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Out d’Coup Podcast

Jan 2022

Out d’Coup LIVE | Amy Knecht and Ross McLennan - A Bucks County Roundtable

Bucks County continues to be at the center of some disturbing politics. School board races in Central Bucks , Pennridge, Palisades, and Pennsbury made national news for right-wing, extremism rallying against sensible COVID mitigating strategies, diversity in our curricula, and inclusivensss in our classrooms. Organizers across Bucks County did amazing work on school board and municipal campaigns. But as we enter the 2022 election cycle, organizers are continuing the work of building power. 

Tonight I welcome three Bucks County activists Amy Knecht, Emily French, and Ross McLennan. All three of them were active in this past fall’s school board elections. They are also active members of our Raging Chicken community.  Amy, Emily, and Ross join me for a roundtable discussion about "what's up with Bucks?" We'll reflect on this past year's election and look forward to the organizing ahead.

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Jan 2022

Out d’Coup | Sinema Kibosh; Voting Rights; SCOTUS; Sedition Charges; Fraud Electors; Omicron Raging; Bryan Cutler; GOP Goober Candidates; HACC Union Vote; Bucks School Boards; Cultural Last Call

Kyrsten Sinema announces that she is willing to kill voting rights legislation because of her love of the filibuster. Her teary-eyed performance on the Senate floor all but sinks hopes to pass voting legislation this year. Schumer says they will begin debate on Tuesday and force the issue.

The U.S. Supreme Court shoots down Biden’s vaccine and testing mandate for private business. 

The leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, is indicted on charges of seditious conspiracy. 

Republicans from at least 5 states forged official elector certificates and sent them into the National Archives and the U.S. Senate ahead of the January 6 insurrection. 

The Republican Party is changing its rules to prevent any GOP presidential candidates from taking part in debates hosted by the Commission for Presidential Debates. 

And the Omicron variant of COVID is predictably swamping the U.S. and the federal government is just getting around to thinking about helping with masks and testing. The should get up and running sometime after the crisis has hit. What do you think? Summer?

Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler admitted earlier this week that he was in contact with the Jan 6th Commission.  Makes you wonder who Jim Jordan and Scott Perry were meeting with in Harrisburg while they were attending the Stop the Steal rallies. 

Gubernatorial Candidates Lou Barletta and Charlie Gerow, and Charlie Gerow’s co-worker, Kevin Harley, all signed their names presenting themselves as “electors” on forged documents that were submitted to the Dept of State and the US Library of Congress

Full-time and adjunct faculty members at Harrisburg Area Community College will have their union election from Feb 24 to April 7.  Faculty members at HACC have faced years of anti-union tactics from the administration to delay a union vote.  The school was caught padding their faculty lists with professors who didn’t teach in order to stop the card signing process.  

Central Bucks School District votes to lie that its health and safety play is following CDC guidelines.

Pennridge School District just ignores all guidelines and says everyone back to school after three days, no masks needed.

Pat Poprik, Chair of Bucks County Republican Party, was one of the signers of PA’s false slate of electors. 

And in other news Former House Speaker Mike Turzai is running for Governor.

Hey, Don’t Look Up. Station Eleven Rocks. Just started Foundation on Apple TV+

Jan 2022

Out d’Coup | Jan. 6 Insurrection Anniversary; Omicron Rages; PA Farm Show; Mastriano to Declare; Pennridge Discrimination and Whitewashing; Upper Bucks Tech School Scandal; Station Eleven

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection. While a lot of words were said, it remains to be seen whether the political will exists to defend democracy. Will we keep anti-majoritarian rules like the filibuster in place? Will we continue to support a Senate that grants disproportionate power to white, rural states and districts? What will this year’s elections bring? 

COVID rages and it appears our institutions are pretty much throwing in the towel. 

In a what-the-what news…lightning increased dramatically around the North Pole. According to CNN, “Vaisala, an environmental monitoring company that tracks lightning around the world, reported 7,278 lightning strokes occurred last year north of 80 degrees latitude, nearly twice as many as the previous nine years combined.”

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is this weekend!  Don’t want covid?  Do go.  It’s that simple because masks and vaccination cards won't be required as Omicron is ripping the lands. 

Doug Mastriano is launching his campaign for Governor tomorrow.  Get ready everybody.

The Pennridge School District makes more moves to discriminate and whitewash history now that the extremists have full control of the board. The board ordered the removal of the book, Heather Has Two Mommies, due to its radical message that “it doesn’t matter how many mommies or how many daddies your family has … the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.” Check out Cyril’s interview with the book’s author, Lesléa Newman, in his latest column. And then there’s moves to prevent critical discussion on the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection. Teachers were sent a note instructing them to “not wade into” discussion of January 6. Instead, they should stick to “business as usual.” We should recall that Bucks County had more people attend the insurrection than any other county - and the Pennridge School Board president, Joan Cullen, was one of them. 

Looks like the Executive Director of Upper Bucks County Technical School. Jeffrey Sweda, is being given the boot after the board overseeing the school’s Joint Operating Committee charges him with “persistent negligence in the performance of his duties, willful neglect of duties, and/or willful failure to comply with school laws and directives.” The charges include buying a $999 log splitter for his personal use, stealing pavers from the school, cutting security cameras to the loading dock, abusing co-workers, and more.

Station Eleven.

Jan 2022

The Wednesday Show with Cyril Mychalejko for January 5, 2022

On this week’s show, we’ll catch up with Cyril to see how his New Year is going so far and check in on the state of our democracy one-year out from the violent insurrection on the Capitol Building in DC.

We also have COVID cases skyrocketing as kids head back to school following the holiday break. And, the 2022 election season starts to heat up while Bucks County school boards show no signs of moderating.

And there’s the breaking scandal at the Upper Bucks Technical School as the board seeks to fire the Executive Director, Jeffrey Sweda, for “incompetency, intemperance, persistent negligence in the performance of duties, willful neglect of duties, and/or willful failure to comply with laws and directives.”

We’ll also check in with Cyril to find out what he’s got cooking for upcoming columns. 

You should also sign up for Cyril’s newsletter on Substack: https://cyrilmychalejko.substack.com/

Some of Cyril's latest:

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And make sure to join our Discord Server to continue the conversation all week long. Just click on the link in today’s show notes: https://discord.gg/WMW98RQEYV

Jan 2022

Out d’Coup LIVE | Happy New Year! Are you ready for 2022?

Welcome to 2022! Happy New Year? Not quite sure yet...but we're here for the fight.
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Dec 2021

Out d‘Coup LIVE | Dr. Christopher Rodkey - Public Theologian and UCC pastor on Religion & Politics

On today’s show, just in time for Christmas week, I welcome Dr. Christopher Rodkey to the program. Chris is the Pastor of St. Paul's UCC in Dallastown, PA, and a public theologian who engages in three publics: the church, the academy, and society. He also just announced his candidacy for State Representative in PA's 93rd District, the seat currently held by Republican Mike Jones. We'll be talking about religion, politics, and the struggle for justice. 

Chris Rodkey is originally from Columbia in York County and attended St. Vincent College in Westmoreland County. After earning a master's degree at the University of Chicago, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in philosophy and religion at Drew University. Prior to his current position at St. Paul's UCC, he pastored a church in Lebanon County, after moving back to PA. He is the author or editor of nine books including Too Good to Be True: Radical Christian Preaching, Year A and The World is Crucifixion: Radical Christian Preaching, Year C. He also owns a small publishing business, Barber's Son Press, is an outspoken activist in the area, especially for religious tolerance, and is a judge of elections for his district. For the past 10 years, he has been an adjunct professor of Philosophy at Penn State York. He is married and has four children in public schools. 

Chris Rodkey will be holding a press event for his candidacy in the PA-93 on January 16h in Jacobus, PA. 

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Dec 2021

Out d’Coup | Build Back Better; Dems Coming Apart; Kellogg’s Strike; bell hooks; PA Democracy Not OK; PA Maps; Philly Proud Boys Arrested; NASA James Web Telescope; Last Show of 2021; Thank You!

The FDA has permanently lifted a restriction on access to abortion pills. This will allow patients to receive the medication by mail instead of requiring them to schedule an in-person appointment with specially certified health care providers. The decision will not change state laws that ban the pills, but it’s one piece of positive news in an otherwise dark future for abortion rights. 

President Biden indicates that the Build Back Better bill will not be passed before the Christmas break, despite Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer’s assurances that it would. The Senate had no problem, however, of passing a $768 billion, one-year defense spending bill on a vote of 88-11. So, we won’t get critical climate action, paid family leave, universal preschool, or hearing aid coverage, but we will get more, shiny nuclear weapons this holiday season. 


1,400 Union workers at Kellogg’s may have an agreement that would end their 10-week strike. But don’t celebrate yet. While negotiators said they have an agreement, workers still need to vote on the agreement. Workers voted down the last tentative agreement after workers refused a two-tiered workforce that would have sold out newer workers. 

Schools in Pennsylvania and several other states have increased police presence around schools today in response to national TikTok trend to threaten school shootings and bombings. Generally, officials are saying the threats are not credible, but are taking no chances. 

bell hooks, one of the most important black feminist writers, scholars, and activists has died at the age of 69. She began writing her ground-breaking book, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, when she was a 19-year-old undergraduate. Her long collaboration with Cornell West provided some of the most important dialogic books for a generation of public intellectuals and activists. 

Democracy in Pennsylvania is not ok.  Pennsylvania House Democrats stood up to the GOP’s attacks on voting rights and the democratic institutions protecting those rights this week.  Progressives, led by Emily Kinkead and Chris Rabb, held a press conference Wednesday morning bringing attention to the GOP’s efforts to undermine democracy and weaponizing constitutional amendments aimed at those institutions while leadership used the House Floor to air their concerns.

Republicans are pushing constitutional amendments that would immediately dissolve and gerrymander Pennsylvania’s supreme court, change the court’s 10 year term limits to 2 years, change the Secretary of State’s appointed position to an elected position, allow fraudits and give the legislature more control in overseeing elections. 

The Legislative Reapportionment Committee released their preliminary house and senate maps yesterday and Republicans are upset at the House maps calling them a Democratic Gerrymander.

Water is wet and the New York Times recently reported that Scott Perry and other friends from the Freedom Caucus attended key meetings with Trump to overturn the 2020 election. 

Philadelphia Developer Ori Feibush uses scab labor and someone died at his worksite. The worker, Siarhei Marhunou, was employed by a company called DBCI LLC. DBCI had been subcontracted to work on the project by the Huntingdon Valley-based construction company Hammers Contractors. Hammers had, in turn, been contracted by the Fitler Construction Group, which was managing construction for OCF, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Three more Proud Boys from Philly were arrested Friday and charged in connection with the January 6 insurrection. Isaiah Giddens, Brian Healion, and Freedom Vy decided taking pictures of themselves flashing the white supremacist “OK” sign inside Senator Jeff Ferkley’s offices was a good idea at the time. Time to pay the piper. 

NASA’s James Webb telescope is set to launch as early as Christmas Eve, December 24, according to Space.com. The James Web telescope is NASA's next "Great Observatory" and is set to launch from Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. 

SpaceX is looking at sexual harassment allegations from five former employees. 

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter crossed the 30 minutes of flight time threshold.

Dec 2021

Out d‘Coup LIVE | Diana Leygerman - Teacher, Writer, Former CBSD School Board Candidate

Tonight on Out d'Coup LIVE, I welcome Diana Leygerman to the show. Diana is a teacher, writer, and former Central Bucks School Board candidate. We'll be talking about the ongoing political and cultural battles that have erupted in the Central Bucks School district and districts across Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and the nation. Last month, The New York Times's podcast, "The Daily," ran a two-part story on the increasing tensions in the Central Bucks School District. Following that podcast, Diana Leygerman's article "Central Bucks is Not OK," filled in some of the holes and contexts in the Times's story. Her personal and critical account of what happened in Central Bucks should be required reading for all of us.

Diana Leygerman is a teacher, writer, and a former CBSD school board candidate. She lives in Warwick, PA with her husband and their two children. She is the recipient of the Anne Frank teaching award and was honored at the SAFA Gala in 2018. Her work has been published in The Week, Smercornish, The Independent, Women’s Health, and several other online and print publications.

Leygerman wrote of experience being honored at the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards on her Medium page. She concluded: "My grandmother grew up surrounded by war and death and dictatorship. My parents fled from anti-Semitism. At 11 years old, I came to the United States as a Jewish refugee. I live my life every day trying to create a better world for my children and, as a teacher, for the children of others. In our world today, when basic human rights are once again threatened, I refuse to fall short of teaching the lessons I know my students must learn if they are to grow up in a world my grandmother could only dream of. In our world today, in a world that is eerily Orwellian, I know I must be a voice of progress, change, and protest."

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Dec 2021

Out d’Coup | Democracy Summit; New German Chancellor; Starbucks Union; UAW Members Win Union Democracy; Gerrymandering and New Legislative Maps; Street’s Fumble; Yass; COVID Spikes; Huge New Planet

President Biden presided over the launch of his virtual “Summit for Democracy” on Thursday. Biden warned the more than 80 leaders of democratic nations that the threat to democratic forms of government is pressing and all “the date we’re seeing is largely pointing in the wrong direction.” The statements may have fallen a little hollow as the U.S. is one of the nations that has been newly placed on the list of nations considered democratic backsliding nations. While the White House put out a list of actions it says its taken to protect the vote, one lawyer from the Texas Civil RIghts Project told The Guardian, “you have to be kidding me,” the actions are nothing but “minor tweaks on the edge of the problem.” 

Angela Merkel’s 16 year reign as German chancellor came to an end this week as the new chancellor from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Olaf Scholz, took the oath of office. He will lead a coalition between the SPD, the Greens, and the libertarian inclined Free Democrats. Scholz will be the first chancellor to lead a cabinet to include as many women as men. The coalition also has ambitious plans to fight climate change by phasing out coal and prioritizing renewable energy. 

And this little ditty from The Independent: Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert has called out big businesses for their alleged duplicity on the climate crisis as well as their opposition to the Biden administration’s ambitious Build Back Better Act. 'The [corporate] sector has historically been full of s***, and the sector is still full of s***,' Mr Gellert told Fast Company on Monday."

Workers in Buffalo, NY become the first to get a union at a Starbucks.

UAW workers win the right to directly elect their leadership, bringing new measures of rank-and-file democracy to a powerful union. 

Canada bans conversion therapy and France moves to make it a criminal offense.

All I want for Christmas are legislative maps!  Maps, maps and more maps!  The Pennsylvania House Republicans released their congressional map drawn by former Lehigh County Republican Commissioner Amanda Holt.  It’s a solid GOP gerrymander.  

Then Senate Democrat Sharif Street released a “compromise map” that’s a 6-11 GOP Gerrymander.  Why?  Well, that map places a congressional district in his backyard and would set up a potential primary between Congressman Brendan Boyle and Sharif Street. State and national Democrats are pissed to say the least, calling the map a non-starter.

Lastly, the Legislative Reapportionment Committee, which is responsible for drawing the state house and senate maps, is getting ready to release their maps and vote on them in the coming weeks. 

The AP reported this week that Pennsylvania’s right-wing billionaire Jeffrey Yass is looking to spend $20 million on his endorsed candidate for Governor and all the usual suspects from the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Partners are at the center of it.     

Hospitals in rural PA are facing are sounding the alarm in the face of rapidly increasing COVID cases. According to PennLive, “Geisinger hospitals throughout north-central Pennsylvania are operating at well over 100% percent of their capacities, with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients responsible for most of the strain.” 

The Philly Inquirer reports that COVID hospitalizations are at the highest rate since January - the peak of the last COVID surge. 

Scientists just discovered a planet that is 11 times as massive as Jupiter orbiting a dual star system, the b Centauri system. The discovery is changing scientists’ understanding of the conditions under which planets can form. 

Dec 2021

Out d‘Coup LIVE | Muscular Movements and Organizing for Democracy | December 6, 2021

Tonight on Out d'Coup LIVE we're talking about the essential work of organizing muscular movements in the face of a lackluster Democratic Party leadership. While the last few years has seen a new vitality in local electoral politics from groups like DSA, the Women's March, PA Stands Up, and other like-minded organizations we continue to see generational defeats in pillars of democratic struggle. Witness last week's Supreme Court arguments which seem to indicate that right-wing justices seem poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Or, consider the monumental anti-labor Supreme Court decision in the Janus case that stripped away a union's rights to collect fair-share fees while requiring those same unions still to service those workers who are not members. Or, we can look to the Citizen's United case which granted free speech rights to corporations to contribute unlimited funds to political campaigns.

All this is taking place against the backdrop of growing extremism in our communities. The resurgence of white supremacist organizations,; radical right-wing conspiracists infecting our school boards; and, extremists putting our communities at risk by refusing common-sense COVID protocols.

Tonight I'll be digging into a recent article by Rebecca Traister, "The Betrayal of Roe," and the most recent book by Jane McAlevey, "A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy." We'll also check out a new article by Talia Lavin, "Abortion, Hypocrisy, and the Will to Power." But I'd also love to hear from all of you. Your comments and calls will take priority!

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