Posts Tagged ‘American politics’

spare presidents

October 16, 2013


Supplementary learning now thanks to Lee from Cambridge (the one in the US):

I just finished listening to your latest episode 274, in which you discuss the strangeness of the US chain of command.

First, a definition: the President Pro Tempore of the Senate is the leader of the party in power in the Senate (currently Patrick Leahy). He runs the Senate when the President of the Senate isn’t around to do so. Who is the President of the Senate? Why, it’s the Vice President of the US, since there has to be something for Biden to do other than waiting for Obama to die.

Secondly, it’s totally charming that you think we have something approaching a functional parliamentary system! Bless! You cannot call a special presidential election in the US, it states in the Constitution that the presidential elections occur every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Presidents are also now constitutionally barred from serving for more than two terms, so George W. Bush couldn’t have hung on for a while; it would (most likely) have gone down the normal chain of succession into the new House and Senate.

Thanks Lee. Previously we got all our information about the order of spare presidents from the Kevin Kline film Dave. In fact we get all our information about everything from Kevin Kline films*. Between In and Out, Sophie’s Choice, The Ice Storm and A Fish Called Wanda, most matters of import are taken care of.

*A few dozen of which are available on LoveFilm, for which you can have a free month-long trial via We get free money if you do so; you get to glut yourself on Kevin Kline masterpieces. And Kevin Kline gets…to be Kevin Kline. So everyone’s happy.

EPISODE 274 – passing through the digestive system of a garish robot

October 10, 2013

Why even bother listening to Answer Me This! Episode 274 when you can book PAT SHARP AND THE TWINS to come and do Fun House with you????

Once the disappointment has faded that they don’t actually bring the house with them, they just conjure it in words, then you might as well hear today’s episode:

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In which we discuss:

Leonard Cohen’s party anthems
parliamentary mutterings
Anne Robinson vs Doris Day
Bourbon biscuits vs Bourbon boozes
Breaking Bad vs Streetmate
Bud Lite Platinum vs Old Speckled Hen Platinum
Justin Timberlake’s part-time jobs
spare American presidents
six degradations of Kevin Bacon.

Plus: Olly is NOT a winker, whatever you’ve heard; Helen will waive all usual constitutional structure for Michelle Obama; and Martin the Sound Man is happier than you’ve ever heard him. Possibly happier than he’s ever been. Including his wedding day.

In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices, Android and Windows) Olly worries about being out-butched by a baby. Accept what you cannot change, Olly.

You can change AMT by sending in your QUESTIONS: leave voicemails on the Question Line (call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis) and send emails to And you could also change the education of young people by helping Martin raise funds for the charity Arts Emergency: they’ll receive all proceeds of his concept album with Mark Burrows, Kill It With Fire.

You can also give us a bit of money without actually giving us your own money: just take our free LoveFilm trial. With it, you can stream The Perks of Being a Wallflower (as well as thousands of other films and televisuals) then tell us whether you concur with our opinion voiced in AMT233.

Even if you can’t be arsed to do any of those fairly low-stress things, please join us again next Thursday,

Helen & Olly

AMT274 Child-Friendly Rating: 95%. Bit of mid-level swearing right off the mark, but otherwise an episode largely free of ribaldry and profanity. Child-appropriate topics including Fun House, biscuits and Doris Day. The kids are fairly likely to zone out during the politics stuff.