January 12, 2023

Chris Christie officially dropped out of the race for president this week, giving major sads to the segment of the voters who would literally vote for a lampshade instead of Donald Trump. Christie may not have been your particular brand of whiskey, but he was easily the funniest person in the race. Historians will look back fondly on the election cycle where one candidate repeatedly called the other one a corrupt scumbag, and the other responded with, “whatever, fat ass.”

President Biden announced another round of student loan forgiveness, immediately setting off howls from his detractors that he is trying to buy the Gen Z vote. If that were the case, they must not be paying attention, since his polling numbers among young voters are in the latrine.

Biden spent the day in Allentown today, because… Pennsylvania. Think he’s becoming a bit of a nuisance? Just wait until the GOP field finally leaves Iowa and New Hampshire. Before long, Biden is just gonna reestablish residency here.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made headlines for not mentioning to the White House – and more specifically his boss, the commander-in-chief – that he was hospitalized and had surgery. This isn’t like your line cook not showing up for work for a few days. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want him out, an impressive thing to see from a Congress that can’t even agree that today is Friday.

Meanwhile, the congressional Republicans are fighting amongst themselves like cats in a burlap sack over Speaker Mike Johnson’s proposed budget deal with the Senate. Mike probably is well aware that the last speaker who had the temerity to do a deal with Chuck Schumer was summarily booted off the dais. If no deal comes together, we could see a government shut down next week, which is why Congress spent yet another week whacking the bejesus out of Hunter Biden.

North Penn High School held a mock presidential convention, in which the winners were Vivek Ramaswamy and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (who, despite appearances is not running – yet.)   Donald Trump immediately went on Truth Social and declared the election stolen, while Biden responded, “the young whippersnappers did what now?”

The special commission of lawmakers tasked with rewriting the rules on basic education funding came back this week with a recommendation that the Commonwealth spend an additional $5.4 billion on schools over the next few years. Democrats backed the plan, while the GOP members did not. For context, that number is almost the exact annual GDP of Fiji and a billion more than that of Liberia.

Pennsylvania is slated to receive a cool $47 million to start electrifying school buses in the state. Ever sit in a car behind an idling school bus? Those things STANK, so we are here for the electrification.

The Shapiro administration announced that it is partnering with AI, becoming the first state to do so. The first thing we thought was that Shapiro hired Allen Iverson, but soon found out differently. We suspect once Shapiro finds out he can’t replace the entire House and Senate membership with AI versions, he might lose interest.

The U.S. Park Service decided to remove the William Penn statue from one of Philly’s parks, causing people to absolutely take leave of their freaking minds (we do drama very well here.) After the outcry, the Park Service decided to scrap the idea. Nonetheless, we do realize that there are five other William Penn statues in Philly, right? Including that one atop a certain building you can see from New Jersey?

Governor Shapiro may have inadvertently revealed that he was a fan of the late Mitch Hedberg, who once famously said, “escalators do not break, they just become stairs.” Team Shapiro unveiled plans to replace the habitually broken East Wing escalators with a grand staircase. Since we spend more than a little time in that building, we polled our employees. The results? Women who wear heels are NOT pleased, and neither are smokers.

About 210,000 Pennsylvania families will soon see some tax relief, as the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget includes an expansion of the childcare tax credit. Just listen to our pal, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, he knows what’s up.

Pennsylvania will also finally join 49 other states in providing money for criminal defense of indigent people. As one might expect, the $7.5 million the state will provide ain’t quite enough. It also ain’t $5.4 billion, either. Sorry, still cannot wrap our nuggets around that number.

Five years after the implementation of the largest soda tax in the country, Philly sells fewer sweetened beverages than any big city in the country, we learned this week. This fact probably makes anti-obesity advocates happy, but let’s also remember that the universal pre-K program the tax was intended to fund didn’t happen, and isn’t going to happen. That tax money, as many of us LOUDLY predicted, gets dumped right into the city’s general fund. But we knew that all along, didn’t we, kids?

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to Brazil, where an amateur treasure hunter who dreamt he had gold treasure under his house dug himself a 12-story hole, then promptly fell down the hole and died. The real tragedy was when authorities later found that the treasure was buried 13 floors down.

That’s what passes for news around here as some of us continue practicing dry January while others laugh at people who are doing dry January. Every year, the former group seems to become practitioners of “Hammerdrunk February,” but we digress. Thanks for giving us your eyes for a few minutes today (here, take them back now.) From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend, and go Steelers and Eagles!