Friday, March 30, 2007

More like Carnegie Felon

The war-mongers over at CMU's CyLab are at it again. This time they're helping out the Pentagon in its drive to database every brown person in the Mid East. Actually, seems like a pretty rad idea. I wonder if the Pittsburgh Poetry Slam bulletin board has alerted its customers to this juicy protest opportunity. - From Gov't Issue

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sarah Spain In Pain! Does Anyone Really Care? (photo)

After our coverage was derided as "gratuitous" and "pornographic" The Darn News cowered into submission. We would never blog about Sarah Spain again. Girlfriends can be so cruel. That was six weeks ago. But you, the dear reader, rule the DN and you have demanded changes.

The Spain Train is least until there a fresh nubile female, who is chestier than Sarah, struts into Sportdom (applications now being accepted).

Sarah now lives in Los Angeles where she's trying to make it big in Hollyweird. Might I suggest a career as a Laker Girl? Darn News' has it on good authority that Sarah is unemployed. By day she is a waitress at the Waffle House, by night a stripper at the Highway Playground. She is applying to become a stripping waitress at a raunchy Houllihan's in Cerritos.

A few weeks ago, Sarah learned dating in LA is a bloodsport [read Sarah's blog here]. Sarah's beau escorted her to this posh bistro called TJI Friday's. After guzzling two boxes of the restaurant's finest beaujoleais, the couple canoodled privately on a sheepskin-covered bench toward the back of the dining room. Then, tragedy. I'll let Sarah retell it:

Suddenly, a large metal decorative plate displayed high on the bookshelf to my right tumbled off the shelf and struck me right above the eye.

Wine? Private room? Sheepskin-covered bench? Pardon me if I don't suggest a more lascivious reason for the plate's plunge.

Our poor heroine suffered a cut above her right eye! She was taken by ambulance to Kaiser Permanente. From there, she was lifeflighted to a better hospital, Cedars Sinai.

I can't believe I fucking blogged this pointless story. I guess this is what happens when you return The Sopranos to Netflix and receive back 10th and Wolf. Your perspective of what qualifies as entertainment becomes warped.

Here's a story in the WaPo about marketeers hawking condoms and tee-shirts at Spring Break in Panama Beach. No photos, just video. Ah, to be young again. I remember my spring break trips. Pale, hopeless, and rejected. Sort of like working in an office all day without the daytime drinking.

God, I miss college.

Pittsburgh Penguin fans march on Washington

The Penguins 4-3 victory last night over the Washington Capitals clinched their first playoff appearance since 2001. And they did so with a little help from their friends. Here's more proof that Pittsburgh fans are the most gleeful and condescending in sports today (baseball excluded).

From today's WaPo:
When the teams hit the ice for warmups, the Capitals were booed by the out of towners in the sellout crowd of 18,277. When the Penguins emerged, Crosby was showered with chants of "M-V-P!"

One Penguins fan held up a sign that read, "25 Tickets: $975, Party Bus: $1,375, 30 More Years Beating the Caps: Priceless."

Is there a better feeling than showing up the opposing fan on his team's turf? Suck it, Washington!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Governor Soprano promises to reform State Mafia

The Governor of Philadelphia, Eddie Soprano, wants to clean up Pennsylvania. In the grand American tradition of uninspiring politicians, Gov. Soprano wants to curb "special interest" influence in Harrisburg. He has reheated the standard blue-plate fare: reduce the size of the Legislature, impose term limits, and cap campaign contributions from individuals.

Rendell must be ignorant of one of the reasons behind the creation of a bloated bicameral legislature. During the Pennsylvania constitutional convention of 1873, Pennsylvanians thought that increasing the number of legislators would make it too expensive for the Pennsylvania Railroad to buy off every vote.

If Rendell wanted to cripple the influence of lobbyists, unions, and businesses he'd suggest dissolving the professional legislature altogether. Create a 500-member, part-time, unicameral chamber.

If there is a reduction in membership legislative districts will be geographically larger and more populous. Candidates will have to raise more money. The grassroots candidate will become extinct (see Bill Kortz).

Here's how the Post-Gazette's Tracy Mauriello introduces Rendell's idea for campaign finance reform:

Gov. Ed Rendell had no qualms about accepting $100,000-and-up campaign contributions when he ran for re-election last fall.

Now, though, he says that's too much; contributions should be limited to $5,000 in gubernatorial elections and $2,000 in most other races.

"There's far too much influence in the governmental process by people and organizations with large amounts of money," Mr. Rendell told reporters yesterday at the Pennsylvania Press Club's monthly luncheon.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Edwards no 'surrender monkey,' just a heartless husband and media opportunist

Former surrender monkey John Edwards (F-South) will continue to seek the presidency even though his wife has terminal cancer.

The public is:

1. sympathetic.

2. outraged.

3. contemplating whether John Edwards is queer.

Lovers in arm: Peduto, Edwards a couple of surrender monkeys

John Edwards may end his pursuit of the presidency today. Oh, he'll probably say his wife, who is recovering from breast cancer is ill again. "What a convenient fact," says Government Issue. Now, Edwards doesn't have to admit to his "faggy" relationship with Pittsburgh city councilman Bill Peduto, who also ended his political campaign.

Coincidence? I think not.

Edwards appeal to voters will only grow stronger should he choose to return to politics. Peduto's career is likely over. His departure stinks of cowardice and frailty. Peduto sanctimoniously says he would not run a race when the media and the voter were more concerned with Opie's misdeeds than the city's demise. What baloney. Politics is a pugilistic sport and Peduto was no fighter. (The PG editorial board says Peduto's departure is a disservice to his supporters, the city, and democracy.)

Two years from now, Peduto may salvage his credibility with the electorate (notwithstanding Ross Perot's 1992 bizarre departure). But come summer 2007, should Peduto run as an independent - an idea he did not rule out yesterday - he will have too much explaining to do to the supporters and contributors he abandoned.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Peduto a Pe-goner, sez Post-Gazette

Bill Peduto will drop out of the mayor's race, leaving the forelorn city in the hands of this guy:See ya later, Pittsburgh!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Elizabeth Forward Sued by Abused Student

In the not-so distant future, the story will read that Katy White was 8 years old when she learned to hate the Gov'ment. After Killer Katie's decade-long stint as the murderous kingpin of a roving anarchist biker gang, the FBI finally caught up with her in 2026. Friends and relatives back in her humble Mon Valley home sadly reflect on how it all went so wrong.

Back in 2006, in an ass-backwards Mon Valley 'tahn called Elizabeth, 8 year old Katy White was wrongly accused of stealing $5 from a classmate. Her half-wit principal paraded Katy through several classrooms, proclaiming Katy a Thief and Liar to all of her fellow classmates. Because the school's stockade was on loan to Belle Vernon and a recent lawsuit ruled out stoning, the principal improvised a little savagery by slapping Katy when she cried in transit between classrooms.

Turned out dear Katy was innocent of the crimes. The principal, however, was not.

Consider the absurdity of running a $22 Million corporation directed by 9 yahoos elected at large, and staffed by nepotism. No one would ever buy that company's stocks, or invest their retirement savings in that company. No one would ever entrust that company with a critical contract or mission. But we invest our children's future, and entrust these people with the critical mission of their children's education.
According to the lawsuit, the principal's "conduct in instigating, escalating and maintaining said defamation and humiliation was so outrageous and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency."

Somehow, JetBlue spends several weeks issuing nationwide Mea Culpas for a few missed flights. Elizabeth Forward is mum, their response buried in the South section of the PG. Apparently, for a public school district, Katy's story is par for the course.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Comerade DeWeese: Down with Dictatorship!

Billy DeWeese gots Religion! First, he banished late night voting, then absentee voting, then Public Service Announcements before elections. Now, he is targeting what he described as the "dictatorial" management style of the past 12 years. Hark ye Pennsylvania, the Words of Reform:
The leadership style of the last 12 years was almost dictatorial. We have altered that. No longer will our agenda be simply handed to committee chairmen with instructions to pass them. We are allowing them to do what they should be doing: holding hearings, listening to expert testimony, talking to the public and forging compromise. - DeWeese
Sounds like every ascendant African Dictator standing in the ashes of his recently dispatched foe, but its not nearly that clean cut. The incestuous nature of Harrisburg is such that the scales of power tip only slightly within the same Cabal. Kinda like musical chairs, but everyone stays seated around the public trough.

The most confusing, if not perversely hypocritical, aspect of DeWeese's newly minted reforms is that each reform targets techniques DeWeese ruthlessly employed as a high ranking thug in Sam Smith's Punxsutawney Junta. Was it not the nocturnal DeWeese who held court over the 2AM payraise, who modified legislation minutes before votes, that used Public Service Announcements as barter in an Ad's for Votes scheme?

Does Billy DeWeese really think he can pull this transformation act off, or is he just hoping we're all as stupid as his gap-toothed inbred constituents back in Waynesburg?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pittsburgh needs a mayor, not a minor

Here is a shot of the Bill Peduto "mayor not a minor" commercial. You can watch the clip here. Story about Mayor Opie's publicly financed campaign at the Post-Gazette.

Turnpike Curbs Christ

Staying true to form, the PA Turnpike promises to remove a pedestrian walkway over the main line of the Turnpike in New Baltimore, PA. The overhead walkway and accompanying stairs were meant to provide access to St. John the Baptist church from the Turnpike. The faithful have used these stairs since the opening of the Turnpike, but the heavy-handed State-run Authority told the Christians to go hang.

"Having steps so close to the highway is too risky. They encourage drivers to slow down or pull over on a highway where the speed limit is 65 mph. We can't allow pedestrians on interstates anymore... (The steps encourage) pedestrians and that's against the law." -Turnpike Commission

This same bullheaded rational from the assholes who brought us the flying highway and the esthetically pleasing 5 story concrete retaining wall /mountainside.

I don't see why the Turnpike can't fix the stop to accommodate people who want to go to church. I vividly remember passing through New Baltimore and the red-brick St. John's on Sunday morning and seeing people pulled over for church. The stop always seemed popular enough to attract at least one or two truckers either east or west-bound.

But in spite of a lack of evidence that the stairs are actually dangerous beyond some footnote in the federal code, they must go. In short, if youre dedicated enough to give up some time to go to church (and time is especially valuable to truckers), you better be dedicated enough to hop a fence on eastbound 76 at New Baltimore. (US Code 445: A-F)

Time to alert the evangelical groups about another attack on the faithful!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chuck Hagel Out, Predicts Split

Chuck "Perot" Hagel is out... for now. I'll get back to you, I'm busy right now, sez Hagel. Fortunately for those of us fond of reading political tea leaves, he didn't keep his message that trite.

“The political currents in America are more unpredictable today than at any time in modern history. We are experiencing a political re-orientation, a redefining and moving toward a new political center of gravity. This movement is bigger than both parties. The need to solve problems and meet challenges is overtaking the ideological debates of the last three decades — as it should. America is demanding honest, competent and accountable governance..” - Hagel
Not the first person to think that the polar party system will eventually pull itself apart. But while the dustbin of history (T.R., Eugene Debs, Ralph Nader and Ross Perot) is full with those who bet against the dual party system and lost, it is also full of those who lost the election due to their party being split or just disgusted with their party's lack of direction (Taft, Bush I, Gore). Hagel might have a point.

With twice divorced/pro-gay rights Guliani riding 50%+ in polls of the GOP, makes you wonder where the hell Karl Rove's bigoted majority went.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Mob boss Stephen Zappala shuts down the Queen Elizabeth Casino

Local law enforcement shut down the biggest competitor of casino operator Don Barden: Pittsburgh's local taverns and firehalls.

Elizabeth Borough Police Chief John Snelson said one of the raided operators was the social club of Elizabeth Borough Volunteer Fire Department.

Small businesses have been operating video poker machines in the Mon Valley since Don Barden was in shortpants. There are two things that have changed:
1, The state receives no cut from corner-bar poker machines.
2. There's a new crop of local lawmen - Chief John Snelson and Robert McNeilly (Elizabeth Township).

Zappala's spokesman, Mike Manko said the raids were meant to weed out organized crime in the region. They have a big job cut out for them. There's over 140 town councils in in Allegheny County!

Stop the slaughter, save the cows

From this afternoon's PG:

A protester, sitting on 43rd Street, yells slogans as firefighters and police disassemble tubing that connected about 50 other demonstrators [Darrell Sapp, Post-Gazette].

From Ann Rodgers' story in the PG:
A Bloomfield woman, 24-year-old De'Anna Caligiuri, was suspended from its point in a harness about 15 feet above the asphalt driveway. It was the first time she had done this, a tactic borrowed from the environmental movement. The device was apparently erected to make it difficult for police to remove without injuring her.

"I volunteered to be up here," Ms. Caligiuri said. "Someone needed to be up here and I didn't mind doing it. I'm a little cold but good. I'm here because i'm against the war. I feel it's very important to do direct action against and confront local institutions that facilitate and profit from the war."

Quick, someone call the Pentagon! Tell them to call off the troops. A jackass has suspended herself from a rooftop!

Memo to Ms. Caligiuri: No one likes the war, but it's a Friday afternoon. Grow up and get a job, hippie.

Save the Cows, PART II

The aforementioned protesters are either professional losers or are serial liars. Professional losers in that by any measure, the success of their tactics lie somewhere between hopelessly ineffective and wholly counter-productive. If the mindless repetition of failure in the expectation of a differing outcome is the definition of insanity, what are the real motives of Pittsburgh's Freedom Fighters? Judging by the elaborate means the protesters have employed to ensure the media has time to arrive, it seems that the only goal of these clowns is to hold on long enough that they make it on TV.

Chief media whore De'Anna Caliguri (stylish apostrophe added when Caliguri gave up her 'slave name') seems to have proven this point. Caliguri became most famous for protesting on behalf of teachers in Oxaca Mexico, 'cause where else can you fight injustice with a margarita on the beach? In an era where even most people in the third world have cellphones, Caliguri is fighting to have pay phones (For the POOR!) reinstalled on Penn Avenue. Clearly, the breadth of De'Anna's crusade for justice far exceeds its depth.

Today, the target was CMU's robotics program, where manless drones are created to replace soldiers in the line of fire. Expressing a preference for flag-draped caskets, Caliguri eloquently outlined the objective of today's protest to the press: "Write whatever you want, just spell my name correctly."

Trib scoops Post-Gazette on Penn Hills' family murder-suicide

The Tribune-Review's Tony LaRussa scooped the Post-Gazette's ace-crime team of Jim McKinnon and Mike Buscko on the murder-suicide that happened earlier this week.
George Terry, 65 of Penn Hills, killed his ailing wife and two mentally disabled sons before turning the handgun on himself, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner's office.
While the PG failed to report any possible motive, LaRussa interviewed Denise Leon, a close family friend of Terry's daughter, Donna Russo. Leon told the Trib's reporter that Ms. Russo told her that her father was worried about his ability to care for his family.
Leon also said Terry's daughter told her that Mr. Terry had shown signs of forgetfulness and may have been worried about who would care for his family if he could no longer do so.
LaRussa also interviewed Mr. Terry's friends at a neighborhood senior center where he was a member. The Terry's were caring foster parents. They have two biological children, in addition to their two adopted sons.
The Post-Gazette interviewed neighbors, who said the typical things that shocked neighbors say when something like this happens. Kudos to the Trib for painting a picture about the Terrys' lives.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Congratulations, Pittsburgh! First bank failure in nearly three years!

Matt Drudge continues his economic fearmongering with a link to a story about the one-branch Metropolitan Bank in Lawrenceville. Several weeks ago, the FDIC rolled into town and closed down this pseudo-bank.

How poorly run was the Metropolitian Bank? According to my source, checks deposited three years ago had yet to be properly cashed. The bank's offices were a disaster zone. Boxes of records were stacked behind cubicle walls.