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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Heads Up: Morning headlines for Jan. 3

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Story of the day: In every politician's career, there comes a moment to choose where you stand. Gov. Tom Corbett has apparently found his: opposing the NCAA's sanctions against Penn State. You can watch the half-hour-long press conference itself here; it's sort of remarkable. Corbett says the NCAA did an end-run around its own procedures for handling alleged misconduct by schools, and overstepped its authority by punishing Penn State for criminal acts that had nothing to do with on-field competitiveness. He also suggested that essentially, this was an effort by rival schools to undermine a competitor. As his chief counsel told reporters, the NCAA's membership is made up of other universities, and "Logically, the other institutions are going to benefit by the demise of Penn State."

There's so much unusual about this move -- for example, the fact that Corbett is a trustee at Penn State, but apparently didn't tell the trustees what he was doing until this past weekend. Or the weird way he got permission to file the suit from an outgoing Attorney General as she was cleaning out her desk. But for now, I'll just say this. Corbett's suit blames the NCAA sanctions for a drop-off in business at State College hotels, restaurants and bars. But isn't it just possible that the drop-off resulted from people who are simply appalled by what happened at Penn State, and wanted to distance themselves from a program, and a football-cult mentality, that may have allowed Sandusky's abuses to go unchecked in the first place? And isn't it possible that this is the very mentality that Corbett -- who faces what may well be a tough re-election next year -- is playing into with this suit, and his us-against-them rhetoric?

Primanti Brothers is going national, thanks to an alliance with the people who brought you PF Chang's and Outback Steakhouse. Sort of disappointing that the company press release -- chock full of boasts about their "best and boldest sandwiches" -- has none of the modesty of their claim to be "almost famous."

Believe it: There are conservatives further to the right than Pat Toomey, and they are not pleased with his vote to avert the "fiscal cliff." But have no fear, Tea Partiers: Toomey has already promised plenty of fiscal chaos in just a few more weeks, when a debt ceiling vote comes up, and we can look forward to another potential disruption of the economy, and debasement of our government's standing. THAT should keep you happy.

Apparently, PNC's online operations are being hampered by cyber-jihadis, making it hard for people to conduct their banking online. Much the same thing happened this past September, and customers are getting all het up. Some are being told to pay their bills by ... writing checks instead! THIS AGGRESSION SHALL NOT STAND.

Pittsburgh logs its first homicide of 2013 -- a mother of a 10-year-old shot to death by her estranged boyfriend, who then turned the gun on himself.

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