Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pittsburgh City Council Greenlights New "Webisodes"

The new online only content will focus on minor characters, including Tonya Payne and Linda Johnson-Wasler, with regular guest star Mark Rauterkus.

The only opposition to what is being called "the most exciting change to Pittsburgh Government since they installed the flag of Slovakia in Council Chambers" came from Councilman Jim Motznik, who believed that the content would eventually be uploaded to Napster, where it could be viewed without royalties. Mr. Motznik was later commended by his colleagues for his keen grasp of current new media issues.

Producers are hoping for some sort of mid-season crossover with Waffle Shop, with former Councilman Len Bodack returning to play the part of the Waffle.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Years Resolutions

Our industrious moles, spies, and assorted whistle blowing, stool pigeons have infiltrated the diaries and email accounts of several prominent local figures, and have sent us their personal, private New Years Resolutions for the up coming... er... new year:

[Pittsburgh Mayor] Luke Ravenstahl - Resolves to find some inexperienced sucker to run against him in May, maybe a fetus.

[County Chief Executive] Dan Onorato - Resolves to do absolutely nothing that would in any way stand in the way of him running for Governor, and to rebury that hooker somewhere other than in his backyard.

[Pittsburgh Councilman] Jim Motznik - Resolves to find a job that is cushier and involves less "brain thinkin'" -- possibly as some sort of magistrate.

[URA Executive Director] Rob Stephany - Will Resolve (tm) the awful Pat Ford smell out of his office.

[Mayoral Chief of Staff] Yarone Zober - Resolves to exceed everyone's expectations.

[KDKA News Reporter] Sonni Abatta - Resolves to stop spitting in co-anchor Stacy Smith's coffee.

[KDKA News Reporter] Stacy Smith - Resolves to stop stealing Jeff Verszyla's coffee.

[Pittsburgh Pirate's General Manager] Neal Huntington - Resolves to find out what this "winning" thing is everyone's talking about.

[Pittsburgh Steeler's Kicker] Jeff Reed - Resolves to bring the creepiness factor down to a seven.

[Casino Owner] Neil Bluhm - Resolves to squeeze every last penny from every pensioner within a three county radius.

And finally,

[Lamar Advertising executive] Jim Vlasach - Given the economic circumstances, resolves to invest less money in Ford.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Trains, Trains, and Train-a-mobiles

OK, and there's this:

Tomorrow, Mr. Peduto plans to introduce legislation to spend $9,000 to study turning a freight line that runs from Hazelwood through Oakland to Lawrenceville into an artery for people. The study would lead to a proposal, submitted to U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, in the spring, for federal funding for the project...

That new economy, he said, is causing Oakland to bulge at the seams. A study drafted within the Allegheny Conference on Community Development in 2006 predicted a need for 3 million square feet of buildings in Oakland, and room for just 1 million square feet.

Already, many of the community conflicts in Shadyside, Bloomfield and Friendship stem from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's expansions.

A rail line operated by the Allegheny Valley Railroad cuts through the heart of Oakland. One end is conveniently near Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville, and the other is right by the brownfields of Hazelwood's former LTV Coke Works site, now owned by a development entity backed by four local foundations.
Five complaints from this article and its cursory description of the plan:

First, this isn't a new idea. I'm pretty sure that either CMU or PAT still has the conceptual drawings from the 80s showing where a subway line was supposed to connect to Wean Hall.

Second, OK, it's great that someone is trying to connect Larryville to Hazelwood and all, but you'll have what amounts to a third public transit system (after buses and light rail) that you'll have to maintain. That doesn't seem all that efficient to me. Wouldn't it be better to integrate the system so that you could get from, say, the Northside to Oakland via Downtown without having to change buses/trains (I mean, without getting on any of the 500s)?

Third, what about that bane of Hazelwood's existence, the Mon-Fayette Excessway... er... Expressway? Obviously, the right-of-way of the Mo-Fo is going to impact the any existing or proposed rail right-of-way. Now, this may be a silly point, but until PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission crap or get off the pot, transportation development (and indeed any real development in the neighborhood) is a non-starter. Otherwise, you're going to end up sinking millions into a rail system, only have it ripped out for the Mon-Fayette... or not.

Fourth, no rail company is really going to want to share their line. Seriously. They're bastards like that.

Fifth, and this is my big point, as nice as it is to connect across the City, the line, it seems to me, doesn't really serve people the people that serve Oakland. Sure, you'll be able to get Doctors, Professors, Students, and Investors from one "New Economy" site to another, but you're not getting Janitors, Secretaries, Maintenance Workers, or even Phlebotomists from where they live to where they work. My sense is that those people are either coming from outside the City or from other neighborhoods that are not Lawrenceville or Hazelwood. Anybody who rides any of the 61, 71, or 100 bus lines would understand this.

Moreover, from what it sounds like, you're providing the residents of East Liberty, Homewood, Wilkinsburg, Swissvale and Rankin with the busway, but providing Lawrenceville, Oakland, and Hazelwood with heavy rail. That seems to be, well, discriminatory to me: one system for one set of neighborhoods, another system for the other.

[And, of course, Uptown, West Oakland, and the rest of the Hill District, all of which would seem to be logical places for the universities to expand into, are completely ignored.]

So, don't get me wrong: an integrated system that services Lawrenceville, Oakland, and Hazelwood is a good idea, however, a more foresighted approach would integrate the existing busway and the downtown lightrail systems, expand to include areas out towards the Turtle Creek Valley, and provide a non-highway alternative to the Mon-Fayette Expressway, possibly taking the line as far as the airport.

Or, alternatively, we can run a water taxi service to Oakland... but only during heary rain periods.

"Open Season" Declared on Feral Municipalities

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato has begun rounding up "feral municipalities" and has engaged state and federal help on thinning the regions burgeoning herd of public bodies. The move has sparked outrage among some who see the flocks of municipalities as part of the regional culture.

Workers in the County clean up nearly 400 tons of municipal droppings every day, and neighbors complain that the most municipalities are dirty, smelly, and a nuisance to the area.

"Just last week we had two of them right on my front yard," said Irma Fuocco, a resident of Ben Avon. "Ben Avon Heights was right up there with Emsworth, going through my garbage. I chased them away, but they were back within an hour."

Officials have counted over 130 municipalities, although the real count may be closer to 1000.

Mr. Onorato has said that the cull will be calm and humane. "Officials from the US Department of the Interior will put them carefully into cages, load them onto a truck and take them away to be euthanized humanely in Harrisburg." Reports indicate that the County has already trapped Wilmerding, Pennsbury Village, and Glen Osborne.

Researcher Dan Bowden from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Local Municipalities (SPCLM) say that even though the methods seem extreme, the cull is necessary for the health of the species.

"Well, you see, if you have too much of any species... deer, beaver, armadillo, what have you... you're going to have a competition for resources. So the more that they go unchecked without a natural predator, the more their numbers are going to increase. Eventually, the species won't be able to sustain itself and you're going to have, effectively, a mass starvation. That's something we don't want to have happen."

Still, members of the Save the Townships, Boroughs, Cities, Authorities, School Boards, and other Public Bodies Network (STBCASBOPBN) are protesting what they consider to be a government sanctioned kill.

"We were assured that non-lethal methods would be used: mergers, sterilizations, introduction of more old people," said STBASBOPBN President Rebecca Baechle, "and this method goes far beyond what anyone would consider 'humane.'"

Despite the protests, however, Mr. Onorato said that the cull will go on.

"Frankly, if we don't do something about this problem, we're going to be overwhelmed with dysfunctional, unnecessary municipalities that serve only a handful of people, while the resources of the region get diverted away from where they are really needed because of petty power politics. Let's hope that day never comes."

Mayor's Office Reopens After "Santa Incident"

Activity resumed on the 5th floor of the City-County building today after a five day holiday standoff between the Mayor and members of his own staff over the existence of Santa Claus.

According to sources within the Mayor's Office who wish to remain anonymous,* the incident began during a Christmas Eve meeting in which the Mayor's Chief of Staff Yarone Zober casually asked if the Mayor had bought his newborn son anything for Christmas. The Mayor responded puzzled, saying that, like every year, that was Santa Claus's duty, and he would wait until his arrival.

After an awkward exchange, Mr. Zober finally revealed to the Mayor that Santa Claus is, in fact, a fictional creation and that the exchange of gifts was done by others under the guise of a fat man in a red suit that lives at the North Pole surrounded by elves.

The Mayor abruptly ended the meeting, stormed into the conference room in tears, and locked himself in. Staff members tried for several hours on Wednesday to coax him out, but to no avail.

Unbeknown to the rest of his staff at the time, the Mayor had visited over 14 mall Santa Clauses asking them for, among other items, "a chunk of the Obama economic stimulus package, a new Ford Excursion for concerts, and a Nintendo Wii." He also interrogated them as to the definition of "naughty" and "nice." Staff also discovered freshly made holiday cookies on the Mayor's desk and milk in his personal refrigerator.

The standoff continued throughout Christmas, despite impassioned pleas from the Mayor's family and staff.

A breakthrough occurred this morning, however, when a member of the City's Legal department forwarded on a copy of the famous 1897 New York Sun editorial "Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus" to the fifth floor. Mr. Zober was able to convince the Mayor that, while Santa did not exist, per se, the spirit of what he represents was real. The Mayor left the conference room at 3:21 PM, and went home to spend what was left of the holiday with his family.

When asked for comment on his way out of the building, the Mayor responded that, although St. Nick isn't real, "at least the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and my 2009 Budget are."

* Thanks for the tip "Mike"!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bush Pardons Hamburglar, 18 others

(Reuters) Washington DC - President George W. Bush, today pardoned nineteen convicted criminals including notorious McDonaldland felon The Hamburglar.

The Hamburglar was convicted in 1989 of armed robbery of a Salt Lake City Arby's. The arresting officer Big Mac, admitted under oath that he had tampered with evidence, although the prosecution managed to convince a jury that the evidence in question was immaterial to the case. The Hamburglar has maintained that, while he was involved, the real masterminds of the crime were the Happy Meal Gang, who remain at large today.

Since his conviction, The Hamburglar has renounced violence and has converted to Islam. Many Hollywood celebrities including Ed Asner and Mike Farrell have championed The Hamburglar's cause, and petitioned the Department of Justice for a pardon.

Sources inside the White House would not comment on how many more pardons will be issued or who they may not be issued to, although there is much speculation that the President may pardon former Vice Presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Domino Pizza nemesis "The Noid."

The Presidential pardon list is being closely monitored this year in the waning days of the Bush administration. President Bush's father pardoned Sonny the Cocoa Puffs bird, who was convicted of possession with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment under Kellogg's harsh "Two Scoops" law. President Clinton issued a blanket pardon to Uncle Pennybags who had been found guilty of insider trading, and subsequently had his monopolies on Baltic Avenue and Park Place broken up by the SEC.

Re: Temperature

Gosh it was cold out today!

How cold, you ask?

It was so cold, Yarone Zober triple dog dared the Mayor to stick his tongue on Darlene Harris' ass.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Democrats Choose [Candidate] for Council District 2 Seat

Eighty-five members of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee gathered at the Banksville Pool community building to pick their nominee to fill the seat vacated by former Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Deasy. A majority of those assembled chose [Candidate] to represent their party during the special election to be held February 3rd.

[Candidate] beat out three other contenders, and will enjoy some advantage in a district that is predominantly Democratic.

Over the last few years, [Candidate] has been intimately involved with the [Issue 1], supporting measures at a local level and [Issue 2], which has been judged as a great concern to members of the District. These issues made [Candidate] the clear favorite among members of the Party

ACDC member [Member] said that the [Candidate] "best represented the values of our local party including [Value 1], [Value 2], and [Value 3]. We think that [Candidate] will be able to work with the Mayor on [Issue 3] and [Issue 4] while [Platitude to the Voter 1] and [Platitude to Voter 2]. This just goes to show what an issue based, focus campaign can do for this City, backed up by a Local Party that believes in [Platitude to the Voter 3]."

Members of the Party were generally pleased with [Candidate] and were happy with the high quality of candidates who turned out for the nomination.

Former Pittsburgh Councilman Dan Deasy was elected in November to the State House, on a platform of [Issue 5] and leaderhip.

The local GOP committee has also nominated a candidate, who will be revealed on February 3rd.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Quis custodiet...

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Mark Felt Slain by Zombie Nixon

(Reuters) Washington D.C. - The body of W. Mark Felt, who in 2006 was revealed to be the mysterious "Deep Throat" informant who brought down the Nixon White House, was found in a small Western Pennsylvania farmhouse surrounded by the corpses of deceased Watergate accomplices, including former President Richard Milhouse Nixon.

"We're not quite sure what happened here," said Presidential Zombie Historian George Romero, "but we believe that Nixon, in his quest for revenge against Felt, had somehow reanimated and tried to eat Felt's brain."

Police responding to the seen believe that Felt, along with several unnamed companions, had barricaded themselves in the farmhouse, lighting fires to scare off the oncoming horde of the undead. One companion, however, seems to have been bitten by a Zombie Gerald Ford, and later died after falling down a set of stairs.

Mr. Felt himself was attacked by both the former President and his dog checkers, but managed to put up a struggle. Nixon's teeth marks were found in Felt's left thigh and buttocks.

Experts, scientists and military are not sure of the cause of the reanimation, but one scientist is certain that it is the result of radiation emanating from a Venus space probe that exploded in the Earth's atmosphere and landed, in part, in Yorba Linda CA. The FBI has surrounded Congressman John Conyers's home and Paul Newman's grave, in case of another outbreak.

A CIA agent managed to slay G. Gordan Liddy, who turned out not to be a zombie after all.

Funeral arrangements for Mr. Felt have not been announced, although local zombies had reported that his brains were "delicious." He was 95.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Bureaucrat's Aside

Any day now, I expect to see a TV ad for "Crazy Dollar Days" at Uncle Bernake's House of Fed, advertising interest rates so low "you'd think Ben's gone craaaaaazy!"

I only hope they throw in a free toaster, 'cause, well, you know...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dean of Electoral College Resigns Amid Scandal

(Reuters) Washington D.C. - On the day that electors from all 50 States gathered to cast their ballots for President of the United States, the Electoral College was rocked by scandal today as its dean stepped down amid rumors that he improperly awarded a degree to the daughter of a high level Kerry contributor.

Mark Garrison, PhD resigned from his post after the College learned about the school’s approval of a master’s degree for a student who had more than the prescribed amount of independent study and transfer credits in place of regular coursework.

The irregularities surrounding the degree, awarded in 2004, was only brought to the attention of the College administration last Tuesday, said spokesman Ken Lang.

"We always take any issue regarding political integrity very seriously," he said. "This is something where, when we find out something like this, we review it immediately."

A hastily assembled College panel has begun to review the circumstances of this incident. Preliminary reports indicate that the awardee had completed only 22 of 44 credits, although the College transcript had been altered to reflect completion of all 44 credits.

Citing federal privacy laws, the College is not releasing the name of the student who received the 2004 degree, or exactly what type of master's degree the student received.

Dr. Garrison joined the College in 1993 and had been Dean since 2003. He did not return a phone call to his home today.

This is not the first scandal to hit the Electoral College. In 1824, the school was accused of vote rigging by Tennessee Senator Andrew Jackson, although Senator Jackson had been also accused of extreme hazing of incoming freshman as part of his Fraternity Alpha Kappa Alpha.

In 1987 the College suffered an embarrassment when Playboy released a "Women of the EC" issue.

More recently however, however, is the highly publicized doping scandal during its 1999 Men's Basketball championship against the College of Cardinals. Five collegians were expelled in that instance, and three were placed on political probation.

Many in the political community have repeatedly called for the College's dismantlement, citing the above scandals, the low testing scores, and its reputation as a "party school."

No evidence has arisen that suggests that President-Elect Barack Obama had any knowledge of these events, however, National Review Online has opined that the lack of evidence does not mean that there was no crime committed.

Nevertheless, Senator Obama was elected as President today by the College with 365 votes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Business Casual Friday

Because you don't really have the time to be inspired:


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blagojevich Unmasked as Supervillain

(Reuters) Springfield, IL - New papers released by Britain's Security Service indicates that embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was really the head of an international criminal organization bent on world domination.

MI5 has revealed to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald that one of its agents had infiltrated a plot by Blagojevich to capture two nuclear weapons from NATO for a ransom of 200 million dollars. Papers indicate that the Governor intended to escalate conflict between the United States, the United Kingdom and China hoping that they will exhaust themselves and be vulnerable when Blagojevich finally moves in to seize power.

In transcripts from wiretapped phone conversations with staff, Blagojevich said:

This missile will be launched towards Beijing, where General Chang has already called an emergency meeting of the Chinese High Command. Unfortunately, the general will be stuck in traffic and the missile will already hit the compound. However, the general will be too late to stop the Chinese Air Force form sinking the Royal fleet. I will then negotiate a truce, and emerge as a world leader with the Nobel Peace Prize!
Investigators were unable to determine why exactly he would be chosen to negotiate the crisis.

Elsewhere in the report, there is indication that Blagojevich had intended to corner the Gold market by using force to infiltrate Fort Knox and irradiating the country's gold supply.

Officials in the Illinois State Legislature have pointed to these incidents, his belief that he could be appointed to a cabinet position in the Obama Administration, and his attempt to extort campaign contributions from a Children's Hospital as evidence of his dangerous megalomaniacal delusions of grandeur. "I think, perhaps, [crazy] is sort of a clinically appropriate word," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D), in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

CIA sources have also indicated that the Governor had developed preliminary plans for a giant moon based "LASER" and the evacuation of "genetically superior" humans to an orbiting space station.

The Governor's office did not return phone calls today, saying that he was busy spending time with his white Persian cat.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

For Sale: One [Bleeping] Valuable Thing

Because you want to be the Junior Senator from Illinois, but you don't want the hassle of dealing with Patrick Fitzgerald:

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Intense, Non-uniform Cans of Worms Etcetera (On)

From Hizzoner, via the P-G:

We also now realize the can of worms that we opened because of the intensity of that, the amount of contracts we issue, etcetera, and our lack of uniformity across city government.
He continued:
As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border.
No word on whether the Mayor can see Russia from his home in Summer Hill.

A Treatise on Weather and Public Works Proposals

In which the author


the self titled

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat

discuffes the intracacies of the recent

Changing Weather Patterns

in and around the

Pittsburgh Region

and their relationship to the

Physical and Economic Well Being of its Citizenry

Fit the First




Sunday, December 07, 2008

Rule #33

Rule #33:

It's not real until it has its own acronym.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

And... Drink Tax

It find it scary when Monsieur Briem and I have similar reactions to the reduction on the drink tax by County Council.

Now, the reduction on the drink tax should mean that you unwashed masses can enjoy your Natural Light, your Bud Light, or your (God help you) Pabst Blue Ribbon for 30% less than you do now. Although if you're drinking any of those things, you're drinking less already... at least qualitatively.

However, as we've seen from the partial parking tax repeal (you remember that right?), just because the city decided to lower the parking tax, doesn't mean that the benefits will accrue to the consumers. The Parking Authority itself had to be dragged kicking and screaming to reducing its prices.

Of course, Monsieur Briem has also elsewhere mused on the elasticity of the demand for parking, i.e., people are willing to pay pretty much any damned price for parking downtown.

Now, high class drunks like myself would probably consider the hootch to be similarly inelastic, but, there are those that may decide that a drink at a bar is far too much money and would choose not to spend money going out. Indeed, this seems to be nub of the argument by F.A.C.T.: increasing taxes means that fewer people will spend money at local businesses, resulting in business closings, job losses, cats and dogs living together... you know, end of the world stuff. So, I can only assume, by F.A.C.T.'s argument, that if the drink tax goes down and prices therefore go dowm, more people will resume patronizing local eateries, bars, taverns, strip clubs, etc., and all will be well.

Unless, of course, (1) there's only a small, small marginal segment of the population that wasn't willing to pay an extra $.25 for their bottle of sex-in-a-canoe, and therefore the real impact to business is negligible or (2) the restaurateurs are aware of the stickiness of these the new drink, inflated prices and are not going to bloody well change them.

As for yours truly, the drink tax never really affected me much as I only ever drank alone, at home, in the dark anyway.

URA Official Resigns

Sort of. *Former* URA Official, I should say. Your blast from the Murphy administration comes courtesy of Crain's Detroit Business:

Mulugetta Birru has resigned as director of the Wayne County Department of Economic and Neighborhood Development effective Dec. 31. He joined the county in June 2004 from the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Birru said in a statement he is leaving his full-time position for personal reasons, but will work with Wayne County as a part-time consultant.
Apparently the "personal reasons" were that he finally realized he was in friggin' Detroit.

Breaking News: Canada Descends into Polite, Clean, Civil War

(Reuters) Ottawa Ontario, Canada - At 12:01 this morning, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that his minority government was at an impasse with a coalition made up of the NDP, Liberal, and Bloc Quebecois parties, and would be formally ignoring them and the Canadian constitution.

"This is not a step I relish taking," said Harper, "I recognize that the democratic process has strong roots in this Federation, but desperate times call for desperate measures. As such, I am investing myself with full executive, legislative, and judicial powers for the foreseeable future."

Immediately, all streets in and around Parliament Hill were barricaded and Royal Canadian Mounted Police were dispatched to enforce a nighttime curfew, gently encouraging opposition supporters home, if they didn't mind too much. Members were sent out to roundup fugitive independents and minor party leaders, including Green Party Elizabeth May.

Around 12:30 AM, the sounds of opening cans of Labatt Bleu from an unarmed, but drunk Parliamentary militia was heard from across the Ottowa River. The Prime Minister's staff, assuming a counteroffensive by the remaining MPs, immediately evacuated the Prime Minister back to his stronghold of Calgary, Alberta, where they have reestablished the Federal Capital.

Remaining bands of Loyalists held back the MP offensive led by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty until around 3 AM, when the invaders began to play hockey on Parliament Hill. In response, the Conservatives changed their plan to now have Flaherty present a federal budget on January 27, 2009, instead of late February or early March.

Governor General Michaëlle Jean, interrupted a trip to Europe and returned to impose English law on the province of Quebec.

NDP leader Jack Layton and Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion reportedly barely made it to a Private Corporate Jet and have established what they have termed a "Government-in-Exile" in Binghampton NY.

Speaking on Voice of Canada airwaves: The destiny of the world is here. We, Jack Layton and Stéphane Dion, currently in Binghampton NY, invite the officers and the Canadian loyalists who are located in our Federation's territory or who would come there, with their poutine or without their poutines, we invite the brewers, and the special workers of maple syrup industries who are located in Canada's territory or who would come there, to put themselves in contact with us, eh.

Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe sent a similar message from Burlington Vermont, but in French.

Large streams of refugees have already been reported making their way to up state New York and Michigan for the high unemployment and poor health care system.

An unidentified group calling itself the People's Front of Newfoundland have allegedly captured Minister of Justice Robert Douglas Nicholson. Their leader, who identifies himself as, "Il Newfie" has demanded the release of prisoners taken by the Newfoundland People's Front, who were later determined to be very frightened sheep. The Newfoundland Popular Front released Transport Minister John Baird after realizing that no one really wanted him anyway.

When asked for comment, Michael Chertoff, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security was quoted as saying, "We consider this matter to be an internal matter for Canada and will not get involved at this time."

Leader Harper has offered rebel leaders a chance to comply with his orders stating it is they "that are mistaken aboot a great many things."

Breaking News: Canada descend dans de la guerre civile, polite, propreté

(Reuters) Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - À 12h01 ce matin, le Premier ministre Stephen Harper a annoncé que son gouvernement minoritaire a été dans l'impasse avec une coalition composée des néo-démocrates, des libéraux et du Bloc québécois parties, et serait officiellement les ignorer et la constitution canadienne.

"Ce n'est pas une étape I relish prendre», a déclaré Harper, «je reconnais que le processus démocratique a de fortes racines dans cette fédération, mais désespérée fois appel à des mesures désespérées. En tant que tel, je suis moi-même d'investir dans le plein exécutif, législatif, et pouvoirs judiciaires pour l'avenir prévisible. "

Immédiatement, dans toutes les rues et autour de la colline du Parlement ont été barricadés et de la Gendarmerie royale du Canada ont été envoyés à l'exécution d'un couvre-feu nocturne, doucement d'encourager l'opposition à domicile, s'ils n'ont pas trop de l'esprit. Les membres ont été envoyés à tour d'horizon en fuite mineure indépendants et les chefs de parti, y compris le Parti Vert Elizabeth May.

Vers 12h30 du matin, les sons de l'ouverture de canettes de Labatt Bleu d'un non armés, mais ivre parlementaire de milice a été entendu à travers le Ottawa River. Le Premier ministre du personnel, l'hypothèse d'une contre-par les autres députés, immédiatement évacué le Premier ministre à son fief de Calgary, en Alberta, où ils ont repris la capitale fédérale.

Bandes restantes de loyalistes tenue le député offensive dirigée par le ministre des Finances, Jim Flaherty, jusqu'à environ 3 h, lorsque les envahisseurs ont commencé à jouer au hockey sur la Colline du Parlement. En réponse, les conservateurs ont modifié leur plan de Flaherty ont maintenant présenter un budget fédéral sur 27 Janvier 2009, au lieu de la fin ou au début de Février Mars.

La gouverneure générale Michaëlle Jean, a interrompu un voyage en Europe et est retourné à imposer la loi anglaise sur la province de Québec.

Chef du Bloc Québécois Gilles Duceppe aurait fait à peine à un Corporate Jet privé et a mis en place ce qu'ils ont appelé un "gouvernement en exil» à Burlington, Vermont.

S'exprimant sur la Voix du Canada ondes: Le destin du monde est ici. I, Gilles Duceppe, actuellement à Burlington VT, inviter les officiers et loyalistes du Canada qui sont situés dans la Fédération de notre territoire ou qui y viennent, avec leur poutine ou sans leurs poutines, j'invite les brasseurs et les travailleurs du sirop d'érable industries qui sont situées dans le territoire du Canada ou qui y viennent, à se mettre en contact avec moi, hein.

Leader néo-démocrate Jack Layton et le chef du Parti libéral Stéphane Dion a envoyé un message similaire de Binghampton NY, mais en anglais.

Grand flux de réfugiés ont déjà été signalés se rendant à l'État de New York et du Michigan pour le taux de chômage élevé et les pauvres système de soins de santé.

Un groupe non identifié qui se fait appeler le Front populaire de Terre-Neuve auraient capturé ministre de la Justice Robert Douglas Nicholson. Leur chef, qui s'identifie comme, "Il Newfie» a demandé la libération de prisonniers de Terre-Neuve par le Front populaire, qui ont ensuite été déterminés à être très peur des moutons. Le Front populaire de Terre-Neuve a publié le ministre des Transports John Baird, après la réalisation que personne ne voulait vraiment lui de toute façon.

Lorsqu'on lui a demandé de commenter, Michael Chertoff, le secrétaire américain de la sécurité a été cité comme disant, "Nous considérons que cette question soit une question interne pour le Canada et ne sera pas impliquée à ce moment."

Leader Harper a offert les chefs rebelles une chance de se conformer à ses ordres en indiquant ce sont eux "qui se trompent aboot un grand nombre de choses."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Details of Transit Pact Released

From the good folks over at the P-G:

A tentative agreement between the Port Authority and the union representing bus-trolley workers largely mirrors recommendations made in August by a state-appointed fact-finder.

But it's a four-year contract, instead of three, and provides fully paid, lifetime health-care benefits for a number of employees who, because of their age and years of service, were caught in the middle and would have been forced to work longer or pay their own premiums...

The tentative agreement calls for Local 85 members to incrementally increase their contributions for health, prescription, vision and dental insurance from the current 1 percent to 3 percent of base wages, the same as non-union employees at the authority already pay.

The agreement also calls for wage increase of 3, 2, 3 and 3 percent, respectively, for each of the four years, ultimately raising hourly pay to more than $26 an hour for bus-trolley operators and more than $30 an hour for first-level supervisors...

Union members will be allowed to yell at particular rowdy passengers, passengers that talk too loudly on their cell phones, and passengers that won't move to the back of the bus.

Management will be allowed continue to waste money on useless capital projects, including, but not limited to the North Shore Connector, a parking garage on the top of the US Steel Building, and an incline that only goes down.

Drivers will be encouraged, but not mandated, to be surly and brusque. Senior drivers will be permitted to remain completely silent or mumble inaudibly when asked questions...

Routes will be cut within five years to the point where buses will only run between Downtown, Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and between 12th and 17th Street on Carson Street.

The 54C will change routes and time points randomly and without warning. Anyone who actually manages to catch one of these buses will be removed and made to walk.

All union members will be allowed one free kick to Steve Bland's crotch once a year, growing to twice a year within five years...

And finally, Dan Onorato will be made to shut up until his run for Governor.

Neither authority Chief Executive Officer Steve Bland nor Local 85 President-Business Agent Patrick McMahon returned calls seeking comment today.


NPR's Morning Edition had a pretty decent piece on the role of contractors in the Federal Bureaucracy.

Part 1

Part 2

In short: the Government is quite literally being run by private interests with little or no oversight by actual Federal employees.

With the 30 year trend to portray government employees as slovenly, lazy, inept, and stupid (not to say that those folk don't exist) and to portray government as the cause of all of our problems (instead of just some of the problems), without a real change of attitude and without a new crowd of publicly minded civil servants, the new administration is going to have a hard time trying to reverse the decline of the US Federal Bureaucracy.

And the report doesn't even talk about the oncoming wave of retirements that are just going to exacerbate the problem.

Breaking News: Dan Deasey Resigns Council Seat

Residents of Council District 2 shocked to discover he was still alive.

A Bureaucrat's Aside

Part of me secretly believes that the only reason Hillary Clinton accepted the job of Secretary of State is that she was fed some erroneous information on the Presidential line of succession by Al Haig.