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Out d’Coup Podcast

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

December 10, 2021

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.