2nd Quarter 2019
Episode 824, 825, 826

Note: The first episode shown during the Second Quarter 2019 was a rerun of #774 on March 25, 2019.

Episode #824: With All Due Respect
First Broadcast: 4/1/19
Did you know that a British person could be insulting you to your face, and you might never know it? That's intriguing, but is it more intriguing than the Mueller report, the findings of the investigation into whether there was "coordination" between the Trump 2016 campaign and the Russian government to interfere with the results of the 2016 election, of which the public only knows from a 4-page summary written by Attorney General Barr quoting no more than 60 words from the original document, and even that much included the tidbit that, as far as the allegations of Trump obstructing justice are concerned, "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him"? Could it be that Barr's summary is concealing much more than it revealed? Are you as amazed as I am that Trump's description of the investigation as "an illegal takedown that failed" was wrong in three different ways? When will Congress and the rest of us be able to read the full report, and what happens next? I'd love to know the answer to that last one, as we continue to explore the world of audio!

Episode #825: Win Win
First Broadcast: 4/8/19
After a brief digression about the Batman TV series and the retro comic book it inspired, mixing up Yvonne Craig with Yvonne De Carlo, and tipping our hat to John Astin and Carolyn Jones, we discuss some of the more interesting parts of the new New York State budget that was signed into law this past week. Notably:

Supermarkets and other retailers will be banned from providing single-use plastic bags starting March 1, 2020. Individual counties have the option of charging 5 cents for paper bags, with 2 cents going to local governments and 3 cents to the state's Environmental Protection Fund, according to the Associated Press. [Weather.com]

It bears noting that the plastic bag ban won't be total: Restaurants will still be able to package your takeout in plastic bags, delis and butchers may still wrap meats in plastic, and plastic bags for bulk items are still allowed. Newspaper and garment bags will be similarly exempted, as will trash and recycling bags. [Gothamist]

Hey, if it keeps more plastic from filling up whale stomachs, it can't be all bad. Additionally, the state finally approved the idea of having a congestion pricing scheme in place for lower Manhattan. The amount for the toll hasn't been established yet, but of the things we do know:

Drivers who enter Manhattan below 60th Street will be tolled, except those traveling on the West Side Highway, FDR Drive and Battery Park underpass. Motorists will only be charged once a day. ... The legislation includes credits for drivers who live in the congestion pricing zone who make under $60,000 a year. MTA chairman Patrick Foye said the authority could exempt people who live on the border of the tolling district but park within it because of alternate-side parking rules. ... The deadline to implement the plan is December 2020, but tolling could begin earlier than that. ... The funds will be secured in a "lockbox" meant only to be used for MTA capital projects. [am New York]
Could one of those projects be the outfitting of all subway turnstiles with tap card readers so that apps or electronic cards can replace the MetroCard? Did we discuss the origins of anything else? Are we gonna lose all our avocados?? The audio journey continues!

Episode #826: Pick Your Tense
First Broadcast: 4/22/19
We knew the talk of the town would be the redacted Mueller report, but we had to record our episode before it was released, so we could only guess at the fountain of mendacity and corruption that lurked inside, and muse about all the other investigations that are still ongoing. We'll obviously have more to say about it next episode, but if anyone had doubts about impeaching Trump before the report was released, they should have no doubt at all by now that the motherfucker should be impeached already. We also discuss the recent fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, and speculate how it might be restored. Is this episode still an audio wonderland? Why yes, yes it is!

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