Note: The first episode shown during the First Quarter 2021 was a rerun of #335 on December 21, 2020.
Episode #880: Brain Fog
First Broadcast: 12/28/20
When we recorded this episode, we didn't know whether or not President Trump was going to sign the latest COVID-19 relief bill into law, since--after it had passed both houses of Congress--he had complained that the "stimulus" checks in the bill should be increased from $600 per person to $2000 per person. Democrats were more than willing to amend the bill to include the increase, but Republicans in the House blocked the amendment, so the bill's ultimate status was still in doubt, especially since Trump had already vetoed a defense spending bill that same week. In the end, Trump signed the original relief bill after all, with no change in the stimulus amount, mere hours before our episode premiered. This all begs the question: Was Trump just fucking around and delaying the whole process because he could? Was this a "fuck you" to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, reminding voters in Georgia that Republicans are the reason their stimulus checks won't be bigger, only days before a runoff election for both of Georgia's Senate seats, which will determine which party will control the Senate for the next Congress? Was Trump bored after dishing out pardons to his extended criminal family? Can't we still impeach him for trying to convince the world to believe his fantasy that he somehow won the 2020 Presidential election that he lost by all methods of counting the popular and electoral vote? Here's hoping we all survive the next few weeks of this bullshit...
Episode #881: Into a Froth
First Broadcast: 1/4/21
The United States keeps passing more grim milestones, as over 350,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 in the year since the pandemic started. That's more dead than the total number of combat deaths in the American Civil War, with the equivalent of the 9/11 attacks' worth of deaths now occurring every day in this country. Thankfully, two COVID vaccines are now available in the U.S., but vaccination is proceeding so slowly at the moment that the nation won't be fully vaccinated until 2031--which isn't the kind of thing you want to hear when a new, even more contagious variant of coronavirus first identified in the U.K. has crossed the Atlantic Ocean and is now present in no less than three non-contiguous states. Will incoming President Biden's administration really be able to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office? Will I really be able to get a vaccination by June, as the outgoing White House has predicted? Will the crew at Free New York remember the difference between a Leica and a Lektor? Only time will tell!
Episode #882: Delusional Fantasies
First Broadcast: 1/11/21
On December 19, 2020, President Trump, back when he still had a Twitter account, tweeted "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!" As advertised, on January 6, 2021, the date that Congress convened to count the electoral votes from the 2020 election for President, "Stop The Steal" and other pro-Trump groups, held a rally in Washington D.C., where Rudy Giuliani and other Trump supporters falsely claimed, once again, that allegedly massive, widespread fraud robbed Trump of a second term as President, even though the President's proponents failed to prove that any voter fraud occurred in at least 60 different lawsuits filed since the election. When Donald Trump himself showed up, he launched into a speech that lasted over one hour, repeating the same false claims of victimhood that had been making ever since he lost the election in November. At the end of it, he said this:
If we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country, because it's illegal when the votes are illegal, when the way they got there is illegal, when the States that vote are given false and fraudulent information. ... I think one of our great achievements will be election security because nobody until I came along, had any idea how corrupt our elections were. And again, most people would stand there at 9:00 in the evening and say, "I want to thank you very much," and they go off to some other life, but I said, "Something's wrong here. Something's really wrong. Can't have happened." And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don't fight like Hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. ... So we're going to, we're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we're going to the Capitol and we're going to try and give... The Democrats are hopeless. They're never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we're going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Now thoroughly incited, the rally crowd walked to the Capitol building, bum-rushed their way past the surprisingly sparse number of police and other personnel who were guarding the place, and stormed the building, scaling walls, breaking windows, smashing doors, ransacking offices, assaulting police, and openly expressing homicidal intent towards "the media," Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Vice President Mike Pence, forcing Congress-members and their staffs to flee to "secure" locations within the building while the mob marauded through various halls and offices, at one point reaching the floor of the Senate itself. Makeshift barricades and drawn guns prevented the crowds from reaching the House floor, and pure chance prevented someone from using 11 Molotov cocktails full of homemade napalm, but not before at least one woman was shot dead by Capitol police, and at least 4 other people died from injuries received during the collective assault, including one police officer. Several hours after this insurrection started, National Guard troops and police from several states finally arrived to clear the trespassers out of the building, but somehow still managed to not arrest most of them when they had the greatest opportunity to do so. Congress eventually resumed their electoral vote count, which officially registered Joe Biden as the President-Elect of the United States, but not before some Republican Senators and Representatives continued to object to the electors from some states, repeating some of the same claims that Trump had used to incite his followers to invade the Capitol only hours before. Rather than condemn them, Trump expressed sympathy and justified their actions, and by the next day, Americans from all political persuasions were calling for President Trump to either resign, be impeached, or be removed from office via the 25th Amendment, unwilling to gamble on what other dangerous activity he could inspire with his few remaining days in office. After we recorded our episode, Twitter permanently banned Trump from its platform, on the grounds that there was too great a "risk of further incitement of violence" if he remained there, followed by a cascade of other social media restrictions on Trump and the online places where his fans congregate. Will Trump become the only President to get impeached twice? Let's hope his cult doesn't hurt anyone else before we find out!