Friday, April 16, 2021
Before we get to the meat and potatoes this week (which our avid readers know is more like beef jerky and potato chips), we cordially invite you to watch our exclusive Triad Strategies interview with Senate Majority Leader and glass ceiling smasher Kim Ward.
Before you grab the jerky, please join us in sending your good thoughts to House Speaker Bryan Cutler, who this week announced he has contracted COVID-19. Here is to a speedy recovery, Mr. Speaker!
The Biden administration announced today that it will be keeping the historically low Trump administration cap on refugees. That ear-splitting howl you heard was from the left side of the president’s party. Wow, who knew immigration policy could be this tough?
Speaking of the former president, he hosted a shindig at Mar-a-Lago this week that was part fundraiser and part “let’s be unified” event. The former was a success, but the latter evaporated rather quickly, as Trump referred to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as a “stone-cold loser” which, to be fair, is probably one of the nicer things he’s called Mitch this year. Nature is healing.
Biden also said this week that he is willing to negotiate with Senate Republicans over the size and scope of his infrastructure plan. Note to POTUS: you may wanna start by negotiating with a certain senator from West Virginia first. First comes the horse, then the cart.
On Tuesday, Biden announced that our 20-year war in Afghanistan will be wrapped up on 9/11, when the last American troops return home. Wait, wasn’t leaving Afghanistan a Trump era policy too? This produced an avalanche of surreal moments where Democrats who criticized Trump were forced to backtrack while Republicans who are now criticizing Biden also had to scrub their social media posts on the topic from last year.
Easily the funniest political story of the week comes from Maine, where Sara Gideon (who spent tens of millions of dollars for the privilege of being soundly beaten by incumbent Sen. Susan Collins) reported this week that she has more than $11 million cash left over from that race. Eleven. Million. Dollars. Staff members from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee are currently egging Gideon’s house.
The once-in-a-decade challenge of redrawing congressional boundaries will leave one of Pennsylvania’s current 18 members with no date for the prom, we learned this week. This is where the speculation begins about who may be retiring or not running again, so as to allow the other 17 to sleep at night.
Back here in the Keystone Commonwealth, Team Wolf officially opened up vaccine eligibility to every Pennsylvanians who wants one. SO, GET ON IT, PEOPLE! We have baseball games, a double header NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway (shameless client plug) and concerts we would like to attend this summer.
Governor Wolf himself is slated to get his first jab on Monday, which we are sure will be breathlessly covered by the media even though the actual vaccination takes less than 10 seconds. We are to the point where we literally don’t have a clue what local television news stations covered pre-COVID. Was there any news at all back in 2019? Was it all just local interest stories about, who knows, bears roaming around central PA backyards?
This just in to Triad News Network: apparently there are bears roaming around people’s backyards in central PA.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine got put into time out as the FDA took a look at some rare blood clots in six of the more than seven million recipients of the vaccine. The other 6.9999 million J&J vaccine recipients just spent an entire week freaking out at every ache or pain, wondering if it was a blood clot. Real helpful, FDA. Nice work.
More than 600,000 Pennsylvania voters have applied for a mail-in ballot for this year’s primary election in May, so here is a handy primer on how to properly fill it out should you want to avail yourself of this option. Please read it so we can all avoid problems that should arise, although we can’t imagine there would be any controversy at all over mail-in ballots. Sorry, we rolled our eyes pretty hard there and can’t see our keyboard at the moment.
O.K., all good again. The hospitality industry was among the hardest business sectors hit by the pandemic, although we probably didn’t need a hearing to know that because we have eyes and ears and stuff like that. So do your part and partake of some hospitality from someone somewhere soon. Remember, we are all in this together, and your local restaurant owner is pretty tired of hearing that trope while watching his/her business collapse.
Every now and again lawmakers get a case of buyer’s remorse about a law they passed. This condition seems to be forming amongst elected officials who passed a law in 2017 to expand the uses of and tax the hell out of fireworks. Apparently, folks in small towns across the Commonwealth are tired of their neighborhoods sounding like Saigon during the Tet Offensive on a random Monday night in April because little Billy had his third birthday party and we just HAD to celebrate by blowing up the neighbor’s car.
Shameless Plug 2 this week goes out to the new CFO of Independence Blue, Juan Lopez. Best of luck, Juan!
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you down to Sydney, Australia, where a man opened up a pre-packaged bag of lettuce only to see a REALLY venomous and dangerous snake slither on out. We have been saying this for years, folks, and nobody listens. Salads can kill you.
That’s what passes for news around here as some of our friends continue to report snow flurries because, hey, we live in Pennsylvania, where it will be 90 degrees and humid next week at this time. From all your pals at Team Triad, bundle up and have a great weekend!