Episode 79: She Persisted

Published February 10, 2017.

Aminatou: Welcome to Call Your Girlfriend.

Ann: A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.

Aminatou: I'm Aminatou Sow.

Ann: And I'm Ann Friedman.

Aminatou: I legit forgot my name for ten seconds.

Ann: I thought you were doing a dramatic pause.

Aminatou: No. I'm just like -- you know like sometimes you're at the ATM and you put your card in and then you don't remember your PIN? Or is that just me?

Ann: Yes! No, no, no. That totally happens. I have gone through periods where I forget an ATM code or something for three days and then all of a sudden in a checkout line it comes back to me like a bolt out of the blue.

Aminatou: Every time it happens I'm just like yep, this is it. This is it. This is how it all starts and I have serious panic moments. The other day I was on the phone with some -- maybe my insurance or utility company? Unclear. And I had to give the last four of my social. This lady must have thought that I was an identity thief. I just had the biggest panic moment in the world. It was unreal.

(2:00)

Ann: Ugh. It also speaks to one of my greatest fears of just losing my memory as like a number one fear associated with aging.

Aminatou: Duh! This is why we do the crossword.

Ann: I know. I'm like my whole body could be pulled into the center of the Earth droop zone. I don't even care about like . . . you know, obviously physically I'm sure things are going to be difficult with aging. But I'm like number one, memory, sharpness. I just want to be one of those old ladies that people are like "She's so sharp. She's so quick." And not like for her age but full-stop.

Aminatou: Well I know for a fact that's not going to be me because I'm 30 forgetting my ATM PIN. [Laughs] It's going to be like wow, look at that said 37-year-old.

Ann: It's because your brain makes room for so many witty jokes.

Aminatou: Oh my gosh, it really stresses me out. But yeah, that's what happened with my name. I was like "Ah! Who am I?"

Ann: Who am I? Where are we? What's going on? On this week's agenda, Cheeto Watch including leaks and the most Ivanka's dad tweet ever plus the joy of seeing Melissa McCarthy portray Sean Spicer. Mitch McConnell talks up Elizabeth Warren's persistence, a song devoted to impeachment, plus on the posi side some pro-choice bills in Oregon and Illinois, the Super Bowl greats Diana Ross, Beyoncé and Prince, and Galentine's day.

[Theme  Song]

(3:44)

Aminatou: Hi. How's your day going?

Ann: Oh, my day is fine. I'm having a leggings all day day so I'm like, you know, relaxed but working.

Aminatou: [Laughs] I'm like a leggings all day day? That's my whole life.

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: Sold.

Ann: What's happening with you?

Aminatou: Nothing. I just -- somebody just sent me a Page 6 article about This is Us and I almost derailed this entire podcast. But you know what? I'm going to close this text message and focus.

Ann: But I feel like people -- your life must just be people sending you Page 6 articles constantly.

Aminatou: I used to actually not read Page 6 consistently which I realize was a mistake for my specific interests. [Laughs] But this is really distracting. It's like one of the actors on the show that is supposed to be a fat character wears a ridiculous fat suit.

Ann: [Gasps]

Aminatou: And it's the end of the first season and I can't believe that had never registered for me.

Ann: Like the fat suit is -- is that unobtrusive? Or it wasn't . . .

Aminatou: No. I'm just like now I'm offended even more. I'm assuming you don't watch This is Us? It's this TV show on NBC with Mandy Moore. That's kind of all you need to know. It's like the new Parenthood. It's like all of these multi families that get along but have a tumultuous relationship like NBC TV shows.

Ann: The celebrity news that I read today was Tom Hiddleston talking about why he was wearing the "I Heart Taylor" t-shirt or tank top.

Aminatou: Oh my god. I saved that article for my reward for the end of the day. Tell me that it's a really good reason.

Ann: Hmm, no comment.

Aminatou: Tom Hiddleston is basically a war criminal as far as I'm concerned.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: Like the whole thing is fine. Do you want me to tell you what's trending on Page 6 though? Some very exciting stuff.

Ann: Please.

Aminatou: "Talent agency cancels Oscar party to protest Trump travel ban." Let's get to it. Do you think it's UTA or CA? Let's see. It's UTA! Okay. "Vanessa Williams has used a pet psychic to find her dog. Justin Timberlake traumatized by childhood fame. Jenny Slates and Chris Evans split." No! That makes me sad. So that's what's going on in celebrity gossip.

(6:05)

Ann: Okay. While you were talking I went to Page 6 to see for myself and the first headline I saw is "Joe Biden is as cool as you think he is." Which given that I don't think he's very cool I'm like okay.

Aminatou: [Laughs] You know what I mean? But it's like cool is . . . it's like people who own Ray-Bans. That's what the definition of cool is.

Ann: He's Ray-Ban cool, not like cool cool?

Aminatou: This senator from Delaware is not cool. Like get it together.

Ann: Okay. In other frivolous news let me hit you with a life dilemma I'm experiencing. We've briefly discussed this but in a little less than a month I'm officiating my first wedding.

Aminatou: Ooh!

Ann: Which I know you have a lot of experience in this field but I've both consulted you prior, off-air, IRL, not podcast RL, to seek some advice about what is the right thing to wear? Because it is an interesting thing where you want to be like hitting the right tone as everyone is standing up there with you. You want to make sense. But it's also like you're a party of one.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: You know, there's not like a . . .

Aminatou: Well it's you and God, Ann. You're a party of two.

Ann: I'm endowed by the power of the state so yeah. [Laughs] So I have been on the hunt for a suit to wear and it is hard. Let me tell you.

Aminatou: Yeah. Lady suits are hard. I am really militant about wearing a suit when you're officiating a wedding. I love the challenge of finding a non-boring suit to wear.

Ann: It seemed like the right thing to me, and maybe it's because I've seen you officiate a wedding in a suit and it looked right. I don't know. But for a brief second I thought about wearing some sort of my version of a justice's robe. I was like could I RBG this? With a . . .

Aminatou: Oh my god, I'll find you a jubo (?).

Ann: With like a flowing garment.

(8:00)

Aminatou: So good. Yeah, I mean I think it's kind of you've got to wear your values up there. That's how that works. But also I think in a really selfish way do I really want to be wearing this outfit for the rest of the day kind of deal. I remember when -- the first time I officiated a wedding I was so stressed out about it. I spoke to all of these different people who officiate weddings but in religious capacities. So I spoke to a minister, to a priest, to a couple other people. And the one thing I was really surprised by is that the one consistent advice that they all gave me is it's not about you; it's about the couple.

I was really surprised. I was really surprised that everybody consistently hit that. Who is this selfish officiant who makes it about themselves? Probably a justice of the peace. Like it's an honor and a privilege to do this for my friends and I want to represent them. And you realize that the way that you dress is the one slightly selfish thing you can do for yourself and the one way that you can add drama and flair if you want to the ceremony because you can't do that with your words. That's why I like wearing really loud suits.

Ann: I know. It's funny though because . . . well, maybe because one-half of this couple that is getting married is a designer and so is a very visually-oriented person. But I've actually felt like I couldn't really be the one to decide on my own what I'm wearing because I'm like I'm going to be in all these photos that they have for a very, very long time.

Aminatou: Right. You can't mess it up. You can't mess it up.

Ann: Exactly. And so it's like I actually kind of feel, in the happiest way possible, it's all in service of what they've got going on, and even the clothes. Like for some reason the clothes seem extra hard because I can't . . . there is no feel it out in the moment. It's like you have to decide well in advance.

Aminatou: Man, it's like everything comes back to do it for the Gram.

(10:00)

Ann: Oh my god. Also listen to this very almost eerie synergy. So I have a P.O. box that I use for my newsletter and that we use for CYG that I check like once every two months. I really never, ever look at it. Don't send us mail there. But a woman that I knew, like a friend of a friend in college, sent me this really nice letter that arrived in December though I received it in the first week of February telling me how she's just started a suiting company -- like a custom suiting company.

Aminatou: What?

Ann: For women and gender non-conforming people called Tailored Tomboy. And I was like holy shit! The card arrives right as I am trying to figure out a suit for my bod. I think it's too late for her to make something custom but I was like if I'd checked my mail on I would've had this all locked down. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Wow. God can give you more than you can handle. I guess it's true. [Laughs]

Ann: I don't know whether it's a good sign or a bad sign or whatever it is. It's some kind of synergy.

Aminatou: No, I think it's a fantastic sign. Also I think you should get that suit made for yourself for any other occasion.

Ann: I know. Maybe now I'll just own two. You know, backup in case I'm ever asked to do this again.

Aminatou: I own three suits that I really love. One is this pink linen suit that I love so much even though it wrinkles so easily. God, linen, what a problem.

Ann: A blessing and a curse, the linen story. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god. And then the other two are just very loud florals.

Ann: Yes.

Aminatou: But I'm always on the hunt. Always on the hunt.

Ann: I have never owned a suit. Never. I never even owned like a weirdly-fitting interview suit the way some people do, you know?

Aminatou: That's so crazy. Well, you know, welcome to our world.

Ann: The suit-owning world?

Aminatou: The suit-owning world. It's going to be so flames. Are you excited about officiating a wedding?

(11:52)

Ann: Yeah, I am. I mean I think I am not someone who is big on marriage as an institution, so the reason that these friends chose me is because I am independently friends with both members of the couple which I think is really cool. I love going to weddings, even in a non-officiant capacity, where I have a really great independent relationship with everyone who is getting hitched. So I'm excited about that part, and like . . . yeah, I guess there was just this sense too when I was growing up, you know, my parents each had like a huge wedding party. I don't know how many people, something crazy like six bridesmaids and six groomsmen. But they were these people who had moved away or they didn't really know that well anymore but the wedding photo was always hanging in our house and they were relics from a time when my parents were younger and presumably cooler. Just sort of being like oh, there is a little part of me that is going to be part of their lives for a very long time is a very cool and flattering thing in a different way than if you're just a guest. So I guess that's how officiating feels different. But everything else is just like I'm going to do my best in service of this event, you know what I mean? Not like "Hey, you hired me to put on a show."

Aminatou: [Laughs] Also I love you hired me to put on a show. I love -- the minute that you said "I am not big on marriage as an institution," my brain started screaming "But I'm big on marriage as a party!"

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: I love going to weddings.

Ann: I mean my favorite part of weddings is toasts so if there's any part that I'm going to bring myself to . . .

Aminatou: Really? That's crazy. I hate toasts.

Ann: I know, most people do. I love them. It's the part where it's like anything could happen here. I don't know.

Aminatou: [Laughs] That's so funny. That's literally what I can't handle about them.

Ann: [Laughs] That's why I'm like "Oh, this is the only thing that wasn't pre-approved probably." That's why it's so interesting.

Aminatou: It's like this is crazy. Yeah. I mean I've given a couple of toasts recently and it's like it's nerve-wracking. I'm like I would much rather write you a letter and tell you how I feel about you. I like the dancing. We both famously can't get drunk at weddings. [Laughs]

Ann: Oh, god, I know. That is like a weird -- that's a weird problem that we share.

Aminatou: It really is. I don't know how . . . I think it's my weird control issues where I can't embarrass my friends. This is not to say that I don't drink a lot at weddings because I do. I just physically cannot get drunk.

(14:20)

Ann: Well yeah. You know, they do studies about the way your body processes alcohol is also affected by social settings. It's like the reason Italian grannies can drink a whole bottle of wine and not be smashed. You know what I mean? But if someone else . . .

Aminatou: This is true. When my friends' parents are within a thousand feet my whole body shuts down. All of my vices shut down.

Ann: Do you think you'll hit an age where you are one of the older people at a wedding where that doesn't apply anymore? Do you know what I mean?

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: Like when you say your friends' parents, there will be an age at which friends' parents are probably not a fixture, like we're probably older.

Aminatou: Yeah, but I hope that I'm not going to wedding then. Hello?

Ann: I thought you like weddings. This is like you're the one who . . .

Aminatou: Listen, I like them, but I'm not trying to be going to weddings in my 60s.

Ann: Wow.

Aminatou: I mean like maybe, who knows? They're also like a production. It's like every year I'm always shocked at how many more people are getting married because every year I'm like yep, all my friends are married now, and then that's not true.

Ann: Oh my god, it's so not true. Also by the time we're in our 60s a good percentage of the women we know will be divorced from men and remarrying women.

Aminatou: That's what's happening to me now.

Ann: Oh my god, early.

Aminatou: Because I went to a Christian high school and then I went to college in the south. [Laughs] It's like we're definitely on our deep first wave of divorces.

Ann: My divorce wave hasn't even crested let alone broken so I'm waiting for that, for that second marriage era.

Aminatou: Yeah. It's like the high school divorces are kind of the best ones. I'm like you people still married longer than most celebrities. That's crazy. And now you're 31. That's nuts.

Ann: And we're back to Page 6.

[Music]

Ann: What else?

Aminatou: Well, Cheeto Watch.

Ann: Cheeto Watch.

Aminatou: What is broken? What is breaking? What's going on?

Ann: Betsy DeVos got confirmed so that's what's happening to our education system.

Aminatou: Ugh.

Ann: Although some people who are way more knowledgeable about education than I am say that one of the things that we should be really concerned about that's getting a little less attention is higher ed and what she's going to do with that. I know we're all understandably worried about her wanting to make everything suitable for our Christian kingdom coming or whatever in public schools, public elementary schools.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: So I don't know. I've been thinking about that as well and kind of . . .

Aminatou: Right. So much Title IX reform is going to come down the pipeline.

Ann: Exactly.

Aminatou: Ugh.

Ann: So that.

Aminatou: What an idiot, that lady. Here's what I don't understand, and this applies to her and all of these -- man, this is why I miss Bernie. The millionaire and billionaire class.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: I don't understand why if you're a billionaire you're trying to be a cabinet secretary. That sounds crazy.

Ann: Yeah, it's true. I guess it's like you're so bored with money that you have to start messing with politics or something.

Aminatou: Yeah, it's so crazy. I'm like if I was in the millionaire or billionaire class I would not be trying to work in the government. That sounds wild.

Ann: I know. I would be kite boarding with Richard Branson. I would not be . . . 

Aminatou: Oh my god, those Barack Obama vacation photos slayed me. It's like when you get out of a bad relationship and you start prioritizing yourself. [Laughs]

(18:00)

Ann: Oh my god, completely.

Aminatou: And then you tweet out an "I am great" photo. That's what Barack Obama did.

Ann: I mean it's one of the only situations in which a photo of two really wealthy men laughing while on vacation would be well-received by me at this point in time.

Aminatou: I know.

Ann: Like I can't think of too many other scenarios.

Aminatou: Did you kind of feel bad for Joe Biden though? You're like oh my god, somebody else is hanging out with your best friend.

Ann: Creepy Uncle Joe is probably having a fine time on his own somewhere else.

Aminatou: No. He like started a job, you know, because he's not like Richard Branson rich. So he has like three jobs that he started last Monday. The announcements are really funny. It's like "Joe Biden is going to be doing the Biden Institute out here and he's also going to be doing this here and . . ." And I'm just like ugh, working-class people. What's up? Still got to have jobs.

Ann: Selling Ray-Bans.

Aminatou: Selling Ray-Bans on the beach. Yeah, no, those Obama photos are both comforting and mind-fucking at the same time because I'm just like if Barack Obama feels like he can learn how to kite surf right now it's not the end of the world yet.

Ann: Maybe.

Aminatou: But at the same time -- at the same time I'm just like can you come home now? Can you pick up the phone? There's things to do.

Ann: It's like what we were saying before about feeling like you've done all you can. It's like maybe he's just like "Listen, I gave it a really good shot and I know things are really bad right now but I did my time." Like maybe that's more what it's like.

Aminatou: And he's like "Y'all don't deserve me. I have Secret Service protection. You guys are on your own."

Ann: Fair enough.

Aminatou: It is -- ugh, how wild.

Ann: Okay, but there have also been a lot of LOLs in Cheeto Land.

Aminatou: I mean he still can't read.

Ann: Oh my god, it's incredible.

Aminatou: And the evidence is stacking up.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: It's like kind of . . . Ann, if you go back to watch that one deposition that he does I swear to god he can't read.

(19:55)

Ann: He also sent the ultimate Ivanka's dad tweet in which after Nordstrom dropped her line because of poor sales he tweeted "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom. She is a great person, always pushing me to do the right thing." Terrible.

Aminatou: She is not pushing hard enough. Ugh.

Ann: Seriously. I was like is this what pushing looks like? Because wow. Wow.

Aminatou: Yeah, it's crazy. Also Jivanka has been really, really busy planting stories about how their -- what they're doing.

Ann: Oh, seen.

Aminatou: I'm like we see you. It's always like "Sources say Jared and Ivanka instrumental in protecting LGBT." And I'm just like by sources do you mean Jared and Ivanka literally?

Ann: Sources being both Jared and Ivanka.

Aminatou: Oh my gosh. I'm like please.

Ann: But I have taken a little -- a tiny amount of solace in all of the leaks about the disarray among his staff. Like the thing about them conducting meetings in the dark because they didn't know where the light switches are, did you see that?

Aminatou: I mean I saw it and they're literally . . . they're just trying to figure it out in the dark. That kind of stuff is -- I don't know. The leaks are really concerning to me. They have the leakiest ship, right? And that's because everybody hates each other.

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: They're just all trying to knife each other behind their backs which is great for journalism and tabloids and us. But also too this is the only way they know how to reach their boss. Like that's crazy to me.

Ann: Totally.

Aminatou: And that is really concerning. It's like wow, you've got to throw everybody under the bus so that your boss hears what you're saying.

Ann: Your boss reads about it in the Huffington Post and then does something about it then turns the lights on. Wow. [Laughs]

Aminatou: It's crazy. It's so, so, so -- the whole thing is wild.

Ann: I know.

(21:50)

Aminatou: You know, but there is also a part of me I just want to yell like fake news at all of these things. [Laughs] Because here is the thing, the whiplash of going from the boys and the girls on the bus failed spectacularly during the campaign. And now these same people are reporting from the White House, a lot of them, and we're very unskeptically supposed to believe that this information is accurate, you know? Leaks to me can be useful but they're also such a way to fuck with people. It is of concern to me that we're all like okay, he's lounging around in a bathrobe doing nothing and watching Morning Joe and blah, blah. I really want to believe that that's true but there's a part of me that's staying skeptical to all these stories.

Ann: I know. Well, and it is related to us reading Page 6 which is probably better-sourced than some of this stuff. But I'm like I read it in the same way, right? Where I'm like oh, the actual policy news and the actual things that are happening are so terrible that I am going to take a sick delight in even the suggestion that your staff are having meetings in the dark or they get you to do things by saying "Obama wouldn't do it."

Aminatou: You're like people are saying. I'm not saying, but people are saying.

Ann: I know. It's almost like a fantasy that I indulge in to escape from the horrible political reality that we know is being reported on. Like the executive orders that have been released and the people who have been appointed.

Aminatou: Can I tell you though that the best part of bath robegate is Sean Spicer saying that Donald Trump doesn't even own a bathrobe? 

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: Which is . . . [Laughs] One it's probably a lie. Like I'm comfortable calling that a lie. That's ludicrous. The man owns many hotels. Of course he fucking owns a bath robe. But also just I love that in that whole . . . if you read that story, I think that's the one you're referring to, the one in the New York Times, it's that there are all of these just crazy details and that's the one that they actually fact-check that the president doesn't own a bath robe. And so I'm like so you're saying that everything else is correct? That's concerning to me.

(24:00)

Ann: I know. I mean and maybe it's just they're trying to confirm with their own team who they never talk to whether anything else is correct. It's a conversation I feel like I've had with so many different friends and so many different people lately is how much of it is total incompetence and how much of it is nefarious planned whatever? And I'm like I just -- I err strongly on the side of sort of evil-motivated chaos.

Aminatou: I think it's 90% incompetence, Ann.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: Just they're so -- you know, it's not like 12-dimensional chess. These people are like -- they're idiots. They're 100% idiots. But the chaos really serves them and it serves their super-evil agenda.

Ann: Yeah. I am generally of that mindset as well and I get so angry when men -- and they're always men -- suggest that getting upset about actual policy decisions is part of their nefarious plan. Like they want you to be outraged and that's a distraction from their real agenda, or you're playing to their hands by being upset and resisting. I get so angry when I hear that.

Aminatou: Ugh. Ugh, man. What has it been now, like three weeks? Like not even. Two weeks, right? Two full weeks of this mess.

Ann: It's been two weeks/a life time.

Aminatou: I just don't know that we can keep on going like this. It's just too much. The volume of incompetence is too much. The volume of lying is too much. I can't believe. I just still can't believe that it's happening.

Ann: I know. I mean on the upside I feel like I have fully turned phone calls and postcard writing into part of my routine.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: I'm like actually weirdly this part of it does feel sustainable. Like I don't know about making a sign and spending several hours at a protest every weekend but the calls and . . . not saying I won't do that, but the daily and weekly calls and letters part of it has strangely been easy to insert into my routine.

Aminatou: First of all if you don't show up to the protest you're not going to get your Soros protest money.

Ann: [Laughs]

(26:05)

Aminatou: I don't know how you're going to be able to afford all the suits you want to buy.

Ann: And all the post cards I'm going to buy.

Aminatou: And yeah, it's like who's paying for these supplies? This is the problem with liberals, you don't think big enough. Here is George Soros offering us lifelong prosperity and you won't take it.

Ann: Save yourselves.

Aminatou: This whole thing is a mess. But, you know, you're right. Some of it has been funny. It's like we're beefing with Australia now which did we talk about this last week? Or did this . . .

Ann: I don't think it had happened. Had it happened?

Aminatou: Or did the Australia beef happen afterwards. It's like the only thing I agree with Trump with. I'm like okay, I can get down with this.

Ann: Randomly threatening Australia?

Aminatou: What a massive plot twist. Didn't see that one coming.

Ann: Oh my god, all these CYG listeners in Australia are gasping right now.

Aminatou: They know what I'm saying though.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: Yeah, it's like we're beefing with Australia. He's telling the French prime minister crazy stuff. The best little gossip detail that I've read recently is you know how he still has his old phone? The Android?

Ann: Yes.

Aminatou: Which is such a security risk. It's like 100% Vladimir Putin listens to that phone every day and all of his homies have that phone number. Like people who are just like -- you know, like Kanye probably has that phone number.

Ann: In his spare time when he's not using WikiLeaks to intervene in the French election Putin is listening to Trump's calls.

Aminatou: Exactly, he's listening.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: So this is how his friends get in touch with him now. They just call and leave a voice mail then he calls them from the Secret Service phone. I'm like this is . . . because he just likes to talk in the middle of the night. And I'm like this is so hilarious and sad, like you people don't text? What's going on?

Ann: Can you imagine the trove of voicemails if that ever gets leaked? I mean it won't because we know which side gets their shit leaked and which side doesn't but can you imagine?

(28:00)

Aminatou: I'm fully convinced that in the next four years we're going to have a massive Trump leak.

Ann: Okay.

Aminatou: Like fully. That's my one four-year prediction.

Ann: Like with audio files?

Aminatou: With audio files, with emails, images, everything.

Ann: I eagerly await it.

Aminatou: Can't get in bed with Putin and not leak. That's the problem. Oh man. Remember when Vladimir, we used to . . . not that we were positive on him but he was the source of much LOLs on this podcast?

Ann: Like meme-levels LOLS. I know.

Aminatou: Yes, like meme-level LOLs, and then you have to be reminded once a KGB agent, always a KGB agent.

Ann: I know. Although when . . . I have to say watching SNL parody Putin and making sure he's shirtless every time made me feel a little bit vindicated in only discussing shirtless Putin prior to the election here where I'm like okay, this is a noteworthy facet of who this person is. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh man, speaking of SNL, SNL's been good lately.

Ann: I mean . . .

Aminatou: I say this as someone who's watched like five SNLs my whole life and four of them are Trump-related.

Ann: So I obviously watched Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer. Thank you. Thank you everyone who made that happen.

Aminatou: Transcendent. Like I can't . . . she like didn't play him. She like became him. It was nuts.

Ann: Every single thing about it was just -- it was restorative.

Aminatou: I know, and Trump was so shook he didn't even tweet about it.

Ann: I know. I love it. And then also the follow-up discussion about which female actors should play various people in the Trump administration because reportedly they were incensed not just to be mocked -- not just that Sean Spicer was mocked, but that it was by a woman.

(29:50)

Aminatou: I know. So Rosy is on-deck to play Steve Bannon which is hilarious.

Ann: It's too perfect. I saw a suggestion that Ellen DeGeneres should play Mike Pence.

Aminatou: That is so rude. It's so rude. I support all of it.

Ann: I mean rude to whom? I'm like I think Ellen could kill that.

Aminatou: Rude to Ellen.

Ann: I think she could kill it. I think it's perfect.

Aminatou: The best part about all of this is that you know it totally gets under his skin because he wants to be the only star player.

Ann: Yeah. While he's not wearing a bath robe he's fretting about this so hard.

Aminatou: Ann, I don't know how to tell you this. He does not own a bath robe.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: He doesn't even know what a bath robe is. He's never been near a bath robe. Which if you really want to disgust yourself just Google Trump bath robe and there are many pictures of him in bath robes.

Ann: Oh my god, that is like a Google search that . . . I don't know if I'll be ready for that.

Aminatou: Presidents be out here wearing bath robes though like LBJ who lounged around in bath robes. You can see that picture. Frightening. Ugh. Reagan also hanging around lounging in bath robes. People wear bath robes. It happens.

Ann: If you're always surrounded by Secret Service you're not just in your underwear. I mean those of us who are civilians can walk around our house in underwear but if you have strangers around you all the time?

Aminatou: I guarantee you LBJ probably walked around in his underwear.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: That disgusting . . . that disgusting man.

Ann: Especially a . . . anyway, I eagerly await more Trump administration parodies. And also I've got to say, you know, it's like a major, major platform to have SNL commenting on things like cabinet appointments. I'm like I really love the mainstream level of the civics conversation that's happening right now. That's like another -- like would I trade a functioning government? Yes. I would rather have a functioning government. But I'm like that is like . . . I'm sorry, I'm happy about that.

Aminatou: Well, I don't know. I think that it's because NBC partially made Trump happen so they kind of owe this to us. Remember when he hosted SNL? It was so gross and I couldn't believe they gave him that much air time and I really think it's just . . . it is really unfortunate that we are here today.

(32:05)

Ann: Listen, I'm not saying that they are crusaders for all that is true and right.

Aminatou: SNL, crusaders for all that is true and right. New tag line.

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: The other thing that I'm really enjoying is him getting a civics lesson on what the judiciary branch does.

Ann: Totally.

Aminatou: That has been wildly entertaining to me, and I'm like that's right, should've done a Google. Title 3 judges. They'll mess up your life.

Ann: Checks and balances.

Aminatou: Yes. It's like who knew that this would be the one branch of government that's checking him? That's kind of terrifying to me.

Ann: So I get a physical New York Times on Sundays and it's a supplement that comes in it sometimes that's like advertising but it's called Super Lawyers Magazine. And when I saw it this week I was like Super Lawyers is totally how I feel about who is saving us right now! I almost . . . I almost wrote a personal thank you note and sent it on to some lawyer friends who were doing good work, but yeah.

Aminatou: I seriously bought ACLU merch, like that's how serious it got for me. You know I don't believe in merch.

Ann: [Laughs] Except CYG merch.

Aminatou: That's right. You know, but I get that for free because my babies love me. [Laughs] Yeah, no, I'm like out here buying ACLU merch. I've got a constitution. I've got some t-shirts.

Ann: Pocket constitution, important.

Aminatou: You know it. I'm like yelling it off to so many people. They came in packs of ten.

Ann: Incredible.

[Music and ads]

(36:10)

Ann: I was going to bring up this Mitch McConnell quote about Elizabeth Warren from this week.

Aminatou: Mitch McConnell is so terrifying, Ann. I went to look back at photos of him and Elain Chao's wedding because I wanted to know what young Mitch McConnell looked like.

Ann: [Laughs] What a young evil turtle looks like?

Aminatou: Exactly. First of all she married him when he was still 100 years old so he looks the exact same give or take five grey hairs.

Ann: [Laughs] I bet she looks good though.

Aminatou: Yeah, she had some really strong '90s looks. Like strong. But also evil. Ugh.

Ann: Well, everyone who's listening to this has probably hard this quote already but I have to repeat it because -- so after Elizabeth Warren decided to disrupt the confirmation vote for Jeff Sessions who as we've discussed in this podcast is definitely a proud, confirmed racist.

Aminatou: And literally just got confirmed while we were taping this podcast.

Ann: Shhhh. Shut up. I mean I guess it was expected.

Aminatou: Ugh. Great news for racists.

Ann: Yeah, I know, right? So anyway, so Elizabeth Warren was reading aloud a letter that Coretta Scott King wrote at the time that Sessions was up for a lower-level judicial appointment. She was basically like "Listen, this guy's been really bad for my state. He's been really bad for people who are not white who want to cast votes as is their constitutional right. Don't give him this job." And Elizabeth Warren was reading this because it's still relevant today. And Mitch McConnell said about this act of obstruction by Elizabeth Warren she was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

(38:00)

Aminatou: You're just like that's the story of all womankind. Thank you for the slogan.

Ann: It's like every Lifetime Original Movie too. I love it.

Aminatou: Can I tell you though that when Hillary Clinton tweeted it I got really . . .

Ann: Aww.

Aminatou: Miss you Hills.

Ann: I know. But like a real -- again, I think maybe I'm getting too adept at being like here is a tiny good thing even though a racist was just confirmed as our Attorney General. So I don't really mean it's a great day for all, but I did love not just Hills but everyone reclaiming that quote. You know, and tweeting it with photos of women who have done incredible, notable things like due to sheer will and moving past things people said they couldn't do. It made me feel good.

Aminatou: No, it's great. I just don't . . . it's like sometimes I don't understand Republicans. It's just the optics of men shutting down a woman doing a very non-controversial thing you would think would be bad, but then you remember what party they're in and you're like no, actually, this is all fine.

Ann: This is a core tenet.

Aminatou: Yeah. You're like this is fine. You're not going to face any consequences. But it's so insulting. I'm just like okay, what does this make? We have an illiterate education secretary. We have a racist justice attorney general. Ugh.

Ann: Who literally does not believe in the voting rights act, so . . .

Aminatou: Literally. I hope at least we can sink the HHS guy because he's one big fat liar.

Ann: One would think.

Aminatou: Tom Price. I want at least one scalp. Every day one of them is like ugh, yikes, didn't pay my undocumented nanny. Yikes, definitely lied about how much money I have. Blah, blah, blah. And it's like these used to be things that would completely sink your nomination, like completely.

Ann: I know.

(39:55)

Aminatou: And then now we're just like big corruption. Nobody cares.

Ann: I don't think that's true. We all care. It's just that Republicans don't care and they cast the deciding votes.

Aminatou: Yeah. It's like there's just no more pretense about it.

Ann: Also it's at that point where people who are "reasonable Republicans" who maybe don't like Trump but are still strongly allied with the party, where their silence is really, really noted.

Aminatou: Well yeah, it's like they're just like "Hi, I want tax cuts so bad I'm going to screw the rest of the country."

Ann: Cut to some cheesy Kevin Spacey line in House of Cards about power being the ultimate blah, blah, blah, blah.

Aminatou: Yo, I can't wait for House of Cards to come back in May. Thanks Netflix.  But the thing about it is it just won't be as enjoyable because in the time that House of Cards has been off the air more insane than House of Cards shit has gone down.

Ann: I know. Like real House of Cards things have happened.

Aminatou: Have you seen this great meme of this kid who is singing to Fergie's Glamorous? Like he's spelling out impeachment.

Ann: No, I haven't.

Aminatou: Oh my god.

[Music]

Ann: Bless Maxine Waters. Barbara Lee's been doing some good work too and the aforementioned Senator Warren, Kamala Harris. Like there's some like . . .

(42:00)

Aminatou: Liz Warren, I'm on the outs with her right now.

Ann: You just said been doing some good work. You did not say it was perfect.

Aminatou: She's been doing some good work but I'm just like not -- no, I don't need them to be perfect. I just need people to be consistent. It's how I feel about those Republican women who voted against Betsy what's-her-face. And I was like actually if you cared a lot you wouldn't have let her get out of committee. You didn't care. This is all politics. We see you. Oh, wait, were you going to tell me about pro-choice legislation?

Ann: Yeah, so in other maybe silver lining news a few state legislatures are introducing openly proudly overtly pro-choice bills which I don't know enough about the legislatures in Illinois and Oregon where this is happening to know what sort of chance they stand at being passed. But basically they do things like insure that women who are enrolled in Medicaid and state employee health insurance have abortion coverage. They reaffirm the state's commitment to ensuring access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare which includes abortion. They're all basically protections that say if something were to happen at the federal level to reverse, repeal, roll back Roe our state would be a place where women could access the full range of reproductive care. So that's Oregon and Illinois.

Aminatou: Ugh, good news.

Ann: Yeah, totally. And, you know, for a long time anti-choice groups have had a literal legislative playbook where state legislators who had women's right to make choice about their own body could like Xerox a page from the back and scribble in their state name and enter it as legislation which is how you get this huge hundreds of anti-choice bills at the state level in the past few years. And so even if they face a sort of uphill battle, which again I don't know enough about the state-level politics in these places, I love that it is definitely from that playbook and saying like we're going to try to replicate positive legislation.

(44:00)

Aminatou: That's -- okay, that at least makes me feel a little hopeful. Thank you.

Ann: Yeah, that's some hard policy hopefulness there. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my gosh. Okay, good. Because I was just reading about all this consumer finance protection that's like going out the window that I won't even tell you about because you'll scream. My god.

Ann: Is that at the federal level?

Aminatou: Yes. It's like open season on suckers right now and they don't even know it. People are taking away all of the tiny little hard-earned money that you have.

[Music]

Aminatou: Did you watch Lady Gaga's Super Bowl performance?

Ann: I watched it after the fact.

Aminatou: I mean obviously. Like who's watching the Super Bowl?

Ann: I mean some people still do.

Aminatou: It's true. I honestly did not know that it was Sunday and it was hilarious because nobody wanted to hang out and I was like oh, you guys are having Super Bowl parties without me. Great.

Ann: I watched a marathon session of every episode of Snatch Game from all the seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race in lieu of the Super Bowl.

Aminatou: Oh my god. Well, okay, this is actually great news because you know that Lady Gaga is going to be on the premier of this season of Drag Race.

Ann: I saw that and I felt like my anti-Super Bowl and the Super Bowl were merging into one.

Aminatou: It's so crazy. But I was -- you know, I was really impressed with Lady Gaga. I like hadn't seen a performance of hers in a minute and this was great.

Ann: What was your take on whether/how political it was?

(45:52)

Aminatou: I mean obviously it was political. I've been really baffled by this, people who are like "It's not political enough," or the Republicans who were like "Thank you. It's not political. Thanks for making it about the game." And I was like first of all she just affirmed that queer kids and gay kids and everybody is the same in front of Mike Pence. Like that's pretty political to me. And also you can't open on a Woody Guthrie song and that's not political.

Ann: I mean, agreed. I just . . . yeah.

Aminatou: It's like some stuff just goes over some people's heads, but I don't know. Like it's obviously like not everybody can be Beyoncé Black Panther Knowles. So, you know, and maybe that's what people were talking about is that they're just like thank you for not being anti-police which is so ridiculous. It's like that's not what the Beyoncé performance was about but that's how it was interpreted anyway. I really, really, really enjoyed it. It was like -- it's definitely in my top ten Super Bowl performances.

Ann: Does it make you want to invest in the new Lady Gaga album?

Aminatou: First of all I have emotionally invested in Joan. I will be going to the tour. So yes.

Ann: Ah, okay. Strong endorsement.

Aminatou: I know. I just hadn't seen her perform in so long and it was like she did some of the hits. I was so happy. Except I got sad when she did Telephone and Beyoncé was nowhere to be found.

Ann: I know, I was really hoping. Even though I knew it wasn't going to happen due to the pregnancy and the fact that I was watching it after the fact and no one mentioned it. But I wanted it to happen.

Aminatou: And also because Lady Gaga's not a fool. It's like most everybody brings a guest, but you can't bring Beyoncé as your guest as Coldplay found out because they . . . 

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: There is a serious possibility the guest will just completely overshadow you, like get it together. No, I'm just like who's overdue for a Super Bowl performance? Rihanna for sure.

Ann: Oh, yeah.

Aminatou: Next year make it Rihanna. This is ridiculous. But I've watched at least ten times my favorite Super Bowl performance of all time which is Diana Ross which is . . .

Ann: Oh, so good. The helicopter?

(47:56)

Aminatou: The helicopter. The dress. The gold dress that just will not end.

[Music]

Aminatou: I was like nothing will top this. Well, Prince was pretty good.

Ann: I was going to say Prince is my all-time.

Aminatou: But the Diana Ross one is my -- it's such a diva moment too because when they booked her at the time they thought that she would be like the safe act. And they were like yeah, like how . . . this is going to be just fine, and instead she was just like "Mm-hmm."

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: And then she flew off on the edge of a helicopter. I'm sorry, that's pretty epic. But I laughed so hard when Gaga dove off of the roof or whatever. Like that made me laugh really hard. People were really upset that that part was pre-taped.

Ann: Why?

Aminatou: And I was like did you really think that she was going to jump from the roof of the stadium?

Ann: I just looked it up and that Diana Ross performance was 1996, a.k.a. when we were both very young and impressionable.

Aminatou: I know, but I am still young and impressionable thank you.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know I can't remember my ATM PIN but don't hold it against me.

Ann: I know. It's really like . . . it's drama at both ends. Too old to remember the ATM PIN but still young enough to be swayed by a Super Bowl performance.

Aminatou: Oh my god. I will forever be swayed by Super Bowl performances. Are you kidding me? Some of them are good and some of them are just bad.

Ann: Yeah. I mean Prince is pretty much the ultimate for me even though I agree that Diana Ross one was up there. Highly memorable.

Aminatou: Oh my god, it's so . . . it's just . . . ugh. Now I want to fly away on a helicopter.

(50:00)

Ann: I mean that could be our out.

Aminatou: That's it.

Ann: I'm going to hit you with one more rapid-fire question.

Aminatou: Tell me.

Ann: Here it is. I love a succinct email. The email was just one line. It says "I was wondering if you guys celebrate Galentine's Day?" Which would be next week.

Aminatou: I'm not a religious person so I don't celebrate any holidays. No, I don't . . . Galentine's is the day before Valentine's, right?

Ann: I actually don't know. I thought it was just Valentine's Day for people who really love their women friends. I don't know. I don't know.

Aminatou: No, I think that it's actually . . . hold on, let's see. I'm going to do a Google.

Ann: Clearly the answer is no, we don't celebrate . . .

Aminatou: Yeah, clearly no. Like I do not celebrate Galentine's Day.

Ann: Every day is Galentine's Day.

Aminatou: "Thanks to Leslie Knope, Pawnee, Indiana's most dedicated Parks and Recreation worker," miss you Leslie Knope, "women around the world celebrate each other on February 13th, the day before Valentine's Day. Galentine's Day as it's called. It's a day all about you and your friends and no one else." Thanks Us Weekly.

Ann: Ugh, all the answers we need.

Aminatou: Yeah, no. But, you know, I have some friends who send out presents on Valentine's Day. And I'm not going to lie, those friends are great friends.

Ann: Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that.

Aminatou: Yeah, I know. I love that. I'm always like what? It's like you come home to candy you didn't know you could have. It's the best.

Ann: It's true. I think it's like I just feel about Galentine's, Valentine's, whatever, that it's an annoying time to try to go to a restaurant or be out in the world. It's sort of like an amateur hour. Everyone's trying to do it, so I would rather just not participate and take my beloved people out to meals or meet them to celebrate at another time.

(51:45)

Aminatou: Yeah. Like Valentine's Day restaurant time is for suckers. Let me tell you what day is great to go to a restaurant though is on Super Bowl day because . . .

Ann: Super Bowl day? [Laughs]

Aminatou: Super Bowl day because everybody's home on Super Bowl day and you get a table anywhere you like.

Ann: You heard it here first.

Aminatou: That's right.

Ann: Take your gals out for Super Bowl day.

Aminatou: For Super Bowl day. Speaking of candy I'm going to go find some.

Ann: Oh my god, yes. Do it.

Aminatou: I feel like my blood sugar is low.

Ann: Please do. I'm going to go browse more suits I can't afford on the Internet.

Aminatou: Oh my god. Ann, just do it.

[Music]

Aminatou: You can find us many places on the Internet, on our website callyourgirlfriend.com, download it anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts, or on iTunes where we would love it if you left us a review. You can tweet at us at @callyrgf or email us, callyrgf@gmail.com. You can also find us on Facebook -- look that up for yourself. Please don't send us messages there. We don't check them. We're on Instagram at callyrgf. We like Instagram a lot but don't send us messages there either. You can even leave us a short and sweet voicemail at 714-681-2943. That's 714-681-CYGF. This podcast is produced by the beautiful, so smart and so sexy Gina Delvac.

Ann: Our Galentine forever and ever.

Aminatou: That's right.

Ann: All right. See you on the impulse buy Internet.

Aminatou: I know. Bye, boo-boo!