The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Air Date: 
October 01, 2013

Photo, above: FDR home, Hyde Park, New York. See Hour 4, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown.  


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

Hour One

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block A:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent, in re:  Eleanor Holmes Norton bill; need a clean CR. Even Joe Manchin (D) didn't even vote for the delay of the individual mandate. Neither did many of the others. This battle of the budget will bleed into the battle over the debt ceiling.  Let the Members who want to, have their battle and get it over with; otherwise, the party will be riven.  They’ll have to fight this out at least for the week.

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Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) gave an impassioned speech Tuesday on how the government shutdown putting her "in an impossible position."  "Don't dare compare us to your appropriations," Holmes Norton said, saying the situation is "breaking my heart."

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:    Sudeep Reddy, WSJ, in re: Washington Standoff Threatens Recovery As Business and Consumer Confidence Drops, Economists Warn of a Cloudy Outlook.  Washington's budget standoff is spooking businesses and consumers, threatening the recovery even if lawmakers avoid a government shutdown or a potentially catastrophic default on the nation's debt.  The fights have pushed up measures of uncertainty and knocked down gauges of confidence. One barometer of risk tied to U.S. government debt has surged. Despite few signs of distress in the stock market, economists warn that months of rolling brinkmanship will cloud the outlook even without a government default." American businesses have this mentality where no one wants to make a decision because you have no idea what's lurking around the corner," said Jeremy Flack, president of Flack Steel, a Cleveland steel distributor. "Government needs to make us feel more solid about the state of affairs, and they're doing the exact opposite."  The congressional deadlock comes as . . .   [more]

We'll never default on the interest on the debt, about abt one-third of the budget will not be financed. Wd send all the wrong signals to domestic and intl financial mkts.  Each yr 32% of the budget can’t be made without increasing the debt limit.  . . . In 2011, where they resolved this fight, the Dow Jones dropped 16% over a month; now cd be worse: we had some improvement in that earlier summer, but today it’s thought that the mkt has [suffered] from Fed easing.  So much leverage & anxiety in the mkt – one spark cd lead to a big slide.   Jerome Powell (Brookings; Treasury) showed how far you default if you default on your obligations – I had literally to read the numbers to Eric Cantor. 

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Joseph Rago, WSJ editorial board & Pulitzer Prizewinner, in re: Health Law: What's Delayed and What Isn't  . . .  benefit shock: forget abt seeing a high-end specialist; not so much ObamaCare as Obamacaid.  . . .  Kaiser Permanente; Blue Cross-Blue Shield:  only a few insurers decided it was a good deal for them to participate, thereby having a mechanism supposed to increase competition leading to less. One provider in New Hampshire, and only ten out of 26 hospitals usable.   We're on the road to a govt-run health system; they’ve even pulled out of Connecticut  -  like L L Bean leaving Maine. 

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Edward Lazear, Hoover & Stanford Bz School, in re: No Tapering Soon if the Fed Looks at Labor   A 6.5% unemployment target isn't the only concern. The employment rate matters too, and it's still looking anemic.  . . . . What alarms people are the uncertainty, the confusion.  What wd the shutdown  =cost us in GDP? Infinitesimal (2o bps every few weeks); it’s the spillover – postal svc, Customs, et al., are what could become large. Jack Lew today said, "I've run out of tricks."  The taper: Fed needs to look at labor before tapering: difference between employment (flat) and unemployment rates

Hour Two

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  Avik Roy, Manhattan Institute, in re: The Corner: Putting Obamacare's Launch in Perspective     We already spend $1.5 trillion per annum on govt health care – ours is not an ideal, perfect, free-mkt system.  That's ore than most European nations spend in toto on health care; it’s broken, which is the real driver of this govt effort.  Obamacare took into account the exisence of Medicare and Medicaid; uses $716 mil over he next few years, and expands using Medicaid because it's the cheapest way to cover. For hte slightly higher income bracket, Obamacare creates exchanges, a la Romney.  Hillarycare failed in the Clinton era because they were up-front about their intention to bankrupt the insurance and pharmaceutical firms, who fought back bloodily. Obama said, "We'll include the big, rich companies."   When most people shop for airline tickets, they don’t care abt food, movie, airport; just want the low price. Similar to health insurance: want cheapest.  OK, that's voluntary Obamacare does that in every area of insurance except network of doctors and hospitals.

The Times Falsely Claims that Obamacare Cuts N.Y. Health Premiums by 50 Percent   In an enthusiastic front-page story in today’s New York Times, Roni Caryn Rabin and Reed Abelson claim that, as a result of Obamacare, health insurance premiums for individuals shopping on their own for coverage will be “at least 50 percent lower on average than those currently available in New York” because “individuals in New York City who now pay $1,000 a month or more for coverage will be able to shop for health insurance for as little as $308 monthly.” See, Obamacare works!  Sounds great, except for a couple of points:

- New York has one of the costliest and least functional individual-insurance markets in the nation, because many of the regulations that Obamacare imposes nationwide are already present in New York, on steroids. Hence, New York’s market is far from typical.

- In 2010, average per-person monthly premiums in the New York individual market were not “$1,000 or more,” but $357. Even less expensive plans can be found today on   . . .

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  John Loftus, Esq, Intelligence Summit, author; in re: Valerie Plame's new book, a real spy novel written by a real NOC (nonofficial cover) – Blowback.  Plame was a financial analyst overseas, mother of twins, was outed as a CIA NOC by the Bush Administration in retaliation for an article her husband put in the NY Times.  (Husband: Niger, yellowcake, mfrg for Saddam Hussain.) Blowback: a young woman, very much not a bimbo, courageous, who helps break the old notions of what women spies are like. Villain: Bhut, an intl arms dealer, who's trying to supply Iran with eqpt to mfr nuclear weapons, uses Chechens to try to kill her.  Note: abt 1% of CIA recruits are NOCs, have no real protection from the govt.  The best of the best. Out there all alone in fighting the war on terror.  Valerie Plame was one of the best in the world at her craft; the wounds have not entirely healed. 

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg, in re: ACA. Markets Debut as Early Hurdles May Slow Signups – The show will go on, even with a government shutdown, as the Obama administration seeks to fulfill the Affordable Care Act’s promise of medical coverage for most of the nation’s 48 million uninsured. The budget fight may actually help by diverting attention away from the rollout, said Sanjay Singh, chief executive officer of hCentive Inc., a Reston, Virginia-based software company working on the exchanges.  [more

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center at George Mason, in re: Despite the myriad budget battles brewing in Washington, lawmakers appear to have lost focus on the greatest budgetary challenge facing the nation: the looming crisis of unsustainable spending and debt. According to economist Veronique de Rugy, Washington must take real steps to show they are serious about cutting spending. Lawmakers have largely dropped the ball on the federal spending fight. In fact, last week’s House-CR would increase spending by $21 billion over current law.

- The new proposal from House Republicans for negotiating a debt-limit increase does not contain enough substantive spending reforms to put us back on a sustainable fiscal path.

- The most basic requirements for legislators in the upcoming debt-limit negotiations are:

-  Maintain the full sequester.

- Include real entitlement reforms, because entitlement spending growth is the key driver of future debt; begin these reforms immediately to show credibility.

- Apply savings from the entitlement reforms to slow the growth of entitlement spending—not to get out of sequester cuts.

Hour Three

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:   Jim McTague, Barron's Washington, in re: . . .  the president thinks he's the embodiment of a Steve Jobs type, which is why this administration compares its healthcare exchange scheme launch to an Apple lunch – at which everyone n Silicon Valley chortled.  Enter Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: the ACA website in California was one of the many that didn’t work today. The shutdown today hit the whole country; in California, Alcatraz, a major natl park, was shut down to tours,  as was the Golden Gate Natl Park; about 12,000 all together in California, incl Yosemite.   This will be a protracted shutdown.

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Michael J Totten, World Affairs & author, The Road to Fatima Gate, in re: Mission Impossible in Syria  OPNC – Organization for the Prevention of Nuclear Weapons – team in Damascus to neutralize Syria's chem weapons store.  Chem weapons arsenal in Oregon: it took eight years to destroy by incineration 4,000 tons of VX, sarin, and mustard gas. Seems to have gone smoothly. Note that eastern Oregon is as tranquil a place as can be found anywhere; not much like Syria during a civil war.  Tested an air raid siren once a week on the same day at the same time against possible activation in the event of an earthquake, which would have been dangerous.  What's going on in Syria now is just theater.  Nothing much shd be expected to happen.   They can conclude that the UN will never stop him, and his victims can assume that the UN will never save them.  Assad's likelihood of not being outed is now greater than before.  Erdogan is deeply opposed to Assad, but the Turkish people want no involvement.

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:   Robert Zimmerman,, in re: SpaceX, Orbital Sciences. Elon Musk.  US now has two companies that can send an unmanned vehicle to the ISS; for forty years, only Russia could do that. 

Two docs: the summary, from the IPCC, is overtly political, says that we're 90% confident that humans cause global warming. However, the Working Group paper, published by scientists, says they have no data from which to express strong confidence in anything. The climate stopped warming 15 years ago; stalled; now cooler in some places. None of the IPCC models successfully predicted that.  In fact, plug the models in to 1900 and they still don’t predict what we already know occurred. Climatologists on the models: AR4 = previous assessment.  The writing of this is in most part incomprehensible – massive fog factor, gobblydegook, jargon, weird words – which usually means they’re faking it. Meaning: "We don’t know."  Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is happening, is not by itself enough to create warming.  It may react with other greenhouse gasses, e.g., water, to warm. However, that doesn’t check out with data, either.  Cool in the 1930s, then warmed, then in the 1980s and 90s changed again.  The carbon dioxide is a stake in the heart of the global warming theory. Little Ice Age – Sun was very active, now is in a period of inactivity. 


Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: John Tamny, Forbes opinion, in re:

Hour Four

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics [Kindle Edition]  Daniel James Brown  (1 of 4)

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics [Kindle Edition]  Daniel James Brown  (2 of 4)

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics [Kindle Edition]  Daniel James Brown  (3 of 4)

Tuesday  1 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics [Kindle Edition]  Daniel James Brown  (4 of 4)

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Hour 1: Captain Phillips 

Hour 2: 13 Days. Madagascar. Snow White & the Huntsman.

Hour 3: Snow White & the Huntsman. Empire: Total War. Starship Troopers. Ides of March.

Hour 4: Downton Abbey.