Monday 4 November 2013
Photo, above: One in every five sunlike stars is orbited by a potentially habitable planet, according to a new analysis of observations by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. This artist's illustration represents the variety of planets being detected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft. Scientists now say that one in six stars hosts an Earth-size planet. Finding Earth 2.0 is just a matter of time, and the discovery will likely transform the way we think about our place in the cosmos, astronomer Natalie Batalha said.
Batalha is a co-investigator for NASA's Kepler telescope, a planet-hunting mission that has uncovered 2,740 potential alien worlds in just the few years since its 2009 launch. Though Kepler has found some Earth-size planets, and others in the habitable zones around their stars that could allow them to harbor liquid water, none of them are true Earth twins. But that's likely soon to come.
"That's certainly the big picture goal, that's what NASA is aiming to do, to find the next Earth and ultimately to find other life in the galaxy," Batalha said at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society. See Hour 3, Block D, David Grinspoon, Library of Congress, on @AstrobiologyMag: we're not the first species to alter Earth.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor, in re: The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, killed by a drone strike in Waziristan as he was leaving the mosque for his luxe villa nearby; death confirmed by multiple sources, including the Taliban. (His home was very close to a Pakistani military base.) Both US and Afghan officials said that the Karzai govt was negotiating with Mehsoud to use him as a proxy against Pakistan. Disastrous for the US. Sixty members immediately convened to decide who'd replace Mehsoud. [more]
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor; continued. Al Qaeda in Iraq and in Syria has been declared a "transnational threat" by the US. (Then-Sen Obama declared that it was merely a sort of criminal gang, a mafia.) . . . Al Qaeda has been in Iraq since long before the US got there. Maliki doesn't draw a distinction between _____ and his other enemies. [more]
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Francis Rose, Federal News Radio; Lara M Brown, political analyst and author; Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review & Pirates fan, in re:
IT professionals in the federal govt are "appalled" – the way the feds do IT is broken. The administration that was light years head of Sen McCain and Gov Romney has fumbled his badly. Everyone who’s been working with legacy systems is not surprised. There are still mainframes trying to connect to Healthcare.gov. Electoral races in New Jersey, Virginia. In Virginia. The Virginia AG Ken Cucinelli is too conservative for many Virginians. The gender gap is huge in favor of McAuliffe. [more]
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: George Kalogeropoulos, Michael Wasser, The Health Sherpas, in re: available in 50 states, "a dream to use." Site is Web 1.0. No septic code – no noticeable code anywhere. Took two days among the three of us, plus a day of debugging.
Three Guys Built a Better Healthcare.gov Meet the Health Sherpa, the website HealthCare.gov probably should have been. These Guys Just Built the Website Healthcare.gov Should Have Been
"The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We only use carefully vetted, publicly available data. The Health Sherpa is not affiliated with any lobby, trade group or governmental agency and has no political agenda."
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent; John Fund, National Review Online, in re: ACA, Enda in Senate, healthcaregov
.Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent; John Fund, National Review Online, in re: New Jersey and Virginia.
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Fouad Ajami, Hoover & Bloomberg View, in re: The Kurds Get a Second Chance in Syria Big disappointment that a noble American war has begotten such a petty dictator as Maliki, who's merely the viceroy of Iran's Supreme Leader. He rues as a Shi'a strongman; is asking for F-16s and attack helicopters – he must be denied these weapons, as they’ll be used against his opponents and esp the Kurds of northern Iraq. He's a Shi'a maximalist: "Saddam light" – will make war on civilians. . . . The NSC tsarina is Susan Power.
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: Cinda Asset Management Co. is probably China's worst initial offering so far. Also: Beijing's smog has oozed down to Hong Kong, and a lot of LA's air pollution is in fact Beijing smog.
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Iranian Majlis: repeated chants of "Death to America! Death to America!" Very deliberate, means precisely: death to America. Supposedly Rouhani urged that it not be used during negotiations, by they don't care. US Undersecy of State for Middle Eastern Affairs is Wendy Sherman, is in Israel now; "We haven’t agreed to anything yet, and no deal is better than a bad deal. We must assure ourselves that Iran will not be able to have a nuclear weapon." However, Olli Heinonen points out that Iran can go from 20% to 90% enrichment in two weeks. US doesn’t say that Iran mayn't have the capability of building a nuclear weapon, merely that ex post facto it shouldn't have done so. Note also that China has increased by 16 million tons its oil imports from Iran; China is taking the money frozen in bank accounts, asserts it will spend it in Iran.
The man who organized the mass-murder of US Marines in Beirut is Hasan Rouhani. IRGC declares that "Death to America" will be its motto; Death to America.
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: White House wants to sell F-16s, Apache helos and other weapons to Maliki; using "al Qaeda in ht Levant and in Iraq are transnational threats" suddenly announced today as an excuse Maliki wants to kill Kurds. Largest al Qaeda group in the world is in Syria. Have set up their own confiscation of wells and oil exportations; Islamic courts; enforcing frontiers. Also, 15,000 troops because of expected moves against certain Damascus suburbs, aided by Iraqi Shi'ites. Two hundred thousand Kurds form Syria crossing into Iraq. Pres Obama and his administration have chosen not to share this with the American people. Capital of Kurdistan is Iraq is Erbil, booming economically. They've essentially erased the border (left over from Sykes Picot agreement) . Egypt: Morsi refused to don the prison uniform, declares himself the president of Egypt.
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Bruce Webster, in re: Obamacare and the Unforgiving Gauntlet [substantial information on the Healthcare.gov website: what caused all this. what's normally done by the eveloper. Clear to the layman.]
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: David Grinspoon, Library of Congress, in re: @AstrobiologyMag: we're not the first species to alter Earth. Origin of photosynthesis created an ecological disaster." #LongCiv. Kepler space telescope finds Earth-sized, potentially habitable planets are common The Milky Way galaxy alone could have about 25 billion rocky worlds in “habitable zones” of stars.
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Ayatollah Khamenei: US should ‘slap’ Sheldon Adelson, cannot stop Iran’s nuclear program
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Arif Rafiq, Middle East Institute, in re: Drone Strikes Are Said to Kill Taliban Chief American drones on Friday killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, dealing a major blow to a militant group that has terrorized Pakistan and that tried to set off a car bomb in New York City in 2010, according to Pakistani intelligence officials and militant commanders in the tribal belt. [more]
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Henry I Miller, M.D., Hoover & Forbes.com, in re: The Obama Administration's Transparent Lack of Transparency. "How can you tell when a politician is lying?” an old quip begins. “His lips are moving.” The whopper for the ages from President Obama is getting a lot of attention: “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period.” [more]
Map, below: This map tracks state voting laws before and after Shelby County v. Holder on four key issues: photo ID, early voting, same-day registration and voter roll purging. For more details on methodology, see full methodology below. Click here to go to the map, where you can click on a state.
Monday 3 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Kara Brandeisky, ProPublica, in re: What's Happened Since Supreme Court Struck Down Voting Rights Provision With midterm elections approaching in 2014, ProPublica revisits voting laws to see which states have enacted tougher restrictions since the Supreme Court ruling in June against a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. After decades of needing to get "preclearance" from the federal government to enact any changes to their voting laws, states and localities with a history of racial discrimination are indeed changing their laws to limit early voting and registration, require voters to show photo ID, and purge voter rolls. Advocates say those changes still disproportionally affect poor and minority voters. What each of the nine preclearance states -- including North Carolina and Texas -- has done since the ruling. How at least six of the 35 states that weren't subject to preclearance -- and weren't affected by the Supreme Court decision -- have gone on to tighten voting rules this year anyway. How the Supreme Court has now left it up to Congress to write new preclearance criteria.
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Hour 1: Bourne Legacy. Atonement.
Hour 2: Enders Game. World War Z.
Hour 3: Valhalla Rising. After Earth.
Hour 4: Dark Knight Rises. Pacific Rim.