public relations director Mary Lou Rosemeyer said:
"The park's going to continue to be what it is, what we all love. We don't expect to see any changes. We don't think it's going to become a giant taco stand."
C'mon, Mary Lou. Tacos are Mexican, not Spanish. Kennywood Park is obviously doomed to become a sprawling tapas bar with a Go-Kart track circling its multiple bull fights.
On Mike Huckabee's insane statement that "I think we ought to be out there talking about ways to reduce energy consumption and waste. And we ought to declare that we will be free of energy consumption in this country within a decade, bold as that is," commenter "Pro Libertate" responded:
Fools! Huckabee is positioning himself as the entropy candidate!
Funny AND educational. You're welcome, nerds.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Sonni Abatta: impossibly attractive, Pittsburgh native, and born to dance.
Even though she totally blew us off while we were undergrads at CMU -- seriously, how many times can a person shampoo her hair in a week? -- Sonni has emplaced herself in the hearts and minds of Team DN.
That's why we find Sonni news so irresistible, such as this appearance at a celebrity dance competition to raise money for juvenile diabetes. The video features the KDKA anchor samba-ing up a storm with a yinzer Nureyev dressed up like Zorro. Jerk.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
In between ordering the simulated drowning of American prisoners and coordinating with the NSA to intercept my Skype messages, General Hayden can be found plopped in front of the TV like the rest of Stiller Nation, reports Washington Whispers. Curious; given their black-ops play-calling methods, the DN assumed he'd be a New England Patriots kind of cat. Wrong again, GovtIssue.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Drug dealing is the landlord's problem. So are pugnacious tenants who cage-fight on the front porch, or run impromptu heroin galleries in the kitchen, or let their children vandalize the neighbors' cars. Its the landlord's problem because these are all evictable offenses. In fact, by not doing anything, the landlord is supporting this behavior.
But rather than screen tenants for police records or bad credit, rather than evict the crack-whore for disruptive behavior, rather than confront the nightmare that is their property, they cash that Section 8 rent check and turn a blind eye while their toothless crack-whore tenant gums some hood's dick in the alley behind their building... and hell, your East Liberty slum isn't within earshot of your Squirrel Hill estate, is it Bernard Sobol!
But Section 8 always pays on time.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Yunzer pride should be swelling today as Isaacs and Bradley chose Pittsburgh and Heinz Field as the destination for the dispensation of their alleged illicit earnings. The two put their personal freedom at risk to be, at least temporarily, a part of the Stiller Nation. In regards to the intelligence of blabbing about going to the Stiller game while on the lam, the two demonstrated that their intellect does not rise above that of the towel-waving, water-logged, beer-soaked faithful who packed the stadium last night.
The appearance of Isaacs and Dixon at Heinz Field is probably just coincidence, anyway. With warrants out for their arrests and criminal charges pending, they were more likely in town to cheer on the team that they can most identify with: the Cincinnati Bengals.
Padma Lakshmi, free of husband, novelist, and jihad target Salman Rushdie, is a woman on the move. She has a new cookbook or something out, hosts a show nominally about cooking, and now heats up the tabloid pages, where she is often displayed in various stages of canoodle. (Disclaimer: In New York Tabloid World, the term "canoodling" is liberally employed to mean anything from dry-fucking in public to attending the same fundraiser at the Javits Center.)
Lakshmi is one spicy bowl of fish curry, no doubt, but can she pick up the pieces of her life and turn her stunning good looks into a career richer than merely serving as arm candy for the guy who wrote "Midnight's Children"? Vanity Fair wonders here. We at the DN have our doubts. After all, can the dreadfully serious America of 2007 welcome into its popular entertainment a leggy ectomorph of exotic beauty with a history of attaching herself to famous men? The suspense is killing us!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The other is ALF. (This post practically blogs itself!)
FoxNews' continuing refusal to actually report news has allowed for the comeback of the 80s TV icon. In this clip, ALF spars with Bill O'Reilly over the cancellation of his namesake sitcom and his activities over the past twenty years. O'Reilly even manages to work in a montage of pictures with ALF and FoxNews' favorite celebutard, Paris Hilton. At the end of the clip, O'Reilly states that ALF may return to FoxNews to do some punditry of his own. No word on why Bill O'Reilly and FoxNews are so accepting of an illegal alien as to invite him back to the news channel of real Americans.
As we wait for ALF to show his papers, the Dee-N proposes the following topics for future ALF commentaries:
Are there liberals on the planet Melmac?
Is Hillary Clinton an alien?
Should alien-human marriage be legalized?
Has the government done enough to protect puppets from al Qaeda?
The late 1960s saw the Westinghouse Corporation create the Skybus rapid-transit system. The proposed system of rubber-tired vehicles running along an elevated rail track would have been able to operate at high speed and would have had the flexibility to allow for additional cars to be deployed in periods of high demand. Like any innovative, modern idea in the Steel City, Skybus failed to materialize, as change-fearing trolley fanatics had their way, halting construction on the system. The trolley system instituted after Skybus' failure has been since replaced current Light Rail System, a (for the most part) single line crawl of workaday Yunzers in and out of the South Hills.
Decades later, the system is alternately seen as an innovative idea that was a victim of local politics and a false hope that only Lyle Lanley could have foisted upon Allegheny County. The only appearance of Skybus in Pittsburgh was a demonstration track built at the South Park fairgrounds. The Skybus technology lives on today in the form of airport people-movers. Luckily, the whimsy of the Skybus test track has been preserved on film and posted on Youtube:
Perhaps it's for the best that Skybus never materialized. After all, the Allegheny River Chunnel would be pointless without a Light Rail system for schlepping Yunzers to Heinz Field. And you can't turn down $500 million in federal money.
Monday, November 26, 2007
What's the only way that a Sunday afternoon swilling 'ahrn and watching Big Ben could be improved? Guns, of course.
From the looks of WTAE's promo, the players involved have plenty of experience with firearms. But who is the Dee-N kidding? Based on the fact that they play in the NFL, the players have plenty of experience with firearms. Too bad the Black and Gold didn't pick up Tank Johnson.
This story was written before Redskins safety Sean Taylor was critically injured by a bullet fired by a home intruder last night.
Of note to DN readers: 1) In addition to having a scary foreign last name, Rudy GIULIANI listened to opera with other swarthy, meatball-sucking Mediterranean-types while attending high school in Brooklyn. (Brooklyn? That's in New York!!!!)
2) Did you know that Rudy GIULIANI is collaterally related to people reputedly linked to the mob in some fashion? I did; all Italian Americans are natural criminals who enjoy nothing so much as cheating the system and fire-bombing the homes of those who question their methods.
3) Despite a record of prosecuting Mafia leaders and breaking the back of New York City's criminal rackets, Rudy GIULIANI secretly intends to hand over the country to La Cosa Nostra once elected. The United States will be renamed "Heeey, Shutta You Face Town" and will be presided over by a revolving door of subliterate dagos and wops, starting with Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, as well as the former Joint Chiefs Chairman, General Peter Pace.
Bravo, Newsweek! Your unbiased klatch of WASP writers and straight-shooting editors has once again ensured that the presidential winner of 2008 will re-confirm the highest standards of eighteenth-century race theory and irrational xenophobia.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Your help is urgently needed. Together, we can inundate the editors of the PG with hate-filled e-mails about their lousy, unfunny caption contest. For fifteen months, the page 2 editors have published the lame and dated one-liners of illiterate yunzers.
This must end, if only for to save the integrity of page-2 neighbor Brian O'Neill.
I once had high hopes for the Caption Contest. A year and a half ago, I opened my Sunday newspaper with expectations of merriment and joviality. Sadly, the Caption Contest has run its course. The talented merry pun-sters of Pittsburgh have eschewed the Caption Contest and now add their unfunny remarks to blogs like this one.
Their departure has left a void in the Caption Contest, which has been filled by the following losers:
EARL L. BROWN, MORNINGSIDE
BRIAN AGNEW, HERMITAGE
CELIA BARLOW, SHALER
MIKE FOLEY, SHALER
HARLAN CLARE, ROSS
RON GAUPIN, NEW KENSINGTON
MOLLY HELLMAN, EAST LIBERTY
JANE PHILLIPS, McMURRAY
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I'm an avowed ageist. I believe people over the age of 35 should be restricted from forwarding emails and should be prohibited from operating a cell phone while driving. For more evidence that the middle-aged have little concept of how the internets work, see the case of deposed state representative Frank LaGrotta.
State prosecutors are charging LaGrotta with two felony counts of violating the state's conflict of interest law. It seems LaGrotta added his sister to the state payroll for a sinecure position, then back-dated her start date so they could receive lump sum payments of $19,329. He also hired his niece, Alissa Lemmon, whom work sparingly before leaving for an secretarial post at the Pittsburgh Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Here's the most memorable exchange between LaGrotta and his niece:
In a series of e-mails on Jan. 18, 2006, grand jurors found Mr. LaGrotta explaining a state check Ms. Lemmon received after leaving state employment. Mr. LaGrotta later told investigators the exchange was an attempt at humor, an explanation the grand jury rejected.
"Did you ever figure out the paycheck thing?" Ms. Lemmon wrote her uncle.
"They kept you on benefits through Jan. 31 and mistakenly kept you on payroll. Just keep it. They don't want back," Mr. LaGrotta replied.
Ms. Lemmon: "Well, isn't that nice of them :)."
Mr. LaGrotta: "You may get one more too!"
Ms. Lemmon: "Isn't this illegal? Not that I'm complaining!!!"
Mr. LaGrotta: "Not illegal. Mistake. You can pay it back if you choose -- but no one here is asking that. Besides, it is like your severance pay."
Ms. Lemmon: "Eh -- works for me!!!!!"'Niece' to know ya, Frank. Keep a bed warm in Western Pen for Billy DeWeese!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Can there be anything sexier than unattainable women talking about obscene wealth while putting a positive spin on exchange-draining trade deficits? Fox Business Network, a joint venture between Rupert Murdoch and Bob Guccione, provides us with the answer.
In economics they call it revealed preference theory: making decisions based upon past consumer behavior. Over at the DN, we simply know it as the "hot-chicks-plus-swooping graphics-and-loud-yelling-equals-cable-gold" equation. Good on ya, Mr. Ailes!
We especially love the fetching Jenna Lee (at top right), anchorcandy for the channel's a.m. zoo program, "Money For Breakfast." Don't miss Fox Business Network's other shows, including "Cash Brunch," "Bikinis 'N Securities," and "Market Wrap w/ Jenna Jameson."
Thursday, November 08, 2007
So the next time you tune into Fox to watch a blond bombshell rail against the capital-gains tax as an assault on freedom, do stick around through the commercial break.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Luke's victory in Wards 1-15 relied heavily on (surprise) Old People! Straight Democratic Voters accounted for 55% of his total take East of the Point.
- TOTAL VOTES WARD 1-15: 36,235 (100%)
- TOTAL STRAIGHT D 1-15: 11,480 (32% of all Votes Cast)
- TOTAL RAVENSTAHL 1-15: 20,791 (57% of all Votes Cast)
- TOTAL DESANTIS 1-15: 13,510 (37% of all Votes Cast)
- TOTAL VOTES WARD 7: 2,521
- TOTAL STRAIGHT D 7: 388 (16% of all Votes Cast in 7)
- TOTAL RAVENSTAHL 7: 889 (37% of all Votes Cast in 7)
- TOTAL DESANTIS 7: 1,508 (58% of all Votes Cast in 7)
The 14th Ward left us equally disappointed. Voter turnout, at 39%, was better than average; and as usual, the 14th Ward produced 1/3 of all votes cast in the East End. However, the breakout wasn't overwhelming for DeSantis.
- TOTAL VOTES WARD 14: 9,965
- TOTAL STRAIGHT D 14: 1,485 (16% of all Votes Cast in 14)
- TOTAL RAVENSTAHL 14: 3,808 (38% of all Votes Cast in 14)
- TOTAL DESANTIS 14: 5,613 (56% of all Votes Cast in 14)
Those people are dying off, and fast. Meanwhile, neighborhoods like Squirrel Hill and Highland Park, where DeSantis did well, continue to grow. One need only note the electoral victories of Pat Dowd and Bruce Kraus, and the continued defection of all of Homewood, Lincoln Larimer, etc. into Penn Hills, to read the writing on the wall. A Republican may not win, but as DeSantis said, a solid 1/3 of Pittsburghers are demanding change.
Ravenstahl will likely outlive the machine that brought him to power; and thus his utility as a politician. Ask Len Bodack how that feels.
I thought we might actually vote for a qualified and intelligent leader yesterday. But alas, the man-who-would-be-mayor is a registered Republican. Perish the thought!
Feel free to mock my naivety, but I'll gladly - and arrogantly - consider myself a denizen of the embittered, cynical Burghosphere.
Congratulations, Yunzers. Your blind partisanship has ensured two more years of economic stagnation, suburban flight, and high taxation.
In a few months, I'll depart for Cali. If you make it to Left Coast, feel free to stop by for an IC Light. I'd love to hear about my corrupt and mismanaged homeland.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Guy Fawkes Day is once again upon us, gentle yinzers. For those of you without a subscription to The Economist, the holiday commemorates the foiling of the infamous "Gunpowder Plot" by English authorities, a scheme which allegedly targeted the British Parliament for destruction by a group of Catholic extremists and its number one bomb-thrower, Guy Fawkes. Britons typically celebrate November 5 with bonfires and smoldering effigies of the revolutionary, but this is America, a-hole; the DN always goes bigger. As a service to our reader(s), the following is a list of things you can do to mark the first victory in the 17th century's War On Terror:
1) Torch a Catholic's house. Have no fear: The papist that lives there will most likely not be home, but off counting gold in a subterranean hideaway and burning potions to appease his Roman masters.
2) Enjoy a typical English afternoon of tea, brittle food, and latently homosexual recreation.
3) Sing the Guy Fawkes Day anthem, "Nearer, My God, To Thee (But Only the Protestant Kind)."
4) Take a moment to consider the policy implications of using conventional military force to fight endless wars against stateless entities driven not by territorial conquest, but ideology. Then, invade Iran.
5) Remember that as long as we have religion people of weak character will continue to kill other people based on their interpretation of what a magic tree said 5,000 years ago.
CMU Professor Chad Hermannn pointed out a curious political handshake that's gone unreported. As you may recall, President Bush gave the commencement address at St. Vincent's College this summer. While not in Pittsburgh (or even Allegheny County), Boy Mayor was third in the receiving line (you can spot Boy Mayor by looking for his bald spot).
Why would a
As I've stated before, for Luke Ravenstahl, winning the mayor's race is about satisfying his insatiable ego. It's not about Pittsburgh. It's about Luke.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Congratulations, Danika! You're about to join the prestigious club of women who have been disrespected by The Darn News.
Your public status as the Ravenstahl campaign spokesperson makes us envious (we're roughly the same age, and yet here we are scribbling in our diary about you), and your tan-in-a-can hotness just screams "I'm a young, ambitious, professional woman. You edit a blog about politics and boobs. Why am I talking to you again?"
And allow us to point out that in the photo to your right Danika strikes the same pose as Joe Hardy's new concubine, Danielle Golden.
With a mouth "piece" like this, all the lonely yinzers will soon be shouting, "Two more years for our Boy Mayor!"
Thursday, November 01, 2007
They're talking about it over at the Pgh Comet.
I met David from 2PJ at the debate. Nice fella.
PG calls the final debate milquetoast. Ravenstahl harps on DeSantis' Republicanism, says the Trib.
Onto debate coverage:
Too bad we can't say the same for Mark DeSantis tonight. About the red meat issues, not the homophobia.
Mark DeSantis missed his opportunity to win the black vote. Luckily for him, the debate aired on QED. Given ample opportunity to distinguish himself as the responsible candidate who understands black issues, DeSantis chose to highlight his wonkiest positions on entrepreneurship, broken-windows policing, and school board appointees.
Everyone knows Mark DeSantis is more intelligent, responsible, and honest than Luke Ravenstahl. But Luke’s a bare-knuckled politician. He’s willing to be gruff, amiable, and angered when it suits him. Citizens like emotional mayors, and Luke is emotional. He’s also sly. He willfully misleads the audience about DeSantis’ Republicanism, the FOP endorsement, and the residency requirement.
On Election Day, it will not matter if the discerning, college-educated East Ender connects with DeSantis. Hell, it won’t even matter that DeSantis failed to connect with the pro-file, homophobic Brookliner. But what will matter is that DeSantis had an excellent chance to win the black vote in Homewood, East Liberty, and the Hill District. But he blew it.
On the issue of police residency, Ravenstahl has adamantly said that police should live inside the city’s boundaries because property ownership means police have a stake in the their city’s quality of life. Fair enough, but we all know police don’t live in Homewood. Instead of pouncing on Luke and calling him a racist (like I might have suggested), DeSantis sonorously remarked that policemen are only required to live within the city, but not specific neighborhoods.
Excellent point, but where’s the gravitas? Shout, jab, and gesticulate wildly! Say which neighborhoods are getting the short end of the stick. Tell the audience that Luke’s protecting the white yunzer at the expense of the black yunzer.
DeSantis needed to talk to the black voter who feels threatened by the punks and miscreants that smash glass bottles and peddle crack on the street corner. He needed to be livid of the crime in Homewood, the decay of Uptown, and the indifference of the Mayor’s administration. He should have been outraged about the indignity of being a decent person living amongst hoods and thugs.
While DeSantis’ micro-loan program for minority businesses is fresh, altruistic and much needed program in a city that ranks last in entrepreneurship, it’s a pipe dream to the decent families who witness friends and cousins killed by drug and senseless identity wars.
DeSantis will never likely lead the repelling of English infidels, but to be the change mayor one must display verve and outrage. He hasn’t done that, and for that reason, the black community will sit out this election. And if Luke’s right, all of Pittsburgh will be worse off for it.
In an audience of 50-60 people, more than half were campaign supporters and only a handful were under the age of 30.
The Mayor’s press secretary, Danika Wukich, is a very attractive young woman [pictured here]. The Dee-N was especially pleased she chose to wear a pair of sex-me boots.
After reading the PG’s profile of Luke a few weeks ago, we learned he could tell time at age three. Did he forget? Twice in this debate did Mayor Wunderkind lose track of how long each candidate has his answer and rebuttal.
Les Ludwig was handing out cards seeking write-in votes for mayor. Take up golf, Les.
Ravenstahl is opposed to gay marriage AND civil unions. Who knew there were 27-year old homophobes in the Democratic Party?
DeSantis goes to great lengths to explain that he donated to the current president in 1999. Read between the lines and what he’s saying is that he did not donate to Bush in 2004. Yo, Mark. If you oppose the war, say you oppose the war. The entire country is anti-war right now. Later in the debate, you said the goings-on of Washington were irrelevant to Pittsburgh. If that’s the case, distance yourself as far as you possibly can from GWB and Rick Santorum. Don’t remind us – ever - that you did in fact donate to them.
Luke’s been blaming Washington and the Republican Party for the city’s fiscal woes. DeSantis should have boisterously called him out. Washington is not responsible for the city’s precarious pecuniary position. For a city still in receivership, the Mayor’s blame-someone-else mentality is not only disingenuous but it’s also frightening.
I have a stream of consciousness that I’ll consider posting tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Desantis didn’t bite… at least not like he could have. He didn’t recount Ravenstahls’ well known gaffes, or his less-than-inspiring tenure as Mayor. DeSantis instead chose to briefly mention Luke’s lack of humility before outlining a very genuine assessment of the Mayor's many (heretofore unknown) positives. In an era of unbounded political hubris, it was an uncommon moment of decency.
Herein lies the biggest difference between the man who is Mayor, and the man who should be. Mark DeSantis stands on a foundation of personal moral clarity. His boundaries are strongly defined; which is why he hasn’t gone dirty in the campaign, and why he found Ravenstahl’s filthy mailer so disgusting. Whereas DeSantis chooses to be above the fray, Luke is win-at-all-cost. Judging by the current Mayor's gratuitous indulgence in the perks of the office, and his slimy campaign tactics, Luke is DeSantis' polar opposite.
DeSantis’ ideology extends far beyond a few compliments and a ‘keep it clean’ campaign. Luke’s last question of the night highlighted this fact, as the Mayor read off the Democratic slate endorsement of his campaign. “If the Governor, the
DeSantis’ answer was probably the most insightful comment into the nature of this man. “I don’t care what those politicians think of me… I will work hard, and perform, and earn their respect.” The noted lack of Dan Onorato and Ed Rendell’s presence in Luke’s campaign speaks to the truth of that statement; Luke has their backing on paper only. But it also speaks to DeSantis’ rejection of a political culture based on family and party affiliation. ‘I don’t need them to succeed, I need only my ability and willpower. I don’t go to them, they’ll want to come to me. Who is John Galt?’
DeSantis seeks from us an opportunity to be what
Postscript [CapitolMAN]: You'd be proud to have DeSantis as mayor, and so would the New Pittsburgh Courier, which just endorsed him.
WTAE reports Joe Hardy is dating Danielle Golden, a 22-year old graduate of St. Vincent's College. On her myspace page, Golden says she hails from 'the Dirty D' (Dunbar, Fayette County).
On her MySpace page, Golden's quote read, "The best things in life are free...the second best are EXPENSIVE."
Her current mood: "exhausted."
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
King has sent a letter to firefighters urging them not to vote for Mark DeSantis because the challenger may support fiscally responsible measures like streamlining the fire bureau with EMS, closing fire stations, and restructuring the contract to reduce the outrageous overtime guaranteed to firemen.
King is a self-serving jackass. You may recall that a jilted Joe King suggested the reason Tom Murphy landed the endorsement of the firefighters union in 2001 was because he agreed to a sweetheart contract that left residents with a bloated network of fire stations and overpaid employees.
During Sunday's debate on WPXI, DeSantis said he was open to closing fire stations, which was an action recently recommended by an Act 47 report. Naturally, Ravenstahl was noncommittal.
I wonder if we'll hear from DeSantis on whether Ravenstahl 'sold the city dahn the river' to ensure support from King and his untrustworthy minions.
Monday, October 29, 2007
The award is long overdue. One of our favorite Washington Journal moments ever involved Mr. Lamb calmly reading the stubbornly ignorant messages of Michael Savage supporters after a row erupted between the radio host and the cable channel. Destroying vulgar hacks like Michael Savage is fun. Sometimes they give you a medal for it.
Photo taken after Manic Magazine announcement.
Here's your debate coverage:
I forgot to add this ridiculous statement made by Luke regarding his jaunt to NYC with billionaire playboy Ron Burkle during the arena negotations:
"... I am grateful for that relationship and we were able to enhance that relationship that evening."
Does Mrs. Ravenstahl know about his 'relationship' with Mr. Burkle?
Debate tomorrow night at 7 PM on KDKA.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
But I would not see Tim Russert the Potatohead because a sickly David Johnson found this time slot agreeable for a silly debate between Mark DeSantis and Luke Ravenstahl.
Another one of these snoozefests? I’ve had enough. Unless a bikini-clad Julie Bologna is going to moderate this debate I’ll just as well drill an hole in my skull to relieve this pressure.
But this event was hardly the sombrous affair of dustups past. At the debate’s outset, a composed and passionate Mark DeSantis articulately excoriated Mayor Wunderkind for a milquetoast negative campaign flyer that was sent to residents yesterday. While the flyer is not exactly on par with Swift Boating your opponent, it did expose DeSantis’ horrifying Republican allegiance.
Much to my chagrin, DeSantis has chosen to take the high road in this campaign. But calling out Luke for a crummy flyer is as close as we’re going to get DeSantis calling Luke a creep. And Luke’s a creep, folks. His smarmy smirk is no more beguiling than George Bush’s chortle.
I can’t tell you how angry it makes me to think anyone would vote for Luke. He’s a simpleton of dubious intellect. Here are three of Luke’s most memorable malapropisms and platitudes:
“We see more efficiencies continue throughout my tenure.”
“It’s a policy decision that should be followed up on.”
“Zachary is what we work very hard to achieve.”
“The superintendent has a supporter in Luke Ravenstahl.”
Luke is the master of the non-sequitir. He has this insatiable capability to mangle the English language. It would really be quite hideous if it weren’t so funny. At one point during the debate, Johnson asked Luke about his presence at the UPMC golf outing. Instead of showing any humility and moving on, Luke offered a bumbling soliloquy about attending “charitable events.” Only people can be charitable, Luke.
He’s the personification of a sluggish PC that needs to be rebooted.
Simply put, the dude is a dud.
DeSantis oozed passion this morning. He spoke eloquently about coming together as Pittsburghers to make this city great once again. When he suggests we should rise above partisan acrimony, he actually believes it. The only time I can remember DeSantis attacking Luke during the debate was for not showing enough humility. He sounded like a teacher disappointed in his pupil’s behavior.
I tweaked DeSantis’ stiff performance at the WTAE debate, but there’s no doubting his zeal for public policy and public service. He’s the genuine article.
Highlights from the debate:
Good move by Johnson to let the candidates confront each other. DeSantis caught Ravenstahl flat-footed several times, especially when Luke asked him how he could possibly expect to extract a better health care deal for the city. DeSantis has said recently that he’d ask UPMC to provide discounted health-care to city pensioners in lieu of their paltry non-profit contribution to the city’s budget. Luke smugly pointed out that the bid for health care was an open request for proposal, but DeSantis said this wasn’t creative enough. After some back and forth, DeSantis smashed the volley.
“If you think an RFP process is creative you need to think again.”
After DeSantis cited his agreement with Dan Onorato on regionalism for the umpteenth time in this campaign, Ravenstahl said "I just want to point out that Dan Onorato is endorsing me in this campaign."
DeSantis cheerfully replied that he didn't mean to imply Onorato was endorsing his candidacy, but he could understand why Luke could be confused, given all the endorsements he's been receiving. [In case you missed it, the PG endorsed DeSantis.]
It’s really Luke who should have no chance in this election. He’s a 27-year old parochial yunzer running against a professional businessman with sound policy ideas. But alas, this is Pittsburgh. Home to 70 years of one-party rule, blatant corruption, crumbling infrastructure, and approximately 200,000 parochial yunzers.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Kirchner is the current first lady/crime partner of socialistic strong man President Nestor Kirchner. Her husband's economic program of ignoring the country's crushing debt, driving out foreign investment, and cozying up to tinhorn dictator Hugo Chavez seems to be paying off: Argentina enjoyed eight percent growth last year, making it the economic envy of most of the continent. That, and she's hot and charismatic enough to make voters forget about the roving drug militias which control their cities.
The DN would like to wish Mrs. Kirchner best of luck in this weekend's show election. Yet we earnestly pray that one day Argentinian politics will emerge from its current condition of dynastic succession and enter into the sunlight of truly democratic participation. Nobody likes a rigged system in which two people, or two families, control a country indefinitely -- except of course Americans. Viva la similarity!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Take for instance "No Impact Man." No, that's not Fred Thompson's nickname on the campaign trail: actually, it's the alter ego of Colin Beavan, environmentalist, father, and sustainable husband. Beavan is a writer living in the city and has been documenting his war on heat-trapping emissions and disposable Dixie cups since earlier this year, has made numerous media appearances, keeps an updated blog, has a film in the works, and was contracted to write a book describing this participatory thought experiment -- simultaneously guaranteeing both a national bestseller and the clear-cutting of thousands of acres of South American forestland.
The DN applauds Beavan's noble endeavor; we could all stand to use a bit less and conserve a little more. But, really, with a kid and everything? And a young one at that. Sure, we'd like to drive around town in a CO2-free dumpcart too, but not at the risk of our child hating us because we forced them to avoid toilet paper and shut off the lights at 7:30. Hasn't this cat watched E!'s True Hollywood Story? Kids with cool parents turn out the exact opposite. No Impact Man, in this case, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Your monkish asceticism makes Osama bin Laden like look Liberace. There's got to be a middle way, otherwise you risk raising both an adult film star and a Republican in the same person. And Mary Carey's so California recall election 2003.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The House Democrats are the target of the inquiry because they spent a whopping $1.9M in bonuses, twice as much as both Senate caucuses and the House GOP combined. It may be that the GOP was given the opportunity to shield itself from all but the most egregious wrongdoing; but it may also be that DeWeese is the king-shit dirtbag of Hubris in Harrisburg.
Part of being politically savvy is avoiding impropriety... not only because its wrong, but because it arms your enemies. DeWeese speaks like a foppish parody of a Machiavellian genius, but a fop is no substitute for the real deal. Say hi to Jeff Habay on your way to hell, Billy boy.
Pull on shit-waders because Councilman Jim Motzdick (D-Douchebag Heights) is running his mouth again.
From the PG's Early Returns blog:
"Anyone working for the city needs to be a city resident, period," said Councilman Jim Motznik at a City Council meeting today. "A GOP candidate will promise anything to get the endorsements that he thinks are needed."
He also noted that Pittsburgh's police residency requirement is enshrined in state law (as is the parking tax cut he tried to overturn ). "How can you take someone serious who's going to promise something that he has no control over?" he asked...
Mr. Motznik even claimed, approvingly, that there's a "petition" circulating in the zone stations urging support of Mr. Ravenstahl. We at Early Returns suppose that he will promptly report those officers to the city's Ethics Hearing Board, since, as the city's Ethics Handbook notes, all "city employees are prohibited from engaging in political activity during work hours and at all times in City offices."
Is Motzdick as dumb as he looks?
I recently read some Internets speculation that Motzdick engineered council's bill that maintained the parking tax at 45% despite ICA rules requiring it to drop to 40%, only to have Luke veto the bill and appear fiscally responsible. After reading these remarks, I sincerely doubt that.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Trib lead [David Brown reporting]: Democratic Mayor Luke Ravenstahl accused Republican challenger Mark DeSantis of "selling the city down the river" by agreeing to positions backed by Pittsburgh's police union -- implying that's how DeSantis got the union's endorsement.
Post-Gazaette lead [Dan Majors]:
Pittsburgh's mayoral candidates last night sparred over the longtime residency requirement for city employees and whether Republican challenger Mark DeSantis "sold the city down the river" to get the endorsement of the police union.
"I stood up to the [Fraternal Order of Police], and my opponent was unwilling to stand up to the FOP and rather caved in to their demands," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said during an hour-long debate sponsored and televised by WTAE-TV.
Both stories focus on the residency requirement, which I believe is a non-win proposition for the challenger. The PG's Majors points out that three of the dozen questions dealt with Luke's ethical lapses.
Neither reporter mentioned the exchange about Mayor Wunderkind's ICA-mandated budget projection report, which shows an operational deficit in years four and five.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I have terrible news to report, Dear Reader.
Mayor Luke "the Fluke" Ravenstahl will inadequately rule Pittsburgh for the next two years. During this evening's debate on WTAE [live-blogged by Bram at the Comet], Mayor Wunderkind exuded charm and confidence. He actually came across as likable and knowledgeable. He flashed a ready smile and gave butter-smooth answers for the silver-platter questions posed by moderator Sally Wiggins.
Although DeSantis was prepared for questions about his FOP endorsement, Republican affiliation, and half-baked plan to reduce city spending, he looked nervous. He made no prolonged eye contact with the cameras. He spoke with a stale delivery that betrayed his message of "courage" and enthusiasm for the city's future. I can't recall DeSantis grinning at all.
DeSantis' campaign has failed to adequately defend his FOP endorsement. The only way he can repair the damage is to get the policeman's union to state publicly that DeSantis did not promise to waive the residency requirement. At the debate, DeSantis said he believed that the residency requirement precludes the city from hiring the most talented employees. That's a reasonable position, and he may be right.
But city residents won't be happy if their policemen are living outside the borders. And Ravenstahl gave the taxpayers a crisp, red-meat rebuttal.
"To suggest that we can't find talented people inside the city, that's a slap in the face to city residents."
Smash your face, DeSantis.
The FOP endorsement might just be more trouble than its worth for the DeSantis campaign. Despite his protests to the contrary, it smacks of the kind of horse-trading DeSantis has been railing against.
I think Ravenstahl wins on the issue of consolidation, too. Whatever the reasons for the city's pecuniary problems, city residents are just as frightened of losing control to a county executive as suburbanites are of assuming the city's crippling finances. Quote DeSantis: "I hope I'm the last mayor of the city of Pittsburgh." Yeah. that ought to play real well in Carrick.
Ravenstahl showed he has no idea how to attract businesses to the city. He talked about cranes and downtown construction as signs of growth, either slyly or willfully ignorant of the 0% job growth and high commercial vacancy, both of which were cited by DeSantis.
The only moment DeSantis came across as humanly comfortable was when he retold the story of learning about Senator John Heinz's death and its affect on his career path. [Disclosure: I watched the debate at Cappy's with the DeSantis crowd]. Everyone, including the uninterested barflies, stopped and listened to his answer.
Much better than Luke's answer: my brother was in a car crash nine years ago.
Despite Luke's proclivity for obfuscation and replies that can be paraphrased as "hey, I didn't cause this mess. I just became mayor because the old charming guy died", Ravenstahl wins. Neither Bob Mayo nor Jeremy Boren, both indubitable if not unspoken adversaries of Raventsahl, failed to unnerve Hizzoner.
And with little time remaining, I hereby crown Mayor Wunderkind King Shit of Fuck Mountain for two more years.
The NY Times, obviously feeling guilty after shoddy reporting of Mayor Luke "the Fluke" Ravenstahl three weeks ago, has a charming story about Andrew Carnegie's largess in today's Travel section.
Frankly, there's nothing new or intriguing in this article. Read it anyway.