July 15, 2022

Inflation continued to dominate the political discourse this week, as both political parties pointed the blamethrower at each other for the June numbers, which clocked in at a 40-year high of 9.1%. Here is your periodic reminder that while many external forces can be driving up consumer prices, the electorate is inevitably going to blame the person with the keys to the car.

While most polling is now showing that vast numbers of voters want neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump on the 2024 ballot, both of those gentlemen seem to be oblivious to that fact. President Biden is getting increasingly annoyed by retirement speculation, telling everyone who will listen he is running again, while the former president is gearing up for an early fall announcement. 

As if the nation’s supply chain wasn’t already being held together by Gorilla Glue and rubber bands, a nationwide railroad strike is becoming a real possibility. So, if you order your Christmas gifts from Amazon by this weekend, they should make it in time for Dec. 25. 

The United States and Mexico have inked a deal to beef up border security. The United States will build a huge wall and Mexico will pay… no wait, that was the last plan. The new one entails more surveillance (so we can more clearly see the thousands of people casually strolling into the country) and beefed-up patrols. 

Closer to home, we continued to sift through the aftermath of the final week of General Assembly action and uncovered a few things you might not have seen. First, lawmakers passed and Governor Wolf signed a new banking law that protects people in the medicinal weed industry from running afoul of the law, since the feds still seem to think weed is as deadly as heroin and fentanyl.

Also, lawmakers got around to removing the word “homosexuality” from the Pennsylvania crimes code.  Seems like that maybe should have been done a long time ago, but hey, who are we to quibble with a good outcome? We are not quibblers, by nature. 

And thanks to a new law passed last week, it will now be a felony to kill a law enforcement service dog, even if by accident. As well it should be. 

Tucked into this year’s budget was also some language that forever forecloses the Wolf administration’s plan to toll bridges to pay for their repair. There was much rejoicing amongst those who dislike tolls, which is damned near everyone, from what we observed. Now the real fun starts. What, pray tell, is Plan B (no, not THAT Plan B)? 

And in our final look under the legislative hood until September, the governor vetoed a bill that would have prohibited municipalities from passing ordinances to restrict certain types of energy within their jurisdiction. There has been a move nationwide to pass ordinances banning natural gas hookups in new construction, prompting the legislation. Because as we all know, mandating “all-electric” in new construction is way better for the environment because electricity comes from fairy dust falling from thin air and definitely not from natural gas fired plants. 

Starting next week, there will be a nationwide mental health crisis/suicide prevention help line known as 988. Dial it and immediately get connected to a professional who may be able to help you out or find someone who can. We don’t know who was behind this idea, but it is a laudable one and that person should be promoted, whoever they are. 

Three Pennsylvania counties are being sued by the Commonwealth for not counting undated absentee ballots in the last election, even though those ballots were postmarked in time for Election Day. The commissioners of those counties argue (perhaps correctly) that state law does not explicitly call for such ballots to be counted. This whole episode shines a much brighter light on what needs to be done before the next election.

High school athletes in Pennsylvania will soon be able to do endorsement deals under new regulatory framework for names, images and likeness. We guess having the high school quarterback or softball star hyping the local pizza shop or car dealership is the next logical step, now that 15-year-olds with no discernible talent are making millions of dollars a year for saying and doing inane shit on social media.  We are all influencers now! 

Out in Pittsburgh this week, a nasty rumor began that somehow the Steelers ditched the hallowed Heinz Field name, replacing it with something known as Acrisure. Had this rumor been true, WHICH IT DEFINITELY IS NOT, thousands and thousands of yinzer Steelers fans would be going completely crazytown banana pants right now. 

In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, some dude from Maryland decided to go off script (and off the approved path) and get himself into prime selfie position, only to find himself and his phone falling into the crater of Mt. Vesuvius. Our smart phones will eventually get all of us killed, mark our words.

That’s what passes for news around here on this gorgeous summer Friday. Be sure to come back next week, and we will sit back, crack open a cold sarsaparilla and spin you a yarn. Until then, from Team Triad, have a great weekend!