January 19, 2023

President Biden on Thursday ordered his fifth missile strike into Houthi camps in Yemen. The Iran-backed terrorists have tried to wreak havoc in the Red Sea as of late, attacking merchant ships like a bunch of deranged Johnny Depp characters. When asked if his strikes had caused the Houthis to stop, Biden said no, which is an indication that he’s not even close to stopping.

Congress passed a continuing resolution last night, ensuring that the government will keep the lights on through at least March, when lawmakers will come together and still not do their jobs and pass another continuing resolution until June, when lawmakers will come back and still not do their jobs… you get the picture. Life itself is just a long continuing resolution. – J.P. Sarte, probably.

The federal courts have ruled that Pennsylvania cannot prohibit 18–21-year-olds from carrying firearms. This will be a huge relief to all of those 18–21-year-old gang members and drug dealers who, until now, could not legally carry a firearm and wouldn’t DREAM of doing so in violation of the law.

The application window is open for the state’s property tax rent rebate program. The income eligibility levels will be the highest ever this year, so if you know someone struggling with rent or property taxes, give them the news.

Lawmakers are kicking around a plan to allow school students to take mental health days. This would seem like a smart move, given all the attention we have paid to child mental health over the past few years. Back in our day, we called mental health days “playing hooky,” which is entirely fitting since there isn’t much better for your mental health than skipping school, grabbing your fishing pole and some cold sarsaparillas and hitting the river bank.

Governor Shapiro gave us a sneak preview into his budget priorities that he will outline before the General assembly on Feb. 6. It would appear as though public schools and public safety are at the head of the line for Shapiro. Cue the music to “1-877 cops and kids!” Yeah, that’s been in our heads since we read the story. We are not well.

York County passed a plan that would eliminate county property taxes for volunteer firefighters, which is pretty innovative. See what we can achieve when we actually financially incentivize people to run into burning structures? Imagine if more communities actually paid firefighters, like, a salary and stuff. Wow, the mind boggles.

Meanwhile, the additional 30-cent tax on cell phones authorized this year to help fund our 911 systems isn’t nearly enough. It is utterly amazing to us how many Americans are happy to TELL you they support public safety (firefighters, EMS systems, 911 operators), but categorically refuse to PAY for public safety. Everybody wants to go to heaven; nobody wants to die.

A state House committee this week passed legislation that would ban sales of assault weapons in the Commonwealth. While it is unclear if the bill has enough support to pass the full House, there is zero doubt that it does NOT have enough support to pass the state Senate. Like, exactly zero chance.

One lawmaker has proposed a plan that would rein in the use of artificial intelligence in elections. While the enforcement of such a plan might be difficult, maybe having a little artificial intelligence in elections is not all that bad, considering that there is a growing dearth of actual real intelligence in elections.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has come together to add dental coverage to Medicaid services, something that was dropped in 2011. We talk a lot about bipartisan solutions around here, so as much as we don’t like to call out individual lawmakers, we are going to change that internal rule for just such occasions. Kudos to two of Allegheny County’s finest, Rep. Emily Kinkead (D) and Val Gaydos (R) for laying down arms and finding solutions!

And the former prime sponsor of that bill, Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato, finds herself staring down a decision to reassess properties in the county because, well, they need to be. Innamorato appears smart enough to understand that reassessments, much like tax increases, are a “year one” topic, not a “year three” topic.

Over on the Triad Socials, we reflected on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, and we also celebrated the natal anniversary of our own Brandi Hunter-Davenport. Buy her some Krispy Kremes if you see her!

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to Florida. It’s been a while, Sunshine State, what’s cooking? Oh, just a guy who got drunk, kicked out of a restaurant, started chucking deep fried gator nuggets at customers, then attempted to molest a large, plastic manatee. Even Florida cops have a line in the sand, and that line is apparently attempting sex with a plastic sea mammal.

That’s what passes for news around here as we sink into a deep freeze in the Susquehanna Valley. For all y’all who hooted and hollered that it never snows here anymore… yeah, shut up now. We will return next week with a whole lot of amazing stuff and even some gator nuggets, so stick around. From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!