April 19, 2024

Pennsylvania woman Taylor Swift released a double album in the wee hours of the morning today, and for a brief moment, it felt as if the world might just spin off its axis. There may come a day when the Swift Era subsides, but it ain’t today, babies! Oh yeah, Israel also lobbed some projectiles at Iran last night but… TAYLOR SWIFT, RIGHT??

President Joe Biden was all over Pennsylvania this week, starting in his hometown of Scranton. You DID know he was from Scranton, right? For goodness’ sake, THERE ARE OTHER TOWNS IN THE NORTHEAST, JOE! Maybe jump on over to Centralia or somewhere. WE KNOW YOU ARE FROM SCRANTON!

But the real news from Biden’s trip across the Keystone State was that he almost set off a firestorm when he (gasp!) stopped in to a Sheetz in western PA. Of course, this got the Wawa backers’ ire up, forcing Biden to level the playing field the next day. Memo to the POTUS: there are no winners in the Sheetz/Wawa debate, only seething hatred and hard feelings. Steer clear.

The former president also graced our fine soil this week, as Donald Trump made a stop in the Lehigh Valley. Trump, who is now otherwise occupied for the next few weeks, had a chance to do the funniest thing ever by hitting up both a Rutter’s and a Turkey Hill during his trip. It would have been a Ron Burgundy-style convenience store melee, with Royal Farms driving up Interstate 83 to join the kerfuffle.

If you have not been paying attention, the primary elections are next Tuesday, and more than a few really interesting matchups are on the horizon. So, make a plan to vote, or if you are a registered independent, you can just make yourself a tall glass of stay the hell home. If you vote, you will be one of the lucky 25% of registered voters who gets to make decisions about the Commonwealth’s future for everyone else.

Back when Gov. Josh Shapiro instituted automatic voter registration at driver’s license centers, there were howls of discontent from some on the right-hand side of the ledger. Some believe, and still do, that the guv overstepped his authority. But others felt it was a ploy by those sneaky Democrats. Well, cats and kittens, the numbers are in on new registered voters, and they are pretty evenly split between parties. So, if it was a Democratic dirty trick, it was a crappy and ineffective one.

For our money, the real story on new registrations is that, once again, independents are outpacing BOTH major parties, and are sitting at a million or so voters in Pennsylvania. That means that a million independent voters will be told to pound sand by our government next Tuesday because, well… reasons. If you would like to do something about this abomination you are in luck, because we have a SHAMELESS CLIENT PLUG coming at you! The Pennsylvanians for Open Primaries are here, and they have a PAC, man!  Go here to learn how to support their cause and restore some damned order to the galaxy, or at least the Commonwealth.

And before we leave the land of electoral politics, it looks like even our pals across the pond at the BBC know what’s up. As Erie County goes, so goes the 2024 elections. Expect both Biden and Trump to spend significant time and money courting those fabulously unpredictable Erie-ites.

Governor Shapiro is traveling the state to drum up support for his plan to expand services for intellectually disabled adults. Funds to eliminate waiting lists for services aren’t typically the types of issues that grab headlines, but we often find they are some of the most impactful things a government can do.

Shapiro is also making waves on the education front, by taking a crack at reforming (and in some cases eliminating) the dreaded standardized testing regimes that are the bane of both teachers’ and students’ existence.  If 14-year-olds could vote, Shapiro would get around 95% of that cohort.

A group of Pennsylvania House Democrats re-launched the Blue/Green Alliance, aimed at bringing together organized labor and environmental groups and encouraging cooperation instead of mud wrestling matches over policy. Having seen such cooperation in action (we direct you to Doral Renewables, another shameless client plug), we know it can be done.

Check out our friend, former state representative and all-around good guy Tony Payton, Jr., who reminds us why Medicare Advantage must be protected from the budgetary ax in Congress. Good thing the program doesn’t rhyme with “Ukraine,” or we might have a serious problem on our hands.

While we littered your screen with Shameless Client Plugs today (tough noogies, it is OUR party and we shall do what we want), here comes another: it is time to gather your yinzer friends and get to Kennywood! The Turtle is tested, people; let’s get it on!

Speaking of gathering yinzers, Primanti Brothers has once again won the title of Coolest Thing Made in PA, a contest held by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry. Remember, the ultimate order is cap, egg and cheese, extra grass and extra fruit.

And we can’t part ways without sharing this story about the most Kelce thing that a Kelce has ever done. On his podcast this week, Philly legend Jason Kelce shared that he has, in fact, lost his Super Bowl ring after it slipped off in a pool filled with – wait for it – chili, cheese and spaghetti (also known as Skyline Chili if you are from Cincinnati.) Sometimes the memories are better than the jewelry, folks!

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to India, where archeologists claim to have found evidence of a snake that was as along as a school bus and weighed more than one ton. Scientists said the giant snake was also likely very slow (hard to drag one ton around with no legs), which may have contributed to its demise. Enormously fat and slow? Sounds to us like it may have been cholesterol that killed it. That’s what passes for news around here as the General Assembly takes a short break for those primary elections. We, however, will not be breaking for any reason, so feel free to chat with us any time. From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!