Friday, November 20, 2020
As we crawled from our well-fortified bunker to compose today’s update, we were greeted by the news that the race to represent the state Senate’s 45th district has been counted, and it is a flat-footed tie, with each candidate receiving 65,978 votes. You read that correctly – 132,000 voters went to the polls, and nobody won, which is all very on-brand for 2020. The only thing missing out there in the Pittsburgh suburbs is a Rudy Giuliani press conference claiming that the election was stolen by Benito Mussolini and Garth Brooks.
Speaking of ol’ Rudy G… wow. Just, wow. The former mayor of New York City and current Emperor of Crazytown brought his show to Pennsylvania in an effort to overturn the Keystone State’s election results. If you were wondering if he could top the “landscaper’s parking lot next to the porn shop” performance, wonder no more, dear children. Uncle Rudy threw down an Oscar-worthy performance, including an homage to My Cousin Vinny, although in Rudy’s version of the film, Ralph Macchio’s character is convicted of murder and sent to the gas chamber.
Meanwhile, against the backdrop of Team Trump scrambling for a path forward, more and more national GOP figures are conceding that Joe Biden will be the next president. Oh, but just not publicly conceding it. You know, privately. In the basement, with the lights off, hoping that the Twitter Monster doesn’t get them.
On a happier note, Pennsylvanians really enjoyed their right to vote this time around, as a record 6.9 million Keystone Staters cast their ballots. We are very proud of you, Pennsylvania; now do it again in an off-year and we will truly be impressed.
In Pennsylvania, legislative Republicans are plowing forward with an election audit (as is the Wolf administration) to ensure that all was hunky-dory (it probably was), and to see if any changes need to be made (they probably do.) The electoral probe got underway today with the CEO of Dominion Voting Systems taking a powder, which went over REALLY well with the House GOP, whose members are currently looking for a yard arm from which to hang somebody.
In this day of social media instant gratification, political fortunes can change on a dime. We give you our good friend Congressman Conor Lamb, who only two short years ago was the darling of the Democratic Party for flipping a hotly contested congressional seat in a special election. Fast forward 24 months, and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party literally wants his seat eliminated in redistricting after he said he sorta, kinda doesn’t like socialism. Life comes at you fast.
Hey, the final piece of the 2020/2021 fiscal year budget is going to pass today! If you were waiting for a piece of that sweet, sweet CARES Act money, you can stop waiting. That ship is leaving port today, as all $1.3 billion of those remaining funds are now being plugged into our yawning budget hole.
If you were waiting for a property tax cut using the aforementioned CARES Act money, that’s not happening either, as the feds ruled this week that property tax cuts aren’t really COVID-related. Looks like you will all just have to wait until next year to once again not get a property tax cut.
All of this week’s budget maneuvering comes as COVID cases in Pennsylvania and across the nation continue to skyrocket, forcing families to consider cancelling Thanksgiving gatherings and keeping entire industries on pins and needles, awaiting potential shutdowns. Yes, vaccines are coming. And we should all try to also stay alive until we can get them.
And as the CARES Act money gets spent, all eyes turn to Washington, where President-elect Biden and congressional leaders are going to be under enormous pressure to do a second stimulus bill to get us to the end of the pandemic. Given the number of GOP senators who have rushed to publicly congratulate Biden, we are sure it will be really easy! Sorry, our eyes just rolled back in our heads so far we saw our own brains.
On that note, and not to sound all preachy, we ran across this article on TheHill.com showing that the nation can and is beating the virus, it is just not the nation you are thinking of. The Cherokee Nation has come together and is currently winning the COVID battle, and we could not help but pull out this quote from one of their tribal leaders:
“I hope our response as a nation demonstrates what being in a tribe means,” Pivec told reporters. “It’s collectively caring for one another.”
Thanksgiving week is coming. How about we do what the man suggests?
The one thing that Biden, the business community, organized labor and both parties agree will help kickstart the economy is an ambitious infrastructure spending plan. It is also what was agreed upon under President Trump. And President Obama. Saddle up, Joe, your turn!
Really people? Again, with the run on toilet paper in grocery stores? What is it about pandemics that make people need to use the bathroom so much?
COVID will also force the cancellation of that magical time of year when thousands of people descend upon Punxsutawney and watch a varmint predict the weather. Ol’ Phil is going virtual this year, and we can only hope he takes that annoying Lottery spokesrat with him when he heads back underground.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto this week unveiled a plan to wean western PA off of fossil fuel industry dependency, a blueprint known as “Reimagining Appalachia.” First things first. Tell someone from the Ohio Valley they live in “Appalachia” and see how fast you lose teeth.
Over on the Triad socials, check out some musings on leadership from our very own, supremely talented duo of Megan Dapp and Asa Saidman!
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to Merry Old England, where pastry purveyor Marks and Spencer’s has unveiled a new Christmas pastry that they have lovingly named “Santa’s Yumnuts.” So… we are just gonna leave that right there and slowly walk away.
That’s what passes for news around here as the General Assembly departs until January, the budget is wrapped up, the elections are over, children are nestled snug in their beds and visions of... oh, sorry. Jumped ahead a little bit. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we will not be around next Friday to regale you with tales of yore. We will resume regaling the following week. Until then, from all of us at Team Triad, have a wonderful weekend!