December 30, 2022

Between the last time we all gathered here and today, a powerful and downright disrespectful winter storm plowed across the entire country. Like, the whole damned thing.  Not an acre was spared. Thirty-four American lives were lost along the way, and we pray for their families this holiday season.   

The tail end of that storm caused Southwest Airlines to completely implode upon itself, cancelling thousands of flights and stranding tens of thousands of customers.  It is perhaps the ultimate irony that Southwest’s motto is “You are now free to move about the country.” Yeah, by train we guess. Expect the next Congress to give Southwest a very stern talking to before letting them go back to their outdated business logistics plan and lousy customer service.  

Political peeps of all stripes are spending the day unwrapping former President Trump’s tax returns like they are a set of Tonka Trucks under a 7-year-old’s Christmas tree.  Is anybody gonna be shocked in the slightest when they find out he’s NOT a billionaire after all?  Too many other actual billionaires have already publicly called him out, and those people don’t eat their own. They travel in packs. Very expensive yachting packs.   

And while we gather tomorrow and bid adieu to 2022, please say a prayer for folks in Ukraine, who still have missiles raining down on them as 2023 dawns.  

And before we depart from the international and national news segment of this rag, we simply cannot let the moment pass without mentioning Congressman-elect George Santos!  This dude unloaded a barrel of lies upon the good people of Long Island that are mind boggling: his job history (doesn’t have one) to his college degree (ditto) to his mom dying on 9/11 (she did not) to being Jewish (he is WAY not).  In fact, most Long Island Jews are most assuredly calling this guy meshuggenah.  In a final twist, he revealed today that he is the great-grandson of Inigo Montoya and is, in fact, looking for the man who killed his father.  

Governor Tom Wolf is cleaning up some loose ends while getting atop his horse to ride off into a well-deserved sunset.  As he departs, a new public opinion poll showed Wolf with a positive approval rating, something not many elected officials can tout right about now.  In fact, it was apparently so high the Associated Press didn’t even put the number in their multi-paragraph story about it. Wolf leaves office as humble as he did walking in, and we wish he and Frances and his whole family nothing but health and happiness.   

Despite some very high-profile cat fights, the General Assembly actually had quite a productive previous session, partnering with Wolf on 166 new laws.  From modernizing health care to creating a new broadband authority to record funding for schools and law enforcement, it is ALMOST like a lot of the media spilled a few barrels of ink on the negative, sometimes overlooking the very positive. Which we suppose is the new normal, as good news tends not to drive those clicks.     

And by the looks of it, both parties have some seriously full agendas for the next two years.  It’s fun doing this dance every two years!  Watching all the bright-eyed enthusiasm on swearing-in day and then watching the following twenty-three and a half months of…not enthusiasm.  Anyway, check out the wish lists.  

But maybe, just maybe, this two-year cycle will be different.  A divided government is the norm for now, and there are almost fifty new lawmakers taking the oath next week, so hope springs eternal right??  Anyway, this also means if you happen to need the services of a public affairs team and their plan to meet all these new folks is “you know, dinners and stuff”, you should probably e-mail Roy Wells at  Gonna take a bit more than that, Jack Spratt.  

One thing that is as dead certain as you can get in this business is that swearing-in day 2023 will be crazytown bananapants in the lower chamber.  Who has the majority?  Who will be Speaker?  Whose special election dates are legal?  How long before the presiding officer (chief clerk Brooke Wheeler, whom you should pray for) completely snaps the silly straw, pulls the fire alarm and leaves?  2023 will be one for the books, babies.    

The state gas tax is slated to tick up a few cents in the new year, which will predictably cause elected officials to completely overreact and make outlandish policy promises, despite the fact that the Commonwealth needs infrastructure money like we need air and right now, that gas tax is pretty much all we have.  But hey, proceed.  Call us when you all get serious about it, though.  Remember Fern Hollow?  Sure, ya do!  Good thing there is NO CHANCE that could EVER happen again to any of the THOUSANDS of other structurally deficient bridges we have.  

In Shameless Client Plug news, we give a shout out to our pals at the Behavioral Wellness Center at Girard for landing a cool million clams to upgrade their facilities as they fight for the most vulnerable in Philly.  Good on ya, BeWell!    

And in our final We Can’t Make This Up of 2022, we take you down under to Australia, where a woman reached for what she thought was a stuffed dog toy only to find out it was actually a living, breathing Tasmanian Devil (which react to stress pretty much exactly as depicted in the cartoons.) The furry little bugger, which is the largest carnivorous marsupial on the planet, was removed without incident, that is if you don’t count the puddle of human urine on the floor “an incident.”  

So that’s what passes for news around here, friends and neighbors, as we glide like Clyde in 2023.  We will be back next year with our weekly musings and some other amazing trinkets.  So, tune in, invite your pals to subscribe, and from all of us at Team Triad, have a safe, happy and healthy 2023!