MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Good morning!
Presidential candidates are in a race to collect both cash and voters. We’ll talk to a political science professor about how the 2020 campaigns are doing on both fronts.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead today on Washington Wednesday.
Also today, World Tour.
And a profile of a Georgia woman with a unique ministry helping patients with dementia.
AUDIO: Our folks with dementia often are forgotten. Jesus said whatever you do unto the least of these my brethren, you have done unto me.
And Janie B. Cheaney on fruitless efforts to twist the Bible.
BASHAM: It’s Wednesday, February 12th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
BASHAM: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Sanders wins New Hampshire » SANDERS: Thank you New Hampshire!
The first in the nation primary in the books and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appears to be the winner.
SANDERS: Let me take this opportunity to thank the people of New Hampshire for a great victory tonight!
As of 1 a.m. this morning, with close to 90 percent of the votes counted, Sanders had won 25.8 percent of the vote. Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was a close second with 24.4 percent.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar enjoyed a strong third place finish with about 20 percent. She rallied her supporters as the votes were still being tallied.
KLOBUCHAR: My heart is full tonight. While there are still ballots left to count, we have beaten the odds every step of the way.
But a very disappointing night for Senator Elizabeth Warren, who won less than 10 percent of the vote, and for Joe Biden, who finished between 8 and 9 percent.
Also on Tuesday, Andrew Yang announced he’s dropping out of the Democratic presidential race.
Justice Department reverses prosecutors, seeks lighter sentence for Stone » The Justice Department said Tuesday it will reduce the amount of prison time it is seeking for Roger Stone. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports.
ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump, was convicted last year of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia probe. And on Monday night, prosecutors recommended Stone serve seven to nine years behind bars.
But on Tuesday, the Department of Justice took the unusual step of reversing the prosecutors’ recommendation—asking instead for a lighter sentence.
Democrats lambasted the push for a lighter sentence. They noted that President Trump, just hours earlier, had tweeted that the case against Stone was a “miscarriage of justice.” They suggested the DOJ is submitting to President Trump’s wishes.
But the Justice Department said it made the decision Monday night—before Trump’s tweet—and that prosecutors had not spoken to the White House about it.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.
COVINGTON: WHO announces new name for the deadly coronavirus » The World Health Organization has chosen a name for the coronavirus: It is COVID-19.
WHO director-general, Tedros Ghebreyesus said the virus is testing the world in many ways.
GHEBREYESUS: It’s a test of political solidarity, whether the world can come together to fight a common enemy that does not respect borders or ideologies.
That virus has now infected more than 43,000 people. It has killed more than a thousand people, almost all of them in China.
In Southern California, nearly 200 Americans who were evacuated from China went home Tuesday—ending their quarantine at a military base.
All those who flew into March Air Reserve Base appear healthy. However, one evacuee at another base tested positive for COVID-19 and is now hospitalized in isolation.
Guaido returns to Venezuela » Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido received a raucous welcome home inside an airport in Caracas Tuesday.
He returned after a risky 23-day international tour in which he defied a travel ban imposed by the government of disputed President Nicolas Maduro. Gaudio traveled to stops in South America and Europe. He later met with President Trump at the White House, and was an honored guest at Trump’s State of the Union address last week.
There was some question as to whether Maduro would try to block his return, but he cruised through the airport without incident.
Commenting on Twitter, Guaido said of his return—quote—”I’m bringing with me the commitment of the free world willing to help us recover democracy and Freedom,”
al-Bashir to stand trial for war crimes at International Criminal Court » Former Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir could soon stand trial before the International Criminal Court. World Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi, a member of Sudan’s transitional government, made the announcement Tuesday. He did not mention al-Bashir by name. But he said the country’s Sovereign Council agreed with rebel groups in Darfur to hand over those wanted by the ICC. He did not say when that will happen.
The International Criminal Court wants al-Bashir to face charges of crimes against humanity and genocide.
The country’s military overthrew al-Bashir last year amid a public uprising. Since then, he has been jailed in Khartoum on charges of corruption and killing protesters.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.
COVINGTON: Judge clears path for T-Mobile takeover of Sprint » Two national cell phone carriers may soon merge to create a new wireless giant.
COMMERCIAL: Now’s the time to start fresh and switch to Sprint.
A federal judge has cleared a major path to T-Mobile’s $26-and-a-half billion takeover of Sprint.
The merger would shrink the number of major U.S. wireless companies from four to three. States had sued to stop the takeover, saying it would mean less competition and higher phone bills.
T-Mobile successfully argued that the deal would benefit consumers as it becomes a fiercer competitor to the larger Verizon and AT&T.
The merger still needs a few more approvals, but T-Mobile expects to close the deal as early as April 1st.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: counting donations on the 2020 campaign trail.
Plus, baking pies and stirring up forgotten memories.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MEGAN BASHAM: It’s Wednesday the 12th of February, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Megan Basham.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher.
Before we get rolling today, let me remind you about our offer to share WORLD Magazine with friends. We’re doing that the rest of this month. And thankfully, it’s leap year, so there’s an extra day!
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Well, first up on The World and Everything in It: Washington Wednesday.
The 2020 presidential campaign will likely end up as the most expensive in U-S history. Through the end of last year, the Democratic presidential hopefuls had already raised a combined three quarters of a billion dollars. That’s just the Democrats and it’s only the start. Spending on the 2016 presidential election hit nearly $2.5 billion.
BASHAM: The amount of money flowing into these campaigns is staggering. It’s hard to fathom how they even spend that much money! But they do spend it, shockingly fast in some cases.
And that has at least one listener wondering where all that money goes. Last week, listener Mandi Hart emailed to request a campaign finance explainer. She wanted some context for all those big fundraising and spending numbers we’ll be hearing during the next eight months.
So joining us now for a crash course in campaign finance is Professor Mark Caleb Smith. He’s director of the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University.
Professor, thank you for being here.
MARK SMITH, GUEST: It’s my pleasure to be with you today.
BASHAM: Let’s just start with the basics of campaign finance law. What restrictions are in place for Americans who donate to political campaigns?
SMITH: There are restrictions on the amount that you can donate to particular candidates. There are also restrictions on the amount that you can donate to political action committees.
But there are really not restrictions for those who are spending their own money. And there really aren’t restrictions on those who are sort of spending in relation to a race but aren’t advocating for a candidate themselves.
So, the restrictions are fairly standard, and they usually consume the whole election cycle. So you can only give a certain amount to a candidate for an entire cycle.
BASHAM: OK, on the spending side, what do candidates do with most of their money? And are there restrictions on the way they spend it?
SMITH: There really aren’t restrictions, necessarily, on the way they can spend their money, as long as they’re spending it without commingling funds. And so if they’ve been given money to spend politically, it’s really up to them to make their choices how they divvy it up.
When you think of a modern campaign, most of their money is going to go into advertising—things like television, radio, and now digital advertising. Some of the campaigns are a little bit more unconventional. Someone like Donald Trump in 2016 didn’t have to spend that much on advertising because he got so much free media through social media and through regular news coverage that he really didn’t need to spend nearly as much as he would have otherwise.
But if you look at most—especially presidential—candidates these days, they’re spending a big chunk of their money on advertising. And then, of course, they’re spending money on staff and infrastructure. Sending out mailers, knocking on doors, those kinds of things aren’t free either.
BASHAM: It was funny, I saw a story today that some campaigns like [Michael] Bloomberg are starting to spend on Instagram influencers and that was a new one by me.
SMITH: Social media is becoming a huge platform, obviously, for campaigns. Bloomberg has no shortage of funds, clearly, at his disposal it seems like. But the best social media outcomes that we can see right now are really organic. You can pay people and you can pay influencers to some extent, but even Bloomberg is struggling to match people like Bernie and Biden and Mayor Pete because they have a lot of organic social media activity that really reflects enthusiasm.
So it’s going to be interesting to see over this election and coming elections whether or not you can purchase that kind of power through social media. Or whether word of mouth and people sharing because they’re interested and enthused is actually more important for a campaign.
BASHAM: That’s an interesting point. And, you know, that brings up the big trend that candidates like Bloomberg and Steyer are spending a lot of their own money—and they have a lot of it to spend. Right now we have campaign finance reports filed through the end of 2019. And they show former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg both raised about $200 million dollars. Nearly all of that came from their own pockets.
Have we ever seen anything like that before?
SMITH: No, no. I can answer that pretty quickly, but no. We have not seen anything like this before. There’s always been something of a stigma in American politics when a very wealthy candidate emerges into the field and begins using their own money to the point where they’re really outspending the other candidates who aren’t all that wealthy. And it seems like maybe we’re getting past that stigma, to some extent.
I’m sure you know, Bloomberg has said that he’s willing to spend up to a billion dollars of his own money on this campaign, and that kind of money is not fathomable for almost anyone else in the world—much less in the political world.
So, no, we’ve never seen anything like this and it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out. Is it going to be possible for a candidate like Bloomberg especially to literally buy his way to a nomination or buy his way into determining the outcome of the nomination. And if that happens, we have a lot of hard conversations to have.
BASHAM: That brings up an interesting question and that’s that critics are saying that they are going to be trying to buy these elections. Do you think that’s a fair criticism?
SMITH: I think that it is to some degree. I mean, constitutionally they have the freedom to do that. The Supreme Court has determined in multiple decisions—most notoriously in Citizens United, the one that we hear about quite a bit, but also some older decisions like the Buckley case—where the court says spending money for your own political purposes is an element of free speech. And the government can’t limit your ability to speak on your own behalf.
But if we’re looking at a billionaire spending a billion dollars in order to win an election, that’s a whole different thing altogether. So I think it’s a fair criticism, especially with Mr. Bloomberg. It seems like, I’m not even sure what he’s necessarily all that for as a candidate, but I know he’s definitely against Donald Trump. And so it almost feels like he’s spending this money in opposition to somebody as much as he’s spending it on his own behalf.
So, yeah, we have to have some conversations about what it means for one person to be able to leverage an election out of their own pocketbook at a national level. That was something the founders couldn’t have imagined when they were writing the Constitution.
BASHAM: Back in 2016 some people accused President Trump of the same thing—using his personal fortune to gain election. How does that scenario compare to this one for Democrats?
SMITH: Well, President Trump—by the best estimates—spent maybe close to $100 million on his own campaign in 2016, which, again, let’s be honest about it—is an outlandish amount of money that I can’t even fathom. However, compared to Mr. Bloomberg spending up to a billion dollars of his own money does kind of pale in comparison.
Mr. Bloomberg is just blowing through every kind of spending category we’ve seen in the past, including Mr. Trump’s.
BASHAM: It’s definitely a whole new world there. Before I let you go, I want to ask about President Trump’s fundraising numbers. This time around it doesn’t appear like he’ll need to use his own money. Where is he at compared to four years ago and compared to the Democratic field now?
SMITH: Well, the big advantage that Mr. Trump has right now is that he can legitimately claim to be an establishment candidate, as much as he might not like that label. He is the official candidate of the Republican Party. The party has coalesced around him. The party donors have coalesced around him to the point now where he can tap into the party’s resources as an incumbent.
And so, yeah, he’s not going to have to reach into his own pockets or leverage his businesses to run a campaign in 2020.
The Democrats now are in a different position. They’re fractured. They’re contending with each other, certainly, as the future of their own party. They have a lot of division amongst the leaders—like Bernie and Mayor Pete and Elizabeth Warren and Mr. Biden—about who’s going to be the standard bearer.
And then you have Bloomberg just saying, “You know what, I’m going to spend my own money. You guys raise whatever you want. I’m going to spend whatever I need to spend and it’s going to outpace all of you combined.”
It’s certainly a different process right now altogether on the Democratic side, which I have to say is interesting because the Democrats have historically been pretty opposed to wealth playing this kind of a role in politics in general. And for Mr. Bloomberg to be making so much headway and polling in other places right now suggest the Democrats are willing to look at all options in order to defeat Donald Trump.
BASHAM: Professor Mark Caleb Smith leads the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. Thanks for joining us today!
SMITH: Thank you! It’s my pleasure.
NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa correspondent Onize Ohikere.
ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: African Union holds summit—We start today here in Africa.
Leaders from across the continent met in Ethiopia this week for a summit focused on resolving conflict in the region. The ongoing civil war in Libya was at the top of the list.
Smail Chergui is the African Union’s commissioner for peace and security.
CHERGUI: We want as Africa Union to join UN in an assessed mission in Libya to evaluate what is necessary to oversee, to make sure that the cessation of hostilities is respected by everybody and we want also to be part of the observer deployment mission in Tripoli and elsewhere in the country where it’s needed.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is the African Union’s new chairman. He has says the union should be focusing on economic development on the continent. Poverty is one of the root causes of conflict, especially the rise of terror groups. But Ramaphosa says countries must have peace and stability before they can address economic issues as a whole.
Indian elections—Next we go to India.
AUDIO: [Sound of chanting at rally]
The anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party won a major victory in local elections over the weekend. That dealt a serious blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist party.
Aam Aadmi won 62 of the 70 seats up for grabs in the New Delhi election. The party has focused on policies supporting the poor, including fixing public schools and providing healthcare and electricity subsidies.
But its win is largely seen as a rejection of Modi’s continued push to make secular India into a Hindu nation. Protests over a new citizenship bill that excludes Muslims continue despite government efforts to discourage them.
Brazil’s indigenous people protest—Next to South America.
AUDIO: [Sound of people singing]
Indigenous groups in Brazil are protesting last week’s appointment of a former evangelical missionary to lead a department tasked with protecting the nation’s isolated tribes.
Ricardo Lopes Dias worked as a missionary in the Amazon between 1997 and 2007 with the Florida-based Ethnos360. The group’s mission is to evangelize unreached people around the world. Critics say Dias has no interest in preserving the tribes’ way of life or of continuing Brazil’s policy of “no contact” with indigenous people.
Anger over the Dias appointment comes amid ongoing protests over proposed legislation that would allow mining in indigenous lands. It would also open the lands to agriculture and tourism.
Rain lashes Australia, extinguishes wildfires—And finally, we end today in Australia.
A strong storm system dumped record rainfall on the eastern part of the country this week. The deluge ended a three-year drought in the region. It also helped put out or reduce many brushfires in the area.
Jane Golding is with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.
GOLDING: That tropical moisture that’s really been feeding those high rainfall amounts is still circulating over New South Wales and not really expected to go anywhere for the next week.
Although welcome, the heavy rain did cause some flash flooding in Sydney and other coastal areas.
That’s this week’s World Tour. For WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.
EICHER: You can find more World Tour at wng.org/world-tour. The words world and tour separated with a hyphen. What you hear here each week is a small sampling of Onize’s work. She writes a World Tour roundup each week at wng.org/world-tour.
NICK EICHER: More and more states, and an increasing number of countries, have so-called hands-free laws. They make it illegal to hold your phone while out on the road.
Well, a 30-year-old man in Australia was well aware of the law—and yet was still surprised when he got a ticket for breaking it.
Police stopped the man back in October for holding a cell phone to his ear while traveling down a rural road. The judge in the case explained it this way: you’re getting a ticket for failure to have a hands-free device fitted to his horse.
This judge is a stickler. He explained that “under the road rules a horse is a vehicle.” The man’s lawyer said his client had to plead guilty because there’s no contesting that the horse was in motion.
So I guess tack shops are going to have to start carrying saddles with iPhone mounts and USB chargers!
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: Today is Wednesday February 12th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: how a yellowed and worn family recipe card became a ministry to patients with dementia.
Here’s WORLD Radio’s Myrna Brown.
ROBIN: Come on in my kitchen. I’ve got my recipes out…
MYRNA BROWN, REPORTER: Wearing her mom’s purple lace apron…
ROBIN: I’ve got some gloves because I’m going to be getting my hands dirty.
…and her daddy-inspired, royal blue gloves, Robin Dill is dressed for baking success. On the kitchen counter, two 3×5 index cards—her heritage measured in cups and pounds.
ROBIN DILL: On the recipe cards, mom’s handwriting and my dad’s handwriting. And he wrote on there, use green bowl. So that was the bowl he’d mix up the pie dough in. They had it down to a science.
And so does she!
ROBIN DILL: One thing I need to do is I need to get some ice-cubes…we’re going to chill our water.
AUDIO: [VARIOUS STAGES OF ROBIN MIXING/POURING/STIRRING]
ROBIN DILL: I’m going to add to five pound of flour, three tablespoons of salt. So I’m going to dump blobs of this Crisco into this flour. I want every last bit of this Crisco to go in. No wastage. I’m trying to get that Crisco broken down into pea size, so that when I add the cold water it will bond together quicker.
SOUND: [WATER POURING INTO FLOUR]
ROBIN DILL: I think we got pie dough!
But what’s pie dough without the filling? Two decades ago Dill decided to take that part of her parent’s recipe on the road.
AUDIO: What I’ll do is once this is done, I’ll put it in the refrigerator and it’ll be ready for when we go in the morning.
AUDIO: [OPENING CAR DOOR;
DILL PRAYS: Well, Lord, I just pray over all of this stuff…
Packed tightly in the backseat of her black Volkswagen Beetle, 40 pounds of apples, more than a dozen pie pans, canisters of spices and that huge bowl of chilled pie dough from the day before.
ROBIN: We’re off for apple pie day.
AUDIO: [CAR STARTS AND DRIVES OFF]
Along with her inherited baking skills, Dill has a history of serving dementia patients and their caregivers. When she started her first respite program for adults in 2005, she introduced her staff and her patients to apple pie making.
ROBIN DILL: The volunteers thought I was crazy. And I said, you know, I think, that this is an activity that will meet them on several levels. It will spark memories. It will be therapeutic to be working the dough, to be smelling the spices, or helping cutting up the apples. And it was a home run. They loved it.
Then in 2018 she left the program she started.
ROBIN DILL: Just felt like God was calling me out to do more, not globally but outside the local church to go into more communities and help start respite ministries.
AUDIO: [ARRIVING AT FACILITY]
ROBIN DILL: Alright! Well, here we are. Hi Bob. Hi…the pie lady is here. Yes the pie lady has returned.
Today Dill is living out that call at a local facility that supports people living with dementia. It’s about an hour away from her home. With the Johnny Appleseed song in her heart, she makes her way to the center’s kitchen.
ROBIN SINGING: For giving me the things I need…
In a matter of minutes she unloads the pie dough, apples, aprons and the hair nets. Denise, a grandmother, is instantly enraptured.
DENISE: I’ve turned into Aunt Lorraine. She always had one of these on her head.
ROBIN TO STEVE: Hey Steve I’m glad to see you this morning.
Steve has gray hair with dark, thick eyebrows. He’s initially reserved and silent, that is until Dill puts a rolling pin in his hands.
ROBIN AND STEVE: Press…. Good. Have you done this before? Did your dad bake pies? Grandma? (heavy sigh) They died. Oh, I’m sorry…
Then she puts Denise in charge of the apples: coring, peeling and slicing.
ROBIN DILL: Ok, you crank. Perfect. Keep going. Look at you.
DENISE: I love it!
ROBIN DILL: Isn’t that cool?
Rod, burly and at times impatient, mixes the apples and the spices.
ROD: Can I go ahead and put my top on?
ROBIN DILL: Not yet. We’ve got to have apples in there. He’s so funny.
ROBIN DILL: Even people whose brains are failing them, they still want to be purposeful.
After about two hours of apple peeling, dough rolling and crust pinching, Dill jubilantly displays 13 unbaked apple pies across a white table cloth. Denise, Rod and Steve will get to share the fruits of their labor with their caregivers, another benefit of apple pie making.
MYRNA BROWN: How do you feel when you look at what you’ve accomplished?
DENISE: I’m hungry… (laughter)
As her parents did so many years ago, Dill peeks inside the oven and pulls out the flakiest crust she says you’ll ever eat.
DENISE: Ahhhh ummmmmm, this is so good. So good.
ROBIN HILL: My tummy says it’s happy, what does your tummy say?
For WORLD Radio, I’m Myrna Brown reporting from Duluth, Georgia.
NICK EICHER: Today is Wednesday, February 12th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Commentary now from WORLD’s Janie B. Cheaney.
JANIE B. CHEANEY, COMMENTARY: We’ve been hearing how the Chinese Communist Party has stepped up its crackdown on all types of religious expression that don’t conform to the state religion—that is, communism. No one can be a member of the party who is not an avowed Marxist atheist.
But Secretary General Xi Jinping is pushing further: No one can be a citizen in good standing without professing the general doctrines of the party. To that end, the government is working on a—wait for it—five year plan to “Sinicize” all traditional religions practiced by significant numbers in China.
This includes relatively harmless measures like redesigning church buildings to reflect traditional Chinese architecture and replacing Western music in church services with Chinese musical forms. But it also means removing crosses from public display, a program begun three years ago. It means approving state-certified churches and closing independent ones. And it means re-shaping sacred texts, including the Bible, to bring them into conformity with the supposed requirements of the new era: the gospel according to Karl Marx.
Communism is actually the old-era relic of a 19th-century Christian heresy. I wonder if Xi Jinping understands how much Communist ideology stole from a Christian understanding of caring for the poor and valuing each individual as made in God’s image. At any rate, those values were long ago pressed into the service of the collective, the state, and the man on top.
This truth from Psalm 119 he almost certainly does not understand: “Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.”
But before we get too judgy, we should look to ourselves. Professing Christians on the left have been trying to make the Bible conform to the requirements of a new era for years. To take just one example from the Democratic presidential candidate lineup, Pete Buttigeig has carved out a spot for himself as a selective student of the Scriptures. His exegetical sleight-of-hand makes Jesus approve of same-sex marriage, and even abortion.
On the right are those who wrap the Bible in the Stars and Stripes and make America’s interests the same as the Lord’s. Creative interpreters in the past, and even today, imagine Scriptural support for so-called racial purity. But “all things are your servants,” down to the last word of Scripture.
His Word formed the ground we stand on and the thoughts we think. All things serve the Lord, even our imperfect exegesis and our halting prayers. Even our attempts to bend, moderate, or twist the parts of Scripture we don’t like. But no one permanently rewrites or adapts the Word of God. It’s the other way around.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Janie B. Cheaney.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Churches in China are using the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to spread the gospel. Our reporter in East Asia joins us to talk about that.
And, we’ll bring you the love story of a couple celebrating their last Valentine’s Day together.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
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