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    Zelensky in DC, troops to the border, murder suspect freed by mistake

    enSeptember 21, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Russia bombs Ukrainian cities hours before Zelensky's Capitol Hill visitRussia's attacks on Ukrainian cities have caused significant damage and power outages, leaving many wounded and without heat as winter approaches. Ukraine requests more air defense systems to protect their skies.

      The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate, with Russia bombarding cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv, just hours before President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Capitol Hill to plead for more weapons and aid. The strikes, which targeted civilian infrastructure and energy infrastructure, have caused significant damage and power outages, leaving many people wounded and without heat as the heating season approaches. The Ukrainians have expressed the need for more air defense systems to protect their skies and prevent similar attacks in the future. President Zelensky's visit to Washington DC is crucial as the US and other countries consider providing additional support to Ukraine amidst the ongoing crisis and domestic political turmoil in the US.

    • Political climate less favorable for Ukraine aid during Zelensky's return visitHouse Speaker McCarthy preoccupied with government shutdown, Republicans divided over Ukraine aid, military nominations delayed in Senate, and White House deploying troops to southern border complicate decision-making for Ukraine aid

      During Volodymyr Zelensky's return visit to Capitol Hill, he will be met with a less favorable political climate than during his last visit. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is currently preoccupied with averting a government shutdown and has not committed to funding for Ukraine. The political divide among Republicans, public opinion, and accountability concerns are all factors contributing to the uncertainty surrounding Ukraine aid. Meanwhile, in the Senate, military nominations are facing delays due to objections from Senator Tommy Tuberville. Additionally, the White House is deploying 800 new active duty troops to the southern border to address the increasing number of migrants crossing the border. These events underscore the complex and dynamic nature of political decision-making in Washington.

    • White House extends TPS for 472,000 VenezuelansThe White House grants TPS to around 472,000 Venezuelans, preventing their removal and providing work authorizations

      The White House is taking additional steps to address the migrant crisis at the border by extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to approximately 472,000 Venezuelans who arrived before July. This decision will prevent their removal from the country and issue work authorizations, providing relief for some cities dealing with large populations of Venezuelan migrants. Meanwhile, in political news, Ron DeSantis is slipping behind his GOP rivals in the New Hampshire primary, and former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson has made new allegations against Rudy Giuliani, claiming he groped her during a backstage encounter at a Trump rally on January 6, 2021.

    • 2024 GOP Primary: DeSantis Struggles to Gain TractionDespite early hype, DeSantis' campaign has faltered due to campaign missteps, resource constraints, and lack of clear alternative to Trump. Trump maintains frontrunner status with majority of supporters favoring a nationwide abortion ban.

      The 2024 Republican primary race for the White House is shaping up to be a multi-candidate contest, with Donald Trump holding a commanding lead, and Ron DeSantis' campaign struggling to gain traction. A recent CNN poll in New Hampshire shows DeSantis falling to fifth place, having shed 13 points since July. This trend is not limited to New Hampshire, as national polls also show DeSantis dropping in support. The reasons for DeSantis' struggles include blunders by his campaign, resource constraints, and the lack of a clear alternative to Trump. Meanwhile, Trump's team has successfully changed the dynamic of the race from a two-man contest between Trump and DeSantis to a larger field, making it more difficult for any one candidate to challenge Trump's frontrunner status. Additionally, the poll revealed that a majority of Trump supporters favor a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks, a stance that Trump has not explicitly endorsed. The upcoming debates are expected to be a focal point for the race, with candidates vying for attention and attempting to distinguish themselves from each other, potentially benefiting Trump if no clear alternative emerges.

    • Governor DeSantis contrasts policy positions with Trump during NBC interviewDeSantis contrasted policy positions with Trump during NBC interview, potentially impacting Iowa's evangelical voters. Merrick Garland clarified the decision to indict Trump, but left Hunter Biden investigation details unanswered, causing frustration.

      During the NBC interview, Governor Ron DeSantis took the opportunity to contrast his policy positions with former President Trump, potentially giving his opponents ammunition. This moment, while not significant in a normal Republican primary, could be relevant in Iowa, where evangelical voters hold influence. Merrick Garland's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee clarified that the decision to indict Trump was made by the special counsel, not Biden, but left many questions regarding the Hunter Biden investigation unanswered. The attorney general's inability to provide details due to the confidentiality of ongoing investigations left some feeling frustrated, both within the White House and among Republicans.

    • AG Merrick Garland Outsources Politically Sensitive Cases to Special CounselsMerrick Garland, the AG, has given up control over high-profile investigations, including those involving Biden and Trump, to maintain impartiality, while a Texas student's hairstyle case tests a new law against race-based discrimination.

      Merrick Garland, the Attorney General, has been outsourcing politically sensitive cases to special counsels to maintain perceived impartiality. This includes investigations into President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and Hunter Biden. The AG has promised these special counsels independence, leaving him without control over these high-profile cases leading up to an election. Meanwhile, a Texas student, Gerald George, is fighting against his school's suspension due to his hairstyle, which violates the district's dress code. The state's new Crown Act prohibits race-based discrimination regarding hairstyles, and the case is now going through the courts. The mother, Daryl George, argues that her son's education is being affected and wants the policy changed. The broader issue extends beyond this specific case, as natural hairstyles have been a topic of discrimination in various aspects of life, including employment and education. The outcome of this case could set a precedent for schools and their dress codes regarding hairstyles.

    • Ongoing issues with accountability and record-keeping in the justice system and concerns over Ukraine fundingA faulty record led to the release of a murder suspect in Indiana, causing a manhunt and firing of employees. Ukraine's President Zelensky is in Washington to argue for continued US funding against Russia, but there's resistance from some lawmakers, and a proposal lacks additional funding.

      There are ongoing issues with accountability and record-keeping in the justice system, as evidenced by the recent release of a murder suspect in Indiana due to faulty records. This incident has led to a manhunt and the firing of two employees, with officials acknowledging understaffing as a contributing factor. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is in Washington to make a case for continued US funding and military assistance against Russia. However, there is resistance from some lawmakers, and a proposal to keep the government running lacks additional funding for Ukraine. Former Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, who is with us now, argues that supporting Ukraine is crucial for global freedom and that there should be small meetings between lawmakers to find a compromise on funding and fiscal responsibility. Mitch McConnell has been advocating for Ukraine aid on the Senate floor, implying that the Biden administration could do a better job of explaining the importance and origins of this aid.

    • US role in global affairs: supporting democracy and peaceThe US continues to engage in global affairs, promoting democratic values and peace, despite challenges like Israeli-Palestinian tensions and Russian relations.

      The US engagement in global affairs is crucial, as demonstrated by the administration's efforts to revive NATO and maintain partnerships with countries like Israel. The US has historically played a significant role in supporting democratic values and promoting peace, and this continues to be the case under President Biden. However, there are challenges, such as the Israeli government's far-right stance on a two-state solution for Palestine, and tensions with countries like Russia. Despite these challenges, the US must continue to engage and work towards finding solutions, such as promoting democratic values and working towards a peaceful resolution in the Middle East. The recent record-breaking year-long space mission of NASA astronaut Frank Rubio serves as a reminder of the importance of exploration and innovation, even in the face of unexpected challenges.

    • Unexpected space mission extension for astronaut RubioAstronaut Rubio, on his first space mission, unexpectedly stayed in space for an extra year due to a malfunction. He remained dedicated, adapting to unique bodily effects, and looked forward to returning to Earth.

      Astronaut Rubio, who was on his first space flight and had spent years preparing for a 6-month mission, found himself unexpectedly extending his stay in space for a full year when a spacecraft malfunction occurred. Despite the unexpected extension and the separation from his family, Rubio remained committed to the mission once he had started it. The experience of living in space for an extended period had unique effects on his body, and he looked forward to returning to Earth and experiencing normalcy again. The longest-serving American astronaut in history, Rubio will return to Earth next week after spending 371 days in space. The unexpected extension of his mission demonstrates the unpredictability of space travel and the commitment required from astronauts.

    • Political landscape for Ukrainian aid on Capitol Hill challengingHouse Republicans' internal fight and Trump's opposition complicate efforts to secure additional aid for Ukraine, but Congressman Desposito remains optimistic for productive conversations and consensus-building.

      The political landscape for Ukrainian aid on Capitol Hill is vastly different from what President Zelensky experienced during his last visit less than a year ago. House Republicans, led by Speaker McCarthy, are currently embroiled in an internal fight over funding the government, making it an uphill battle for Zelensky to secure additional aid for Ukraine. While the Senate is more open to the idea, the House's chaotic environment may prevent any significant progress. The situation has been described as a "circular firing squad," with former President Trump's opposition to the short-term spending bill adding to the complications. Despite these challenges, Congressman Desposito remains optimistic, viewing the recent discord as an opportunity for productive conversations and consensus-building. However, the pressing need for funding and the ongoing political turmoil in the House raise concerns about the ability to address this issue effectively for the American people.

    • Political Figures Discuss Government Spending and Ukraine FundingMcCarthy's spending bill lacks Ukraine funding, Problem Solvers Caucus proposes an alternative, Al Gore weighs in on Trump's potential re-election, and ongoing debates about the migrant crisis and its financial impact.

      There are ongoing discussions among political figures regarding government spending and funding for Ukraine. Kevin McCarthy proposed a spending bill to keep the government open for 30 days at $1.47 trillion, but it does not include funding for Ukraine. The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus presented an alternative plan that includes Ukraine funding and checks and balances. Al Gore weighed in on the potential re-election of Donald Trump, expressing concerns but avoiding speculation. Additionally, the ongoing migrant crisis in New York City was discussed, with concerns about the financial strain caused by housing migrants and the potential impact on the city. The Biden administration recently granted temporary protected status to more Venezuelan migrants, but some politicians believe it could worsen the situation. Overall, there are various issues being addressed on Capitol Hill, with ongoing debates and discussions.

    • New Hampshire Poll Shows DeSantis Struggling, Trump LeadingNew Hampshire voters are unpredictable and open to alternative candidates, causing DeSantis' support to drop significantly, while Trump maintains a commanding lead in the Republican primary race. Garland defended himself against Republican accusations of bias during a House hearing.

      The latest CNN poll in the Republican primary race shows Donald Trump maintaining a commanding lead, while Ron DeSantis' campaign appears to be struggling, particularly in New Hampshire where he has dropped to fifth place. DeSantis has lost significant support since the beginning of the year, with his share of the vote dropping from 42% in January to just 10% in September. The poll also suggests that voters in New Hampshire, who are known for being unpredictable, may be more open to alternative candidates. The hearing in the House regarding Attorney General Merrick Garland was contentious, with Republicans accusing the Justice Department of bias and refusing to answer certain questions. However, Garland reiterated that he is not the president's lawyer and had no involvement in the indictments of Donald Trump.

    • AG Merrick Garland clarifies his role in Trump and Biden investigationsGarland emphasized historical DOJ-presidency separation, questioned special counsel appointment, and addressed contrasting Zelenskyy receptions

      During a hearing, Attorney General Merrick Garland made clear that he had not been involved in the decision to charge former President Donald Trump or Hunter Biden, emphasizing the historical separation between the presidency and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Garland also noted that the investigation into Hunter Biden and the appointment of Special Counsel David Weiss had been ongoing for years, and that important questions remain regarding why Weiss was made special counsel and why the DOJ recently took a plea deal in the case. Republicans, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan, are expected to press these questions during the upcoming impeachment hearings. The hearing also highlighted the contrasting receptions Zelenskyy received during his previous visits to the US, with McCarthy expressing support for Ukraine but expressing concerns about accountability and the use of funds. The shift in reception may reflect political considerations, but it also underscores the ongoing challenges facing the US and its allies in defending democracy against autocratic regimes.

    • U.S. aid to Ukraine and climate change discussedPresident Biden's $24 billion aid proposal for Ukraine, the potential impact of withholding necessary weapons, the importance of addressing climate change, and the power of hip hop for community engagement.

      The United States' commitment to supporting Ukraine continues, with President Biden proposing an additional $24 billion in aid. However, without proper weaponry at the right time, Ukraine may struggle in its counteroffensive against Russia. The consequences of not providing more aid could lead to a continuation of the conflict, with potential damage to civilian infrastructure during the winter. Another significant takeaway is the importance of addressing climate change as a net positive for the economy and a pressing issue that should not be politicized. Former Vice President Al Gore emphasized the need for continued efforts to combat climate change, expressing disappointment when leaders, such as the British prime minister, fail to meet their climate promises. Furthermore, the power of hip hop and community engagement was highlighted through the Soul Food Ciphers initiative, which aims to create safe spaces for people to discuss their lives and challenge harmful stereotypes.

    • The magic of hip hop's ephemeral art form, the cypher, inspires voice discovery and community building.The cypher, a hip hop tradition, empowers individuals to express themselves, fostering voice discovery, community building, and self-expression.

      The cypher, a fundamental aspect of hip hop culture, provides a safe and aspirational space for individuals to express their truths and connect with each other. Alex, also known as Cost 1, recognized the magic of this ephemeral art form and founded Soul Food Cipher, an organization that showcases its positive elements through events, workshops, and performances. By using hip hop as a tool for language education and therapy, Soul Food Cipher helps students discover their voices and build community. The importance of passing this art form to the next generation lies in its ability to inspire, influence, and create a powerful sense of connection and respect. Through the cypher, students learn that their voices matter and can make a difference, fostering a love for language and self-expression.

    • Chef Jose Andres brings Spanish traditions and family values to US through new CNN showRenowned chef Jose Andres shares Spanish traditions, emphasizes importance of cultural embracement, and highlights immigrant roles and humanitarian work in new CNN series and cookbook.

      Jose Andres, a renowned chef, author, and humanitarian, is bringing Spanish traditions and family values to the US through his new show on CNN. The series, which was previously aired on Discovery Plus, highlights the importance of embracing different cultures and traditions, particularly through food. Andres, who is also the president of the White House Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition, emphasizes the role of immigrants in opening doors and building bridges between countries. He shares his personal experiences as an immigrant and his desire to introduce his daughters to various parts of Spain, while also acknowledging the realities of the world. Additionally, Andres' humanitarian work through World Central Kitchen is highlighted, with the recent release of a cookbook that shares stories and recipes from people affected by disasters around the world. The show and cookbook aim to celebrate family, traditions, and the importance of coming together during challenging times.

    • Hollywood Writers' Strike: Negotiations Show Progress but Deadline LoomsNegotiations between Hollywood writers and studio heads show progress, but the strike's impact on TV seasons and the entire entertainment industry is mounting, with the deadline to salvage the season approaching.

      There are ongoing negotiations between Hollywood writers and studio heads to end the longest-running writers' strike on record, which has now surpassed 140 days. Both sides put out a joint statement expressing optimism, and the talks have left attendees feeling encouraged. However, the deadline to salvage the television season and bring shows back in January is looming, and the financial and calendar pressures are mounting. The strike has affected not only the writers but also the entire entertainment industry in California, causing ripple effects across various businesses. The White House, meanwhile, is sending 800 new active duty troops to the southern border.

    • Border Crisis and Congressional ImpasseThe Biden administration grapples with record migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, while Congress debates funding, including aid for Ukraine, with a potential government shutdown looming.

      The situation at the U.S.-Mexico border continues to be a significant challenge for the Biden administration, with record numbers of migrants crossing daily. The administration's attempts to address the issue through temporary protected status for certain groups have had limited success in reducing the flow. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the debate over government funding, including aid for Ukraine, remains unresolved. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is under pressure to deliver a compromise, but faces opposition from some Republicans who refuse to support continuing resolutions or funding for Ukraine. Additionally, serious allegations have emerged from a former White House aide about the behavior of Rudy Giuliani towards colleagues. The situation at the border and in Congress underscores the complexity of governance and the challenges facing political leaders in addressing pressing issues.

    • Serious allegations against Rudy GiulianiFormer staffer's claim against Giuliani seen as credible due to past behavior and current political climate, potentially impacting McCarthy's leadership in House

      The allegation against Rudy Giuliani by former staffer Alyssa Farah Griffin, who claims he made unwanted sexual advances towards her, is being taken seriously by those who know her. The idea that she would bring up such a serious allegation without merit is not seen as credible. Additionally, there have been past allegations against Giuliani regarding his behavior and intoxication. The current political climate may make it difficult for McCarthy to pass a continuing resolution without Democratic support, which could potentially lead to his removal as Speaker of the House.

    • House GOP Leader's Inability to Secure Votes Hinders Bipartisan DealPolitical leaders must prioritize the needs of their constituents and work together to find solutions, rather than focusing on personal power struggles.

      The current political standoff over a stopgap bill to prevent a government shutdown boils down to a lack of leadership from House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. Democrats have made a bipartisan deal, but McCarthy's inability to secure votes from his own conference has left the agreement in limbo. The consequences of this stalemate extend beyond McCarthy's job security; it's about delivering for the American people and finding common ground. The situation highlights the importance of political leaders putting the needs of their constituents first and working together to find solutions. The ongoing debate about McCarthy's potential ousting is a distraction from the real issue: the need for bipartisan cooperation and effective leadership.

    • Airbnb CEO's focus: strengthening neighborhoods and affordabilityAirbnb CEO Brian Chesky is addressing affordability concerns, implementing registration systems, reducing fees, and launching new pricing tools to improve the platform and user experience. He also recognizes the issue of loneliness and sees Airbnb as a potential solution to bring communities together.

      Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky is focused on strengthening neighborhoods and addressing affordability concerns, while also addressing customer feedback to improve the platform and user experience. Chesky started Airbnb due to his own housing affordability struggles and now works with cities worldwide to implement registration systems and other measures. Airbnb faces criticism over rising prices and fees, but Chesky is actively listening to customer feedback and making changes, such as reducing cleaning fees and launching new pricing tools. Additionally, Chesky expressed concern over the issue of loneliness, which has become a public health concern according to reports. He believes modern life is inadvertently isolating people and sees Airbnb as a potential solution to bring communities together. The company's focus on addressing these issues and improving the user experience is a key part of its efforts to regain its reputation and return to its roots.

    • Connecting with others is crucial for happinessInvest in relationships, prioritize connection, and remember self-care beyond professional pursuits

      Even as technology and societal changes bring new conveniences, they can also lead to feelings of isolation. It's important for individuals to prioritize connecting with others and rekindling old relationships. Success and wealth do not guarantee happiness, and it's essential to remember to invest in oneself and maintain a sense of self beyond professional pursuits. Additionally, political affiliations can shift, and economic circumstances can impact voting patterns. In the case of labor unions, some members are expressing dissatisfaction with the current political landscape and feeling disconnected from the leaders they once supported.

    • The political landscape of union voters and the rise of Republican candidatesNon-college graduates increasingly lean towards Republican candidates, while a larger percentage of union members now hold college degrees. This shift in demographics is significant in the current political climate, especially as Trump tries to win over union voters in Michigan.

      The political landscape and demographics of union voters have shifted significantly over the past few decades, with non-college graduates increasingly leaning towards Republican candidates. At the same time, the composition of union members has changed, with a larger percentage now holding college degrees. This historical context is important to understand the current political climate, especially as Trump visits Detroit in an attempt to win over union voters in Michigan. Meanwhile, the story of the Astor family serves as a reminder of the immense fortunes and legacies that have shaped American history. John Jacob Astor, an early American multimillionaire, made his fortune in the beaver fur trade and left behind a lasting impact on New York City. However, the creation of such fortunes often came at a cost, with the drive for success and wealth leading to personal sacrifices and negative impacts on those around them. This pattern of behavior was passed down through generations, highlighting the complex and often problematic nature of great fortunes.

    • A waiter's encounter with Brooke Astor and the importance of personal growthMeeting someone unexpectedly can broaden our horizons and inspire us to become better people. Inherited wealth can be a double-edged sword, and it's crucial to discover our passions and pursue them.

      Experiencing life from a different perspective can be a valuable and eye-opening education. The speaker, Anderson Cooper, shares a personal story about meeting Brooke Astor at a restaurant when he was a waiter, and how this experience made him reconsider the kind of person he wanted to be. He also reflects on the potential dangers of inherited wealth and the importance of figuring out one's passions and pursuing them. In the news segment, New York City Mayor Eric Adams discusses the need for expanded temporary protected status for Venezuelan migrants, acknowledging that the recent announcement is a good start but not enough to address the current surge in migration. The interview highlights the importance of advocacy and the ongoing challenges in addressing complex social issues.

    • New York City Mayor Eric Adams Deals with Migrant CrisisMayor Adams advocates for federal help, explores options, and emphasizes national solutions to address the influx of migrants and asylum seekers, which is costing NYC billions and straining resources.

      New York City Mayor Eric Adams is dealing with a significant crisis related to the influx of migrants and asylum seekers into the city, which is costing the city billions of dollars and straining resources. Adams has been advocating for federal help and has been in discussions with the White House, but the relationship between the two has been strained. The mayor is clear that his focus is on addressing this issue for the city, and he is exploring all options, including potentially rescinding the right to shelter mandate. However, he emphasizes that the issue is not just about New York City and that it requires national solutions and immigration reforms. Adams has expressed concern that the city cannot continue to bear the burden of this issue alone and that it could have serious consequences for the city's budget and services for low-income residents. The mayor's position on the issue remains firm, and he has emphasized the urgency and severity of the situation.

    • Customizable comfort for individual sleep needsThe Sleep Number smart bed offers customizable firmness and temperature settings, ensuring a comfortable sleeping experience for each person, and has earned the top ranking in customer satisfaction.

      The Sleep Number smart bed is designed to cater to individual's ever-evolving sleep needs, providing comfort and satisfaction that has earned it the number one ranking in customer satisfaction with mattresses purchased in store by J.D. Power. This innovative bed offers customizable firmness and temperature settings, ensuring a comfortable sleeping experience for each person. It even helps alleviate snoring. Moreover, this limited time offer allows you to save 40% on the Sleep Number limited edition smart bed. So, if you're seeking a high-quality sleep solution for yourself or for better sleep together with your partner, consider investing in a Sleep Number smart bed.

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    "Fighting Back Post-Roe."

    Hysteria host Erin Ryan joins the pod to discuss the political fight to restore abortion access in America, and how Democrats should confront the activist Supreme Court. Then later, Amy Hagstrom Miller from Whole Woman’s Health talks about how abortion providers will continue to serve patients among a challenging patchwork of state laws.

     

    For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.