We begin this week – of course – by saluting the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball champion Villanova Wildcats, who last Monday night dismantled Michigan to capture their second crown in three years. Parades are becoming common in Philly. Paging the Flyers and Sixers…
President Trump this week escalated his trade war rhetoric by announcing he will seek up to $100 billion in tariffs on China, his personal whipping boy from the 2016 campaigns. Trump also reiterated that trade wars are “easy to win.” That sound you heard was new White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow hitting the floor after passing out.
After enacting tax cuts and a spending plan that would make a Kardashian blush, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan this week announced that his chamber would vote on a bill to require balanced budgets. That is not just closing the barn door after the horse runs out. This horse actually ran out, did a few laps at Pimlico, retired, and sired 15 horses before the barn door was closed.
The U.S. economy added 214,000 private-sector jobs last month, we learned earlier this week. Then today we learned that the U.S. economy added 103,000 new jobs, which means that nobody really has any idea how many jobs were added.
A Pennsylvania appeals court this week threw a doozy of a decision at the shale gas industry, ruling that it will be considered trespassing to extract gas from under property adjacent to a drilling operation. For those who remember Daniel Day Lewis in “There Will Be Blood,” there will be no more drinking others’ milkshakes. We expect a very vigorous response from the shale folks.
Meet the nine inaugural members of the new Philadelphia School Board! Mayor Jim Kenney tapped these fine public servants this week, and they now will set about the daunting task of finding the loot to keep the schools afloat this year. Oh, the fun they will have.
The race for the GOP nomination for governor went to DEFCON 5 this week, as longshot Paul Mango launched an absolute broadside against presumptive frontrunner Scott Wagner. Remember when Pittsburgh Steeler JuJu Smith-Shuster blindsided Cincinnati Bengal linebacker Vontaze Burfict and knocked him out cold? Yeah, Mango’s ad was like that, only more violent.
The increasingly nasty tone of that race may have something to do with the fact that soothsayer Larry Sabato has moved the PA governor’s race into the “likely Democratic” category.
Before we leave this raging GOP conflagration, we will also note that Mango seems to be working to capture the space to the right of Wagner on social issues such as same-sex marriage. While this strategy may help in May, it probably won’t be a great place to be standing in November.
In other campaign news, liberal activist and billionaire Tom Steyer will be pouring his cabbage into the Keystone State to help turn a few congressional seats blue in November. We do not expect his largesse to go unnoticed by the venerable Brothers Koch.
Before we leave the campaign trail, U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta this week unveiled his newest endorsement in his race against incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey: his dog. Scoff if you must, but we have lived through the media coverage and political attention that was paid to a dog named “Libre” last year. Lou might be on to something. Perhaps the senator should at least get a cat.
We are compelled to share with you this story about longtime PA Senate Judiciary Chairman and former prosecutor Stewart Greenleaf. As he heads toward retirement, his views on how to combat crime have certainly begun to shift. For aspiring politicos, this is a must-read. In short, have the courage of your convictions, but also the wisdom to know when to change course. Bravo, Senator. You will be sorely missed.
The PA House this week held a hearing on allowing local police to use radar. This hearing marked the 7,000th time a legislative committee has discussed this idea in the past 20 years. For some reason, local police can be entrusted with weapons, but cannot be trusted to wield a radar gun. We remain mystified.
If you live in Harrisburg’s Sixth Street corridor (and we know some folks who do), you had to be pleased with the results of a planning meeting that was held this week. We know our client Vartan Enterprises was! Apparently, the long-awaited construction of a new federal courthouse in that area is expected to launch tens of millions of dollars worth of redevelopment. Welcome to the northern gateway!
This is a public service announcement from the Triad Strategic communications team: The annual Gridiron Dinner is once again upon us. It benefits a great cause (training young journalists) and is generally a damned good time. Click here for details and tickets.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to the Great White North, where after an 18-year ban, a Nova Scotia man is once again allowed to stay in a certain hotel. His original crime? It involves a massive suitcase full of pepperoni and about 40 seagulls. We will just let you read it from there.
That’s what passes for news around here as we continually curse the Winter That Will Not End. Come back and visit us again next week, where we will continue to regale you with tales of cured meats and voracious seagoing fowl. From all your friends at Triad, have a great weekend!