In This Episode
- More than 100 million people across the United States were under excessive heat warnings and advisories over the weekend, and more than 55 million people are expected to experience high temperatures reaching or exceeding 100 degrees this week. Meanwhile, another, separate heat wave is expected to broil southern Europe in the coming days.
- On Saturday, the crowd of 2024 presidential candidates were required to file campaign finance reports with federal regulators. Former President Donald Trump, who leads the Republican field in polling, reported $22.5 million in cash on hand at the end of June. His main rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, brought in about $20 million in the second quarter, but has already burned through nearly half of it.
- And in headlines: Iowa has become the 15th state to ban most abortions after six-weeks, Texas is being sued over its ban on TikTok, and Elon Musk confirmed that Twitter’s ad revenue has dropped by nearly 50%.
- HEAT.gov: National Integrated Heat Health Information System – https://www.heat.gov/
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
Crooked Coffee is officially here. Our first blend, What A Morning, is available in medium and dark roasts. Wake up with your own bag at crooked.com/coffee
Follow us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/crookedmedia/
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, July 17th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice and this is What A Day. Hoping that everyone had a pleasant and peaceful non-binary awareness week.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen no one wished me congratulations or platitudes and–
Josie Duffy Rice: Mm hmm.
Tre’vell Anderson: I will forever remember it.
Josie Duffy Rice: Is it too late? Because I don’t want to be forever remembered.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laugh] Yes, it is.
Josie Duffy Rice: Ugh. Damn it. [laughter] [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: On today’s show, Iowa’s six week abortion ban went into effect. Plus, Elon Musk says Twitter is in the red, but apparently has enough cash to pay far right, quote unquote, “influencers” for being on the hell site.
Josie Duffy Rice: But first, if it feels hot where you are, you are not the only one. There are heat waves and then there are heat waves. And we, my friends, are in the latter. According to The Washington Post, close to 115 million people in America were under heat alerts on Friday, a number that was expected to grow over the weekend.
Tre’vell Anderson: It was hot as I don’t know what this weekend. Okay.
Josie Duffy Rice: It really was. It was hot.
Tre’vell Anderson: I did not enjoy it. It was really bad. So where exactly is this heat wave hitting everyone the hardest?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, well, number one, I blame the heat for my lost voice. [laughter] So if I sound weird to you, blame the heat. But here in America, the heat wave was particularly bad in the Southwest. Arizona and Nevada and California, uh most notably, California is where both of us are right now.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: And according to the Post, El Paso logged a record 27 days in a row at or above 100 degrees. Phoenix was headed for a 15th consecutive day at or above 110. That was Friday. So, you know, this has been going on all weekend. But on the West Coast as well and on the south, things were not looking great either. Miami has recorded 33 days in a row with a heat index of at least 100 degrees. And according to The New York Times, ahead of the weekend the weather service forecast 45 record high temperatures this weekend. 45.
Tre’vell Anderson: Wow.
Josie Duffy Rice: That’s a lot for one weekend.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: And it’s also not just here in America, right? In Italy, Greece, Portugal, Croatia, Serbia and Spain, among others, the temperatures were rising to above three digits. And the Persian Gulf airport in Iran recorded a heat index of 152 degrees on Sunday.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm mm. Mm mm.
Josie Duffy Rice: Just unbelievable. Unbelievable numbers. So this is I mean, it’s everywhere really.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So now, how are governments reacting to handling this? You know, all over the place?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. I mean, here in America, some places in the southwest, they’ve opened cooling centers, they’ve issued warnings, they’ve issued heat alerts. And in Europe, they’ve enacted some emergency measures like letting people work remotely, requiring at risk workers to stop working by 5 p.m., etc.. But like, honestly Tre’vell, there’s not that much anyone can do.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s heat. It’s going to hit really hard. And if, for example, you’re unhoused or you’re in an area without proper infrastructure or you don’t have the necessary care, a heat wave like this can be deadly. Right?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. And we we see I feel like every time we have a conversation about how it’s getting hotter and hotter, we have the stories of folks, right, dying as a result of intense heat. Obviously, climate change is to blame here, but–
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: –are there any other reasons that this is a particularly bad summer?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, so part of it is because of the onset of El Niño, which is a, quote, “natural climate pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean that brings warmer than average sea surface temperatures. And it has a major influence on weather across the globe,” like it affects billions of people. You know, depending on how old you are you may remember a lot of talk about El Niño when we were younger.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: So El Niño is going to make things worse. But overall, this is what we’re facing as a world, because we have not taken the necessary measures to limit the impact of climate change. And so it’s infuriating. It’s scary. And it really means, like you said, that heat related deaths are only going to get worse. Like 2023 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record, period. And already, heat related deaths are the leading cause of climate related deaths. So we are headed to a world where more people die because we haven’t done what we needed to do to prevent the increased warming of the planet.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So everyone out there stay cool as much as you can. For sure.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: Now on to some political news. Over the weekend, candidates in the 2024 presidential race had to file campaign finance reports with federal regulators. And as a result, we now have yet another barometer we can use to assess who are perhaps the most formidable candidates, at least based on how much money they brought in this past quarter, and therefore are able to spend on their campaigns. And I’m going to focus on the Republican candidates competing for their party’s nomination since, you know, President Biden just had to run for reelection for some reason.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. So before you break down the numbers, can you, like explain why this information even matters? Like, why is this relevant?
Tre’vell Anderson: Well, first and foremost, the Iowa caucuses are less than six months away. They happen right at the top of the year in January. So we’re kinda in the thick of things already.
Josie Duffy Rice: I hate this, by the way.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes, yes, yes. Our time to roll our eyes and ignore the impending shit show. You know, it really has kind of passed. And in addition to that, GOP candidates have to show that they’ve accumulated more than 40,000 individual donors to even qualify for their first debate, which is slated for August 23rd. That’s in a little over a month so–
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s the worst thing you’ve ever told me.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laugh] And I’ve said some horrible things you know.
Josie Duffy Rice: You’ve said some things. The idea of a presidential debate being next month is unbearable.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, well, you know, this info gives us an idea of where support kind of lies with each candidate currently. So that’s why we’re talking about it.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, it really kind of is a predictor of what’s coming up. Right. So let’s start with this underground candidate, not many people have heard about him, Donald Trump. I don’t know if that’s ringing any bells.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laugh] So former President Trump, as we know, leads the field specifically when it comes to polling. That’s why he’s still considered the front runner after all. He raised $17.7 million last quarter, but he reports having $22.5 million dollars on hand. Now, we have reported on the show about how he’s funneled some of the funds he’s raised into the PAC called Save America, which has paid some of his legal expenses in the past and likely will probably be paying some of his legal bills in the present and future, considering he’s been indicted twice this year.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: So stay tuned for that. Then there’s Florida Governor Ron DeSanctimonious, as I like to call him, who I think many might consider to be Trump’s you know greatest challenger. He actually brought in more money than Trump this quarter, $20.1 million dollars. But DeSantis seems to be allowing that money to, you know, burn a hole in the campaign’s pocket because they only have a little over $12 million dollars in cash on hand. So they’ve spent about $8 million dollars since he joined the race in May, which when you look at it that way, is a lot of money. Politico, though, reported over the weekend that DeSantis’s campaign had to let go of a few folks in response to money concerns and fundraising challenges. Challenges, by the way, that he will definitely have to overcome if he wants to be the one going head to head with Biden, especially because only a small share, less than 15% of his contributions currently come from individuals who give $200 or less. And we know that having robust small dollar donations means something, in addition to being a sign of sorts of grassroots momentum behind a campaign, if you have a big network of supporters who contribute small amounts, you can go back to those same people repeatedly for donations before hitting the maximum $3,300 that an individual can legally donate in primary elections.
Josie Duffy Rice: Okay, so what about Tim Scott.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: Another guy running for president [laughter] who will not win. But you know, what kind of money is he taking?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. Tim Scott, the senator from South Carolina, he is actually in second place in terms of the amount of cash on hand for all of the candidates. He’s at–
Josie Duffy Rice: Wow.
Tre’vell Anderson: –$21.1 million. Having only spent about $6 million of it, much of that value was transferred from his Senate campaign account to his presidential one. But like you mentioned, he’s still considered a longshot candidate in so many ways. And then coming in fourth and fifth in terms of cash on hand are biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, respectively. Now former Vice President Mike Pence, in case you were wondering, he languishes in the bottom half of the pack. He’s brought in about $1.1 million dollars, but he, of course, didn’t throw his hat into the ring formally until the first week of June. So he only had about three weeks to fundraise. But right now he’s even behind former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at $1.65 million, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who is largely self-financing his campaign.
Josie Duffy Rice: I didn’t even know Chris Christie was running for president [laughter] like I had forgotten that. So if you’re behind Chris Christie, it’s not good.
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s not great. But Pence, of course, is confident that he will make the cut for the August debate. But we will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, that is the latest for now. We’ll be back after some fundraising of our own after a few advertisements. [music break].
Tre’vell Anderson: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: At least 37 people have died and thousands have been evacuated in South Korea since last week when torrential rains began triggering severe flooding in that country. On Sunday, more than 900 rescuers rushed to find any survivors inside a flooded tunnel in the central city of Cheongju, where over a dozen vehicles, including a bus, became trapped in a rush of muddy water. They managed to find nine people alive, but also recovered the bodies of nine others. Officials said the tunnel flooded due to the overflow of a nearby river after an embankment collapsed from the weight of rapidly rising water. Public roads, houses, and farm fields have been inundated by the severe rains, and hundreds of flights in and out of the country have been canceled. South Korea’s weather agency said that parts of the country will continue to see heavy rain throughout tomorrow. Just last year, nine people died from flooding across South Korea after it experienced some of its heaviest rainfall in over a century.
Josie Duffy Rice: Iowa is now the 15th state to ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, sharply curbing access to the procedure in the Hawkeye State. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed the ban into law on Friday and it took effect immediately. We told you about this on Thursday’s show, but there are still big questions about how the ban will be enforced. It doesn’t mention jail time or other legal penalties for physicians who break the law, just that the state’s board of medicine can decide on punishment. And the governor’s signature isn’t the end either. Reproductive rights groups sued over the bill on Thursday after it passed Iowa’s GOP led legislature. The hope was that a state judge would temporarily block the law from going into effect once Reynolds inevitably signed it, and to keep abortion access open while the legal challenge plays out. A ruling on that could come as soon as today. A nearly identical law that passed in Iowa in 2018 was initially tossed out, though the Iowa Supreme Court overturned that ruling just last year.
Tre’vell Anderson: A federal appeals court has temporarily paused the judge’s order limiting how much federal officials can communicate with social media companies over controversial posts. The original ruling came down on July 4th from U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointee. He sided with the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri, who both alleged in the lawsuit that the Biden administration, quote unquote, “pressured” social media companies to take down content deemed as misinformation. That includes posts about COVID 19, the 2020 election, and President Biden’s son, Hunter. Doughty’s order blocked certain government agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services and even the FBI, from asking platforms to take down, shall we say, problematic content because such posts are still considered protected free speech. That doesn’t make any sense to me, because if it’s lies, why are we allowing it out there? But whatever.
Josie Duffy Rice: Lies are legal. Lies are legal.
Tre’vell Anderson: Lies are legal, which my God today. However, on Friday, the notoriously conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request from the Justice Department to put that decision on hold and even asked for oral arguments to be scheduled as quickly as possible. If that doesn’t give you more monocle emoji, I don’t know what does.
Josie Duffy Rice: A group of academic and civil society researchers have sued the state of Texas over its ban on TikTok. The lawsuit, which was filed last Thursday, claims that the ban on the app on government devices violates the First Amendment and also compromises academic freedom and impedes vital research. That’s because the state ban on TikTok also applies to devices used by public universities. The lawsuit cites an example of the University of North Texas researcher who studies young people’s use of social media. Because of the ban, she’s been forced to abandon some of that research and to eliminate material about TikTok from her courses. The fight against TikTok has been gathering steam on both sides of the aisle, as U.S. officials have expressed concerns that Bytedance, Tiktok’s Chinese parent company could spy on U.S. citizens through the app or hand over user data to the Chinese government. I am thrilled for the Chinese government to see my algorithm because it is frankly perfect and cannot be improved on in any way.
Tre’vell Anderson: And finally, Elon Musk, the chief twit himself, confirmed that his unusable hell site is, in fact bleeding money. He tweeted on Saturday that Twitter lost nearly half of its ad revenue since he took over last November. The admission comes after Musk told BBC News in April that Twitter was, quote unquote, “roughly breaking even” even after several advertisers left the platform following his acquisition of the company. And despite efforts to make money in other ways, Twitter is shockingly still struggling to turn a profit. The company is apparently so desperate that it is now paying certain Twitter users who generate ad revenue on the platform. Including self-styled, misogynist and accused human trafficker Andrew Tate. Twitter will calculate payouts based on how many replies a so-called creator gets on their posts, calling it, quote, “Part of our effort to help people earn a living directly on Twitter.” This is not great um if I say so myself. Meanwhile, Musk is facing a lawsuit by former Twitter employees who say they weren’t paid severance after they were laid off. That suit seeks at least $500 million dollars in damages. So Twitter’s not making money and people are suing them for $500 million dollars in damages. So you probably won’t be making money for a long time.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. Ugh.
Tre’vell Anderson: Not great. Not great.
Josie Duffy Rice: This man overpaid for this platform. We all knew that.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: And here we are.
Tre’vell Anderson: And here we are.
Josie Duffy Rice: And you know what I will not be doing. Giving this man a dollar. [?]
Tre’vell Anderson: [laugh] And those are the headlines. [music break] That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe, leave a review, monetize your most affirming and supportive tweets and tell your friends to listen.
Josie Duffy Rice: And if you are into reading and not just campaign finance disclosure reports like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And stay hydrated.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, you don’t want to sound like this, so do whatever you have to do to prevent it. [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. Our intern is Ryan Cochran, and our senior producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.