The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Air Date: 
October 22, 2013

Image above:  see  Hour Two: Oklahoma City, OK, major port of the Frackers. 


Hour One

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block A:  Jim McTague, Barron's Washington, in re:  unemployment: not bad to live in Minneapolis, Dallas, Iowa, you'll probably be OK. Not good: Gary, Indiana. Among the worst: Yuma, Arizona.  Mfrg:  we've reached plus-2,000. What happened to the "I'll create a million new jobs"?   Congress has made tax rates such that it's still cheaper to manufacture overseas.  Dodd Frank + low corporate earnings. Few new start-ups; not much demand.  Jim: I just ordered a major appliance online; order was messed up and I'll never use that site again.  Young, tech-savvy people will react the same way to   Taper-talk: stock market & real estate bubbles from Fred printing money.  Janet Yellin arrives in Jan 2014; what’s her first move?  To call a press conference to say, "OMG, see what Ben Bernanke has left for me!"

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block B:    Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, in re:  complete stonewalling – don’t know how many people have signed up – how, who, what, when why.  When did the administration know about the issues, why did the president repeatedly assure the public everything was going fine, how extensively was the software tested? "Transparency is telling the public who did what and why when things go wrong."    The Spanish-language Obamacare site isn’t working at all.  More fundamentally: the incentives aren’t there for people to buy the product – young and healthy people won’t; modest-income people and many others may prefer to spend their money on education, on whatever they choose.  Try it out: "Extension – not delay, extension."

The administration said Zients would help lead the project, which will also include experts from Silicon Valley, government contractors and scholars working to fix the technical problems that have dogged the launch of the president’s signature healthcare program.  Calling in Zients, who is slated to begin work as the director of the National Economic Council at the end of the year, betrays the concern within the West Wing over the website.  Obama is fond of appointing problem-solvers to fix bureaucratic dysfunction and eliminate red tape within his administration.

Earlier this year, he tapped White House budget official Danny Werfel to head the Internal Revenue Service after the agency admitted to political targeting.  After the General Services Administration was found to have wasted taxpayer dollars at lavish conferences, Obama plucked Dan Tangherlini from the Treasury Department to head the agency.  And the president has dispatched Zients in the past to  . . . 

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Cygnus. NASA now has two different vehicles to take material into orbit; done in less than five  years, for a total of about $3 billion.   . . .  $75,000 to go up twenty miles high and slowly return.  Will be within FAA regs. Regulatory capture!

Want a rocket to launch your satellite into orbit. Orbital Sciences has one.  The article essentially outlines the marketing push Orbital is doing to get additional commercial contracts for its Antares rocket.  The competition heats up: A new company is now offering balloon flights to the edge of space for one third the price of a suborbital flight.   World View passengers will soar to an altitude of about 30 kilometers (about 100,000 feet) — far short of SpaceShipTwo’s intended 110-kilometer (68-mile) high peak. Inside the capsule there will be little sensation of microgravity. Rather, the whole point of the ride is the view. “You can be sitting up there having your beverage of choice watching this extraordinary spectacle of the Earth below you and the blackness of space,” project co-founder and Paragon president Jane Poynter told Discovery News. “It really is very gentle. You can be up at altitude for hours, for days for research if you need to be… I think we have the opportunity to give a really, really incredible experience to people . . ."

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Claudia Rosett, FDD, in re: Nobel Peace Charade Surely the Norwegian Nobel Committee meant well in awarding this year’s Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). But for all the courage of OPCW inspectors now working in Syria, this award is like giving the mob a medal for gun control. Not only is the OPCW ill configured to rid the globe of chemical weapons; in practice it serves as a clubhouse conferring a false stamp of legitimacy on such alleged violators as Russia and Iran.  [more]   /  OPCW  has been the playground of Iran since the beginning.  A country that joins need not submit to an inspection; need only declare its chem. weapons – and if it lies, the OPCW does nothing.  US says that Iran has never declared "Oh, we used to have a chem. weapons program but we closed it long ago." Iran is on OPCW's Budget Committee (US taxpayers pay 22%), and the Confidentiality Committee, and chairs other groups inside.  Great ironies.  Gaddafi rendered up his WMD kit; he did not declare them all – discovered undeclared chem. weapons stockpiles, most of which are still there.  There's an action called a  Challenge where one country can demand an inspection; but that's ever occurred. In other words, the OPCW is a sort of chem-weapons laundry. Btw, Russia also is in violation.  In 2009, an OPCW staff worked at the Melli Chemical Plant in Iran.   OPCW happy to use Iranians as inspectors.

Hour Two

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Gregory Zuckerman, WSJ & author, The Greatest Trade Ever & The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters, in re: hydrofracking (where the jobs are); today's jobs report: Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan and the Whale. Charif Souki, Mezzaluna restaurant; Chesapeake; the Eagle Ford field in Texas.

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Charles Pellegrino, author and explorer, in re: The California Incident, a post-script to Charlie's Titanic Trilogy. Also: StarTram release date is Oct 28.  Wallace Hartley's violin: Titanic violin sells at auction for more than $1.7 million
Los Angeles Times ‎- 23 hours ago 
A violin that was played by a musician on the Titanic as the ship sank in 1912 has been sold at auction for more than $1.7 million, more than . . .  Titanic violin sells for more than $1.6M at auctionTitanic violin fetches record price at auction - The Washington Post
 / Commercial space:   Dream Chaser drop tests to resume.  Cygnus has undocked from ISS. Mission essentially complete and a success. Orbital pushes Antares for commercial sale. A balloon company will fly you into space for a third of SpaceShipTwo.

Science:  Hayabusa 2 test fires its cannon for its 2014-2018 sample return mission. More impact debris from Curiosity's Mars landing discovered and photographed. Extreme weather events for 2013 are at an all time low. A newly discovered 1/2 wide asteroid has a 1 in 63,000 chance of hitting the Earth in 2032.  Note: More people have signed up for a Mars journey than have successfully enrolled in Obamacare.

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Frances Robles, NYT, in re: Suspect Recalls the Short Life of ‘Baby Hope’  Anjélica Castillo liked to ask questions. She was chatty and a little headstrong for a 4-year-old.  She took swipes at her little sister, and so the adult cousins who were supposed to care for the girls sometimes tied Anjélica to a chair. Frustrated, they thought about sending her to Mexico to live with other relatives. They never heard from her parents, who had all but given up Anjélica and her sister. [more]

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Paul Ford, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re: open-source code; Linux.  HEALTHCARE.GOV: FAILURE TO LAUNCH  
The rollout of has been a failure. Due to flawed software, the website was unusable to hundreds of thousands of Americans who wanted to enroll, and despite pledges from Obama administration officials that the “glitches” would be quickly fixed, the list of bugs and problems kept growing. Paul Ford blames the contractor CGI Federal for the debacle, and reports on what went wrong and how open-source surgery should be performed to get it right.  Read the full story…

Hour Three

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block A:   Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, and Francis Rose, Federal News Radio, in re: Looks like the attempt to hide price data on behind a login screen didn’t work out the way some folks had hoped. . . .  ObamaCare price data have been hacked by unknown persons.  Amazing waterfall of secret information.

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, and Francis Rose, Federal News Radio (continued)

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block C: James Taranto 'The Site Was Very Easy to Use'
The Obama administration draws a red line and defies reality to intrude.

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Charles Orenstein, ProPublica,  in re:  Just as the front-end problems with seemed to be getting worked out, even larger problems started popping up last week : namely, the back-end enrollment system that passes information between the government and insurance companies.

ProPublica's Charlie Ornstein notes:

•       Errors are emerging -- ranging from duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, and suspect eligibility determinations -- at more than a dozen health plans. "The flaws could do lasting damage to the law if customers are deterred from signing up or mistakenly believe they have obtained coverage."

•       People can enroll directly with an insurance company if they don't want to use the troubled federal website; however, insurers haven't yet been able to make a key connection with the IT infrastructure for federal exchanges.

•       Republicans, fresh off their loss on the budget and debt ceiling talks, are calling hearings on the exchanges.

Read Ornstein's full post here - He also has a follow-up piece, "A Tale of Two Obamacares," in which critics of  the Affordable Care Act rollout say its tech problems are overwhelming while defenders point to the states where the . . .

Hour Four

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Hunting Che: How a U.S. Special Forces Team Helped Capture the World's Most Famous Revolutionary by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer  (1 of 4)

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Hunting Che: How a U.S. Special Forces Team Helped Capture the World's Most Famous Revolutionary by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer  (2 of 4)

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Hunting Che: How a U.S. Special Forces Team Helped Capture the World's Most Famous Revolutionary by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer  (3 of 4)

Tuesday  22 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Hunting Che: How a U.S. Special Forces Team Helped Capture the World's Most Famous Revolutionary by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer  (4 of 4)

..  ..  ..


Hour 1:  SkyFall. Dream Chasers. Star Trek. Breaking Bad.

Hour 2:  Inception. Battle LA. Taking of Pelham 1,2,3.

Hour 3:  Avatar.  Atonement. Snow White and the Huntsman.

Hour 4:  The Expendibles.