Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, passed away yesterday after battling
pancreatic cancer. The entire social media world paused, posted a video of Franklin singing “Respect” on their Twitter feeds, and then went back to listening to the newest Cardi B song.
President Donald Trump this week canceled his planned military parade, blaming the decision on what he said was the equivalent of price gouging by the mayor of Washington D.C. This did not sit well with said mayor, as one might expect. Apparently, shutting down the nation’s capital for a parade is a pricey proposition.
The president this week also made non-Omarosa headlines by revoking the security clearance of longtime critic and former CIA chief John Brennan. We are sure this will cause Brennan to clam up and fade into obscurity.
Back in Pennsylvania, our dear Commonwealth made national headlines for all the wrong reasons. PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Tuesday released a long-awaited grand jury report detailing horrific sexual abuse allegations against more than three hundred priests, involving more than 1,000 victims. While the announcement shook the foundations of both Pennsylvania and the Catholic Church all the way to Vatican City, one gnawing thought keeps going through our minds: there are forty-nine other states.
Within 48 hours of the press conference, Shapiro’s office had already fielded more than 150 calls to its new sexual abuse hotline. The story just keeps getting more heartbreaking by the moment.
All eyes are now focused on the state legislature, where a tug-of-war has been raging over how best to remove the statute of limitations for prosecuting sex offenders. In a body where compromise is often a dirty word, we expect this issue to be resolved and on Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk before everyone heads home for the campaigns.
Pennsylvania’s new fireworks law is only a year old, and already there are municipalities lining up to regulate the new wild, wild west of aerial explosives. One lawmaker has even gone so far as to draft a bill to repeal the law. It seems as though allowing anyone with a wallet to buy explosives and set them off anywhere they please may not have been the greatest of plans. That’s how public school toilets get blown up.
Governor Wolf this week updated our fine citizens on the progress of a road paving blitz that PennDOT has undertaken. The goal is to repave 1,000 miles of road, which should conclude right about the time it snows and the roads get torn up again. Rinse, repeat, and bang your head off the steering wheel.
Wolf’s Lottery Commission has been busy as heck in recent weeks rolling out snazzy new simulated sports games that one can wager on, which is really angering the state’s casino industry. You know, the same people who will soon be offering online gaming and sports betting are mad because you might be able to bet ten bucks on a fake car race.
Speaking of sports betting, it is likely that you will be able to bet on all things sports in Pennsylvania by the middle of the football season. This is good news for the 80 percent of fantasy football team owners whose seasons will already be over by week nine of the NFL season. It will give them a new and more convenient way to lose money.
Reading School District was a dysfunctional disaster just a few short years ago. This week, they got a visit from their harshest critic, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who hailed the district’s turnaround as the best in the history of his office. As many Pennsylvania schools struggle with the same problems Reading had, it looks like we have a blueprint for success that doesn’t involved being taken over by the state.
The state’s dairy industry may finally be getting some relief after years of being kicked in the udders by low milk prices and regulatory hurdles. Optimism abounds as the state’s Department of Agriculture this week released a master plan to rebuild the industry. Remember, your cheese may be at stake here, so pay attention.
Nearly 200,000 low-income Philadelphians are now connected to the internet thanks to Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, where users can get high-speed service for a mere ten bucks a month. In a world where corporate responsibility comes in many shapes and sizes, this is one of the cooler ones. Good stuff, Comcast!
Over on the campaign trail, a border skirmish erupted between Governor Wolf and his rival Scott Wagner over who is the more business-y businessman, or something like that. On the list of things voters care about this year, business qualifications rank somewhere between “What?” and “Who the hell cares?”
And while Wagner enjoys the support of Americans for Prosperity, a tiny nonprofit funded by some guys named Koch, his ticket-mate, Lou Barletta, will not be seeing the same largesse, we found out this week. Barletta continues to struggle to get traction against his electoral rival U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., and the lack of Koch resources probably won’t help.
Because we like to do our part to help President Trump create more jobs, it pleases us to announce that Triad Strategies is hiring! Check it out here if you are one of the few Americans left without a job, or you hate your current one.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, it was a tough call for us. We were tempted to take you to Georgia, where someone, for some ungodly reason, stole $100,000 worth of Ramen noodles. HOWEVER, nothing beats this story from France, where Paris officials have begun installing public sidewalk urinals. Yes, you read that correctly. Oui, oui!!
That’s what passes for news around here as we creep ever closer to the end of summer and the stretch run of the General Assembly. Tune in next week, when our special guest will be somebody doing an Aretha Franklin cover in our Harrisburg office. From all your friends at Triad, have a great weekend!