At the top of the story:
But Harris the younger got his [injury] in a medieval role-playing game, after catching his cleats on a rock while running with a padded sword made of plumbing products. (P-G, Timothy McNulty)
Okay, noting that the sword was made out of “plumbing products” was unfortunate, but you’re illustrating a contrast with his father. Fine.
Mr. Harris suffered his knee injury during college, while running through the woods during a live-action battle sponsored by NERO, the New England Roleplaying Organization. He had been into the medieval fantasy games since he was 16 and read about them in a magazine for Dungeons & Dragons fans.
Mr. Harris — who is single — … (ibid)
Alright ah, yes, you’ve already covered this material. If you think it’s that important to emphasize which recreational magazines he read in college, knock yourself out, but I hope the biographies of the other candidates will spend just as much time on embarrassing college shenanigans.
Franco Harris said he thought Dok would enter politics one day, but the answer back then was different. “I’m going to be a scientist secret agent,” he would say. (ibid)
And those are the last words of the article. I’m going to be a scientist secret agent.
That’s what we’re left with. That’s the take-away. That’s the jewel of wisdom they wished to impart.
Once again: if eight-year old Luke Ravenstahl ever expressed an interest in being a rock star astronaut, I expect that the Post-Gazette will spend about six paragraphs exploring that, and also maybe run a photo of him in his Robin underooos. Otherwise this was clearly an assassination.
After the world’s strangest endorsement, it also makes you wonder.
Because we know the Post-Gazette knocks it out of the park every now and again.
Zappalas hold posts at casino association, reads the headline. No differentiation. No need to explain the import.
It’s sort of like reading, Swine Flu cases rise in Allegheny County.
We have the requisite obsessive covering of tracks:
Those names aren’t mentioned on incorporation papers or tax filings, which require a listing of officers and key employees. Neither do they appear in a slew of press releases or advertisements issued this month to influence legislation that would legalize table games and set taxes and fees for casinos that choose to offer them. (P-G, Tracie Mauriello)
Which involves lots of playing dumb:
[Board member Chuck] Hardy said he didn’t know the extent of Mr. Zappala’s or Mrs. Zappala Peck’s involvement except that they had been with the association from the beginning. (ibid)
I mean lots of dumb:
Ken Smukler, who was hired three weeks ago, said the association pays Mrs. Zappala Peck and her father, but he did not know their salaries. (ibid)
Plenty of misdirection:
Mr. Smukler said that, until now, the association’s focus had been on litigation rather than legislation.
“There was a lot of litigation that was going on,” Mr. Smukler said.
Mr. Hardy contradicted him, saying the association’s first two years were spent organizing and securing office space in Downtown Pittsburgh on the 30th floor of One Oxford Centre. (ibid)
(Yeah, that sound like two years worth of work.)
We have some extremely familiar hair-splitting on the definition of lobbying, and hence the necessity of filing reports:
“The association sends e-mails to legislators and we did pay for a radio spot, but that’s the extent of what the association has done,” Mr. Smukler said.
That sounds like lobbying to Mr. Kauffman of Common Cause.
“By every conceivable definition of lobby law, they’re lobbying. They’re supporting a specific bill and asking for lawmakers to vote for it,” he said. “They’re lobbying.”
Association officials disagree. The letters to lawmakers represented views of individual casinos, not the association, they said. (ibid)
At times it is unclear, even to the association itself, which casinos it speaks for.
The association recently issued a press release “on behalf of” The Rivers, SugarHouse, Foxwoods and Mount Airy, saying those casinos would sue if smaller casinos were allowed to expand.
Five hours later, it issued a correction saying the association does not speak for Foxwoods. And a week later, Mount Airy’s CEO George Toth wrote a letter to lawmakers saying he had no intention of joining legal actions proposed by the casino association. (ibid)
And finally, smug contempt for the press:
Mr. Zappala declined to comment and Mrs. Zappala Peck did not respond to telephone messages left last week. (ibid)
Something new to add to the file.
The Pittsburgh Comet is going to retire very early in the new year for the purposes of putting energy into something more lucrative and far, far less discouraging. The problems of our little civilization are above my pay grade and seemingly above anyone’s pay grade or apparent interest. Target date for closure is roughly Friday, January 22nd.
We will spend the intervening time and considerable time thereafter praying for rain — a good long, hard rain in Pittsburgh, in Allegheny County and across wide swaths of Pennsylvania — and we recommend you all do the same.