August 18, 2023

We pause this week to honor the memory of Ellen Casey, the matriarch of one of the most famous political families in Pennsylvania history. Ms. Casey passed away at age 91 this week, and you know you’ve made an impressive mark on the world when the president of the United States comes to pay his respects. All prayers go out to the Casey family this week.

Also this week, maybe you should consider jumping on the American Red Cross website and parting with a few shekels to help our friends in Maui as they try to recover from the devastating fire that consumed Lahaina last week. And a big shout out to Hawaii’s governor, who this week said he will crack down on these ghoulish real estate moguls seeking to buy land on the cheap from grieving families.

Former President Trump was indicted for the fourth time, this time by a Georgia district attorney. This is truly an exciting time for Trump, as he is now only one indictment shy of receiving an absolutely free sixth indictment from any participating Starbucks store near him.

The Pennsylvania unemployment rate ticked down to a record-low 3.5% this week. And if you are a consumer (and who amongst us is not?), you may have also noticed that there are help-wanted signs everywhere. If these two things don’t clearly illuminate our state’s workforce problem, allow us to pull out our crayons and walk you through it.

Two of Governor Shapiro’s cabinet nominees have not yet received a Senate confirmation vote, which leaves them with the cumbersome titles of acting secretary until at least the fall. For all the practicing Catholics out there, think of acting secretary status as purgatory. Enough hard work and a little praying and maybe you make the jump upstairs.

The growing trend of child social media influencers has caught the disdainful eye of at least one state lawmaker, who wants to restrict such nonsense using the state’s child labor laws. It would be nice to go back to seeing kids aspire to be doctors or teachers or athletes and not vapid YouTube child stars babbling inane things into an app for cash. And get off our lawn while you are at it!

Pennsylvania officials are seeking input on a master plan for our state’s aging population. This is no small task, since our aging population continues to grow at an alarming rate. And as many budget-cutting warriors have come to learn, caring for a large aging population is not a cheap endeavor, at least if you wanna do it right. The solution often rhymes with “fedicaid.”

State officials also submitted a master broadband plan to the federal government in order to start drawing down a cool $1.2 billion Biden bucks. Once the feds sign off, the fiber laying and tower building frenzy that will follow is going to be something to behold.

Speaking of that Biden largesse, the state is ready to begin building a metric crap-ton (approved Triad unit of measurement) of new EV charging stations, thanks to the feds. We hate to be a piggy about it, but putting one of those babies in the River Street garage in Harrisburg would be, you know, pretty cool. This message was brought to you by random Triad personnel who drive electric cars.

While the kerfuffle over school vouchers dies down (for a minute it felt like 1995 up in here), we turn our eyes to another casualty of the as-of-yet unfinished Fiscal Code, and that is $100 million in Level Up funding targeted to the state’s poorest schools. Those dollars are also floating around in the ether and hoping to land soon, as back-to-school shopping has commenced.

In campaign news, there is a race for the state Supreme Court on the November ballot. With Labor Day sneaking up on us, you’ll soon be hearing all about that contest every time you turn your television on.   Our court races in Pennsylvania have become quite loud and expensive, which is probably not what court races should be, but here we are.

Meanwhile in Philadelphia, the Working Families Party is working hard to supplant the GOP from any last vestige of city governance. The times may be a-changing in the City of Brotherly Love.

If you have not yet heard, there was also some big sports news out of Philly this week, as the city announced that WrestleMania 40 will be staged at Lincoln Financial Field next year. Yes, if you had mistakenly believed that interest in pro wrestling had waned, watch how quickly that little bugger sells out.

Our Shameless Client Plug this week goes out to the amazing people at Independence Blue Cross, who launched their Coalition to Eliminate Race-Based Medicine. Check out their work here!

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to Baghdad Airport, where some unsuspecting ramp worker was startled when he opened up a cargo bin on a plane, only to find himself staring a live bear in the face. The bear, it turns out, had broken free from its shipping crate and decided to try and just eat that airport worker before any more bullsh*t happened to it. The worker escaped, but likely needed new pants. By the way, honest question: who the hell ships a bear via commercial airliner?

That’s what passes for news around here as we slip into the dog days of August, which to be fair, many of our dogs are not enjoying at all. Covered in fur on a 95-degree day isn’t all that fun, we suppose. But do come back next week because we get lonely when you are not around. Until then, from all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!