The Ballad of John Dunbar

June 30, 2015

Silver mining made Aspen a boomtown in 1879, only to become solely a ranching town by 1893, when the U.S. returned to the Gold Standard.


Today on StandUP!

Day Two of our week-long broadcast from the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado!

Check out the first half-hour if you like stories about playing catch with celebrities or fly fishing or eating too much marijuana. Check out the rest of the show if you like those things but ALSO very, very, great guests.

President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen, joined us in the back-half of hour one. The main topic of discussion was the Supreme Court. Here, Mr. Rosen weighs in on whether the dominant influence in the court is Chief Justice John Roberts or perpetual swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy:



In hour two, we caught up with journalist, filmmaker, public health advocate and SiriusXM host Perri Peltz. An Aspen resident, Perri is perennially involved in the Aspen Ideas Festival and she shared an inside look at a panel she will be moderating with  Ta-nehisi Coates and others.

Then, Pete welcomed Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans, like Charleston, South Carolina, has a long and complicated history that is greatly intertwined with America’s slave-owning past. Last week, Mayor Landrieu made headlines when, at a conference, he formally apologized for the role his city played in the slave trade. Here, Mayor Landrieu tells Pete that it takes more than removing a flag to remove the disease of racism.



Hour three brought us two great heavy-hitters from The Atlantic, which is fitting since The Atlantic is the main presenter of Aspen Ideas Festival.

James Fallows is the National Correspondent for The Atlantic, an author and a pilot to boot! Today, he and Pete dug deep down on the Iran Nuke Deal and other major new items, like what it’s like to have your plane searched after flying in from a pot-friendly state.

Steve Clemons is the Washington at-large editor for The Atlantic but also Senior Fellow and Founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. Steve is an Aspen Ideas insider, with all the hot tickets and programs to check out. He also makes a killer joke at Pete’s expense near the end of the show. Definitely worth a listen.


Tomorrow, we talk to Richard Haass from the Council on Foreign Relations and NPR’s Michele Norris, among others.


Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to drive to Chisholm, Minnesota to pick up Moonlight.






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Aspen Ideas Kickoff

June 29, 2015

The Hotel Jerome opened in downtown Aspen in 1889, bringing with it one of the first elevators west of the Mississippi River.


Today on StandUP!

For the third year, Pete & Co. have brought the wagon train out to Aspen, Colorado for the Aspen Ideas Festival, hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. All week long, Pete, Melanie and Alfred will be rubbing elbows with industry leaders, world leaders and thought leaders, all the while eating some of the finest organic hot dogs you’ll ever taste.

But first…there was a little hiccup at the top of the show, which meant I got to basically do whatever I want (play you Pete’s great interview with Fox News anchor and author of the new memoir “Getting Real,” Gretchen Carlson, mainly.)

Then, things took off in earnest, as Pete welcomed his first guest, Atlantic Senior Business Editor Derek Thompson. Derek took us deep inside the economic turmoil Greece is facing right now, where the debt crisis has the potential to affect not only Greeks, but the EU and stock prices around the globe.

At the top of hour two, we spent some time with Michelangelo Signorile, SiriusXM host over on the left-centric Progress channel. Michelangelo gave Pete a first-hand report on the celebration in New York following Friday’s Supreme Court decision, as well as his sharp political assessment of GOP resistence to the ruling, and where things go from here.

Next, Pete spoke to Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn who currently serves as that company’s VP of Product Management. Mr. Blue is at Aspen Ideas to speak about Rework America Connected, an initiative with the Markle Group to help Americans today prepare and take advantage of the technologically connected marketplace of tomorrow. Here, Pete asks Allen Blue about the impact of money on his life, and the impact of LinkedIn on the lives of others.



Hour three began with a quick check-in with Kitty Boone, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Director of the Aspen Ideas Festival. Kitty gave us all a preview of what to expect from this year’s installment of #AspenIdeas, including the Comedy Night, which will put Pete on stage after the iconic and legendary comic, Katie Couric.

We closed out the first day in Aspen with a great sit-down with an actress whose roles have made her an unmistakable part of the Hollywood landscape: Angela Bassett. She’s speaking this year at Aspen on aging & long term care planning and to help Genworth roll-out the R70i Aging Experience, a revolutionary piece of tech designed to help the user understand and actually FEEL the effects of aging on their body. She also had to break Pete’s heart a bit when she answered his go-to question whenever he’s in Colorado: Have you tried the pot?



Coming up tomorrow from Aspen: The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu and much, much more. Also, we’ll find out how many organic hot dogs the gang ate.


Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to book a trip to the Adirondacks.




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June 26, 2015

Oh what a day! WHAT A LOVELY DAY!


Today on StandUP!

Mark Preston joined us from CNN’s Washington D.C. bureau, where he is the Executive Editor of all things political.  Today, he gave us our last dose of politics-as-usual before…

10am came around, and almost IMMEDIATELY the Supreme Court unleashed the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. We checked in with professor Eric Segall and took your calls and reaction right up until…

Environmental-health activist and physician, Dr. Jill Stein, joined us in-studio to discuss her 2016 presidential campaign as candidate for the Green Party, and to reflect and react further on the Supreme Court’s decision.

Comedian Todd Glass’ really funny book, “The Todd Glass Situation: A Bunch of Lies About My Personal Life and a Bunch of Stories About My 30-Year Career in Stand-Up Comedy,” is now out in paperback. Todd weighed in on…you’ll never guess…marriage equality and the Supreme Court. He also took apart the argument of people against equality and changing social standards with expert precision:


People fought a long, long time to reach a day like today. People who didn’t live long enough to see it come. Right now, across America, there are same-sex couples who have literally grown old and gray together, waiting for a day when they could share their love in the most basic and essentially human way possible, without having to leave their home state, without having to acquiesce to state laws, and without any stigma. We as a nation are by no means suddenly finished growing and without sin, but we are getting closer, one heart and one mind at a time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I am going to enjoy a beautiful, sunny Friday under the rainbow.



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A Healthy Exchange

June 25, 2015

Pretty big Supreme Court decision today. Just one of the things we covered…


Today on StandUP!

Pretty comedy-heavy show today, but don’t worry; we still found plenty of time for Eric Segall’s dissection of the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision.

In the first hour, actor and comic Jamie Kennedy joined us to talk the ups and downs of life in L.A.

Joining us from the Center for American Progress, David Madland joined us to talk the economy, the Middle Class and react to the King v. Burwell decision. David’s book, “Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn’t Work Without A Strong Middle Class” is out now.

Veteran TV writer, comic and host, Spike Feresten, helped Pete with his car problems and shared his favorite cookie in L.A. Spike’s EsquireTV series, “Car Matchmaker,” airs Wednesdays at 9/8 central.

Actor, former MTV-VJ, and comic Bill Bellamy joined us at the top of the third hour to give Pete some well-needed style counsel and trade fatherhood stories.

And, as promised, we closed the show out with Georgia State University Constitutional Law professor, Eric Segall, on the SCOTUS decision. Eric says Justice Roberts took control of the court and his legacy with today’s ruling.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to call my lawyer.




Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here

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