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  • Writer's pictureEmily Duke Hargan

Listen Up & some updates, too

Updated: May 18, 2020

Happy Monday to all my Bourbon and Politics fans! It was a nice weekend here in DC and I hope it is equally so where you are too. Cocktail hour on Saturday included mint juleps, one of my favorite bourbon cocktails to drink on a warm evenings.

I am switching it up a little with today's post to give you some recommendations on podcasts. I've always been a huge fan of the podcast. It's information, news, entertainment — you name it — all on our phones in bite-size chunks that you can listen to while driving to work or washing the dishes. Since moving back to Washington DC, I have upped my podcast game considerably. I think much of that is due to being in the car more and podcasts have been ideal to listen to while driving. I don't stick to one genre of podcast and I definitely skip around week to week. Sure, as a political junkie I listen to ones that keep me up-to-date on issues I care about but I love finding things to listen to that are also entertaining and occasionally mind-stretching. The options are endless. Here are some of my favorites:

Larry O'Connor is on the air daily in DC on WMAL from 3-6 PM. He always has a great line- up of in-studio guests providing commentary on daily news (and I love his dry sense of humor). I almost never listen to this live cause I just like catching one or two of the interviews the next day.

I became obsessed with this podcast during the impeachment. Ted Cruz would record from his basement office at 1 AM after every day of the trial. For me, it was like waiting for my next cocaine hit. Addicting. I continue to listen whenever I can because I think he's got a keen insight on what is going on in DC and on Capitol Hill plus he's well-respected on both sides of the aisle.

Available twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) this podcast is comedian Dennis Miller's uncensored take on pretty much anything that is on his mind. Last week he did this interview with Jon Lovitz on quarantine dating that had me laughing out loud while walking the dog. C'mon, it's Dennis Miller. It is going to be immensely entertaining.

This is a "serial" podcast from Slate. season 1 was about Watergate and season 2 was about the Clinton Impeachment. Eric and I listened to season 2 driving home from Florida last year and loved it. This most recent season is on the murders of Tupac and Notorious BIG.

This is basically a way to get smarter faster. It is an entertaining breakdown of the top 3 business stories in 15 minutes. I try to listen at least once a week.

I recently discovered this podcast via Thomas Hargan. Part ridiculous (hence the 14 year old rec) and part hilarious, it is hosted by two "mythical" chefs who discuss and debate the controversial culinary quandaries. Example: Is American cheese really cheese?

Office co-stars, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, weekly break down one episode of the "Office". It is the ultimate "Office" re-watch for those of you who have been Netflix quaran-streaming all your old faves.

Same thing as Office Ladies but about "Scrubs" and IMO funnier. If you were a superfan, you've got to listen.

This is the now famous "Christmas Jammies", Penn & Kim Holderness, with their very entertaining podcast. They still do their video musical parodies which I highly recommend watching. Side note: I knew Penn in college at UVA and he's even funnier now.

Now on to coronavirus related news...

Top-line Data:

Current Coronavirus Case Update as of May 16 in the United States

News & Noteworthy:

# 1 Late Friday night Congress passed a historic $3 trillion dollar stimulus bill dubbed the HEROES Act. This bill did not have the same bi-partisan support as past stimulus packages and may be DOA in the Senate. It includes nearly $1 trillion in state and local aid; another round of $1,200 stimulus checks; additional money for unemployment and payroll protection. There are concerns from Democrat progressives that the bill didn't go far enough to offer relief to Americans and from Republicans that the bill has some unnecessary provisions tucked into it like a USPS bailout to the tune of $25 billion. Suffice to say, that negotiating will continue before this will pass the Senate and hit the President's desk for signature. Read here for more.

#2 Last week, President Trump announced the public-private partnership to facilitate the development, manufacturing and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutic. Here are the President's remarks from the Rose Garden on Operation Warp Speed that will bring together the resources of the NIH, the CDC, the FDA and under the guidance of the departments of HHS and State. Currently there are 8 vaccine candidates in clinical trials.

#3 At least 100 million Americans are able to move around again after nearly two months of stay -at-home orders. Every state in the country has canceled school for the remainder of the school year. Some states have eased restrictions that include re-opening restaurants, retail stores, hair salons, and gyms. Others are more restrictive by only allowing restaurants to have outdoor service and limits to the number of patrons. Here is a guide to state-by-state re-openings.

#4 Both Georgia and Florida have been in a phased re-opening for a few weeks now. There was much speculation about whether or not they re-opened too soon and if coronavirus cases would spike. However, in the last week Georgia has seen a 12% decline in new daily cases and Florida a 14% decline. As more and more states move into similar territory, only time will tell if we see case rates increase.

#5 Will Major League Baseball make a comeback this summer? The MLB proposed an 82-game summer season to begin in July. Games to be played in home ballparks mostly without fans and will most definitely be modified due to the pandemic. Here is a team-by-team look at the likelihood of your team playing at home this summer.

Looking for some diversions...

  • If you're like me and have been at home with your kids for the last two months working, zooming, cooking, watching Netflix, you might be ready to plan a vacation. I have found 12 Airbnb Lake Houses to die for. Who's in?

  • Join me in taking an online bartending course. At only $29 the introductory BarStarts program offered by BarSmarts is only 6 hours and covers wine and spirits; cocktail history and bar essentials; prep tips and how to make the 25 cocktails every bar tender should know. Summer is looking up!

  • Earlier this month J.Crew announced that it was filing for bankruptcy. I came across this article in Town & Country that reminded me of the J.Crew of my youth. How many of those roll neck sweaters did I have in my winter wardrobe? If my parents still owned the house we lived in when I was in high school, I am sure the covers of the J.Crew catalog are still taped to the inside of my closet door. J.Crew was prep par excellence for Gen-Exers and a symbol of true Americana.

  • On May 15, the Food Network hosted a livestream event called the "Nacho Average Showdown" between Guy Fieri and Bill Murray to raise money for the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Below is the video from the livestream with special guest judges Shaq and Terry Crews. Very funny

Cheers to a great week ahead, B&P friends!


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