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Let’s talk about that prime-time Jan. 6 committee hearing

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The opening remarks of the Jan. 6th committee's hearings.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, joined by fellow Committee members, delivers opening remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on Capitol Hill. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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Last night we tuned in to the prime-time airing of the Jan. 6 committee hearing (we’d love to hear your thoughts if you were too). And today we’re going to talk about it. We’ve also got updates on COVID testing for international flyers to the U.S. and a possible falling out between Meta and its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Then during Half Full/Half Empty, Kai and Kimberly weigh in on financial literacy classes, the Novavax COVID vaccine, converting classic cars into electric vehicles, a new European Union tech rule and Taco Bell’s new drive-thru architecture.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Are you keeping an eye on the Jan. 6 hearings? Send us an email with your thoughts or questions at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Make Me Smart June 10, 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.

 

Kimberly Adams: I don’t know that you want to start this story right this second.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, no, no, that’s good point. We’re not gonna do that, we’re not gonna do that… my goodness.

 

Kimberly Adams: Hello. I’m Kimberly Adams, welcome back to Make Me Smart where we make today make sense. And I stopped Kai from saying things you should not be allowed on Youtube broadcast.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Never say something in front of a microphone that you wouldn’t want to see on the front pages of whatever. Oh, my goodness, I’m Kai Ryssdal. Thank you to everybody for joining us on this Friday for Economics On Tap. We’re doing the YouTube livestream, listening to podcasts, however you do this. We are glad you are here. Thank you for doing that. That’s fun.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yes. I’m already appreciating people’s drinks. Margie Klich has tonic water on ice with Lemoncello, which she says is very good. I’m not a huge fan of tonic. But I do love some Lemoncello. And let’s see, what are you drinking?

 

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, I’m having a beer this week thank God. Stone FML, which is kind of how I’m feeling by the way. Because you know, because I needed a beer. That’s why. What about you?

 

Kimberly Adams: I am having a big glass of box wine. And I’m very happy with it.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Excellent.

 

Kimberly Adams: Because it’s been that kind of week.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Also. Sorry. When I was growing up. You know, I mean, the neighborhood moms would have box wine and everybody’s like, Oh, it’s so terrible, it’s so embarrassing. I don’t think that’s true anymore.

 

Kimberly Adams: It’s much better now. It’s much better now. Yeah, for sure. I’m not at all embarrassed of it. I’m looking at the other drinks. Oh, somebody else is having, Cheryl is having lemon vodka with tonic and lemoncello. We’ve got a brown ale that John’s drinking, Lift Bridge Brewery. And Anne has a Mexican martini with jalapeno stuffed olives. Let’s see.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Elijah Criag small batch bourbon from Chuck. That’s awesome. Nice. Over on the discord. We’ve got. Let’s see. What is this, woodchuck hard cider? Mimosa?  I don’t know.

 

Kimberly Adams: Okay. Yeah, yeah, a Nitro Irish Stout from Breckenridge Brewing that Kevin is drinking. Everybody’s got some good stuff tonight. I appreciate it.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Diet Coke. There we go. So, shall we?

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, let’s get the small things out of the way first, before we talk about the big things. I mean, none of these things are small. But there’s really one story we want to talk about, which is the hearings last night. The other thing that I noticed was yet more coming out about Virginia Thomas, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife. Yeah, I mean like, it feels like every week that we find out something else she did leading up to the insurrection. Washington Post is reporting that she pressed 29 Republican state lawmakers in Arizona, 27 more than we previously thought, to set aside Joe Biden’s popular vote victory, and “choose” presidential electors, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post. Now, some of these were like form emails that you can go to a website and say like email your legislator, but still. Anyway, I’m just going to touch on that. I think it’s worth noting. And as more and more things escalate in light of these hearings, if something does end up before the court, it’s worth noting that the wife of one of the Supreme Court Justices was actively involved in trying to overturn the election. So there’s that.

 

Kai Ryssdal: For sure. Absolutely. What else? We got one more…

 

Kimberly Adams: The other one’s related to the hearing. Okay, fine. Sure.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, you totally should.

 

Kimberly Adams: You know we have. It’s a big deal. So the Washington football team, which now has a name that’s not racist, the Washington Commanders. One of their coaches made comments basically calling the January 6 attacks on the Capitol, what was it, a dust up. Something very diminishing, and comparing it to the Black Lives Matter protests, which is just not at all okay, in any way, shape or form and they are not the same. So the Washington Commander’s head coach has decided to fine him $100,000 for saying this, because, and I’m just going to read from the statement. Coach Del Rio did apologize for his comments on Wednesday, and he understands the distinction between the events of that dark day and peaceful protests, which are the hallmark of our democracy. He does have the right to voice his opinion as a citizen of the United States and it most certainly is his constitutional right to do so. However, and this is the important part, words have consequences, and his words hurt a lot of people in our community. I want to make it clear that our organization will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and the actions of those on January 6, who sought to topple our government. And I think it is a very big deal that at this high of a level in the NFL, the same NFL that booted Colin Kaepernick for kneeling in defense of Black Lives, is saying there are consequences to people who talk this way. Now, there’s some hypocrisy there as well but that’s another story. But I thought this was very big deal.

 

Kai Ryssdal: I do. I think it’s an extremely significant story. And I’m glad you picked it. Okay, I got two quickies before we go to the topic du jour. One is, and I will just preface this by saying when I was in Spain over spring break, I caught a cold, tested negative. But the name of the game is that you have to, you used to have to, test before you come back if you’re flying back into the United States. Biden ministration is going to lift that, effective Sunday. It’s a very big deal for those who travel to this country via airplane. So yay. Because it’s expensive, it’s stress inducing, it’s not necessarily effective. All this stuff. So I just want to bookmark that one. Here’s the other thing that caught my eye because we talked about it the other day, and you talked about it on tech. Facebook, meta rather, is apparently looking at the behavior of Sheryl Sandberg, her use of corporate resources going back several years, reports the Wall Street Journal. That’s a big deal when you think of the s–, I think this is fair, the sainted reputation that she had for most of her early tenure at that company, which has gone downhill as Facebook’s misdeeds became more prevalent and more known. And now there’s apparently some personal conduct questions. She should have left 10 years ago, and she’d be in much better shape reputation wise, you know?

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I read somewhere that they were looking into whether or not she was using Facebook resources to plan her wedding? Was that the one?

 

Kai Ryssdal: Her wedding. Yeah, that was the original thing. And now it’s apparently broader than that. Yeah. So.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I mean, the sainted history thing, I actually think it started going a little bit downhill before even the scandals, because that whole Lean In mentality, definitely got her a lot of blowback for it being a very privileged perspective and kind of damaging way for women to, saying that women needed to basically show up like men in the workplace and that option was not available to everyone. And it didn’t quite take into account people who maybe didn’t have access to childcare, or who were in marginalized groups and things like that. So, you know, there’s a lot there. But yeah, I guess if she left ten years ago, we’d be having a very different conversation.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Very different conversation. Very different. Yeah. Okay. So…the hearing which we have remarked upon all week on this podcast. What are your thoughts?

 

Kimberly Adams: I was floored. And look, you know, I’ve been following this as it comes out in bits and pieces. And maybe we didn’t, we got some new information. But most of it was what we already knew. But the presentation and seeing it all at once, and hearing it from the mouths of the people who were there and involved in that way, was so extraordinarily powerful. I took your advice. I told my sister who’s in the chat to have her kids watch the opening statements. And she did. My mother was watching it, my best friend back in St. Louis was watching it, and I had several of my other friends have their kids watching it, and everyone was just like, wow. What about you?

 

Kai Ryssdal: So a couple of things. Number one, the two children I still have living at home came down voluntarily to watch, which was heartening to me just as a parent. I was really thrilled about that. Number two, I think it was extremely well presented. I’m glad they broke format, if you will, of the typical congressional hearing in which the ranking member in the chair each get X number of minutes, and then every freaking member gets five minutes. That would have been just terrible. Instead, they gave Bennie Thompson the chairman like 15, 20 minutes and then Liz Cheney. And what you have to say this whole time, right, it has been an amazing act of political courage because she’s gonna lose her job and she will be shunned, has been shunned by the Republican establishment. She gave a great presentation, she gave a coherent, well laid out, tell them what we’re going to tell them, tell them what we told them, and then tell them what we told them, right? She did that whole thing. And it was amazing. I thought it was really, really good. I do wish that the remaining number of hearings, and I think there’s only going to be like six more. We’re also in prime-time, because I think everybody ought to be seeing this. Instead, it’s going to be, you know, midday ish, depending on where you are. And that’s kind of unfortunate. We have to acknowledge that, I don’t know actually, I’d be curious as to your take on this one. My sense is that exactly zero minds are going to be changed about how they feel about this. Because everybody’s in their silos. And most of the people who watched are convinced that it was an insurrection and an attack on democracy. And those who didn’t watch were watching Fox News where Tucker Carlson was, it is very hot in my house, where Tucker Carlson was counterprogramming. I don’t know, do you think people’s minds are gonna be changed?

 

Kimberly Adams: I don’t necessarily think that’s the goal. I think the goal is to put the record down for history. And I also think the goal is to get people who were either, the very few people who were on the fence, to believe that it was an insurrection. And the people who maybe had a passing awareness, that it was a bad thing, to recognize just how grave of a threat the democracy was under, or the Republic. I mentioned, I texted you this. But I was very struck last night, that the Democrats kept talking about the threat to the democracy, and the Republicans were talking about the threat to the Republic. And I just noticed that. But I think that a big part of this is sure to have a resource available for anyone who wants to listen, and who might change their mind. But also, for those who are maybe just sort of casually, like, oh, it’s bad but it’s over, to recognize that this is an extreme threat. It’s an ongoing threat. And the lack of accountability is an even bigger threat. And they began the process of laying out what could very well be criminal charges against the president. So in many ways, they are building a case so that if this does end up with criminal charges against the former president of the United States, they have this long on ramp to get the country ready for something that will be earth shattering.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. And Liz Cheney’s repeated use of the word “corruptly”, right? The President…

 

Kimberly Adams: And seditious conspiracy…

 

Kai Ryssdal: Right. All of that stuff. That’s all legalese. And that all matters. Two quick things from the comments. Number one, Dr. Nicole Adams. Gosh, I wonder who that is. My 10-year-old said, Where was the president again, you know, when all the bad people were hurting America?

 

Kimberly Adams: Apparently in the White House encouraging them.

 

Kai Ryssdal: In the White House encouraging them. Here’s another one from Margie college. I didn’t watch. I listened to it on NPR. Yay. Thank you for tuning in to Public Radio. But those videos, man, you got to see him. I know, we’ve all seen him. And I know it can be really hard. I can’t even imagine what it’s like.

 

Kimberly Adams: But they were new ones.

 

Kai Ryssdal: … members or staff? Yeah, they were, they were. They were new videos, for sure. You bet.

 

Kimberly Adams: I mean, what I think that my mom and my sister when we were talking about it afterwards was seeing the Capitol police officer lying there unconscious on the steps. And then hearing her talking about slipping in the blood of her colleagues as she’s trying to get up. And this was something I really noticed, in her testimony in particular, and sort of comparing it to a war zone and talking about just the hours of hand-to-hand combat. I think that a lot of the video we’ve seen, it looks bad. There’s that horrible video of a Capitol police officer being crushed, but you really haven’t seen blood. You haven’t seen injuries. You see it from a distance. And that zoomed in really tight.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Really tight. Absolutely true.

 

Kimberly Adams: Lin’s boo PDX asked if there is a place to rewatch it. And you can go to C-SPAN and watch the entire thing. It’s all over the place as well.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yep, yep. Yeah. Any else to touch on all this?

 

Kimberly Adams: Well, I would just encourage people to send us your thoughts if you watched the hearing. If you didn’t watch the hearings, why did you decide not to? I did end up watching it on Fox Business and…

 

Kai Ryssdal: Oh interesting.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah I did and then I watched Fox afterwards to see. Fox Business straight ahead Chiron were just like so and so is speaking, they are presenting this, nothing much. But then I turned to Fox afterwards and it was just diminished diminished diminished diminished. So anyway. But I would love to hear everybody’s thoughts, if you watch the hearing or if you didn’t. What you thought? Are you going to watch the next ones? And if you have any questions that you think we might be able to answer about it or that you want us to look into we’re probably going to be doing more on this moving forward so yeah.

 

Kai Ryssdal: I think we will. Then you’re on, Drew Jostad, you’re on. There we go. So the game is half full half empty, Drew Jostad is in charge. All y’all know the drill, I think.

 

Kimberly Adams: Hi Drew!

 

Drew Jostad: Hello Kimberly, hello Kai, are you half full or half empty on requiring financial literacy classes to graduate high school?

 

Kimberly Adams: All the way full.

 

Kai Ryssdal: All the way full. So this is Michigan this week, will become the 14th state to require financial literacy before graduating high school. The flip side of that of course is that 36 states don’t, which is not great. But all the way full for sure. For sure.

 

Drew Jostad: Half full or half empty on the new Novavax COVID vaccine?

 

Kimberly Adams: I mean, I’m gonna go with full. More vaccines, the better. I understand that this is more of a traditional vaccine, so you know, fingers crossed that you know some of the people who maybe were resistant to the mRNA vaccines, maybe this will make them get vaccinated and help others. But doubtful at this point I guess, but I’ll take it! All the vaccines.

 

Kai Ryssdal: I’m half full for sure. Absolutely. All the vaccines.

 

Drew Jostad: We will be done with these in no time. Are you half full or half empty on converting classic cars into EVs?

 

Kimberly Adams: Oh, Andy Euler had this great story…

 

Kai Ryssdal: Bridget?

 

Kimberly Adams: Did we do it before?

 

Kai Ryssdal: Bridget? I swear we did this one already. But maybe not.

 

Kimberly Adams: Time is a circle. I’m full. I’ll say half full actually, because it’s still really expensive and inaccessible for most people. But this idea of converting regular cars into EVs is great, and especially it’s better for the environment and if the cost of doing it goes down, you know, that could really speed up our shift to more renewable energy future, I guess.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Totally agree. Totally agree. I just want the price of EVs to come down, like a lot, right? That’s the thing that’s gonna make them all accessible Oh also that and charging stations but that’s a whole different part…

 

Drew Jostad: All right. New law in the European Union will require all phones and electronics to use the same charger. Are you half full or half empty?

 

Kimberly Adams: I am half full. I’m curious as to how it’s going to roll out and what the punishment is going to be, because I feel like sometimes tech companies when they get slapped with this restriction, they find a way to make it painful. So in Korea for example, in South Korea they passed some sort of law saying that you had to give better access to like the Apple store or something like that, or you had to allow people to sell their apps on other platforms. And Apple did something, I’ll have to go look it up but basically made it so it was useless, you know, they changed the pricing mechanism. And so, sure they’re gonna do it, but at what cost you know. Are they going to only do it for one type of phone and then that’s the only phone they’ll sell in Europe and then the Europeans are going to have to order everything else from abroad? And then also, like, what if I want that phone? I would love to have a phone that’s compatible with all my different cords. Can I buy the European phone and have it shipped to me in the US? Is that going to be allowed? And in that case, what’s going to happen to the market for the non USB-C Apple phones here in the US? Anyway, half full until I see the development.

 

Kai Ryssdal: The marketplace tech host has given us a lot of thought. I would just quote… in the chat who’s half empty because I feel Apple is going to find a loophole and I’ll be unhappy about it, which is very much what you said. Anyway, yep, totally.

 

Kimberly Adams: All right, Drew, what next?

 

Drew Jostad: Checking in on the Taco Bell beat. The Taco Bell newest location has no dining room and has four drive thru lanes instead. Are you half full or half empty?

 

Kimberly Adams: Again how could I…? I’m just gonna go with half. I don’t I don’t have we need Amy Scott for this one. She’ll have strong feelings.

 

Kai Ryssdal: I know, right? She’s like…

 

Drew Jostad: The picture makes it look kind of like a bank where you have like all these lanes and then like your food comes down in one of those tubes.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Comes in a pneumatic tube. What could possibly go wrong? Kinda looks like that, yeah.

 

Kimberly Adams: You know what? I’m not, I’m not… you know what, I’m gonna go half full. You know, if it means that there are, you know. Everyone talks about how all these jobs are being lost to robots, especially as people are demanding higher wages. If the cost of paying low wage workers better wages is that we get more robot delivered tacos, I’ll take it.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Alright, I’ll go with whatever…

 

Kimberly Adams: We got all of our words out in the, we get all of our words out on the January 6 hearings. Yes!

 

Kai Ryssdal: I think that’s totally true. That is totally true. Well, look, that’s it for us on a Friday. Back next week for all new episodes of Make Me Smart. If you’re watching the January 6 hearings, again, as Kimberly said, let us know what you think. Let us know what your questions are, your thoughts. We may actually just turn that into a special thing. I don’t even know why…

 

Kimberly Adams: I think we need to do more about that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So please do share those with us. You can send us an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message. We are at 508-827-6278. That’s 508-U-B-SMART. I think I hear a dog, is there a dog?

 

Kai Ryssdal: You do, but she’s out running around on the grass. Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera with help today from Marque Greene. Marque Greene? Cannot possibly be. Is Marque back? Do we think so? I don’t know. Today’s episode was engineered by Drew Jostad, the senior producer is Bridget Bodnar.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yes indeed. And the team behind our Friday game is Steven Byeon, Mel Rosenberg and Emily Macune. With theme music written by the amazing Drew Jostad and our director of On Demand is Donna Tam. Let’s see.

 

Kai Ryssdal: She’s out there sniffing around…

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I couldn’t get Jasper up here. I tried to learn with treats and everything. What do you do? Cats. They’re fickle.

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