In This Episode
- The weeklong truce between Israel and Hamas expired early Friday morning local time and combat operations resumed. Prior to that, Hamas released eight more hostages on Thursday for a total of more than 100. Israel that same day released another 30 Palestinians from Israeli prisons for a total of 240.
- Governors Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom took to the stage on Thursday for a primetime debate on Fox News. Under Sean Hannity’s moderation, the two debated everything from taxes to the economy to abortion policy and more.
- And in headlines: a New York appeals court reinstated a gag order against Donald Trump, nations at COP28 agreed to compensate countries hit by extreme weather caused by climate change, and WAD listeners share their thoughts on the word of the year.
- NYT: “Israel Knew Hamas’s Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago” – https://tinyurl.com/ypttur2j
- Vox Media Union Layoff Relief – https://tinyurl.com/ykjqeol5
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Friday, December 1st. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi. And this is What a Day where Congress will vote today on whether to oust George Santos.
Tre’vell Anderson: Or as he called himself this week, the Mary Magdalene of Congress.
Priyanka Aribindi: I will never be over it. I’m sorry it’s the funniest thing that has ever happened.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: I just can’t.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mary Magdalene is somewhere in her grave rolling over. Like how I get in it. Leave me out of it. [laugh] [music break]
Priyanka Aribindi: On today’s show the highlights, but mostly the lowlights from yesterday’s debate between governors Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom. Plus, we hear from you, the WAD Squad, about what you think should be the word of the year.
Tre’vell Anderson: But first, a quick update on the war in Gaza. As we told you yesterday, the truce between Israel and Hamas was extended for another 24 hours, meaning the fighting is set to resume today. But we’re recording this shortly before the deadline of midnight Eastern. And there is no deal to extend the pause in violence. And one hour before the truce expired, Israel’s military said it shot down a rocket launched from Gaza. We will have more details as they come. Despite all this, though, the extension through yesterday meant the release of eight more Israeli hostages by Hamas and another 30 Palestinians released from Israeli prisons. Only civilian women and children have been released on either side thus far.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, You mentioned that there were efforts to try and extend this pause once again. Can you tell us a little bit more about that and where it’s ended up?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So negotiators from Qatar and Egypt since the Thursday extension were working overtime it seems to try and make yet another extension to the truce happen, quote, “in an effort to ceasefire, release more prisoners and detainees and bring more humanitarian and relief aid into the Gaza Strip.” That’s from a statement released by Egypt’s State Information Service. The plan was to see if the truce could last another two days. At the same time, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was back in the region. He actually had a meeting with Israel’s war cabinet during which reports say he was briefed on the next phase of Israel’s plan. In a press conference after the meeting, he said that he reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu that if and when fighting resumes, Palestinian civilians must be protected. Take a listen.
[clip of Antony Blinken] In my meetings today with the prime minister and senior Israeli officials, I made clear that before Israel resumes major military operations, it must put in place humanitarian civilian protection plans that minimize further casualties of innocent Palestinians. Israel has the most sophisticated one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world. It is capable of neutralizing the threat posed by Hamas while minimizing harm to innocent men, women and children. And it has an obligation to do so. The way Israel defends itself matters. It’s imperative that Israel act in accordance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I mean, I think that is a sentiment a lot of people share. But beyond the sentiment, it remains to be seen how they will be holding Israel to that standard. You know, what will be achieved. And there I think a lot of people are waiting for that. Any other updates at this point that you have to share with us?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So yesterday evening, The New York Times published a report claiming that Israel actually knew about Hamas’s plan to attack them more than a year before it actually happened. We’ll include a link to the article in our show notes. But they reviewed this 40 page document that apparently Israeli officials had that detailed point by point how Hamas intended to attack them. There was no date on the document for when it was supposed to happen, but still, Israel dismissed it as too hard or advanced for Hamas. They even called this document the Jericho Wall, which, if you know anything about, you know, the biblical references, I think is very telling. But the group Hamas actually followed that blueprint. According to The Times, quote, “with shocking precision.” This, of course, is important because, for example, we’ve heard from Israelis, particularly the families of those killed or taken hostage, that Israel, with its sophisticated military, like we just heard Blinken say, should have prevented the October 7th attack. And this report reveals that they perhaps could have, if official after official had not ignored either this document or the multiple flags that were raised by their own analysts since at least 2016. So we will have to wait and see how this story impacts things going forward. But I’m sure it won’t be, you know, ignored.
Priyanka Aribindi: Thank you so much for that update Tre’vell. Obviously, a lot happening. We will continue to follow it. Switching gears now to something far more trivial. Last night, Florida governor and flailing Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis squared off against California’s Democratic governor/man who will apparently do anything to avoid doing his job, Gavin Newsom in a primetime debate on Fox News. Are they facing each other in an election, you ask? No, they are not. Is there a human alive that asked for this to happen? Also, no. [laugh] Nevertheless, for 90 minutes they debated everything from taxes to the economy to abortion policy under the masterful moderation of one Sean Hannity. For those of you asking why, I will be honest with you, I do not have an answer. But I can share the how this debate came together after Hannity asked both governors in separate on air interviews over the summer if they would be willing to debate each other. Obviously, neither of them were willing to let go of the bit for long enough, and so we all ended up here. It aired on Fox last night with the tagline The Great Red versus Blue state debate.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, it wasn’t that great. Um. [laugh]
Priyanka Aribindi: No. No it was not.
Tre’vell Anderson: From my vantage point, at least. But for those of us who had better things to do last night, hopefully all of our wonderful listeners.
Priyanka Aribindi: Oh yes.
Tre’vell Anderson: Tell them what they missed.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes. So from the beginning, Governor Newsom made one thing very clear.
[clip of Gavin Newsom] Sean. There are profound differences tonight, and I look forward to engage them. But there’s one thing in closing that we have in common is neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024.
Priyanka Aribindi: I mean, it’s a little brutal for Ron, no doubt. But if we’re fact checking this debate, it doesn’t look like a lie. This debate in general was billed as Florida versus California. And I mean, it was for the most part. But Newsom made it clear at times that he was not just there to talk about his state, but also the state of our country under the Biden-Harris administration. One instance that stood out in particular was this back and forth on the economy and Bidenomics under President Biden. Obviously DeSantis was very critical. But Newsom rattled off several stats of the economy successes under Biden and noted that DeSantis had benefited from their policies as well. Take a listen.
[clip of Ron DeSantis] People flee to be able to save money to get out of California. And you have working class people that move to these other states. Their dollars go much further. But here’s the thing. They want to take this Bidenomics and they want to double down on this for the next four years.
[clip of Gavin Newsom] 3.9% unemployment, the lowest Black unemployment in American history, the lowest unemployment for Hispanics in American history, the lowest unemployment for women in 70 years, the lowest Black poverty rates in history. That’s this administration’s agenda. And by the way, as you smile and smirk over there, you should know this, the American people. Here’s a guy who celebrated Bidendomics just this week celebrating $28 million dollars that came into your state because of the CHIPS and Science Act, one of the most significant economic plans–
[clip of Ron DeSantis] Alright.
[clip of Gavin Newsom] Since FDR. I’m proud of the work Biden and Harris have done.
Tre’vell Anderson: I love when any politician actually cites like actual statistics.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: And like calls people out on their foolishness and their, you know, double speak that a lot of these Republicans and conservatives often do. I mean, the Democrats do it, too, but the Republicans and conservatives. So shout out to Newsome, at least in that clip.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes, I will say, like DeSantis really tried to make it about California and all the talking points that Republicans have about, you know, all the reasons they don’t like the state. But Newsom was quite effective at certain points in turning it around and making it a conversation about what Democrats want nationally and defending the administration and their policies. He was effective at points in time in doing that and was very impassioned in doing that as well. Sean Hannity, who, you know, was moderator here, spent much of the debate saying that he didn’t want to be a hall monitor and that he wanted to let the debate breathe like it was a bottle of wine. Had quite an exhaustive list of topics for these two to run through over the course of this debate. Another very hot button one that came up was immigration. And Newsom used the opportunity to hit DeSantis hard for his actions in that area.
[clip of Gavin Newsom] Your immigration policy can best be described as a governor from the state of Florida going into another state, the state of Texas, lying to migrants, promising them jobs and housing, sending them to an island, Martha’s Vineyard, and then sending them to a parking lot in Sacramento, California.
Priyanka Aribindi: It just underscores the cruelty. I mean, we have covered it extensively on this show of Ron DeSantis and people like him who use these people and their lives just as like a political pawn to make a point. And it is cruel. It’s disgusting. I’m glad he underscored it because it’s not like he’s offering policy solutions. It just is like trying to own the libs in ruining these people’s lives.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, I just hope that whoever is watching, you know, this Fox News debate.
Priyanka Aribindi: Who knows.
Tre’vell Anderson: Isn’t somehow infatuated or pleased with DeSantis’s you know, horrible responses and his horrible policies. Um. Because when you watch it, you literally can tell that like the Republican Party and these folks who are, you know, like Newsom said earlier, not going to be the nominee. [laughing] It’s just really interesting to be witnessing all of this unfold right now.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t know if I would say it’s reassuring or not, but his poll numbers would indicate that people are not infatuated.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. [laughing]
Priyanka Aribindi: At least we could hold that in our hearts. But anyways, at one point, Newsom did manage to call DeSantis unserious, which if you’ve been listening to this program, you know, is a personal favorite insult–
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes it is.
Priyanka Aribindi: –of ours. So relish in that moment. But at the end of the day, this debate, let’s be honest, it was a spectacle. If you are sitting there listening to this show, you actually care about winning elections in 2024 and beyond, enacting progressive policies, making our country a better place. Don’t let things like this be the distraction that they are. Now is the time to get engaged, to mobilize.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes.
Priyanka Aribindi: To do the work. Vote Save America is here to help you do just that, to help you make the biggest impact possible. So get involved now at VoteSaveAmerica.com. We have no time to waste as we head into 2024. Obviously, we will continue to cover the primaries and the elections as we head into them. But that is the latest for now. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: Donald Trump is once again being told to STFU. A New York appeals court yesterday reinstated a gag order that bars the former president from commenting on courtroom staff in his New York civil fraud trial. The order was first imposed by trial judge Arthur Engoron back in October after Trump took to social media to attack the judges law clerk, Allison Greenfield. He baselessly called her Schumer’s girlfriend because she’s in a photo next to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and he accused her of running the case against him. In the weeks following that order, Trump violated it twice and was fined a total of $15,000. But it didn’t stop Trump’s lawyers from commenting on the judge’s law clerk and eventually Judge Engoron expanded the gag order to include them as well. Then earlier this month, the gag order was suspended and Trump was once again free to speak as he so wished. And he did, of course. Just this Wednesday, Trump posted about the clerk on social media again calling her, quote, “disturbed and angry.” And in a sworn statement last week, a court security captain said Greenfield received hundreds of threatening and harassing voicemails that when transcribed, take up 275 single spaced pages. The single spaced here is important y’all.
Priyanka Aribindi: Oh, yes.
Tre’vell Anderson: Judge Engoron said yesterday that he planned to enforce the reinstated order, quote, “rigorously and vigorously.” So we will see if that keeps Trump quiet for now. I doubt it does.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Best of luck in that endeavor. I do not envy that job.
Tre’vell Anderson: Right.
Priyanka Aribindi: And as promised, we have got some updates from COP28, nations at the U.N. climate conference just took a big step by agreeing to compensate countries hit by extreme weather caused by climate change. It’s called the Loss and Damage Fund. We told you a bit about this in yesterday’s episode with Naveena Sadasivam. It is seen as this huge opening day breakthrough and some countries even started contributing money right away, including $245 million dollars from the European Union and an additional $100 million dollars from the United Arab Emirates, which is the conference’s host. We also discussed the specific language about either phasing out or phasing down fossil fuels. And it does seem that this global deal on phasing them out, which is the stronger and more effective solution, is in trouble. Unsurprisingly, major polluters and the oil rich host country signaled that they were not on board with this phrasing. Russia and Saudi Arabia also stiffly oppose the phase out language, but it’s still early days in this conference. Obviously, we will keep you updated as things unfold.
Tre’vell Anderson: And sticking with the environment but back in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new restrictions yesterday that require most U.S. cities to replace lead water pipes within ten years. The proposal under the Biden administration would affect all of the roughly 9 million lead pipes across the country, and it would impose the strongest limits on lead in more than three decades. And it’s all in an effort to reduce lead in drinking water and prevent public health crises like the one in Flint, Michigan. But it’s no small feat. The EPA estimates that replacing all those pipes could come with a hefty price tag of 20 to $30 billion over the course of ten years. The EPA also said that it wants to lower the lead action level, a.k.a. the level at which utilities have to inform the public and take action to reduce the exposure to lead. Lead can leach into drinking water through lead pipes, and exposure to it can cause some serious health effects. For infants and children it can lead to lower IQs, impair cognitive development and can result in behavioral disorders.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, we have seen just how devastating this kind of exposure can be for people for cities in the U.S. I think it is absolutely important and critical work that the EPA is trying to do here. I hope that they can be successful for all of our sake. We don’t deserve to be living with this kind of exposure in our water that is just–
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Priyanka Aribindi: –vital for us to even survive. The journalism world saw another round of layoffs on Thursday, this time at Condé Nast, which is the parent company of publications like The New Yorker, Vogue and GQ, as well as Vox Media. Conde Nast announced last month that the company plans to downsize in order to cut costs. And it seems that the company made good on that promise by letting go of roughly 300 employees yesterday. It’s unclear exactly which Condé publications were most impacted. Just that the layoffs make up about 5% of the company’s workforce. Meanwhile, about 4% of Vox media staff was let go. This is the second time that Vox has cut jobs this year, citing troubles with advertising in a quote unquote, “dynamic industry.” The last time the publication laid off workers was in January when it cut 130 jobs. The Vox Media Union, which is represented by the Writers Guild of America East, released a statement on Thursday saying that many of the people who lost their jobs were reporters and video production members who worked tirelessly to cover important topics like climate change, technology and policy. The union wrote that the layoffs are, quote, “especially devastating in the midst of the holiday season, and we are furious that management has shortsightedly opted to eliminate these essential roles.” We’ll add a link in our show notes to the Union’s relief fund for those who have been laid off. I just will say Vox has done just such amazing, such critical work due in large part to so many of these people who lost their jobs today. It’s really unfortunate.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. On to some good news. Michigan Democrats scored a huge win for voting rights yesterday. Governor Gretchen Whitmer officially signed an election bills package which includes allowing 16 year olds to register before they can legally vote at age 18 and adding more protections for election officials. And the thing that we are super excited about is that the legislation will automatically register individuals to vote when they’re released from incarceration. It’s a really big deal. Michigan is the first state in the nation to implement this kind of legislation. And obviously we are on the eve of this huge presidential election year that might once again depend on the three states crucial to Biden’s 2020 win Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Governor Whitmer also signed bills to regulate political ads that use artificial intelligence and another to tighten the election certification process, which President Trump threw an insurrectionist temper tantrum about, you might remember. Long story short, the Mitten State isn’t messing around when it comes to voting rights. And the rest of the country, I hope is taking some notes.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes, please. And finally, for some piping hot British tea. After two years of speculation, the royal family members who made racist remarks about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s firstborn son have allegedly been identified. That is according to multiple reports that emerged yesterday. The revelation stems from a version of British journalist Omid Scobie’s new book Endgame, that allegedly names the two so-called royal racists as King Charles and Kate Middleton. For those of you who do not know the lore, Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, famously gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey back in 2020 discussing her experience leaving the royal family. Markle, who is half Black, talked about the racism that she faced when she married Prince Harry, and she shocked the world when she said that one of her royal in-laws raised, quote unquote, “concerns” about what her firstborn son Archie would look like and how dark his skin would be before he was even born. Take a listen.
[clip of Oprah Winfrey] Hold it. Hold up. [?]
[clip of Meghan Markle] There are several conver– there are several conversations.
[clip of Oprah Winfrey] There’s a conversation with you.
[clip of Meghan Markle] With Harry.
[clip of Oprah Winfrey] About how dark your baby is going to be?
[clip of Meghan Markle] Potentially, and what that would mean or look like.
[clip of Oprah Winfrey] Oooh.
Priyanka Aribindi: Markle and Harry refused to reveal which member of the royal family said it, and it seems now we might know. Scobie and his publisher’s claim this new revelation was all just a mistranslation in the English version of his book Scobie mentions the conversation without naming any names, but a Dutch translation of Endgame identifies Charles and Kate by name. He also told ITV that he, quote, “never submitted a book that had their names in it.” The Dutch version of Endgame has been pulled off the shelves and Buckingham Palace has yet to comment. But I suspect they’ll have some concerns to raise about the subject very, very soon.
Tre’vell Anderson: I bet they will now. Now I just have a quick thought here on this story. As somebody who has published a book or two, I just find it interesting that this international version, this Dutch translation, has the names, but the English version does not. Something’s fishy there, Priyanka.
Priyanka Aribindi: Something is fishy. We don’t know what happened, how this happened. All we know is that it didn’t just end up there out of nowhere. So someone inserted it. Whether it was the author. The author also notably did not deny that it was these two.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Priyanka Aribindi: Just denied including the names. So I don’t know it’s not looking great for these two.
Tre’vell Anderson: It is not.
Priyanka Aribindi: And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads to hear what you the WAD squad thought was the word of the year.
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Friday WAD squad, we’re going to wrap up the week by once again hearing directly from you all. This time we got your thoughts on the words that defined 2023. Earlier this week, we told you that Merriam-Webster’s word of the year was authentic. The country’s oldest dictionary attributed the word’s popularity to the rise of artificial intelligence, the spread of misinformation on social media and the generally blurry lines between what is real and what is fake in 2023. But we asked you, our listeners, what your word of the year was and happy to say you all answered.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes. One of them caught our eye specifically because I think it is how many of us feel, Catherine said that her word of the year was exhaustion. Any thoughts on that Tre’vell?
Tre’vell Anderson: I deeply identify with exhaustion as just like a prevailing feeling experience state of being that I have been in since February of 2023. Um [laugh] so love that for me.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, um I got to say, I feel like authentic. We’re a few years behind on that one. I get like that it applies to, you know, AI and that was the big thing this year in many ways. But authentic just feels a little a little late for me. We’ll be brainstorming. Maybe we’ll come back with better options for you shortly. Continue the conversation on Discord and tell us what your word of the year is or talk about whatever you hear on the show with other fans and us. If you’re not already in our server, go to Crooked.com/friends to jump in. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like this show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. We are smitten with the Mitten State and tell your friends to listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just the latest book that names racist royals like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And you’re no Mary, Santos.
Priyanka Aribindi: Enjoy your last day in Congress sir, enjoy it.
Tre’vell Anderson: How do you even think of Mary Magdalene’s name when you got all of this stuff going on? Okay, I just don’t it doesn’t make sense to me.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t know. I don’t know. But hopefully we do not have to think about this man very much longer. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz, our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla. Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf are our associate producers, and our showrunner is Leo Duran. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.