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is no longer shut down, but Tea Party Republicans and their colleagues remain over- caffeinated. For a time during the crisis, Pennsylvania's Republican Sen. Pat Toomey seemed a voice of reason. He said that he "never thought it was a good idea" to shut down the government if Obamacare wasn't defunded, a view which earned him praise in an Oct. 14 Post-Gazette editorial titled "Words of a Statesman." Words of just another slippery politician, as it turned out. After the deal was reached Wednesday, Sen. Toomey voted against it, saying that he favored reopening the government but not raising the debt limit without fiscal reforms. Let's see if we got this straight: He wasn't in favor of a default over Obamacare, but he would be OK with inviting fiscal disaster if it were in the cause of fiscal reform. No wonder the American people are sick of Congress.

WHILE PEOPLE cried foul over reckless partisanship, Pittsburghers cried out for its celebrity waterfowl to stay. That would be the 40-foot-high rubber duck, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, which has been nesting Downtown near the Point to the joy of more than a million visitors since Sept 27. But the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which brought the duck here, announced that today would be the duck's last on the water. It will be deflated, cleaned and dried and put in a South Side warehouse for storage, perhaps to return for special occasions (although you can't trust anyone these days). Congratulations to the Trust for coming up with this hugely successful event. No way did the duck lay an egg.

DEAR, OH, DEER, when it's not politicians trapped in the glare of publicity, it's deer caught in the headlights --and both bring the prospect of disaster. But with the annual deer mating season upon us, Pennsylvanians have to watch out because deer run onto the roads. State Farm insurance says Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of deer-vehicle crashes. The state had nearly 115,000 such collisions in the 12 months that ended June 30, 2013. Brake for deer and ducks.


First Published October 19, 2013 8:00 PM


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