November 18, 2022

With the ink barely dry on the 2022 elections, former President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he will attempt to remove the “former” part from his moniker in 2024 and run for president again. To say the announcement was met with a bit of disdain by some establishment Republicans is an understatement. Just like in 2016. Remember Jeb? And Lindsey? And Marco? And Chris? We thought so.

Later in the week, the U.S. House flipped to GOP control, albeit by the slimmest of margins. All eyes are now on Speaker-elect Kevin McCarthy as he attempts to wrangle the 218 votes needed to be the actual speaker. As of this writing, three of his colleagues have already publicly announced they have no interest in that particular brand of whiskey. Coincidentally, all three of those same members lost all of their staff this morning and had their Capitol parking spaces moved to a surface lot in Alexandria. Oh, and now all eyes are on Hunter Biden. We are sure they will get around to inflation and crime eventually.

All of this led to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing she will no longer seek a leadership role in the House. Pelosi, the first woman speaker in *checks notes* U.S. HISTORY will be remembered as either one of the most respected speakers to ever wield the gavel, or an enemy of all that is good and right in the world. One thing we know for sure – if Nancy was coming for you, you were not in a good spot.

Over on the Senate side, Democrats defied all the odds and held their majority, thanks to Pennsylvania’s own John Fetterman, who will soon be the largest senator in U.S. history. Did you see him standing next to Bob Casey? Bob isn’t exactly vertically challenged.

And that brings us to the Keystone State. First off, Governor-elect Josh Shapiro did not defy any odds at all, as he was expected to win in a romp and that is exactly what he did. He will take the oath in January alongside his #2, Lt. Governor-elect Austin Davis, who will be the first Black man to hold that post in *checks notes* HISTORY! Best of luck to the Shapiro/Davis administration!

The battle for control of the state Senate played out exactly how most folks predicted, with the GOP maintaining a comfortable majority. A big congrats goes out to Sen. Kim Ward, who will be the first woman president pro tempore in *checks notes* HISTORY!

And that takes us to the Pennsylvania House, the nation’s oldest and most unpredictable legislative body. Going into the elections, most observers gave the Democrats little chance to reclaim the majority, but wake the kids and call the neighbors, they flipped that chamber for the first time in more than a decade. There is a new sheriff in town, and her name is Joanna McClinton, who will (at some point) be sworn in as the first Black woman speaker of the House in *checks notes* HISTORY! See the common thread here?

The road to 102 looked a bit shaky after an unexpected shift in vote tallies in Bucks County, but after the ballots were counted in neighboring Montgomery County, the Democrats emerged victorious.

And if you have been watching the House races unfold this year and believe the newly drawn district maps may have had an impact, well, give yourself a cookie. You were right, Slugger, good for you!

The House GOP did, however, briefly convene this week to take care of the unfinished business – impeaching Philly D.A. Larry Krasner. Impeachment is extremely rare up in here, and all eyes are on the state Senate at this point. With the mandatory Nov. 30 adjournment in the windshield, time (and the Senate Democrats) appear to be on Krasner’s side.

Years in the making, the western Pennsylvania cracker plant is finally up and running in Beaver County.  While the economic spinoff may take a while to materialize, one thing was clear: the western Pennsylvania building trades did a magnificent job assembling this gargantuan plant.

Meanwhile, in central Pennsylvania, the state’s first carbon-capture facility will be located in Middletown, home of the now-shuttered Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, which, ironically, never gave off any carbon emissions at all the entire time it operated.

Pennsylvania may be facing a turkey shortage this Thanksgiving, due to avian flu outbreaks. We hear that ham is good if you are in a pinch. We’ve also seen a tofu turkey before, but cannot vouch for the taste of a tofurkey. You’re on your own there.

Before he moves a few blocks down the street, Josh Shapiro is still the attorney general, and in his final act, he’s gonna take on Ticketmaster over its mishandling of Taylor Swift ticket sales. If you have not seen it, Taylor broke the internet this week.

Elon Musk may have also broken Twitter, as his employment ultimatum was met with a few hundred “I quit!” texts and e-mails. The “dying Twitter” hashtags are quite comical, although if it happens, nobody is going to see them. Truth Social is in the corner, laughing maniacally.

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to Jiande, China, where a 50-year-old man named Chen Bangxian, or Uncle Chen to the cool kids, ran a marathon in less than three-and-a-half hours, beating 1,000 other people. Why is this remarkable? Well, for one, he’s a chain smoker. And two, HE’S A CHAIN SMOKER! Imagine how mad his competitors are, watching him race past them with a lung dart in his mouth.

That’s what passes for news around here as the ballots are counted, winners declared, and turkey may or may not be on the horizon. Consequently, there will be no missive next Friday, but we have lots and lots of good stuff coming your way in the weeks ahead. From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!