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Positively Dreadful

Positively Dreadful, hosted by Crooked Media’s Editor in Chief Brian Beutler, takes listeners below the headlines of the stories stirring widespread anxiety in today’s news landscape to give them a richer understanding and appreciation of how and why to remain engaged, even in the face of daunting challenges.

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The Evidence

This impeachment is a test for Republicans: When it’s all said and done, when they’re all out of excuses, will they admit that what Trump did was wrong? Or will they vote, with the whole world watching, to say they’re fine with it.As the inquiry enters a new open phase, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent joins host Brian Beutler to discuss how close we are to that point, and whether Republicans will pass or fail the test when we get there.

26mins

15 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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The Confession

The impeachment inquiry will soon move into its closing phase. Republicans have given no indication that they will take any steps to protect the country from President Trump’s corruption. And we remain in the dark about a great deal. As the public hearings draw to a close, Quinta Jurecic, managing editor with the Lawfare blog, joins host Brian Beutler to discuss the dots left unconnected  thus far, and what we risk by not connecting them.

34mins

22 Nov 2019

Rank #2

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The Backstory

Through two weeks of impeachment hearings, we learned a lot about the hoops President Trump and his associates jumped through before he hopped on the phone with his Ukrainian counterpart and said, “I would like you to do us a favor, though.” What they left fairly murky is why Trump viewed Ukraine as such a ripe target for corruption in the first place. On this week’s episode, Brian Beutler and The Atlantic’s Frank Foer discuss the true origins of the Ukraine scandal, and how they fit into a much larger story of global corruption.

28mins

29 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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To Be Continued

With the impeachment of Donald Trump behind us, the most vulnerable Republican senators will now have to explain to their constituents why they voted to conceal evidence of Trump’s guilt, and let him off the hook, and contend with the fact that Mitt Romney, the former leader of their party, refused to participate in the coverup. But they’ll only face these questions if the rest of us keep the public eye trained on Trump’s corruption. Matthew Miller rejoins host Brian Beutler to discuss how what comes next matters just as much as what we’ve just been through.

22mins

7 Feb 2020

Rank #4

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The Proposition

When Republicans acquit Donald Trump, it’ll mark the end of this impeachment process. Much more importantly it’ll mark the dawning of a brave new world. What kind of America will we live in? And, short of Trump losing the election soundly, will it be possible to go back?Susan Hennessey, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Executive Editor of the Lawfare blog, joins host Brian Beutler to discuss whether Republicans are unmaking the republic.

36mins

31 Jan 2020

Rank #5

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The Fix

What if the Senate completes an impeachment trial in a way that deprives the public of the fairness it demands, and plainly violates the oath senators take to do impartial justice? Harvard Law Professor, and host of the Noah Feldman joins host Brian Beutler to discuss the opening of the trial of Donald Trump, and the legitimacy crisis we face if Republicans complete his coverup for him.

31mins

24 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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The Floodgates

A deluge of new details about the Ukraine scheme have made Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump more desperate than ever to conceal as much incriminating information as they can. And they may still have the tools they need to keep the public from ever learning the full truth. Kate Brannen, the editorial director at Just Security who unearthed some of these details, joins host Brian Beutler to discuss the lastest extraordinary developments, and what Trump and McConnell, in their desperation, might do to prevent more of them from coming to light.

32mins

17 Jan 2020

Rank #7

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The Standoff

When Donald Trump’s impeachment trial begins—whenever it begins—the Senate will be divided between Democrats, who will demand to hear from all the first-hand witnesses who defied the impeachment inquiry, and Republicans who will want to acquit Trump without letting any new incriminating information come to light.Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Sarah Binder joins host Brian Beutler to walk us through all the arcane rules and requirements senators will have to navigate if they hope to hold a fair trial—or a coverup.

31mins

10 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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The Showdown

The House of Representatives has impeached Donald Trump, but the fight has only just begin. His trial won’t begin until 2020; but between now and then that fight won’t stop. In fact, this may be the most important phase of it. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent joins host Brian Beutler to look ahead, and discuss what each of us—Democratic members of Congress, presidential candidates, impartial journalists, activist, or just regular voters—can do to make sure both Trump and those who seek to cover up his crimes are held accountable.

30mins

20 Dec 2019

Rank #9

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The Dodge

This week House Democrats announced the official articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Trump is just the fourth president in U.S. history to face the prospect of impeachment for alleged misconduct in office, but many were left wondering why there were only two articles, one for abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to assist him in his re-election campaign and the second for obstruction of Congress. This week, Rubicon host Brian Beutler speaks to Michelle Goldberg, a columnist for the New York Times and cohost of the podcast, The Argument.

28mins

13 Dec 2019

Rank #10