29 Jul 2016

What Matters for Friday, July 29, 2016

Stand tall, don’t be exploited, let’s play ball is just some of what 9th District Congressman Robert Pittenger said in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about their pulling the 2017 All Star game out of Charlotte allegedly over HB 2. Congressman Pittenger tells Mark in his initial letter he called out the NBA over their hypocrisy as they continue to hold games in China where there are constant cases of abuse to women, but yet they feel HB 2 is so radically discriminatory they cannot hold a game in our state. Congressman Pittenger also briefly touches on his address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 117th National Convention this past Tuesday. He says there is a need for greater accountability and transparency at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Next, Civitas Election Policy Analyst, Susan Myrick, joins us to break down the ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals repealing the Voter Information and Verification Act of 2013. Susan explains though the ruling stated the VIVA laws were adopted with discriminatory intent, the data shows more African-Americans have voted in the state than prior to the laws inception. Susan says this is another attempt by the left to create chaos at the polls. Mark asks about an article Susan penned for Civitas questioning whether the judge hearing the state voter id case

Most extreme, radical and liberal ruling ever handed down is how House Speaker Tim Moore describes the ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on North Carolina’s VIVA laws. Speaker Moore tells Mark the system was wrought with fraud and that is why the very liberal rules were put in place concerning voter id. Speaker Moore says as a member of the legislature who voted for this law, he takes great exception to this allegation that the law was adopted with discriminatory intent. He tells Mark you can be certain this will be sent to the Supreme Court.

In the second hour, Associate Professor of Political Science & Director of the Survey Research Center at High Point University, Dr. Martin J. Kifer, joins Mark. He delves into some of the polling he has been doing throughout the primaries leading up to the conventions. Dr. Kifer says his operating theory at this time is people will be voting like they are registered. This is a fascinating discussion of how voters in North Carolina may act when they head to the polls in November that you will definitely want to listen to and share.

Finally, Mark reminds us why we need to stay vigilant in our support of HB 2 – especially when dealing with bullies like the NBA.

Terrorism Expert and Investigative Management Group CEO Robert Strang, Civitas President Francis De Luca, Brevard Mayor Jimmy Harris and New York Times bestselling author and Director of Jihad Watch Robert Spencer join us Monday.

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28 Jul 2016

What Matters for Thursday, July 28, 2016

“Hillary Clinton has to close the deal tonight. How much will she put the olive branch out for Bernie Sanders’ supporters and unite the Democratic party remains to be seen.” That’s what Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor Tim Boyum says needs to happen at the Democratic National Convention tonight. He tells Mark the most powerful moment of the evening was when President Obama symbolically passed the baton to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He says the noise level when Hillary appeared on stage at the end of the President’s speech was louder than he has ever experienced (and he’s been at some pretty loud events).

Next, WBTV Investigative Reporter, Nick Ochsner, explains what happened in the alleged scandal with Rep. Charles Jeter voting in South Carolina and North Carolina. It boils down to getting a reporter doing his job correctly but being given incorrect information from others who were supposed to check when there are discrepancies in public records. Next, Mark asks about a who paid whom story involving a federal Hatch complaint filed by former Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr which accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the economic development agency, Empire State Development of violating state and federal law by using public funds to pay for an ad that crossed the line from economic development into political advocacy. Nick tells Mark Judge Orr told the Wall Street Journal he did not file the complaint in connection with Governor McCrory’s administration or re-election campaign. Subsequent documents however allegedly show the document was prepared by an attorney at the  law firm paid by the Governor’s campaign during the 2015-2016 election cycle. So what is going on? Listen and find out what else was uncovered during this investigation.

In the second hour, Civitas Senior Education Policy Analyst, Dr. Bob Luebke, discusses the real numbers associated with education funding in our state. Mark starts the conversation saying very tongue in cheek how we’re going to see fewer school busses on the road in a few weeks because the “greedy Republicans” won’t allocate enough money to properly fund education. Bob has written an article titled “Getting Past the Rhetoric: Republicans Democrats and Education Funding” breaking down the real numbers on education funding in North Carolina. Talking about education is always fascinating with Dr. Bob Luebke, so you’ll want to listen to this interview and get informed.

Finally, Dr. Robert Moffitt, Senior Fellow with the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies discusses how Obamacare has not saved money on health coverage, instead it’s raised the cost. Mark mentions how a subsidy his daughter had received on her coverage while doing missions work for part of 2015, but because she lived at home for more than six months and they were honest on their tax return, they had to pay the amount she was subsidized back to the government. Dr. Moffitt says the Affordable Care Act has really been a mess, especially the subsidy program. Mark asks about the logic behind the push for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. Dr. Moffitt says the Governor and lawmakers have been right in not trusting the federal government to be a reliable business partner. He says in many states it’s gotten so bad that Medicaid spending is exceeding education spending. Mark asks if there will be an easy way to get rid of Obamacare or if we are stuck with it. Dr. Moffitt says the exchanges are already going away, this thing is not doing well and lawmakers are already looking at how to transition out of it. This is an enlightening interview on what has gone wrong with Obamacare.

Civitas Election Policy Analyst Susan Myrick and Associate Professor of Political Science & Director of the Survey Research Center at High Point University Dr. Martin J. Kifer among others will join us tomorrow.

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27 Jul 2016

What Matters for Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In many ways, stereotypes are good because when strangers act in the way we expect them to, it can actually make a healthy and thriving society. However, when an institute of higher education tries to indoctrinate its students with over-reaching books on liberal policy as summer reading assignments, what have they accomplished? Dr. George Ehrhardt, Professor of Political Science at Appalachian State, delves into the issue in an article he wrote for the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy titled “Summer Reading Questions and What They Reveal About Faculty.” Dr. Ehrhardt says the questions that accompanied the book seemed leading and a bit inane in his opinion. Mark asks if his daughter has read the book yet. Dr. Ehrhardt says she’s been procrastinating, but now has to read it since school starts in the next few weeks.

“We’re living in troublesome times and we need God in our lives and it’s just the right thing to do.” That’s what Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats says is the reason he decided to put “In God We Trust” on all the deputy’s and department cars. Sheriff Coats tells Mark this is a time for all people to come together – citizens and law enforcement – for the good of the country. He says we need to live in a country with laws and police officers and if you don’t believe that, just look at a country that doesn’t operate under the rule of law or have law enforcement. Mark asks about the community’s response. Sheriff Coats says it’s mainly been positive.

In the second hour, Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor Tim Boyum joins us from the DNC in Philadelphia. Mark asks if the protests have gone down. Tim says Sanders’ supporters have seemed to unite behind Clinton. He tells Mark people are looking forward to hearing President Obama speak tonight and we’ll probably hear the 2008 inspiring version of himself that will try to sell us on Hillary’s policy skills. He adds the President may overshadow VP pick Senator Tim Caine’s speech which may not be a bad thing because it takes a lot of pressure off him. He tells Mark former President Bill Clinton still had supporters in the palm of his hand. He says he weaved a story of their courtship with her accomplishments in his usual skillful manner. Mark asks, after four conventions, what will he be thinking about after two weeks of this experience. Tim says from a policy and campaign perspective, he’ll be looking back to see if we’re any better off than we were two weeks ago. Did we learn anything new? On a pure personal level, he says to be able to be in the building and see history is phenomenal. Whether you like Hillary Clinton or not, when the first women ever to be a presidential candidate from a major party, that’s a major accomplishment. The same with Donald Trump, an independent businessman being a candidate in a major party is also incredible. These are really amazing times. Tim always makes you feel like you are right there with him.

Finally, Speaker, Radio Host and Fellow of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, John Stonestreet, discusses his post on Breakpoint.org titled “No Way NBA”. He shares a story about a woman who had a traumatic experience where she and her daughter were followed into the women’s restroom by a man with no gender issues. He says she asked him what he would do about this and he told her she could get a lot further by telling her story. He goes further to say there are legitimate cases of gender identity confusion where people are convinced against reality that they are of another gender. When we call the denial of reality okay, then we are victimizing the people that are confused. So in the name of accommodating a number of people, many of whom are taking advantage of a situation, we are unable to help those who legitimately have a confusion. He says by doing what the NBA is doing and going along with the denier of reality we are unable to help those who desperately need help. Mr. Stonestreet says bad ideas have bad consequences, but Baby Boomers and Gen-Xer’s should remember to accomplish any goal with a millennial, we have to make our case calmly and understand the world they have grown up in.  This is a very informative interview on HB 2 and how to talk to any generation about the issue.

Civitas Senior Education Policy Analyst Dr. Bob Luebke, Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor Tim Boyum and WBTV Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner join us tomorrow.

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26 Jul 2016

What Matters for Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Democratic National Convention is well underway and one person who knows the democratic presidential candidate better than most is author of “Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses his Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill and How They Operate”, by Gary J. Byrne. He tells Mark you can’t believe anything the Clinton’s say. He recalls the first time he heard about this unknown Arkansas Governor. He says the person told him this couple would do anything to win and they would because they were known as “the Arkansas Mafia.” You should listen to this discussion which touches on the death of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster, secret email servers, thrown lamps and President Clinton’s alleged black eye and why we shouldn’t believe a word that comes out of Hillary Clinton’s mouth. Really.

Next, Super-delegate to DNC from Asheville, NC, Jake Quinn, joins Mark from Philadelphia. He describes how he became a super-delegate in 2012 and the excitement he’s feeling at the convention this year. Mark asks about his support of Bernie Sanders and if North Carolina’s Sanders delegates will now back Hillary Clinton. Mr. Quinn says Sanders’ supporters are all grieving in their own way. He says he’s telling them to vote for Debra Ross for Senate because Sanders wants to be the Senate’s Chief Budget Writer and Ross winning the seat from Senator Richard Burr will all but guarantee that will happen. He says it’s also quite a commute from where the NC delegation is located to the Wells Fargo Center.

In the second hour, AFP State Director Donald Bryson joins us from the field as he goes door to door in southern Wake County talking about important issues for North Carolinians. Mark asks about the Defending the Dream conference which takes place over the Labor Day weekend. The cost for the conference and hotel is only $35, but space is limited. Mark asks him about occupational licensure and the bills to eliminate them. Donald says the bill was not passed, but fees were raised for some boards which is not what they want. He points out that they don’t think all licenses should be eliminated, but there are some that are unnecessary. He says they are continuing to fight to have the need for certain licenses eliminated because AFP feels they are not necessary and are keeping the economy from growing at a time when jobs are needed.

Next, Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor, Tim Boyum, tells us about the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He says a key difference between the two conventions is the number of people attending. Tim describes how he went out on the floor for some of the key moments in Cleveland, but when he tried to do so last night in Philadelphia, he couldn’t move because of the number of people. He says the crowd seemed most riveted by First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech. We only get to spend a few minutes with Tim, but every one we do get is a gem. You’ll love this peek behind the scenes at the Democratic National Convention.

Finally, weekly columnist for the New York Post and former Wall Street Journal editor and author of six books, most recently “The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians, Naomi Schaefer Riley, shares how the plight of the American Indian is similar to the failed liberal agenda. She explains American Indians have been taught to live off the Government so they don’t know how to do anything else. Ms. Riley says the only schools allowed on the reservations are public schools where charter schools would benefit them much more. Mark asks if President Clinton will be able to bring party unity when he said in 1996 the era of big government is over. Ms. Riley says hopefully they won’t ask him that because it’s definitely not President Clinton’s Democratic Party anymore. Mark asks if she thinks Sanders supporters will silence their “boo’s” when Hillary speaks Thursday. Ms. Riley says she doubts it. This is a great interview drawing parallels between two issues you wouldn’t think could be comparable.

NC Democratic Party Communications Director Dave Miranda and Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor Tim Boyum are just some of the guests we have on the show tomorrow.

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25 Jul 2016

What Matters for Monday, July 25, 2016

Last week the focus was on Cleveland as Republicans held their National Convention. This week, eyes turn to Philadelphia and the Democratic National Convention. Breaking down what happened last week’s highs and lows and giving us an idea of what to expect this week is NC State Political Science Professor, Dr. Andrew Taylor. He says the RNC was a roller coaster ride. He says overall, Donald Trump seemed to get a slight bump in numbers from the convention. He adds that if Trump continues to do well in the polls that will help motivate unity in the Republican party. Mark asks what we can expect to see at the DNC this week. Dr. Taylor says there’s already a marked difference because Hillary Clinton has been known for 25 years. However, they are going to try to reintroduce her this week. Dr. Taylor says it would be much more fruitful for Democrats to really go after Trump instead of trying to soften their candidate’s edges because they simply won’t work.  He say Sanders obtained some victories from Clinton that Cruz did not from Trump. He got the party to change trajectory on long-term issues like raising the minimum wage and eliminating college tuition. Mark asks about the GOP’s appeal to millennials. Dr. Taylor says there has not been a strong, concerted effort to reach millennials on issues that pertain to them and could keep them in the party for the long term. It could be a challenge to make gains in the millennial generation.

Next, it’s Mayor Monday and we head to City of Sanford and speak to Mayor Chet Mann. He describes the town as a mid-size city with a small town feel. Mark asks about an email he sent to town council members addressing ideas he had about reducing crime while not causing a racial divide between police and the community. He says he never meant for that email to become public, but since it has, he goes on to explain that more needs to be done in individual communities – especially from faith-based groups – to get to children when they are young and try to reduce the violent behavior that seems rampant in some areas. Mark asks how he got into politics. He says his family has lived there for four generations and he got into politics after the Great Recession.

Then, Conservative Review Senior Editor, Daniel Horowitz, discusses his latest article “Paging Mr. Trump: North Carolina Needs You.” He says HB 2 is just a reaction to the left’s radical agenda. Horowitz says it’s no secret Donald Trump is not extremely religious since God wasn’t mentioned once besides his saying “God Bless America.” He says Trump needs to take his megaphone and trumpet his support for HB 2 legislation which it doesn’t appear he will do if he is elected. Mark asks the importance of Trump being the one to select the next Supreme Court justice. Daniel says the courts have already been lost for conservatives. Unless Ruth Bader Ginsberg passes, the one justice will just replace Scalia and the lower courts are the ones who are making the most controversial decisions right now.

In the second hour, Civitas President Francis De Luca joins Mark. They break down the NBA’s decision not to hold their NBA All-Star game in Charlotte. Francis says with North Carolina’s trillion dollar economy, a $100 million hit is really not all that much. Plus, it’s hypocritical by the NBA to make this change since when they decided to hold the game in Charlotte in 2015, HB 2 was not in effect. They segue to a discussion of how to fund pensions for state employees over time. Francis explains targeted pension plans are the best solution. These are plans which allow employees to contribute a certain amount of their income and provide a certain percentage match that goes into a 401K style account where the employee selects the funds in which they’d like to invest.

Finally, Climatologist, Author and former NASA Scientist Dr. Roy Spencer discusses the effects of CO2 on the climate. He looked at the numbers from the U.N. on CO2 emission and temperature data after statements by Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend that the amount of CO2 released by the refrigerant in a refrigerator being more dangerous than ISIS. He tells Mark the world will continue to be reliant on fossil fuels for the next few decades. He explains there has been no real economical solution to replace fossil fuels. In fact, he adds, the use of alternative energy has led to deaths in the UK because people cannot afford to pay their power bills. He goes on to say air conditioning and refrigeration has saved more lives than it has raised the temperature of the earth so why Sec. Kerry would say what he did makes absolutely no sense. There are some areas of science that are well understood and some are barely understood – like climate change.

AFP State Director Donald Bryson and “Crisis of Character” author Gary J. Byrne and others from the DNC join us tomorrow.

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22 Jul 2016

What Matters for Friday, July 22, 2016

“He didn’t try to redefine the conservative ideology and that was smart.” That’s what Associate Professor of Political Science at Davidson College, Dr. Susan Roberts says about Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s 76 minute acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. She tells Mark it was a very “me” speech. Mark asks about Trump’s assertion that Bernie Sanders’ supporters will not fall behind Hillary Clinton, but him. Dr. Roberts says she does not for the simple reason that millennials will have a much more difficult time embracing Trump. She says Ted Cruz may have done more harm than good to his political aspirations if he indeed intends to run in 2020, and he certainly didn’t make any friends in the party. Dr. Roberts points out Trump may have benefited more by waiting to make an appearance at the end of the convention instead of each night.

Then, 4th Congressional District Candidate, Sue Googe, joins Mark. She went to Cleveland to the Republican National Convention as an attendee. She says the convention was very exciting and Trump’s speech was inspiring. Mark asks her thoughts on party unity. Sue says all Republicans – candidates and voters – must unite behind Donald Trump if they want to defeat Hillary Clinton in November. Mark asks why she is running for Congress. Sue says because she feels Congressman David Price is not doing the job for which his constituents elected him to do.

In the second hour, Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor, Tim Boyum, tells Mark about the last night of the RNC before he gets on a bus to Philadelphia. Tim says the momentum was really strong Thursday night. Mark asks him to rate the RNC as a whole. He says it was like a roller coaster with the controversy over Melania Trump’s speech and the Ted Cruz moment to Trump’s children and  Trump’s acceptance speech, there were truly highs and lows. Mark asks what was happening with the lady who seemed to be protesting. Tim explains she was a protestor and taken out of the convention center earlier in the week and gotten back in. He’s now heading to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention.

Then, Founder and President of BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny), author of “The Antidote: Healing America From The Poison Of Hate, Blame And Victimhood,” and talk show host, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, joins Mark. Rev. Peterson says we are losing the country and it’s time we put God back in our lives. He says men need to step up and be fathers. He tells Mark, “These race hustlers, instead of telling their children to forgive, they’re telling them to be angry at white people.” He says there is no such thing as racism – African-Americans’ have been lied to by their parents and their leaders. He says the President has done more harm to this country by continuing to foment the #BlackLivesMatter movement when he could’ve been a role model for black youths. He even took on activists and supporters of the movement in a special episode of “The Kelly File” on the The Fox News Channel which focused on policing and race in America over who is responsible for the violence and racial strife in the country. Rev. Peterson has a powerful message and this is a fabulous segment you don’t want to miss. Check out Rev. Peterson’s website for more great interviews, opinions, blogs and links to his books.

Finally, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Economics at NC State University, Dr. Mike Walden, shares the third-quarter economic outlook for North Carolina. He says the CSX deal was great for Edgecombe County; however, the growth across the state will be uneven as some areas have unemployment rates of 6% or higher. He says one issue a lot of these areas of the state have is the talent wants to stay in the more populous regions and not go back to their rural roots. He tells Mark getting more manufacturing plants will help bring jobs back to the rural regions. Dr. Walden says we should anticipate continued job growth.

NC State Political Science Professor Dr. Andrew Taylor, Civitas President Francis De Luca, Sanford Mayor Chet Mann and Climatologist, Author, Former NASA Scientist Dr. Roy Spencer join us Monday. Have a great weekend everyone!

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21 Jul 2016

What Matters for Thursday, July 21, 2016

“I was not a Cruz supporter at the beginning, but when he became the nominee, I was behind him 100%.” That’s what House Majority Leader Mike Hager tells Mark about Donald Trump and the Republican National Convention. He adds he thinks Mr. Cruz may have his own agenda, but at this point in the game, the only other choice is Hillary Clinton and that is not acceptable. Majority Leader Hager says for his constituents, Donald Trump’s message resonates with blue collar workers. He adds he’s disappointed he had to leave early and miss the actual acceptance of the Republican nomination by Mr. Trump. Mark segues into the accomplishments from the last session. He says he was very pleased with what they were able to do for teachers, state employees and retirees. Mark asks about the combined bills that were not passed. Major Leader Hager says like the West Virginia Turnpike he just went through and paid a $2 toll, there was just a little too much put into one bill to be passed without proper consideration of each issue.

Then, North Carolina Republican Party Delegate, Anne Stokes, joins Mark. She attended the convention and decided to leave early. She says she needs a little more time before she can make a decision about whether she will vote for Donald Trump. She says everyone should get the opportunity to become a delegate and attend a convention if they can. When asked if not voting for Trump is an automatic vote for Hillary, Anne counters by asking if not voting for Hillary is an automatic vote for Trump. She says she will be working to get all of our other Republican candidates elected or re-elected as the case may be.

In the second hour, Civitas Executive Vice President Brian Balfour joins Mark. He shares the details of a new study that finds the state’s renewable portfolio standard will not only increase how much you pay for electricity over the next four years, but cost the state up to 50,000 jobs. Brian says the increase to electric costs will rise by over 40% if something is not done to eliminate the renewable portfolio standard mandate. He stresses renewable energy is not a bad thing, it just shouldn’t be funded on the back of the consumer.

Then, Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor, Tim Boyum, describes what it was like to have Donald Trump walk right behind the North Carolina delegation (and where he was standing) as Ted Cruz began to wrap up his controversial speech. He says this has been one of the most interesting conventions he has ever attended. He tells Mark he spoke with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who told him tonight’s speech by Trump would be one of the most important speeches of the campaign. Mark asks if he’ll go off script. Tim says you never know, especially if the crowd responds to something he says about Hillary Clinton.

Finally, Civitas Communications Director Demi Dowdy joins Mark. They delve into why Republicans are not reaching the millennial generation as effectively as Democrats. Demi explains the GOP has not done their homework when it comes to getting the correct message out to her generation. Mark asks about using social media platforms. Demi says in the last eight years, the GOP still hasn’t embraced the full capacity of social media. Want to know what millennials are thinking, listen to this segment.

4th Congressional District Candidate and NC Delegate Sue Googe, Time Warner Cable News Anchor Tim Boyum and Associate Professor of Political Science at Davidson College Dr. Susan Roberts join us tomorrow.

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