January 13, 2023

Inflation continues to cool for the sixth straight month, we found out this week. A strong jobs report, plus cooling inflation, has pushed Joe Biden’s approval rating into positive territory for the first time since he was vice president. Hey, speaking of when Joe was veep…

The big news out of the Capital City this week was that President Biden was holding onto some classified documents (before he was elected) that he had no earthly reason to hold on to. Now, before anyone freaks out, those documents were in a very secure place: in his garage next to his Corvette, under a case of Pennzoil 10W-40 (that ‘Vette needs the good stuff) and next to Hunter’s old tricycle. And with that, all of the meticulously kept high ground Team Biden had over Team Trump on the issue of handling classified materials burned up like it was sitting on a gas stove.

Ah yes, gas stoves, the most dangerous thing this side of an AR-15. Another Biden administration official was waxing less than poetically this week about the danger posed by gas stoves, and oh boy. Dude tripped over the culture war trip wire and set off a blaze that is still burning on the internet and into a full, five-alarm conflagration over on Fox News. Remember the good old days when unelected bureaucrats would say something dumb, and no one knew about it?

And do you happen to know when you can cook with a gas oven, while we are on the subject? That’s right! Pizza Hut announced this week it will bring back the Big New Yorker pizza. If they also bring back red plastic cups, a Galaga machine and a vintage jukebox blasting the latest Loverboy tune, we will resign from Team Triad forthwith.

A corrupt computer file over at the FAA grounded all of the nation’s air traffic Wednesday morning, which led to the usual calm, cool and thoughtful response by Biden administration critics. The next day, the same outage happened in Canada, leading us to believe that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is also serving in that same capacity north of the border. In short, the critical aviation software currently being used in this country was manufactured back when Nirvana was breaking into music and can be completely disabled by one drunk dude with a corrupt jump drive. Feel safe?

And sometime soon, the dumbest fight Congress has each year will re-commence. That’s right, we are about to run out of money. But instead of a quick raise of the old credit card limit, the newly elected GOP House majority is looking to seriously cut back on the spend side of that equation. Ledgers have two sides for a reason, people.

The state Senate marched forward with alacrity in passing a constitutional amendment designed to open a look-back window for child sex assault cases. As you might remember from all the way back seven days ago, that issue was the sole reason Democrat state Rep. Mark Rozzi grabbed the speaker’s gavel. But before anyone gets too comfy, the GOP majority in the senate also included some toppings on that pizza that Rozzi did not order, namely voter ID and cutting executive branch regulatory power. And so, the first stare-down of 2023 commences, and Josh Shapiro hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

For his part, Speaker Rozzi then named a bipartisan work group to untangle this Gordian knot and get some work done. That team of six members will meet weekly until something gets done, which might coincide with the earth crashing into the sun, by some accounts. But best of luck to the six cooler heads in the room!

Lawmakers are also kicking the tires on a plan to move the 2024 primary date up to March, making the Keystone State THE pivotal player in the presidential primary races. Hey, here’s a thought. Maybe at the same time you are doing that, pass some legislation to allow Independents to vote in the primary elections? We are sure they wanna play too.

The state Senate also passed a bill that would stop the automatic boost in the gas tax authorized under the Corbett administration, the now-famous Act 89. While we are sure House members will look at the plan carefully should they ever have standing committees, we hope someone will mention what that gas tax money is ultimately used for. We hear it is pretty important in the grand scheme.

Things continue to shake, rattle and roll out at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, with milkshakes and sheep shawls and everything in between. As a potential way to break the House control stalemate, we propose a head-to-head cow-milking battle between policy chairs for a winner-take-all. It will be Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, the Pride of Presque Isle, versus Rep. Josh Kail, the Battling Beaver Countian! 

The University of Pennsylvania released a study this week showing an undeniable link between blight and gun violence. Ergo, where blight is tackled, gun violence drops. So, since investing in blighted properties seems to be a fairly easy thing to do, maybe let’s do that.

As Governor Wolf gets ready to hand the keys to Josh Shapiro, he has signed a few more pardons on his way out. Wolf has generally confined the pardon pen for low-level marijuana violations, and this one was no different. Meek Mill, come on down!

Our Shameless Client Plug this week goes out to our friends at the Liberty Museum, who announced this week they will host a tribute to David Bowie through April, instantly making it the coolest museum ON THE PLANET!

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to Des Moines, Iowa, where local wildlife officials scared the bejesus out of the locals by warning them of a mountain lion on the loose. As it turns out, the mountain lion in question turned out to be someone’s house cat. This all begs the obvious question: if you are a wildlife official in Des Moines and you can’t tell the difference between a mountain lion and Whiskers the Kitty, should you even be a wildlife official in Des Moines?

That’s what passes for news around here as the anticipation builds for the swearing-in of Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro and Lt. Gov.-elect Austin Davis. We will be there for the festivities, and will have PLENTY to say about it, trust us on that one! Until then, from Team Triad, have a great weekend!