Friday, February 19, 2021
Today’s lesson in political optics is brought to you by the letter T, as in, “Ted Cruz, what in the hell were you thinking?” One plane ticket just knocked about twenty points from your favorability number. Triad’s crisis management team is going to use you as a case study on how NOT to respond. Remember, Ted, you cannot explain your way out of a situation you behaved your way into.
President Sleepy Joe Biden held his first town hall-style meeting, hosted by Fake News CNN and total loser Anderson Coo… oh, wait. We don’t do that name-calling stuff anymore? Got it. Anyway, the town hall meeting wasn’t exactly riveting television, which is just fine, thanks. Between Bridgerton and the Daytona 500, we don’t need to be entertained by the White House every day.
The former occupant of the White House emerged from his self-imposed media blackout to call Fox News and offer his condolences on the passing of El Rushbo, who died of cancer this week. And while death in the age of social media tends to drag out the very worst in people, it is undeniable that Rush Limbaugh was one of the most consequential media personalities in a generation. You can quibble about those consequences all day.
Former President Trump then followed up with a public statement about his old pal and fellow conservative judge aficionado Mitch McConnell. Trump is apparently still a bit peeved about Mitch’s recent statements on his culpability for the Jan. 6 riot, so he rhetorically unloaded his spleen upon the Senate minority leader’s noggin.
Trump’s statement helps to underscore the rift between traditional Republicans and Trump Republicans. Back here in Pennsylvania, our own Sen. Pat Toomey is getting a taste of that whiskey, as the state GOP considers censuring him for his impeachment vote. We are not sure exactly what a state party censure entails, but if it means he can’t attend state party dinners anymore, we assume he is 100% on board. Censure away, kids!
Lest you think only the GOP has a drunken yard cat urinating inside of it, things are not all wine and roses with the Democrats. This week, President Biden not only said “nyet” to eliminating student loan debt, he also signaled he didn’t think the Fight for 15 was going to end up in the final stimulus bill. There is a slow Bern happening over on the left side of politics.
Meanwhile in the U.S. House, Crazy Nancy – sorry, force of habit – Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she is forming a 9/11-style commission to look into the events of Jan. 6. She should probably just refer to the two-hour feature film the House Impeachment managers showed the nation last week. Looks like they got pretty much all of it. The Capitol Riot Horse shall continue being flogged until further notice.
Life expectancy in the United States has fallen by one year for the first time since Moses was in short pants. The pandemic was obviously the leading cause, with a slight uptick in heart disease right behind it. To the disappointment of some members of Congress, “being beaten to death by Antifa” did not make the list.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to give Pennsylvania students a free pass at state universities (as long as they stay here after college) is also meeting a cool reception, much like the Sanders/Warren national student debt forgiveness plan. This phenomenon is known as “know your voters.” When George W. Bush offered up Medicare Part D, which carried with it a price tag that was larger than our country’s GDP, elected officials couldn’t pass it fast enough because, duh, seniors! But hey, throw a couple hundred million at college kids from the state’s horse racing fund? No way! Why should those ingrates get anything? They can work 6 jobs to get through school, just like we, um, didn’t!
PennDOT has unveiled the nine bridges that the General Assembly will never allow it to toll to fix our transportation funding shortfall. Those bridges are slated to not be tolled as early as 2023.
The state budget hearings kicked off this week with a rousing battle over Governor Wolf’s tax increase/decrease/shift/shimmyshuffledown plan. Arguments from both sides were as predictable as one would expect and were probably also completely irrelevant as the feds get ready to unload some sweet, sweet stimulus in the Commonwealth.
The Department of Health also this week let us all know that there was a slight miscommunication (slight, as in, “Tony Montana had a slight cocaine problem”) between the state and vaccine providers that will result in yet more delays. Vaxxing is proving to be vexing in PA.
The political battle over whom to count in the annual census has resulted in major delays in recording the data. This all means the merry mapmakers in PA may have to push back next year’s primary elections if the new maps aren’t done in time. You know, a census taker tried to test us once… eh, that’s a long story.
The commission that protects the Delaware River Watershed is working to permanently ban fracking in the watershed. Seeing as how the current fracking moratorium has lasted for 10 years, it wasn’t like people were lining up with drill bits, waiting for their big chance. Think about what would happen if we replaced “Delaware River” in this story with “Ohio River.” For straight political theater, that would be much more fun to watch!
In our Shameless Client Plug this week, we congratulate Jeff Brown for taking over the helm of the PA 30 Day Fund, which he helped create in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on small businesses. Over the past 10 months, the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund has raised more than $3.3 million dollars and has helped small business owners across Pennsylvania keep the lights on and save thousands of jobs. Good luck Jeff!
Our Triad Communications Team is churning out state budget hearing information like a Land ‘O Lakes factory does butter. If you’d like to be on that e-mail list, hit Jan up at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will lead you to the promised land.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to Houston, where an enterprising Texan decided to take advantage of the historic weather and ski down a snow-covered stretch of highway. Paging Ted Cruz: this is how you “vacation” during a 100-year storm event in your home state.
That’s what passed for news around here as we watch it snow. Again. For the 50th time this winter. We will be back next week as soon as we return from Punxsutawney with a certain varmint tied up in our trunk. Until then, from all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!