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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

Members of the public continue to pay their respects and leave flowers outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 19, 2015, two days after a mass shooting left nine dead during a bible study at the church. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)Members of the public continue to pay their respects and leave flowers outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 19, 2015, two days after a mass shooting left nine dead during a bible study at the church. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Charleston, from afar.

1) President Obama: "I've had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times ... once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun."

2) Jon Stewart: "Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them ... who wanted to start some kind of civil war. The confederate flag flies over South Carolina and the roads are named for confederate generals – and the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him."

3) From the Economist: "Those who live in America, or visit it, might do best to regard them the way one regards air pollution in China: an endemic local health hazard which, for deep-rooted cultural, social, economic and political reasons, the country is incapable of addressing. This may, however, be a bit unfair. China seems to be making progress on pollution."

4) From the PG opinion page: "The suffering and death unleashed by the shooter were horrifying enough, but an assault as vile as this is all the more egregious when victims are targeted because of race."

5) And, finally, the reaction of Charles Cotton, a board member of the National Rifle Association: "Innocent people died because of (Clementa Pinckney's) position on a political issue."

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Peduto: Building Pittsburgh's minor leagues

Published by Robert Zullo on .

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (Allison Farrand/Post-Gazette)Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (Allison Farrand/Post-Gazette)

At the official launch of the city's new summer intern program Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Bill Peduto delivered remarks on Pittsburgh history and its struggles, office politics and the government balancing act of meeting infinite needs with finite resources.

Then he did something else.

He asked each of the city's first class of interns -- there are 110 in all -- to introduce themselves, including name, hometown, university and course of study."It's kind of a special day in city government," Mr. Peduto said, encouraging the interns to offer fresh ideas to city departments that may have not seen much change in decades. "What we're doing is building up the minor leagues."

Personnel Director Todd Siegel said individual city departments have had interns in the past, but this year was the first for a comprehensive, citywide program, and 240 students or recent graduates applied for both paid and unpaid positions.

"I've been wanting this for years," Mr. Siegel said. "It's kind of tugging on my heartstrings."

Jeff Martin, a 22-year-old graduate of St. John's University in New York City who majored in political science and grew up in Mt. Washington, said his internship in City Councilwoman Darlene Harris' office was giving him a chance to get reacquainted with the city.

"I'm very interested in city government," he said. "It's been fantastic. It's been such a rewarding experience."

Robert Zullo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 412-263-3909. Twitter: @rczullo.

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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

er trump nydnThank you, New York Daily News.

1) We're still having some difficulty viewing Donald Trump as a legitimate presidential candidate, but that doesn't mean he didn't move the needle when he made his announcement on Tuesday. From our friends at Facebook, via P-G Washington Bureau Chief Tracie Mauriello: Mr. Trump's mess of a declaration generated 6.4 million interactions on FB yesterday. How does that compare to other presidential announcements? The Republican candidate whose announcement came closest to generating a Trump-like reaction was Ted Cruz, who generated 5.5 million interactions, while Rand Paul, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio each generated over a million. Jeb Bush generated just 849,000 interactions, although, to be fair, reaction his announcement on Monday might have been watered down by all the pre-announcements that preceded it. And not even the bluster of Hurricane Donald could match the announcement of Hillary Clinton, whose official entry into the race generated 10.1 million interactions.

2) We're having way too much fun with Mr. Trump's candidacy – a trend we pledge will continue – but especially for Republicans, his candidacy is worth watching carefully. You guys may recall Ross Perot, whose independent campaign in 1992 had a lot to do with George H.W. Bush not being able to hold off Bill Clinton. We don't think Mr. Trump will stick around that long, but he could hang on during the primaries long enough to steal votes from real candidates – like, say, Mr. Bush, who looks like a statue next to The Donald.

3) We are likely just days away from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the legality of federal healthcare subsidies, a ruling that could leave more than 6 million Americans in the lurch if those subsidies are taken away. But a handful of states – including Pennsylvania, which just gained conditional federal approval to create a marketplace for the state – are betting they have a solution ready to go.

4) Quinnipiac University's ongoing polling of swing states – that would be Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania – shows that Ms. Clinton is losing ground to Mr. Rubio here and in Florida. She's also losing in a head-to-head matchup with undeclared candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich in his home state.

5) If you listen to presidential candidates long enough, this one thing becomes subconsciously ingrained: we shouldn't trust people from Washington D.C. #unleash

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Trump jumps in

Published by Mike Pound on .

U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

When Donald Trump announces a presidential run, it's time for Bonus Early Returns. And believe us, we could have come up with way more than five things to send you to read.

1) Let's start with Mr. Trump in his own words. Because you wouldn't believe it otherwise.

2) Of course, this all seems a little familiar.

3) Besides serving as a reality show host, what does Mr. Trump do well? Starting failed businesses, for starters. He also does a nice job of critiquing other candidates.

4) The Donald has apparently settled on theme music for his campaign – and, naturally, he's chosen a song, written by a Canadian, that criticizes social problems in the United States. In one 45-minute appearance, Mr. Trump has singlehandedly catapulted Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" atop the list of biggest political misunderstandings ever, displacing Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." (a campaign favorite for Ronald Reagan, who apparently never listened to the lyrics) and The Pretender's "My City Was Gone" (a lament about over development that Rush Limbaugh ironically co-opted as his show's theme song).

5) There was, of course, reaction from the Democratic National Committee, specifically from Holly Shulman, press secretary: "Today, Donald Trump became the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days. He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward to hearing more about his ideas for the nation."

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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush waves as he takes the stage to formally join the race for president, Monday, June 15, 2015, at Miami Dade College in Miami. (David Goldman/Associated Press)Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush waves as he takes the stage to formally join the race for president, Monday, June 15, 2015, at Miami Dade College in Miami. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

1) There were no gasps of shock Monday afternoon when Jeb Bush announced that he had decided to run for the Republican presidential nomination – after all, we had already heard announcements about possible announcements about soon-to-be-scheduled announcements from the former Florida governor. Even less surprising? His emphasis on his connections to the Latino community and an approach that's less about charisma and more about policy.

2) Quick – name another presidential candidate who'd rather talk about the wonky side of running for the office. And that's not the only similarity between Mr. Bush and Hillary Clinton.

3) Ms. Clinton has other issues to deal with, like the one named Bernie Sanders, whose poll numbers in New England have to be making the front runner a little uncomfortable.

4) Pennsylvanians are more supportive of hydraulic fracking than the national average, a new poll from the Robert Morris University Polling Institute has found. We back fracking to the tune of 57.1 percent, while the national average reaches 55.9 percent. But we're also a bit confused about the issue; the poll found that 60.1 percent say they agree "strongly" or "somewhat" with this statement: "The environmental impact of gas drilling outweighs any resulting reduced energy costs or energy independence."

5) We've always been fascinated by Richard Nixon – we're old enough to remember when our Sesame Street viewing was interrupted by the Watergate hearings – so we can't get enough of this week's media tour by Tim Weiner, who combed through documents and hours of recently released tapes from Mr. Nixon's White House to write his new book, "One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon." In this excerpt, Mr. Weiner recounts a night in 1973 when members of the administration – Al Haig was in control, as it turns out – had to deal with a threat that the Soviet Union might intervene in the Arab-Israel War because an increasingly fearful and paranoid president was too drunk to make decisions.

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