June 17, 2022
If it seems like Pittsburgh has become the center of the national political universe, yinz jags may be on to something. After a string of visits in the last five years by Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Joe Biden, the veep is next in line. Vice President Kamala Harris is there today to talk about lead line replacements. Yeah, not exactly the most scintillating of topics, but pretty damned important to anyone who, you know, enjoys water.
The Fed this week hiked interest rates by a whopping 75 basis points in an effort to slow down the speeding freight train of inflation we have going on in this country. As is custom when these things happen, 25 different economists went on cable television and offered 25 different perspectives on the Fed’s move.
Gas stations are on the verge of forcing you to fill out a loan application just to top the tank off, as petrol went over five bucks a gallon for the first time. Now, is a five-spot much different than the $4.98 we paid last week? No, but there is something psychologically jarring about that number.
Skyrocketing diesel prices are also threatening to send the country into a food shortage, because food, as you may know, is not typically grown very close to major population centers. Many trucks have to travel many of miles to get you that grub you crave. Seeing as how obesity in this country continues to rise as fast as inflation, maybe a little shortage won’t be a terrible thing.
The first of what will be a truly mind-numbing number of polls came out this week, showing John Fetterman with a fairly sizeable lead over Dr. Oz in the race for U.S. Senate. Slightly down ballot, Josh Shapiro holds a slim lead over Doug Mastriano in the gubernatorial contest. While these polls don’t tell us much, one thing stood out: the $30 million in negative ads thrown at Oz in the primary race by his rivals left some tire tracks on him, for sure.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate could maybe almost kinda be close to a bipartisan agreement on a package of bills to help tamp down gun violence, which, in this political climate, qualifies as a freaking miracle. Credit goes to our own Pat Toomey for being part of that effort.
The state Senate put the boots to Governor Wolf’s proposed changes to charter school regulations by formally rejecting them, following a similar vote in the House. Charter school funding/regulations have been one of those topics where everyone has an opinion on what should be done, but nobody has found a solution that can garner 102, 26 and 1.
Speaking of the state Senate, congratulations go out to Sen. Scott Martin, who was tapped to head up the Pennsylvania side of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. Good luck, senator!
Ahead of the sprint toward a state budget deal, two areas of significant compromise have begun to come into focus. First, a freshman senator from Philadelphia, Nikil Saval, has succeeded in building a strong bipartisan, bicameral coalition to help fund home repairs for landlords and homeowners. His whole home repair bill is sailing toward the finish line, which is no small feat.
And the other area of compromise seems to be around lowering the state Corporate Net Income tax, which is currently one of the highest in the nation at 9.9%. The only open questions seem to be how to lower it and by how much. Having billions of unspent dollars laying around can be quite the unifying force.
PennDOT announced this week that it hopes to install electric vehicle charging stations every 50 miles on state-owned roads. This effort would be partially funded by federal infrastructure loot, but there is one thing to keep in mind. These stations will all need reliable connectivity to high-speed internet service, something that large swaths of Pennsylvania only dream about, currently. Simply put: cart, horse. Arrange accordingly.
Team Triad sends best wishes to Tony Watlington Sr., who is ready to take the helm at the Philadelphia School District. Based upon his opening statements, he’s about to burn up a lot of shoe leather in his first 100 days.
While the January 6th Select Committee continues to bonk former President Trump about the head and shoulders, it is becoming clearer that many power brokers in the GOP are planning life without him. As many as 15 GOP luminaries (not Lumineers) are testing the 2024 presidential waters, all of whom would be summarily stomped by Trump were he to run, at least according to most polls.
Hey Philly! You are gonna be a host city for the 2026 World Cup soccer tournament! Grease up those flagpoles!
Over at Triad Social Media headquarters, get ready to start seeing some exciting changes in the look and feel of our online vibe! Stop by our rooftop Tuesday evening, grab a snack and a cold sarsaparilla, and maybe we will tell you about it!
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to California, where a 40-pound cougar (the cat, silly) sauntered into a classroom one morning. First of all, do we no longer close doors in California, or did this cougar grow thumbs? Second, big props to the janitor who casually walked in and locked the cat in. Not exactly dealing with your typical calico here.
That’s what passes for news around here as we bask in the summer sun, waiting for the General Assembly to return once again, like so many swallows to Capistrano. From all of us here at Team Triad, have a great weekend!