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Out d’Coup Podcast

31
Jul 2020

Out d’Coup | No Pandemic Relief Deal; DNC Platform Fail; Kodak Play; Climate Crisis; PA COVID-19; Russ Diamond’s COVID Caucus; Kutztown COVID U; Space News; Free Will, Levante, and New Trail

** Apologies in advance for the bad sound at the beginning. Looks like my new soundboard set up is not going to cut it **

 

Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has held up an agreement on a new COVID-19 relief package saying that he will not pass a bill without a “liability shield” for employers. However, Republicans can’t agree with themselves and have failed to reach an agreement as expanded unemployment benefits expire today and the moratorium on evictions expired last weekend. 

The Democratic National Committee passed a platform this week that they are touting as the “boldest Democratic platform in American history.” Scratch the surface of that talking point, though, and you learn that they refused to back Medicare for All; would not back marijuana legalization; refused to call for the end of qualified immunity for police officers; poo-pooed a federal jobs guarantee; passed on a comprehensive plant for implementing a Green New Deal; and, scoffed at placing conditions on aid to Israel. 

 

Following Attorney General Barr’s House testimony, Federal troops are being withdrawn from Portland after they brutally suppressed protests since the beginning of July.The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Department of Homeland Security compiled “intelligence reports” on American journalists covering the Portland protests. 

 

Frustrated? Want to get back to “normal” news stories? Ok, try these on for size:

Baghdad Iraq hit a record-shattering 125 degrees on Tuesday. On Monday the temperature was 123 and on Wednesday it was 124. The electricity grid began to fail and two protesters were shot dead by security forces during protests over a lack of electricity and basic municipal services. 

 

Can’t stand the heat? Well, about a quarter of Bangladesh is flooded after torrential rains have wreaked havoc on the nation that was pummeled by a cyclone just two months ago. More than a million homes are underwater, 4.7 million people are affected, and at least 54 people - mostly children - lost their lives. 

 

One more? According to a new study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, up to 171 million people today face the risk of coastal flooding from extreme high tides and storm surges. 

 

Pennsylvania saw an additional 860 new positive coronavirus cases, bringing the slow, but steady increase in cases to 111,078. The PA Department of Health reports a significant increase in cases among younger people, especially those between 19 and 24. 

 

Pro-COVID-19 Republican state legislator, Russ Diamond shows his colors again by mocking Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine’s call for tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Levine spoke out after dealing with escalating and harassment by Pro-COVID-19 brown shirts. Governor Wolf calls on the state legislature to censure Diamond. 

 

Half of the universities that make up the PA State System of Higher education have reversed course, moving most classes online. Kutztown University is one of the holdouts. Students, faculty, and staff working under the banner of the Healthy Campus Bill of Rights, will be holding a town hall on Wednesday, August 5th.

 

In related news, KU’s president Hawkinson is planning a town hall of his own next Tuesday. It is an invite-only to select VIPs, donors, and alumni. The event is being billed as “a unique opportunity to learn about KU’s vision for the fall 2020 semester directly from university leadership,” and is being sponsored by the KU Foundation.

 

Now is a perfect time to request your Vote by Mail ballot. If you are PA voter go to https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/ and click “Mail-in Ballot Application” to get the process moving. 

 

Mike Pence was in Western, PA campaigning for Trump yesterday. His campaign bus crashed into a dump truck. There’s a joke in there somewhere. Maybe...something with #dumptrump? 

 

It was a big week in space news...like really big. NASA successfully launched the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover Thursday morning. 

 

Perseverance will also land with a little friend. For the first time NASA will attempt to fly Ingenuity, a four pound helicopter built for the Martian atmosphere.

 

The two astronauts who flew the first successful Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station are expected to return to Earth on Sunday.. 

On Tuesday, NASA announced the crew for SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission to the ISS in Spring 2021

 

And, finally, Virgin Galactic unveiled the cabin for its SpaceShipTwo, a swanky space liner that is designed to carry six space tourists to suborbital heights for the cost of a $250,000 ticket. About 600 people have already booked a seat. 

 

Free Will Brewing releases (this and this); awesome collaboration from Levante Brewing; and, a back-to-campus in the pandemic pic from New Trail Brewing

24
Jul 2020

Out d’Coup | Rest in Power Michael Brooks; Portland Uprising; Wall of Moms; 717 Restaurant Workers United; Mars Rover; Levante Brewing; Free Will Brewing; Mystic Ways Brewing comes to Perkasie

We lost such an important voice on the Left this week. Michael Brooks died suddenly on Monday at the age of 36. Michael was the co-host of the Majority Report and the host of his own show, The Michael Brooks Show, better known as TMBS. In so many ways, Michael was just getting going. Rest in Power, brother.

 

Trump is calling for a surge of Federal forces into American cities, extending his “Portland Model” of brutal suppression of dissent and abduction of activists. 

 

Philly is one of the cities that Trump is targeting for the surge. DA Larry Krasner says he will pursue criminal charges against Federal officers who violate the Constitutional rights of activists or break city, state, or federal laws around policing. 

 

Meanwhile in Portland’s “Wall of Moms” has new allies. The Dads have gotten off the couch and join the Moms in the streets. They brought leaf blowers to the barricades to blow smoke from tear gas back in the direction of police. 

 

It turns out that material reality does register on some level. Trump announces that he is canceling the Republican convention in Jacksonville next month. The move comes after it was pretty clear he would be facing half-empty rooms, lawsuits, and strict health regulations. Trump said the timing of the event was not right given the explosion of coronavirus cases in Florida. Instead, he’s going to be giving a speech to a gathering in Charlotte, NC. Because NC doesn’t have any cases of COVID-19. Oh. Wait. That’s not right. 

 

This past Monday, 717 Restaurant Workers United held a “Takeout Takeover” at Cork and Fork in Harrisburg. The union organizing campaign is taking a community organizing approach to unionizing Cork and Fork workers and is looking to organize restaurant workers in the Harrisburg area. Monday’s action was supported by the DSA local. We’ll have organizers for 717 Restaurant Workers United and Harrisburg DSA on Monday’s Out d’Coup Live. 

 

Edinboro University is the latest PASSHE university to go all remote for the fall. 

At Kutztown University, organizers of the Healthy Campus Bill of Rights will be holding their second online town hall on August 5 as the beginning of the fall semester edges that much closer. 

 

Parents and school systems are starting to get anxious as the back-to-school season kicks into high gear.

 

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is expected to launch next Thursday, July 30. This rover will be running on nuclear power. Let’s hope there’s no mishap in the launch. Don’t really need to have a nuclear-powered rover blow up over Florida right now. Or, really, ever.  

 

I stepped out of my little Perkasie bubble this week and ordered some beer from Levante Brewing Company. Levante is based in West Chester, PA and I’ll give you a review of Tropical Whip, a Pineapple Sunday IPA; D.O.P.E (Doctrine of Phonetic Equivalents), an awesome Triple IPA; and, Tickle Parts, a fantastic NE IPA.

Don’t worry, I won’t neglect Free Will! Gotta represent. I’ll give you the breakdown of their latest offerings. 

 

And, Perkasie is getting a second brewery. Mystic Ways Brewing will be opening a brewery, taproom, and beer garden at 510.5 W. Walnut Street near the center of Perkasie.

17
Jul 2020

Out d’Coup | Back from Vacation; Gas on COVID Pyre; Georgia Off Rails; LV Stands Up; APSCUF Survey; PASSHE Returning; Trump Sues PA; Free Will, New Trail, Pizza Boy

You might want to get that midnight train out of Georgia if you can find a State that will have you. Georgian Governor Kemp says that no municipality can impose a mask ordinance, and he’s willing to sue Atlanta’s mayor over it. 

We’ve got secret Federal police are roaming the cities of ‘Merica.

Teachers across the country are beginning to organize and protest against their state’s push for in-person school this fall. Yes, they want to get back to teaching; no, they will not throw their bodies into the COVID pyre to accomplish it. 

Lehigh Valley Stands Up is tearing things up in Allentown.

Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee have filed a series of lawsuits in Pennsylvania aiming to suppress hundreds of thousands of voters in the Commonwealth.  They’re going after technicalities with mail-in ballots, dropboxes for those mail-in ballots, and allowing out-of-county poll watchers to intimidate voters of color in urban centers. 

APSCUF survey shows that 70% of faculty are seriously concerned about returning to face-to-face instruction. 60% of respondents said the fall should be all remote instruction where possible. Over 40% reported having some type of underlying medical condition that the CDC puts them more at risk.

PASSHE Chancellor Greenstein basically lays his cards on the table, calling for the merger of 6 state-owned universities. His plan looks to merge California with Clarion, Edinboro with Slippery Rock, and Mansfield with Lock Haven. I guess the pandemic presents an opportunity that he just couldn’t refuse. 

The decades of treating education like a corporation and college as an “experience” are coming home to roost. 

In today’s last call, Free Will Releases, New Trail Brewing Reviews, and Pizza Boy gets canning. And, most importantly, Sean is slowing moving to his new place. One box at a time. 

5
Jul 2020

Out d’Coup ARCHIVE Edition | We’re on vacation, so we’ve dipped into the archives. We’ve got Episode 52 from July 2017

Out d'Coup | GOP Senate Health Bill 1.1; Battle for the Net; Police Tear Gas Anti-Fascists in VA; Harrisburg Police and Surveillance; #PABudget mess; PASSHE report; Teleportation; and, Mars Housing

You can check out the full description of this show from July 13, 2017 RIGHT HERE

26
Jun 2020

Out d’Coup | COVID-19 Surge; Jamaal Bowman; Primary Wins; Nunes’s Cow Wins; NYT Exposes Philly Cops; PASSHE Reopen Plans; PA Stands Up; NASA Mary Jackson Headquarters; Free Will and Beer

We’re back in record territory when it comes to new COVID-19 cases. New cases are rising in 27 states with Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida showing some the most alarming increases. The enormous Texas Medical Center in Houston reached 100% capacity yesterday. The CDC now says that more than 20 million Americans could have contracted the virus - 10 times more than the official counts. 

Unlike the initial explosion of COVID-19 cases that saw older Americans accounting for most cases, younger people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s

The Voice of America is now Trump Radio. 

Jamaal Bowman ousts Warhawk, Eliot Engle, in the Democratic Party Primary in New York’s 16th district which spans parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. Bowman won the nomination by 25 points

In another huge exclamation point in growing progressive power in the Democratic Party, AOC blew out her corporate-backed challenger in New York’s 14th district by 51 points. 70% v. Michelle Caruso-Cabrera’s 19%. AOC took to Twitter following her victory to say: “Wall Street CEOs, from Goldman Sachs to Blackstone, poured in millions to defeat our grassroots campaign tonight. But their money couldn’t buy a movement. Thank you #NY14, and every person who pitched in for tonight’s victory. Here’s to speaking truth to power.”

Charles Booker pulls ahead of Amy McGrath in the fight for the Democratic Party nomination to challenge Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Senate race. 

In New York’s 17th district, Mondaire Jones looks to be heading to Washington after blowing out a three-way race for the Democratic Party nomination. If his twenty-point lead holds, he’ll be one of the first openly gay black men in Congress. 

Tik Tok and KPop help sink Trump’s great hope of sell-out crowds in Tulsa. 

Bad news for Devin Nunes. A judge rules that he can’t sue Twitter because fake cow hurt his fufus on the platform. That’s a win for Devin Nunes’s Cow and Devin Nunes’s Mom

There’s a giant dust cloud racing across the Atlantic.  I bet none of you had that on your 2020 bingo card?

And...here we go...My Little Pony fans are kicking out the white supremacists from their fan pages. Yes. That My Little Pony. 

New York Times releases a damning video that reconstructs the I-676 tear gassing and toruture the Philadelphia Police unleashed on protesters on June 1st.  The Philadelphia Police Department and the City of Philadelphia’s statements on the incident were discredited the day following the event, but the city and the police department drug their feet for 24 days before apologizing and banning the use of tear gas.  Mayor Kenney and Commissioner Outlaw were hoping that an internal investigation would have kept this in the dark.  

Move over Bill De Blasio, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney still thinks his political career has any relevance.  He launched a statewide PAC that are leading many to believe that he’s gearing up for a 2022 run at the Governor’s seat. 

Christopher Columbus statue in Marconi Plaza in Philly is coming down because the people defending the statue caused so much bullshit attacking black lives matter protesters that the city is removing it. 

In a PA Grand Jury report released yesterday slams the PA Department of Environmental Protection for failing to protect people from the effects of fracking. The grand jury said the natural gas industry should bear the expense and risk of fracking, but the DEP “did not take sufficient action in response to the fracking boom.” 

PA Stands Up held its 5th The Crisis and The Opportunity Virtual Forum last night featuring Shanna Danielson, Nikil Saval, Summer Lee, Elizabeth Fiedler, and Sara Innamorato. I got to listen in to most of the discussion. It was a great space and you can watch the recording at PA Stands Up Facebook page.  

The State Senate passed on Wednesday a major plan that clears the way for the restructuring of the PA State System of Higher Education. The plan will give more power to the Board of Governors and the Chancellor to consolidate schools, eliminate programs, turn existing schools into branch campuses, create new schools, and share administrative services.

And speaking of PASSHE, the state-owned universities are rolling out their “return-to-campus plans” this week. Kutztown University’s COVID-19 Public Relations campaign - I mean “Fall 2020 Planning COVID-19 Response” plan - is just loaded with goodies. Students will be required to come up with their own “Safety Plan;” students working in dorms as Community Assistants will now be responsible for the “emotional wellbeing, physical health, and social support,” of students living in their newly establish “KU Family Pod Area” (can’t make this shit up); students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report suspicious COVID-like behavior to the administration; and, the university will use the pandemic as cover to increase the use of online teaching “even after the current COVID-19 crisis has abated.” 

NASA names its headquarters after Mary Jackson, the first black woman engineer. You might remember her as one the three leads in the film Hidden Figures. 

I’m on to the second book in Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series: The Parable of the Talents, published in 1998. It was more than freaky that Parable of the Talents takes place during the rise of a right-wing zealot - Senator Jarret from Texas - who whips up racism and promise to “make America great again.” I mean...those exact words. 

It was Father’s Day this past weekend which means I got a chance to sample some awesome beer. The highlights from Free Will included the AMAZING Wild Blueberry Cobbler Mash and of course one of my favorites, Safeword

Free Will also came out with a new release this week: Walk Awhile With Me - English style Pub Ale brewed with a base of Maris Otter and a bit of Crystal malt, hopped with Golding and Chinook. Notes of crispy toffee, biscuit, and herbs of the earth. 4.2% ABV

I was also gifted two crowler’s from McAllister Brewing Company based in North Wales - Mandated Introvert, an “IPA Sour” and Shovel Buddy, a really nice New England IPA.

19
Jun 2020

Out d’Coup | Rayshard Brooks; Pressure to Kick Out Police Union; NY Primaries; U of Cincinnati Austerity; Florida Metcalfe; Bye Turzai; Wooder ISIS; PASSHE Reopening; Free Will and New Trail

Rayshard Brooks is murdered by Atlanta police for falling asleep in his car in a Wendy’s parking lot. That Wendy’s later burned to the ground. The autopsy concluded the killing was a homicide and the officer who murdered Rashard Brooks is now charged with felony murder and ten additional charges. The same cop who killed Brooks was previously disciplined for use of force involving a firearm.

Workers United in Upstate New York - a union that represents more than 9500 workers in the state, joined the call to kick the police union out of the AFL-CIO. That branch of Workers United joins the Writers Guild of America, East, the Labor Council in Seattle, and the Association of Flight Attendants and other unions putting pressure on the police union and the AFL-CIO in light of the national uprisings. 

Big primary elections in New York on Tuesday. AOC is fighting for reelection against another establishment plant. And, and Jamaal Bowman is looking to unseat Eliot Engle. Bowan got the call from Bernie this week too. 

The University of Cincinnati is calling for 12% permanent cuts, using COVID-19 as the excuse. Brian Bailie from the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College was on this program a couple of weeks ago warning that this was coming. Completely unrelated, the University of Cincinnati’s president, Neville Pinto, is paid $660,000 a year, which includes a house and a car.

Florida man Daryl Metcalfe - yes you heard that correctly, Florida Man - Filed 5 impeachment counts against Governor Tom Wolf because of how the governor handled the coronavirus outbreak. And, say what about Daryl Metcalfe’s house in Florida?   

Mike Turzai officially resigned as House Speaker this week & then took a job with Peoples Gas and as their head of General Counsel.  Peoples Gas recently merged with Aqua America and this job falls right in line with Mike Turzai’s desire to privatize utility as possible

Black Lives Matter protests are still going strong in rural Pennsylvania. Over 300 protesters showed up in support of the black lives matter movement in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania over the weekend. 

Gravy Seals, Wooder ISIS, Gaba Goons, and Provolone Boys and other white vigilantes take over South Philly’s Marconi Plaza in order to defend the Christopher Columbus statue.  Yes, it was like a parody of the Soprano’s but this time the Philly Police were enabling and allowing the crowd of neighborhood fascists to attack and pummel Black Lives Matter protesters. 

Kutztown University and other PASSHE schools plan to announce a return to campus plans this coming week. Oh, and Kutztown has hired robot owls at around $1,000 a pop for classrooms. I kid you not. 

We’ve got a slew of new beer at Free Will this week as they ramp up for the summer. 

A Ride Down the 5 - Mexican Style Amber Lager; Wild Blueberry Cobbler Mash - Sour Ale brewed with 3,400 lbs. of wild blueberry purée, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and milk sugar; and, Pineapple Enrobed - West Coast IPA brewed with pineapple purée, and hopped with Citra, Simcoe, Columbus, and Chinook. Gotta give another plug for delicious summer feature, Strawberry Lemonade Radfahrer, a Radler with Strawberry that's a collab with Imprint Beer Co.

Shout out to New Trail Brewing up in Williamsport. They've moved into their new brewery and have some great offerings. Kevin picked up Ascent - Hazy Double IPA and Heliocentric Ale this week. New Trail looks like they've got some winners releasing this week with Bomb Pop - a Hazy IPA brewed with oats and conditioned on vanilla and raspberries. Hopped bombastically with Azacca and Citra; and, Heat Lightning - a Hazy Double IPA brewed with a mixture of oats. Shockingly hopped with Galaxy, Citra, & Mosaic. 

12
Jun 2020

Out d’Coup | Defund Police; Return of Trump Rallies; Statues Come Down; Return of Janus; Summer Lee’s Stand; PASSHE Plans for Fall; Bye-Bye Turzai; Space Force; Just Reads; Free Will Stands Up

Calls to defund police departments across the country gain traction. Alex Vitale, the author of The End of Policing and a professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College, has been making the media rounds making the case for divesting from policing and reinvesting in our communities. While defunding the police is freaking out failed state extremists on the right, we’ll talk a little about what defunding the police actually means. When you consider the U.S. police budget is bigger than nearly every other nation’s military budget - $115 billion - you begin to see the kind of funding we’ve channeled to police while cutting community investment. 

And the statues came tumbling down. Statues of Christopher Columbus, John Colston, slave traders, and confederate soldiers were toppled all over the US this week. And, and, and...even NASCAR has outlawed the confederate flag

Go get your shine box because all three NYPD cop unions went on a media blitz this week asking Trump to bring in the troops to stop the peaceful protesting. And they were also advertising that these white cops are willing to be Trump's fascist street fighters in order to suppress the Black Lives Matter movement and protect the Trump regime.

Trump announces a return to in-person mega rallies. The first will be held in Tulsa, OK on June 19th. That’s right, Trump’s first rally since the COVID-19 quarantine is being held on Juneteenth - the holiday to commemorate the day the Emancipation Proclamation was read out in Texas to newly freed black Americans. Texas was the last Confederate state to announce the proclamation. This year is the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre in which white mobs burned and looted black-owned businesses on Tulsa’s Black Wall Street. Over 6,000 black Americans were hospitalized and at least 36 people were killed. What do you think the chances are that Trump chose that city on that day so that he could offer a message of racial reconciliation?

Chicago police were caught on tape lounging around U.S. Representative Bobby Rush’s district office as the streets outside the office were being looted and damaged. At least 13 officers were caught making popcorn, brewing coffee, taking naps, and lounging with feet up on desks. Oh, did I mention they did not have Rush’s permission to be in Rush’s office? He only found out after he got a notice of a break into his office. The security tape revealed the truth. Bobby Rush was co-founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers in the 60s and had to go into hiding after Chicago police assassinated Fred Hampton. Coincidence, huh? 

Activists declare an autonomous zone in a six-block area in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle, declaring it a “no-cop zone.” Trump looks to be gearing up to militarize the repression, calling the activists “domestic terrorists.” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tells Trump to “go back to your bunker,” even as she faces calls by activists for her resignation. 

Remember Janus? You know, that Supreme Court decision that took aim at gutting public-sector union? Yeah, well, the guy who brought the suit, Mark Janus, now works for the right-wing Liberty Justice Center, and he’s got a new case moving through the courts. This time, Janus wants public-sector unions to make the Court’s 2018 Janus decision retroactive, forcing public-sector unions to refund millions of dollars of fair-share fees collected before the 2018 decision. The Court will decide next week if it will hear the case. 

And today is the 4th anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando. 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded. The shooting stands as the deadliest attack against the LGBT community in U.S. history.   And yet another sober memorial. Medgar Evers was assassinated on this day in 1963 by a member of the Ku Klux Klan. 

While large Black Lives Matter protests in Pennsylvania’s large cities made national news, this past week saw more than 100 protests in at least 61 of the state’s 67 counties

The Pennsylvania House Legislative Black Caucus pulled a coup at the start of the session on Monday. They took over the House Speaker’s rostrum out of protest and shared their feelings on the House Republicans’ inaction on police reform since Antwon Rose was murdered by an East Pittsburgh cop. Turzai promised the Black Caucus a special session to combat police violence, but...

Speaker Turzai announced he was resigning on Wednesday and while failing to follow through on his promise of a special session. However, the House Judiciary Committee will meet next week to potentially vote some of these bills out of committee.

PA State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors announced plans to return to “some form of” face-to-face instruction in the fall. Chancellor Daniel Greenstein says that plans will be finalized in the coming weeks. Who’s making those plans? Based on what criteria? It would be good to know, right? 

The Senate Armed Services Committee passed a bill on Wednesday that established a Space Force National Guard

And, remember when we told you that the Space Force was seeking over 7,000 volunteers to transfer from their Air Force commission to the Space Force? Well, this week Space Force officials announced that they far exceeded expectations, More than 8,500 airmen and women volunteered to join the Space Force. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force said the new volunteers “made the bold decision to volunteer to join the U.S. Space Force and defend the ultimate high ground.” 

Speaking of the Space Force, did you check out Netflix’s Space Force? We’ll have a little breakdown. 

Mahoney just finished Station Eleven, and it was freaking awesome. He’s on to rereading Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, from her Earthseed series. 

Free Will Brewing joins the wave of voices speaking on in support of the protests following the police murder of George “Perry” Floyd. They said, “In the past, we have always kept our message about beer and stayed out of social and political issues. We told ourselves we should only be judged by our actions.⁣ No more being quiet.⁣” We’ll have their full statement for you. 

And the people have spoken and Free Will has responded - Safeword is back in stock, ready for pick up or shipping to your door. Safeword is an Imperial IPA w/ Mangoes & Habaneros coming in at a big 10.2% ABV. It’s one of my favorites. You can get 4 packs of Safeword and several other selections - including Haymaker Mead - at their online store https://freewillbrewing.store/

5
Jun 2020

Out d’Coup | George Floyd Protests; Trump Autocracy; Protest Crackdown; Defund Police; Progressive PA Primary Wins; Frank Rizzo Statue; Opening PA; SpaceX and NASA; Menzingers; Free Will Releases

Trump threatens to call out the military to suppress protests demanding justice for George Floyd and an end to run-away police violence. In a speech from the Rose Garden, Trump called protesters “terrorists.” In a call to the nation’s Governors, Trump urged them to crack down hard on protesters. In a surprise move, Trump told journalists that he has put U.S. Army General Mark Milley “in charge” of ending the protests. 

Former Defense Secretary General Jim Mattis - the guy that Trump used to love to call “Mad Dog” to boost his testosterone levels - issued a scathing rebuke of Trump’s desire to call out the military to “dominate” protesters. Mattis wrote, "Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens —much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside."

George Bush came out after Trump this week. He beat Nancy Pelosi to the punch. Why? Oh, yeah, the Democrats are on vacation. 

Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced that the Los Angeles Police Department will see a budget cut between $100 and $150 million instead of an increase. The money from the LAPD cuts will be invested in communities of color instead. The city will invest in “jobs, education, and healing,” according to Mayor Garcetti. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the most prominent member of the White House COVID-19 task force, told the American Medical Association that the U.S. should have 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by the beginning of 2021. 

Protests to end police violence and systemic racism exploded across the state. Hundreds of people marched through small towns like Souderton, PA and thousands flooded the streets in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other larger cities across the Commonwealth. 

This week showed that pigs can actually fly. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney took down the 2000 lb Frank Rizzo statue. 

In a huge win for Philadelphia progressive activists, Nikil Saval defeated Democratic Party establishment-backed candidate Larry Farnese in the primary for Pennsylvania’s First Senate District. Nikil Saval is the cofounder of Reclaim Philadelphia, a community activist, a DSA member, and an editor for N+1. Saval ran a campaign right out of the Bernie Sanders campaign platform and is now looking at a double-digit win of Farnese who has held the seat since 2009. 

Bernie Sanders pulled in 20% of the vote in Pennsylvania. 

But Nikil Saval was not the only big news. It looks like six other incumbents were shown their walking papers in Tuesday’s Primaries.

  • Daylin Leach is behind by nearly twenty points to Amanda Cappelletti, a candidate endorsed by Elizabeth Warren.
  • Summer Lee crushes her primary opponent Chris Roland by a 75-25 margin.  It looks like the building trades owes Summer an apology for wasting over a hundred thousand dollars to run someone against her out of spite.
  • Progressive Emily Kinkead looks like she is going to oust conservative Democrat Adam Ravenstahl in House District 20 in the Pittsburgh area. Ravenstahl has frequently voted with conservative Republicans, especially when it comes to restricting women’s access to abortion and necessary medical care.
  • Rick Krajewski, a West Philadelphia organizer, is narrowly ahead of Jim Roebuck in PA House District 188. Roebuck has held the seat since 1985. Krajewski was backed by Bernie Sanders, the PA Chapter of the National Organization for Women, National DSA, Sunrise Philadelphia, and the AFT Local 2026 among a long list of endorsers. 

And as of today, all counties in Pennsylvania have moved into either the Green Phase or the Yellow Phase. Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties were the last counties to remain in the Red Phase. They move to Yellow today. 

Whitey’s on the Moon...OK, not the Moon, but the International Space Station. SpaceX and NASA successfully launched two astronauts to the ISS from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center last Saturday. It was the first crewed launch from U.S. soil since the Obama administration scrapped the Space Shuttle program in 2009. The fact the launch took place during some of the biggest civil rights uprisings in nearly a century has us relistening to some Gil Scott-Heron

Looks like the whole 2024 Moon settlement plan hit a bit of a setback as SpaceX’s Starship Prototype exploded during a static-fire test of the massive rocket’s engines. 

The Menzingers just released a new song, America Pt. 2. All proceeds from the song go to community bail funds. You can listen to and buy the song at bandcamp.com

And, while we’re at it, Bob Mould just released a new song called “American Crisis.” It show that the anger from Gen X runs deep. Thanks to my friend Stu Ross for sending me that. 

Free Will Brewing is opening up outdoor seating at their main Perkasie location and at Peddler’s Village tomorrow, Saturday, June 6. They had to push back today’s opening due to storms and flood warnings. They are turning a field next to the brewery into a beer garden with a pop-up bar, bathrooms, and sanitizing stations, in addition to our usual front yard space and courtyard. 

Free Will also has a new release for the first time in a while. This one is a collab with Imprint Beer Company. It’s the Strawberry Lemonade Radfahrer - They took their Cream Ale base and mixed it with some slightly tart lemonade before a hefty addition of strawberry purée to top the whole thing off. 3.9% ABV⁣⁣.

 

29
May 2020

Out d’Coup | Minneapolis Burns; Police Murder George Floyd; Trump Incites; 100K U.S. Dead; Jamaal Bowman Challenge; Brian Sims; PA GOP COVID Cover-Up; Space Force; SpaceX Delayed; Free Will Reviews

Minneapolis burns, including a police station, as the demands for justice in the police murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd. Four white police officers involved in the murder have been fired, but the video of one officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he cried out “I can’t breathe” have the community calling for more widespread justice. Protests have started to spread across the nation as well. 

Trump took to Twitter to help insight violence against Minneapolis protesters calling them “THUGS,” suggesting that the military should be brought in to suppress the protests, and threatening “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

And it’s official. More than 100,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19. That horrific milestone was reached as states are planning on or have already opened up. Yet, as the Washington Post reported this week, rural areas are increasingly becoming the areas hit hardest by the coronavirus. And while those states hit hard by COVID-19 early in the outbreak are beginning to flatten their curves, the rest of the country’s numbers are continuing to skyrocket up. 

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri was the place to be, apparently. Thousands of people flooded pool parties and resorts in violation of the state’s and county’s COVID-19 restrictions. The Governor of St. Louis County had to issue a travel advisory after videos of the parties went viral urging “those who ignored protective practices to self-quarantine for 14 days or until testing negative for COVID-19.” What are the chances of that, do you think? 

After aggressive efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, South Korea made the decision to reopen its schools. Now more than 500 schools have had to shut their doors again after spikes in new cases. 

New York Rep. Eliot Engle, the hawkish Democrat who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee and who has ties to defense contractors, may just lose a primary challenge to Jamaal Bowman, a progressive champion for the district representing parts of the Brox and Westchester. 

PA Republican leaders in the House were exposed for a COVID-19 cover-up in the Capitol.  House Representative Andy Lewis came down with the virus and tested positive on May 14th.  When he told leadership that he tested positive, leadership only told other Republicans to quarantine.  Who cares if the House Democrats get sick.  

PA State Representative Brian Sims, unloads on Republican State House leadership after learning that House Majority Leader, Mike Turzai and other members of the House Republican leadership covered-up the fact that several Republican members had tested positive for COVID-19. Rep. Russ Diamond, who has been the biggest loudmouth about how everything is safe and that that Governor Wolf is a tyrant, was one of the Republicans who tested positive for COVID-19.

The COVID coverup didn’t stop House Republicans from voting on Russ Diamond’s resolution to suspend Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration. Oh, 8 Democrats voted for Russ Diamond’s bill to open up PA. This is AFTER the news broke of the PA GOP COVID-19 cover-up.

Bernie Sanders endorses Daylin Leach’s Primary challenger Amanda Capaletti & endorsed Nikil Saval who is the editor of N+1 and running against Larry Farnese.  

In another chapter of “you just don’t get it, do you,” Pennsylvania’s department of education is working with the Data Recognition Corporation to find ways of getting parents to give their kids standardized tests in the event that schools remained closed in the fall due to the pandemic. I don’t know about you, but I was really disappointed when my kids’ PSSA’s and other standardized tests were canceled this year. The good news is that Pennsylvania is not the only state attempting to push high-stakes testing into students’ homes. 

Oh, and who’s Matt Brouillette again?

Netflix’s Space Force starring Steve Carell premiers TODAY! 

Wednesday’s attempt by SpaceX and NASA to launch astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil for the first time in almost 10 years had to be postponed due to weather. The new launch date is set for tomorrow, Saturday, May 30 @ 3:22 pm.

Sean bought a desk fan. Big news. He needed it after going down the YouTube rabbit hole on Nicholas Cage.

If you’re looking for some excellent sci-fi pandemic reading, check out Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

I’ll report back on some of the new offerings at Free Will’s online store. I’ve had a chance to check out Haymaker Meadery’s Dandy - Sparkling Mead with Plum and Jasmine Green Tea - 6.5% ABV. And I also picked up a 4-pack of Relax and Chill, a hazy IPA Hazy Pale Ale Brewed with oats and hopped with Simcoe, Calypso, and Centennial- 5.5% ABV. You can check out all their stuff to pick up or get delivered at https://freewillbrewing.store/.

27
May 2020

Out d’Coup Interview | Brian Bailie on Higher Ed Cuts, COVID-19 Disaster Capitalism, and Organizing for the Fightback | May 27, 2020

It’s Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Welcome to Raging Chicken’s Out d’Coup podcast. This is Kevin Mahoney, editor, and founder of Raging Chicken Press. On today’s show, we’ve got a Raging Chicken interview with Brian Bailie. Bailie is an Assistant Professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of Cincinnati’s Blue Ash College. He’s got some new articles that hitting the interwebs in the weeks ahead: “Are We an Academic Journal? Editing as Ethical Practice for Change,” in Reflections: A Journal of Community Engaged Writing and Rhetoric. That’s authored with Steve Parks and the article, “So, Richard Spencer is Coming to Your Campus. How He was Allowed on, and How You Can Confront Him,” due out soon in Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society. I wanted to talk to Brian today about the ways COVID-19 is giving cover for the wholesale destruction of public higher education. 

What’s happening at Ohio University? Since the beginning of the month, OU has eliminated the jobs of at least 340 people coupled with the retirement of another 88. 74 of those retiring are faculty members. The cuts have included layoffs of 53 instructional faculty and the elimination of 149 administrative positions. Most recently, OU announced cuts to 40% of the faculty at their regional campuses. All these cuts have been done with the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s like Margaret Thatcher has returned from the dead to remind us “there’s nothing we can do.” Is this just a force of nature or are we seeing disaster capitalism on steroids?

At the University of Cincinnati, we see similar patterns of cut, gut, and punish with one significant difference. While faculty members are discouraged from using the copier for class handouts in the name of saving money, the university has been on a spending spree when it comes to NCAA Division I athletics. According to an excellent investigative report by UC’s student newspaper, The News Record, records show that while UC had an athletic deficit of $5.6 million in 2005, in 2019 that deficit increased five-fold to $29.7 million. What’s that meant for faculty teaching on the University of Cincinnati’s campuses? We’ll ask Brian about that. 

UC’s budgeting schemes will sound like they come from the same playbook that we see right here in PA’s State System of Higher Education. Maybe because it is. 

And in a time when the most vulnerable are the most at risk, Ohio’s labor laws are double jeopardy for adjunct faculty. 

Bailie highlights the fightback coming from AAUP:UC and discusses how important it is to have collective bargaining rights and an active union. He also clues us in on an awesome student organizing effort at UC called Boldly Bankrupt

And on today’s last call, we’ll look for temporary diversions from COVID-19 and the disaster capitalists to see if we can get Brian to give us some beer recommendations from his neck of the woods. I’m wearing a Rheingeist Brewing hat in his honor! Here’s some of Bailie’s recs:

We close out looking at signs of hope and resistance.