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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 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.
Oct 10, 2018
Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog look into the latest Republican scare-talk: Democratic “mobs.” Then it’s on to something that's actually, truly scary: the new climate change warnings from a panel of UN scientists. After that, Katie announces her run for US Senator in Maine and then explores a student-made list of anonymous rape accusations at the University of Washington. Finally, Stranger arts writer Jasmyn Keimig talks about the work of Natalie Diaz, who just won a MacArthur “Genius” grant. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Oct 3, 2018
Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about the bombshell New York Times story that proves Donald Trump lied about being a self-made billionaire. (Spoiler: Trump's daddy gave him a whole lot more cash than Trump has ever acknowledged.) Will this shredding of a core Trump myth change anything at all? Then, Katie Herzog talks about the case of Jack Smith IV, the “woke” journalist who was fired from Mic amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Was this the right response to these particular allegations? Finally, Rich and Eli talk with Dan about that new movie Dan made them watch: Active Measures. It’s impressive. It’s also a lot. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo. 
Sep 26, 2018

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.

Sep 19, 2018

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.

Sep 12, 2018
As Hurricane Florence bears down on the mid-Atlantic, the President boldly declares that the country is “ready for it.” But are we? And does Trump have any room to talk now that Puerto Rico has revised its death toll from Hurricane Maria to around 3,000? With Eli Sanders on vacation, Rich Smith asks Dan Savage and Katie Herzog to tell us how prepared we really are, and to speculate about whether we’ll ever be prepped enough. Then, the steady state. Right after we taped the show last week, the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a “senior official” in the Trump administration. The writer claims that an unelected group called “the steady state” is secretly preventing Trump from blowing up the country. Is that…good? And who wrote that damn op-ed? We’ll discuss. Finally, a dispatch from the heart of Amazonia. The trillion-dollar company made headlines this week with a string of stories about how badly it treats its workers. Meanwhile, right here in Seattle, Amazon is one of the most visible drivers of income inequality and cultural tension. Rich and Dan talk to new Stranger staff writer Nathalie Graham about a piece she wrote in response to a new “Money Diary” entry from Refinery29, which shows readers what the city’s like from the perspective of an Amazonian making $240,000 per year. She’s living fancy free, but is she really living? 
Sep 5, 2018

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.

Aug 29, 2018

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.

 

 

Aug 22, 2018
This week, on the same day, and at almost the same moment, it became official: Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort are both guilty of major federal crimes. Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about what it means for Trump, and how it feels to finally have the long-apparent guilt of these two Trump associates in the record books. After that, Katie Herzog offers her take on the news that Asia Argento, a major figure in the #MeToo movement, secretly settled with a man who accused Argento of sexual assault. Katie says this development is another reminder that the “believe women” slogan has certain flaws. Finally, Charles Mudede on whether Omarosa’s “black card” should be returned and the fascinating spat between Spike Lee and Boots Riley over Lee’s new movie, BlacKkKlansman. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
 
Aug 8, 2018
The “blue wave” came through Blabbermouth's home state on Tuesday, and Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about what happened — including some drama Rich got into with local Republicans trying to pull an “enemy of the people” move on his right to report. They also talk about the Ohio special election, in which there’s a virtual tie between the Democrat and Republican candidates in a district that Republicans would normally win easily. That’s great news for wave-trackers, but: Did the Green Party candidate in this special Ohio election spoil the Dem’s chances of turning a virtual tie into an outright win? Dan has some thoughts. After that, Katie Herzog explains what QAnon is and why Republican “thought leaders” are trying to keep Trump’s base from believing the conspiracy theory. Finally, Dan offers a tribute to Charlotte Rae and Eli talks about a new, must-see documentary called Dark Money. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
 
 
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