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Out d’Coup Podcast

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.

22
May 2020

Out d’Coup | Michigan Floods; Climate and COVID-19; Fruit Worker Strikes; QAnon 4 OR Senate; Public Higher Ed; ReOpenPA; Daryl Metcalfe; Wolf Vetoes; NASA Shake-Up; Net Trail; Free Will and Friends

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency this week as two dams collapsed following days of exceptionally heavy rain. Thousands of residents had to be evacuated and the floodwaters were comingling with containment ponds at a Dow Chemical plant near the town of Midland. Parts of Midland and other areas were under 5 feet of water. The company that owned the dams - Boyce Hydro - was chronically noncompliant with the State’s demands to maintain and update the dam.

On the other side of planet, Super Cyclone Amphan devastated parts of India and Bangladesh. The storm was the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal with sustained winds of 165 mph. The Indian city of Kolkata was devastated, killing at least 84 people as of last night. 

At least six fruit packing worksites are on strike in Yakima County, WA. The county has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases on the West Coast and workers are striking over safer working conditions and an additional $2/hour in hazard pay. As we’ve seen in the meatpacking industries, immigrant workers work at high-speed, shoulder-to-shoulder in less than adequate working conditions. The companies have not addressed testing issues or safety conditions. 

Oregon Republicans nominate Jo Rae Perkins as their candidate for U.S. Senate. Perkins is a QAnon conspiracy theorist. In her primary victory speech Tuesday night, Perkins said: ““We’re in this together. It’s all for one, so let’s make it happen. As all of us Q people like to say: ‘Where we go one, we go all.” Perkins beat her closest opponent by more than 50,000 votes. She’ll face Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley in November. 

In a video posted to Twitter earlier Tuesday, Perkins looks into the camera and says: “I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team. Thank you Anons and thank you patriots, and together we can save our Republic.” That tweet is now removed. 

Georgia Republicans cancel election for the state Supreme Court. Now, Republican Governor Brian Kemp gets to take his pick of right-wing justices to fill the seat. 

The VP guessing game has begun! We’re glad cable news will have something to obsess over and give them a little break from having to cover the impact of COVID-19 and our decimated public infrastructure. 

Cambridge University won’t return to face-to-face lectures until summer 2021. On the flip side, NYU is all gung ho about getting back on campus this fall. 

With COVID-19 as cover, Kean University will eliminate majors in music, sustainability sciences, theater, and economics. Ohio University announces it will cut 53 faculty, 94 administrators, and about 140 AFSCME workers. 

And Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine. Who knows if that’s even true. 

Sean took some pictures last week. ReOpenPA was reenacting Sweeney Tood outside the Capitol. 

Daryl Metcalfe was pretty busy this week.  First he continued his storied tradition of introducing impeachment resolutions against any Democratic official he hates.  This time it’s Governor Wolf.  And he is promising to hold his yearly gun rally on the capitol steps on June 8th with or without Wolf’s permission.  This year’s theme is to Stand Your Ground Against Socialism.  

Governor Wolf vetos a bill that would have stopped any new regulations in PA until after his COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration expires. The bill was proposed by Republican State Senator David Argall seemed designed to stop any environmental regulations impacting the oil and gas companies and other corporations. 

Some good news coming out of Harrisburg!  Republicans living in competitive districts are warming up to the idea of legalizing marijuana in the Commonwealth due to the impending budget shortfall. 

Kutztown Univerisity is plowing ahead with plans to return in the fall. As details of the plan begin to leak, it’s that much more important to pay attention. Wait until you hear one of the administration’s student housing plans. We’ll get to that in a little detail. A faculty union task force is developing an alternative plan that would take students, faculty, and staff’s health and safety into account. Imagine that.  

In the best space news of the week, someone at the National Museum, of the U.S. Airforce at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, taped a picture of Steve Carell over the official picture of Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond. The trickster also replaced Raymond’s bio with that of Gen. Mark R. Naird, Carell’s character in Netflix’s new series “Space Force,” which premieres May 29th. 

A little over a week before Space X is scheduled to launch two NASA astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since the Obama administration scuttled the Space Shuttle program in 2011, the head of human space flight at NASA, Douglas Loverro, abruptly resigned. According to reporting in the Washington Post, apparently the resignation came after Loverro broke a rule in the process of awarding contracts to Blue Origin, Space X, and Dynetics to get humans back to the moon. 

New Trail Brewing is opening a larger brewing space in Williamsport. 

Don’t forget you can order your Free Will Brewing faves at their online store @ https://freewillbrewing.store/. They now have four selections from Perkasie’s growing craft culture Haymaker Meadery.

21
May 2020

Out d’Coup Live | Episode 0.0 - we test launch our live call in show!

Welcome to the first-ever Out d'Coup Live Call-In Show. We did a full-length test run of our new live call-in show! Call it a soft-launch. On today's show we gave a little background about Raging Chicken and talked shock doctrine for public higher education in the age of COVID-19. 

The full video version of today's show will be available exclusively to patrons at patreon.com/RCPress until Monday. On Monday we'll make the video live stream public for everyone at patreon.com/RCPress

Help support pull-no-punches progressive media today. Become a patron of Raging Chicken for as little as $5/month. You can become a patron today at patreon.com/RCPress

15
May 2020

Out d’Coup | Elections Have Consequences - WI Edition; Fauci Speaks; Axing Higher Ed; Shanna Danielson in PA31; Make the Road Greets Trump; ReOpen PA Rally; Space News; Free Will Brewing

In the never-ending evidence that elections have consequences, Wednesday evening the right-wing dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Governor Tony Evers’s stay-at-home order unconstitutional. Following the ruling, the Tavern League of Wisconsin told all its members to open their pubs asap. Soon social media was filled with pictures of packed bars with zero social distancing. The grand experiment has begun. Governor Evers could only say, “We’re in the Wild West now.” 

 Dr. Anthony Fauci - one of the few trusted voices on the White House’s coronavirus task force, testified remotely before the Senate this week. Fauci told Senators that a spike in deaths should be expected if states begin to reopen without the proper protocols and protections in place.  

Public higher education is on the chopping block across the U.S. as disaster capitalist politicians use the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic to institute mass layoffs and budget cuts. The deepest cuts so far may be those at Missouri Western State University, which may make it easier for other state university systems to do the same. 

Shanna Danielson, who is running for State Senate in the 31st district, got a big endorsement this week from Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. In his endorsement, DePasquale “Shanna is smart, hard-working and brings the highest level of integrity. She will be a state senator we can depend on to lead, for our families and our community.” Danielson is taking on corporate shill, Mike Regan, and is running strong on her support for working families and a state government that focuses on people first. 

Pennsylvania is not immune from the deep cuts in higher education. Local faculty union presidents at Kutztown University and Cheyney University were notified that their administrations are considering eliminating adjunct, tenure-track, and tenured faculty. Of course, Raging Chicken has been covering PASSHE’s deceptive budget and accounting practices for years. As the state budget battles prepare to heat up, it does not look so good for Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities. 

Trump visited a medical equipment supplier in the Lehigh Valley on Thursday. His landing at the Lehigh Valley International Airport was greeted with a huge caravan of cars protesting Trump’s visit. The action was organized by Make the Road. One of the signs from the caravan summed up the message: “Trump Failed 3,943 Pennsylvanians dead from COVID.” Of course, there were also dozens of Trumpistas lining Industrial Boulevard in Upper Macungie Township. Most were not wearing masks. 

And, of course, today is the big ReOpen PA rally in Harrisburg, underway as I record this. Early images look like every other Trump rally. My favorite sign so far is “Fear is a Liar.” 

A 24-year-old man in Perkasie, PA - yes, my neck of the woods - punched a female store clerk in the face several times after she insisted he wears a mask in the store. 

NASA researchers have identified a string of lava tubes in the Hellas Planitia area of Mars that may prove promising for a future Martian base. Lava tubes would help protect astronauts from the relentless solar radiation. 

One of the largest pieces of space junk landed back on Earth on Monday. The 18-ton empty core stage from a Chinese rocket launched on May 5, passed directly over Los Angeles and Central Park in NYC before landing in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Free Will Brewing rolled out its new online store and began to ship to all PA addresses. Sun Servants - that tasty Helles Lager - is back in stock and ready for shipping. I’ll have a report back on their Sweet Cherry Vanilla Mash. You can check out their story at FreeWillBrewing.store. You can order online and pick up at the main brewery in Perkasie, or have them ship it to you. Get together with some friends and order $125 or more and you’ll get free shipping too.

8
May 2020

Out d’Coup | Ahmaud Arbery; Barr Wants Flynn Free; DeVos Releases New Sexual Assault Rules; Supreme Court Sides with Gov. Wolf; NASA Space Move; Space Force on Netflix; Free Will News

Even the coronavirus can’t stop the deep-seated violent racism in the U.S. A white father and son in Georgia hunt down and kill Ahmaud Arbery, an African-American man who was suspected of jogging in a park. It was only video evidence that moved the case forward.

The Justice Dept. drops charges against Michael Flynn. The lead prosecutor for the case then quits. 

Besty DeVos gets her way and finally releases new sexual assault rules calling for open hearings and more protections for the accused. The new rules are a serious blow to decades of work to systemically address sexual violence on college campuses. 

In an effort to stay relevant, Adam Schiff releases the transcripts for the House Intelligent Committee’s closed-door interviews of the Russian investigation. 

Supreme Court tells Danny DeVito, no, Gov. Wolf is not a demon dictator. The state-at-home order is perfectly Constitutional. 

Gov. Wolf starts the process of opening up...very slowly. 

NASA is working with Tom Cruise to shoot a movie in outer space. Like, for real. 

Free Will has a new release: Sweet Cherry Vanilla Mash

Free Will is now shipping to all PA locations. Order for pick up or delivery right here: https://freewillbrewing.store/

2
May 2020

Out d’Coup | May Day Strikes at Amazon; Meatpacking and Food Supply Fails; More Idiots Call for Opening ‘Merica; Chris Hayes; Biden Speaks; Space Force; Blue Origin to the Moon; Free Will Sours

It’s May Day and workers are Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart, Walmart, FedEx, Target, and Ship are walking off the job. They are protesting the failure of the companies to provide basic protections for front-line workers while raking in record profits. One of the lead organizers for the walkout is Chris Smalls who is quickly gaining status a new brand of militant labor organizers. In early April, Vice News obtained an internal memo from Amazon leadership describing a campaign to smear Smalls. 

Major coronavirus outbreaks in meatpacking plants around the country coupled with the dumping of thousands of tons of food, draw new attention to our broken food system and raises questions of the possibility of food shortages down the road. 

Mike Pence decides to ditch his mask when visiting the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday. 

More right-wing radicals showed up yesterday fully armed to the Michigan Capitol once again demanding an end to the shutdowns. On Thursday night, the Republican-dominated legislature refused to extend the state’s emergency declaration which was set to expire at midnight. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued new orders stating the emergency still exists. 

#FireChrisHayes trends on Twitter after Hayes decides to break from the rest of the network and actually cover Tara Reade’s accusations against Joe Biden like an actual journalist. In a world where #Resistance and Democratic Party leadership’s only campaign slogan is Trump-bad-man, they went after Hayes as if he signed a blood pact with Steve Bannon.

When about the accusations at a press conference, Nancy Pelosi told the reporter that she didn’t need a lecture and she supports Joe Biden, dismissing Tara Reade’s accusations and diminishing the #MeToo movement.

Biden took to Morning Joe this morning and in the face of direct questioning by Mika Brzezinski denies all of Reade’s accusations. 

State Rep Daryl Metcalfe calls for the repeal of environmental regulations because coronavirus. 

PA planning on relaxing COVID-19 restrictions later today. Which counties will be the first to rejoin the spreader communities. All this happening, of course, and the crisis in the state’s nursing homes continues. 

Pennsylvania Republicans signed a letter Attorney General Barr to sue the Wolf administration. 

NASA picks Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin National Team for the Artemis program’s plan to bring humans back to the Moon. 

The application window for the Space Force opens today. But hold on there, future space cadets, this initial round will only be open for U.S. Air Force members who might want to transfer to the new branch of the military. More than 7,000 airmen, airwomen, and officers will be asked to transfer. 

And, don’t forget, Netflix will release Space Force on May 29th! The series created by Greg Daniels and stars Steve Carrell.

We don’t have any Free Will Brewing new releases this week, but they do have more than 15 different bottles of barrel-aged sours just waiting for a good home. If you want a few recommendations to get you started, I’d go with The Pomisher, a barrel-aged sour with pomegranates; Kriek Noveau, a barrel and foudre aged sour ale with cherries; and, Fenberry Sauce, a barrel-aged sour ale with cranberries.

24
Apr 2020

Out d’Coup | GOP Death Cult Foot Soldiers in H’burg; Bailouts; Higher Ed Cuts; Planet of Humans; Pelosi’s Ice Cream; Fox News Spreaders; Hubble’s 30th; Free Will Releases

The foot soldiers of the GOP death cult were out in force in Harrisburg and other cities across the country this week. Sean was on the ground with the pro-virus spreader troops. It wasn’t pretty.  

Remember those billions of dollars in last week’s round of bailouts that was supposed to keep mom-and-pop small businesses afloat? Well, according to new research from Morgan Stanley, about $243.4 million dollars of that money went to quite a few publicly traded companies, several that have market values in excess of $100 million.  

The money for that small business bailout program - known as the Paycheck Protection Program - ran out of money last Thursday. On Tuesday night of this week, the Senate passed a new $484 billion relief package. Dems got squat. 

Several states are looking to slash funding to public higher education in order to pay for skyrocketing unemployment rolls and falling tax revenue from the shutdown. 

The right-wing Heritage Foundation released a  “National Coronavirus Recovery Commission” report that calls for the elimination of public schools and the removal of teacher certification requirements along with its traditional right-wing wish list. It’s a shock doctrine play, taking the blueprint from Hurricane Katrina national. 

Good thing the White House has the real experts working on its pandemic task force. Reuters just broke the news that back in January Alex Azar - the corporate shill posing as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services - appointed one such expert to head the task force: Brian Harrison. Harrison’s years of expertise were in breeding Labradoodles. 

Elizabeth Warren’s oldest brother, Don Reed, died from COVID-19 on Tuesday evening. 

Michael Moore releases a new film by his long time friend and collaborator Jeff Gibbs on his YouTube page for free. The film, The Planet of the Humans, is a scathing documentary about the collaboration between Big Green organizations and Woke Capitalism to dupe us all. I watched it last night with the help of my friends at Free Will. It was a doozy. 

Nancy Pelosi goes on the Late, Late Show with James Cordon and shows the world her chocolate, ice cream, and pair of $20,000 refrigerators. 

Coming off her chocolate high, Pelosi bypasses Katie Porter to oversee the stimulus funds in favor of her old friends Donna Shalala. After all, Shalala has Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” on her phone./ 

A new study shows that Sean Hannity’s show helps spread the coronavirus. Thanks Fox. 

Happy 30th Birthday, Hubble telescope. There’s a new Science Channel documentary released last Sunday called, "Hubble: Thirty Years of Discovery."

The first spotted lanternfly was spotted in PA. Time to get stomping. 

Free Will has Mango Wheat back in stock. You can get that and more at Free Will’s online store.

17
Apr 2020

Out d’Coup | Biden Endorsements; RIght-Wing Death Cults Protest; COVID-19 Crisis in Nursing Homes; State GOP Tries to Re-Open PA as Part of Tea Party 2.0; Apollo 13; Free Will Brewing Online Store

Bernie endorses Biden. Then Warren endorses Biden. 

Over 22 million Americans have now filed for unemployment. 

The United States has more cases than the next four countries with the largest outbreaks. 

Rabid right-wing death cult enthusiasts protest stay at home orders and other restrictions on their individual ‘Merican freedom. Notable Protests took place in Michigan, Ohio, New York, and North Carolina featuring - you guessed it - “Don’t Tread on Me” banners, Confederate flags, guns, and Fox News talking points. They want to get back to work and embrace whatever the virus may bring. Not only does this show the anti-human tendency at the base of the Republican base, but it also shows the bankruptcy of right-wing ideology and the shock doctrine. In the wake of more than 30,000 deaths and staggering unemployment rates, some people think that their only choice is to risk their lives to get back to their crappy jobs. More protests are planned for Texas, Oregon, and California. I sure as hell someone will be tracking these clusters of pro-pandemic tools. 

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 85% of Americans are either very concerned or somewhat concerned that they or someone they know will get the coronavirus - up 31% from March. A Pew Research poll found that 73% of Americans think the worst impacts from the coronavirus are yet to come. In the same poll, 66% worry that the government will lift restrictions too soon, worsening the outbreak. 

On Thursday, the PA Dept. of Health reported that the Commonwealth had 1,245 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 27,735. At least 707 people have died as a direct result of the coronavirus. 

About half of PA deaths have occurred in nursing homes, which is causing alarm across the state. 

All residents at the Montgomery County-based nursing home, Phoebe Wyncote had to be evacuated to a facility in Lehigh County because so many of the staff tested positive for the virus. As of Wednesday, 77 nursing home residents have died. That’s 64% of all deaths in MontCo. 

306 long-term care facilities have confirmed coronavirus cases. At least 3,290 residents and at least 394 employees have been infected. At least 365 long-term care deaths have been reported. 

The PA GOP continues to be committed to the crazy train. Gov. Wolf yesterday announced plans to veto a bill passed by the Republican legislature that would have businesses open sooner than Wolf’s April 30 date. 

On Monday protesters from “Reopen Pennsylvania” will be doubling down on the PA GOP’s and Trump’s rhetoric on reopening the economy.  This astroturfed movement has connections to Betsy DeVos funded organizations in Michigan. 

And good news for anti-planet industries. Shell says that it will bring back 500 workers at the Beaver County cracker plant next week to continue construction. Beaver County has seen recent spikes in coronavirus cases. 

This week, NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13’s “successful failure.” Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970, in an attempt to bring a third crew of U.S. astronauts to the moon. However, just three days into the mission, an explosion vented much the ship’s oxygen supply into space. The crew carried out a harrowing emergency return to Earth in one of the most dramatic stories of the early space race. Given the coronavirus shutdowns, NASA has released a documentary called Apollo 13: Home Safe, available free online. 

Garcia’s Forest is back at Free Will Brewing and is available for pick up in their online store!⁣ ⁣Garcia’s Forest is a Hazy IPA brewed with flaked oats and wheat, hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Chinook. No milk sugar in this one. A bit of a cross between new age hazy IPA’s and classic west coast renditions, this one’s full on body and flavor with notes of dank grapefruit, tangelo, white peach, and honeydew melon. 7.1% ABV

Kurant Cider Mimosa - Dry Bubbly Cider with Orange, is also now available in their online store!⁣ This is the first time they’ve offered this one out of the taproom, joining the Kurant line up with Bees and Earth.⁣ Free Will is open for ta

10
Apr 2020

Out d’Coup | Bernie’s Out; Left Way Forward; COVID-19 Impacts; Religious Right is a Death Cult; Mensch Not a Mensch; K-12 Stays Closed; PA Budget Crisis; Netflix’s Space Force; Free Will, Sean’s Toys

Bernie Sanders officially drops out of the presidential race, leaving Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee. It’s worth noting how much the Bernie Sanders campaign has fundamentally shifted the Democratic party’s base to the left, even while power in the party still remains firmly entrenched with the neoliberal baby boomers. Writing in In These Times, Megan Day and Michael Uetricht captured the moment perfectly, “Bernie Sanders Started the Revolution, the Rest is Up to Us.”

In what appears to be an attempt to woo Sanders supporters to consider voting for him, Joe Biden released plans to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60 and to forgive some student debt. I don’t know how many times we have to say it, but half-measures and tinkering around the edges just isn’t going to cut it. That was the message sent this week in a letter written to Biden by 8 progressive groups - Alliance for Youth Action, Justice Democrats, IfNotNow Movement, March for Our Lives Action Fund, NextGen America, Student Action, Sunrise Movement, and United We Dream Action: “Messaging around a ‘return to normalcy’ does not and has not earned the support and trust of voters from our generation.”

The numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to be devastating, even as some hot spots around the world have begun to see a flattening of their curves. Global confirmed cases: 1,596,496; total deaths: 95,455; total recovered: 354,006; U.S. confirmed cases: 462,135; total deaths: 16,513; total recovered: 25,410; and, nearly 17 million Americans file for unemployment over the past three weeks.

Black Americans are getting COVID-19 and dying from the disease at alarmingly disproportionate rates. To anyone paying attention to deep structural racism in the U.S. it’s no mystery as to why. As the New York Times reports, this trend shines a spotlight on what “public health researchers say are entrenched inequalities in resources, health, and access to care.”

This week, COVID-19 became the #1 cause of death each day, outpacing heart disease and cancer. Meanwhile, the Radical Christian Right is going off the rails, turning to embrace the coronavirus as some kind of godly messenger. For example, Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge spoke to TMZ about his decision to defy the Governor’s ban of meetings larger than 50 people. Spell said, “like any revolutionary, or like any zealot, or like any pure religious person, death looks to them like a welcomed friend.” 

Necessary listening: Rumble with Michael Moore discussion with Jane McEleavy

Be warned, there is a high pollen warning across most of PA. 

State Senator Robert Mensch, a Republican from Montgomery County, seems to be loving the shift of online meetings. He was caught on a hot mic saying that he liked the online sessions because he could “stare daggers at Muth,” referring to outspoken, progressive Democratic State Senator Kaie Muth, also from Montgomery County. Muth took to Twitter writing, “How was your day teleworking?  Welp, mine was full of #Daggers - misogyny beaming strong in virtual workplaces... too bad we couldn’t pass bills to actually help ppl, instead of mean-mugging on Zoom.”

On Thursday, the Wolf administration announced that all Pennsylvania K-12 public and private schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. The PA hospital association is seeking a second round of financial assistance from the PA government just two weeks after Gov. Wolf signed a $50 million aid package. 

Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office reports that the PA government may lose as much as $4 billion in tax revenues this year as a direct result of the pandemic. That could leave PA’s budget about $1.8 billion short. We’re flagging this for our shock doctrine report. 

Despite Gov. Wolf’s stay-at-home orders, Pennsylvanians are getting worse at social distancing according to a new report. Data from a cell phone data company shows that after some initial successes, since March 26th, Pennsylvania’s are traveling more often and further. 

On May 29, Netflix will finally release its new intergalactic comedy, “Space Force,” starring Steve Carell!  

Sean got a new toy - actually TWO new toys.

Free Will now has its two cider releases ready for your online order and pick up:

  • Kurant Bees - Hard Cider with Honey 5.5% ABV
  • Kurant Earth - Hard Cider w/ Mosaic Hops 5.5% ABV
  • Another plug this week for DDH Love Letter from the 90s. Hazy IPA brewed with oats, Bloody Butcer cornmeal from Castle Valley Mill (Doylestown, PA), and milk sugar, then double dry hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Citra. 7.2% ABV
3
Apr 2020

Out d’Coup | Pandemic Deepens; GA Gov Has Revelation; Biden Chats with Billionaires; The Villages; Amazon Strike; Liberty U; DelCo Health Dept; PASSHE; Books and TV for Stay-at-Home

It took Georgia Governor Brian Kemp until this week to find out that asymptomatic carriers can spread the Coronavirus.  Welcome to 2020!  

The Villages in Florida are about to go through their own coronavirus epidemic.  We’re about to watch the Fox News Death Cult play out in real life. 

Joe Biden is having a virtual “fireside chat” with silicon valley venture capitalist Jed Katz.  The cost? $2,800 per person and bundlers who bring in $25,000 or more get to be a part of the “VIP Clutch.” 

In what amounts to a growing human rights violation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is barring cruise ships with passengers who contracted the coronavirus from docking. 

Workers went on strike this week at Amazon, Instacart and a ton of other places this week.     

And the Koch Brothers - or Brother now - is still working to undermine public institutions. As Lee Fang reported in The Intercept, “AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY, the pro-corporate pressure group founded and funded by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, wants employees to return to work despite desperate pleas from public health officials that people should stay home as much as possible to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.”

Some of the group’s state chapters have taken a similar tone. AFP Pennsylvania’s state director, as well as a regional director with the group, have taken to Twitter to lambast shelter-in-place policies. The Michigan chapter of AFP on Monday slammed Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, which closed down fitness centers, nail salons, amusement parks, casinos, and other businesses deemed nonessential, calling it the “wrong approach for our state.”

And looks like God was not about to protect blatant stupidity at Liberty University. Yes, just a few days after Jerry Falwell Jr. told students to return to campus, about a dozen students test positive for COVID-19.

Delaware County was about to get a Health Department for the first time. Republicans who controlled the County until the last election refused to set one up. When Democrats took power, setting up a health department was at the top of their list. Then COVID-19 hit before the could get it set up. 

PASSHE universities are facing a $100 million loss due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Suggestions for living in the pandemic. 

Kevin finished Severance, by Ling Ma. Now he's on to the next pandemic book, Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel.

Sean got a Dutch oven.