Friday, September 25, 2020
This week, the nation mourned the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. One of the most touching moments of the week was when 120 of her former law clerks volunteered to be official pallbearers for her funeral. They were quite the sight on the steps of the Supreme Court. Godspeed and rest in peace, Notorious RBG.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who moves with alacrity on issues of judicial nominations, announced he will confirm President Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsberg, whoever that person might be. Democrats howled their disapproval, pointing to that whole Merrick Garland kerfuffle. Here is the deal, Democrats: if your current minority leader who hopes to one day be your majority leader won’t do exactly what McConnell is doing today, you need to get yourself a new minority leader.
Another week, and another poll was released in Pennsylvania showing Joe Biden with a slight but increasingly steady edge over President Trump. Here is where someone injects the whole “shy Trump voter” theory claiming the polls are wrong, and reminding you all about Hillary, and then Biden voters get heartburn and night sweats and on and on it goes. Judging by the sheer amount of Trump paraphernalia people purchase, we are not sure any of his voters can be classified as “shy,” by the way.
President Trump meanwhile did what he does best, and that is to send the media into a tailspin. In this episode, Trump would not agree to a peaceful transition of power should he lose in November, largely because he believes the only way he loses is if there is massive voter fraud. Makes perfect sense. In this day and age, we don’t need peace, anyway! We need a 10-round fight between our septuagenarian candidates right on the South Lawn. Winner gets the Oval.
Speaking of elections, Pennsylvania is about to become the new Florida, as “naked ballots” become the latest threat to democracy, replacing those old, worn out hanging chads. Thanks to the PA Supreme Court, folks who use mail-in ballots will need to put the ballot in an envelope, and then that envelope into another envelope and WHY IN THE HELL DO PEOPLE INSIST ON MAKING THIS SO DAMNED HARD??
So hypothetically, if Pennsylvania officials toss out 50,000 of these so-called naked ballots and Trump or Biden wins by 20,000 votes? Well, Katie bar the door, it is gonna get downright ugly in the Keystone State. Or it could lead to this scenario, where three different people actually have a legitimate claim to the presidency in January. Note: this analysis is downright terrifying and could make you throw up in your mouth a little bit.
In non-electoral news, Pennsylvania’s jobless level dropped 2.2% last month, and as of this writing, more than 50% of all the non-farm jobs lost to the pandemic have come back. We always wondered why these job counters never want to include farmers in their numbers. It’s always “non-farm” jobs. What’s their beef (so to speak) with farm job? You think your food grows itself, wise guy?
The state House returned to Harrisburg to take up a rare veto override attempt, this one on a bill that would allow local school districts to set their own rules for spectator attendance. Despite Twitterstorms and a lot of sound and fury, it did not happen, largely because the vote needed significant Democratic support. And the last time we checked, overriding a veto of your own governor is among the top three dumbest things one can ever do in politics and we can’t even print the other two.
Up next the General Assembly is putting the final touches on a bill to repeal part of the governor pandemic mitigation rules for bars and restaurants, which Wolf will also veto and lather, rinse, repeat and bang your head off the sidewalk.
Complicating Wolf’s mitigation efforts, however, are the federal courts, who refused to stay a decision that ruled many of Wolf’s tactics are unconstitutional. And so, Wolf’s limits on outdoor gathering are still not in force, which one assumes would affect things like scholastic sports crowds!
The Wolf v. Feds battle is also starting to gain national attention, as some other states are starting to see the ruling as a roadmap for repealing their own governors’ mandates. Naked ballots and leading the way on repealing pandemic control efforts: welcome to Pennsylvania!
Some people do not like the way Pennsylvania law allows politicians to draw maps for congressional and legislative redistricting. Those people have been trying to get the constitution amended to change that process, but to no avail as the legislative leaders who draw these maps are the same ones who decide what gets voted in the House and Senate. See the rub there? But having failed that route, they are trying to set some ground rules through new legislation in the Senate, which has all of six voting days left this year. See the rub?
President Trump was in western Pennsylvania this week, as he has been for the last 20 or 30 weeks. Nothing to see here, moving right along.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jill Biden was in Erie… ok, maybe not IN Erie. More like she was on a Zoom call with some folks FROM Erie, because the Bidens like to hang around in Delaware as much as possible with this whole COVID-19 thingy going on.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has been Pennsylvania’s leading voice for the legalization of marijuana. And so, it would only make sense that this month’s cover of Weed World magazine would feature… his wife, Giselle. Sorry, big guy.
In our Shameless Client Plug this week, we send our best to our friend Dan Hilferty as he sails off into retirement from Independence Blue Cross. We wish his family and him nothing but the best and thank him for all he has done for not only the Philadelphia region, but the nation as well. And on that note, we wish nothing but the best to his successor, Gregory Deavens.
Over on the Triad socials, our own Brendan Schubert shares some very personal thoughts on struggles surrounding mental health. Take a moment to check it out.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you down to our southern border, where a different kind of invasion is happening, one that no wall is gonna stop: vampire bats. Yes friends, climate change is making the U.S. more hospitable to these fun-loving bloodsuckers. Let’s hope they eat spotted lanternflies, or maybe murder hornets. At least solve one problem, right?
That’s what passes for news around here as we watch September fade away and prepare for pumpkin spiced everything because apparently that’s the law now. From all your friends at Team Triad, have a great weekend!