March 25, 2022
We begin our weekly walk through the news by sending our most sincere condolences to the friends and families of Pennsylvania State Troopers Martin Mack and Branden T. Sisca, as well as civilian Reyes Rivera Oliveras, all of whom were killed in a horrific accident this week on I-95.
All eyes were on the U.S. Senate this week as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson began her historic march to the Supreme Court. Hence, everyone on Twitter instantly became constitutional law professors. Let’s make this simple for y’all. Brown Jackson WILL be confirmed, Justice Brett Kavanaugh WILL NOT be impeached, and the chances that Justice Clarence Thomas retires are exactly two: Slim and None, and Slim just left town.
Easily our favorite moment from these hearings was when Sen. Ben Sasse, while waxing eloquently about the use of cameras in courtrooms, politely suggested that a few of his colleagues engage in what he called “jackassery” in the hopes of getting a cable television news soundbite. That one cut a little too close to the bone for some of his friends, including a certain Texas senator who was glaring daggers at Sasse while he spoke.
New jobless claims last month bottomed out at 187,000, a number not seen since Neal Armstrong tap-danced on the moon. And while some of the president’s vocal opponents twisted themselves into Utz pretzels trying to spin this as bad news, sometimes ya just gotta say, “Yeah, that’s great” and move the hell on.
While our lawmakers (and some gubernatorial candidates) wrestle over how to spend federal stimulus funds, Delaware just threw up its collective hands and said “alright, everyone gets $300 a month until we run out of cash.” Sometimes the simplest solutions end up being the most elegant.
You know what we don’t fund in Pennsylvania? Indigent defense, unlike forty-nine other states. Which is almost as puzzling as it is astounding. Let’s go ahead and fix that this year, huh?
Do you know who else doesn’t have enough loot? The auditor general, who announced this week that his office will no longer audit school districts due to lack of staff and funds. One solution? Give the guy some extra cabbage. Another? Cut the number of school districts to 67. Let’s find out which one is easier.
Pennsylvania’s deer harvest is down 13% over last year, we learned this week. This, according to any hunter you speak to, is all the fault of the Game Commission and not the fault of poor marksmanship. By the way, “harvest” sounds like an awfully nice way of describing what we are really doing to the deer.
As the U.S. continues to rally around Ukraine, the State Police and Capitol Police announced they are sending unused body armor to that battle-torn nation. Every little bit helps; good on ya, law enforcement.
Like everything under the sun, the retail price of medical marijuana continues to lead the nation despite falling wholesale prices. License holders are pointing to the regulatory environment as the culprit, while others are calling for more competition. This just in: a dime bag no longer costs a dime.
Governor Wolf’s office announced that 300 anti-litter teams are already on board to join his effort to get all that damned trash off the side of our highways. Seriously, people? It’s 2022 and we are still throwing things out of our car windows? No wonder we can’t have nice things around here.
The state’s hospitals are about to get a cool $200 million for staff retention, we learned this week. This is a fine idea. The last thing you want to see when you go to an emergency room is a “help wanted” sign.
A regulatory agency made a change to the state’s tipped wage law that will help service workers dramatically by increasing the point where that wage kicks in by tenfold. While we are on that topic… really? $2.83? Imagine working on your feet a whole hour just to buy a half-gallon of gas.
Dominion Voting Systems will not have to hand its machines over to anyone but a certified lab, due to a favorable State Supreme Court ruling. This is yet another setback for the Kraken, we assume, who could not be reached for comment.
GOP party leaders are starting to get a bit concerned about the size of the current GOP field for governor. Hopes that the field would narrow from its current 10 candidates are starting to fade as we are only 53 days away from the primary elections. Twenty-five percent of the vote might end up being a landslide.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to Alabama, where a man was criminally charged for trying to steal a 70-ton crane. Where, exactly, did this man believe he could hide a massive crane? Not like you can plop that thing in your purse and casually walk out of the store with it. We dedicate this story to the hard-working men and women of the Operating Engineers, which gives us the first-ever confluence of a Shameless Client Plug AND a We Can’t Make This Up. Our work is done here.
That’s what passes for news around here as March goes out like, well, who knows? Lion, lamb, lemur… who can tell? From all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!