April 5, 2024

We begin the festivities this week with a look at… WHOA! THE HELL WAS THAT?? Yes, we begin with a 4.7 magnitude eastern seaboard earthquake. Did NOT see that coming. Earthquakes and solar eclipses in the same week? Did we piss off a wizard somewhere? The locusts are next, right?

President Biden was in Baltimore this morning, meeting with local officials and promising to “move heaven and earth” to get that key shipping lane open after the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. We send our prayers to the families of the six construction workers who lost their lives.

A recent Franklin & Marshall poll had some good news in it for Biden, showing him with a 10-point lead over Donald Trump in the Keystone State. That number, however, shrinks to within the margin of error when Robert Kennedy Jr. and Jill Stein are added into the mix. After moving heaven and earth in Baltimore, he may wanna consider the same strategy to remove those two from the PA ballot.

Meanwhile, the same poll showed Gov. Josh Shapiro with the highest approval rating at this point in a gubernatorial administration than any of his immediate predecessors. The thing to remember here is that if you are locked in the Harrisburg echo chamber/bubble where every perceived Shapiro administration misstep is analyzed and amplified, most of that stuff ain’t resonating with the public, according to those numbers, anyway.

More good news for Biden is that he moved up a slot on the World’s Oldest People list as the former record holder, Juan Vicente Pérez Mora, died this week at the ripe old age of 114. Biden is now seventh on the list.

This is the space where we would normally say the monthly jobs report was wildly good news for Biden, but since no one seems to care anymore, we will just say the U.S. economy added a whopping 303,000 jobs in March. Big whoop; tell us more about egg prices.

Sen. Bob Casey has himself a bone called “greedflation” that he’s gonna gnaw on from now until November, driving his opponents up the wall as they scream “there is no such thing as greed!” Getting your detractors to defend large profits? Nifty little two-step there, senator!

Meanwhile, his opponent, Dave McCormick, spent some time at famed Philadelphia landmark Geno’s, where he avoided the dreaded John Kerry gaffe (Swiss cheese, anyone?) and ordered four wiz wits. He even manned the grill for a bit, where he learned that he, too, is not immune to being yelled at by hungry and impatient Philadelphians.

The feds are getting ready to send a quarter-billion dollars to Pennsylvania to deal with abandoned mines. This comes after sending scads of money to us to deal with capping orphaned oil and gas wells.  Pretty amazing that there was an era where we allowed anyone to drill or mine whatever the hell they wanted and then just… walk away. YOUR PROBLEM NOW, SUCKERS!

Lawmakers are finding it difficult to find consensus on how to regulate social media, which everyone agrees has the potential to harm children. The problem, as we see it, is that social media is now as ubiquitous as sunlight, which we know is terribly hard to regulate. In addition to that, lawmakers themselves like to use social media to interact with voters and to raise money. Social media for me, not for thee, babies!

An even tougher nut to crack will be regulating AI, although it won’t be for lack of trying. AI will someday be a crucial part of how technology functions, but alas, the bad actors have decided to use AI in political campaign “deep fakes,” and trust us, nothing is gonna get the attention of elected officials faster than that.

The feds have set a new deadline for states to certify the 2024 General Election results, pushing that date up to Dec. 11. If you are in a giving mood, please consider sending a crate of Tums to the Department of State this fall.

Despite Pennsylvania lugging around a bag stuffed with loot, the state’s budget outlook, according to those killjoys over at the Independent Fiscal Office, is bleak. A structural deficit could hit as early as 2025, even though we have $14 billion in cash lying around. Maybe – and hear us out – it is time to restructure our tax code, since we have a mountain of cash as a short-term buffer. The argument about structural deficits has been around since Governor Thornburgh, and we should probably act on it eventually.

Ah, but HOW do we do that, our dear readers ask? Well, around these parts we have what is known as a uniformity clause that forces Pennsylvania to tax all classes of income or goods and services at the exact same level. Ya wanna change how we do business? You may wanna start there.

Electric vehicle sales in Pennsylvania jumped 45% last year, and those buggers’ owners (ahem, people like us) ain’t paying a dime in liquid fuel taxes. So, if you like roads and bridges (and who amongst us doesn’t?), this should concern you a tad.

Philadelphia is gearing up to host WrestleMania 40 this weekend, and whoa Nelly, it is gonna be a slobberknocker of a time. The slam fest will bring with it about $250 million in economic activity to the region. Imagine what 2026 is gonna look like in the City of Brotherly Love!  

Meanwhile, Erie is getting all pretty in the lead-up to Monday’s solar eclipse. The city by the lake is located directly in the totality zone, and tourists are gonna flock there like someone remodeled Waldameer amusement park. #IYKYK

On the Triad Socials this week, stop by and say happy birthday to Sakura and happy anniversary to Mama Bear Cheryl! Celebrate good times, COME ON!  

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we were tempted to go with a freakin’ east coast earthquake, but that would be too easy. Instead, we will take a 10-minute drive to the Sweetest Place on Earth, where an extremely vexed raccoon attacked two Hersheypark patrons who were in line for the rollercoaster. The raccoon was apparently upset that he was too short to ride the Sooperdooperlooper.  The park’s public relations staff this morning announced they will construct a brand-new roller coaster for 2026 called the “Raccoon’s Revenge.”

That’s what passes for news around here, as April kicks into gear, and spring has arrived… wait.  We are being told there may be snow showers today. Stupid groundhog. From all your friends at Triad, have a great weekend!