October 27, 2023

We start the weekend by sending good wishes to Maria Battista, GOP candidate for Superior Court, who was injured by a passing car while she campaigned this week. Team Triad wishes you a speedy recovery!

As the fifth anniversary of the Tree of Life massacre dawned, the news out of Maine shocked all of us, although at this point, is it even shocking anymore? And while we send our love to the victims, maybe, just maybe, we can send some sort of congressional action too? Or is that too much to ask?

The Biden recession continued to ravage America this week as the gross domestic product zoomed past expectations, hitting 4.9% for the last quarter. And yet, Americans continue to believe the economy is a raging dumpster fire. This is the riddle the Biden White House will need to solve to have any hope of winning in 2024.

The U.S House finally has a speaker, as the GOP temporarily put away the long knives and elected Rep. Mike Johnson. If you had to Google Mike Johnson, don’t worry, so did most of the U.S. Senate. The House GOP may end up questioning why they benched their top fundraiser, Kevin McCarthy, a year before an election that will determine partisan balance in the House. Democrats immediately tagged Johnson as “the architect of the January 6th insurrection,” which is puzzling, since they said the same thing about McCarthy… and Jim Jordan… and Tom Emmer… Seriously, pick an architect and stick with it.

Cherelle Parker and David Oh met for a debate as the race for mayor of Philadelphia winds down. The big news out of the night was how few fireworks there were and how civil an affair it turned out to be (a very un-Philly like description if we’ve ever heard one.) Oh, who is a genuinely good person and fine public servant, has been critical that Parker hasn’t agreed to more debates, but let’s be candid here folks.  A Parker loss in this race is about as likely as RFK Jr. winning the White House.

The Shapiro administration (as well as Senate GOP leadership) is touting the fact that Pennsylvania is in line to share the spoils of not one, but TWO federally funded clean hydrogen hubs. If you still haven’t figured out how Pennsylvania got so lucky, insert “electoral votes Pennsylvania” into your Google machine and get back to us.

Meanwhile, we stumbled across this eye-popping report about how seriously Koyaanisqatsi our election laws are in Pennsylvania. If you are an advocate for election code changes (and who amongst us is not?), you should start here.

The state Senate passed a bill to ban explicit content from schools, or at least give parents the chance to shield their kids from such material. And while that debate was vigorous, as opponents called the bill a book ban, we would simply point out to both sides that what a child can find on the internet is waaaaaaaaay worse than any book they stumble across at school. Really, do kids even read actual books anymore?

And while we are arguing over what should be in our school libraries, let’s not forget that there are some schools in the state that are so poor that they don’t even HAVE freaking libraries in the first place!  Priorities, people. After all, it is very difficult to ban books when there are, in fact, no books.

Team Shapiro is getting rave reviews from some in the business community for the governor’s efforts to streamline licensing and permitting in the state. And while this may not be the flashiest of stories, it tends to matter to small business owners who don’t wanna wait six months for a simple permit to be processed because Jane or John went out on medical leave and nobody checked their files.

Meanwhile, one thing that is certainly not moving with alacrity is a pile of loot meant to help keep the lid on tuition for in-state students at Pitt, PSU, Temple and Lincoln. This week, the four university presidents sent a letter to the General Assembly explaining why they could use this influx sooner than later. Like, yesterday.

As states undergo the arduous process of unwinding Medicaid programs that expanded during COVID, lots of folks who remain eligible for benefits are being booted off and vice versa. Why, you ask? It seems as though you need about seven minutes training to become a Medicaid customer service representative, or roughly the amount of time is takes to learn how to work the microwave at Sheetz.

Governor Shapiro affixed his signature to an update of Pennsylvania’s Dog Law, which pretty much guarantees him a second four-year term, in our estimation. Dogs, and the general welfare of them, seem to be the only bipartisan issue left in politics. In fact, as we often point out, if we treated humans with half the compassion we show to dogs in this state…

Some 54% of Americans believe the government is doing too much and should keep its nose the hell out of our business, according to Gallup. This confirms the time-honored tradition of Americans believing the government is too powerful until it’s not fixing a problem they want fixed. Much like a Social Security and Medicare recipient telling you they are against government spending.

The Commonwealth has a snazzy new archive building, where more than a billion pages of state artifacts will be safely housed. We estimate at least half of those documents are old House and Senate co-sponsorship memos for bills that never passed. For more on why archived documents are worth a fortune and should be auctioned off, contact Triad Senior VP Doug Rohanna, who has been trying to get the state to do so for decades.

Over on the Triad socials this week, say congrats to research man and project manager extraordinaire Charles Oberdick on his two-year Triadiversary. Charles is, in fact, in charge up in here.

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we head off to Utah, a state that is still as uptight as you think it is. City officials in Grantsville ordered citizens to remove a Halloween decoration they deemed to be inappropriate. The display in question was a skeleton working a street sign like a stripper pole while other skeletons threw money at it. If this display were in south Philly, it would win awards. In Utah? PROTECT US FROM FICTIONAL STRIPPER SKELETONS!

That’s what passes for news around here on a beautiful Friday in October that feels like a beautiful Friday in May, but will soon be a distant memory a month from now when it’s raining ice, sideways. Come back next week when we will do pretty much what we did this week because we lack creative vision on Fridays. From all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!