Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
Remember that Geico commercial from a few years back, featuring some loquacious, trash can-diving raccoons?
As they’re ripping open bags and feasting on someone else’s garbage, one raccoon turns to the other and says, “Try this, it’s awful.”
It is in that spirit that we offer up the latest headline-grab from state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, who blasted out a press release on Tuesday afternoon declaring that he is “still living rent-free inside unhinged liberal minds.”
Here's the whole thing: pic.twitter.com/q4hTWuA9LH
— Stephen Caruso (@StephenJ_Caruso) April 6, 2021
In case you’re wondering, the precipitating event for this was Metcalfe’s assertion that a freshman lawmaker, representing parts of Montgomery County and Philadelphia, was caught on video one Saturday morning not long ago leaving a “suspicious gift bag,” outside his Capitol office. The building was closed to the public at the time. Because, y’know, pandemic.
The following Monday morning, Metcalfe said a staffer found the bag, opened it, and discovered a … ahhh … gently used coffee cup embossed with legend “Enjoy Every Snowflake.”
As is so often the case, the prophecy then proceeded to fulfill itself.
“This amateur special delivery pales in comparison to the most unhinged liberal bad behavior that I have ever witnessed,” Metcalfe wrote. “Those who cannot understand the why or how should, in this case, consult the liberal media.”
The rest of Metcalfe’s press release catalogues what he says is evidence of his living rent-free inside the brains of liberal lawmakers. That includes Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, with whom he’s had a well-documented clash, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Gov. Tom Wolf, and others whom the western Pennsylvania lawmaker has dismissed as “liberal loser Democrat legislators.”
The Capital-Star’s intrepid and tireless Stephen Caruso, bless him, and on his birthday no less, tried to do the legwork to determine the identity of the mysterious, gift-giving, first-year lawmaker from the great southeast:
"There's a lot of freshmen," she said. She added: "I'm just trying to have a sense of humor in this place." Fin.
— Stephen Caruso (@StephenJ_Caruso) April 6, 2021
In case you needed reaffirmation, this is a thing that happened, in real-time, inside the gilded halls of one of the nation’s largest and most expensive legislative bodies, and whose productivity leaves more than a little bit to be desired.
And it’s also the latest example of the kind of performative (and entirely bipartisan) posturing that has increasingly come to pass for legislating these days. Metcalfe wouldn’t have pitched his fit, after all, without a well-placed coffee mug.
Now it’s entirely likely that in Metcalfe’s exurban Pittsburgh-based district, and in the districts across the commonwealth, there are Pennsylvanians still laboring under the crushing weight of the pandemic.
Maybe they just buried a loved one. Maybe someone’s worried about getting their lights turned off. Maybe, as I noted yesterday, they’re one of the thousands of your neighbors who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Maybe they’re trying to figure out how to access their COVID-19 vaccination.
But instead of shining a light on any of those things, or explaining how he’s helping his constituents, Metcalfe spent his Tuesday bragging about owning the libs. And I find myself writing about the sheer ridiculousness of it all.
Which brings me back to the trash can-diving raccoons.
‘It’s like mango chutney and burnt hair,” the one raccoon says to the other, exhorting his buddy to tuck into the garbage strewn out before them. His pal declines, telling him, “No thank you, I have a very sensitive palate.”
Unfortunately, we’re currently stuck with this garbage. But voters still have the choice on whether they want to keep feeding it.
Firearm background checks have set a record high for the third consecutive quarter, Cassie Miller reports.
COVID-19 testing is down across Pennsylvania, even as cases increase, state health officials said Tuesday. Cassie Miller has the story.
Republicans in northeastern Pennsylvania are looking to have Democratic Rep. Marty Flynn kicked off the ballot in a special election for a vacant Senate seat in Lackawanna County, Borys Krawczeniuk, of the Scranton Times-Tribune reports.
Philadelphia has launched the next phase of its emergency rental and utility assistance program, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.
On our Commentary Page this morning, opinion regular Mark O’Keefe reflects on his own family’s experience as he argues the necessity for making mental health reform part of any solution to mass shootings. And as recent legislative efforts nationwide have shown, sports remains hostile territory for LGBTQ Americans, experts from Mississippi State and Ohio State universities write.
Speaking of garbage, families across Pennsylvania are being fractured by conspiracy theories, the Inquirer reports.
Nearly half of all new COVID-19 cases are clustered in just five states — including Pennsylvania, the Post-Gazette reports.
PennLive catches up with Pennsylvanians as they return to the bar and celebrate a return to revelry.
More than half of Lancaster County’s eligible educators have now been vaccinated against the virus, LancasterOnline reports.
U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District, and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., touted the benefits of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package for local families and childcare workers, the Morning Call reports.
Officials in Wilkes-Barre are delivering the vaccine to elderly high-rise residents, the Citizens’ Voice reports.
Saving the Chesapeake Bay will cost Pennsylvania $521 million a year, the York Daily Record reports (paywall).
Here’s your #Pittsburgh Instagram of the Day:
View this post on Instagram
The Philadelphia school district will administer standardized tests to students who return this spring, WHYY-FM reports.
The husband of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidate has just begun serving a prison sentence, the Associated Press reports (via WITF-FM).
Gov. Tom Wolf praised grocery store workers on Tuesday as they became eligible for the vaccine, the Observer-Reporter reports.
Conservative commentator, and former 4th Congressional District candidate Kathy Barnette says she’s seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022, PoliticsPA reports.
Democrats are eyeing using budget reconciliation to move an immigration reform bill, Roll Call reports.
What Goes On.
The House comes in at 11 a.m. this morning.
10 a.m., 205 Ryan: House Health Committee
10 a.m, 60 East Wing: House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee
10 a.m., Senate Chamber: Senate Appropriations Committee — Pa. Liquor Control Board budget hearing
11 a.m., Capitol Steps: A rally for drivers licenses for all
12 p.m., Zoom: Legislative Budget & Finance Committee
1 p.m., Senate Chamber: Senate Appropriations Committee — Pa. Attorney General budget hearing
3 p.m., Senate Chamber: Senate Appropriations Committee — Pa. Auditor General budget hearing
Call of the Chair, 140 Main Capitol: House Appropriations Committee
What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
7:30 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Kathy Rapp
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Carrie Lewis Delrosso
Hit both events, and give at the max, and you’re out a mere $2,000 today.
You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to Jeff Paladina at the Pa. Department of Corrections, and to GOP operative Ray Zaborney, of Harrisburg, both of whom celebrate today. Congrats and enjoy the day, gents.
I’ve been a little obsessed lately by ‘Electric Blue,’ a stellar single by overlooked 80s Aussie popsters Icehouse. Here’s a live version from a few years back featuring the tune’s co-writer, Philly’s own John Oates.
Wednesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Carolina skated past Florida 5-2 on Tuesday night. The ‘Canes sit just a point behind the Panthers in second place in the Discover Central Division.
And now you’re up to date.