The World and Everything in It — November 4, 2019

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! One of the snipers who terrorized the Washington, D.C. area, a decade and a half ago wants his life sentence reconsidered—and the Supreme Court seems open to it.

KAGAN: …it can be summarized in two words, which is that ‘youth matters’. And that you have to consider youth in making these sorts of sentencing determinations.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket.

Also today … a surprisingly upbeat report on jobs and a fairly unsurprising report on economic growth. We’ll tell you about it on  the Monday Moneybeat.

Plus the WORLD Radio History Book. Today, the 40th anniversary of the start of the Iran Hostage Crisis.

And WORLD commentator Trillia Newbell on working for the glory of God.

REICHARD: It’s Monday, November 4th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Here’s Kent Covington with the news.

White House whistleblower offers to answer questions from Republicans » A lawyer for the White House whistleblower … says his client is willing to answer written questions from House Republicans.

Attorney Mark Zaid tweeted that the whistleblower would answer questions directly from GOP members “in writing, under oath & penalty of perjury.” And he added, “we will ensure timely answers.”

He added that he and his client extended their offer to the Ranking Member of the Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes. 

That came as President Trump continued to rail against the unnamed person who sounded alarms about his dealings with Ukraine. He told reporters on Sunday…

TRUMP: The whistleblower gave a false report, and because of that false report, people thought bad things were done. 

Trump again asserted that the whistleblower was politically motivated. 

But Zaid tweeted—quote—“Being a whistleblower is not a partisan job nor is impeachment an objective. That is not our role.”

HHS proposes rule to protect conscience rights » The Trump administration has proposed a rule to protect the conscience rights … of faith-based foster care and adoption agencies. 

The proposal would remove the threat of an agency losing federal funding … if it does not place children in LGBT households based on the agency’s religious beliefs. 

The new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services would apply to a broad range of organizations. But the focus from supporters and detractors has been on foster care and adoption services.

The change would require groups that receive federal support to follow anti-discrimination laws passed by Congress. But it would undo an Obama-era rule that included sexual orientation as a protected class under those laws. 

Democratic presidential candidates converge in Iowa » With just three months left until the Democratic Iowa caucuses … White House hopefuls flocked to the Hawkeye State over the weekend. 

WARREN: I have a plan to put $50 billion dollars into new schools, into upgrading our schools and new school facilities.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was one of eight candidates who spoke at an event in Cedar Rapids on Saturday. 

And 11 Democrats gathered in Des Moine for the NAACP’S presidential forum … including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.  

KLOBUCHAR: I am a big believer in changing our laws, not just state by state, but federally – to say that when someone has served their sentence, that they’re out of prison, that they should be able to vote. 

An average of national polls suggests that she and most other Democrats have their work cut out for them in Iowa. The only candidates currently polling in double digits there are Joe Biden, Senator Warren, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke was not among the candidates stumping in Iowa. With polling and fundraising lagging, he announced on Friday that he was ending his White House bid. 

Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil giant set for IPO » The most profitable company on the planet is set to make its first public offering by year’s end … and it might be the biggest IPO ever. 

Saudi Arabia said Sunday that its state-run oil company Saudi Aramco … will begin offering shares next month. 

Details are still sketchy. The Saudis did not give a price range for the shares. They also did not say how much of the firm it will offer to investors … on Riyadh’s Tadawul (tad-owl) stock exchange.

Analysts say the kingdom is optimistic that local investors will push its share prices toward the hoped-for $2 trillion valuation.

Terminator: Dark Fate tops the box office » At the weekend box office, the Terminator … is back. 

SOUND (Terminator Dark Fate trailer): August 29th, 1997 was supposed to be judgement day, but I changed the future [under and slowly out]

Terminator: Dark Fate debuted in the top spot. The R-rated franchise reboot hauled in $29 million over the weekend. 

Joker finished second with another $14 million. Gobally, the DC Comics villain flick is just $65 million away from crossing the $1 billion mark.

You can find WORLD’s reviews of current films—along with ratings and content information—at

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: The Supreme Court considers appropriate punishments for minors. Plus, finding value in work, however insignificant.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Monday morning and we’re up and at ’em for another week … the beneficiaries of an extra sixty minutes … a 25-hour Sabbath rest. This is The World and Everything in It for the 4th of November, 2019.  Good morning to you, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Hard to believe, but it’s been seventeen years since this story dominated headlines. ABC anchor Peter Jennings, October 2002.

JENNINGS: …a terrifying situation for thousands of people: gunman in the neighborhood, killing individuals in a methodical way. When the news got on the radio and the television, people were too frightened to go outside. It happened again, and again, and again. This is what it’s been like in Montgomery County, Maryland, which is basically part of Washington….

EICHER: Authorities caught the snipers, but not before they killed 12 people and injured six. One of the killers was a middle-aged man. The state executed him seven years later. The other killer received life in prison without parole. Lee Boyd Malvo was 17 at the time of that killing spree.

REICHARD: Within a decade of Malvo’s sentence, the Supreme Court was busy carving out special rules for young people convicted of crimes. 

In 2005, the high court ruled convicts under age 18 cannot be sentenced to death. 

In 2012, a case called Miller v Alabama, Justice Elena Kagan announced another protection for minors:

KAGAN: We hold today that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole for juveniles violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. …The punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to both the offender and the offense.

EICHER: A few years later, the court made that rule retroactive. Lots of prisoners sought to be resentenced after that.  

Here are a couple of terms you’ll want to keep in mind as we go along, and in particular what distinguishes one from another: sentences that are either mandatory or discretionary. 

A mandatory sentence requires an offender serve a predefined term for certain crimes. A discretionary sentence allows a judge to impose a term of years within a range, say 10 to 20 years, after considering the particular facts of a case. 

Here’s one more term to remember: the Miller rule. The courts deemed the Miller rule retroactive, except for juvenile offenders whose crimes are said to reflect “permanent incorrigibility.”

In other words, beyond reform.

REICHARD: Back to the Malvo argument before the Supreme Court. 

Lee Boyd Malvo is now 34 years old, and his lawyers cite the Miller ruling to argue his sentence is unconstitutional.

He asks for another hearing that takes into consideration his age when he committed the crimes, and to show that he is not incorrigible.

Malvo’s lawyer, Danielle Spinelli, argued the immaturity and vulnerability of youth ought to be considered before sentencing. She fended off Justice Samuel Alito’s concerns in this exchange. Listen: 

SPINELLI: And he is entitled to have one opportunity to make the case that he is not permanently incorrigible.

ALITO: Is not now or was not at the time?

SPINELLI: Well, I think by hypothesis —

ALITO: At the time of the sentencing?

SPINELLI: — this is — you know, if one is permanently incorrigible, that’s a permanent quality. So it certainly is relevant on resentencing what someone has done since they committed the crime. They may well have, you know, been able to provide evidence based on what they did after the crime, that they are not, in fact, permanently incorrigible.

ALITO: So, if he can demonstrate, as a result of good behavior in prison, for example, that he has been rehabilitated, then he must be released?

SPINELLI: No. No, absolutely not. That’s one piece of evidence that the sentencer can consider. The sentencer then can decide what is the sentence going to be. … So we are — we are nowhere near any prospect of being released.

REICHARD: Malvo’s attorney acknowledges that her client isn’t likely ever to be released from prison given his multiple life terms in Maryland alone. He’s also suspected of murders in four other states.

Still, the outcome of this case matters as a precedent to other young convicts.

Virginia Solicitor General Toby Heytens defended his state’s sentencing of Malvo. Malvo leans on Supreme Court precedents far different from the facts of this case, he argued.  Those cases dealt with mandatory sentencing. Virginia’s sentencing scheme was discretionary.  

But Heytens got push back from Justice Kagan.

KAGAN: I mean, all of Miller, it’s a 30-page opinion and it can be summarized in two words, which is that ‘youth matters’. And that you have to consider youth in making these sorts of sentencing determinations. And, again, of course, it talks a lot about mandatory schemes because a mandatory scheme was in front of it, but the entire reasoning was about how much youth matters and how a judge or a jury, whoever the sentencer is, has to take that youth into account. That’s the lesson of Miller.

REICHARD: But what about other lessons that ought to be considered, Heytens countered. A victory for Malvo here means imposing harm upon innocent people.

HEYTENS: Malvo’s victims were already required to endure one full trial and sentencing hearing more than a decade ago, and the Court should not lightly ask them to go through another, particularly given that the original sentencing fully complied with then controlling constitutional restrictions.

REICHARD: Not only that.  Heytens pointed out the judge in Malvo’s case could have lightened his sentence from what the jury imposed. He did have discretion.  That, even though the jury was presented with just two choices: death, or life in prison without parole. 

But lawyer Spinelli, again for Malvo, scoffed at that.

SPINELLI: The notion that somehow Miller was satisfied by …the theoretical opportunity to consider youth, when it wasn’t actually considered, simply can’t be squared with the language of Miller itself…

REICHARD: The argument then shifted to whether someone—judge or jury—actually might have considered Malvo’s youth at trial. 

Justice Stephen Breyer had his doubts, given the choices the jury had.

BREYER: first case, you cannot sentence under state law that’s mandatory, a juvenile to life without parole. Why not? Because nobody’s really considered whether he’s immature …That’s the reasoning. This case, they sentence him to life without parole. And the odds are greater than 50/50 that no one ever thought about whether he was, in fact, immature. Okay?

REICHARD: Justice Brett Kavanaugh tried to get at some principled way to sentence juveniles no matter the state’s system of sentencing.

And Justice Neil Gorsuch wasn’t so sure Supreme Court precedent was quite as cut and dried in favor of Malvo as his lawyer was making it out to be.

GORSUCH: …if the substantive right is that you cannot do life without parole for an incorrigible youth, there has to be a hearing and somebody has to make a finding about that. It’s not just a matter of discretion any more. It’s a matter of a factual finding…. And I would have thought in those circumstances we might have specified who would do that finding and how that hearing would be conducted, consistent with the Constitution.

SPINELLI: Well, that issue was not resolved in Miller or Montgomery, and I don’t think it needs to be resolved today.

GORSUCH: Isn’t that — isn’t  that a further strike, though, against your interpretation of Miller and Montgomery? That the Court would have created a new substantive right that implicates the Sixth Amendment and not ever said so or even hinted at it or even acknowledged the question?

SPINELLI: I actually don’t think that’s unusual…

REICHARD: So, the justices must once again parse whether the text means what it says, or whether some larger principle not expressed was intended instead. 

Fifteen states and the Trump administration side with the state of Virginia, that the way Malvo’s sentence came down was within the law.  

Among those on Malvo’s side is the ACLU and the American Bar Association, that Malvo’s constitutional rights were violated and a new sentencing hearing is required.

Finally, a case that asks what I admit may be less than riveting to us normal folks. But still important to the people involved. 

Who should pay the winning side’s attorney fees in a patent dispute? 

What happened here is that the United States Patent and Trademark Office declined to register a patent. The patent applicant appealed to district court and lost, then appealed again, and lost again. 

The Patent office wants reimbursement for what it spent on lawyers during all that. It’s a lot of money—more than $100,000. 

But at the Supreme Court, the Patent Office ran into a little thing called “The American Rule.” The patent applicant who lost doesn’t want to pay for the Patent Office’s lawyers. Listen to the patent applicant’s lawyer, Morgan Chu, extol the virtue of that.

CHU: First, the American rule is a bedrock principle, and this court has recognized and applied that rule for two centuries. Second, the government is arguing for a radical departure from the American rule. It is arguing that when a private party sues the government for its improper action, then that private party must pay for the government’s attorneys,  even if the government and its attorneys are flatly wrong.

REICHARD: The “American Rule” says each litigant pays for his own lawyer, win or lose. That is, unless Congress specifies otherwise. 

Now, patent law has unique rules. Applicable law allows for, quote, “the expenses of the proceedings” to be reimbursed. 

And attorneys fees apparently used to be reimbursed, but they haven’t been for the past 150 years.

You can probably guess the probable ruling in this comment from Justice Neil Gorsuch, addressing the government’s lawyer:

GORSUCH: Counsel,  your interpretation of “expenses” includes 
attorneys’ fees, you argue in this case. Is there anything that would inhibit the government from suggesting that other forms of overhead might also be allocated to litigants? The  electric bill? The sewage bill?…

STEWART: Well the statute refers to expenses of the proceeding and so we’d have to show the requisite connection…

REICHARD: As artfully as Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart phrased arguments for the patent office, well even a guy who sounds a lot like Jimmy Stewart probably can’t win this one!

And that’s this week’s Legal Docket.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER, HOST: A strong jobs report for October. American employers added 128,000 new jobs, a solid number many labor economists didn’t expect, because they saw two big drags on the number: one was that GM strike that sidelined almost 50,000 workers and the other was the ending of about 20,000 temporary census jobs. So the six-figure increase in net jobs despite all that was a pleasant surprise, and those GM jobs will be back on the books this month.

The headline unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth, from 3.5 percent to 3.6 percent. But the reason for that is a positive one: The labor force participation rate grew to its biggest share in six years: 63.3 percent. What that means is the long-term jobless are actively now in the job market and they’re being counted, and it’s a sign of confidence that there’s work to be had.

Another happy note is that the Labor Department revised job gains in August and September, and that added another 95,000 jobs the government’s earlier reports didn’t count. All together, it means now that in 2019 we’re averaging almost 170,000 new jobs per month—good—but not as good as last year when employers added more than 220,000 per month.

REICHARD: That report lifted the stock market on Friday and set new all-time-highs for two major stock indexes: the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Nasdaq. The S&P500 is now on a four-week winning streak, after picking up 1.5 percent in value. The Nasdaq gained 1.7. The Dow Jones Industrials gained 1.4 and that stock index sits just 12 points off its all-time-high set back in July. That’s 12 out of more than 27,000, so it’s all but guaranteed that any net rise next week is a record-setter for the Dow. Even the smaller-company index, the Russell 2000, rose 2 percentage points.

EICHER: The Commerce Department put out its first estimate of Gross Domestic Product growth for the 3rd quarter, that’s July, August, and September GDP. The economy grew at a modest annual rate just below 2 percent, at 1.9. Personal consumer expenditures, PCEs, grew 2.9 percent year on year during the quarter, and that accounts for 70 percent of the GDP figure. What dragged the overall number down was very tepid business investment. We see that in one snapshot of the economy, the manufacturing index. The private industry group, Institute for Supply Management, reported a third straight month of manufacturing contraction.

REICHARD: The Federal Reserve, as expected, took action to cut the federal-funds interest rate a quarter point, its third rate cut this year. Fed chairman Jay Powell is bullish on the American economy and he cited the strong job market, but also the truce in the trade war and the greater likelihood that Britain will leave the European Union with a deal in place. Those were two big dark clouds for the Fed. These interest rate cuts undo three of the four rate increases last year.

EICHER: Unless the Fed sees a significant downturn in the economic data, it’s very unlikely to cut rates a fourth time at its December meeting. The Fed’s policy statements all year have included the line that the central bank intends to, its words, “act as appropriate to sustain the [economic] expansion.” This latest one says the Fed intends to review data as it, quoting again, “assesses the appropriate path” for interest rates. Fed watchers take that as a sign the central bank plans to leave the rate right where it is for the remainder of the year. If it chooses to cut them again, you can take that as a sign that the Fed sees big trouble ahead.

And that is today’s Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER, HOST: I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, time is money.

Well, at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing … you know it as 3-M … time quite literally is money.

Daylight saving time … going through the semi-annual motions of springing forward and falling back … was a pretty expensive prospect. 3M’s a huge company, with a 400-acre campus, and lots and lots of wall clocks.

So somebody there figured out just how much it cost the company to pull down the clocks, adjust them, change batteries, and put them back up. Tom Berg is a plant engineering supervisor who talked with Minnesota Public Radio.

BERG: We looked at the last five years, and on average it’s about $35,000.

You heard that right—$35 grand just to change the clocks! So 3M decided just to forget it. Almost all of the wall clocks did not fall back this time, they fell off and they’re going back up.

It’s not as though employees won’t know what time it is.

BERG: We have time everywhere—between our cellphones, printers, vending machines, desk clocks—we have clocks everywhere.

Yes, and they change automatically.

So I think we have the answer to the question the pop band Chicago asked back in 1969 … does anybody really know what time it is … 

There’s a better question now … 

Does anybody not know?

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, November 4th. We are grateful that you’re listening to The World and Everything in It. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next, the WORLD Radio History Book. Ten years ago this week, the deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. military installation. And 40 years ago, the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis.

EICHER: But first, millions of valuable books and works of art are damaged in a flood in Italy. Here’s Paul Butler.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: We begin today with November 4th, 1966:

NEWSREEL: In Florence, Italy, gales and torrential rains swell the waters Arno river to the bursting point—flooding this historic city…

The Arno River overflows its banks, killing more than 100 people. The flood leaves thousands homeless. More than 500-thousand tons of mud and rubble damage or destroy the city’s vast collection of rare and valuable masterpieces. 

NEWSREEL: Some $2 million worth of damage is done to artworks here…

The water ruins as many as four million books and manuscripts, and more than 10-thousand movable works of art. Conservation efforts begin almost immediately. Preservation experts come from all around the world—many donating their time—becoming known as “mud angels.” 

Conservationists develop many new methods for cleaning and repairing the damaged works. Today, more than 50 years after the flood, Florence warehouses are still full of many irreplaceable works awaiting conservation.


Next, November 4, 1979: 40 years ago today. A group of Iranian college students overrun the U.S. embassy in Tehran. President Jimmy Carter.

CARTER: We continue to face a grave situation in Iran where our embassy has been seized and more than 60 American citizens continue to be held as hostages…

Since before the Iranian Revolution in early 1979, U.S. diplomatic relations with Iran had been tense. The Carter administration supported the monarchy—angering the anti-Shah Iranians seeking to overthrow him. 

After the revolution succeeded, anti-American zealots stormed the embassy, briefly holding hostage its more than 900-member staff.

In the fall of 1979, the Carter administration approved a request from the deposed Iranian monarch for U.S. medical attention. Some Iranians saw the move as American interference and feared a military coup.

NEWSCLIP: Ever since the Shah fled the country last January, there has been a persistent belief in many quarters here in Iran, that the United States…

Hostage takers demand the U.S. extradite the Shah for trial and execution. The group also expects an apology from the American government for its “interference in the internal affairs of Iran.” The Carter administration refuses.

CLIP: Some 60 Americans, including our fellow citizen you just saw bound and blindfolded, are now beginning their sixth day of captivity within the U.S. Embassy in Tehran…

Originally, organizers of the attack intend to hold the hostages for only a short period of time. But as the standoff lengthens, popular support grows. Ayatollah Khomeini uses the crisis to rally the country to his Islamic vision for Iran. The Americans are eventually freed after 444 days of captivity.

SONG: “Ayatollah” [1979] by Steve Dahl & Teenage Radiation

And finally, 10 years ago this week—in Killeen, Texas. 

AP NEWS: There are reports of shootings at Fort Hood Army base in Central Texas…

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. on November 5th, 2009, Nidal Hasan—a psychiatrist and U.S. Army Major—walks into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center. He stops at the front desk and asks for a particular employee. The worker leaves to find him. Eyewitnesses say Hasan then steps around the desk, bows his head for a moment, shouts “Allahu Akbar” and starts shooting. 

The soldiers in the room are unarmed and awaiting examinations before leaving for—or returning from—deployment. Hasan begins shooting with a general spread of fire, then seems to target specific soldiers. Hasan shoots with deadly accuracy as his pistol is equipped with laser sights. 

He critically wounds a civilian base police woman when she attempts to stop him. A second civilian police officer arrives and shoots Hasan five times. He survives. The shooting lasts about 10 minutes. Hasan kills 13 people and wounds more than 30.

NEWS STORY: President Obama will attend a memorial service at Fort Hood today, but many are wondering how so many signs were missed prior to the mass killing…

Soon after the shooting, media reports reveal that a Joint Terrorism Task Force knew of Hasan’s connection to a radical cleric. Additionally, many of Hasan’s colleagues were aware and concerned about his radicalization, yet no one did anything about it until after it was too late.

The Fort Hood Shooting remains the deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. military installation. Hasan is currently on death row, awaiting execution.

That’s this week’s WORLD Radio History Book. I’m Paul Butler.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, November 4th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Next up, commentator Trillia Newbell on how work brings glory to God, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: Recently, I spent a week learning about the life, work, and ministry of brothers and sisters in Rwanda. I joined five other women on a trip to learn about HOPE International, a microfinance ministry based in the U.S. 

When talking about the trip. I’ve tried to avoid sounding terribly cliché. I didn’t want to use terms like life-changing, impactful, and eye-opening. But with each attempt I fail miserably. Meeting these brothers and sisters was indeed life-changing.

One of the many lessons I learned was during a visit with women in a small, remote village in the countryside. During our visit we cultivated the land, grabbed water from a spring, plucked grass to feed the cow, peeled root vegetables for a meal, and learned how to make jewelry. 

We sang and danced and enjoyed fellowship and laughter. Time and time again the women would give thanks to the Lord.  One woman, named Primitive, said: “As soon as you open your eyes, you thank God for another day.” 

We saw an awareness of God’s generosity and nearness that preached to our hearts. 

A typical day for these particular women includes morning prayer. Then five hours of cultivating the land, caring for children, cooking, and making jewelry and baskets to sell. At the end of the day we got to ask questions. I don’t remember the question that sparked this answer, but one woman talked about how proud they are of the work they get to do day after day. They should be!

As I listened to them reflect on their work, I realized that I had a limited idea of glorious, God-driven, beautiful work. I came home overwhelmed by the privilege to cook for my family. The simple act of peeling a potato is an opportunity to invest in the next generation! 

Our work matters. It has value. Your work, however simple it seems, has value. 

That’s one of the many lessons I learned listening to the men and women we got to meet in Rwanda. But it was seeing those women in that remote village, working hard to the glory of the Lord in absolute obscurity that drove this truth deep into my soul. 

Most of our work is never applauded, rarely seen, and simply a part of our daily grind. But God sees it. He sees you. He knows the work you do. And it matters. All of it. 

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthian church reminds them—and us—”So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). 

Today you and I can join the saints in Rwanda and make the glory of God our aim in everything we do. 

For WORLD Radio, I’m Trillia Newbell.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.







Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.