1) If you're a Democrat in Pennsylvania, you haven't had a ton of great news since the election of Gov. Tom Wolf in November. Sure, Philly landed the 2016 Democratic National Convention, but otherwise the news has been pretty bleak: state Attorney General Kathleen Kane is still in trouble, former state Treasurer Rob McCord is contemplating the possibility of a long prison sentence and even Governor Go Time – who was one of just a few bright spots for the Dems nationally last year – is facing challenges over firing people and his death penalty moratorium. Whew – this weekend's Democratic retreat in Hershey is going to be a blast.
2) Another thing that's bound to come up in Hershey this weekend? Trying to figure out what the party is going to do about the 2016 race against Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. Joe Sestak – the former Congressman who lost to Mr. Toomey in 2010 – is apparently excited about jumping in the race; the trouble is, no one else seems to be especially excited about Mr. Sestak. No less than former Gov. Ed Rendell has said the state Dems need to track down a "really good" candidate to run against Mr. Toomey -- so Mr. Sestak probably shouldn't count on a whole lot of support from the party this time around.
3) An eye-opener from the Pennsylvania Independent: the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission recently levied fines against 10 lobbying firms for failing to file lobbying disclosure forms on time, a number that the commission's executive director said was a "fairly common amount."
4) Call it the Jane Byrne effect: Could the perception in Boston that the city and state hasn't done a good job of managing this winter's prodigious snowfall mean trouble for newish Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker?
5) And then you consider the Pittsburgh weather forecast for Saturday, which varies from snowfall of 1 to 3 inches (National Weather Service in Moon) to 3 to 6 inches (way to go out on a limb, Accuweather), as of Friday morning. Ready to go, Mayor Bill Peduto?