The World and Everything in It: July 25, 2022
On Legal Docket, an address from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett; on Moneybeat, the latest economic news; and the first nominee for this year’s Hope Award for Effective Compassion. Plus: the Monday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Today, Justice Amy Coney Barrett speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Center. You’ll hear the justice’s intellect and her personal side.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket.
Also the Monday Moneybeat: today jobs, recession, and politics. David Bahnsen joins us later.
Plus a trip to a transitional housing facility for men—the first installment of this year’s Hope Awards for Effective Compassion.
REICHARD: It’s Monday, July 25th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Here’s Kent Covington now with the news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Yellen: Recession isn’t inevitable » The U.S. economy is slowing down, but the Biden administration says it’s too soon to use the R-word.
Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen …
YELLEN: A recession is a broad-based weakness in the economy. We’re not seeing that now, and I absolutely don’t think that’s necessary.
That from NBC’s Meet the Press.
Recession is widely defined as two straight quarters of decline. And many economists expect the numbers to show exactly that in the days ahead.
But Yellen noted that the job market is still strong, though she conceded that job growth is likely to slow. But she added that to get to a sustainable market …
YELLEN: That’s necessary and appropriate.
She said she’s confident that the Federal Reserve will succeed in beating back inflation. But rising costs are weighing on the White House. In a new Quinnipiac poll, 66 percent of respondents disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy.
Biden continues to improve after COVID infection » President Biden’s health continues to improve, despite a lingering sore throat from a COVID-19 infection.
White House virus response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said Sunday …
JHA: The president has an upper-respiratory infection. He’s doing better, thankfully, because he’s vaccinated, boosted, getting treated.
The 79-year-old president tested positive on Thursday. He has been isolating at the White House.
The president’s personal physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor said Biden “is responding to therapy as expected.” He’s been taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid.
Ashish Jha said it’s really hard to pinpoint where Biden contracted the virus.
JHA: He’s been meeting with people. He’s been meeting with Americans. So it’s going to be very difficult to trace back and figure out who gave it to him.
Officials say the president likely contracted the highly contagious subvariant BA.5 that has become dominant in the U.S.
COVID cases have tripled across Europe in 6 weeks » That strain and its cousin, BA.4, have continued to fuel a rise in new cases and hospitalizations.
Dr. Mark Woolhouse is an infectious disease expert at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
WOOLHOUSE: They’re highly transmissible and they’re also able to evade the immune responses we already have, whether it’s due to the vaccines or to exposure from previous variants.
While the uptick so far has been slow and steady in the United States, it has been bigger in Europe.
The World Health Organization said recently that cases had tripled across Europe in six week’s time, doubling hospitalization rates.
But intensive care admissions in Europe have remained low. And the new omicron subvariants are not causing the same severe spike as the original omicron strain or delta before it.
Dr. Paul Hunter with Norwich Medical School in England pointed out …
HUNTER: The highest number was about 2,000 new infections in hospital. And that compares to the peak last year of about 35-to-40,000 new admissions in a single day.
WHO declares monkeypox emergency » Meanwhile, the World Health Organization declared that monkeypox now qualifies as a global health emergency. Director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus said over the weekend …
GHEBREYESUS: We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly though new modes of transmission about which we understand too little.
He said the virus, which is transmitted by contact with the skin lesions of an infected person, is spreading most rapidly among homosexual men.
GHEBREYSUS: That means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.
The virus has spread to more than 70 countries. The United States has reported nearly 3,000 cases. He said the risk of monkeypox globally is moderate, except in Europe where it’s higher.
A global emergency is WHO’s highest level of alert, but it does not necessarily mean that virus is especially transmissible or lethal. There is a vaccine for monkeypox—the CDC has sent more than 370,000 doses to U.S. states reporting cases.
Zelenskyy condemns Odesa airstrike » Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned a Russian airstrike on Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odesa.
ZELENSKY: [Speaking in Ukrainian]
The attack happened just hours after Moscow and Kyiv signed deals to allow grain exports to resume from Odesa.
Russia and Ukraine last week pledged not to target vessels and port facilities involved in shipping grain. Turkey help facilitate those talks, amid a global food crisis.
Zelenskyy said the attack “destroyed the very possibility” of dialogue with Moscow.
Minions top global box office » At the weekend box office, Minions fever is still going strong worldwide.
AUDIO: [Minions trailer]
Minions: The Rise of Gru was the top international draw over the weekend, adding another $42 million in ticket sales for a total of $640 million.
Domestically, the new sci-fi flick Nope, took the top spot. The R-rated thriller hauled in more than $40 million in its opening weekend.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: the personal side of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Plus, the first installment of this year’s Hope Awards for Effective Compassion.
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 25th 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.
And today, something a little different.
Back in April, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Center and Institute hosted an interview of US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Reagan Center Chairman Fred Ryan asked her about a variety of topics: her personal life, her nomination to the Supreme Court, and much more. The interview was about 45 minutes long, but we have trimmed it to fit our available space today. We think it’ll give you a good flavor of her personality and legal thinking.
REICHARD: About 6 minutes into the interview, a heckler interrupted while Justice Barrett spoke. She was answering a question about what she did to avoid the media while her name was being floated as a potential nominee by President Donald Trump.
It’s a little hard to hear from this, but the heckler yells something about “enslaver of women” as she interrupts the Justice:
BARRETT: …there was a you know, I don't know, five media trucks that parked outside of my house for days and days on end. And some were very aggressive as I told Fred, and I was trying to drive my car down the street and they would open the doors to block.
HECKLER: Enslaver of women!
An unsettling behavior, but Justice Barrett handled it beautifully. The recording stops at the heckler’s interruption, then returns once the heckler is gone.
Listen to Justice Barrett’s response:
BARRETT: Yes, fortunately, as a mother of seven I am used to distractions, um, and sometimes even outbursts. [Laughter, cheers]
EICHER: Here now are excerpts from Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s remarks at the Reagan Presidential Center in April with, again, questions from Chairman Fred Ryan:
RYAN: You know, an announcement is made that there's an opening on the court, and then names are circulated and weeks go by and then a decision is finally made. And the confirmation begins. I was just wondering if you could share a little bit with us about what it was like for you and your family in that process?
BARRETT: As you're describing Fred, it's typical, the vacancy arises, and then there are weeks and names are circulating. But mine happened on a compressed timeframe. And my husband and I were out to dinner on the Friday night that Justice Ginsburg passed away. And we were with two friends, both of whom happened to be lawyers enjoying this wonderful meal. And then our phones started going off. And we learned that Justice Ginsburg had passed away. So it was a very, I mean, it's it's the loss of a great American, very sad occasion, kind of, obviously put a damper on the meal. And we went home. And I had been considered for the vacancy that arose when Justice Kennedy retired in 2018. And we also knew that regardless of what happened at that point, I was likely to become the object of media scrutiny again, so that weekend in which I intended to go to Costco and go to my daughter's soccer game, the marshals advised me not to leave my house, just because they weren't exactly sure what would happen just given the intense scrutiny at the time. And that weekend. I was contacted by the White House Counsel and invited to come and interview that week. And it all just happened very quickly.
RYAN: And as far as I know, there's not a handbook for new justices or an orientation bootcamp. Who helped you learn the ropes in your first year as a justice?
BARRETT: All of the justices were so welcoming. I can't remember who called first but both the Chief Justice and Justice Sotomayor called immediately to extend their congratulations. Justice Sotomayor shared with me her law clerk manual that she used in chambers. And she said it had meant a lot to her when other justices had done that. And all of the justices came by to say hello, had lunch, offered advice. And I would say that starting the job, there is no handbook and I was starting midterm I was confirmed. And then there were arguments the following Monday. So I was scrambling, I had to set up a chambers and hire staff and get up and running on the oral arguments.
RYAN: You mentioned the law schools, and you are the only justice on the court at the moment who didn't go to either Harvard or Yale? What are your thoughts on the diversity of schools represented? And what should it be going forward?
BARRETT: I think diversity in every respect is good, including in background of education. I chose Notre Dame because I was attracted to it as an institution. I also had a full scholarship and I didn't know what I was going to do after law school and didn't want to be required to go to a large law firm to pay off debt. And so you know, I think, I think it's very valuable, to allow people to feel like they can make many different choices and receive great education at other institutions besides Harvard and Yale, without taking themselves out of the running to pursue certain professional opportunities.
RYAN: Do you have a view on how long someone should stay on the court?
BARRETT: No, I think it's a very personal decision. I think it really depends on you people know, people have people age differently. You know, Justice Ginsburg used to say, as long as she could do the job and do it well, and, you know, I think that's the philosophy that many have about their working lives generally.
RYAN: Speaking of opinions, this term, the court will likely issue opinions on some high profile, emotional subjects, that regardless of how they're decided there will be a certain segment of people who are disappointed and maybe even angry. When we live in a time where institutions are always under attack and being diminished, how does the court preserve the integrity of the institution and retain the respect and dignity that it deserves?
BARRETT: So I think that writing the opinions and I think I would urge all engaged and interested Americans to read the opinions. I know that speaking for myself, and I've heard several of my colleagues say, as well as colleagues on the lower courts that when they write opinions, they try to write them in a manner that would be accessible to informed Americans. And so I guess I would say that it's perfectly fair game to say that you dislike the results of a case. And it's also perfectly fair game to say that the court got it wrong. But I think if you're going to make the latter claim that the court got it wrong, you have to engage with the court’s reasoning first. And I think you should read the opinion and see, well, does this read like something that was purely results driven and designed to impose the policy preferences of the majority? Or does this read like it actually is an honest effort, a persuasive effort, even if one you ultimately don't agree with to determine what the Constitution and precedent requires,
RYAN: Somewhat related to that, I know you've spoken out about concerns that the court not be viewed as a partisan body. What can the court do to correct this perception?
BARRETT: I think, actually, this is the measure, I think this is the standard by which the American people should judge the court. Is the court laying out its reasoning is its reasoning that of a political or legislative body, or is its reasoning judicial? Is its reasoning, reasoning from all the traditional tools that inform our body of precedent, you know, prior cases, statutes, the Constitution itself? I think the way that justices talk about the court and relate to one another, the court truly is very collegial. And even when we disagree with one another about the results of the case, how a case should be decided the reasoning of a case - and I think Americans would all be better off if we all showed that level of respect even for those with whom we disagree.
RYAN: Do your friends call you, Amy still or Justice Barrett? Do you, uh, does it help adjudicating differences among your children, you know, to be a Supreme Court justice?
BARRETT: If my children were impressed at all by the fact that I was a Supreme Court justice, maybe it would help adjudicating their disputes. One thing that I love about being back in South Bend, Indiana is that I am just Amy. And so I really, particularly treasure these days, my long standing and old friendships. For the people to whom I am just Amy. It is a little bit harder to make new friends. In the fall, I was chasing around our youngest son who has Down syndrome at a fundraiser to an outdoor fair for the school that our youngest daughter is attending. And a very sweet mom at the school came up to me and said, I just thought I'd introduce myself to you because I bet a lot of people don't talk to you. Which was true. Even when you know, I have my hair in a ponytail and I'm chasing a child around the playground. There is a different barrier to relationships, and you know, and making new friendships, you know, than there has been in other parts of my life.
RYAN: I would wonder, is there anything that you would say about how you would like your work and your life to be an inspiration for future generations?
BARRETT: When I think about what future generations could contribute to the law and to the country and to the legal profession, I think what comes to my mind is, first civility. Lawyers. You know, it can be pejorative, when people find out you're a lawyer and you're they think that you want to argue and nitpick. I think lawyers have a real opportunity to show how one can disagree and debate with another person without having it devolve into being ugly.. I think that we as a country have to maintain respect for the rule of law, and not become cynical and think that there is nothing to the rule of law. And so I would say to aspiring lawyers, you know, please do that. Please don't be cynical about the law. Please take the law seriously and study the law seriously. And then take civic education. Take civic education seriously, I think you've been in social situations, even when you're at cocktail parties, and you're talking about the law, talking about things that the Supreme Court has done talking about decisions, talking about in an intelligent way that respects the rule of law and shows how people can debate and disagree without having it disintegrate relationships, I think is a contribution that I hope lawyers will make in the future.
REICHARD: That was Associate Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett in April speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Center and Institute in Simi Valley, California.
You probably will want to hear the whole thing so if you visit wng.org you’ll find today’s program transcript and I will place a link in there for you.
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: Somewhat quiet week, David. Lots of mixed data and public companies are in earnings season, so I know you’re looking hard at all that. What was your sense of the week?
BAHNSEN: Well, I think that we are, you know, a little deeper into earnings season now. So you're getting more indications from companies of pretty good results from the second quarter—nothing that looks really difficult about their revenues or their earnings. Some have done better than others.
But several companies that have guided downward a little bit for their full-year expectations. You see on the margins a bit more of an expectation of things slowing a bit later into the year. Now, sometimes that's companies being overly cautious and it doesn't materialize, and they end up outperforming talked-down expectations. But I think that that's the main news so far on the earnings front.
Economically, the weekly jobless claims picked up again last week. But we know that on a monthly basis that from June, it was still a very benign report. So I think there is kind of a mixed bag of economic news.
The markets are up about almost 2,000 points from where they were just, you know, a couple of weeks ago. And so volatility in the market continues. But it continues in both directions: It can be up 1,000 In a week and down 1,000 in a week quite easily. It's done plenty of that over the last few months.
That's really where we are right now.
EICHER: As you say, the weekly claims for unemployment benefits rose once again. But yet we still have open jobs seeking willing workers and not the other way around.
Do you think we’ll stay in this low-unemployment phase or is this the beginning of the labor market going the other way?
BAHNSEN: Well, I think that we have pretty good data. It's just that we have two data points that are theoretically at odds with one another. There's no question that there still remain millions of job openings unfilled. And even though it's come down a bit from its high, it's still way above normal.
And it is most certainly way above what you see going into recession, because in recession, you see it reversed: There are more people looking for a job than there are job openings. And that's how you get high unemployment obviously. So we continue to still see a high amount of employers looking to find employees and not being able to find them. Yet, the weekly initial claims have gone up a bit. Now, they're still quite low, but they have moved just marginally week over week now for several months.
And so in theory, you would expect that to be foreshadowing to a higher unemployment rate. But it's early on - if we're going to get unemployment above 5 to 6 percent, we have quite a ways to go.
EICHER: You mentioned the “R” word, recession. The government on Thursday releases second-quarter Gross Domestic Product. Q1 was contraction—meaning the economy shrank—a negative GDP number. And everyone’s looking to see whether the Q2 GDP print is negative as well, and that would be evidence that we have been in recession—two quarters in a row of negative GDP growth. Is the Fed looking at this, too? It’s trying to head off inflation without tipping us into recession.
BAHNSEN: Yeah, I don't think it affects the Fed. But I do think it affects things politically. So if you do get a technical negative GDP print, I think that it's going to be very bad politically for the Biden administration and you will get a lot of people banging the recession drums - and not unfairly. I mean, the other party would do it to whatever the opposite party is in an office, because two quarters in a row is historically what we associate with recession.
There—I talked about this last week—I think there's ambiguity about the technical definition. But it's really kind of academic if you're going to have two quarters that print negative GDP, that's going to be labeled recession by political opponents.
The bigger issue, though, is not that the Fed will be looking at is just ongoing unemployment data relative to inflation data. I think there's a lot of reasons to believe that inflation, the rate of growth of inflation, will be coming down quite a bit. So much of it had been packed in energy prices. And energy prices, even though still very elevated, they've obviously come down and so that puts disinflationary math into the aggregate.
So there's a lot in front of us here: the Fed is going to raise rates three quarters of a point this coming week. That's very well baked in, and then we kind of see where things go into the fall.
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 DividendCafe.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 25th. 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. Coming next, the Hope Awards for Effective Compassion. Each year WORLD recognizes a handful of poverty-fighting organizations our readers and listeners nominate.
To qualify as a candidate, a ministry must embody three elements of effective compassion: It must provide help that is challenging, personal, and spiritual.
REICHARD: Challenging means the organization must recognize the dignity of the people it serves by giving them a hand up rather than a hand out and empowering them to live lives of worshipful work that glorifies God.
EICHER: Personal means an organization understands the individual needs, background, and context of the people and area they serve. It means building relationships and tailoring its approach.
REICHARD: Finally, spiritual. Effective compassion is more than saying, “Jesus loves you.” But it’s not less than that, either. It means introducing those they serve to Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.
To be considered for WORLD’s Hope Awards, organizations must be committed to sharing the gospel and discipling participants.
EICHER: Over the course of the year, WORLD paid visits to seven organizations and selected four finalists. One will receive $10,000. Who receives that award is up to you.
First up, WORLD correspondent Addie Offereins will take you to a transitional housing facility for men in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
ESCOBAR: You know, it was another guy who knew me when I was a kid that stuck a needle for the first time.
ADDIE OFFEREINS, REPORTER: Richard Escobar started smoking marijuana when he was 14. That led to cocaine. When he was 17, Escobar committed a violent crime and got a 13 year sentence: eight years in prison and five years on probation and parole. In prison, he picked up a heroin addiction. On probation, he started using methamphetamines.
ESCOBAR: I didn't really understand the path that methamphetamine was going to take me down and destroyed my life. Emotionally, physically, morally, spiritually, like I was just just totally lost, just lost.
Escobar soon found himself back in the county jail for stabbing someone. That’s when he cried out to the Lord for salvation. In 2016, he was up for parole. He met with a case worker to make a parole plan. Everything he hoped to do fell through.
ESCOBAR: But for a guy like me, who spent most of his life in prison, I had no job experience. I had no experience with real responsibility. You know, I really had nothing to contribute to society, except for the fact that I was a new creation in Christ.
Scanning the list of approved programs, he noticed one called Next Step and gave Doug Chandler a call.
Next Step’s mission is simple: employment, housing, and discipleship.
The ministry runs a small apartment complex.
AUDIO: [Todd Loudon giving an apartment tour]
The unassuming light-brown building sits across from a bus stop. Most of the men in the program here don’t have vehicles. Terracotta-colored stairs lead to the second floor apartments. Traffic blares in the background. The four two-bedroom apartments with yellow doors can house eight men.
AUDIO: [Men greeting each other]
A man arrives at Next Step after he has completed an addiction recovery program or a prison sentence. Residents work a full time job and pay discounted rent: $425 a month. They save money and learn how to budget. Director Todd Loudon meets with each of the men once a week and goes over personal goals. The men break down a chapter of the Bible verse by verse on Tuesday evenings.
Here's Next Step founder Doug Chandler.
CHANDLER: So we still have some structure, and tried to balance that so that they still have some freedom, but still some structure.
Even more important: they get consistent accountability. For Richard Escobar, this was key.
ESCOBAR: I was right up here in this apartment right here. Having my own room, having a kitchen, you know, I can't even tell you what that did for me. Because there are other men's programs that you can go to where they have bunk beds, you know, it's just a halfway house in the you know, it's crowded, and, you know, next step, just really gave me a great environment to make that transition from prison to life out here.
AUDIO: [Men talking, traffic]
The men are also required to get plugged into a local church.
CHANDLER: Because we know that this isn't the last step. We want them to have that connection with a local church when they leave here.
On Thursdays, they study biblical manhood and what it means to take responsibility. Each man also meets with a mature man from a local church once a week. Vulnerability is important.
LESLEY: You have to be really humble, and make sure that you meet people at a level where they don’t brand you and think they can’t relate to you because you are older, sober, and doing well.
That’s Jeff Lesley. He is a Next Step board member and accountability partner. Lesley understands the shame of addiction.
LESLEY: I started drinking when I was a teenager, you know, and then I didn't get clean till I was probably 40 or 45. I liked that scripture that says he has been forgiven much and loves much. And I think for a lot of us, you know, those who've been forgiven so much, you know, we do have a strong love. Yeah. And then we can walk alongside each other.
The men meet with their accountability partner for an hour and a half a week. Finding enough men in the community willing to serve in this role is challenging.
LESLEY: By far you have a much higher percentage of people that financially support it rather than give their time.
But effective compassion requires more than meeting a material need from a distance.
LESLEY: They can have a lot of qualifications, but if they don't feel like they really have the time, you know, they have a heart's desire or maybe but, but then if they don't actually have the time to really give, that's the big issue.
Doug Chandler says others may just be intimidated.
CHANDLER: And it's so many people have no exposure to this population. So there's a degree of probably fear. I think that’s a big part.
Richard Escobar is grateful for the men who stepped out of their comfort zones to invest in his life.
ESCOBAR: But, you know, the one thing that I know I have is I have Doug Chandler really good friend, really good friend, I call him for advice. I call him just to talk with him to catch up.
At Next Step, Escobar started working in construction. Now he has his own handyman business and leads a men’s Bible study on authentic manhood where he shares his passion for Christ…and budgeting.
ESCOBAR: There was nothing outside of Jesus Christ and him crucified that could help me. There was nothing. There was no counseling, there was no rehab facility, there was no program. There was nothing like it had to be Jesus Christ. And him alone. It had to be the power of the gospel. So these programs that stick to that, that is what gives men like me the chance.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Addie Michaelian in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: Part two of WORLD’s Hope Awards for Effective Compassion.
And, Christians in Nigeria are enduring persecution for their faith. Onize Ohikere reports.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
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