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Out d’Coup Podcast

Nov 2020

Out d’Coup LIVE | Lev Hirschhorn, Deputy Organizing Director for PA Stands Up | November 16, 2020

On today's Out d'Coup LIVE, we talk to Lev Hirschhorn, the Deputy Organizing Director at PA Stands Up about the road forward following the election. PA Stands Up backed progressive candidates from across the Commonwealth and has built a powerful model for grassroots political organizing.

Find out more about PA Stands Up and become a member: https://pastandsup.org/

A special shout out to Jonathan Mann who wrote our intro song, “There Are No People in the Future.” Check out all is great stuff on his YouTube page and follow him on Twitter @songadaymann

Nov 2020

Out d’Coup | Bye-Bye Donny; Biden and Harris Get to Work; COVID Explosion; Climate Crisis; Four Seasons Total Landscaping; PA Republican Show Hearings; New Nazis; Next for NASA; Free Will Releases

It’s rather old news by now...but Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now officially president and vice-president-elect! Woot! And the celebrations exploded. 

It was another record-setting week of COVID-19 cases across the nation. The U.S. has more than 10.5 million cases and 240,00 deaths as of last night. The CDC is projecting there will be upwards of 282,000 COVID deaths by December 5. 

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced that in initial trials, they have a COVID vaccine that is 90% effective. We’re still months away from the vaccine being widely available, but the Pharma giant is asking for emergency approval from the FDA to speed up production. 

Trump’s lawyers got bupkis. 

Georgia’s presidential elections results are going to a hand recount as Democrats and Republicans gear up for high stakes Senate run-off elections in January. 

Conservative and corporate Democrats lose their shit on progressives on an election post-mortem conference call. Maybe it’s because they are feeling the impending sunset on their neoliberal paradigm? AOC, having none of it, gives an interview to the New York Times, diagnosing the Dems organizational malpractice. Despite centrists’ attempts to blame black activists and socialism, even Doug Jones and Beto O’Rourke are making the same case. 

New scientific research published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests that we may already be beyond the much-feared “point of no return” when it comes to climate change. According to the study, even if we were to stop emitting all greenhouse gasses by the end of 2020, we are still on-track for warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2500. The only hope, according to the report, is a massive investment in carbon capture technology, in addition to getting off fossil fuels. 

2020 officially set the record for the most hurricanes in the Atlantic - because of course, it did. New research shows that because of hotter sea surface temperatures, hurricanes and tropical storms take much longer to weaken over land, causing much more damage than storms 50 years ago. 

Russian Researchers find large areas of methane gas being released from melting subsea permafrost from the sea bed on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Yeah, I know, buzzkill. Just needed to be really clear that a Green New Deal is not just a progressive slogan; it’s imperative for a livable future. 

That so-called “whistleblower” from the Postal Service from Erie, PA that Republican operatives were hanging their hats on in their “voter fraud” cases, tells Federal Agents that Project Veritas actually wrote his affidavit. You remember them, right? You know, the little pranksters that took down ACORN through deceptive video footage? 

Lawn and Order. Make America Rake Again. In Sod We Trust. Yes, these are just a few of the hot t-shirts you can get from Four Seasons Total Landscaping, the spot that Rudy Juliani and Co. booked to host a press conference in Philly. It was rumored that he stopped off at the adult toy store next door before moseying on over to the crematorium to check out their offerings. That song drop in our intro today is from UK-based comedian, Michael Spicer. You can follow him on Twitter at @MrMichaelSpicer

Pennsylvania Republicans are gearing up for show hearings next week in the House and Senate.  They will poke and prod the election results to create their own baseless narrative about the 2020 election and use that to curtail voting rights in Pennsylvania for years to come.

COVID cases are exploding in Pennsylvania just like the rest of the country. On Wednesday, PSEA called for a shift to remote learning for 38 counties that meet guidelines set by the state departments of Health and Education.

The Proud Boys are having a little post-election schism. Yup, white nationalist Kyle Chapman says he’s sick of pretending not to be a Nazi. Apparently, the Proud Boys are too soft for his liking. 

Some very sad news from Kutztown University. A student was found dead in Dixon Hall, a campus dorm. 

Four astronauts are scheduled to launch tomorrow from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX crew capsule as part of the NASA and SpaceX Crew-1 Mission to the International Space Station. 

NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine says he plans on leaving the agency when Biden takes office. Biden has already announced his NASA transition team, led by Ellen Stofan, the current head of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum and former NASA chief scientist from 2013-2016. Looks like NASA will re-prioritize climate research and push back the Artemis Moon mission until 2028, a timeline more consistent with the House Science Committee’s proposed bill. 

Sean took some awesome photos this week and Sean is now having to quarantine. 

Free Will new releases: Another Roadblock - Helles Bock Lager. Brewed in collaboration with Annihilated Homebrew Club out of Lambertville, NJ; Special Cookie - Imperial Spiced Brown Ale with Vanilla, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Cardamom, Ginger, and Milk Sugar; Free Will’s version of Black is Beautiful, a Robust Coffee Porter, is a collaboration with Harris Family Brewery and First Sip Brew Box will be released this Saturday; and, the 2020 Ralphius bottle variants are announced and will be available on Free Will’s online store at 9 am on 11/21 for presale pick up on Black Friday, 11/27.

Nov 2020

Out d’Coup | Post-Election Wrap up - C-YA Trump as Biden Takes Lead in PA

This morning, more vote counts came in from Philly. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took the lead by over 5,000 votes. That lead is expected to grow as the remaining vote totals come in. Biden/Harris also moved into the lead in Georgia. They also maintained leads in Arizona and Nevada. 

We had an uncharacteristically celebratory episode. We also talk a bit about The American Prospect's Day One Agenda. Yeah!

Outro music by Jonathan Mann, "There Are No People in the Future." Follow him at @songadaymann

Nov 2020

Out d’Coup LIVE | Pre-Election Day Roundtable with Sean Kitchen, Shana Rose, and Leo Atkinson

It’s been a harrowing several months...well, OK, several years. But this election season has been run through with racial violence, mass uprisings, unprecedented climate-driven disasters, and a freaking pandemic. And that’s all on top of the Trump administration’s active measures to suppress the vote. Oh, yeah, there’s that steady march toward fascism too. Pretty heavy stuff. 

At the same time, we are seeing unprecedented organing - the likes of which I have never seen in our lifetime. For every challenge it seems there has been a corresponding, progressive/left, grassroots movement to meet it. Think about it. From the day that Trump was inaugurated, there have been people in the streets, building power. In 2018, we had huge progressive/left electoral wins at the national level, most notably with AOC, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. Right here in PA, there were also huge victories by the left with the election of Summer Lee, Elizabeth Fiedler, and Sarah Innamorato. And, it looks like we could double...maybe even triple the numbers of progressives heading to Harrisburg after tomorrow’s elections. Beyond elections, we’ve seen organizations like DSA and the Sunrise Movement lead the way showing the world how movements can build power and change the horizon of our politics. 

I wanted to change up our format a bit, today. I wanted to bring in a panel of great folks to give us their take on what we can expect when the polls close tomorrow. But, more importantly, I wanted to look ahead to the organizing that will need to happen as soon as those polls close. We will no doubt see people in the streets this week. On Out d’Coup, Sean and I have talked about preparations being made to defend democracy if Republicans try to steal this election. But we can look ahead to a longer horizon too. We will need strategies for a Trump win, for sure. But, perhaps even more so, we need strategies for a Biden administration. 

So, today we’ll have a little pre-election roundtable to unpack some of this and to just have a sane conversation in the midst of all the chaos. To help me with this, I welcome:

  • Sean Kitchen, Out d'Coup co-host. Sean is also doing awesome work with PA Spotlight and is a fantastic freelance photographer
  • Shana Rose, creator and host of Sustaining with Shana podcast, sustainability professional, and a member of PASSHE's new Sustainability Development Task Force 
  • Leo Atkinson, Co-Chair of Lehigh Valley DSA, long-time Lehigh Valley resident, and former Fountain Hill council member. co-chair of Lehigh Valley DSA. 

We'll give our final takes on Election Day and the kind of organizing that will be necessary as soon as the polls close. 

Special shout out to Jonathan Mann, who wrote our theme song, "There Are No People in the Future." Check out all his great work and follow him on Twitter at @songadaymann.

Oct 2020

Out d’Coup | Vote ASAP; Voter Suppression; COVID-19 Spikes; Rep. Scott Perry Campaign Steals Sean’s Photo; Philly Police Kill Walter Wallace Jr.; Galactic Capitalism; Moon H2O; Free Will Releases

You are out of time to mail in your ballot. The Trump administration’s efforts to slow down the mail are having an impact, especially in key Democratic areas in swing states. On Tuesday, David Becker, the executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research, told the Washington Post, “If you haven’t requested a mail ballot yet, it’s too late.” Ari Berman, the senior writer at Mother Jones, and author of Give Us the Ballot, went even further, telling Democracy Now, “my message to voters in these states and other states is to drop your ballot off. It’s too late to mail your ballots back in states like Wisconsin that have Election Day deadlines, and 30 states have a deadline of Election Day for when your ballot has to be received. But even if you live in a state like Pennsylvania and North Carolina, don’t leave it to chance that your vote can be thrown out.”

Berman's advice is critical as more than 42 million out of the 92 million mail-in ballots have not been returned as of Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. 11 million are Democratic; 8 million Republican; and, 10 million unaffiliated. 

Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion in this week’s Supreme Court decision regarding the counting of mail-in ballots in Wisconsin seems to be setting the stage for a repeat of the Supreme Court’s intervention in Bush v. Gore. 

This week saw an unprecedented number of legal actions by Republicans in states across the country to suppress voting. From Wisconsin to Iowa to North Carolina and, yes, to right here in PA, the GOP is looking to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.  

Meanwhile, Republicans are narrowing the early voting gap in several key states, including Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, and Nevada according to CNN. 

According to a story on NPR this week, polling places in Iowa and some other states have been closed due to COVID-19, at least that’s the official explanation. In Iowa, about 30% of the state’s registered voters are affected by the closures - about 670,000 voters. The CDC has recommended keeping or increasing the existing number of polling locations because of the pandemic. Seems like election officials are doing the opposite in some states. 

According to Politico, hackers stole about $2.3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party account devoted to re-electing Trump. 

Another round of tapes are released by Bob Woodward, this time featuring Jared Kushner praising Trump’s move to take the coronavirus response away from the doctors and being a cheerleader for opening up. Jared also cites as one of Trump’s greatest achievements as getting rid of the “over-confident idiots” and replacing them with “people who kind of know their place.” 

And let’s not forget the latest warning from the White House coronavirus task force this week. Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC this week, “If things do not change, if they continue on the course we’re on, there’s going to be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths.” 

Rep. Scott Perry rips off Sean Kitchen’s photo to use in an attack ad against Eugene DePasquale in the 10th congressional district. The theft of intellectual property is one hell of a way to close out the campaign. 

Rep. Jordan Harris remains in the hot seat as Philly Power Research releases an infographic showing the tidal wave of cash - $600,000 - that Harris took from Jeffrey Yass, the libertarian billionaire who funds school privatization efforts. And this, year, Yass and his major charter school PAC, Students First, is looking to take out Democrats in close races across the state. The infographic re-presents Stephen Caruso’s reporting in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star about Harris’s cozy relationship with charter schools. 

More uprisings break out in Philadelphia after Philadelphia police murder Walter Wallace Jr during a mental health crisis.  In response to the uprisings, fascist US Attorney General Bill McSwain charged a prominent Black Lives Matter activist - who is now sitting in Allenwood Federal Penitentiary - with federal arson charges. And, yes, Gov. Wolf called out the National Guard

On Thursday a movement of Republican-controlled counties announced that they will not begin to canvas or count votes until Wednesday, November 4th.  With multiple supreme court justices thinking that vote counting should stop on election night, who knows what is going to happen. 

Nikil Saval had an awesome article published in the New Republic this week: “The Future of the Democratic Party is in Pennsylvania” “Why a new liberal-left coalition could be the key to unlocking America’s rural conservative vote. 

The Hubble telescope has given researchers exceptional images of the asteroid 16 Psyche, which will be the destination of an unmanned NASA spacecraft to launch in 2022. The asteroid is of special interest because it seems to largely made of metal, suggesting it could be a former planetary core. While the scientific mission seeks to uncover more knowledge of planetary formation, I am sure our Galactic Capitalists are more interested in the metals - their estimated worth is in the range of $10,000 quadrillion. That’s a 1 followed by 19 zeros. 

New studies show that water is more common on the Moon than was previously thought. Turns out, it’s not just confined to the shadows of craters in the southern polar region. Researchers have now detected water at one of the largest craters in the sunlit region of the Moon. 

Free Will Brewing: DDH Love Letter from the 90s; Garcia’s Forest; and, Perish, brand new Hazy IPA. https://freewillbrewing.store/

Outro music: Jonathan Mann, “There are no people in the future.” @songadaymann.

Oct 2020

Out d’Coup LIVE | Tara Zrinski - Candidate for State Rep in Lehigh Valley’s PA138th District

On today’s show, I am thrilled to welcome Tara Zrinski to the show. Tara is the Democratic party candidate for State Rep in the Lehigh Valley's 138th State House district in Northampton County. If you haven’t been paying attention to this race yet, now is the time. Tara is campaigning on health care for all, protecting our environment, and protecting our democracy from corruption and the influence of big money. But more than that, she has consulted with workers, nurses, environmentalists, and community organizations to craft integrated policies that put the health of working families and our communities first. (Tara will bring the strength of these organizations to Harrisburg). 

Born and raised in Bethlehem, Tara was elected to Northampton County Councilwoman in 2017. She has been an advocate for clean energy and sustainability. She worked as a Solar Energy Consultant for SunPulse Solar, supplementing her adjunct faculty career teaching Philosophy at Northampton Community College, Lehigh County Community College, and Lehigh University. Any Out d’Coup listener will be well acquainted with the challenges faced by adjunct faculty. 

Tara is the Chair of the Energy, Environment, and Land Use Committee in Northampton County and a member of the committee of the same name at the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. In 2018, she formed the Industrial Hemp Ad Hoc Committee for Industrial Hemp to explore the economic development potential of the emerging crop and identify areas necessitating government support for farmers and industrial hemp business entrepreneurs.

In 2015, she self-published her first children's book, "All Ducks Are Birds, But, Not All Birds Are Ducks," a logic book for children which she wrote and illustrated. 

Tara just got a big endorsement from Bernie Sanders as part of a battalion of candidates progressives are organizing behind to help take control of the PA House and Senate. 


A special shout out to Jonathan Mann who wrote our theme song, “There Are No People in the Future.” Check out all is great stuff on his YouTube page and follow him on Twitter @songadaymann

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 LIVE | Rick Krajewski - Candidate for State Rep in Philly’s PA188th District

On today’s show, I welcome Rick Krajewski to the show. Rick is a candidate for State Representative in the 188th State House District in West Philadelphia. Rick has worked for criminal justice reform and access to public education. Since 2016, Rick has been an organizer with Reclaim Philadelphia, fighting to put working-class people at the forefront. In the 2017 general election, Rick led a team of 200 volunteers in our neighborhoods to elect Larry Krasner, the most progressive District Attorney in the country. 

Rick’s is running on a platform of a Dignified Education for All; Decarceration; Affordable Housing for All; Health Care for All; Ending the War on Drugs; Defending Workers Rights and the Right to Organize; and, a Green New Deal for Pennsylvania. Rick won the Democratic primary this past summer by a margin of nearly 20 points, defeating Rep. James Roebuck Jr., one of the longest-serving members of the PA State House and the ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee. 

It is no wonder that Rick earned an early endorsement from Bernie Sanders. Rick faces no Republican challenger in the general election, so he is all but assured to join the growing ranks of progressive state legislators including Summer Lee, Sara Innamorato, and Elizabeth Fiedler - PA’s own version of the Squad elected in 2018.  

A special shout out to Jonathan Mann who wrote our intro song, “There Are No People in the Future.” Check out all is great stuff on his YouTube page and follow him on Twitter @songadaymann

Rick Krajewski links:

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. 

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