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Anti-LGBTQ measures draw the ire of big business

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A line of rainbow Pride flags.

Pride Flags decorate Christopher Park. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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Kimberly Adams is officially a co-host, and it’s only right we pour a glass and celebrate with some Economics on Tap! First, we discuss businesses joining the political battle against anti-LGBTQ moves in Florida and Texas. But is it too little too late? Then, Stoli Vodka sets the record straight. And, it wouldn’t be Friday if we didn’t end the show with a round of Half Full/Half Empty!

This week, we’ve got a special edition of the Make Me Smart question: What is something you thought you knew that you later found out you were wrong about regarding the pandemic? Send your answers or anything else on that’s on your mind at makemesmart@marketplace.org! Or leave us a voicemail at 508-UB-SMART (508-827-6278)!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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Make Me Smart March 11, 2022 transcript

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.

Kai Ryssdal: Alright, who’s in charge? Drew? Come on, man got things to do.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, yeah, it’s time isn’t it?

Kai Ryssdal: Holy cow. Good grief. Here we are just chit chatting, time’s a-tickin.’ Hey everybody. I’m Kai Ryssdal welcome back to Make Me Smart making today make sense is what we do. We hope.

Kimberly Adams: Indeed. And I am Kimberly Adams. Thank you for joining us for Economics on Tap. This Friday on the YouTube livestream, on Discord or the podcast if you’re listening later. This is where we have a drink at the end of the week, we catch up on some news. And of course, we play our little game Half full/half empty.

Kai Ryssdal: We should probably say here and by we should probably say I mean Bridget Bodnar is making me because she’s in charge, for those of you who missed the pod or missed the social or what have you announcements of the last 48 hours. Kimberly Adams is the new permanent going to be here forever with you co host of this podcast. And I just want to make sure everybody knew that because there’s been a little bouncing around we get that and you know, corporations take time to do things even public radio corporations. But Kimberly’s here and and look, I couldn’t be more pleased because I get somebody to be here with me all the time. And, and that’s the way it is. And I just want to make sure everybody knew that. That’s all.

Kimberly Adams: And I’m happy to be here.

Kai Ryssdal: Yes. Alright. What? What are your drinking. I heard I heard the pop of a cork actually, right?

Kimberly Adams: Yes, yes, I am drinking some red wine. It’s a Zinfandel. This one is let’s see …

Kai Ryssdal: Do you do wine tastings and stuff?

Kimberly Adams: No. I mean, also pandemic. I mean, I’ve done them in the past.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh well that’s  true.

Kimberly Adams: I haven’t done much of anything. So yeah, it’s a Carnivor Zinfandel from from from your state of California. I’m very excited about my new wine glass because I got this from somebody on Craigslist, who was offloading all these fancy wine glasses. And you know me I love like thrifting my my glassware because then I don’t have to feel so badly when I break it. I saw a bunch I saw a bunch of really good drinks. What are you drinking now?

Kai Ryssdal: I’m in a beer rut.. I’m having my Stone FML 8.5 ABV Hazy Double IPA. And I’m doing it because I’m having dinner with my mother-in-law day later. And you need pregame that a little bit. That’s all I’m saying. That’s all I’m saying. It’s all I’m saying. And that’s why I don’t recommend this podcast to my mother-in-law. Let me just say, No, I’m teasing you. Alright, let’s do some news. So first of all, following up on what we had talked about, you had talked about yesterday about the Florida bill about sexual orientation and gender identity, “don’t say gay” is is the nomenclature. And we talked about Disney and how much money it makes out of state of Florida and how the company has, under the leadership of new CEO, Bob Chapek. Chapek has not been standing out and speaking out about this bill. And he has at the, the company has had a head snapping change of heart check now has paused all political donations in the state of Florida. More importantly, he has written to his company and said, “Look, I have to take a stand on this stuff, and I failed you.” Now, we should say that while that is welcome, a corporation having a conscience. There’s been all kinds of reporting last couple of days about Disney officials intervening in the editing process in Pixar movies to make them more, shall we say generic.

Kimberly Adams: Less gay.

Kai Ryssdal: Less, less gay, less gay. There you go. And and it’s the –  the employees are pissed. It’s really interesting to see that happening. And they’re being super public about it. Super public about it.

Kimberly Adams: So, you know, the law is passed, you know, at this point? Yeah. And so, you know, I guess okay, but in some ways, the damage is done. And I mean, since you brought that up, I’ll actually jump to one of mine because we were also talking about the law in Texas, and how they are basically turning parents who are giving their transgender kids gender affirming therapy or allowing them to have it to Child Protective Services. There was a story in The New York Times today where when it went to court, oh, what were you gonna say?

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, well, that has been stayed. Just this afternoon.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, okay.

Kai Ryssdal: Enforcement of that has been stayed. Yeah.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, good. Okay.

Kai Ryssdal: By a court. Yeah. So just for everybody’s FYI.

Kimberly Adams: Awesome. Because it was interesting to read this times piece where they were saying in in that case, which I guess now it has been stayed, that it was like the top priority for CPS to go after these parents. And once again here you had a whole group of businesses starting to speak out against it. Axios has this piece, Apple, Google, IKEA, and several other companies called on the Texas government to drop this and it will be interesting how much corporate pushback there is to all this. Oh, my sister’s in the chat.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, wow. Wow. Wow. To be followed shortly thereafter by my mother-in-law? No, I’m just kidding. Or goodness. Oh, my goodness. Dr. Nicole Adams, is that your sister.

Kimberly Adams: Yes, it is. Yes, it is. Yeah.

Kai Ryssdal: Welcome, Dr. Adams. That’s great. That’s great.

Kimberly Adams: I know, on livestream.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, my goodness.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, goodness. Okay, I’m sorry, I interrupted your news fixes. Go ahead.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, no, that’s fine. So So anyway, so there’s the Disney thing, which, you know, I mean, I mean, companies have a history of, you know, pausing political donations at a time when it’s politically convenient for them to do so and then picking them up later when nobody’s noticing. So you know, there are groups that will keep an eye on this and I think we should keep an eye on those groups because we will see whether or not Disney is serious about this. Item number two for me. In the Journal today, I will give you this specific news item and then the larger story. Stoli Vodka, Stolichnaya. wants you to know, it’s not actually from Russia, right? It actually is not. It is Latvian blended, filtered and bottled in Latvia by a Luxembourg-based group. I point that out because there has been a rash of boycotting of I hesitate to say Russian businesses here. But businesses that capitalize on being of Russian flavor here, but really, they have no connection to Russia. Kristin Schwab did a story for us on Marketplace, like a week ago, about how restaurants in New York are getting clobbered? Because people don’t want to patronize you know, Russian-flavored restaurants even though they’re not connected to Russia. And that’s, that’s the wrong thing to do. That is just the wrong thing to do. And, you know, it’s like, oh, just don’t do that. Don’t do that patronize these businesses. They’re hard working. They’re good, solid American companies paying taxes, all this stuff. And just because they’re called, you know, I don’t know, “Caviar” or whatever. Don’t Don’t boycott them. That’s no good. And I just cuz it can go too far.

Kimberly Adams: I was in college. When 9/11 happened. I was a freshman in college. And there was this amazing coffee shop right across the street from the journalism school where it had all these like leather couches and fireplaces. And it was like the place like to go if you were in the J school. And it was called Osama’s.

Kai Ryssdal: Man. It’s all …

Kimberly Adams: I don’t have to tell you what happened to that poor man his business after 9/11. And it was, it was so sad. And yeah, don’t do that people.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, on a lesser scale, it’s freedom fries instead of French fries. It’s the whole deal. We it is it is a not attractive characteristic of the American population. You know? Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. Okay, on a lighter note, my last item is this. I’m sort of an exploration and adventure geek. And so the idea that Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance had been found was to me, amazingly cool. And if you don’t know who Shaolin and the Endurance were, look them up. It’s a crazy, crazy story. But they found the ship after 100 and, I don’t know like 10-ish years at the bottom of the Weddell Sea in Antarctica, but there’s so there’s been all kinds of coverage of that, and the exploration and all this stuff, but there’s just this super fun article in The New York Times today about the sea life that has taken over that wreck. And because the water is so cold, it’s really well preserved the ship is and so all these sea creatures have taken up residence on the endurance and it’s cool. The headline of this piece is, “The new captain of the Endurance shipwreck is an anemone.” I just love and it’s super fun. It’s – I just it’s so cool. It’s so cool. It’s like better than the Titanic, I think, but anyway.

Kimberly Adams: Well, yeah, cuz more of the people lived.

Kai Ryssdal: All the people lived, every single person, which is crazy.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, and this is, I was reading about this when they were when they started the the expedition, this this particular expedition, and they were talking about how, the way that they handled that It is taught in like management courses now in leadership.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, yeah.

Kimberly Adams: In terms of like, how he kept his crew together, how he divvied up responsibilities and how they it’s an amazing story. So yeah, that’s cool.

Kai Ryssdal: If you don’t read about it, it’s crazy. Anyway, sorry, go ahead.

Kimberly Adams: People are very impressed with your ability to say anemone on the first try.

Kai Ryssdal: Well, I’ve only had half a beer, so you know.

Kimberly Adams: Okay, so in addition to the Texas story, which we already covered, I just want to flag again, the Brittney Griner case. You know, she’s still in Russia, there are a couple of other Americans who are still in Russia. And there’s a really good piece by Jason Rezaian in The Washington Post. And if you don’t remember, Jason Rezaian was the journalist who was held captive in Iran for many, many years. And he has a new podcast out about his experience as well. But he talks you know, quite thoughtfully about what it’s like to be kind of a political pawn in between countries, and the risks that she faces as a as a hostage and how he experienced that. And, you know, these are humans who get caught up in these political machinations – what?

Kai Ryssdal: Well, so I, this is a legit question, just because I’ve been seeing some, you know, their tweets going by and socials going by and all this, that there’s some desire by Griner’s wife, to minimize the attention that she’s getting in the Western press so as to facilitate a possible solution. Have you seen any of that?

Kimberly Adams: I haven’t. But it’s a often a pretty common strategy for families who have a family member held hostage, that the more attention the story gets, the more leverage it gives whoever’s holding them to make more demands. And so you have to kind of strike this balance. Um, you know, I do a lot of work with the National Press Club. And we’ve been working to try to secure the freedom of Austin Tice, who has been held captive in Syria for more than seven years. And, you know, his family is constantly navigating that dynamic of pressure on the administration, pressure on the Syrian government, attention in the media, and it’s hard to know what actually works. So, yes. Okay, the other one still on sports weird pivot, but you said a couple of weeks ago that you didn’t think there was gonna be baseball, and it looks like there’s gonna be baseball.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, boy was I wrong. What is something I thought I knew but later found out I was wrong about huh? Yeah.

Kimberly Adams: That we were gonna have baseball this year. So yeah, the, it looks like we’re gonna have opening day I think on April 7 is when it’s tentatively scheduled. The owner-imposed lockout is over. I’m just reading from CBS here. “The Players Association struck a deal on Thursday. At 99 days this lockout is the second longest work stoppage in baseball history behind only the 1994 through 95 players strike, which was 232 days.”

Kai Ryssdal: So three thoughts on that number one, go Yankees. Number two, my oldest –

Kimberly Adams: Oh my gosh, that’s exactly what my sister just said.

Kai Ryssdal: Well, there you go. Go Yankees. Yeah, exactly. Go. Yankees. Now your sister is my is my favorite doctor.

Kimberly Adams: It’s a betrayal of St. Louis is what it is.

Kai Ryssdal: Number two, my oldest son. Well, you know, whatever. My oldest son who’s a Dodgers fan will be really pleased to hear this. But number three, and this is completely self serving. My commute home goes by Dodger Stadium every day, literally, like I drive to the front gate of Dodger Stadium and take a left. And now it’s gonna screw up my commute. And so that’s why I’m pissed. That’s all I got. It’s all about me. I’m just saying.

Kimberly Adams: Alright, play a game. Oh, wait, no, we can’t play a game yet.

Kai Ryssdal: No we can’t play game. We got to do a thing first. And here’s the thing. Here’s, here’s what we got to do. We got to take we’re gonna do it in 45 seconds. And we’re going to point this out. Two years ago today is when the World Health Organization declared that this was in fact a pandemic. Tom Hanks tested positive with his wife, Rita Wilson. The NBA suspended its season, Donald Trump gave that very bizarre speech about shutting things down. And it became an official pandemic. And we decided that we had to go from weekly to daily on this podcast and all y’all stepped up. We tried something. The powers that be at marketplace let us do it. And you guys answered you are here for us. When you listen you are here for us. When you watch the stream and you are here for us when we ask for money, which is what we are doing right now. We get it if you can’t donate, we get it if you can’t, but if you can we need you now because the news is not slowing down, it’s just not.

Kimberly Adams: Certainly not. And like he said, You know, it’s what you can. And the nice thing about public radio is that it is public. And I know we’re podcasting now, but the the mission is the same, you know, we’re trying to get the information to as many people as we can and we do the best we can to do the reporting to talk to people, and to present it in a way that’s easy to understand. So your support is super important. And we’re grateful for it.

Kai Ryssdal: So if you can, marketplace.org/givesmart and we appreciate it there will be there will be at some point in the future in one of these little pleas that we do. There will be some swag, some banana pants, some type of glasses, I don’t know. Whatever. We need to Kimberly thing. That’s what we need, frankly.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, gosh, I’m a little bit terrified of what they would come up with.

Kai Ryssdal: I don’t know. But we’re gonna put the very bright minds. Marketplace Gift Central on a Kimberly thing. Anyway, let’s play a game, Drew, hit. Alright, half full/half empty as the game Drew Jostad, is our host. Ready, begin.

Drew Jostad: Are you half full or half empty on the TSA extending the mask mandate on public transportation?

Kimberly Adams: All the way.

Kai Ryssdal: I’m completely half full. I’m fine with that. Yeah. Totally. Yeah, totally. Totally. Totally. Number  one, it has to be these are confined spaces, right. trains, planes, automobiles. Just be smart out there. Just be smart out there.

Kimberly Adams: Well, and again, there are still a lot of immunocompromised people who need that protection. There are still parents who have kids that cannot get vaccinated yet. So yeah, all the way full.

Drew Jostad: Coming in 2020 –

Kai Ryssdal: Wait, wait, hang on. Wait, wait, wait. Oh my goodness. Marilyn Baker, plus one for Jasper pants. I’m just saying there’s gonna be a Kimberly swag at some point. So there’s Jasper pants. Right. Sorry, Drew, go ahead.

Drew Jostad: Announced for 2024 are you half full or half empty on an electric VW bus?

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, that’s so funny. That just came out the other day. So VW buses? Sure. Iconic from the 1960s I suppose. Look anything electric? I’m full on actually. Yeah, I’m full for sure.

Kimberly Adams: I’ll go half full. Good luck finding the supply chain functioning enough to get you all the staff.

Kai Ryssdal: For sure. Yeah, we’re kind of screwed.

Kimberly Adams: Half full.

Drew Jostad: All right. After this week’s executive order, are you half full or half empty on cryptocurrency regulation?

Kai Ryssdal: That pause is me waiting for you, kiddo. Yeah, go ahead.

Kimberly Adams: I know. Okay. So for people who who maybe didn’t follow this this week, the Biden – President Biden signed an executive order basically asking several government agencies to have a look at cryptocurrencies and how that industry is working, where the opportunities are for risk to the broader financial system for corruption, obviously, because Russia is trying to potentially use cryptocurrencies to get around sanctions. People are worried about that. And I saw I think it was Marque posted in the chat that Reuters is reporting that Russians are liquidating crypto in the UAE trying to find safe havens, again, people trying to get around these sanctions. So the Biden administration is basically calling for these agencies to look at it, including potentially a federal digital currency, half full, they’ve got to make progress on this. There’s too much money involved at this point. But at the same time, this isn’t action yet. It’s a call basically for research.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, I’m hopeful as well. I think crypto is currently the wild wild west of the financial world and it will get ugly until somebody steps in and says okay, let’s talk about this in a sensible way. So that’s where I am.

Drew Jostad: Okay, supply chain problems may be coming for Girl Scout cookies. Are you half full or half empty on getting your Thin Mints this year?

Kai Ryssdal: No, no, no Samoas man. Thin Mints, nothing. Samoas.

Kimberly Adams: So, some of us have started working in person at the DC Bureau and kind of pooled our resources and ordered like, I don’t know, 25 boxes of Girl Scout cookies or so for the office.

Kai Ryssdal: 25? Jesus. That’s a lot of cookies.

Kimberly Adams: That’s a whole lot of cookies. And so the little girl who’s I guess her grandparents live in my building. She came with her little wagon over the weekend. She was like, she was like, “I remember you bought a lot of cookies from me last year too.” And I was like, “Yes, I did. “So we have a good supply of Thin Mints, of Samoas. We got some lemon ones. We are stocked in the marketplace DC Bureau for the coming year.

Kai Ryssdal: I’m gonna have to engineer a trip east to go to the bureau. Holy cow. I look I love Girl Scout cookies. What can I tell you? Okay, I’m half full on all of them.

Kimberly Adams: Supply chain question. I’m gonna go half full. I know it’s an issue, but I feel like the Girl Scouts can push through on their honor, they will try.

Kai Ryssdal: They will. We know they will for sure. Next.

Drew Jostad: Okay, are you half full or half empty on daylight savings time?

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, interesting. I have thoughts.

Kimberly Adams: You go ahead.

Kai Ryssdal: Okay. Number one, I’m going to be the pedant. Here. It is daylight saving. No ‘s’ time. Just for the record. Accuracy is important. Number two, I’m all the way full. I don’t you know, it’s so funny. I was talking to my wife about this earlier today. The whole like, oh my god, I’m so tired and the kids aren’t sleeping and the dogs want to have dinner early and blah, blah, blah. That’s it. That’s an artifact of social media. And we all have to complain about everything back in the day. The clocks change. You were groggy for a day and then you went on about your business and oh, by the way, it’s lighter later and that’s fun. I’m full. Full full. Sorry, was that too dramatic?

Kimberly Adams: Oh, it was very, like, get off my lawn-ish. But you know, I appreciate it.

Kai Ryssdal: Fine, fine. Fine. I’ll take that.

Kimberly Adams: Um, I’ve heard some really compelling arguments against you know, daylight savings time. What was it Daylight Saving Time?  Saving, no ‘s.’ Yeah, daylight saving time. I’ve heard some pretty strong arguments against it. I’m just gonna say half. I haven’t I don’t have I don’t have strong opinion. I’m sorry. Someone just said in the chat that we need to get you a cane.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, God, all you people, man. So glad you’re here for this. Oh, my goodness. My goodness, gracious,

Kimberly Adams: That was funny. Uh, okay. That let’s see. That is it – wait, we have another game.

Kai Ryssdal: We do have another game. Let’s talk about the other game. Let’s talk. Yeah, go ahead. You go ahead. You start.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah. So last week, planning ahead for like the big announcements and everything.

Kai Ryssdal: We were, sorry – should remind everybody what the big announcement was. Go ahead, remind everybody.

Kimberly Adams: The big announcement is that I am the new co host for Make Me Smart. And I’m very happy to be so. And so as we were preparing for this last week. We played another game after the show. Which – what do you even call that game? It’s uh …

Kai Ryssdal: Well, Bridget said Would You Rather and I don’t think that’s because would we would you rather kind of implies a little bit of, shall we say naughtiness, and I don’t I don’t think that’s what we meant. I’m just saying,

Kimberly Adams: Okay, well, it’s it’s a very PG, G-rated game. This or That, thank you Steven. How much of that beer have you had Kai?

Kai Ryssdal: No, come on, and you’re drinking wine. Shut up. Alright. Anyway, go ahead.

Kimberly Adams: Alright, so we played This or That, where they presented us with a couple of, well, two options, and we were supposed to decide which one we would prefer. And some of them were a little obvious, but little others were more more challenging and surprising. So I think that video is going to be up or shared a little bit later.

Kai Ryssdal: It’s gonna be on our socials. I’m sure it’s gonna be on Twitter and Insta and obviously on our show page. I have not yet seen that video. So I’m oh so curious to remember what I said. Anyway,

Kimberly Adams: It took a couple of attempts for us to get it right. So.

Kai Ryssdal: Well, okay. It kind of Yeah, that was all me I was it was the getting going was a little rough. And that was all me, but you guys don’t need to know that. Yeah, anyway. Alright, let’s go.

Kimberly Adams: Okay, that is it for us. Oh, Emily Macune says it’s gonna be up this evening. Thank you, Emily. Okay, that is it for us today. The show will be back on Monday. And as we mentioned earlier, today is the two year anniversary of when the pandemic officially kicked off for a lot of us and shout out to my sister in the chat who was working in nursing homes in New York throughout the pandemic. And you know, saw a lot of really hard things. But we do have one more favor, which is to consider sending us your answer to the Make Me Smart question, which I know we always ask you to do but this is a little bit different. So the make me smart question is: “What is something you thought you knew that you later found out you were wrong about.” But if you don’t mind, think about answering that question from the framing framing of the pandemic, like What is something you thought you knew heading into this pandemic, that you later found out that you were wrong about? We’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on that.

Kai Ryssdal: And as I sit here trying to think about it, I don’t know because it was such a just, oh my God, I mean, all the stuff that happened, and I don’t even know, but I’m gonna think about it, because it’s a good question. Anyway. Send us those thoughts or anything else on your mind as a voice memo or an email and makemesmart@marketplace.org.Or you can just pick up the phone calls like this voice message 508-827-6278. 508-UB-SMART. Two years crazy. Yeah. Hoo.

Kimberly Adams: Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera and Marque Greene. Our intern is Tiffany Bui and today’s episode was engineered by the always amazing Drew Jostad and the senior producer is Bridget Bodnar.

Kai Ryssdal: The team behind our game Half full/Half empty also This or That, which is really not Would You Rather because that’s a whole different game. Is Steven Beyon, Mel Rosenberg and Emily Macune. The theme music for half full half empty was written by Drew Jost at the director of on demand and the person in charge of all things is Donna Tam.

Kimberly Adams: What kind of games do you play Kai?

Kai Ryssdal: Whoa, hey, no, wrong podcast.

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