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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh keep piling up, with the latest stomach-churning claim landing just as we sat down to record this week’s show. Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog talk about what’s sure to happen next (fantasy and reality edition). After that, The Great Ted Cruz Restaurant Chase and a book by Michiko Kakutani that just might help you navigate this insane moment. It’s called “The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump." Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
The rush to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court has been slowed by accusations from Chrstine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. Dan Savage, Katie Herzog, and Eli Sanders talk about this very consequential #MeToo moment and what should happen next. After that, Rich Smith returns from a sojourn in Trump Country to tell us about a rural Congressional race that’s so surprisingly close it’s giving him new hope for the Democrats taking back Congress. Finally, Dan talks about all the great shows he watched while grudgingly taking some forced time on the couch. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Dozens of people have now been arrested for protesting inside the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. We talk to one of them: Tiffany Hankins. After that, Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog talk about whether Democrats are really showing enough spine in trying to stop Kavanaugh, and what more they can really do without a Senate majority. Next: The New Yorker’s decision to invite Steve Bannon to headline its annual festival, the subsequent Twitter furor, and the magazine’s decision to cancel Bannon's invitation. Who screwed up here? And finally, two books, one podcast, and one old Netflix series that offer quick, delightful escapes from our political hellworld. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
In Florida, there’s now a fascinating governor’s race match-up between one candidate who's backed by Bernie Sanders and another who’s backed by Donald Trump. The Democratic candidate, Andrew Gillum, could become the first African-American to lead the state. Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog talk about that, as well as the real legacy of John McCain, who died on Saturday at the age of 81. Plus: A tour through a magical list—drawn up by Republicans!—of all the things Democrats are likely to investigate if they retake control of the House in November. Also, Katie explores a thorny question: Is it too soon for Louis C.K.’s comeback? Finally, a few movies we love right now, including Eighth Grade and Crazy Rich Asians. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.