September 3, 2021
Happy Labor Day weekend to all of our faithful readers! If you have the weekend off, you can thank union carpenter Peter J. McGuire for that one. And maybe Grover Cleveland, too. And now, off to our slightly truncated holiday weekend missive!
The big news this week was obviously the insane amount of water that the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped on the eastern seaboard and the tornadoes she so kindly spun off in her wake. We offer our condolences to those who lost love ones. Remember we mentioned last week that Governor Wolf had written to FEMA asking that it lower the threshold for emergency flood assistance? Looks like a pretty prescient move at this point, as gondolas float down the Vine Street Expressway. This just in: Ida is a jerkface.
For the first time in 20 years, there are no American troops in Afghanistan. And while the focus as of late has been on the brutal and disjointed final days, we should not forget that more than 2,400 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in that war, as well as 66,000 Afghan fighters and 51,000 Taliban.
As President Biden deals with the fallout of the disastrous withdrawal (and watching his approval rating drop to Pittsburgh Pirates-like levels) he was smacked upside his noggin with a dismal jobs report. The U.S. economy added a paltry 235,000 jobs, far below estimates. That whole Building Back Better thing seems to be taking a while. At this point, Major Biden biting someone would qualify as good news for the president.
If you have been living under a very large stone, you may not be aware that the U.S. Supreme Court this week upheld the new uber-restrictive Texas abortion law (which, as we read it, also seems like a jackpot for lawyers.) As more and more of these types of laws get passed in state legislatures across the land, one thing is for certain: the 2022 midterm elections might not be the sleepy affair that you may have assumed.
Millions of Americans are about to fall off of the UC cliff this coming week, as additional pandemic federal unemployment benefits disappear into the ether. Hence, we are also about to find out if people really were staying home and not working because of that extra loot, or they all became social media influencers and don’t need your crummy job.
If you are planning on returning to work, the Wall Street Journal this week has a handy overachiever’s guide on how best to get face time with your boss in the world of new, flexible work schedules (assuming you’d want face time with your boss.) Among the findings in the piece are that Thursdays are the new Mondays, which means our Friday Happy Hours will take place on… Tuesdays? Wednesdays? Who the hell knows?
As the delta variant continues to surge in Pennsylvania and across the land, Governor Wolf decided he had seen enough and reinstituted a mask mandate for Pennsylvania’s public schools. Wolf was widely lauded for his action, everyone happily complied and… sorry. We couldn’t type that with a straight face.
With decidedly less fanfare, the governor also unveiled a 10-year plan for Pennsylvania’s forests. This may not seem like a big deal until you realize that seemingly every forest west of the Rockies is currently on fire. One day, Pennsylvania may have the only forests left in the country.
Lycoming County officials spent some time talking about diversifying tourism offerings as the Little League World Series was held without fans. In a nutshell, if you enjoy hiking, fishing, hunting, biking or just gorgeous outdoor vistas and haven’t been to LyCo, you are doing it wrong.
On the Triad socials, we spotlight our own Brysiak clan, which observes Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in a very personal way. We also give a shout-out to Triad Business Manager Andrea Updegrove in her Triad work anniversary. If the trains are running, Andrea is at the helm.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to the Honolulu airport, where an Illinois woman was busted for using a fake vaccination card while entering Hawaii, a state that has no time for your COVID nonsense. It was the perfect plan, right up to the point where this genius misspelled “Moderna” on the fake vax card, writing “Maderna” instead. Just spit balling here, but maybe just getting the free vaccine is a better route to take.
That’s what passes for news around here as we look forward to a three-day respite from the throes of state government and some good old Labor Day cookouts! Did you know that nationwide approval of labor unions is at 68%, which is the highest level since 1965? Well, now you do! Go ahead and impress your pals with your new factoid! From all your friends at Triad, have a great weekend!