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The Strange Tonic
63 minutes | Nov 1, 2021
Special Rerelease: Midnight Rising
SHOW NOTES! It was George Washington’s great-grand-nephew who was a captive at Harper’s Ferry, Lewis William Washington. It’s really difficult to fathom the Sumner-Brooks debacle. Check out some primary sources here. It’s called the Burned Over district because the Second Great Awakening set the area “on fire.” John Brown’s Body was not only a marching song for the Union Army but also later a poem and play, both based on Stephen Vincent Benét’s 1928 epic poem of the same title. Check out the blog for more Strange Tonic content. Get a new look to grow your business at littlesprucedesign.com. And just listen to Pan Astral, okay? They're on all the streaming apps you use. And if you don't use an app, go here.
70 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Some of the Women Who Made America (The Seneca Falls One)
Noel's iMac abruptly retired in December 2020 and took a few already recorded conversations with it. So, this conversation is a redo of one we already had in the can. Also, the discussion includes Noel's dogs as notable guest contributors. Check out the blog for more Strange Tonic content. Get a new look to grow your business at littlesprucedesign.com. And just listen to Pan Astral, okay? They're on all the streaming apps you use. And if you don't use an app, go here.
82 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
F*** the Filibuster (mp3 version)
Sorry, for the duplicate, friends. We're trying to get our pod on Spotify as well. Hello and welcome back to The Strange Tonic Podcast! We're back from another hiatus with another fun, informative chat. Here are the links to some of the things we discussed. An inadvertent companion piece over on the blog. The episode of The Ezra Klein Show where Klein and David French discuss polarization, secession, and the filibuster. The Weeds episode Matthew Yglesius and Ezra Klein discuss ending the filibuster. Author Adam Jentleson discussed his new book on The Bulwark Podcast. Pan Astral on Bandcamp. Check out our friend Alyssa's awesome business. Please enjoy the conversation. And I promise you'll be hearing from us again soon. Cheers!
82 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
F*** the Filibuster
Hello and welcome back to The Strange Tonic Podcast! We're back from another hiatus with another fun, informative chat. Here are the links to some of the things we discussed. An inadvertent companion piece over on the blog. The episode of The Ezra Klein Show where Klein and David French discuss polarization, secession, and the filibuster. The Weeds episode Matthew Yglesius and Ezra Klein discuss ending the filibuster. Author Adam Jentleson discussed his new book on The Bulwark Podcast. Pan Astral on Bandcamp. Check out our friend Alyssa's awesome business. Please enjoy the conversation. And I promise you'll be hearing from us again soon. Cheers!
72 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
The Tim Bessler One!
Not a lot of show notes here because Tim and Noel cover a lot of ground. Please give it a listen and maybe another one because there is so much to dig into. From there, please support our friends. Head here to check out Pan Astral. And head here to check out Alyssa's awesome new business. Read this book.
73 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
F*** the Electoral College
We highly recommend you check out You’re Wrong About if you haven’t already! The American Revolution ended in 1983 officially. 12 of the first 18 presidents owned slaves at some point in their lives: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant. Originally, each member of the Electoral College cast two votes, generally one for their party’s presidential candidate and the other for their party’s vice presidential candidate. Whoever won the most votes would be president, and the runner-up, vice president. In 1796, Adams won the presidency, while Jefferson came in second and became the VP. But they were from opposing parties and their administration was, in brief, tumultuous. In the 1800 election, Jefferson’s party failed to coordinate electoral voting and both he and his VP running mate, Burr, ended up with 73 votes each. Burr was meant to receive 72, securing him as VP with the top title going to Jefferson. But since they tied, the constitution required a contingent election in the House of Representatives. Bitter political infighting led to 36 contingent ballots until finally Jefferson was elected president by one vote. Check out Noel’s Good Thing of the Week, Love Your Enemies by Arthur Brooks.
75 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
The Election Reax One
We discuss a few articles at the beginning of the pod, which can be found at The Bulwark, National Review, and Law Fare Blog. Randy Quaid’s video...if you dare. Flipping the Senate blue still comes down to two run-off elections in Georgia, so this will likely be major national news come January 5, 2021. The Boomers are definitely outnumbered by Gen X and Millennials. And most projections are that 2020 is likely the last time the Boomers are the largest voting block. At least four transgender candidates won elections in 2020. Alas, Noel and Michelle were quite wrong though concerning Sarah McBride, who is the new Senator representing Delaware, not Virginia. Head this way for all things Pan Astral And head over here to check out Little Spruce Design, Alyssa's exciting new business. The GOP continues to hang its hat on the Laffer Curve, which in actuality is “uncertain and disputed among economists.”
62 minutes | Dec 2, 2020
It was George Washington's great-grand-nephew who was a captive at Harper's Ferry, Lewis William Washington. It's really difficult to fathom the Sumner-Brooks debacle. Check out some primary sources here. https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/The_Caning_of_Senator_Charles_Sumner.html It's called the Burned Over district because the Second Great Awakening set the area "on fire." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burned-over_district#:~:text=The%20Burned%2Dover%20District%20refers,set%20the%20area%20on%20fire. John Brown's Body was not only a marching song for the Union army, but also later a poem and play, both based on Stephen Vincent Benét's 1928 epic poem of the same title.
70 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
Let's Talk About Andrew Jackson
Though Jackson won the most electoral votes of the 4 candidates running for president in 1824 (99 of 261), he did not win the majority. Under Amendment 12 of the Constitution, it was up to the House of Representatives to pick the winner of the top 3 candidates. It so happens that the 4th and now ineligible candidate, Henry Clay, had a huge influence in the House. Clay agreed to support John Quincy Adams because he thought Jackson a demagogue. With the help of Clay’s connections, Adams became president. This was the “corrupt bargain” that Jackson and his supporters loathed. Rachel Jackson died December 22, 1828, and was buried at the Jackson home in Tennessee. Jackson left for Washington, DC about a month later in preparation for his presidency. He was Inaugurated on March 4, 1829. Jackson adopted a Native American boy named Lyncoya. The Washington Post published a piece about him in 2019.
62 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
The Strange Tonic Podcast: The Washington One
Please enjoy this ridiculous, humorously inappropriate cartoon about President #1. Noel and I found Chernow’s Washington: A Life biography an excellent and engaging resource. Highly recommend either the book or the audiobook. Michelle was not impressed with a quick internet search about the history of white, British wigs. Most of what I found was very blog-y, rife with anachronisms and info that didn’t seem reliable (several “articles” had pictures of Washington as a wig example...which we know from his biographers, he was not a wig wearer). If any listener knows or finds some cool, reliable info, let us know! Tadeusz Kościuszko was a Polish-Lithuanian military leader and statesman that assisted the patriots of the American Revolution. Michelle makes it sound like Kościuszko offered to buy Jefferson’s slaves in-person, but he actually left the offer in his will after his death in 1798, in which Jefferson was named the estate’s executor. Jefferson was not happy and ultimately SCOTUS got involved. The wiki summary is here. Google brings up a ton of great sources about Kościuszko too! Michelle forgot to reference this rad podcast called All the Presidents, Man. The Jefferson episode is where she learned to be a little less angry while remaining critical of his shortcomings. Check it out!
49 minutes | Sep 14, 2020
Season Three, Episode One: I Need A Hero!
We're back for another season! Gatsby is back barking at random things off-mic, and we've added even more dogs to add to the background noise. Head here for a thing Noel wrote recently. Check out all things Pan Astral. Enjoy Pan Astral performing Gulf of Mexico. Take care of yourselves and each other. And please send positive my Mom's way.
64 minutes | Jan 21, 2020
Please don't call it *The* Ukraine
We highly recommend finding out more about what Ukrainians think or what some of their pro-democracy resources have to say. Please visit Hromadske and KyivPost. If you’re Ukrainian is a little rusty, they have English webpages. Ukraine has received several loans from the IMF over the years. If you’re curious about this topic, here’s Wiki’s take on it, and also the IMF’s official site. The peace talk between Ukraine and Russia has many interpretations, literally. It remains to be seen if the ceasefire will be fully implemented by the end of 2019. Michelle can’t say Kievan Rus’ correctly. Check out how large the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was. The Russo-Georgian War of 2008 is considered the first European war of the 21st century and has some similarities to Russian tactics in Crimea and the Donbas region. The estimated nuclear weapon stockpile of Russia is a cool 6,490, a few hundred more than the US. Each country is believed to have around 1,400 “strategically deployed” warheads. Here is the Foreign Affairs article Noel discusses. So Russia understands the importance of Ukraine, but does the West? Only if it’s all about us. If you have the time, please listen to Timothy Snyder’s points about language and its power.
61 minutes | Nov 14, 2019
This Spoon is Making Me Nervous
Show Notes for Episode 34, 10/2/19 Brenda Wineapple’s The Impeachers was published just in time for the current impeachment. How timely. Basically, it’s difficult to enforce congressional subpoenas because it requires fast cooperation from many sections of the federal government and that seems to never happen these days…. Just for funsies, check out the Wikipedia lists of Obama Administration Controversies (including the tan suit!) and Trump Administration Controversies. Michelle seriously cannot recommend Hasan Minaj’s Patriot Act on Netflix enough. Here’s the YouTube link for the episode that features the other Koch bros. As of Oct. 19, 2019, a judge blocked part of Florida's poll tax on former felons. The informal verb, “to bork” has two definitions, both in “honor” of Judge Robert Heron Bork (1927-2012). The first is found in the Cardozo Law Review in 1987 and described as common slang among attorneys who argued in Bork’s courtroom. A lawyer got “borked” when they “receive[d] a conservative judicial decision with no justification in the law” because of “Bork's tendency to decide cases solely according to his ideology.” The second and much more common definition (which Noel and Michelle discuss) comes from Bork’s failed nomination to the Supreme Court, also in 1987, and the very negative press received in reaction to his aforementioned judicial record of ruling ideologically and, more specifically, racistly. The storm of bad press was deemed “borking,” meaning to “defame or vilify” someone and prevent them from being appointed to public office. This definition was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2002. In 2018, California’s economy was ranked 5th in the world, behind 1 - the US as a whole, 2 - China, 3 - Japan, and 4 - Germany. Catch Timothy Snyder’s visit to Rachel Maddow’s show here. The protests in Kyiv mentioned were in response to the so-called “Steinmeier Formula” which is an attempt to end aggression in eastern Ukraine. Protestors dislike the agreement, because it would end fighting with the withdrawal of Ukraine troops from Donbas, essentially surrendering more territory to Russia (who invaded and started the conflict in 2014 following the illegal annexation of Crimea). All of this has been put on the backburner with the impeachment inquiry unfolding when the US and Ukraine are deeply intertwined. Noel and Michelle hope to discuss this further in future episodes. In the meantime, for Ukraine-focused resources check out KyivPost or Hromadske. (Thank you, John, for the recommendations.)
50 minutes | Oct 1, 2019
This one's gonna hurt...
This one is gonna hurt It’s a doozie: The Mueller Report Fact Check: In 2017, it was thought that 21 states were targeted by Russia during the 2016 election. It is now known that all 50 were targeted. Watch Robert Mueller perk up during Rep. Will Hurd’s (R-TX) questioning. Fact Check: The Biden rule concerning federal executions is colloquially known as the “Crime Bill” of 1994. “It added dozens of crimes to the list of federal offenses for which the death penalty could be applied” and Biden was the lead senator that got the bill passed. In 2019 Biden stated a turn around from his voting record and suggested the death penalty be eliminated entirely. Federal executions had been on moratorium “because of problems obtaining the previous three-drug protocol.” Who were/are the Reformicons? George Wallace was not a nice person….Check out the book The Lynching for some really good examples. Be sure to check out Jane Coasten’s sharp observations on “instrumentalized racism.”
57 minutes | Oct 1, 2019
Political Centrism Vox’s article highlights the results of More In Common’s “Hidden Tribes” report The center doesn’t exist, according to the New York Magazine Trump does not like Bette Midler Tucker Carlson’s gross comments don’t need to be heard. So here’s an article about them. Network Propaganda by Yochai Benkler et al may no longer be free to read, but it’s still definitely worth checking out. If you’d like to learn much more about the tragic death and immoral politicization of Seth Rich, Michelle recommends Michael Isikoff’s “Conspiracyland” podcast.
85 minutes | Oct 1, 2019
Welcome Back Tad!
We mention Ben Shapiro (Shuh-peer-o) on the regular…. “All the Color” by Pan Astral is now available! Check out Tad’s other project, Blue Gospel Scripts This video breaks down the movements in Rush’s “La Villa Strangiato” “Steady Study on the Boogie” seems hella hard to play Check out John Petrucci’s solo from “Constant Motion”
67 minutes | Aug 5, 2019
The Mussolini One!
Check back soon for the show notes!
87 minutes | Jun 3, 2019
How Does Fox News Help Our Democracy?
Check back soon for the show notes!
86 minutes | May 28, 2019
Michael Shannon, Improv Comedy, Flat Earthers, & More!
Click here for the show notes!
89 minutes | Mar 19, 2019
The Strange Tonic Podcast: The Not Fascism One (Featuring Tad Lusk)
Greetings from the new podcast HQ, folks! Tad and I recorded this a few weeks ago at the old place and had a great conversation. We'll have to do it again soon because, even with it being a longer pod, there was a lot more I was hoping to cover with my friend. Check back soon for a link to the show notes!
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