Episode 31

Homeless Crisis, Tulsi “Treason”, Teen Vaping, Zucker’s CNN Exit

In today’s show, the hosts debate the legitimacy of Tulsi Gabbard’s tweets on purported U.S. funded biolabs in Ukraine, progressive cities’ newly aggressive measures to combat homelessness, new developments around Jeff Zucker’s departure from CNN, teen vaping, daylight saving time, and a few updates in the world of cryptocurrency.


Rikki explains Tulsi Gabbard’s recent tweets on purported U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine and the harsh condemnation she got from those like Sen. Mitt Romney. Ravi outlines the various narratives developing around these labs. (00:58)

Cory offers a timeline of this narrative and how it lines up with Russian propaganda around the invasion. He then pushes back on the notion that these labs were considered neither controversial nor nefarious before this narrative emerged. (04:00)

Ravi argues there may well be a messaging issue coming out of the government, echoing similar communication failures throughout the pandemic. (06:43)

Ravi and Rikki take a moment to humanize the homelessness crisis and acknowledge the hardships that America’s homeless deal with, a significant portion of them children. (09:35)

Ravi lays out the two schools of thought assigning blame for the homelessness crisis – primarily economic factors, like affordable housing and livable wages – versus growing problems with addiction or mental illness. (11:10)

He then questions why the two have to be mutually exclusive, and Cory explains why he still leans toward the latter of those two explanations. (12:28)

Rikki asserts the issue can’t be fixed by simply throwing money at it. Ravi gives examples of progressive cities with massive budgets aimed at solving homelessness that aren’t making meaningful strides despite all the funding. (15:25)

Ravi then closes the discussion with a few more positive examples of certain U.S. cities and other countries doing a better job of helping their homeless populations. (23:30)

Cory introduces the Rolling Stone expose on Zucker’s exit from CNN, and Ravi and Rikki both argue the revelations betray a pattern we’ve seen repeated in legacy media, regardless of political slant. (25:08)

Rikki, as the resident Gen Z ambassador, explains her own personal observations on vaping in her generation and what studies tell us about e-cigarette use. The two senior gentlemen reflect on how “analog” cigarette smoking was far more widespread back in their day. (30:39)

The hosts argue over the extent to which the government should step in to regulate vaping. Rikki says the data is so preliminary that it’s hard to draw firm conclusions on what should be done. (38:50)

Our hosts then proceed to go off the deep end as they debate the fate of daylight saving time and possibly doing away with time zones. (39:49)

Ravi and Rikki close the show with a few brief updates on cryptocurrency: how it’s benefiting Ukrainians caught up in the Russian invasion, and Biden announcing a push towards government regulation of crypto. (42:44)

Mitt Romney Condemns Tulsi Gabbard’s ‘Treasonous Lies’ on Ukraine (Daily Best, 03/13)
Leaked Kremlin Memo to Russian Media: It Is “Essential” to Feature Tucker Carlson (Mother Jones, 03/13)
MFA Russia Tweet (Twitter, 03/06)
US intel head rejects Russia’s claims about Ukraine biolabs (The Hill, 03/10)
What are Russia’s biological weapons claims and what’s actually happening? (The Guardian, 03/11)
Tucker: The Pentagon’s Ukraine biolab talking points are an utter lie (Fox News, 03/14)
Russia’s bioweapon conspiracy theory finds support in US (Aljazeera, 03/12)
WHO says it advised Ukraine to destroy pathogens in health labs (Aljazeera, 03/11)
Who’s Against The West? (The American Conservative, 03/15)
Tucker Carlson Has a Crazy New Conspiracy Theory About U.S. Bioweapons in Ukraine (The New Republic, 03/14)
Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland admits Ukraine has “biological research facilities” (Glenn Greenwald YouTube, 03/08)
Mitt Romney Tweet (Twitter, 03/13)
Tulsi Gabbard Tweet (Twitter, 03/13)
Liberal US cities change course, now clearing homeless camps (AP News, 03/11)
What’s behind rising homelessness in America? (PBS, 12/28/2021)
Houston, we have a solution: How the city curbed homelessness (The Christian Science Monitor, 11/18/2019)
I Don’t Know That I Would Even Call It Meth Anymore (The Atlantic, 10/18/2021)
Only In San Francisco: $61,000 Tents And $350,000 Public Toilets (Hoover Institution, 03/09/2021)
A Canadian study gave $7,500 to homeless people. Here’s how they spent it. (Vox, 05/07/2021)
Salt Lake City a model for S.F. on homeless solutions (SFGate, 06/28/2014)
What New Orleans Can Teach Other Cities About Reducing Homelessness (Pew, 10/15/2019)
Houston Is Hailed as a National Success for Fighting Homelessness. But the Reality Isn’t Quite as Rosy. (The New Republic, 02/24)
Number of homeless people in Japan hits record low (The Japan Times, 04/28/2021)
Group says Medicine Hat has ended chronic homelessness, as cities eye same nationwide (Global News, 07/04/2021)
Can We Fix San Francisco? (Reason, 04/2022)
Lack of Housing and Mental Health Disabilities Exacerbate One Another (CAP, 11/20/2018)
Homeless and Helpless: How the United States has Failed Those With Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Library, 11/30/2020)
Addiction Among The Homeless Population (Sunrise House Treatment Center, 03/10)
The Connection Between Homelessness And Addiction (Addiction Center, 10/22/2021)
Governments are rethinking the provision of public housing (The Economist, 01/16/2020)
How housing became the world’s biggest asset class (The Economist, 01/16/2020)
Sleeping Behind The Bronx Zoo: Why Some New Yorkers Choose Streets Over Shelters (The City, 04/05/2021)
How The Atlantic’s Big Piece on Meth and Homelessness Gets It Wrong (University of California San Francisco, 11/15/2021)
Drug Overdose Mortality by State (CDC, 03/01)
Estimated rate of homelessness in the United States in 2020, by state (Statista, 09/10/2021)
Los Angeles Home Values (Zillow, 02/28)
Is Our Homelessness Crisis Really a Drug Problem? Part 2 (The New York Times, 01/20)
Crisis: Why Are Liberal West Coast Cities Plagued By Homelessness? (The National Interest, 02/24/2020)
Yes, Other Countries Do Housing Better, Case 1: Japan (Sightline Institute, 03/25/2021)
Yes, Other Countries Do Housing Better, Case 2: Germany (Sightline Institute, 03/27/2021)
Mayor’s Budget Plan Cuts $615M from Homeless Services, as Subway Crackdown Intensifies (CityLimits, 02/18)
LA spending up to $837,000 to house a single homeless person (ABC News, 02/23)
Audit: L.A. Spending as Much as $837,000 per Unit of Housing for Homeless (Reason, 02/25)
The Problems and Progress of Prop. HHH (Ron Galperin, 02/23)
S.F. pays $61,000 a year for one tent in a site to shelter the homeless. Why? (San Francisco Chronicle, 03/04/2021)
The 2021 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress (US Department of Housing and Urban Development, 02/2022)
Estimated number of homeless people in the United States from 2007 to 2020 (Statista, 03/23/2021)
2021 Was Deadliest Year on Record for Homeless New Yorkers (CityLimits, 03/08)
Homelessness in New York City (Coalition for the Homeless, 02/2022)
‘Cuomo-W. Trump-L.’: How CNN’s Jeff Zucker and His Cronies Manipulated the News (Rolling Stone, 03/11)
CNN chief Jeff Zucker exits over sexual relationship with top executive (USA Today, 02/02)
TIMELINE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Resigns In Wake Of Sexual Harassment, Nursing Home Scandals (CBS New York, 01/07)
How a Secret Assault Allegation Against an Anchor Upended CNN and Jeff Zucker (The New York Times, 02/15)
Approximately 2.55 Million Students Reported Currently Using a Tobacco Product in 2021 (CDC, 03/10)
Why Can’t the CDC Tell the Truth About Smoking and Vaping by Teenagers? (Reason, 03/10)
Teen Vaping Drops 40% In Last Year (Forbes, 09/20/2021)
Johns Hopkins researchers Find Thousands of Unknown Chemicals in Electronic Cigarettes (HUB, 10/07/2021)
A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy (The New England Journal of Medicine, 02/14/2019)
ResearchGate Table (ResearchGate, 12/2020)
Cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students at an all-time low, but e-cigarette use a concern (CDC, 06/09/2020)
Notes from the Field: E-Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — National Youth Tobacco Survey, United States, 2021 (CDC, 10/01/2021)
5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2022)
Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes. (NCBI, 01/23/2018)
About Electronic Cigarettes (E-Cigarettes) (CDC, 09/30/2021)
Use of Electronic Cigarettes to Aid Long-Term Smoking Cessation in the United States: Prospective Evidence From the PATH Cohort Study (American Journal of Epidemiology, 07/27/2020)
Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs) (FDA, 10/07/2019)
Reporting Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents in Tobacco Products and Tobacco Smoke Under Section 904(a)(3) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDA, 02/13/2020)
E-Cigarettes May Contain Harmful Chemicals That Aren’t Listed as Ingredients (Healthline, 10/12/2021)
U.S. Senate approves bill to make daylight saving time permanent (Reuters, 03/15)
 It’s time to end the ‘spring forward’ and ‘fall back’ tired tradition (CNN, 03/12)
Investors turn to crypto funds, companies as Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates (Reuters, 03/15)
Biden Takes Step Toward Regulating Cryptocurrencies (The New York Times, 03/09)
Why crypto is unlikely to be useful for sanctions-dodgers (The Economist, 03/14)