A Visit to the Dean

July 31, 2015

It’s been 40 years since Jimmy Hoffa disappeared into American lore.


Today on StandUP!

Dean Obeidallah filled in for Pete this morning, while Pete & Family took off in search of an elusive and deadly white whale.

Today’s guests:

– Daily Beast special correspondent and editor of “Democracy: A Journal of Ideas,” Michael Tomasky gave us our fill of Donald Trump and other Beltway news items from the week.

Seema Iyer is an attorney here in New York, specializing in criminal defense, civil rights and Constitutional law and today she joined us to discuss the recent shooting of Sam DuBose by a University of Cincinatti policeman and the devolution of relations between police and the citizens they’ve sworn to protect.

– Comedian Scott Blakeman is an old friend of Dean’s, the two having co-created “Stand Up for Peace: The Two Comedian Solution to Middle East Peace.” Scott is also a noted comedy teacher, who counts among his past students Caroline Rhea and Jon Stewart, whose departure from The Daily Show became the focus of today’s segment.

Haroon Moghul is co-producer of “Avenue M,” a new media project seeking to shed Muslim stereotypes from society. Recently, Haroon has been actively trying to build interest in Joe Biden as a candidate for President, and we discussed what that campaign would look like, what roadblocks it would face and just how cool President Joe Biden would be.


Make sure to tune into The Dean Obeidallah show tomorrow at 10am EDT on Insight 121, and check back in on Monday where Rick Ungar will be in the StandUP! chair for Pete once more.


Now if you’ll excuse me I need to find who shot this video of me playing with my bird friends.





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Vacation Redux

July 30, 2015

Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law on July 30, 1965. Now, if he could only get these kids off my lawn.


Today on StandUP!

Rick Ungar was in the captain’s chair while Pete and the family ran off for a weekend of fun, sun and clams. Delicious, sun-baked raw clams! We were joined by:

Jared Bernstein, former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, whose new book is “The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity.”

– Former Reagan adviser and Treasury official for George H.W. Bush, Bruce Bartlett, who joined us today to discuss his recent piece for POLITICO, “The Moderate Republican’s Case for Trump.”

Amanda Marcotte, writer for Slate and Rolling Stone, came on to discuss the furor rising from the Right over Planned Parenthood, and why that furor is fueled by doctored and false evidence.

– Co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research and HuffPo a& Guardian columnist Dean Baker joined us to talk some more economic hoodoo.

– And we ended the show with a hot blast of Hollywood, as actor/comedian Ed Helms joined us in-studio to discuss the new movie “Vacation,” in theaters now. Here’s Ed Helms on Steve Martin’s prowess with the banjo:


Dean Obeidallah is in tomorrow, Rick will be back again Monday.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to dodge the raindrops.





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Grant Me This

July 29, 2015

Eisenhower created NASA on this day in 1958, saying “I hope that someday, oh 57 years from now, we will have sent a craft all the way to Pluto. No, not the dog. See? This is why I am creating NASA, because you people are idiots.” Wow.


Today on StandUP!

Ulysses S. Grant was an undeniably great military strategist, but history has been less kind to his legacy as President of the United States. Jack S. Blanton Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin, historian and author H. W. Brands gave us the reasons for Grant’s has rotten legacy and why modern historians are giving him a second look. Brands’ 2013 book, “The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace” is a great treatise on the matter.

Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley stood as pillars of thought on opposite shores of the turbulent tide of the late 60s, and their debates and rivalries are the centerpiece of a new documentary, “Best of Enemies,” that extends the dynamic to the modern day. Morgan Neville won an Oscar for his documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” and Robert Gordon authored a recent ode to Stax Records and Memphis Soul. Today, Pete and Alfred talked to them about the making of “Best of Enemies.”

P.J. O’Rourke spent 20 years writing in his conservative voice for Rolling Stone magazine after his time as EIC of National Lampoon. Now, he spends his time farming trees in New Hampshire, filing dispatches for the Daily Beast and covering politics of the day with Pete from time to time. Today’s Special: Donald Trump and the Republican Field of Candidates.

Pete’s off for a few days, but we are still open for business. Rick Ungar will be in tomorrow and Dean Obeidallah will steer the ship on Friday.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to go to the laundromat on the hottest day of the year.



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Will Attend

July 28, 2015

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted July 28, 1868. The “equal protection” clause contained within it has been kinda influential.


Today on StandUP!

Wendell Potter joined Pete in hour one. He is a journalist with the Center for Public Integrity, as well as a contributor to the Huffington Post and author of the recent, “Obamacare: What’s In It For Me?” Today, he and Pete discussed 50 years of Medicare and current problems in the insurance industry, as well as those still looming on the horizon.

Gawker has been commenting on media for over a decade, but lately it has been in the media more than ever before. Death and Taxes Magazine editor-in-chief Brian Abrams has written a new oral history of Gawker that’s available as a Kindle Single, and today we spoke with him about the influential blog’s legal troubles with Hulk Hogan, journalistic ethics and Judd Apatow/Bill Cosby.

Adam Resnick is an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer with shows like Late Night with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, and The Larry Sanders Show. He co-created Fox’s “Get A Life” with Chris Elliott, for whom he also wrote and directed the film “Cabin Boy.” The point is: Adam Resnick has humor flowing from every pore in his body, and today we talked to him about his new memoir, “Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation.”

You animals get one more day with Pete tomorrow before he heads up to Nantucket for a transfusion of blue blood.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to have a major, painful scalp reduction.




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