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Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

PennDOT will lower weight restrictions or impose new ones on more than a thousand bridges across Pennsylvania over the next four to five months. Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch says the state Legislature's failure to pass a funding bill necessitated the move.

Question: Had the Legislature passed such a bill, and given the time frame required to fix “deteriorating” bridges, would PennDOT still have announced the new restrictions? If the answer is “no,” you'll know the announcement was politically motivated.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl thinks it's “half-assed” for this newspaper to document the taxpayer subsidies in a Downtown development and, apparently, to give the developer and his supporters ample space to defend what they say is the “need” for those subsidies.

Question: Does the mayor believe we should have given equal space to those who disagree with such winner- and loser-picking subsidies? Or is he merely embarrassed that his policies have perpetuated a development welfare state that has perverted market forces?

President Obama has outlined a series of proposals to, supposedly, make colleges more accountable and more affordable.

Question: Given government's record of making colleges exactly the opposite — tuition-raising tuition subsidies, discrimination-perpetuating affirmative action, a proposed payment cap on student loans that will result in fewer loans — why would anyone think that more government intervention would do so?

Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or

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