1st Quarter 2020
Episode 848, 849, 850, 851, 852, 853, 854, 855

Note: The first episodes shown during the First Quarter 2020 were reruns of #335 on December 23, 2019, and #843 on December 30, 2019.

Episode #848: Misnomer
First Broadcast: 1/6/20
Happy New Year! A new quarter, a new year, and a new decade all unfold before us in this episode--and yet, I can't shake the feeling that it's still the same shit on a different day. And that's all it took before we wandered into Prohibition, "Button Up Your Overcoat," the Great Depression, the backlash to the New Deal in 1938, the success of the managed economy of the U.S. during World War II, the myth of "clean coal," the dangers of a lake oversaturated with CO2 (in a volcano crater, not a meteor crater--sorry!), and the various lies of Donald Trump--all via audio, keeping the video to a minimum! Will this last throughout the rest of the year? Who can say?

Episode #849: This Most Recent Crisis
First Broadcast: 1/13/20
How did we get to the current state of affairs between the U.S. and Iran, whose latest conflict seemed to unfold within a handful of days, barely a week into 2020? Well, if you start with this timeline in 1953, and then shift to this timeline in 2018, and read the transcript of this batshit speech--which doesn't adequately capture all the weirdness of its delivery--then you might get to where we were when we recorded this episode a few days ago, breathing a sigh of relief that World War III still hasn't quite started yet. Is this just a hint of even more crises to come? Is this just Trump's attempt to distract from his inevitable impeachment trial? Will we still be talking about this a week from now? I'm not even sure what I'm talking about right now...

Episode #850: Questionable Questions
First Broadcast: 1/20/20
This time, CNN gets the bulk of criticism for the way its moderators handled the January 14 debate of Democratic candidates for President, specifically the very minor dispute between the Warren and Sanders campaigns over whether or not Sanders allegedly said in 2018 that a woman couldn't win the 2020 Presidential election. Some of those differences bubbled up immediately after the debate, although we didn't know what exactly the two Senators said to each other until after we finished our episode. In any event, everything those Democrats had to say was infinitely more intelligent than anything Trump had to say on that same night. Oh, and The New York Times feels it has a duty to promote capitalism! I guess I should appreciate their honesty about it...?

Episode #851: This is a Mockery
First Broadcast: 2/3/20
We recorded this episode during the second day of Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, so we could only truly comment on the highlights of day one, but even that was enough for us to wonder what possible defense Republicans would invent to justify such obvious abuse of power on President Trump's part. (Little did we know...) What will we say when the trial is all done and Trump is either convicted (ha!) or acquitted? Only one way to find out!

Episode #852: Low Light
First Broadcast: 2/10/20
Repeated: 2/17/20
Good News: Tenants no longer have to pay brokers fees for apartments in New York State! Bad News: President Trump gave the Medal of Freedom to notable racist, sexist, and all-around bigot, Rush Limbaugh, at the State of the Union address this year. Worse News: That was only one of many low lights during the same awful speech. It's still only February. Do you suppose this year will improve at all? A little bit? Maybe?

Episode #853: Retroactive Rationale
First Broadcast: 2/24/20
Repeated: 3/16/20
The 92nd Academy Awards are over and done, and we chat about some of this year's nominees and winners, including Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 1917, JoJo Rabbit, and Parasite, among others. What do we think about them? It turns out we're bigger fans of Parasite than at least one person out there...

Episode #854: Five Minutes Ago
First Broadcast: 3/2/20
We recorded this episode not too long after Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses, so we speculated on what this might mean for all the future contests in this year's primaries, and discussed our disgust with Mike Bloomberg's efforts to bulldoze his way into the nomination, despite having a horrible record on civil rights when he was Mayor of New York City. I wish ranked choice voting was already in effect here for when New York's primary happens, but at least we'll have it for next year's mayoral election. I wonder how Super Tuesday will pan out?

Episode #855: Symptomatic
First Broadcast: 3/9/20
When we recorded this episode, only 7 people in the New York City area had tested positive for Covid-19, the particular variety of coronavirus that has become a worldwide all-but-in-name pandemic. That number has since increased to 13, and both Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo think it will only get larger as time goes on. Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases increased from somewhat over 95,000 when we recorded to over 109,000 the night before our broadcast. Not to mention the 21 people infected in that second cruise ship off the coast of California. And good luck finding any Purell in stores or on line! Is Trump making this crisis even worse with his ineptitude? It certainly looks that way. Is there anything we ordinary people can do to prevent the virus's spread, besides washing our hands, not touching our faces, and staying the hell away from everyone else on Earth? Assuming we're still here for the next episode, maybe we'll be closer to an answer!

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