Tuesday 10 April 2018
Photo: Business optimism for 2018. See: John Catsimatidis, Hour 1, Block D, below.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-host: Larry Kudlow, chief economic advisor to the president; chairman of the National Council of Economic Advisors
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 1, Block A:. Steve Moore, Heritage Foundation, in re: Australian news is favorable: largest market gain in five weeks because of Xi Jinping’s recent, accommodative speech. What did Reagan say? “Trust but verify.” Aussies depend on China for prosperity these last years. One hopes Xi is ready to negotiate on intellectual property rights. Steve spoke to a steel industry group: a huge steel factory in China has an American logo as though it was US-owned – but it’s not; it's merely theft of logo. Bob Kerr, former PM, on the speech: “A knockout speech and a victory to Trump” — for Australia, too. May be premature to claim victory, but if they have verifiable results . . . China may eliminate tariffs on US automobiles?
We think the US economy can grow at a sustained rate at 3%. That’ll bring the deficit down.
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 1, Block B: Debra Saunders, Las Vegas Review Journal Washington correspondent; in re: Prison reform, long overdue, esp at fed level because of 20th C drug mandates that no longer function usefully. Jared Kushner: His relation w prison reform is personal because his dad was sentenced to 2 yrs for tax evasion, et al. It was a painful experience for him.
Federal mandatory minimums have amazingly long sentences – sometimes life without parole for a small, first-time drug arrest.
Right on Crime group. Urgently need changes in the law. Kushner wants reform, cannot obtain because Jeff Sessions opposes – but has made a deal: won't deal with sentencing but will have treatment programs. Very difficult politically to get changes in the law. Meanwhile, the proposed programs cost money. Can we afford? Well, it costs money to incarcerate people when they revert to old behaviors. If released prisoners can get jobs, that’ll solve a lot of problems. It’s about not throwing people away – that’s about as American as you can get.
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 1, Block C: John Cochrane, Hoover, in re: Pres Trump has just met the three Baltic presidents, who are aiming at a flat tax. The Australian is reporting Xi’s conciliatory speech on the tariff exchange of these last weeks. The Xi speech acknowledged that the theft of property and IP cannot continue. Pres Trump tweeted: “Very thankful for Pres Xi’s speech . . .” and it’s promising. The flat tax is a wonderful thing. Interesting that small Euro countries can achieve what we so far have not been able to. In the pre-Putin years, Russia adopted a flat tax. If we could burn 100,000 pages of tax codes – replay 1986 on a grand scale – it’d be great. CBO has revised 2018 growth to 3.3%! Will we grow more than 4% for one of the quarters? The winter quarter is always lower than expectations . . . Profits are [burgeoning]. Thomson-Reuters say that profits are at 25%. A crucial way to reduce deficits is to have growth; at the same time, the looming problem is the social programs – just wait till the Baby Boomers retire. There’s a growing awareness that we have a spending problem and need a more modest govt; this is now a topic of conversation in the Trump Adm. Growth – supply side, not fancy stimulus plans. To Larry Kudlow: “I love the idea of a more modest government.” Australia: “Xi’s speech was a knockout and a victory to Trump.” -- Washington was surprised. That, plus Pres Trump’s tweet in response, suggest that the two men can work together. Btw, Europe, Australia, Japan, parts of South America: all agree with us on the matter of [theft] of intellectual property.
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 1, Block D: John Catsimatidis, owner, chairman, & CEO of Gristedes Foods; radio broadcaster; in re: The economy and trade. (John Batchelor is in Cracow, which is filled with building cranes; population 750,000, of whom 250,000 are students. Auschwitz-Birkenau is nearby. This is the March of the Living, in honor of those who perished). Consumer and business optimism in the US is ’way up: we don’t feel that Washington is our enemy any more. My only concern is that we have a new set of regulators – among them, the new Fed chair – believe that interest rates should go up. Yellin did not. When you raise rates too high, can be scared of inflation: it’s no longer a world we understand, esp on the Internet. The word “inflation” is not the same as it was 20 years ago. . . . Pres Trump has to decide: make 44 states happy and reduce their taxes, while making six unhappy — or do nothing? I was on the phone with Sen Schumer today: I emphasized to him that it's time to make a deal before the end of the year, before taxes. New York is growing, except a lot of people are leaving, going to where there’s no tax: Florida is growing at almost 2,000 people a day. The only way to fix New York is for Schumer to sit down with Pres Trump and make a deal. The upcoming election is Nov 4? Maybe by Nov 15 he’ll sit down with the president; not before.
The other 44 states ask: why should we give you [basically, the urban blue states] a special, favorable deal [at our expense]?
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 2, Block A: Michael E Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: here in Cracow (which is filled with building cranes; population 750,000, of whom 250,000 are students. Auschwitz-Birkenau is nearby. This is the March of the Living, in honor of those who perished).
It was the Soviets who got here at the end of World War II. The Soviets were as much redeemers as the US was. Then the crushing of the Poles. Poland is 1,000 years old; the borders today are almost identical to the borders a millennium ago. These borders were given to Poland by Stalin, who created a territorially satisfactory entity at the expense of a completely subjugated nation.
The camps that Hitler created were unspeakable; but the same camps existed in the Soviet Union in plenitude. This tells us that a universal vision offering redemption and liberation to peoples across the word – a kind of kinship, brotherhood – is fragile, very prone to corruption an swift decay. The first such in the modern world was the French revolution – liberté, égalité, fraternité —where Napoleon said all men are brothers. That quickly came undone. Under Lenin, the vision . . . what country stopped the USSR then? Poland! Poles fought tenaciously and beat back the Soviet Union. Trotsky was Jewish, and his vision could appeal to the rest of the world. Stalin was an old-style, orthodox, parochial [character], under him, everything devolved into Russian interests. By 1945 in a landscape dominated by Stalin the USSR was a mockery of everything it pretended to be. Stalin betrayed every single element of universalist brotherhood [advocated] by the USSR.
Note that the US saved Europe and they resented us for it. US endeavored to save the Middle East [and that's not working out well].
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 2, Block B: Michael E Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: . . .Here in Cracow, I see the tragedy of being the redeemer nation. You overstay – such as the Soviets did – or . . . All great universalist [philosophies] usu last only for the generation that does the liberation and the one thereafter. The entire exuberance can last only one or, max, two generations. At some point, the Europeans would say, Why are the Americans acting so stupidly? while Americans say, They don't appreciate us. See: Korea, Japan, China – we participated in liberation and have overstayed. See movie, Darkest Hours, everyone trying to preserve the mythologies of WWII, preserve the emotion, which grows brittle. Need to re-establish in the present. Need some new, galvanizing event everyone can share. Unfortunately, the most effective way to do that is through war – which no one wants.
.. .. ..
America the Redeemer is a wonderful hook for the grand narratives of all universalist movements: Spain in the New World, Napoleon and revolution, then Victorian Brits with their enlightened notions of colonial "tutelage" — then the Soviets, and us. In this list, we come out best (though I still have a soft spot for Napoleon!).
Now we can see the flaws in our two contemporary universalisms. Do really successful national enterprises inevitably get sucked into universalism, even if they are truly parochial, like 16th century Spain? The weird thing about the Third Reich is that its rapid success — followed by rapid failure — forced it into a kind of universalistic mode: unwanted, despised, but embraced finally out of necessity. The Nazi coalition of the willing (and unwilling) included a Bosnian Muslim legion in the SS, plus SS and Wehrmacht units from across Europe — plus a couple million Ukrainians, and even Uzbeks!
A fantastic book, published by Yale: Hitler's Jewish Soldiers. Apparently, nearly half a million half-Jews (according to crazy Nazi racial reckoning), plus full- and quarter-Jews (the South did the same thing with quadroons and octoroons) served in the Wehrmacht. The author, a young Yale US Army officer, now with a Ph.D., interviewed 400 surviving Mischling (a terrible term) Germans who fought for the Nazis. A hell of a read. My point of course is that big ideas for humanity are always driven in the direction of the universal, in search of ultimate legitimacy. Russians, like Germans, really didn't like being universalists. Which made them bad Soviets, and probably determined why they failed so quickly.
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 2, Block C: Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack.com, in re: Starliner: delays have to do with bureaucracy.
. Two investigations blame Northrop Grumman for Zuma failure. Zuma was a supersecret launch put up last fall; put up by Northrop Grumman; SpaceX; didn’t reach orbit. Normal satellite separation eqpt not use, used Northrop’s eqpt, which failed. Or maybe it didn't. Too much secrecy.
. Boeing expands its first manned Starliner test mission. Starliner: delays have to do with bureaucracy.
. First SpaceShipTwo powered flight since accident. Unity spaceship up in the air, fired for 30 seconds, to Mach 2, 85,000 feet, then glided to a landing. Tickets sold for suborbital flights (expensive); been bldg. for a dozen years.
. Another space hotel company enters the market. There are maybe five different companies vying to bld space stations in the next few years. Also the Russians, trying to create a private hotel on ISS. Looking for venture capital. Recall Stanleyville, on the Congo River: in early Nineteen-hundreds, beautiful hotels were built; now they’re overgrown with vines. In a century or more, that’s what’ll happen to these space hotels. Unh, maybe not.
. NOAA claims it is streamlining its space bureaucracy. NOAA claims it has the right to control every photo taken of the Earth from space! Have reduced bureaucratic idiocy from many months down to 90 days.
. China launches 3 military satellites, widens lead in launch standings. Have widened their lead over SpaceX; so far, are achieving their stated goal of 40 launches this year. But note: these are military; spies. Putting up a necklace of spies, similar to what the US has.
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 2, Block D: Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack.com, in re:
. Sunspot update: the sun crashes! We’re ramping down from a solar cycle; usu happens slowly, as it has over 300 years. This one is crashing, almost zero in March, Looks as though we're hitting solar minimum this year, meaning a cycle only [three?] years long. A weak and short cycle – unique. In te 1600s, almost no soar cycles for a century, just as telescopes were being developed In he 1700s, to late to observe the Grand Minimum. Tie a weak cycle to a cold spell on Earth. Now we have a phalanx of high-tech eqpt here.
. Issues with Parker solar probe's thermometers. Almost 4 million mi to the Sun: study it from close up. Problem – have delivered it to launch site, but suddenly questions about the thermometers.
. ESA's Trace Gas Orbiter reaches science orbit. Part of ExoMars, sent to Mars on a Russian rocket, Reached here, functioning properly. Designed too study the planet’s atmosphere, esp trace gasses such as methane. It shouldn’t be there, as it has a short life expectancy, so whatever causes it is putting it there currently.
. A Martian snake of collapsed hills. Cool, interesting, I don't understand it.
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 3, Block A: 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR―Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny, by David Pietrusza
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 3, Block B: 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR―Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny, by David Pietrusza
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 3, Block C: 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR―Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny, by David Pietrusza
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 3, Block D: 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR―Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny, by David Pietrusza
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 4, Block A: Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 4, Block B: Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 4, Block C: Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder
Tuesday 10 April 2018/ Hour 4, Block D: Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder