MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Today, a clash at the Supreme Court between using taxpayer money to set policy, while at the same time not stepping on constitutional rights.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on today’s Legal Docket.
Also today, the Monday Moneybeat. Economic reports are frequently about sending signals … and today we’ll talk about the importance of reading them properly.
Plus the WORLD History Book. Today, the 500th anniversary of a papal decree putting Martin Luther at risk of excommunication.
And Trillia Newbell on the peaceful and quiet pursuit of justice and reconciliation.
REICHARD: It’s Monday, June 15th. 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: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Atlanta police fire officer for shooting of black man » Atlanta police said Sunday the department fired a police officer for the fatal shooting of a black man who resisted arrest.
The news came after the death of Rayshard Brooks at a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta became the new focal point of protests.
AUDIO: [SOUND OF PROTESTS]
Peaceful protests Saturday gave way to rioters after sunset, who lit the restaurant on fire.
AUDIO: [SOUND OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE]
The shooting happened Friday night, though the interaction began peacefully. Two police officers found 27-year-old Brooks asleep in his car in the drive-thru line. Authorities released officer bodycam footage on Sunday. Officer Devin Brosnan is heard here…
AUDIO: What’s up man? Did you have a long day or something, what’s up? [SIC] Alright yeah, it’s just you can’t—people were calling saying you blocking [the line]. You good? You don’t need an ambulance or anything like that? Are you just tired?
Brooks was cooperative and his interaction with police was friendly until he failed a breathalyzer test and an officer tried to handcuff him.
He fought the arrest, wrestled a taser from one of the patrolmen and ran. Video footage showed officer Garrett Rolfe giving chase with his sidearm still holstered until Brooks aimed the taser back at him and appeared to fire it. At that point, Rolfe grabbed his service weapon and fired, striking Brooks who died at the hospital after surgery.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told reporters she did not believe deadly force was warranted.
BOTTOMS: While there may be debate about whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do.
The police department fired Rolfe and placed Brosnan on administrative duty.
Police Chief Erika Shields resigned Saturday after nearly four years at the head of the department.
Minneapolis police officers quit citing lack of support » Meantime, in Minneapolis, at least seven police officers have quit and others are reportedly preparing to resign.
Police department officials told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that officers are leaving, citing a lack of support from the city. The Tribune reports that “morale has sunk to new lows in recent weeks” and that many officers feel misunderstood and villainized.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody last month, the majority of the city council has voiced support for defunding the Minneapolis Police Dept.
Officials voice concern over coronavirus spread » As police protests continue across the country, some medical experts are renewing their warnings that the mass gatherings are a perfect breeding ground for the coronavirus.
Twenty-two states have recently seen a rise in new cases for a variety of reasons.
Michael Osterholm heads disease research at the University of Minnesota.
OSTERHOLM: Five percent of the population has been infected to date with this virus, some locations slightly higher. This virus is not going to rest till it gets to about 60 or 70 percent.
Osterholm said “One way or another, we’re going to see a lot of additional cases out there.” As for why the virus is rising in nearly two-dozen states right now—he said—we simply don’t know what’s happening.
OSTERHOLM: What we’re really talking about here now is what does reopening do. What did the protests do?
The country’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the protests are potential hotspots for infection and that is a concern.
He also told the Telegraph that the virus—quote—“could go on for a couple of cycles, coming back and forth.” And he added that it will likely be “within a year or so” before the country and world truly return to normal.
States, companies working around virus amid reopening » With that in mind, an increasing number of states and companies are trying to find a new normal, learning to live and work around the coronavirus for now.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that as of July 6th, kids in his state can get back to playing ball.
CUOMO: We’re also opening low-risk youth sports in Phase Three. Young people can engage in sports, two spectators per child. So that’s another step toward return to normalcy.
Meantime, in Florida, two more theme parks are again open for business with new safeguards in place. SeaWorld in Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay welcomed their first weekend guests in about three months.
Safety measures are similar to those at Universal Orlando, which reopened last week. Among them, everyone receives a temperature check before entering, and guests are required to wear masks. At Universal, thrill-seekers now wait for rides in virtual lines, checking in on a smartphone app.
Disney World and California’s Disneyland are slated to reopen next month.
Gas prices climb with demand » As more drivers get back on the road, demand for gas is up. And as fuel price analyst Trilby Lundberg notes that means prices are up as well.
LUNDBERG: The average prices up 11 cents to $2.16 for regular grade. And it’s a total climb of 23 cents over the past seven weeks.
The lowest average price for regular unleaded—$1.69 a gallon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hawaii has the highest prices at $3.11 a gallon.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: putting conditions on foreign aid.
Plus, Trillia Newbell with some advice for pursuing racial justice.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: It’s Monday morning and we’re back at it for another week of The World and Everything in It. Today is the 15th of June, 2020. Good morning to you, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
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REICHARD: Well, first up today, Legal Docket.
Two more oral arguments to cover from this term of the US Supreme Court! Today, a case with roots in the administration of President George W. Bush.
Back then, the world was still in the grip of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. By 2002, it had killed more than 20 million people. African nations were hardest hit, with 30 percent of the adult population infected.
Listen as President Bush in June of that year announced a plan for African and Caribbean nations.
BUSH: The United States already contributes approximately a billion dollars a year to international efforts to combat HIV-AIDS. In addition, we plan to spend more than $2.5 billions on research and development for new drugs and new treatments. We’ve committed $500 million to the global fund to fight AIDS and other infectious diseases, and we stand ready to commit more as this fund demonstrates its success.
That was and still is historically the biggest global health program to fight a single disease.
But all that money came with a condition: only foreign groups that oppose sex trafficking and prostitution could receive it. Congress had determined those are coercive practices that spread HIV/AIDS—not to mention degrade women and girls.
More than a decade later came an objection from NGOs, nongovernmental organizations. Four NGOs that received funds from the program raised a First Amendment challenge to that condition. They argued the prostitutes they worked with to stop the spread of AIDS wouldn’t cooperate if they thought the NGOs wanted to take their livelihoods away.
Making money conditional on whether you denounce prostitution amounts to compelled speech, they say. And crucially, they argue, it’s compelled speech that thwarts their purpose to exist.
The Supreme Court took the case and sided with those NGOs, with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the 6-2 decision in 2013. He said the government cannot tell you what to believe, but:
ROBERTS: The Policy Requirement does more. It tells an organization what it must believe. It must have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution. That compelled belief goes with the organization wherever it goes…The Government, therefore, cannot insist that organizations adopt the anti-prostitution policy as the price of obtaining funds.
Now seven years later, the case is back.
This time, the question is whether that free speech right extends to overseas affiliates.
Arguing for the government: assistant to the solicitor general Christopher Michel. He argued of course it doesn’t. You’ll hear him use the term “respondents.” And when he does, what he means is those U.S. based groups that distribute the money overseas.
MICHEL: Foreign entities lack constitutional rights, so they cannot bring an unconstitutional conditions claim, and neither can Respondents because they are not subject to the funding condition thanks to their victory in this court.
But lawyer David Bowker for the nonprofits argued a practical understanding on the ground demands a different approach.
BOWKER: An organization cannot both avow the government’s viewpoint and then turn around and assert a contrary belief or even claim neutrality without appearing hypocritical and without appearing to engage in doublespeak. And the problem here, of course, is that the entities are indistinguishable and they speak as one. And so focusing on the corporate difference is a mistake.
It’s important to know that Congress places conditions on federal money all the time. You might even call them quid pro quos.
Recipients have to promise to use the money for its intended purpose, for example, and submit to an audit as proof that it’s using the money properly. But use and audits don’t necessarily involve constitutional rights.
Justice Clarence Thomas had a practical question of his own.
THOMAS: So what has changed since this case was here last?
MICHEL: Well, Justice Thomas…the only thing that has changed is that Respondents have asked for broader relief.
It’s that broader relief that has pro-life advocates worried about the eventual ruling in this case.
March for Life president Jeanne Mancini, for example, says if the court does extend first amendment rights to overseas affiliates, then federal tax money could be used to pay for abortions overseas.
Right now, what was known as the “Mexico City Policy” prevents that.
Maybe Justice Brett Kavanaugh had that in mind in this exchange with the lawyer defending the conditional money. First you’ll hear Kavanaugh’s question, followed by Christopher Michel’s answer:
KAVANAUGH: I’m interested in the implications of our decision in this case. In particular, if the government were to lose this case, would any other programs or statutes be invalidated or called into question by such a decision?
MICHEL: I think that there would be real concerns about that. In fact, commonplace for Congress and the Executive Branch to condition foreign aid to entities abroad on certain policy objectives, such as opposing terrorism or supporting women’s rights or opposing apartheid, or, in the case of the Mexico City policy, taking certain positions on abortion.
Justice Samuel Alito wondered about a condition on foreign schools that take U.S. aid money:
ALITO: The school that gets the money must have a policy denouncing terrorist attacks against American civilians. It’s compelled speech. It doesn’t want to make that speech. It’s affiliated with an American entity. Why isn’t the argument exactly the same in that situation?
The groups opposed to the anti-prostitution condition say it all has to do with the way people think of the American entity and the foreign entity. Is it one in the same, or is it something else?
Now, here’s where it gets even more interesting: One of these grant recipients is The Alliance for Open Society International. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s one of billionaire George Soros’s organizations. He attracts conservative ire, and often deservedly so. But in this case, Soros is on the same side with conservative groups. Conservative Casey Mattox of the Charles Koch Institute supports Soros’s position here.
Mattox says the issue isn’t Soros. It’s about the government’s power to compel speech.
The First Amendment protects the right to speak, and the right not to speak. That’s what these people mean when they say “compelled speech.” And that, they say, is a violation of the free-speech principle laid down in that earlier Supreme Court opinion.
In the end, it probably comes down to this:
Can American tax dollars have policy requirements attached when groups put those dollars to work far, far away from our nation’s shores?
And that’s this week’s Legal Docket!
MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: The Monday Moneybeat.
NICK EICHER: A respected, private economic research group says we are in a recession, and that it took hold in February—even before the coronavirus lockdowns began.
The NBER, the National Bureau of Economic Research, typically waits until a recession is well underway before declaring it. And usually, it’s evident from government data. The accepted definition of “recession” is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. That is, half a year of economic contraction.
The group says it is breaking with past practice because the plunge in economic activity is so obvious, and because this recession might be very brief.
But regardless of how brief, the Congressional Budget Office predicted it might take a decade for the economy fully to recover.
Financial analyst and adviser David Bahnsen joins me now to talk about the economy. David, good morning.
DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Well, good morning, Nick. How are ya?
EICHER: One step ahead of the economy, I hope!
Let me ask you about that NBER report. What are your thoughts on the idea that the recession began in February? Is it just kind of an interesting note for the history books or does it tell us anything?
BAHNSEN: I think it’s neither. I don’t think it’s interesting for the history books and I don’t think it tells us anything. I think everybody knew we were in a recession and it’s just the NBER’s job to officially declare it. So it is more or less, I think, redundant to the data we’ve already been getting. And, of course, what really matters a great deal is when the recession ends, what the shape of the recovery will look like, and a lot of other things that are reasonably unknowable and uncertain, given the really historically rare dynamics that we’re dealing with.
EICHER: All right, let’s talk about the Federal Reserve. Chairman Jay Powell gave his statement, assuring that he’s keeping interest rates at virtual zero, definitely through the end of 2021, and almost certainly until 2022 ends. Powell thinks that this year the economy will shrink 4 to 10 percent, and next year anywhere from negative 1 to plus 5. So that squares with the idea that we have a long road ahead to recovery. Any surprises there?
BAHNSEN: No, I think that Chairman Powell’s Wednesday declarations match the Fed’s outlook. There was a really interesting thing, though. In their projection that they’ll have a Fed funds rate at 0 percent all the way to the end of 2022, they also forecast in 2022, at the end of the year, that the inflation rate will be 1.7 percent, which is below their 2 percent target and the unemployment rate will be 5.5 percent, which is above their 3-4 percent target. So, either they don’t really believe that the rate will get above 0 at the end of 2022, or they don’t believe that the unemployment and inflation will be at that level then.
But it’s less of a contradiction when you really understand what’s going on, which is they’re trying to signal to the market that they’re going to keep it at zero percent as long as they have to. And that that won’t be any less than the end of 2022 and, oh, by the way, it really could be much longer. That’s what the Fed signal is, which is long-term accommodation to the labor markets in our country.
EICHER: All right, let’s talk about the stock market. Three week winning streak stopped. Big, big drop on Thursday, as big a drop as anything we saw in March on Wall Street. Media reports suggested maybe Chairman Powell’s idea of a long road to recovery contributed to it, or reports of COVID cases trending back up. That may have contributed to it. So do you think those reports are accurate—the Fed driving down the market or the COVID cases? What do you think?
BAHNSEN: Well, it was absolutely neither of those things.
The reason stocks went down is because stocks had gone up 2,500 points in the nine days prior, and they were letting steam off. You just had what markets do in a volatile period, a sort of resettling of prices that immediately kind of stabilized into the next day. So, I think that we have to be used to this because that volatility is going to continue.
We’re on track for basically what will end up being the most volatile year in history since the Great Depression. A third, 33 percent of market days this year have been up or down two percent or more in one day. It’s stunning. Three of the worst 10 days in history—I think it’s now five of the worst 25 days in history have been this year. Two of the best days in history were in the month of March. So, you just have incredible market sensitivity, market volatility.
But the second wave theory about coronavirus, to me, is not matched in the data. It isn’t matched in the fact that more states that reopened earlier are seeing improved data metrics than the opposite. And the markets are really smart. They will not get fooled again. I don’t believe that the second wave talk is ultimately going to affect risk assets, including the stock market.
EICHER: OK and let’s hit jobless claims. We saw 1.5 million on the last week of reporting. So, again, it’s ticking down, trending down, on new jobless claims. It’s not where you want it to be, yet. So, what’s your read on it?
BAHNSEN: Yeah, it wasn’t a great number and the fact that the continuous claims were still at 20.9 million and we had hoped those might dip below 20 million. But, obviously the downward trajectory has continued. At this point, my concern with the weekly initial jobless claims is entirely just for the people who are filing them. And it isn’t about its macroeconomic sensitivity, which I think is reasonably priced in.
The real next catalyst to improved labor data has to come when there’s settlement around what’s going to happen with this unemployment benefit from the federal government. Until there’s clarity on what’s going to happen to the $600/week supplement, I’m not really sure that you’re going to be able to get a meaningful move down in the initial jobless claims, because there’s still such tremendous incentive for people to double-dip from the state unemployment insurance fund and the federal government supplement, which is scheduled to go away in July. There’s a lot of political movement to extend it. There’s some political movement to modify it. There’s not that much political movement, but there’s some, to get rid of it. I don’t know what is going to happen with that, but that’s most likely going to have an impact on 5 or 6 million jobs. I think there’s that many people that would rather get the unemployment benefit and not work than go back to work. So that is going to have to get reconciled until we can see a little bit of clarity in the data.
EICHER: Financial analyst and adviser David Bahnsen. David, thanks!
BAHNSEN: Thanks for having me, Nick.
MARY REICHARD: Today is Monday, June 15th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the WORLD History Book.
Today, a fish tale becomes the first true “Summer Blockbuster Movie.” Plus, 90 years ago this week, the start of Father’s Day.
REICHARD: But first, today marks the 500th anniversary of a decree by the pope. The decree threatening Martin Luther with excommunication from the Roman Catholic church. Here’s Paul Butler.
PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: After many attempts to get Martin Luther to disavow his reformation ideas, on this day in 1520, Pope Leo the Tenth issues a papal bull against him. It’s titled Exsurge Domine or “Arise, O Lord.”
In it, he prays that God would rise up and protect the church from the attacks of Luther and other reformers—who the Pope compares to wild animals. Audio here from a Davenant Institute video:
EXSURGE DOMINE: Arise O Lord, and judge your own cause…Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen, seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod…The wild boar of the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.
In his decree, Leo the Tenth identifies 41 errors in Luther’s writings. The pope calls for the faithful across Europe to burn his books and pamphlets. Luther is given 60 days to recant—otherwise, face excommunication.
Luther boldly responds in widely distributed pamphlets. He then publicly burns a copy of the papal bull. The Exsurge Domine doesn’t have the effect the pope hopes for as it further fans the reformation flame.
In fact, if Luther’s publication of the Ninety-five Theses in 1517 is the birth of the reformation, then the papal bull of 1520 and the subsequent excommunication edict six months later are what make it a protestant reformation instead of a Catholic one. The decrees mark Rome’s official rejection of Luther and his message of repentance and renewal.
Next, we head to Spokane, Washington.
Sonora Dodd is a young wife and mother. In the Spring on 1909, she attends a Mother’s Day service at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church. Mother’s Day is a new national holiday, and it gets her thinking…
RODDY: She then approached the minister after the service and said: “Well, I wholly support the idea of Mother’s Day, but what about Fathers? When do they get their day in the sun?”
Audio of Betsy Roddy, Sonora’s great grand-daughter, speaking to CBS’s Nikki Batiste.
RODDY: Mother’s Day was a much more easy concept I think. There was a sense of fathers being stoic, and not perhaps being used to being showered with affection.
So Dodd got to work, eventually appealing to the Spokane Ministerial Alliance to set aside a day for dads:
RODDY: She had hoped to get Father’s Day on June the 5th, that was her father’s birthday.
Instead, the Ministerial Alliance chose the third Sunday of June. So on June 19th, 1910, churches in Spokane celebrated Father’s Day for the first time.
Despite early supporters, Father’s Day didn’t catch on nationally for more than 50 years. In 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation marking the day—and six years later, President Richard Nixon made it a permanent national observance.
And finally, June 20th, 1975:
MOVIE THEME: JAWS
Universal Pictures releases Steven Spielberg’s film about a killer shark.
MOVIE CLIP: Get them out! Get them out of the water!
Jaws is based on the 1974 novel by Peter Benchley. The story of the man-eating shark is set off the coast of an Eastern sea-board summer resort town.
MOVIE CLIP: Look we depend on the summer people here for our very lives…you’re not going to have a summer unless you [ARGUING]…
Novels like Melville’s Moby Dick, and Hemingways’ The Old Man and the Sea, clearly influence the film—as does the 1950’s Godzilla franchise.
MOVIE CLIP: You know the thing about a shark, he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes…when he comes at you, he doesn’t seem to be living…
Jaws was only Spielberg’s third film, and his inexperience quickly put the project behind schedule and over budget. But it was problems with the shark animatronics that almost derailed the film. Spielberg had to make a tough call: shoot most of the creature film without the creature.
SPIELBERG: Instead of the shark, I played a lot of fear of people in water….it turned the movie into an exercise of suspense, instead of just a horror film.
And it paid off. Before Jaws, summer was when studios released their second- and third-tier projects. But Jaws broke the trend. It set record ticket sales, making it what was then the highest grossing film of all time. The modern “summer block-buster” was born.
AUDIO: [JAWS TRAILER]
The film’s success had a few unintended consequences. The most notable: an increased fear of the ocean. During the summer of 1975, many coastal areas, like Martha’s Vineyard where the film was shot, experienced a noticeable reduction in beach attendance. Many lay the blame for that on the film about the great white shark.
That’s this week’s WORLD History Book, I’m Paul Butler.
NICK EICHER: Today is Monday, June 15th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Commentator Trillia Newbell now on the Biblical imperative to live peaceful, quiet lives, which you must not mistake for living in a manner that is indifferent to injustice.
This is important. Let’s listen.
TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: Recently, I was reminded of one of my favorite verses in the Bible.
The Apostle Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (1 Thess 4:11-12).
There has been a necessary outcry in our nation over the murder of George Floyd. My concern is tragic situations and controversies have a way of igniting an uproar, and then we all move on. We can’t move on from this. Not if we want to see real change.
Real change happens first by transformed hearts. We all must repent where we see racial bias, the sin of partiality, and any notion of superiority based on the color of our skin. Repentance must come first.
But then we need to get to work. That brings me to that verse in 1 Thessalonians. We can’t maintain the same level of protesting that we’ve seen throughout the country. I believe non-violent, peaceful protests are historically effective means to bring about change, but they’re not sustainable long-term.
At some point, all the noise will quiet down. But the problems in our country will remain. This is why I’m grateful for this reminder by our Lord for how to live. We can apply the words of Paul to our lives every day.
For example, Tennessee pastor Jedidiah Coppenger recently wrote about George Floyd and racism and how we can practically be involved in change. Coppenger is a middle-aged, white male, serving and pastoring in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, just south of Nashville. The county is also predominantly white. He is doing what he can in relative obscurity and trying his best to live a faithful, quiet life.
I believe the steps that he is taking, ones I know he was taking well before the tragic murder of George Floyd, are ones we can all apply. Here are a few practical things he highlights that we can do in the quiet of our lives that point to Jesus:
Pursue racial justice prayerfully. Our pursuit of racial healing and unity cannot be done without prayer.
Pursue racial justice relationally. We need relationships with those not like us—deep and meaningful relationships help in our pursuit of love and understanding.
Pursue racial justice actively. Coppenger says, “You can’t do everything, but you can do something.” Amen. We can get involved in our local communities, volunteer, and donate.
That work may look very different in each of our varying contexts. For some the work will be getting to know your neighbors, getting involved in your community, growing in your understanding of public policy, and volunteering.
Whatever the work looks like in your area, my hope is that you and I won’t allow this time of uproar to be in vain. There’s work to do in order to see real change. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
The noise will end but don’t let that fool you into believing that the work is done. In our quiet, private lives, now is when the real work begins.
I’m Trillia Newbell.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Public opinion has placed healthcare reform at the top of the agenda. That is until recently. Because the coronavirus pandemic has made it a secondary concern. We’ll explain what’s behind that irony.
And, we’ll tell you why colleges and universities are moving away from the SATs and the ACTs.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
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