It was a typical weekday morning as I prepared my daughter’s lunch while she picked at whatever breakfast thing I had put in front of her. As “Morning Edition” unpacked yet another take on the significance/meaninglessness of President Donald Trump’s rapidly approaching 100th day, she said in a relieved voice: “That’s great!”
“What’s great?” I asked. “Well, that means he’s only got 265 more days to go – so people will be getting into better moods soon, right?”
One more breakfast ruined. But you can’t fault the administration’s effort to come up with some tangible results before the century mark drops tomorrow. Health care, tax reform, immigration bans, undoing our national monuments, revoking NAFTA …
OK, so none of these actions has actually become reality, yet, including ending the North American Free Trade Agreement that has shaped much of the past two decades’ worth of the continent’s economies. And its continued existence underscores why Canada and Mexico are the big winners this week – both countries seem to have figured out the president’s tells. In Mexico, what would have been greeted with a fresh wave of existential anxiedad just a few months ago was greeted with a wait-and-see attitude by almost every institution but the briefly free-falling peso. It would be pretty to think a similar tack can be taken vis-a-vis North Korea, but the bellicosity meter on a conflict so encompassing it made the cover of the National Enquirer seems hellbent on going to 11.
Here’s who’s up and who’s down in the commonwealth this week:
Rebecca Rhynhart: Hot on the heels of last week’s endorsements from former Gov. Ed Rendell and Laborers’ District Council Local 332, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz received the endorsement of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jim Kenney: The Philadelphia mayor was rightly lauded for taking a long-overdue first substantive step toward protecting the city’s architectural heritage by increasing fees at the Department of Licenses and Inspections to fund the hiring of two historic planners, and commissioned a 28-member task force to study how to improve historical preservation efforts.
Jack O’Neill: The last candidate to enter the crowded Democratic primary for Philadelphia District Attorney was first in racking up endorsements this week, including the backing of eight building trade unions. Honorable mention goes to fellow candidate Larry Krasner, who secured the backing of a George Soros-funded super PAC that made a $280,000 ad buy for his campaign.
John Eichelberger: Pro tip: If you wanna do something just cuz, it’s always good to have a feasible reason or two handy in case you have some ’splainin’ to do. Why the state senator thought that his bill to defund Planned Parenthood in the state would go unquestioned is a query best left to minds and stomachs stronger than mine. Suffice it to say that his ham-handed inability to proffer anything remotely intelligible about what the nonprofit organization that provides health care to countless Pennsylvania women actually does when asked is so jaw-dropping that it went viral and inspired a pro-Planned Parenthood fundraising letter from Gov. Wolf.
Nurit Shein: The head of the Mazzoni Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit that provides health care to a large segment of the city’s LGBTQ community, was forced to step down after she alienated the center’s staff by ignoring reports of organizational racial bias and sexual misconduct by its medical director.
Mike Stack: More bad news for the lieutenant governor came this week when Gov. Wolf revoked his security detail – a perk that had been offered to the position for decades – meaning Stack had to bum a ride to work with his chief of staff.