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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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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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.