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April 2017

Friday Happy Hour: Veto Shuffle Edition

In case you are not aware, the great City of Philadelphia is currently the center of the NFL universe as it hosts the annual NFL Draft festivities.  Get down there soon and boo your Veto team’s draft picks!

After all the sound and fury surrounding a potential government shutdown and how to enact a long-term spending plan, the U.S. House this week passed a one-week stopgap bill that kicks the can across the street.  The Senate is expected to pass it later today, meaning we will be right back here next week passing another one-week extension.  Never do today what you can put off until seven days from now.   

The U.S. House this week also failed to enact the Obamacare replacement after the so-called “McCarthur Amendment” proved to be as popular as measles.  Two of Pennsylvania’s House Republicans signaled early in the week that they were not on board with the plan, which would once again enable insurers to deny coverage to folks with pre-existing conditions.  Why on earth anyone thought this provision was a good compromise still escapes us.  If anyone out there has a logical explanation, please e-mail us at TheDepartmentOfDumbIdeas@triadstrategies.com. 

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Friday Happy Hour: 420 Day Edition

Eight short days from now, the U.S. Government will close for business if a funding bill is not passed and signed by President Trump, which explains why Congress is currently on 420-day (002)recess.  For his part, Trump is saying no deal will be signed unless it has border wall funding in it, leaving GOP Congressional leaders to wonder aloud if the Democrats may just tell everyone to “go pound sand” (their words, not ours.)  Ah, Washington.  The smell of dysfunction is in the air again.  

Outside of that little kerfuffle, things were pretty mellow in the Washington D.C.  yesterday as people celebrating 420 Day handed out weed to folks in and around the U.S. Capitol building.  As one might imagine, the Capitol Police were less than enthusiastic about the so-called Joint Session celebration, which quickly turned into a Joint Arrest celebration.

The United States Attorney General this week seems to have temporarily forgotten that Hawaii is an actual state, dismissing it as an “island in the Pacific.”  We would politely remind him that one of our Presidents was born there and that, quite frankly, Hawaii rocks.   

 Pennsylvania is slated to receive $26 million from the federal government to bolster the fight against opioid addiction, we found out this week.  Hopefully, that loot gets here before the federal government grinds to a halt next week.

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Friday Happy Hour: Fly, Dale, Fly Edition

Welcome to our truncated (but still incredibly entertaining) holiday weekend edition of the weekly wrap.  United Airlines dominated the news and every social media channel on earth Comcast nascarthis week as they “re-accommodated” a passenger after his flight was oversold.

In related news, after re-accommodating an air strip in Syria and a cave network in Afghanistan, the Trump Administration is sending signals that if North Korea doesn’t calm down, it may also be in line for some re-accommodating.

One of Governor Tom Wolf’s signature wish list items, a hike in the state minimum wage, hit a little turbulence this week as the state’s independent fiscal experts threw a little shade at it.  According to the wonks in that department, a hike in the wage could cost up to 54,000 jobs in Pennsylvania.  Wolf, in turn, pointed to surrounding states’ efforts as proof that the sky did not fall when they raised their minimum wage rates.

Meanwhile, the same fiscal experts also affirmed that Wolf’s revenue estimates for his proposed budget are well within reason.  So, Wolf went 1 for 2 with the fiscal office this week, which puts you in the Hall of Fame if you are playing baseball.

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Friday Happy Hour: Beer Day Edition

Earlier today, the United States Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch for a spot on the Supreme Court.  The confirmation was the culmination of a wild week that saw a good old-fashioned Dufffilibuster by the Democrats, only to watch the GOP majority change the rules (it is known as the nuclear option, if you’ve been living under a rock.)  Both sides of the aisle claimed the high ground during the whole kerfuffle when in fact neither side has entirely clean hands on this one.  Simply put, the “cool saucer” known as the U.S. Senate just got thrown in the microwave.

Faced with his first real international crisis, President Donald Trump last night rained down a few dozen Tomahawk missiles on Syria in response to that country’s chemical weapons attack on its own citizens.  If Syrian President Assad was wondering how Trump would react to his regime’s brutality, this was a pretty clear answer. 

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence spent the week playing dealmaker as he attempted to put the pieces of the failed Obamacare repeal back together again. No word yet on whether or not he has mastered the art of jamming square pegs into round holes. 

Speaking of Obamacare, Triad’s own Tony May took fingers to keyboard this week and gave us his thoughts on the “placebo effect” as it related to the great health care debate.  If you haven’t read it yet, get to it, people.

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