June 7, 2024

Americans paused yesterday to observe the 80th anniversary of D-Day and honor the brave souls who began the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. If you’d like to feel old, D-Day is now closer to the end of the Civil War than it is to today. You’re welcome.

The U.S. marked the occasion by sending $225 million worth of military equipment to Ukraine, which due to Pentagon pricing means Ukraine received three M-16s, two toilet seats and a used bolt cutter.

The country added 272,000 new jobs last month, proving yet again what an abject disaster our economy is. We’ve said it before: this is the worst recession ever. Biden can’t even do recessions right.

Meanwhile, Biden’s train wreck offspring Hunter spent the week in a Delaware court arguing that he was NOT on drugs when he filled out a gun registration form, despite witnesses who claim he was literally standing on top of a giant pile of crack cocaine while filling out the form. “Sure, your honor, I was smoking crack for 23 hours that day, just not during that one hour I was in the gun shop.” 

Twenty-three million Americans, including more than 700,000 thousand Pennsylvanians, are gonna lose low-cost internet service any minute now, since the pandemic-era Affordable Connectivity Program is about to sunset. Congress has a storied history of taking programs that work and letting them go belly-up because… reasons.

Pennsylvania’s Department of State reported far fewer rejected mail-in ballots in 2024 than previous years, meaning either we are learning lessons along the way and adjusting, or there is a HUGE VOTING CONSPIRACY AFOOT! Heh heh heh. It’s Friday, why not just toss a match over near those gas cans?

Retirement insecurity was national news this week, as NBC Nightly News interviewed a former Pennsylvania teacher (shameless client plug!) whose pension is now worth 50% of what it was when she retired. If only there were a bill matriculating through our General Assembly that could fix that problem…

Distracted driving is now a crime in Pennsylvania, as Gov. Josh Shapiro lent his signature to a bill that bans the use of hand-held devices while driving. This law, of course, is a huge blow to Gen Z drivers who like to record TikToks of themselves behind the wheel while hurtling down the freeway at 70 miles per hour.

The race to the 2024-2025 budget deadline commenced in earnest this week, as the state House moved forward with a plan to invest heavily in public education, while simultaneously capping cyber charter payments. Now that both chambers have laid down their markers (tax cuts and education spending), let’s get to business, people. As June Carter Cash said, “time’s a-wastin’.”

Expanding the roles and duties of nurse practitioners has been a fairly bipartisan idea around these parts, since Pennsylvania ain’t alone when it comes to physician shortages. So, will this be the year it finally happens? Doctors are opposed to this idea, as they worry that somehow a nurse practitioner is gonna replace them and start scheduling brain surgeries and stuff. It would seem there is plenty of common ground here if we all just keep in mind that there are places in Pennsylvania where you have to drive 50 miles to see a physician. Coincidentally, these are also places where high-speed internet is nothing more than a rumor, so telemedicine is out.

The state Game Commission is sitting on a half-billion clams, thanks to gas drilling royalty checks piling up on someone’s desk (NOTE: some of the same people who have disdain for gas drilling have zero problem spending the proceeds.) Now the real battle begins, which is coming to terms with how to spend that loot with a modicum of accountability. In government, sometimes it is harder to agree on how to spend money than it is to agree where to make budget cuts. Watch and learn, good people.

The Shapiro administration released its much-anticipated 10-year plan for aging, necessitated by the fact that we have a whole lot of oldies here in the Commonwealth. If you really want to know what is gonna drive future deficits in the Keystone State, take a look at our aging population. The AARP is gonna be the biggest club in Pennsylvania at some point, and everyone is gonna be trying to jam into restaurants at 4 p.m., looking for that 5% discount on dinner.

We have so many shameless client plugs this week that for the first time, we actually feel shame.  OK, not a lot of shame, but here we go. We already mentioned the retired school employees, so up next are our friends at the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters, who were featured on KDKA this week as they fight for PTSI benefits for first responders. If not now, when? 

Next up, give a shout out to our friends at United Way PA as they advocate for tax relief for the poorest Pennsylvanians. If we are gonna pursue tax cuts this year, maybe use a scalpel instead of a cleaver? These folks are truly the ones who need the help. Live United, y’all!

Meanwhile, our intrepid pals at PA Animal Rescue were in eastern PA training folks on how to respond to large-animal incidents, like a horse getting loose and cantering down I-95. Here is a thought: maybe, just maybe, that fine organization could have its own, dedicated, NON-RAIDABLE funding source this year? No? OK. The next time 10 cows wander onto an interstate, go get ‘em yourself, smarty pants.

Who’s up next? It is the wonderful humans at College Possible, who celebrated 10 years in business, meaning we only have seven short years before College Possible has to start thinking about going to college.

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we head to Missouri, where a man who was cited for driving on a suspended license showed up at his court hearing ON CAMERA, DRIVING HIS CAR! Distracted driving? Nah, more like brain-dead driving. Whatever this dude paid his lawyer, it is certainly not enough.

That’s what passes for news around here, as we careen into the weekend! Make sure to come back next week, as the budget debate heats up and we start churning out budget content that you cannot live without! From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!