Story of the day: Is Pittsburgh (halfway) out of the woods? The Act 47 team, one of the two bodies overseeing city finances -- and the one that no one ever talks much about -- says the city is ready to emerge from its state-imposed "distressed" status. This would be good news for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and not surprisingly, two likely challengers in next year's mayoral election, city councilor Bill Peduto and city controller Michael Lamb think it is a bad idea.
The Congressional race between Keith Rothfus and Mark Critz is the third-most-expensive in the country, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Money well spent, if you ask me. Otherwise, how would I know that Keith Rothfus takes his kids to school? The two candidates debated the issues last night. If you missed it, don't despair: Chances are good you'll be seeing highlights in an upcoming ad, albeit with one of the candidate's faces all distorted.
The Libertarians are coming! The Libertarians are coming! To a ballot near you. A state judge has ruled that Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's election petitions are valid, and that he will appear on the November ballot. That sound you hear is Republican teeth-grinding.
While all three branches of state government are in the hands of Republicans, our friends at the Philadelphia City Paper note that Republican judges are just about the only thing holding back excesses in the legislature and the governor's office.
Are Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System going to be able to work out their differences? Well, ma-a-a-a-a-aybe. But apparently not before at least a handful of doctors are poised to defect to UPMC.