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September 2012

Friday Happy Hour: Back-to-the-Garden Edition

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We begin this week’s festivities with an item about a TV spectacle where participants are subjected to horrific abuse while a nation watches from the couch. Sounds like The Hunger Games, you say? Wrong! It’s the NFL’s replacement officials fiasco, solved just in time to save the sanctity of Week Four’s slate of games, and clearly it takes top prize as the most compelling public policy issue of the week. The end-of-game botched call in the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday set the sports-talk broadcasters abuzz for the remainder of the week, and after further review the Real Refs returned to a standing O at the Browns-Ravens game on Thursday. We can now look forward to perfect calls for the rest of the season.

Members of the General Assembly returned to Harrisburg after a two-month vay-kay and were immediately greeted by a litany of news stories and commentary about all the things they would not be addressing while focusing on their re-election campaigns. The House has scheduled 10 session days and the Senate eight before the Nov. 6 election, perhaps enough to deal with prison reform, charter school reform and capital spending, but not the state pension and transportation funding crises. Legislative leaders have ruled out a lame-duck session.

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Friday Happy Hour: Itchy & Scratchy Edition

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“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” As mere babies, we thought this kids’ rhyme was just a piece of fiction. Our moms assured us of it. But noooo. Not only are the darn things real, they – along with fleas – have infested the state government’s Labor & Industry Building. According to this supposedly Emmy-winning seven-minute documentary, bed bugs have made a comeback because modern pesticides are merely a mild discouragement rather than a lethal concoction. Although our fact-checkers were not immediately able to confirm that the thing actually garnered an Emmy, horror-genre fans will enjoy the video’s creepiness factor.

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Friday Happy Hour: Part-Time Edition

Burger

This week we begin in somber reflection of the 11th observance of the 9/11 tragedy. Other than those who were very young or not yet born, we doubt there is a single American who doesn’t remember vividly what he or she was doing on that terrible morning.

On the day of the observance, the American envoy to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three others were killed when a mob stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Depending on whom you believe, it was either an angry reaction to a supposedly blasphemous film or the work of Islamic terrorists. Depending on whom you believe, President Obama either responded appropriately or whiffed, but either way it launched foreign policy right into the middle of the presidential campaign.

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PennDOT’s New ‘Face’ for the Public

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PennDOT has received considerable attention lately for its foray into Facebook. A month after the Facebook page went live, and a week after it began promoting it, PennDOT says the early returns have been positive.

In launching the effort, PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch noted that the growing popularity of social media has created new avenues for reaching the public. The nature of Facebook and other social media provides an opportunity for interaction, which is more difficult or impractical with traditional communications.

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Flight 93 National Memorial

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Triad Partner, Roy Wells, had the opportunity last week to visit the Flight 93 Memorial in Shankesville, PA on his way home from a legislative hearing and client meeting in Latrobe, PA (former home of Rolling Rock Beer). After taking some quick photographs of each marble panel and the landscape around the memorial, he produced this short video slide show. 2,977 victims died on September 11, and as of yesterday, 2,108 US military personnel have died and another 17,519 have been wounded in action in Afghanistan. The Memorial is not completed and is still looking for private donations. You can contribute to the Flight 93 National Memorial at http://www.honorflight93.org/.

 

 

The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh

 


Friday Happy Hour: Do the Math Edition

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We at the Triadvocate are all for saving tax dollars, so we were pleased to run across a news item this week reporting that the Department of Public Welfare had found a way to save $5 million per year by preventing wasteful or fraudulent Medicaid payments.

And while any savings is good news, especially when it results from eliminating waste, fraud or abuse, we thought it might be instructive to look at this from the perspective of two of Pennsylvania’s most vexing problems, the pension crisis and the transportation funding crisis.

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