1st Quarter 2019
Episode 816, 817, 818, 819, 820, 821, 822, 823

Note: The first episode shown after the end of the Fourth Quarter 2018 was #803 on December 17, 2018, during a week that did not fall within either the Fourth Quarter 2018 or the First Quarter 2019. The first episode shown during the First Quarter 2019 was a rerun of #335 on December 24, 2018.

Episode #816: Where'd They Go
First Broadcast: 12/31/18
In a first for Free New York, tonight's episode is audio only--on purpose!--with only a lone screen-saver to keep your eyes company. In this relaxed "NPR"-type atmosphere, Camerawoman Kim and I discuss the latest government shutdown, the Dow Jones index, Robin Hood, U.S. military bases, Hawaii, bone spurs, a shady-sounding podiatrist, and Trump lying to U.S. troops, among other things. Will we ever do another "podcast" episode like this again? Only time will tell!

Episode #817: The Stupidest Thing
First Broadcast: 1/7/19
The year 2018 was "the worst year for stocks since 2008," and December 2018 was the worst December for the Dow Jones index since 1931. Among the casualties: Apple, which now thinks it will earn "only" $84 billion in its first quarter 2019, instead of the $89-93 billion it originally estimated, due in large part to Trump's trade war with China. This brings up two questions: 1) What kind of a country is this where a company can earn $84 billion and still be considered "in trouble"? 2) If the richest company in America and the richest Americans who own stocks aren't better off because of Trump, and the poorest Americans who rely on federal services and jobs in dying industries aren't better off because of Trump, then who exactly is benefiting from Trump's policies? Have you seen Harlan County U.S.A. to get a better idea of how coal mining could kill you? Who might the Democrats nominate for President in 2020? What will Governor Cuomo do for New York in his third term? All this and more in another audio-only episode!

Episode #818: A Stupid Wall
First Broadcast: 1/14/19
On January 8, 2019, Donald Trump gave his first address to the nation from the Oval Office, in which he told the TV audience why, as a pre-requisite to ending his current partial shutdown of the federal government, he wanted Congress to allocate $5.7 billion to build a wall along the United States' southern border with Mexico, despite the fact that he didn't think the speech was going to change anyone's mind anyway. The next day, Trump held a meeting at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the newly re-relected Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, even though Trump clearly didn't want to do this either. According to Senator Dick Durbin:

"He said today, in the middle of this meeting, 'I don't know why I'm doing this. I didn't want to do this meeting. They told me I had to do this meeting.'"

Needless to say, the meeting did not end with the Democrats agreeing to fund a wall that most Americans don't want to solve a "crisis" that doesn't exist in a way that wouldn't solve any problems anyway. As a result, we're now in the midst of the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history, and it's not clear how it's eventually going to end--assuming it does end sometime. Hear us speculate, as out audio-only experiment continues!

Episode #819: The Worst Elements
First Broadcast: 1/28/19
As we shot yet another audio-only episode on the 33rd day of the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history, we didn't know that it would end only two days later. (Frankly, we were wondering if it would keep going until April!) Nonetheless, we still wondered what would happen with the State of the Union address, whether Mitch McConnell was the worst person in Congress, who would be awful enough to cut down Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park, and if a potential strike by flight attendants would be the last straw that would force the government to reopen. (Turns out, it might have been!) After that, what's next? An invasion of Venzuela? Listen in, why don't you?

Episode #820: How Many Wrong Things
First Broadcast: 2/11/19
Perhaps audio is enough to display how annoyed and appalled we at Free New York were when we watched Donald Trump's State of the Union address this past week, because our screensaver experiment continues for another week! Did Trump lie about a wall lowering crime in El Paso? Yes. Did he lie about the new laws regulating abortion in New York State? Yes. Did he praise World War II veterans who defeated Nazis, without mentioning the support he gets from Nazi sympathizers in the United States? Yes! Is his version of "cooperation" from Democrats no different from Rush Limbaugh's? Yeah, pretty much! Did he lie about too many other things to count? Oh, yes! Did we run out of time while we talked about them? "Mmmmm... could be!"

Episode #821: One Question Quiz
First Broadcast: 2/18/19
Repeated: 4/15/19
First, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota makes the completely rational observation that AIPAC spends a lot of money to influence members of Congress, a fact that was somehow transubstantiated into an "anti-Semetic" remark by people who think any criticism of Israel is somehow anti-Jewish. Then, Representative Omar grilled Trump's special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, about his commitment to promoting human rights and preventing genocide in Venzuela--both of which are topics worth discussing, since Abrams did his best to ignore both in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua during his tenure in the State Department of the Reagan administration. To all of the above, I say: It's about time someone spoke out about the United States' near unconditional support of Israel, as well as the United States' horrible track record of abuses in Central America. Salutations to Representative Omar for being brave enough to do so. By the way: Are you looking forward to the Senate vote on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's outline for a Green New Deal as much as I am? I certainly hope so, as our audio odyssey continues!

Episode #822: Paraphrasing
First Attempted Broadcast: 3/4/19 Program not shown! Another program named "The Staten Island Comedy Show" was shown in our timeslot instead.
First Actual Broadcast: 3/11/19
On February 27, 2019, Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and "fixer," Michael Cohen, testified before the House Oversight Committee that Trump is "a racist," "a con man," and "a cheat," in that order. Cohen also said that "Mr. Trump had frequently told me that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world," implied that Trump Sr. was a pathological liar (not much of a stretch), expressed his fear that Trump won't leave the White House if he loses the 2020 election, and warned all the Republicans who reflexively defend all of Trump's inexcusable actions that "The more people that follow Mr. Trump--as I did blindly--are going to suffer the same consequences that I'm suffering." One standout moment was when Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used her time to--get this--ask pertinent questions whose answers generated names of potential future witnesses and reasons to subpeona Trump's tax returns, and with time left over too! Will all of this finally lead to Trump's impeachment at some point? Think in audio, and watch the screen-saver in video, and wonder along with us!

Episode #823: "Otherwise Blameless"
First Broadcast: 3/18/19
This week, we ask the burning question: Why is it that Paul Manafort--former Trump campaign manager and current convicted criminal--isn't receiving more attention for how he forced his brain-damaged wife to have group sex against her will? How is it that a man who committed so many crimes that he got indicted for 16 offenses mere minutes after being sentenced to 7 years in prison only a week after being sentenced to just under 4 years in prison, could conceivably be called a man who lived "an otherwise blameless life"? Have all of Trump's so-called Christian supporters forgotten that Trump himself told a room full of Christians that he has never asked God for forgiveness, the one thing that all Christian denominations require someone to do to be considered a Christian? Why did Aunt Becky do what she did? All this and more, in stunning audio!

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