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🌊 Chiquita, How I Hate to See You Like This

Plus: The GOAT gets banned? Justice for Chestnut!

Why did the Berlin Wall get torn down?

Cause it didn’t match with the Iron Curtains. Okay fine, don’t laugh… you communists.

But today is the 27th anniversary of Ronald Reagan telling Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin: “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” And Gorbachev responded, “Okay, Boomer.” Or something like that.

👨‍⚖️ Hunter Biden found guilty

🥳 Baltimore port open again!

🚘 Michigan Zoom court man gets driver's permit

–Max and Max


Joey Chestnut Banned

Champion hot dog eater Joey Chestnut was banned from this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Chestnut has won the Nathan’s contest – which takes place each July 4 – 16 times, including every year since 2016. Yet his new contract would have prevented him from representing any other hot dog brand

  • On Tuesday, it emerged that Chestnut had opted to represent Impossible Foods – which recently launched a vegan imitation hot dog – thereby disqualifying himself from competing in the contest

Dig Deeper

  • The news comes only two weeks after Takeru Kobayashi – a six-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champ – announced his retirement

  • Kobayashi said competitive hotdog eating left his body “broken,” saying on a Netflix documentary, “I no longer feel hunger.” Kobayashi has said he wants to heal and create a healthier hot dog alternative


Chiquita Liable for Terror?

A US jury found Chiquita liable for financing a Colombian terror group

  • The AUC was a US-designated terrorist organization in Colombia. It began as a vigilante group that fought Marxist guerillas before becoming a paramilitary with control over swaths of the country

  • Chiquita, the banana company, had formerly confessed to paying the company ~$2M, claiming that it had been extorted. The families of AUC victims then brought a lawsuit, accusing Chiquita of funding the AUC’s criminal behavior

  • On Tuesday, a federal jury sided with the plaintiffs, awarding them $38.3M in damages

Dig Deeper

  • The plaintiffs had argued that Chiquita provided enough money to the AUC that it should have known it could cause harm

  • Chiquita’s lawyers had argued that the company had no choice, given the threats to its staff and property

  • Chiquita said it would appeal, claiming there was “no legal basis for the claims”


WNBA Surge

The WNBA reported record-breaking numbers for May, the first full month with phenoms Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese in the league

  • Clark was the top pick in this April’s WNBA draft; Reese, the seventh. Both players became celebrities at their universities and brought significant attention to the league

  • This week, the WNBA announced that in May, it experienced its highest attendance levels in 26 years and its best TV viewership numbers ever. Arenas reported an average of 94% occupancy, while TV viewership was nearly triple last season’s average

Dig Deeper

  • Clark plays for the Indiana Fever; Reese, the Chicago Sky

  • Beyond their arrival of, the league has benefited from an apparent feud between the league’s established players and Clark, who has been the subject of jeering and viral fouls


Hunter Biden Found Guilty

A jury found Hunter Biden guilty

  • Biden – the president’s only surviving son and a self-admitted crack addict – had been accused of lying about his drug use on federal forms to buy a handgun. Specifically, he checked a box that said he was neither addicted to nor using drugs at the time of the purchase. Federal law prohibits owning a gun while using drugs and lying on federal forms

  • Sentencing will likely happen in four months, just one month before the presidential election. Biden may or may not be sentenced to jail

  • Biden is soon expected to face a separate trial on tax charges

Dig Deeper

  • Biden could face up to 25 years in prison, however, any jail sentence – if given – would likely be far less

  • In a statement, President Biden reiterated that he would not pardon his son and added, "Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today”

  • Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, said, “This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine”


Welcome to a Salty Summer

  • Summer is here, and staying hydrated is more important than ever

  • LMNT is a delicious, zero-sugar electrolyte drink mix designed to keep you refreshed during the hot and humid summer months

  • Our bodies and brains often need more electrolytes than we realize to perform at their best. LMNT’s high-performance nutritional science ensures you get the optimal electrolyte balance

Dig Deeper

  • LMNT is perfect for anyone looking to restore their health through hydration this summer, including athletes, those fasting, or those following keto, low-carb, whole-food, or paleo diets

  • As always, Roca readers get a free Sample Pack with any drink mix purchase!

Some Quick Stories for the Office

🚢 The Port of Baltimore fully reopened roughly 11 weeks after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse shut it down. The bridge’s wreck had blocked most of the waterway to the port, which is among the US’ busiest

📈 A day after Apple announced its new “Apple Intelligence” update, its stock jumped 7.3% to a record high. Apple’s $3.18T worth falls just short of Microsoft’s $3.22T, the world’s most valuable company

🇫🇷 The leader of France’s center-right party announced his intention to ally with the country’s main far-right party, boosting the right’s odds of winning upcoming parliamentary elections. It marks the first time a mainstream conservative party has ever indicated its intent to work with a far-right one

💸 Donald Trump proposed exempting workers’ tips from taxes: “For those hotel workers and people that get tips, you’re going to be very happy because when I get into office, we are going to not charge taxes on tips,” he said

✍️ Hamas responded to President Biden’s ceasefire proposal with a series of “amendments,” including guarantees that the ceasefire would end the war and lead to an Israeli withdrawal. Among other things, Biden’s plan had proposed a path for negotiations to end the war


Yesterday’s question: Who’s your favorite talk show or game show host of all time? Why?

It has potential to confound murder investigations if the perpetrator uses it to support an alibi.

Anthony from Indianapolis

Having your phone send a text to your family that says “sure is hot down here!” A few days after your death.

Jason from Texas

I mean.... Android already has that feature! I schedule texts all the time from my Android phone... And before that, when I was a teen, my network had a code that you'd type before your text and you could schedule it for the next 24h.

So, no need for any special app or to buy an iPhone for that

Ana from Switzerland

Today’s Question: Who’s someone we should invite onto our podcast? Why?

Some Quick Stories for Happy Hour

🚘 Back to square one: Corey Harris, the 44-year-old Michigan man who went viral for driving during a Zoom court hearing for his suspended license obtained his learner’s permit

📈 Just guys being dudes: Kai Cenat, the most-subscribed-to streamer on Twitch, broke viewership records during a sleepover livestream with Kevin Hart and Druski

L to R: Kai Cenat, Kevin Hart, and Druski

🪁 Those rocks rock: Emergency personnel rescued a kite surfer who used rocks to spell out “HELP” in the sand after becoming stranded on a narrow beach south of San Francisco

👮🏻‍♂️ Free Steel: The lawyer defending rapper Young Thug was arrested and ordered to spend ten weekends in jail after being held in contempt of court

👩‍🏫 Drinking and teaching: A California second-grade teacher who was arrested last year for DUI and child endangerment will not face any charges. The teacher had twice the legal BAC for a school staff member

Defeat in Victory

This is part two of our series on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

If Uttar Pradesh were its own country, it would be the world’s fifth-most populous.

The northern state is India’s most populous, with 241M people. It’s also the country’s poorest state and may have blown up Modi’s plans for India.

Southern India outperforms northern India by almost every measure of development: Less poverty, higher literacy, less infant mortality. Southern Indian outcomes often place similarly to countries in Southeast Asia, like Thailand; northern India’s, among sub-Saharan Africa.

The north – predominantly Hindu and Hindi-speaking – is Modi’s base and where his brand of “Hindu nationalism” has traditionally been most popular.

UP had become ground zero for some of Modi’s attempts to emphasize Hinduism within India. Rather than putting an economy-focused leader in charge of the state, his party, the BJP, installed Yogi Adityanath – a Hindu monk known for saying inflammatory things about Muslims.

This January, Modi visited the state for a major inauguration ceremony: Not for a factory or a business, though, but for a controversial temple that had been built on top of a destroyed mosque.

Many analysts assumed Modi would easily carry UP and other northern states again. Yet in the lead-up to this year’s elections, others noted that there was little to show for India’s growth there, as jobs and investment had disproportionately gone to the south.

Furthermore, these states are home to tens of millions of minority and low-caste Hindu voters who generally oppose certain Modi policies, such as reducing affirmative action quotas in government jobs.

When results came out this week, the BJP won just 33 of UP’s 80 parliamentary seats, down from 62 in 2019. The BJP entered the election with 303 seats and needed 272 for a majority, meaning that 29-seat swing alone nearly cost it a majority.

And the bad news wasn’t just there: In Rajasthan, to UP’s west, and Maharashtra, a richer state to the south, the BJP suffered similar losses.

On Monday night, exit polls showed the BJP winning 350-400 seats – a landslide. Yet just 24 hours later, it was confirmed that the opposite had happened: The BJP had won just 240, well short of a majority.

The BJP and its allies won a collective 293 of 543 seats, giving the alliance a majority that will enable Modi to remain prime minister, yet he will be at his weakest position since taking power in 2014. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress party and its alliance won 99 and 234 seats, respectively, by far their best performances since 2014.

So how did a prime minister with 74% approval fail to win a majority? 

One theory is the economy: That a lack of job creation reinforced by growing inequality tainted Modi’s image as a great economic manager and cost him votes.

Another is affirmative action: That low-caste and minority voters believed the BJP would take away their privileges, and that their interests would be better served by smaller parties.

A third is democracy: That many Indians – especially elites – believe ten years of Modi rule harmed India’s democracy and that another term would destroy it.

And a fourth is division: That Modi’s emphasis on Hinduism and attacks on the Muslim minority – which intensified during the campaign – turned off many Indians.

Modi cast the result as a “historical feat,” and for him to win a third consecutive term is, indeed, historic. Yet there is little doubt: In this victory is defeat.

Final Thoughts

Today is also the 42nd anniversary of the opening of Popeye’s in Louisiana. The South absolutely dominates the fried chicken fast food category: Georgia gave us Zaxby’s and Chick-fil-A; Louisiana claims Popeye’s and Raising Cane’s; and North Carolina gifted us Bojangle’s. Come on, South Carolina, pick up the slack!

We’re Cookout guys through and through, however. If you know you know. Happy Hump Day.

–Max and Max