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The World and Everything in It - July 18, 2022


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It - July 18, 2022

On Legal Docket, a victory for a cake baker; on Moneybeat, the latest economic news; and on History Book, important dates from the past. Plus: the Monday morning news.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

A wedding cake once again becomes a weapon in the culture wars. This time, a lower court judge ruled in favor of the baker.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Plus the WORLD History Book. 50 years ago this week, a deadly terrorist attack in Northern Ireland.

Also today the Monday Moneybeat. Today, 9-point-one percent inflation—the highest in four decades—and the likelihood (or not) of new taxes on the horizon.

REICHARD: It’s Monday, July 18th. 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: Biden returns from Saudi trip empty-handed » President Biden returned to the White House empty-handed after meetings in Saudi Arabia.

The president said his trip to the Saudi kingdom was part of a foreign policy investment in the Middle East.

BIDEN: We will not walk away and leave a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia, or Iran. We will seek to build on this moment with active, principled.

But he was unable to secure commitments on two key issues: The first, a Saudi commitment to pump more oil and the second, a regional security alliance that would include Israel.

Biden said he did once again raise the matter of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

BIDEN: He basically said that he was not personally responsible for it. I indicated I thought he was.

The prince reportedly accused Biden of hypocrisy, saying he was more concerned about Khashoggi than the recent death of a Palestinian-American journalist during a conflict in the West Bank.

Biden under fire after Saudi visit » The president is also facing criticism in Washington today from both sides of the aisle after his meetings with the Saudi royal family.

Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace criticized Biden for fist-bumping the crown prince upon his arrival in the country.

MACE: Well, it’s not the office of the President of the United States to go fist-bump the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. It was totally inappropriate.

And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday …

SANDERS: Look, you’ve got a family that questions democracy, which treats women as third-class citizens, which murders and imprisons its opponents.

He said the United States should not maintain “a warm relationship” with that kind of government.

Admin and GOP on curbing inflation » Republicans have also chided the president for asking other countries to increase their oil output without doing all he can to ramp up production at home. Florida Senator Rick Scott …

SCOTT: We’ve got to become energy independent. Don’t go over to Saudi Arabia and beg them for fuel. Go to Texas and ask them to get more fuel. Fix the supply chain.

Energy prices have played a big role in the surging inflation.

Scott touted a GOP plan to curb inflation, which includes more domestic energy and reining in government spending.

The White House, meantime, said it has its own ideas to tackle inflation. Jared Bernstein is a top economic adviser to the president.

BERNSTEIN: Now we pay two to three times for prescription drugs what Europeans pay for precisely the same drugs. So it’s time to stand up to big phrama, come together, and do something about affordability there.

Senate Democrats are working to strike a deal on a bill that may lower prescription drug costs. But moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has expressed concerns about tax hikes in the proposal.

Lawmakers warn of Chinese military advancements » Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, other lawmakers are voicing major concerns about China’s rapid military buildup.

GOP Congressman Michael Waltz sits on multiple House panels on armed services and intelligence. He said the Chinese …

WALTZ: Are creating dependencies on them, and they’re handing the technology over to their military, as they have the most rapid military buildup in modern history.

It’s been almost one year since China surprised the Pentagon by conducting a hypersonic missile test.

And Maine Sen. Angus King sits on the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. He said when it comes to cutting edge hypersonic weapons technology…

KING: We’re probably, I think, five years behind in terms of where the Chinese are.

He warned that hypersonic missiles, which Russia also has, could be a military game changer.

U.S. launches 988 mental health crisis hotline » The United States just launched a new telephone hotline for those with suicidal thoughts and other mental health emergencies.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel announced the launch in a video message.

ROSENWORCEL: Effective immediately, if you call or text 9-8-8, you will be connected to the 9-8-8 suicide and crisis lifeline.

She said the new 9-8-8 number is free, confidential, and available 24/7. The hotline connects callers with mental health counselors.

The federal government has provided nearly $300 million to help states create systems that will do much more. In some places, they may include emergency mental health clinics, as well as mobile mental health crisis teams. But the services tied to the 9-8-8 hotline currently vary from state to state.

Box office: Thor slips, Maverick breaks Paramount record » Thor took a tumble at the weekend box office.

TRAILER: Let me tell you the story of the space viking, Thor Odinson. 

Thor: Love and Thunder earned another $46 million over the weekend—a 68 percent drop from last weekend, but still good enough for first place.

Meantime, Top Gun: Maverick just set a Paramount box office record.

TRAILER: I have to admit I wasn’t expecting an invitation back. They’re called orders, Maverick.

The Top Gun sequel has eclipsed $1.2 billion dollars worldwide, making it the studio’s biggest global release ever.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: A wedding cake once again becomes a weapon in the culture wars.

Plus, WORLD History Book.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Monday morning and a brand new work week for The World and Everything in It. Today is the 18th of July, 2022.

Good morning to you. I’m Mary Reichard.

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

Today, we highlight a litigation now in Year Five. It’s another professional baker targeted by LGBT activists and dragged through the courts.

It’s a case very similar to one the Supreme Court decided four years ago. You may recall the name Jack Phillips and his bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado.

The case we’ll tell you about today is out of Bakersfield, California. The target is Cathy Miller. She’s the owner of Tastries Bakery.

Here’s a rundown of the facts that—if you remember Jack Phillips—will sound very familiar.

Two women walked into Tastries Bakery and requested a custom wedding cake for their same sex wedding. Important to note they didn’t ask for a cake off the shelf, already made. Miller would gladly have sold them that, no problem.

But what they wanted was for Miller to create a unique confection to celebrate their union as a lesbian couple.

REICHARD: Miller politely declined on religious grounds and referred the couple to a baker who would have no conscience objection to designing such a cake.

She is consistent in the way she aligns her beliefs with her actions. Miller also declines to create cakes that celebrate divorce, or create lewd designs on cakes for bachelor parties, or cakes with Satanic messaging, in addition to declining to design cakes with messages that offend traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

This dispute is the logical consequence of the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to redefine marriage and make legal marriage between two people of the same sex, the Obergefell ruling.

Listen to lawyer Jordan Lorence of Alliance Defending Freedom outside the court on that day:

LORENCE: And we hope this decision today will not be used as an excuse to ostracize, to demonize, or to punish people for holding views contrary to what five of the nine justices said today.

As we all know now, that’s turned out to be the case, just as Justice Samuel Alito predicted in his dissent. I’ll quote from it: “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

What Justice Alito predicted, well, that’s exactly what’s happened to Cathy Miller and her business: A media firestorm, followed by death threats, and orchestrated harassment that’s hurt her business.

EICHER: Miller emphasizes what most media reports don’t: the artistry involved with custom wedding cakes. When the newlyweds are ready to cut the cake, onlookers gather around.

MILLER: But the wedding cake is the centerpiece, the culmination of the reception, and it's the first time as husband and wife that you are serving the guests and thanking them as the first act that you do together. And so even though they say, “Oh, it's just a plain wedding cake, it's just a wedding cake. It's just an all white cake.” That's not necessarily true. Because it is setting. It's the symbol of that union of husband and wife together.

REICHARD: And that setting is where core beliefs are described in scripture:

MILLER: And the Lord has put in Scripture, you can look in Leviticus and Genesis and Corinthians, Ephesians. It talks about the beauty that God created between a husband and a wife. And that those who go against that relationship, whether they make a choice to live differently, or they choose to support that, is an abomination to the Lord and there's no way in my heart I could ever hurt my Lord Jesus intentionally. We're all sinners. We're all mess up. But when we're deliberately making choices that God does not approve of in that. That's, that's a problem.

EICHER: Miller’s lawyer is Paul Jonna with Thomas More Society.

We mentioned the case of Jack Phillips and he did win his case back in 2018. Yet here we are again in another dispute involving a baker. Why?

JONNA: Although Jack Phillips, you know, prevailed at the Supreme Court, they did not really reach the merits of this issue fundamentally. They really kind of resolved the case on hostility grounds, which is to say that they acted unlawfully because of their hostility to Jack Phillips.

REICHARD: The Supreme Court didn’t resolve the bigger issues of free exercise of religion or how to navigate conflicts between religious rights and new gay rights. So these attacks on religious people continue.

JONNA: It's actually worth knowing that our case resulted in the very first opinion in the country, at the trial court level, where the court actually ruled on the merits of the First Amendment. And it made it very clear that what the state was doing was unconstitutional. The state really should have seen the writing on the wall at that time. But instead, they initiated a new action. And they've been prosecuting this case for almost five years, about five years now. And we're headed to a jury trial in July. 

EICHER: A bench trial on July 25th, one week from today.

In that opinion by Judge David Lampe, he notes that it’s laudable and necessary for a state to ensure an accessible public marketplace free from discrimination.

No vendor can refuse to sell goods or services based on gender identification of a customer, even upon religious grounds. For example: A tire salesman can’t refuse to sell a tire to same-sex couples because there’s nothing sacred or expressive about selling tires. Same goes for artists who have put their work up for public sale. No baker may put his wares in a public display case and then refuse to sell because of race, religion, gender, or gender identification.

REICHARD: Judge Lampe goes on, and I’ll quote from this point:

“The difference here is that the cake in question is not yet baked. The State is not petitioning the court to order defendants to sell a cake. The State asks this court to compel Miller to use her talents to design and create a cake she has not yet conceived with the knowledge that her work will be displayed in celebration of a marital union her religion forbids. For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech guaranteed under the First Amendment.”

Lawyer Jonna says the earlier marriage cases out of California’s Supreme Court informs the correct conclusion to be reached in Miller’s case.

JONNA: In the California en re marriage cases. This is literally a quote from that opinion in 2008. It said, “affording same sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official or any other person.” And then in the Obergefell case, the court said, it must be emphasized— this is the Supreme Court— that religions and those who adhere to religious doctrines may continue to advocate with utmost sincere conviction that by divine precepts same sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths into their own deep aspiration to continue the family structure they have long revered. So the point is you know these courts went out of their way, when they when they made same sex marriage legal, they went out of their way to make it very clear, this is not going to affect people's religious liberty. And here we are. And we've said in our briefs this case really is about a judicial promise. If what they said was true, then why are we in this situation today?

Lawyer Jonna sums it up this way about Cathy Miller’s case:

JONNA: That the state refuses to understand is that they can have it both ways. The First Amendment and anti-discrimination laws can coexist, because our client serves LGBT people. Again, it's about the message, not the person. Our position is that Cathy doesn't refuse them services. She just, she makes a referral that allows them to get equal services, if not better, at a different bakery, so she's providing an accommodation, which allows her rights to be protected, and also allows this same sex couples to to obtain the product or service that they're looking for.

It’s possible that these continuous conflicts between religious rights and LGBTQ rights could be resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court’s next term.

The case is 303 Creative LLC versus Colorado’s attorney general and members of the state Civil Rights Division. Remember, that’s the same state agency that’s gone after Jack Phillips.

And that’s this week’s Legal Docket.

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

NICK EICHER, HOST: Time now for our weekly conversation on business, markets, and the economy with financial analyst and adviser David Bahnsen, head of the Bahnsen Group . Good morning!

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

EICHER: CPI, Consumer Price Index, crossed the 9 percent mark—hitting a 40-year high for that headline inflation gauge—and I know there are plenty of conflicting economic data points, but that inflation story has got to be the top story this week.

BAHNSEN: Gosh, there were kind of a couple of big stories this week, I mean, the CPI print was higher than had been forecasted. The goods inflation was down for the fourth month in a row. But again, that energy inflation, particularly from last month, really caused the overall number to go higher. But that delta, that spread between the core inflation, which doesn't include food and energy, and the headline inflation, which does, that continues to grow. And that's the really more politically sensitive numbers, the headline number. Regular people, voters, you know, they care about food and energy.

Now, the gas prices have come down a fair amount in the last few weeks. And so it is possible you'll start to see even that number move lower. But definitely the goods inflation number has started to come down. So that political story is not going away anytime soon.

But there was, you saw the stock market rally huge on Friday of last week; the economic data came in a little bit better than had been expected.

And so this has been the story for a while, Nick. There's so much mixed data out there. It's really quite surreal.

EICHER: Let’s talk about what that might mean for the Federal Reserve, with continued evidence of inflation, maybe that puts pressure on the Fed to move more aggressively, more quickly to raise interest rates, higher, faster.

BAHNSEN: Yeah, I mean, all you ever have to really do is look to the futures market. And as as we're talking, it's in the futures market a 71% chance of a 75 basis point, a three quarters of a percent, interest-rate hike, and there is a 29% chance of a full 1%.

I continue to believe it doesn't matter much. Look, the futures will end up being right as we get closer to the end of July, when the Fed makes this decision at the FOMC meeting. The question is just simply on what the terminal rate will be like, where are they going? What's the rate at which it stops? I don't happen to think it matters much the pace at which they get there.

The Fed has been kind of experimenting with that, you know, what they did last time, they leaked to The Wall Street Journal, what they were going to do three days in advance, and wanted to see how markets responded. And so you ended up going into their meeting, where they had announced three quarters of a point hike with a 100% chance that they were going to do so. And had markets revolted, or there been some sort of an uncomfortable response to the leak, then I don't think they would have done that.

So there's a lot of this forward guidance kind of game playing that the Fed is doing, which is part of a now long term strategy of the Fed to not want to surprise markets. People can agree with it, disagree with it, but they can't dispute that that's been sort of governing policy of the Fed for quite some time. I believe the last time the Fed genuinely surprised markets was 1994.

EICHER: And before we go, David, one more thing about the inflation story: I’m reading it’s making Senator Joe Manchin more reluctant to go along with the Democratic spending priorities in Congress. As we know, it’s a 50-50 Senate, the Republicans have no interest in helping with Democrat spending bills, the Democrats can’t lose anybody, and Manchin is the more moderate Democrat who’s known as the key to any spending deal getting done. And the political negative of continued inflation is making Manchin jittery. So that’s going to seriously complicate things for the Senate Democrats, the House Democrats, the White House.

BAHNSEN: Yeah, actually, the White House has not been a part of these discussions at all. It's between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin and they want to get a deal fully done before they then go back both to the White House and the Pelosi House. And all reports were that they were very, very close, that they had worked out an agreement on prescription drug benefit and a kind of price fixing mechanism, along with some form of a climate mechanism. So that was the only two components that were really going to be able to get a much smaller spending bill instead of the, you know, four or $5 trillion bill they wanted last year this was going to be 600 billion, but they were going to be paying for it through a couple of different taxes on very high earners. But one in particular was a 3.8% tax on the income over certain dollar levels, like a surtax a totally extra punitive tax on income above certain levels for any LLC, or S corp, which are basically what they call pass through entities, but they're largely entities that family-owned businesses and small businesses use. And that was by far the thing I was most concerned about. I don't want to see big punitive taxes for people over 10 million of income either. But obviously, that's going to affect a much smaller amount of people. This LLC, small business tax, I think was going to be much more punitive. And now, Manchin has pulled back and said he's no longer on board, he's still willing to do something on the drug benefit side, which could be paid for in another way. But they're saying no tax increases at all. And even the climate restrictions are off the table. I'm still hearing from some of my sources, some things could end up happening, that there's a lot of jockeying back and forth behind the scenes, but at this time, that particular tax is publicly off the table. And that's a very good thing. And it very well may be part of the reason the markets rallied so hard on Friday.

EICHER: All right, that's David Bahnsen. He's a financial analyst and advisor and head of the financial planning firm, the Bahnsen group. David’s daily writing is at Dividend-Cafe-dot-com. You can read him online or sign up there to receive his daily missive by email.

David, thanks again.

BAHNSEN: Thanks so much, Nick.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, July 18th, 2022. 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. Up next, the WORLD History Book. Five years ago this week O.J. Simpson appears before a Nevada parole board. Plus, an astronomical near miss.

But first a deadly bombing spree in Northern Ireland. Here’s Paul Butler.

PAUL BUTLER: We begin today with July 21st, 1972.


50 years ago this week, 22 bombs explode across Northern Ireland and central Belfast. The coordinated bombings take place over a period of roughly 80 minutes.

NEWSCAST CLIP: This was Bloody Friday, the worst ever example of IRA terrorism. 11 people died and 130 were injured, half of them women and children.

The death toll seems to catch the IRA by surprise. They claim they telephoned warnings before each explosion. Leadership asserts that security forces purposely ignored some of their warnings to deliberately cause carnage—hoping it would lead to public outrage. Security forces counter that they simply couldn’t follow up on every warning due to the sheer volume of threats in such a short period of time—adding that some warnings turned out to be hoaxes.

NEWSCAST CLIP: Bombs exploded every minute for 20 minutes in busy shopping areas and a crowded bus terminal…

Members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army—or IRA—hide most of the bombs in cars or other vehicles. They park the explosives near infrastructure and business targets.

NEWSCAST CLIP: It had been parked outside a ballroom and office block by two men who carried trays of cakes into a butcher shop and gave a warning…

The IRA is a paramilitary organization fighting for Irish independence and reunification. They hope to usher in a socialist republic and bring an end to British rule through violent action.

Some trace the conflict back more than 400 years when Scottish and English settlers arrived—sparking a handful of religious wars and conflicts. But this violent struggle—known as The Troubles—began in the late 1960s over the status of Northern Ireland. Even though sides are often identified as Catholic or Protestant —it is not strictly a religious war.

One side—primarily Protestants—wants Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom. And the other side—primarily Catholics—wants Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom to join a united Ireland. But the irregular war isn’t over doctrine—but national identity and government policy.

The Bloody Friday attack is in part a response to failed talks between the IRA and the British government.

NEWS CLIP: This action today will fill all of us with abhorrence. It is revolting and obscene.

The bombings turn out to be a major setback for the IRA as public opinion sours. The conflict lasts for another 26 years before a peace deal brings it to an end.

From 1968 to 1998 more than 36-hundred people die in IRA bombings—many of them civilians. Twenty years ago the IRA formally apologized to victims’ families saying:

While it was not our intention to injure or kill non-combatants, the reality is…that was the consequence of our actions…We offer our sincere apologies and condolences to their families.

Next, ten years ago this week.

ABC NEWSCAST: The sun has just put on quite a show. Take a look at these amazing pictures captured by a NASA spacecraft yesterday. It’s a powerful solar flare…

The sun’s electrical activity goes through predictable cycles. Every 11 years or so solar storms increase in their intensity and frequency before returning to a more relative calm.

These events can affect global positioning system accuracy, play havoc with power grids, and damage satellites—causing communication failures. So scientists regularly monitor the sun’s activity.

As 2012 begins, scientists expect a particularly active year. A solar flare in March is the biggest in five years.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Can you tell us exactly what this solar storm is and what is happening? Is there any danger here?

But on July 23rd, 2012, solar observation satellites record a very large CME—coronal mass ejection. That’s when a cloud of electrically charged particles from the sun's upper atmosphere gets super-heated and launched with a great burst of speed.

NASA VIDEO: Thanks to NASA’s far reaching Heliophysics fleet, we have an excellent picture of the event…

The earth’s magnetosphere protects life on the planet from solar events like this one. But due the size, speed, and quantity of the ejection—if the emission had occurred just nine days earlier, it could have hit the earth straight on. And if it had, it would have likely damaged or destroyed a lot of the space-born technology we rely on day to day.

And finally, July 20, 2017. A Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners meets in a small room.

AP FOOTAGE OF VOTE: TONY CORDA: My vote is to grant your parole, effective when eligible. SUSAN JACKSON: And I concur with Commissioner Corda and grant parole.
ADAM ENDEL: I concur with Commissioner Corda and agree to grant parole.

The convict sitting before the four-member board is former NFL star and actor O. J. Simpson. He is serving a 33-year sentence for a 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas.

AP FOOTAGE OF VOTE: CONNIE BISBEE: Mr. Simpson, before I cast my vote, I want to let you know that we believe that…we do not look kindly upon parole violations...

In the end, the board unanimously grants O.J. Simpson parole.

SIMPSON: Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Later the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners grants Simpson an early discharge from his parole and he’s a free man.

Simpson reportedly lives quite comfortably in Las Vegas on his NFL and Screen Actor’s Guild pensions. He’s an avid golfer and freely shares political and sports commentary regularly on Twitter.

OJ VIDEO FROM TWITTER ACCOUNT: Hey Twitter-world, it’s me. Your’s truly. Boy are we living in some strange times…I’m just saying. Take care.

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

NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: After the shocking assassination of Shinzo Abe—the longest-serving prime minister of Japan—how will that reshape Japanese politics?

Plus, teaching music to students at risk of academic failure.

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.

The Bible says: Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (Eph 4:28 ESV)

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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