Vice President Mike Pence was in the spotlight this week (the Big Guy was on vacation) as he unveiled the Trump administration’s vision for the sixth branch of the military: The Space Force! As long as George Lucas runs it, we are good with the idea.
Meanwhile, Trump’s top lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, spent the week talking to the media about how he is dictating the terms of a potential sit-down between his client and Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller. We wonder how successful defense lawyers in New York were when they used this tactic with then-prosecutor Giuliani. We will sit down with you, Mr. Giuliani, but you can’t ask us about the gun or the dead body. Just the cannoli.
Gov. Tom Wolf this week made national news by announcing the formation of a cabinet-level office of LGBTQ affairs. Kudos to the governor for this move, hailed by lawmakers from both parties.
A Pennsylvania lawmaker would like to begin the discussion about how to cut down the travel time across this gargantuan state by investing in a hyperloop, the brainchild of Elon Musk. Hyperloop is a contraption that fires you into a tube at 700 miles per hour. For a bit of context, the hyperloop can get you from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in about 30 minutes, which would be glorious for those among us who know every inch of the Turnpike like we know our own kids.
Pennsylvania is a wee bit behind the curve when it comes to cleaning up the waterways that ultimately dump into the Chesapeake Bay, we learned this week. Last week’s torrential rains probably didn’t help, as flooding essentially washed the entire Borough of Hummelstown into the bay.
The financial overlord of all things Harrisburg has eased up on the whole goofy idea of massive property tax increases to get the city out of state oversight. Said overlord also strongly suggested that Harrisburg consider moving to home rule government so as to have a bit more flexibility on what taxes it can impose. Look for that debate to begin in earnest sometime very soon.
Governor Wolf this week said he does not believe that Pennsylvanians are ready for legalized marijuana. Critics pointed to polls that say about 60 percent of residents support legalization, but remember: what you WANT and what you are READY FOR are often to very different things. For instance, 90 percent of teenage boys want a Corvette.
Meanwhile, a county commissioner from northeastern PA would like to see local governments be given the option to ban the growing or distribution of medicinal pot because, presumably, she once watched Reefer Madness and it made quite the impression.
There was a small political kerfuffle this week, as the state GOP chairman took the Fayette County Democrats to task for offering Steelers tickets to people who switched their voter registration from R to D. That is a no-no, according to Pennsylvania law. This law also scraps the Philly Democratic Party’s plan to auction off a date with Nick Foles to potential party-switchers.
In other political news, Governor Wolf nailed down the endorsement of the 40,000-member PA Fraternal Order of Police. The notable news here is that screwing around with the collective bargaining rights of police officers is never a good idea.
Pennsylvania is being inundated with spotted lanternflies, we found out this week. They may look harmless, but are quite the ravenous little buggers. So if you see one, alert the authorities and promptly squash it.
The Keystone State is also the national leader in cases of Lyme disease, with 10,000 confirmed cases now on the books. The state is being overrun by insects, apparently. When we are overrun with spiders, you will know it because we will have closed up Triad and moved to another state.
A brand new mini-casino is coming to Beaver County, home of the now-famous Shell cracker plant. Big things are happening in that county, and it is notable that the casino will call Big Beaver Township its home. Gambling and a giant, dam-building varmint; perfect together.
PennDOT is getting some flack for selling driver data to third parties, a practice that nets the agency a cool $43 million per year. Now a state lawmaker is looking to end that practice, as people these days are (rightly) a bit squeamish about having any of their personal data sold to anyone for any reason.
In our Shameless Client Plug this week, new voting machines in Michigan are causing quite the stir among the blind in that state, as the Braille and audio systems are not what one would call “user friendly.” Hey Michiganders, we can fix that problem for you. Call our friends at ES&S, a company that sets the gold standard for service to voters with disabilities.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we take you to lovely Boise, Idaho, where a few hundred goats took over the town, wandering around and eating everything in sight. The goats were owned by an outfit called, aptly enough, We Rent Goats and are used to clear bush and grass in lieu of lawnmowers (fun fact: Pocono Raceway uses goats for the same reason.) Goats, it would seem, are not very focused on their work.
That’s what passes for news around here on a lazy Friday in August. Tune in again next week where we will regale you with all the news we give a hoot about. Until then, from all of us at Triad, have a great weekend!