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Out d’Coup Podcast

Oct 2020

Out d’Coup | Unions and Activists Prep to Defend Democracy; Voter Suppression; OxyContin Makers Pay; PA Blue Wave; AOC on Twitch; Space News; Free Will releases; Star Trek Discovery

“We cannot depend on our institutions to guarantee that our votes will determine the next president” is what a leaked National AFL-CIO PowerPoint stated this week.  The AFL-CIO had a meeting planned with State Federations and union leaders from around concerning a Trump Coup - yes, and we mean Coup - and how unions will mobilize in the days after the election.  However, that meeting was canceled after the slideshow was leaked to the press.  

Randi Weingarten - President of the American Federation of Teachers - told Bloomberg: “There’s many of us that have talked about how we need to count every vote, how we are very concerned that the president - that you take his words seriously when he says he's not sure he’d agree to a peaceful transfer of power. And the labor movement is of the community that needs to prepare.”

Activists around Pennsylvania are planning for massive protests if there is widespread efforts to disrupt the election or if Trump seeks to remain in power with the help of his appointments to the Supreme Court. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that activists, clergy, unions, and liberal advocates are signing on to “Nobody Comes for Philly,” a pledge to vote then “not rest until our state counts every vote.” 

At least 545 children who were separated at the border under Trump’s brutal immigration policies are still without their parents. Worse, immigration advocates say their parents cannot be located. 

According to a report in Politico, Bernie Sanders may be making a play to be Secretary of Labor in a Biden administration. 

There was a debate last night. We’ll check in on that. 

The after-effects of colleges and universities returning to campus amid the pandemic are now manifesting in vulnerable populations in college towns. The Washington Post reports that a month after students returned to college in La Cross, Wisconsin, home of three different colleges, the city is seeing a devastating spike in coronavirus cases, leading to the deaths of at least 19 residents in long-term care facilities. Until this week, no long-term care residents had died due to the virus. Brace yourself, everyone. 

OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma tells the Department of Justice, “Ooops, our bad,” and pleads guilty to three felony counts for defrauding the federal government and lying about the company’s efforts to flood communities with OxyContin in order to reap billions in profits. The company will pay $225 million as part of a $2 billion criminal forfeiture. Purdue still faces a $3.5 billion criminal fine and has agreed to pay $2.8 billion as part of a civil settlement. The owner of Purdue, the Sackler family, will also have to pay $225 million in civil fines. 

AOC goes on Twitch to play Among Us and get out the vote. It becomes one of the biggest Twitch streams ever. And, it turns out, she’s pretty good at Among Us, too. The cred just keeps stacking up!

Is it time to start talking about a blue-wave in Pennsylvania? Cook Political Report moved the Pennsylvania House from “lean Republican” to “toss-up” while groups like Emily’s List dumped a million dollars into Pennsylvania for down-ballot races. 

On the mail-in-ballot front, close to one-million Democrats have returned their ballots giving them a 680,000 voter edge over Republicans.  Of those voting by mail, over 300,000 Pennsylvanians who sat out in 2016 applied for a mail-in-ballot and 70% of those who sat out in 2016 but are voting by mail in 2020 are Democrats.

Trump’s campaign has been videotaping Philadelphia voters at ballot drop boxes, leading to warnings of voter intimidation by Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Josh Shapiro. The Trump campaign has claimed that they are photographing and videotaping voters who might be dropping off multiple ballots. 

Fake Proud Boys emails sent to voters saying “vote for Trump, or else!

Amazon Web Services, AWS, launches a space division called Aerospace and Satellite Solutions. According to the company, the purpose of the new division is to help “government and commercial space entities become more agile and flexible by making use of the cloud.” 

After two non-functioning satellites nearly collided in orbit, there are renewed calls to begin dealing with the millions of pieces of space junk orbiting the Earth. Dr. Moriba Jah, director of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas Austin, has called for space environmentalism, telling Axios, "Orbital debris is not climate change, but the ecosystem requires environmental protection...Whatever narratives we have for maritime, land and air, these environmental protection narratives need to have, 'and space.'"

Free Will Brewing’s Sharing Size release last Saturday was amazing. 

Free Will hosts Sour Sunday, this coming Sunday, October 25 from 11-6. 

Star Trek Discovery rocks.

Oct 2020

Out d’Coup | SCOTUS Hearings; Post-Election Action Plans; PA Mail Voting; Voting Rights Wins; PASSHE Cutting 350 Faculty; Wagner Billboard; Star Trek; Artemis Accords; Mars Convention; Free Will Beer

Trump and Biden hold dueling town halls. Looks like our corporate media is playing the money game just like 2016.

SCOTUS hearings for Amy Comey Barrett were pretty much a disaster - for the Democrats. One thing did become clear, however: Diane Feinstein needs to go. It’s time for a clean sweep of the Democratic Party leadership. 

COVID is on the rise again as the White House signals they are embracing the wack-job herd immunity approach to killing more Americans. 

Polls continue to indicate Biden has a huge lead. 

Voter suppression continues.

Get ready for the day after the election. Jonathan Smucker, one of the co-founders of Lancaster Stands-Up, as on the Benjamin Dixon show this week - It would be worth your time to check it out. 

As of this morning, over 680,000 Pennsylvanians have returned their mail-in ballots.  Of those 680,000 ballots, 510,000 came from Democrats while Republicans have only returned 116,000 ballots.

Pennsylvania House Republicans dropped HR 1032 from their agenda after weeks of fight back.  HR 1032 would have allowed Harrisburg Republicans to establish their “election integrity commission” to steal the 2020 election.

In more election-rigging news, multiple Trump lawsuits regarding poll watchers, drop boxes, and satellite voting offices. One lawsuit aimed to stop the Delco County Commissioners from using the Philadelphia Union’s soccer stadium as a location where residents can register to vote, sign up for their mail-in ballots and return their ballots on site. 

Allegheny Dems want Summer Lee and other progressive candidates to pay up, even after they went all-in for their opponents. Sounds to me like the money should be flowing the other direction. 

Bernie Sanders released his endorsements for more than 170 down-ballot races. In PA, Sanders endorsed 11 candidates for the State legislature. We’ll have that list for you. 

The Second Lady of Pennsylvania, Gisele Fetterman, is verbally attacked with racist epithets...and she gets it on tape. And just to prove racists are bi-partisan, a day later, Republican Rep. Aaron Kaufer of Luzerne County found a swastika adorned note on his office door. Kaufer is Jewish. 

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education looks to get rid of upwards of 350 faculty members, mostly from universities in Western PA. APSCUF President Jamie Martin spoke at the Board of Governors meeting this week, exposing the sham narrative being hocked PASSHE Chancellor Greenstein. She tells a different narrative of administrative bloat, mismanagement, and dishonest budgeting practices. You know, the stuff we’ve been sounding the alarm bell for nearly a decade here at Raging Chicken. 

Big anniversary this week: It’s the two year anniversary of Scott Wagner freaking out at a billboard. That was probably the dying breath of his gubernatorial campaign.

It’s here. Last night Star Trek: Discovery returned with Season 3 on CBS All Access. I am totally psyched, but I have to admit I didn’t watch it yet and I’ve had to keep my eyes off my social media. I’ll fill you in next week. 

On Wednesday, American astronaut Kate Rubin, and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov made a record-breaking trip to the ISS aboard a Soyuz rocket. The crew made it to the space station in just 3 hours, a trip that has taken about 6 hours since 2013. It used to take upwards of two days. The shortened trip is thanks to a new “fast-track” method that only required two orbits before docking with the ISS. 

The 2020 Mars Society Convention is going on now through Sunday. They’ve taken the convention virtual this year and are inviting the public to join in. You can watch the convention live online. Registration is free, but they recommend a $50 donation. Sessions will feature all the notable Marsheads on topics such as “Next Gen power for Marian life,” “Human Rights as a foundation for a Mars bill of rights,” and “The Martian Urban Cell as the unit for Martian settlements.”

Is Mars too out there for ya? Well, closer to home this week the United States and seven other countries signed NASA’s “Artemis Accords,” which set rules for exploring and settling on the Moon.  And, the one big thing that NASA, under the leadership of Jim Bridenstine, wanted to make clear is that countries can own and use resources they extract from the Moon. Let the mining begin. 

It’s a big weekend at Free Will Brewing. Free Will revealed this year’s special versions of Sharing SIze, their amazing imperial milk stout, a collaboration with Breweries in PA. Free Will also released The Future Is, a Traditional German-style Pilsner. Order for Pekasie pick up or delivery to any PA address at https://freewillbrewing.store/.

Oct 2020

Out d’Coup | Plot to Kidnap MI Gov; Debate Fly; Trump’s COVID Outbreak; EPA Strips Tribal Land Rights; Toomey Out; Q-Friendly Doug Mastriano for PA Gov; CRISPR; Levante and Free Will Brewing Releases

In news from our slow slide into autocracy, six militia members were arrested and charged with planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. They planned to try her for treason in a kangaroo court. The penalty for treason, of course, is death. The plot included attempts to recruit 200 armed men to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and taking hostages, including Gov. Whitmer. An additional seven men affiliated with the extremist group, “Wolverine Watchmen” were also arrested for threatening to “start a civil war leading to societal collapse.” Can’t make this shit up. 

The militia plot is just one more stark example of how Trump and the Republican party have fanned the flames of white supremacy and wannabe fascists. Last week Trump called on the Proud Boy fascists to “stand back and stand by.” When right-wing protesters, many of them heavily armed, descended on the Michigan Capitol back in April and May, Trump tweeted the encouraging words: “LIBERATE MICHIGAN.” 

Get used to it, I guess. Turns out up until 2017 the Republican National party was restricted from using “poll monitors” because of a campaign of voter intimidation in New Jersey. 

Yes, the fly was the star of the Vice Presidential debate on Wednesday. 

Oh, yeah, Trump is flying high on steroids and looking to give all his Big Pharma pals a taste of the action as he hocks Regeneron’s antibody treatment REGN-COV2.

Meanwhile the White House super-spreader event in the Rose Garden marches on. 

EPA grants Oklahoma control over Tribal Lands so they can be further exploited. This strips from 38 tribes in Oklahoma their sovereignty over environmental issues. It also establishes a legal and administrative pathway to potential environmental abuses on tribal land, including dumping hazardous chemicals like carcinogenic PCBs and petroleum spills, with no legal recourse by the tribes, according to a former high-level official of the EPA.

Senator Pat Toomey announced on Monday that he will not be running for reelection in 2022 nor will he be running for Governor, which leaves the door wide open for Q-Anon conspiracy theorists like Doug Mastriano to take the nomination.  This opened a ton of speculation as to which progressives are looking to run. Names already include Helen Gym and Summer Lee. 

Unions are “all in” for Republican Brian Fitzpatrick in Bucks County, once again relying on a strategy to court more moderate Republicans instead of build power on the left. 

PA Stands Up and other progressive groups get the shout out in Vanity Fair for organizing independently of the Biden campaign that seems more interested in increasing the percentage of white conservative Democratic men who voted for Trump in 2016, than expanding the electorate and getting out the vote in strong Democratic areas. Helen Gym the progressive, populist city council member in Philly, told the magazine, “It doesn’t matter what the Biden campaign is doing—groups are mobilizing on the left, and statewide they’re united as PA Stands Up...Many of these groups are absolutely ignored by both parties, but we’re moving at the local level, and we’re making hundreds of thousands of phone calls across the state. We have proven to be very effective at winning at the margins.”

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. CRISPR makes it possible to snip out very precise segments of genetic code which has revolutionized molecular life sciences and contributed to promising therapies for cancer and inherited diseases. This is the first time two women jointly won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the 6th and 7th women to win the prize. 

It’s almost here! Season 3 of Star Trek Discovery returns to CBS All Access next Thursday, October 15th. The opening scene was released this week. It looks like it’s going to be a hell of a season. 

Kevin just got another shipment from Levante Brewing and Free Will Brewing is getting ready to release this year's Sharing Size. So awesome. 

Oct 2020

Out d’Coup | Trump Has COVID; WI Coronavirus Spike; Amy Coney Barrett; Katie Porter Rocks; Systemic Voter Suppression; PA Spotlight Email Release; MIT Fusion; Mars Lakes; Free Will Brewing

Trump’s got COVID. Trump announced that both he and Melania also tested positive for the coronavirus...like in the 1 am hour. The announcement comes on the heels of Trump’s close advisors, Hope Hicks, testing positive. And, yes, and they’ve all been traveling maskless around the country.

That’s good news for Wisconsin. Trump had planned rallies in Wisconsin this weekend. Wisconsin has seen cases spike over the past couple of weeks. The state is third in the nation when it comes to increased rates of coronavirus. Those rallies are canceled. 

Sources told Maggie Haberman of the New York Times that Trump was lethargic at a fundraiser at his Bedminster, NJ golf club on Thursday. About 100 people attended that fundraiser. Can you say hot spot?

What that hell was that on Tuesday night? 

As expected, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. At stake: Roe v. Wade; the Affordable Care Act; collective bargaining rights; climate action; and so much more. 

Katie Porter tore up a Big Pharma exec with her White Board of Truth. 

The British Channel 4 News got a hold of a massive election database that they say Trump’s 2016 campaign used to suppress turnout of 3.5 million black voters in swing states through targeted Facebook ads.  

Texas Governor limits ballot drop-off locations to one per county. Good thing Texas is such a small state. 

MIT researchers are telling the world that they are pretty convinced that they have a fusion reactor that should actually work. An MIT spinoff company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, will begin construction on its “SPARC” compact fusion reactor in the spring and is expected to take several years. If the reactor actually works, it could be a gamechanger when it comes to a transition off fossil fuels. We shall see. 

PA Spotlight published a huge cache of emails from Lebanon County lawmakers and county officials highlighting their conspiracy to go against Governor Tom Wolf’s COVID response in May and June.  Legislators mentioned in these emails that they gathered support by Wellspan - a regional medical system - and Cornwall Manor, a local senior living facility.  

PA Republicans push to set up a committee to investigate the November elections - elections that haven’t taken place yet if you're keeping track. The proposed “select committee on election integrity” would have wide-ranging powers that would include the power to subpoena election officials and Postal workers while voting is in process. 

PA House session canceled as yet another coronavirus-denying Republican lawmaker, Rep. Paul Schemel from Franklin County, tests positive for coronavirus. 

Pennsylvania is now in the national spotlight. Shall we review?

In Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump tells the nation that “bad things happen in Philly.” Trump claimed that poll watchers were being blocked from observing the first day of in-person early voting in the city. The only problem? No polling places were open. 

Trump sent representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate mail-in military and overseas ballot issues in Wilkes-Barre. The Republican-controlled board of elections hired an outside contractor to deal with mail-in ballots and requests for mail-in ballots. The confusion caused by Trump’s lawsuit against mail-in ballots led to a mishandling of ballots that Trump used to claim fraud. 

Italian scientists say they have found three large saltwater lakes under the surface of Mars near the Red Planet’s south pole. The discovery came from an analysis of radar data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft. The analysis also confirmed the presence of a large fourth lake first noticed in 2018.

Free Will releases: 

  • Tallest - Hazy Double IPA brewed with locally grown raw wheat from Two Particular Acres. Hopped extensively with Amarillo, Sultana, and Triumph. Notes of juicy honeydew, pineapple, and candied orange overtop a pillowy soft body. 8.5% ABV⁣
  • Freshie is back.  - Fresh Hopped IPA brewed with whole-cone Tahoma and Triple Pearl from GEMS Farm and local Deer Creek Malthouse malt. 6.6% ABV⁣
  • Order online for pick up or have your order shipped to any PA address. Free shipping on orders over $85. https://freewillbrewing.store
Sep 2020

Out d’Coup | RBG; Torches and Pitchforks; David Plouffe Says Make them Pay; Anarchist Jurisdictions; 200,000 Deaths; Jordan Harris Takes Students First Money; Unicorns are Dead

RIP in peace and justice RBG.

A time for torches and pitchforks. Even David Plouffe is calling for court-packing, getting rid of the filibuster, and statehood for DC and Puerto Rico. He told Chris Hayes last night that if the Democratic Party candidates can’t capitalize on the current political climate it’s political malpractice. He says is time to make the Republican Party pay the maximum price and have a plan to “grab the power and fully utilize it.” 

COVID-19 deaths top 200,000. Trump says no one gets it.

Bill Barr declares New York City, Seattle, and Portland anarchist jurisdictions. 

Mitch Romney rips off his unicorn mask.

Sean is concerned about all the empty sports stadiums around as he goes headfirst into the Twitter wars. 

PA Rep Jordan Harris still taking checks from Students First - the right-wing, public school death PAC. 

PA Senator Pat Toomey commits to backing Trump’s nominee

Sep 2020

Out d’Coup | Louisville Pays Breonna Taylor’s Family; Wrecking the CDC; Climate Crisis; Fed Judge Says Wolf’s Orders Unconstitutional; PA Voting Wins; PASSHE Fails; Space Grift; Free Will and Levante

Louisville agrees to pay Breonna’s Taylor’s family $12 million in a historic settlement. The city also announced significant police reforms. According to CNN, “the city agreed to establish a housing credit program as an incentive for officers to live in the areas they serve; use social workers to provide support on certain police runs; and require commanders to review and approve search warrants before seeking judicial approval, among other changes.”

The New York Times broke the news last night that the Trump administration is posting coronavirus testing guidelines on the CDC’s website against and without the knowledge of CDC scientists. The story broke last night as the CDC is expected to post new testing guidelines today that are direct from the Trump administration, not CDC scientists. These are the same guidelines that schools, colleges and universities, and state agencies are using to determine their local policies. 

A new study published in the medical journal Health Affairs finds that at least 42% of school employees are at high risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19.

Hurricane Sally brought devastation and massive flooding to the Gulf Coast this week as the slow-moving storm dumped over 30 inches of rain across the region. Pensacola, Florida saw 30 inches of rain, which is the equivalent of four months of rain in four hours. Sally was a category 2 hurricane. Hurricane Teddy, a nasty category 4 hurricane - the second category 4 hurricane of the season, has intensified in the Atlantic. Currently, Teddy is not expected to hit already ravaged regions in the Gulf, but it is a testament to just how much energy has been put into the climate by our refusal to address the climate crisis. 

Smoke from the West Coast’s historic wildfires reached the East Coast this week leading to an eerie sun reminding that climate change affects us all

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA has a new a Trump appointee to help run the organization into the ground. David Legates, an academic best known as being the fossil-fuel funded climate denier who was forced out of his position in 2011 as Delaware’s state climatologist due to his climate-crisis denialism. Apparently, Legates will be serving as the new deputy assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction, reporting directly to NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs. 

A federal judge rules that Governor Wolf’s shutdown order is unconstitutional. Wolf will file an appeal, but in the meantime, there are real-world impacts. 

Good news on the mail-in ballot front. Late yesterday, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled that voters will be able to submit their ballots through drop off boxes in a blow to the Trump campaign and PA Republicans. The Court also ruled that ballots that arrived up to three days after Election Day could still be counted as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. 

Sorry, Howie. The PA Supreme Court also stated in the same ruling that Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins will not appear on November’s ballot, because the campaign “failed to comply with the Election Code’s strict mandate” for how nomination paperwork should be handled. That’s important because the dispute held up the mailing of ballots to Pennsylvanians who requested a mail-in ballot. 

In a related ruling, the Court also rejected the request from Democrats to allow third-party groups to deliver people’s ballots with their permission. The Court said, “third-party delivery of absentee ballots is not permitted.” 

In yet another plot twist in the so-called redesign of the PA State System of Higher Education, California University, Edinboro University, and Clarion University say they are affiliating in the latest moves at consolidation enabled by new legislation pushed by PASSHE Chancellor Greenstein. Greenstein and University presidents used a lot of words to praise themselves and their decision to join together, but details were thin for what this will mean for students, faculty, and staff. The faculty union said they were “surprised” by the announcement. 

Last week, Jamain Stephens, a 20-year-old defensive tackle on the California University of Pennsylvania’s football team, died from a blood clot in his heart after contracting COVID-19.

Kutztown University now has over 269 students and employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus as of yesterday. That’s a total of 83 cases this week. Today’s figures will be released around 4:00 pm. This week the Kutztown Area School District reported seven cases of coronavirus - the first cases at the schools. Connection?

Meanwhile, the Reading Eagle reports that Kutztown University lost $3.5 million after its reopening schemes flop and about 1,000 students leave campus and get their housing money back. 

The television production company Space Hero LLC, yesterday announced it was planning a global, unscripted reality show called “Space Hero.” “Space Hero” which would send the “the first globally-elected space explorer” to the International Space Station in 2023. According to the head of Space Hero LLC, Marty Pompadur, “Space Hero is the new frontier for the entertainment sector, offering the first-ever truly off-planet experience. We aim to reinvent the reality TV category by creating a multichannel experience that offers the biggest prize ever, to the biggest audience possible.” This either signals the further commercialization of space or a huge, good old fashioned terrestrial grift.

Free Will has got some great stuff canned this week.

Rise Up Singing is a Hazy Pale Ale with Amarillo and Cascade coming in at a sessionable 5.5% ABV

I am most excited about the return of Wild Blueberry Cobbler Mash. I loved this when they first released it last month. The new batch was released yesterday. Wild Blueberry Cobbler Mash is a Sour Ale with blueberry, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and milk sugar. 7.5% ABV

And since we did a very abbreviated show last week, I didn’t get a chance to plug Free Will’s newest IPA, In the Balance - a Hazy IPA brewed with a base of wheat and flaked oats, hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Lemondrop. Notes of lemon squares, pina colada, and cotton candy grapes. 7% ABV⁣

And, I’ve got to say, I’m becoming a little obsessed with West Chester’s Levante Brewing. A couple of weeks ago, I ordered three great beers, Hop Cartell: El Cinco - a Double IPA; Cloudy & C cumbersome Guava IPA; Intergalactic Deals Vanilla Double IPA; and, the delicious Glitter Parts Lemon Meringue IPA. Really great stuff. This week they have me considering yet another shipment. Why: Listen to these:

The latest Glitter Parts, this time with Peach. Glitter Parts (Peach) is a tropically-hopped smoothie laced with fuzzy peach and rich vanilla additions. A base of honey-sweet malt is sprinkled with sticky hops, Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, and El Dorado, which lend additional fragrances of passion fruit, blended pineapple, and clementine. 7% ABV.

Fruit Fetish - Baker’s Dozen: An apple cider donut infused collaboration with our friends at Highland Orchards. This tart sour ale is amplified with semi-dry apple cider grown and pressed at the orchards and finished with sugar-coated apple cider donuts baked fresh at Highland. 6.2% ABV.

King of the Campfire - S’more Imperial Stout - a thick stout is rich with melting Hershey's chocolate, crunchy graham crackers, and plenty of vanilla marshmallowy goodness. *Contains Lactose*  11.7% ABV.

Sep 2020

Out d’Coup | A Friday Filled with Tech Issues

Sean and I give you a little update on today's podcast. We had some time limitations and Sean's internet was not cooperating. We're going to shoot for a full show on Monday. For now, we've got this little chat for you.

Sep 2020

Out d’Coup | Herd Immunity Experiment; Vaccinate the Vote; Kenosha; Vote Early Vote Often; Biden Goes Law and Order; Wolf Fail; HB 2626; Skip Ebert and Scott Perry; Hot Spot U; Food and Beer

Are we heading toward herd immunity? That’s what Trump’s new COVID-19 “medical advisor” is pushing. Fox News commentator, Radiologist Scott Atlas, has been long pushing herd immunity as a strategy. According to an analysis by The Washington Post, that would mean that about 65% of Americans would need to contract the virus. Assuming a fatality rate of 1%, that would mean over 2 million people in the U.S. will die. 

Good thing Trump’s CDC just told the states to get ready to distribute a coronavirus vaccine by November 1. 

Trump visits Kenosha, Wisconsin in order to stir the pot and fan the flames of racism and hate. 

Trump tells crowds in North Carolina to vote twice. When pressed on it, he doubled down. Then he heading to Latrobe, PA to say the same thing. 

Biden’s lead in new Monmouth University poll tightens to only 4 points, 49-45. The previous version of the poll released in July had Biden with a 13 point lead, 53-40. 

Hey, did you see the new Biden speech? Law and Order? Really?

Close to 1.8 million Pennsylvanians are at risk of eviction since Governor Wolf refused to extend the moratorium and since Republicans haven’t done a thing to protect renters during this time. 

Pennsylvania House and Senate Republicans came back early this week to push Donald Trump’s Voter Suppression agenda through the Assembly.  House Bill 2626 seeks to “reform” the recently passed Act 77 by removing county drop boxes and allow out of county white nationalists to “watch over the polls” and intimidate black and brown voters.

If suppressing the vote isn’t your thing, well, then, maybe racism is.  This week Cumberland County District Attorney Skip Ebert made some pretty racist comments on a thread about Jacob Blake being shot in the back 7 times AND Congressman Scott Perry took the time to explain that “systemic racism” isn’t really a thing.

The fallout from these racist incidents went far and wide.  The Cumberland County Republicans, the York County Republicans, Skip Ebert, and Scott Perry all doubled-down on their racism.  

But there is one shining light.  The former chair of the York Republican Party posted on Facebook that he and his wife made max contributions to Eugene DePasquale over Scott Perry’s racism.  The former county chair explained that he is in a biracial marriage and this was the first time he has ever donated to a Democrat.   Naturally, the current York Republican chair - and disgraced former State Senator - Jeff Piccolla called the old party chair “a traitor.”

Outlier PASSHE universities are seeing spikes in cases and are being forced to curb their bravado. Bloomsburg University shuts down in-person classes after cases of COVID-19 explode. Lock Haven University hit the pause button on in-person classes for at least two weeks after a spike in cases. And, Kutztown University, ah, yes, Kutztown University, has seen cases at least triple this week. 

Temple University also hit the two-week pause button on in-person classes after at least 103 new cases were reported over the weekend. On Tuesday, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told Temple students, "You should assume that anyone around you is infected," Farley said Tuesday, addressing Temple students. "Stay in your room or stay in your apartment unless you have to go out for essential errands. Wear a mask when you're around anyone else. Otherwise, this outbreak could grow quickly, and it could threaten the rest of the campus and the rest of the city." Just as student activists with the Student Coalition for Change have been warning, city officials are now concerns that Temple will be ground zero for a community outbreak. 

ESU Food Service workers win their union election. (student solidarity committee, Kyle)

Sean cooks butt and gets a new kitchen cart. Kevin has near Internet breakdown. Beer recs for Free Will Brewing and Levante.

Aug 2020

Out d’Coup | Jacob Blake; Kenosha Police; White Supremacist killer; Commonwealth Leadership Fund; Bloomsburg U; COVID-19 at KU; Free Will

Need more evidence to defund the police? Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, is shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer. Amazingly, survived the initial shooting. Then get this...Blake gets taken to the hospital where he is handcuffed to his hospital bed, even though he is paralyzed because one of the shots severed his spinal cord. You heard his sister, Letetra Wideman, in today’s intro.

And do you need more evidence that white supremacists are the biggest domestic terrorist group in the U.S. aided and abetted by the police? Late Tuesday night a 17-year-old MAGA-loving, a white nationalist from Illinois drove to Wisconsin with a long gun and ended up killing two people, injuring several more. New court documents show that the little fascist killed the first protester because the protester threw a plastic bag at him.

Earlier that day, Kenosha police thanked the white nationalist militia members for their service and handed out water bottles to them.

Nancy Pelosi says the Democrats will release Trump’s tax return...only if and when Biden wins the election. What?

Republicans did their best to gaslight the nation this week. Yup, it was their convention. 

Chris Brennan from the Inquirer published an expose this week on the Commonwealth Leaders Fund and their connections to the Commonwealth Foundation and the charter school movement.  It’s a preview of what’s to come in 2020.  

The grand experience continues. After a week and a half of classes, Bloomsburg University reverses course and goes all online. Why? Well, because cases of COVID-19 on campus started to double every two days. At the beginning of the week, the university had almost 50 cases. By Wednesday, that number jumped to at least 90. 

Kutztown University announces its first case. Wonder what will happen now?

Speaking of Kutztown, Lehigh Valley Live reports that a professor told students to go out and get infected with the virus.“I think the sooner you guys get it, the better. Because none of you are gonna die from this and we need to have, you know, everybody be immune. And so the sooner that people are immune the better. And so you all should be going to Shorty’s every night, you know, interacting, getting this thing, get it over with.”

Free Will Brewing recs for the week.

Aug 2020

Out d’Coup | Democratic Party Convention; QAnon Candidates; Jim Cox Sucks; University Reopening Disasters; Licking Boots of Management Won’t Get the Goods; KU Plague Doc Protest; Free Will Recs

It’s official. The ticket is Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The task now is to get rid of the acute condition of Trump, so we get rid of the chronic conditions of market fundamentalism, white supremacy, and sexism. 

The Democratic Party Convention has come and gone. Looks like the Lincoln Project’s efforts to convince establishment Democrats to lean to the right have had an impact. I’m not sure the Republican Convention will have as many Republicans as the Democrats did. 

The DNC quietly dropped the demand to end fossil fuel subsidies from its platform. And they did that as California is being overrun by climate change-induced wildfires for the second year in a row, as a new report shows record glacial melting in Greenland, and as Iowa farmers are just digging out after being ravaged by a devastating Derecho storm

QAnon candidates like Marjorie Taylor Green in Georgia are winning. Let the insanity begin. 

Steve Bannon is arrested for allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through his “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign. Bannon, along with three others raised more than $25 million, about a million dollars went right into Bannon’s pockets. Perhaps the best part of this story is that he was arrested with the help of the US Postal Service Inspection Service. Stamp that shit. 

Not only is Trump trying to throw a wrench in the work of the US Postal Service, but a review by David Sirota’s newsletter, TMI, shows that Trump’s political appointments to the USPS have been steering contracts to big dollar Trump donors, like Wayne Hoovestol who owns the anti-union Eagle Express Lines.

That was Jim Cox, head of the House Labor and Industry Committee, that you heard at the top of the podcast.  He, like the House Republicans, don’t think it’s government’s responsibility to take care of their citizens during a pandemic

As some public schools, colleges, and universities spit in the face of science and open up for face-to-face classes, we are already seeing spikes in coronavirus cases. 

  • North Carolina State does an about-face and sends students back home after a cluster of cases. 
  • That follows UNC-Chapel Hill’s abrupt shift to all online classes after an almost immediate outbreak as students arrived on campus. Over 130 students tested positive during the first week on campus and students are still struggling to leave. 
  • Notre Dame has more than 300 cases with several members of the football team testing positive. Now the university shifted to all online classes until at least September 2. 
  • Michigan State put the kibosh on its hybrid learning plans after seeing the outbreaks at universities across the country. 
  • The University of Connecticut evicted multiple students from dorms after they held a large dorm party with no masks or social distancing. So far, UConn has placed 25 students in quarantine after they came in contact with several students who tested positive for COVID-19. 

We could go on and on. The New York Times is trying to keep track of the total number of cases at higher ed institutions as it looks like they are becoming COVID-19 hotspots. 

Kutztown University faculty members and students don plague doctor masks to protest the administration’s reopening plans. The silent protest took place in front of KU President Kenneth Hawkinson’s taxpayer-funded house as students began to move into their dorms. As next week’s start of classes draws near, the university administration has to dramatically rework its “plan” as reality has shown their original plans as a bunch of happy talk and smoke and mirrors. But no worries. KU’s Provost sent out a one-sentence update yesterday saying simply, “Kindness can change someone’s day.” See, everything is fine.

Syracuse and UConn blame students. KU’s University Senate President plays class politics and gives the administration a pass.

What’s happening at Free Will Brewing.

Raging Chicken studio gets an upgrade.

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