October 1, 2021
We begin this week with a shout-out to all the lawmakers who took part in the annual “Yinz vs. Youse” charity softball game, which benefitted the hungry in central Pennsylvania. The Yinzers administered a pierogi-and-Iron City-fueled beatdown of Team Youse, who complained after the game that there wasn’t enough wooder in their dugout.
With a few hours to spare yesterday, Congress finally figured out a way to keep the government running for TWO WHOLE MONTHS! That’s some fancy lawmakin’, friends! Brings a tear to the eye.
Meanwhile, President Biden’s agenda is wrapped around the axle of West by God Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s boat. Manchin yesterday drew his line in the sand on the Build Back Better plan, saying he won’t vote for anything above $1.5 trillion. Also, the plan must include the Hyde amendment, several ponies, and a vintage Winchester rifle. Manchin also insisted the entire bill be printed on hexagonally shaped paper and be written in cursive.
YouTube has banned anti-vaccine misinformation from its platform, which will be funny as hell the next time Nicki Minaj posts a video about vaccines. That’s when the rubber will hit the road and YouTube executives find themselves hauled in front of Congress.
Eighty-five percent of adult Pennsylvanians have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, which is pretty remarkable. Judging by Twitter noise alone, we would have pegged that number around 30%. This particular minority can get awfully vocal, it seems.
Meanwhile, if you were wondering what vaccination rates are for individual House and Senate districts, that information is now available. Also, if you were wondering about vaccination rates in individual House and Senate districts, perhaps you need a hobby.
The Wolf administration announced that a $655 million grant program for childcare providers will be opening shortly. As you may recall, that industry took a wallop during the height of COVID, and if anyone needs that kind of scratch, they certainly do.
The General Assembly advanced a measure that would enable parents to opt out of school mask mandates. Unless Governor Wolf has had some sort of “Paul on the Road to Damascus” moment on mask mandates that we are unaware of, that one is deceased upon arrival.
Wilkes University released a study showing that Pennsylvania’s public health infrastructure is on par with its actual, physical infrastructure, which is to say it stinks on ice. This is especially troubling since, as we all know, we ain’t getting any younger around here, and health care needs are only going to get more acute. Public health infrastructure, it would appear, needs a little building back better.
Wolf also announced a coordinated effort to tackle the school bus driver shortage in Pennsylvania. Considering the fact that Pittsburgh has become the autonomous vehicle capital of the world, maybe we can kill two birds with one stone here.
The General Assembly also took a little time to extend scads of regulatory waivers that were issued because of the COVID emergency. This is noteworthy because many folks wanna use this list as a starting point to see which, if any, of the regulations can be permanently deleted. As many folks know, regulations don’t come off the books very easily in this town.
Beef prices have jumped by 5.3% in the past month. Yeah, yeah, we know. Supply chains and yadda yadda yadda. We bring this to your attention not because we wanted to spoil your weekend grilling plans, but rather because…
Archery season starts tomorrow! Instead of paying through the shnozzola for beef, why not head out into the fresh air and kill what you eat instead?
Speaking of inflation, even the Dollar Tree is no longer immune to rising costs. Soon, there will be products available at the old DT that cost MORE than a dollar which, judging by online commentary, threatens the very core of the republic.
The state’s Bureau of Forestry released a map showing the best places in Pennsylvania to view our incredible fall foliage. We have some of the best leaf-peeping vistas in the country, everyone knows it, and New Jersey can just pipe down over there.
The state is also releasing the eastern hellbender into some Susquehanna River tributaries this week in an effort to boost its comeback in our waterways. Aside from the fact that the hellbender is the most badass official amphibian of all 50 states, our own Todd Brysiak can spin you the yarn of how that designation came to be. Slide into his DMs!
Over on the Triad socials this week, say congrats to Brandi Hunter-Davenport on her Triad work anniversary, also known as her Triadiversary.
On a sad note this week, we also send our best wishes to the entire Pocono Raceway family, as longtime Military Affairs Vice President Bob Pallo passed away. Pocono Raceway has a long tradition of supporting our nation’s men and women in uniform, and Bob will be missed by all.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, pop superstar Shakira apparently had a run-in with some wild boars in Spain, one of which ate her handbag. Honestly, we can’t make that up because, much like Shakira’s hips, we don’t lie. If you didn’t see that coming, shame on you for six weeks.
That’s what passes for news around here on a gorgeous fall Friday. We simply cannot wait to see you all again, so from all of us at Team Triad, have a great weekend!