Tuesday 4 December 2012

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Photo, above: M23 rebels wait on a truck before their departure rom the city of Goma in eastern Congo. (Phil Moore / AFP/Getty Images / December 1, 2012).  See Mark Schroeder, Stratfor.com, 1115 PM ET.

JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW

Co-host: Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC; Cumulus Media

Tuesday 905P Eastern Time: Larry Kudlow, in re: Tax/surtax policy coming at you in 159 pages (hire an accountant).  No seven accountants will come up with the same analysis. The 2.7% growth in Q3 was based on transitory activity; inventory levels coming down, so "Q3 ate some of the growth of Q4" – Bloomberg Surveillance this morning.   Looks like a recessionary pattern. Corp profits slowing, taxes heading up; malaise, uncertainty, lack of confidence.

Tuesday 920P Eastern Time: Jodi Schneider, senior Bloomberg tax analyst, in re: Fiscal cliffnology.  Sets the table for the negotiations between now and 31 December. Pres Obama addresses the Business Roundtable tomorrow.  Today, in speaking with Bloomberg (Pres Obama's first post-election interview), the president in effect swept aside Boehner's offer.   The two sides do not currently have a middle ground.  In Senate, three lame ducks – Snow, Lugar and Scott Brown – may all be willing to cross the aisle. Nonetheless, still have only 56 votes, and need 60. Republican doomsday scenario: let the legislation go through (middle-class tax cuts, et al.) simply by voting present so the GOP won’t be blamed.  Another rumor: do the least possible, an AMT patch. Debt limit comes due end of Dec, but with "extraordinary measures" can get to mid-February.

Tuesday 935P Eastern Time:  Steve Moore, WSJ, in re: Simpson-Bowles rebirth?  Now that higher tax revenues seem inevitable, the plan's entitlement reforms, tax rate reductions and spending caps look better all the time.

Tuesday 950P Eastern Time:  Larry Kudlow, in re: fiscal cliff, taxes.

Tuesday 1005P (705P Pacific Time): David M Drucker, Roll Call, in re: report on a pollster, David Winston, and his conclusions on how the decision was made to re-elect Pres Obama.  By 53 to 38, voters blamed G W Bush for the recession.  Mr Romney 's campaign probably didn’t understand this. In the fall, Pres Obama kept saying, "Let’s not return to the policies that got us into this in the first place."  Romney kept asking, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"  The answer happened to be yes.  Mr Obama said he was looking to the future; Mr Romney failed to tell us what he was looking forward to.

 

Mr Smallweed breaks the pipe of peace. Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

Tuesday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): David Weidner, WSJ, in re David Weidner aims to explain why the Gallup Poll shows the public trusts bankers and moneylenders (see Grandfather Smallweed of Bleak House)  more than journalists: Last week, I slammed the Wall Street media for its failure to reform itself after the financial crisis. As you can imagine, the reaction to the piece was overwhelmingly positive. Most readers heartily agreed the financial press needed to be more responsible. Read about Wall Street’s “Blizzard of Garbage.” <http://online.wsj.com/article/writing_on_the_wall.html?mod=mktw>  (photo) Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, John Mack and Brian Moynihan testify in 2010 about what caused the worse financial crisis in generations.

But what about you as a news consumer? It could be you’re blaming the messenger just a little too much.

My colleague at Dow Jones, Al Lewis, passed along this nugget: A Gallup poll released Monday found that journalists are considered less honest and ethical than many other professionals including college teachers, psychiatrists and chiropractors.  That’s OK with me. I’d probably agree. But get this, Gallup also found that journalists rank just below bankers for honesty and ethics. Thirty percent of respondents had a low or very low opinion of journalists’ honesty and ethics compared to 28% for bankers. Only 24% had a favorable view for journalists, compared to 28% for bankers.

OK.  First, I don’t care about which profession finished slightly ahead or behind statistically. The bottom line is that journalists aren’t viewed as much better or worse than bankers. To me, that’s the takeaway. We’re equally slimy in your eyes.

I know an insult when I see one.

Second, the list also includes stockbrokers. They finished closer to the bottom of the list, near HMO managers and advertisers. Third, I recognize that the media, especially on Wall Street, can be irresponsible. We deserve the skepticism.

SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro delayed a rule potentially affecting hundreds of billions of dollars of private offerings by companies in part because of concerns about her personal legacy. Jean Eaglesham has details on Markets Hub.  But if you, the reader, really do think journalists are as bad as bankers, you’re not looking at the facts. For all of the stupid mistakes journalists make: the sensationalism, the pandering, the inaccuracy, the bias (real or imagined), the bad ideas and poor advice — for all that — at least our only interest is in drawing your attention to ourselves and our work.

 

Three Notre Dame football players, including Dave Duerson, center, at Jackson Square on Saturday, Dec. 27, 1980, in New Orleans.

 

Tuesday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): Ken Belson, NYT, in re: study of brain injury to athletes points to correlation between damage over a  lifetime and deterioration of health and mood, sometimes leading to self-destruction

Tuesday 1050P (750P Pacific Time): Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re:  report on blogger ("My Life for My Iran") tortured and murdered by IRGC cybercrimes unit, general dismissed, and why. Sata Baheshti – for a free, democratic Iran – was tortured and beaten, killed under supervision of Gen Saeed Shokri. Thousands of people raped and tortured in prison after demonstrations; no one has been punished.  Any complaint about the regime or the Supreme Leader is punishable by death.  Human rights activists now on hunger strike; many have been executed. kaleme.com (Iranian Green Movement site) "I, Sata Baheshti, was arrested by Fatah, beaten and tortured with multiple blows to my head and body. If anything happens to me, the police are responsible."  Thugs instructed family not to mourn lest they also be murdered.   Some victims are buried in cement so family cannot dig out the corpse and prove torture.

 

Tuesday 1105P (805P Pacific Time): Bret Stephens, WSJ, in re: Susan Rice's diplomatic record since the Clinton administration, mixed and not admired by right or left

Tuesday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): Mark Schroeder, Stratfor.com, in re: report on M23 withdrawing from Goma; ongoing borderland trouble between Rwanda and Congo.

Tuesday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: report from Mars Gale Crater by Curiosity on soil consistent with previous samples from Viking, Phoenix, Oppy and Spirit; also, solar maximum continues weak

Tuesday 1150P (850P Pacific Time): Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: reports from Venutian volcanoes, from Titan's crust, from Voyager leaving solar system, and Korean rocketry.

Tuesday/Wed 1205A (905 Pacific Time): Larry Kudlow, in re: Tax/surtax policy coming at you in 159 pages (hire an accountant).  No seven accountants will come up with the same analysis. The 2.7% growth in Q3 was based on transitory activity; inventory levels coming down, so "Q3 ate some of the growth of Q4" – Bloomberg Surveillance this morning.   Looks like a recessionary pattern. Corporate profits are slowing, taxes are heading up; malaise, uncertainty, lack of confidence.

Tuesday/Wed  1220A (920 Pacific Time): Jodi Schneider, senior Bloomberg tax analyst, in re:  Fiscal cliffnology.  Sets the table for the negotiations between now and 31 December. Pres Obama addresses the Business Roundtable tomorrow.  Today, in speaking with Bloomberg (Pres Obama's first post-election interview), the president in effect swept aside Boehner's offer.   The two sides do not currently have a middle ground.

Tuesday/Wed  1235A (935P Pacific Time): Steve Moore, WSJ, in re: Simpson-Bowles rebirth?  Now that higher tax revenues seem inevitable, the plan's entitlement reforms, tax rate reductions and spending caps look better all the time.

Tuesday/Wed  1250A  (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. Bill McGurn, WSJ, in re: why is Governor Lincoln Chaffee fearful of a Christmas tree-lighting in Providence?

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Music (using New York City broadcast times)  

9:00 hour:   Gears of War.

10:00 hour:  The Expendables.

11:00 hour:    

midnight hour: