The dog wags back!

A sometimes funny, somtimes angry, but mostly progressive, blog on the politics and issues of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and America.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Immigration Strategy

(News Association Zephyr Inc.)

With all of the legal challenges to immigration control measures, many states and municipalities are looking at other models. Allegheny County has become the darling of the movement.

"What is unique about Allegheny County is its ability to turn away immigrants without any legal control measures," said Halzeton Mayor Lou "Whachagonnado" Baretta, " We're planning to hire the Allegheny Institute to study what has made the county so successful in this regard."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tangled Webs

"Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when I practice to deceive!" shouted Mojo Jojo. Earlier this evening, sources close to Super-Villain and Mayoral Pretender, Lex Ludwig, revealed that Lex had indeed flown to Townsville with fellow arch-villain, Mojo Jojo.

"We talked philosophy and about the campaign," Lex explained, "and this guy has really helped alot of candidates." When asked if he had orchestrated the exit of the top two candidates from the race, Mr. Jojo responded with a long, loud belly laugh. "I have the plan, that is the evil plan, that will crush our enemies and defeat their plans that are plans that I did not make,: cackled the helmeted simian.

Labels: , , ,

Lex Ludwig for Mayor

(IP Newswire)

Pittsburgh 8:00 PM EST.

An abusive defeat in 2005 has not kept super-villain and Pittsburgh Mayoral Contender, Lex Ludwig from re-entering the race now that Peduto and Ravenstahl have bowed out. "In a one-man race, I could actually win this thing," the yellow-shirted Lothario remarked. "Since the last election, I've been working out, taking care of my body, and now I am ready to fight for this city. I remain as committed to ever to nontax sources of revenue, like Kryptonite mining."

It will be up to the voters to decide if Lex is committed, or should be.

Luke's Blockbuster Announcement!

(Public Informatino Litigated)

At 4:00 PM EST, Boy-Mayor Fluke Ravenstahl held a press conference to announce that he too is dropping out of the race for Mayor. Saying he will not be outdone by Mr. Bill, he is also adopting as a new name a symbol that means leadership and genius. Spokesweasel Peter Pincher said that they are working on pronunciations for the verbally minded and suggested for now that the Mayor-Formerly-Known-As-Fluke can be referred to as "Lunius."

Al Gore-able

Apparently, Cranky Peduto has had enough. With his oponent on the ropes, reeling from a one-two scandal punch, Peduto is taking the high road and leaving the race to his less qualified adversary.

Word on the "street" is that Cranky is planning for a graceful exit and taking a page from defeated Presidential Contender Alvinius Gore. He's even got a book deal in the works, putatively titled "Truth by the Foot," which will come printed on Fruit by the Foot (TM) candy. He has also hired consultant extraordinaire, Servius Zephyr to conduct a study testing out his post-politics nickname, which like the "Goracle" combine his name with terms that suggest wisdom and leadership:


Restored Ethics

(Public Information Limited)

Mayor-in-Absentia, Luke Ravenstahl released more details to explain his position on the Burkle Junket. Mayoral Stunt Double, Yarone Zober (real name), released a memo from Fluke's council days. Apparently, th Mayor-in-Absentia's ethical compass was damaged or broken in the fracas at the Steeler's game in October of 2005.

"Luke didn't know that he should have sent his ethical compass to the Department of General Services for repair, not to the lawyers in the Ethics Department," announced Zober, "We located his compass in the Solicitor's inbox and it is being repaired as we speak."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sidney Scores!

(International Infotainment)

Sidney Crosby a healthy scratch for last night's game against the Rangers still managed to score a hat trick while sitting in the owner's box. "Actually, that last goal came while I was in the bathroom," reported Sid the Kid. The Ranger's Jaromir Jagr deadpanned, " He really is a Whiz Kid."

While the fans peppered the ice with hats, the traditional hat trick salute, the NHL decided to just award him the Hart Trophy now. "They will still have to play for the Stanley Cup, but come on, when a guy scores off the ice like this, you gotta him his props," said Commissioner Gary Bettman. Vincent Lecavalier and Joe Thornton, who believe they still have a chance for the Hart Trophy say the move is all about boosting TV ratings.

Mayor Luke was in New York washing Ron Burkle's car in exchange for a $20 campaign contribution and was unavailable for comment. Chief Elf, Yarone Zober (real name), issued a statement saying the Mayor was not comfortable releasing anything that might reveal his campaign strategy.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A New Opener Government

Harrisburg is set to roll back hundreds of years of tradition by forcing open the secret vaults of government information. Now any citizen will be able to find out what size lingerie our state legislators are buying for their mistresses and we can finally answer the question of who does run the biggest bar tab?

One thing that is not clear is whether this will push down to the municipal level. Asked for comment, City Micro Manager Yarone Zober (not made up, really) slammed his office door and shouted, "They're not getting my files!" Down the hall, the new Regional Information Guru, Josh "Zoolander" Nower laughed. "He doesn't realize that we not only have open records here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, we have Open Source records." The new RIG added, "All of the City's and County's records have been accessible to any PERL programmer or anyone who can write a simple binary translator through the Pittsburgh Regional Information Clearinghouse Extraganza - or PRICE for short." RIG Nower even provided a screenshot with the City's entire financial records and City Council transcripts for the past six months (see image above) to prove his point.

Labels: ,

Wild and Wonderful No More

(IP Newswire)

West Viriginia is changing its slogan. No longer will it be Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. "That sounded too backward," brayed Governor Cletus Clodhopper IV, "folks believed the wild part, but they didn't buy the wonderful." There is currently no plan to change the state mascot (pictured above), a close cousin of the Governor.

The state will be kicking off a public competition to determine the new slogan. Among the nominations are following suggestions:

Friendly Families
The State of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia is expected to challenge this one)
Utah of the East
Dental Plan, Shmental Plan
What's Mined is Yours Now
The "In" Place to Breed

There has also been an effort to include "Colbert-licious" on the ballot but the state is awaiting a legal ruling.

Immigrant Apocalypse

(Universal Information Services)

Hazleton, PA's new immigration law has attracted alot of attention. No matter where you stand on this debate, there is do denying that Mayor Lou Barletta put his city on the map. Other cities are jealous and considering how to gin up free PR like Mayor Barletta. These kinds of petty municipal jealousies are threatening to overshadow the very real jealousies that fueled this fire in the first place.

Pro-Anti-Immigrant supporter, Amerigo Vespewchi, who is also the town's barber supports the law and opposes illegal immigrants. "We came first and now they're copying. Our ancestors snuck into this country, stole jobs from the residents, so that's our thing and they want to copy it. No way - they can find their own way, ranted Mr. Vespewchi. Another resident opposed to immigration, Paddy O-Shaughnessy added: "They're even copying the Irish Potato Famine with famines of their own to drum up sympathy. Well, the Irish didn't need any sympathy and didn't get it. We looked after ourselves, went to the pub and drowned in self-pity until we had the numbers to force crooked politicians to give us government jobs. " Many residents support the law because they don't like who supports it, especially with the American Civil Liberties Union, or NAMBLA, defending the immigrants.

Other cities are looking to learn from Hazleton, rather than fight it. Pittsburgh City Councilman and Mayor-Regent, Boots Motznik, is considering a law similar to Hazleton's. "Just because no immigrants are moving here, don't mean they won't. Especially when they get kicked out of Hazleton. We don't want'em coming to Hazelwood. This will be like a pre-meditated strike thing." Cranky Peduto had no comment but his spokesperson Doogie Gilroy released a statement explaining that they would release a statement explaining their position only after the Boy-Mayor so "He won't copy us again." Boy-Mayor Luke Grayson likewise had no comment but his spokesweasel explained: "Of course Luke will listen to Boots' ideas, he always has good ideas, then Boss Dan will make up Luke's mind for him.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Election Redux

19 days (Reposted from April 2005)

(Let's revisit what we thought the last go-round)

The Pittsburgh Mayoral Primary is counting down and most would say that the election will be decided with that primary. Actually, it depends on who wins. For the first time the GOP has a formidable candidate in the person of Joe Weinroth. But we will have to wait to find out if a real race will develop after the primary. So for now, he is a quick voter's guide to the main candidates, using Pittsburgh as a Port Authority Bus Analogy (tm):

Bob O'Connor
Pittsburgh is fine, the bus ain't broken, yinz just need a new bus driver n'at. Bob of course is that new driver. So it is not that the old coalition, or the old strategies have failed - we just had the wrong old leaders. Bob is the right old leader. Yes boys and girls, this is your grandfather's Pittsburgh, but at least he is a likable grandpa.

Mike Lamb
The bus is broken and Mike is the master mechanic who can fix it with magic tape and paper clips. See if Mike just lets a little air out of the tires and dumps some ballast, this bus will run like a Corvette. Without a doubt, the best choice for Deputy Mayor.

Bill Peduto
The bus is broken and we need a new bus. Or we'll give up the bus and get on the train with the suburbs and Harrisburg. Even better, why not take a walk, or ride a bike? Maybe we'll trade the bus in for Segways for everyone. New ideas, a new coalition from the next Nobody's Boy, because nobody (especially city employees and union members) wants him as Mayor.

Let the good times roll!

Boy-Mayor Announces New Cost-Saving and Morale Effort
(Information Service Uninteded)

Boy-Mayor Luke, soon to be coronated as the Child-Like Emperor, proposed a new city cost-saving measure that he says will also boost the morale of city workers. "What we found is that by replacing our current cheap toilet paper, which tends to shred and frustrate workers, actually uses more paper and takes more time from productive work, so, like, we can save money with better toilet paper," the Boy-Mayor haltingly read from a prepared statement.

Pressed for more details on how he came up with the plan or how much money it would save, the Boy-Mayor deferred to Dan Onorato, who was not present at the press conference. Without hesitation, Czar Patrick bounded to the podium, declaring, "I'm in charge here!" In response to the first question, the Czar quipped, "His statement was short, sweet and to the point. What more do you need?"

No one was surprised when Cranky Peduto's office claimed the idea as theirs. "We did a two year study on this with the best toilet paper experts in the world. We tested brands, ran cost estimates, everything," moped Peduto flunky Doogie Gilbert. "Can they tell you it will save $50,000? No! But I can, cause I did the work," remarked favorite hired gun Steve "Quant Jock" Zephyr. Asked for comment, Czar Patrick answered for the Boy-Mayor, "Winners win and losers whine about it. Those guys are all pansies who need a good ass-whupping and I'm the guy to do it." Gilbert and Zephyr departed quickly, saying in unison: "They're ruining our lives!"

"F*** it, I give up. This guy has stolen everything. I'll be at Cappy's if anybody needs more ideas to run the City," old man Peduto grumbled as he shuffled out of his office. He made his way through a hallway packed with city employees serenading the Boy-Mayor and tp-ing the hallways in celebration of Luke's leadership.

Labels: , ,

Clarification: Keep the Pens!

(Public Information Limited)

Pittsburgh Penguin's owners owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle issued a press release clarifying key details of the Arena deal. "News reports of our agreement contain some exaggerations that we feel should be cleared before it goes to far. We agreed in fact to keep the “pens” in Pittsburgh. That is the “pens” with which we signed a new lease in Kansas City. The team is still leaving.”

Sources close to Governor Ed “Big Tony” Rendell, County Executive Dan Onomatopoeia and his ward, the Boy-Mayor Luke Grayson expressed shock and dismay. An exasperated Governor reportedly fumed, “They knew damn well they misled us, we were celebrating and singing choruses of “100 Penguins in Pittsburgh” like that “100 bottles” song. It was completely dishonest on their part.” A groggy Boy-Mayor summed up his dismay, “Everyone seemed so happy that I figured the news had to be good.” Asked what he thought of the Penguins leaving, Mayor Luke responded quizzically, “ The Penguins are leaving? Is that what we were talking about? You better ask Boss Dan.”

The Penguins also released a news report today claiming that by hiring local Pittsburgh Movers, “Two Guys and a Truck,” they would be creating more and better jobs in leaving than they ever would in staying. “Let’s face it,” owner Burkle surmised, “We would have bled this town dry if we’d stayed, but we know we can’t get blood from a stone.”

Mario added, “We’re excited about the move. It’s a new beginning. Even the team name will change. Let’s face it, a penguin is not very intimidating.” The new name will be something with more of marketing hook to appeal to residents in their new home town, retain some fan base in Pittsburgh and tap the Canadian market. “Much of Canada is really not served by hockey teams now, so we would like to grab some of the satellite viewer hungry for a team. We might go with the KC Mullets, after the hair. It will get us back to our Canadian roots and connect with true hockey here in Kansas City and back in the “Burgh.” Reports are unconfirmed that Mario will again sport the Canadian national hair style in an effort to help market the new name. “We’ll see, it’s up to my wife.” Mario responded coyly.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Faulty Study Results in False Bias Claims

(United Press Unbound)

News reports that the City's hiring of only white officers is based on a faulty diversity count. "Because the City has no information system that is capable of tracking any useful information, like the number of minorities in the workforce, the study had to employ alternative means, " said Hayward Sterno, City Infotainment Director. Mr. Sterno added, "If you want to follow the Luke-Cam, you can get 24 hours of what the Mayor is doing or saying, but we expect to have other fun and useful infotainment coming online soon." Of course none of that will include anything covered by the Governor's Open Records proposal.

Reports of the faulty reporting broke first on the blogosphere, where bloggers Lexis & Praxis noticed that the study had only counted how many white police officers were found in photographs on the city website. Compounding the methodology error, according to Blogger Praxis, was "Many of the photos used in the study had been photo-shopped to put the Mayor's face over that of black police officers." "This really explains how the Boy-Mayor can be in some many places at once, " added blog-buddy Lexis, " but it could create a real problem for the Mayor to explain how and why his photo was pasted over only black faces." Praxis suggested, "This looks unintentional to me, or maybe someone just thought the photos looked better that way, I mean the Mayor is one handsome guy."

Labels: , ,

Mayor Diagnosed with ADD

(Associal Press International)

Candidates are often loath to release medical records because of the potential unknowns hidden in their medical history. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is a case in point. The very young Mayor would seem to have little to lose by disclosing his medical history, given his unusual young age, everyone expects that his health will be excellent. But in this political age of mastering low expectations, perhaps the Mayor's youth will work to his disadvantage by magnifying any flaw.

"It's a catch-22 for a young guy like Luke," said political-medical expert Dr. Yinzcant Belevedis. "Any blemish on his medical record will seem so much worse, because everyone expects him to be perfect."

So does the Mayor have anything to worry about. Apparently so, says Dr. Belevedis. "According to an account of his records that was reported to me by confidential sources, the Mayor has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder." He went on to say that the Mayor does not appear to be taking any medication for his condition. Diagnosing patients, without every actually seeing has become a more common practice since it was introduced by Dr. Bill Frist.

It is not clear if the public will pay any attention, or if this will help or hurt his chances. One of the Mayor's frequent critics believes that A.D.D. may explain the Mayor's inability to fully think through his policy proposals and campaign promises. "The Pittsburgh Promise, for example, whatever happened to college for every Pittsburgh kid," barked the critic, " did he forget about, just lose interest, or did he realize that he couldn't deliver."

Other experts disagree that this is a problem for the Mayor. "It really puts him in sync with the public if he really does have it," said political consultant Max Bribeman. "People don't like to dwell on anything too long, so if the Mayor really does have A.D.D., this may just play in his favor."