Episode 014 – The Worst Spies Ever Episode



Breaking news alters the guys’ plans again… And they end up talking about Nunez, Russia, and independent committees, and why government and business are veeeeery different creatures.

AJ gets them back on track and they break down the Nunez developments, why they read like a cheap spy novel, why appearances of impropriety matter, and why it all feels like a Coen Brothers film.

They also talk about Trump’s failure, as a “smart” guy, to manage the AHCA debacle, that his only “successes” come because of executive orders, and how we’ve now seen that he can’t even get something done when he owns the House. And it turns out his approval rating reflects that.

Trump segues the show into the next segment by telling Bill O’ Reilly and Matt Lauer about his buddy, Putin…

AJ talks about thorn in Putin’s side, Alexei Navalny, whose constant protest and exposure of Russian corruption will probably get him killed. Which leads the guys to talk about recent Republican attempts to crack down on protestors here in the US, and how Nixon at least pretended he was coming down on drugs instead of protestors.

They discuss why Trump would admire someone like Putin, and how some modern Republicans, particularly in Trump’s inner circle, seem to be drawing inspiration from the authoritarian handbook.



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Episode 013 – The Unlucky (For Trump) Episode



Rachel Wiesz and Kevin J. O’Conner open the show discussing comeuppances…

AJ’s Broadside involves football, coaching, responsibility, throwing one’s players under the bus, and University of Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz provides an example of how a coach handles responsibility.

It’s episode 013 and FBI Director Comey confirms they’re investigating Trump, his campaign, and Russia. Comey further indicates that the investigation includes assessing if any crimes have been committed.

The guys make the almost obligatory comparison to Nixon, but wonder if Trump will have the balls, brains, or the patriotism to resign rather than take the Presidency down with him.

Comey then stops short of calling Trump a liar RE wire tapping, and explains how requests for surveillance work in the real world.

Jennifer Rubin, in a WaPo opinions piece, asks if the Republicans will finally accept that Trump has zero credibility…https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/03/20/comeys-testimony-humiliates-trump/?utm_term=.b62842c0aac4

AJ asks “Who wants to be famous?” and roll on Trump.

Especially now that Gallup shows a 17% drop in Trump’s popularity, as he gets deeper into scandal (after barely two months in office), and the negative impact of his policies on his supporters become more obvious.

The guys talk about Angela Merkel’s visit, and how much dumber Trump seems afterward, especially when he starts talking about NATO…


Which prompts the guys to discuss whether Trump is evil, stupid, or selfish, and how, regardless of which it is, he’s become toxic for our nation.

AJ wonders if guys like Rubio and JEB! Feel and sense of hypocrisy after beating the drum against Hillary for being under federal investigation… Especially after we hear FBI director Comey dismiss the case against her…

And, the guys remind the audience that the principle remains “…innocent until proven guilty…” but it wouldn’t break their hearts to see Trump finally pay for a lifetime of greed and selfishness…

Then we hear from a Jodi Ernst town hall meeting at Coe College, wherein the crowd asks pointed questions and gets, well, no meaningful answers…

Which leads the guys to lament, using several shit metaphors, that they don’t have the time to mention, let alone delve deeply into, the multitude of other subjects that they want to bring to the audience’s attention, including:

Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing…

ACA/Obamacare v AHCA/Trumpcare…

Iowa’s budget shortfall and the continued failure of “trickled on” economics…

The guys give a shout out to friend of the show, Shatyl Bach…

And Slow Burn their way out of the show…

Slow Burn” by Kevin MacLeod
edited by Working Class Skeptic
and licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Website: https://swingstateshow.wordpress.com/


Episode 012 – The Russian Episode



We start off the show with an 8 bit version of the Russian folk song, Korobeiniki, or for those of us less cultured swine, the theme from Tetris.

Lewayne fires off a burst of assorted topics in his Broadside, including:

Upcoming special elections…


Trump’s address to Congress…

NPR annotations: http://www.npr.org/2017/02/28/516717981/watch-live-trump-addresses-joint-session-of-congress

WaPo analysis:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/02/28/fact-checking-president-trumps-address-to-congress/?utm_term=.e0e6dfe5d28e

The previous five Presidents’ addresses:


Approval ratings:

Obama on the week of his first address (2/24/09) was 64/23. http://www.gallup.com/poll/116479/barack-obama-presidential-job-approval.aspx

W, in the weeks around his first address was around 62(63)/21(22) range. http://www.gallup.com/poll/116500/presidential-approval-ratings-george-bush.aspx

Bill Clinton in the week following his address was 59/29. http://www.gallup.com/poll/116584/presidential-approval-ratings-bill-clinton.aspx

George HW Bush and Reagan: http://www.gallup.com/poll/116677/presidential-approval-ratings-gallup-historical-statistics-trends.aspx

Last, and definitely least, Trump: http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx

Branstad’s pet “Who needs licensure?” bill:


Iowa abortion bills: Vote-on-20-week-abortion-bill.JPG

Trump’s Muslim Ban: Mark II, and the new Republican “plan” for replacing the ACA…

Then guys try to wade through the Russia spiderweb, listen to Jeff Sessions lie and Al Franken call him on it, hear Jeff Sessions explain in detail a meeting that he didn’t recall having, and remind the audience that George Orwell wrote more than one book…

Sessions/Leahy Interview: https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Sessions%20Responses%20to%20Leahy%20QFRs.pdf

Animal Farm: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=animal+farm&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aanimal+farm

They also talk about the “Yeah, but…” syndrome the right suffers when they get called on their bullshit, and remind us all to watch out for jingly keys…

Twitter: @swingstate_show

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Website: https://swingstateshow.wordpress.com/


Episode 011 – The Resistance Episode




Jean-Luc Picard kicks off the show by schooling the Borg on resistance…

…and AJ’s Broadside continues the attack.

Lewayne pimps the contact info, then talks about town hall meetings.

Marco Rubio tells us why he’s running scared, and it includes this little publication:


And, Bernie tells him, and those like him, to man up or GTFO.

The guys talk about why people are really pissed off at town hall meetings, and at least one of those reasons is Donald J. Trump, whose approval rating is dropping like stone down a well.


They get side-tracked talking about what Trump is actually doing, compare it to W’s handling of the presidency, and why, despite, W’s example, people still didn’t seem to be paying attention to Trump…

Which leads into a discussion of the tendency among those on the right to vote against their own interests.

AJ reigns them back in, and ties his Broadside into the town hall responses to Republican members of Congress. Lewayne discusses how it is necessary to point out to some people how Trump’s policies actually affect them., and AJ analyzes the impracticality of keeping the “good” parts of ACA/Obamacare AND ditching the mandate.

Lewayne suggests the the Republican Party, itself, bought into Trump’s bullshit, expected to be received as conquering heroes and, instead, have met unexpected resistance every step of the way. AJ predicts that, when the numbers get low enough that same party with drop Trump like he’s on fire.

The guys also discuss “Trumpcare,” what that might look like, and how, if it worked at least as well as “Obamacare” they’d be okay with it… They just don’t think it will happen, because block grants are a shitty way to deal with health care.

But, maybe there is hope… Darrell Issa, while talking to Bill Mahr, mentions looking at Canada’s health system… Of course, the guys express doubt that “capitalists” will go for it, even though, as AJ points out, such a system fits within “economic conservatism” by having better outcomes for less money…

After a montage of Trump talking himself up, the guys go local, and talk about how things are going for Trump in Iowa, as evidenced by a piece in the Washington Post…


And, it makes Lewayne ask Trump supporters, sincerely, what he’s actually doing that they like…

AJ expresses frustration at the false equivalency people made when considering who to vote for and the guys discuss the “single-issue” method of making a decision… and the lack of critical thinking it exposes…

Twitter: @swingstate_show

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Episode 10 – The Fake News Episode



Lewayne opens with a Broadside about the terrorist attacks in Atlanta, Bowling Green, and Sweden. He also gives the audience some pointers on the type of person to watch out for if we want to prevent more attacks in the US…







Mark Barnett


Benjamin McDowell



William Christopher Gibbs


AJ opens the show proper by thanking the audience for listening, and lets them know how to get more Swing State in their lives. He then talks some about the Kurzman and Schanzer’s survey.


Lewayne mentions the pack of old people in a seafood joint who are interested in “killing the hell out of” Muslim infiltrators.


Which give AJ a segue into talking about #fakefuckingnews… and why a free press is so important. John McCain even agrees with him.

AJ also introduces us to David Frum who talks with Scott Stossel about how to build an autocracy, and what the hell Trump’s administration should properly be called.

The full presentation is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTBUs1La7Uw&t=538s

AJ then talks about real “fake news” and reminds us of its impact on the election. The guys also discuss Trump’s war against the “liberal” media, the burden of proof, echo chambers, the Trump administration’s dwindling credibility, and the importance of reading from (an supporting) multiple, far-ranging, information sources.

They head back to Iowa for some local news…

Public employee union-busting is in full effect, and there’s a push for universities to use party affiliation as a factor in hiring decisions.



Episode 09 – The Broadsides Episode



Due to scheduling issues, we have a short episode this week.

AJ spends some time talking about Comrade Flynn and his resignation, and Lewayne talks about Congress’s Safe Space Rule XIX backfiring on Mitch McConnell. #ShePersisted

Here’s the Coretta Scott King letter at the center of the kerfuffle… https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259988-Scott-King-1986-Letter-and-Testimony-Signed.html#document/p1

Episode 08 – The Warmonger Episode



Walter Sobchak opens the show reminding us that Donnie’s out of his element.

Lewayne takes aim at politicians who don’t understand or respect musical artists.

Lady Gaga’s halftime show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txXwg712zw4&t=114s

Guthrie Lyrics http://woodyguthrie.org/Lyrics/This_Land.htm

Gaga Lyrics http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/ladygaga/bornthisway.html

Springsteen video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPhWR4d3FJQ

Mellencamp video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOfkpu6749w

Morello Response http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/tom-morello-paul-ryan-is-the-embodiment-of-the-machine-our-music-rages-against-20120816

Rolling Stone article http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/stop-using-my-song-34-artists-who-fought-politicians-over-their-music-20150708

Music compilation/fundraiser for ACLU’s fights against Trump


We “Slow Burn” through the opening, along with Hitch, Bernie, Donald, and Edward R. Murrow.

Slow Burn” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) edited by Working Class Skeptic and licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Lewayne expresses excitement that the US hasn’t yet been nuked, despite Trump’s ongoing effort.


AJ continues the litany of things Trump and his people know fuck-all about, as outlined in the New York Times.


Especially when CHRIS CHRISTIE was his most experienced advisor.

The guys call back to the discussion of the Muslim ban, pointing out that, as expected, it met legal “hurdles” as a judge halts the ban. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tno6wjcsWi0

More from the Times articles reveals that Trump is desperate for validation, despite claiming his presidency is going well, and spends an inordinate time with cable news like CNN… You know, the ones he called “fake” news…

AJ questions whether one can be an effective president if one doesn’t understand the concept of “leadership,” or, if one doesn’t even understand the duties, responsibilities, or restrictions of the presidency.

Lewayne discusses the Trump/O’Reilly pre-game interview, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVox2frrW64, whether a Democrat could’ve said the things Trump said when challenged about Putin, and why there’s no comparison between a Russian despot and America’s checkered history.

AJ feels a sense of hope upon learning that the protests are starting to get to Trump, and the guys encourages America to keep pouring it on, to keep reminding Trump that the majority of America despises him. They also contrast Trump and Hillary’s response to criticism.

The guys let the Trump supporters know that they can break up with him, that it’s safe to stop pretending that the awful shit he’s doing is okay.

Steve Bannon talks about the church militant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCVvc2hNVMU and his desire to wage war on pretty much anyone http://www.salon.com/2017/02/06/6-things-steve-bannon-has-declared-war-on_partner/ and the guys have to spend some time talking about him, masculinity, and Bannon’s hand up Trump’s ass.

Trump’s first authorized military operation gets some time, especially since it seems like it was an afterthought… http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/02/after-raid-yemen-bans-u-s-missions-against-terrorists.html got a bunch of people killed, and apparently missed its target… http://time.com/4662150/yemen-raid-qaeda-al-rimi-trump-audio-fool-white-house/ But, since it was originally (conveniently) Obama’s plan, Trump can wash his hands of it.

Lewayne talks about what military operations mean to the people who are actually impacted by them, Trump tells a bunch of people about how much he loves war https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMArIc5Hn_g, and AJ, despite some audio issues, reminds us that, in both history and fiction, it’s often the gung-ho guy who gets people killed. He also compares Trump to the guys playing GI Joe at the border, and discusses notions of masculinity. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/undercover-border-militia-immigration-bauer

Lewayne talks about what Sun-Tzu actually says about warfare – specifically that the best way to win is do it without warfare.

Which leads to a discussion of Bannon’s elevation to the Security Council, the demotion of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and that, from all appearances, Trump DIDN’T REALIZE he was promoting Bannon…

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-steve-bannon-nsc-national-security-council-order-a7565191.html and what having a white nationalist who loves war will likely mean for real people, especially those in the military or with loved ones in the military.

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” José Narosky http://www.corpsman.com/2010/11/in-war-there-are-no-unwounded-soldiers-jose-narosky-veterans-day-2010/

Lewayne strenuously encourages the audience to tell the administration, “NO!” when it comes to war, and AJ wraps things up before Lewayne bursts a blood vessel…

Twitter: @swingstate_show

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Episode 07 – The Banned Episode


Image Credit:  Jamie Hu

Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez opens the show telling protesters they can’t exercise free speech without a permit.

(DIA requires a permit in advance for gatherings at the airport.)


AJ fires the opening rounds at Trump’s immigration order with The Broadside.

We do a “Slow Burn (Working Class Skeptic remix)” through the opening.

Lewayne Godwins all over the beginning of the episode and proves his German is really rusty… and his patience is limited…

He also references the “Law Enforcement Assessment Of Violent Extremists” to remind us that we’re more likely to get attacked by an angry white gunman than a Muslim.


Speaking of white guys, Jeff Sessions asks (now former) acting-Attorney General Sally Q. Yates about her willingness to stand up to a president who issues an unlawful order. SPOILER: She does. And gets fired for it.

AJ beats the refugee order with a thesaurus seeking the proper word to express his disgust with the impending Constitutional crisis it’s already caused.

The guys ponder aloud how an order meant to curtail “terrorist” immigrants fails to include origin nations for actual terrorist attackers, specifically the September 11, 2001 hijackers…

The Right’s answer – “It’s Obama’s list.” and “Obama did it, too.”

Even though, as AJ points out, Obama’s policies are regarded as “failures” by Trump, and Lewayne discusses why the policy isn’t the same.

AJ outlines the objections from foreign service officials (you know, people with actual experience with foreign policy) including four bullet points that put the order’s negative impact in perspective.


Lewayne throws the Right a bone, and reminds them they can focus on money as a reason to object to the order. He then takes a brief side-trip to mention Kurt Vonnegut and “Samaritaphobia…”


Then he loses his shit because people are actually balancing the lives of refugees against boogeymen.

AJ, more calmly examines whether the order is actually a “Muslim ban” by checking again with Trump adviser, Rudy Guliani, who agrees that he was, in fact, originally tasked with creating a Muslim ban…

AJ then points out that such a ban INCREASES the likelihood of terrorism by playing into the recruiters’ narratives.

This argument is reinforced by a clip featuring an alleged former CIA operative explaining that, to Muslim extremists, they are the Rebellion and the United States is the Empire…

AJ further points out that, aside from the impact on refugees, the orders lack of clarity leaves travelers with no idea if they’ll be allowed into the country. The guys also discuss what impact the order has on US military and intelligence personnel, and the apparent betrayal of their foreign allies who risked their lives for them.

The guys discuss intentionality vs. stupidity as motives for the action, and how, regardless, the current structure of Trump’s circle suggests less administration and more authoritarianism…

…and now Trump’s going to take a break from burning the country to the ground for a weekend in Florida.

AJ gives some suggestions for dealing with people who don’t think the ban is a ban… One of them includes the New York Times annotated copy of the order.


The guys take a break to listen to David Tennant reassure the audience of the chat show, “Last Leg,” that everything will be all right…

Then Lewayne talks about the Atheist Candidates website: http://atheistcandidates.com/

And AJ talks about why atheist, secular, progressive representation is important not just to us, but to the nation…


And FFS, organize, mobilize, protest, vote!


Twitter: @swingstate_show

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/swingstateshow/

Website: https://swingstateshow.wordpress.com/


Music: “Slow Burn” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) edited by Working Class Skeptic and licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Episode 06 – The Nasty Women Episode


Des Moines Women’s March 1/21/17

Photo Credit – Stephanie Keneally 2017

Bernie opens the show by reminding us that Donald Trump is a fraud.

Lewayne fires off a salute to the worldwide Women’s March.

AJ opens the show by announcing that, under the principles of “alternative facts,” we have become the “largest single podcast in the history of human civilization, with more followers than you can comprehend…”

He then brings us back to reality… One in which somewhere around 4 MILLION people PEACEFULLY marched to show their support for women and their opposition to Donald Trump.

Which triggers Donald Trump who sends out Sean Spicer to give what KellyAnne Conway calls “alternative facts,” which prompts a discussion of 1984 and Animal Farm, AJ’s coining of the term, “Trumpwellian,” and why Aron Ra’s definition of “fact” is at odds with the current administration, especially since Spicer says we can “disagree about the facts.”

The guys talk about what people want out of the march, what Trump is already doing to hurt people, both locally and globally, especially women, and how it’s just more of the same old Republican war on women… and why that means we all have to keep up the momentum.

Comparisons to the Tea Party movement are made, and the guys explain the difference between being mad because a black man is in office, and being mad because a president immediately moved to cause people harm, and has advocated criminalizing women’s sexual decisions.

They discuss the responsibility of the press, and Trump’s blatant assault on truth by attempting to make the public doubt what they see, hear, and know, especially if it triggers Trump.

This prompts a visit to South Park’s “Safe Space.”

Followed by a comparison between the leadership styles of Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

AJ argues that the difference is that Trump is operating in America, and we don’t appreciate dictators, we have (for now) a free press, we have Saturday Night Live taking the piss out of Donald every weekend, we have access to information, and we have a lot of motivated angry people.

And we can all do something, even small things, to bring down a monster with a million tiny cuts…

Episode 05 – The Uncaring Episode


AJ opens the show blasting the probable repeal of the ACA/Obamacare.

The guys discuss Presidential Inauguration popularity.

No surprise, Trump’s got the lowest rating in recent memory… and he hasn’t even taken the oath.

Also not a surprise, Trump doesn’t approve of popularity polls that remind us that he’s unpopular,or that his policies are unpopular. So, AJ suggests it’s our duty to keep reminding him and his followers that he doesn’t have a mandate.

The guys also mention that more protestors are expected for the Women’s March than for the inauguration, and how Trump’s inaugural entertainment barely counts as “entertainment.” We also mention that the one act based on covering a genuine performer’s act has now declined to perform.

AJ contrasts Trump’s tweetstorms vs. actual “press conference.”

Lewayne and AJ discuss the political capital one loses by picking fights with civil rights icons like John Lewis… especially heading into Martin Luther king Jr. Day… and whether even W would’ve been dumb enough to do that…

AJ expresses concern for Trump’s mental health and well-being, and Lewayne expresses further concern that his erratic behavior can have devastating consequences, not only with our global opposition, but our allies..

Lewayne questions whether the Right might be experiencing buyer’s remorse, AJ finally breaks own and says, “We told you so.” and Lewayne wonders if maybe Trump could just step down and let a grown-up, even an X-Men villain like Mike Pence, take over.

Trump interjects to ask how stupid Americans are…

The guys discuss the intelligence dossier that links Trump to Russia, and the reasons why THIS story isn’t as 24/7 as, say, Hillary’s fucking emails… especially when it outlines impeachable, criminal, treasonous offenses…

…and, why, if even part of the dossier is true, then the fucking Trump supporters look like rubes…

…and, why, even though the “golden showers” is, strictly speaking, irrelevant, it’s part of a bigger effort by the Russians to compromise Trump…

…and whether the Right would be this easy on a Democrat in the same position, given the Pizzagate-level shit they’re willing to believe…

AJ returns to his previous discussion of Russia’s mafia-esque MO, Trump’s connections to it, and speculates if someone’s absent tax returns might provide evidence.

Lewayne piggy-backs on that discussion, gives Trump waaaaaaaaaay more benefit than he deserves, and points out that Trump’s failure to divest himself of his business interests alone should be troubling.

AJ reminds those who doubt the veracity of the dossier that all of the US intelligence actually managed to cooperate, get together, and push for meetings with both Obama and Trump. So, they apparently thought it was worth at least investigating.

Lewayne suggests that the dossier revelations, while revealing Trump disciples to have been fooled, shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but says a lot about the electoral decision-making of Americans. AJ suggests that the negative impact of Trump’s election reaches far beyond our own borders, and akes Trump voters to task.

Trump interjects again to ask how stupid Iowans are.

The guys kind of agree as they discuss a New York Times article focused on the rural Iowa town of Monticello…

…especially when one of the residents indicates that he’s more interested in jailing whomever “leaked” the dossier, than what it says about the guy he elected…

…when another resident agrees with the guys that Republicans vote against their own best interests…

…the people of the town are “hazy” about political policies…

…express inordinate concern about “undeserving” people receiving their hard-earned money…

…and think Obama purposely became President to “ruin America.”

This causes the guys to spend a lot of time talking about mid-western “common sense,” and the double-standard the Right exhibits when dealing with “facts.”

Lewayne brings it back around to the ACA/Obamacare, and AJ wraps up the show before his blood pressure sends him to the hospital.

Music is “Slow Burn” by Kevin MacLeod


edited by Working Class Skeptic

and licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Twitter: @swingstate_show

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Website: https://swingstateshow.wordpress.com/