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Out d’Coup Podcast

Sep 2018

Out d’Coup | Kavanaugh Hearing Marks Historic Moment; Bad News for PA Republicans; Scott Wagner Loses $630,000 Gambling on Wall Street; Free Will New Releases and Events; and, so much more.

Christine Blasey Ford gives gut-wrenching testimony about her experience being sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. When  Kavanaugh has his turn, he rips off the mask and shows himself to be the asshole political operative he’s always been. Trump, meanwhile, loved Kavanaugh’s performance...says “that’s why I nominated him.” Senate Judiciary Committee set to vote this morning. Procedural vote scheduled for Saturday. Full confirmation vote next week. Sources saying GOP may need Mike Pence to get Kavanaugh on the Court. And, just for fun, the United Nations laughed at Trump.

In our Pennsylvania focus: Alex, I’ll take conflicts of interest for a thousand.  Scott Wagner caught investing campaign funds into the stock market and LOST $630,000 over the summer. Internal PA GOP polling shows Pennsylvania Republicans running for the hills. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman is polling at 45-45 agaist his opponent. Senate Appropriations Chair Pat Browne is trailing an Our Revolution and PCCC backed candidate Mark Pinsley by 11 points.  And, if that’s not bad enough for PA Republicans, Susan Wild is starting to pull away in the 7th Congressional District. The latest Franklin & Marshall poll shows Tom Wolf lapping Scott Wagner 52-30.

Faculty at Kutztown University table in front of their building in order to continue the pressure on university administrators to fix sick buildings. In the most devastating PA news of the week, Wawa is all in for Scott Wagner.

In today’s Last Call, Free Will holds Saison Saturday tomorrow. Check out their awesome can and bottle releases. They got their crowler machine up and running.

In abbreviated space news, Japan lands two small hopping probes on an asteroid. That’s a first in human history. Lots of space news, but it’s going to have to wait until next week. In the meantime, think about whether or not we should nationalize Elon Musk.

Sep 2018

Out d’Coup | Hurricane Florence; Trump Robs FEMA for ICE; CA’s Climate Goals; Kavanaugh; Manafort; NY Primary; Fahrenheit 11/9; Wagner Woes; Fracking Report; E. Stroudsburg Strike; Mold; Space & Beer

Hurricane Florence makes landfall near Wilmington, NC as a Category 1 hurricane. All the climate change signals are there as the slow, huge storm dumps dozens of inches of rain. Trump administration transferred nearly $10 million from FEMA to ICE. Documents also show that the Coast Guard will also be losing at least $14 million that will go to ICE. Trump calls Puerto Rico death toll a democratic party political tactic.

On the other side of the country, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced the most ambitious climate change agenda in history: an executive order committing California to carbon neutrality by 2045. The announcement comes on the heels of recent state legislation committing California’s electrical grid to 100 percent clean energy by the same date.

Kavanaugh confirmation vote delayed...is there some wobbling in the Republican ranks? Diane Feinstein says she got a confidential message from a woman back in July containing claims of what some sources are saying are allegations of sexual misconduct. [Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer broke the story revealing the contents of the letter while we were recording]. That was just the latest ball to drop as Kavanaugh had a rough hearing and showed himself to be kind of bad at using words. Looks like the vote is set for Sept. 20th.

Apparently, Paul Manafort reached a plea deal with Muller on his second felony trial. The deal is supposed to be announced in court today. [News broke as we finished recording that Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation. The degree of cooperation is not yet clear].

Andrew Cuomo survives Cynthia Nixon’s challenge in NY Democratic Primary. The bigger loss though was Zephyr Teachout. On the bright side, Julia Salazar wins big. Also, six pro-Cuomo, Democrats who joined with State Republicans to keep progressives at bay, were ousted by insurgent Democrats.

Michael Moore’s new film, Fahrenheit 11/9 hits theaters next week. Its official release date is Friday, 9/11 but it’s premiering all over a day early...check your local listings.

The trash man cometh. Scott Wagner’s Penn Waste uses local court districts as its own bill collection agency.  The company has sued 7,000 customers over 10,000 times for being late on their bills.

According to a new report released on Tuesday, more than half of the companies fracking in PA used “secret chemicals” in their fracking fluid. That means there’s no way to tell what the health effects of pumping chemicals into our water systems will have.

On Monday, an Energy Partners pipeline - the Revolution pipeline - blew up in Beaver County, destroying one home. No one was injured, but the explosion draws attention to try impacts and dangers of runaway fracking in the state.

East Stroudsburg teachers go on strike, closing schools for the week. Taking a page out of the teachers strikes in West Virginia and Oklahoma earlier this year, teachers invested time in a number of community service projects when not on the picket line.  

Kevin provides an update on sick buildings at Kutztown University.

SpaceX to announce the first commercial trip around the Moon. On Monday, September 17th at 9 pm, Elon Musk will try to distract himself from his Tesla woes and reveal the identity of the person or people who will take a ride on BFR. Luxembourg makes moves to be the commercial capital for space industries

Free Will has a double release this weekend - Sexy Goodies and the Pomisher. They’ll also be at the Scarecrow Fest all weekend long at Peddler’s Village.

Great new beer tips from Out d’Coup fan Tony. Looks like anti-worker Yuengling has more than one challenger in Pottsville. Introducing Stoker Brewing Company in Tamaqua! Hey...that’s Banditelli country! And Stoker Brewing Company is sponsoring a “Smoketoberfest” on September 22nd!

Sep 2018

Out d’Coup | NYT Steady State OpEd; Dems Get Spine in Kavanaugh Hearing; Trump Guts Science from Energy Plan; DeVos Profiles Howard; Week in Wagner; Daylin’s Back; Star Trek Economics; and beer!

The “steady state,” secret resistance starts to unfurl their plans (insert “mwahahaha” here). From NYT OpEd to the release of Bob Woodward’s book Fear, to the latest “revelation” that Administration officials contacted a psychiatrist last year because Trump was scaring them. Could this be the launch of Mike Pence 2020?

Democrats steeled up for the Kavanaugh hearing. From Kamala Harris’s brutal interrogations to Cory Booker and Mazie Hirono releasing “committee confidential” emails that the GOP sought to keep out of public view, it’s been quite a ride. Booker broke the ice and now the docs are flowing. Leaked emails to NYT show Kavanaugh thinks Roe v. Wade NOT settled law.  All this comes in the wake of the Trump organization’s decision not to release more than 100,000 documents from Kavanaugh’s time serving George W. Bush in the White House. Then there are the nearly non-stop protests that have disrupted the hearings. Warms our hearts.

New documents show that the Trump organization cut climate change impacts from its energy plan. New wildfire rages in Northern California. The Delta fire has ravaged more than 15,000 acres of land and now threatens homes.

Betsy DeVos moves to put the screws to Howard University by putting it on a “Heightened Cash Monitoring” list. The right-wing billionaire founder of Amway, Richard DeVos dies. Now, where have I heard that name before? Manafort’s daughter files papers to change her last name. Alex Jones permanently banned from Twitter.

The Village Voice, the first alternative weekly, shuts down completely after a 63-year run. More signs of trouble in journalism.

Scott Wagner calls Tom Wolf’s trip to Puerto Rico to help victims of Hurricane Maria “Pure Bullshit.” Republicans bring in the Koch Brothers to launch their newest attack on public sector unions. Daylin Leach back in the news...looks like his efforts to redeem himself are not going so well. Following Pennsylvania’s explosive report sexual abuse by Catholic priests, NY and NJ ready their own investigations. Lytle Hall mold refuses eviction notice despite crews bleaching the walls. KU History professor and mold enthusiast, Mike Gambone, delivers moldy ceiling tiles to Kutztown University administration.

Sean’s going to Star Fleet Academy - at least in today’s Last Call. He gets some schooling on positive examples of our socialist future. Elon Musk talks Boring Company while smoking some Mary Jane. Free Will has a double can release tomorrow. Brut – Brut IPA and Pink Guava Muse – Imperial Oat Pale Ale w/Milk Sugar & Pink Guava. Available at both locations.

Sep 2018

Out d’Coup | RIP John McCain; Huge Progressive Win in FL; O’Rouke Shreds Cruz; Puerto Rico Death Toll 2,975; Dems Fast Track Trump Judges; Week in Wagner; Space News, Free Will Can Releases; More!

RIP Sen. John McCain. While the week was dominated by accolades for McCain, let’s remember that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can respect his contributions to the country AND remember that his presidential campaign set the table for Trump and the Tea Party dominance of the Republican Party.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum pulled out a huge upset in the Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Primary,  despite being outspent by the Democratic Party favorite by 43 to 1. Gillum’s GOP opponent, Ron DeSantis, went on Fox News the following morning and said that Florida shouldn’t “monkey this up.”   

Paul Manafort tried to take a page out of the Art of the Deal with Robert Muller, but that fell apart. Beto O’Rouke is in a dead tie with Ted Cruz, so the Texas GOP attacks Beto for his skateboarding skills and his history in a punk rock band on Twitter.  It backfires spectacularly.

The death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria has been revised to 2,975 people. That makes the death toll significantly higher than Katrina. According to a new report, the Living Planet Index 2018, the world is on track to lose two-thirds of its wild animals by 2020.

Democrats in DC gave the green light to fast-track the confirmation of 15 Trump appointed federal judges so they could go home. Trump has now appointed more Circuit Court justices than any president in history at this point in their term. The State of Kansas let residents to two Wichita-area neighborhoods drink water contaminated with dry cleaning chemicals for more than 6 years. And, Trump tries to start Google conspiracy theory.

In our PA focus, the latest Franklin and Marshall poll shows Scott Wagner and Lou Barletta getting smoked in the general election. Scott Wagner bombs at the ever so swanky and insiders Pennsylvania Press Club Luncheon. Wagner started by attacking Wolf on education, claiming that he is the only candidate that is right on education.  He said he wants to increase education spending by $1,000,000,000 by cutting property taxes and cutting welfare programs and other departments. He then called out the media, and specifically attacked John Baer, for reporting on his jokes on Russia and other mishaps rather than reporting on the actual issues in this race. As if that wasn’t enough, Wagner then blew off the media and escaped the press club luncheon as if he was finishing an Ocean’s Eleven heist.

Are Penn Waste employees underpaid?  Well, Scottie dodged that question as well. Scott Wagner’s Eagle Disposal went two whole calendar years without properly filling out injury reports and this happened when an employee was killed on the worksite.

In today’s Last Call, NASA wants “lots of people in space” according to Trump appointed NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. In particular, he wants people back on the moon and to establish moon “Gateways” to the rest of the solar system. The global dust storm on Mars begins to subside. NASA hoping the Opportunity Rover will wake up once the sun begins to charge its batteries. Opportunity was only supposed to last 90 days...it’s been on the surface of Mars for 15 years and logged more than 28 miles. The International Space Station sprung a leak. Could space junk be the culprit? [spacenews]

It’s a double can release this week at Free Will Brewing. Scarecrow Autumn Spiced Ale was released on Thursday.  Cloudy with a Change of Pepperoni, a New England-style IPA, will be released Saturday. Kevin gives an update on Bitter Buddha and Sean throws down the gauntlet when it comes to Philly’s best sandwiches. He’s coming home this weekend for Labor Day!

Aug 2018

Out d’Coup | Manafort and Cohen; Billionaires Dump Cash on GOP; Climate Crisis; Scott Wagner Bombs; KU Sick Buildings in Chronicle; Free Will Can Releases; Sean Watches Godfather; and, More!

Paul Manafort guilty on 8 felony counts and Michael Cohen pled guilty to federal campaign violations that implicated Donald Trump. Cohen was then subpoenaed by the New York Attorney General in a probe into the Trump Foundation.

Sheldon and Miriam Adelson drop $25 million to the Republican’s Senate Leadership Fund to keep the Senate in GOP hands. Verizon throttles data for the Santa Clara County fire-fighters battling the Mendocino Complex Fire - the largest forest fires in California’s history.

The Trump organization issues a rollback of the Obama administration’s biggest climate rules. Under the new rules, states may be able to opt out of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan. The Arctic’s strongest sea ice of the coast of Greenland breaks up for the first time in recorded history. The amount of freshwater used in fracking has jumped 770 percent between 2011 and 2016 according to a to a new study published in the journal Science Advances. Hawaii braces for a Category 4 hurricane.

538 gives the Democrats a 72% chance in retaking the house. Betsy DeVos schemes to clear the way for school districts to use federal funds to purchase guns. Standard and Poor’s 500 may have hit an all-time record for all time bull market. That’s good news for the top 5 or 10 percent of Americans. The rests of us have gotten the shaft.

In today’s Pennsylvania focus,it looks like Paul Manafort won’t be helping Scott Wagner in the race for Pennsylvania Governor after all. But a Koch brother/Commonwealth Foundation connected poll puts Wagner only 3 percentage points behind Tom Wolf. Scott Wagner won’t release his tax returns because he doesn’t want his workers knowing how much money he makes. Wagner also stated this week that he’ll consider signing a bill banning same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. He then claimed that he was caught off guard as he walked the comments back the following morning. To top things off, Wagner had to walk back his transphobic statement on “the bathroom issue.” Wagner said people with “male plumbing parts, must use the men's room.  And women with female plumbing parts must use the ladies room.” [Pitt City Paper]

The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes a big article on sick buildings at Kutztown (sorry about the paywall). Surprise, Surprise the administration says there’s nothing they can do about unhealthy work conditions.

And, Gov. Tom Wolf and Scott Wagner look to face off in their only debate. Looks like it’s going to be a rollicking game of Jeopardy!

In today’s Last Call, we take a look at Free Will’s new can releases. Bitter Buddha was released last week and Freshie comes out this Saturday. This Sunday Free Will will host its fourth Sour Sunday of 2018.

Sean finally watched The Godfather because there was nothing else on Netflix. He has still not, however, watched Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, or half of the Star Wars movies.

Aug 2018

Out d’Coup | Bosses Earn 312 Times More Than Their Employees; Unite Right Flop; Climate Change News; Omarosa; PA Catholic Sex Abuse Report; PA GOP Freaks Over DSA; Kutztown; Puppy Update; and, more!

Kevin is fighting a cold at home. No worries because US bosses now earn 312 times the average workers salary, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute.

Unite the Right Part Two flops. Jason Kessler and 20 to 30 white nationalists showed up for the rally outside of the white house and were vastly outnumbered by anti-fascist counter-protesters. The Metro Transit Authority caved and still gave Jason Kessler and his white nationalist friends a private train car. Trump supporter jumps into the “Ring of Fire” at a Social Distortion concert and gets the shit kicked out of him by lead singer Mike Ness. Ness took his guitar off and jumped into the crowd after a Trump supporter was giving him both middle fingers for over 10 minutes.

Over 300 Newspapers joins the Boston Globe to denounce Trump’s attacks on the free press. Huge progressive primary wins on Tuesday.

Washington State may become the first government to introduce a carbon tax. Meanwhile, a new paper published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration shows that climate change is increasingly impacting swimming, fishing, and general summertime recreation due to harmful algae blooms and E. coli bacteria It took only two months for the DNC to backtrack on its ban on fossil fuel donations. Monsanto is forced to pay a man $289 million who is dying from cancer as a result [Guardian]

And, of course, Omarosa.

In our PA focus: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro releases the grand jury report detailing the largest sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church’s history. The report detailed more than 300 priests who abused over a thousand children.

PA Republican going bonkers over Democratic Socialists.  They issued press releases attacking the DSA, Susan Wild and Bob Casey in the past week.

Kutztown University welcomes me back. Keep your eyes out for an upcoming article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on sick buildings and administrative willful denial of health threats

We’ve got an abbreviated last call today. Kevin gives a puppy update. Perkasie active last night b/c of a manhunt for a guy who stole a car according to the Hilltown Township Police. And, some more fun.

Aug 2018

Out d’Coup | Big Primaries; Is Socialism Dead?; Trumpka on Trump; Koch Money Heading to PA; Wolf “No” on Legal Pot; Kevin’s Dog; Sean’s Cocktails; Netroots 2019 in Philly; more!

Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American from Detroit, will become the first Muslim Woman to ever be elected to Congress, and she’s also a Democratic Socialist. But...Is Socialism Dead?  That’s what pundits are proclaiming because a number of Ocasio-Cortez backed candidates lost their primaries this week.

New York Times Magazine releases “Losing Earth,” by Nathaniel Rich - a devastating look at the chance to stop climate change between 1979 and 1989. Naomi Klein corrects Rich’s retreat to “human nature” in his conclusion. Meanwhile, California battles the largest fire in the state’s history as 17 additional fires still burn. Want a look at our dystopian climate future? Just take a look at California’s use of prison labor to help fight these fires. Inmates are being paid as little as $1 to $2 a day.

In today’s “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me” file, President of AFL-CIO Richard Trumpka offers qualified support for Trump’s trade policies and would not rule out supporting Trump in 2020 when asked.

Trump goes off the rails in Wilkes-Barre. We get mainstream media introductions to QAnon and the Washington Post profiles white supremacist sanctuary city in Ulysses, PA.

Some of the biggest winners of the Trump Tax Break are...surprise, surprise...Corporate CEOs.

In today’s PA focus, the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity gets ready to dump cash in the state to back Scott Wagner. Scott Wagner flip-flops on climate change, sort of.

Tom Wolf says that Pennsylvania is “not ready” for recreational marijuana even though two-thirds of Pennsylvanians want it. Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s 18-month-long investigation detailing sexual abuse allegations against more than 300 Catholic priests is due out any day now. Are there still behind-the-scenes legal efforts to delay the report’s release?

In today’s last call, Kevin gets a dog. Sean makes cocktails. Next Free Range is coming. And, Raging Chicken is going to Netroots Nation 2019 in Philly!

Jul 2018

Out d’Coup | Wagner, “Young and Naive”; Fired Cartoonist Exhibit; Mark Janus Retires; Corp. Dems Hold Desperate Meet-Up; Sessions at Turning Point; Mars Lake; SkyNet; Breaker Brewing Co; and more!

Scott Wagner made international news this week when he called 18-year-old Rose Stauss “young and naive” for challenging him on his climate change denialism and the $200,000 he received from the oil and gas industry. Strauss is part of the youth-led environmental group, the Sunrise Movement. Sean Kitchen was there to capture it all, lighting the spark that caught fire around the world.  and share it to the world. Wagner’s gaffe was picked up in the BBC and the Australian Press and Rose Strauss went on to get an Op-Ed in Teen Vogue and interviewed in the New York Times.

Philly solicitor Marcel Pratt says that ICE is most likely in violation of an information sharing agreement with the city. Rob Roger, the former political cartoonist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who was fired for cartoons critical of Trump, gets his own exhibit at the Corcoran Art Museum in DC. The State of Pennsylvania orders companies to plug more than 1,000 abandoned gas wells. The wells pose potential environmental risks and can leak climate-wrecking gases. Fall rallies are being planned in support of the PA Promise, the bill that would provide free college tuition in PA. Floods across the state and in Harrisburg thanks to torrential downpours and “training showers,” a new weather term Kevin learned this week. Pipeline contractors post Wagner/Bartos signs outside construction staging area near Ricketts Glenn. How’s that support for Big Gas working for you, Gov. Wolf?

Mark Janus, the man who brought us Janus v. AFSCME, retires with his union-won pension and joins right-wing think-tank, the Illinois Policy Institute. His co-workers throw him a party but don’t invite him.

Corporate Democrats hold a conference to figure out how to stop progressives ahead of the 2020 presidential election. “Opportunity 2020” - sponsored by Third Way and the billionaire real-estate developer, Winston Fisher - searched for their message and their candidates. Their big ideas are a venture-capital-like bank to give out loans to the poor; a vague apprenticeship program, a for-profit retirement fund; and, a plan to put old folks to work through an “Americorps-like program for retirees.” Democratic Party makes historic cuts in the number of caucus states, potentially to stave off progressives. Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan signals he’s getting into the 2020 presidential race. Hoping to win with the “yoga vote”.

Jeff Sessions joins students attending Turning Point USA conference in chants of “lock her up.” Maria Butina will remain in jail as her case gets interesting as it begins to implicate the NRA as well. Georgia Republican Jason Spencer said some really racist shit on Sacha Baron Cohen’s new TV Show “Who is America?” and was forced to resign. A new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities offers evidence that the U.S. is an oligarchy. Economic Policy Institute new report shows that the New Gilded Age is indeed upon us. Climate scientists warn that the red alert is on and that the Trump White House is doing everything it can to reverse 20 years of progress - progress that is insufficient as it is.

Young Swedish activist boards plane and refuses to take her seat to prevent a man from Afghanistan from being deported. Today is the deadline for the Trump organization to reunite families. What are the odds that’s going to happen? Lawyer says “There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason on who gets released and who doesn’t…It’s mind-boggling.” Turns out Putin gave Trump a soccer ball with a transmitter chip in it. That can’t be a problem, right? And, even Billy Joel wants to know why more people aren’t cracking Nazi skulls.

A lake found on Mars? You bet! On Friday night, Mars will reach opposition, its closest approach to Earth since 2003. Here’s how to see it. Friday night will also be the longest Blood Moon of the 21st century...but it won’t be visible in North America. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson tells David Ignatius of the Washington Post that the “Space Force” debate is just great. Airbus is actually building Skynet, well, technically “Network in the Sky.” Cue Terminator memes.

Shout out to Breaker Brewing Company in Wilkes-Barre - I even got a warn Raging Chicken welcome! I sampled Rooibos IPA, Pineapple Vanilla Dreamsicle, Minefire Blackberry Jalapeño Ale, and Santa Fe Pils. I also brought home two 4 packs: Metamorphosis and Breakfast Club “The Basket Case.”  And, Sean goes to Forest and Main...did he actually bring his niece with him? We’ll find out.

Also, thanks and a huge shout out to for folks over at Party Unity - the official podcast of Social Dem. Social Dem is a political blog and media project covering American politics with a special focus on the interrelation between the Democratic Party and the socialist movement. Their latest episode focused on some of their favorite lefty media and they gave us a big shout out on their show. Do check them out on SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/socialdem.

Jul 2018

Out d’Coup | Trump Hearts Putin; Collusion Arrest; Dem Voters Want Progressives; EU Fines Google; Treasury Protects Dark Money; Wagner Visits Moon; Labor Notes Guide; Mars Discovery; Shore Beer

Trump throws the love to Putin. First real collusion arrest takes place as 29-year-old Russian, Maria Butina, is rounded up for operating as a spy and operative for the Russian Federation. All I know is that things are getting real. 

Shocking poll reveals that 57 percent of Dems want Democrats to be more like Bernie Sanders. Dianne Feinstein loses California Democratic Party endorsement to Kevin de Leon, signalling a shift to the left by the countries largest Democratic party. Maybe “Russia, Russia, Russia” isn’t the best campaign strategy DNC?

European Union fines Google for nearly $5 billion for using its Android monopoly to force companies to install all its apps. Meanwhile, here in the States, the U.S. Treasury moves to protect identities of “dark money” political groups. And, surprise, surprise... the rich are throwing up their hands on climate change and are actively planning to just leave us all behind. Not such a surprise, actually, We’ve been talking about this on the podcast for years.

A PhD student at the University of Houston leaves teaching position after being outed as a white supremacist. No, Sean did not have anything to do with it this time.

Nothing but joy here in Pennsylvania as Scott Wagner lands on the Moon. No, we’re not talking about that space rock orbiting the Earth. While we were away, Scott Wagner visited the Tommy Gun Warehouse that is owned by Justin Moon, brother of the the crazy, anti-lgbtq, pro-gun cult leader Sean Moon.  You remember Moon’s church, right? You know, the one that became famous for blessing AR 15’s two weeks after the Florida school shooting. But it gets better.  Sean Moon gave the invocation at Tommy Gun Warehouse and Scott Wagner in return said that he and Moon agrees on 98 percent of the issues. As might be expected, Scott Wagner then got confronted in a townhall about why he’s hanging out with cult leaders.

The revolving door is alive and well in Harrisburg. Outgoing State Rep. Stephen Bloom becomes the latest swamp monster by taking a job with the Commonwealth Foundation. Sean looks into how the Pennsylvania GOP is creating their own fake news for the Governor’s race through Townhall.com. And, that white nationalist is still working for state of Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Just saying. Tick-Tock.

I am feeling like a paperboy after receiving my package from Labor Notes. 50 copies of Rebuilding Power in Open Shop America. Distribution and organizing coming soon!

In today’s Last Call, Elon Musk proves himself a spoiled asshat of a man-child when Thai Navy Seals reject his submarine. Calls British diver a “pedo.” That happened just as Musk was unmasked as a leading donor to a Republican PAC aimed at keeping control of Congress.

NASA’s Curiosity rover finds ancient building blocks of life on Mars. Turns out that NASA may have accidentally destroyed evidence of these same building blocks during a 1976 mission.

Sean sells his first print! And, Kevin gets final proofs for his article “We Are Not All in this Together: A Case for Advocacy, Factionalism, and Making the Political Personal.” Unruly Rhetorics: Protest, Persuasion, and Publics,” edited Jonathan Alexander, Susan Jarratt, and Nancy Welch. I’m in the section on “Civility Wars.”

Kevin got a chance to sample some good NJ beers while family vactioning. Cape May Brewing and Double Nickel Brewing topped the list.

Jul 2018

Sadistic Immigration Policy Resistance; Democrats Circle Wagons; Post-Janus Organizing; Don’t Legitimize Dark Money; Faculty Group Supports Colleen Bradley; RIP Ben Tessler; Beach Beer; and, more!

Mass protests against Trump’s immigration policies swept the nation last Saturday. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is creating a new “denaturalization” task forceOccupy ICE camps expand across the U.S. calling for the end of the agency in the wake of Trump’s child separation policies. 19 ICE high-level ICE agents beg to get separated from the ICE Gestapo.

Democratic Party says “nothing to see here” about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s huge upset victory in the NY-14 last Tuesday, says Nancy Pelosi. But, DNC Chair, Tom Perez tells Bill Press that Ocasio-Cortez represents the future of the party. Shake up in the NY Democratic Machine with Julia Salazar’s run for State Senate. Bronx Dem machine has big meeting and doesn’t invite Ocasio-Cortez and State Senator Gustavo Rivera to the meeting. Tammy Duckworth says it’s just a Bronx thing. Will alienate Midwestern voters she said. Just a reminder: Bernie Sanders won the Democratic Party primaries in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas. Democratic Party leadership sounding similar to the line taken by donors and Wall Street lobbyists. Great episode of This American Life, “It’s My Party and I’ll Try if I Want to,” a couple weeks ago following the campaign of Jeff Beal in the NY 19th provided an interesting look into the DCCC.

An actual headline from Politico this week read: “Illinois Governor Breaks with Cruz over Nazi Candidate”  

In the wake of the Janus v. AFSCME ruling, Labor Notes releases a new organizing guide: “Rebuilding Power in Open Shop America.” Seems like required movement for the labor movement right about now.And, a little late to the game, Princeton economists find that unions had a historical role in helping address income inequality. “The rise in income inequality between skilled and unskilled workers since the 1970s might be due, at least in part, to a decline in union membership, Princeton University researchers have found,” they write. New York Gov. Cuomo signs an executive order banning the release of state workers personal”contact information in the wake of the Janus decision.

Goodbye Anthony Kennedy.  Monday, Trump - that is, the Federalist Society - is expected to announce his pick for the Supreme Court. Three judges lead the pack: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Raymond Kethledge.  Michigan judge rules that children do not, in fact, have a fundamental right to learn how to read and write.

A new tool from ProPublica allows you to see if your school, college, or university has been investigated for civil rights violations. And this just in...ProPublica outed a white nationalist who is a Ph.D. student at UCLA and who has U.S. government security clearance to work on sensitive research for the defense contractor, Northrop Grumman.

Daylin Leach goes onto Matt Brouillette's podcast and Democrats continue to give Brouillette clout within the party. Kevin Mahoney in Wilkes-Barre, Sean in Harrisburg, and Seth in Brooklyn for #FamiliesBelongTogether marches. Judy Schwank compares Berks Immigration Family Detention Center to her grandchild’s daycare facility, except for the fact that kids in daycare centers get to go home every night.

Senator McGarrigle, one of the prime sponsors of Libre’s Law - a bill that protects animals, rides an elephant in the Springfield 4th of July parade.  Animal rights activists are pissed. Lou Barletta had Nigel Farage, you know, the Brexit architect, as a special guest at a fundraiser this past week.

A group of faculty from PASSHE universities are raising money to file an amicus brief in support of Colleen Bradley’s case. Their GoFundMe site, “Help Us Ask the Supreme Court to Stand Up for the First Amendment” already has $550 towards their $1200 goal.

On a serious note, on today’s last call I want to send love to an old college friend and roommate of mine, Ben Tessler. Ben died unexpectedly this week. My thoughts are with his family and kids and with all my friends who were equally shocked when we heard the news. Ben, Rest in Peace.

Next week, I’ll be down the shore. I am hoping to stop by three breweries to stock the fridge: 7 Mile Brewery in Rio Grande, just outside of Wildwood, Cape May Brewing, and Cold Spring Brewery also in Cape May. Nice sour addition at Free Will - Kriek Nouveau - is out and round two is heading into the tank.