20 Jul 2016

What Matters for Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Make America First Again is the theme for the third night of the Republican National Convention. Describing the last two nights is Senior Fellow at the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation, Mike Gonzalez. He says it’s been an interesting and eventful convention. Mark asks about Alaska’s call for a delegate count. Mr. Gonzalez says there was more made about that by the media than actually happened on the floor of the convention hall. He adds there was more annoyance over the lack of abidance to the rules that had been adopted Monday than over the exception itself.

Next, NC GOP Vice-chairman Michelle Nix joins Mark. She tells him that the momentum is building at the convention especially after Donald Trump, Jr. and Tiffany Trump spoke to the crowd. She says you can tell a lot about a candidate by the way he raised his children.

Then, former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr tells Mark why he chose to leave the RNC early. Justice Orr says he simply cannot support Donald Trump who he has concerns will not listen to his advisers even if he surrounds himself with the best and brightest advisers in the world. Mark asks about comments made by NC GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse’s that he hadn’t been “a good Republican for a long time.” Justice Orr says his record as a Republican is very clear. He was a precinct and county chairman, the first republican to win a statewide judicial race in almost a hundred years, and doesn’t think what the republican party currently is really reflects the same party as that of former Governors Holshouser and Martin. He says he is working hard to get Governor McCrory re-elected. He adds Trump’s remarks about Senator John McCain are unforgiveable. Mark asks if not voting for Trump is just giving a vote to Hillary. Justice Orr says he will be voting in November.

In the second hour, Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of North Carolina, Deanna Joy, joins Mark. She tells Mark how the centers help children who have been abused. She explains the center works with an abused child to help them tell what happened to them. She says once a child discloses the information, only then can they report the incident to law enforcement. Ms. Joy says one of the most critical points of that process is establishing boundary points with a child so they do not feel like they did anything wrong, feel safe in sharing what happened to them and get the help they need. They also received more funding this year from the legislature which Ms. Joy says benefited them greatly. Mark asks how people can help. Ms. Joy says the individual centers accept donations of toys, blankets and other items as well as monetary donations.

Then, Time Warner Cable News Capital Tonight Anchor, Tim Boyum, gives us his perspective on the Day Two of the convention. He agrees that more was made of Alaska’s objection by the media than what actually happened on the floor. He tells Mark the plagiarism issue has also become old news at the convention.

Finally, Executive Director for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, Lea Carawan shares why “In God We Trust” is so controversial. She says there has been a push since its establishment in 1946 by President Dwight Eisenhower to remove these powerful words from everywhere they have been placed, but even when challenged in federal court, they couldn’t be removed. Mark asks what would replace them. Ms. Carawan says probably “E Pluribus Unum.” She tells Mark these four words have power. Mark asks what is happening to Christianity in America. Ms. Carawan says it is declining, but Americans can stay free only if they choose to be moral and follow Judeo-Christian values. This is a fantastic interview you will want to hear – one of many in today’s show.

House Majority Leader Mike Hager, Civitas Executive Vice President Brian Balfour, Time Warner Cable News Anchor Tim Boyum and Civitas Communications Coordinator Demi Dowdy will join us tomorrow.

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19 Jul 2016

What Matters for Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How do we get government off the back of American people? That’s the question, Senior Legal Fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, Hans von Spakovsky, tells Mark is one of the most important he’d like to have answered at the Republican National Convention. He says there are too many rules and regulations currently in place that businesses have to meet. Mark asks what he thought of Melania Trump’s speech. Hans says it was very inspirational. He says there is too much hubbub being made over one portion of it being the same as one given by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2008. Mark points out a portion of Michelle Obama’s speech was the same as that of one given by Saul Alinsky. Guess there’s little that someone hasn’t said these days, huh?

Next, Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke, David Schanzer, delves into why we are seeing so many terrorist attacks in France now. He tells Mark this a problem that has been building for decades. He explains that ISIS has a complex set of ideologies formed over centuries. Mark asks what France should do to help prevent future attacks. He says over the long term to help prevent future attacks, France should try to help incorporate the large Muslim community into their culture. He says a way to detect people who might be a threat that have previously not been associated with ISIS, a system should be set up to report any signs people might see that could be warnings of an attack – much like one we have in the U.S.

Then, North Carolina Delegate, Murphy Attorney Leo Phillips, joins Mark from Cleveland. He describes the feeling on the floor Monday night and says while it may have appeared subdued, there was a real excitement over the speakers and their message.

In the second hour, AFP State Director Donald Bryson joins Mark. He applauds the Governor for signing what he says is a good budget in AFP’s opinion. He and Mark discuss some of the group’s goals as we move closer to the election.

Next, Time Warner Cable New Anchor Tim Boyum joins us from Cleveland. Tim says it was interesting watching from the Skybox all the melee over the voting rules and procedural issues Monday. He says there’s kind of weird aura over the event so it’s going to be interesting watching the rest unfold. Tim says the crowd was somewhat subdued (agreeing with Mark’s assessment). He says with the exception of Rudy Giuliani’s speech and when Donald Trump introduced Melania, it was a much less excited crowd than other conventions.

Finally, State Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds joins Mark. He tells Mark how he went from being a lawyer to a judge. Mark asks the process of selecting cases. Justice Edmunds explains how he spends the majority of his time which is reading the law and other’s opinions and rulings and using what he gleans to render his opinion on the case he has heard. If you want to know the inner workings of the State Supreme Court, listen to this interview.

Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of North Carolina Deanna Joy joins us tomorrow and we’ll have more delegates and expert analysis of the Republican National Convention.

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18 Jul 2016

What Matters for Monday, July 18, 2016

The Republican National Convention is underway and the first day’s topic of “Make America Safe Again” is quite timely with the murder of more of those sworn to protect and serve. The Daily Signal Senior Contributor Genevieve Wood tells Mark, “People in the U.S. do not feel secure right now.” Mark asks how the security is at the convention and in the city in general. She says it’s been superb and obviously well-coordinated. Ms. Wood goes on to say this is the 13th national convention one of her colleagues is attending and he has said this is the most conservative platform he’s ever seen.

Then, Town of Manteo Mayor Jamie Daniels joins Mark. He tells him about the history of the town where the first people ever settled in America and then disappeared. Mayor Daniels says the area thrives on the tourism industry. He explains he didn’t want to be Mayor, but had an interest in the way the town was planned. When he was younger he volunteered for the planning board and then when the last Mayor decided not to run, he had such a great respect for the man and the role, he ran for the office and was unopposed. Mark asks about legislation that may have affected the town. Mayor Daniels says the redistribution of sales taxes is something that have affected his town as well as fishing regulations that limit catches or what they can catch.

And, NCGOP Communications Director Kami Mueller calls in from Cleveland. She says she’s running on little sleep and food, but the convention is incredible. She tells Mark it’s been affirming to see people unite around Donald Trump.

In the second hour, Civitas President Francis De Luca joins Mark. They discuss what the nation’s leaders – both current and future – need to do moving forward to keep American’s safe. In doing so, he also gives Mark a bit of a history lesson in the background of Islam. They move into the changing face of the General Assembly. Francis won’t give any information on rumors he’s heard on who may run for Senator Tom Apodaca’s seat even with Mark’s continued requests. It’s amazing the key pieces that will be shuffled on the chessboard this year at the General Assembly.

Finally, Catawba College Professor of Politics & History, Provost, Interim Dean of Students, and Pre-Law Advisor Dr. J. Michael Bitzer shares his thoughts on Donald Trump’s selection of Gov. Mike Pence as a running mate. Dr. Bitzer says he thinks it was a good choice, but it was an interesting announcement Saturday since it wasn’t the usual method of announcing a running mate as Mr. Trump left Gov. Pence in the wings and spoke for over half an hour. Mark asks about the voter pools we should be looking for this fall in North Carolina. Dr. Bitzer says we have 6.6 million voters in the state with the largest growth group being unaffiliated. He says he’s watching the generational change in the state with the biggest change being in the millennial voting group which has grown to a third of all voters. That now equals the number of registered baby-boomers. Mark asks why this is happening. Dr. Bitzer says millennials do not like self-identifying. He says the Pew Research Center shows this generation is also likely to be more liberal.

AFP State Director Donald Bryson, Senior Legal Fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies Hans von Spakovsky, Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke David Schanzer, Time Warner Cable News Anchor Tim Boyum and NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Bob Edmunds join us tomorrow.

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15 Jul 2016

What Matters for Friday, July 15, 2016

The way the country is polarized, it’s going to be a close election. That’s what Visiting Professor of Political Science at Meredith College, Dr. David McLennan, tells Mark about Donald Trump’s choice of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. He says ultimately voters will choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump not their running mates. Mark asks if the attack in Nice will make any difference for voters. Dr. McLennan says it could, especially if we keep seeing additional attacks. He compares it to the 2004 race which was referred to as the security election and helped put President George W. Bush back in office.

Next, Civitas Institute Event Coordinator Angela Hight tells Mark about a talk she will give at the LIBRE Institute tomorrow night on over-criminalization.

Then, American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Michael Ruben discusses Thursday’s terrorist attack in Nice and his article “Seven Lessons from the Nice Attack.” He tells Mark America is a soft target, much like France and much of Europe, for terrorist attacks. He tells Mark we have to define terrorism before we know how to prevent it. He says it’s been 15 years since 9/11 and we have no more of a definition of terrorism than we did prior to that. He tells Mark about a declassified document from 1946 that listed the two biggest threats as Communism and Islamism. He goes on to say the ideology is an issue as well and our nation’s leader does not need to be defining the tenants of ANY religious ideology.

In the second hour, Time Warner Cable News Anchor Tim Boyum joins Mark. He says he’s preparing to head to Cleveland and then to Philadelphia for the Republican and then Democratic Convention. Mark asks his thoughts on Governor Mike Pence. Tim says he thinks it was a good choice to balance the ticket, but will not necessarily going to make a big difference ultimately when it comes to winning the election. Mark segues into the campaign finance reports that were released for candidates in the state. He asks whether Republicans should be concerned about the sizeable difference between the amount of money they have raised and their opponents have raised. Tim says the candidates should at least take notice. It’s always great when we talk to Tim.

Finally, Communications Director with the State Republican Party, Kami Mueller shares her thoughts as she prepares to head to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. Mark starts by jokingly advising her to wear comfortable shoes as previous host Tim Boyum said he had learned was needed to make it through four very busy days. She thanks him for the advice. Mark asks if some of the state’s delegates will need to be convinced to get behind the presumptive nominee. Kami says they are excited to have robust debate which is always encouraged in the party, but ultimately she feels everyone will give their full support to Donald J. Trump. Kami tells Mark she had the opportunity, being from Indiana, to work with Governor Mike Pence, and was quite happy when he was chosen as Trump’s running mate. Mark asks if she has any concerns over the fundraising differences between the Democrats and Republicans in the state. She says she has no concern.

Manteo Mayor Jamie Daniels, Civitas President Francis De Luca and Catawba College Professor of Politics & History, Provost, Interim Dean of Students, and Pre-Law Advisor Dr. J. Michael Bitzer join us Monday.

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14 Jul 2016

What Matters for Thursday, July 14, 2016

Student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt and there’s no guarantee having a degree will get you a job. So, how will Hillary Clinton’s plan for free college tuition help the nation’s economy or even the average student for that matter? Director of the Center for Higher Education and of the Center for Tenth Amendment Action with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Tom Lindsay, tells Mark students are being sold a false bill of goods. He says the education students received now is not as high quality as what they received 30 years ago. He adds there are more A’s and B’s being given out now than ever before. In fact, Mr. Lindsay tells Mark, companies no longer use transcripts to differentiate between potential job applicants because there are so many high grades being given out. Mark asks if Clinton’s plan will help those students who wouldn’t be able to go to college any other way. Mr. Lindsay explains Pell grants have been available for decades for low income students so all the free tuition plan does is raise taxes for all Americans and further increase the national debt.

Next, WBTV Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner joins Mark. He tells him about his sit-down with Governor Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper. He says both men are getting more pointed in their rhetoric about HB 2. Mark asks if he thinks they will be getting more heated in the coming weeks. Nick says he thinks they most definitely will. Mark asks about his series of stories on veteran’s care. He tells him many of the communications between patients and healthcare providers still happen via fax instead of more efficient means of communication like email. Nick also tells him about one vet they spoke with who got his surgery approved but didn’t get his physical therapy approved for more than three months causing him permanent injury. Mark segues into the bills that weren’t passed at the hurried end of the legislative session. Nick agrees and adds the lack of passage seemed to be a marked separation between the House and Senate on some of the final bills that were not approved. Mark asks about campaign finance reports and Senator Fletcher Hartsell. Nick says campaign finance report day is kind of like Christmas for investigative reporters. He tells Mark Senator Hartsell’s reports were not audited for 25 years when they were supposed to be checked each year and that’s a problem to begin with but he thinks this sent out an alarm to other Senators to be more cautious in their spending.

In the second hour, Civitas Executive Vice President Brian Balfour joins Mark. They break down some of the “bad bills” from the last legislative session. Mark asks about the raiding of school choice funds. Brian says HB 1095 allowed the legislature to use those funds to build new schools which is never a good idea.

Then, Indianapolis, Indiana talk show host Rob Kendall takes a few moments to tell Mark about presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s presumed choice for Vice President, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. He says some of the things Governor Pence brings to the table are a solid conservative and religious base. He says he doesn’t add to the conservative base though. He tells Mark that as of this interview, Pence hasn’t withdrawn from the Governor’s race in Indiana and the deadline is noon tomorrow.

Finally, Mecklenburg County Senator Bob Rucho joins Mark. They delve into the accomplishments the legislature and he personally made in the last session. Mark asks about tax reform legislation that was passed. Senator Rucho explains middle class families will see major benefits from the increase in the income bracket for the standard deduction. Mark asks about the Attorney General’s proposed job plan. Senator Rucho says this is the same plan the democrats put forth in the early 2000’s that caused massive debt and economic deficits which would be a disaster. He adds that since Republicans took over in 2011, they’ve raised teacher salaries to the highest levels the state has seen, created 350,000 new jobs, and lowered taxes. Mark asks what happened to the bill that would have capped sales tax rates at 5.5%. Senator Rucho says he thinks the House got led astray by the liberal media though they have raised the rainy day fund to over $1.3 billion dollars which gives lawmakers the ability to tap into that fund if needed for any natural disaster or emergency. Mark asks if he has any concerns about leaving office. He says as long as Senator Berger is in charge, he does not. This is a fantastic interview with a Senator who has done a great deal for our state that you will want to listen to and share.

Time Warner Cable News Anchor Tim Boyum, State Republican Party Communications Director Kami Mueller and Visiting Professor of Political Science at Meredith College Dr. David McLennan join us tomorrow.

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13 Jul 2016

What Matters for Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You paid for the degree, but will they be able to get a job? That’s what Policy Associate with the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, Stephanie Keaveney, discusses in her article “Will New Transparency Measures Help North Carolina Students?” She tells Mark SB 536 requires the state to set up a website to provide data on completion rates and earning outcomes at the state’s universities and colleges. She found that many colleges aren’t pleased with this bill because the website shows, depending on what field you are going into, just having an Associate’s Degree can sometimes lead to a graduate earning as much money as they would if they had their Bachelor’s degree. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a great interview and article everyone should know more about (especially if you have a child who is heading for college).

Next, African American political commentator and contributor to The Federalist, John Gibbs joins Mark to discuss his recent article “If You Don’t Want Cops To Shoot You, Don’t Resist Arrest.” He says he started looking at the data on the men that have been shot and they weren’t choir boys. They were “thugs.” He says police aren’t shooting people like him that obey the law. He adds that the President has continued to fuel the racial divide. Mark asks why so many African-American’s continue to support the Democratic party. He says that’s the million dollar question when 78% self-identify as conservative. However, he says, they have a problem calling themselves republicans. Mark asks if he fears police. John says he is not. He says one of the fixes to President Obama is Donald Trump.

In the second hour, Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow, Dr. David Kreutzer, delves into the reasons why a Senate committee called a whole bunch of charitable organizations to talk about why they are questioning the science behind climate change. Some of those organizations including the John Locke Foundation, the Cato Institute and Americans for Prosperity. He tells Mark there are members of Congress that are going after climate change “deniers” like they did big tobacco and it’s for the same reason – money. He shares that there are some landlocked countries that are claiming harm from a rise in sea level.

Finally, Civitas Election Policy Analyst Susan Myrick breaks down the latest decision by a judge regarding voter i.d. in the state. She tells Mark the judge that will be hearing the case in September is actually running against conservative Judge Bob Edmunds which isn’t being reported in the media. Mark asks why we are even talking about this again. Susan says the left wants chaos so you can never pinpoint the problem. She says it doesn’t look good though for this election regarding those who want voter i.d. requirements in place. She feels voter i.d. laws will be overturned – even as loosely written as they currently are – and we’ll be back at square one again.

Mecklenburg County Senator Bob Rucho, Civitas Executive Vice President Brian Balfour, Director of the Center for Higher Education and the Center for Tenth Amendment Action at the Texas Public Policy Foundation Tom Lindsay and WBTV Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner join us tomorrow.

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12 Jul 2016

What Matters for Tuesday, July 12, 2016

“Mainstream media is forcing us into color zones.” That’s what Ryan Bomberger, Chief Creative Officer with the Radiance Foundation, tells Mark. He says Dr. Martin Luther King taught us not to see color, but yet the mainstream media is falsely painting a destructive narrative that is leading to more divisiveness between races. Mark asks him the end game in this issue. Mr. Bomberger says it has to be unity. He adds every single person has the right to speak about race and justice, but they don’t feel that way. The mainstream media doesn’t talk about numbers and statistics because the political movement doesn’t care about anything other than their goals. If you want an interesting and informed perspective on the BlackLivesMatter movement, this is a fantastic interview worth listening to and sharing.

Next, Executive Director of A Hand of Hope Pregnancy Resource Center, Tonya Baker-Nelson, tells Mark about the situation their group is in trying to open one of their clinics beside a Planned Parenthood location in Raleigh. She explains the situation they encountered when trying to get the proper permits from the city of Raleigh and were turned down. Mark says upon initially reading the article, he thought they would be protesting outside the clinic. Ms. Nelson explains they are opposed to protests, they just want to provide pregnant women with another option. She adds she’s stood outside many abortion clinics and prayed, but what they do inside their center is have the firm and resolute dialogue with women that abortion is not their only choice. She says when we as individual Christians are silent, we succumb to the temptation to remain silent which is why our country is in the condition it is in today.

In the second hour, AFP Communications Director Joseph Kyzer joins Mark. They discuss wind energy, the renewable energy portfolio mandate, the fallacies of clean energy and how it does not truly eliminate fossil fuels (at least in North Carolina) and other energy-related topics AFP is working to inform taxpayers about each and every day.

Finally, Heritage Foundation DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society Director Roger Severino shares what happened at the hearings on the First Amendment Defense Act today. Mr. Severino tells Mark this is one of the most important pieces of legislation related to religious freedom. He explains there need not be any losers in this situation because everyone has the right to believe what they want regarding marriage and religion. He says we should have the right to practice and exercise our first amendment right to freedom of religion and judges should not be reinterpreting those laws without the approval of the people. He explains people of faith are driven by conscience which can be very costly and many on the left see religious people as bigots or using their religion for the “common good.” This is another fantastic interview you don’t want to miss.

Civitas Election Policy Analyst Susan Myrick, Political commentator and contributor to The Federalist John Gibbs and Policy Associate with The John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy Stephanie Keaveney join us tomorrow.

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