Debt Relief It Or Not | Crooked Media
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October 23, 2022
What A Day
Debt Relief It Or Not

In This Episode

  • A federal appeals court has temporarily put a hold on the Biden administration’s student debt forgiveness plan. The challenge comes from six Republican-led states, though the White House said borrowers should still apply for relief.
  • The January 6th committee officially subpoenaed former president Donald Trump, a little over a week after the panel unanimously voted to issue it. It calls on Trump to hand over documents and appear for a deposition under oath – and could set up a historic legal fight if he doesn’t comply.
  • And in headlines: Russia launched a new wave of attacks aimed at disabling Ukraine’s power grid, Hurricane Roslyn made landfall in southwest Mexico, and Chinese President Xi Jinping secured an historic third term.


Show Notes:



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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, October 24th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice and this is What A Day wishing you a happy first day of Trump’s New York tax fraud trial. 


Tre’vell Anderson: I don’t know much about the law, but I’m thinking this will be the one that puts him behind bars for life. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Okay. I do know at least something about the law, and I can assure you that’s not what’s going to happen because it’s a civil trial. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Ugh. 


Josie Duffy Rice: We take what we can get. [music break] On today’s show, Boris Johnson’s push for a political comeback fell flat. Plus, some major news for the beyhive. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Get your coins in order, ladies and gentlemen and theydies and gentlemen and the rest of yous as well. But first, an update on the Biden administration student loan forgiveness plan. If you’re like me, you were having dinner on Friday, minding your business, and then you got a news alert that less than a week after the beta application went live, a federal appeals court put a hold on the student debt forgiveness plan. As you might expect, there is a group of conservatives behind all of this. Let me give you some background here. So last month, a group of six Republican led states Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and, of course, my state, South Carolina, they collectively filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration to stop the loan forgiveness plan. Their argument is that, one, the administration doesn’t have the legal authority to grant broad student loan forgiveness and that, two, the program would hurt them the states financially. That suit was dismissed last Thursday. The judge said the states could not prove their case had standing. The states then immediately appealed, putting the case before a panel of conservative judges and that federal appeals court, the eighth Circuit, to be exact, has since put a temporary hold on the student loan forgiveness program that bars the administration from canceling loans covered under the policy until the court considers the case. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Wooh, okay. So there’s a lot that’s interesting about this. Obviously, the legal process I find interesting. But the real interesting thing here, right, is the timing. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, because it’s all intentional. And yesterday, Sunday was supposed to be the earliest date. The Biden administration said it would start forgiving loans under this plan. The states even asked the court to act fast in light of that. So there is now this what we hope and expect will be a temporary delay on all of that. The appeals court gave the Biden administration until today to respond to the state’s request, and then the states will have until Tuesday to reply to the administration’s response. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, and as you pointed out, all intentional midterms coming up. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Like this is all somewhat of a political ploy we can imagine. So I’m sure some folks are confused about what this means for their loans. Do you think that they should be concerned or what’s the deal? 


Tre’vell Anderson: Well, according to the Biden administration, they should not be concerned. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote an op ed over the weekend in USA Today asserting that despite the attempt to block the program, they are moving, quote, “full speed ahead to get ready to cancel federal student debt.” He also said as much in a video he posted on Twitter. 


[clip of Miguel Cardona] As you know, we faced more than half a dozen lawsuits, many from places that accepted PPP loan relief last year. We’re not deterred. We’ll keep fighting for you and pushing through. The application is live at As you apply, watch out for the scammers that want your information. As you stay vigilant and protect yourselves from scammers. We promise to fight to protect you from baseless lawsuits, trying to stop us from providing you debt relief. We will not stop fighting for you. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Okay. There was a lot there. [laughter] Among the other things, I heard her mention I heard her mention that this plan has faced other lawsuits. Can you talk a little about those? 


Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So Republicans are doing everything they can to prevent this plan from coming to fruition. They don’t want me to be debt free, apparently. In addition to this current suit, the Biden administration is also facing lawsuits from Arizona’s attorney general and conservative groups such as the Job Creators Network Foundation and the Cato Institute. But again, the prevailing opinion is that we should not be too daunted because the lawyers for the government are arguing that they do, in fact, have the power to do this. They cite a congressional law passed in 2003 called the Heroes Act that gives the you know secretary of education this ability to do so uh as relates to the student loans. And one of the things Secretary Cardona mentioned in that clip that I want to highlight specifically is the interest that there’s been in the forgiveness application since it launched. By the way, the app is no longer in beta mode. It’s there, go apply. But since the application became available, 22 million people have already submitted their info for review. I’ll remind you that some 40 million people in total are projected to be impacted by this plan, which would clear up to $20,000 in student loan debt for folks, including yours truly. So I personally need the Republicans to calm down for me if for no one else, specifically for me. Ultimately, though, we’ll have to wait and see how all of this shakes out. But as you heard, folks who might qualify are still encouraged to apply. It takes less than 5 minutes. And if you do it before November 15th, the application will be processed before the end of the year when the pause on interest and payments expires. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Wooh, okay. Debt forgiveness was the best news of the year, so not surprising that it may be being stomped on by various officials, but we will see. I still feel pretty hopeful about the ability for you and me and others to have their debt forgiven, or at least some of their debt. So thank you, Tre’vell, for that. Now for some updates on the legal travails of former President Donald Trump. Remember him? 


Tre’vell Anderson: You know vaguely. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Vaguely. Mm hmm mm hmm.


Tre’vell Anderson: The Apprentice, right? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah yeah yeah totally. Who is that guy again? I wish. On Friday, the January 6th committee officially subpoenaed him a week after announcing their intentions to do so during their last public hearing. According to The New York Times, the subpoena is, quote, “the most aggressive step taken so far in what was already one of the most consequential congressional investigations in decades.” 


Tre’vell Anderson: So, I mean, I find it interesting that, you know, we’re calling this move that the committee is supposed to do, I guess aggressive, but it definitely is bold at minimum, right, to subpoena a former president. But it’s exactly what they should be doing. So tell us, what does the subpoena actually say? What is the committee asking Donald Trump to even do? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, it’s a good question. So the four page subpoena has directed Trump to provide the committee with a long list of documents and communications. Those include, quote, “phone calls, texts, encrypted messages and emails.” And he has until November 4th to produce those documents and until November 14th to testify before the committee itself. So we’re talking about a pretty short timeline, right? I should mention that November 4th is before the midterms, November 14th would be after the midterms. So like that also change things. These documents and records are related not just to the January 6th insurrection, but all of the former president’s efforts to discredit the 2020 election. And a letter to Trump Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney stated, quote, “As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multipart effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power.” 


Tre’vell Anderson: I love that they’re recapping the hearings when we know he watched. Okay. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Tre’vell Anderson: We know he was fuming okay. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. Right.


Tre’vell Anderson: Every single time. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. He’s like, oh, I forgot. It’s like no baby. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Right. So these hearings, they have been going on for some time now, since early summer, and they’re just now subpoenaing the former president. So can you let us know where we are in the January 6th hearing process? Will there be more hearings? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yes. So theoretically, we are near the end. Theoretically, as I mentioned earlier, this subpoena was announced the week before it was actually issued. And that announcement happened at what was very possibly the committee’s very last public hearing. So during this hearing, the committee basically presented evidence about how Trump was, quote, “enraged and embarrassed” because he had lost the election, which eventually led to him trying to join his supporters as they marched towards the Capitol on January 6th. And keep in mind, he knew the following things, right? He knew his supporters were armed. He knew they were threatening violence. And he knew that Congress was meeting that day to certify the election, which would ensure his defeat. This happening during the maybe last public hearing is basically centering him in this narrative of what happened on January 6th. And the bottom line is that after months and months and months and months of investigation and testimony, the January 6th committee has concluded that this all comes back to Donald Trump. He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on January 6th, said Chairman Bennie Thompson. He must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions. I think it’s worth mentioning that there has been a lot of talk about whether Trump’s behavior leading up to that day and on January 6th was illegal or like merely ill advised or just unpresidential or maybe a little unhinged. Like it’s been characterized a lot of different ways. Right. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And basically, this most recent January 6th committee hearing made the case for it being explicitly illegal. In fact, Liz Cheney said explicitly that, quote, “None of this is normal, acceptable or lawful in our republic.” And you know me, I’m not saying everything illegal is necessarily immoral, but– 


Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. 


Josie Duffy Rice: –I think the conclusion here is that this was both. This is a very clear assault on our democratic processes. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. So what now? Do we expect Donald Trump to, I laugh as I say this, do we expect Donald Trump to comply with the subpoena or what? 


Josie Duffy Rice: What do you think, tell me? [laughter] I can tell you that I don’t expect him to. I think you don’t expect him to. I mean, I have no particular insight into this other than just being another American riding the roller coaster of the past six years. But we know that he’s been disparaging of the committee. He’s criticized everyone on it. Liz Cheney lost her election and he’s clearly kind of positioned this as like a conspiracy by the elite. So I would be completely shocked if he went down without a fight. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. 


Josie Duffy Rice: You know, I think Donald Trump is going to fight this as much as he possibly can. And as we know, like Steve Bannon is now headed to prison because he defied the subpoena of the committee. It’s not like there’s not a precedent of people in his inner circle refusing to testify. But this is the thing. He might not even really have to fight honestly, because, first of all, this is unprecedented. You know, we’ve never really had to deal with like subpoenaing a former president about an insurrection. So no one is really exactly in agreement of what should even happen next. There’s really no roadmap here. And either way, his lawyers are sure to put up a fight over why he doesn’t have to comply. And if they do manage to drag it out long enough and the Republicans are successful in the midterms, it kind of becomes a moot issue because if Republicans take over the House, which is definitely possible or even likely, according to the latest polls, they’re probably going to shut down the committee altogether and that would invalidate the subpoena in the end anyway. So my thought is like it’s pretty unlikely that we see Donald Trump showing up to the committee, forced to testify. I think that’s a pipe dream. But in any event, we will be following this chapter in Trump’s legal woes as it all unfolds. And that is the latest for now. We will be back after some ads. 




Tre’vell Anderson: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines. 


[sung] Headlines. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Some updates on the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that Russia has launched a new wave of attacks aimed at disabling his country’s power grid. Officials said that more than 1.5 million households were without power on Saturday as a result. According to Zelensky, power has been restored in some of the affected areas. As of now, about a third of Ukraine’s power stations and other energy generating facilities have been destroyed by Russian airstrikes in the past week. Meanwhile, Russian installed officials are evacuating residents from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, citing the threat of upcoming, quote unquote, “terror attacks from Kiev.” Ukrainian troops are expected to make advances there in hopes of regaining control. Kherson and the three other illegally annexed regions of Ukraine have been under martial law since Wednesday. 


Josie Duffy Rice: At least two people are confirmed dead after Hurricane Roslyn made landfall in southwest Mexico over the weekend. It arrived as a Category three storm, bringing heavy rains and devastating flash floods to part of the country’s Pacific coast. Roslyn has since weakened to a tropical depression and forecasters say that it’s expected to die down later today. 


Tre’vell Anderson: On Sunday, President Xi Jinping secured a historic third term to be China’s uncontested leader for the next five years. This was the expected ending to the week long meeting of the ruling Communist Party. But in some unexpected news on Saturday, Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, was escorted out of the conference’s closing ceremony. Chinese state media didn’t report on it, but an official news agency tweeted in English that the 79 year old wasn’t feeling well. It’s not clear if that was actually the case or if it was a political power move by Xi. 


Josie Duffy Rice: I’m assuming if he wasn’t feeling well, the Chinese media would have reported that. But what do I know? [laugh] Boris Johnson can safely attend parties again without making his whole country upset because the former British prime minister dropped out of the race for his old job last night. After Liz Truss abruptly resigned late last week, Johnson quickly tried to muster support to reclaim the position he was forced to leave less than three months ago amid numerous scandals. But the Conservative Party was less keen on backing their scruffy, problematic old boss again and instead threw their support behind Britain’s former finance minister, Rishi Sunak. He could be selected as early as today, and if Sunak wins, he would be the first person of South Asian descent and the first person of color to serve as Britain’s prime minister. 


Tre’vell Anderson: You know, I love the trend of people of color being forced to come in and clean up white peoples, you know, mess that they’ve created. So I guess shout out to Rishi. 


Josie Duffy Rice: All right. Good luck. 


Tre’vell Anderson: This is your cue to cut back on unnecessary spending and become a savant at using Because Beyoncé, the one and only queen of all things, has confirmed she’ll be taking her acclaimed album Renaissance on a world tour in summer 2023. The news first came after a gala this weekend at LA’s Waco Theater, which is owned by Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Knowles-Lawson. A Renaissance tour ticket package was auctioned off at the event, including first class airfare, a three night hotel stay, and a backstage tour given by Tina herself. Fans on Twitter said someone paid $850,000 for that package, which, based on how things go on Ticketmaster, is about what you should expect to pay for your seats. And it is all worth it, I promise. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And the worlds of food and fine art collided yesterday. [sigh] I went from the high of the Beyoncé tour to the low of this story because someone threw mashed potatoes at a painting by Claude Monet. That is not a mad lib. That is a real thing that happened. The intent was to draw attention to climate change and the potato throwers were members of a German activist group. And they’re not the only people guided by the logic that food fights plus artwork equals climate awareness. A little over a week ago, activists in London poured tomato soup over Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflowers for the same cause. Now, typically, these paintings are behind glass, so they’re not damaged, though the same cannot be said of the potatoes and soup. Artists can show their support for this method of protest by focusing on painting big bull’s eyes from here on out. Look this plus the people pouring milk in the grocery store. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. 


Josie Duffy Rice: It just is not the way to do it. That’s my two cents.


Tre’vell Anderson: You know, I am looking for the connection. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Tre’vell Anderson: To climate change here, and I’m not seeing it. You know, maybe someone in the WAD squad does see it and understand. You can tweet at us. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Um. But right now, I’m not seeing the connection. And so it it’s just coming off as like a stunt, you know? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. Right.


Tre’vell Anderson: But I don’t know if we can get past the stunt to actually– 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Tre’vell Anderson: –Talk about climate change, which they say is their goal. 


Josie Duffy Rice: I’m all for drama, as you know, and I’m all for big protests, as you know. However, if I thought this changed anybody’s mind about climate change, I would be supportive. But I don’t think it did. It doesn’t bring really like awareness about climate change anyway, because if you’ve heard of Claude Monet, you’ve probably heard of climate change. Like at least the cause is good. At least it wasn’t like throwing mashed potatoes on a painting for gun rights or something. That would be a step too far. 


Tre’vell Anderson: That is true. We still have some questions, but, you know, maybe we’ll get some answers shortly. And those are the headlines. 




Tre’vell Anderson: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review, paint a bull’s eye and tell your friends to listen. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And if you’re into reading and not just the back end code for like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter, so check it out and subscribe at I’m Josie Duffy Rice. 


Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson. 


[spoken together] And party on Boris Johnson. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Honestly, now he can party in peace. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, I can see him at like an EDM rave right now or something. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Just living it up. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Tre’vell Anderson: You know I love that for him. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Maybe he’s out there with his, like, 11th secret child or whatever. 


Tre’vell Anderson: Uh oh. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Whoops. Sorry. [laughter] Love the UK. I think. I’ve never been, but it sounds cool. [laughter] [music break]


Tre’vell Anderson: 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 Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.