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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Saturday, May 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

The board of trustees of Community College of Allegheny County approved a tuition and fee increase of up to 11.2 percent on Thursday. It cited declining taxpayer subsidies as its justification.

But in the same meeting, the board voted to give CCAC President Alex Johnson a “performance bonus” of 10 percent or about $25,000. Mr. Johnson, who is paid more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars a year, says he plans to donate his raise to charity.

That $25,000 would pay for nearly 14 semesters for full-time CCAC students. Perhaps “charity” should begin at home. Talk about being tone deaf. ...

• Watching departing Democrat Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Democrat mayoral wannabe Bill Peduto fight over the latter's support for “prevailing” and “living” wages is kind of like two people fighting over whether it's better to drive drunk while dressing or to drive high while texting. Their fundamental lack of economics acumen is appalling.

“Prevailing wages” unnecessarily inflate taxpayer costs; “living wages” unnecessarily price out of employment those on the lowest rungs of the jobs ladder. ...

• Local 1776 of the United Food and Commercial Workers should be embarrassed by the TV and radio ad it began running on Friday in opposition to privatizing Pennsylvania's state liquor monopoly. It calls the plan a “reckless scheme” that will “raise our taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars” and “put alcohol on every street corner and increase crime.”

The contentions are pure fiction. The only thing that's reckless here is the UFCW's pathetic ad. ...

• Andrew Brown, Royal Dutch Shell's head of international production, says the company expects the demand for liquefied natural gas to double by 2025, reports The New York Times. Why then, again, is Pennsylvania dangling a gazillion dollars in tax “incentives” before Shell to “crack” Marcellus shale natural gas (another facet of Shell's boom times) at a proposed Beaver County plant? ...

• A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine came to a conclusion that startled many — many who really don't understand the effects of state-run medicine, that is. Those who gained more Medicaid coverage spent more on health care and utilized health services more but that did not make them much physically healthier. Participants were, however, more mentally healthy. The results were from the two-year Oregon Health Study.

So, perhaps the better choice is to take two placebos and call your doctor in the morning? ...

• A new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind national survey of registered voters finds that nearly 30 percent of Americans “think that an armed revolution in order to protect liberties might be necessary in the next few years.” Forty-four percent of registered Republicans think that, as do nearly 30 percent of independents. Only 18 percent of Democrats think a liberty-preserving armed revolution will be needed.

Liberals will seize on this survey to allege that Republicans and even independents are wild-eyed, gun-toting anarchists (you know, what tea partyers are in the flaccid mind of Harry Reid).

But those with even an ounce of brain matter will recognize the armed-revolution sentiment for what it is — a reflection of the abject failure of government to do the job with which it was charged by the Framers in the Constitution.

Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com)

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