August 12, 2022

The FBI this week executed a search warrant on the home of former President Donald Trump, immediately causing roughly a third of the country to call for the abolition of the FBI. This was not particularly good news for CBS, a network that has three different FBI shows on each week. Reached for comment, CBS’ head of prime-time programming said, “Crap, this sucks.”

Gas prices have now fallen below $4 per gallon in most of the country (not quite here, though), which leads us to believe that sometime in the past 60 days, President Biden “unleashed American energy” or finished the Keystone XL pipeline, or both. Must have missed it.

Biden this week also signed a bill guaranteeing health care for veterans who suffered long-term injuries from toxic burn pits (which, coincidentally is also the name of our new alt-metal band). This whole episode proves that if you are having trouble getting Congress to act on good public policy, having Jon Stewart as your lobbyist can be quite effective.

Gov. Tom Wolf was on hand to watch Biden sign the Chips and Science Act, legislation aimed at bolstering U.S. technology manufacturing. As many of you folks know, Pittsburgh has become quite the tech hub over the past decade, so this bill portends good things there and across the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania makes the best potato chips, so maybe we can do the same with microchips.

Speaking of tech, the self-driving car industry is putting some stakes down in Pittsburgh as well, prompting lawmakers to wrestle around with how to regulate the nascent industry. All we know is sitting in Parkway East traffic at 5 o’clock would be much more enjoyable if the car was driving itself while you made a nice sandwich and watched TV.

There are not enough monkeypox vaccines for everyone who wants/needs one, we found out this week.  Health care professionals have taken to cutting the dosage in half to make the supply last longer. Viola, you are now protected against getting half of monkeypox. 

Speaking of diseases, schools and universities are preparing to re-open for the third time in the COVID era as the CDC radically changes its guidance. And by change, we mean “we are repealing everything and you are on your own, Jack. Sneeze right into your buddy’s mouth, what do we care? YOU’RE NOT GONNA LISTEN ANYWAY!” It’s all on the CDC web site if you wanna read it yourself.

Broadband expansion is going to be a game-changer in rural Pennsylvania, according to a report we read this week. Ever try to build an industrial park in an area that still has 3G coverage? And if you haven’t yet seen a massive wheat thresher that runs autonomously controlled from an iPad, you’re all in for a treat. Heck, rural children might even get to remote-learn without having to sit in a McDonald’s parking lot, bogarting the wireless service. 

Speaking of game-changers, PennDOT announced it will begin the installation of 150 EV charging stations statewide. Oh, by the way, each one of those charging stations will need reliable high-speed internet service. So again, see the preceding paragraph.

Several weeks ago, we told you that three counties had yet to certify the votes from the May primary election due to a dispute with the state over counting undated mail-in ballots. Make that four counties.  Apparently, Butler did not certify either, but the state erroneously had them in the “nice” column instead of on the “naughty” ledger.

Business leaders across Pennsylvania are celebrating the recent cut to the state’s Corporate Net Income tax rate, a bipartisan move that is expected to help boost the Keystone State economy. Well, it better, or y’all are gonna have some explain to do! Chop chop!

Early this week, City & State magazine published the Agriculture Power 100. Triad friends and collaborators MeeCee Baker and Caleb Wright of Versant Strategies, as well as our client David Jaindl of Jaindl Farms, all made the list. Kudos to them!

With fewer than one hundred days left in the campaign cycle, John Fetterman and Dr. Oz are sharpening their respective messages to voters. Doing a deeper dive into their public policy positions, here is what we have discovered. One is a carpetbagging millionaire and the other is the love child of Bernie Sanders and Karl Marx. You can figure out who is who.

American rock legend Billy Joel played to a sellout crowd at PNC Park in Pittsburgh Thursday night, bringing 25 hits to the fans, or roughly 24 more hits than the Pirates produce on the same field on any given night. 

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to the western regionals of the Little League World Series, where a member of the Wyoming team decided against wearing traditional batting gloves, instead donning a pair of leather ranching gloves. He then proceeded to hit a monster home run that still hasn’t landed. After the game, he returned home to the Yellowstone Dutton ranch and got into a fistfight with Rip. 

That’s what passes for news around here as the campaign season cranks up, the summer grows shorter, and we long for the heady days of committee meetings and lengthy floor debates. Kidding, no one yearns for that stuff. From all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!