The John Batchelor Show

Friday 11 October 2013

Air Date: 
October 11, 2013


Photo, above: Major new energy issues are about to transform still further the strategic balance of the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, with foreseeable consequences for the global energy market over the coming decade. Soon-to-be-evident new wealth in the Red Sea/Horn of Africa region will transform the intensity of conflict there, which in turn will affect not only the region, but the world’s most important trading route: the Red Sea/Suez sea line of communication (SLOC). Much of the anticipated change is developing around the flood of new discoveries and exploitation of natural gas fields in the Indian Ocean region, particularly extending through Ethiopia, Egypt, and other countries of the Red Sea region. Apart from the impending influx of new energy wealth into . . . [more]   See Hour 3, Blocks A & B, Gregory R Copley, International Strategic Studies Assn and author.


Hour One

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block A:   Francis Rose, Federal News Radio, in re:

IRS, White House officials that shared confidential taxpayer info had 155 White House meetings  Embattled IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram made 155 visits to the White House to meet with a top Obama White House official with whom she exchanged confidential taxpayer information over email.  Of Ingram’s 165 White House meetings with White House staff, a staggering 155 of them were hosted by deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew, according to a June Watchdog.Org analysis of White House visitor records.  Ingram exchanged confidential taxpayer information with Lambrew and White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  [more]

Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code forbids a federal employee from “disclos[ing] any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee.”  Federal employees who illegally disclose confidential taxpayer information could face five years in prison.  “Thanks, David. Thanks for the information on [6103],” White House official Lambrew wrote to IRS official David Fish in a July 20, 2012 exchange. “I am still hoping to understand whether the 50 percent rule is moot if the organization does not offer goods and services for sale to the general public. Do we assume that organizations like [6103] do offer goods and services for sale?”  Another email from Montz to Ingram and others refers to the “[6103] memo” and the “[6103] letter” while discussing organizations that are not required to file 990s.  Ingram appeared before Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee Wednesday and claimed she could not recall a document that contained confidential taxpayer information.  “Well one of the areas of interest is there’s a significant redaction that quotes the statute 6103. Do you know who is underneath that blackout?” Issa asked Ingram.

“I don’t recall the document so I can’t help you with what’s underneath that redaction,” Ingram said.  “Her response has not put concerns to rest,” Oversight staffer Frederick Hill said. ”This caught people’s eye.”  Issa has requested unredacted copies of the emails, citing a prohibition from misusing Section 6103 “for the purpose of concealing information from a congressional inquiry.”   Ingram headed the scandal-ridden IRS office responsible for overseeing tax-exempt nonprofit groups before leaving to head the agency’s office in charge of Obamacare implementation.  An IRS voice mail message declined to comment on any media inquiries during the government shutdown, citing law.

Top Internal Revenue Service Obamacare official Sarah Hall Ingram discussed confidential taxpayer information with senior Obama White House officials, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and provided to The Daily Caller.  Lois Lerner, then head of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations division, also received an email alongside White House officials that contained confidential information.  Ingram attempted to counsel the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials — including White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew — contained confidential taxpayer information, according to Oversight.

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Peter Coy, Bloomberg, in re: THE SAT IS: A) ELITIST B) UNFAIR C) OUT OF DATE D) ALL OF THE ABOVE  Conceived as ways to identify talent, standardized tests are leaving too many students behind.  The U.S. needs new answers.  the full story…

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Ken Belson, NYT, in re: Redskins’ Name Change Is Her Unfinished Business  Suzan Shown Harjo, 68, has for decades been at the center of efforts to persuade sports teams to drop American Indian names and mascots considered derogatory.

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution (Defining Ideas), Chicago Law, in re:  Unions Take High Culture Hostage 

Hour Two

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Liz Peek, Fiscal Times, in re: Why the Reviled Tea Party Was Right about Obamacare – Before we march the Tea Party off to the Guillotine, let’s remember what fired up that unruly crew to begin with.   In the midst of the economic crisis, the government went on a spending spree, shelling out hundreds of billions for TARP, Cash for Clunkers, the Stimulus – the list seemed endless. Our nation’s debt and deficits soared; the financial crisis became a fiscal crisis.  And then came Obamacare. President Obama’s signature healthcare bill promised even higher deficits (no one but Paul Krugman believed you could provide free healthcare to 30 million people and save money), more government intrusion, and possible chaos. The Tea Party was born. Concern about the nation’s finances, and about the steroidal growth of government are not only reasonable, but widely shared. A recent Gallup poll put concern about the federal government’s outsized role at a record level, with 60 percent thinking that Washington has “too much power.” A NBC/WSJ poll from one month ago (before the recent shutdown hysteria) showed Americans opposed to raising the debt ceiling/, by a margin of two to one. The Tea Party, on such issues, does not stand alone.  The fight over Obamacare centers on the program’s expected disruption in our nation’s healthcare industries, and to Americans’ daily lives. It also focuses on the taxpayer burden of another mammoth entitlement program, and the possible costs of mismanagement.  Such concerns are fed by stories about fraud and waste in other government programs, such the recent “Sixty Minutes” segment on our nation’s Social Security Disability Insurance program. The CBS TV show, relying on a new report from the Government Accountability Office and investigations by Senator Tom Coburn, revealed systematic abuse of the program costing taxpayers billions of dollars – waste that the government has been slow (if not unwilling) to eliminate.   [more]

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Jim McTague, Barron’s Washington, in re: Obama, GOP Pursue Budget, Debt Deal
The White House and Republicans continued to negotiate to reach a deal on extending the nation's borrowing authority for six weeks and reopening the government. Cruz, Lee Stand by Quest

Growth Estimates Cut

Poll: GOP Blamed More For Shutdown

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Sid Perkins, Nature, Science, in re: Seismic data reveal 'hotspot' passed under United States   2011 Virginia earthquake points to scars from ancient mantle plume. A plume of hot material rising from deep within the earth scarred the underside of the North American tectonic plate as it drifted westward millions of years ago, suggests research published today in Nature Geoscience1. The residual heat still affects seismic waves travelling through the continent, even though the mantle plume is now under the Atlantic Ocean.  When such mantle plumes occur beneath thin oceanic crust, they often punch through and create volcanoes — the Hawaiian Islands are a prime example2. But older, colder and thicker continental crust is not so easily breached, says Risheng Chu, a geophysicist at the Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics in Wuhan, China. The only signs on land of ancient hotspot paths typically are kimberlites — volcanic and sometimes diamond-bearing rocks that mark the site of an ancient, deep-seated eruption. But Chu and his colleagues inferred the path of . . . [more]

Massive Undersea Volcano Is World’s Largest - A broad, 4-kilometer-tall feature on the seafloor about 1500 kilometers east of Japan is the world’s largest volcano, a new analysis suggests. At its tallest point, Tamu Massif (at lower left and center in main image; oblique view in inset) lies more than 2 km below the ocean’s surface. Unlike most volcanic seamounts, which are steep and typically no more than a few tens of kilometers across, the gently sloping Tamu Massif covers 310,000 square kilometers—about the same as the British Isles, or the base of Mars’s Olympus Mons, the solar system’s largest known volcano. (Its base is shown in dark purple at lower right, for comparison.) The massif’s slopes are exceptionally shallow, often less than 1°, thanks to lava that flowed freely before hardening. Researchers think the Tamu Massif is a single volcano because rock samples (labeled dots) have similar chemistry, and seismic surveys show that broad layers of rock emanate from the center of the feature. Today, Tamu Massif sits far from the edge of the Pacific tectonic plate and is presumed dead, but 145 million years ago the caldera plumbed the intersection of three tectonic plates, the researchers note today in Nature Geoscience. They haven’t finished dating rock samples drilled from the peak, but it’s possible that the entire seamount could have been formed in a million years or less.

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Michael Grabell, ProPublica, in re: Congenital heart problems are the most common type of birth defect in the U.S. -- about one in 555 newborns will require surgery in the first year of life -- yet 17 states, including populous ones like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington, have yet to require the exam that can save lives.

In a deeply personal New York Times op-ed, Michael Grabell shares how his own newborn son was saved by the pulse oximetry test, an exam that can cost as little as 52 cents, that showed his child had a dangerous narrowing of the aorta. 

Grabell explains that while many cases are caught in prenatal ultrasounds or routine newborn exams, more than 1,500 babies leave American hospitals each year with undetected critical congenital heart defects -- bringing into question why good ideas in medicine take so long to implement and when we should legislate clinical practice. 

"Typically, these babies turn blue and struggle to breathe within the first few weeks of life," he writes. "They are taken to hospitals, often in poor condition, making it harder to operate on them. By then, they may have suffered significant damage to the heart or brain. Researchers estimate that dozens of babies die each year because of undiagnosed heart problems."

New York signed legislation to require the pulse oximetry test in August, which will take effect next year. But for Patti Stone's daughter, Samantha, it was all too late.

"This could have saved my daughter. There is no parent that should ever have to go through what I went through."


Hour Three

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Gregory R Copley, International Strategic Studies Association and author, in re: UnCivilization: Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos ... Gregory Copley, an Australian, born in Perth, Western Australia.  In re the US domestic debt squabbling as part of the US retreat from superpower.  And in ints place, a vacuum in all theaters, filled by rascals and predators.  Europe struggles with welfare debt.  Middle East bends under Persian nationalism.

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Gregory R Copley, International Strategic Studies Association and author, in re: China rises as US retreats.  

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Jon Horner, University of New South Wales, in re:  Mass Exctinctions:…    Mass Extinction And The Structure of the Milky Way
 - we created a new model of the Milky Way's spiral arms by combining a ... the times at which the Sun crosses the spiral arms and six known mass extinction events. ... MD Filipovic, J. Horner, E J Crawford, NFH Tothill.

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Jon Horner, University of New South Wales, in re:  Mass Exctinctions:…    Mass Extinction And The Structure of the Milky Way
 - we created a new model of the Milky Way's spiral arms by combining a ... the times at which the Sun crosses the spiral arms and six known mass extinction events. ... MD Filipovic, J. Horner, E J Crawford, NFH Tothill.

Hour Four

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Dan Henninger, WSJ WONDER LAND, in re: Bill de Blasio and Civil Rights.  New York City's next mayor has spoken clearly of his disapproval of carter schools, which in the spotty world of New York City's schools often represent the apex of teaching available to children from poor or middle-class homes.  The cause of his disfavor may be his alliance with the teachers's union, which loses money when teachers fall out of their purview.

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Henry I Miller, M.D., Hoover &, in re: Let's Restore Some of the Funding to NIH  Dr Miller says that many folk remedies and familiar therapeutic modes are snake oil.

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Nicole Gelinas, Manhattan Institute,  in re: New York Post, What would ‘Mayor’ de Blasio do about NY’s finances? The problems in NYC finance and insurance, and  why profits are back but Wall Street still isn’t hiring.  De Blasio had one solid point: Profits are back. So why haven’t Wall Street bosses added staff?

Friday  11 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Brian Womack, Bloomberg, in re: TWITTER IPO. Valuation Seen Exceeding $20 Billion After IPO – Twitter Inc.’s user growth is slowing and it shows no sign of turning a profit, yet some fund managers say that’s not going to stop the microblogging service’s $12.8 billion valuation from treading much higher. Ironfire Capital LLC and Gamco Investors Inc. project the company could be worth $15 billion to $20 billion once it begins trading.    

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