Friday, September 11, 2020

It has been 19 years since that horrific morning back in 2001 when our world changed forever. Which means there are currently kids in college who were not even alive when it happened. So, as we thank our first responders on this Patriot’s Day, maybe take a moment to also thank all the history teachers out there, too.   

Both President Trump and Joe Biden appeared at the Shanksville 9/11 Memorial today, although not at the same time which would have been absolutely awesome. Neither the Presidential appearance today, nor any in the future, will ever top George W. Bush firing a fastball strike in Yankee Stadium in the days following the attacks. That was some bad–assery that we feel compelled to show you again.   

Joe Biden was also in Pennsylvania on Labor Day because we are the birthplace of organized labor and everyone knows it. And, Joe will keep reminding you that he is THE labor guy until you just finally break down and vote for him, dammit.   

Meanwhile, several counties to the west, the current Veep Mike Pence was touting the pro-life record of he and the President. Pence said the Trump/Pence record on abortion could not be more at odds with Joe Biden’s record, to which Biden responded, “Did I mention I am the labor guy?? Did I, punk??”   

Editor’s Note: Since it is now crystal clear that Biden, Trump, Harris and Pence will be blanketing our state like spotted lanternflies (your new overlords if you remember from last week). We will probably stop writing about it unless the candidates do or say something that is 1. really newsworthy or 2. spectacularly stupid. Then all bets are off because we obviously cannot help ourselves.   

The state will begin to drive out an extra $300 a week to our many unemployed folks as a result of an Executive Order from President Trump that Democrats said was illegal but didn’t do anything about.  The stipend will last for five weeks, which is five weeks longer than the Congressional deal that never seems to happen.  

Speaking of Congress, the U.S. Senate failed to agree on a so-called “skinny coronavirus relief plan.” This is probably good news, as there were likely more than a few people out there hoping that there was a skinny version of COVID-19 that they could intentionally take to lose weight.   

Coronavirus deaths nationwide and in Pennsylvania could double by the end of the year, according to the same university that has been on target with its projections all along.  Oddly, the study also maintained that we could cut that death toll way, way back if we do this thing called “wearing your damned mask.” Sounds like a novel approach, maybe we all should try it.   

This week, Governor Wolf informed bars and restaurants that they can resume serving at 50% capacity in two weeks, but in exchange they need to move up closing time to 10:00 pm. Sort of like taking a bite of broccoli before you get that cheeseburger.   

Meanwhile, a group of business leaders in southeastern Pennsylvania are asking their elected leaders to plan ahead for the next wave of coronavirus cases as if somehow, we are at a low point. Folks, there were over 900 new cases statewide just yesterday. This is kind of like trying to rebuild your house while it is still on fire.   

This week, the state senate passed a bill that would allow school districts to decide whether or not to have spectators at their sporting events, something that is in direct conflict with the Wolf Administration’s prohibition on outside gatherings. Wolf immediately said he would veto it, and both chambers announced they would override his veto, and then the House said that its father could beat up Wolf’s father, and the Senate and Wolf decided to settle it outside in the playground after school.   

Meanwhile, school children who have been forced to learn online to begin the year are now being thrown together in something called “pandemic pods”, which are sort of like mini-day care/virtual learning centers for older kids.  The term “pandemic pods” won the contest over the other two entries, “disease dens” and “virus vaults.”   

The state senate also passed a bill that will set up a broadband grant program, presumably so everyone can get high-speed internet service, thereby obviating the need for more pandemic pods. The maximum amount of a grant under this new program will be $0.00, as the bill did not have any funding attached to it.  

Former Governor Tom Ridge spent some time this week sounding the alarm bell over the lack of movement on election reform measures in the state, saying we are woefully ill-prepared for November.  Relax, governor, we have (checks calendar), seven whole weeks to fix everything!    

In other election-related news, the state’s top cop Josh Shapiro is warning about a phone scam in Pennsylvania, wherein people are trying to scare people from voting. What possible motivation could someone have to depress voter turnout? Positively mystifying. Our eyes just rolled back in our head so hard that we sprained our brain. Be right back.   

In our Shameless Client Plug this week, we salute and congratulate our good friend Craig Snyder, the now-outgoing CEO of the World Affairs Council in Philadelphia. Craig is moving on to other amazing endeavors, and we welcome new CEO Lauren Swartz to the helm!    

Over on the Triad socials, we invite you to read the thoughts of our own VP Todd Brysiak, who lays out in very personal terms why we don’t, but should, treat childhood cancer with the same focus and resolve as other public health crises.  

Also, check out the words of our good friend, Jim Snell, who reminds us all how crucial pipeline and utility workers have been to all of us during the pandemic.   

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week we take you to St. Louis, where a 62-year-old ball python laid seven eggs. Before you accuse us of being snake ageists, the truly remarkable part to this story is that the female snake has not been anywhere near a male in at least two decades. At least that is what she claims, anyway. Her cage smelled a LOT like men’s snake cologne, that’s all we know!    

That’s what passes for news around here as we hunker down for another round of fancy legislatin’ next week!  Be sure to check back in with us next week because we desperately need the companionship and attention!  Until then, from all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!