The 2020 Tokyo Olympics got underway at zero-dark-thirty this morning and if, like us, you also have a dog who desperately needed to visit the backyard at 5 a.m., you got to see 15 Pennsylvania athletes march in the opening ceremonies for Team USA. Go USA, bring back some 2020 gold medals in 2021!
The Delta variant continues to sweep across states with low COVID vaccination rates, prompting the entire marketing department at Delta Airlines to start drinking at noon every day. Get your shots so that these fine people regain their sanity.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration announced this week that is has purchased another 200 million vaccines in anticipation of the FDA approving it for children under 12. Experts estimate there will be roughly 199 million vaccines left over when that effort ends.
President Smokin’ Joe Biden is getting a little hot under the collar these days as supply-chain inflation and jobless claims are both on the rise across the nation. His top economic advisers are still doing their best Kevin-Bacon-in-Animal-House impression, repeatedly saying all is well. Really, there is nothing to see here except, you know, THE MIDTERMS!
In related news, if you’d like to know which county has weathered the economic downturn the best, look no further than Lycoming County! Good on ya, Lycoming! Must have something to do with Lycoming’s favorite former lacrosse player, Todd Brysiak.
An analysis of polling data from the 2020 presidential elections has shown a consistent pattern. Most pollsters got Biden’s support numbers almost dead on, while underestimating former President Donald Trump’s by as much as 3.5%, or roughly the same amount by which Hillary Clinton underestimated Trump in 2016. This is also your weekly reminder that the 2020 election will never be over. Ever.
As Congress continues to wrestle with the Biden infrastructure plan, one of the Democrats’ preferred “pay-for” mechanisms was increased funding for the IRS to go after tax cheats. That provision has fallen off the table, according to reports, because as we all know, nobody in this country cheats on their taxes. Can we do an eye roll emoji here, or nah?
Life expectancy in the United States has fallen by a full year-and-a-half (thanks, COVID!) The news caused Team Triad to call a staff meeting to update the Triad World Domination Plan, pushing the timeline up by 18 months.
The Biden Justice Department closed the door on the Trump Justice Department’s allegations that the Wolf administration forced people into nursing homes during the height of COVID, which is really not a shock since the nursing homes themselves said it never happened in the first place.
The House GOP is kicking the tires on the Wolf administration’s awarding of emergency contracts during the pandemic, trying to shed a light on who got (or in some cases didn’t get) how much for what. The administration is currently awarding $124 million in additional emergency contracts, or roughly .00005% of what the state has in the bank right now.
Pennsylvania will be the recipient of about $1 billion from a nationwide opioid settlement that was negotiated in part by Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The Philadelphia district attorney’s office thanked Shapiro by suing him the next day, saying that the settlement isn’t big enough and Philly won’t get what it deserves. A simple card would have sufficed.
Meanwhile, western Pennsylvania is seeing an alarming increase in opioid addiction and death, proving once again that Delta variants come and go, but our nation’s addiction problem is stubbornly not going away.
Governor Wolf gave progressive Democrats a solid case of whiplash when he seemingly changed his opinion on voter ID. We would simply note two things as the Twitter gas fire rages on this turn of events: 1) What constitutes a valid voter ID can vary widely depending on one’s point of view, and 2) there was a better-than-average chance that a constitutional amendment requiring voter ID was gonna pass anyway. Might as well get in the arena while the gates are still open.
Pennsylvania’s gaming industry revenue hit a record last year, almost making the $4 billion mark, a jump fueled largely by online betting. For those who may not know it, Pennsylvania’s casinos pay a cool 54% total tax rate to the Commonwealth, so that is a lot of money coming to the Keystone State. (Editor’s note: go ahead and find another industry in PA that pays that kind of tax rate. We’ll wait.) Anyway, this explains why there is a group of folks who desperately want to do everything they can to knee-cap the industry with legalized VGTs. Suffering prosperity is something we don’t do all that well around here.
Having failed at efforts to reform the redistricting process in Pennsylvania, reform advocates have now pivoted to asking that legislative leaders be open and transparent with the whole map-making thing that will happen this fall. Sunshine is the best disinfectant if you don’t have any Lysol wipes handy. Those things rock.
We pause this week to honor the memory of Harrisburg’s Travis Butina, owner of the Brick Haus bar, part-time comedian, local legend, unflinching supporter of local law enforcement and unofficial proprietor of Table Four at Zembie’s. Travis, you left us way too soon. Team Triad sends love to his family and friends.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to Nebraska, where the world record for longest cornhole tournament was just broken by a bunch of really intrepid (and presumably bored) Cornhuskers. This begs the age-old question… is there literally any record that the folks at Guinness don’t track? This segment was brought to you by Johnsonville Brats, the official meat of cornhole tournaments everywhere.
That’s what passes for news around here as the Susquehanna Valley air temperature is somewhere between broil and bake. The river outside our window stopped flowing a week ago; it is a pond now. So until next time, you crazy kids, from all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!