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What Fresh Horror Will the State of the Union Address Bring?: Podcast

What comes next in the Virginia governor scandal, why "Medicare for All" ain't happening, and how Baby Boomers are a fatberg clogging America's cultural sewers

This past weekend gave witness to one of the most unimaginable political scandals of the 21st century, as yearbook photos from 1984 of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in either blackface or a KKK costume surfaced. Northam, 60, first apologized for the pictures and then denied he was in them. But he acknowledged that he had used blackface during a Michael Jackson dance competition in his twenties, and he seemed like he might be about to demonstrate his moves at a press conference until his wife told him not to. According to Big League Politics, the site that published the photo, a medical school classmate leaked it because of Northam's support for a bill that would have lessened restrictions on late-term abortions.

On today's Reason Podcast, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Nick Gillespie discuss whether Northam will survive and the changing politics of race. We also talk about Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.), the latest Democrat to announce a presidential bid, and his shift away from school choice, which he supported heavily as mayor of Newark; why Medicare for All has no chance of happening; and why baby-boom icons dominated Super Bowl ads. We also preview President Trump's State of the Union Address, which takes place on Tuesday, February 5, at 9:00 P.M. ET.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Here's a bonus set of links. Last week, Matt Welch created a Twitter poll to see whether listeners preferred the recommendations that Katherine and Peter (a.k.a. the Millennials) or Matt and I (a.k.a. the Olds) make at the end of each editor's roundtable. Here are the results of the poll and a handy-dandy chart of four months of recommended stuff, courtesy of listener Blooshier:

'Railroad's Whisky Co' by Jahzzar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fats of Fury||

    What's under the hood? White? Black? Man? Woman? Revolting Arthur? How many bricks are they shitting about now. The Twitter rage mobs cares not for your facts or feelings.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    I bet Remy could give a GOOD State-Of-The-Union parody without ever having seen a single one.

    Why does anybody watch one? I understand Congress Critters, it sort of goes with the territory. But not anybody else.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Some progressives watch BECAUSE its Trump, and they will bitterly jerk themselves off in a masturbatory hatefest. Like the Rev. Arty does with so many of us here.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    When is Nick going to give a proper State of Reason address?

  • Fats of Fury||

    He's waiting for AOC to deliver one. The proper response then will be "Yes, dear".

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I would watch an AOC SOTU address, only if it involved no speaking and an interpretive high energy dance where she is braless and wearing a tight t shirt.

    I would definitely NOT watch the same event if Pelosi attempted the same.

  • Homple||

    "What Fresh Horror Will the State of the Union Address Bring?"

    Much less than the avalanche of bullshit speculations before it and the claptrap interpretations of it after the fact.,

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Yup

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Indeed.

  • Sevo||

    I don't know and will have to find out reading about it if the headlines suggest it's worthwhile. "Trump Is a Big Poopyhead" does not headline an article which will get read.

  • Harvard||

    My reason for watching this SOTU will be my delight in imagining what angst and vexation will be visited on Gillispie.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    If you recognized Andy Warhol in that Burger King commercial you are an old, useless, garbage person who should be forced to live their life in Canada.

  • Nardz||

    Worst commercial of the Superbowl, narrowly edging out Wapo's self-fellation.

    Best ad was the robot who got sad because it couldn't drink beer

  • ||

    Best ad was the robot who got sad because it couldn't drink beer

    It's my own misinterpretation, but the TimberTech decking commercial that that effectively said "When you're born, your put into a box. When you die, your put into a box. For those wood projects and every one in between, we've got you covered."

  • ||

    Was better that is. Way too inspirational for decking, IMO.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    'Couldn't' drink beer? Then that robot definitely was not Bender.

  • John||

    Remember kids Orange man bad. Trump is a racist and a horrible person not the people who were running around in Klan outfits and black face in Med school or the ones celebrating over it being legal to murder children inside and outside the womb.

  • John||

    Funny how Trump is as Nick and all right thinking people know the biggest racist ever. Yet, there has never been any pictures of him in black face or playing dressup as the Klan or dropping N bombs or anything else, despite being in the public eye for over 40 years. And let's not forget, dressing in black face and in Klan outfits was totally cool back in the 1980s. I had multiple people assure me of this this morning. I guess that just proves what a racist Trump is. He has always acted careful like he has something to hide.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    I am curious, has The Jacket ever actually claimed that Trump is racist? I don't think most of the Reason writers have ever claimed that.

  • John||

    I don't have time to look but that doesn't stop you from looking. But my memory says he has on multiple occasions. Go look. If you can't find anywhere, then maybe he hasn't.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Well, I read Reason daily and I don't remember him ever claiming that.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    But my memory says he has on multiple occasions. Go look.

    Back up his ridiculous assertion, CMW! DO IT!

  • John||

    If you don't think it is true, go find Nick saying he isn't a racist. You can search reason just as easily as I can. If you don't like me picking on Nick, go find some evidence to defend him.

    I have better things to do than look through reason finding various things Nick has said. It woudl be one thing if you and the rest of his fan boys would actually change your opinion when confronted with evidence. But you won't. Basically, no one on the Reason staff is ever deserving of criticism and God damn it people need to leave the Jacket alone. It is as tiresome and boring as it is stupid.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I have better things to do than look through reason finding various things Nick has said.

    Obviously.

    It is as tiresome and boring as it is stupid.

    Reminds me of someone.

  • John||

    Yes, I am sure it does remind you of you. Could you at least be funny? You used to be that once in a while. But, now all you have is lame ass defenses of how cool the Jacket is. You are turning into a late period Sugar Free. Every day you get more tiresome, less funny, and generally a bigger douche bag. And you started from a place nowhere near as funny or interesting as Sugar Free. So it is getting painful.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    But, now all you have is lame ass defenses of how cool the Jacket is.

    He is dreamy.

  • John||

    If you are going to do it, at least share some sexual fantasies about him and make it worth reading.

  • Tu­lpa||

    Try to include leather conditioner.

  • jcw||

    If he has, he can just say "so what I changed my mind." Right John? That's a valid defense, right?

  • John||

    Sure it is. But I have never seen him say that. Meanwhile he as much as blamed Trump for the death in Charlottesville

    There are three basic explanations for Trump's shameful response, one more troubling than the other. Maybe he's unaware that Nazis were responsible for murdering 11 million people. Or maybe he is so politically tone-deaf that he thought his original comments were adequate. Or maybe he just doesn't want to alienate those he considers an important part of his political constituency. Any way you look at it, it's not good.

    President Trump surely isn't responsible for the car that killed Heather Heyer, but his rhetoric has helped to fill its gas tank. He wasn't slow to call out Black Lives Matter by name for supposedly "igniting" attacks on police even as he explicitly encouraged violence at his own campaign rallies, telling his supporters that he would cover their legal expenses if they got in trouble.

    http://thelibertarianrepublic......-too-late/

    Trump isn't responsible but he "filled the gas tank" which means he is. Nick is the king of the cowardly slander.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Is this you backing up your assertion that Nick has called Trump a racist multiple times?

    Trump isn't responsible but he "filled the gas tank" which means he is. Nick is the king of the cowardly slander.

    lol

  • mtrueman||

    "Trump isn't responsible but he "filled the gas tank" which means he is."

    Convinced me. lol Of course what John meant to was "he's practically responsible" which also means he is.

  • Tony||

    It's going to be a nauseating spectacle of narcissism. Anyone who watches is a rubbernecker of psychological disorders. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I can't watch. He's just too shrill.

  • John||

    He is going to kick around that poor white man in Virgnia who just was having some fun back in med school. Then he is going to talk about how horrible it is to murder children in the womb. Trump is such a Nazi.

  • damikesc||

    Then he is going to talk about how horrible it is to murder children in the womb.

    John, for the Dems, "in the womb" is not needed any longer...

  • John||

    Touche

  • Tony||

    Putting them in cages away from their parents indefinitely is not technically murder.

  • Tony||

    Oh except for the ones who die. But they're just Mexicans. Or some version of Mexicans. Barely human.

    John, human rights advocate.

  • John||

    You mean like Obama did in that horrible picture from 2014? You mean all of those kids in cages that you never said a fucking word about when Obama was puting them there? You mean that?

    You do you mean the 17 year old kid who was an American citizen that Obama ordered murdered because of who his father was. You mean him?

  • Tony||

    Yeah, all those kids you don't give a shit about right now, unless their deaths help Republicans politically.

  • John||

    You care so much. That is why you didn't even care enough to know it was happening when Obama was President. And that is why you loved Obama even though he bragged about how good he was at killing people, including Americans.

    Go peddle your death cult somewhere else you sick fuck.

  • Tony||

    Most liberals including me objected to Obama's immigration policy.

    If you're arguing that Trump's policies are mere incremental addenda to Obama's, when his entire campaign and presidency has focused intensely on keeping the Brown Menace out of the country, you're a fucking lunatic moron. But then, you are, and we all know it.

    Criticize Trump for what you're cynically, half-assedly criticizing Obama for. Do it. See if you can.

  • John||

    Most liberals including me objected to Obama's immigration policy.

    No you didn't. No liberal ever said a word about it or if they did cared enough to ever do anything about it. Obama could have machine gunned people at the border and you would have voted for him. He murdered two American citizens and that didn't keep you from voting for you. So, don't claim that you cared because you didn't. You only care now because your politics tell you to care.

    And Trump is just enforcing the law the same way Obama did. There hasn't been a huge change. The only difference is that you now pretend you care about these things because the person doing it is different.

  • Tony||

    First of all you're just wrong about the scope of the policies. You just are, but you'd have to read something other than Tucker Carlson's asshole to know that. So let's stipulate that the policies are just the same.

    Finally, we found something you are OK with Obama doing: putting kids in cages (which he didn't). Congratulations on your moral consistency. Demented fuck.

  • damikesc||

    Finally, we found something you are OK with Obama doing: putting kids in cages (which he didn't).

    The pictures of kids in cages your side freaked out so badly about were from 2014, if memory serves.

  • DesigNate||

    Trump winning in 2016 rewrote the space-time continuum and he's responsible for that too.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Most liberals including me objected to Obama's immigration policy.

    Oh yeah? Cite please, you sicko. 'cause I'm betting you're lying. As usual.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    You might have come upon a way to make the Republicans less warmongery. Whenever you call for an end to some foreign intervention, just add "in the womb" at the end. Example:
    "It is time to put an end to the senseless murder of thousands of Yemeni children - in the womb."

  • John||

    When is hte last war the Republlicans started? The Democrats have started at least two since then. But I guess the eveil Republicans made them do it or something.

  • DesigNate||

    Brilliant!

  • Tony||

    Trump has paid for more abortions than you've paid for cars, you ridiculous partisan nutlicker.

  • Nardz||

    Well... all taxpayers have.

  • Tony||

    Except for legislation that explicitly makes your claim untrue because specifically of religious whackjobs influencing legislation, you'd be right.

  • Nardz||

    Money is fungible. Any money that goes to PP funds abortions.

  • Tony||

    Then we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we're getting one over on the ridiculous antiabortion cultists.

  • Nardz||

    I guess?
    PP turns huge profits.
    Really dont think we should be funding a DNC lobbyist group, especially in light of legitimate moral objections by many, possibly a majority, of citizens.
    Government shouldn't be using tax money to prop up their cronies. If PP is so valuable and needs the money, there are plenty of wealthy abortion advocates that can step up and donate their own money.
    Fuck crony capitalism.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "It's going to be a nauseating spectacle of narcissism. Anyone who watches is a rubbernecker of psychological disorders."

    So it'll be a routine SOTU, typical of every one since I've been alive.

    Personally, I'll be streaming a hockey game.

  • jcw||

    so I'm the president of my condo association and there is just this absolute knob of a person in the association. She constantly threatens me and calls me a liar and tells me my behavior is the reason that she has to respond that way.

    She does this hilarious thing where she sends a crazy email, and then not 5 minutes later writes an even crazier, more deranged email. I always found it really hilarious because she must think that her second email is really persuasive or maybe she's got some super strong point that she needed to let me know but didn't include in her previous email. But it really has the opposite effect and just shows her heightened level of lunacy.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    so I'm the president of my condo association

    jfc this guy just admitted he is a Nazi.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    I think he misspelled "condom." It would explain the threats from the woman.

  • Tony||

    Frasier did it.

  • Dillinger||

    reply to her like Hihn would.

  • DesigNate||

    All bold and call her a goober?

  • Dillinger||

    exactly.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Don't forget to threaten to jam something up her ass!

    And definitely start an enemies page.

  • Uncle Jay||

    I don't know what new horror the SOTU message will bring, but as long as its fresh, then its OK.
    I hate stale horror more than anything.

  • Barnstormer||

    I hope the Donald stands up there and hammers the Dems over the recents depths they've dredged for abortion.

  • Tony||

    You morons have no idea the type of society what would exist once Squee's beer buddy kills Roe. It's the same society that necessitated Roe in the first place, except now it will not just be local and state governments, but the federal government, forcing women to give birth against their will.

    And if you dare say rape babies, malformed babies, or babies that might kill the mother are exempt, then you don't really give a shit about babies, do you? Rape babies are just as much people as non-rape babies, going by your demented morality, invented, ironically, by a bunch of child molesting holy rollers.

    Keep the government out of women's wombs. This is a libertarian site. Should be pretty fucking obvious.

  • Nardz||

    Fair point, but

    "rape babies, malformed babies, or babies that might kill the mother"
    Are 8-14% of all abortions. The other 86-92% are convenience.

    I'm pro-abortion (I'm not at all an absolutist on value of human life), but let's not pretend like our side has an objectively good or in any way altruistic case.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Who exactly do you think you're talking to?

  • Barnstormer||

    "You morons have no idea the type of society what would exist once Squee's beer buddy kills Roe."

    Maybe then the Dems could have a platform that wasn't based entirely on recreational sex and hedonism. They could maybe think about jobs or something.

  • Tony||

    You people would be so cute if you weren't so evil.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Normally I'm not a big fan of abortion, but it really is a damn shame that your filthy whore mother didn't spare the world from your existence with a coat hanger or an early Coca-Cola douche.

  • lap83||

    "You people would be so cute if you weren't so evil."

    Says the guy who delights in forcing people to pay for services they consider to be immoral

  • Tony||

    Welcome to civilization, weirdo.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|2.4.19 @ 5:08PM|#
    "Welcome to civilization, weirdo."

    You misspelled "thuggery", shitbag.

  • DesigNate||

    He literally thinks the government should be able to line his political enemies against the wall and put a bullet in their head. The only thing he wouldn't do himself is pull the trigger (and I'm not sure that always holds true).

  • Tony||

    Actually I'm against the death penalty, but I've had to put up with it my whole life because that's what democracy brought us.

    Again, welcome to civilization, where life isn't a nursery in Downton Abbey where Nanny gives you every single thing you ever ask for.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|2.4.19 @ 5:25PM|#
    "Again, welcome to civilization, where life isn't a nursery in Downton Abbey where Nanny gives you every single thing you ever ask for."

    Most of us here are well aware of that, and I'm sure it was a shock when you learned it last week.

  • M.L.||

    "if you dare say rape babies . . . or babies that might kill the mother are exempt, then you don't really give a shit about babies, do you?"

    Actually, these two cases are different in one fundamental way from other cases of abortion. That is the lack any sort of implied consent. Consent seems to be a big deal, as you just mentioned yourself with describing birth "against their will" to be a horror. (Although, abortion has a higher mortality and morbidity rate than birth).

    In the case of rape, there was no consent to the impregnation. Even where there is consent, it may not include willingly dying. In any event, self-defense would justify abortion, if it is truly necessary to save the mother's life (and it is disputed whether any such circumstance exists).

    You might argue that having sex does not constitute an implied consent to pregnancy, but it would certainly seem that having sex would qualify as an "assumption of the risk" -- at least, if we are to apply a non-zero value to a fetus.

  • M.L.||

    2/2
    If an unborn human is worth no more than a housefly or the dirt under your feet, then of course the point is moot. But there are good reasons why that's not right.

    Clinically speaking, it is a human life from conception. But there are other developments along the way that seem significant: heartbeat, brain waves, ability to feel pain, physical features, motor skills learning, language learning, emotionally bonding with Mom and Dad, and other physiological and mental development.

    Few would deny that late term and early second trimester abortions seem particularly barbaric when taking account of such developments, as compared to a zygote.

    And overarching all of this is the fact that it is a human life -- purely clinically speaking, as a member of the homo sapiens species that is alive. If we try to unburden the language of its superficial moral associations, and just only focus on the scientific constructs of species and biological life -- even then, it seems inescapable that we scarcely have any objective moral basis for categorizing this entire class of humans as killable on demand for any or no reason. At the very least, protection of human life seems to deserve some benefit of the doubt.

    Most of Europe and the developed world allows abortion in the first trimester but bans it after that. Personally, that seems pretty reasonable, and not like the dystopian horror that's in your imagination.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Oh by the way, Obama, a man who is naturally predisposed to see white racism anywhere and everywhere (including his own grandmother for crying out loud), has yet to say one word about Governor Coonman, who he aggressively campaigned for and gave wonderful character testimonials to. Not even so much as a "Whoopsy-daisy" or a "My bad".

    Think about just how much of a gutless, spineless, sorry-ass weasel motherfucker you have to be when you'll attack your own dead grandmother but you won't criticize Governor Coonman. Is he really that unwilling to admit he might actually have made a mistake? Pathetic.

  • mtrueman||

    "you'll attack your own dead grandmother"

    She was a republican, wasn't she?

  • You're Kidding||

    Racism has a color?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I'm mildly curious as to whether RBG will make an appearance. I would hope not; an elderly person recovering from major surgery shouldn't have to endure such nonsense. (Nor should anybody else. But I digress.) But her absence would no doubt trigger an avalanche of silly speculation.

  • Rich||

    an elderly person recovering from major surgery shouldn't have to endure such nonsense.

    She knew what she was getting into when she accepted the job.

    In any event, I predict she'll get a "shout out" from Trump.

  • Fats of Fury||

    I believe they're hiding her in the fruit cellar.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    Suderman - A Martinez is a lot more fun when you use barrel aged gin. Good when finished in a used whiskey barrel, even better when finished in a used tequila barrel (look up Manatawny Stillworks)

    I still don't like you

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