In This Episode
- Attorney General Merrick Garland made an unexpected announcement yesterday to address the FBI search for confidential documents at Donald Trump’s home at Mar-A-Lago. The Washington Post reports some of those documents involve nuclear weapons. Because of increasing online and in-person threats to FBI officials, Garland went to great lengths to emphasize that the search was in the public interest and not politically motivated.
- The House is expected to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act today. It includes the largest burst of spending in U.S. history to specifically tackle climate change. And a new report backs up that action is needed now. It says warming of the Arctic is happening much faster than previously described.
- And in headlines: the CDC says you no longer have to quarantine after COVID exposure, Disney+ will debut an ad-supported option, and there’s a new dating app for right-wingers.
- NY Times: “Arctic Warming Is Happening Faster Than Described, Analysis Shows” – https://nyti.ms/3SVnJkK
- Vote Save America: Fuck Bans Action Plan – https://votesaveamerica.com/roe/
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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Friday, August 12th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi. And this is What A Day where when we leave a job, we sometimes take pens and maybe a tape dispenser, but never documents relating to nuclear weapons.
Tre’vell Anderson: What are you going to do with documents related to nuclear weapons?
Priyanka Aribindi: If you don’t have the nuclear weapons, it feels kind of useless.
Tre’vell Anderson: But, you know, some people aren’t thinking, as is normal for them. On today’s show, the House is scheduled to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act. Plus, are you single and looking to mingle at the next insurrection? We will talk about a new dating app just for right wingers.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t even have a reaction anymore. It’s just gross. [laughing] But first, Attorney General Merrick Garland made this unexpected announcement yesterday to give more detail about the FBI search of Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago:
[clip of Attorney General Merrick Garland] The Justice Department has filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court approved search that the FBI conducted earlier this week. That search was a premises located in Florida belonging to the former president. Copies of both the warrant and the FBI property receipt were provided on the day of the search to the former president’s counsel who was onsite during the search. The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause. I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter. The department does not take such a decision lightly.
Priyanka Aribindi: As a reminder, the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this week was in search of confidential documents that Trump supposedly took with him after leaving the White House. And The Washington Post now says that anonymous sources tell them that some of those documents are related to nuclear weapons. We’ll, of course, be following that development as soon as we know more. You will too.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laugh] It’s getting spicy. So as Garland said, they’re unsealing the warrant so the public can see it, which is pretty unusual. Why is that happening?
Priyanka Aribindi: So when we heard Garland say that he personally approved the decision to get the search warrant, he added that that was because the less intrusive methods to get the classified documents back didn’t work. So Trump did receive a subpoena for these documents back in the spring, but apparently not everything was returned. As for making the warrant public, Garland said that it’s because of the, quote, “substantial public interest in this matter.” You know, Trump and his allies in the GOP and on the far right have been calling this search unfair, misconduct, a witch hunt. All of the usual refrains. And Garland really seemed to want to set the record straight here.
[clip of Attorney General Merrick Garland] I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked.
Priyanka Aribindi: He is, of course, in that clip speaking about the staff of the FBI and the DOJ.
Tre’vell Anderson: And things got real serious there yesterday because a man armed with an AR 15 rifle fired a nail gun into an FBI building in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: And in general, there has been an increase in threats against FBI personnel and buildings on social media since the search of Mar-a-Lago. Did Garland talk about that yesterday at all?
Priyanka Aribindi: So Garland did not directly address what happened in Cincinnati in his statement, as of our recording at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday night, we know that this man in Ohio is dead after a car chase and a standoff with state officials. They identified him as Ricky Shiffer. And FBI agents are looking into his social media and any ties with right wing extremists and connections to anyone who is a part of the insurrection. But as of now, they don’t know his motive and whether or not the search of Mar a Lago has had anything to do with his actions. But you’re definitely right about the uptick in online threats made against authorities since Monday’s raid. Users on pro-Trump forums have been calling for a civil war and to quote, “lock and load”, which terrifying. These are some of the same people who participated in the insurrection on January 6th. They have been violent before and there is definitely a danger of these threats spilling into real life. It’s not just stuff that happens online.
Tre’vell Anderson: Right. We’ve seen time and time again how what happens online, you know, ends up turning into IRL out there.
Priyanka Aribindi: Doesn’t stay there.
Tre’vell Anderson: Exactly.
Priyanka Aribindi: Totally.
Tre’vell Anderson: So going back to Garland earlier, it sounds as if he made this unexpected statement yesterday because the political pressure is on. Why is that?
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. So in general, the DOJ has tried to be really careful about this investigation. This is a former president, someone who may end up running again. And they are doing everything by the book and trying not to make it look like it’s politically motivated, like Joe Biden is sitting there calling for this to happen against Donald Trump. That’s absolutely not what’s happening, but that is exactly what it has become to the right wing. This is like a massive conspiracy in their mind to get their guy. So where Garland typically wouldn’t make a statement like this, he may feel like he has to and has to make the warrant public so that everyone can see what it is that they’re looking for and hopefully not act out these violent threats against these agencies. Maybe they could stop making them in general. That would be great.
Tre’vell Anderson: That would be super amazing, actually. Hopefully they’re listening. Okay.
Priyanka Aribindi: The bar is so low. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: Now on to some climate news. We mentioned earlier in the week that gas prices have finally gotten their act together and are back under $4 a gallon. The national average is now $3.99, according to AAA. And because it’s just an average, that means that in some places like in California, we’re still over $5 a gallon. And in others, like in Georgia, they’re below the average at $3.55 a gallon. Nonetheless, what this drop means is a bit of reprieve on all of our pockets. But, you know, just because it’s cheaper, we want you to be kind to the environment and maybe don’t use it as a reason to take that road trip right now that I told you to take earlier in the week. I was just kidding. Don’t do it. Okay. Although it is good news as it relates to the broader inflation issues we’ve been dealing with, right?
Priyanka Aribindi: Definitely. Keep taking walks. Ride your bike. Public transportation is great. [laugh] There’s still a climate crisis happening. So even though the pump price is a little lower.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes.
Priyanka Aribindi: Don’t go crazy with it. But speaking of inflation, the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed the Senate last weekend, will be voted on in the House today and most likely will pass. Remind us what’s in that act and how that might impact climate concerns.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, so the Inflation Reduction Act or IRA is this massive climate tax and health care bill that Nancy Pelosi is calling, quote, “life changing legislation”. It includes the largest burst of spending in U.S. history to specifically tackle global warming. That’s about $370 billion dollars with a B to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by the end of this decade. If you want to know more, you can listen back to our Monday episode with Hot Take co-host Mary Annaïse Heglar. But if there was ever a reason to hope we make steps on addressing climate change, I wanted to talk about this new report out of Finland. The New York Times headline reads, brace yourself, Priyanka. Arctic warming is happening faster than described.
Priyanka Aribindi: You know, I feel like it was described as happening pretty quickly. So that is not an exciting headline to see. Can you break this down for us, please?
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. So one of the ways we know global warming is real is because the Arctic ain’t as cold as it used to be. All right. Studies in the past noted that the Arctic was warming 2 to 3 times faster than the global average. But now scientists in this new report are saying that over the past four decades, the region has actually been heating up four times faster than the global average. And some parts of the region, particularly the Bering Sea, which is north of Norway and Russia, are warming up to seven times faster.
Priyanka Aribindi: Okay. Not good at all. Very bad.
Tre’vell Anderson: Very, very, very bad. What does this mean for us? Well, in addition to rising sea levels, because of the faster melting of Greenland’s ice sheet, all of this is influencing many of our weather patterns here in North America and elsewhere, namely extreme rainfall and heat waves. These are obviously things that are affecting our country literally right now.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right. So this is not just something that’s completely removed, happening far away. Like there are consequences we are feeling. That is why we need to care about this.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. That’s why it’s so hot everywhere across this country right now. But it’s also impacting storm tracks and wind speeds. Researchers say that if the rate of warming of the Arctic continues to speed up, its influence on our weather could worsen. This is all to say again that if we as a globe don’t get our shit together, things are going to get worse and get worse fast. We’re going to put a link to the story about this new research in our show notes, but more on all of this very soon. And that is the latest for now. [music break] Let’s get to some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: Some unsettling updates from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Yesterday, there were reports of even more blasts near a Russian occupied nuclear plant in southern Ukraine. Shelling has come uncomfortably close to the facility in the past week. And both sides blamed the other for this recent attack. The U.N. is on high alert with Secretary General António Guterres saying that continued fighting could, quote, “lead to disaster”. Meanwhile, in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Russian news media say that its forces are constructing large cages inside a theater. One Russian commander said that they will be used to confine Ukrainian soldiers and others during show trials that start at the end of the summer. Last June, Russian investigators said they were building over 1100 cases against Ukrainians for, quote, “crimes against peace”, which is just rich.
Priyanka Aribindi: Very. I don’t like the sound of absolutely any of this headline. Not good from top to bottom. The CDC said yesterday that if you were exposed to COVID, they no longer recommend that you quarantine at home. In a change up to its guidelines, the agency now says that they believe it’s okay for you to go out in the world as long as you still wear a mask in public for ten days and get tested on day five. One key reason for this update is this.
[clip of Greta Massetti] We have a very high level of people who are either vaccinated or have had prior infection or both.
Priyanka Aribindi: That is CDC epidemiologist Greta Massetti during yesterday’s announcement. And she added that about 95% of Americans 16 and over fall into those categories. This change is also a pretty clear signal that the CDC believes that COVID is here to stay and they want to make more manageable long term rules for people to protect themselves and others.
Tre’vell Anderson: Ya, Ya, Ya, Ya, Ya. The NBA will permanently retire the number six on players jerseys in honor of the late Bill Russell, who died last month at the age of 88. Russell wore the number during his 13 years with the Boston Celtics before becoming the team’s head coach in 1966 and the first Black coach in the NBA. He’s the first player to have his jersey retired by the league, though players who wore number six last season like LeBron James can keep wearing it if they choose.
Priyanka Aribindi: The ironically cash strapped IRS is set to get over $80 billion dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act. And Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has already told the agency how it should or shouldn’t spend it. In a letter to the IRS commissioner this week, Yellen said that the agency must avoid using that cash to go after middle class Americans. That is, people and small businesses pulling in less than $400,000 a year. Instead, it ought to focus on, quote, “high end noncompliance”. In other words, going after really rich people who didn’t pay their fair share. The letter comes amid criticism from Republicans who claim that the funding will create an army of new IRS agents to go after anyone earning less than 75K. That is absolutely not happening. So do not believe that for a second if you hear it. Boring dystopian hyperbole aside, the money was earmarked in the bill so the agency can hire more people to, you know, do its job and raise revenue to pay for the climate change and health care provisions outlined in the bill.
Tre’vell Anderson: You’ll soon have to pay more for the privilege of looking at baby Yoda because Disney Plus is raising its monthly subscription fee from $7.99 to $10.99 for U.S. users this December. To soften the blow, the company is introducing an ad supported option as well for $7.99. As we know, when Walt Disney invented Mickey Mouse. He did it by asking the question, what if there was a rodent who wants you to buy your car from a carvana vending machine? News of the rate hike came after Disney announced it now has 221 million subscribers across its platforms, surpassing Netflix.
Priyanka Aribindi: Listen, you have 221 million subscribers paying you $7.99 a month. Why do you need to raise your price? You seem fine. [laughter] You can’t announce that at the same time. There’s something that’s just not connecting. I don’t know. I don’t like it one bit. Spiders might be having nightmares about other spiders because a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that some of these eight legged monsters undergo a process much like REM sleep. REM sleep is of course, the state that we humans are in when we dream. And apparently it’s never been observed before in terrestrial invertebrates. In the jumping spiders that were the subject of the study, REM looked a lot like it did in our species, only with the number of eyes and limbs twitching around multiplied by four. Understanding more about REM in older species like spiders might help illuminate its purpose among human beings. It might never be possible to know whether spiders are actually dreaming, according to the study’s authors. But if they are, I’d like to think they’re dreaming of places they can visit that are as far away from me as possible.
Tre’vell Anderson: They’re probably just dreaming of other ways that they can wreak havoc on our lives. I know they’re important for the environment and the eco system or whatever you all say, but come on now.
Priyanka Aribindi: Or whatever but like, ugh, please get out of my apartment. [laughter] Yeah, I promise you, my apartment is not part of the eco system, stay out. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads to discuss how conservatives can channel their love of Donald Trump into romantic love with each other.
Tre’vell Anderson: It is Friday WAD squad. And for today’s temp check we are discussing a new place conservatives can meet each other. Apart from the returns line of Hobby Lobby or, you know, the insurrection on January 6th. And all right wing dating app called, The Right Stuff is set to launch next month. According to this video the company posted yesterday on Twitter. Here is a company spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany’s sister Ryann with a preview of the kind of attitudes you will find on the app. Buckle up.
[clip of Ryann McEnany] The right stuff is all about getting into the right dating pool with people who share the same values and beliefs as you. You’ll start off by building your perfect profile. No pronouns necessary.
Tre’vell Anderson: I can’t, I can’t. No pronouns necessary as if we all don’t have pronouns. Okay, cool, cool, cool, cool.
Priyanka Aribindi: Cool, great. Other backers of this app include Silicon Valley’s biggest Trump supporter, Peter Thiel. The right stuff is strictly for cis hetero relationships at the moment, but they made a very tantalizing offer to gay and lesbian MAGA people by saying that at some unspecified future date they might be welcome on this app. So Tre’vell, what is your take on this?
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, [laughter] I’m actually okay with this. All right.
Priyanka Aribindi: Me too, me too.
Tre’vell Anderson: The conservatives, if they want to self segregate, okay. And take themselves off of my apps that I’m on.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, get off the normal apps. We don’t need you there.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. I’m completely–
Priyanka Aribindi: Go for it.
Tre’vell Anderson: –okay with it.
Tre’vell Anderson: I want you to have your own space where you can do whatever your foolishness you want to do.
Priyanka Aribindi: Do they need a safe space. Is this a safe space for them? [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: You know what?
Priyanka Aribindi: Just wondering.
Tre’vell Anderson: They don’t like safe spaces, though. They don’t like safe spaces. They don’t want those.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, sure. They claim to not like safe spaces, but it feels like they just built themselves one. Anyways. I feel like there are more than enough moderates on Hinge. They can go to this app. It’s fine. That’s perfect. [laughter] That is perfect for those people.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Priyanka Aribindi: Listen, just like that, we have checked our temps. They are you know, I don’t know. They’re they’re like a little lukewarm, they’re, they’re fine on this because, you know, go live your life. Go be on the Right Stuff. Perfect. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe, leave a review, catfish someone on the Right Stuff and tell your friends to listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just the dream journals of spiders like me, 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 return nuclear codes if you have them.
Tre’vell Anderson: You shouldn’t have them but if you do.
Priyanka Aribindi: You shouldn’t have them. If you’re listening to this podcast and you have nuclear codes. Maybe we need a raise because we’re doing something right. Please contact us if you are this person. [music break] 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 Leo Duran. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.