Out d’Coup | Vaccines Roll Out; No Xmas Presents in the Mail; Relief Bill; Deb Haaland; Russian Hack; Proudboys in DC; PA Cops and COVID; Great Conjunction; Asteroids; Expanse; New Free Will Releases

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Vaccines finally roll out across the U.S. But, when you’ve got an incompetent federal government its never going to go smoothly. Good thing that Moderna’s vaccine just got approval too. That can’t come soon enough as COVID-19 is now killing more than 3,000 people a day.

Sorry kids “you’re not going to get your Christmas presents” in time for the holidays as USPS sorting facilities are stuffed to the brink with packages waiting to go out. Who could have thought that the systematic destruction of the USPS in order to rig the 2020 election would ruin the holidays? It’s a GOP war on Christmas.

Lawmakers are inching closer to an agreement for a new COVID relief/stimulus bill. However, negotiations hit a roadblock after PA’s own Senator Pat Toomey “argued for an extra condition to be added to the package, limiting the ability of the Federal Reserve to lend money via emergency programs,” according to Business Insider. McConnell said that negotiations are likely to continue into the weekend as a government shutdown looms. Today is the deadline to avert a government shutdown unless the deadline is extended again. The latest version of the stimulus bill reportedly contains $300 extra in weekly unemployment and $600 direct checks to workers.

AOC told The Intercept that Pelosi and Schumer need to go, but progressives have no real plan at this point for a replacement.

Joe Biden tapped Deb Haaland to head the Department of the Interior. She’ll be the first Native American cabinet secretary in U.S. history. The appointment is especially meaningful because the Department of the Interior has had a fraught relationship with indigenous tribes since the founding of the country. Biden also appointed Michael Regan to be the first African-American to head the EPA.

Apparent Russian hack has penetrated more U.S. government and corporate systems that you can imagine. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) say that the hack began in March and that the hack “poses a grave risk to the federal government” just ahead of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris taking office. The hack came to light only after the cybersecurity firm FireEye asid it had been hacked and its clients, including the U.S. government was at risk.

Betsy DeVos urged Department of Education career staffers to “be the resistance” against the Biden administration. According to POLITICO, Devos told them “Let me leave you with this plea: Resist...Be the resistance against forces that will derail you from doing what’s right for students. In everything you do, please put students first — always.” Dept. of Ed staffers and teachers across the country reportedly spit coffee out their noses and fell off chairs in the hilarity of the remarks.

Proudboys descended on DC last weekend. Four people got stabbed and the little fascists tore down Black Lives Matter banners from Black churches.

“Defund the Police” you say? This isn’t a laughing matter as the coronavirus is beginning to decimate police departments across the Commonwealth. Over 500 Philadelphia Police officers have called out sick because of the virus in the last week.

Philly 911 dispatchers, and union workers, put the Philadelphia Police Department on blast for their unsafe working conditions during the pandemic. Over 30 dispatchers have contracted the virus, and according to Billy Penn, many of those cases have happened within the past month. The Police department is using “makeshift cardboard barriers” and “some plastic barriers” to keep workers separated during the latest outbreak.

And at least four Philadelphia police officers have died of the virus.

While this is happening in Philadelphia, there are rumors swirling around the midstate that a handful of police departments in Cumberland County are non-operational due to the virus’ outbreak.

Monday, December 21 - the Winter Solstice - will be the great conjunction. In the early evening, you will be able to see Jupiter and Saturn come together in the sky. The two planets have appeared closer together each night in the lead up to the conjunction. The last time the planets appeared this close in the sky it was 1623. Tips for viewing.

Japan successfully retrieved the first samples from an asteroid from a capsule from the Hayabusa2 probe. The probe visited the asteroid known as Ryugu on December 6. The Japanese space agency released pictures of the dark granular sample on the Hayabusa2 twitter account.

SpaceNews announced its award winners this week: Of the winners, the MARS2020 program won for Government Mission of the Year and SpaceX Demo2 won for Commercial Mission of the year.

New season of The Expanse is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Free Will has new releases. They’re going back to their Saturday release dates. Judo Refinancing - Hazy IPA with Key Limes and Milk Suga; Corvus Idaeus - Imperial Stout with Raspberry, Chocolate, and Milk Sugar; and, not a new release, but one of my favorite beers of the season, Black Currant Chocolate Mash - Sour Ale brewed black currant purée, chocolate, and milk sugar. Order for pick up or delivery to any PA address at https://freewillbrewing.store/.

229 episodes