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Credit: youtube.com via spotify.com

Spotify’s latest plunge into the podcasting world features two giants in American liberalism that don’t quite connect with today’s left.

Last Monday Spotify announced a new podcast series “Renegades: Born in the USA” that features conversations on life, music, and politics between former President Barack Obama and heartland rock superstar Bruce Springsteen. The first two episodes released on the streaming platform introduce Obama and Springsteen’s unusual friendship (the pair met on the campaign trail in 2008 where Springsteen’s song “The Rising” became a rally staple) before diving into a longer discussion about what they see as the central divide in American life — race.

As the series’ name suggests, “Renegades” uses shared feelings of displacement as a framing device for…


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Credit: GettyImages.com

The friendships that have meant the most to me in my adult life have tended to be one-sided.

The last time I messaged Adam, there was no reason for me to think it would be the last time I would make an effort to talk to him.

But after a few weeks, when he still hadn’t responded, I decided to remove him as a Facebook friend and delete his number from my cell phone. My reaction to being ghosted by my former coworker, crush, and coveted friend was intentionally dramatic. Instead of just telling myself that I wasn’t going to be the only one making an effort to reach out, I made it next to impossible for me…


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Credit: Peacock / NBC

NBC’s latest workplace comedy was supposed to be a spinoff of “30 Rock.” And it shows. But not in a good way.

The reviews are in for “Mr. Mayor,” NBC’s latest workplace comedy starring Ted Danson, and they aren’t good. Rotten Tomatoes gives the show an overall “rotten” rating, with critics calling it “bland,” “predictable,” and “toothless.” Rick Bentley of KGET.com goes even further by saying “Mr. Mayor” is just the latest NBC show to “waste their very talented stars” by putting them in boring projects.

“Mr. Mayor” is especially disappointing given that its producers, Robert Carlock and Tina Fey, are the same duo that brought “30 Rock” into our living rooms in the mid-2000s. And given that “Mr. Mayor” shares a…


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Credit: Politico / Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The push by some lawmakers to target covid-19 relief checks away from upper income earners is not about making sure aid goes to the most needy.

On Tuesday, Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein announced that senior Democratic officials were considering changing the income eligibility threshold for the next round of covid-19 relief checks sent to the public. According to Stein, the payments would start to phase out for single individuals making more than $50,000; for individuals with dependents making more $75,000; and for married couples making more than $100,000. …


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Credit: Forge/MGM

The 1994 romantic comedy exhibits many of the same problems as the current debate over unity in the post-Trump era.

In the days leading up to President Biden’s inauguration, he and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill were confronted with the question of how they would unite the country following a contentious presidential election in which his rival, former President Donald Trump, refused to acknowledge his victory. Throughout Trump’s only term in office, liberals were similarly tasked with figuring out ways to get along with Trump supporters in their family, at work, or even in their dating lives. …


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Credit: Redbubble.com

Trump’s primary success in 2024 comes down to whether party elites and the media have learned from their mistakes in 2016.

In less than 36 hours, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the next president of the United States. But the magnitude of his victory has been overshadowed by the political fallout from the January 6th siege on the U.S. Capitol by President Trump’s supporters, which resulted in five deaths and President Trump becoming the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

With a deeply unpopular outgoing president as well as the loss of the Senate majority in a traditionally red state, it’s no surprise that Republicans are already talking about rebuilding the party ahead of the 2024…


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Credit: Politico / Evan Vucci / AP Photo

In the era of Donald Trump, nothing has seemed as unassailable as Republican partisanship.

Last Tuesday, Georgia voters elected Democrats Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the U.S. Senate, nine weeks after delivering the state to the Democrats in a presidential election for the first time since 1992. President-elect Joe Biden’s sunbelt victory was stunning enough; but the defeat of two Republican senators in an off-year election proved to be the clearest repudiation of President Trump.

To be sure, incumbent Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue were poor candidates in their own right. Loeffler was appointed to her seat by Governor Brian Kemp in December of 2019, and Trump’s public berating of Kemp


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Credit: ABC 7 News / AP

Local activists’ success in getting cities to cut funding for police departments contrasts with a national political environment that remains wary of Black movement politics.

Whether it’s Donald Trump’s shocking electoral victory in 2016 or Joe Biden’s solid but smaller-than-anticipated defeat of Trump in 2020, Black protest movements have been blamed for the Democratic Party coming up short in presidential elections. For example, following a wave a Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2016, author Mark Lilla penned a notorious op-ed in the New York Times arguing that Trump’s strong backing by working class whites, once a reliably Democratic constituency, represented a backlash to liberal identity politics. Similarly, following the Defund The Police movement in the wake of the police killing of George…


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Single cover for the 20th anniversary version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Credit: Amazon.com

For all its problems, Band Aid’s 1984 hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” reminds me of a spirited internationalism I find missing amidst the global pandemic.

Having spent the past five years working part-time retail jobs during the holiday shopping season, I have encountered a number of Christmas songs that I would have never bothered to listen to if they weren’t in constant rotation over the store’s speaker system during my daylong shifts (I’m not a Christmas music hater or anything, but I rarely stray from the old school R&B renditions of Christmas songs I grew up hearing in my parent’s house). Earlier this week, one of those songs was the 1984 hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, released by the UK group Band Aid to…


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Credit: Adweek / Getty Images

In a series of Twitter posts shooting down Democratic calls for unity in the wake of the presidential election, President Trump’s most famous TV nemesis proves that resentment is the engine of conservative politics.

While states continue to count ballots in some of the biggest population centers around the country, one result that is clear from the November 3rd presidential election (other than who is going to be the next president) is that President Trump is something of a turn out machine for the GOP. He received at least 7 million more raw votes this year than in 2016, all but sealing the party’s Senate majority and gains in the House and state-level races.

Still, Democrats managed to overcome a huge upswing in turnout among Republicans with one of their own, delivering a decisive…

Kimberly Joyner

Writing at the intersection of politics and pop culture. Based in Atlanta, GA. Email: kimberlyjoyner87@gmail.com.

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