Sayonara Bolsonaro (We Hope) | Crooked Media
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October 27, 2022
What A Day
Sayonara Bolsonaro (We Hope)

In This Episode

  • Brazilians will vote for their next president on Sunday — an election that could be the most decisive in that country’s democratic history. The choice is between leftist challenger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
  • The U.S. economy grew 2.6% in the third quarter, but inflation is still driving up costs for essentials — including housing. Lindsay Owens, the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, tells us why it’s hitting renters harder, and why addressing the affordability crisis should be a top priority.
  • And in headlines: the Justice Department codified new protections for journalists, a Thai businesswoman and transgender advocate bought the Miss Universe Organization, and Mexico’s Senate voted to end daylight saving time for most of the country.

 

Show Notes:

 

 

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Friday, October 28th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi. And this is What A Day reminding you that the best way to avoid a hangover this Halloween weekend is to be at an age where big Halloween parties just aren’t a thing. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: And, you know, if you are going to a Halloween party, because I know some of y’all like to dress up, just pace yourself, that’s all. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Slow and steady wins the race as we say here. [laughter]

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Drink– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: God [?]. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: –Some water. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –such losers. [laughter] [music break] On today’s show, the Justice Department implemented new rules to protect journalists and their sources. Plus, the Miss Universe pageant is now under new ownership. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: But first, on Sunday, the people of Brazil will vote for their next president. We’ve mentioned their upcoming election a few times in headlines on the show, but I wanted to take some time to preview what is at stake for the country. So let’s start with the candidates. The election is between leftist challenger Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, a.k.a. Lula, and right wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. And it’s being described as the most important election in the country’s democratic history. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Okay, very excited that we are getting into this, because you’re right. We have been talking about this a bit in headlines, and I’m excited to get the full scoop here. Okay. So tell us more about these candidates. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So on one end, you have Lula. He’s already served two terms as president before. And he led Brazil through a commodities boom that helped fund large social welfare programs and lifted millions of folks out of poverty. Prior to that, he co-founded the Workers Party, which has since become Brazil’s main left wing political force. Lula left office with a 90% approval rating, which is, you know, super high. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Very high. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. But his record was tarnished by a corruption probe that led to charges against hundreds of politicians and businesspeople across Latin America. Lula himself was convicted of corruption and money laundering in 2017, but it was thrown out in 2021 in what one expert described to CNN as a quote unquote “plot twist out of a Brazilian telenovela”. And then on the other end, you have Bolsonaro. He’s the incumbent. He’s a former Army captain who when he ran for president in 2018 under Brazil’s Liberal Party, which is basically their Republican Party, he campaigned as a political outsider and anti-corruption candidate. Folks started calling him the Trump of the tropics, which he might take as a compliment, but, you know, is not– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Bad vibes. We don’t like it. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. So under his leadership, poverty has grown in Brazil. His popularity also took a hit due to his handling of the pandemic, which he called a little flu. COVID has killed more than 680,000 Brazilians to date, by the way. And Bolsonaro’s government has also become known for its support of the exploitation of the Amazon rainforest, which has led to record deforestation. So those are the two candidates here. Neither of them captured over 50% in a first round vote earlier this month. And that’s what’s forcing this Sunday’s runoff election. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Got it. Okay. So very different people, two large forces in Brazilian politics. Looks like we’re heading for a showdown here. But do we know how this election is going to go? Do we have any idea about how this will turn out? 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: So a poll released last Wednesday showed that 49% of respondents said they would vote for Lula and 45% would go for Bolsonaro. So it’s tight. But because Bolsonaro fared better than expected in the first round, experts believe that there may be even wider support for Bolsonaro and his conservatism. But as I mentioned, so many folks are saying that this election is hella important for the future of the country. And that’s because, in part, Brazil has only been a democracy since 1985. And so with the radical turn to the right under Bolsonaro, folks are basically worried. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Some have wondered if Bolsonaro is setting the stage for some sort of return to dictatorship because he and his supporters, you know, have been wilin, just like Trump and his followers. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: A local reporter who’s been covering Brazilian politics for almost a decade even told the Columbia Journalism Review, quote, “Democracy is on the line.” And she noted that if Bolsonaro wins, he’ll be able to stack Brazil’s Supreme Court in his favor. And we’ve seen in the U.S., right how pivotal the makeup of the Supreme Court can be in being the necessary checks and balances or not on the executive branch. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. Definitely. And, you know, not to mention how a Bolsonaro presidency would continue to impact things like climate change, which is something that like goes far beyond just the people in Brazil that affects all of us. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. And on that point, a second Bolsonaro term would absolutely further devastate the Amazon rainforest. 17% of it has already been deforested. And this is important because its collapse would be felt all around the world, for example. Rainfall across two continents, including over California’s agricultural heartlands, ultimately starts in the Amazon. Life saving medicines are derived from many of its plant and animal species. Billions of tonnes of carbon are held in its trees. As one local indigenous leader told The New York Times, this election is the last chance to save the Amazon and it will determine the planet’s future. So we will keep an eye on the election and be sure to bring y’all an update on results next week. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, definitely. I was already uh worried about our elections. Looks like we’ve got more to worry about. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Like the fate of democracy, fate of the planet, like no big deal. Please do not fuck this up everybody at home, please vote. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Meanwhile, in this country, the latest GDP report dropped Thursday and it shows that the US economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.6% in the third quarter, despite many signs indicating that it’s slowing down. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Okay, I’m resisting the urge of my eyes glazing over when we start talking about GDP and– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: –percentages and all of that? So do us a favor. Break it down. What does this even mean? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Totally. So GDP, it means gross domestic product. It is a measure or really an attempt to measure a country’s entire economy. And when it’s growing, it usually indicates that people are spending more money and more jobs are being created. It’s like good vibes all around. So this was the first time those numbers grew in 2022. But it is not all good news. Inflation is still really high. Consumers aren’t buying as much stuff and the housing market isn’t doing so great either. That is because mortgage rates for 30 year loans are over 7% for the first time in nearly two decades. And it’s not much better for renters either. Between September and October of this year, rents showed at the slightest signs of dropping for the first time in the past two years. They’ve only dropped a fraction of a percent nationwide. But for many renters who are in the thick of it, that’s a drop from a price that was already way too high– 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –To begin with. So really not much relief at all. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I wanted to learn a little bit more about what’s going on with the rental market and how to kind of make sense of it all. So I spoke with Lindsay Owens. She is the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, which is a coalition of local activists, progressive movement leaders and economic policy experts who are working towards economic reform. I started by asking her why rents were rising so dramatically for so long. 

 

Lindsay Owens: The first is we are really short, affordable housing. We lack millions of units of affordable housing that we need so that everybody can live where they want to live at a price that isn’t half of their take home pay. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Lindsay Owens: We’re not building enough homes really, since the Great Recession we haven’t seen um you know what we like to call housing starts the number of new um housing projects that are started in a given period. We really haven’t seen that come back to the level that we would need it to, to sort of make up for the shortfall of affordable housing that we’re seeing. Some of this is supply issues and some of this now is actually coming from the interest rate environment. Rates are going up making the cost, the price of private investment higher. So it’s um– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Lindsay Owens: –More expensive to build. The incentives are not there for developers to build. And the other issue pushing against us on the supply side is zoning regulations, right? So particularly in your high cost area, as you know, it’s frequently very difficult to build a multifamily unit. You can only build a single family unit. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Can you give us some examples of, you know, where rents are the highest now or which places are seeing the biggest changes? Because I know that those answers might not necessarily be the same. You know, you think of the biggest cities having the highest rents, but that might not be where it’s changing the fastest or where, you know, prices are going up the most. 

 

Lindsay Owens: What we know from private data collected by Realtor.com is that median rents in the 50 largest cities, so the big American cities are about $1,771. Right. So nearing 1800 dollars. And that’s–

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Lindsay Owens: –Up nearly 10% over last year. But obviously, that’s masking significant variation by city and by region, as you point out. In Oklahoma City, we saw median rents as low as $973, so under $1,000 and as high as $3,353 in a city like San Jose. And so there’s just huge variation across cities, but also obviously between rural areas and urban areas. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Definitely. And we also can’t talk about, you know, the rental crisis without talking about housing discrimination and barriers that, you know, basically anyone who isn’t a cis-man and other marginalized groups face when they are applying for an apartment. So what are some of the hurdles that these communities have to overcome even to be able to lease a place, let alone pay for it? And how are rising rents impacting housing access for those people? 

 

Lindsay Owens: Such a good point. People of color are more likely to be rent burdened, right? To be paying a third of their income on rent or even more than half of their income on rent. And, you know, we should go back a little further. People of color are making less income, right? They’re making less money at work so they have less ability to pay these high rental prices. That then gets translated through discrimination in housing selection, not being– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Totally. 

 

Lindsay Owens: –Able to get into the um property you want to get into in the first place. You know that discrimination, of course, compounds across generations, makes it harder to save to buy a house. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Lindsay Owens: The effects here for Black and Latino households are pretty significant. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Definitely. I mean, you touched on something that I wanted to ask you about as well. You know, younger people, they’re growing up in this market. Studies and polls show that millennials, even people in Gen Z who are thinking about their futures, either can’t afford a home right now or don’t ever see that as a possibility in this market. Can you tell us a little more about how this rental crisis could affect future generations ability to build wealth? And then what are the consequences of that if no one in this generation or very few in this generation are even able to own property? 

 

Lindsay Owens: Let’s start with the onset of the pandemic. About 52% of young adults since the onset of the pandemic. This is folks who were between the ages of 18 and 29 reported living with their parents at some point. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Lindsay Owens: That was a proportion that we haven’t seen really since the Great Depression. And so these folks are not in the housing market or the rental market. Right. About 32% of Gen Z spends roughly half of their monthly income on rent or a mortgage that is, you know, severely rent burdened households here. And let’s think about the basket of goods that Gen-Z is dealing with here. You know, they’re trying to pay rent in a very expensive rental market. They’re also paying off that student loan debt, right? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Totally. 

 

Lindsay Owens: And housing expenses can make it harder to pay debt because the rent needs first right? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. 

 

Lindsay Owens: You’ve got to have a place to live at the end of the day. You know, all of this can delay the ability to save for retirement, but also the ability to start building wealth for your family by um purchasing a home. And again add on top of that, the mortgage rates right now, which have– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Lindsay Owens: –Hit nearly 7%. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, definitely. I know your organization, The Groundwork Collaborative, works with local activists and economic experts to work on solutions to all of these issues that we’re talking about. In your opinion, is there any kind of relief that is coming? Is there any kind of legislation in the works that could help? Or is there anything renters themselves can do to make housing more affordable? 

 

Lindsay Owens: We know how to fix this, right? We need to build more housing. We need a larger stock of affordable housing. There are a lot of people who think we should sit back and wait for the market to do that. It’s very clear that that’s not going to happen. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Lindsay Owens: The private sector has not been meeting our affordable housing needs for decades now. We’re going to need some public options, right? Maybe that’s what people call social housing, which is fully, publicly owned housing, um but maybe that’s public financing. The other thing we’re going to need is to consider policies like rent control. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. 

 

Lindsay Owens: A number of American cities use rent control to make sure that families are not unduly burdened during periods like this, where landlords have a lot of ability to move rent prices up until we’re in a place where we have an adequate stock of affordable housing. Rent control is an important part of our toolkit. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: That was my conversation with Lindsay Owens with the Groundwork Collaborative. More on all of this very soon, but that is the latest for now. [music break]

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Let’s get to some headlines. 

 

[sung] Headlines. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Police in Phenix arrested a man Thursday in connection to a break in at the campaign headquarters for Arizona gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs. Investigators said her office was burglarized Tuesday night and while they confirmed that some items were stolen, they didn’t provide further details. Hobbs, a Democrat, is running against right wing candidate Kari Lake. A spokesperson for Hobbs’s campaign blamed Lake’s repeated election denial rhetoric for fueling the break in. They also pushed back on Lake’s accusation that the burglary was staged. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: The Justice Department codified new protections for journalists on Wednesday. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that federal prosecutors in most circumstances cannot pressure journalists with subpoenas, search warrants, or other methods to obtain their records or to reveal their sources. The move comes after the DOJ, under the Trump administration, secretly tried to get emails from reporters with The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times. So Tre’vell, I know, like you are already considered a very legit journalist, but I’m just kind of wondering, like, am I a part of this, is the justice department– 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –Looking out for me? Wow. This is a big day for me. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Specifically for you. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yup. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: I love this for you. [laughter] Miss Universe has a new girlboss tie business tycoon and transgender activist Anne Chakrapong Chakrajutathib. She bought the company that runs the pageants for $20 million dollars earlier this week. She’s the first woman to own the global beauty pageant, which was first held in 1952. You may remember that former President Donald Trump once owned the organization from 1996 until he was forced to sell it in 2015 after he made his infamously racist comments about immigrants on the campaign trail. He was also accused of being a raging creep from barging into the dressing rooms of teen contestants to cracking jokes about sleeping with contestants. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Okay. Uh. That was definitely, I think the worst that it could have ever gotten, it can only go up from there. But this is great. For the first time, a woman owns this competition this pageant that is like all women. So– 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –I am glad that it’s not just men like profiting off of this organization and off of this pageant, as it has been for decades now. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Shout out to oil companies who have managed to find the bright side of historic inflation. Shell posted more than $9 billion dollars in profits during the third quarter, nearly doubling the $4 billion dollars it earned around the same time last year. Energy companies worldwide have benefited from higher oil and natural gas prices this year, partly as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But this dramatic surge in profits plus billions of dollars in stock buybacks smells not so faintly of corporate profiteering, which is the second worst smell after the smell of car exhaust. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich said of the Shell report Thursday, Shell jacked up prices and doubled its profits in the past year, siphoning money from your pockets into the pockets of investors. I don’t know about you, but I’m pissed off. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: I would just like to note for the record that my gas is still over $6 a gallon here and it is– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah and I regularly drive past the–

 

Tre’vell Anderson: –maddening. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –Shell where it is over seven. And it’s like–

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Hmmm. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: It’s maddening. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: That’s crazy. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: It’s all a mess. And one country refuses to be pushed around by the sun. Mexico’s Senate voted this week to end daylight saving time for most of the country so that when the country sets its clocks back this weekend, it could be for the last time ever. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is expected to sign the bill. And Mexico’s health secretary has said that changing the clock twice a year is unhealthy because it disrupts people’s natural internal clocks. In a post daylight savings Mexico, the sun would rise earlier and fall earlier in the summer, presumably motivating teens to stop wasting time in the morning and get their asses to the beach, injecting just the right amount of confusion, Mexico’s northern border states would continue to observe daylight savings. The thinking here is to avoid disrupting trade and commerce with the U.S.. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: A bit chaotic. I never uh formed a strong opinion on either side of the Daylight Savings Debate, but I know you have one, so please share. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: I just want us to stop having to jump forward and spring backward or whatever it is, you know, just one consistent thing. That’s all I want, because– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I get that. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: You forget that the time is changing, right? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: And then you either wake up too early or you wake up too late. Next thing you know, you’ve missed your flight. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: There was a time in my life. I mean, it always happens on, like a Sunday, like, early morning, where– 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –Like, I wouldn’t really just wouldn’t notice because you’d be out. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: And you’d be like, you know, socializing, uh that’s not the case anymore. So, uh yeah, it’s a little more noticeable these days I will say. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads with a look at the latest offerings from our favorite G-rated streaming service. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: It is Friday WAD squad. And for today’s Temp check, we are discussing a new animated short on Disney Plus that’s got a lot of people talking. It’s called Reflect, and it’s a story promoting body positivity and healthy self-image, featuring Disney’s first plus size heroine. This is a big shift given Disney’s history of featuring princesses whose torsos would only have room for about a quarter of their internal organs. The protagonist of Reflect is a ballerina who learns to accept her reflection and herself. So Tre’vell, what is your take on the latest from Mickey and his friends? 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: You know, I’m glad that we are finally at a point where the big girls, as Lizzo calls them. Right. Have some– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: –Representation with the heroines. Right? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Totally. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: We know of the villains right, Ursula, for example, comes to mind. Right? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Totally. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: As a a big girl in the Disney World. I’m glad one of the heroes now also you know– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: –Reflects the way many of us look right, in the country. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Finally. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: We got us some hips and thighs and stomachs and whatnot. What about for you, Priyanka? How do you feel? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Totally, totally. And I mean, I saw that there were some I think that most of the response I was seeing was really positive. I did see like some people were like, oh, like this is promoting unhealthy whatever bodies, but the message of the actual movie is just learning to like accept yourself for who you are. And that’s kind of like a common experience of like not feeling comfortable in your own skin for whatever that may be. What the way you look like, the color of your skin, whatever it is. And I think that’s like this is a great message of the show and that’s just like how they chose to depict it in this. I don’t know. I think it’s lovely all around, has a great message– 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –a larger take away like all Disney stuff does. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: It’s also like a short. So, like, why do you even care? 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Right. It’s like 10 minutes long. Calm your nerves. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Like what? Anyways, just like that. We have checked our temps. They are, how are our temps? I feel like they’re pretty good. Like I’m I’m–

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –a good temp. I don’t know about you. I’m good. [music break] One more thing before we go. Today is What A Day’s third birthday. Can you believe it? These podcasts grow up so fast. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: My lord. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: And to celebrate everything we have been through, through these three crazy years, we want to say thanks with a special offer on Crooked Coffee. This weekend buy one bag and get a second bag free when you use the code, what a birthday, at checkout. Just be sure to add both bags to your cart. Go to Crooked.com/coffee, but you’ll want to hurry. The party ends on Sunday night. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Oh, I love a buy one get one free. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yep. Love it. [music break]

 

Tre’vell Anderson: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave review. Stand up to the sun and tell your friends to listen. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just gas prices that are under $6 like me, please dear God, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson. 

 

[spoken together] And be kind to your heads Halloween partiers. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Both in terms of drinks and if you eat a lot of candy, like I will say at once– 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –just pace yourself. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Pace yourself. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I, eat all the candy you want just pace yourself because you don’t want a headache. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Slow and steady wins the race every time. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yup. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Well, most times, not–

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Most. 

 

Tre’vell Anderson: –every time, you know. [laughter] [music break]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: 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 producers are Lita Martinez, Michael Martinez, and Sandy Girard. Production support comes from Leo Duran, Ari Schwartz, and Matt DeGroot. With additional promotional and social support from Ewa Okulate, Julia Beach, and Jordan Silver. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.