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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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Now displaying: 2018
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.
 
 
Aug 1, 2018
Special council Robert Mueller sent his first “witch” to trial Tuesday morning in Virginia. Over the next three weeks, Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, will face 18 felony counts of tax fraud and bank fraud. It’s an airtight case likely to land Manafort in jail for life, but it apparently has nothing to do with Trump-Russia collusion. Or does it? In Eli Sanders’s absence, Rich Smith asks Dan Savage and Katie Herzog about what Mueller’s really trying to squeeze out of Manafort. Then, Dan and Katie stick around for a grab-bag second segment. Topics under discussion include: Twitter drama, the media making the same mistakes it made in 2016, and “Quiet Skies,” a secret government operation designed to spy on U.S. citizens in airports. Speaking of secret operations: Sean Nelson, the Stranger’s Editor at Large, joins Dan and Rich in the third segment to talk about Mission: Impossible—FALLOUT, the latest action film in the series starring Tom Cruise. Is it awesome? Is it not awesome? Is Tom Cruise hiding something? Does anybody care? We do. 
 
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Jul 25, 2018

No, it’s not the Trump tape we’ve all been waiting for. But the secret Trump recording released by Michael Cohen this week is pretty damn interesting, and Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog talk about all the weirdest details. (“Get me a Coke!” included.) After that, Charles Mudede and Katie debate how the left should respond to real-life trolls, like the MAGA-hat wearing guy who turned up in Seattle recently and, after recording himself being accosted, became a right-wing hero. Finally, a new book by Alice Bolin called “Dead Girls.” It’s a provocative exploration of a big question: Why are Americans so endlessly fascinated by the murder of young women? Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

 

This episode of Blabbermouth is brought to you by Away. Away makes first-class luggage at coach prices that allow you to charge your phone on the go.  For $20 off a suitcase, go to Awaytravel.com/blabbermouth and use the promo code blabbermouth

 

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Jul 18, 2018
Amazingly, President Trump reached a new level of awful, bonkers behavior this week. Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders are here to talk about all that went down before—and after—the #TreasonSummit. Then, “Who Is America?” Katie Herzog talks about Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show and whether it’s good for a country that’s already drenched in high-powered lies, elaborate cons, and shameless manipulations. Finally, Sean Nelson brings the antidote to the endless “Prime Day” ads that recently bombarded every internet-shopping American. It’s a new anti-capitalist movie by Boots Riley, and it’s excellent. The title: Sorry to Bother You. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
 

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Jul 11, 2018

Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who President Trump nominated to the US Supreme Court this week. If Kavanaugh makes it onto the high court, Roe v. Wade seems likely to be repealed, along with important environmental protections, voting rights protections, and more. How did we arrive in this nightmare scenario, again? Who, exactly, is this guy? And what can be done? After that, Rich has a few words for Elon Musk and his mini-submarine, as well as a book recommendation with a super calming title: My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jul 3, 2018

How can the left fight back against a sure-to-be-terrible Supreme Court pick? Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders count the ways. Then Katie Herzog celebrates the supposedly patriotic gift that Michael Cohen’s giving America this Fourth of July. She also helps Dan and Eli ponder the question: Is chanting “Abolish ICE!” a wise strategy for Democrats when it comes to winning back the US House? Finally, an official quiz from the US government, taken by Dan and Rich, in honor of the Fourth of July. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jun 27, 2018
It’s been a week of historic Supreme Court decisions, continued hostility toward immigrants, and raging debates over what it means to be “civil.” Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal comes back on the show to help us make sense of it all—and to remind people to turn out on June 30 for the nationwide “Families Belong Together” protests. After that, noted civility experts Dan Savage and Rich Smith offer their takes on whether it’s wrong to shun Trump administration apparatchiks at restaurants. They also talk about what it means that 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, just won a huge upset victory against Congressman Joseph Crowley, a major Democratic Party establishment figure, in a New York City primary election. Rich, of course, takes a bow for seeing this millennial victory coming from a long way out. And Dan reveals the shocking truth about his longtime support for the DSA. Finally, Chase Burns talks about one beautiful thing that’ll make you stop cowering under the sheets: a new FX series called Pose, about the drag ball scene in 1980s New York. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo. 
Jun 20, 2018

Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders dissect the latest lies and evasions from the Trump administration as it tries to justify separating mothers from their children along the southern border. Also: Should Democrats have been shouting about the family separation policy sooner? After that, Katie Herzog talks about a controversial cover story in the current issue of The Atlantic. It’s about children who identify as trans, and the backlash over the Atlantic story reminds Katie of the online pushback she received for a piece she wrote last summer on “detransitioners." Finally, something about borders and migration that’ll set your mind right—courtesy of Rich. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

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