Thursday 26 September 2013
Photo, above: The sin of pride, Hieronymus Bosch; see: Hour 1, Block A, Rich Lowry, National Review, on Breaking Bad’s Moral Chaos
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board; Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management.
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Rich Lowry, National Review, in re: Breaking Bad’s Moral Chaos When a man’s truest loyalty is to his own ego. Sozhenitzyn and Satan. Walt, a worthy man who’s missed his gravy train; dying of cancer, decides to make a lot of money for his family. Becomes a meth chemist. He eventually takes a hostage; Walt begs the hostage to give him a reason for saving him. Hostage fails. At the end, when he's offing people left and right, he's still telling himself it’s worth it to keep killing to save his family. Walt's college roommate made pots of money, which leaves Walt green with envy. Postmodernism: the theme of the piece is the writing of the piece. ACA/ObamaCare: "It’s not for me – it’s for you!" Clintons said, "It’s for the children." St Augustine: The sin of pride – one's accomplishments are all wind in face of the grace of God. Part of free-mkt economics is that no one has control.
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board, in re: Bismarck: The state will provide for you. In the US in the Twentieth Century, Lyndon Johnson and Medicare. Today, see Den Henninger on WSJ.com: Pres Obama calls it "universal healthcare." This is an ideological/political battle the president has embarked on. Dan's thesis is entirely political: let it collapse, which might engender a large discussion on the entitlement state, which we haven’t had for a century. LBJ's management: there were votes on both sides for Medicare, but with ACA there was no GOP vote. President's language is pugnacious. ACA needs to sign up maximum number of people to make the ACA at all affordable; are having a rough row to hoe thereon.
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management, in re: What'll the House do with the Senate CR bill? GOP this morning didn’t like that; want something: delay ObamaCare by a year? Cancel exclusion of Congressional staffs from obligation to join ObamaCare? We've been heading to a sequester fight ab initio. Right now, focus is on provisions of ACA, but we'd be having a fight one way or another. Note: military funding; lots of pieces in this. GOP puts the Democrats on the defensive. Two schools of thought: The ACA will be a failure and let it fail; or: whatever its shortcomings, it’s an entitlement and will forever be locked in. . . . . First-term senators popping off. . . . Make Dems defend the a fact that Dems have asked for a Congressional exemption from ObamaCare. This senator was a Princeton classmate of Patrick's – Tigers tend to stand together even when they don't talk about it. PC: What makes some uncomfortable is the stakes: govt shutdown, or default. The debt ceiling is serious. MK: put yourself on the side of Good, the opponents on the side of Evil. Saul Alinsky.
The White House says it won't give in to GOP 'extortion game' The White House on Thursday denounced as “extortion” Republican efforts to defund Obamacare and force Democrats to accept spending cuts and entitlement reforms in the face of a possible government shutdown or default.
John Boehner: House GOP won't OK Senate's government funding bill House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Thursday that his Republican majority would not support the government fun . . .
White House explains effort to rebrand Obamacare 'the Adorable Care Act' President Obama's social media team has taken to promoting an effort that rebrands Obamacare "the Adorable Care Act" in an attempt to get people to sign up for the health insurance exchanges. "Everybody loves cute animals," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during the Thursday press briefing to explain the messaging move. "What implementation is about is about focusing on consumers. It's about providing benefits and services to regular American families out there who aren't engaged in -- at least, not on a daily basis -- in the political struggles here in Washington." The White House Twitter feed promoted a message from @AdorableCareAct yesterday that reminds people to "get all your ducks in a row" by visiting the Obamacare website. The tweet, naturally, is accompanied by an Image of four ducklings that are not ugly.. . . Read more...
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent, in re: Ted Cruz is interested in himself; tweet "As a law student at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn’t been an undergrad at Harvard, Princeton or Yale." Sequester was a real victory by the end of 2011; had the GOP stuck together wd have had leverage. Fractured, clung to an idea that'd never come to fruition – defund ObamaCare – budget spending going up, the "clean" CR is not clean – more spending, losing gains, losing ACA initiative.
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Hasan Rouhani, the new Iranian president who works for the Supreme Leader, the leader of the predatory gang, spoke with CNN using an Iranian-govt-supplied translator and spoke of the Holocaust. The Islamic regime ruling Iran denies the Holocaust; say that England and the Europeans took a country named Palestine and stole it for Jews, and invented the Holocaust to justify their deed. FARS News Agency is furious and demanded that CNN apologize. Did CNN bring in the word "Holocaust" or did the Iranian-govt-supplied translator provide it? The govt threatens CNN because Rouhani isn’t allowed to use the word. The formation of the Islamic Regime was based on two principles: destruction of Israel, and destruction of the US. "No one is authorized to approach the Great Satan or to normalize relations with it," decreed the Shia Khomenei. Resentment and hatred of the state of Israel are deeply embedded in the Islamic regime. Rouhani refused to shake Obama's had but cousined up to France. See the CNN interview.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may have snubbed President Obama yesterday but almost everyone is still giving him full credit for not being Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The West’s favorite “moderate” mullah met with a gaggle of liberal mainstream media types Wednesday morning for a mostly off-the-record gathering and, despite being unwilling to pander much to their sensibilities, still left them thinking, in the words of New Yorker editor David Remnick, “That at least on the surface this is somebody who above all is interested in reversing the really consequential damage to the economy that sanctions have wrought over time.” I’ve no doubt that is true, as the conceit of Rouhani’s mission is apparently to persuade the West that because he isn’t a raving lunatic like his predecessor Ahmadinejad, that should be enough to earn Iran the world’s trust. And the chief proof of this is his willingness to say that it was a bad thing that the Nazis killed Jews. At Remnick’s prodding, Rouhani said as much today. As Politico reports:
Toward the end of the meeting, Remnick, who had sparred with Ahmadinejad in past meetings, demanded to know if Rouhani would unequivocally reject his predecessor’s denial of the Holocaust. Through an interpreter, Rouhani told Remnick and the other journalists that he condemned the “massacre” of Jews that took place during World War II but would leave it to historians to decide how many Jews had been killed. While stopping short of condemning the Holocaust outright, Rouhani left Remnick with the impression that he was serious about improving Iran’s relationship with the West.
That’s nice, and no doubt Rouhani’s dignified manner and trademark white turban are a big improvement over Ahmadinejad’s MAD magazine-style charm, but if we’re really interested in . . . [more]
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Henry I Miller, M.D., Hoover & Forbes.com, in re: Of the thirty million patients annually using Plavix, one-third have a genetic peculiarity rendering Plavix ineffective. Biomarkers such as these mutations can tell us what drug to use or to avoid.
Personalized Medicine May Be Good for Patients but Bad for Drug Companies' Bottom Line - Medicine’s new mantra is “the right drug for the right patient at the right time.” In other words, medical treatments are gradually shifting from a “one size fits all” approach to a more personalized one, so that patients can be matched to the best therapy based on their genetic makeup and other predictive factors. This enables doctors to avoid prescribing a medication that is unlikely to be effective or that might cause serious side effects in certain patients. Personalized drug therapy in its most sophisticated form uses biological indicators, or “biomarkers” – such as variants of DNA sequences, the levels of certain enzymes, or the presence or absence of drug receptors – as an indicator of how patients should be treated and to estimate the likelihood that the intervention will be effective or elicit dangerous side effects. The concept is not new: It has been known for decades, for example, that children lacking the entire gene for human growth hormone will . . . [more]
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Sam Grobart, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re: Is Apple doomed? As the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are about to go on sale, Bloomberg Businessweek senior correspondent Sam Grobart sat down for exclusive interviews with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Head of Design Jony Ive, and Software Chief Craig Federighi, to discuss the future of the once untouchable Apple as it faces cries that innovation at Apple is dead, and unprecedented competition from Android, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and no-name Chinese brands. While the three execs acknowledge the criticism and their stock price dip, they argue they have never been more certain that Apple is on the right course.
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Matthew Boyle, Bloomberg, in re: Aging Boomers Befuddle Marketers Aching for $15 Trillion Prize - Six years ago, the University of Cincinnati unveiled what it called an “unusual consortium” between its students, faculty and corporations, including Procter & Gamble Co., the consumer-product giant headquartered nearby. The group’s goal: to research and develop product ideas for consumers age 50 and over. “The world has never before seen such a powerful market,” with about $3 trillion to spend in the U.S. alone, the school said then. The segment’s needs were “underserved,” requiring a shake-up of models to find the “sweet spot” between those needs and what was feasible to produce. They’re still searching. “This consumer segment is one of the more difficult ones to open up in terms of needs and wants,” said Matthew Doyle, 57, a 30-year P&G veteran who led the teams that invented Crest Whitestrips and now serves as vice president of the innovation lab, dubbed the Live Well Collaborative. “No one was designing products just for them.” P&G and a dozen corporate partners like . . . [more]
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Daniel Henninger, WSJ, in re: ObamaCare. Memo urgently sent to all Hill staffers today: "Don't sign up for the ACA yet. We're trying to get your expenses subsidized by a different entity."
What the GOP's Defund-ObamaCare Caucus is failing to see is that ObamaCare is no longer just ObamaCare. It is about something that is beyond the reach of a congressional vote. As its Oct. 1 implementation date arrives, ObamaCare is the biggest bet that American liberalism has made in 80 years on its foundational beliefs. This thing called "ObamaCare" carries on its back all the justifications, hopes and dreams of the entitlement state. The chance is at hand to let its political underpinnings collapse, perhaps permanently. If ObamaCare fails, or seriously falters, the entitlement state will suffer a historic loss of credibility with the American people. It will finally be vulnerable to challenge and fundamental change. But no mere congressional vote can achieve that. Only the American people can kill ObamaCare. No matter what Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies do, ObamaCare won't die. It would return another day in some other incarnation. The Democrats would argue, rightly, that the ideas inside ObamaCare weren't defeated. What the Democrats would lose is a vote in Congress, nothing more. A political idea, once it becomes a national program, achieves legitimacy with the public. Over time, that legitimacy deepens. So it has been with the idea of . . . [more]
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Javier C Hernandez, NYT, in re: A Mayoral Hopeful Now, de Blasio Was Once a Young Leftist As a fresh-faced activist, Bill de Blasio was influenced by a socialist movement in Nicaragua that strengthened his view that government should protect and enhance the lives of the poor.
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Alex Wayne, Bloomberg, in re: Obama’s $3,000 Health-Law Premiums Test Limits of Affordability. Health insurance under Obamacare will cost individuals at least $2,988 a year on average, a price that Republican opponents may target as out-of-reach for many Americans who don’t qualify for U.S. subsidies. While the $249 monthly payment is intended to be discounted through tax credits, less than half of people now buying insurance on their own may get that help. The release of the data by the Obama administration comes just six days before the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges open for enrollment, and a day after Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, took the floor of the U.S. Senate to oppose the law. The affordability of the overhaul has polarized debate since the . . . [more]
Online Health Exchanges for Small Businesses Hit Snag Delay Affects Online Applications for Coverage - The Obama administration acknowledged for the first time Thursday that a technological problem is forcing it to delay part of the rollout of the new health-care law, saying insurance exchanges won't be ready to accept online applications from small businesses when the program launches Tuesday. With less than five days left to debug the sprawling new computer system, there are other signs of trouble: People close to the situation are also skeptical the online marketplaces for individual customers will be fully ready. The administration said it was confident they would open on time. Two million people are expected to be covered by the small-business plans in the coming year. The bigger concern is the readiness of the individual exchanges, where seven million people are expected to gain coverage through 2014. The small-business exchanges will be open to businesses with 50 or fewer workers the first year. The administration said that . . . [more]
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation by Oliver Bullough (1 of 4)
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation by Oliver Bullough (2 of 4)
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation by Oliver Bullough (3 of 4)
Thursday 26 September 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation by Oliver Bullough (4 of 4)
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Hour 1: Breaking Bad theme. Proposition. Robin Hood.
Hour 2: Persia. Salt. Brothers Grimm. Cinderella Man.