Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In my personal opinion, New Year's Eve is grossly, grossly overrated and generally disappointing. It's pretty much just St. Patrick's Day on December 31st.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Never Forget
Sunday, 18 December 2011 09:08
Written by Rob Rogers

I am extremely proud of our fighting men and women, thankful for their sacrifices and happy they are coming home from Iraq. When it comes to our leaders, namely the Bush White House (Cheney, Rove, etc.) and congress, I am not thankful or proud. It is sad and horrific that we have wasted so many lives, not to mention all the money, resources and global goodwill, on a war based on fictional threats to our homeland security. It is unforgivable that our leaders took us into that war. The other part that is unforgivable to me is the apathy of the American people. Sure, now we have protesters on Wall St., but where are the massive anti-war protests of the '60s? We swore we would never forget the lessons of Vietnam. So much for that.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cracking your knuckles does not cause arthritis. It's just something that elementary school teachers tell students to keep them from cracking their knuckles in class.

And there is no Santa Claus. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

No matter what changes and improvements are made to the major East End intersection of Penn Avenue and Fifth Avenue, some people insist on blowing through that intersection after the light has turned red. Even when the other direction already has a green. It's a dangerous intersection. Over the many years of which I have been a resident of the East End, I have seen numerous accidents at that intersection. I've narrowly avoided at least one while the car in front of me got absolutely hammered by a car going through a red light. I just don't understand it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

DAVE: Have you heard yet that the head football coach at Pitt Todd Graham resigned and took the coaching job at Arizona State? He notified his players by text message. He's gone.

JIM: I tried to tell people that Todd Graham was a douchebag.

DAVE: Wanny is the only coach who actually wants to coach at Pitt.

JIM: Well then, why not? Hell, they are still paying him anyway, right? And there's precedent. they went back to Johnny Majors.

DAVE: Johnny Majors took Pitt . . . Back to the Future!

Except he was as mediocre as the rest of the bunch.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I don't like Christmas cards with sparkles. Once they come into your home, they keep showing up for months.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"That's the scourge of addiction . . . "

Do you remember this charming couple and their wacky escapades?

Heroin drove ex-teacher to steal school computers, rob bank
Friday, December 09, 2011
By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A former school teacher accused of stealing 22 computers from Pittsburgh's Creative and Performing Arts high school pleaded guilty today to robbery, burglary and criminal conspiracy.

Philicia Barbieri, 25, was arrested April 15 after she and her former boyfriend, Alvin Carter III, robbed the Fifth Third Bank in East Liberty. She later confessed to also stealing 22 laptop computers from CAPA, as well as a 42-inch flat-screen television and Nintendo Wii from a neighbor in her Shadyside apartment building.

Mr. Carter also pleaded guilty today to the robbery at the bank.

Ms. Barbieri's defense attorney, Patrick J. Thomassey, said all of the crimes were driven by the couple's heroin addiction.

According to information presented, Mr. Carter, 28, entered the bank without a mask, approached a teller with whom he'd been banking for months, and handed her a note demanding cash and threatening to shoot her.

Ms. Barbieri was waiting for him outside.

They were arrested a short time later.

"That's the scourge of addiction," Mr. Thomassey said. "It's completely ruined her life."

Ms. Barbieri has been receiving in-patient treatment and is continuing that until sentencing. Mr. Carter has been in the Allegheny County Jail since his arrest but will now be released to an inpatient drug treatment program. She has surrendered her teaching certificate.

Neither defendant has a criminal record, and they will both be sentenced by Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning on March 7.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mr. Blondie and the Philadelphia Jingle Ball . . .

JIM: Did I tell you that I won tickets for my wife and kids to go to the Jingle Ball, a concert put on by the local pop music radio station in Philly (it's a long story). They get to ride in a pink limo to and from the concert and are going to get to meet someone named Joe Jonas (I think he is one of the Jonas brothers, if that means anything).

My wife asked them if I can ride down in the limo too and they said yes. So now I get to ride to the concert in the pink Sweet & Sassy limo and then figure out how to entertain myself for 5-6 hours while they're at the concert. I will probably end up hanging out at McFadden's, the bar at Citizens Bank Park, or maybe checking out the Turf Club, an off-track betting place similar to Ladbroke's in Pittsburgh. But 6 hours is a long time for me to be hanging in a bar these days. The things we do for our kids...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I haven't forgotten about you, my pretty.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Franco Harris reinstated as chairman of Pittsburgh Promise
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
By Ed Blazina, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The board of the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program today gave board member Franco Harris a vote of confidence and passed a motion for him to return as board chairman.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl had criticized Mr. Harris last month for his support for his college football coach, Joe Paterno, after Mr. Paterno was fired by Penn State University in the wake of a sex scandal there centered around a former assistant coach. The mayor said Mr. Harris' support for his coach showed "no regard whatsoever" for the alleged victims of sexual abuse.

Mr. Harris stepped down as chairman of the Pittsburgh Promise board during a Nov. 17 meeting but remained a board member. David Malone, president and CEO of Gateway Financial Services was named acting chairman.

Today, at the continuation of that meeting, members voted for Mr. Harris to return to chairmanship of the board.

In a news release, Mr. Malone said Mr. Harris' personal opinion on the Penn State situation shouldn't negate the work he has done for Pittsburgh Promise.

"The board acknowledges that Franco's service to The Pittsburgh Promise has been exemplary and we appreciate and applaud his significant contributions to the success of this nationally recognized program," Mr. Malone said in the release.

Mr. Ravenstahl couldn't be reached for comment on Mr. Harris continuing as chairman.

Under the program, Pittsburgh high school students who maintain a minimum grade-point average can obtain college scholarship money donated by area businesses, foundations and organizations.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 3 . . .

Today is December 3, a day that will live in infamy in the life of this quiet observer. It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday, much like today. It changed my life forever. And time has yet to show whether it was for the better or the worse.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Have you ever gone to to see the "unrated content" of Danica Patrick? I haven't, but I wonder how many people (read: guys) have.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I have avoided blogging about the UPMC/Highmark issue. It's a true sign of the times that two non-profit organizations whose missions are to provide health care and health care insurance are engaged in this farce of a battle. I don't have anything good to say about Highmark. It is a health insurance company that is now in the hospital business, having recently acquired the Allegheny Health Care System, UPMC's only remaining local hospital competition. So, now both UPMC and Highmark are both medical systems AND insurance companies. I don't know exactly how that works, but I'm sure it makes a lot of non-profit profits. Regarding UPMC, from my observations and those of others whose opinions I trust, it appears clear that UPMC's Jeffrey Romoff is a first-class douchebag. UPMC is an important part of the Pittsburgh landscape and community. UPMC does a lot of good, admirable things in our fair city. But nowadays, when I hear the term "UPMC," it usually makes me ill.

Grinch Romoff
Monday, 28 November 2011 09:45
Written by Rob Rogers

Jeffrey Romoff is sticking to his greedy, bull-headed boycott of Highmark. He and UPMC are more concerned with making profits than treating patients. Maybe it is time to pull their ridiculous non-profit status.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

As some of my vast and loyal readership may recall from previous posts, I get almost all of my pants and jeans from Gap (formerly THE Gap). One of the the things that I have always liked about Gap jeans and cords was that the back pockets were plain. I don't like stitching on my back pockets. I just don't. But this year's Gap has added stitching to the back pockets of jeans and cords. Stitching.

Monday, November 28, 2011

DAVE: What did you text me? A dancing Elmo Thanksgiving turkey?

JIM: Happy Thanksgiving!

Actually, all I did was forward to you a text that someone sent me. And I have no idea who it was who sent it to me.

DAVE: Did your family end up having a nice day?

JIM: Yes. It was nice.

but then I did end up getting conned into having to go to wal-mart at 11:00 last night, if you can believe that. That was not a pleasant experience (and of course a complete waste of time).

DAVE: I have never wanted anything badly enough to go to a store on Thanksgiving night or Friday. I will pay the extra money to shop online.

And then have my credit card number stolen.

I've had a day to reflect on this, and I am still a little fuming.

West Virginia beats Pitt tonight.

JIM: Really going out on a limb there, huh?

I was supposed to go to the Pitt-Penn basketball game at the Palestra tonight (which is being played at the same time as the football game). A friend of mine called me a week or two ago and asked me if I wanted to go. I think he called me on a Thursday, maybe it was Wednesday. I don't know. I was on my way to a funeral when he called and I told him I would have to check my schedule and talk to my wife and get back to him in a couple days. I knew that Kathy was probably working today at some point, but it wasn't certain yet and I didn't know what time. He seemed cool with that. So I called him back over the weekend to tell him I'd go. He didn't answer his cell phone and then left me a message that he decided he couldn't wait so went out and got tickets without me.

So I guess I'll just sit here tonight and flip back and forth between both games. Of course, my daughter is having a friend stay over and my wife only works until 8:30, so I probably won't really have much of an opportunity to watch either. I've already been kicked off of the big TV in my den because my daughter has decided she needs to watch a movie on our iPad and have the iPad plugged into the TV and that is the only TV with an HDMI connection (I offered to rent them a movie from redbox so they could watch something they haven't seen, but they want to watch a movie they've already seen just so I can't enjoy the game.) So it's looks like I'm relegated to either the basement or my bedroom to watch Pitt. Until my wife gets home and then she'll probably insist that I'm not allowed to watch TV in either of those places.

DAVE: You make it all sound so glamorous.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ethical Franco
Monday, 21 November 2011 08:42
Written by Rob Rogers

Franco Harris defended his friend and mentor Joe Paterno. While I don't agree that Paterno was blameless in this, I understand why Franco would stand up for a friend under siege. It doesn't mean that he endorses child abuse, as Mayor Luke Ravenstahl would have us believe. Ravenstahl, who has had his own ethical problems in the past, was quick to point fingers and asked Harris to step down as chair of the Pittsburgh Promise.

For this cartoon I decided to show the Pittsburgh airport statues of Franco Harris and George Washington. Maybe the mayor should wait until he gets his own airport statue before he criticizes someone with Franco's record of integrity and ethics.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

As I've previously mentioned in my blog, one of my many youthful crushes was on a young woman named Leigh. She was two years older than I was, which makes her 44 now, and she had her eighth child in July. The last I knew, she was not Catholic, but rather Presbyterian. And a conservative one at that. According to her Facebook page, she is against marriage that is not between a man and a woman. But apparently, she and second (?) husband Ken do not see the benefits of birth control. Eight fucking children?! In 2011?! In this economy?! And the ridiculously high cost of college without any guarantees that there will be jobs after college (or graduate school, for that matter)?! And check out the names of her huge brood.

I must say that she was pretty sexy in 1984, though. Either that, or I was just stupid.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Brewed On Grant: Hide and Seek
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 09:26
Written by Rob Rogers

The day after being elected as County Executive-to-be, Rich Fitzgerald criticized the mayor's work ethic. Then, Boy Mayor shot back about Fitzgerald's temper. Sure, they later said they would have no problem working together, but it could make for an interesting dance.

Friday, November 18, 2011

This is ridiculous and sad. I would take the moral standards of Franco Harris (aside from being associated with gambling resorts) over Luke Ravenstahl every time. No debate.

Franco Harris steps down as Promise chairman
Friday, November 18, 2011
By Bill Schackner and Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Franco Harris stepped aside temporarily as chairman of the Pittsburgh Promise board Thursday while expressing sadness that defending his former coach and mentor at Penn State University, Joe Paterno, was seen by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl as disregard for child sex abuse victims.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Mr. Harris said, defending recent comments he made in the Penn State sex abuse scandal. "My heart aches for those young people and their families who were violated in the deplorable events at Penn State.

"Those who know me will be aware that during my many years of public service to the Pittsburgh regional community I have held steadfastly to the conviction that the protection and well-being of our children are paramount," he said.

Saleem Ghubril, executive director of the Pittsburgh Promise, which provides college scholarships to graduates of Pittsburgh Public Schools, said Mr. Harris will remain on the board as a full voting member. The Promise board, meeting for several hours Thursday night, will meet again in the next few days to further discuss the matter.

"However, we did affirm without hesitation Franco's integrity, Franco's character and his clear and evident lifetime of service to children," Mr. Ghubril said.

Mr. Harris, who played football under Mr. Paterno decades ago, said university trustees were wrong to fire the famed coach last week because Mr. Paterno did what he was legally required to do in 2002 by informing a superior about allegations that assistant coach Jerry Sandusky had sexually assaulted a boy in a campus shower.

Mr. Ravenstahl apparently chafed at that opinion.

"I had to re-read it several times to fully comprehend the callous disregard and indifference for the victims of sexual abuse at Penn State," he stated in the email sent Wednesday evening to the Promise board.

"To so adamantly and vocally defend one man while maintaining silence for those powerless to defend themselves, shows me that you are the wrong man to represent the Pittsburgh Promise and the ideals it embodies.

"When I personally asked you to join the Board of the Pittsburgh Promise, I had every confidence that you would exercise sound judgment in your public life. Sadly, these statements show no regard whatsoever for the well-being of the young victims of sexual abuse and have led me to question your position of trust with the Pittsburgh Promise as Board Chairman.

"It is my ethical and moral responsibility to recognize that you are no longer a suitable representative for any organization, let alone ours."

Mr. Harris said neither the mayor nor his staff contacted him before sending the email.

Mr. Harris said he has attempted to "place the victims and their families at the forefront of my concerns while questioning the seeming rush to judgment in the treatment of Joe, who I know is deeply pained and distraught by events now under investigation at Penn State."

Earlier Thursday, Mr. Ghubril defended Mr. Harris, calling him a "dedicated and respected" leader of the scholarship program.

Mr. Ghubril said Mr. Harris has shown "compassionate and dedicated mentorship to our students, and [worked] as a tireless advocate of the program within our region and beyond.

"His integrity in all aspects of his service to The Promise is unquestionable," Mr. Ghubril said.

Penn State officials, including Mr. Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier, who stepped down by mutual agreement, faced growing criticism over the university's failure to alert law enforcement to allegations that Mr. Sandusky sexually assaulted a boy in a campus shower in 2002.
Have you heard that The Meadows Racetrack and Casino fired Franco Harris as one of its duo of pitchmen (along with Rocky Bleier)? He was fired because of his vocal support of Joe Paterno, for whom Harris played at Penn State. Well, it gets even better. The Lukester has gotten involved. It's always fun to hear from his moral compass.

Pittsburgh Promise defends Franco Harris
Mayor calls on former Steelers great to step down as chairman
Thursday, November 17, 2011
By Eleanor Chute and Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The executive director of the Pittsburgh Promise today defended ex-Steeler Franco Harris after Mayor Luke Ravenstahl demanded Mr. Harris resign as board chairman because of statements regarding the Penn State sex abuse scandal.

Saleem Ghubril, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Promise, said Mr. Harris is a "dedicated and respected" leader of the scholarship program.

Mr. Harris, who played football at Penn State under Joe Paterno decades ago, said Penn State was wrong to fire the famed coach because Mr. Paterno did what he was legally required to do in 2002 by informing a superior about allegations that an assistant coach had sexually assaulted a boy in a campus shower.

Mr. Harris issued a statement later today, saying he was greatly saddened that his personal opinions about a friend and mentor had been interpreted as a disregard for the victims of the alleged abuse.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said. "My heart aches for those young people and their families who were violated in the deplorable events at Penn State.

"Those who know me will be aware that during my many years of public service to the Pittsburgh regional community I have held steadfastly to the conviction that the protection and well-being of our children are paramount," he said.

He said he has attempted to "place the victims and their families at the forefront of my concerns while questioning the seeming rush to judgment in the treatment of Joe, who I know is deeply pained and distraught by events now under investigation at Penn State."

Mr. Harris indicated he has no intention of stepping down, saying the Promise's greatest potential lies ahead and as chairman "my mission is far from complete ... I aim to see the Promise's potential fulfilled."

Neither the mayor nor his spokeswoman, Joanna Doven, could be reached for comment today.

But in an email to Promise board members Wednesday evening, the mayor pointed to what he said was Mr. Harris' statement saying Penn State trustees failed to give Mr. Paterno the backing he needed.

"I had to re-read it several times to fully comprehend the callous disregard and indifference for the victims of sexual abuse at Penn State," Mr. Ravenstahl stated in the email.

"To so adamantly and vocally defend one man while maintaining silence for those powerless to defend themselves, shows me that you are the wrong man to represent the Pittsburgh Promise and the ideals it embodies.

"When I personally asked you to join the Board of the Pittsburgh Promise, I had every confidence that you would exercise sound judgment in your public life. Sadly, these statements show no regard whatsoever for the well-being of the young victims of sexual abuse and have led me to question your position of trust with the Pittsburgh Promise as Board Chairman.

"It is my ethical and moral responsibility to recognize that you are no longer a suitable representative for any organization, let alone ours, and demand that you resign immediately from the Board of the Pittsburgh Promise."

The Promise board of directors is expected to discuss the matter at its meeting tonight, and Mr. Ghubril said the organization would have no further comment about the mayor's remarks until after that session.

Mr. Ghubril said today that Mr. Harris has shown "compassionate and dedicated mentorship to our students, and (worked) as a tireless advocate of the program within our region and beyond.

"His integrity in all aspects of his service to The Promise is unquestionable," Mr. Ghubril said.

Penn State officials including Mr. Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier, who stepped down by mutual agreement, faced growing criticism over Penn State's failure to alert law enforcement to allegations that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted a boy in a campus shower in 2002.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I almost forgot about the Tunnel of Love. I don't see any mention of costs in this little article.

North Shore Connector ready for tests next month
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
By Jon Schmitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Port Authority's North Shore Connector project is 98 percent complete and on track for the debut of passenger service on March 25.

Project manager Keith Wargo told a committee of the authority board this morning that testing of trains on the new system will begin next month. Workers have been running tests with cutouts that match the profile of Light Rail Transit vehicles to ensure that proper clearances exist on the 1.2-mile extension, which includes a new Gateway Center station, an underground station next to PNC Park and an elevated station beside Heinz Field.

Trucks also have towed pantagraphs, the arm-like devices that connect rail vehicles with the overhead power lines, through the system.

The Gateway station is 93 percent complete and the Romare Bearden mural from the old station has been refurbished and reinstalled. The two stations on the North Shore are more than 99 percent complete, Mr. Wargo said.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Now, I openly admit that I don't believe the reported results of any standardized achievement tests from the Pittsburgh Public Schools or virtually any other school district in the country, but this story is classic. The A+ Schools annual report states that in just 24 short years, black students and white students could be performing at the same achievement level. Public education getting the job done. In 2035.

Racial achievement gap closing faster in Pittsburgh schools

Monday, November 14, 2011
By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

While Pittsburgh Public Schools still has a significant racial achievement gap between black and white students, the gap has begun to close at a faster pace.

That was the conclusion of the annual report to the community released today by A+ Schools, an education advocacy organization.

The report showed the gap between the percentages of white and black students scoring proficient or advanced on state tests went from 34.9 percentage points in 2008 to 30.6 percentage points this year in reading and from 28.5 percentage points in 2008 to 27.2 percentage points in math.

Carey Harris, executive director of A+ Schools, said that the performance of both white and black students improved, but the black student performance improved more.

A+ Schools reported that if the gap continues to close at the same rate as the previous four years, it would take 40 years to close the math gap and 34 years for reading.

With the improved pace of the past year, the gap in both subjects could be closed in 24 years.

"It's far too long," said Ms. Harris, but she said, "Hard work is making a difference."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cyber weaknesses should deter US from waging war
Associated Press
Nov 7, 9:36 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's critical computer networks are so vulnerable to attack that it should deter U.S. leaders from going to war with other nations, a former top U.S. cybersecurity official said Monday.

Richard Clarke, a top adviser to three presidents, joined a number of U.S. military and civilian experts in offering a dire assessment of America's cybersecurity at a conference, saying the country simply can't protect its critical networks.

Clarke said if he was advising the president he would warn against attacking other countries because so many of them - including China, North Korea, Iran and Russia - could retaliate by launching devastating cyberattacks that could destroy power grids, banking networks or transportation systems.

The U.S. military, he said, is entirely dependent on computer systems and could end up in a future conflict in which troops trot out onto a battlefield "and nothing works."

Clarke said a good national security adviser would tell the president that the U.S. might be able to blow up a nuclear plant somewhere, or a terrorist training center somewhere, but a number of countries could strike back with a cyberattack and "the entire us economic system could be crashed in retaliation ... because we can't defend it today."

"I really don't know to what extent the weapon systems that have been developed over the last 10 years have been penetrated, to what extent the chips are compromised, to what extent the code is compromised," Clarke said. "I can't assure you that as you go to war with a cybersecurity-conscious, cybersecurity-capable enemy that any of our stuff is going to work."

Clarke, along with Gen. Keith Alexander, who heads both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, told the conference crowd that the U.S. needs to do a better job at eliminating network vulnerabilities and more aggressively seek out malware or viruses in American corporate, military and government systems.

But Clarke was more strident about pushing for broader government regulations to enforce such improvements, despite political reluctance. The problems, he said, will not be fixed unless the government gets more involved.

He added that the U.S. also needs to make it clear to countries such as China that efforts to use computer-based attacks to steal high-tech American data will be punished.

In a forceful and detailed public report last week. U.S. intelligence officials accused China and Russia of systematically stealing sensitive U.S. economic information and technologies for their own national economic gain.

The report called on the U.S. to confront China and Russia in a broad diplomatic push to combat cyberattacks that are on the rise and which represent a "persistent threat to U.S. economic security."

On Monday, Clarke said that until there are real consequences for the massive espionage, countries like China will still keep stealing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pope JoePa
Thursday, 10 November 2011 01:27
Written by Rob Rogers

Joe Paterno offered to retire after the season. Instead, the board of trustees decided he and Penn State president Graham Spanier needed to go immediately. Then the students rioted. This is understandable but I think the students' anger was misdirected. Paterno and Spanier were wrong not to act to prevent more atrocities. Their punishment is mild compared to the years of suffering experienced by Sandusky's sex abuse victims.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good move, Uncle Tom . . .

Corbett signs bill to ban texting while driving
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
By Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- After state Sen. Robert Tomlinson called the practice of sending or reading text messages while driving "absolutely deadly," Gov. Tom Corbett today signed a bill outlawing the practice.

"I wish I could say that with a stroke of a pen we'll be able to make driving safer, but it's not that simple," Mr. Corbett said. "We have all heard stories about someone hurt or killed when texting while driving," including a 17-year-old girl in Butler County who died hours after the bill received approval by the state Senate.

He said he hopes the new law -- which takes effect in March -- will stop drivers from texting. It is a primary offense that carries a $50 fine.

Mr. Tomlinson, R-Bucks, has tried for several years to make the practice of texting while driving a "primary offense," meaning police can stop and ticket a driver for doing so. Some opponents, fearing "nanny government," wanted to make it a secondary offense, such as failure to wear a seat belt, meaning a person would have to be stopped for some other offense, such as speeding, before being charged with texting while driving.

More than 30 other states now ban texting while driving.

State police Col. George Bivens said his officers will be able to handle the additional task for looking for texting drivers.

Mr. Corbett admitted there are many practices that constitute distracted driving, such as eating, drinking or changing radio channels while driving, but he said texting was the most dangerous. Some people try to steer with their knees while using their fingers to text, he said.

Mr. Tomlinson said the Legislature next year may discuss whether to prohibit drivers from talking on hand-held cell phones, which nine other states already have done. AAA and AT&T applauded the new law. Ted Leonard, state AAA director, said "Education is important on this," meaning drivers need to be reminded not to text. AT&T President J. Michael Schweder said, "We remind all Pennsylvanians that no text message is worth putting lives at risk."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DAVE: I think they are going to a lot of trouble to keep Paterno away from a microphone. I have told you that in recent years, he doesn't always sound good. I think everybody is afraid of what he would say or how he would sound if he speaks to the media. So, he will retire quietly and go away at the end of the season. If he speaks, he may say things that cause his immediate dismissal.

All of this has other implications. Penn State gets a ton of money from the Marcellus Shale people to do research into how drilling is not bad for us. The rumor is that Tom Ridge could be named the new President of Penn State. He's the state advocate for drilling. Fucked up.

JIM: Joe must go.

DAVE: He's going to. It's just a matter of when. President may be gone today. ESPN is now Penn State TV.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DAVE: There are so many commercials during an NFL game. They seem more obtrusive than ever.

JIM: I hadn't noticed anything much different. Then again, I don't seem to get to watch a lot of football these days.

DAVE: Poor Dad.

JIM: Save your pity. JoePa needs it more.

And yeah, I know that you were just being sarcastic. But your boy Joe really does need your pity.

DAVE: Paterno is done.

And fuck him.

JIM: My friend Pat said:

This gives new meaning to doing things the "Penn State way".

Monday, November 7, 2011

Have you seen the Herman Cain YouTube video? It's fantastic. If you can't watch it at work, then try to remember to watch it at home. It's only 56 seconds, and the last 16 seconds are PRICELESS. You have to see it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photo ID
Friday, 04 November 2011 09:22
Written by Rob Rogers

The nation-wide attempt by the GOP to pass legislation making it harder for minorities, elderly, the young and the poor to qualify to vote is egregious. Some have called the photo ID requirement a return to the racist practices of using poll taxes and literacy tests to keep African Americans from voting.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Half-written text on teen driver's phone at fatal crash
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Kaitlynn Riely, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A teenage girl from Butler County was in the midst of sending a text message when she died Tuesday night in a one-vehicle accident, state police said.

Alexis Lynn Summers, 17, of Saxonburg, was killed when the 2003 Subaru Legacy she was driving hit a tree after 10 p.m. off Hannastown Road in Jefferson, Butler County.

Her vehicle veered to the right berm of the roadway and onto a slight grass embankment, police said. Ms. Summers then apparently overcompensated while steering back onto the road. Her car spun around and hit the tree. The Butler County deputy coroner pronounced her dead at the scene.

"She was actively texting at the time of impact," said Lt. Eric Hermick of the Butler barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Ms. Summers was wearing a seatbelt.

Crash site investigators said they found a cell phone at the scene, with a text message partially sent, Lt. Hermick said. He declined to release information about the message or the intended recipient, citing confidentiality laws.

Ms. Summers, a senior at Knoch High School in Saxonburg, died just hours after the state Senate gave final approval to a ban on texting while driving.

Police frequently receive calls about distracted drivers, including those texting while driving, Lt. Hermick said. He said he hopes the proposed state texting ban, a primary offense, will be a preventative measure.

"We hope it's a bigger deterrent, because it will educate the motoring public that they can't text while driving," he said.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Too many people . . .

Seven Billion
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:04
Written by Rob Rogers

That's right. We just hit seven billion. To paraphrase a line from the movie Jaws... we're gonna need a bigger planet!

Of course, Rich Fitzgerald and his wife are responsible for a good chunk of that seven billion.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My friend Andy has added Amway to his other methods of work. Andy and I used to walk dogs together, and he and I think similarly about a lot of things. He is using this fact to try and convince me to sell Amway with him. I am happy for him that it seems to be working out so far. But as for me joining the Amway family? No fucking way.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's just sad. And a big contributor to the recession . . .

Mistake Accomplished
Thursday, 27 October 2011 09:41
Written by Rob Rogers

President Obama announced that troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year. The news, while welcome, is bittersweet.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Even though the end of the World Series marked the end of the baseball season. Even though I awoke to wet snow showers in October. If I had a son or a daughter, I would still be outside today, playing catch with them, for as long as they would tolerate me. We'll never know what kind of father I would have made. But, for sure, I would have been a good partner for catch.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Have you seen this? The Forever Lazy. From the same great minds that brought us the Snuggie. It's a fleece onesie for adults who don't feel like getting dressed, but they still want to be able to go to the bathroom.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

MLK Memorial
Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:38
Written by Rob Rogers

While I still think Obama is the best hope for this country, I am disappointed by the number of times he has compromised his principles. I know that compromise is necessary in any democracy, but sometimes compromise comes at too great a cost. He has been bending over backwards to find common ground with the GOP and they have just laughed in his face. Meanwhile, the poor (especially minorities) continue to suffer while the rich get richer, the wars continue and Gitmo is still open for business. Now that the campaign has started again he seems to have found his voice again. I just hope it lasts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It took her a while, but Christina Aguilera finally looks like she's from Pittsburgh.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gambling continues to bring out the best from our citizens.

Police: Child left outside while Garfield woman gambled

Thursday, October 20, 2011
By Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Garfield woman faces child endangerment charges and has been banned from the Rivers Casino for life after police said she left her 8-year-old daughter outside in the cold while she played blackjack.

Surveillance footage from the casino showed Tran B. Quach, 30, leaving the girl at the front entrance just before 2 p.m. Saturday and going directly to the table games, state police said. Ms. Quach could be seen about 2:30 playing blackjack with $535 worth of chips.

Police found the girl shivering, dressed in only a light jacket, short skirt and flip flops on a windy day when temperatures dipped into the 50s.

Ms. Quach told troopers she left her daughter alone for just 10 minutes while she went to get her car, which she had left at the casino the night before. The girl said she left it there because she was drunk.

Security officers banned Ms. Quach for life upon reuniting her with her daughter on Saturday, and troopers filed charges against her this morning.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I love that photo of GWB with Prince Abdullah. It pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the Bush era in America.

Assassination Plot
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 11:35
Written by Rob Rogers

According to U.S. Government officials, Iran was plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington, D.C. This is disturbing news since it is obvious that we are going steady with Saudi Arabia (remember the image of George W. Bush walking and holding hands with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah?) and that fact could put us in harm's way.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I think the CEO of Domino's Pizza who is always on TV these days looks like a grown-up version of Judge Reinhold.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pittsburgh's beloved Rocky Bleier and, perhaps more surprisingly, Franco Harris are the new pitchmen for The Meadows Racetrack and Casino. I know that the worlds of NFL football and gambling are inextricably fused. But seeing these two heroes of my youth promoting gambling does not sit well with me. Franco Harris is the same man who several years ago needed to be consoled by Dan Rooney one day when Harris found himself at the City-County Building, sitting against the wall and in tears over the state of the world. Does he feel that gambling is part of the solution to the woes of the world? I'm disappointed. I expect this kind of thing from Jerome Bettis. But not these two gentlemen.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Random flashback while listening to the Red Album: I may have gone to a very conservative private middle school for boys during a particularly strict period. But we were singing Beatles songs in music class. That was my first exposure to the Beatles. And 30 years later, I'm chilling on a Saturday evening with college football muted in the background, and the Red Album on the hi-fi. Thanks, Ms. Madoff.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nice column . . .

America needs you, George Orwell
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
By Reg Henry, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sometimes I wonder what George Orwell, the great English writer who sounded prophetic warnings on the dangers of totalitarianism, would think of the world today if he were still alive.

He was a socialist, which in his day wasn't just a casual slur used by conservatives unable themselves to define socialism and therefore prepared to think President Barack Obama is one. To further confuse that crowd, Orwell was a socialist who was critical of the excesses of communism, which was still in its freedom-crushing heyday when he died at the age of 46 in 1950.

He might be glad that communism, with its purges and gulags, had been dumped in the rubbish bin of history, excepting, of course, the Chinese corporate variety that we are glad to have sell us all the rubbish bins we need along with everything else in the way of trash to put in them.

He might have marveled how surveillance cameras were more and more doing Big Brother's work of watching people everywhere, due to all the littler brothers and sisters in government who just want to keep everybody safe.

As to security, he might have been shocked that the world was now in a state of perpetual war, the better for patriotism to rally and control the citizens as he foretold in his chilling masterwork "1984," where Big Brother was introduced to the world as someone anything but brotherly.

Orwell might have been astounded to learn that corporations were considered people now and the people themselves were considered expendable, especially if they were unionized or were seeking universal health care or some other luxury such as clean air not useful to the business class. When troublesome people do make such demands, they are denounced as a threat to freedom itself.

To be sure, things have not quite reached the sorry state of "1984." The most influential politicians haven't yet succeeded in banning the enjoyment of sex as Orwell foresaw, although most on the right do seem to believe it is filthy and may even tickle. Gay sex is seen as worse, because it is likely to occur among people with good fashion sense.

Most of all, Orwell might have been depressed at the debasement of the language, which he also foretold in "1984." Newspeak, he called it. As was explained, "The purpose of Newspeak was not only a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc [English Socialism] but to make all other modes of thought impossible."

It occurs to me that is what has happened with political speech in America. For that, we can thank the ascendancy of the right-wing -- increasingly the far-right wing. It is they who have reduced all political speech to a series of catch phrases and rhetorical cliches.

Call it Foxnewspeak. Hear it every time you turn on a GOP presidential debate or listen to the partisan gridlock from the tea-party brewed conservatives in Congress.

Class warfare! Redistribution of wealth! Tax and spend! Family values! Flip-flop! Cut and run! Elitist! Tree hugging! Activist judges! Wealth creators! Just like a liberal!

"Just like a liberal!" is the one that greets me every time I write something like this column in which certain uncomfortable truths are told. If I had a dime for every time someone had written "Just like a liberal" back to me, why, I would be a rich man, but my wealth would consist of a lot of dimes in piggy banks and old socks.

There is much good and nothing wrong with being a liberal -- as in the dictionary, "favoring reform or progress, as in religion, education, etc, specif., favoring political reforms tending toward democracy and personal freedom for the individual; progressive."

But in the Foxnewspeak dictionary, liberal is defined as someone who has the dirtiest sort of ticklish sex while on welfare and before taking part in Satanic rituals. This is the evil genius of the new conservative language. It imparts a new meaning to established words for the purpose of dumbing everything down.

For example, the phrase "changing your mind." This is a good thing that all sensible people do in light of new facts. Its new meaning is flip-flop, which is bad, very bad.

Do I think the Democrats have the monopoly on virtue? Hardly, but if you had to characterize the speech of Democrats, it would be "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, etc." The wishy-washy left are hapless in everything, and that includes the current linguistic battle.

So what would Orwell say to all this? Why, I think he would cut and run.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Afghan Birthday
Sunday, 09 October 2011 09:17
Written by Rob Rogers

The war in Afghanistan just celebrated a big birthday. It is not a reason to celebrate. This is the longest war we've ever fought and it is almost as if we were never there. The Taliban is back. The opium is back. The anti-American sentiment is stronger than ever. What was it all about?

Monday, October 10, 2011

GAIL: Hi Everyone,

The FIOS staff were here today - it turns out that the Verizon contractor who spent two days putting in the hallway access - only put in the outer tubing - the wiring is NOT in the tubing that is on our hallway ceilings. The staff, including supervisors, who were here today are very angry that the contractor did not apparently do the work. They have no idea how long it will be before some contractor comes back to complete the work that was begun here. It is not clear where we will be in the priorities - it could be weeks or months.

I am very disappointed as I was already with a nice new TV to replace my 15-17 year old one. I did not cancel comcast - so I still have my old TV and access - Verizon - when I talked with them after my order - had actually suggested that I not cancel comcast until everything was ready to go - they were right....

So - do NOT order FIOS yet.


Friday, October 7, 2011

One of the biggest reasons why teaching urban youth is so challenging is because of the young women. When a young woman starts high school, I bet virtually every one of them has ambitions of graduating. However, as time goes on, if the young woman does not do well in school, she always knows somewhere deep inside that if she is unable to complete high school, then she can always get pregnant and become a young mother. "Get her GED." And once these young women have made the decision not to graduate, some of them can become a serious distraction in the classroom, often causing behavioral problems. Don't get me wrong. I am not placing any blame on or judging urban young women. This is a societal problem that exists everywhere, including out in the middle of the most back country location you can imagine. But I'm talking about the perils of urban education, based on my experiences and observations.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"I only touched the boys in the places where this manual says it's okay to touch them. And the manual says no touching the dirty places."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Speaking of Hooters and Twin Peaks . . .

This is a photo for a prominent local jewelry store. I had to look twice to realize what I was looking at. Advertising just cracks me up.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Twin Peaks" is Hooters' newest rival? Get it? Only in America . . .

Sep 30, 11:15 PM EDT
Hooters chain accuses rival of stealing info
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Hooters of America restaurant chain filed a federal lawsuit in Atlanta this week claiming that a former executive swiped mounds of documents to help an upstart competitor that plans to expand the Twin Peaks franchise.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Wednesday said former Hooters vice president Joseph Hummel downloaded reams of "sensitive and highly confidential business information" to help La Cima Restaurants, an Atlanta-based firm that plans to help build 35 Twin Peaks stores across the Southeast.

Both chains are known for scantily clad women serving casual food, but there's nothing sexy about the documents that Hooters claimed Hummel took. The lawsuit claims that Hummel downloaded marketing plans, contract agreements, recruiting tools and sales figures before and after he left the company to join La Cima on July 22.

"The casual dining industry operates on extremely thin profit margins," it said. "As a result, every operational advantage ... is a jealously guarded business secret."

Hummel, who is now La Cima's chief operating officer, did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Shannon Glaser, a Twin Peaks executive, said the company declined to comment on the litigation.

Atlanta-based Hooters is known across the globe for its beach-themed restaurants staffed by attractive "Hooters Girls" who often look more like cheerleaders than waitresses. The chain, founded in Florida in 1983, has 455 locations across the globe, including 67 in its stronghold in the Southeast.

Twin Peaks, headquartered in Addison, Texas, is an upstart rival with big ambition. The company has 15 snow lodge-style restaurants scattered across the Midwest, and in August it announced an agreement with La Cima to open 35 more franchises in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

La Cima is a sore spot for Hooters managers. The company was formed in June by former Hooters chief executive Coby Brooks, who lured Hummel and other ex-Hooters officials to the startup within weeks, the lawsuit said.

Hummel, who was Hooters' executive vice president of operations and purchasing, was privy to the company's most highly classified information and had "unequaled access to the company's most sensitive business information, data and documents," it said.

On July 2, days before Hummel told Hooters of his plan to leave, the executive downloaded the first batch of documents, the company said. Even after his last day, Hummel was still able to download documents from company servers and transmit them through his personal email account because the company forgot to block his access, it said.

All told, the lawsuit said, Hummel took "well over 500 pages of highly sensitive business information and trade secrets" from Hooters.

"La Cima now possesses a wide variety of trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary business information belonging to (Hooters) - information that will endow a competitor like La Cima with significant competitive advantages," the lawsuit said.

Monday, October 3, 2011

On Saturday afternoon, I ran into Gail (another member/character on my condo board) in the laundry room. We were making idle chatter, and she was talking about something or other, having to wear a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, and then she said, "Like you, sometimes I'm the one who tells people things that they don't want to hear." And at that moment, for the first time ever, I knew that Gail, ditsy, woe is me Gail, actually gets me. I did not see that coming.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Brewed On Grant: I Know You Are
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 09:01
Written by Rob Rogers

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has announced his plan to run for another term as mayor. Yay!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tom Cruise in Pittsburgh for 'One Shot'
Star brings along family for movie shoot
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PG reader and freelance photographer Chris Payer was at Soergel Orchards and Family Farm in Wexford with wife Erin and 18-month-old daughter Livi "when we randomly ran into Tom Cruise, his wife Katie and daughter Suri!" More of Chris' images at

The manager where I presently work was telling me on Monday about how he, his wife, and his young daughter were at Soergels on Saturday when they, too, ran into Tom Cruise and his family. Brad said that they were very nice, taking Suri around to participate in the many attractions there for kids. They were traveling with two bodyguards, and the only thing that the bodyguards were not allowing was filming of the family. Photos, obviously, were allowed. Brad said that they looked like a normal family just out for a fall afternoon at Soergels in Wexford. I think that Tom Cruise gets an undeservedly hard time from the unsavory aspect of the entertainment industry. Yes, he IS the king of Scientology, which clearly makes him look like a dope. But aside from that, I don't think that he's really that bad. And Brad confirmed what I had already suspected, which is that Katie Holmes is a beautiful woman.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One of the characters on my building's condo board is the president, Mel. Mel is an older gentleman who has been the board's only president since the building went condos in 1987. He and I haven't always gotten along so well. But last year, I called a truce, meaning that now I just THINK about what a goof he is, rather than actually WRITING it in board emails. Anyway, he writes these emails and sends them to all of the residents of the building. For example . . .


MEL: Dear neighbor:

Sharon and I just noticed that someone tried to open our front door by shoving what appears to be something like a screwdriver between the door and the doorframe. There is a groove near the lock on our door evidencing this.

This could only have happened by someone gaining unauthorized entry to our building.

Please do not leave any of the doors to our building open or ajar unless you are near that door. Tom B.-please advise your tenant about this as we do not have an email address for him.

Please let me know if your front door has a groove like I've described above. Also, please let me know if any of you have lost your keys to our front and back door, or if you have any specific reason like losing your keys why we should change our building's common door locks.

This is not the first time that I've heard of anything like this in all the many years we've been living here. Please stay vigilant.

I plan to call a locksmith and have a steel plate or something like that installed on my door as a precaution. Let me know if you want the same.

Thank you,


JANE (lives above Mel): Thanks, Mel. Glad you both, and your place, are OK.

What a welcome home! I may be interested in a steel plate – let me know what this might cost.

Thanks !
- jane

MEL: There is now a question as to whether there was an attempted breakin, Jane. It's possible my door chain caused the indentation.

I decided to forego the steel plate.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The only thing I hate more than the fall rainy season in Pittsburgh is the winter rainy season in Pittsburgh. And I'm not really a fan of the spring rainy season in Pittsburgh, either. I have it on good authority that it rains more in Portland, Oregon than it does in Pittsburgh. But they don't have to deal with snow. I couldn't live way out there, though. Too far away from the action. It's so important to me to be close to the action. That is a complete lie. I could move to Hawaii and never look back. Never. Look. Back.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I have never liked cropped pants on women. Just never have. And I like them even less on men.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've been having problems with my back for much of the summer. It's actually STILL summer. Supposedly. Anyway, I don't really know what the problem is, other than, well, maybe aging. Playing the frisbee toss game with Sidney actually is a pretty active game of play. I spend most of the day on my feet, rarely sitting, because it's hard for me to sit for very long these days. Medication, most likely. I also never get tired. I sleep at night, sometimes even dozing off on the couch. But I don't actually feel tired. It's a bloody mess. But that's not the point. My back is causing me so much pain, and the only thing that works is 1600 mg or more a day of Advil. Is that a lot? I mean, according to the package, that might be a lot. But what about for a hurting back on a 180-pound man? But to have to take that much on a regular basis does not make me happy. And me being happy remains to this day the number one goal for my life.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pet Points: No bones about it: Keep dogs away
Saturday, September 17, 2011
By Lawrence Gerson, V.M.D.

Every veterinarian has clients that he or she enjoys seeing every year. They become old friends with whom we catch up during yearly appointments.

I always was happy to see Mr. J. and his dog Teddy. We have been seeing his pets for decades. He always took good care of his dogs. However, I knew the instant I walked into the office and saw him pacing that something was seriously wrong. His pet was being radiographed. When I asked him why, he admitted that his dog had been given a pork bone by a family member.

Bones can cause serious problems. I have surgically cut marrow bones from the lower jaw. Bones also can become lodged between teeth. Bones can crack teeth and cause a major extraction of the main chewing tooth.

Once swallowed, bones can puncture an intestine and cause a fatal infection or become impacted in the lower bowel.

When owners visit with their new puppies and kittens, we explain in writing at their first visit: No real bones -- ever.

One look at Teddy and it was clear he was in big trouble as he gasped for air in respiratory distress. The radiograph showed large irregular and sharp bone fragments stuck in his esophagus. Options included an attempt to push the bones into the stomach and remove the pieces with surgery, but this was risky because of the sharp points. An attempt to retrieve the bone from the esophagus might fail and open chest surgery might be needed.

We decided in seconds that a trip to the emergency hospital was needed for an endoscopic retrieval, if possible, with surgical back-up if necessary.

Teddy was one lucky dog, as the internal medicine specialist was able to grab and remove the bone quickly under anesthesia. When I called the emergency room to find out if surgery was needed I was shocked to find out Teddy was already released and sent home with a good prognosis. After eating soft canned food for a few days he was as good as new.

This story has a happy ending, but the take-home message is quite clear.

Never feed dogs or cats bones, and always be careful that they do not find them in the trash. Carefully dispose of the bones and save a life. I hope Teddy enjoyed his last bone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Over the weekend, I saw a commercial for Nyquil. Bloody Nyquil. Before the middle of September. Come on. We can put off the dreaded cold and flu season for at least a couple more weeks. Just like the house I saw today in my neighborhood with Halloween decorations up already. Seriously? Why not just put the inflatable snowman out already and get it over with?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Responder
Sunday, 11 September 2011 09:15
Written by Rob Rogers

As we all reflect on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, let us not forget the lives lost, the heroism displayed, and/or the shameful politics that followed. Despite all of the patriotic bravado that came from politicians in the months and years to follow 9/11, the real heroes of 9/11, the first responders, were left to fend for themselves when they developed life-threatening health issues as a result of their rescue efforts.

To even get a bill before congress took way too many years. Finally in 2010 they drafted a bill. This should have been a non-partisan no-brainer, but instead, the republicans decided to hold up the bill until a promise that the tax cuts for the wealthy would not be touched. To make matters worse, the bill that finally DID pass doesn't cover lung cancer. Way to remember 9/11, fellas!

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's time for my annual prediction of what the Steelers' final regular season record will be. 10-6.

The Ravens looked pretty freaking good yesterday. Yikes.

Friday, September 9, 2011

DAVE: The Phillies are so good. And the addition of Pence has made them virtually unbeatable. You're so lucky to see such good baseball. So lucky.

JIM: I was thinking earlier today: when was the last time a team, in any sport, went into a season with so much hype, and then actually lived up to that hype? I know the Phillies haven't won anything yet, but their regular season has been pretty impressive. I agree. I am lucky. I was trying to explain that to my kids over the holiday weekend. I'm not sure if they were getting it or not.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How did the economy get to this point . . . ?

1980: Ronald Reagan runs for president, promising a balanced budget.

1981 - 1989:
With support from congressional Republicans, Reagan runs enormous deficits, adds $2 trillion to the debt.

1993: Bill Clinton passes economic plan that lowers deficit, gets zero votes from congressional Republicans.

1998: U.S. deficit disappears for the first time in three decades. Debt clock is unplugged.

2000: George W. Bush runs for president, promising to maintain a balanced budget.

2001: Congressional Budget Office shows the United States is on track to pay off the entirety of its national debt within a decade.

2001 - 2009: With support from congressional Republicans, Bush runs enormous deficits, adds nearly $5 trillion to the debt.

2002: Dick Cheney declares, "Deficits don't matter."

2009: Barack Obama inherits $1.3 trillion deficit from Bush; Republicans immediately condemn Obama's fiscal irresponsibility.

2009: Congressional Democrats unveil several domestic policy initiatives - including health care reform, cap and trade, DREAM Act - which would lower the deficit. GOP opposes all of them, while continuing to push for deficit reduction.

September 2010:
In Obama's first fiscal year, the deficit shrinks by $122 billion. Republicans again condemn Obama's fiscal irresponsibility.

October 2010: S&P endorses the nation's AAA rating with a stable outlook, saying the United States looks to be in solid fiscal shape for the foreseeable future.

November 2010:
Republicans win a U.S. House majority, citing the need for fiscal responsibility.

December 2010: Congressional Republicans demand extension of Bush tax cuts, relying entirely on deficit financing. GOP continues to accuse Obama of fiscal irresponsibility.

March 2011: Congressional Republicans declare intention to hold full faith and credit of the United States hostage - a move without precedent in American history - until massive debt-reduction plan is approved.

July 2011: Obama offers Republicans a $4 trillion debt-reduction deal. GOP refuses, pushes debt-ceiling standoff until the last possible day, rattling international markets.

August 2011: S&P downgrades U.S. debt, citing GOP refusal to consider new revenues. Republicans rejoice and blame Obama for fiscal irresponsibility.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Amen to that . . .

Evil Government
Friday, 02 September 2011 09:50
Written by Rob Rogers

I have some questions for all you people who say we need less government. Are you willing to fix our roads and bridges? Are you willing to do garbage pickup? Are you willing to personally fund Social Security or Medicare? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Monday, September 5, 2011

It appears as though the rainy season has begun in Pittsburgh.

Friday, September 2, 2011

God's Idiots
Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:53
Written by Rob Rogers

Pat Robertson and Michele Bachmann have both invoked the Lord's name to endorse their own insane world views. The only thing missing in this most recent episode of crazy talk was an inflammatory comment from Rush Limbaugh.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I hate American cheese. HATE it. I don't think they should even be allowed to call it "cheese." It's not cheese. It's processed shit with yellow coloring. Disgusting. And I don't even think it tastes good, regardless of its content. There are a number of food items in this world that always have American cheese on them. Okay, granted, most of the things I'm talking about are fast food. Any breakfast sandwich at McDonald's but specifically the Egg McMuffin. And the Big Mac. If I could get true cheddar cheese in place of American cheese on a Big Mac, I would be in heaven.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cheney Torture
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 08:53
Written by Rob Rogers

Dick Cheney said his new memoir would have "heads exploding all over Washington." Maybe heads falling asleep all over Washington. According to those who have read it there really isn't anything new, just a little snarkiness toward Colin and Condi. He continues to endorse "enhanced interrogation" defend Bush and stroke his own ego. He hardly touches on Iraq, let alone apologizing for it. Sounds like a tortuous read.

Monday, August 29, 2011

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, "Who's on First?" might have turned out something like this:


ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'w' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on 'START'.............