In This Episode
- Florida’s death toll from Hurricane Ian soared to at least 74 over the weekend, and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses still do not have electricity. President Biden plans to visit the state Wednesday, after a stop in Puerto Rico to survey damage from Hurricane Fiona.
- The Supreme Court begins its new term today, with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson becoming the first-ever Black woman to serve on the bench. But she joins a divided, conservative-majority court, which is set to hear major cases on affirmative action, voting, and LGBTQ rights.
- And in headlines: at least 125 people died in the chaos following an Indonesian soccer match, American prisoners were released from Venezuela and Iran, and the makers of Monster energy drinks won a lawsuit against rival Bang Energy for false advertising.
- Florida Ian Response Fund – http://ianresponse.org/
- Vote Save America: Every Last Vote – https://votesaveamerica.com/every-last-vote/
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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, October 3rd. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice and this is What A Day, where we are currently recruiting beta males to flood the new conservative dating app, The Right Stuff.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. Someone needs to show these Republican ladies the appeal of a man who is physically weak but emotionally strong.
Josie Duffy Rice: You know, until you’ve dated a man who cries at the mere mention of some Pixar movies, you haven’t dated a man at all. [laughter] [music break] On today’s show, Ukraine’s military recaptured a key city in an area Russia recently claimed as its own. Plus, a cheating scandal has the world of pro fishing absolutely gutted. You like that?
Tre’vell Anderson: Loving the language visual there.
Josie Duffy Rice: I know.
Tre’vell Anderson: Shout out to the team.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s called a–
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. [laughing]
Josie Duffy Rice: Little hint at what you’re about to hear.
Tre’vell Anderson: But first, as promised, an update on the impact of Hurricane Ian. First, in Florida, where the storm’s death toll soared to at least 74 over the weekend. And while power is slowly being restored across the state, over 750,000 homes and businesses still do not have electricity as of our recording Sunday. The most severe damage is in cities along the southwestern coast of the state, like Fort Myers and Naples, where the storm has left those communities unrecognizable. Hurricane Ian then moved to South Carolina, where it made a second landfall near Georgetown Friday afternoon as a Category one storm. While some of the coastal cities experienced significant flooding, all things considered, nothing too bad to report there. But there was at least two piers, one in Pawleys Island and another in North Myrtle Beach that did partially collapse. There were, however, four storm related deaths in North Carolina, including a man who drowned when his truck went into a flooded swamp and another man who died of carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator in a closed garage. More than 7000 people in North Carolina are currently without power, as are roughly 5700 utility customers in Virginia. So Hurricane Ian’s impact is being widely felt.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, absolutely. We’re talking almost a million people without power along with the deaths and the destruction, a serious impact. So President and First Lady Biden will be going to Florida Wednesday to survey the damage after first stopping in Puerto Rico today to look at Hurricane Fiona’s impact there. Can you tell us what we can expect from those visits?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So the White House did not provide any greater details about either of the visits, but we know that the stop in Florida in particular could be an interesting one, largely because Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who is anti-Black, anti-trans, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, anti, all of the things–
Josie Duffy Rice: Mm hmm.
Tre’vell Anderson: –And the Biden administration have had a number of headline making clashes over the last couple months. That said, the two camps seem to be playing nice for the sake of storm recovery. President Biden told reporters Saturday, quote, “This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically. This is about saving people’s lives, homes and businesses”. And that type of positioning bodes well. It bears noting for Governor DeSantis, who absolutely needs this administration to help Florida rebuild. Last week, he was on Fox News trying to appeal to Biden to, quote, “put politics aside and have the federal government cover the cost of recovery efforts up front for 60 days”, which is the direct opposite position that he took almost ten years ago as a freshman congressman when he voted against a federal bailout for the New York region after Hurricane Sandy.
Josie Duffy Rice: I love to see that someone is putting politics aside to ensure that people are okay. But it is kind of wild to think about how Governor DeSantis has pretty much done the opposite of that any time he’s had the opportunity. There’s also mounting criticism that local officials didn’t act quickly enough to evacuate people. Is that right? Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So in Lee County, Florida, where almost half of the state’s confirmed deaths from the hurricane have been reported, officials issued their first mandatory evacuation order on Tuesday morning of last week. That was less than 24 hours before Hurricane Ian actually made landfall as a Category four. It was also well after neighboring counties had already ordered their residents to leave the day before. That delay is an apparent violation of the county’s emergency evacuation strategy. And reports say that may have contributed to the level of devastation as the death toll and the number of people being rescued in that area both rise. According to DeSantis’s Office, more than 1100 people have been rescued thus far, more than 800 of which were rescued in Lee County alone. While most of the major players, including DeSantis, are defending county officials, it hasn’t stopped some of the side eyes and questions.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, I don’t know why you would defend that, but I can say with clarity that Ron DeSantis and I [laughter] are not on the same page about mostly anything. Uh. Now on to some other news. Today marks the first day of the new Supreme Court term, which can only mean one thing. We are in for a absolutely hellish nine months. Last term was one of the worst Supreme Court terms in recent memory. You may remember the court overturned Roe, further eroded gun control, made it harder for the EPA to do something about climate change, and just like generally bulldozed any semblance of hope that this overwhelmingly conservative court would practice any judicial restraint. So now we’re in for another year of that. Yay!
Tre’vell Anderson: This is not going to bode well for us if that is any indication of their interest. The good news, though, is that we do have a new Supreme Court justice, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yes, that is correct. And that is exciting. And as we’ve discussed, Brown Jackson is the first Black woman to serve in the Supreme Court. She’s also a former public defender. So she has my heart. But unfortunately, her appointment will not be enough to save the court from raising so many important values that we on the left hold dear.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. She won’t be able to hold down the fort on her own.
Josie Duffy Rice: Mmm mm.
Tre’vell Anderson: And we know–
Josie Duffy Rice: Correct.
Tre’vell Anderson: –That the conservatives have an advantage on the court. Right. They have a 6-3 majority. So tell us a little bit about what cases will that majority get to rule on this next term?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, well, Tre’vell, there are a lot. The court expects to hear around 20 to 30 cases, some of which may have no effect on the average person ever. But many others really, really, really matter. So let’s talk about a few of them. First, there is affirmative action.
Tre’vell Anderson: Not this. [laugh]
Josie Duffy Rice: No.
Tre’vell Anderson: Not starting out with this one Josie.
Josie Duffy Rice: No this is where we’re starting boo. That’s how bad it is. It’s just bad news. The court’s going to hear two affirmative action cases involving Harvard and UNC, as you may be able to tell that’s because Harvard’s private, UNC’s public and that’s going to determine whether or not schools can consider race as a factor in admissions. They will hear those cases on Halloween, which feels appropriate [laughter] because it’s spooky.
Tre’vell Anderson: Now, correct me if I’m wrong, Josie, but hasn’t the court considered this question before and like a few years ago?
Josie Duffy Rice: Correct.
Tre’vell Anderson: Recently right?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, they’ve considered it a number of times, but like you said, they’ve recently considered it, 2016. It is considered settled law. In an interview with The New York Times in 2016, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dismissed the possibility of hearing a case like this again anytime soon. She said, quote, “I don’t expect that we’re going to see another affirmative action case, at least in education”. And here we are not that long later.
Tre’vell Anderson: And here we are.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: But also of note. Justice Ginsburg also wasn’t predicting that we would have this court either.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, I don’t think any of us really saw Donald Trump getting the opportunity to put three people on the Supreme Court and that has changed our future in immeasurable ways. I think we can all kiss affirmative action goodbye after this year. And by the way, that’s bad news for everybody. It almost guarantees that schools will become even more homogenous, they’ll cater even more heavily towards the rich and privileged. And that’s not only bad for kids of color and poor kids who won’t have opportunity, it’s bad for the kids who do have the means to get into these schools, too. They’re going to have less exposure, less experience. They’re going to meet less people with different upbringings than them. They’re going to have a worse education when they go to these schools and everybody looks just like them and has the same experiences as them.
Tre’vell Anderson: And I’m assuming that these schools won’t get rid of their legacy admissions policies.
Josie Duffy Rice: Exactly. Isn’t that funny? [laugh] Sometimes you get to benefit and sometimes you don’t. If your grandfather went to the school, you’ll still get a leg up. If your grandfather paid for a wing of the school, you’re a shoo in. If your grandfather wasn’t eligible to apply to the school because of his skin color, like my grandfather, or I assume your grandfather.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mmm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: Or if he literally helped build the school with his bare hands for a meager wage or no wage, there’s no benefit there. You’re out of luck. So this just really, like, reifies the privilege and the opportunity that already exists, because that was the point of affirmative action, right?
Tre’vell Anderson: Ho, yo, yo, yo, yoi. Okay.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: So what other cases will the court hear?
Josie Duffy Rice: Well, they’re going to hear a really important election’s case that has the potential to not just impact our democracy, but possibly destroy it. And I’m really not being hyperbolic here. This case, Moore versus Harper would give state legislatures the, quote, “sole authority to set the rule for contests even if their actions violate state constitutions and resulted in partisan gerrymandering”. And that’s according to The Washington Post. And so by contests, they mean elections. And this case could basically eliminate the possibility of reviewing any laws that suppress the vote that legislatures pass.
Tre’vell Anderson: Right, which we know based on history that having kind of that federal check on some of the states–
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: –particularly when it came to voting rights.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Led us to some of us having the right to vote.
Josie Duffy Rice: Exactly. I mean, this is the basis for the Voting Rights Act. Right? Which this court has already tried to gut as much as possible. This is the basis for the civil rights movement, the change from the 1950’s to the 1970’s is based in giving people the opportunity to vote. We’re about to see that eradicated. And by the way, this is coming after we have a former president who has lied and said that the election was stolen from him in a way that has already driven more voter suppression. So this is the case this term that really, really, really keeps me up at night, which is saying something considering how many other bad ones there are, because there are other bad ones Tre’vell. The Court will also consider important cases about environmental protection, the rights of defendants in criminal court, among others. And the Supreme Court is also going to hear this really crucial case for LGBTQ rights. It’s about whether a web designer can refuse service to same sex couples. This is sort of like that does a baker have to bake a cake question that was, you know, making headlines a few years ago. And it’s framed as this like First Amendment question, but it’s really a question of equal protection and legal discrimination. And we’re going to see whether or not the court really endorses the right to discriminate.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, they’re taking on some very controversial questions and cases this term, like they did last term.
Josie Duffy Rice: Mm hmm.
Tre’vell Anderson: All of this is notable given that they have a historically low approval rating.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s the important thing to keep in mind here, Tre’vell. Lots of these cases deal with settled law, but the court is going ahead and reviving them anyway. They don’t have to take these questions, but they’re taking them because they want to be the decision maker here. They want to be the arbiter of these decisions. And that makes them even more extreme than past courts, even past conservative courts. And like you said, it’s even more galling given that a recent Gallup poll says that the court has a 58% disapproval rating right now, 58%!
Tre’vell Anderson: Wow.
Josie Duffy Rice: So we’ll continue to watch this court over the next few months. That is the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads.
Tre’vell Anderson: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines.
Josie Duffy Rice: Brazil voted yesterday in an election that pitted leftist hero and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, or just Lula, as his supporters call him, against the far right incumbent who challenges the value of both COVID vaccines and rainforests, Jair Bolsonaro. As we went to record last night at 9:30 p.m. Eastern, nearly complete results showed Lula and Bolsonaro each coming away with a sizable portion of the vote, though neither captured a majority among a sea of other candidates. Lula got about 48%, while Bolsonaro got about 43 and a half percent. And that sets the two of them up for a runoff election at the end of the month.
Tre’vell Anderson: At least 125 people have died following an Indonesian soccer match Saturday that ended with panic and clashes with police. It started when fans from the losing team rushed the field and police responded by firing tear gas at the crowd. That led to a stampede as crowds rushed toward the exits. Indonesian authorities said more than 300 people were wounded and the death toll could rise, making this one of the deadliest stadium disasters ever. Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation into the venue’s security practices. Meanwhile, FIFA, which is the global governing body for soccer, has explicitly said that tear gas shouldn’t be used by security teams or police at stadiums because apparently it needed to be said.
Josie Duffy Rice: Ukraine’s counter offensive against Russia continued to make gains over the weekend. On Saturday, Russian troops withdrew from Lyman, a key city in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, which had been quote unquote “annexed” by Russia just a day before. In other news about the war, Russian officers allegedly detained the director of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant on Friday. Ukraine’s nuclear energy agency said he was reportedly taken out of his car, blindfolded and driven to an unknown location. That is terrifying on many levels, including that that’s not what you want to happen to the director of a nuclear power plant.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Josie Duffy Rice: That has an impact on all of us.
Tre’vell Anderson: Every single one of us.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: The U.S. conducted two prisoner swaps on Saturday, freeing eight Americans who have been detained overseas for years. The first trade was with Venezuela, freeing seven Americans who have been held captive in the South American country. In exchange, the Biden administration granted clemency to two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady who were serving time in the U.S. on drug smuggling charges. The Iranian government also temporarily released its longest held American captive, Siamak Namazi, an Iranian American businessman jailed back in 2015 on espionage charges.
Josie Duffy Rice: The NFL Players Association has fired the independent neuro trauma consultant who allowed Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to return to the field last Sunday after he suffered a head injury. Then on Thursday, Tagovailoa hit his head again during a rough tackle, which landed him in the hospital with a severe concussion. He was released that same night, though his timeline to return is unclear. Meanwhile, the NFL and the Dolphins are facing intense backlash for allowing Tagovailoa to play after that first injury, though, the decision did fit with the league’s unofficial motto, brain injuries aren’t real. The union’s investigation into Tagovailoa’s case is still ongoing. In other NFL News, J.J. Watt, the defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals, said he had his, quote, “heart chalked back into rhythm after going into A-fib last week”. That basically means he had an irregular heartbeat. But the health scare didn’t keep him from playing against the Carolina Panthers yesterday.
Tre’vell Anderson: I know that they get paid a lot of money to go out on the field, but if my heart had been shocked back into its rhythm.
Josie Duffy Rice: Mm hmm.
Tre’vell Anderson: I might want to sit down somewhere.
Josie Duffy Rice: I don’t know if I’m moving ever again, [laugh] and certainly not that Sunday, and certainly not in a sport like football. The league’s complete immorality continues.
Tre’vell Anderson: Something fishy went down at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship this past Friday as two competitors who have won the Cleveland area fishing tournament multiple times were caught cheating. They did it by stuffing the fish they caught with lead weights plus filets of other fish, creating an unholy aquatic turducken that’s forbidden not just by tournament rules, but also by God. The pair was initially awarded heaviest catch and a prize of $30,000. That is until tournament director Jason Fischer, who was born to participate in this sport based on his name alone, suspected that something was up. He started cutting the fish open to reveal what was either the makings of a huge pro fishing scandal or the aftermath of fish going way overboard at lunch. Onlookers and fellow competitors were not happy. As you’ll hear in this clip:
[clip of unhappy fishing contestant 1] You [beeped out swear word] over a lot of people, man. [indistinct]
[clip of unhappy fishing contestant 2] They’ve been doing this shit for years.
[clip of unhappy fishing contestant 3] Cheating motherfuckers. [indistinct]
[clip of unhappy fishing contestant 4] You got a [beep] boat, you got thousands of [beep] dollars [indistinct]
Josie Duffy Rice: I love the drama.
Tre’vell Anderson: You better not cross them fisherman. Okay.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s very dramatic. I’m now very deep into fishing Twitter and I can’t recommend it, [laugh] but I’m proud of myself.
Tre’vell Anderson: Well, that team was disqualified and their previous wins have now been called into question.
Josie Duffy Rice: I would say so. Our nation’s trust in candy flavored energy drinks has been shaken as Bang energy just lost a nearly $300 million dollar false advertising lawsuit. Bang was sued by it’s slightly more dignified rival, Monster Energy, which alleged that the so-called super creatine that Bang touts as an ingredient doesn’t contain creatine or provide the health benefits of creatine. Which does feel like a key part of saying that something has super creatine. [laugh] According to Monster. This was only one of many lies Bang pushed as it marketed it’s sweet carbonated snake oil. The company also said it’s drinks could help cure Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and reverse the effects of aging on the brain. Bang already lost a $175 million dollar trademark lawsuit earlier this year, and there could be more to come in punitive damages. These are losses Bang’s owner probably wishes he could forget, but he never will because a steady Bang intake has given him superhuman memory powers.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, almost $500 million dollars in money–
Josie Duffy Rice: Mm hmm.
Tre’vell Anderson: –That this company has to give away. He, you know, he can’t be too worried.
Josie Duffy Rice: He can’t be too worried. It’s true. You can’t claim your drink is going to cure Alzheimer’s. That’s too big of a claim.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Josie Duffy Rice: You got to go smaller. You say it’s going to like help your hair grow longer.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, we love when people dream big, but maybe dream a little smaller.
Josie Duffy Rice: Dream smaller. That’s what you should take from this podcast. Dream smaller.
Tre’vell Anderson: And those are the headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review, gain superhuman memory powers and tell your friends to listen.
Josie Duffy Rice: And if you’re into reading and not just peer reviewed studies on the curative properties of Bang like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And promote body positivity among fish.
Tre’vell Anderson: We should reserve eating the lead for humans. Mm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: Truly, and also maybe give the fish some Bang and then all the problems are solved. [laughter] [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Jazzi Marine and Raven Yamamoto are our associate producers. Our head writer is Jon Millstein and our executive producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.