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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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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.

 

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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.

Aug 2, 2017

We were pretty hard on John McCain on last week’s show—and then a couple days later John McCain went and gave his big, historic “thumbs down” to Obamacare repeal. Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders consider whether McCain should be congratulated and then turn to other pressing topics: the brief tenure of “The Mooch,” the arrival of another general to guide Trump, and Trump’s practice of finding a new minority to bash whenever he needs a distraction. After that, the Democratic Party has decided it’s going to be funding some anti-choice candidates for Congress. What’s a strategic-minded liberal to say about that? And finally, an alleged conspiracy to create a conspiracy theory that involves—allegedly!—the president himself. You gotta hear this one. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jul 26, 2017

Dan Savage is back to talk with Rich Smith and Eli Sanders about Donald Trump’s new ban on transgender people serving in the military and John McCain’s not-very-mavericky return to the US Senate. (Where McCain cast the deciding vote in the latest chapter of Obamacare repeal madness.) After that: the Democratic Party has a new slogan! And some new policies to go with it! Not everyone in thrilled. And finally: What to do about “beleaguered” Jeff Sessions? Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jul 19, 2017

Finally! The Republican effort to repeal Obamacare has collapsed and Amber Cortes, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders are here to pick through the pieces of a shattered long con. Plus: It’s time to take a brief bow, Resisters. And then it’s time to think seriously, and strategically, about what Democrats should be doing with this opportunity. Right now, only 37 percent of Americans think the Democratic Party stands for something. That needs to change, fast. After that, Charles Mudede is on to discuss the police shooting in Minneapolis and how it scrambles the reflexive responses to police killings in the era of Black Lives Matter. And Finally, Chase Burns is back to talk about a righteous Teen Vogue tweet storm regarding anal sex and a Mama Vogue misstep regarding genderqueer identity. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jul 12, 2017

Amber Cortes is back to talk with Rich Smith and Eli Sanders about this week’s explosive Russia-Trump news: apparently Donald Trump Jr. was not just ready to collude with Russia, he also e-mailed about it! Also: as delicious as Baby Don’s new scandal is, we do need to keep our eye on sneaky Republican health care repeal efforts, which continue. Rich Smith tells you what to watch for as a new Senate vote looms. Then, Charles Mudede on some really good resistance news out of California. It involves a retreat by the Trump administration and a victory—for now—for the entire planet. Finally, Chase Burns helps us navigate a controversy over Chance the Rapper, MTV, and how one should respond to negative reviews (with an assist from the wisdom of Ru Paul). Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jul 5, 2017

Eli Sanders, Dan Savage, and Rich Smith tackle a question that’s gained even more urgency in the last week: What is wrong with Donald Trump? His tweets and actions over the last seven days were extraordinarily vile and odd, even for him. After that, the glory of Chris Christie getting caught on camera sunning himself on a public beach that Christie himself ordered closed to the public over Fourth of July weekend! Then, an update on what the Fourth of July was like for Republican Senators who hold the fate of Obamacare in their hands—and what to watch for this week. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jun 28, 2017

The Republican healthcare plan is in trouble, but it's not dead yet. Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about how to keep pushing back against Trumpcare over the Fourth of July recess, when your Senators will be back home. After that: how to survive in a conservative alt-reality that's getting a little too real. And finally, two controversies that involve the gay pride flag. In Philadelphia, the iconic symbol of gay liberation has been revised to include black and brown stripes. And in Chicago recently, a number of Jewish lesbians were asked to leave a dyke march because their pride flags had Jewish stars on them. Organizers said the Jewish lesbians' pride flags were too triggering. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jun 21, 2017
Al Franken is on Blabbermouth this week, talking with Eli Sanders about his journey from Saturday Night Live to the US Senate. The Senator also shares the best tactics for getting a member of congress to do what you want (like, say, not repeal Obamacare) and answers both an urgent “millennial” question from Rich Smith and a future-focused, “barely-a-boomer” question from Dan Savage. Also: Dan, Rich, and Eli talk about the sad defeat of Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District and what it means for Democratic strategery going forward. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo. 
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