Friday, December 31, 2010

New Pitt Football Coach Reportedly Arrested

The plan was to have Infinonymity shut down for the year by now, but a dispatch from our Steve Pederson Screw-Up desk has interfered: It appears to be lucky for Pitt that Dave Wannstedt agreed to coach the Panthers at the Nobody Knows Or Cares Bowl in whatever redneck town is hosting that blockbuster event, because the only way Pederson's "values" pick -- Michael Haywood -- could be there to do the job would be if the judge grants bail. Details concerning the arrest should emerge soon. If Wannstedt planned to clean out his office this weekend, he might be wise to procrastinate on that one.

UPDATE: P-G is on it. The Trib is, too, if linking to a flash from The Sporting News counts.

UPPERDATE: For anyone who had planned to spend New Year's Eve getting wild with Jerome Cochran and/or Alan Garfinkel: Unless a Cathedral of Learning office is your idea of party central, consider other plans, because Jerry and Al look to be spending this evening in the University's in-house legal offices, checking on whether certain documents contain legally valid signatures and researching recent developments in "moral turpitude" clauses.

Infinonytune: Pitt Fight Song, (before Steve Pederson screwed it up)

As One Year Becomes The Next . . .

Why couldn't they have replicated something from Motown? Chuck Berry? The Beatles? Sam Cooke?

Happy New Year, everyone!

Infinonytune: A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke
Infinonytune: Havin' A Party, Sam Cooke
Infinonytune: Twistin' The Night Away, Sam Cooke
Infinonytune: Johnny B. Goode, Chuck Berry and the E Street Band
Infinonytune: Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley
Infinonytune: Chuck Berry vs. Keith Richards

Thursday, December 30, 2010

11 P.M. Council Meeting: A Fittingly Frantic, Absurd Way For InsolvenCity To Spend 2010's Final Hour

It is as fitting as it is absurd that elected officials would attempt to rescue InsolvenCity by solving in 60 frenzied minutes (the final hour of the year) a billion-dollar problem that took decades to create and will require decades to unwind.

Especially because nothing could be "solved" by half-baked compliance with an illusory deadline for a synthetic resolution.

From the Post-Gazette editorializers' pointless palpitations-turned-premature exclamation to the mayor's bewildered petulance, from the council majority's frantic skittering to the Keystone Cops mathematicizing, InsolvenCity's leading voices have produced a deafening chorus of dysfunction throughout the holiday season.

The sky above InsolvenCity will occupy its traditional position, as will the city's pension problem, when the first workweek of the new year begins. Those who wish the City well should hope that everyone charts a better -- more collaborative, more informed, more sensible, more effective -- course for 2011 than that which was followed in 2010.

Infinonytune: Why Don't We Get Drunk And Screw, Jimmy Buffett

Can Charles Anderson Become Chicken Salad, Or Does That Work Only In The Other Direction?

If you want or need chickenshit, you can either (1) employ the method depicted at right or (2) call 724-830-3106, the office line of Westmoreland County Commissioner Charles Anderson.

(Aside to Tribune-Review editors: Don't change the lead -- "Westmoreland County Democrat commissioners this morning passed a 2011 budget" -- that flashes partisan gang signals (by using "Democrat" instead of standard English's "Democratic") in today's issue. Instead, be who you are. A closeted conservative extremist is an unhappy conservative extremist.)

Infinonytune: American Idiot, Green Day

UPDATE: Anyone still in search of chickenshit should check the website of Doug Weimer, a hypocrite who criticizes two Democrats for talking about not voting for the budget they crafted with the Republican commissioner, but is silent concerning the Republican who actually voted against that budget. (Weimer's credentials include work for Bob Regola, whose carelessness with a gun killed a kid a few years ago. When Weimer criticizes Regola, we'll withdraw his "chickenshit" badge. Until then: Doug Weimer, Republican, Doug Weimer, candidate for Westmoreland County commissioner, and Doug Weimer, pure chickenshit.)

Revisiting Some Of InsolvenCity's 2010 Chapters

As 2010 concludes, it seems appropriate to recall some of the important chapters that shaped the Pittsburgh region during the year:

In March, InsolvenCity's List-Makers and other insiders congregated atop Mt. Washington to express support for the region's political future (and, perhaps, arrange some brotherly sisterly love).

During April, the Listed assembled beneath an underpass to . . . well, they weren't quite sure why they were assembled, until a couple of Pats figured it out.

(April also featured introduction of the instant preplay, which turned out to be a generally reliable device.)

In May, the List-Makers gathered at the district attorney's offices to discuss InsolvenCity's business climate.

Infinonytune: Havin' A Party, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (with special guests at Cleveland's Agora, 1978)

UPDATE: Rumors indicate the List-Makers have responded to recent pension-parking developments by inviting certain guests to a holiday get-together in an abandoned warehouse along the river the Strip District . . . we will attempt to provide Inficoverage.

Mr. Jimmy's Sister Hits Bottom, Then Goes Lower

What happens when an incompetent twit leaves a respectable newspaper in disgrace after revelation that nearly everything she wrote for years was spectacularly wrong (because she had become a hapless tool of warmongering liars)?

She follows the natural progression into pathetic hackdom:

First, she becomes a Fox News contributor.

Then, she joins a right-wing think tank.

To complete the descent, she scavenges for bylines at Scaife-funded laughingstock Newsmax.

It seems every worthwhile bit of the Miller gene pool went to Judith Miller's half-brother, Jimmy, who (1) produced what was likely the greatest five-album run in rock 'n' roll history, for for Rolling Stones, (2) played drums on several of the Stones' better songs, and (3) probably was the Mr. Jimmy who stood in line for a "cherry red" soda at the Chelsea Drug Store.

Infinonytune: You Can't Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones
Infinonytune: Tumbling Dice, The Rolling Stones
Infinonytune: Happy, The Rolling Stones

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Fig Leaf Falls From Tom Corbett's Still-Open Office Of Political, Partisan Prosecutions

Which bone bruise is worse, that of Brian Nutt's integrity or that of Tom Corbett's integrity?

That the next career step of an attorney general's chief of staff (after a series of resume- and campaign-building political prosecutions) is to start a new office for an established partisan politics shop is more than troubling -- it is damning. Compounding the affront is the point that Governor-elect Corbett -- with his political advisor, Brian Nutt -- is currently negotiating political issues with some people Mr. Corbett (still the attorney general) currently is investigating or prosecuting . . . or, in other cases, people who have seemingly and inexplicably avoided prosecution and investigation.

Rome Was Not Built (Or Destroyed) In A Week; InsolvenCity And Its Pathetic Pension Plan Will Not Be Saved (Or Doomed) This Week, Either

Amid the current commotion, conniptions, and confabulations associated with the Not-So-Great InsolvenCity Parking Garage Sale episode, a few observations might bear repeating:

• December 31 is a "deadline" much as March 19 and September 20 and November 1 and Thanksgiving week were "deadlines."

• Each of these elements could occupy a role far more prominent than most people expect in any sensible resolution of InsolvenCity's parking privatization pension funding problem:
• Joe Scarnati (and other Republican legislators)

• Substantial revisions to InsolvenCity's pension structure

• A serious discussion of a municipal bankruptcy petition

• An unhurried, transparent, ecumenical consideration of parking proposals

• An indictment or two

• One it is a bit too early to mention
• Each of these elements could occupy a role somewhat more prominent than most people expect:

• New-to-the-table local civic leaders

• New (and better) financial overlords adult supervision

• A couple of City Council election campaigns

• LAZ Parking (after shedding some local baggage)

Infinonytune: Long Time Comin', Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band

Infinonytune: Karn Evil 9 ("Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends . . ."), Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Post-Gazette Editorialists Are All A-Flutter

Nine-year-old girls exhibit a better sense of perspective when threatening suicide because the encore has started and New Kids On The Block The Backstreet Boys Britney Spears Miley Cyrus Justin Bieber hasn't played their favorite song yet.

The jab about the fanboy trip to Heinz Field to reminisce about talking his way out of handcuffs watch ice-painting was a nice touch, though.

Infinonytune: I Want It That Way,
The Backstreet Boys

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Complete The Sequence: Doctor, Prostitute . . .

The Sporkers point toward a Venn diagram to remember:
Infinonytune: Fiddle About, The Who

How Much Do "Free" Tickets Cost The Public? (Or Recipients, In Terms Of Public Respect?)

Regardless of who provided or paid for the tickets that enabled the Onorato family to attend the Pitt-Connecticut game at the Petersen Events Center on Monday evening -- or how much longer Dan Onorato intends to occupy his current office -- the county executive might have better declined them.

How would Braddock residents, for example, perceive a picture from the luxury box in which Dan Onorato and University of Pittsburgh representatives enjoyed the game and socialized?

Public officials responsible for dispensing public dollars and favors should avoid even the appearance of impropriety in situations such as this; it would dispel reasonable and troublesome questions when wince-worthy events -- such as the Rooneys speeding crawling inexplicably past their third contractual deadline in a too-good-to-be-legitimate deal -- occur . . . as they commonly do when the Penguins, the Pirates, Pitt, UPMC or the Steelers are involved.

Infinonytune: Ticket To Ride, The Beatles

Monday, December 27, 2010

Allegheny County Executive Council Picture Has Unexpectedly Become Somewhat Less Cleary

Joan Cleary's resignation could become a fascinating factor if Allegheny County councilors conduct any unscheduled, important votes during the next couple of weeks.

Infinonytune: New Kid In Town, Eagles

The Public Might Have A Valid Claim Against Both Of These Guys For Poor Marksmanship

The Associated Press disserves the public by refraining from identifying the lawyer (if any) who filed this claim.

Infinonytune: Double Shot Of My Baby's Love, Swingin' Medallions

Thursday, December 23, 2010

URA Mathematics: An Inexplicable Loss Is Business As Usual "Very Fair" And A "Great Opportunity"

By the Urban Redevelopment Authority's fantasy-based mathematics and illogical business principles record and customary standards, this hosing settlement is probably a better-than-average return of investment. Not convinced? Wait until the Ravenstahl administration announces the next Iron City Brewing accounting.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Ghost Of Municipal Future Beckons InsolvenCity

The ghost of municipal future (right) offers a glimpse of what could occur if unrealistic expectations -- a bailout, retirement at 50, avoidance of budgetary pain, last-year-overtime-larded payouts, pension plan management as a patronage plum, a defined-benefit plan, a short-term "solution" -- are indulged too long.

Dogma Dominating Tom Corbett's Cabinet: Education Privateer Picked For Budget Director

Tom Corbett, governor-elect of Pennsylvania The Marcellus Shale Coalition Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Inc. presented by the Chamber of Commerce, has announced his selection of Charles Zogby (left) for Budget Secretary.

This choice indicates that the Corbett administration will be steeped in right-wing dogma even in offices not commonly associated with partisan ideology. (Mr. Zogby was Enforcer of Conservative Ideology Office of Policy director during the Ridge administration.)

Mr. Zogby, after serving as Secretary of Education (despite no apparent background in education) for Gov. Ridge, has devoted his recent years to profiting from the diversion of funds from public education to those who not only fear their children would get cooties from public schools science, other children and the reality-based world, but also expect taxpayers to subsidize that antisocial preference.

The consequences of the Onorato-Corbett choice for governor are going to be ugly.

UPDATE: A reader has noted ambiguity in the preceding sentence. The calamity is not that Corbett was chosen instead of Onorato; it is that two substandard candidates were nominated, giving voters no worthwhile choice on election day.

Infinonytune: School Days, Chuck Berry (with Keith Richards)

Admirable Accomplishment: Carnegie And His Heroes

Amid Andrew Carnegie's complicated record -- spectacular industrial achievement, the Homestead Strike, a nationwide collection of libraries, an appointment in hell -- is a relatively small but fascinating legacy, the Carnegie Hero Fund, which today identified its most recent group of medalists.

The Fund demonstrates how a bequest can generating enduring good, by acknowledging the admirable that might otherwise be overlooked.

Infinonytune: Heroes, David Bowie (with Queen)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review Of Per-Diem Receipts Transforms Trib/Turzai Sanctimony Into Just Another Case Of GOPocrisy

Whose bone bruise is worse, Mike Turzai's or Brad Bumstead's?

What's Worse Than Political Prosecuting? How About Corbett's GOPals Skimming From Trust For Orphans

The Hershey Trust Company, originally the legacy of a great man but lately a longstanding locus of particularly unseemly Republican featherbeddery, is emerging as an early challenger (with the political prosecutions of Bonusgate, and the positioning of Pennsylvania as a subsidiary of the Marcellus Shale Coalition's flammable water enterprise) for first major scandal of the Corbett administration.

Infinonytune: Chocolate Rain, Tay Zonday

Monday, December 20, 2010

As Onorato Administration Approaches Closing Time, Let's Have Final Round Of Drink Tax On The Rocks

If, as seems increasingly likely, Dan Onorato is approaching his finish line as county executive, one last drink tax debate on his watch seems a good call. Especially if overtaxation at seven percent -- remember when Mr. Onorato insisted on ten percent, despite forecasts of overcollection? -- is causing surplus drink tax receipts to idle in a bank account.

Mr. Onorato and council president Rich Fitzgerald are likely to oppose any reduction -- for spite, mostly, because drink tax opponents were responsible for Onorato's humiliating Allegheny County loss in the gubernatorial race -- but council's vote could be close, for several reasons, some related to the prospective vacancy in the county executive's office, others related to fairness and sound public policy.

Infinonytune: Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers, ZZ Top
Infinonytune: Champagne And Reefer, Muddy Waters (with the Rolling Stones)

An InfiCollection Of Holiday Motion Pictures

For many, the holidays reunite families and provide a break from normal schedules, creating opportunities for movie-watching. Some worthwhile holiday films (you should try to watch all of them before year-end):

It's A Wonderful Life (1946): It's a wonderful film. Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed.

Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987): This Thanksgiving film is one-holiday-fits-all great. Steve Martin, John Candy (left).

Trapped In Paradise (1994): Best crime-as-comedy holiday film you've never seen, set in Pennsylvania. Nicholas Cage, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey.

Bad Santa (2003): Funny as hell, but not before the children are asleep. Billy Bob Thornton (right).

Die Hard (1988): John McLane survives the worst holiday party ever: "Come out to the coast [for Christmas], we'll get together, have a few laughs ..." Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman.

Home Alone (1990): The rare, if not unique, kid-outsmarts-adults movie that works. McCauley Culkin, Joe Pesci.

Trading Places (1983): Hilarity with a sociology lesson. Eddie Murphy (left), Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Jamie Lee Curtis.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989): The Griswold formula -- strive, fail, recover -- at Christmas. Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo.

A Christmas Carol (1984): George S. Scott (right) as Ebenezer Scrooge, Charles Dickens at the pen.

Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). So cute most don't notice Burl Ives is preaching tolerance.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Assignment Desk Alert: County Courthouse

Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing could have an especially bad day in court tomorrow -- although they won't be in the relevant courtroom.

The City Paper has quantified an important, related point: If the "cost" of beating an innocent honor student beyond recognition (left) is a year of handsomely paid vacation, what incentive for police officers are city officials and local prosecutors creating by dragging their feet?

UPDATE: This post appears inexplicably impervious to comments. Comments related to this post may be offered and found at the Onorato drink tax post (above).

Sunday Reading: Around-The-World Edition

Conservative America: Read as many comments as you can stand.

The Intertubes: The Pixellustrated Man.

New York City Corridors of Pennsylvania Power: This is fine for Republicans (they love ostentatiousness and apparently find Pennsylvania tiresome), but why does any Democrat attend?

The Intertubes: Long Live The Web.

Sweden: The public case against the WikiLeaker advances ironically, by leak of confidential documentation.

Pennsylvania, Inc.: Inaugural Ball ticket ($150) a bargain compared to Corbett transition team pricetag.

Saturday's Senate Floor Summary (Civil Rights For Gays Willing To Die For Their Country)

Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Inouye and Navy Cross recipient James Webb voted one way; adulterous whoremonger David Vitter voted the other way; and West Virginia's spineless Joe Manchin was too busy busy partying to show up.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Tis The (Turkey) Season For Drunken, Armed Folly

Which part of this story is most ridiculous -- that a hunter ostensibly mistook a 6-4, 230-pound man for a turkey, that the penalty assessed against a hunter for recklessly shooting a man was $567.44 (payable in installments, apparently), or that hunters continue to flock to woods they know to contain drunken, trigger-happy nitwits?

Related point: Drinking beer in a tree stand, waiting for an animal to wander by, hardly seems sporting.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Frivolousness On National Security + Bigotry = Patriotism + Family Values, GOP-Style

Senate conservatives bigots are threatening to manipulate their national security votes if Democrats and a few rogue Republicans non-bigoted legislators insist on arranging a vote on whether gay soldiers can serve their country without fears and lies.

'Liars Responsible For The Costs Of Their Lies' Could Constitute Extremely Handy Precedent

Under this precedent, wouldn't George Bush (the lesser), Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Condoleezza Rice, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, and their fellow falsehood-pushing warmongers owe America about a hundred billion dollars each?

The Credibility-Bereft Life Of Joanna Doven

The Post-Gazette's persuasive recounting of a series of politically tinged InsolvenCity board departures is accompanied by mayoral mouthpiece Joanna Doven's (right) reflexive denial that the Ravenstahl administration removes appointees for retribution . . . and, given the plausible deniability in most such contexts, it nearly worked.

But Debbie Lestitian (left)? Not a political rubout?

Ms. Doven knew when she said it that she could never peddle that tripe even at a table occupied by Rev. Ricky Burgess, John Verbanac, Adam Ravenstahl and a random, giggling blonde at Jimmie D's.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

When Brian Kelly Says He And Notre Dame Share Catholic Church's Moral Code, He Tells Pathetic Truth

It likely was too much to expect the University of Notre Dame -- given the institution's intimate association with the world's most egregious systematic facilitator and concealer of child sexual abuse -- to act in a moral manner with respect to the Elizabeth Seeberg case, so the university's decision to enable the relevant footballer to play throughout the season was predictable.

The prosecutor's position -- that neither the player nor the texter who threatened Elizabeth Seeberg for reporting a rape is to be charged criminally -- is, however, inexplicable. At least, until one considers the influence Notre Dame must have among law enforcement authorities in St. Joseph County the land of Touchdown Jesus (left).

Why any member of the reality-based community would consider entrusting a son or daughter to the employer of a moral bankrupt such as Brian Kelly is difficult, if not impossible, to understand.

UPDATE: Pitt fans must hope that the football coach hired recently by the emphatically expendable Steve Pederson brings no "Notre Dame values" to Pittsburgh.

Infinonytune: Cathedral, Crosby, Stills and Nash

Paging Ahead To InsolvenCity's Next Chapters

A few observations concerning the Not-So-Great InsolvenCity Parking Garage Sale episode, offered despite the prospect that high-powered events could overrun them:

• December 31 is a "deadline" much as March 19 and September 20 and November 1 and Thanksgiving week were "deadlines."

• Each of these elements could occupy a role far more prominent than most people expect in any sensible resolution of InsolvenCity's parking privatization pension funding problem:
• Joe Scarnati (and other Republican legislators)

• Substantial revisions to InsolvenCity's pension structure

• A serious discussion of a municipal bankruptcy petition

• An unhurried, transparent, ecumenical consideration of parking proposals

• An indictment or two

• One it is a bit too early to mention

• Each of these elements could occupy a role somewhat more prominent than most people expect:
• New-to-the-table local civic leaders

• New (and better) financial overlords adult supervision

• A couple of City Council election campaigns

• LAZ Parking (after shedding some local baggage)

Infinonytune: Show Me The Way, Peter Frampton

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

White House Calls Bill Strickland -- Again

The White House has (again) recognized that one of the Pittsburgh region's gems, Bill Strickland (left), is -- like the Dalai Lama (in red) -- a big hitter.

InsolvenCity Awaits Spectacle As Parking Privateers, Five-Vote Resistance Enter (Alleged) Crucible

There is far too much money (undisclosed commissions and seven-figure, at-risk professional fees, for example) at stake to permit the next two weeks to pass without a frantic push for a Not-So-Great InsolvenCity Parking Garage Sale (more specifically, anything that would constitute a "closing" adequate to entitle advisors and placement agents to compensation). The pushers will be the privateers and the guys who get paid at closing, plus their lackeys among elected officials. The pushees will be five council members (and anyone perceived to be positioned to influence any of those five councilors).

None of the four council members already inclined to vote for privatization, nor the mayor who is was the privateers' point man, is respected by the five-member resistance, at least not with respect to this issue; in many cases, there is little or no fondness, either. It is difficult to envision a substantive argument for privatization that has not been advanced and rejected. For those reasons, no likely path to a switched vote is apparent. Hundreds of millions of dollars, however, should create pressure that could warp behavior, particularly when coupled with the likelihood of a mispriced deal and the consequent cream-skimming among the usual gluttons.

Let the (ostensibly) final jousting begin!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ravenstahl Right On No-Bid Public Contracting, Which Makes LAZ's Curious Exclusivity Wrong

Mayor Ravenstahl's veto of city council's engagement of a solicitor for council the process by which city council arranged a proposed contract with a dedicated legal advisor seems sound. Council deserves and needs independent legal services, but a public body should conduct an open process when expending public funds.

Citizens would benefit greatly were Mayor Ravenstahl and County Executive Onorato to remove the shadiness from city and county contracting.

A good place to start would be the proposed parking privatization transaction. Why is LAZ Parking the sole current invited proponent? Is there a legal basis for short-circuiting customary public contracting procedures for an exceptionally large, complex and durable deal? Is there a reasoned justification for failing to pursue other offers?

Infinonytune: Love The One You're With, Crosby, Stills and Nash
Infinonytune: Right Place, Wrong Time, Dr. John

Orie-Zappala War: "Photo Array" Says A Thousand Telling Words About A Politically Stained Prosecution

The most recent wince-worthy development in the Orie-Zappala War generates a question: Is it highly likely that Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. "The Exonerator" Zappala will regret turning a family vendetta into a politically stained prosecution -- or is it certain?

Infinonytune: Kodachrome, Paul Simon

Monday, December 13, 2010

Unsolicited Advice Series: Alan Lazowski

After learning the hard (and costly) way that selecting Luke Ravenstahl and Ricky Burgess to shepherd the Not-So-Great InsolvenCity Parking Garage Sale through city council was spectacularly bad advice, LAZ Parking's Alan Lazowski (left) and his transaction team turned to another emissary in his effort to cultivate support among city councilors: Dr. Patrick Dowd.

It is difficult to determine which local lubricators have been advising the out-of-town privateers -- whatever happened to the promised transparency concerning the lobbyists and financial participants? -- but know this, Mr. Lazowski: Whoever they are, they obviously hate you.

Perhaps This Will Ease Conservatives' Anguish Concerning Extension Of Unemployment Benefits

Conservatives have received an early holiday Christmas present: A Republican-appointed judge, handling a lawsuit filed by Republican elected officials, today ruled against the effort to broaden Americans' access to health care. This legal development should not be overstated -- other judges have ruled in favor of the health care reform legislation -- but this news should hearten those (right) who wish to preserve our health care system's barriers to access and its unsustainable financial trajectory.

Infinonytune: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Infinonytune: All I Want For Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey

Will Privateers' Next Move Trot Sophie Out Again?

The Post-Gazette editorialists and the Cometeer are pinning their yearend parking privatization hopes on a donkey ("Dowd Joins Team Pragmatism"). Infinonymous readers could correct that headline's tense, because they know that the relevant donkey -- number four on the racing sheet -- left the barn a month ago, staggered aimlessly along a fifth floor corridor for a few days, and is currently inhabiting Alpo cans.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Does Tom Corbett Have A Politicized Prosecution Problem That Marcellus Money Cannot Solve?

As Tom Corbett conducts his corporately polished rebranding rollout for The Marcellus Shale Coalition Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania, Signor Ferrari is severely (but properly) off-message at Rick's Place.

InsolvenCity Administrator Bolts Before Release Of Report On Public-Private Ince$t Investigation

It appears we won't have InsolvenCity entrepreneur recently resigned Water and Sewer Authority Executive Director Michael Kenney (left) to kick around any more -- except, perhaps, at the trial(s).

A steady source of material, down the drain.

(Aside to Rich and Joe: The List-Maker angles might be worth another moment of your time.)

UPDATE: Mr. Kenney left a lovely parting gift. How much of the increased tab would have been avoided had Mr. Kenney, the authority board and their predecessors competently protected ratepayer interests?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Self-Described Party Of Freedom And Limited Government Displays Its True Colors

A coalition of bigots, mean-spirited religious kooks, hypocrites and closeted cowards -- known commonly as the Republican Party -- demonstrated today that it is willing to engage in filibuster (withholding military funding, if necessary) to maintain second-class citizenship for gays who wish to serve in the United States military.

How much longer will there be enough elderly, white, intensely superstitious male bigots to limit marriage, military service and first-class citizenship to heterosexuals?

If You Liked The Victories In Afghanistan And Iraq, You'll Love The War Against Wikileaks!

Some people are so pleased by the United States' project in Afghanistan that they are inventing another one.

Unlike (some) Americans, the Russians appear to have learned their lesson in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Republicans Choosing Small Government And Freedom? The Odds Appear To Be Against It

Should the government forbid adults to use the Intertubes to play poker for money?

Americans who support freedom and limited government think not.

Social conservatives and Republicans disagree, to the point of supporting nanny-state criminalization of felonious card-playing.

Dogs? They appear to choose freedom.

Republican Answer To Every Question: Tax Cut!

If a Republican were having a heart attack, he'd tell the doctor to forget the defibrilator and, instead, administer a tax cut -- and he would demand the ambulance take him to a parasitic facility dependent on subsidies.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We're Number One! (So Long As The Opponent Is A Bunch Of Nuns Who Don't Have Guns)

After five decades of evidence, it has become difficult to ignore the pattern that establishes America's position in global affairs: The United States gets its ass kicked whenever it tangles with anyone possessing a rudimentary means of fighting back, but wipes the floor with ragtag whistleblowers, has its way with innocent civilians, and easily overruns Caribbean resorts whose populations could fit inside Beaver Stadium.

Oh, and we can handle just about any bunch of socially conscious nuns (right).

To achieve this win-loss record, we spend trillions of dollars, sacrifice certain liberties and squander our moral standing.

American exceptionalism, indeed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pitt Bags Berth In Backwoods-Bama Bowl

The University of Pittsburgh's traveling party (football players, band, cheerleaders and at least 17 alumni) will spend the first week of spring classes in Birmingham, Alabama, participating in an ESPN-confected spectacle, the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Compass Bowl.

Pitt and its affected students find themselves in this position because (1) neither the Meineke Car Care Bowl nor the Pinstripe Bowl wanted the conference co-champion Panthers and (2) the Pitt hierarchy appears to be unaware that bowl bids are not mandatory.

We have commissioned the InfiSports Desk to provide an explanation of Pitt's predicament for publication later this week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Has Carson Street Reached 'Crisis' Stage Yet?

If Reggie was the straw that stirs the drink, might Travis be the straw whose drinking (and driving) breaks the South Side Intoxication District's back?

UPDATE: The childkiller reportedly compounded his culpability (and embodied the South Side's chronic and deadly accountability problems) by running from the scene while his victims -- seven-year- and eleven-month-old girls, and their mother -- bled and died on cold concrete. Our community is indebted to the security guard who followed the drunken driver, ensuring prompt apprehension.

UPPERDATE:The equivalent of eight bottles of beer, according to the Tribune-Review, then a speed exceeding 60 miles per hour on Carson Street, then a family shattered -- literally -- as a wife attempted to reach her husband to drive him home from work. Just another customer on just another night in the South Side Intoxication District.

Does Pennsylvania law include a criminal charge for selling a customer an eighth beer?

Sunday Reading: First Amendment Edition

The Library: Want the cash? Change name to "The Carnegie Ultra Club Lounge" and hire a few employees from Cheerleaders and Blush.

Amazon: Still not too late to take holiday shopping elsewhere . . . .

Millvale: . . . such as here, for example.

State Department: Channeling McCarthy, circa 1984.

Mississippi: Freedom and small government, hypocritical conservative redneck-style.

Infinonytune: What's Goin' On?, Marvin Gaye (with James Jamerson)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Brad Pitt (Inadvertently) Drives InfiTourism

The Sporkers have noted a strange Intertubes wrinkle that directs Google-compatible apparatuses to Sporkdom when someone is looking for the Care Bears. A similar oddity brings cybertravelers -- hundreds daily -- to Infinonymity. The precipitate? A Google search for "Pitt" images.

Brad Pitt settles for 2nd through 112th places.

The University must be thrilled.

Who Needs A Lawyer When Precedent Is Clear?

Given the rate at which important precedents are being established in and around InsolvenCity, the average citizen will soon have no need for a lawyer:

The Human Centipede: Unsavory At Any Speed

It appears the Ravenstahl-Onorato-public process system (also known as the "Human Centipede") is not moving quickly enough for some tastes with respect to the Civic Arena's fate (although Mayor Ravenstahl exhibited Bristol Palin-quality flexibility on tempo when the Rooneys snapped their fingers for a slow dance).

The substantive problem was set in subsidized concrete when fan boys Ravenstahl and Onorato gave the Penguins' owners bend-and-spread access to public assets (much as fungible predecessors had enabled the aptly named Pirates and Steelers to loot public accounts). That bad deal seems scant reason, however, to grant immunity from customary public and legal processes.

Anyone know who subsidized the mayor's attendance at the Pitt-Duquesne basketball game? Or should we wait for a declaration of gift?

Republican Diversity At Tom's Country Bunker

The Post-Gazette's observation that Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Corbett's transition team includes a "mix of ideologies" evokes the assurance that Claire, wife of the proprietor, provided to Jake and Elwood when asked to describe the range of music featured at Bob's Country Bunker:
"Oh, we got both kinds. We got country and western."
Infinonytune: Rawhide, The Blues Brothers (or, the stiff white guys in dark suits and white shirts could be footage from the Corbett transition team social hour)

Thank You, Joyce Rothermel

For three decades, Pittsburghers have relied on Joyce Rothermel (left) of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to devise and implement one of their community's most important roles.

Today, it is time to thank Joyce Rothermel and wish her well for being (like Just Harvest's Joni Rabinowitz, right) as good a public servant as this region has seen during that period.

Infinonytune: My Hometown, Bruce Springsteen
Infinonytune: Seeds, Bruce Springsteen

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Republicans, Religious Right Reveal They Couldn't Care Less About Our Military: They Just Hate Gays

The Republicans social conservatives superstitious prudes bigots have abandoned their ostensible regard for military leaders' opinions, demonstrating that their intolerance will toss the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff into a woodchipper in pursuit of their mean-spirited prejudice against homosexual soldiers.

Their bleating about military readiness would be weak even if genuine. It seems worthwhile -- after decades marked by awkward, unsatisfactory and costly draws, petty grandstanding and dishonorable, counterproductive misconduct -- to learn how our military could perform if its small-minded yahoos were sent packing.

Infinonytune: In The Navy, Village People

Time To Hold Your Hats Seats Wallets, West Mifflin?

Has the ghost of Networker Patrick Risha returned to the Mon Valley to influence anew the board (and students, and taxpayers) of the West Mifflin School District? We should know soon.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Could Flying Too Close To Sun Cause A Fire?


Tuesday night.

Maybe this one, if arson, won't be too difficult to solve. How many people are running around town at 1:30 a.m.?

Infinonytune: My City Was Gone, Pretenders

UPDATE: Highly unlikely this was revengeful arson; the kid's mom still doesn't allow him to play with matches. If it were revenge, it would probably have been a planning commission problem or a health certificate suspension or something similar.

To Serve And Protect (And Drunkenly, Accidentally Shoot The Wrong Person And Get Away With It)

InsolvenCity has settled a lawsuit founded on these allegations:
Mr. Miller had said in his U.S. District Court complaint that an off-duty Mr. Abel grabbed him by the shirt, ordered him to the ground, put a pistol to his head, struck him with the gun, and accidentally shot him in the hand. Mr. Abel, who had been drinking, apparently mistook Mr. Miller for someone who hit him earlier.
Why would the city pay to settle such a case after Judge Jeffrey Manning found no crime in the underlying circumstances (maybe the judge couldn't find his glasses that morning?) and an arbitrator returned this loser to the force (maybe the arbitrator is a pathetic hack?) in a proceeding in which the city police union fought to welcome this joker back to their ranks (which seem quite rank)?

It appears the best hope citizens have for protection from their law enforcement system is this: The next time Paul Abel drunkenly, mistakenly and recklessly discharges his weapon, the person he accidentally shoots might be himself.