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!
This week, amid all the usual falsehoods and buffoonery, President Donald Trump struck a blow against US militarism and upended the proceedings of the “Group of Seven” industrialized countries. Take Trump out of it and… aren’t these outcomes that the left has long wanted? Can Trump occasionally be right for all the wrong reasons? And what’s a lefty to do when this happens? Charles Mudede, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders try to figure it out. After that, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal talks about what she saw inside an ICE detention center where migrant mothers seeking asylum in the US have been separated from their children. Jayapal shares these women’s stories and talks about what listeners can do to end this inhumane practice. Finally, another primary night! Charles talks about Wisconsin, Rich talks about Virginia, and Eli talks about South Carolina. Then Rich offers a quick take on the new, very funny Michelle Wolf series on Netflix. It’s called “The Break.” Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
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California’s “jungle” primary may be over, but the arguing over what it means is not! Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith bicker about whether the generally good results for Democrats in California on Tuesday could—gasp—be a sign that the national party, which sunk $8 million into shaping the outcome, might have, maybe, been onto something. After that, Trump’s pardon bonanza, Katie Herzog’s internal wrestling with whether to be nice to Melania Trump, and Dan’s take on the US Supreme Court cake case. Finally, Chase Burns and Eli talk again about their personal odysseys in a world that’s been eaten by Facebook. This week Eli’s reporting about Facebook and political ads led to a major lawsuit against the company, while Chase’s job promoting posts with “political content” got a lot harder. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
Well, that’s the end of Roseanne! (The re-boot, anyway.) Charles Mudede, Dan Savage, and Eli Sanders talk about the racist outburst that finally crossed the line, their own personal Roseanne-watching limits, the strong similarities between Roseanne and Trump, and the inevitable right-wing complaint that cancelling Roseanne equals stifling free speech. After that, Katie Herzog breaks down a recent US Supreme Court decision on abortion that you need to be tracking and then considers the renewed talk of a Bernie Sanders presidential run re-boot. Is Bernie just too fucking old for this shit? Finally, Rich Smith digests new, anger-fanning news from Puerto Rico and the US southern border—and then considers Jeff Bezos’s easy, one-step answer to all the world’s problems. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.
Stacey Abrams wins in Georgia! (Becoming the first black woman in history to be a major party’s choice for governor.) And former fighter pilot Amy McGrath wins in Kentucky! (Becoming the latest badass to defy the Democratic establishment's hopes.) Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about what it all means. Plus: Is the Bernie Sanders army really imploding? After that, Katie Herzog joins to talk about the Republicans’ latest effort to help big banks—by rolling back Dodd-Frank. Will the Republican voters who chanted “Drain! The! Swamp!” ever catch on? And then: Who was right during last week’s argument between Rich and Katie over how to actually persuade hard-core Trumpers? Listeners weigh in. Finally, Philip Roth is dead at 85. What do we make of this man, who the New York Times calls “the last of the great white males”? Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
Did the wrong Democrats win some of Tuesday’s primaries in Nebraska, Idaho, and Pennsylvania? The Washington Post suggests yes, but Rich Smith isn’t having it and Eli Sanders and Katie Herzog hear him out. Then: Are liberals dumb to call Trump voters stupid? A big argument over an argument that won’t stop until at least 2020. Finally, twinks. According to The New York Times, we have just recently entered “The Age of the Twink.” Not everyone agrees, including Chase Burns, self-described “lead twink” at The Stranger. There is a lot to consider here, including whether "straight twinks" are a welcome answer to the “crisis in masculinity.” Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
We just went through another big round of pre-midterm primaries, and Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about what the results mean. In West Virginia, a convicted criminal coal baron failed to make it through the Republican Senate primary, which… is a good thing? In Ohio, Dennis Kucinich lost in the Democratic gubernatorial primary to a wonk who used to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which… means the fever is breaking and voters are back to wanting effective moderates? (Or does it actually mean the fever is still spiking and voters now really, really hate anyone who, like Kucinich, has “Congressman” connected to their name?) After all that, Katie Herzog joins in to talk about Melania Trump’s “Be Best” campaign and a grim story from New York: the downfall of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who’s been a prominent foe of accused sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein but is now himself accused of violence against women. Schneiderman resigned this week, but says he didn’t assault anyone and was just “role playing.” What do we make of this statement? Finally, with Mother’s Day upon us Angela Garbes reads from her new book, “Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy.” Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is back on the show this week with her recipe for Democratic success in the upcoming midterm elections. She also answers Rich Smith’s burning questions about whether the national Democratic Party is interfering too much in local primary races. But before all that, Dan Savage, Katie Herzog, and Eli Sanders trip through another crazy week—including the “raid” on Trump’s old doctor, Trump’s Nobel nomination, and Mueller’s long list of questions for the president. They also tackle Michelle Wolf’s “controversial” comedy set at the White House Correspondents Dinner and an important, hard-to-answer question: What do we do with the #MeToo-felled men who now want to make a comeback? And after Jayapal’s take on the midterms, Katie Herzog encourages listeners to check out the new Rachel Dolezal documentary, The Rachel Divide, which was recently released on Netxflix. There’s more to it than you might imagine. Plus a Rich Smith reading of a Lucille Clifton poem and, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo
The Democrat didn’t win in Arizona’s 8th Congressional district this week, but the results of that race were still very, very encouraging. Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about why this particular loss is actually a kind of win, and then they examine a new, shade-throwing slogan that Democrats are considering for the midterms. The Republicans, this slogan goes, are the party of “corruption, cronyism, and incompetence.” Who could argue with that one? But, also: Will it work? After that, will anything work when it comes to the staggering number of Americans who just don’t vote? Katie Herzog joins Dan and Eli to look at the results of a new poll that asked this country's nonvoters what the hell they’re thinking. The answers are a trip, but they also represent an opportunity for the right politician. (Who, the poll reveals, is a certain lovable lefty authoritarian.) Finally, Rich returns to deal with the pressing issue of Professor Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist whose hot take on the so-called crisis in masculinity has transformed him into “maybe the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now.” Is there anything Peterson is actually right about? Why did he perform so well in his epic face-off with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman? (Which now has more than 9 million views on YouTube.) And why, exactly, do so many young men worship this dude? Plus, as always, the music of Ahaemfule J. Oluo!
“Bulletproof, slow, and full of wine” is how The New York Times describes a very special train that Kim Jong Un likes to ride around in, and Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders all admit—it sounds kinda nice. But more importantly: there’s the Stormy Daniels interview on 60 Minutes to discuss, the new US Census citizenship requirement to freak out about, and a very important question to ponder: Should we just flat-out repeal the Second Amendment? A former US Supreme Court Justice says we should, but is his argument just a gift to Trump and the frothing, paranoid right ahead of the midterms? After all that, Chase Burns is back to discuss what we all found when we downloaded our own Facebook data. When was the last time Eli got “poked”? What debt-related ad did Rich get caught clicking on? Whose contact information was given to PediaSure? And how do we feel about all this??? All is revealed. (Along with an update on the latest Facebook data scandal developments.) Finally, Katie Herzog watched this week’s insanely popular reboot of Roseanne and also spent a very long time with Oregon cult members while watching Netflix’s Wild, Wild Country. She tells Dan and Eli all about it. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
So, wait a minute: If Stormy Daniels wins her fight against Trump’s lawyers, and she releases Trump sexts and (gasp) dick pics to the world, does that constitute… revenge porn? Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders consider this urgent question, and then they dive into the lessons of the recent primary elections in Illinois and hear from a pro-life Democrat in Pennsylvania who wants to be accepted by the party’s pro-choice members. Plus, Rich Smith asks: Why, amid all the many Trump outrages, are we not more outraged by the Trump administration’s flagrant corruption? After that, social media expert Chase Burns is back to help Dan and Eli think about the scandal involving Facebook data and the Trump campaign’s data firm, Cambridge Analytica. Should we #DeleteFacebook? Finally, Katie Herzog addresses the furor over her rant on last week’s show about Emotional Support Animals in general, and dogs on planes in particular. Katie reads an excerpt from one of many comments posted in our Blabbermouth Podcast Facebook group about this incendiary issue, and Dan—shockingly—doesn’t hold back about his dog feelings. Plus, what Rich is watching, what Dan is reading, and why Eli will be at his local March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24—and why you should be, too. And, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!
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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!