Out d’Coup | Michigan Floods; Climate and COVID-19; Fruit Worker Strikes; QAnon 4 OR Senate; Public Higher Ed; ReOpenPA; Daryl Metcalfe; Wolf Vetoes; NASA Shake-Up; Net Trail; Free Will and Friends
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency this week as two dams collapsed following days of exceptionally heavy rain. Thousands of residents had to be evacuated and the floodwaters were comingling with containment ponds at a Dow Chemical plant near the town of Midland. Parts of Midland and other areas were under 5 feet of water. The company that owned the dams - Boyce Hydro - was chronically noncompliant with the State’s demands to maintain and update the dam.
On the other side of planet, Super Cyclone Amphan devastated parts of India and Bangladesh. The storm was the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal with sustained winds of 165 mph. The Indian city of Kolkata was devastated, killing at least 84 people as of last night.
At least six fruit packing worksites are on strike in Yakima County, WA. The county has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases on the West Coast and workers are striking over safer working conditions and an additional $2/hour in hazard pay. As we’ve seen in the meatpacking industries, immigrant workers work at high-speed, shoulder-to-shoulder in less than adequate working conditions. The companies have not addressed testing issues or safety conditions.
Oregon Republicans nominate Jo Rae Perkins as their candidate for U.S. Senate. Perkins is a QAnon conspiracy theorist. In her primary victory speech Tuesday night, Perkins said: ““We’re in this together. It’s all for one, so let’s make it happen. As all of us Q people like to say: ‘Where we go one, we go all.” Perkins beat her closest opponent by more than 50,000 votes. She’ll face Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley in November.
In a video posted to Twitter earlier Tuesday, Perkins looks into the camera and says: “I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team. Thank you Anons and thank you patriots, and together we can save our Republic.” That tweet is now removed.
Georgia Republicans cancel election for the state Supreme Court. Now, Republican Governor Brian Kemp gets to take his pick of right-wing justices to fill the seat.
The VP guessing game has begun! We’re glad cable news will have something to obsess over and give them a little break from having to cover the impact of COVID-19 and our decimated public infrastructure.
With COVID-19 as cover, Kean University will eliminate majors in music, sustainability sciences, theater, and economics. Ohio University announces it will cut 53 faculty, 94 administrators, and about 140 AFSCME workers.
And Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine. Who knows if that’s even true.
Sean took some pictures last week. ReOpenPA was reenacting Sweeney Tood outside the Capitol.
Daryl Metcalfe was pretty busy this week. First he continued his storied tradition of introducing impeachment resolutions against any Democratic official he hates. This time it’s Governor Wolf. And he is promising to hold his yearly gun rally on the capitol steps on June 8th with or without Wolf’s permission. This year’s theme is to Stand Your Ground Against Socialism.
Governor Wolf vetos a bill that would have stopped any new regulations in PA until after his COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration expires. The bill was proposed by Republican State Senator David Argall seemed designed to stop any environmental regulations impacting the oil and gas companies and other corporations.
Some good news coming out of Harrisburg! Republicans living in competitive districts are warming up to the idea of legalizing marijuana in the Commonwealth due to the impending budget shortfall.
Kutztown Univerisity is plowing ahead with plans to return in the fall. As details of the plan begin to leak, it’s that much more important to pay attention. Wait until you hear one of the administration’s student housing plans. We’ll get to that in a little detail. A faculty union task force is developing an alternative plan that would take students, faculty, and staff’s health and safety into account. Imagine that.
In the best space news of the week, someone at the National Museum, of the U.S. Airforce at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, taped a picture of Steve Carell over the official picture of Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond. The trickster also replaced Raymond’s bio with that of Gen. Mark R. Naird, Carell’s character in Netflix’s new series “Space Force,” which premieres May 29th.
A little over a week before Space X is scheduled to launch two NASA astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since the Obama administration scuttled the Space Shuttle program in 2011, the head of human space flight at NASA, Douglas Loverro, abruptly resigned. According to reporting in the Washington Post, apparently the resignation came after Loverro broke a rule in the process of awarding contracts to Blue Origin, Space X, and Dynetics to get humans back to the moon.