Note: The first episode shown during the Fourth Quarter 2017 was a rerun of #765 on September 18, 2017.
Episode #776: All Power's Out
First Broadcast: 9/25/17
If you don't already know, Hurricane Maria knocked out all of the power in Puerto Rico--a U.S. territory with a larger population than the state of Iowa--and the government there estimates that the whole island might be without electricity for "four to six months." Can you imagine anyone announcing that one of the 50 states would be without electricity for half a year? It's appalling and ridiculous, and the American citizens there deserve better assistance than that. Of course, considering how President Trump seems to spend more time making ridiculous speeches that violate the law, and considering that his party loves to waste time making sure no one has affordable health care, we better not hold our collective breath.
Episode #777: Who the Hell Knows
First Broadcast: 10/9/17
Another day, another mass shooting in the United States, this time in Las Vegas, where one man--Stephen Paddock--murdered 58 people and wounded over 500 more by shooting them with modified weapons from his 32nd floor suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel, about 400 yards away. Why was he allowed to own weapons better than the ones used by our military? Did anyone notice that it was an unarmed, unionized, Latino security guard who located the shooter (and was wounded by the shooter in the process)? Why was the Las Vegas P.D. reluctant to describe the shooter as a terrorist, even though this event appeared to meet Nevada's definition of an act of terrorism? Would the shooter have been described as a "lone wolf" if he wasn't a white man? Will any sensible changes to gun laws happen as a result? These are good questions.
Episode #778: Is It The Chocolate Bunnies?
First Broadcast: 10/16/17
According to anonymous sources, Donald Trump hates everyone in the White House! The Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, allegedly called Trump a "moron" (or "fucking moron") after Trump said he wanted a 1000% increase in our nuclear weapons arsenal, which would violate pretty much every arms control agreement the U.S. has made since the 1970s! Trump responded by implying that, between himself and Tillerson, Tillerson would be the dumbest person in the room! Trump denied any truth to a report alledging that Chief of Staff John Kelly was about to be fired--even though no report of the kind appeared to exist! And a great deal of the federal government remains severely understaffed! Will Trump's staff try to tackle him if he reaches for the nuclear launch codes? Are we slowly marching towards a catastrophic war with North Korea? Too much to think about!
Episode #779: Brain Disorder
First Broadcast: 10/23/17
Donald Trump created a week full of unforced errors for himself, when he apparently insulted the widow of a dead soldier by telling her that her late husband "knew what he signed up for," then denied that he said it, despite at least two witnesses to the contrary, then claimed to have "proof" that he didn't say what he said, despite not showing the alleged proof to anyone for inspection. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who was with the widow, Myeshia Johnson, when she received Trump's phone call, described Trump as "crazy" and having a "brain disorder." Separately, Masha Gessen wrote an article for The New Yorker, where she described Donald Trump as governing "like a teen-ager," showing "an angry refusal to understand why rules should exist." Is all this just mounting evidence for the question I asked back in July, 2016--namely: "Is Donald Trump literally brain-damaged?" Is "malignant narcissism" the best term to describe his mental disorder? Is the "Goldwater Rule" obsolete? Is the 25th Amendment worth considering to remove Trump from office, or is the thought of "President Pence" too awful an alternative to contemplate? This probably isn't the last time some of these questions will come up.
Episode #780: Not Doctor Doom
First Broadcast: 11/6/17
On October 31, a man deliberately drove a truck down a bike path along the West Side Highway, killing 8 people before eventually crashing the truck near Stuyvesant High School, jumping out of the truck and waving two "fake" guns around, and being shot by a police officer attempting to flee the scene, which finally stopped him in his tracks. As he left the truck, he shouted "Allahu Ackbar," which apparently was the phrase that allowed certain people to call this act "terrorism"--as opposed to the mass murder, that is. Of course, now that the "terrorist" label has been invoked, Donald Trump immediately called for the death penalty to be applied (something he didn't do for shooter in Las Vegas recently, or the man who killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville), and people like John McCain argued in favor of sending the suspect to Guantanamo Bay, even though this crime was firmly within the jurisdiction of New York State. What will it take for people to realize that the phrase "Allahu Ackbar" is not exclusively used by "terrorists," and not required to be said in order to call a violent act "terrorism"? Do people not realize that everyone is entitled to civil rights, even if they're suspects accused of mass violence? I'm glad New York City is so resilient and sees through the bullshit, for the most part, but I hope the rest of the country catches up fast.
Episode #781: Worst People Possible
First Broadcast: 11/20/17
One of the worst people in the world right now is Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in the upcoming special election in December in Alabama, a man who was apparently so desperate for teenage pussy when he was in his 30's that he allegedly telephoned a high school student to ask her out on a date while she was in trigonometry class, among many other things. Also bad: Trump's administration lifting a ban the importation of elephant parts, despite the fact that elephants are an endangered species, and probably not coincidentally hunted by at least one of his sons. And maybe even worse: The proposed GOP tax bill which would lower taxes on corporations while raising taxes on the 99%, repeal (once again) parts of the Affordable Care Act, tax graduate students' grants as if they were income, and declare personhood for fetuses in an attempt to ban abortions. Can we move on to 2018 already?
Episode #782: Deeper and Deeper In The Hole
First Broadcast: 12/4/17
Would the Senate Republicans be insane enough to pass a tax bill that, on top of an immense transfer of wealth form the very poor to the very rich, included "An abortion law reclassifying life at conception," "A clause to drill oil in Alaska’s arctic wildlife preserve," a repeal of part of the Affordable Care Act (which would throw 13 million people off their health insurance), and a tax break for owners of private jets, only hours after releasing the full text in the middle of the night, parts of which were handwritten at the last minute, with no hearings whatsoever? Yes, yes they would. Will all these shenanagins lead to a Democratic takeover of the Congress in 2018? Oh, I hope so! Maybe then this shit will STOP...
Episode #783: Canceling Out
First Broadcast: 12/11/17
This past week, Donald Trump upended 70 years of U.S. policy and formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite all the violations of international law and disregard for peace with Palestine which that entails. Did he do this to distract everyone from news about his horrible eating and personal habits? Or from that hastily-written tax bill that the Republicans in the Senate passed? Or from his endorsement of an alleged pedophile for Senate? Or from Robert Mueller's investigation? Or from a possible nuclear war with North Korea? Or is he just a horrible, horrible man in general? I hope we get answers to all of this before we all perish.