The U.S. economy continued to roar last month, adding 223,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate dipped to a 17-year low of 3.8 percent. The tide just keeps on rising, folks.
President Trump is making good on his promise to slap steep tariffs on steel and aluminum, signaling this week that the European Union, Canada and Mexico are next in line. Predictably, those countries were pretty cheesed off, and it looks like we have a good, old-fashioned trade war on the horizon. Mexico, in particular, threatened to impose tariffs on pork, which we bacon lovers do not find amusing in the least.
It is with a heavy heart that we violate our longstanding rule against ever mentioning a Kardashian for any reason whatsoever to tell you that President Trump hosted Kim K. West this week to discuss prison reform. 2018 has really been weird. If you told us in 2016 that we would be writing that sentence, we might have had you committed.
Editor’s note: If you are waiting for us to comment on either Roseanne Barr or Samantha Bee, you can stop reading now. Ain’t happenin’, captain.
We resume our screed by alerting our readers that there will not be an infrastructure funding bill coming to a theater near you anytime soon. Apparently, Congress has many other pressing needs to attend to and cannot be bothered to rescue our nation’s infrastructure. We will jut keep using bubble gum and duct tape for now.
Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle seem to be in agreement that the state budget will be done on time this year, which is a welcome change from the past three budgets. With no tax increase necessary and a bloody midterm election in the windshield, nobody is looking for a street fight. Of course, we have heard this song before, so if things go flying off the rails on June 30, don’t be too shocked.
The tech boom in Pittsburgh continues unabated, as Amazon announced this week it will grab yet another 70,000 square feet of space for its Amazon Flex operations. Is this a precursor to HQ2? You are quite the tease, Amazon.
Meanwhile over in the east, Philadelphia City Council is kicking the tires on the city’s 10-year tax abatement program as it looks for ways to generate revenue. Given the number of cranes in the sky in Philly, some are wondering whether that abatement is necessary in its current form. We will just chalk that up to “leaving no stone unturned” for the time being.
Lawmakers are starting to get a little nervous about the imminent closing of Three Mile Island, with two other plant closures potentially coming shortly thereafter. We can only hope that the horse isn’t already out of the barn. It is not like things move quickly through the General Assembly, unless they have to do with officially naming our structurally-deficient bridges.
There is an interesting proposal percolating within the hallowed walls of the state capitol that would allow towns in Pennsylvania to simply dissolve themselves, with counties taking over the responsibility for basic services. And by dissolve we don’t mean close up shop, like Centralia. For a state with roughly 38 million local government units, this may not be a bad idea.
The state’s Gaming Control Board has put out the first round of regulations to implement sports betting in Pennsylvania, which means the state is one step closer to allowing people to bet ludicrous amounts of money that the Eagles or Steelers will win the next Super Bowl.
In campaign news, state Sen. Scott Wagner announced he will resign his senate seat on Monday to focus solely on beating Gov. Tom Wolf this fall. This was seen as either a brilliant political strategy or a craven political stunt, depending on which campaign consultant’s Twitter feed you choose to follow.
On a related note, Wagner also officially challenged Wolf to 67 debates, one for each county in Pennsylvania. That would be, by our count, 66 more than the average Pennsylvanian is likely to watch.
If you are planning on visiting our pals at Pocono Raceway, here is your official list of events for this weekend’s Pocono 400. Team Triad will be there, #PoconoStyle.
In Our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to Florida, where a woman named Crystal Methvin was recently arrested for possession of – wait for it – crystal meth. That which we call a rose, by any other name…
That’s what passes for news around here as we drop it into fifth gear and head up to the Tricky Triangle. For the rest of you, please obey posted speed limit signs and come back next week! From all your friends at Triad, have a great weekend!
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