Archive
In May, Darren Samuelsohn (Politico) joined the show to discuss covering the White House, the palace intrigue surrounding the early days on the Trump administration, and the unpredictability of the president.
In March, world renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs joined the show to discuss his new book, the importance of sustainable development, and his faith in younger generations.
For the final time in 2017, Dr. Steve Billet joins the show to discuss the wild year in politics, rethinking American exceptionalism, and how recent sexual assault and harassment allegations could end up empowering women in politics.
Although many liberals have praised and otherwise been mostly supportive of FBI investigations into the 2016 election, the law enforcement agency has long been known for spying and blackmail rather…
Joe provides a recap of some of the worst political hypocrisy of the week, including senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz.
Molly Knefel shares her thoughts on the developments in the past few weeks concerning men, specifically in the media and politics, accused of sexual harassment. In this follow up to our previous episode on the topic, Molly outlines the necessity of consequences for those men, no matter their party or professional affiliations. Molly and John Knefel are hosts of the longrunning progressive politics podcast, Radio Dispatch. Music featured in the episode: “Untitled” by Tiny Victories
If Lynch decides to respond to Trump, rest assured it’ll be short and simple.
Kate Willett and Matt Ruby on Louis CK’s fall from grace. Charles Hinshaw on ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.’ Molly Knefel on the linger effects of the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape; Sneak preview of Jane Weaver’s BTR Live Studio session.
While many of Donald Trump’s questionable behaviors, tweets, and policies have been normalized in the year since he was elected, Molly Knefel shares the one thing that she cannot get over: the Access…
Dr. Steve Billet returns to discuss the impact of the 2017 elections, Russia-related indictments, the rigging of the Democratic primary, and more.
It’s a tragic world where a prominent Republican senator getting beat up is almost instantly forgotten.
Despite declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency in late October, President Trump has failed to suggest a specific course of action or propose funding to address the crisis. John Knefel…
Flake’s anti-Trump statements mean nothing if there’s nothing at stake.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders touted a $4,000 tax rebate on Twitter. Twitter users expressed their doubts.
The account @TrumpNewYorker spins Trump’s social media lunacy into cartoon caption gold.
Dr. Steve Billet joins the show to discuss Trump’s comments on the Iran nuclear agreement, the administration’s heavy rhetoric with North Korea and growing fear and dissension within the Republican Party.
Molly Knefel gives her take on the intended rollback of the Birth Control Mandate, introduced by President Obama, which provides birth control coverage at no cost to approximately 55 million women. While it is important that birth control helps to do more than only prevent unwanted pregnancies, women should not have to justify their sex lives or reasons for using birth control. Molly and John Knefel are hosts of the longrunning progressive politics podcast, Radio Dispatch. Music featured in the episode: “Untitled” by Tiny Victories
Frontline’s James Jacoby joins us to discuss his new documentary War on the EPA, the Trump administration rolls back the birth control mandate, and Trump’s feud with Bob Corker isn’t what you think it is.
Joel Penney joins the show to discuss the importance of virality for political campaigns, the role of memes in politics, and whether Donald Trump’s Twitter usage will change how future campaigns are run.
Joe fits in a weekly rundown episode to discuss Donald Trump’s battle with the NFL, the patriotism of anthem-kneeling protests, and how the president is intentionally dividing the country along its most significant institutions.
Joe discusses the White House’s reaction to Jemele Hill’s tweets and why it’s problematic for the administration to dictate political speech.
Dr. Steve Billet returns to discuss President Trump’s handling of Hurricanes Harvey & Irma, response to the White House’s DACA decision, talk of tax reform, and more.
For several hours on the anniversary of the greatest tragedy in American history, Cruz’s approval of a post by the account @sexuallposts hung suspended on social media, for all to see.
For a guy not running for president, he’s sure doing a lot of things that a guy running for president would do.
An excerpt from Hillary’s new book polarizes the BTRtoday editorial staff
Dr. Steve Billet returns to discuss a wild week in politics, including Steve Bannon’s White House departure, Trump’s response to Charlottesville, the plan for the continued Afghanistan war.
Joe addresses rumors of Donald Trump’s resignation, the wave of Confederate statue takedowns, and why he thinks Trump’s campaign slogan isn’t working in a more conscious America.
Fifth Avenue was quiet as Trump cast blame for Charlottesville on the alt left.
Joe rambles on about Trump’s threats to North Korea, America’s unstable moral position on nukes, and John Carney’s Statue of Liberty meltdown.
Rich Hanley joins the show to discuss MSNBC’s primetime ratings triumph, Fox News’s ties to the Trump administration, the future of football broadcasting rights, and much more.
The administration is looking into affirmative action exactly the way you’d expect it to.
Christian Bowe of the Democratic Socialists of America joins us to discuss their upcoming convention, membership growth, and what it means for the organization today and historically. Also, Morning John says goodbye to the Mooch and hello to more potential obstruction from Donald Trump. Democratic Socialists of America Logo Photo by Chris Engelsma courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Mooch, we hardly knew ye.
Joe discusses the tumultuous week with the Trump administration, including the transgender military ban, failed healthcare vote, and Scaramucci antics.
The GOP healthcare bill collapses in the Senate, Scaramucci’s profanity laden tirade to a New Yorker reporter, and the House advances a bill to pay for Trump’s wall. Donald Trump photo by Gage Skidmore courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Dr. Steve Billet returns to discuss the healthcare vote, Trump’s treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and how the transgender military ban doubles as a political distraction.
Joe tackles Sean Spicer’s surprise resignation, Trump’s New York Times interview, presidential pardons, and how Trump might end up impeaching himself.
Dan Ikenson discusses NAFTA renegotiations, the status of the TPP, and the potential consequences of Trump’s presidency in terms of America’s global leadership.
Dan Ikenson returns to discuss President Trump’s impact on America’s global trade and overall leadership.
Joe discusses Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian lawyer meeting, the continued bashing of Hillary Clinton, and the hypocrisy of Trump surrogates.
Donald Trump Jr. gives a remarkably incriminating statement to the New York Times about a meeting with a Russian lawyer, protesters meet the KKK in Charlottesville, and listener mail. Donald Trump, Jr. Photo by Gage Skidmore courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Dr. Steve Billet returns to discuss expectations and potential outcomes from the G20 summit, as well as President Trump’s ongoing war with the media.
Joe discusses the outrage over Donald Trump’s recent tweets, why his base loves it, and why ignoring the president’s Twitter feed might be the best way to deal with it.
Twitter’s been buzzing with news of the fraudulent Time Magazine cover that’s been showcased in a number of Trump’s country clubs and golf courses for months.
Dr. Steve Billet returns to discuss the special election results, criticism of Nancy Pelosi, the new AHCA, and the removal of cameras from press briefings.
Molly Knefel — one half of the sibling host team of the longrunning progressive politics podcast, Radio Dispatch — offers her take on the creation and criticism of political art in the midst of a Trump presidency. She runs down some of the more high profile art pieces that have been seen in recent weeks and explains that while media attention has been focused on these, political violence has continued to grow against marginalized communities with limited coverage. Music featured in the episode: “Untitled” by Tiny Victories
We’ve seen how Trump has operated as a president, but how does he operate as a creative muse for app developers? His Oval Office actions might be reckless and chaotic, but he’s inspired elegance and simplicity in coders.
John is in the studio to talk about the latest drama in the White House and Trump’s deflection on Afghanistan. Photo by Brandon Butterworth courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
I used an app to tally how much the network’s men dominate conversations. Big shocker: it’s a lot.
John Knefel — one half of the sibling host team of the longrunning progressive politics podcast, Radio Dispatch — offers his take President Trump’s response to the Senate testimony of former FBI Director James Comey and its context within his general approach to those who oppose his administration. Music featured in the episode: “Untitled” by Tiny Victories
Molly Knefel — one half of the sibling host team of the longrunning progressive politics podcast, Radio Dispatch — offers her take on the recently formed United States Climate Alliance. This alliance, formed by U.S. political figures, is a response to President Trump’s official withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and promises to uphold the goals set in 2015 which aim to reduce carbon emissions and invest in renewable energy. Music featured in the episode: “Untitled” by Tiny Victories
Joe discusses President Trump’s reactions to the weekend’s terror attack in London and how we might think about treating his Twitter feed going forward.
After pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Trump is very pleased with himself. No one else is.
John Cook returns to discuss the impact of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Dr. Steve Billet discusses President Trump’s odd NATO comments, his treatment of longstanding U.S. allies, and the prospects of Robert Mueller leading the Russia investigation.
John Knefel — one half of the sibling host team of the longrunning progressive politics podcast, Radio Dispatch — offers his take on President Trump’s first international trip since taking office in January. He describes how, during this trip, Trump showed his support and comfort with world leaders who are traditionally seen as dictatorial or authoritarian rather than aligning the U.S. with the western European nations as has been done by previous presidents. Music featured in the episode: “Untitled” by Tiny Victories
Dr. Steve Billet returns to discuss comedian Kathy Griffin’s tasteless beheading and our obsessions with President Trump’s Twitter actions.
John Knefel — one half of the sibling host team of the longrunning progressive politics podcast, Radio Dispatch — offers some background on Robert Mueller, the former FBI Director who was just appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as Special Counsel to investigate potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election cycle. Along the way, he describes an episode that involved both Mueller and his recently fired successor at the FBI, James Comey, in which the two gained reputations for integrity among many in Washington, DC, and the media. Music featured in the episode: “Untitled” by Tiny Victories
There’s a new sheriff in town. Just not the kind America was asking for.
Benjamin Friedman returns to discuss domestic tumult’s effect on foreign policy, how the U.S. can afford to start wars in the Middle East, and why the current administration shouldn’t be trusted with wars.
Benjamin Friedman joins the show to discuss what President Trump’s unpredictability means for our allies and adversaries, the lack of strategy in Syria, and why the president has become more of a traditional hawk.
It’s MGG Thursdays and Melissa Gira Grant joins us to discuss Chelsea Manning’s freedom. Also, John checks in on the latest onslaught of scandals. Photo credit: Twitter (@melissagira)
Joe offers his thoughts on President Trump firing FBI Director James Comey, the appearance of a coverup, and the absurdity of Trump’s lawyer’s statement about the president’s tax returns.
Joe discusses the AHCA passing House and how media coverage of politics mirrors that of sports and changes the way we frame and discuss it.
Darren Samuelsohn is back to discuss Donald Trump’s dogged commitment to campaign promises and the conflicts of interest created by the president’s businesses.
Politico Senior White House Reporter Darren Samuelsohn joins the show to discuss the raucous early days of the Trump administration, continued leaking from White House staffers, palace intrigue in the West Wing, and more.
In an attempt to backtrack controversial comments he made abou the Civil War earlier in the week, President Donald Trump was quoted Wednesday saying the American Revolution “also probably could’ve been avoided.”
Democrats have declared their distaste for identity politics, but does that represent a meaningful change in the party’s future?
Joe discusses the current unpredictability of American foreign relations, as well as Donald Trump’s interview with Reuters, where the president admitted he thought the job “would be easier.”
This week, contributor Matt Ruby offers his perspective as a comedian on recent so-called “socially conscious criticism” and “hot take” reviews of recent specials by Dave Chappelle and Louis…
Taia returns to discuss Democratic incompetence in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory, including the potential alienation of the party’s voter base.
Fellow BTRtoday staff writer Taia Handlin joins Joe to discuss Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s impending resignation, acknowledgement of former NSA Michael Flynn’s wrongdoing, and her unhealthy obsession with the Utah pol.
Omer Taspinar discusses the recent referendum in Turkey, division surrounding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, similarities to Donald Trump, and the rise of nativism throughout Europe and the world.
Joe discusses Trump’s shift in opinion regarding the 100-day standard, why we value such an arbitrary number of days, and whether or not Trump is living up to what we expected, regardless of our political beliefs.
This week, we welcome back contributors Oriana Leckert and Matt Ruby to discuss the once again supposedly on the rise power couple of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner as well as the end of Lena…
In the second part of our conversation, Dr. Steve Billet discusses the troublesome nature of President Trump’s unpredictability with foreign affairs, his shift toward mainstream Republican foreign policy, and the media’s curious reverence for military intervention.
Dr. Steve Billet is back to discuss the special election in Georgia’s 6th district, positive signs for Democrats, big spending on small races, and districts that could give President Trump some trouble.
A day before nationwide Tax Marches, New York-based organizer Mohammed Naeem joins the show to discuss the idea and need for it, goals of intersectionality, and the widespread demand for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.
Dalia Mogahed talks about the hope and difficulty of overcoming Islamophobia in the United States, as well as the need to separate the issue of bigotry from Islamic reform.
Joe discusses the air strikes in Syria, concerns around potential motivations from the Trump administration, and the sobering reality of chemical weaponry.
Molly Knefel — one half of the sibling host team of the longrunning progressive politics podcast, Radio Dispatch — discusses the implications of the revelation that Vice President Mike Pence won’t dine alone with any woman other than his wife and how his worldview lines up with that of President Trump. Music featured in the episode: “Untitled” by Tiny Victories
President Trump’s approval of torture during the campaign could have dangerous effects abroad and at home.
Joe discusses the recent developments surrounding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the Russian investigation, and President Trump’s proposed budget.
Curt Goering returns to discuss the dangerous precedent of implicitly or openly approving torture and whether the United States can maintain moral leadership in the world if it does so.
Special interest groups and government entities have long used tragic events to pass legislation and score political points. Meanwhile, those at the heart of the tragedies are forgotten in the wake of the political upset and the legislation proposed or passed is often unnecessary and results in more injustice, not less.
Joe discusses his frustration surrounding the American Healthcare Act’s rush to the House floor and mentions why it’s important to ignore at least some of the things President Trump says.
Hypocrisy has long been part of political perception, but with Republicans fast-tracking healthcare, Democrats pushing Russian conspiracy, and both sides cackling about leaks, how much deeper can we delve into the political slime?
Joe discusses the glut of hypocrisy in national politics, our need to reckon with it, and Rachel Maddow’s reveal of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax forms.
Dr. Steve Billet is back, this time to discuss issues with the proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act and the lack of self examination on the part of Democrats.
Joe discusses the conspiracy thinking that has taken over the Trump-Russia issue, and ponders about the future of politics when everyone’s hypocrisy can be pulled up instantly.
Jamie Taylor on bomb threats at Jewish institutions, Trump’s baseless claims that Obama wiretapped him, the Supreme Court sends the Gavin Grimm case back to the lower court, and listener mail.
NYC stands up for trans students after Trump rolls back protections, a DREAMer is set to be deported after speaking with the media, the US carries out nearly two dozen drone strikes in Yemen, and checking in on good men and boys.
Joe discusses the week in news, from the Jeff Sessions controversy to New York’s proposed surveillance oversight bill.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions mislead Congress on his meetings with the Russian ambassador to the US, Indivisible is doing the work the Democrats aren’t, and listener mail. Photo credit: Via Wikimedia
During the second half of our conversation, Jeffrey Sachs discusses his recent opinion piece for the Boston Globe, concerns surrounding Donald Trump, and his faith in millennials.
Trump speech doubles down on his white nationalist policies, catching up on the administration’s attempt to roll back the rights of trans students, and we address the Kilstein situation.
Renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs joins the show to discuss sustainable development, the current division in our politics, and the problem with our country’s lack of forward planning.
BTRtoday writer and podcaster Taia Handlin joins the show to discuss gender identity, common misconceptions therein, and the recent removal of federal protections of transgender students in schools.
Todd Miller on Trump and the border, the dangers of using deaths of US citizens to attack sanctuary city policies, and listener mail. Photo credit: Courtesy of Todd Miller
The Making of the President 2016 is the first book by an insider to reveal how and why Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, despite the “experts” who said it could not happen.
Joe discusses Donald Trump’s recent comments about increasing the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal and mass deportations as a “military operation.”
Frontline’s Arun Rath on his new Guantanamo Bay documentaries, and the lack of attention on the alt-right’s first mass shooter. Photo credit: John Knefel
Peter Ross Range returns to discuss the eeriness of Trump’s National Security Council shakeups and the robustness of American democracy in preventing an authoritarian/fascist takeover.
Peter Ross Range joins the show to discuss Hitler’s rise, the psychology of the strongman, and the Trump administration’s delegitimization of the press and how it compares to Hitler’s in Nazi Germany.
Bryce Covert on Trump’s cabinet picks, and listener mail on liberal solidarity for the left.   Photo courtesy of Bryce Covert    
Alex Kane on abuses by guards in West Bank settlements, and listener mail on property destruction. Photo courtesy of Alex Kane
Trump’s bananas press conference, how ordinary Americans carry out atrocities every day, and listener mail on Miriam Webster.
Alexis Goldstein on Trump’s cabinet, the New York Times covers antifa, and Trump backs away from a two state solution in Israel. Photo credit: John Knefel
More reports of Trump-Russia connections emerge, decades of Islamophobia in US politics have culminated in Trump, and a 23-year-old DREAMER is detained following an ICE raid. Photo credit: John Knefel
Michael Flynn resigns amid controversy that he lied about conversations with a Russian ambassador, Laverne Cox shouts out Gavin Grimm, and listener mail. Photo credit: By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America
Joe offers comments on Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Adviser. Then, Taia Handlin of BTR’s Juicy Bits joins the show to discuss her column and podcast.
Stephen Miller continues to reveal himself as a fascist, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago security catastrophe, Beyonce gets robbed at the Grammy’s, and listener mail. Photo credit: John Knefel
An appeals court continues to block Trump’s Muslim Ban, Trump issues new executive orders to give cops more power, and listener mail. Photo credit: John Knefel
Joe comments on some of the biggest stories in the news over the past week, from the Patriots improbable comeback in Super Bowl LI, protests and riots at UC Berkeley, and pushback on Trump’s travel ban.
The planned deportation of Guadalupe García de Rayos goes viral, Molly reignites her love affair with Unsolved Mysteries, and listener mail. Photo credit: John Knefel
We continue our conversation with Dr. Steve Billet, who discusses Trump’s controversial cabinet picks, Democratic obstructionism, and the use of executive orders.
Dr. Steve Billet joins the show to discuss the early weeks of the Trump administration, from White House leaks to heavy press criticism.
The Trump administration lies in claiming terrorist attacks go uncovered, Amnesty releases a new report detailing the horrors of the Assad regime, and Trump doesn’t like SNL’s Spicer impression. Photo credit: John Knefel
Trump spends the weekend attacking the judiciary and the concept of truth, yet retains high approval ratings among Republicans, and listener mail.
How Trump’s executive orders could send more immigrant women and children to family detention, Kellyanne Conway invents a massacre, and thousands gather in Brooklyn in support of the Bodega Strike Photo credit: John Knefel
Antinatalists assign a negative value to birth, asserting that the act of being born is a cruelty in and of itself. If it were up to them, it’d be bye bye babies!
Ryan Devereaux on the chaos at the State Department and Homeland Security, the power struggle at the Department of Justice, and listener mail. Photo credit: John Knefel
Greenpeace’s Ryan Schleeter joins us to discuss the environmental impacts of Trump’s executive orders, tens of thousands protest Trump’s Muslim ban at airports around the country, and what happens when the executive branch defies judicial orders. Photo credit: Courtesy of Ryan Schleeter
Sarah Jaffe on the anti-Trump protests in Philly, why Democrats need to tie mainstream Republicans to Donald Trump, and how do you combat the Trump propaganda machine. Photo credit: John Knefel
Joe dispatches his final thoughts on the Women’s March, discusses the lack of faith in the Democratic Party, and reads an excerpt from his piece on BTRtoday.
Muslim and Immigration groups rally in New York City in opposition to Trump executive orders on travel and sanctuary cities, and Trump’s crippling insecurity. Photo credit: John Knefel
Joe speaks with Mary Sheehy and discusses Trump’s recent immigration actions with BTRtoday social media director Irina Groushevaia.
#ResistTrumpTuesdays stage actions across the country, and Trump silences government scientists, threatens Chicago with federal intervention, and signals he will implement the Muslim ban. Also, why did Elizabeth Warren vote to confirm Ben Carson? Photo credit: John Knefel
Trump reinstates the global gag rule, Israel announces 2,500 new settlements in the West Bank, and David Brooks has some advice for women. Photo credit: Via Wikimedia
As one of his first presidential actions, President Trump has signed an executive order to reinstate the global gag rule, officially called the Mexico City policy, which prohibits federal funding to go to foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that discuss abortion with patients.
Frontline’s Michael Kirk on Trump’s Road To The White House, millions across the country turn out for the Women’s March, and the Internet celebrates a Nazi getting punched.  Black Bloc Photo credit: John Knefel
Hints at what policing under Trump will look like, the disastrous Price hearing, what two offices in the DOJ tell us about Obama’s legacy, and thoughts on Obama’s legacy after eight years in office. Photo credit: By Pete Souza, The Obama-Biden Transition Project 
The deed is done. Trump is the President. Short of revolution, the best thing that we can do is to stay frantic, stay critical, stay alert and hold onto reality. Not to let ourselves be lulled into submission, and to forget the danger that might lie ahead.
On a special edition of the Daily Beat, Joe discusses coming changes in the show’s format. Later, BTR editor Zach Schepis joins the show to talk about attending the Women’s March on Washington.
Donald Trump takes office as the 45th President of the United States of America, but his administration could tread into murky waters when it comes to Constitutional law.
Dr. Steve Billet discusses faith in General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as a Trump-checker and the potential impact of the President-elect’s Twitter behavior.
Today we’re talking Trump pee and online censorship, as well as covering some of our favorite and least favorite online comics.
Dr. Steve Billet joins the show to discuss attitudes toward the inauguration in Washington and growing concerns over President-elect Donald Trump’s potential ties to Russia.
Frontline’s Michael Kirk on his new documentary the Divided States of America, Trump’s lesser-known advisor raises concerns, and Trump goes after John Lewis. Photo: Courtesy of Frontline
Twitter should ban President-elect Trump’s official account on the basis of their own rules against hate speech and threats. Doing so would demonstrate that Twitter takes hate speech seriously, especially when coming from the President of the United States.
Trump doesn’t even pretend to avoid conflicts of interest as president, the Senate paves the way to dismantle the ACA, and the terrifying implications of Trump saying “I won.”
Trump was briefed by intelligence heads on Russia’s attempts to influence him, Buzzfeed publishes the underlying documents, Sessions faces Congress, and Obama’s farewell speech.
The window is closing for cleared detainees at Guantanamo Bay, a Golden Globes recap, and listener mail. Photo credit: John Knefel      
Hints at what Trump’s education policy might look like, Trump’s pick for DNI, and listener mail. Photo credit: Via Wikimedia
Benjamin Friedman discusses the oddity of Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and whether they’re cause for concern, as well as what decades-old defense deals might look like during and after a Trump presidency.
Guy joins us to discuss the Kurdish revolution in Rojava, the bizarre and shifting status of the CIA and FBI, and listener mail. Photo credit: By United States federal government – http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/50/403m.html Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=981534
Benjamin Friedman discusses why it’s so hard to predict an incoming president’s foreign policy and why he believes Donald Trump will be “conventionally hawkish.”
Donald Trump, Trump transition, Congress, GOP, Paul Ryan, listener mail
Benjamin Friedman explains the bipartisan foreign policy that has dictated American foreign relations since the end of World War II.
Sources confirm it’s neither his wife’s birthday or his childhood mutt, Rodney.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser discusses the need for Islamic reform and his thoughts on Muslims in Trump’s America.

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