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April 12, 2023
What A Day
Ain't No River Wide Enough

In This Episode

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a lawsuit against Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, accusing him of a “brazen and unconstitutional attack” on the criminal prosecution and investigation of former President Donald Trump, and organizing a “transparent campaign to intimidate and attack” the D.A.

 

The Biden Administration has laid out two tough options it may take to solve the Colorado River water crisis, though both would lead to dramatic water cuts to states like California, Nevada, and Arizona.

 

And in headlines: President Biden signed a bill formally ending the COVID-19 national emergency, county officials will decide whether or not to reappoint Tennessee state Representative Justin Pearson, and the FBI issued a warning about the dangers of “juice jacking” at free phone charging stations.

 

Show Notes:

 

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For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/whataday

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Wednesday, April 12th. I’m Priyanka Aribindi. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: And I’m Juanita Tolliver. And this is What A Day. Where to any fans mourning Taylor Swift’s rumored split from Joe Alwyn. We just want to say it’s not your fault, y’all. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Joe and Taylor still love you so very much. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I mean, maybe not Joe, but definitely Taylor. Definitely Taylor, for sure. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Definitely Taylor. And she’s the one you want, so. [music break] On today’s show, Justin Pearson could rejoin Tennessee’s House of Representatives. Plus, the FBI has issued a warning about juice jacking. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Okay, my interest is peak. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yup. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Juice jacking alone does a lot of work here. [laughter] But first and the latest addition of fuck around and find out, [laugh] Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a lawsuit against the absolutely vile Trump acolyte, Representative Jim Jordan, in which Bragg accuses Jordan of a, quote, “brazen and unconstitutional attack on the prosecution of Mr. Trump” and a, quote, “transparent campaign to intimidate and attack the D.A..” When I tell you I hollered when I saw this headline, because this is probably the first time Jim Jordan has tried to go after someone who one refuses to play his little petty games and two, is willing to lawyer up and take his ass to court. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously. Jim Jordan picked the wrong guy for his bullshit, and you’re exactly right. He’s about to find out what happens. I couldn’t be more excited that this is happening, actually. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Right. So for context, this lawsuit comes after Jim Jordan, the habitual line stepping, anti-democracy hypocrite that he is issued multiple requests for information to the DA’s office. And after he subpoenaed Mark Pomerantz, the former Manhattan prosecutor who quit after Bragg opted to not pursue a case against Trump in 2022. Last month, Pomerantz turned down a request to voluntarily cooperate with the congressional investigation. But it’s clear that Jordan won’t let this go. And to up the ante, Jordan and the House Judiciary Committee just announced a field hearing in New York to meet with, quote, “victims of D.A. Alvin Bragg’s policy” like, what the fuck is that? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Geez. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: This is a complete sham. And it goes– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –to show that Jordan and his minions have absolutely nothing on Bragg, because if they did, they would have put it out already. But nothing they can do or have done has impacted Bragg’s credibility at all. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I mean, what is included in this lawsuit? Tell us what we are working with here. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: All right. We got a couple of interesting details, Priyanka. So first and foremost, it’s clear that Bragg wants to put a stop to the unconstitutional attacks on him, his office and the criminal prosecution of Trump. And the lawsuit alleges that Jim Jordan started an intimidation campaign against Bragg as early as March. Naturally, Bragg’s attorneys were sure to emphasize social media posts and congressional letters from not only Jordan, but also Trump, including that infamous post that Trump amplified of him holding a bat aimed at D.A. Bragg. It’s pretty wild to see a screenshot included in the filing but– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –let this be an example that if you post it. It will be used against you in the court of law. Right. Like then we have it. The lawsuit went on to compare Trump’s recent post to his tweets pre- January 6th and alleges that the threats from Trump, Jordan and others have resulted in the death threat and suspicious white powder that was sent to the DA’s office, as well as more than 1000 threatening calls and emails to the DA’s office. So they’ve been going through it. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: The filing also makes it clear that the D.A. wants to prevent current and former staffers in his office from testifying before Congress. Of course, Jordan and House Republicans have sent multiple letters demanding documents and testimony, but the DA’s office has shut all of that down. It is noteworthy that Mark Pomerantz is named as a defendant in this lawsuit, but it’s been reported that he’s listed because he has been subpoenaed and the DA’s office wants to prevent that subpoena from being executed. And as I mentioned earlier, Pomerantz seems to have no desire to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. So I’m sure Jim Jordan has something to say about all of this. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Ugh. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: What has he been posting in response to someone actually holding him accountable for the shit that he’s doing? 

 

Juanita Tolliver: He is really and truly the absolute worst, right? And of course he had something asinine to say. So Jordan took to the bird app and posted, quote, “First they indict a president for no crime. Then they sued a bloc congressional oversight, when we asked questions about the federal funds that they used to do it” like, let’s be real. Congress has zero jurisdiction here. None, as stated in the lawsuit, quote, “Congress has no power to supervise state criminal prosecutions. Chairman Jordan claims he’s seeking to conduct oversight, but he has no power under the Constitution to oversee state and local criminal matters,” emphasis on state and local. So there you have it. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously, thank you very much for clearing this up. Excited to see this man um taken to task for what he has done for so long, so shamelessly. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: In other news, after months of failed negotiations between the seven states that rely on the depleted reservoirs of the Colorado River, the Biden administration laid out two options that it may pursue to solve the growing water crisis. They will either consider making cuts to water access based on the existing priority system for water rights, meaning that there would be smaller cuts for areas with seniority that have been using the river for the longest, like agricultural areas in California, for example. And larger cuts for areas that started using the river’s water later, like Nevada and Arizona. Or option number two, they will look into splitting the cuts in water access equally across Arizona, California and Nevada, which would reduce water deliveries by much more than what these states have already agreed to. Either way, major changes are coming for at least some Western states in the coming months in the hopes of staving off this growing crisis. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Emphasis on crisis and honestly, whatever the administration comes up with, I hope it’s equitable and actually responsive to each of these state’s needs. I know we’ve discussed some of the proposals from the states for allocating the water between themselves on the show before, and we know they didn’t come up with a solution. But can you give us some background on how this fight over the water came to be? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. So the Colorado River supplies water to nearly 40 million people across the seven states I mentioned, as well as two states and Mexico. And it provides irrigation for 5.5 million acres of farmland. So hugely important to this region. Right now, California gets the largest share of that water. 50% of their share goes towards agricultural areas. The rest goes towards cities in southern California. But other states have been fighting for years to protect and expand their own allocations. But the Colorado River isn’t just important because of the water it provides. It also provides power. Dams on the river’s two main reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, provide electricity for millions of homes and businesses. But two plus decades of drought, along with the effects of climate change, have caused the river’s water flow to drop dramatically. Obviously, that reduces the amount of water available for use, but it also impacts the power that the remaining water can generate. The water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell have gotten so low that the water may no longer be able to flow through the turbines that produce hydropower, you know, wouldn’t be able to produce power then so that would be a huge crisis. The Interior Department manages the river, which is why the Biden administration is getting involved here. And their draft analysis released yesterday is where these options are coming from. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Like, am I the only person with red alarms blaring in my mind? Like what loss of power for millions of people and businesses is wild. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, you’re you’re not the only one with a red alert, but there needs to be more of you. So please, if you are listening to this and you are not aware, uh this is a very big deal that is happening right now. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: This is not a drill. But what would happen if we left it alone and did absolutely nothing? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I mean, I’m sure the Biden administration would be so happy not to have to deal with this if that was a viable solution. But experts say that if nothing happens, it could lead to deadpool. In this case, not a Ryan Reynolds character. That actually means that the water would basically stop flowing. The river would effectively dry up in just a few years. That would impact drinking water and power within this region. Also produce, which goes far beyond this area that we’re discussing, the crops grown in some of the areas that may be affected are staples in your weekly grocery runs. You know, regardless of where you live in the continental U.S. and even beyond. So very, very big deal, very far reaching. As I said so far, this is a draft of options from the Interior Department, but they’re expected to reach a final decision on what to do here by the end of the summer. We’ll keep you posted on all of this and stay following. But that is the latest for now. [music break] Let’s get to some headlines. 

 

[sung] Headlines. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: President Joe Biden has signed a House bill formally ending the COVID-19 national emergency. One month before it was originally set to expire. The order was first declared three years ago by former President Donald Trump during the early stages of the pandemic and, among other measures, it provided support to health and economic systems across the country. The signed resolution comes after President Biden publicly opposed the measure, which was fast tracked by House Republicans, though he did not plan to veto it. According to the White House, President Biden signed the legislation behind closed doors. A separate public health emergency, however, is still in effect. It’s set to expire on May 11th, and with it, the controversial pandemic era policy known as Title 42, which allows the government to block asylum seekers from crossing the U.S. border, will end as well. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Officials in Shelby County, Tennessee, will meet today to decide whether or not to reappoint State Representative Justin Pearson. He and his Democratic colleague Justin Jones, who are both young Black men, were expelled from the Republican led state House of Representatives late last week after they led demonstrators through that chamber to demand better gun control laws. We told you all yesterday that Nashville city leaders unanimously voted to reinstate Jones, until a special election can be held in Pearson’s case. That decision will be up to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners. But it may not be a clear cut decision because some commissioners say they’re worried that if Pearson gets his seat back, state legislators could take away public funding for schools and other vital services for the Memphis area, which is one pretty fucked up but two par for the course. Apparently retribution and retaliation is the name of the game with GOP state lawmakers in the Tennessee State House. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously? I mean, that’s why we’re here in the first place. They’re very well acquainted at this point. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Look, I do appreciate Pearson’s response to all of this when he said, what is our cost then? Can we be bought? Like, that is the question to the commissioners, and hopefully they cannot be bought. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s Republican governor Bill Lee, somehow realized that now is a good time to call for more gun laws too. Lee promised to sign an executive order that would strengthen background checks in the state and asked lawmakers to work together in the final weeks of their legislative session to come up with additional gun control measures. Note this is the same dude who called for permitless open carry for anyone 21 and older. So this ain’t the edit undo he thinks it is. So far, no Tennessee Republicans have called for his expulsion and I don’t even need to wonder why. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: [sigh] Hold on to your sesame seed hot dog buns. Chicago has officially been tapped to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, which is set to take place August 19th to 22nd next year at the United Center. Among the frontrunners for the convention were New York and Atlanta. But the DNC said that the Windy City stood out for its location in the Midwestern blue wall, as well as for its diversity and strong labor movement. Next year’s convention will not be Chicago’s first as the city has hosted 12 conventions, the first dating way back to 1864. In response to the decision, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said, quote, “Georgia is the battleground that will decide the 2024 election. And Atlanta is the city that will deliver for Democrats up and down the ballot. Even without the convention, Atlanta will fight to keep Georgia blue and expand the Democratic map in the South.” 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Mayor Dickens is classier than I am. Like let’s be real. I’m looking at this like a little slap in the face to Georgia, who delivered for Democrats time and time again. Let’s be real. Georgia is the only reason Democrats are in play in the U.S. Senate. They did it in 2021, multiple runoff elections and again in 2022. So I’m looking like, huh? But I get it. I get it. Chicago. The blue wall in the Midwest and the Obamas. Let’s be real. Barack Obama is still the most popular Democrat in the country. So sure, I guess I can understand Priyanka. I guess I can be a little less mad. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Sure. I mean, I am a Chicago native, but I’m with ya and I’m with all these reasons, all these things that Mayor Dickens laid out. No lies detected, as you say. I’m picking up your lingo, Juanita. Oh my God.

 

Juanita Tolliver: No lies detected. Yes. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: We’re seeing it in real time. Oh, my God. I’ve been Juanitafied. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: We’ve been attached at the hip, that’s all. That’s all.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously. [laughter]

 

Juanita Tolliver: USC has renamed its track and field facility as the Allyson Felix Field in honor–

 

Priyanka Aribindi: We love it. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –of it’s star alumna who also happens to be the most decorated American track and field athlete in the history of the Olympic Games. Felix, who is from Los Angeles, was at the dedication ceremony Monday, where USC officials spoke at length about her impressive legacy. In addition to winning 11 Olympic medals, count them, over the span of her running career, Felix became a passionate advocate for mothers after undergoing an emergency C-section while giving birth to her daughter in 2018. In 2019, Felix spoke about her experience and the larger Black maternal mortality crisis before the House Ways and Means Committee. That same year, she wrote an op-ed in The New York Times condemning Nike’s financial abandonment of contracted athletes who become pregnant. And the ensuing backlash led the sportswear brand to completely change its company policy. Clearly, USC has plenty to be proud of. We can’t help but wonder what our alma maters might name after us. I’ll be real Priyanka. Carolina don’t owe me nothing. I don’t need nothing from that Confederate campus. I’m good. I’m good. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Um. I feel like if I get a couple squirrels from Vanderbilt, that’s all I need. [laughter] Happy camper. That will be good. And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads as soon as we can find a safe, suitable place to charge our phones. [music break]. 

 

[AD BREAK] 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Wednesday, WAD squad. And today we are convening the Geeks WAD, where we apply high level scientific analysis to an important story from the world of tech. For people who are wondering, Geeks WAD is spelled with the word geeks space and then the acronym WAD. No relation to the place where they fix your computer at Best Buy. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Hold on Priyanka. Let me put on my geek hat. Okay. [laughter]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Perfect. The official FBI Denver Twitter account freaked out the Twittersphere last week when they warned against the dangers of using those handy public charging stations with USB ports for your devices. According to the tweet, quote, “Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.” In case you’re wondering, the tweet wasn’t prompted by any recent example of this actually happening. It was more meant as an FYI to anyone still hoping for a shred of convenience in this world. But the FCC first brought this alleged malware loading scheme to our attention in 2021, even coining their own cute little name for it, juice jacking. [laughter] At the time, the FCC claimed that using illicit software, these quote, “bad actors can hijack your phone, potentially gaining access to valuable usernames and passwords.” Maybe your candy crush high score. But Juanita, what is your take here? Next time you are clinging on to 5% battery, laying in your hotel bed, scrolling through TikTok or watching Netflix on your phone at the airport, are you risking the juice jack, for the USB port or are you bringing out your own charging cord and base, your whole own situation? What’s happening here? 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Like let’s be real. There needs to be a third category for those of us who just let our shit die, because that is me. [laughing] Like my phone just will be dead. But they’re talking about the fact that there was no evidence accompanying this tweet. It’s the FBI. They’re not going to tell you all the bad shit actually happening. So I’m going to trust the tweet. If I charge my phone, I will carry my own electrical cord because that’s a really basic instruction. Priyanka, what’s your take on this? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, listen, it is a basic instruction. I certainly have used these cords in the airport, not like the shopping mall. That’s a little crazy. But the airport, like when you’re sitting there. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Oh shopping mall’s down here but the airport, is not? [laughing] 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: You’re not sitting around at the mall. Like, I’m not at least like I’m trying to get in and out like I’m not trying to, like, really hang out. But the airport, you know, you’re sitting at the gate hopefully for a little while because you planned ahead, not too long, though, because you’re not crazy. But like, I don’t know, sometimes you need a little you need a little juice. Um. So I have definitely done this before. And I will be rethinking that behavior. I will be bringing a little block now. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: It’s smart to pause. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Who knew? We can have nothing convenient in this world. Nothing. Not one thing. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: She said this is why we can’t have nice things. [laughing]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously. That was Geeks WAD. When in doubt, unplug your router and plug it back in after 30 seconds. That is the best advice we have for you. [laughter]

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review, charge your phone with the standard electrical outlet and tell your friends to listen. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: And if you’re into reading and not just Allyson Felix’s name on everything like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Juanita Tolliver.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I’m Priyanka Aribindi. 

 

[spoken together] And go jack your own juice. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yikes. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Oh my God. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t know if– 

 

Juanita Tolliver: That feels, that sounds a little dirty. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –I like the way that sounds. [laughter] Mm mm– 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Well this is– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –not for me. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –this is explicit. [laughing]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Not for me. [laughing] [music break]

 

Juanita Tolliver: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our producers are Itxy Quintanilla and Raven Yamamoto. Jocey Coffman is our head writer and our executive producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka. 

 

[AD BREAK]