January 7, 2022
It is with heavy hearts that we open the first Friday Happy Hour of the year by sending all of our prayers to the families of those who lost loved ones in the horrific fire in Philadelphia earlier this week. Thank you to all the Philly first responders who battled the blaze.
Yesterday, marked one year since a bunch of tourists got lost in the nation’s capital and wow! You won’t believe the zany shenanigans they got themselves into! Sorry, we were watching Disney Plus and got confused for a second. Actually, January 6th should forever be observed as the day that a sizeable chunk of our nation finally lost its collective mind.
Congressional Democrats marked the day by solemnly listening to Lin Manuel Miranda sing, showing that it is possible to both enjoy music and be totally freaking tone deaf at the same time. Really, this is how you commemorate an insurrection attempt? With a little musical number? Most of us don’t remember that directly after delivering his “Day of Infamy” speech after Pearl Harbor, FDR invited Gene Kelly into the House chamber to do “Singin’ in the Rain.”
Sane people used January 6th to draw attention to the battle over voting rights, which will be on the spotlight very soon when Senate Barely Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calls up his party’s plan, only to see Joe Manchin swat it into the rafters like Manute Bol. NO, NO, NO! NOT IN MY SENATE!
The economy continued to do its best to survive the 47th Covid surge of the past two years, creating just shy of 200,000 jobs, which was lower than expected. The unemployment rate, however, plunged below 4%, which was good news. But as we have all come to realize, no matter what these numbers are they are always BAD NEWS FOR BIDEN!
Former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale became a nationwide social media star for intervening in a brawl at the Sun Bowl last week. For the uninformed, when Eugene was not auditing things the past 8 years, he was doing CrossFit and spartan races and throwing truck tires over fences and stuff. So, he’s probably the last guy you wanna scuffle with when you get drunk at a bowl game.
Central Pennsylvania denizens got their first look at the Farm Show butter sculpture this week. Do us a favor? Say the preceding sentence out loud anywhere else in the nation and see what the response is. Yes, we are quite the unique bunch around here.
A bipartisan group of state senators this week unveiled legislation that would allow for driverless testing of autonomous vehicles. This bill, backed by the Wolf Administration, will be a boon to all the testing companies that have dropped anchor out in Pittsburgh.
And speaking of Pittsburgh, the Steel City has itself a new mayor, former State Rep. Ed Gainey. Gainey had an amazing run last week as he destroyed a meteor that was bearing down on the city, helped the Steelers beat the Browns and took the oath of office. Congrats, Mr. Mayor!
Hospitals across Pennsylvania are overflowing with patients as Pennsylvania smashed its daily Covid case record earlier this week. Amazingly (or perhaps depressingly), health officials are saying the Omicron surge will get worse before it gets better. Hey, you know what might just work? GETTING VACCINATED!
Governor Tom Wolf will stroll out of office next year with Pennsylvania in the best fiscal shape in about a generation. Revenue estimates for the year are coming in about $1.5 billion above estimate, there is $2.8 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund and we still have a dogpile of federal loot left unspent. Do you know what you get when you add a huge budget surplus to an election year? You get an historically early budget agreement. All indications are pointing to an empty state capital building by mid-June.
During the peak of the original Covid surge (we will call that one the OG Covid), state regulators prohibited smoking at casinos because we all know that it’s quite difficult to smoke with a mask on. Many folks opined that when the restriction was lifted that the casinos might stay smoke free, which turned out to be a bunch of faulty opining. Gamblers like to smoke and drink. It is kinda the trifecta of sins, if you will.
If you were bored on January 5th, perhaps you spent some time tuning into the first GOP gubernatorial debate of 2022. Or maybe you watched basketball. In any case, the field starts out at a baker’s dozen of eager young hopefuls, all of them on a mission to rid the Commonwealth of EXTREMIST LIBERAL TOM WOLF, who just so happens to be leaving anyway.
Ah, but before we can crown the 2022 winner of the The Guv, we are gonna have to get to the bottom of all that funny business that definitely happened in the 2020 elections but did not, oddly enough, happen during the 2021 elections. If you are as confused as we are, the state senate will be holding hearings to get to the bottom of it all.
And in other political news, Attorney General Josh Shapiro has tapped state Rep. Austin Davis to be his chosen sidekick as he seeks the big chair on the Democratic side. The Mon Valley is ROLLIN’!
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we were tempted to just show you video of the Alternative Version of January 6 presser by former Congressman Matt Gaetz and current Congresswoman Marjorie “Space Laser” Taylor Greene, but it turned out to be way dumber than most readers would even believe. So instead, we went with the Camel Beauty Pageant Scandal that is rocking the United Arab Emirates. Apparently, unscrupulous camel owners are injecting their humped beasts with Botox before camel beauty pageants. And before you scoff at the thought of a camel beauty pageant, the contest that is held in Dubai features $66 million in prize money. Camel beauty is serious business, people.
That’s what passes for news around here as we say hello to 2022 (2021 can kick rocks) and welcome your General Assembly back on Monday! Until then, from all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend.