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February 2018

January 2018

Friday Happy Hour: Wash Your Mouth Out with Soap Edition

Between the federal government shutdown and the PA Supreme Court’s noogie regarding congressional maps, the week got off to a bit of a shaky start.  With the government Podsshutdown, there was ample ugliness to go around as the R’s blamed the D’s, Schumer blamed McConnell, WaPo (as usual) blamed Trump, Abbott blamed Costello, and the American electorate collectively rolled its eyes once again.  The Atlantic published an insightful piece sorting out what’s what.

In the post-mortem sweepstakes, Sen. Chuck Schumer and his fellow Democrats took considerable heat for shutting the government down in the first place, and then for backing off and leaving the 700,000 people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in limbo.  U.S. News & World Report called it “the daily struggle for America’s soul.”  Expect elevated bickering and more political hostage-taking as a March 5 deadline looms for ending the DACA program.

As for those congressional districts, the court ruled 5-2 – along party lines, for those keeping score at home – that the Republican-controlled General Assembly and (at the time) governor’s office overstepped in the way they configured the maps, in violation of the State Constitution.  The court gave lawmakers and Governor Wolf until Feb. 15 to straighten things out, or the court will draw new maps.  GOP legislative leaders appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Friday Happy Hour: Diamond Rain Edition

Americans from all walks of life paused Monday to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  We have a simple request for all who engage in political discourse Uranusthese days: maybe we can all come together a bit more often to reflect on his work, and not spend the other 364 days each year being total jackwagons to each other.  Just a thought. 

The federal government could be locking the doors and turning off the lights by day’s end if the U.S. Senate can’t pass a 30-day funding bill.  We chuckle every time we hear an elected official say that government should be run like a business.  If we ran our business that way, we would be out of business.  Welcome back, our friends, to the show that never ends. 

If you were wondering how our own U.S. Senator Bob Casey feels about the short-term funding plan, you can stop wondering.  He’s a no, thank you very much. 

President Trump took a short break from the Washington drama-fest to campaign for state Rep. Rick Saccone, who is running for Congress against Democrat Conor Lamb in a March special election.  Trump carried that district by 20 points in 2016, and the nation’s eyes will be fixed on the suburban Pittsburgh seat to see if the “Trump Country” dog still hunts as we run up to the 2018 midterms. 

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Friday Happy Hour: Always Sunny Edition

Firefighters from Philadelphia and across the nation gathered this morning to say goodbye to one of the city’s bravest, Philadelphia Fie Department Lt. Matthew LeTourneau, who Its-Always-Sunny-In-Philadelphia--e1459548386357 died battling a rowhome blaze last Saturday.  The entire Triad team sends our thoughts and prayers to his family, and to the city. 

During a meeting with Congressional leaders yesterday on the topic of immigration, President Trump said some…things.  Or not, depending on whom you believe.  The resulting international firestorm is what we call a normal Thursday these days.

Oprah Winfrey gave a great speech at the Golden Globes last week, prompting many to rally behind her as a potential Presidential nominee in 2020.  Democrats who spent all of 2016 saying a billionaire with no experience should never be President could not be reached for comment. 

The U.S. Senate will likely be taking a vote on the FCC’s recent net neutrality ruling due to a rather arcane Upper Chamber rule that guarantees floor action on any bill that has at least 30 co-sponsors.  No word on the timing of that vote, but it will be one to watch when it occurs. For those who wonder if the Pennsylvania General Assembly has such a rule, the answer is no.  Move along.

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PA no longer leads nation in bad bridges

Several years ago, Pennsylvania had the dubious distinction of leading the nation with more than 6,000 structurally deficient bridges. Now, just four years after passage of the Birmingham Bridge transportation funding bill known as Act 89, nearly half of those bridges have been fixed or replaced.

That achievement is one of several cited by Bob Latham, of Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, in noting the progress in restoring our bridge and highway system since passage of the funding act. His comments aired on a recent edition of Pennsylvania Newsmakers, hosted by Terry Madonna.

To view the entire segment, click here.

Friday Happy Hour: Snoop Dogg Edition

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said some stuff about his former boss this week that was – ahem -- less than kind.  Anytime one of your allies tosses around the SnoopDogg-2027 word “treasonous” like a Caesar Salad, you know it’s a bad day. President Trump responded by suggesting that Bannon lost his marbles along with his job.  We are sure this kind of stuff used to happen between Karl Rove and George W. Bush all the time.  Nothing to see here.   

You know who doesn’t seem to care one bit about the ongoing political intrigue inside the Beltway? Wall Street.  The Dow Jones rocketed past 25,000 this week, with the bull market’s end nowhere to be seen.  Heck, you may have heard about it if Steve Bannon didn’t decide to go bonkers on the President.

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Session announced this week that he will reverse an Obama Administration directive that softened the federal government stance on marijuana prosecutions.  Sessions believes that weed is almost as dangerous as heroin, so the move makes sense from that, um, odd perspective.  States that have legalized marijuana in either medicinal or recreational form are not amused.  States’ rights?  More like the right to remain silent! 

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