February 10, 2023

Opening up this week by sending some prayers and good vibes to our junior U.S. senator and largest human in D.C., John Fetterman. We look forward to your healthy return soon!

Listen, we all know that Philadelphia is the center of the universe this weekend as the Eagles prepare to administer a beat-down to the Chiefs. But apart from that, we give a well-deserved shout-out to their top bird Don Smolenski, who after hearing of a Chiefs fan lending a new kidney to an Eagles fan decided to send both former U.S. Marines to the Super Bowl. Great story!

In a total Philly move, Gov. Josh Shapiro bet not one, but two other governors on the outcome of the game, promising them all manner of Philly treats if the Chiefs actually win. Among the goodies are a few cheesesteaks, some soft pretzels, a greased lamppost, a SEPTA token and an unpaid PPA citation.

In other Philly athletic news, our own Chief Visionary Roy Wells is headed to the board of the city’s Police Athletic League. Congrats Roy!

Because we can’t ignore the sports world comings and goings of Pittsburgh (we are bipartisan, people), the Pirates did some stuff this offseason that will surely end up being the most Pirate-y things ever pirated and they will lose 100 games. Carry on.

The nation was brought to the brink of war when a Chinese spy balloon entered our airspace last week. The war was not, however, between the two superpowers, but instead between political parties who couldn’t decide if the president shot it down quickly enough. In the meantime, we could not get that seminal 80s pop song Ninety-Nine Red Balloons out of our heads for a week.

President Joe Biden gave his annual State of the Union Address, a kind and genteel affair that spawned a million memes of Marjorie Taylor Greene. In time-honored fashion, the opposition pointed out all of the problems the president didn’t mention, as if they expected him to open with “My fellow Americans, the state of our union is shaky as hell, and I don’t have the foggiest idea how to fix it. You’re all on you own. Joe out.”

We give a shout-out to longtime Triad client and friend Mark Gusek, who had a front-row seat for the extravaganza, which, much like Mark, is cool as hell.

An unfathomable 20,000 souls have been lost in Syria and Turkey after a gargantuan earthquake hit this week. Thoughts and prayers might not be enough here, folks. Maybe consider checking out the Red Cross and parting with some loot.

The Pennsylvania House Democrats officially claimed a 102-101 majority in the Statehouse this week after sweeping three special elections in Allegheny Cahn-ty.  And with that, we can all get back to the fancy legislating we have been used to seeing. It was rather dull around here for the past month, gotta be honest.

The courts have ruled that Pennsylvania’s system of public school funding is downright Koyaanisqatsi, which elicited three distinct responses from lawmakers. First was the obvious “we need to spend a few more billion dollars on schools.” The second and more nuanced was “see? We need more school choice.” And coming in third was “we told you we should have abolished property taxes.” Yeah, fixing a funding problem by wiping out half of the funding is a plan, we suppose.

Pandemic-era emergency SNAP (food stamps for the old heads among us) benefits will come to an end soon, and that is gonna leave a mark on the food insecure in Pennsylvania, of which there are a helluva lot more than you think. Maybe give our own food bank expert and volunteer Olivia Rindfuss a ring to see how you can help.

The year of the Pennsylvania Child Care Tax Credit has arrived, so let your accountant or H&R Block person or, in our case, your uncle Vito know if you have child care costs for your wee ones. Those critters can be expensive.

A train derailment in Ohio was perilously close to causing a major catastrophe for both the Buckeye and Keystone states. Our heroic first responders helped avert disaster, because that’s what they do, people.  They run TOWARD the stuff that we all run AWAY from.

Our good friend Rep. Donna Bullock, chair of the House Legislative Black Caucus, shared that group’s priorities for 2023, priorities which may have gotten a bit easier to nail down now that Ms. Bullock is a member of the majority party. Best of luck to her and her team!

Over on the Triad socials this week, we celebrated Todd Brysiak’s natal day, and cordially invited all of you to our next “Tuesdays with Triad” cocktail party, which will be Mardi Gras-themed and also closely resemble Todd’s birthday party. Join us!

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we travel to Altoona, home of the curve and some pretty weird-looking pizza. Police in that town were called to rescue a woman who somehow got herself stuck inside a clothing donation box. Listen kids, no matter how mad you get at your mom, it is never OK to try and donate her to the Salvation Army. Not cool.

That’s what passes for news around here, as we experience our first Fake Spring of the year. Look for our next installment, which might come with a foot of snow and bitter temperatures, because that’s how Pennsylvania rolls! From all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!