In This Episode
- Ohio overwhelmingly voted against Issue 1 in a statewide special election on Tuesday. It’s a major relief because the ballot measure would have made it harder to change the state’s constitution and protect abortion rights in an upcoming vote this November.
- The Supreme Court sided with President Biden in a 5-4 ruling Tuesday and allowed his regulations related to ghost guns to move forward. That means the administration can continue to regulate ghost gun kits and require that they be treated like firearms while the issue continues to be challenged in courts.
- And in headlines: former Vice President Mike Pence qualified to participate in the first Republican presidential primary debate, public schools in Hillsborough County, Florida will cut back on teaching Shakespeare, and Marvel Studios’ visual effect crew has filed for a vote to unionize.
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
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Josie Duffy Rice: It’s Wednesday, August 9th. I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
Juanita Tolliver: And I’m Juanita Tolliver and this is What A Day the podcast that’s applying to be Ron DeSantis’ campaign manager, I’m not actually sure we’re doing that Josie.
Josie Duffy Rice: I mean, he just removed his latest one, his third campaign shake up in less than a month. Ron DeSantis hire me. [laughter] I have your best interests at heart.
Juanita Tolliver: He’ll fire you like the last person he just fired, and you’ll be in and out in like a month so that’ll be chill.
Josie Duffy Rice: I’ll be in and out in a month and I will do so much damage in that month. [laughter] [music break]
Juanita Tolliver: On today’s show, the Supreme Court says Biden’s regulation on ghost guns can remain in effect for now. Plus, some of the special effects artists at Marvel Studios want to unionize. That’s coming up.
Josie Duffy Rice: But first, in Ohio, in a major relief, voters overwhelmingly voted against Issue one yesterday in a statewide special election.
Juanita Tolliver: Victory!
Josie Duffy Rice: Yay! [clapping]
Juanita Tolliver: Oh it feels so good.
Josie Duffy Rice: I know. I’m so relieved. The votes are still being counted as of our recording at 9:30 Ohio time Tuesday night. But the Associated Press called it for the no side, which at the time of recording had a 15 point lead. If Issue one had passed, the ballot measure would have made it much more difficult to pass a constitutional amendment in Ohio requiring 60% of the vote to pass instead of the current 50% plus one. Issue one also would have made it much more difficult to get amendments on the ballot at all. The ballot measure was basically a right wing attempt to prevent voters from passing a constitutional amendment this November that would protect the right to abortion. So, in other words, issue one was like an attempt to prevent abortion access by subverting democracy. Not sure why they thought this would be a really strong selling point for voters, and luckily voters did reject it.
Juanita Tolliver: I feel like the key to this GOP attempted one two punch is that voters wouldn’t be paying attention. But here’s the thing. The amazing organizers on the ground in Ohio got it entirely together.
Josie Duffy Rice: They sure did.
Juanita Tolliver: Even though Republicans tried to throw in this random special election in an off off year in August, no less.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Juanita Tolliver: But tell us a little more about the upcoming abortion rights amendment that will be up for a vote about three months from now.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. So the amendment is called the Ohio Right to make Reproductive decisions, including abortion initiative. And basically it would give people the right to make their own reproductive decisions. Imagine that. That includes decisions about contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care, and, of course, abortion. The state would be prohibited by interfering with that right, with the primary exception being that states would be able to restrict abortion access after viability unless the mother’s life is at risk. Currently, abortion is legal up until about 20 weeks in Ohio, but this constitutional amendment would basically codify that right so that it couldn’t be stripped by the legislature. Right. Voters would have to approve changing the law on abortion. So voters in Ohio will definitely need to go to the ballot again in November.
Juanita Tolliver: Right. It’s not a done deal y’all.
Josie Duffy Rice: No.
Juanita Tolliver: Got to run this back again in November. Also, power to the people. Like, imagine that’s clearly the GOP’s worst nightmare.
Josie Duffy Rice: I know.
Juanita Tolliver: And I love that this is possible.
Josie Duffy Rice: I do too.
Juanita Tolliver: Show up, show out. Do it all again in November. So this is not the first ballot measure we’ve seen dealing with abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe in June of 2022. How have those fared so far and are there more coming up?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yes. So last year there were ballot measures in six states dealing with abortion and the three that protected the right to abortion all passed. That was in California, Michigan and Vermont. And the three that restricted the right to abortion in Kansas, Kentucky and Montana all failed. You know what we call that in sports, [laughter] batting a thousand or something.
Juanita Tolliver: I love how it was sports, not even baseball.
Josie Duffy Rice: [laugh] Baseball.
Juanita Tolliver: But yes, you’re on–
Josie Duffy Rice: I was like–
Juanita Tolliver: –the right track. [laughing]
Josie Duffy Rice: I was like I’m pretty sure it’s baseball, but let me just keep it general just in case. You know, given the results of issue one, I’m feeling really good about Ohio being in the list of states that express support for abortion rights.
Juanita Tolliver: Yeah, and this is the part that I’m going to say explicitly clear for any political strategist or organizers who are listening out there. Abortion is a winning issue, and I need Democrats to stay the course in 2024 because this is what motivates voters. As Josie said, we’re batting a thousand here. Like it’s clear that this is always going to be a mobilizing issue. It’s going to drive turnout and it’s going to be producing huge wins. So stick with it, please? And this won’t be the last ballot measure we see on this issue either, is it, Josie?
Josie Duffy Rice: No, it’s definitely not. In fact, just yesterday, advocacy groups in Arizona launched a campaign to pass a constitutional amendment in that state that would protect abortion rights. So the fact that Ohio’s issue one failed at the ballot box this week, it’s really just great news. It’s great news for people who like democracy. It’s great news for people who like bodily autonomy. It’s great news for the right to reproductive freedom. We’re batting a thousand.
Juanita Tolliver: Yes. And I’m sure the data is going to show that this support came across demographic–
Josie Duffy Rice: Yes.
Juanita Tolliver: –lines of all kinds. I’m talking age, race, socioeconomic income status, as well as partisanship. Right. Like, this is something that cuts across. Even some Republicans out there have a line that they won’t cross when it comes to bodily autonomy and democracy. And that feels good, right?
Josie Duffy Rice: Totally. We actually know that this is not a surefire Democratic state.
Juanita Tolliver: Right.
Josie Duffy Rice: And we are seeing an overwhelming rejection of issue one in the state. I mean, it’s incredible.
Juanita Tolliver: It’s huge. And I feel like we’re just going to keep the good news coming because we got another good news story for you.
Josie Duffy Rice: Oh my gosh.
Juanita Tolliver: Like in–
Josie Duffy Rice: I can’t believe it.
Juanita Tolliver: –a rare moment. The Supreme Court actually did the right thing. Can you believe that Josie? Like, I’m still trying to absorb this.
Josie Duffy Rice: I truly can’t. And I must say, this might be the first time on the show that we’ve ever had two good news stories in a row, which is not our fault.
Juanita Tolliver: Yes.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s the world’s fault.
Juanita Tolliver: Gold star to the universe. Gold star. [laughing]
Josie Duffy Rice: Gold star to the universe. Yes.
Juanita Tolliver: The court sided with the Biden administration on Tuesday with a 5-4 ruling that the president can move forward with his regulations related to ghost guns. That’s the term for privately made untraceable firearms that can be bought as kits online and assembled at home or even 3D printed. These guns have been used more and more frequently in crimes across the nation, too. And if you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking, Hmm. A 5-4 ruling. Which of the hard liner judges flipped this time? Well, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Barrett figured it out this go round, and they joined with Justices Jackson, Kagan and Sotomayor in the majority.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, this is very big news. Apparently, the Supreme Court does have limits and that limit is–
Juanita Tolliver: Imagine.
Josie Duffy Rice: –dystopian nightmare gun production. It’s relieving. So what comes next here? Like, this is not saying the issue is over. So what happens now.
Juanita Tolliver: With this ruling from the Supreme Court, the Biden administration is allowed for now to continue to regulate ghost gun kits and require that they be treated like firearms, which is a huge deal. Up until the president announced the rule back in April 2022, ghost guns and gun parts were pretty much unregulated. And it’s clear that the rule is needed. The most recent data from the Department of Justice showed that in 2021, local law enforcement agencies seized more than 19,000 ghost guns at different crime scenes. That’s wild.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s really wild. It’s a huge number. This is not like a fringe thing. This is a big issue. And we are literally talking about people who are assembling guns or building guns in their house.
Juanita Tolliver: Right.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s so bananas. It’s like hard to even process.
Juanita Tolliver: And the fact that they’re untraceable. Right so–
Josie Duffy Rice: They’re totally untraceable.
Juanita Tolliver: –imagine as they’re found at crime scenes cannot be connected back to anyone or any manufacturer or distributor or individual. And–
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Juanita Tolliver: That’s what’s really scary about this.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right. Because you ordered a like, DIY kit online. I just don’t think this is what the founders were thinking with the Second Amendment. You know, I don’t think they–
Juanita Tolliver: Child.
Josie Duffy Rice: –imagined 3-D printers.
Juanita Tolliver: They also didn’t imagine us in front of microphones. So–
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Juanita Tolliver: Let’s just level–
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah.
Juanita Tolliver: –set there. [laughing]
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. No, they imagined nothing. But they definitely didn’t know to imagine 3D printers. Okay. Because I–
Juanita Tolliver: Right.
Josie Duffy Rice: –can barely imagine 3D printers anyway, continue.
Juanita Tolliver: I feel like that’s for a later date of Josie versus Science. So let’s put that on the list. [laugh]
Josie Duffy Rice: Absolutely.
Juanita Tolliver: But this rare respite from the Supreme Court is only temporary. The administration continues to defend the regulation in the courts after a federal judge in Texas invalidated the ghost gun role back in July. In his opinion, the judge argued that Congress must change the law, not the judiciary. So the next step is completing the appeals process within the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and then potentially a return to the Supreme Court. Of course, we should not get our hopes up for a repeat positive outcome from the Supremes if this case makes it back to the highest court in the land. But I think yesterday’s ruling warrants some positive feelings. But don’t go overboard because this court still needs to be regulated and still needs to be held to ethical standards that cut out gifts from, you know, billionaires and trips on private jets.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, and term limits, some may say some meaning me.
Juanita Tolliver: Or expansion.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, or expansion [laughter] or both. How about that? This is really, really great news. It also is worth noting that four justices think that this is fine.
Juanita Tolliver: 100% fine.
Josie Duffy Rice: Just to be able to do what you want with your gun and build it in your house and–
Juanita Tolliver: Be alarmed.
Josie Duffy Rice: I’ll remember that it’s good news, but just give me back [?]. So how are gun safety advocates reacting to this ruling?
Juanita Tolliver: All in all, they seem pleased with the ruling. But of course, they’re looking to the Fifth Circuit next. The organization Every Town for Gun Safety posted online, quote, “Ghost guns are guns and they should be treated as such.” And deputy chief counsel for Giffords Law Center, David Pucino, said in a statement, quote, “We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the lower court’s ruling. We call on the Fifth Circuit to do the right thing and keep this vital rule intact.” We’ll definitely keep following this case and bring you more updates as it progresses. But that’s the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break].
Josie Duffy Rice: Let’s get to some headlines.
Josie Duffy Rice: We have two updates out of Ukraine. Russians launched two missile strikes on the small eastern Ukrainian city of Pokrovsk on Tuesday night. The blast killed at least nine people and injured dozens more, including 38 emergency workers. The second attack happened less than an hour after the first one and it appeared to target the rescue workers that were helping those injured in the first strike. Also on the war, Ukrainian officials arrested a Ukrainian woman suspected of helping Russian intelligence with a plot to kill president, Volodymyr Zelensky, last month. This announcement was made on Monday, but the woman who is still unnamed was arrested on August 1st. Zelensky has been making unannounced visits to regions of Ukraine near the front lines and formerly occupied territories. Ukrainian state security put out a statement explaining that, quote, “The perpetrator tried to establish the timing list of locations of the approximate route of the head of state,” security services intercepted her plot and said she could face up to 12 years in prison.
Juanita Tolliver: Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency yesterday due to a growing number of migrants arriving in the state and a lack of available housing. At the moment, there are more than 20,000 people living in state shelters, which the governor says is an 80% increase from last year. Governor Healey reached out to Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday to ask for federal partnership and funding and to request expedited work authorizations for migrants. In a letter to him, Governor Healey also said the number of people being admitted to shelters per month is more than double the number they were during the pandemic. At the same time, the number of families leaving the shelters has dwindled, and at this rate, the governor fears the state will be unable to meet the growing demand for shelter. Massachusetts isn’t the only place dealing with a migrant crisis. New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday said he plans to house asylum seekers in his city on an island in the East River. And Republican governors in Texas and Florida have bussed or flown migrants to Democratically led states and cities.
Josie Duffy Rice: Former Vice President Mike Pence has officially qualified to participate in the first Republican presidential primary debate, happening exactly two weeks from today in Milwaukee. That is according to his campaign, which on Monday said Pence had exceeded the 40,000 donor threshold needed to take part in the debate. Prior to that, he also met a polling requirement by the Republican National Committee. The qualification now makes Pence the eighth candidate to be on stage during the debate, where he could be facing, among others, his former boss, Donald Trump. That is a big if, though. Trump has suggested he will skip it. While The New York Times reports he told party officials that he’s now keeping an open mind. So we will have to wait and see. But the other candidates who have qualified include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. It will be a crowded stage, no doubt. But we will be here to share the highlights and lowlights and break it all down for you. And none of these people will be president.
Juanita Tolliver: [laugh] Right. That’s the number one key takeaway.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. None of them will be the nominee.
Juanita Tolliver: I feel like the second take away for me is that seven other people qualify for this debate before a former vice president, including Chris Christie. Whose–
Josie Duffy Rice: Chris Christie.
Juanita Tolliver: –polling numbers have been in the toilet since the beginning. So I’m shocked. I’m shocked.
Josie Duffy Rice: Chris christie go home.
Juanita Tolliver: Oh Florida, wherefore art thou Florida? Public schools in Hillsborough county, including Tampa bay and the surrounding area, will cut back on teaching Shakespeare to align with Governor Ron DeSantis’s expansive new restrictions on curriculum. That comes from a Monday report by the Tampa Bay Times. The schools usually required students to read two of Shakespeare’s novels or plays in their entirety per year. These new restrictions come from the new Parental Rights and Education Act, which bans classroom lessons of any content that is sexual in nature. I don’t think this will stop your teenagers from being interested in sex, but okay.
Josie Duffy Rice: That’s the thing. Like, do you think Shakespeare is the reason that teenagers are thinking about sex?
Juanita Tolliver: Apparently.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s bananas.
Juanita Tolliver: We’ve also got a follow up on another Florida education story we told you about last week. The state announced that it effectively banned AP Psychology as a course for high school credit because of its content about sexual orientation and gender identity. Well, after the College Board released a frankly very disappointed statement, Florida now appears to have walked back that decision. In a letter shared with school superintendents, Florida’s education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. wrote that the department, quote, “is not discouraging districts from teaching AP psychology.” The department also seems to deny that it had banned the course in the first place. When speaking with reporters on Friday, DeSantis told them that he believed that the AP psychology course will, quote, “end up being offered.” I mean, it’s giving will do the absolute bare minimum and probably still not offer it fully in our schools. That’s my translation.
Josie Duffy Rice: Also, you’re the problem boo boo. [laughter] You caused this whole thing. And finally, a new superpower in the MCU might be collective bargaining. Marvel Studios Visual effects crew filed for a vote to unionize on Monday. Most of the 50 person team signaled that they want to be represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE. That union currently represents 168,000 people working in movies and TV. Marvel’s visual effect workers have previously called the working conditions of the company toxic and voiced concerns about long hours and seven day work weeks. Since its conception, the visual effects industry has been primarily non-unionized, and the visual effects organizer at IATSE shared, quote, “This is a historic first step for VFX workers coming together with a collective voice demanding respect for the work we do.” By voting to join IATSE, visual effect workers would be granted the same protections and benefits that other onsite crew members have. The vote could take place as early as August 21st.
Juanita Tolliver: Considering that not a single Marvel comic movie would exist without effects.
Josie Duffy Rice: Exactly.
Juanita Tolliver: These workers have so much leverage right now and–
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah.
Juanita Tolliver: I’m excited to see them get together in a unified voice. Please give them what they need because otherwise you’ll just be staring at grown men in leotards in front of a green screen.
Josie Duffy Rice: And those are the headlines.
Josie Duffy Rice: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Check out our LinkedIn Ron DeSantis and tell your friends to listen.
Juanita Tolliver: And if you’re into reading and not just much ado about nothing uncensored and uncut like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Juanita Tolliver.
Josie Duffy Rice: I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
[spoken together] And nothing is a pun.
Juanita Tolliver: It means vagina because there’s no thing.
Josie Duffy Rice: Okay. [laughter] I learn so much on this podcast. So many things I should have learned in school.
Juanita Tolliver: I mean, this is clearly what Florida doesn’t want them to learn so.
Josie Duffy Rice: Unless you want your kids to know as little Shakespeare as I do, let them learn some Shakespeare. [laughter] [music break]
Juanita Tolliver: 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. Our intern is Ryan Cochran, and our senior producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.