🌊 Can Biden Block You?

Joe Biden makes it official, Cali’s prolific fake doctor, and the Rise of Starship

Today’s the 122-year anniversary of the first on-air weather report. It took place on local St. Louis radio and consisted of an exhilarating 55-degree forecast. By the way, have you heard the story of the ancient Roman weatherman? One day the emperor asked him for the forecast and he responded, “Hail, Caesar.”

In today's edition:

  • Joe Biden makes it official

  • Cali’s prolific fake doctor

  • The Rise of Starship

 🔑 Key Stories

Can Politicians Block People?

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) agreed to hear 2 cases related to whether public officials can block people

  • In 2017, Trump was sued for blocking people on his Twitter. In 2019, a federal court ruled that doing so violated First Amendment rights, since Trump was a public figure; in 2020, SCOTUS threw the case out

  • SCOTUS has now agreed to hear 2 similar cases

  • Both relate to public officials who operated social media accounts and blocked people critical of them

  • Some Federal courts gave officials the right to block; others didn’t. SCOTUS has now said it will hear both cases this fall to issue a final ruling

Biden Running in 2024

President Joe Biden announced he is running for re-election in 2024

  • Biden released a video on Tuesday morning that opens with a montage of clips from January 6th and abortion protests. “The question we’re facing is, whether in the years ahead, we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer,” Biden narrated. “That’s why I’m running for re-election”

  • Biden, who is 80, is already the US’ oldest president ever. He would be 86 by the end of his 2nd term

  • Biden will likely face no major Democratic opposition. Bernie Sanders already endorsed him

Dig Deeper

  • Biden’s current approval rating is 41% – 2% lower than Trump’s and 7% lower than Obama’s at the same stage in their presidencies

  • On the Republican side, polls show former President Trump ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has yet to formally declare his candidacy but is seen as Trump’s likely rival. Other declared Republican candidates include Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Larry Elder

Nate Silver Out at ABC

Nate Silver, the founder of news site FiveThirtyEight, announced he is leaving the organization

  • In 2007, Silver created a statistical model that accurately projected the 2008 presidential primaries; the following year, he launched FiveThirtyEight (538), a political polling new site

  • The site moved into sports analytics, and in 2013, ESPN, which Disney owns, bought it. In 2018, ABC, which Disney also owns, took control of 538

  • Disney has been conducting mass layoffs, though, and on Tuesday, Silver announced he will be leaving 538 for related reasons

Dig Deeper

  • 538 has been one of the US’ most prominent forecasting sites over the last decade. In 2016, it gave Trump the highest chances of winning among all major polling sites

  • “ABC News remains dedicated to data journalism,” the company said in a statement. “We are grateful for the invaluable contributions of [those] who will be departing the organization”

Taliban Kills ISIS Leader

The Taliban have killed the ISIS leader responsible for the 2021 Kabul airport attack that killed 13 US service members, US officials said

  • In the summer of 2021, the Taliban rapidly took control of Afghanistan. Amid that, the US rushed to evacuate thousands of Americans and pro-US Afghans through Kabul International Airport

  • On August 26, an attacker detonated a bomb on the edge of the airport, killing 13 US service members, injuring 18 more, and killing 150+ civilians

  • On Tuesday, US officials said the Taliban recently killed the ISIS official responsible for the bombing

Dig Deeper

  • The US hasn’t released the name or rank of the ISIS member. On Monday, the Biden administration reportedly contacted family members of the attack’s American victims to inform them of the news

The Alternative to Sugary Sports Drinks

Together with LMNT

LMNT, pronounced “element,” is the electrolyte mix we recommend Roca Riders hydrate with this spring. Some Roca Riders already are:

  • "LMNT allows me to understand the science behind its formulation in a transparent way. It’s my daily go-to for a workout, headache, or head rush from dehydration. Every other brand had too much sugar and tasted artificial — but the salty kick from LMNT is the tastiest there is" - Roca Rider Erin from Philly

  • Electrolytes are essential minerals that facilitate vital bodily functions, including the conduction of nerve impulses, hormonal regulation, nutrient absorption, and fluid balance

  • LMNT electrolytes contain just what you need – the salts – without all the other harmful additives. Just mix it with water and it’s perfect for hydrating, be it after a workout or night out

  • Other popular electrolyte drinks contain as much as 36 grams of sugar. 36 GRAMS! LMNT contains none

  • You can try it totally risk-free. If you don’t like it, they’ll give you your money back – no questions asked. You have nothing to lose

Dig Deeper

  • Right now LMNT is offering Roca Riders a free sample pack with any purchase. That’s 8 single servings FREE with any LMNT order. This is a great way to try all 8 flavors or share LMNT with a salty friend

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Daylight ends and he wanna go home: Singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte died at 96. His first album "Calypso" was the first LP to sell 1M copies

  • Shakin' off the Rust: Production of Alec Baldwin's Rust has resumed in Montana, 1.5 years after a crew member was killed. They are not allowing real guns on the premises

  • Another day another Barbie: Barbie is launching its first doll with Down syndrome in an attempt to “enable all children to see themselves in Barbie

Wildcard

  • Doctor Conman: A California man is accused of impersonating a doctor and treating thousands of patients over several years. Some of the patients had cancer

  • Sin City express? Lawmakers asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to approve a high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Southern California

  • Kim Jong-cig: British American Tobacco will have to pay $635M+ to US authorities after a subsidiary admitted to selling cigarettes in North Korea

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

Have you ever adopted an animal from a shelter?

Today's Question:

What was a life lesson that was difficult to learn?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

N ASA plans to land humans on the moon in 2025 for the first time since 1972. SpaceX’s Starship will help it do that.

To date, the only rocket to have ever taken humans beyond low-earth orbit is Saturn V.

Saturn V was a “super heavy-lift launch vehicle,” which is defined as a rocket that can carry 110,000+ pounds of payload – humans, spacecraft, satellites, etc. – into orbit.

In July 1969, Saturn V launched the first manned mission to the moon. At the time, it was the most powerful rocket ever built.

Saturn V cost the 2023 equivalent of $53B to develop, and each launch cost an additional $1.5B. It launched the Apollo missions, which landed astronauts on the moon between 1969 and 1972.

After that, NASA proposed creating several super heavy-lift successor vehicles, but none were completed due to complications and cost. Then in 1981, NASA launched its Space Shuttle program.

The shuttles were “semi-reusable”: The shuttles themselves were reusable, but their boosters were not. The program was meant to be a relatively affordable way to bring astronauts to and from space. But the program was less efficient than hoped and shut down in 2011.

Over the following decade, all manned NASA missions used Russian spaceships. But as that became expensive, relations with Russia deteriorated, and interest in space exploration surged, private US companies and NASA increased their investments in developing new rockets.

In 2010, Congress ordered NASA to develop a replacement for the space shuttle, which ended up being the Space Launch System (SLS). 7 years later, then-President Trump ordered NASA to “lead the return of humans to the Moon… followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.” NASA has since targeted 2025 for a manned moon landing under the mission name “Artemis.”

NASA has spent $28B to develop the SLS, which it envisions as the primary launch system of the Artemis moon mission. SLS had its inaugural launch in November 2022, at which point it was the most powerful rocket ever launched.

NASA has also established a partnership with SpaceX, a private space company founded by Elon Musk in 2002. SpaceX currently flies 2 types of rockets: Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. In 2020, Falcon 9 became the first US rocket to launch a manned NASA mission since 2011.

SpaceX has also been developing a third rocket, Starship, which is the largest and most powerful rocket ever built.

In 2021, NASA signed a $4B+ contract with SpaceX to use Starship for parts of the Artemis mission that SLS cannot complete.

The Starship has 2 “stages”, each of which is fully reusable.

The first stage – the “Super Heavy” booster – is designed to lift the rocket off the ground. The second – simply known as the Starship – is itself a self-contained spaceship. Because of its reusable design, SpaceX predicts Starship’s launch cost will be a fraction of that of SLS, which isn’t reusable.

NASA envisions that Starship will provide the final leg of the trip to the moon. It also envisions that Starship will transport supplies used by astronauts on the moon’s surface. NASA has also tasked SpaceX with creating a space station that will constantly orbit the moon.

Last Thursday, SpaceX held Starship’s inaugural launch.

Starship’s 33 engines fired and the ship lifted off the launch pad. Minutes later, though, some of the engines failed. The rocket wobbled violently before self-destructing 4 minutes after launch.

Despite the explosion, the test was widely seen as a success.

“Congrats to @SpaceX… Every great achievement throughout history has demanded some level of calculated risk, because with great risk comes great reward,” NASA’s head tweeted.

After the launch, Musk implied that SpaceX will conduct another test launch in several months

SpaceX has also said Starship could one day pioneer space travel beyond the moon.

Is Starship the beginning of a new Space Age?

If you have thoughts, let us know at [email protected]!

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Have you traveled outside of your home country?

Yes: 70%
No: 30%

Yesterday's Question:

What traits or experiences would you like to see in your political leaders?

Molly from Ohio: “Humility! As a teenager who has grown up in an environment of divisive and uncompromising politics, it would be refreshing to see more political leaders who can admit when they're wrong. I'd like to use my votes for leaders who don't take themselves too seriously and appreciate the value of being open-minded to conflicting opinions.”

Brandon from Chicago: “I would like to see some sort of attributes that resemble common sense. There are far too many actual politicians in politics. There are not very many of the common man that are truly represented. I don't think I could even name one person in Congress at the moment that is not a career politician. This, a willingness to accept criticism, and really wanting to work with each other instead of just hurling insults across the isle.”

Kathy from California: “Honest and trustworthy. Free from superpacs, corporate donors and immune to lobbyists. Actually represent the party whose banner they campaign under. Not a millionaire or billionaire, actually part of the labor force 98%. Youthful, we need younger representation with fresh ideas”

 🧠 Final Thoughts

As the Great Media Reset continues, we hope you all are secure in your jobs. If any of you are Big News anchors, it's never too late to repent: Apologize for spreading divisive and fear-mongering content, promise you'll never do it again, and we'll consider letting you intern here.

Hope you have great days!

— Max and Max