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Blabbermouth

The Stranger's week-in-review podcast, in which Eli Sanders, Dan Savage and a group of "experts" explain what just happened in the news, and what it all means. A wide-ranging discussion of everything you need to know in order to pose as an informed, productive member of society!
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Feb 14, 2018
Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders argue over whether there’s a smarter way to prioritize outrage amid the non-stop outrage machine that is the Trump administration. Case in point: this week’s fury over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ worrisome—but also technically accurate—remarks concerning “the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.” Turns out former President Barack Obama said similar things. Amid all the other current outrages, were these Sessions words really the best use of our outrage time? Is it being way too stingy with one’s outrage time to even ask this question? After that, porn. A New York Times columnist wants to ban porn because he believes the Internet is giving us porn on a scale never before seen and, as a result, warping the minds of young men and women. If only we had a sex expert to help us figure out whether this is bullshit! Dan, Eli, Rich, and Stranger writer Katie Herzog talk about what to do with our historic porn bounty. Finally, two books to escape into—one with zero words, another with some helpfully scary words—and a lesson on ancient romance etiquette from Rich. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
 

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Feb 7, 2018

Our aspiring banana republic got a little more bananas this week, with President Trump suddenly redefining treason, calling for a big ol’ military parade in DC, and—accidentally—showing off his intriguing hair piece. (You gotta see the video, but if you just can’t, well, Dan Savage describes it in vivid detail.) At the same time, this week brought some additional signs of a huge Democratic wave building across the country—with these latest signs coming from Missouri. How to ride—and encourage—that wave? Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders offer some more ideas. After that, Chase Burns is back to talk with Eli about a Seattle tech story that went national this week. It centers on Facebook’s unwillingness to follow Seattle’s law, which, in a national first, is being used to force the tech company to hand over data on its political ads. Finally, a new book Rich LOVES. It’s about a subject dear to Dan’s heart: why Democrats should learn to fight dirty. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

Jan 31, 2018

Dan Savage is back to talk about Trump’s “State of the Union” address with Rich Smith and Eli Sanders. The speech was, in a word, madness. After that, Stormy Daniels’ take on Trump's speech, plus Dan’s take on why Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels is such a non-scandal (and what that means for future politicians who have affairs with porn stars). Also, was Nikki Haley just slut-shamed? And did the left fail to appropriately defend her? Finally, robots: they’re coming for our jobs, maybe even for this very podcast! And Rich is kinda okay with that, so long as he can get his Basic Income. Oh, and one book to “read” and two shows to watch while you wait for the robots to arrive. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

Jan 24, 2018

Rich Smith, full of anger at Democrats for “caving” on the government shutdown standoff, now has some choice words for the party. Then Eli Sanders turns to an actual member of the Democratic Party, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who explains what lawmakers were thinking—and why she voted “No” on re-opening the government without a deal to protect Dreamers. After that, Chase Burns is back to talk about the glorious return of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, whether we're really living through “The Golden Age of Drag,” and how Rich can avoid hamburger ear as he staves off his creditors one cash-tip-earning drag performance at a time. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

Jan 17, 2018

Now that we’re more than a few days into Trump’s “shithole countries” scandal, a strategic point of order has been raised: “Is all this talk of racism bad for Democrats?” Charles Mudede, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders tackle this query, which came from a New York Times opinion writer, and they do it in light of Tuesday's big and unexpected win for Democrats in, of all places, rural Wisconsin. Out there, the winning state senate candidate, Democrat Patty Schachtner, pointedly did not focus her campaign on Trump and his racist prattle. Schachtner beat her Republican opponent by nine points in a region that Trump won, less than two years ago, by 17 points. After that, Chase Burns is back to talk about a major change to Facebook’s algorithm and what it means for you, the news business, and your grandma’s posts. Finally, Rich and Eli talk about “Straight White Men,” a play by Young Jean Lee that’s on its way to Broadway and, probably, an explosion into the national consciousness. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jan 10, 2018
Really? Oprah as President of the United States? Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders get it—but they also think some lefties are being a bit reckless by elevating celebrity above all things (including, for example, the small matter of political beliefs). After that, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is on the show to explain the renewed fight over “Dreamers,” what Democrats are going to do about it, and how progressives can take back the US House in 2018. Speaking of progressive strategy in 2018, Dan Savage is concerned that the Blabbermouth podcast itself is not walking its talk on political action—and he wants to change that, starting today. Finally: Fire and Fury. Why, exactly, is this sensational book by journalist Michael Wolff so damn sensational? Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
 

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Jan 3, 2018

It’s the first episode the year when everything finally changes! Maybe! Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about what Democrats need to do in order to absolutely, positively make November 2018 into a hard rebuke of Trumpism. After that, a discussion of a beautiful, sensuous, taboo-challenging movie you must see: Call Me by Your Name. In this story of same-sex love across age boundaries, Rich saw predatory grooming while Dan and Eli saw something complicated and, ultimately, empowering. Finally, Sydney Brownstone on reports of high-powered, coworker-heavy sex parties in Silicon Valley. If you want to go to a sex party with people you know from work, is that okay? Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

Dec 14, 2017
 Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders are back from their Thanksgiving break and ready to talk about the truly awful Republican tax plan, as well as a related question: Why isn’t there more outrage about it? After that, the New York Times’ controversial profile of an American Nazi in Ohio. Was this a complete journalistic fail? And should you really be cancelling your New York Times subscription over it? Finally, the Washington Post had a pretty great journalistic non-fail this week when it busted a conservative group that was trying to slip Roy Moore-related lies to the Post in order to discredit the paper—and, potentially, Roy Moore’s accusers. The whole ploy centered on a woman who lied to the Post about being impregnated by Moore at age 15 and then having an abortion. Which, of course, led to renewed questions about how far we should go in following the “believe women” slogan. Equally challenging: What to do with Al Franken? He's apologized for past sexual misconduct, he’s had his apology accepted by the woman who first accused him, and he's not heeding calls for his resignation from the US Senate. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
Dec 13, 2017
This is our last episode of the year—we’ll be back in your earbuds on January 3!—so settle in. We gave you a little extra in this one. First: Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith look into the historic victory for Democrat Doug Jones in deep red Alabama. What does it mean for the left as we all barrel toward the 2018 midterms? And what do the Alabama exit polls tell us about the kind of Democratic coalition it takes to win tough races? Second: Sydney Brownstone is back to talk about how much credit the #MeToo movement deserves for the stunning Alabama result. Along the way, Sydney also gets into a fascinating back-and-forth with Dan over whether there are any “gray areas” in workplace sexual harassment and what, exactly, a boss should do if she wants to have a respectful, consensual, non-coercive relationship with a subordinate. Finally: Rich Smith takes us through “Cat Person,” the short story that did something short stories never do. It went viral. Bigly. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
Dec 6, 2017

Wealthy Baby Boomers will be the ones benefiting most from the terrible Republican tax bill that just passed the senate. What does “Barely a Boomer” Dan Savage have to say for his generation? Eli Sanders of Gen-X and Millennial spokesmodel Rich Smith want to know. (Meanwhile, The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein thinks he knows exactly what’s going on: “The baby boom is being evicted from the penthouse of American politics. And on the way out, it has decided to trash the place.") Also, in the first run of a new pod moment they're calling Elder Corner, the Blabbermouthers listen to a note from an elder who doesn’t like all this Boomer-blaming. After that, Sydney Brownstone is back to talk about what it’ll mean for the #MeToo movement if Roy Moore wins the Alabama Senate race next week, and what to do with the very different ways Republicans and Democrats are handling sexual harassment allegations. Finally, Dan makes the case that Jill Stein is to blame for any bad outcomes in the gay wedding cake case that’s now before the US Supreme Court and Rich, Eli, and Dan play another round of "Would You Rather?" (Mike Pence or Donald Trump edition.) Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo. 

Nov 15, 2017

This week Sydney Brownstone, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about the GOP's Roy Moore problem and how it's similar to--and different from--the left's Bill Clinton problem. Also: the complexity that comes along with the instruction to "Believe women." After that, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions takes another spin in the Congressional testimony chair and so, of course, The Honorable Rich Smith must return with his Sessions impression. And watch out: the Republican "tax reform" plan now includes a big helping of Obamacare repeal shenanigans. We tell you who to call. Finally, Chase Burns is back to discuss Don "Baby Don" Jr.'s shady DMs. No idea what that means? Chase'll explain, Boomers and Gen Xers. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving in advance because we'll be off next week! See you on November 29.

Nov 8, 2017

Exactly one year after Trump's election, voters around the country delivered a major wave of Democratic victories on Tuesday. Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about why the Resistance is winning and what it means for 2018. After that: the lessons of another mass shooting and the important, horrifying details of the Republican tax plan. Finally: Chase Burns takes us back to the 11 minutes of Trump-free Twitter heaven we all experienced on November 2. More, please! Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Nov 1, 2017

This week brought the long-awaited Indictment Day! (Hopefully the first of many.) Sydney Brownstone, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about their favorite juicy bits from the unsealed Mueller files. After that: Why aren't lefties marching in the streets about the Republican plan to enact huge tax cuts for the wealthy? And finally, Stranger Social Media Manager Chase Burns is on to talk about this week's Facebook vs. Congress showdown, and what the hell we should do about the bigger problem of social medal vs. democracy. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Oct 25, 2017

This week Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about Republican Senator Jeff Flake's brave plot to save America from Trump. Flake's plan: give one really nice speech about how he's not running for reelection in 2018. Thanks? On the brighter side: Does this mean the Republican Party is cleaving in two? After that, the biggest story you might have missed this week. It's about a successful Republican plot to take away your legal right to sue big banks when they scam you. (You'll never guess which heroic Republican Senator from Arizona voted for this idea.) Finally, another example of college campus protesters shouting "Fascism!" while--wait for it--employing fascist tactics that shut down the free exchange of ideas. The argument about this one got so heated that Savage was begging for intervention from Kim Jong-un. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Oct 18, 2017

After yet another week of presidential lies and incompetence, Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith dust off the 25th Amendment and talk about how it might—or might not—solve all our problems. Also: Eli has a very, very, very elaborate fantasy about how some totally constitutional means could be used to get us a President Hillary Clinton by 2019. It’s… complicated. After that: finding both inspiration and some rather odd word choice in Senator John McCain’s rousing speech this week, plus some really impressive national journalism that just got some serious results. Finally, the #MeToo campaign, our tour of Donald Trump’s long pattern of sexual assault allegations, and our call for help in getting through this dark marathon that is his nearly-one-year-old administration. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Oct 11, 2017

Republican Senator Bob Corker says our president lives in an “adult daycare.” But really, what boomer doesn’t these days? Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about who’s to blame for all these aging white men behaving so, so badly. After that, they focus on one particularly bad boomer: Harvey Weinstein. What, exactly, should be done about this problem of old, powerful men (like, ahem, Donald Trump) allegedly using their positions of power to assault women? And finally, if the NFL thinks it’s gonna change the rules to prevent the ongoing protests against police brutality—well, Dan, Rich, and Eli have some other ideas. (Also, in a herculean group effort they explain what the NFL actually is!) Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Oct 4, 2017

Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about Las Vegas, the endless plague of gun violence, and what we can do in the midst of what seems like a totally hopeless and tragic American mess. After that, Trump's embarrassing trip to Puerto Rico and the truest words Rex Tillerson has ever spoken. Finally, why there's real hope to be drawn from the latest US Supreme Court arguments on a sorta snoozy but totally game-changing subject: redistricting. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

Sep 27, 2017

Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith celebrate yet another failure for the Obamacare repeal effort. (As much as anyone can celebrate one victory in this endless, awful fight.) After that, a new reason to shout “Lock them up!” at the Trump administration and yet another example, in Puerto Rico, of Trump failing to show equal concern for people of color. Then: Meet bigot Roy Moore, the terrifying Alabama Republican who just smashed the Republican establishment on his way to, he hopes, establishing a theocracy. Oh boy. Is this good or bad news for Democrats? Speaking of ol’ Alabama, it was there that Trump kicked off his recent feud with the NFL, which led to yet another round of debating ye olde patriotism. Oh, and would be world be a better, less Trump-y place if tweets could be 280 characters instead of 140? We’re about to find out.

Sep 20, 2017

Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about Trump’s loopy and worrisome appearance at the United Nations (where he seemed to quote Elton John) and then they dive into the return of the Zombie Obamacare Repeal effort and what everyone needs to do about it. After that, the joke police rule on whether Stephen Colbert went too far by letting Sean Spicer appear with him on the Emmy stage. And finally, a question that got even more attention than usual this week: Is Donald Trump a white supremacist? Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

 

Thanks to HelloFresh.com for supporting BLABBERMOUTH. Receive $30 off your first week of deliveries when you go to HelloFresh.com and use the offer code BLABBERMOUTH30.

Sep 13, 2017
Hillary Clinton has a new book out explaining “What Happened” in the last presidential campaign, and Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders all have opinions about what Clinton’s now saying. (Even though Dan, Rich, and Eli all admit they haven’t fully read Clinton's book. But hey, it just came out on Tuesday! Also: not having read the book is not stopping any other loudmouths from weighing in!) After that, Ted Cruz’s “mistaken” porn like, Steve Bannon’s wildly dark 60 Minutes appearance, and why the Republican Party may soon split in two. And finally, why Franklin Foer’s new book, World Without Mind, is right on in its warning that Big Tech is destroying our democracy. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Sep 6, 2017

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is back on the show to express her outrage at President Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era “Dreamer” program that protects children of illegal immigrants. Jayapal will also talk about how Democrats in Congress plan to push back. After that, Rich Smith and Eli Sanders discuss good ol’ Ted Cruz and his amazing hurricane hypocrisy. And finally, the sad story of John Smelcer, Native American literature’s “living con job.” Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Aug 30, 2017
Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and producer Nancy Hartunian are all taking a little break this week. (After last week’s Millennial Takeover episode, some of us need it!) Have a great Labor Day weekend and we’ll talk to you again on Sept. 6. Oh, and if you’ve got something we need to think about in the meantime, tell it to the Blabberphone: 206-302-2063.
Aug 23, 2017
Dan Savage and Eli Sanders are on vacation—whatever that is—so Rich Smith has orchestrated a Millennial takeover of the show. First, Heidi Groover and Kim Selling stop by to talk about what everybody learned from Trump’s rambling, racist rally in Phoenix Tuesday night. The President’s speech appeared to appease the Nazis who marched on Charlottesville last week, and who now include a group enterprising young women among their ranks. The panel discusses why some women would be attracted to a woman-hating boys club, and also decodes all the new Nazi symbols popping up. Then, Sydney Brownstone and Chase Burns tackle the persistent idea that Millennials are destroying the media. A look at the death of the Village Voice in print and the backroom drama at Mic shows that Millennials might not be the generation to blame. Finally, Chase and Heidi return for a special segment called “Tweets We Faved This Week,” where the group opens up about the gems they found on that discourse dumpster, Twitter dot com. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo. 
Aug 16, 2017
Just eight months into the Trump administration, white nationalists engaged in an ugly streetlight with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. By the end of the day, Heather Heyer had been killed in what’s now being described as a neo-Nazi terrorist attack. Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about how we got here, Trump’s shameful response, and the conundrum of how far to go in publicly shaming and physically confronting neo-Nazis. After that, Heidi Groover is on to talk about the Democratic Socialists of America. Why do they think they’re a better alternative to the Democratic Party? Are they trying to be spoilers in the next presidential election? What’s with the roses on their Twitter handles? And, okay, they read Jacobin, but how exactly does one pronounce Jacobin? Finally, a full solar eclipse is coming! But mostly only to Trump country! Is that fair? If you simultaneous orgasm during TOTALITY does magic happen? Will Eli make it back from his eclipse-chasing trip next week? Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Aug 9, 2017

With Donald Trump now threatening North Korea with the “fire and fury” of a massive US nuclear strike, Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about whether—per good ol’ Rex Tillerson’s orders—we should all “sleep well at night.” Also discussed: whether any of us, or even Donald Trump himself, could make it into this country under a new immigrant screening test proposed by the Trump administration. After that: a conversation with Leah Greenberg, co-founder of Indivisible, plus several calls from listeners about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s decision to fund anti-choice candidates. And finally, Chase Burns is back on the show to talk with Dan and Eli about a provocative question posed by a recent article in Salon: “Has queer culture lost its edge?” Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

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