December 9, 2022

Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered the Commonwealth’s flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of three firefighters killed in the line of duty in two incidents last week. We join with the governor and all Pennsylvanians in sending our prayers out to all of these heroes and their families. Team Triad is privileged to represent the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters, a role we cherish because of the brave men and women who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to keep us all safe.

As has become a custom in America, elections are not really over until Georgia has a totally random and unnecessary runoff U.S. Senate race in December. Once again, the Democrats prevailed as Raphael Warnock defeated Herschel Walker, which is exactly what he did in November. The Democrats celebrated their 51 shiny new members for exactly four days, until Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema this morning curtsied, smiled and gave a thumbs down to her own Democratic party, becoming a registered Independent. While it does not change the balance of power, it certainly complicates matters. And as we have all come to know, Sinema seems to enjoy nothing more than complicating matters.

The incoming GOP majority in Congress’ lower chamber flexed its own political muscle for the first time, forcing President Biden to drop his military COVID vaccine mandate in the annual defense spending bill. Next up for that caucus is the battle to be speaker, which will be a doozy.

Meanwhile, President Biden signed a bill codifying the right of marriage for same-sex and interracial couples. It is amazing that the country is still having this bizarre conversation in the year 2022, but here we are.

A jury in Manhattan has found the Trump Organization guilty on 17 counts of tax fraud and related bric-a-brac. The fine was a truly astounding $1.6 million, which we presume the former president paid in full the next day by selling exactly one painting from the lobby of Trump Tower. The lesson here is that if you are going to commit tax fraud, do it in New York.

Back here in Pennsylvania, the battle to control the House of Representatives has become a surreal exercise in semantics. What constitutes a majority? Members elected? Members seated? Members who paid their taxes early? Members who write left-handed? This week, presumptive (and by presumptive, think mid-February) Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton took the oath early and declared herself majority leader, which caused more than a bit of angst in GOP leader Bryan Cutler. Jan. 3, 2023, will be a circus inside of a zoo inside of a Category Five hurricane. Board up your windows and stay home.

Lawyers working on behalf of U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith have made their way into Pennsylvania, dropping subpoenas on election officials in connection with his probe of the 1/6 riot. Here is a bit of unsolicited advice to those targets: this dude prosecuted war crimes at the Hague, so if he sent you a subpoena, you probably shouldn’t dither. He does not look like a guy who suffers dithering gladly.

Gov. Tom Wolf this week announced that the PA Human Relations Commission has finalized regulations that prohibit LGBTQ discrimination. Again, why are we having this conversation in 2022? Isn’t this more of an issue that should have been remedied back in, oh, say MANY YEARS AGO??

The move by Wolf is one of the last he will make as governor, as he does his victory/goodbye lap through the media. You may have disagreed on the issues of the day, but Tom Wolf remained one of the most honorable humans to ever serve as governor. Our parting advice to him? Grab those Jeep keys, take some laps around this beautiful Commonwealth with Frances, and enjoy your retirement, governor.

Philly D.A. Larry Krasner is not going gently into that January impeachment. Krasner has petitioned the Commonwealth Court to intervene and declare the process an abuse of power. The only real question remaining is how fast this case ends up in the PA Supreme Court.

The state is giving away more than $12 million in an effort to electrify diesel trucks that traffic in densely populated areas. Next up on our wish list is stopping delivery trucks from double parking in driving lanes in Harrisburg during morning rush hour. Anyone got some loot for that? Please?

The national GOP and their counterparts in Pennsylvania have been doing a bit of soul-searching about why their voters don’t seem to like mail-in voting. Yeah, it’s mystifying, isn’t it? Whatever the reason, we often think about former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s old adage: “you go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had.” As long as mail-in voting is legal and popular, maybe encourage your base to use it.

Despite getting 3,500 applications for pardons under Pennsylvania’s marijuana amnesty program, only 250 people eventually got their wish. State officials pointed to the short application time frame as a possible reason, but seeing as how 3,500 people applied, maybe that’s not the issue at hand.

Our Shameless Client Plug this week goes out to Magellan Health, which celebrated five successful years as the behavioral health managed care provider in Cambria County. Come see how they’ve succeeded where others failed!

Our We Can’t Make This Up segment takes us to Massachusetts, where a menacing pack of wild turkeys, led by a particularly thuggish turkey named Kevin, is holding an entire town hostage. Newsmax is reporting that Kevin was, indeed, one of the turkeys pardoned by President Biden the day before Thanksgiving.

That’s what passes for news around here on a cold Friday, where it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and the crippling anxiety it annually visits upon us! From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!