May 10, 2024

When the week that just passed is written about in the annals of history, people are apt to believe this was the beginning of the end of society as we knew it. While one presidential candidate was in a courtroom listening to the testimony of an adult film star, one of his rivals was on television talking about the dead worm doctors found in his brain, while at the very same time a candidate for vice president was making the talk show rounds defending the fact that she grabbed a gun and smoked the family dog in his nugget in some gravel pit in South Dakota. Porn, brain worms and dog killing. Sounds like a bad Tarantino flick.

Meanwhile, part-time congresswoman and full-time performance artist Marjorie Taylor Greene has finally done what we once thought impossible: she united the House GOP conference. Now, it turns out they united against HER, but hey, it’s a start!

We would be remiss if we did not point out that Vice President Kamala Harris made her way to Pennsylvania this week and met with Sheryl Lee Ralph, who is easily the most famous and powerful person in her own home. Sorry, Senator Hughes. We call ‘em like we see ‘em. 

New political polling came out, showing both the presidential race and the U.S. Senate race within the margin of error here in Pennsylvania. The same poll showed Gov. Josh Shapiro with a, uh, healthy approval rating of 64%. If Biden has any sense at all, he is stapling Shapiro to his side every time he enters the state.

On the state legislative front, the Senate GOP threw down quite the budget marker for the coming negotiations with Governor Shapiro. Shapiro, as you know by now, has proposed to invest billions in state revenue for everything from school funding to home care services. The GOP response was to pass a bill that would cut taxes on working people and small businesses by about $3 billion. So, we have an idea. Shapiro and Dems get $1.5 billion to spend, and the GOP gets $1.5 billion in tax cuts, and we all go home. Cool?

The state House passed a bill that would provide PTSI benefits under workers’ compensation to first responders. Here is where we scream “SHAMELESS CLIENT PLUG!” at the top of our lungs and congratulate our 7,500 friends at the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association. One more chamber to go!

If you were unlucky enough to have to practice your craft in the state capital this week, you know that there were approximately 480 rallies, packed with people who made every hallway into a human cholesterol-packed artery. One of these rallies was held by Operation Cease Fire, who then watched in disbelief as two of their preferred bills went downtown to Nay-town on the House floor. Ya know, they could have watched that from their couches. Geez.

There was also a rally for increased aid to childcare workers, as it is impossible to have a fully functioning workforce if no one is home to watch the wee ones. After watching the Cease Fire bills fail, the childcare folks politely asked that their bills NOT be voted on and left town.

The House did, however, pass a strong social media regulatory framework for said wee ones, giving parents a lot more control over content and adding tools to monitor harmful speech. It was a big swing, for sure, but we have a sneaking suspicion that nine people in black robes down in D.C. have some thoughts of their own.

Speaking of the Lower Chamber, one of the primary election races is STILL not over, as a Luzerne County seat currently hangs in the balance by a mere four votes. Next time you hear, “but my vote doesn’t matter anyway,” kindly relay this story to them and slap them upside the noggin.

It is a bit ironic, however, that the House seat from the previous paragraph will come down to whether mail-in and provisional ballots were properly handled. Just this week, the Shapiro administration noted that disqualified mail-in ballot numbers have dropped substantially in the last election. Let us all pray that the trend holds in November. Maybe we will know who won by Christmas.

The latest batch of voter registration numbers is in, and the GOP keeps on closing the gap with Democrats statewide, narrowing the registration edge to 4%. However, the number of registered Independents has jumped by 15%. Keep that in mind. As November nears, you will be INUNDATED with stories about how Independents will decide the next president. What if those voters, who the state bars from voting in primary elections, just decide en masse not to show up at the polls? If they aren’t good enough for ya in May, why are they good enough for ya in November?

Our good friends at PECO (Shameless Client Plug 2!) would like to remind you that scammers are aggressively targeting PECO customers. So, if you answer the phone and someone tells you they are coming to shut off your electricity if you don’t pay up RIGHT NOW… hang up. These people are what we refer to in the business as “jackwagons.”

On the Triad Socials this week, we hosted our friends (Shameless Client Plug 3!) from the Erie Chamber of Business & Industry for a darned good time! Go Erie!

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to Michigan, where an unemployed and homeless woman decided to create her own little place inside of the lighted sign atop a grocery store. Her humble (and very well lit) abode featured a computer, printer, some houseplants and even a cubbyhole for food.  The so-called “Roof Ninja” was caught and relocated, but the grocery store is now renting this “cute little one-bedroom studio” for $1,100/month.

That’s what passes for news around here, as the General Assembly takes a week off from all that fancy legislating. We will be back next week because our 12 fans wouldn’t have it any other way! From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!