079 “'Allegation & Admission, Baseless or Otherwise” w/ Bill Schulz and Nancy Rommelmann

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The Fifth Column - Analysis, Commentary, Sedition
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Recorded on Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Moynihan and Kmele are on Assignment -- Welch takes the reins.

With Special Guests:

Nancy Rommelmann - Journalist, Author of 'To The Bridge'

Bill Schulz - Host of Compound Media's 'Mornin'!!!! w/ Bill Schulz'



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“The most important Fifth Column History… In fact, the most important podcast all week.” - Thad RussellThe apeirogon-like ComeyGate scandal careens into its second week. Rumors seem to be the only thing emanating from Washington DC these days (for better or worse), and not-so-quiet-just-above-a-whisper speculation about impeachment can be heard all over Capitol Hill.Plus, Thad and Moynihan get into it, again. And the guys finally fix this whole NATO business once and for all, sort of. Kmele krushes kampus racism, and Thad knows an uncomfortably large number of Irish racial epithets.


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Is former FBI boss James Comey's unexpected and unceremonious termination a Nixonesque attempt to bury the Russian narrative once and for all... Is it just the latest salvo from a calculating monster with totalitarian asperations... Or maybe the Trump regime is just about as inept as it seems...

PLUS:- Clapper: 'You ain't no got'damn journalist, Julian!' Assange: 'You's a liar!' - What's this about Sea World!? Sounds Gross. - And Comey may be out, but we'll always have James Taylor (FTW)


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Moynihan is late; Matt went to a cocktail party; Kmele needs a date for Guardians of the Galaxy; and Jamie Kirchick (author, “The End of Europe”) drops by with dire predictions about the fate of the European Project.

Meanwhile, Obamacare is dead (long live Obamacare).

Plus: Spurious allegations, police shootings, and 'the N-word.'


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A review of the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency: Controversy, failures, do-overs and general incompetence. Plus: Media bubbles and consequence. And that time the streets were filled with brave, angry, nerds…


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A record-breaking, kiloton-length new release with all the kinetic energy of [ABRUPTLY CUTS OFF EXPLOSIVES METAPHPOR]...

Eat some chocolate cake with Xi, flatten a section of Afghanistan, (check-in with Vladimir), rattle saber at North Korea (glare menacingly in the direction of everyone else in the room, intermittently clapping your hands and screaming as loud as you can... )... and try to assure everyone that you know exactly what you're doing. Everything is fine. This is fine.

Bannon is out (-ish). NATO is great (again?). And Brian Williams can't be the only journalist in America who LOVES a great fireworks display. What kind of asshole dosen't like fireworks? Also... PUTIN!

Michael Weiss (Senior Editor at The Daily Beast, co-author of the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror), stops by to help sort out the mess.... opportunity? No, it's kind of a mess.


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We knew things were heating up in Syria, but it was still a bit of a shock when Tomahawk missiles started flying all over the place. Fortunately for all involved, Eli Lake was on hand to explain the inner workings of Multi-dimensional Hungry Hungry Hippos (it'll make sense, honest)... and to provide a bit more context for that ‘Susan Rice Unmasking’ story he kinda* broke… And it’s our birthday!


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Rep Thomas Massie swings by to provide a first person account of the failed Ryan/Trump health care bill. Plus: The prospects for Trump's Tax reform agenda and the intersections of 'economic nationalism' and libertarianism. Protesting Putin. And the two year anniversary of America's adventure in Yemen.


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Health Care Reform, Trump’s Long Game, New York Real Estate Woes & Casual Racism, Burning All the Paintings, Multiple Beers and A Tall Bottle of Johnny Walker Black. Fifty episodes in (sort of) and this is what it's come to. We couldn’t be more proud.


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Did the Brits actually wiretap his building? And look, he’s ‘good people’, but we’re gonna have to talk about this, ‘sources say’ stuff…

Whoa — she's got his tax returns! BUT, before we get to that crucial story, take a look at this Oort Cloud of speculative rambling: Did those planes just HAPPEN to be on the same runway? Well, what about those Yachts? They’re both on the ocean… they’re both in front of a Caribbean island… How do you explain that? How does that just happen? And how about that house in Florida!? Did you know he bought it at a low price and sold it for a higher price… to a Russian!? And if I just keep asking questions in a suspicious tone, do you think anyone will notice how lame a scoop a pair of pages from Trump’s tax return is?


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It's an active week in Washington as the Trump administration takes a few mulligans. The Travel/Muslim Ban is revealed, Congress debates the deeply unpopular health care reform-reform proposal, and the administration teases a new trillion dollar infrastructure slush fund. The steady diet of (real and imagined) scandal, controversy, and leaks hasn't let up either. And while the national press is outraged over one ridiculous conspiracy theory and infatuated with another, almost no one is paying attention to the slow-motion cataclysm in the middle east... a situation that could get very bad, very fast.

Kmele's a misogynist. Moynihan is in the building. And Welch is in the back of a cab (then the airport terminal)... and Katie Halper stops by, but it's complicated.

(Recorded: March 7st, 2017)


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[Special Dispatch]

'Two Conversations About Race, History, and Identity”

Kmele hijacks the podcast stream for a pair of conversations about race, philosophy, what history and filmmaking have in common, why he hates when people call his wife a 'beautiful black woman and his beef with Black History Month.

WITH:Dr. Henry Louis Gates Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University'Africa’s Great Civilizations” (PBS) 2017, 'Finding Your Roots' (PBS)

Dr. George YancyProfessor of Philosophy at Emory UniversityContributor to 'The Stone' - (The New York Times)https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/opinion/its-black-history-month-look-in-the-mirror.htmlhttps://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/dear-white-america/

Kmele on Race and Related Topics in Various Other Contexts:

“Oscars So Black”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TizdjF5DJX0

“Reparations”: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/point-taken/should-us-pay-reparations-black-americans/

Kmele on “Race Pride”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rX3gy3SkSIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg79E0f_b6g


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'Presidential.' 'His Best Speech Yet.' 'Hey, What Happened To His Entirely-Too-Long Red Tie!?' ---- It's an all new Donald Trump. He's calm, composed, occasionally optimistic and his standard complement of half-truths, exaggerations, outright lies and impossible promises have been better calibrated and tightly scripted for maximum impact. In other words; could be he's finally getting the hang of this whole POTUS thing. Plus: 'How Code Pink Progressives Fell in Love With The War On Terror' --- 'Remembering Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens' --- 'Are You Seriously Gonna Talk Shit About HBCUs, Kmele!?' (Recorded: March 1st 2017)


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The cascade of failures, missteps, scandal and controversy otherwise known as the Trump Administration has stammered into its fourth week of governance*. Michael Flynn -- Former National Security Adviser.... the man Previously responsible for reading, condensing and perhaps remixing POTUS's top-secret security briefings, has been kinda-sorta-shitcanned. There was high drama, people shouted and Kellyanne Conway, and there could* be huge* national security ramifications too. But there's something so much more important than all of that...


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POTUS is at war with the courts, with the press, and on account of it's leaking like a sieve, he's kinda at war with his own administration. Reason's resident legal aficionado Damon Root stop by to expound on the legal wrangling over the immigration ban, the tension between the executive and judicial branch, and there's some stuff about Waco, Devos, Black History Month and Axel Rose too.


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Is it a Muslim Ban? Should America just 'bar the damn door'? Is it racism? Or is it perhaps just more 'what-about-ism'? What is the connection between Trump's Immigration policy and the location of his many real estate holdings? There are perhaps good answers to these questions, I can't promise you'll find them here... but given the other sources you've probably already consulted, you could do so much worse.

Kevin Williamson of National Review sits in.


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A week under our belts and we're still reeling...

A deluge of executive activity, constitutional controversies, 'emoluments'(?!), lawsuits, like -- a lot of lawsuits, sex tapes (well, not yet, but you wouldn't really be surprised by that, would you?), media panics, entirely legitimate media outrage, a twitter beef with geopolitical consequences, more media panics, more very legitimate outrage, a $40-billion-30-foot-high wall, a future entirely devoid of guacamole... and, there's more, but you get the idea... Seriously, it's only been a week!

...time is a flat circle.


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The waning hours of President Obama's tenure, on the eve of Trump-Mageddon, and the hits just keep on coming.

The President-Elect finds himself embroiled in a nasty fight with an almost universally revered CIVIL RIGHTS ICON -- who in this particular showdown may just be playing the part of a cuddly Alex Jones.

And of course, since 'two beefs are always better than one,' Trump is simultaneously mixing it up with CNN too. Is this a prelude to a broader Trumpian assault on the free press!? Maybe? Did you see hopefully?

Plus: Thad Russell makes his pick for the next President of the United States (sort of). Manning gets freed. Matt asks questions about drones and of course other important things happen.

Moynihan is someplace in DC covering the inauguration (or is he ducking Thad)? No problem, we'll just put words in his mouth and strawman the hell out of him.


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After a day of confirmation hearings and protesters in pink t-shirts, amid growing uncertainty about the future of Obama Care, and just ahead of President Obama's Farewell Address in Chicago; a dossier filled with potentially explosive and definitively explicit allegations about the incoming President-Elect explodes onto the scene. Is it accurate? Where did it come from? Has Trump been compromised? Wait -- did someone say 'golden shower'? WOULD YOU PLEASE SHUT UP -- WE'RE STILL TRYING TO READ THE DAMN THING!


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Welch has been eying the guitar in the corner all night, some thoughtful listeners sent the fellas a huge bottle of Johnny Walker Black, and appears they've been reading newly released intelligence briefs for the last hour. If you were in the room, you'd probably be a little drunk too. It's the first fifth of 2017...


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In the final dispatch of 2016, THE COLUMNISTS examine the recent terror attacks in Berlin -- parsing predictable responses, likely fallout, and beyond.

And as the Obama Presidency draws to a close, an increasingly 'complicated' (if not entirely frosty... but perhaps 'cold-ish') relationship with Vladimir Putin (or is it 'some 400lb guy sitting around in his mom's basement') are hogging the spotlight and throwin' shade on POTUS's legacy.

And about this legacy business... they kick that around too. Good, bad, above average... Welch, Moynihan and Foster discuss. See you in 2017.


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Definitive accusations from the US intelligence community. Promises of reprisals from President Obama. A last ditch effort to sway Electoral College voters and prevent Donald Trump from moving into the White House.

SPOILER ALERT: You’ll hear exactly zero mentions of Archduke Ferdinand in this dispatch (and perhaps that’s for the best).


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In the final days of the Obama administration, many ‘journalos’ (pronounced: jurn-ah-lows) are producing fond remembrances of the outgoing administration while closely scrutinizing every (frequently confusing) move and utterance from the incoming administration. What are they getting right? And what are they getting wrong? Plus: perspectives on the new-McCarthyism. Why you should be super scared of Russia and Trump's pick for Secretary of State (or Naw). And some guy named Coates REALLY want’s you to know that President Obama was black & cool; and that the two of them got to hang out a bunch of times (Kmele is super unfair to him).


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If a white nationalists speaks to a meager audience on a Texas campus, can any American avoid hearing about it? When Tomi tangles with Trevor on The Daily Show, does anyone really win? The answer to both of these questions could be a resounding 'no'. But not to worry, Hillary Clinton is back and she's imploring lawmakers to help plebs... (sorry), stupid voters... (sorry), idiots like you -- differentiate between fake news and approved... (sorry), factual news outlets. If you can't imagine any problems arising from such a well thought out recommendation, then this podcast is for you (and it's also '...for all my people in the struggle. It's all good baby, baby')

Comedian Jimmy Failla and journalist Jacob Siegel swing by for this gargantuan free for all. Did we mention that Jimmy has a new comedy special on Amazon? He'd like you to go watch it.


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“Fidel Castro dead, y’all!” Revolutionary, Dictator, Monster and... Human Rights Champion!? No seriously, some idiot wrote that, and worse besides. The Columnists offer an unvarnished appraisal of the newly muerto totalitarian. Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald is on hand to help make sense of Castro’s legacy and his surprisingly numerous apologists. It’s more than a little disrespectful — but he deserves so much worse.

But Wait, there’s more: Jill Stein raises tons of money, Donald Trump tweets something, there’s a recount, accusations of massive voter fraud and if you set that flag on fire 'somebody gonna go to jail'. @wethefifth


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A Hamilltonian dressing down for the Vice President Elect? A White Nationalist Confrence in the Nations Capital? Sure -- it's almost Thanksgiving, but before digging into the Turkey, stuffing and cranbary sause -- we managed to sneak in one more dispatch. And 'they' said it couldn't be done...


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What do you do after a media apperance in Midtown Manhattan. If you answered, 'Eat Ground Beef with Friends' -- you've probably been drinking with Kat Timpf and Matt Welch.

Trump Ditches the Press Pool to Grab a Steak To Dinner.

Steve Bannon (White House “Chief Strategist”, Xenophon, Anti-Semite, Spousal Abuser, Racist, All of the Above)

Lebron James vs Phil Jackson ('Did you just call us a 'posse'!?')

And The Latest Installment Of The Most Important Story of this Election… “How racist is donald trump”? Super, Regular, or Naw”

Come for the South Park recaps, stay for the celebirty impressions.


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The election is finally over, and Donald Trump is President Elect of the United States... 'What the hell happend!?' This weighty audio dispatch may help sort out a few things. Moyhinan, Welch and Foster are reunited. Andrew Schulz of the Brilliant Idiots podcast makes a return appearance.

You're going to be fine... Really. everythings gonna be OK. We think...


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This week, Hollywood Mike Moynihan deigns to rejoin the Troika of Truth in our last podcast before Election 2016 is dumped on our heads like a sack of dead rats. Kmele heroically calls in from “Easter Island” (a massage bar on the Upper West Side?) to let everyone know that he STILL thinks that maybe Donald Trump hasn’t been playing footsie with David Duke all along. For longer than Bill Weld probably deserves, we discuss the oddness of the Libertarian vice presidential nominee “vouching for Mrs. Clinton” on The Rachel Maddow Show. And Moynihan finds an idiot who wrote some garbage about Amy Schumer.


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This week, comedian Andrew Schulz (http://theandrewschulz.com, The Brilliant Idiots Podcast) stops by, Moynihan is a no show, and things get out of hand quickly (The 'explicit content' warning is there for a reason people).

Up for discussions: Schulz shares some thoughts on the privilege of celebrity and recounts a recent run in with Jerry Seinfeld. Kmele hearts another SNL skit but hates Ava DuVernay's new Netflix mass incarceration doc ('13th'). While Welch quotes MLK, explains how lead paint *may* have led to a global crime boom, and has some additional thoughts on the James O'Keefe/Project Veritas videos accusing Hillary Clinton of Voter Fraud.

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We selected some stories, organized them in a thoughtful way -- and even developed a few punchy segways. But we didn't do much with any of that...

On the eve of the final presidential debate, the damn broke, or something... and this here was the outcome.

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Moynihan watches the presidential debate with his old pal Glenn Beck. Donald Trump doesn't understand how handshakes work at all. Hillary Clinton should probably give up on email at this point. And there's obviously only one hope for avoiding an all out nuclear conflict between the United States and Russia: someone's gonna need to arm the Kurds while setting up a 'No Fly Zone'...


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2016 Libertarian Party Presidential Hopeful Gary Johnson Swings By.

We talk Vice Presidential Debates, Aleppo, Foreign Policy, BLM and the Era of Fake News Narratives.

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Near the tail end of the recording, Moynihan pronounced this the best show we've ever done...' Perhaps so.

What we can say for sure about this weeks installment of The Fifth: 1) We lost track of time, 2) Much wine was poured & consumed, and 3) Gary Johnson is at least as handsome as Han Solo. We recap the Week in Presidental Campaign 'Stuff' (from the first presidential debate, to Gary Johnson's latest 'Aleppo Moment'. Kmele recounts his recent appearance on the Brilliant Idiots podcast and the subsequent fallout. Other things of interest also occur, but we won't spoil it for you.

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The triumvirate has much to discuss after a weekend disrupted by terror attacks in several states and yet another high profile police shooting. Media speculation, double standards and misestimation of risk abound. Also... Denzel Washington.

Josh Zepps, host of We The People Live stops by to help get things sorted. (http://www.wtplive.com)

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We had to MacGyver the hell out of this weeks dispatch. It's almost as if someone was trying to stop us... (Just asking questions here). Aleppo, Baskets of 'Deplorables', More Hacked Emails, Hillary's Flu-Ghazi... or is it a Trumpian Putanist plot (JUST ASKING QUESTIONS)...

Excuse the less then amazing audio. Recorded via Skype from three different cities over internet connection and microphones of variable quality.

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Colin Kaepernick rides the pine (which makes sense on many levels). Donald Trump visits Mexico. Hillary Clinton squares off with the AltRight. A few things remain unclear: Will our heroes ever get around to the oft promised discussion of 'private prisons'? Will Welch learn to properly operate the clock in the studio? Will Mexico pay for the wall? Will Moynihan finally learn how to 'Dab'?

Andrew Kirell of the Daily Beast sits in for the hour.

'What a Time to Be Alive' is an above average album, 'Views' was disappointing. If you've got a problem with the cover art on Young Thug's latest project, keep it to yourself.

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