Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lightning Round!

Here's the actual headline from this article in the Trib:

'Kill Point' extra arrested for impersonating a public servant

Too... Many... Jokes! Hands on buzzers please. We're going to the lightning round.

The Category is Complete this headline: "'Kill Point' extra arrested for impersonating a public servant". GO!

  • Takes Four Hour Coffee Break, goes home after lunch.

  • Councilman Jeff Koch offers her free t-shirt for all her "hard work".

  • In other news, Twanda Carlisle has taken up acting.

  • Suspect was immediately identified by her warm, caring nature and genuine interest in the problems of others.

  • AFSCME demands back payment of fake union dues.

  • Proclaims loudly, "I'm from the fake government, and I'm here to pretend to help."

  • Is immediately downsized due to budget cutbacks.

  • Will, no doubt, have a better retirement plan than anyone else in City Government.

  • Dick Skrinjar not adjusting well to demotion.

  • Thousands of real municipal employees pause to consider if prison is a viable alternative.

  • Neglected to fill out form 1054-S in triplicate.

  • Suspect is expected to start her own snarky blog this coming Monday.


    Oh! That's the end of the round. And with the scores all equal, we're going to suddenly stop the game.

    Tag(s): ,
  • Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    An Open Letter to Luke Ravenstahl

    Dear Mr. Mayor,

    Your recent "Welcome Back" email to Councilman Shields has gotten those of us in the Pittsburgh Virtual Punditocracy all in a titter. Many of my colleagues have cast aspersions on your actions, calling them the "act of a political novice," "a poorly timed and not-at-all well thought action," and even "a petty and vindictive stunt." Indeed, writing ones personal thoughts down and transmitting them via an easily forwardable medium seems a tad bit dumb.

    Unlike some of those in the Burghosphere, however, I say "good on ya!" Your Shields epistle will hang on my office wall as a monument to the glories of sarcasm.

    It is refreshing to hear the satiric irony of a Generation Xer in governmental correspondence. So often do we see politicians say one thing but do another, but it is very rare that a politician uses verbal irony to actually say one thing but mean something completely different. I'm glad that this method of communication, made popular by semi-talented AirAmerica host Janeane Garofalo, has finally reached the upper echelons of a City of the Second Class in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    Now, there will probably be those out there that will call on you to apologize to the City Council President turned City Controller Candidate turned back to City Council President, but those are calls that you should ignore, like the calls from your wife while you're at the strip club blitzed out of your mind on coke. We have recently had too many politicians and other celebrities doing stupid things and then recanting, retracting, or otherwise apologizing for their actions. This is a tragedy in an of itself. No one takes responsibility for the stupid shit they do anymore, Mr. Mayor. Nobody.

    I say to you, sir: own your stupid shit. To thine own self be true, even to the stupid things that you do. Freely admit that what you do is dumb, and for that you came.

    In fact, Mr. Mayor, if I may be so bold, with all these stupid, off handed actions and this new found sarcastic condescension towards others, you too could be a Pittsburgh blogger. You should ask Jim Motznik about that; he'll hook you up.


    The Angry Drunk Bureaucrat

    P.S. While I do appreciate your usage of dependant and independent clauses, and your overuse of commas, you never, ever, ever begin a sentence with "And." That's just poor grammar right there.


    Tuesday, May 22, 2007

    P-G vs. Trib vs. Jim Rohr

    The P-G has called out the Trib over their daily editorial-page feature "lambasting and lampooning PNC Chairman Jim Rohr for accepting $48 million in taxpayer support to help build a new Downtown skyscraper. The P-G asks in its headline, is the anti-Rohr campaign over the line?

    The answer, or course, is no. Not even close.

    Here are some gems that the Editorial Board of the Tribune Review felt were too "over the line":

    Why won't you deny that you've stopped raping puppies Mr. Rohr?

    Mr. Rohr, tell the world that you never fathered an illegitimate black baby!

    Would the City and County have given you the money if you hadn't been nailing Jane Orie, Mr. Rohr?

    $1.50 fee to use a third party ATM? Well lah-dee-dah, Mr. "Rohr-ckafeller"!

    Jim Rohr: How do we know that he's not up all night sacrificing aborted fetuses to his dark god?

    It's it time that you stop hiding your love of underage male Vietnamese prostitutes, Mr. Rohr?

    Jim Rohr can no longer satisfy his wife sexually.

    You know when your at a party and someone picks up an hors d'ourve, takes a nibble, and puts it back? Jim Rohr does that.

    There is no evidence that PNC Chairman Jim Rohr isn't just seven midgets in a fat suit.

    You smell like poop, Mr. Rohr.

    Yeah, well... uh... Hey! Jim Rohr! The jerk store called and they're all out of YOU!

    You claim to be a victim of a scurrilous editorial page masquerading slander as pseudo-populist outrage, but we all know that you're using taxpayer money to fund your coke addiction, Mr. Rohr.

    And finally:

    You know who else liked public subsidies, Mr. Rohr? Hitler!


    EPA Reaches Historic Sewage Outflow Agreement with Pittsburgh City Council

    Pittsburgh, PA (Reuters) - Fresh on the heels of an agreement with ALCOSAN, the US Environmental Protection Agency has reached a historic accord with Pittsburgh City Council to stem the flow of human excrement coming out of 414 Grant Street. The agreement will result in the largest containment of fecal material in a incorporated municipality in the history of the Country.

    Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields signed a consent decree yesterday, although the signature of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protect and EPA representatives are also necessary.

    The agreement will provide for a new special excrement holding tank located entirely within City Council Chambers. Effluent will be released in a controlled manner on a weekly basis to minimize impact on the fragile political ecosystem. The system will also provide for a general flushing the first Tuesday following the first Monday in both May and November.

    The fecal discharges coming from City Council, first noticed in the early 1980s, have become more regular over the last decade. Human effluent has permeated most of Downtown and has begun to infiltrate other East End neighborhoods. Residents in East Liberty have frequently complained to the DEP over the rank smell of sewage emanating from south of Centre Avenue.

    A similar plan has been proposed elsewhere in the Commonwealth. Harrisburg, which sits on a mound of human waste, has taken tentative steps towards removing contamination. Critics charge, however, that the excrement has only been moved to Law Firms, Nightly Talk Shows, and News Radio, where no one knows the difference. Additionally, as old waste has move out of the Capital, new waste has been generated to take its place.

    Mr. Shields feels that such problems will not be encountered in the City of Pittsburgh.

    "This agreement will be honored in full faith by this Council. We challenge the Mayor's Office, the County Executive's Office, and County Council to sign on as well. Such a historic accord must be all inclusive and stand as a testament to our commitment to rid the political environment of human effluent, excrement, and bovine fecal material. We owe this not only to ourselves but to our children and our children's children and our children's children's children. In this post 9/11 world, this will be a vital tool in ensuring that the terrorists are fought over there and not over here. And may God Bless America."

    Mr. Shields was immediately fined $500.

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    An Open Letter to Client #870


    Let me begin by saying that you can suck my balls. Seriously. I will whip them out and you can just pop 'em in your mouth and suck 'em.

    I have not met many ball gargling taintfaces in this world, but I could probably bet that you'd be the poster-boy. Heck, Jerry Lewis might have a telethon for people like you. You'd probably raise at least seven bucks, although it is clear that medical research has years to go to even begin to address your condition.

    Right now, I don't really care about anything your arrogant pretentious face has to say about anything. I no longer want to hear you whining about anything until you actually get up off your smug, self righteous ass and actually put some effort into the work that we are supposed to be collaborating on.

    So, if you want me to continue to assist you in your endeavors, you're going to have to start bringing something, anything to the table that is constructive and worthwhile.

    Until then, you can suck my balls.


    The Angry Drunk Bureaucrat


    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    Election DysFUNction

    I can't say I really much cared for the primary election season in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Once the Mayor's race became uncontested, I quickly lost interest in pretty near all of the races. I only started paying attention again when Jeff Koch introduced a resolution in council temporarily renaming the City to "VoteforKoch-burgh," which was probably a violation of some campaign rule somewhere, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

    Frankly the races only really became exciting in the last few days, but by then I had completely cut myself off from humanity, choosing instead to drink deeply from the River Lethe and a bottle of Jack I found in the back of my liquor cabinet. Never mix Lethe and Tonic, by the way.

    Ever a day late and a dollar short, here's my brief take on the winners and losers of yesterday's campaign:

    WINNER: Dan Onorato
    OK, sure, Dan bested his opponent by like a zillion-bagillion to one, but that's not why he won. Frankly, I would have assumed that Onorato would have gotten closer to 100% of the vote, so in that way, he's almost a loser. But no, Dan was a winner yesterday not because he won, but because his buddies Luke and Mike won. Not to say that the County Executive now has both the Mayor and the Controller by the short and curlies, but he's definitely going to have more opportunity for amicable City-County collaboration than, say, Murphy and Roddey did.

    WINNER: Rick Schwartz
    Yeah, Rick lost by a Mondale sized margin, but when you're real goal is just to get the ear of the County Executive, you've kinda won (even though you lost).

    WINNER: Pittsburgh Literati
    The (anticipated) election of Patrick Dowd, PhD to Pittsburgh City Council in November will increase the average educational attainment level of Council from "Some College" to "Associates Degree". Let's be realistic: Council won't be talking about the metaphysical imagery in Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, but at least it can stop drooling all over itself.

    LOSER: The Department of Public Works
    If Council loses one more ditch digger, after it loses this last ditch digger, it'll only have one ditch digger left! Who will be left to give our pothole crews free T-Shirts?

    LOSER: Jim Ferlo
    I don't think that it was any secret that former staff member Jim Fallon was "placed" on the ballot by the self appointed, and officially sanctioned, City-wide nebshit as a favor to Lenny Bodack Sr., the current councilman's father, as a ploy to deflect anti-Bodack votes from Dowd. He would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for that darn meddling Judge Joseph James.

    LOSER: Leah Kirkland
    Seriously, how unpopular do you have to be to come in third behind a woman that is under indictment? I have to wonder at this point if the Democratic endorsement would have done her any good at all.

    LOSER: Kevin Philips Bong
    This Slightly-Silly Candidate polled no votes at all. Not a sausage. Bugger all.

    WINNER: Luke Ravenstahl
    Sure, his nearest rival was a Pirogi, but Luke will now almost have more City Government experience than half of Council.

    So maybe this is a lesson to me: get off yer duppa and make with the posts.

    Tag(s): ,

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Jerry Falwell blames Gays, Liberals, Muslims, Secular Humanists, Vegetarians, Public Broadcasting, Democrats, Bloggers,

    New Englanders, Pacifists, Zionists, Buildabergers, UFOs, The Teletubbies, MTV, VH1, Family Guy, Rap Music, Heavy Metal, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Liberation Theology, Fred Phelps, Mister Rogers, Howdy Doody, Alberto Gonzales, Florida, Ohio, John Glenn, Hollywood Elite, George Clooney, South Park, North Park, Linkin Park, Log Cabin Republicans, Bravo, BBC 2-4, NPR, Clear Channel, the English Channel, English Muffins, Little Miss Muffit, Little Miss Sunshine, Stephen Colbert, New York's 30th Congressional District, Nuclear Disarmament, the European Union, the Warsaw Pact, Europe (the Band), Toto (the Dog), "Must See TV", Helen Hunt, Euclidian Geometry, Polar Notation, Polar Bears, Panda Thumbs, Steven Jay Gould, The Simpsons, Wallis the Duchess of Windsor, Edward VII, Tim Burton, Nippled Bat Suits, Barry Bonds, Savings Bonds, ARM Mortgages, the 2nd Amendment, the 1st Amendment, Funkadelic (but not Parliament), Roger Clinton, Billy Beer, Rabbits, Miter Saws, Playground Equipment, the London Underground, the Clash, New Coke, Telephone Directories, the Trilateral Commission, Equalateral Triangles, Larry Flint, Flintheart Glomgold, Arnold Judas Rimmer, Ronald Reagan Jr., rendered Hog Fat, Ding-dongs, Ho-Hos, Twinkies, the SEC, Satan, and the French for Jerry Falwell's Death.


    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    ADB 2007 Endorsements (Now on Government Time)

    It is very rare, and indeed a significant event, when a candidate for elected office inspires such passion in the ADB Editorial Board than we must cast off all pretenses towards inccoruptability and impartiality and blatently violate the Hatch Act. In such cases, it is not enough to merely sollicit for election funds using government equipment nor wear campaign t-shirts during government employment. Instead, we must brashly and garashly proclaim our ringing endorsement of this candidate without fear of the threat of a Federal supoena.

    Indeed, we have found such a candidate.

    His father served in Vietnam where he received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained during combat. [He] followed in his father’s footsteps by serving in the US Navy as a pilot, which included tours of duty in Bosnia, Serbia and Rwanda.

    Upon completing his military service, [He] entered the public sphere where he worked for the District Attorney as a prosecutor. His tireless efforts in the District Attorney’s office were responsible for putting countless criminals behind bars. He left his post in the District Attorney’s office for his campaign run in the... District where he hopes he can help shape the laws that he spent so many years enforcing.
    Let us not be modest: this candidate is a Godsend, flying high and above any that we have seen so far.

    So, remember this on November 7th:

    Nathan Petrelli for Congress

    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    Smoking and Potholes

    Two things have been festering in my brain for the last few days.

    First: the smoking ban that was off, then on, then off again. Now, I'm not a smoker... well, normally. If you douse me in gasoline and put me near an open flame, I will smolder a little. However, I do not regularly inhale carcinogenic fumes voluntarily; instead, I drink carcinogenic liquids voluntarily.

    Being a non smoker and all, this smoking ban is only going to encourage festering alcoholics like me to spend more time soaking our misery in gin, tonic, and a twist of lime. This can only lead to drinking things from test tubes, bad karaoke, and vomitting on Duquesne Light substations.

    Second: potholes. Now, I know that it seems a big deal that local politicians are using their position to influence the paving of roads. However, what good are politicians if they can't do the bidding of their consituents? Hell, if I lived next to a council person, I would be on their doorstep every night demanding that they repair their own street.

    Frankly, if we're going to use a computer system to choose how we are going to manage our roadways, I say we go whole hog and relinquish the control of our fair city to the machines.

    Maybe then we'll find this Sarah Connor person.


    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Residency Evil

    Those of you that worship at the altar of KDKA Investigative Reporter Marty Griffin (Official Latin Inscription: Faciem durum cacantis habes) will have already heard that over 100 city employees may be fired for not adhering to the City's residency requirement. From the P-G:

    City workers are likely to receive a letter to that effect at their home addresses as per city payroll records today or tomorrow.

    The letter reiterates the requirement that all city workers live in the city, and requires no action by the recipient. If the letter is returned to the city unopened, the city may initiate an investigation.

    "It is not acceptable to have a house, apartment or room in the City where you pretend to live while the rest of your family lives outside of the City. Merely receiving mail, signing a lease or paying utility bills for a property in the City does not satisfy the domicile requirement," the letter reads in part.
    Of course, there is an easy solution to this problem. It is not the mass firing of City employees. It is not enforcing the residency requirements. It is a solution that is often overlooked by the small minds in local government:

    The City of Pittsburgh must invade and conquer all of its neighbors, crush its enemies, see them driven before their cities, and hear the lamentation of the women.

    Not only must Mt. Oliver must be destroyed utterly, but so to should Monroeville, Cranberry and Wilmerding! We will crush them, bringing back our native population under the wing of a Greater Pittsburgh Reich.

    I can only see us being greeted as liberators.

    Of course, the invasion talk doesn't matter to me; I live in Des Moines, IA.


    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Sight Seeing

    Anyone who's been on Grant Street the last few weeks will surely have noticed that repairs are being undertaken to the facade of the City-County Building. Steps are finally being taken to ensure that large chunks of granite don't fall down and crush passersby. Even though the City is in less dire financial straits, a hefty lawsuit would definitely impede our fiscal solvency. So this is a good thing.

    I can see Edgar Snyder out on the corner shouting at the building "C'mon! C'mon!"

    Anyway, if you're passing by that area, take a side jaunt to the lot behind the Grant Building. There you'll see the large chunks of the friezes laying on the ground for storage during repair. The things are laid out like the Yinzer Elgin Marbles and are worth a glance if you get a chance, especially because you never get to see this part of Hornbostel's work up close.

    I'd post a pic, but my camera is stuck in an $80 ashtray.


    The Fault, Dear Pittsburgh...

    Last week, while I was taking a much needed blogging siesta, the Pittsburgh Region made some good ink in the MSM... well, as close to "ink" as we get nowadays... namely the the selection of Pittsburgh, once again, as America's "Most Livable City" and a brief article by CNN detailing the City's thriving arts scene. This is, of course, all old news to those of us who live here, but it will give civic boosters (including the Allegheny Conference) something to crow about for some time.

    Of course, the CNN article, in a fit of either literary paradox or lazy journalism, begins with their piece with the obligatory contrast between the "Old Steel Town" and the "New Arts City". It seems like every article about Pittsburgh seems to begin with a reference to the City's industrial past, an image that the Region has tried desperately to shake. Every Pittsburgh PR piece has to begin with "We're not a Steel City anymore! Why do you keep calling us a Steel City?" oblivious to the inherent contradiction in the question.

    The strange thing about Pittsburgh though is that we are obsessed with our image. We need to know how we rank, who we rank about, what we're ranking high in, and what we're ranked even higher in. (We're #1 in Ho-Ho consumption! Eat that Cleveland!).

    It's a weird obsession, because for every thing that we start ranking well in, we collectively seem to feel that we're not doing well enough. The week after the Most Livable designation, the P-G runs an article about how the soot level of the air is up in the Region. We seem, no matter how well we're doing, to obsess about what we're doing wrong. It is a morbid obsession, one, in my experience, which seems unique to Pittsburgh.

    We are the municipal equivalent of an anorexic high schooler: no matter how much we exercise, diet, or purge we still look into the mirror and think "we're not pretty enough." If we were an actual person, the city would be put on a healthy dose of anti-depressants.

    Or perhaps we just need to take the Stuart Smalley phrase to heart: "we are good enough, smart enough, and, gosh darn it, people like us." And let's keep the obsessing to a minimum.