Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mitt Romney Defeats Mitt Romney in PA Primary

(Reuters) Harrisburg, PA - A very nearly emotional Mitt Romney greeted rationally exuberant crowds in Pennsylvania's capital yesterday, who gathered to celebrate his victory against Mitt Romney in the state primary.

"Human people," said Romney to a relatively full Marriot ballroom, "I want to express my, what I'm being told is 'gratitude' for all of your work for me over the last few weeks. I intend to continue this campaign, fighting for what it is that I think you think I should believe in."

Candidate Romney faced a vigorous challenger in the person of Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, who many have found aloof, out of touch, and prone to waffling on issues. Governor Romney pulled within 3 percentage points in polling early in the month, but Candidate Romney managed to eek out a win nonetheless.

Republicans in the Commonwealth voiced their overwhelming acknowledgment of the primary.

"I went in there to vote for the best possible candidate," said Wenglebert McGrizzlebeard, a small arms dealer from Mars PA. "When I saw the list of candidates, I decided to vote for Mitt Romney anyway. I've been a registered Republican since 1978 and I figure, well, Candidate Romney is a Republican too, I guess."

Candidate Romney's campaign has been dogged in recent weeks by allegations from Governor Romney that he once supported many positions, including universal health care, abortion rights, among others, that he now does not. Governor Romney has promised to continue raising these allegations up through November.

Candidate Romney appeared to be unfazed by Governor Romney during his celebratory speech.

"I want to say that as much of what I am now, I was before, and may not be now unless you think otherwise. And I hope that in November you elect me President of the Human United States of America."

The next primary is Louisiana, which Governor Romney is expected to carry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Where Was I?

Sorry for the gap in posting as I've been quite occupied with work, Springtime, and... uh... other things. I was in Florida following a... uh... business transaction that went sour for my partner. Then I was trying working on... um... a project with Pitt regarding... uh... campus emergency readiness. After that I was in Columbia on a... erm... procurement assignment for the Secret Service. And... uh... After that I arranging... um... secret... meetings between Governor Corbett and a... prostitute. No, wait: lobbyist.

But all of those assignments are done now, so I should be ready to start fresh tomorrow.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Corbett Proposes Privatization of Governor's Office

Harrisburg - Governor Tom Corbett is seeking proposals from firms to privatize the day-to-day operations of the Governor's office in order to maximize savings to taxpayers.  

In a statement released today, Mr. Corbett said "For too long Government has been in charge of running its own operations at the expense of the taxpayer.  Today, we're taking a bold step in removing Government from, not only people's lives, but from Government itself."  

The Governor's announcement comes on the heels of a request for proposals for the private administration of the Pennsylvania Lottery, the Privatization of the PA Turnpike, the proposed privatization of the State Liquor Stores, the Privatization of Commonwealth Oil & Gas rights, the elimination of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the selling of the City of Du Bois to Range Resources Inc., and the purchase of the naming rights of the State Capitol (now known as the Comcast Capitol Center).  

The request for proposals covers nearly all aspects of the duties of the Governor's office, with the apparent exception of the Governor himself.  It is unclear if policy decisions will also be sub-contracted, or if they will remain with the State Oil & Gas Lobby.  

John Fogarty, Vice President at the Heritage Foundation, applauded Governor Corbett's actions.  

"Republicans have always said that Government just does not work; Mr. Corbett is proving that point.  The more that Government gets out of the business of government, the freer Pennsylvanians will be to chose a government that does not work for them."  

Among those firms potentially interested in the possibility of providing Governor's Office services are Xe, Accenture Ltd., Tyco International Ltd., and PwC Consulting Ltd., all of which have a long history of quality subcontracting services to other Government and Private agencies.  

Critics of the Governor in the State Legislature have voiced concerns that this proposal would unnecessarily add a level of management and open up the Governor's office for graft and corruption, or at least more so. 

Mr. Corbett, however, remains adamant about his choice of privatization.

"It doesn't take an idiot to see that by privatizing public goods, corporations can make money.  How anyone can be opposed to the freedom to make money, is beyond me."  

The Governor is also expected to announce the privatization of 4/10ths of what's left of his intellect and his immortal soul in the coming days.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Democrats Should Renominate Doyle for Congress

This is the first in a series of endorsements for contested races in the April 24th primary.

Mike Doyle has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 18 years, but his focus remains outside the Washington Beltway and on the hunting and killing of vampires in Western Pennsylvania.

Congressman Doyle, 58, of Forest Hills, faces political newcomer Janis C. Brooks in the Democratic primary and, if successful, will confront another neophyte in the fall, Republican Hans Lessmann, as well as vampires, zombies and some kind of mutant fish-person in the Spring. The boundaries of Mr. Doyle's 14th Congressional District long been a haven for the undead, since George Romero's film Night of the Living Dead documented the extent of the evil incursion into the region.

Mr. Doyle has been a hard-working slayer for Pittsburgh, defending the City against warlock and hell beast alike. His recent work with the League of Assassins to quel the sharp spike in demonic possessions in Friendship has won him state-wide acclaim, and possibly a movie deal. The Congressmen's work to rehabilitate Zombies and return them to productive society has also been recognized for its forward-thinkingness.

On the national level, he opposes the House Republican budget proposal and all other similar pacts with The Dark Lord, which Mr. Doyle said would "eviscerate" the country's social services and bring about the resurgence of the Beast, in preparation for a thousand year rule by the Anti-Christ. Mr. Doyle's has said publically that he opposes the subjugation of the United States to the will of Satan.

Mr. Doyle's seniority on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee means that he is well positioned to head the prominent House Evil and Undead Subcommittee, should the Democrats take control of the chamber in the fall. He has stood up to members of the Tea Party and has burnt their entrails on an altar of bones, in accordance with the Prophecy.

Ms. Brooks, who holds a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, but has no experience in defeating the Minions of the Gaping Maw of Evil, located just south of Bridgeville PA.

She said she agrees with Mr. Doyle on most issues but says if elected, she "would complete her Slayer training in record time." That's laudable but not enough to trump his record, experience, or dead shot with a silver tipped crossbow.

ADB backs Mike Doyle for the Democratic nomination.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rule #37

This may be Rule #37, it may not be... Frankly, I've lost count and need to go back and organize everything one day when I have a couple of minutes and I'm not fretting or flustered or other words that begin with "ph". Really, that's more of a lesson than a Rule: "Don't put off filing.".

(Maybe it is a Rule. I'll mull that over one of these days after a couple belts of Scotch.)


One of my personal trials and travails in the politics of The Bureaucracy is the omnipresent meeting. Meetings are horrible, simply put, and a poorly run meeting is even worse. Without structure, goals, agendas, and predetermined outcomes, a meeting is just an uncomfortable dinner without the food.

Unfortunately, meetings are where decisions are made, opinions are stated, egos are stroked, and information is shared. This does not mean, however, that the invitee list needs to include everyone even tangentially related to whatever you're talking about. I mean, I'm sure Mrs. Z would love to show up and complain about how the cats from next door are pooping on the lawn or Councilman Y to show up and talk at length about some such matter not even closely lated to anything that exists in reality to the point where everyone gets really uncomfortable and starts trying to make their way out the door to subtly give him the hint that he should shut up already, but really they're not needed if a decision needs to be made. If you want ego stroking or information, there are therapists and Wikipedia for those things.

So there's Rule 37 for you:

Not everyone needs to be invited to the meeting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Breaking News: Sidney Crosby Assassinated on Ice at Consol Arena

In an unfortunate end to a promising career, Penguin's Captain Sidney Crosby was assassinated on the ice at Consol Arena by a mob of angry teammates.

Crosby, who had been planning his return to the ice following a long recovery from a concussion, was approached by a group of his teammates led by defenseman Deryk Engelland as he walked into the arena for a scheduled group skate.

Tempers flared as Engelland pressed Crosby not to return to play for the good of the team. As Crosby moved to adjust his equipment, he was stabbed in the back with a sharpened hockey stick, at first by Engelland and then by the cohort of conspirators. The final blow was laid by Crosby's own mentee, James Neal.

Sidney Crosby's reported last words were "You too, eh? The down goes The Kid."

Center Evgeni Malkin, who was delayed from coming to the skate by other members of the conspiracy, did not arrive on the ice until after Crosby was already dead.

Reports indicate that Crosby had been forewarned of the assassination attempt several days previously by a fan camped out in front of the arena, who was shouting at him to "Beware the 15th of March, n'at."

The conspirators later took to FoxSports Pittsburgh to explain that they murdered Crosby to prevent him from being a drag on the team, to free up money to hire new players, and to prevent him from declaring himself "Team Captain For Life".

The conspirators are expected to face a game misconduct each, and will be fined by league Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Malkin, for his part, hopes to persuade the NHL and fans that a more severe punishment should be meeted out. He hopes that friends, owners, and countrymen will lend him their ears tonight on ESPN2, where he hopes to defend Crosby's legacy.

More as this story develops.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Uteruses Could Be Seized for "Public Purposes" Under New Bill

Harrisburg - A bill currently making its way through the Pennsylvanis House Committee for Mining, Community Development, and Banking would extend municipal powers of eminent domain over women's uteruses if women were not making the highest and best use of their lady parts.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Turzai (R-McCandles Twp) spoke at a committee hearing yesterday in support of the bill.

"Too often we find that women are using their sexual organs, not for reproduction in the service of the expansion of he human race, but rather for enjoyment and recreation. This kind of wanton behavior must be curtailed. This bill would expand the powers of the community to help women put their uteruses to better use."

Joining Rep. Turzai at the hearing were a half-dozen members of the clergy and representatives of religious organizations, including the President of The Catholic University of America John Garvey, who chastised women for their sexual wiles.

"I would have thought that young women would have a civilizing influence on young men. Yet the causal arrow seems to run the other way. Young women are trying to keep up—and young men are encouraging them," said Mr. Garvey. "Frankly, if women don't know how to use their organs, we're going to have to tell them."

Under the bill, uteruses could be seized upon a finding of "blight" by the municipal planning department. Blight, under the bill, is defined as any uterus that is an "attractive nuisance, detractive nuisance, unsanitary, unsafe, vacant, abandoned, or tax delinquent". Women who do not put their uteruses to a "highest and best use" risk having hm seized by he local government and potentially conveyed to private developers or otherwise used for public purposes.

This bill is one of the most recent attempts by legislatures across the nation to regulate reproductive freedom, although it goes further than nearly every other proposed law, with the exception of Oklahoma's prohibition against interaction with menstrating women, which was backed by biblical scholars from Liberty University.

The National Organization for Women immediately denounced the bill as "setting back gender equality by decades" while Presidential candidate Rick Santorum called it "a good start."

State House Passes Dog Drivers License Bill

Harrisburg - State lawmakers today approved a bill that would mandate drivers licenses for all dogs within the Commonwealth.  The bill now advances to the desk of Governor Tom Corbett who has indicated that he intends to sign it.

The bill was narrowly approved on a near party line vote after a contentious debate over the last week.  Two Republicans crossed the aisle to join with Democrats to oppose the bill.

Beginning in July, dog owners will be required to prove that their pet is proficient in operating automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and most other motor vehicles.  Under an amendment from Rep. Dick L. Hess of Bedford County, dogs will not be required to have a license to operate ATVs.

After July, any dog caught driving in the Commonwealth will be fined, but given 30 days to obtain a valid driver license.

Democrats and the ASPCA have come out against the bill, calling it "frivolous", "a solution in search of a problem, and "grossly biased in favor of cats."

"What we have here is an overreach by the Majority Party in the State House," said Rep. Deborah Kula in an afternoon press conference.  "Instead of focusing on fixing roads & bridges, curbing drunk driving, or providing money to fund mass transit, the Republicans are passing bills that are fundamentally onerous to Pennsylvania's citizens."

In a written statement from the House Speaker, Rep. Sam Smith (R-66) said that "today the legislature has helped to solve a very real problem that has occurred and caused fatal accidents on Pennsylvanian roads not fewer than one times in the last twenty years.  Who could reasonably argue that unlicensed dogs should be allowed to dive on State roads?"

The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania has indicated that it would file a lawsuit to block the implementation of the law if signed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Drinking Conservatively

Sadly, this is not satire:

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — What do you get when 50 or so Republicans gather in a restaurant-bar? In American Samoa, you get a presidential caucus.

The U.S. territory, located about 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers) south of Hawaii, gets its chance Tuesday to participate in the presidential selection process.

It's a decidedly local affair. Republicans will meet at Toa Bar & Grill.

They will choose delegates to the Republican National Convention in August and vote on a presidential candidate. The six delegates picked at the caucus will join three American Samoa "superdelegates" at the convention.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the caucus, and that's why so few attend. It's rare in American Samoa for anyone to officially register as a Republican or Democrat because local elected officials don't run on party lines.

In 2008, the nine delegates backed Arizona Sen. John McCain, who went on to win the Republican nomination.

Amata Radewagen, a Republican National Committeewoman and superdelegate, said Mitt Romney has "quite a bit of support" among local Republicans.

Last weekend, Romney captured all 18 delegates at caucuses in two other U.S. possessions in the Pacific — Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Like American Samoa, residents of those islands are U.S. citizens but are not allowed to vote in the presidential election in November.

So, there we are: as goes a group of drunks in a bar in the Pacific Ocean, so goes the GOP. Almost elegant really... Although (1) if they were all voting for Mitt Romney, shouldn't they be drinking Shirley Temples and (b) if they are drinking, don't you think they'd be voting for someone crazy... like Mitt Romney?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fitzgerald Taps Insider to Run Health Department

Wasting little time to name a replacement for longtime County Health Department Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dixon, Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald today announced the promotion of food safety mascot Browney the Burger to head the agency.

At a noontime press conference, Mr. Fitzgerald praised Mr. The Burger's long time service to the ACHD and called him "the right face for the future of the department."

Mr. The Burger was initially hired by the Health Department in 1990, as part of its "If it's pink in the middle, it's cooked too little" meat safety campaign. Following the completion of the campaign, he later became the spokesman for the "If it's brown flush it down" sewage awareness campaign, and then the early 2000 "Meat-like tumors are no humor" campaign, both of which were widely considered to be failures.

Pictured: Mr. The Burger in a 1993 photo with unnamed "Companions"
Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mr. Fitzgerald has previously indicated that he was looking for a new executive director that could more easily respond to large, County wide health issues including combined sewer overflow & storm water management, air quality, and food safety. The outgoing Mr. Dixon had ruffled many feathers throughout the county, made little progress on these issues, and was generally seen as being a marked man. Mr. The Burger's resume would seem to indicate that he is an ideal candidate to replace Mr. Dixon.

The selection, however, is not purely a matter of qualifications, nor is it without its modicum of controversy.

Since 1995, Mr. The Burger has been the State Democratic Party treasurer, and instrumental in securing Mr. Fitzgerald's election to the the Chief Executive Office. Moreover, Mr. The Burger is widely recognized as a food safety expert, appearing on cable news frequently to provide expert opinions. He is generally known as a brash, outspoken, egotistical local personality, who personally threatened several several local reporters.

In 2005, Mr. The Burger was the subject of an investigation by the US Attorney's Office for stealing FDA rejected meat for use in a class he taught at the University of Pittsburgh food safety class.

Despite this checkered history, however, Mr. The Burger is expected to receive swift confirmation by both the ACHD board and County Council.

ADB Sr. Meat Related Mascot Correspondent MH contributed to this report