The World and Everything In It — April 5, 2021


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable search and seizure, but the Supreme Court is considering a new exception to the rule.

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

Also today, the Monday Moneybeat. An examination of the president’s new infrastructure bill and how to pay for it.

Plus the WORLD History Book: ping-pong diplomacy that preceded President Nixon’s opening to China.

REICHARD: It’s Monday, April 5th. 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!

Now here’s Kent Covington with today’s news.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Calls grow for more Capitol security following Friday attack » Some officials are calling for more security at the U.S. Capitol after a man attacked two officers guarding the Capitol grounds last week.

Retired Gen. Russel Honere led the review of Capitol Hill security after the January 6th riot. And on Sunday, he told ABC’s This Week that right now, the Capitol police department is more than 200 officers short of what it needs.

HONERE: And that’s been exacerbated last year because they did not get a police class through because of COVID. So they’re got catching up to do. They’re going to need help, and the National Guard is going to have to continue to assist them. 

He said other security improvements are needed as well, such as upgrading cameras and sensors.

But Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said he hopes to see the barricades surrounding the Capitol come down soon.

BLUNT: Secure the Capitol, but at the same time, make it as secure as it needs to be but as free as we can possibly make it. It’s an important element of who we are. It’s an important symbol of who we are. 

On Friday, a lone suspect, 25-year-old Noah Green, drove into a security barrier and then attacked capitol police officers with a knife. Officer William Evans was killed in the attack, and officers shot and killed Green. Investigators say he had been suffering from delusions, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.

COVID-19 cases still up in U.S. » The rate of new COVID-19 cases in the United States is still up from where it was two weeks ago. New infections now stand at about 65,000 per day. That figure has barely moved since late February.

It’s a race between the virus and COVID-19 vaccines. And epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm says right now, the virus is winning. He said that’s due in large part to a much more infectious variant.

OSTERHOLM: In some ways we’re almost in a new pandemic. The only good news is that the current vaccines are effective against this particular variant, B117. This is a virus that is now 50 to 100 percent more transmissible or infectious than the previous viruses.

He said the United States is the only country in the world that is still relaxing restrictions even as the virus gains ground.

But there is a little bit of good news. According to a 7-day rolling average, the number of daily U.S. deaths from COVID-19 has dipped slightly over the past few days after plateauing for about a week.

Florida braces for possible “catastrophic flood” of wastewater » Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency over the weekend after a leak at a wastewater pond. The leak threatened to flood roads and burst a system that stores polluted waters south of Tampa. DeSantis told reporters Sunday:

DESANTIS: What we’re looking at now is trying to prevent, and respond to if need be, a real catastrophic flood situation. 

Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes said, “We are talking about the potential of about 600 million gallons” gushing out of the retention pool within minutes.

Officials brought in rocks and materials to plug the hole in the pond late Friday into Saturday, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

Gov. DeSantis clarified that the wastewater is not radioactive.

DESANTIS: It’s primarily saltwater from the Port Manatee mixed with legacy process water and stormwater runoff. 

Officials began evacuating more than 300 homes and a highway. Residents who live around the Piney Point reservoir received an alert via text saying to leave the area immediately because the collapse was “imminent.”

Jordanian official says “malicious plot” put down » A senior official in Jordan on Sunday accused the country’s former crown prince of conspiring with foreign elements in a—quote—“malicious plot” that threatened national security.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told reporters that the plot had been foiled at the “zero hour.”

He said authorities arrested more than a dozen people, including two senior officials close to Prince Hamzah.

Hamzah, King Abdullah II’s half-brother, confirmed that he has been placed under house arrest.

HAMZAH: [speaking in Arabic]

He accused the country’s leadership of corruption and incompetence.

The unprecedented incident has raised concerns about stability in a country seen as a key Western ally.

Safadi did not identify the foreign countries allegedly involved in the plot.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: The Supreme Court considers a new exception to Fourth Amendment protections.

This is The World and Everything in It.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Monday the 5th of April, 2021. Welcome to another week of The World and Everything in It. Good morning! I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s time for Legal Docket.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down three decisions, all unanimous in judgment.

First, a defeat for a man who sued Facebook for harassing him with unwanted text messages. To make matters worse, the man never had a Facebook account, so he accused the company of violating a federal law that bans so-called robocalls.

Problem for him is the way Congress drafted the law. Facebook lawyer Paul Clement argued it really all came down to basic grammar:

CLEMENT: Under ordinary rules of grammar, a restrictive modifier that follows two disjunctive verbs modifies both, not just the second one.

Got that? Let me move this out of the abstract, and put it this way. Facebook is saying it didn’t violate the law because it sent text messages only to phone numbers already in its database.

What the federal law bans is calling randomly or sequentially generated numbers. Not the case here. Facebook didn’t do that, so the messages—while annoying and unwanted—weren’t illegal robocalls.

In a second ruling, the Court upheld the changes to media ownership rules that the Federal Communications Commission made. A self-described social-justice group challenged the FCC changes as giving insufficient attention to media ownership by women and minorities.

The high court disagreed, finding the agency well within its authority and that the FCC did give sufficient attention to ownership diversity questions to pass legal muster.

And finally, Georgia defeats Florida, and no, not in college sports. The state of Georgia prevailed over the state of Florida in a dispute over water in the Apalachicola River Basin.

Florida lies downstream and so it sued Georgia, claiming that the state uses too much water and as a result has wrecked Florida’s oyster industry.

But the justices didn’t see it that way. Again, unanimously, the court found Florida failed to meet its standard of proof and therefore the court cannot order reapportionment of the water. In short, case dismissed.

REICHARD: Alright. Now on to oral argument today, one case.

It arises from an argument between a husband and wife in Rhode Island, a dispute sparked by the choice of the wrong coffee mug!

Here’re the facts: Edward Caniglia told Kim Caniglia, his wife of 27 years, that he didn’t want to drink from a certain coffee cup.

Reason? Well, his brother in law, Kim Caniglia’s brother, had used that coffee cup and Mr. Caniglia said—his words now—I don’t want to “catch a case of dishonesty” by drinking from it.

That particular flashpoint led to more bickering, that led to his leaving the house and going out for a drive, which turned out not to help. When he came back, they bickered some more.

Finally, Edward Caniglia fetched a gun and asked his wife: Just shoot me. Put me out of my misery.

Kim Caniglia was shocked.

What she did was hide the gun from her husband.

Then she left the house and checked herself into a motel for the night.

The next morning, she phoned her husband, but he didn’t answer.

So she called the police, and fearing he might’ve taken his life, she asked that they check in on him.

When police arrived at the home, they found Edward Caniglia cooperative, but still pretty angry. He confirmed his wife’s account of the dispute, with one exception: he denied that he was suicidal.

Still, based on the totality of circumstances, the officers thought Mr. Caniglia needed medical attention. So police convinced him to go get a psychiatric evaluation.

Meantime, Mrs. Caniglia returned home, and with her husband at the hospital, she led police to two weapons in the house which the officers seized.

And that’s where this legal dispute arises.

Here is Edward Caniglia’s lawyer, Shay Dvoretzky:

DVORETZKY: The Fourth Amendment recognizes the sanctity of the home by drawing a firm line at the door. The government cannot cross that line without a warrant unless there is consent or exigent circumstances. Here, there was neither.

In other words, Mr. Caniglia had not consented to seizure of his guns. Police told his wife he had, but that wasn’t true. So even her consent was based on a false premise.

The Caniglias now argue that police should have obtained a warrant first, following the Fourth Amendment. That says people have the right to be secure in their homes against unreasonable searches and that warrants to search have to be based upon probable cause.

Exceptions exist: for example, police don’t need a warrant to do a search after an arrest, or in exigent circumstances.

In this case, though, police claim another exception to pursuing a warrant: the community caretaking exception.

The Supreme Court created that one 50 years ago to make it easier for police to deal with, for instance, broken-down cars left on roadways. But it’s expanded over the years to include things like helping people who are sick or in distress.

And now the question is whether that exception originally created for vehicles extends to homes.

Caniglia’s lawyer Dvoretzky argued absolutely not.

Chief Justice John Roberts questions him:

ROBERTS: Does it matter if we’re talking about a caretaking, community caretaking, what the community is like? Could be that somebody like Andy of Mayberry is alright because people expect him to keep track of things, but you know, Kojak isn’t?

DVORETZKY: I don’t think police would have different license to enter the home without a warrant based on those sorts of considerations, no, your honor.

So no line drawing based on who the officer is.

Lawyer for the Rhode Island police, Marc Desisto, laid out the line that the police prefer:

DESISTO: Not allowing the caretaking actions may have resulted in death or injury. And that’s why an absolute prohibition against warrantless entry is wrong. Community caretaking in the home without a warrant should be allowed when it is objectively reasonable to do so.

Police need some leeway, Desisto argued, to allow quick decisions made in rapidly changing situations.

Chief Justice Roberts wondered how far to take that.

ROBERTS: Let’s suppose  Mr. Desisto, that police get a call from a—from a neighbor who says, you know, the Johnsons are away, I  know they’re not here, and they’ve got this fence around their backyard.  It’s locked, but there’s a cat up in the tree. Can you come and help, you know, get the cat down? Is that community caretaking?

DESISTO: Yes, I do. I think that is community caretaking, and here’s why. You look at the intrusion, and the intrusion is simply climbing a fence and getting up in a tree, and you balance that against the privacy right.

“Balance.” Where to put the fulcrum under the see-saw, between preventing harm on one side and preserving privacy on the other.

Listen to Justice Samuel Alito in this exchange with Dvoretzky, lawyer for the couple:

ALITO: a person in the house may commit suicide where suicide is not a crime. Is that a permissible reason for a search?

DVORETZKY: For — for a search by an officer without any other authorization, just in the officer’s discretion?

ALITO: Without consent.

DVORETZKY: Without consent, no, that’s not a permissible reason for a search.

ALITO: Even if the officer has probable cause to believe the person will commit suicide?

DVORETZKY: I think it may depend on the immediacy of the situation in—in—in that hypothetical.

Immediacy was on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s mind. Sometimes, the timeline can’t be known in advance.

KAVANAUGH: The starkest form of your position will lead to officers backing away from going into houses when old people have fallen or there’s concern about that or when there’s a risk of suicide.

DVORETZKY: Justice Kavanaugh, in a situation like this, the officers could have involved a mental health professional, and if they were unable to involve one—

KAVANAUGH: But there’s time—time is of the essence in—in these cases.

The suggestion that police ought to first consult with mental health professionals fell flat with most of the justices.

Justice Stephen Breyer didn’t want any new rule to swallow up the whole point of the Fourth Amendment.

BREYER: There are so many situations where it’s obvious the police should enter. You know—a baby’s been crying for five hours, nobody seems to be around. A rat’s come out of a house at a time when rats carry serious disease and have to be stopped.  I mean we all can think of dozens of instances. And if we call those “exigent circumstances,” we weaken the exigent circumstances. And if we move to a whole new thing like caretaker, I don’t know what we do. So what’s your answer to my dilemma legally?

Dvoretzky, representing the couple, had this answer for Justice Breyer: authorities have to analyze each exigent circumstance, see if it’s a true emergency, and, if so, is it one that demands immediate intervention?

But defining what that means remained elusive.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett came up with a scenario that doesn’t seem so hypothetical these days.

Listen to this exchange with the lawyer for the police, DeSisto:

BARRETT: There’s a lot of concern about it being an umbrella for lots of different things. Let’s say that in a town with a high rate of COVID infection, police look through the window and they can see a lot of people gathered together that are not wearing masks. Can they enter?

DESISTO: Yes. But—but, see, I think that gets—there may be—there may be a criminal or, you know, a violation for so many people entering that would allow them.

BARRETT: No, that wasn’t part of my hypothetical. No criminal—you know, it’s just that there’s—there’s no crime, you know, that—say that there’s a mask ordinance that carries no penalty. People are told to wear masks, but there’s no penalty for it.

DESISTO: Yes, I—I—yes, I’d look at the community caretaking test. It’s a transient hazard. There’s a non-investigatory reason for engaging in that activity going in. They have articulable facts. They’ve seen it. And there—it depends on what they do. If they go in and just disperse the crowd, I think that fits within community caretaking.

The justices’ questions showed they are worried about turning every interaction with police into an invitation to invade the home, as one amicus brief warned. But they also want to protect the vulnerable among us, and not hamstring the police out of too much caution.

A tough job. The circuits are split on this question, so clarity is needed.

ROBERTS: Thank you counsel. The case is submitted.

And that’s this week’s Legal Docket.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Thirty-five years ago, someone unknowingly made the investment of a lifetime.

An auction house in Dallas says an unidentified seller just fetched $660,000 dollars for an item that back in 1986 cost about $50 bucks.

The seller bought the item as a gift, but stuck it in a desk drawer and then just went about life for the next three-and-a-half decades. Now, there may be investment advice in that, right there.

So what was this mystery gift that multiplied in price more than 13-thousand times?

AUDIO: [Super Mario video game]

It was an unopened, shrink wrapped copy of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros.

Someone at the Heritage auction house said, “Since the production window for this copy and others like it was so short, finding another copy from this same production run in similar condition would be akin to looking for a single drop of water in an ocean.”

Rarer, I suppose, than the proverbial needle in a haystack.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


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

NICK EICHER, HOST: Financial analyst and advisor David Bahnsen is back for our weekly conversation on the economy. Good morning.

DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Good morning, Nick. Good to be with you.

EICHER: It’s April 5th, so we’re officially through the first quarter of the year and that’s always a good place to take stock, instead of week-to-week data points. You’ve had the chance to evaluate the entire quarter. So, David, three months in the books, how do you grade them?

BAHNSEN: Yeah. It’s such an interesting quarter, because from our vantage point as investment managers, it was a splendid quarter. We’re not gonna get a GDP number for another few weeks, but I’m expecting a really strong quarter and even stronger Q2 and Q3.

The area in which things were negative in Q1 was entirely political. Uh, a really thoughtless $1.9-trillion stimulus relief bill, signs of pretty severe partisanship in the first quarter with the new administration, um, a lotta weak knees in the moderate Democrats that are gonna be necessary to hold back some of the legislative areas. So, the political arena, I’d give the quarter about a D, and the, um, economic quarter, I’d give it about an A-.

EICHER: But GDP, you’re expecting a really strong not only quarter when we receive that data in several weeks, but a really strong year, predicated on a really terrible year in 2020 with COVID and COVID policy. But still, we haven’t seen 7-8-9 percent annual growth in a very, very long time.

BAHNSEN: Um, and you’d have to go back an awful long ways. Eh, now again the, again, the trendline is what would matter, and this isn’t gonna bring the trend line up because you’re gonna blend 2020 and 2021. When we were getting numbers above 6% real GDP growth in the ’80s, that was sustained. That was lasting for multiple years and well into the ’90s. You had a bunch of four, five, and sixes. I would rather have four, five, and six, year over year over year than one year of eight, um, and anyone would.

But unfortunately, we just simply have way too much, uh, government debt that crowds out the private sector and that, uh, represents economic growth unfulfilled ’cause it was already used in the past when the debt was taken on. And so, that high level of debt—this is a subject, Nick, you and I have talked about on past shows—that is the number one detractor of sustained real GDP growth into the future.

EICHER: Surprisingly good jobs number for March. Headline unemployment down to 6 percent, net pickup of nearly a million jobs—916K most of them in the private sector—and it really came as a surprise, a positive surprise.

BAHNSEN: Yeah. It was a surprise on the margin in the sense that there was some expectation of a good number and good trajectory. And then, it ended up outperforming that expectation, so that’s what a surprise is. But the composition of it was not a surprise to me. The reason why I expect to see superlative job growth come primarily in leisure hospitality and things of that nature is that’s where the, uh, superlative job losses were. But there will be a delta. There will be a net difference between jobs pre-COVID and jobs post-COVID because they did succeed in putting away a lot of restaurants permanently.

EICHER: OK, before we go, we do have a little more detail on the big bill we’ll be talking about for the next few months as it takes shape—the infrastructure bill and the pay-for, the taxes.

How do you appraise it?

BAHNSEN: Yeah. You know, the way they did it is kinda clever by breaking it up into two, um, pieces because we actually don’t have a lot of clarity on the infrastructure bill itself. And then, the pay-for, they, they’ve given us the information on the corporate tax increase, but they’re kind of leaving it ambiguous on a blended basis as to what the total amount of tax increases will look like.

But basically, I’m of the school of thought that the reason the market is not responding negatively to it is, I think he started at 28% of a corporate tax rate, which is halfway between the Obama 35% level and the Trump 21% level, and I think his 28’s gonna come down to 25. And 25 from 21 is not much of a needle mover. I don’t like it, but it’s really not that substantive. And that’s kinda where we are right now.

But it’s not that I don’t wanna criticize first drafts of plans. It’s just that there’s no real precedent historically of a first draft looking anything like the final legislation.

But forgetting the tax increase side and the quote-unquote pay-for side, we do have a big amount of infrastructure need. We do have some that lies in the federal, uh, domain. There are federal highways and things that are constitutionally under that jurisdiction. Most sensible people would say, “Hey, that’s something you gotta include into your household budget in a year when you didn’t spend another couple trillion on other things.”

So, I think Larry Summers, the former Clinton and Obama economic adviser, uh, is gonna be proven right here that the Biden Administration has hurt themselves a lot and their political potency to get this infrastructure bill done by passing through and ramrodding through that $1.9 trillion, uh, quote-unquote COVID relief bill.

EICHER: Alright. We’ll leave it there. David Bahnsen, financial analyst and advisor. Always great to talk with you. Safe travels and thank you very much.

BAHNSEN: Thanks so much, Nick.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: The WORLD History Book. Today, playing ping-pong for peace. But first, the passing of a president.

Here’s WORLD senior correspondent Katie Gaultney.

AUDIO: [song]

KATIE GAULTNEY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: “Necessity is the mother of invention,” as the saying goes. And 180 years ago, on April 4, 1841, our nation’s leaders found themselves scrambling to invent a constitutional succession plan upon the death of President William Henry Harrison.

Before taking the nation’s highest office, Harrison became a national hero. The Western Reserve Historical Society explains.

AUDIO: In November 1811 they win a significant but costly victory over the Shawnee at a place called Tippecanoe. And so for a little while, at least, Harrison kind of becomes a household name. 

Harrison was only the ninth U.S. president, but he managed to nab at least a couple of records—like first president to die in office. And to this day, shortest tenure as president, at only 31 days from inauguration to death. He also delivered the longest inaugural address in American history in the cold and the rain without an overcoat or hat. The result: death from pneumonia exactly one month later.

His death sparked a constitutional crisis. The Constitution had a plan for presidential succession, but it wasn’t clear if the Vice President would actually become president, or just take on the “powers and duties” of the president for a brief period. Ultimately, Harrison’s cabinet and Chief Justice Roger Taney decided Vice President John Tyler should be sworn in as president. That procedure became precedent, and Section I of the 25th Amendment made it official more than 100 years later, in 1967.

Moving from a significant death in American history to a significant death in medical history.

It’s been 115 years since the death of the first patient diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Auguste Deter died April 8, 1906, in Germany, where she lived all her life. Deter was a housewife and mother—and by all accounts, she made her home a happy place. That is until she reached her 50s, when her capabilities and even her personality began to change.

ROTHMAN: She was only 51 years old, but she had rapidly progressing memory loss…

Dr. Marc Rothman is a geriatric internist. In an informational video series by a dementia resource group, he described Deter’s symptoms when she finally sought help.

ROTHMAN: Trouble with language, she was paranoid, she was having hallucinations. 

Deter’s husband, Carl, took her to a mental hospital in Frankfurt for examination. Dr. Alois Alzheimer took her case. But Carl didn’t make enough as a railway worker to afford the facility. He tried to move her to a less expensive clinic, but Alzheimer made a deal with him: Keep Deter at his mental hospital for free, but consent to donating Auguste’s brain and medical records for research after her death.

Melanie Perry works with memory care patients. She explained how Dr. Alzheimer’s postmortem examination of Deter gave him insights into how the disease physically changes the brain.

PERRY: He was able to look at her brain tissue under a microscope and able to see for the first time what we now know are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Those characteristics include plaques and tangles in the brain. The World Health Organization reports that 50 million people around the globe have dementia, with cases increasing by about 10 million each year. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, making up about 70 percent of those cases.

And for our final entry today, geopolitical rivals come to the table—the ping pong table.

AUDIO: [ping pong sounds]

Fifty years ago, in an attempt to thaw frosty relations, China hosted the U.S. table tennis team for a week-long visit. On April 10, 1971, the team and accompanying journalists became the first American delegation to set foot in the Chinese capital since 1949.

The U.S. held communist countries at arms’ length following World War II. Both sides stood to gain something from de-escalating tensions: China wanted America on its side in case it needed an ally against Russia. And Washington hoped to use China as a bargaining chip in its negotiations with North Vietnam.

George Braithwaite was on the U.S. team.

BRAITHWAITE: We were very happy that table tennis became the media through which it would help pave the way for establishing better relations between two of the world’s greatest powers. 

The event succeeded in improving relations between the two countries. Around that same time, other countries, including Australia, also managed to smooth things over with China through table tennis. The U.S. lifted its embargo against China on June 10, 1971. President Richard Nixon visited the country the following year.

NEWSREEL: And Premier Zhou Enlai moves forward to greet the first American president to set foot on Chinese soil. East meets West as a handshake bridges 16,000 miles and 22 years of hostility. 

Over two decades later, the movie Forrest Gump used that real-life match as fodder for its fictional story.

CLIP: Somebody said world peace was within our hands, but all I did was play ping-pong.

That’s this week’s History Book. I’m Katie Gaultney.

AUDIO: [song]


NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: Some abortion activists point to a single Bible passage and claim it justifies abortion. We’ll talk with a WORLD reporter who’ll clear up the controversy.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Jesus said:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Go now in grace and peace.

 


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.

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