September 16, 2022

We lead off this week saying goodbye to a truly one-of-a-kind soul, retired state Rep. Jeff Pyle, taken from all of us too soon by cancer. For those who were privileged to work with or know Jeff, you know how gracious, funny and dedicated he was. Here is a video clip Triad Strategies produced back in 2013, when Jeff and a cast of characters and friends decided to raise money for cancer research by eating ungodly amounts of food. We hope you enjoy it. Godspeed, Caucus Warlord (no joke; a former chief of staff we happen to employ was once forced to call Jeff that for an entire year.)

While Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was proceeding about in her kingdom, a giant meteor streaked across the sky in Scotland this week. While we have no idea what this signifies, we can only say that if this happened five hundred years ago, somebody would have been invaded the next day.

An so it was on this week’s episode of America: Season 246, a guy who made millions selling pillows and conspiracies found himself forcefully separated from his cell phone by the FBI at a Hardees drive-through. Don’t even know what to say after this one, folks. Who the heck eats at Hardees?  

President Joe Biden took a bit of time off from trying to get inflation under control to broker a peace between the nation’s rail companies and employees, as a strike loomed that would have (again) crippled the economy. Job one of a leader is often to make sure the trains run on time, so congratulations, Mr. President. You fulfilled that one.  

But alas, there was the aforementioned black cloud of inflation to welcome the POTUS after playing choo-choo. And while recent data seem to show inflation MIGHT be flattening a smidge, it’s not exactly time to pop the bubbly. “WE’VE HIT THE CEILING!” Not the best rallying cry. We need a little deflation up in here, which means Biden should call Tom Brady at the very least. 

A scathing new report was released, stating that the World Health Organization’s pandemic response essentially stunk on ice. Among the recommendations is to give the organization more money, which often seems rather counterintuitive. If your stockbroker is terrible, maybe don’t give him more cash.  

John Fetterman and Dr. Oz will finally share the debate stage next month in an event hosted by Nexstar, which we immediately thought was a spinoff of Waystar/ROYCO. If you know, you know.   

Ken Starr, one of the most notable people who strode the earth in the 1990s, passed away this week. There were some very MIXED feelings about his demise, so we went with “notable” and we shall not have any further comment at this time. 

A bill that would reform the state’s system of probation and parole looks like it is on life support after the state Senate passed it by a 44-6 margin. It seems the House is wholly uninterested in this particular work product, and the clock is winding down to the two-minute warning. 

The PA Supreme Court has punted on Gov. Tom Wolf’s request to squash a proposed constitutional amendment regarding abortion access in Pennsylvania. This ensures that there is still a path for such a ballot question, and also ensures that no one is going to stop talking about abortion this fall. Or like, ever, it would appear.

Nearly half of Pennsylvania is currently under a drought watch after a pretty dry summer. This is bad news. The good news is half the state is not, so maybe they can send some of their excess water east and we will all balance out in the end. Or maybe it doesn’t work that way. Just don’t wash your cars if you live east of Harrisburg.

One state lawmaker has proposed a sort of liquor store “no fly list” so that folks who struggle with alcohol addiction can essentially ban themselves from state stores. We can say with some certainty that this is an idea worth exploring. For example, go on the state’s gambling addiction web site, ban yourself and then try to walk into a casino. Watch how quickly you find yourself walking in the other direction.

Higher education is still pretty damned expensive in this state, leading our fine friends at PHEAA to ask state lawmakers for a $40 million increase to stay above water next year. So, while the feds are forgiving college debt, the states are offering more than ever. Makes sense, right?

Pennsylvania will be rolling out a new drivers’ license design in the coming months, replacing the old one because it is apparently too easy for kids to hack and make fake ones. We are sure no enterprising young person will EVER figure out the new security features in fifteen minutes. And to be clear, these news licenses are NOT real IDs, which will also look new and can somebody please make this all go away?

Pennsylvania gas prices continue to march lower, with the average price of a gallon down for the 13th straight week, which is about $.68 lower than a year ago. As we knew would be the case, the same folks who relentlessly beat Joe Biden about the head and shoulders over last year’s prices are now cheering this news and making sure they give credit to… not Joe Biden!

After years of incinerator deals, cost-cutting and parking wars, your capital city of Harrisburg will officially enter 2023 debt-free! Congratulations to all who made it happen and to Mayor Wanda Williams! Next year should be fun, Ms. Mayor!

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we almost went with the Pillow Guy and Hardees, but you know what they say about fish in a barrel. Then we stumbled across this terrifying story of a man in western Pennsylvania who entered a Dairy Queen, saying he was working to reinstate Donald Trump as King of the United States. We guess he figured he’d ask the Dairy Queen what the best way to do that would be.  Unfortunately, loony tunes man also had loaded handguns and wanted to kill Democrats, so we don’t believe the queen ever got to answer him.

That’s what passes for news around here on a gorgeous Friday on the mighty Susquehanna! Look for some very big news about Team Triad on Monday! Until then, from all of us, have a great weekend!