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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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May 24, 2017

Episode 102: Trump’s Fantastic Voyage

Dan Savage is back this week, and he talks with Amber Cortes and Eli Sanders about Donald Trump’s hypocrisy-drenched trip through the Middle East and Europe. Also: that hand slap! What does it MEAN, Melania?

After that, a look at this week’s special election in Montana and a dive into the right-wing conspiracy theory that actually caused FOX News to issue a rare retraction this week. If Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich spread a false story on FOX News, but then FOX News retracts the story later, does it matter?

Finally, Dan and Eli are not afraid to ask: Who was Chris Cornell? Amber explains.

(Oh, and then a vacationing Rich Smith drunk dials in with some news from the millennial mind!)

Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.Episode 102: Trump’s Fantastic Voyage

Dan Savage is back this week, and he talks with Amber Cortes and Eli Sanders about Donald Trump’s hypocrisy-drenched trip through the Middle East and Europe. Also: that hand slap! What does it MEAN, Melania?

After that, a look at this week’s special election in Montana and a dive into the right-wing conspiracy theory that actually caused FOX News to issue a rare retraction this week. If Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich spread a false story on FOX News, but then FOX News retracts the story later, does it matter?

Finally, Dan and Eli are not afraid to ask: Who was Chris Cornell? Amber explains.

(Oh, and then a vacationing Rich Smith drunk dials in with some news from the millennial mind!)

Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.Episode 102: Trump’s Fantastic Voyage

Dan Savage is back this week, and he talks with Amber Cortes and Eli Sanders about Donald Trump’s hypocrisy-drenched trip through the Middle East and Europe. Also: that hand slap! What does it MEAN, Melania?

After that, a look at this week’s special election in Montana and a dive into the right-wing conspiracy theory that actually caused FOX News to issue a rare retraction this week. If Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich spread a false story on FOX News, but then FOX News retracts the story later, does it matter?

Finally, Dan and Eli are not afraid to ask: Who was Chris Cornell? Amber explains.

(Oh, and then a vacationing Rich Smith drunk dials in with some news from the millennial mind!)

Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.Episode 102: Trump’s Fantastic Voyage

Dan Savage is back this week, and he talks with Amber Cortes and Eli Sanders about Donald Trump’s hypocrisy-drenched trip through the Middle East and Europe. Also: that hand slap! What does it MEAN, Melania? 

After that, a look at this week’s special election in Montana and a dive into the right-wing conspiracy theory that actually caused FOX News to issue a rare retraction this week. If Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich spread a false story on FOX News, but then FOX News retracts the story later, does it matter? 

Finally, Dan and Eli are not afraid to ask: Who was Chris Cornell? Amber explains.

(Oh, and then a vacationing Rich Smith drunk dials in with some news from the millennial mind!)

Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.Episode 102: Trump’s Fantastic Voyage



May 17, 2017

With Dan Savage away, Amber Cortes takes over his chair and talks with Rich Smith and Eli Sanders about this week of DC-shaking developments involving Russia, Trump, and the memos of former FBI Director James Comey. The current shitstorm of trouble for Trump raises a question: Should liberals really be pushing so hard for immediate impeachment, or would it be more strategic for the left to let all this Republican pain drag out until, say, the conclusion of the 2018 midterm elections?

 

After that: Amber takes Rich and Eli on a tour of important news items that are getting buried beneath the riveting spectacle of Trump’s “downward spiral.” Things like, oh, a worldwide cycber-attack that might be traced to North Korean “sleeper cells,” torch-weidling Nazi’s marching in Virginia, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions telling US prosecutors to seek the harshest-possible sentences whenever possible.

 

Finally: Did the world really need an in-depth look at the heroic journey of rock group The Strokes? And a call about abortion politics and that mayor’s race in Omaha that Dan, Eli, and Rich debated last week. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

May 10, 2017

Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about the firing of FBI Director James Comey. This whole thing feels a lot like the “Saturday Night Massacre” of 1973. (Which, by the way, only Boomer Dan was alive for.) It also feels like a brewing constitutional crisis. (Good thing we explained the constitution to Rich last episode.) What should Democrats do now? Dan, Rich, and Eli have some ideas. After that, three purity tests. First: Was it wrong and homophobic for Stephen Colbert to make a joke about Donald Trump being Vladimir Putin’s “cockholster”? Second: Should liberals have supported a Democratic mayoral candidate in Omaha even though he wasn’t ideologically perfect on abortion? Third: Should you cancel your New York Times subscription because the paper ran a climate-change-questioning column? And after all that: House Republicans are back home for recess following their vote to repeal Obamacare, and Rich tells you how to find them at town hall meetings—and how to shame them if they’re not holding town hall meetings. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

May 3, 2017

Is Donald Trump incompetent or incapacitated? And which is worse? Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and special guest Steven Hsieh get into the question that’s running beneath the surface of a lot of recent Trump criticism. Also: Maybe Ivanka’s gonna save us? Oh, and Hillary Clinton is joining the resistance, but she’s not making the apology for losing that Rich and Steven demand. After that, Rich and Eli talk about the new album from The Magnetic Fields, “50 Song Memoir,” and an actual print memoir that Rich is really excited about, Patricia Lockwood’s “Priestdaddy.” Finally, your calls, including our very first demand for a correction! And as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Apr 25, 2017

With Dan Savage away this week, Ijeoma Oluo sits down in his chair to talk about 100 days of Donald Trump. Has the effort to keep from "normalizing" a Trump presidency succeeded or failed? What's been the very worst day of the Trump administration so far? The best act of resistance? The act of "resistance" that probably shouldn't be repeated? Ijeoma, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith talk about it all as April 29—that's Day 100—approaches. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Apr 19, 2017

Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith process the almost-but-not-quite win of John Ossoff in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Then it's on to the next hot special election (in Montana), how last weekend's tax marches went, what Facebook's responsibility is for the live murder broadcast on its site recently, and a handy guide to when you should strongly protest your incendiary campus speaker and when you should maybe ignore your incendiary campus speaker (hint: if it's Richard Spencer, strongly protest). Plus the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Apr 12, 2017

Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about pretty much everything this week: Syria, Sean Spicer’s Holocaust Misremembrance Day, United Airlines, the upcoming Tax Day marches, the Mayor of Seattle’s balls… But the brightest spot is something that happened in a largely unnoticed special election for a Kansas Congressional seat. It’s a political story that will lift your resistance spirits, even if it doesn’t end exactly as Democrats wanted. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

Apr 5, 2017

We’ll admit it. We’re as confused as anyone by the sheer number of people involved in allegations Trump-Russia collusion. So, with the help of The Washington Post, we’re heading down into the bunker with some mug shots, push pins, and red thread to sort it all out. (Dan Savage is away this week, so the bunker-mates are Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Sydney Brownstone.) After that: will the latest sexual harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly be the end of his career? And finally, Stranger film editor Charles Mudede is back on to talk about the Scralett Johansson controversy, the Pepsi commercial controversy, and whether Dave Chapelle’s jokes are appropriate. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo. 

Mar 29, 2017

Fresh off their failed attempt to repeal Obamacare, Republicans are chugging ahead with a whole bunch of other terrible ideas. For starters, taking away your internet privacy and rolling back environmental regulations meant to stave off global warming. Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about all that, as well as the stalled out Russia-Trump investigation in the US House, and then dive into something a little more uplifting: the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Democrat Jon Ossoff, the 30-year-old who’s captured liberals’ hopes, seems to really have a chance. Maybe. We discuss. And finally, the books we’re reading and the movie Dan’s watching to escape all this madness. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Mar 22, 2017

 

After charging through the week’s big political news—Comey’s announcement, the Gorsuch hearings, a looming vote to repeal Obamacare—we dive into a fight over hillbillies. It turns out that Dan Savage really, really loved a recent Frank Rich argument in New York Magazine titled, “No Sympathy for the Hillbilly.” Eli Sanders and Rich Smith? Not so much. An epic argument ensues, and then we play one of the many calls we received after last week’s show! Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Mar 15, 2017

Yes, yes, Rachel Maddow had a big 'ol scoop this week about Donald Trump's taxes, but we're going to start this week's show by keeping our eyes on the life-and-death matter of the Republican health care bill. Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about why it's currently, delightfully bringing on a Republican civil war. After that: Maddow and Trump's taxes. Then, in light of last week's conversation about privilege and the International Women's Day strike, a caller asks: What, exactly, is so wrong with using your privilege to help others? Finally, Dan, Rich, and Eli get into it over the recent free speech fracas at Middlebury college in Vermont. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo. 

Mar 8, 2017

In honor of International Women’s Day we kick Rich Smith out of his chair and talk to a different millennial, Ana Sofia Knauf, who’s decided not to participate in the much discussed “Day Without Women” strike. Ana Sofia tells us why some people are calling the strike an expression of privilege. After that, Dan, Rich, and Eli quickly celebrate the trouble Republicans are having (so far) in their effort to repeal Obamacare, and then Eli talks one-on-one with General Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency, about everything from Russia’s relationship with Donald Trump to why the US even needs 17 different intelligence agencies. After that, Dan, Rich, and Eli float their theories on Trump and Russia and Rich talks about a mind-clearing moment of bliss he just had in connection with all of this. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!In honor of International Women’s Day we kick Rich Smith out of his chair and talk to a different millennial, Ana Sofia Knauf, who’s decided not to participate in the much discussed “Day Without Women” strike. Ana Sofia tells us why some people are calling the strike an expression of privilege. After that, Dan, Rich, and Eli quickly celebrate the trouble Republicans are having (so far) in their effort to repeal Obamacare, and then Eli talks one-on-one with General Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency, about everything from Russia’s relationship with Donald Trump to why the US even needs 17 different intelligence agencies. After that, Dan, Rich, and Eli float their theories on Trump and Russia and Rich talks about a mind-clearing moment of bliss he just had in connection with all of this. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

 

Mar 1, 2017

First up: Rich Smith, Sydney Brownstone, and Eli Sanders tangle with Donald Trump’s first prime time address to Congress. Next: Sean Nelson watched 14 films by Steve Bannon and lived to tell you what they mean for our present. And finally: Charles Mudede on the lessons of Moonlight’s big win at The Oscars. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

Feb 22, 2017

In light of the Department of Homeland Security’s new crackdown on immigration, Rich Smith and Sydney Brownstone dive back into the still-developing case of Daniel Ramirez, a DREAMer who was recently arrested in Seattle. Then, Ana Sofia Knauf and Dan Savage unravel Milo Yiannopoulos's death spiral. The blogger was accused of and has apologized for appearing to advocate for sexual relationships between 13-year-olds and grown men, but he lost a book deal, a gig at CPAC, and a chunk of fans in the process. Finally, it's congressional recess week! Rich Smith offers up a curated selection of town hall confrontations, as well as a few recess plans from some of our listeners. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Feb 15, 2017

With Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders we dive into “Flynnghazi” (aka “Flynn-gate,” aka big trouble for Trump). What, exactly, is going on in this huge political mess? And what would Republicans be doing if anything remotely like this were unfolding under a President Hillary Clinton. After that, Sydney Brownstone is back on the show to discuss a young, immigrant “Dreamer” named Daniel Ramirez who was arrested in Seattle this week, and how his arrest could provoke a showdown with Trump. Next, a liberal woman from deep red Oklahoma calls in for advice on how to resist when her elected Republican representatives “don’t give a crap.” We get some ideas from Ezra Levin of the Indivisible movement, and then Dan and Rich toss in their two cents. Finally, a segment called “Dan Was Right”—kicked off by a call from a woman in Milwaukee. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo

Feb 8, 2017

 

First, Dan Savage and Rich Smith chew through all that’s happened this week (which, once again, is quite a lot). In particular, we’ll discuss the Betsy DeVos confirmation, the silencing of Elizabeth Warren, and why Dan is furious at Jill Stein all over again. After that, Sydney Brownstone talks about what it was like to be in the courthouse as a federal judge halted Donald Trump’s travel ban—and where the case against the ban goes next. Finally, Dan and Rich are back to remind you: The Congressional recess is coming! Time to sharpen your town hall meeting questions. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Feb 1, 2017

Has there ever been a week in American politics like the one that just passed? Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders start off by trying to digest the Trump administration’s blitzkrieg of alarming actions and policy pronouncements. Dan also offers some advice for a caller who—like Dan—is currently trying to resist Trump from Europe. After that, Sydney Brownstone talks about something perhaps lost in the flurry of democracy-rattling Trump activity: his administration’s reported moves to allow the Dakota Access pipeline to go forward, despite many months of objection and action at Standing Rock. (And despite the Obama administration’s efforts to slow down or halt the pipeline project.) Finally, Rich talks to Dan and Eli about the latest trend in demanding action from your Democratic US Senator: calling for “holds” to be used to grind Senate business to a halt until the Trump administration changes course on major issues. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jan 25, 2017

Well, here we are: Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America. First on this week’s show, Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders talk about watching and processing Trump’s inaugural address (and, later, absorbing his continuing assault on verifiable truth). Then Stranger writers Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover, who spent four days on the ground in Washington, DC covering the inauguration, tell us about being surrounded by Trump-supporting women, getting teargassed, confronting Neo-Nazis, and being on the streets for the historic Women’s March. Finally, Rich Smith and Stranger film editor Charles Mudede talk about how to turn all this progressive protest energy into actual, meaningful action—and whether the people of the left are really ready to mimic those Charles likes to call “The Tea People.” Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jan 18, 2017

This week we recorded live at Town Hall Seattle, with music performed by The Stranger’s Sean Nelson plus a bunch of great guests. First off: Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and myself talk about how it feels to stare down the barrel of the just-days-away Trump presidency, as well as what specific acts of resistance seem most important to us right now. Next: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who was one of the first members of Congress to refuse to attend Trump's inauguration, talks about why she won’t be at Trump’s swearing in, what future impeachment possibilities she’s considering, how we can save the Affordable Care Act, and—with the Women’s March coming on Saturday—wether it’s “women,” “womyn,” or “womxn.” Finally: Before Stranger reporters Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover fly off to DC to cover the inauguration, Dan, Rich, and Eli check in with them about how they’re taking in this moment and what they’re hoping to see at the “Make America Great Again Ball." Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jan 11, 2017

First up: Dan, Rich, and Eli take on a week of huge, crazy, and sobering news: the Jeff Sessions hearings, the alleged Donald Trump piss tape, Meryl Streep-gate, and President Barack Obama’s farewell address. Next: A reading of a letter from a very special listener. After that: Eric Kanter, the mixed-race resident of Whitefish, Montana, who confronted white supremacist Richard Spencer at a local coffee shop the other day, ultimately telling Spencer to go fuck himself. And finally: Dan, Rich, and Eli discuss “Conflict Is Not Abuse,” a provocative book by Sarah Schulman that argues that a decision to claim victimhood can sometimes be an unhelpful escalation. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Jan 4, 2017

Maybe you’ve heard news reports about that small town in Montana where Jewish store owners were targeted by an online Neo-Nazi “troll army” over the holiday season? Yeah, well... that’s where Eli spent his holiday season. On this episode, we talk about that experience—and Eli gets Dan Savage and Rich Smith to weigh in on a moral quandary it raises. After that, live from a property at the center of the ideological firestorm in Whitefish: gay attorney Craig Mungas tells Eli what it’s like to wake up one day and find out you’re renting your law office from the mother of the white supremacist whose presence in Whitefish was one of the sparks for this whole dispiriting episode. Finally, author and social media eminence Lindy West is on to talk about her decision this week to leave Twitter. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Dec 21, 2016

Well. That whole thing about the Electoral College stopping Trump didn’t work out, did it? Dan Savage and Rich Smith give Eli Sanders some deserved reality checks regarding last week’s Great Hope for Resisting Trump, and right after that... It’s on to this week’s Great Hope for Resisting Trump! His name is Ezra Levin, he’s a former Democratic Congressional aide who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party firsthand, and he’s one of the authors of a free, open-sourced guide to using Tea Party tactics to stop Trump that’s gone viral in recent days. The guide’s called “Indivisible,” you can find it at www.indivisibleguide.com, and Eli talks to Ezra about its ideas. After that, Dan, Rich, and Eli talk about whether we really want to race Republicans to the moral rock-bottom when it comes to political combat (can you guess who’s more than ready for that race to start?) and whether we have any choice at this point. Finally, Stranger Social Media Manager Jessica Fu is back to explain Facebook’s plan to solve the fake news problem—and to answer Eli and Rich’s questions about whether the plan’s any good. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Dec 14, 2016

We have a real live Electoral College member on this week’s podcast! His name is Bret Chiafalo, he has a plan to block a Donald Trump presidency, and he shares it with me and Rich Smith. Get out your copy of the Constitution, grab your Federalist Papers, and fire up your calculator. The Electoral College votes on December 19th and, if the plan being hatched by Chiafalo and his “Hamilton Electors” movement works, we’re in for a wild, historic ride. After that: Congresswoman-elect Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian-American woman ever elected to the US House. She’s been described as another Elizabeth Warren, and she’s on to talk about what she’ll be fighting for in DC and how the progressive left can dust itself off, cast aside its bickering and “Oppression Olympics” tendencies, and keep on doing good work. Finally, Stranger film writer Charles Mudede discusses the latest Star Wars movie, Rogue One, and what it teaches about political resistance. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Dec 7, 2016

 

After last week’s show we got a call from Robert. He’s 25 years old and feels pretty pessimistic about the future these days. So on this week’s show we try to give Robert some reasons to hope. (Or, failing that, some sense that the left, the country, and the planet are not irrevocably doomed in the age of Trump.) First up: Dan Savage and Sydney Brownstone, who talk about how to snatch optimism from the jaws of despondency. Next: Zach Silk, a liberal political operative who really, truly believes the left has a chance to make big political gains under a Trump presidency. And finally: Rich Smith talks to me about my current hope against hope, which is that the Electoral College will save us on December 19th. Come on, Electoral College! Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Nov 30, 2016

Can Dan Savage say something nice about Jill Stein now that she’s leading a recount charge in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania? And why does Sydney Brownstone see a "successful” recount leading to blood in the streets? We answer all these questions and more right of the bat! Then we perform oral readings of two great listener comments—one voiced by Heidi Groover and the other by Charles Mudede. After that, a segment we’re calling Rich Smith’s Glossary of Ocracies. (You gotta listen to find out.) And finally, Stranger social media manager Jessica Fu tries to talk me down off the “Facebook is killing democracy" ledge I climbed out on last week. Plus, as always, the music of Ahamefule J. Oluo!

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