The John Batchelor Show

Friday 8 May 2020

Air Date: 
May 08, 2020

Hour One
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 1, Block A: Jim McTague, Author and former hear=d f Barron’s Washington; & Brett Arends, MarketWatch; in re: Counting in everybody, the unemployment rate is close to 20%.  Why is the stock market up? Pure wagering: they know that at some point the economy will roar back. PA as two zones: a yellow, which  will recover more quickly, and a red, which will go me slowly.  Even when stores open the loos are closed, so many people won’t patronize it.  We’re climbing back from the biggest crash in history; has now clawed back about half.
The U6:broadest measure of labor underutilization: that’s up to 23%, an epic job-loss figure.  I think we may be disappointed a the speed of the recovery; summer lull is a time traditionally to see corrections.  Fifty states, each one different.  We need the big states to open first, to [pull] the economy, but it won’t happen because of politics—blue states [don't want to open].  The whole flatten-the-curve agenda was achieved weeks ago; staying home now is politics.
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 1, Block B: Jeff Bliss, Pacific Watch; in re: Harley Ruda of Orange County, was part of the Blue Wave that historically turned over the Republican  seat, won over Dana Rohrabacher. He lectured the populace on staying at home, was photographed frolicking on a private beach.  San Francisco city tax dollars are handing out free alcohol, free cigarettes, and free smoke.  Setting up huge tent cities, tent trains, on the street. LA city council threatens to confiscate hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton, if they don't house homeless people.  Residents of Ritz-Carlton condos are enraged. 
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 1, Block C: Dan Henninger, WSJ editorial board deputy editor & Wonder Land columnist; in re: The muted anger from Democrats as they lecture GOP. Morality is about right and wrong; moralizing is morality’s cheap cousin, used as needed, utterly insincere. The Joe Biden–Tara Reid situation exemplifies this.   Lectures on the 1%; on how corporations and capitalism are “a moral outrage” according to Bernie Sanders.  I think people have become numb to moral trumping; now it's come full circle against the Democrats.  Finger-wagging goes along with moralizing.  Moralistic condescension.  This week, Schumer claimed that federal emergency aid “will only bail out big corporations,” and the poor will continue to suffer.  The New York governor, along with all the others, uses this in demanding to keep the economy closed.   Mike DeWine, governor of Ohio, is the lowest-key person you can imagine; is on TV simply laying out facts; Ohioans seem to find this appealing.  Erosion of fundamental standards that most people believe in. 
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 1, Block D:  Francis Rose,  WJLA Government Matters,   Sunday mornings, in re: DC is surrounded by a Beltway that’s permanently parked, with govt workers on their way. Emily Murphy, head of GSA (Govt Services Administration):  Acquisition and real estate.  She really understands how the govt works; says that 99% of her workers can telework.  Many have learned the importance of after-action reports.  Greg Giddens was at Homeland Security during crises; they always do after-action reports.  I ask most guests, what do you write up?  Emily said: Gauge the effectiveness of telework. Are you getting 50%, 80% 1010% of normal work done?
       I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of the workers be not in DC in future; and a great deal of telework, which will be the default position three or four days a week. 
      Absent the [dreadful] traffic, the air is cleaner, travel is quicker.  In the Army, Dr Bruce Jette, civilian responsible for procurement: maintaining the consistency of the supply chain is the concern, esp cash flow (not of the prime contractors, but three or four levels down to subcontractors); when the military really needs supply for a bigger piece, not helpful for subs to be out of commission with a virus, for example.  Cash flow from CARES Act is critical.  Parts of the F35 were made in 47? States. 
Hour Two
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 2, Block A:  Andrew C McCarthy, Ball of Collusion, and Thaddeus McCotter, American Greatness, in re:  Lt-Gen Flynn.  August 22, 2017: Rod Rosenstein, acting AG, and the Scope Memo, issued by Rosenstein because his initial appt of Mueller as Special Counsel was insufficient: you need an underlying crime, and there was none.  So he issued a Scope Memo to paper over the problem; an astonishing document.  Clear that he’d relied on the Steele dossier, which was patently bogus, to justify Mueller’s investigation of Manafort.   By August2, 2017, they knew that the Steele dossier was garbage.  Sally Yates blindsided? 
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 2, Block B:  Andrew C McCarthy, Ball of Collusion, and Thaddeus McCotter, American Greatness, in re:  Jan 5, 2017. Sally Yates claimed to have been unaware of the Kislyak phone conversation.  The Susan Rice memo.
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 2, Block C:   Chris Riegel, Scala Report, in re:
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 2, Block D: Hotel Mars, episode n.  Eric Berger, senior editor of Ars Technica; and David Livingston, The Space Show; in re: Landing on the Moon.  Space X, Dianetics, Blue Origin.  NASA chooses SpaceX. Starship is intended to launch on a big rocket, yet unbuilt.  Artemis 3 Mission, 2024. 
Hour Three
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 3, Block A: Salena Zito, Washington Examiner “Middle of Somewhere” column, CNN, in re:  Thirty million recently-employed Americans are now without a future.  State line of Virginia and Tennessee: Bristol on both sides.  Tennessee side was mostly open for business; on the Virginia side, everything shuttered.
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 3, Block B: Salena Zito, Washington Examiner “Middle of Somewhere” column, CNN, in re:  Ohio.  Youngstown in the bocce court. Take-out restaurant with bocce court: empty.   
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 3, Block C:  Gene Marks, Small Business Report, The Guardian,  Philadelphia Inquirer, in re: PPP program is relatively successful; if you haven't yet got your loan, go to a smaller bank, or to Lendio or a firm like that. There may be a third tranche.  Larry Kudlow. After major failures initially, the big banks are pulling ahead; slow to the game [and favored rich clients over needy small businesses], they've picked it up.  Still a smaller, community bank or an online payment platform is best.  Sole proprietorship: Unemployment insurance.  Employee Retention Tax Credit – extremely valuable.  Look in to this! Coming up: Main Street Lending Program. 
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 3, Block D:  Gene Marks, Small Business Report, The Guardian,  Philadelphia Inquirer, in re:
Hour Four
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 4, Block A:  Michael Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: The legitimacy of branches of government. 
Blue has repudiated red; in turn, sets up a Constitutional crisis  in the coming election. There can be hung states, contested outcomes; question of if officials interfered in  different sates; recounts, lawsuits; absentee ballots and the entire election process. Inflamed : contested outcomes are being called illegitimate outcomes. Stacey Abrams. Potentially an immobilized nation after an election.  Could have circuit courts contesting the Supreme Court, whose legitimacy could be contested. 
The lower house could refuse to work with this president who in turn could refuse to proceed.  In the last four elections, 28 million ballots have been lost, 15 million erased from rolls in 2015. Most frightening example was Spain from 1932-1936: govts collapsed one after another; at one point the left took over, were ousted, and created a coup. When a constitutional order is raveling, legitimacy is the question here. Here, it’s in context of an economic crash. 
Civil War in 1860 was precipitated by an election, but that was preceded by major unrest. 
There’ll be an election here in less than six months, and there’s a long period between November and January. 
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 4, Block B:  Michael Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: Mark Twain: “The nation is divided – half patriots and half traitors, and no man can be certain which is which.”
We can be confident that the results won’t be accepted.   Today, in contrast to then, if we also have an existential issue facing us – if after November people call each other traitors – it’ll mean we’re really at the point of a true civil war as there’ll be no venue for civil resolution. Losing legitimacy: no way forward but a struggle.  In Spain, it was made all the worse by the army which, trying to save the nation, had to fight the other half of the citizenry. In the US, the military wouldn't intervene; but the local police & militias could.  In 2020, there’s a true prospect of having two presidents.
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 4, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re:  Raptor, SpaceX rocket ship.  Starship. Raptor engine.  Gateway launches: was a cockamamie idea to put an intermittently-occupied space station en route to the Moon; conceived by Big Space an NASA to give SLS and Orion a mission.  The new mgt running NASA Artemis program has shifted: no longer in the critical path; also shifting Gateway’s construction to smaller firms, incl SpaceX.  Prototype interplanetary space ship [between Earth and the Moon].   . . .  New Vulcan rocket. Blue Origin: two BE4 engines to be delivered.  
Friday 8 May  2020  / Hour 4, Block D:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: ne of the nightmares of my youth was the ozone hole. Transformation of the planet into an unlivable condition.   This year, first-ever ozone hole over the Arctic, is not getting bigger.
A thousand light years away: my have found a stellar mass black hole, orbiting in a binary star system visible to the naked eye.  May be a third object there, invisible, might be a black hole.   . . .  Fast radio bursts; now have found a lot.  One is 30 thousand LY away inside our own Milky Way. 
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