Out d’Coup | No Pandemic Relief Deal; DNC Platform Fail; Kodak Play; Climate Crisis; PA COVID-19; Russ Diamond’s COVID Caucus; Kutztown COVID U; Space News; Free Will, Levante, and New Trail

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** Apologies in advance for the bad sound at the beginning. Looks like my new soundboard set up is not going to cut it **

Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has held up an agreement on a new COVID-19 relief package saying that he will not pass a bill without a “liability shield” for employers. However, Republicans can’t agree with themselves and have failed to reach an agreement as expanded unemployment benefits expire today and the moratorium on evictions expired last weekend.

The Democratic National Committee passed a platform this week that they are touting as the “boldest Democratic platform in American history.” Scratch the surface of that talking point, though, and you learn that they refused to back Medicare for All; would not back marijuana legalization; refused to call for the end of qualified immunity for police officers; poo-pooed a federal jobs guarantee; passed on a comprehensive plant for implementing a Green New Deal; and, scoffed at placing conditions on aid to Israel.

Following Attorney General Barr’s House testimony, Federal troops are being withdrawn from Portland after they brutally suppressed protests since the beginning of July.The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Department of Homeland Security compiled “intelligence reports” on American journalists covering the Portland protests.

Frustrated? Want to get back to “normal” news stories? Ok, try these on for size:

Baghdad Iraq hit a record-shattering 125 degrees on Tuesday. On Monday the temperature was 123 and on Wednesday it was 124. The electricity grid began to fail and two protesters were shot dead by security forces during protests over a lack of electricity and basic municipal services.

Can’t stand the heat? Well, about a quarter of Bangladesh is flooded after torrential rains have wreaked havoc on the nation that was pummeled by a cyclone just two months ago. More than a million homes are underwater, 4.7 million people are affected, and at least 54 people - mostly children - lost their lives.

One more? According to a new study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, up to 171 million people today face the risk of coastal flooding from extreme high tides and storm surges.

Pennsylvania saw an additional 860 new positive coronavirus cases, bringing the slow, but steady increase in cases to 111,078. The PA Department of Health reports a significant increase in cases among younger people, especially those between 19 and 24.

Pro-COVID-19 Republican state legislator, Russ Diamond shows his colors again by mocking Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine’s call for tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Levine spoke out after dealing with escalating and harassment by Pro-COVID-19 brown shirts. Governor Wolf calls on the state legislature to censure Diamond.

Half of the universities that make up the PA State System of Higher education have reversed course, moving most classes online. Kutztown University is one of the holdouts. Students, faculty, and staff working under the banner of the Healthy Campus Bill of Rights, will be holding a town hall on Wednesday, August 5th.

In related news, KU’s president Hawkinson is planning a town hall of his own next Tuesday. It is an invite-only to select VIPs, donors, and alumni. The event is being billed as “a unique opportunity to learn about KU’s vision for the fall 2020 semester directly from university leadership,” and is being sponsored by the KU Foundation.

Now is a perfect time to request your Vote by Mail ballot. If you are PA voter go to https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/ and click “Mail-in Ballot Application” to get the process moving.

Mike Pence was in Western, PA campaigning for Trump yesterday. His campaign bus crashed into a dump truck. There’s a joke in there somewhere. Maybe...something with #dumptrump?

It was a big week in space news...like really big. NASA successfully launched the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover Thursday morning.

Perseverance will also land with a little friend. For the first time NASA will attempt to fly Ingenuity, a four pound helicopter built for the Martian atmosphere.

The two astronauts who flew the first successful Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station are expected to return to Earth on Sunday..

On Tuesday, NASA announced the crew for SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission to the ISS in Spring 2021.

And, finally, Virgin Galactic unveiled the cabin for its SpaceShipTwo, a swanky space liner that is designed to carry six space tourists to suborbital heights for the cost of a $250,000 ticket. About 600 people have already booked a seat.

Free Will Brewing releases (this and this); awesome collaboration from Levante Brewing; and, a back-to-campus in the pandemic pic from New Trail Brewing.

216 episodes