EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is out of a job just two days after munching on hot dogs at the White House Fourth of July picnic. We have since been marveling at the sheer joy being shared online by environmentalists and progressives over his resignation. Memo: Nothing we have seen to this point leads us to believe that President Trump is looking for the next Rachel Carson to fill the position.
While the World Cup marches on, the eyes of the world remain fixed on another soccer team consisting of twelve Taiwanese boys and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand. Incredibly, they were all found alive this week after a nine-day search. Now comes the tricky part: getting them out. Maybe give former Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker a call?
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has gone from being disappointed over Trump’s trade policy (i.e. tariff the crap out of everyone) to being downright miffed, saying we have crossed the Rubicon. Kudos to Toomey for throwing out a reference to a 1983 Journey album.
Meanwhile, Trump’s Canadian newsprint tariffs have really started to anger the U.S newspaper industry, pretty much ensuring that those particular tariffs will remain in place forever, or at least until Trump leaves office. Another memo: If the newspaper industry were smart, they would tell Trump they love the tariffs. They would be lifted before sundown.
Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. this week sent a letter to the feds asking how many children separated from their parents at the border have made their way to Pennsylvania, and where they might be. Given how well the federal government has tracked those children thus far, we suspect the answers are 1) between zero and 3,000 and 2) your guess is as good as ours.
Protestors camping out in front of the ICE offices in Philadelphia were removed this week, sparking outrage in some quarters. The odd thing is that Philly is, in fact, a sanctuary city and does not cooperate with ICE unless ordered to by a judge, so there is more than a smidge of irony there.
Governor Wolf this week casually mentioned that he would like to see all school funding in Pennsylvania driven out by a bipartisan new formula that lawmakers agreed on several years ago. For some reason, this touched off a mini-firestorm. It would seem that some lawmakers only want to see the so-called “new money” driven through the new formula, leaving the vast majority of dollars to be driven out by an admittedly terrible system. This sounds suspiciously like buying a brand-new car and only driving it every other Wednesday. However, moving all school funding through the new formula would create a whole new list of “losing” school districts, which isn’t a whole lot of fun when you are on the ballot.
Wolf also this week called on lawmakers to raise the state’s minimum wage, a plea he has made 800 or so times since taking office. We know how this song ends.
Pennsylvania’s new law that expanded to types of fireworks that can be legally purchased went over with a literal bang this week, with one York police official describing the Fourth of July in his town as “sounding like a war zone.” Super! Remember, don’t let children light fireworks. It should always be done by the crazy uncle at the picnic who’s already had twelve Coors Lights, and strangely enough only has eight fingers.
The infamous Southern Beltway highway project in western Pennsylvania looks like it will suffer its 3,794th setback, as flooding caused by construction happens every time it rains more than three drops. At this rate, Trump’s border wall will be constructed before the beltway opens.
Also in western PA this week, a judge is hearing arguments over the state Office of Open Records ruling that all information from Pittsburgh’s bid for the Amazon HQ2 project be made public. Admittedly, city and county officials really don’t want to share the info while a bidding war is happening. That’s like being forced to play the World Series of Poker with your hole cards face-up.
As is often the case when major problems confront our nation, the business community steps in to help lead the charge. In the fight against opioid addiction, companies are putting their dollars to work to treat folks because it is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes economic sense. We give you Altoona as Exhibit A.
Exhibit B is in Pittsburgh, where Allegheny General and UPMC are no longer separating mothers from newborns who come into the world with opioid addiction. Sometimes holding-your-new-baby therapy can be just as powerful as drug therapy.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to South Africa, where karma played out in rather gruesome fashion this week. Several poachers broke into a nature preserve to illegally shoot rhinos, but instead were greeted by a pride of lions. Spoiler alert: the lions won. Quickly.
That’s what passes for news around here this holiday week! Come back next week because, frankly, we would be awfully lonely without you. From all your friends at Triad, have a great weekend!