🌊 A Night to Forget

Plus: Why Michelle Obama has beef with Joe Biden?

Two new inductees into the US Rhetorical HOF.

  • “Four score and seven years ago.” - Abraham Lincoln

  • “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” - FDR

  • "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” - JFK

  • “We knock on wood wherever we may have wood” - Trump (last night)

  • "I beat medicare." - Biden (last night)

Let’s just hope China and Russia didn’t have cable connection. Or that if they did they thought it was just a Simpsons episode starring Mr. Burns and Grandpa Abe.

🇺🇸 Report: Beef between Michele Obama and Biden

🦏 Rhinos going radioactive?

⚽️ Illinois sinkhole swallows soccer field

–Max and Max


Biden Obama Feud

Axios reported that Michelle Obama isn’t campaigning for Joe Biden because of the Biden family’s treatment of Hunter’s ex-wife

  • In 2017, Hunter Biden and his wife Kathleen Buhle – a close friend of Michelle – divorced

  • The proceedings and Buhle’s subsequent memoir made details about Hunter’s crack use and infidelity public, something the Biden family reportedly holds against Buhle

  • Michelle – who has stayed close with Buhle – considers the Biden family’s treatment of Buhle unfair, Axios reported, and because of that, she has declined to campaign for Biden

Dig Deeper

  • The feud reportedly began in 2015, when Barack Obama urged President Biden against running for president

  • “A lot of people…were encouraging me to run in this period, except the president,” Biden has said. “He just thought that [Clinton] had a better shot of winning the presidency than I did”

  • A White House spokesman denied the reports about Michelle: “The Biden and Obama families are like family to one other, and whomever made these claims about that relationship isn’t familiar with it”


Opioid Family Ruling

SCOTUS blocked a bankruptcy plan for OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma

  • Purdue – through producing and pushing excessive amounts of OxyContin – and the Sackler family, which owns it, have been found responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic

  • To navigate the related lawsuits, Purdue filed for bankruptcy and agreed to pay out $6B to victims. In exchange, the Sacklers – with an estimated $11B net worth – would not declare bankruptcy and would be shielded from lawsuits

  • In a 5-4 vote, the majority ruled that bankruptcy law didn’t allow the Sacklers to proceed as such

Dig Deeper

  • Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, wrote that the Sacklers had tried to misuse the bankruptcy system: The Sacklers didn’t put “anything approaching their full assets on the table” for distribution to opioid victims, he wrote, but “they seek a judicial order that would extinguish virtually all claims against them for fraud, willful injury, and even wrongful death, all without the consent of those who have brought and seek to bring such claims”

  • Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who dissented, wrote that the decision “is wrong on the law and devastating for more than 100,000 opioid victims and their families”

  • “Opioid victims are now deprived of the substantial monetary recovery that they long fought for and finally secured after years of litigation,” he wrote


A Green Concrete-Based Tech Company

  • One of the coolest startups we’ve come across at Roca is AquiPor, a company that is solving the problem of urban flooding

  • Traditional concrete doesn’t absorb water – that’s why rain often causes cities to flood

  • AquiPor has solved that by creating porous concrete that captures stormwater where it falls. It then filters that water and allows it to return to the ground naturally

  • Based in the Pacific NW, AquiPor’s patented distributed water system is game-changing in scope and potential – especially given the US’ massive investments in making cities more resilient to climate change

  • AquiPor is currently fundraising. You can learn more and invest here!


Bolivia Coup Conspiracy

A failed coup attempt in Bolivia ended with its leader saying the president had asked him to orchestrate it

  • On Wednesday afternoon, military vehicles breached Bolivia’s presidential palace and a general declared that “there will be a new cabinet of ministers”

  • Other generals intervened, though, while the president – speaking with a megaphone from the presidential balcony – declared that “no one can take away the democracy that we have won at the polls”

  • As the general who led the effort was arrested on Wednesday night, he claimed, “The president told me the situation was f*cked and that he needed something to boost his popularity”

Dig Deeper

  • Bolivia, a poor South American country in the Andes, has been facing political turmoil since 2019 when leftist leader Evo Morales tried to run for a third term but was then forced from the country after it was deemed unconstitutional

  • Luis Arce, a leftist rival of Morales, has been Bolivia’s leader since 2020


Atomic Rhinos

Researchers are implanting radioactive material into rhinos’ horns

  • Poaching has decimated rhino numbers, with just 27,000 left in the wild. A majority of those are in South Africa, yet poaching continues there: The country reported 499 rhinos killed last year, an 11% increase from 2022

  • For a new anti-poaching strategy, South African scientists are installing radioactive material into live rhino horns, making them useless and poisonous for human consumption

  • The isotope will be harmless to the rhinos

Dig Deeper

  • The material is installed by drilling holes in the horn and then hammering in an isotope and spraying it with a cover material

  • The process will have to be repeated every five years, making it easier than de-horning, which requires a rhino’s horn to be trimmed every 18 months

  • The so-called Rhisotope project seeks to test this on 20 total rhinos

  • Beyond making the horn worthless, the rhinos will now trigger detectors that were installed to prevent the smuggling of nuclear materials, allowing authorities to track the animals and better protect them

Some Quick Stories for the Office

🚨 A pair of crimes allegedly involving illegal immigrants are making headlines in New York. In Syracuse, authorities accused an Ecuadorian migrant of suffocating a woman to death. In Albany, authorities arrested a Turkish migrant, who also entered the country illegally, and accused him of raping a 15-year-old girl

🗳 Iran is holding a vote on Friday to replace President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash last month. Polls show it’s a close race between three candidates, all of whom are vetted by the regime

💰️ A Vermont driver who was arrested for giving a police officer the middle finger was awarded a $175,000 settlement

🇰🇵 North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a new weapon to deliver multiple warheads at once, while South Korea says the North is bluffing

🏀 The Los Angeles Lakers selected Bronny James, the son of LeBron James, with the 55th pick in the NBA draft


Question of the Day

🧠 Yesterday’s question: Predictions for tonight’s debate?

Not even the least bit interested in watching 2 old men have a battle of wits when both are coming in unarmed. It is just a total joke on both sides. Neither is fit to be the leader of the free world. What a $&?@ show. Not to mention embarrassing for our country.

Toni from Denver

Trump freaks out because he can’t go on and on like he does. He will try to talk even with mic off. He gets so frustrated he quits mid debate and then cries about how debate was rigged.

Mike from Texas

Kennedy will win it, even though they wouldn't let him play with the children.

Chris from Salt Lake City

20 Questions

Roca Nation, it seems our summer playlist needs some work. After last week's summer playlist-themed 20 Questions (you can see the winners below), hundreds of you wrote in to say that we had some egregious oversights: No Beach Boys? No T-Swift? No Mr. Blue Sky? No Baby Shark?!

So this week, we are turning it back to you to complete the playlist. We are putting up 20 of the songs you requested in the "What songs did we miss?" section for a vote. Sorry, dads, but once again no Play that Funky Music.

Last Week’s 20 Questions:

The Roca summer playlist according to last week’s poll results:

Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd (most popular)
I Love Rock N’ Roll by Joan Jett
Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams
Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars
September by Earth, Wind, and Fire
Mr. Brightside by The Killers
In the Air Tonight by Phill Collins
Thriller by MJ
Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Saturday in the Park by Chicago
Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra

Missed the cut: 99 Problems by Jay-Z, Closer by The Chainsmokers, It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls, Good 4 U by Olivia Rodrigo, Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine, Valerie by Amy Winehouse, Get Lucky by Daft Punk, and Yeah! by Usher

Some Quick Stories for Happy Hour

🐍 Ronaldo the miracle virgin: A male Brazilian rainbow boa named Ronaldo gave birth to 14 baby snakes despite having had no contact with other snakes

🗳 Major L: A 45-year-old man became the first candidate in Canadian history to lose an election with zero votes. “I am the true unity candidate,” he said. “Everyone agrees not to vote for me”

⚽️ Mmm, tasty metal: A sinkhole in Illinois swallowed a light pole in the middle of a soccer field. The sinkhole was blamed on mining activity 150 feet below the site

Easily the safest soccer field in the midwest.

🛒 New threshold unlocked : Target is lowering the threshold for how much shoplifters can steal without staff interfering. It used to be for items worth less than $100 but will soon be dropped to $50

⚡️ Bad things happen to good people: A lightning strike killed a New Jersey man as he warned other beachgoers to clear off the beach

Final Thoughts

16 years ago today, Stephen Hawking threw a party for time-travelers. He announced the party the day after it happened, and according to the late physicist, no one came.

Well… that party is where we wish we had been last night. Time to shake off the debate with some 20 Questions and a great weekend!

–Max and Max