September 15, 2023

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced this week that his chamber will begin an impeachment inquiry on President Joe Biden. Although K-Mac stressed this is only an inquiry, we have a pretty solid idea of what comes next. In the meantime, his conference is threatening a government shutdown, and at least one faction of his party wants him to give up the gavel. This all happened in a span of three days.  Impressive stuff.

Convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante is back in custody after a two-week manhunt, where the escapee did a fine impression of Dr. Richard Kimble. He was finally taken down by a K-9 officer named Yoda after the dog literally Jedi-mind-tricked him into custody. “Get caught, you will.”

Moody’s announced it has upgraded Pennsylvania’s financial outlook to “positive,” sending leaders of both parties into a frenzy to take credit first. Success indeed has a thousand mothers.

Governor Shapiro announced he has created a new Office of Outdoor Recreation. Pennsylvania’s open spaces are an economic driver that is often overlooked. So, get out there and enjoy them, dammit. They are way better than New Jersey’s.

Speaking of Shapiro, if you wanna speak directly to the big guy, you no longer have to slide into his DMs.  The governor announced this week that he wants you to text him instead. Like many of us, Shapiro often prefers a text to a tedious, never-ending phone call.

The General Assembly’s new panel empowered to examine public school funding has heard from the first of many testifiers, and at least one advocate contends that we underfund public education by 6.2 BILLION dollars (in our best Dr. Evil voice.) Well, let’s just check under the couch cushions to see what we have…

The state Supreme Court is taking up a case that could send shockwaves through the state, and you probably didn’t even know. You’re welcome. The City of Philadelphia is arguing that the state’s preemption that prohibits cities from enacting gun safety ordinances is unconstitutional. If the ruling goes their way, mayor-in-waiting Cherelle Parker might just find a helluva Christmas gift under her tree.

In the meantime, the other, bigger Supreme Court has decided not to weigh in on Fulton County’s ongoing kerfuffle over handing its voting machines to third party “auditors.” At this rate, the next election here might be in 66 counties instead of 67, with Fulton being placed on permanent double secret probation.

Speaking of the next election, the venerable Philadelphia Inquirer opined this week that we are doing a massive disservice to independent voters by not allowing them to vote in the primaries. Imagine having your tax dollars pay for an election that you can’t participate in? Yeah, that’s us. We are the problem.

Also, for those not keeping score at home, the partisan balance of power in the state House is again up for grabs Tuesday as some Allegheny County voters flock (OK, trickle) to the polls to pick Sara Innamorato’s successor. If the GOP pulls the upset, wake the kids and call the neighbors, it is gonna be a real fun final push to November. Chances are the House Democrats hold serve, and they go about holding their collective breath until the NEXT special election.

When it comes to trust in government and major institutions, Gen Z apparently has roughly none. Only one in six Gen Zers trust their elected officials, which could scramble the eggs of electoral predictions moving forward. Nothing like a massive voting bloc of seriously skeptical people.

It’s been quite some time since former Gov. Tom Wolf entered into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and seven carbon auctions later, we still got diddly squat, due to pending court rulings. At some point, we gotta fish or cut bait here.

Congratulations to Pennsylvania’s own Colleen Shogun, the first woman ever selected to serve as the nation’s archivist. It will be her job to meticulously catalogue the mangled rubble and smoldering remains of our democracy after the 2024 elections.

Shameless Client Plug time! Our pals at the Trust for Public Land have teamed up with the Western PA Conservancy to help Greenfield Elementary School in Pittsburgh build a brand-new schoolyard and playground, and it didn’t even cost $6.2 billion. But it is a great project with amazing players. Check it out.

Over on the Triad Socials, be sure to check in with us as we host the next rooftop Triad Tuesday event next week! Come on by, enjoy the million-dollar view, some snackies and as much of Todd Brysiak’s bourbon as you want!

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to merry old England, where a somewhat confused but well-meaning onlooker summoned the police to what he believed was a mass suicide event, only to find out the mass suicide was actually just people doing yoga. We totally get it. Sometimes when we work out, we THINK we are gonna die.

That’s what passes for news around here, as the action in the General Assembly picks up again next week. We will be all over it, as usual, because that’s what we do around here. That and the occasional yoga. From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!