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June 19: The Politics of Memes

Joe Biden, Donald Trump

🇺🇲 It’s Juneteenth. A day to celebrate. A day to reflect.

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👂 What We’re Hearing. “We know that Pennsylvania is going to make or break the election, and we’re here as CASA in Action because we are getting ready for a major electoral voter mobilization program.” – Jossie Flor Sapunar, national communications director for CASA in Action

🗞️ Pennsylvania. The Ultimate Swing State. Where can you find all the latest news on what’s happening in Keystone State politics? Sign up for the PoliticsPA Playbook. We’ll deliver all the latest headlines in an easy-to-read format every weekday at 8 AM. And it’s free. Add your name to the list and subscribe now.


Top Story

1. The Politics Of Memes: How Biden And Trump Are Fighting Each Other On The Internet

The politics of memes: How Biden and Trump are fighting each other on the internet - ABC News

“Whether it’s a grinning Joe Biden as “Dark Brandon” or Donald Trump’s face superimposed onto a scene from HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” both presidential campaigns this year have embraced digital memes, the lingua franca of social media.

The campaigns of the Democratic president and Republican former president enthusiastically create and share content trying to shape the narratives around both men. Biden’s campaign even recently posted a job seeking a manager of meme pages.

With tens of millions of people using social media as a primary information source, the battle of memes could affect who wins in November.” (AP)


‘It’s His DACA Moment’: Advocates Ecstatic Over Biden Immigration Plan. “President Biden’s announcement shielding some undocumented immigrants from deportation is firing up Hispanic organizers on the left, who see the move as the biggest immigration win since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program launched in 2012.” (The Hill)

DCCC Emphasizes PA-08 in Initial Round of Ad Reservations. “The DCCC has allocated $1.976 million in its initial round for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market which makes up the 8th Congressional District. That is the highest amount of any of the 15 markets that the group has identified.” (PoliticsPA)

A Guide to Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional Race. “Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district sits in the Lehigh Valley, which is seen not just as a statewide but a national indicator of where voters in a mix of suburban and rural communities are shifting.” (City & State)

These 5 States Are The Most Likely To See Legislative Chambers Flip In November. “This is the only state Legislature that is split down the middle: Democrats hold the House by one seat and Republicans hold the Senate by six seats. Pennsylvania is another presidential battleground and features a competitive U.S. Senate race that could have down-ballot effects.” (Politico)



2. A Conversation With State Treasurer Stacy Garrity

“Recently, PoliticsPA sat down for a conversation with the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania State Treasurer – incumbent Stacy Garrity.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Garrity ran for public office in 2020 and defeated Democrat Joe Torsella – the first time since 1994 that a Republican beat an incumbent Democratic statewide office holder – despite being outspent 8-to-1.

She spoke to PoliticsPA about her record over the last three and one-half years.” (PoliticsPA)


Pittman Says Budget Talks Making Progress But May Not Be Completed By Deadline. “While conversations are ongoing and conversations are quite cordial, I am concerned that the productivity of those conversations is not quite to the level that they need to be to effectuate a budget on time on June 30,” said Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman.” (PoliticsPA)

  • Budget Talks Progressing But Need ‘a Kick In The Pants:’ PA Senate Gop Leader. (PennLive)


Proposed $5B Boost For PA Schools Would Result In 18,000 New K-12 Jobs And More Grads Going To College, New Research Says. “University of Pennsylvania analysts have quantified the long-term benefits of a $5.1 billion proposal to change the state’s education funding.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Legal Cannabis Likely Won’t Be In This Year’s Budget, But Supporters Say There’s A Silver Lining. “Legalization advocates say they’re closer than ever to success, citing allies in both parties, legalization in all but one of the commonwealth’s neighbors, and a blueprint in the passage of medical marijuana.” (Spotlight PA)

House Republicans Push Income Tax Cut Plan As State Budget Deadline Approaches. “Weeks ago, state House and Senate Republicans staked out their ground in the annual battle over a new state budget. They started pushing a 9% income tax cut and the elimination of a tax on electricity. The Senate actually approved both early last month, but the House hasn’t voted.” (WVIA)

United Sovereign Americans Sues Pennsylvania Elections Agencies, Citing ‘Error Rates’. “A lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court claims that flaws in Pennsylvania’s voting system led to irregularities in 2022 that have not been addressed by election authorities, posing a risk to voters this fall.” (LNP)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Philadelphia Outlaws Bump Stocks Days After Supreme Court Rejects Federal Ban

US Supreme Court rejects federal ban on gun 'bump stocks' | Reuters

“Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle L. Parker on Tuesday signed legislation outlawing rapid-fire gun devices just days after the Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on so-called bump stocks and the same day Senate Democrats tried unsuccessfully to again prohibit them nationwide.

The local ban takes effect immediately and bars anyone in Philadelphia from manufacturing or buying devices that are designed to accelerate how fast a semi-automatic gun can fire. That includes bump stocks, which are meant for rifles, and “switches,” which can be attached to handguns.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Harrisburg-Based Cyber Charter School Should Be Investigated, Public Ed Group Says. “Public school advocates are calling on state officials to investigate Pennsylvania’s largest cyber charter school, Commonwealth Charter Academy, claiming it conceals information from the public and wastes taxpayer money.” (PennLive)

‘Defective’ and ‘Void’: Mayor Nixes Contract For Investigation of City Hall. “Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk will not honor the contract for a former FBI agent to investigate City Hall, he told council Monday. Members voted 6-1 on June 5 to hire FLEO Investigations, run by former FBI special agent Scott Curtis, to lead the probe into allegations of workplace discrimination and racism.” (

RNC Brings Nationwide Effort To Recruit Poll Workers And Poll Watchers To Bucks County. “The Republican National Committee brought its new nationwide campaign aimed at recruiting 100,000 poll watchers, poll workers, and legal experts to Pennsylvania on Tuesday.” (Penn Capital-Star)

Centre County Elections Director Stepping Down Months Before Presidential Election. “Centre County is looking for a new director of elections just five months before the 2024 presidential election in November. Beth Lechman’s upcoming resignation comes after nearly three years in the position.” (Centre Daily Times)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Biden, Trump, and the Keystone Stakes. (William Galston)
  • On Juneteenth, It’s Our Responsibility To Celebrate Black Achievement And Honor The Reality Of Black Struggle. (Solomon Jones)
  • A Time to Weep. (James Peterson)
  • Juneteenth Is About More Than The End Of Slavery. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Black Officers Have Been A Major Part Of The U.S. Army’s 250 Years Of Service To Our Nation. (Charles D. Allen)
  • The Dangerous Dynamics Of Elite America. (David Brooks)
  • The Power of Participation— Engaging in Democracy Beyond the Ballot. (Olivia DeShong)
  • Returning Surplus Funds To Taxpayers Promotes Growth And Fiscal Responsibility. (Rep. Rob Mercuri)
  • 8 Needed Steps To Save Democracy And Our Future. (Robert C. Fellmeth)
  • Don’t Give Skill Game Operators A ‘Disastrous’ Sweetheart Tax Deal. (Edward G. Rendell)



5. Willie Mays Dies at 93

Willie Mays, baseball legend, dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose unmatched collection of skills made him the greatest center fielder who ever lived, died Tuesday afternoon in the Bay Area. He was 93.

One of the greatest players of all time, Frank Robinson, was asked once if Willie Mays was the best player he had ever seen. Robinson got that annoyed look on his face and rolled his eyes, insulted that the question was even asked. After a pause, he answered: “Of course he is. He’s good as you want him to be. You can’t exaggerate how great he was.”

Willie Mays is the greatest center fielder ever, the greatest Giant ever and still is, 73 years after his debut, the greatest combination of power, speed and defense in the history of baseball.” (ESPN)


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One Response

  1. PA MAGA will soon be suing Philly for banning bump stocks. MAGA thinks semi-auto guns are not efficient enough killers. Killing must be made automatic. GOP solution to the school funding crisis?

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