In This Episode
- The latest Consumer Price Index report caught investors off-guard Tuesday, after it showed that inflation in August didn’t cool off as much as economists had hoped. The disappointing news plunged the stock market to its worst day since June 2020.
- The midterm elections are coming up, and we’re here to help you WAD The Vote. Crooked’s Jon Favreau joins us to discuss what’s at stake in November.
- And in headlines: jurors began deliberations in R. Kelly’s federal sex crimes trial, athletes can now register as nonbinary for the Boston Marathon, and the NBA suspended Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver following allegations of racism and misogyny.
- Vote Save America: Midterm Madness – https://www.votesaveamerica.com/midterm-madness/
- Non-Binary Racing Database (Google Docs) – https://tinyurl.com/yckvt6cc
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Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Wednesday, September 14th. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Tre’vell Anderson: And I’m Tre’vell Anderson and this is What A Day, the perfect podcast for sitting in a Rite Aid chair for 15 minutes after you get your Omicron booster.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Don’t you dare think about skipping out of there early.
Tre’vell Anderson: There’s nothing wrong with taking a load off for 15 minutes. Okay?
Priyanka Aribindi: Just relax.
Tre’vell Anderson: Why not? You could use the rest. [music break]
Priyanka Aribindi: On today’s show, Twitter shareholders overwhelmingly approved Elon Musk’s takeover bid. Plus, the Boston Marathon welcomes non-binary athletes.
Tre’vell Anderson: But first, let’s talk about inflation. We’ve all been navigating higher prices for just about everything for some time now. I, for example, have complained on this very show about how the cost of my oxtails at my local Jamaican spot are bananas as a result of supply chain issues from the still ongoing pandemic. We’ve all seen how labor shortages are impacting the cost of things too. And gas has, as our purse’s recent memory, won’t let us forget. Been entirely too expensive, though they’ve gone down a little bit over the last month or so. But according to the latest Consumer Price Index or CPI report, which was released yesterday, prices have gone up 8.3% from last year. That is slightly better than July’s 8.5%. But that rate was not what economists had hoped. They were actually expecting things to start coming down at this point.
Priyanka Aribindi: Totally. And in response to this report, the stock market took a little dive. The Dow dropped almost 4% by the end of the day. The S&P 500 index and the NASDAQ exchange also suffered losses. Reports say that it was the worst day on Wall Street since June 2020. I would not know. That is probably the last time I uh logged into Fidelity, so [laughter] I will never know. But it’s fine. It seems like it’s really bad out there.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, just set it and forget it. All right.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s true.
Tre’vell Anderson: But this dive that the market took is absolutely not good news. But Priyanka, you might be saying to yourself, if gas prices went down, but the inflation rate is basically the same as it was last month, something else must have gone up and you would be correct and very astute to say that to yourself Priyanka.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, [laughing] it’s a really big observation for me to have made.
Tre’vell Anderson: Over the last year. Gas and used cars have been major factors as it relates to inflation. Their costs are now finally falling, but the cost of other goods and services is rising so much that it is more than offsetting those declines. In August, prices overall increased for things like eating out and buying new cars. The cost of dental care and vehicle repairs have also increased, as has furniture, clothing and bicycles. Inflation is also affecting housing and shelter. One rent measure, for example, is climbing at its fastest pace since the 1980s. That matters because housing related prices make up about a third of overall inflation, and they’re expected to remain elevated for some time.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, in the words of Olivia Rodrigo, it really is brutal out here. It is not good. So all of this is this what led up to the stock market freak out on Tuesday?
Tre’vell Anderson: It is because investors and big businesses are looking at this and thinking, well, the Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates again, which makes it more expensive to borrow money and generally speaking, puts a dent in corporate earnings. Now, here is where I insert the disclaimer that this was just one singular day and the market could be rebounding as folks are listening to us on Wednesday. But at minimum, it means that there is still work to be done by the folks in charge to bring relief to the people.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. And speaking of putting folks in charge of the things that impact our daily lives, we are now 55 days away from the midterm election and today is the series premiere of our new segment. WAD the Vote.
[clip of low voice and music] WAD the Vote.
Tre’vell Anderson: Oh, so vintage. I love it.
Priyanka Aribindi: I love it. That was the first time we’ve heard the music for it. Big fan. I’m into it.
Tre’vell Anderson: Ten out of ten. Absolutely. So tell us Priyanka a little bit about WAD the Vote.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. So really excited about this. Every Wednesday leading up to Election Day, I’ll be joined by candidates who are running for office around the country and other special guests. They will get us up to speed on what’s at stake in this election, the critical positions in our government that we as voters have a say on in these elections and how to strategically spend our time and money leading up to the midterms, basically anything and everything we’d ever want to know. We’ve had some really great conversations so far, and some more exciting guests who are scheduled to come on. So I am really excited about this.
Tre’vell Anderson: Love it. And I’m glad today is our first day because yesterday was the last primary day until November 8th. So we are really at crunch time now.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Voters in Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island took to the polls. New Hampshire in particular, has a pretty competitive Senate seat up for grabs. But this isn’t just about individual races, right?
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, there is a lot at stake across the country. For example, yesterday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham proposed a national ban on abortions at 15 weeks. That is absolutely horrifying. Graham’s bill is the most significant move made by a congressional Republican since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade this summer. They really did not waste very much time getting to what we all know that they want to do. This actually isn’t even the first time that Graham, a man with no children, is going after reproductive rights at the federal level. Back in 2021, he proposed a 20 week abortion ban.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know what? Any time Lindsey Graham’s name is uttered, I get a chill down my spine, you know?
Priyanka Aribindi: You know, it’s not good.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know it’s not good. So what can you tell us about this bill he’s proposed.
Priyanka Aribindi: I mean, for starters, it makes it incredibly clear what we’re voting on in November. Republicans want a national ban on abortions. Democrats do not. Simple as that. Graham said that the bill provides exceptions for rape and incest or risks to the life of the pregnant person. But he also brought the midterms front and center when he introduced this legislation.
[clip of Lindsey Graham] If we take back the House and the Senate. I can assure you we’ll have a vote on our bill. If the Democrats are in charge. I don’t know if we’ll ever have a vote on our bill.
Tre’vell Anderson: Ugh.
Priyanka Aribindi: Listen. What a great call to vote, everybody.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Priyanka Aribindi: You heard the man. This is what’s happening. If they win. You really distilled it there. It’s a terrifying prospect, but one of many scary things that faces us if this election goes wrong. So to break down what’s at stake here and what we’re up against, I wanted to kick off WAD the vote by talking to one of Crooked’s founders, Jon Favreau. Jon previously worked in the Obama White House and hosts Pod Save America, Offline, and the Wilderness, which just launched its third season this week. I started by asking him how he would talk to someone who isn’t so invested in the midterm elections and the ins and outs of politics about why it’s so important to vote.
Jon Favreau: First, I would say that fundamental freedoms are on the ballot, specifically abortion, and people are going to wake up the day after the election. And based on the results, abortion will either remain legal or be banned for millions of people across this country. I would also say abortion reminds us how important it is to have a Democratic Senate so that Joe Biden can continue to nominate and confirm judges.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Jon Favreau: So even if for some reason Democrats can’t hold on to the House because it’s a really tough year, if we keep the Senate, Joe Biden can keep nominating and confirming judges. Democrats will be able to fill those vacancies with good judges and not crazy right wing judges that have already overturned the right to an abortion.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Jon Favreau: And a whole bunch of other fundamental rights and freedoms.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. So aside from PSA on your show Offline, you also have a show called The Wilderness.
Jon Favreau: Yeah.
Priyanka Aribindi: As part of it. I know you’ve been doing focus groups with voters around the country, so I know you’re talking about abortion, but what issues have you found matter most to them in this election? And also, is there anything that you thought might be a little more important to them that they actually don’t care as much about?
Jon Favreau: Yeah. So I held five focus groups with all different kinds of voters, but they were all people who voted for Joe Biden in 2020. And now they have not quite made up their mind about what they’re going to do in the midterms, either vote Democrat or vote at all. And it’s a diverse mix of people. I talked to young people in Orange County. I talked to working class Latino voters in Vegas. I talked to Black voters in Atlanta. And the common theme that came up over and over again is cost of living, specifically housing, actually, which is an issue that we don’t hear politicians talk a lot about. But every single person I talked to almost was worried about the cost of housing, the cost of living, inflation.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Jon Favreau: Abortion came up quite a bit. I did a lot of these focus groups in the spring and the summer of this year, right around when the Dobbs decision hit, gun violence came up quite a bit. People have concerns about issues that really matter to their lives that they can see on a daily basis.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, it’s stuff that they’re seeing in front of them every single day.
Jon Favreau: Mm hmm.
Priyanka Aribindi: There are some really exciting things that can happen depending on how this election goes. Also some not so great ones. So I’d love to hear a little bit. Maybe we can start with the not so great ones, what you’re nervous about happening. But then I also want to know like what you’re excited about in terms of the possibilities here.
Jon Favreau: If some of these Republican candidates win, they will be in positions in 2024, where they will have a lot of power over our elections, and you get Kari Lake as governor of Arizona or Doug Mastriano as governor of Pennsylvania or Brian Kemp as governor of Georgia. And a Democrat wins that state’s electoral votes in 2024. They might refuse to certify the election.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Jon Favreau: And you could basically have another 2020 situation, except this time Trump’s coup could succeed. And that goes for governor’s races. That goes for state legislatures races, secretary of state races, attorney general races. So everyone needs to pay attention to all these different races up and down the ballot. On the positive side of the ledger, [laughter] um Democrats hold the House and we elect two more senators, John Fetterman or Mandela Barnes or any of these Democrats that have a chance to win. They have already said all these Democratic candidates running that they’re against the filibuster. They would vote to get rid of the filibuster. So if you have two more anti filibuster senators in the Senate. And you have a Democratic House. We can get all sorts of things done.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah.
Jon Favreau: All the stuff that we complained that we couldn’t get done because of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema over the last two years. We can get done.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. So are there any races that you are keeping an especially close eye on as we kind of get down to the wire?
Jon Favreau: I would say Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona are three states that I’m really zeroing in on. I think that Kari Lake would be an incredibly dangerous governor in Arizona. So we all want to get behind Katie Hobbs there. Mark Kelly is the senator from Arizona. He’s got a tough race against Blake Masters, who’s also pretty right wing and crazy. In Georgia obviously, Stacey Abrams and Raphael Warnock are running for governor and senator. And then in Pennsylvania, John Fetterman could flip that Senate seat to Democratic Senate. And of course, we need Josh Shapiro to become governor. So crazy doug Mastriano is not the governor and can’t fuck with our elections in 24′.
Priyanka Aribindi: Speaking of all of that, how are you feeling as we enter the final stretch?
Jon Favreau: Uh. Better than I thought I would be. It’s hard to tell, like polls are polls, so it’s hard to trust them. But if you look just at some of the special election results over the last several months, the five special elections that have been held this year, the Democratic candidates in those elections have outperformed even Joe Biden in 2020 when the expectations were that Democrats would do worse. So that’s a positive sign. Of course, special elections, you know, tend to attract people who pay close attention to politics. And the midterm elections are going to attract voters who don’t pay that close attention to politics. Some of the voters that I talked to in these focus groups, and those are the people that we’re going to all have to reach and talk to and engage if we want to stave off the MAGA threat in November.
Priyanka Aribindi: Definitely. Okay. So, you know, we’re going to close it out the same way that we always do. What are your tips for people who want to stay engaged? Are listening to this, feel a little fired up and want to do something. Where do they go? What do they do? How do they do everything?
Jon Favreau: You’ve got to go to VoteSaveAmerica.com. Go to VoteSaveAmerica.com. You’ll get info about our elections, about your ballot. All kinds of stuff, but also opportunities to get involved, to volunteer, to donate. We’ve been doing midterm madness where you can pick a region of the country to focus on. Um. Team West. So sign up. If you want to be on Team West, but you can honestly, whatever region you like.
Priyanka Aribindi: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming back on What A Day. We always love having you and appreciate your insight.
Jon Favreau: Thanks Priyanka. It was good talking to you.
Priyanka Aribindi: We’ll keep following all things midterms in our WAD the Vote series every Wednesday. That is the latest for now. [music break] Let’s get to some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: Jurors begin deliberating in R. Kelly’s federal sex crimes trial in Chicago yesterday. The singer faces charges of producing child pornography, enticing minors for sex, and obstruction of justice. This comes after a different federal court sentenced Kelly to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and racketeering back in June. If Kelly is convicted on any of these new charges, he’ll be looking at even more time behind bars. As of our recording time at 9:30 p.m. Eastern, the jury has not yet reached a verdict. But, you know, we all know how it should come out.
Priyanka Aribindi: Did they just, like, want to order in dinner, [laughter] want to take their little time with it. Feels like it’s pretty straight forward. Doesn’t seem too complicated. Registration opened for the Boston Marathon this week. And for the first time ever, athletes can now register as non-binary. The details are still getting hammered out, but race organizers said on Monday that as long as the runner meets the qualifying times for female athletes, they can apply to compete in the non-binary division. Over 200 races in the U.S., ranging from 5Ks to triathlons, have implemented policies to include non-binary runners in recent years. But the Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious races to join the pack. Jay Sole, a non-binary athlete from New York, told the 19th News that they have dreamed of competing in the Boston Marathon for eight years and that they’re, quote, “so thrilled that their community of non-binary runners is being acknowledged”.
Tre’vell Anderson: While I am non-binary, I am not part of the community of non-binary runners in particular. I prefer to walk leisurely along the sidewalk perhaps. You know.
Priyanka Aribindi: I’m with you in the leisurely walk community. We love it. It’s great.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. We love this for them. We’re glad to see it. Shout out to all the non-binary runners out there.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, it’s really exciting news.
Tre’vell Anderson: The owner of a pro sports teams main responsibility is to be quiet, but yet another rich white guy has failed at that task. Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has been fined $10 million dollars and suspended by the NBA for one year after an investigation revealed that he used the N-word on the job, among other things. ESPN first reported last fall that Sarver had created a toxic workplace culture, and the NBA’s recently concluded investigation confirmed this to a large degree, with employees attesting that Sarver made misogynistic and sexually inappropriate comments at work. He yelled at employees and also said things like, quote, “I hate diversity”, which is really rich for the owner of a NBA team. You know, considering the demographics of the folks in that league.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: But, you know, I digress.
Priyanka Aribindi: Wild. Just chill. [laughter] Be quiet and have money. That is the only thing you have to do to have that job. It seemed to me, someone who knows nothing [indistinct] [laughing]. Twitter shareholders Tuesday morning decided to hold Elon Musk to his promise to buy the company for $44 billion dollars. Even though Musk has been trying to back out of the takeover since July. It took shareholders just 7 minutes to effectively say no take backs. It would also force Musk to buy the social media platform for about $52 a share, which is about 25% higher than what it’s currently trading for right now. The company sued Musk for allegedly breaching the agreement and both sides will start duking it out in court in mid October. Musk wants to drop the deal over allegations that there are more bots than actual humans yelling at each other on the social media platform. And more recently, he cited a whistleblower complaint about Twitter’s reportedly lax data security practices. Separately, that whistleblower, Twitter’s former head of security, told a Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that the company even had Chinese and Indian government spies on its payroll and did nothing to root them out.
Tre’vell Anderson: What is happening over at Twitter Priyanka? What’s going on?
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t know. I will never know. I have made peace with those [?]. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: Closing out with an important update about celebrity diet trends. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, Kourtney Kardashian said she differs in a key way from her younger sister, Kim, in that she would not eat, quote, “a bowl of poop if it made her look younger”. Kim first proposed this thought experiment in a June interview with The New York Times. But for Kourtney, the brown bowl question has a simple answer. She said, quote, “I would not do that. That’s where the line is”. Kourtney’s interview mainly centered on her new line of gummy supplements called Lemme, which, if you believe in supplements, might not only make you look younger, but also smarter, taller and able to breathe underwater.
Priyanka Aribindi: Listen. The thing that gets me about all of this is that in that original interview with Kim Kardashian, like way back in the day, this was totally unprompted. [laughter] It’s not like the interviewer was like, would you eat poop to look younger? Like she brings this up like out of nowhere. It’s crazy. [laughter] I’m definitely team Kourtney on that one.
Tre’vell Anderson: Well, you know what they say. A broken clock is right twice a day.
Priyanka Aribindi: True. What’s the other thing we don’t know? I don’t think it’s the supplements, though. [laughter] And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads with some coverage of this week’s exciting and slap list awards show.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Wednesday WAD squad and for today’s temp check, we are talking about one of the few nights a year where we honor celebrities, the Emmy Awards. The show was Monday and it was filled with great moments like this one from the speech that Sheryl Lee Ralph gave after she accepted her outstanding supporting actress award for Abbott Elementary.
[clip of Sheryl Lee Ralph] To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t come true. I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like. This is what striving looks like. And don’t you ever, ever give up on you.
Priyanka Aribindi: I have chills.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t know why they are on my calves, but I have chills. Some other big winners were Lee Jung-jae, who won best lead actor in a drama series for Squid Game, making him the first Asian man to ever do so. And Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Girls that won for best reality competition. But Tre’vell, you are the entertainment expert here. What stood out to you?
Tre’vell Anderson: Well, you know, just like the up and coming, legendary child herself, Issa Rae, once told us, I’m rooting for everybody Black.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yup.
Tre’vell Anderson: Okay. So first and foremost, Sheryl Lee Ralph, our TV mother, she’s an icon, she’s a legend.
Priyanka Aribindi: An icon.
Tre’vell Anderson: She’s the original Deena Jones from Dreamgirls. Okay. An icon of stage and screen now. Alright.
Priyanka Aribindi: I didn’t even know that.
Tre’vell Anderson: We love to see it. She deserves. Also shout out to Lizzo. You mentioned her show. Her show unseated RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah huge.
Tre’vell Anderson: From the best reality competition show. RuPaul’s Drag Race has been winning that thing for like four or five years now. So shout out to Lizzo them. We love to see it, but the person who I really just have to take a little quick little moment and he’s not Black. Okay.
Priyanka Aribindi: Ooo.
Tre’vell Anderson: FYI and this is the one, Jimmy Kimmel. Okay.
Priyanka Aribindi: What happened here? What went on?
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen. Okay, so he comes out, he’s part of presenting an award.
Priyanka Aribindi: Sure. As one does.
Tre’vell Anderson: To the winner who ends up being a one Quinta Brunson for writing of a comedy series. Okay. She’s the second black woman to win that category after Lena Waithe won it for Master of None.
Priyanka Aribindi: She’s so fantastic.
Tre’vell Anderson: A few years ago.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s so well-deserved.
Tre’vell Anderson: But part of that little bit that he was doing, involved him like laying on the ground. Quinta Brunson comes up to the stage in a fabulous gold gown, by the way, and she’s giving her speech. And this man is laying prostrate before the Lord at her feet.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s so strange.
Tre’vell Anderson: While she’s giving this speech.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s so strange.
Tre’vell Anderson: And so all of the photos that you now see of this historic moment in television history has this white man laying on the ground. And listen, I know Quinta Brunson, she’s a lot more caring and has a lot more grace for him than I do. She said she didn’t care. She thought it was funny, but u uh. It’s not cute. It wasn’t funny.
Priyanka Aribindi: No.
Tre’vell Anderson: What is with white men not having self-awareness to know.
Priyanka Aribindi: Why is he in the way? Get out of the way.
Tre’vell Anderson: The joke is over sir. Get up off the ground and let this woman have her moment. Listen, I could go on and on.
Priyanka Aribindi: Same.
Tre’vell Anderson: About Mr. Jimmy Kimmel. But Priyanka, what did you think? What were your thoughts and reactions?
Priyanka Aribindi: Listen, that was the big takeaway of the night for me, too. Like, what the hell was going on? I was not watching live. So I was like, I don’t even know what the lead up to this is. This is making no sense to me. But to her credit, which I mean, if she wants to be pissed, she has every right to be pissed. She had like the best response. She was like, well, I’m going to be on his show this week. So like if I’m pissed at him maybe I’ll just punch him in the face.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s like, great. She just like played it off and she was so cool. She’s awesome and it solidified that for me. She’s just the best.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Priyanka Aribindi: And I love Abbott Elementary and I’m so excited for it to come back.
Tre’vell Anderson: Super excited.
Priyanka Aribindi: Just like that. We have checked our temps, they are sizzling, [laughter] over boiling because of Jimmy Kimmel. But that’s fine. [music break] That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Don’t buy Lemme supplements until they sponsor WAD that is and tell your friends to listen.
Tre’vell Anderson: And if you are into reading and not just Kardashian interviews like me, they’re so riveting. What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Priyanka Aribindi: I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
[spoken together] And stay in your chair until the pharmacist releases you.
Tre’vell Anderson: You got to be patient, okay? Follow the rules. These people know what they’re doing. It’s for your best interest.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, and guess what? As you said, the reeses cups, they’re still there. They’re not going anywhere. It’s Halloween season. They have the mega bags for every house in the neighborhood. [laughter] So don’t you worry. You’ll be fine.
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 Martínez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.