To listen to any of our weekly podcasts, follow the links below. Each podcast is presented from most recent all the way back to our inaugural show.
May 14, 2013: SCANDAL! — Joe and Nick discuss all three “scandals” facing the Obama administration this week. Are these real scandals? Is there anything the administration should fear? As it turns out Joe and Nick have very different views on most of these questions.
May 7, 2013: Palmetto Showdown — Special election time in South Carolina. Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford square off to determine… well, not very much in the grand scheme of things, but the winning party will pretend it’s a huge mandate. We continue our discussion of Syria and talk about Clarence Thomas’s ill-conceived comments on race and the upcoming Affirmative Action decision from the Supreme Court.
May 2, 2013: Happy Anniversary — The podcast celebrates its first anniversary with an episode recapping the Boston case, the quiet death of background checks, how dumb Maureen Dowd is, challenges in Syria, and the end of austerity as anything approximating an “intellectual” doctrine. All this in under an hour.
April 15, 2013: Boston Aftermath – Joe and Nick discuss yesterday’s bombing in Boston. In particular, the panel addresses the flurry of media (and social media) speculation and the relative merits and demerits of a world where news is valued for speed as much as substance. They also discuss whether there is any value to even trying to make deductions based on the deluge of information from questionable sources. Finally, they shift gears and discuss Rand Paul’s recent trip to Howard University and ponder whether Paul’s disastrous appearance has long-lasting effects for the GOP.
March 18, 2013: Fifty Shades of White – The gang discusses the recently concluded CPAC annual gathering in all its right-wing, impractical glory. White supremacists? Check. Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin telling the audience they have no need to adapt their message? Check. Rand Paul locking down the straw poll with his father’s cadre of devoted, cultish followers? Check. Conservatism has become a joke and it’s unclear how they overcome their funk.
March 11, 2013: Shorter Than Rand Paul – Joe, Nick, and Kathryn discuss Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster and whether it proves or disproves the need for filibuster reform. Joe and Nick also debate whether there’s actually anything wrong with drone attacks in the first place. The gang also discusses the Lochner
February 25, 2013: Remember Voting Rights? – Remember that roughly 48 year experiment with actually letting people vote without getting discriminated against? That was a blast! Joe, Nick and Allison discuss the upcoming argument in Shelby County v. Holder, the latest challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 is beleaguered because it…works. That’s a good reason to ax it! We also look at the Republican governors starting to hedge their bets on sequestration, possibly to save their future electoral chances. And we send a formal — if futile — request for Soledad O’Brien to take over the podcast because she’s awesome and apparently out of a job at America’s Most Useless News Source.
February 18, 2013: Watergate – The full complement of Nick, Allison, Kathryn, and Joe is together for the first time in ages and discusses the State of the Union, Ted Cruz’s dubious debating skills, and “Water-gate” — the disastrous lunge for water made by Marco Rubio during the Republican response. The gang also discusses the 3/5 compromise, and if you don’t know why the 3/5 compromise is newsworthy right now, we’ll fill you in.
February 11, 2013: State of the Union Preview – Joe and Allison discuss the shocking resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and consider the future role of the Catholic Church on the international stage. We also look at gambling odds for the next pontiff. And of course, we examine the upcoming State of the Union address and its responses. What kind of speech will the president will deliver in the face of an obstructionist House.
February 4, 2013: Super Bowl and Twitter. Bad Combo – Joe, Nick, and Allison talk about the Super Bowl and conservative jerks who Tweet during it. The gang also muses about Tagg Romney’s almost Senate bid and Chuck Hagel’s rough confirmation hearings. And Nick talks about going without pants for long enough it gets a little unsettling.
January 28, 2013: Obamagration! – Nick and Joe ask why Harry Reid is so useless, particularly in the context of the filibuster failure. It’s never too early to talk about 2016, and try to read tea leaves into the Obama-Clinton joint interview with 60 Minutes. Finally, we examine the new drive for immigration known as “Obamagration.”
January 14, 2013: If We Outlaw Death Stars, Only Outlaws Will Have Death Stars – Joe and Nick host solo and lament the death of the trillion dollar coin and the debt ceiling debate — is Obama losing leverage or is he itching for a fight. We preview the Second Inaugural Address and muse about what themes Obama might highlight this time around. Finally we look at the White House petition process that killed the dreams of an American Death Star this week, and ask our listeners/readers to help us come up with an idea that Recess Appointment will officially sponsor for a petition.
January 7, 2013: Trillion Dollar Coins? — Nick, Allison and Joe return to discuss the fiscal cliff resolution and pending fights over the debt ceiling and sequestration — including the trillion dollar coin that will save everyone. The gang also talks about Chuck Hagel and what makes this nomination different than the failed effort to nominate Susan Rice. Finally, they discuss Chris Christie’s efforts to popularize himself with America at the expense of the Republican base — winning strategy or a recognition that the NJ executive mansion may be his ceiling.
December 17, 2012: Has The Game Changed? – Nick and Allison join Joe to consider whether or not the tragedy in Newtown has finally changed the game on federal gun laws now that pro-gun Democrats and even some Republicans are finally expressing interest in tightening gun regulations. The panel also discusses John Kerry’s impending nomination to serve as Secretary of State and the special election it will spark. Finally, we muse about Speaker Boehner’s odds of holding onto his job if he caves on higher taxes.
December 10, 2012: Fiscal Cliff Vacation – That’s right, we’re not going to talk at all about fiscal cliff at all this week. Joe, Nick, Allison and Kathryn discuss Jim DeMint’s departure from the Senate and the role the Heritage Foundation might play in the new conservative movement. We talk about J.C. Watts and the quest to build the “NEW” Republican Party. Finally, we discuss Michigan’s Right-to-Work laws.
December 3, 2012: Cliff Jumping – Joe and Allison review the latest Republican counteroffer in the fiscal cliff negotiations and wonder whether they have any sense of how negotiations even work. They also check in on the evolving Susan Rice controversy, wondering if the furor over Rice isn’t just Republicans sublimating their desire to attack Hillary Clinton currently frustrated by her over 70% approval rating. Finally, Joe provides a little recap on the Supreme Court’s pending decisions on same-sex marriage.
November 26, 2012: Not-So-Super Grover – Joe, Nick, and Allison discuss the fall of Grover Norquist who went from the most powerful man in Washington to the subject of hundreds of articles touting his irrelevance in a matter of weeks. The panel also talks about the weird phenomenon of otherwise Democratic states adopting one-party Republican state government. Finally, Kathryn joins the panel to muse about the Obama administration’s upcoming second term.
November 19, 2012: Scoping Out the Cliff – Joe, Nick and Allison discuss the looming fiscal cliff, culminating with their first predictions for the 2016 race! The panel also discusses the practice of gerrymandering (and Joe goofs by implying that only Republicans have been guilty of the practice instead of giving credit to Southern Democrats who later joined the Republicans). Finally, they look back at the technological edge that President Obama enjoyed in the last campaign. And apparently Allison has never had a Twinkie.
November 12, 2012: Election Recap and Supreme Court Talk – The usual suspects are joined by Elie Mystal of Above the Law to gloat about the election results and sacrifice the customary goat to our overlord Nate Silver. We also discuss the sex scandal involving Gen. David Petraeus where Elie, the only married member of the panel, makes an impassioned defense of adultery. Finally, we take advantage of Elie joining the panel to discuss the Supreme Court, its comings and goings and two potentially explosive cases in front of the Court that could reverse 50 years of civil rights policy.
November 5, 2012: Election Day – Well it’s finally here. The gang talks about last minute campaign developments like Romney’s show of strength/desperation move in Pennsylvania, run down the reasons liberals should still be nervous and make some predictions.
October 29, 2012: This Is The Story of the Hurricane – Remember when we didn’t provide an episode a couple weeks back? We made up for it this week with a shortened podcast recorded while the lights flickered moments before Hurricane Sandy made landfall where the panel discusses the possible political fallout from the storm. Thankfully all of us are OK and suffered no serious damage, but recording was a chore with spotty internet (we lost audio feeds multiple times…but I’ve edited all of that out).
October 8, 2012: Debate Recap — Nick and Allison join Joe to discuss the first presidential debate, Jim Lehrer’s swan song, and poor, battered Big Bird. Jobs numbers continued their positive trend sparking hysterical conservatives to allege corruption. And we all look forward to Grandpa Joe Biden take on Ayn Rand acolyte Paul Ryan.
October 1, 2012: Listen to Me – Kathryn finally rejoins Joe, Nick and Allison just in time to preview the first presidential debate. The gang discusses the new format for the debate, the strategies of both Romney and Obama and offers both some last-minute advice straight out of West Wing. And way too much time is spent remembering 1989’s Listen to Me.
September 24, 2012: Pancho and Lefty – The Romney campaign spent last week recasting this election as a conflict between “Pancho and Lefty” — Barack Obama the “Lefty” on one side and Mitt Romney the “antiquated and racist stereotype of a Latino” on the other. Joe does not take kindly to that. Joe, Allison, and Nick also examine recent revelations that Mitt Romney’s campaign may be cash flow poor, the long-term problems for the GOP with the youth vote, Romney’s temper and the strain of campaigning and wonders if modern campaigning is a young person’s game. The panel also discusses the recent Univision forum where Mitt Romney displayed his weakness with young voters and exploded the idea that he is an even-tempered manager. But mostly…”brown face?” Seriously?
September 17, 2012: Did Someone Release Some Video? — Joe, Allison and Nick discuss Mitt Romney’s unfortunate videotaped explanation that half the country can’t figure out how to take responsibility for their lives. This comes on the heels of a botched response to the Embassy attacks and revelations that the campaign is beginning to point fingers internally. And yet no one is getting fired? Ironically Mitt Romney apparently doesn’t like firing people. We also preview QE3 where Ben Bernanke finally decides to suit up and help the economy.
September 10, 2012: The Secretary of Explaining – Joe, Nick and Allison run through the highlights of the DNC, including the epic policy lecture America received from “Secretary of Explaining” Bill Clinton. Along the way, the panel talks about the rising power of the Latino vote, the shifting demographics of Texas, the pros and cons of dynastic rule in a democracy, and Nicki Minaj returns from a brief foray into the nether regions of conservatism.
September 3, 2012: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, & The Meh – Joe, Kathryn, Allison and Nick look back at the Republican Convention. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly…get it? And maybe one more category – The Meh, for Mitt Romney’s speech. And then we look forward at the Democratic Convention and make some predictions. And Nick delivers a history lesson about Invisible Calvin Coolidge.
August 27, 2012: Wild Speculation About The GOP Convention – Joe and Nick take a long look at the GOP National Convention and the arcane Rules Committee fight that is brewing as we speak. A discussion of 3 straight days of Republicans talking uninterrupted, like any discussion based upon staring into a frightening abyss, takes its toll and the podcast devotes 6 or 7 minutes to purely loony speculation. At one point Joe asks whether or not Romney will be the nominee by Thursday night!?! He’s OK now though and would like to reaffirm his sincere belief that the Romney-Ryan ticket will be intact by the end of the week…probably.
August 20, 2012: Nick Does Not Care For Missouri – Joe, Nick and Allison talk about the comments (and damage control) of Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri who declared that women cannot get pregnant as a result of “legitimate rape” which he corrected to “forcible rape” as though he missed out on the actual problem with his comments. We also look at the news that several Republican Congressional representatives decided to jump into the Sea of Galilee — some naked! And finally we look at Niall Ferguson’s Newsweek piece, which is so riddled with factual misstatements that several corners are calling for his job. And Nick does not care for Missouri…not one bit.
August 13, 2012: Paul Ryan Puts Romney On His Roof – Joe, Kathryn, Allison and Nick discuss Mitt Romney’s selection of a Tortilla Coast waiter with a worn copy of Atlas Shrugged as his running mate. A move that decidedly puts Paul Ryan in the driver’s seat and relegates Romney to the role of poor Seamus being dragged along by his running mate’s deranged whims. The gang looks at the electoral conundrum Romney-Ryan faces and the seemingly confused response of the Romney campaign, now finding themselves even more rudderless than before selecting Ryan. If you don’t know much about Paul Ryan…we’ve got you covered! And then Joe goes on a rant about the need to respect the Hawkeye State.
August 6, 2012: The Gang Works Blue (Not Blue State) – Joe, Nick, Allison and Kathryn are joined by Matt Raycroft of the Church of Bracketology podcast as we inadvertently earn our iTunes Explicit tag a few times over. We discuss the latest jobs report and discuss what it really means (spoiler: “jobs created” is not actually “jobs created”). We also cover Romney’s bus tour touting a plan for the “Middle Class.” Wait, did Romney just talk about class? Socialist! And we run through assorted smaller stories like Harry Reid’s accusations about Romney’s taxes and the Tax Policy Center review of Romney’s tax policy.
July 30, 2012: Where In The World Is…Willard Mitt Romney? – The whole panel is back to discuss Mitt Romney’s gaffe-filled overseas tour complete with insulting Britain, the Palestinians, and the Jewish people, all while collecting potentially shady money. The panel also examines the Chick-Fil-A scandal and the responses it sparked from both elected officials and private citizens. And we come up with the worst prog rock band name ever.
July 23, 2012: The Saddest Podcast Ever – Joe, Kathryn, and Allison discuss the reaction of policy makers to the Aurora shootings and the sanctions levied by the NCAA against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky abuse case. It’s a depressing look at the political juggernaut of the NRA and the misconceptions being peddled by their supporters and then an exploration of how to make policy in a world of “too big to fail,” where Penn State provides another opportunity to consider the state of America’s banks.
July 16, 2012: Wait…Condi Rice? – Joe, Kathryn, Allison and Nick discuss Romney’s Bain troubles, which seemed to spiral out of control for 36 hours as Romney begged for an apology, floated Condi Rice for VP, and released a short-lived ad pulled for copyright violations. Is it time for Romney to fire someone in his campaign? We also muse if a VP announcement coming soon. And we introduce our new feature:What Question Would We Ask… where we outline what we would ask if we had a major media outlet behind us.
July 9, 2012: You Say Potato…I Say Massive Tax Increase – Joe, Allison, Kathryn, and Nick gather once again to discuss the June jobs report where an 80K job increase is really a decrease and the gang looks at Obama’s proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts for 98% of Americans today while the GOP calls this tax cut…a tax increase? Plus, an evaluation of the outsourcing attacks against Mitt Romney. And the phrase “racist claptrap” gets used.
July 2, 2012: Justices, Europeans and Veeps, Oh My! – Joe, Nick, Kathryn AND Allison form a 4-person super panel to reflect on the legal and political ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act and muse about Germany’s consent to a possible Euro Crisis solution (wherein Joe inadvertently calls the Euro Cup as the World Cup…for shame). Finally, the gang revisits the Veepstakes and considers whether Rob Portman is too “safe” to be “safe.” Also Joe calls Chris Christie a pussy…so there’s that.
June 25, 2012: The Least Dangerous Podcast – Elie Mystal of Abovethelaw.com joins Joe, Nick and Kathryn for a rousing discussion of “the least dangerous branch,” examining the Supreme Court decisions released on Monday and the predicting the outcome of Thursday’s Affordable Care Act challenge. Along the way, the panel discusses Mitt Romney’s trouble with Latino voters, the vanishing moderate Republican and the proper use of drones at the Connecticut State Fair.
June 18, 2012: Kanye and Benjamin Harrison – The title should intrigue you to listen even if you’re new to the podcast. Kathryn returns to the panel and we welcome Allison as a new panelist as we run through the Michigan GOP’s commitment to maintain “decorum” by barring female legislators from talking, Mitt Romney’s quandary over immigration, and whether or not “messaging” matters at all. We also briefly discuss political cartoons and get to the connection between Kanye and Harrison.
June 11, 2012: Jeb Bush Channels Cory Booker…or Maybe George Romney? – This week Joe and Nick discuss Joe’s adventures at Netroots Nation 12, Obama and Romney hurling dueling gaffes at each other, and Jeb Bush trying to position himself as either a terrible surrogate or a renegade moderate Republican. Nick also runs us through President Obama’s latest nominees for the D.C. Circuit and we lament how unfunny Vince Vaughn’s career has become.
June 6, 2012: Numbers, Numbers, Numbers – Joe and Nick get weirdly obsessed with numbers discussing competing labor statistics and poll data. While recorded before the results of the Wisconsin Recall were known, they also discuss the broader implications of either result.
May 29, 2012: Boisterous Blowhard Edition — [WARNING -- Some users have reported technical problems with this recording] Memorial Day schedules prevented the usual panel discussion, so Joe decided to record a solo podcast about an Investor Business Daily article that annoyed him. After 10 minutes of uninterrupted talking, Joe has a new, begrudging respect for Rush Limbuagh for being able to talk uninterrupted for 3 hours every day.
May 21, 2012: Welcome To The Big Time Cory Booker – Joe, Kathryn and Nick recap the week that was with a whirlwind review of Bain Capital attacks, Cory Booker’s stumbling introduction to national politics and Mitt Romney teaching us that “North Atlantic” extends to “North Korea” for some reason. Plus, as Republicans join Democrats in crying foul over Eduardo Saverin’s plan to take the money and run (to Singapore) — Kathryn teaches us that there’s one issue that still demands Bipartisan support.
May 14, 2012: Bully For Gay Marriage – The panel is at it again this week as Joe, Kathryn and Nick discuss President Obama’s announcement of support for marriage equality, Mitt Romney’s penchant for bullying, new ads taking aim at Bain Capital and Wall Street and why Michele Bachmann was a Swiss citizen for 48 hours.
May 7, 2012: Campaign Kickoff – As Obama joins the official campaign trail, the panel convenes to discuss the week that was including Obama’s focus on foreign policy, fashion sense and the role Ann Romney’s $990 shirt plays, and gay rights in the wake of the resignation of an openly gay Romney staffer and Joe Biden’s frank comments on gay marriage.
May 1, 2012: Sophomore Effort – Or “Sophomoric Effort” as the case may be. The second Recess Appointment podcast is up. Take a listen as we discuss the week that was in political messaging and preview Obama’s upcoming foreign policy week.
April 24, 2012: Inaugural Podcast – In the hopes of creating an even better Recess Appointment experience, I gathered a panel and recorded a podcast! This is our first effort and after listening to it I already have a number of ideas to improve the future installments, but here is the first podcast so history will record our humble beginnings.