In This Episode
- The UN’s International Court of Justice ruled last Friday ordering Israel to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza, but stopped short of calling for a ceasefire. The court is weeks into a case that considers whether Israel is committing genocide.
- Republicans are, yet again, threatening the lives of trans people. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to get healthcare providers in other states to give him the private medical records of youth who’ve received gender-affirming care. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Ohio and Michigan admitted late last week that their endgame is to ban trans healthcare for all.
- And in headlines: three U.S. troops were killed and dozens others injured in a drone strike in northeast Jordan, Maui officials identified the final known victim of the Lahaina wildfires, and activists threw pumpkin soup at the Mona Lisa in Paris.
- Erin In The Morning: “Ohio, Michigan Republicans In Released Audio: ‘Endgame’ Is To Ban Trans Care ‘For Everyone’” – http://tinyurl.com/yr43zwuv
- Vote Save America Fuck Bans Action Plan – https://votesaveamerica.com/fuckbans/
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
Follow us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/crookedmedia/
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, January 29th, I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice and this is What a Day where we know most eyes are on the upcoming Super Bowl matchup between Kansas City and San Francisco.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes, but our eyes were on last weekend’s super messy matchup between Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion on Twitter. Somebody go check in on the queen of rap.
Josie Duffy Rice: Sometimes you don’t need to tweet.
Tre’vell Anderson: You don’t need to go on IG live.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: You just need to turn the phone over.
Josie Duffy Rice: Put the phone down. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: On today’s show, Republican lawmakers in Ohio and Michigan admit that their endgame is to ban trans health care for all. Plus, Maui officials identified the final known victim of the Lahaina wildfire.
Josie Duffy Rice: But first, last Friday, the UN International Court of Justice, or ICJ, issued an interim ruling in a case considering whether Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. In the ruling the court ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide, but stopped short of calling for a cease fire. The decision came after South Africa accused Israel of, quote, “acts and omissions” that are, quote, “genocidal in character.”
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, we’ve been following this case over the past few weeks, obviously. Can you tell us a little bit more about the court’s decision here?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. So the court basically did what many experts had predicted it would do. They expressed discomfort with some of Israel’s actions in Gaza, but refused to order them to stop their military action. So instead, they instituted these six provisional rulings that included preventing acts of genocide. They also ordered Israel to ensure accountability for public statements that, quote, “constitute incitements to genocide,” to ensure aid gets to Gaza, and to preserve evidence related to allegations of genocide, among other things. The court also expressed, quote, “grave concern” for the Israeli hostages. Now, like I mentioned, this is an interim ruling by the 17 judges who heard the case over the past few weeks. A final ruling is actually not expected for quite possibly years due to the structure of the ICJ and of international law. So this is what we can expect for the near future.
Tre’vell Anderson: That sounds like a really horrible structure. [laugh] If we won’t hear a final ruling on this for a couple of years. That’s wild to me. But you mentioned that 17 judges heard the case. Did they all sign on to the ruling? Were they all, you know, unanimously decided on this?
Josie Duffy Rice: Not all, but most. 15 of the 17 judges voted in favor of these six provisional measures, including the court’s president, Joan Donoghue, who is from the United States. A judge from Uganda was the only one to vote against all six of the measures adopted by the court, while a judge from Israel voted against four of the six.
Tre’vell Anderson: Gotcha. So what’s going to happen now? Like, how does the court ensure Israel even complies here?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. So the ICJ, which as we’ve discussed, is basically the top court of the United Nations, says that their rulings are binding, but that’s like only kind of true because it’s international law. And so it’s pretty hard, in fact, essentially impossible to really enforce. So this is more like a very strongly worded suggestion. It’s not binding in the way that like U.S. law is binding to, you know, residents of the US, but it is still an important signal that there is real concern about Israel’s military actions in Palestine. And, you know, nobody wants, like, the International Court to say that they’re behaving genocidally. So it’s not law in the traditional way, but it does have some value.
Tre’vell Anderson: I mean, I happen to think Netanyahu might be challenging us on this thought of not wanting to be seen a particular way by the international court, especially since it isn’t really binding. If I’m understanding you correctly.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: So what was the reaction by Israel and by Palestine to this ruling?
Josie Duffy Rice: Netanyahu called the ruling, quote, “outrageous,” claiming that Israel has a, quote, “unwavering commitment to international law.” Other Israeli officials were also upset about it. Some of them were a little bit more, you know, tongue in cheek than others, National Security Minister Ben-Gvir tweeted, “Hague. Shmage.” You know, the Hague is where the International Court of Justice is. So that doesn’t say to me that you take this court seriously, but–
Tre’vell Anderson: A very mature response, Josie.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. Meanwhile, Palestine’s foreign minister said that, quote, “The ICJ judges assess the facts and the law. They ruled in favor of humanity and international law.” Whether or not Israel will abide by the ruling, though, remains to be seen.
Tre’vell Anderson: Meanwhile, we reported a few days ago that cease fire negotiations are in the works with the U.S. sending CIA director Bill Burns in to help. He met yesterday in Paris with negotiators from Israel, Egypt and Qatar. What’s the latest there? Any movement that we can report?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. So in a statement, the Office of Israel’s prime Minister said the talks were, quote, “constructive,” but then added that they still needed to work through, quote, “significant gaps.” They did not elaborate on what those gaps are. But what’s on the table, basically, is that an arrangement where the fighting would cease for several weeks and then there would be several phases. According to reports by Politico and the Wall Street Journal. During the first phase, Hamas would release more Israeli hostages and Israel would release more Palestinian prisoners. Then in the second phase, Hamas would release Israeli soldiers. But Hamas reportedly won’t accept any deal without a permanent cease fire. So the talks are ongoing. There are some fairly big obstacles to deal with here, but we will stay on top of this as it develops.
Tre’vell Anderson: Thank you so much for that, Josie. Now back to the US with a couple of stories about how Republicans are yet again threatening the lives of trans people. The first one is out of Texas, where Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to get health care providers in other states to give him the private medical records of youth who’ve received gender affirming care.
Josie Duffy Rice: Jesus Christ.
Tre’vell Anderson: Texas, of course, banned trans youth from accessing the lifesaving health care they require last year, forcing the parents of trans youth to leave the state for care or leave altogether. And so now Ken Paxton is trying to get this telehealth clinic called QueerMed in Georgia to turn over records of Texas youths. The Houston Chronicle broke this story last Friday, and it said that the request to the clinic was sent last November. This is at least the second time Texas has tried to do this. Last year they sent a similar request, which is called a civil investigative demand, to Seattle Children’s Hospital, trying to get patient records. The Seattle Children’s Hospital sued the Texas attorney general last month to block that request. And QueerMed in Georgia hasn’t yet said how they’re going to respond. But it’s clear, right, that Ken Paxton really has it out for children who are trans and their families.
Josie Duffy Rice: This is also a reminder that these people who say they are small government do not care about small government. They actually want the government to be as big as possible, um like releasing medical records across state lines to someone who has absolutely no reason to see them as a government official. Unfortunately, Texas is not the only state championing anti-trans policies. Where else should we be paying attention right now?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah we really should be paying attention literally everywhere. Which leads me to my second story. Late last week, Republican legislators from Ohio and Michigan, they hosted a Twitter Spaces conversation. Maybe we call them X spaces conversations now. Not sure.
Josie Duffy Rice: No we don’t.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laugh] They hosted this Twitter Spaces conversation about trans policies for minors. And one of those representatives, Michigan’s Josh Schriver, suggested that gender affirming care should be banned for adults, too.
[clip of Josh Schriver] My whole thing is in terms of end game, why are we allowing these practices for anyone? Why would we stop this for anyone under 18, but not apply this for anyone over 18? It’s harmful, across the board and, and, and I think that’s something that we need to take into consideration in terms of the end game.
Josie Duffy Rice: When they said this was about kids and care for children, and kids are not adults, we knew what was up.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. We absolutely did.
Josie Duffy Rice: They’ve always wanted to make trans people illegal basically. They’ve always wanted to criminalize it.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely right. And here’s just a bit more information about this discussion that they had on Twitter. It was hosted by Michigan Representative Brad Paquette, two of the featured speakers were Representative Gary Click from Ohio. He’s the guy who sponsored Ohio’s recent ban on gender affirming care for minors, as well as anti-trans activist Prisha Mosley. And as I said, what starts off as a convo about policies related to trans minors becomes one peppered with calls for folks to consider banning trans care for adults as well. And here is where, as independent journalist Erin Reed notes, quote, “Never before have elected representatives spelled out the strategy of banning care for transgender adults so clearly.” We will link to her newsletter, where she was one of the first to report this story, in our show notes. But she’s basically saying, right, that we have confirmation on what trans advocates have been saying for some time, which is that the goal of this anti-trans hate machine and all this legislation, even the ones just targeting the sports teams that trans youth can play on or the bathrooms that they can use, all of it is in order to eventually eliminate trans people from public life entirely. And they’ve recognized that by banning the health care that some of us require. That’s one way that they can do that. If you are mad about this, you absolutely should be. But you can still do something to help trans people fight for our rights. We’re going to include a link in our show notes to Vote Save America’s Fuck Bans campaign. That is the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: Three U.S. troops were killed and dozens others injured in an overnight drone strike on Sunday in northeast Jordan, near the Syria border. The Biden administration said an Iran backed militia carried out the attack, which marks the first deadly strike against American forces in the Middle East since the beginning of Israel’s war with Hamas. A coalition of Iran backed factions known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the drone attack on the base, but no specific faction has officially taken credit yet. In a written statement on Sunday, President Biden said, quote, “Have no doubt we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing.” And speaking later at a church in South Carolina, President Biden called for a moment of silence before saying, quote, “we shall respond.”
Josie Duffy Rice: Donald Trump keeps racking up the L’s in court because on Friday, a federal jury said that he had to pay $83.3 million dollars to advice columnist E. Jean Carroll over defamatory remarks he made about her during his presidency. The verdict itself was not the surprise, since Trump had already been found liable for defaming Carroll when he mocked her allegations that he sexually abused her. The jury was deciding the amount Trump owed her, and this is actually the second time that Trump has been ordered to pay Carroll. Last year, he was ordered to pay $5 million dollars for a separate case of defamation. I guess he loves getting sued, this guy.
Tre’vell Anderson: He’s got so much money. I guess it’s fine.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, he’s just like, take it. This is his way of charity maybe. Carroll’s success has included taking Trump to civil court twice and multiple courts over several years. Then, over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Trump could actually delay paying E. Jean Carroll that full 80 plus million until he’s exhausted all his appeal options. So it’ll still be a while before she gets the money. But a win is a win.
Tre’vell Anderson: A win is a win. And now we turn back to the Maui wildfires. It’s been nearly six months since the town of Lahaina was ravaged by wildfires. And on Friday, Maui police officially identified the last of the 100 known victims of the disaster. Lydia Coloma, a 70 year old resident of Lahaina and she was one of nine people in her family who were killed by the fires last August. Her family’s home was also destroyed in the flames. Authorities have been working tirelessly for the past several weeks to identify the remains of those who were killed and give the families of the victims closure. But Friday’s announcement doesn’t mean that the death toll won’t continue to rise. According to police, there are still three more people who are unaccounted for. Meanwhile, Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez said on Friday that a $175 million dollar fund for survivors of the wildfires is set to launch on March 1st. Families who lost loved ones or people who suffered serious injuries could qualify for a payment of more than $1 million dollars each in August. In exchange, though, recipients must drop any lawsuits blaming officials for the loss of life. According to Lopez, 69 such lawsuits have been filed against the state since August.
Josie Duffy Rice: House Republicans released two articles of impeachment yesterday against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, in an effort to oust him over his handling of the US-Mexico border. In a 20 page resolution, Republicans accused the secretary of, quote, “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and, quote, “breach of public trust.” The Department of Homeland Security, in a statement yesterday called the allegations baseless, writing that House Republicans, quote, “don’t want to fix the problem. They want to campaign on it.” The statement also said that according to legal experts, House Republicans have failed to provide, quote, “any legitimate constitutional grounds for impeachment.” The Republican controlled House Homeland Security Committee plans to meet tomorrow to prove the charges before sending them to the full House for an impeachment vote. And if approved, the Democratic led Senate would hold a trial and a two thirds majority would be required for conviction, though that outcome is unlikely, to say the least.
Tre’vell Anderson: And finally, if you had plans to see the Mona Lisa in the coming days, you should probably reschedule. Activists from a food security group called Riposte Alimentaire threw soup at the art piece in the Louvre Museum yesterday. Take a listen. [clip of splatter sounds and people yelling in French]
Tre’vell Anderson: Now the painting itself is protected with a glass casing, so it wasn’t directly damaged. The two activists then climbed the wooden railing and stood on either side of the splattered painting and called for, quote, “the integration of food into the general social security system.” But museum staff moved fast and used shields to cover the scene, and the two activists were later arrested. Riposte has emphasized that the agriculture system is broken, even citing suicides from farmers under intense financial pressure. And French farmers actually protested nationwide in France over the weekend. They demanded better pay and living conditions from the government. The country’s two biggest farmer unions said they’re planning to block major roads to the capital today.
Josie Duffy Rice: My instinct is that these protests seem like a weird tactic, but they also kind of work because I didn’t know about French farmers and this is how they make the news, and then they actually highlight a thing. Do I think that this actually addresses the problem? No, but it has proved to be a very good attention getting tool.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, and it’s got us talking. Um. Which I think is, you know, half the battle when it comes to, you know, some of these issues. Um. And in case you were wondering, the soup that they threw on the Mona Lisa was a pumpkin soup. That’s the main question that I had.
Josie Duffy Rice: Uh huh.
Tre’vell Anderson: At the top of my head of this story.
Josie Duffy Rice: Uh huh. What would have been better? What would have been your ideal soup for the Mona Lisa?
Tre’vell Anderson: Mmm. She looks like. She could use a clam chowder.
Josie Duffy Rice: [laughing] That would have just made it the clean up so much worse.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laugh] 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. Help trans folks by going to VoteSaveAmerica.com/fuckbans and tell your friends to listen.
Josie Duffy Rice: And if you are into reading and not just fine art that needs a bread bowl like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter, so 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 log off Nicki.
Josie Duffy Rice: You just gotta log off sometimes.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know when you are the queen, you actually don’t have to go back and forth with people. And when you go back and forth with people, that’s when you give up your position. Okay? Just saying.
Josie Duffy Rice: We would love to do crisis comms for you. We just cost $100,000 an hour. So give us a call. [laughter] [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.