Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday: The End of the Beginning

Dear Luke: Can you pleeeease upload the footage to YouTube? That's all we require. (P-G, Early Returns)

Hats off to everybody involved in the truly massive public safety campaigns and many levels of strategic decision making both immediately after the Superbowl and during yesterday's hastily organized parade.

We complain about certain government offices a fair amount on this blog, but it's no exaggeration to say that obviously in terms of public safety, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have it locked down. If Jack Bauer came here, he would be like oh. These people can take care of themselves. If Warren Buffet came here, not so much.

Note: We should not be doing crap like this, however, or smashing windows and robbing banks. Be on the lookout for a red guy.

Note to Tony Norman: We have a soft spot for bonfires, however. And dancing on buses is -- well, it's dancing! You can dance if you want to.


"Right now, our teachers are on their own," said board member Heather Arnet, who supports a comprehensive program and believes the board should reassert control over the content of sex education. (P-G, Joe Smydo)

The School Board reasserting control of the administrators? That would be great. Tell me why in peace we can't take out a condom and stick it on the end of a hammer. Young people should be offered information and taught how to perform simple tasks.


Gov. Ed Rendell has devised a startling and controversial plan to generate $550 million a year for tuition assistance for 175,000 Pennsylvania college students -- by legalizing thousands of video poker machines in bars, taverns, restaurants and private clubs across the state. (P-G, Barnes and Rotstein)

Those casino operators will be upset -- unless they can switch to table games. Might as well put that in the same legislation.


Democrat Theresa Smith has won the special election to the District 2 seat on City Council by a wide margin. (P-G, Amy McConnell Schaarsmith)


Ms. Smith, of Westwood, won 1,259 votes or 48.5 percent of the vote. Opponents Georgia Blotzer, a Democrat running as an independent from Mount Washington, won 639 votes or 24.6 percent; third-party candidate Brendan Schubert, also a Westwood Democrat, won 450 votes or 17 percent; and Republican Chris Metz of Sheraden won 239 votes or 9 percent.

Oh, hai Amy! =)

Allegheny County Elections Director Mark Wolosik predicted that some 20 percent of eligible voters would turn out.

Ooh, no. No, sorry Mark, it was more like 10%.

The good citizens who braved the cold and the Steelers elected themselves a legitimate council representative by a wide margin, but in terms of the coming primary it was a tossup. Split Smith's 288 straight-ticket Democratic party votes equally amongst Blotzer, Schubert and Smith -- or maybe better yet just between Blotzer and Smith. That would make it 1015-783.

Now even among choosy voters, seeing an [I] next to a name can be off-putting. Swing another 50 votes from one column to the other, then? More?

There was 10% turnout; figure 30% will arrive for a standard primary in sunny May, maybe 40% for a hotly contested Mayor's race. From a predictive standpoint, this special election was well within the margin of error for the coming primary.

That is, if the Chatham Rangers feel it's necessary, and can find a way to use that really fresh data to shake things up.

"I'm very grateful. I'm anxious to get started (today.) I'm confident we can work together to make needed improvements in such things as the infrastructure and (to combat) crime," said Smith, 49, of Westwood. "It's a great day for Democrats." (Trib, Jeremy Boren)

It's a great day for hockey.

If the Steelers somehow lose to the Arizona Cardinals tonight in Super Bowl XLIII -- a remote possibility, we know -- feel free to blame President Barack Obama. (Trib Whispers)

Well, good news there.


  1. What is the likelihood of Ms. Smith receiving the ACDC endorsement again (as the incumbent)? Personally I would say it was pretty much a lock. And Ms. Smith is apparently reasonably well known in the District, about twice as well known as Ms Blotzer, among those who care to vote. Nothing is absolute, but I would say Ms. Smith is the way t bet in the primary. Whether she can cover the spread is anyone's guess.

  2. Anyone find it interesting that more people went to the Steelers parade than actually live in the city?

  3. "What is the likelihood of Ms. Smith receiving the ACDC endorsement again (as the incumbent)? Personally I would say it was pretty much a lock."

    Smith is the only one who filed for the endorsement.

  4. Ed - You don't grant any credence at all to the hypothesis that it's only partially that the voters know T.S., but also to a significant degree that the voters wanted to vote for a D? Fortunately, the "endorsed" Democrat will looks the same May's ballot as all the other ones.

  5. What's the deal with Mayor Steelersteel? Those pictures of him starf#@%ing/recording/dressing like/riding with the team were just sad. Every time I think he couldn't possibly be more of a clown - he goes out and tops himself. Kudos boy-wonder - your ring is in the mail.