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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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Apr 17, 2019

The public version of the Mueller Report is being released this week and Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about what they’ll be looking for in the roughly 400 pages of redacted material. After that, Bernie Sanders waded into the FOX house recently and came away with the highest-rated “town hall” of the campaign season. Why is Bernie surging right now? Are “establishment” Democrats right to be freaking out about his success? Does it matter that Bernie’s now a member of the one percent? Will Dan and Rich be able to agree on the answers to any of these questions? We find out. After, that: Pete Buttigieg. He’s a gay man who's talking religion back to the radical right, and it’s thrilling to watch. But should lefty atheists who’ve fought to make religion less central to our politics really be cheering this? And is America really ready to elect a gay man as president? Finally, Charles Mudede is not crying over the burning of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, and he’ll tell you why. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Apr 3, 2019
Eli Sanders, Katie Herzog, and Rich Smith consider the “Creepy Joe” situation. There are now four public accusations against likely Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden from women who say he touched them inappropriately at political events. And, as we already know, there’s no shortage of handsy Biden photos and videos out there from his long period in the public eye. Should Biden drop his plans to run? Should he stay out of the already crowded Democratic presidential primary for solid reasons that are totally separate from the “Creepy Joe” situation? Should he be held to “The Franken Standard,” or “The Trump Standard”? All is discussed. After that, Mitch McConnell’s is going to use the “nuclear option” (again) to help Trump pack the federal courts and Trump, after promising (yet again) to repeal Obamacare, now says he has a secret plan to replace it with something better—but will only reveal his secret plan after he’s reelected. Finally, Jasmyne Keimig and Charles Mudede talk about Jordan Peele’s provocative and genre-expanding horror movie, Us. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Mar 29, 2019

In this Blabbermouth extra, recorded live at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre on March 27, Eli Sanders sits down Preet Bharara. He’s the former federal prosecutor for Manhattan who was mysteriously fired by President Trump not long after Trump first took office. Bharara is also the author of a new, best-selling book called “Doing Justice.” No surprise, he had a lot to say about Trump, the end of the Mueller investigation, the Barr memo, and more!

Mar 27, 2019

Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith wade through the confusing arrival of “The Mueller Report.” The report is finally in, but only Attorney General William Barr and a small handful of people at the Justice Department know exactly what it says. All we have is a very short “Barr Report” that summarizes Mueller's findings, plus President Trump's take on Barr’s report: “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.” Um, not exactly. After that, Katie Herzog assesses the Republicans’ latest attempt to dismantle Obamacare and the wild turn in the Jussie Smollett case. Finally, Jasmyne Keimig has an issue with how cooking for one forces you to eat the same thing all the time, The Atlantic has an article on the weirdos who actually love to eat the same thing all the time, and oh, look, Rich is one of them! He offers his rules for repetitive eating. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Mar 20, 2019

Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Katie Herzog admit that every once in a long while, they find a thing or two to agree with in Trump’s tweets—of which there were 28 this past Sunday. Also, Dan continues his war on the electoral college and Katie wonders what Beto O’Rourke has ever really accomplished. After that, Chase Burns talks about the Andrew Yang phenomenon. Yang is running for president as a Democrat, wants to give every American a thousand bucks a month, and has enough support that he’ll be in the first Democratic presidential debate. Finally, Jasmyne Keimig on HBO’s new documentary about Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Mar 13, 2019
Nancy Pelosi says President Trump is “just not worth” impeaching. What does Dan “Impeach the Motherfucker Already” Savage have to say about that? A lot. Also, Rich Smith on the massive college cheating scandal, Chase Burns on Elizabeth Warren’s plan to break up Big Tech, and Jasmyne Keimig on the profoundly upsetting revelations about Michael Jackson in “Leaving Neverland.” Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Mar 6, 2019
Well, President Trump went and gave another bonkers speech, this one extra long and super odd. Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about why this isn’t even news anymore. Then they look toward the future, which is filled with subpoenas flying out of the Democrat-controlled House and new Democratic presidential candidates announcing themselves every week—including, just last week, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. Rich explains why he’s all in for Team Inslee. After that, Katie Herzog considers an explosive article in The New Yorker about FOX News’s unprecedented collusion with Trump and Jasmyne Keimig talks Hannibal Buress, Broad City, and Solange. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Feb 27, 2019
President Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen delivered hours of public testimony to the House Oversight Committee this week, and in doing so he clearly implicated the president in at least one crime. Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog consider what it all means—and whether it’ll be enough to start an impeachment process. After that, Chase Burns dives into a fascinating and rather upsetting report in The Verge about “The Secret Lives of Facebook Moderators.” The lives in question are pretty dark, and they raise a lot of urgent issues about Facebook and digital platforms in general. Finally, Jasmyne Keimig processes The Oscars and all the ongoing anger at Green Book winning Best Picture. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Feb 20, 2019

Fresh off announcing his repeat presidential candidacy, Bernie Sanders drops by the Blabbermouth studios for an interview with Eli Sanders and Katie Herzog! Rich Smith is mysteriously absent during the conversation but shows up afterward to explain exactly where he is, and is not, feeling the Bern. After that, actor Jussie Smollett says he was the victim of a terrible hate crime in Chicago, but his claim has yet to be confirmed by investigators—and actually seems to be unraveling. Katie talks about what this awful episode has to teach us. Finally, Jasmyne Keimig explains why she loves the HBO show “High Maintenance” and Katie, who also loves the show, tells us what “High Maintenance” signals for national marijuana law reform. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Feb 13, 2019

After taking a quick look at President Trump’s latest border wall bullshit, Eli Sanders, Katie Herzog, and Rich Smith talk about the “Insect Apocalypse” and a plan from certain Democrats to prevent insect die-off, food chain collapse, and other dire effects of climate change. It’s called the Green New Deal, and it’s being pushed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among others. Is it realistic? Does that even matter? Next, the allegedly anti-Semitic tweet from a Democratic member of Congress from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar. She’s since apologized, but was what she said about Israel really anti-Semitic? Finally, Dan Savage has an immodest proposal for Jeff Bezos: “Release your nude selfies!” Why won’t Dan go first? Katie and Eli ask him. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Feb 6, 2019

Dan Savage returns to help Eli Sanders and Katie Herzog deal with Trump’s very weird and upsetting State of the Union address. Also discussed: Nancy Pelosi’s epic clap-back and Stacey Abrams’s delivery of the official Democratic response to Trump’s speech. After that, WTF is going in Virginia? Rich Smith tells Eli and Katie what he thinks should be done about a Democratic governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general who are all suddenly in very big trouble over pasts that appear to include either blackface or alleged sexual assault, depending on the politician. Finally, Chase Burns, Jasmyne Keimig, and Nathalie Graham discuss The Velvet Buzzsaw, new filmic treatments of Ted Bundy, and Netflix’s potential use of Big Data to shape its content. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jan 30, 2019

Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog consider the potential presidential candidacy of Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who may run in 2020 as an independent. Does America really want another billionaire businessman to replace our current billionaire (or “billionaire”) president? Also, does Schultz understand what pulling a Ross Perot could do to the chances of a Democrat winning the White House? After that, some reflections on Nancy Pelosi’s win in the shutdown standoff, some eager anticipation of Stacey Abrams’s State of the Union rebuttal next week, and a dive into “deep fake” technology. You need to know what it is before you watch any more political videos in the run-up to the 2020 elections. Finally: your tweets, calls, and Facebook reactions to last week’s show, which was a liiiiiiitle controversial. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jan 23, 2019

Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog talk about the State of the Union standoff, whether Kamala Harris is really a “cop” in progressive clothing, and a horrifying new report on global inequality.  After that, they go where many Americans have gone over the last few days—to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where they try to figure out what happened in a viral stare-down that has infuriated pretty much everyone, led to endless online and offline recriminations, and called into question the very idea of observable, “Saw it with my own eyes," truth. As seems to happening to a lot of people who wade into the Lincoln Memorial MAGA hat kids controversy, this discussion went looooong—so if you’re sick of the whole thing already, skip ahead! In the third segment, Jasmyne Keimig and Chase Burns run through the list of Oscar nominees and talk about who was wrongly snubbed, who should win, and why. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jan 16, 2019
The president is maybe a Russian agent? Whose standing fast-food order, according to The New Yorker, is “two Big Macs, two Filet-o-Fishes, and a chocolate milkshake”? Oh. It must be Wednesday. And Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog are here to pick through the political mayhem, which also includes the ascension of William Barr, the racism of Rep. Steve King, and the record-breaking Trump shutdown. Then Nathalie Graham fills us in on the delicious drama surrounding two dueling Fyre Festival documentaries and Jasmyne Keimig talks about You. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Jan 9, 2019

Was Stormy Daniels’ prime-time address on Tuesday more informative than President Trump’s? Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog consider this question and then parse the propaganda that spewed from the Oval Office as Trump, backed into a corner of his own making, offered the nation some heavy breathing and a re-run of a very old campaign speech. After that, Representative Rashida Talib’s ITMFA moment and Elizabeth Warren’s all-but-official run for president. Finally, Jasmyne Keimig talks with Eli and Katie about Kevin Hart, the comedian who was going to host the Oscars until his old, homophobic tweets of resurfaced. This led to a big, still-going drama that’s drawn in Ellen DeGeneres and Don Lemon, elevated the question of what it really means to make amends for past wrongs, and left the Oscars without a host (for now). This one is complicated! And the Oscars are only a month and a half away! Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Dec 19, 2018
Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog begin with the good news: a federal judge in DC just tore into Michael Flynn at a now-postponed sentencing hearing and prosecutors in New York have demolished the corrupt Trump Foundation. Just in time for the holidays! The bad news: the US government’s hideous actions at the border with Mexico continue, as Rich explains. After that, Katie talks about a Texas judge’s attempt to cancel Obamacare and Eli explains the latest bad news for Facebook. Finally, an answer to the question on everyone’s minds: What do I do if I show up at a holiday party and they’re playing Baby It’s Cold Outside? Rich and Katie have answers for how to handle this allegedly “rapey” Christmas song. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Dec 12, 2018

Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog talk about how Nancy Pelosi won her televised “tinkle contest” with President Trump in the Oval Office this week, and what it means for her chances to become House Speaker in January. Also discussed: Michael Cohen, Mueller, and Trump’s hush-money scandal. After all that, Rich talks about the dirt on William Barr, Trump’s new nominee to head the Justice Department. And finally, Jasmyne Keimig discusses the glories of The Favourite while Rich explains why he loved The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Dec 5, 2018

Charles Mudede, who was actually alive and paying attention during the presidency of George HW Bush, talks with Eli Sanders and Rich Smith about the man’s true legacy. After that, Nathalie Graham and Chase Burns react to Tumblr’s decision this week to ban porn (and “female-presenting nipples”), and what it says about our current Internet moment. Finally, Jasmyne Keimig and Katy Herzog talk about why Lena Dunham is so newly dislikable, and whether all the hate is really warranted. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Nov 28, 2018
Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith dive into the latest intrigue swirling around the Russia investigation and ask whether Paul Manafort just successfully played Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (On the flip side, they also ask: Is Mueller perhaps the most successful edge-dom in America?) After that, Katie Herzog has some advice for processing the Trump administration climate change report and humanity’s frightening failure when it comes to this massive, civilization-threatening problem. Finally, Jasmyne Keimig tells Dan Savage about The Bisexuals. Plus the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Nov 21, 2018

On the day before Thanksgiving, Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith sit around the table and say things about Trump’s terrible, no-good, un-American week that you *might* not want to repeat while your conservative uncle’s carving turkey. After that, Katie Herzog arrives with a shocking side-dish of inarguably good, Republican-supported criminal justice reform policy that really, truly has Trump’s approval and just might pass Congress before the end of this year. What??? Finally, Rich has some delicious, no-fuss recipes for you to fall back on if you’re panicking about what to bring to potluck Friendsgiving. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Nov 14, 2018

Should Nancy Pelosi continue to lead the Democrats now that they’ve taken control of the US House? A big fight is brewing over this question on the left, so Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith jump right into it — and emerge with a surprising unanimous decision on what needs to happen next. Also discussed: the continued ugliness in some major, still-undecided races in Florida and Georgia. After that, Katie Herzog considers the problem with white women Republican voters (and whether it’s really a problem at all). Katie also has some advice for New York and Virginia on what they can look forward to now that they’ve both landed shiny new Amazon HQs. Finally, Chase Burns talks about his night with Stormy Daniels, and why she’s not just an amazing performer but also a true American patriot. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Nov 7, 2018
The Democrats took back the House of Representatives, baby! They’re sending the most women to Congress that have ever been sent, including the first (two) muslim women, the first (two) Native American women, and potentially the first kickboxing woman! But for some reason, Rich Smith still has mixed feelings about the results of the most important election of his lifetime. In search of solace and sense, Rich calls Eli Sanders, who’s away on vacation in sunny Argentina, to sort through everything that happened last night. Then, to talk about what it all means, Rich dials up Dan Savage, who’s also on the road. After that, The Stranger’s print editor, Christopher Frizzelle, and Chase Burns step into the podcast room to discuss the mysteries surrounding a tragic death in the kink community. 
Oct 31, 2018

With just days left to go before the midterm elections, Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about how the fascist future now feels like a very real possibility—if Democrats don’t at least take back the House. Also: Trump’s toxic rhetoric, his terrible response to the Pittsburgh massacre, his dumb talk of shredding the Constitution when it comes to “birthright citizenship,” and his nonsense argument for sending thousands of troops to the US-Mexico border just as Americans are voting. Oh, and it looks like young voters may be set to turn out in large numbers after all! Just don’t talk to Dan about that New York Magazine profile of 12 young non-voters. After all that, Chase Burns is back to talk about the beautiful human communication in the new film BPM (Beats Per Minute) and what we should do about the ugly, violence-inciting human communication that’s now pervasive on social media. Then Katie Herzog has plea for Hillary Clinton and Jasmyne Keimig talks about the scariest movie you can watch this Halloween, A Night at the Garden. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Oct 24, 2018

Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about the mad, scary dash toward Election Day, which now includes pipe bombs being mailed to Democrat leaders on top of Trump’s already escalating lies about tax cuts and migrant caravans. Would a simple, compelling election year slogan from Democrats help the party cut through the noise right about now? Why don't the Democrats have one? Is the absence of a slogan maybe a bit of accidental brilliance? After all that, Dan tells Chase Burns about how Republicans in Illinois are weirdly playing the “disavow Dan Savage” card in the run-up to Nov. 6, and Chase tells Dan about a beautiful way to stick one’s head in the sand and drown out all this insanity: a nice, deep click-hole. Chase just came back from one featuring Jane Fonda and he learned A LOT. Finally, Rich talks to Eli and Jasmyne Keimig about Francis Fukyama’s new book, “Identity.” Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Oct 17, 2018
Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Jasmyne Keimig talk about Elizabeth Warren’s high-stakes attempt to both prove her Native American ancestry and skewer Trump at the same time. It hasn't gone smoothly for Warren, and it raises the question: Has Trump achieved a bullying check-mate on this one? After that, millennial-adjacent Chase Burns tries to explain to Dan Savage why he’s not a totally perfect, always-and-forever voter. Good luck, Chase! Finally, A Star Is Born. We have some feelings about the new Lady Gaga + Bradley Cooper extravaganza. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
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