January 4: The Soul of America

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Top Story

1. Biden’s First Big Campaign Speech of 2024 Will Be In Montco On Friday

Biden accuses Trump, "MAGA Republicans" of threatening democracy in prime-time address - CBS News

President Joe Biden plans to mark three years since the 2021 Capitol riot with a speech at Valley Forge, where George Washington staged American troops during the Revolutionary War.

The president was originally scheduled to deliver the speech on Saturday, Jan. 6, but the campaign moved the date to Friday because of inclement weather that’s expected in Philadelphia over the weekend.

His remarks in Pennsylvania are intended to frame the 2024 presidential election as a fight for democracy.” (CBS News)


U.S. House Speaker Leads GOP Lawmakers To The Border To Slam Biden On Immigration. “Reps. Scott Perry and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania were both part of the group who made the trip.” (Penn Capital-Star)

Rating Updates: Peltola, Perry Face Tougher Races. “GOP Rep. Scott Perry looks headed for a competitive general election with multiple credible Democrats in the race. Perry is a former chairman of the Freedom Caucus and represents a Harrisburg/York centered-district that Trump only won with 51 percent in 2020 and has been shifting towards Democrats. This is more than a Democratic longshot. Inside Elections changed the rating from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.” (Roll Call)

How Deepfakes Could Influence Elections — And How PA Lawmakers Are Pushing Back. “A handful of Pennsylvania state lawmakers are on the offensive against deepfakes and other deceptive artificial intelligence tactics.” (Erie Times-News)



2. Amid Heated National Debate, Two PA Mayors Are Asking Immigrants To Help Reinvigorate Their Cities

No photo description available.

“Unlike his colleagues in some larger U.S. cities, a Pennsylvania mayor is welcoming immigrants with open arms. And he’s not the only one.

Erie Mayor Joe Schember said on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on Wednesday that attracting immigrants was part of his vision when first elected seven years ago.” (PennLive)


Shapiro Talks Property Tax Rebates, Divided Legislature, Donald Trump and the Eagles. “Gov. Josh Shapiro joined The Morning News w/Nancy Kman and Jason Barsky on WILK Newsradio in Pittston on Wednesday to talk about the expansion of the property tax rent rebate program, challenges he faced in his first year in office, the 14th Amendment challenges in Colorado and Maine, as well as a little NFL football smack talk.” (PoliticsPA)

HD-63: Kerle Announces Candidacy For GOP Nomination. “Lisa Kerle, a constituent services specialist in Rep. Donna Oberlander’s office, has announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 63rd Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.” (PoliticsPA)

Taking On The Machine: PA Lawmakers Try To Rein In AI In Campaigns. “With the expansion of artificial intelligence comes politicians using it for political gain – sometimes deceitfully.” (WESA)

Midstate PA Senate Seats Draw Attention From Democrats And Republicans Alike. “In separate moves that have already piqued the interest of several potential candidates who may be seeking election to the state’s upper chamber, two GOP state senators who represent different parts of central Pennsylvania won’t be running for office again in 2024.” (City & State)

Got Script? Lawmakers Want Cursive Writing Instruction Mandated In PA Schools. “In Cumberland Valley School District third-grade classrooms, cursive writing instruction and practice has a place in the school day. It is part of the structured literacy curriculum the district put in place last year. That makes the district an anomaly, particularly among most public schools in the state.” (PennLive)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Montgomery County Officially Has A New Board Of Commissioners As History-Making Members Take Office

Commissioners Winder, Makhija and DiBello

“Before this year, there had never been an Asian American county commissioner in all of Pennsylvania, or an elected Black female commissioner in Montgomery County.

That changed Wednesday with the swearing-in of Democrats Neil Makhija and Jamila Winder, as well as Republican Tom DiBello.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


On Day 1 In Office, Innamorato Boosts Minimum Wage For Allegheny County Employees. “The day after her inauguration, County Executive Sara Innamorato announced a pay increase for some county workers as part of a sweeping change to the government’s employment practices.” (WESA)

‘It’s Time To Work Together!’ Centre Co. Lawmaker Discusses Election Reform, Voter Confidence. “This year is shaping up to be a busy election year with a Presidential election and many other races. One area lawmaker we spoke with feels that the issue of voter confidence is tied directly to what lawmakers are telling voters.” (WJAC-TV)

New Lancaster County Clerk Of Courts Fires ‘Courthouse Employee Of The Year’ “Lancaster County’s new clerk of courts began her tenure Tuesday with a splash, firing a top aide who won an award for employee of the year just weeks ago.” (LNP)

Marino: ‘This Needs To Be Filed,’ As Charges To Be Reinstated Against Former Commissioner. “Felony charges filed against former County Commissioner Rick Mirabito will be reinstated Wednesday morning, according to Lycoming County District Attorney Tom Marino.” (NorthCentralPA.com)

Longtime Milesburg Manager, Staff Quit As New Council Is Sworn In. ‘We’re Done With It’. “It’s sad that it had come to this,” said Paula Hall, who served as manager for more than three decades.” (Centre Daily Times)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • After Mayor Parker’s History-Making Inauguration, Now Comes The Hard Part. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Why We’re Moving Back to Philly … Again. (David M. Stone)
  • Fitzgerald Leaves Allegheny County Stronger Than He Found It. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • About PA Gov. Shapiro’s Mansion Costs, 6 TVs And Free Sports Tickets. (John Baer)
  • Gov. Shapiro’s Free Breakfast Plan Is The Right Step Toward Education Equality. (Aarushi Dedhiya)
  • Can a Single, Six-Year Presidential Term Save Us From Ourselves? (Jonathan Rothermel)
  • Heartfelt Gratitude To School Officials. (Michael Vuckovich)
  • Lawmakers Should Use Layoff To Seriously Think About Gas Tax, Minimum Wage, Marijuana Change. (Pete Sirianni)
  • Are ‘Green’ Agendas Carrying Governors To Political Cliffs? (Gordon Tomb)


1 Thing

5. Pennsylvania Couple Left Shocked After Dog Eats $4,000 In Cash

Cecil the dog. Pic: Instagram

“A couple in Pennsylvania have brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “my dog ate my homework” after their pooch, Cecil, devoured $4,000 (£3,148) in cash.

The seven-year-old goldendoodle started to chow down the pile of $100 and $50 notes after his owners, Clayton and Carrie Law, withdrew the cash to reportedly pay gardeners.

“I never thought I’d be able to say I’ve laundered money, but there is apparently a first time for everything,” Mrs Law told The Washington Post. (Sky News)

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By: Steve Ulrich
Title: January 4: The Soul of America
Sourced From: www.politicspa.com/january-4-the-soul-of-america/130249/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=january-4-the-soul-of-america
Published Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2024 13:30:25 +0000

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I'm a writer for lifestyle publications, and when I'm not crafting stories, you'll find me cherishing moments with my family, including my lovely daughter. My heart also belongs to my pets—Sushi, Snowy, Belle, and Pepper. Besides writing, I enjoy watching movies and exploring new places through travel.