Friday, April 30, 2010

Reports From The Sporting Life

• Is there much doubt Santonio Holmes (mug shot, left) will die young, broke, and under suspension/
under subpoena/in jail/on parole/on probation?

He will, no doubt, be tweeting in quasi-English every misstep of the way.

• Arizona's "papers, please" statute is generating an issue concerning the 2011 baseball all-star game, scheduled to be played in Phoenix; Mike Lupica and others call for moving the game.

Anyone with profilable pigmentation or a Hispanic accent could reasonably prefer to avoid Arizona until this law is invalidated in court or repealed by the Arizona legislature. Many players -- including Albert Pujols, Johan Santana, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Mariano Rivera and Hanley Ramirez, for starters -- would have several good reasons to decline to appear in Arizona for an all-star game.

Unless professional baseball wishes to conduct an all-star game featuring Jeff Clement instead of Albert Pujols, Andy LaRoche standing in for A-Rod, and Charlie Morton for Johan Santana, the 2011 all-star game should probably be moved now.

• Tiger Woods missed the Quail Hollow cut; "my short game wasn't very good," he said, adding that he would watch the weekend's golf to "watch how it's done." Or, he could seek tips from his wife, Elin, who reportedly reportedly swings a mean nine-iron (trajectory diagram inspired by her swing, right).

Iceberg Tip Sightings

This one could have some jagged edges beneath the surface.

Just don't call this one a tax increase, at least not before mid-November.

This one continues to bob at the horizon.

Even the tip of this one can be hard to find.

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Tenth

The nineteenth name written by The List-Makers is Ronald Graziano, unjustly beheaded inspector of Burgh buildings, inscribed as obstacle to John the Finagler and inconvenient point of evidence against Luke the Prevaricator.
The twentieth name written by The List-Makers is Vic Walczak, valiant vindicator of freedom from official oppression, recorded as jouster with Luke the Censor; scorner and taxer of Luke the Totalitarian; pursuer of Luke the Unconstitutional; critic of Luke the Promoter; litigator against Luke the Demoter; curber of Luke the Surveiller; and precipitate of Luke the Profane.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is Rev. Burgess Too Far Into Trees To Be Heard?

If a certain Pittsburgh city councilor makes a potentially worthwhile point in council chambers, does it make an audible sound?

Or is the volume of "I Love Lukey" reruns too loud?

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Ninth

The seventeenth name written by The List-Makers is John Brabender, mouthpiece of pols most motley. recorded as accuser of John the Ambiguous and competitor of William the (would-be) Wagerer and Charles the E-Mailer.

The eighteenth name written by The List-Makers is Dan Fitzpatrick, Post-Gazetteer gone Wall Street, recorded as unwelcome illuminator of The List-Makers; chronicler of William the Insurer; bedeviler of Luke; and unmasker of John the Emissary.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There's Something About Natalia . . .

that is exceedingly easy to like.


[swoon anew]

Photograph: Jennifer England via one or more junkies Docs: the Slagger

Finally, A Sports Story That Doesn't Involve A QB And A Drunken, Crying, Bleeding College Girl

Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland has apologized, at least half-heartedly, for asking draft candidate Dez Bryant whether Bryant's mother was a prostitute.

The question was shocking, if only because one would expect Ireland to be intensely sensitive to issues involving mothers, since he's such a son of a bitch.

Some Call It Art, Others See Vermin Infestation

At the site of Pittsburgh's Civic Arena, some locals are reenacting a current film, The Human Centipede.

Today's Post-Gazette report (annotation here) establishes that cojoined twins Chris Cieslak and the Sports and Exhibition Authority are the middlemen in this operation; can anyone sort out which end is manned by Luke Ravenstahl and Dan Onorato, and which end belongs to the private-interest recipients of public money, land and contracts?

UPDATE: That didn't take long. An Infinonyreader points out the obvious: It's a continuous loop.

UPPERDATE: Wikipedia refers to the Civic Arena, constructed in 1961, as "The House Lemieux Built." Lemieux was born in 1965. Who writes this stuff, Bill Kristol?

Infinonyreader: Adrift Edition

West Mifflin: Iceberg Tip Sighted

Gulf of Mexico: Iceberg Sounds Good

Vatican Legal Office: 'Idiot Plaintiffs Think Pope Is In Charge Here'

Iraq: Mission Accomplisheder (and Accomplisheder)

Lower Jesusland: Okies Create Shield Law For Liars

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Eighth

The fifteenth name written by The List-Makers is Joan Melvin of the Orie Clan, magistrate most supreme, recorded as consanguine of Jane Clare the Listed; target of Stephen the Younger; and jouster with Ronald, Colleague of Stephen the Elder.

The sixteenth name written by The List-Makers is Donald Barden, went-for-broke chance-hall grantee, recorded as frustrator and accuser of Charles the E-Mailer and William the (would-be) Chancer; and as upsetter of John the Intermediary.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pit Bulls And City Streets Are A Bad Combination

Aside to city councilors: Pit bulls and other lethally dangerous animals do not belong on city streets. Those who wish to introduce them to an urban setting should be required -- by insurance or bonds, criminal liability, civil liability, leash and fencing laws, collar restrictions, and/or any other method short of the Spanish Donkey or Brazen Bull -- to be accountable for the risks they impose. Please curb your irresponsible citizens, councilors.

Some Things Just Should Not Be Confusing

This doesn't inhabit the same planetary system as hammer-murder inspired by hockey-viewing habits, or machete fights over the pink slip to a keg, but can anyone explain the sudden prevalence of men in ladies' rest rooms?

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Seventh

The thirteenth name written by The List-Makers is Tracie Mauriello, wayfaring Post-Gazetteer, recorded as peever of Stephen the Elder (and of Michelle the Lesser) and hectorer of Gregory the Incarcerator (and Exchequer).

The fourteenth name written by The List-Makers is Jerry S. McDevitt, fearsome gladiator in motley rings, inscribed as frequent jouster with, and denouncer of, Stephen the Younger.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

School Daze

Infinonymous emphasizes the political and financial dysfunction that is InsolvenCity, but a City Paper article (Chris Young) adds a new level of horror to Pittsburgh's predicament with this illustration of the percentages of 11th graders identified as "proficient" (satisfactory) or "advanced" in science at Pittsburgh high schools:

Two percent? That's not achievement, that's a rounding error (actually, for a Westinghouse student, it appears 23 percent could constitute a rounding error).

School superintendent Mark Roosevelt appears to recognize the problem. "The scores are weak," he said.

More than the scores is weak, Mr. Roosevelt, even if one acknowledges testing issues and other factors. Two percent isn't a grading curve; it's a flatline. The reading scores are better, but words fail. These students need help. Now.

UPDATE: Questions concerning provenance suggest these curious detention slips should be considered entertainment rather than information.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Arizonans Dislike Brown People More Than They Like Constitution; Oh, And Kristol Wrong Again

Arizona just seceded from the Constitution enacted new short-lived statutory search-and-seizure standards for people believed to look like illegal immigrants. Sen. John McCain, formerly a leader for comprehensive immigration reform, has proven that whatever Sarah Palin has is contagious supported this enactment.

This does not estrange McCain from his constituents: More than half of Arizona voters are concerned that the measure will violate (some) Americans' civil rights -- but being unconstitutionally un-American doesn't stop the measure from posting a 70 percent approval rating. (Nationally, the numbers are 58 percent concerned, 60 percent supportive.)

The icing, however, is spread by William Kristol:

This invites introduction of a new drinking game: If William Kristol is ever right about anything -- large or small -- everybody drinks a shot of cyanide with a battery acid chaser.

Don't worry, we're safe.

If The Apocalyse Has Not Arrived Yet, It Is At Least Approaching The Fort Pitt Tunnels

Power outage + life support generators = scavenging opportunity?

Keg of beer + possession issue = machete fight?

Hockey game viewing disagreement + hammer = instadivorce (final decree)?

(Whatever happened to "May I have 10,000 marbles, please?")

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Sixth

The eleventh name written by The List-Makers is Cyril H. Wecht, J.D., M.D., intrepid and renowned corpseman, recorded as antagonist of Stephen the Younger and alluder to List-Maker tenterhooks.

The twelfth name written by The List-Makers is Infinonymous, untitled crier of veracities most vexatious, inscribed as tormenter of Luke the Boy Mayor; contemnor of Stephen the Younger and Stephen the Elder; derider of Charles the E-Mailer; denouncer of John; taunter of Dan the Mad Assessor; vexer of Gregory the Incarcerator; belittler of Adam the Even Younger; innuender of Edward; and defiler of Michelle the Lesser.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

Enjoy, List-followers.

Today's Pittsburgh In A Pickup Bed (Sigh)

In preparation for today's press conference: Here's a pure Pittsburgh party in a pickup bed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Does Ben Belong On A Catalog Of Dick's?

Another announcement with respect to the Ben Roethlisberger situation is planned. This is not surprising. There is more that requires recitation, although not necessarily from Roethlisberger. (What can be expected from someone whose vocabulary reportedly ranges from 'All you bitches, take my shots' and 'she's ready, guys, watch the door' to 'maybe you should check with the manager because most places really don't give me a bill'?)

Observers with character, for example, have been awaiting word from Oregon, headquarters of Nike, concerning that company's relationship with the Steelers quarterback, and in particular the ironically named "Marauder" line of cleats. Oregon is thousands of miles from Pittsburgh, however, and from the "sausage party," so Nike might still gathering reports from farflung correspondents.

Substantially closer is Findlay Township, headquarters of Dick's Sporting Goods. Close enough that Edward Stack, chairman of Dick's, might have a daughter who got stiffed as a waitress in a North Hills or Cranberry restaurant. If serving sandwiches is beneath the daughter of a CEO, perhaps company president Joseph Schmidt has a daughter who has attended a party, or visited a bar along Carson Street. Maybe chief marketing officer Jeffrey Hennion has a wife who walked into the wrong ladies' room. Or perhaps one of the eight men -- no Dick's director is a woman -- who calls the signals at Dick's knows a business owner who got stuck with an unpaid tab.

Or maybe any man at Dick's could just ask a daughter, spouse, sister, mother, female customer or a random woman at a bus stop how paying Ben Roethlisberger as a corporate endorser is likely to influence the target audience for sports bras, tankinis, cheerleading shoes and field hockey sticks.

If the men who run Dick's don't make an announcement soon, any observer with integrity will be left to conclude that they are, well, Dick's. Or that "Every Season Starts At Dick's" includes hunting season (senior men's division) for plastered coeds in rest rooms.

Or, as this guy noted, maybe they can't think of a better candidate for the cover of a catalog of Dick's.

Sunday Reading: Around The World Edition

A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Hawking On Men In Black: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Wall Street: This Guy Knows What He's Talking About.

Sleazeville: Two Words, Dan: Authority. Solicitor.

Guantanamo: American Exceptionalism,The Flip Side

Afghanistan: You Be The Judge, Mr. President

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Listed: Scenes From A Secluded Marshall-Shadeland Diner, Beneath The Underpass

City of Pittsburgh surveillance transcript, April 24, 2010, 9:44 a.m. NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION outside Office Of The Mayor (except friends with benefits).

Bill Peduto, Patrick Dowd (simultaneously): What're you doing here?
Peduto: Joe Sestak is supposed to be here. Message said Don's Diner, Eckert Avenue, 10 a.m.
Dowd: I was told grand opening of a new Tazza d'Oro. But this doesn't look like a . . .
Kevin Acklin: Hey, guys! So this is where we have Democratic strategy meetings, huh? Cool! You know, the Republicans always meet at the Duquesne Club. Macaroons, clean tables. Maybe we could think about . . .
Peduto: This isn't what you think it is, Kevin.
Patrick Ford: Good morning, gentlemen!
Dowd: Pat . . . Pat Ford? Is that you?
Peduto: Yeah, Pat, didn't recognize you with that . . . is that hair?
Ford (rubs head): Oh, this? Just a head start on the witness protection program. You know, funny story, I could overhear from the next room when the agents were talking about "plugging" me, and I actually started to think maybe there was something to all that talk you'd hear about how the guys running the city and county were connected . . . Speaking of which, sure glad to see you guys. I was getting worried here for a second. I mean, this dump, under the underpasses, middle of nowhere . . . you guys know this is Ravenstahl turf, right?
Acklin: The Adam sign on the door was a clue.
Ford: Anyway, Patrick, kind of ironic to see you in the witness protection program.
Dowd: What? Me? No, no. No protection program. We've all been . . .
Rich Lord: Holy Golden Quills! You all ready to go off the record with me? I shoulda brought more pads.
Peduto: It's not what you think, Rich.
Bram Reichbaum: Hey, everybody!
Lord: What's he doing here? I only do exclusives.
Reichbaum: Relax, Rich, I'm retired. Just here to pick up my Bloggy award and . . . my God, is that . . . is that Pat Ford?
Peduto: There is no award, Bram. We have all been lured here for some reason. And, yeah, that's Pat. (winces) Hair plugs.
Ford: They're not finished.
Dowd: OK, the hell with plugs already! What is going on here?
Michael Lamb (turning in doorway): Whoa. I must have the wrong . . .
Peduto: No, Michael, I think you're at the right place. Don's Diner, underpass on Eckert, 10 a.m.
Lamb: Yeah, but I was told . . .
Peduto: We were all told something, Michael, something that would get us here. We just don't know why.
Reichbaum: Well, if you want to know what I think . . .
Tom Murphy: Sorry I'm late, guys! Wow, small room. OK, where should I set up?
Dowd: Huh?
Murphy: For my presentation, "Urban Renewal: Memoirs of the Master."
Lord: OK, now this is getting freakazoidal.
Reichbaum: If I didn't know better, I'd say we're . . .
Virginia Montanez, to Jane Orie: Told ya! Told ya!
Acklin: Told her what?
Montanez: I told her, well, I was sitting in my car out there, like, watching who was coming in here, for like a half-hour. No way I was coming in here with this crew, for all I know Big Ben would be in the bathroom with his bajingo-banger all dangling and stuff. But then I saw another gal pull up, so I was telling her who was already in here. She didn't believe me.
Orie: Yes, I must say I find it somewhat difficult to believe that all of you are here to spill the beans on those no good, double-dealing, side-winding . . .
Montanez (whisper): Shorter version, guys: the Zappalas.
Orie: . . . back-stabbling, yellow-bellied, scum-sucking . . .
Reichbaum: That's what I been trying to tell you, guys. Why we're here. I think it's the . . .
Orie (shrieking): Zappalas!!!
Reichbaum: She's right. Scary -- in a kinda-hot, you-just-know-she's-a-superfreak way -- but Jane is absolutely right. It's the Zappalas.
Orie: It's always the Zappalas!
Dowd: I think I'm starting to understand.
Peduto: Better late than never.
Montanez: So . . . this isn't the Zima customer appreciation party, hosted by Daniel Sepulveda?
Peduto: Pat, you were on the inside. This what we think it is?
Ford: Yeah, it was obvious at least 10 minutes ago.
Peduto: Why didn't you say something?
Ford: Well, the FBI guys have been pretty clear, I'm really not supposed to say much of anything until the new U.S. attorney . . .
Acklin (agitated): What the heck is going on?
Dowd: It's The List, Kevin.
Acklin: The what?
Peduto: The List.
Lamb: The what?
Ford: The List-Makers' List. You know, the List-Makers. The Zappalas. Verbanac, Lieberman, Grattan. Luke, Dan. The List. We're all on it. Don't you guys read Infinonymous?
All: No! Of course not! . . . (mumbling) well . . . maybe one time by accident . . . not really . . . maybe sometimes . . . not from my government computer . . . OK, couple o' times a day. Happy now?
Dowd (checking sheet from pocket): We are all on The List, every damn one of us.
Peduto (pointing to Lamb): It's his fault.
Lamb: What?
Peduto: If you hadn't started that crap with Verbanac and the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission -- which, for your information, I was already all over, thank you very much, plus in the scheme of things it was peanuts -- anyway, if you hadn't started mouthing off about Verbanac's vig, Charlie Zappala wouldn't have botched that e-mail, and The List wouldn't have gone public.
Ford: You mean, you guys didn't know about The List? You gotta be kidding. How the hell'd you think we made decisions?
Lamb: My fault? You're crazy, you socialist egghead. (Pointing to Orie) She's the one who got them all riled up, accusing Greg and the old man -- in public, for Chrissakes, by name -- holding hearings, threatening investigations . . .
Orie: Me? You don't know squat, beancounter. The Zappalas chew through an entire Orie family quicker than you can put a 14-year-old in a cell and collect 300 bucks. (Pointing to Lord) It's Mr. Special Assignment here has them rattled.
Lord: You guys know about the special assignment?
Dowd: Oh, please, Rich. You were taken off your regular beat the day Luke lost it all the way down to his skivvies at that press conference. Your editors told you to get to the bottom of who was pulling strings, who's skimming, where the bodies are buried, everything. Told you to take as much time as you need.
Lord: How the hell do you know that?
Dowd: You think the editorial board doesn't tell those guys everything the city desk is up to? Hell, Verbanac and Onorato knew what was happening before Smydo did.
Lord: No, Patrick, I mean, how do you know?
Dowd (sheepishly): Oh, well, I guess there was a little while there, leading up to the council president election, when the mayor and I may have, uh . . .
Montanez: Ewwww. I forgot about that.
Peduto: I haven't.
Acklin: So, Pat . . . why'd they bring us here?
Peduto: Yeah, you don't think they're gonna . . .
Dowd: Maybe I could talk with them, work out a deal.
Peduto: I mean, really, Pat, you don't think they would actually . . .
Ford: Kill us? No way. Not today, anyway.
Murphy: Why not?
Ford: Much as they hate us, they need to know what people know. They whack us now, maybe they don't find out who knows what about The List. That's a risk they can't take . . . (looks at Orie) much as they might enjoy taking some people out behind a casino somewhere with a handful of plastic cuffs, a gavel and an acetylene torch.
Acklin: Wow, I had no idea what I was getting into here. With Republicans, it's just petty, personal crap, you know, like silly catfights between the Orie sisters and Missy . . .
Orie: That bitch!!!
Acklin: . . . Hart.
Lamb: If they aren't gonna make a move, why are we here?
Ford: It's a message, friend. A warning.
Dowd: What should we do?
Peduto: I don't think we do anything . . . yet.
Ford: Bill's right.
Dowd: I strongly doubt that.
Ford: No, he is right. We wait. There's strength in numbers, and I have a hunch our little group will get bigger, resuming on Monday. I say we bide our time. Plus, maybe my FBI handlers will suggest something.
Murphy: I really don't think I have much to worry about. I'm no threat to anyone anymore.
Montanez: Me either. I'm just Pitt Girl. It's all in fun. Pigeon poopy stuff.
Ford: Nope. You made The List. Don't kid yourselves. This is business now.
Lord: I gotta tell my editors.
Ford: You will tell them nothing! You hear me? That editorial board of yours is a direct conduit to The List-Makers. All we have now is each other, pal. You better get that straight.
Montanez: You think any cute guys will be on the rest of this List thingy? What about David Conrad?
Ford: Let's focus. Reichbloom, you've irritated most of us one time or another. You can start to make amends by handling communications. We'll want to meet again in a week or two, after more names have been . . . what's that word?
Dowd: Enrolled?
Ford: Yeah, professor, enrolled.
Dowd: Or perhaps inscribed . . .
Ford: English class dismissed, Einstein. Now, when it's time to meet, Reichbloom will notify everyone.
Acklin: But how will we know it isn't . . . them?
Peduto: We need a code, a password.
Ford: Good idea. I know: "Catholic School."
Dowd: North Catholic or Central Catholic?
Ford: It's both, so just go with "Catholic School." That's how you'll know it's legit. Got that, Comet boy?
Reichbaum: I, I guess so. I'm just a blogger . . .
Montanez: Boy, I hope Troysious is on this List. He'd save us.
Orie: Let's just get out of here.
Men (holding door, scanning street): Ladies first!

End of transcript. NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION outside Office Of The Mayor (except friends with benefits).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rendell Handicaps Handicapped Field, 'Caps Dan

Ed Rendell, who has barely attempted to conceal his support for Dan Onorato in the race for Pennsylvania governor, now can't hide his lack of regard for Onorato's strength as a candidate.

After noting Democrats' million-plus registration edge, Rendell expressed concern about Democratic chances in November: "[W]e have to give our base a reason to get out there, a reason to feel proud of who we are and what we stood for as a party,” he said. “And I don’t think up to now we’ve done a very effective job in doing it.”

No reported response from the Democratic front- and moneyrunner, although it is not dificult to imagine Onorato, upon recognizing that Rendell was talking about him, uttering a muted, hurt "Hey . . ."

Franklin Graham And Sarah Palin Learn About America (Well, Maybe A Little Bit, Anyway)

Franklin Graham: "My fairy tale can beat up everyone else's fairy tale."

America: "Your fairy tale can't get through the front door, not even with a fleet of tax-dodging jet engines."

Sarah Palin: "I don't understand. Anything. But it sure is a lovely jet."

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Fifth

The ninth name written by The List-Makers is Dr. Patrick Dowd, councilor to Sir Lawrence's Ville and to the Park of Highland, recorded as denouncer of Luke and naysayer toward all List-Makers.

The tenth name written by The List-Makers is Virginia Montanez, unfrocked Girl of Pitt, inscribed as denouncer of Stephen the Younger (and of Charles the E-Mailer) and as mocker of Luke. (Also, cursed by all as flirter-wench with Yarone.)

Yes, Virginia, you are on The List.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

After Pirates' Worst Loss Ever, Future Easy To See; Read All About It In Ogden 'Newspapers'

The Pirates lost to Milwaukee today, 20-0. Worst loss in the nearly century-and-one-half history of a once-proud franchise that has become the worst team in the history of major professional sports in America. Worst of the worst.

To understand the Nutting family's plan for the Pirates, check the Ogden Newspapers portfolio, which consists entirely of poor-quality but highly profitable operations in second-, third- or fourth-tier locations. Some Ogden publications do not even qualify as newspapers (the "weekly shoppers" and "green tabs").

Want to see the Pirates' future? Subscribe to the Fort Myers Beach Shopping Guide, the Fort Dodge Farm-News, or the New Ulm Shopper Post-Review. That's as close as anything the Nuttings operate gets to the major leagues.

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Fourth

The seventh name written by The List-Makers is Jane Clare of the Orie Clan, former whipper of senators, recorded as would-be inquisitor of Gregory and impertinent scrutinizer of Stephen the Elder.

The eighth name written by The List-Makers is Thomas J. Murphy, Jr., thrice mayor of Burghers, inscribed as a seer of List-Maker fixes and hinderer of John.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Rooneys Are Connected To The List-Makers, The List-Makers Are Connected To The . . .

Luke Ravenstahl is correct: The Rooneys "don't reach in and tell me how to run the city."

Instead, the Rooneys summon the hired help at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, who call John Verbanac, who sends an e-mail to Yarone Zober, who tells Luke how to run InsolvenCity.

The Merits Of Merit Selection, In One Package

Gov. Ed Rendell is correct; recent revelations concerning the Orie sisters' conduct with respect to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court election are a worthy reason to consider (or reconsider) merit selection of judges.

Gov. Rendell also is a strong reason to be skeptical of merit selection of judges.

Help Wanted: Restroom Rendezvous Lookout

It appears Ben Roethlisberger will need to spend part of his suspension finding a new restroom rendezvous lookout

Infinonymous volunteers as a clearinghouse for applications. Qualifications: Large biceps and a larger moral blind spot. Must be prepared to relocate, perhaps to Oakland. Pennsylvania State Troopers probably need not apply.

All Things In Moderation, Including Comments

Amid toil in obscurity, it has just come to management's attention that the Infintroduction of partial comment "moderation" sent at least one reader a-Twitter. Most comments are unaffected by the change, which was prompted by chance discovery of a comment submitted a year or so after the underlying item was published. Comments responding to items at least one week old are "moderated" (which merely means read before posted), mainly because they otherwise would likely escape notice.

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Third

The fifth name written by The List-Makers is Patrick Ford, favor-dispenser gone rogue, listed as betrayer of Luke and perturber of John.

The sixth name written by The List-Makers is Bram Reichbaum, formerly a raker of mucks, recorded as vexer of Luke and chronicler of John.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

Misadventures In Flackdom: Kevin Harley

Kevin Harley, spokesman political mouthpiece for attorney general gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, says those who criticize Corbett (right) for campaigning while by prosecuting are motivated by desire to get their name[s] in the paper."

Mr. Harley must be too busy doing the people's business promoting his boss' campaign to notice that even those who infinitely crave anonymity find fault with the too-convenient blending of politics and prosecutions (or lack thereof) that has made Tom Corbett an ample embodiment of the appearance of impropriety.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Roethlisberger, And Rooney, Approach Judgment Day; Police Answers To Develop Later

Ben Roethlisberger read a statement written by agents and edited by lawyers expressed his "gratitude" to prosecutors, his apologies to teammates and employers and his aspiration to be a "role model for kids" last week, standing between cameras and football lockers shortly after District Attorney Lou Bright announced that Roethlisberger would not be charged with crimes for mistreating a drunken college girl in the nightclub bathroom into which he had followed her.

What was missing from his sincere-as-a-pump-fake statement (other than a "Play For Jesus" moment)? Any reference to the girl who told law enforcement authorities the Steelers quarterback "kind of raped" her.

Perhaps Roethlisberger figured he had already given at his lawyer's office -- it is plausible he arranged a civil settlement, which would explain the girl's switch to no-cooperation mode with authorities -- but an apology to her seemed appropriate.

Roethlisberger embarrassed himself -- and suggested a continuing disconnect with reality -- by saying of the prosecutor's decision, "I know without a doubt it is the right conclusion." There is plenty of doubt -- the evidence, including victim's statements, indicated that Roethlisberger and his bodyguards preyed on an incapacitated girl -- and all seemed eligible for charges among rape, contributing to a minor's delinquency, providing alcohol to a minor, indecent exposure, false imprisonment, lying to police, and aiding and abetting certain crimes.

The district attorney explained a careful and just decision-making process, involving an uncooperative victim, and his judgment deserves respect. A reasonable prosecutor could have decided differently -- for example, with respect to the decision that showing leniency to a traumatized minor with with respect to alcohol charges required corresponding leniency toward adults who provided alcohol to her -- but the district attorney made a reasonable judgment call. (Which explains Roethlisberger's inability to understand it.)

Even without the alcoholic haze, the girl likely was confused when Roethlisberger entered the rest room she occupied, his genitals exposed, and closed the door. She might have been hoping a police officer was nearly. Two, of course, were -- one had guided her toward the rendezvous, and another was running interference for the quarterback, blocking other girls attempting to reach their friend, according to eyewitness reports provided to police. Those are points for examination by the Pennsylvania State Police and Coraopolis Police Department, the lame, unpersuasive and likely counterproductive mumblings of lawyer Michael Santicola notwithstanding.

The Steelers and National Football League reportedly will determine discipline for Roethlisberger tomorrow. As Art Rooney II approaches his decision and statement to the public, he might consider his family, and this question: Does he ever intend to permit his innocent-as-O.J. quarterback to spend time alone with any of his three daughters, or any young woman he cares about?

When The Democrat Is Barely A Democrat

The tag-line to Dan Onorato's campaign ads -- "Onorato: The Democrat for Governor" -- would be less grating were it not so difficult to conclude that the Allegheny County Executive is a Democrat. Anti-abortion. Anti-gun control. Pro-imprisonment for doobies. Annoyed by gays and feminists. Ardent advocate of regressive taxation. The Democrat? When Dan and Tom Corbett debate, the only disagreements will involve which highway contractors are to get the Turnpike gig and which (to-be-formed) IT companies should receive no-bid computer contracts.

The Montgomery Tim Burns-Mark Critz ads, however, make Dan look like a Kucinich clone. Burns' first statement, in his first ad, in his first campaign, is that people should vote for him because he 'believes in God above' -- which suggests reason is no match for superstition in Burns' mind. That has prompted Critz -- the Democrat in the race -- to retort that he is pro-life, pro-gun, anti-healthcare reform and 'no liberal.' For years, it appeared that Pennsylvania's population drain was costing the state its young and educated citizens. Now, if campaign ads are any reflection of the reality just a half-hour drive from Pittsburgh, emigration has entirely consumed the educated and is eating into the educable.

The Luke photo? Just hadn't run it lately.

The List-Makers' List, Inscription The Second

The third name written by The List-Makers is Kevin Acklin, affiliationally ambiguous activist, listed as foe of Luke and unmasker of John.

The fourth name written by the List-Makers is William Peduto, city councilor, inscribed as jouster with Luke and thwarter of John.

Two more names enrolled. The List-Makers' List (far right column).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Listing The Names On The List-Makers' List

One of the more curious aspects of southwestern Pennsylvania during its decades of decline has been how little of its public affairs has been conducted in public.

Which morons Who decided to pour the taxpayers' scarce dollars into that pointless hole under the Allegheny River (every dollar poured, of course, at trade-union rates)? Whose idea was it to impose the drink tax -- the largest tax increase in county history (or, as Dan Onorato describes it, "nothing") -- on Allegheny County? How and when were local public pension plans bankrupted, and by whom? What is the financial condition of the authorities that have moved most of the region's public accounts off the public ledger?

A rarely remarked element of this opacity is The List, which recently was illuminated briefly (and inadvertently) consequent to the inability of one of The List-Makers to operate an Intertubes-compatible electronic mail apparatus properly. Because this flicker of insight might have aroused public appetite for more information, The List is to be revealed Infinonymously, beginning this day, along a timetable established by the Book of Genesis. (After revelation of The List has been completed, The List-Makers and The Other List may also be disclosed.)

The first name revealed to be on The List is that of Michael E. Lamb, son of Thomas and Controller of InsolvenCity. His place on The List was secured by heresy, in the form of impertinent questioning of The List-Makers' dogma.

The second name from The List to be revealed is that of Rich Lord, a Post-Gazetteer damned by his foul truths, whose place among The Listed derives from myriad infidelities and offenses.

And so it begins. The List-Makers' List. Revealed.

1. Michael E. Lamb
2. Rich Lord

More Surveillance We Can Believe In

The Ravenstahl administration is proposing installation of government-operated surveillance cameras at a high-exposure pace. These proposals merit an Infindorsement if -- and solely if -- the first 12 additional cameras are mounted at these locations:

1) at the door to the mayor's office;

2) above the mayor's desk*;

3) at the door to Adam Ravenstahl's UPMC office*;

4) on the windshield of the mayor's city-issued vehicle;

5) above the bar at Cain's Saloon;

6) at the door to Yarone Zober's office;

7) outside whichever address the mayor currently claims as his formal primary residence*;

8) at the entrance to 225 Ross Street;

9) at the door to Dan Onorato's office;

10) at the other entrance to 225 Ross Street;

11) at the reception area of Summa Group LLC;


12) a roving camera, currently needed most at the entrance to the Pittsburgh Parking Authority's executive offices.

* These cameras should be motion-activated, to conserve energy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

With Penance Indicated, The Bishop Whines

Bishop David A. Zubik has tired of critics "dragging [the Catholic Church] through the mud" for systematically concealing and facilitating the sexual abuse of children; for aggravating the damage to victims by manipulating their trust into silence where possible; for compounding victims' pain by castigating them from the pulpit in other circumstances; and for deploying scorched-earth litigators to protect church finances by brutalizing victims in court.


Were the Catholic Church were any other human enterprise -- a chain of day-care centers, say, or a group of charter schools -- it would have been convicted, bankrupted, and disbanded long ago (with many Catholic Church officials imprisoned). Instead of whining about criticism, Bishop Zubik -- and others who speak for the church -- should quietly count blessings and work to reform a church that has not shown it deserves the extraordinary leniency it has received.

Propositions Board Update: U.S. Attorney Lines Return, Orie-Zappala War Debuts

A substantial revision to the Propositions Board (far right column):

U.S. Attorney: Lines return to board. Dave Hickton still favored, but new entrant -- Department of Justice veteran imported from D.C. to wrangle some delicate matters without local baggage -- opens strong.

Orie-Zappala War: Smart money drawn to casualties on both sides.

Big Ben's Boner: Roethlisberger skates so far (on criminal exposure), but line predicts suspension. New line: whether at least one local police officer joins Georgia cop who lost job trying to protect Roethlisberger.

D. Blair: With big end to regular season, DeJuan Blair outscores Sam Young as rookie.

Altmire race:
K.Rothfus reaches board. Buchanan odds lengthen.

Next Steelers arrest:
Santonio Holmes line retired. Roethlisberger, Reed wrist-to-wrist in race for next set of cuffs.

North Shore Uglitheater:
No way Steelers meet deadline. No way city does anything about it.

Care to wager? Suggest a line? Use the comment feature.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Time To Get Off Pot On Replacing Chong-Hunter

The local U.S. Attorney saga may be getting freakier. It originally seemed a good bet that Mary Beth Buchanan's successor would have been sworn in before Bush Jr.'s Inauguration Day flight had touched down. So why is Pittsburgh's the last vacancy in the state without a nominee? Did Cliff Levine change his mind (again)? Did the Casey-Specter tussle unravel something in Pittsburgh? Did a background investigation take an unexpected turn? Is Pres. Obama waiting to see whether the Chong-Hunter is still available after November? If the President doesn't make a move within a week, the lines are going back up at the Propositions Board (far right column).

Crime And Punishment (Through The Centuries)

In different (less refined, perhaps less morally translucent) times, people who tried crap like this would swing from lightpoles, or perhaps find themselves impaled on deviously rounded poles.

For today's scoundrels, expect plea bargains and shareholder-funded fines and defenses.

A Beautiful Depiction Of Beauty, By Darrell Sapp

Post-Gazette photographer Darrell Sapp enriches everyone's day with a striking depiction of Pittsburgh, and above.

This version is inadequate; follow the link.

Voter Registration Reaches Final Press

Monday, April 19, is the final day for registration of electors for the May 2010 primary election. If you wish to vote for candidates such as Adam Ravenstahl and Jane Orie at the next available opportunity, proceed without delay to place your head in a panini press submit a registration form.