Friday, October 23, 2020
Last night Nashville played host to an off-Broadway stage production of Grumpy Old Men 3. Should you have any interest at all in the fact-checking that happened afterwards, we dutifully provide you this link and congratulate you for being one of the 12 humans left in America who care about facts.
President Trump kicked off the week by making an appearance in Erie, where he (for some reason or another) told the crowd that he was definitely not planning on coming back to Erie. The 2020 campaign is just plain weird and we can’t explain anything at this point.
Meanwhile, in otherwise lovely Fayette County, we find that one of Joe Biden’s detractors has purchased himself a billboard to let us all know that the former vice president has something known as “dimensia,” and therefore is unfit to serve in the White House. Dimensia, huh? Sounds terrifying. Maybe someday doctors will develop a vackscene for it.
Meanwhile, Scranton Joe Biden rolled out the Big Gun in his quest to wrest the Keystone State away from Trump. Former President Barack Obama hosted a drive-in rally for his former veep in Philly, reminding us all that he is still the biggest draw the Democrats have and still has swagger to burn. Why he waited until two weeks before the election to display it is another question.
Meanwhile, President Trump was busy letting CBS’ Lesley Stahl know he does NOT appreciate her tone. The upcoming airing of 60 Minutes should be must-see TV, although the Trump team released its copy of the video in advance of the broadcast, a fairly shrewd move known as “reframing the narrative.” That is some fancy terminology that we get from the Triad communications team from time to time. They know their sh*t.
Two weeks out from “the most important election in our lifetimes,” the president’s personal attorney is making his big-screen debut in a Sacha Baron Cohen movie, while at the same time desperately trying to get the media to focus on Hunter Biden. Is here anything left that could possibly happen in 2020 that would shock anyone at this point? In related news, Giuliani has successfully ensured that Hunter Biden will not be elected president in 2020.
USA Today and CNN came out with swing-state polls this week, showing Wilkes-Barre Joe Biden (just mixing up our NEPA nicknames here) with either a seven or a 10-point lead over President Trump in Pennsylvania, which means that, according to most Democrats, Old Forge Joe Biden is totally gonna lose Pennsylvania. Seriously, the amount of psychological damage the 2016 campaign did to some Democrats is hard to fathom. Trump could come to Pennsylvania and tell everyone he hates the Steelers and the Eagles, and some Democrats would be saying how smart he is to be playing up to the hidden Dallas Cowboys voters.
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin inched closer to an agreement on a Son of CARES Act deal, it seems as though nobody is paying attention to the dude from Kentucky standing in the corner with his fingers jammed in his ears yelling, “I AM NOT GOING TO VOTE THIS LALALALALALALA I CANNOT HEAR NANCY AND STEVE!” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done everything except throw a live wolverine into the room to stop stimulus talks.
Speaking of stimulus, Pennsylvania is still sitting on a pile of cash from round one, although it is becoming increasingly clear that it ain’t gonna be used in the COVID fight. Despite lawmakers and the Wolf Administration calling on each other to spend that $1.3 billion about 700 times over, the smart money at this point says it will all be dumped into the yawning chasm that is our General Fund.
Given the stark warnings about what this winter could look like COVID-wise, maybe some of that loot could or should be peeled off to make sure our long-term care system is equipped for what might be on the horizon. This has been a public service announcement.
While polling has been a bit rough for the GOP these days, there was some good news this week as voter registration data shows the Grand Old Party closing the registration gap significantly. We suppose some of this is due to a lot of southwestern legacy Democrats finally just getting around to changing their registration. Old habits die hard out there, trust us. Our uncle is still convinced that J&L Steel Company is gonna re-open the Aliquippa plant any day now.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% this month, which is still slightly ahead of the national average. The long-discussed V-shaped recovery never really materialized, and with COVID cases spiking across the nation, everyone is now on guard against a possible W-shaped recovery, or even the dreaded K-shaped recovery. (Editor’s Note: we are not economists and don’t really understand this stuff very well.)
The General Assembly was busy wrapping up its business this week (at least until after Nov. 3), and there were two issues that onlookers were convinced would be addressed. First up was extension of the rent and homeowner relief plan, which despite unanimous support in the House, did not pass the Senate.
The other was a plan to allow counties to begin opening mail-in ballots early, and that, too, failed to pass, although there was nothing mystifying about this result if you happen to follow Twitter, which has been a virtual blamethrower on this issue for weeks. You know, like a flamethrower but with… ah, never mind.
The Statehouse also again attempted to override Governor Wolf’s veto of a bill to assist bars and restaurants, although this particular attempt garnered more votes that any past attempts. Bar owners are asking that the Statehouse again play the Veto Shuffle (with all due respect to Boz Scaggs) in November, which does not seem all that likely, even though the House has been tossing out veto override votes like Halloween candy as of late.
And finally, as some lawmakers (again, for the thousandth time) look to expanded gaming to solve all our budget woes, here is a little different take on the effects of video gaming machines on the poor and in communities of color. Something to keep in the back of your mind as we careen into 2021.
From the Triad Socials this week, we invite you to meet our friend Pat Gingrich, the head of Camp Hill-based APMCI, who shares her story about the challenges of being a woman-owned business in Pennsylvania.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we give you everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, Neal DeGrasse Tyson, who is warning us that an asteroid may hit the earth on Nov. 2, which would, without a doubt, be the most fitting way to end 2020, if not end civilization entirely. And if the latter should occur, can we really say we didn’t deserve it? Really?
That’s what passes for news around here on a positively resplendent fall Friday. Come back next week when we set the table for the “most important election in our lifetimes,” the Battle Royale between President Donald Trump and Nanticoke Joe Biden! Until then, from all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!