Tuesday 6 August 2013
Photo, above: Curiosity rover a year later. This is a self-portrait mosaic made from brand new images taken by the MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager), the high-resolution camera located on the turret at the end of MSL’s robotic arm. The arm was moved for each of the 55 images in this mosaic, so the arm doesn’t show up in the mosaic. This montage was put together by Stuart Atkinson; he notes that these images are merely the low-res thumbnail images that have just been sent to Earth, and ask, “Imagine what the hi-res version will look like!”
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-host: Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC; and Cumulus Media radio
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Larry Kudlow, in re: Congress's ObamaCare Exemption. The FEC, Rule 61; sharing confidential tax information; Lois Lerner may have violated this. "She shovelled information over there – that's illegal and criminal; $250,000 fine and years in jail." FBI pursuing a criminal investigation. Other names to surface: William Wilkins, general counsel of IRS. He'll be ne next guy they bring before the committee. Democrats are now bucking up against the FBI in a criminal investigation. Benghazi: attack was "al- Qaeda-inspired," launched on the ambassador's residence, then on a CIA annex where CI was arming, raining, shipping fighters to Syria. CIA is now polygraphing CI officers routinely [twice a week?] to intimidate them into not speaking or testifying. In fact, there was a flock of CI agents.
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Bill Whalen, Hoover Institution, Advancing a Free Society, in re: Campaign 2014: Life on Wisteria Lane
Alison Lundergan Grimes, Secretary of State of Kentucky; an American attorney and Democratic politician who's the Secretary of State of Kentucky, having defeated the incumbent, Elaine Walker, in the May 17, 2011, primary election
Shelley Moore Capito, daughter of past governor, Arch Moore, will probably win in West Virginia.
Corey Booker. Mark Pryor; Tom Cotton. Republican Rep. Tom Cotton announces bid to challenge Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.
Will Chris Christie in 2014 be the Chris Christie of 2013?
Neel Kashkari, California: went west to work in PIMCO; now is aiming to be elected governor. Needs to get money from Republicans and also look broad-spectrum to the electorate.
The Republican National Committee chairman says he’ll try to block presidential primary debate partnerships with NBC and CNN if the television networks don’t cancel planned Hillary Clinton documentaries. CNN Films is planning a feature-length documentary about Clinton and NBC Entertainment has a mini-series in the works ahead of a potential 2016 White House Democratic primary bid by the former U.S. secretary of state and first lady. “As an American company, you have every right to air programming of your choice,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a letter dated today to NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt. “But as American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded at your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election.” If the broadcasts aren’t canceled, Priebus said he’ll seek a vote at an RNC gathering later this month in Boston that would call for the party to neither partner with nor sanction presidential primary debates affiliated with the networks.
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: John H. Cochrane, Wall Street Journal, in re: E-Verify would be ultimate achievement in government intrusion. “E-Verify is the real monster. If this part of the bill passes, all employers will be forced to use the government-run, Web-based system that checks potential employees’ immigration status. That means that every American will have to obtain the federal government’s prior approval in order to earn a living. E-Verify might seem harmless now, but missions always creep and bureaucracies expand.” If you apply for a job you have to get permission of the federal bureaucracy to apply. What could go wrong? If we put in e-verify, let's recognize possible dangers and put in iron-clad safeguards so people an inch too far left or right can’t be censored. With this mechanism, the feds know every time you apply for a job and will be able to deny your being hired. Will determine our ability to work by vast data-mining.
The Federal reserve is doing what it can; our problem isn't a lack of money in the economy – it’s sand in the gears, vast overregulation – the Fed can’t do anything about this. Employment-to-population ratio is what counts – took a nosedive a few years ago; we're stuck in Groundhog Day and it's snowing. We're like Spain: a few people well employed, many others doing a little contract work here, a little there. Sand in the gears: Dodd-Frank, hyperregulation, people stuck in disability, social programs – NLRB, EPA, the alphabet soup. More Solyndras – that's what we need! Infrastructure: we'll pave the entire nation over with trains to nowhere.
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Larry Kudlow, in re: On Oct 1 you're to go to websites to sign in for ObamaCare so all govt agencies can check your data. Testing program was supposed to start in June – wasn't half-ready and couldn’t. Trying again next week. If that fails, then all your data will not be secure. In that case, the relevant fed ofcr wouldn’t be able to validate it till 30 Sept – the day before ObamaCare is supposed to kick in. Under legislation, the CMS CIO is permitted to validate the site even when he knows it isn't secure. Your Social Security number, your personal history, everything, is supposed to be there. They’re trying to fly an airplane and they haven’t put the engine in. The bulk of what they want is young, healthy people who'll get the least out of the system and pay the most, to subsidize the older, sicker people. Young people won’t show up. Sharon Begley on Reuters.
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Eric Trager, Washington Institute, and Sam Tadros, Hudson Institute, in re: Bitterly anti-Ameican sentiment allowed [encouraged] by al-Sisi. Is Egypt's future Qutb or Erdogan? Too early to know. Internal debate among Ikwan (internally), Salafis, and others to know, "Why are we in this predicament?" Military will probably use repressive rule, will delete MB, will maintain their interests (they own 30% of the national economy); the military will not be a smooth ride to democracy.
Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity by Samuel Tadros
Victory or Death: The Muslim Brotherhood in the Trenches by Samuel Tadros / Current Trends in Islamist Ideology
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Eric Trager, Washington Institute, and Sam Tadros, Hudson Institute, in re: Egypt is living hand to mouth – intermittent checks coming in from the Gulf, Central Bank has gravely deteriorated, tourists avoiding Egypt. The rmy maintains a state within a state – has its own stores. Can it survive? The military lent Egypt $1bil as lender of last resort. Heading toward calamity. Who can come forward with a sensible economic plant? The mil won’t allow govt to make reforms – wd be painful; remove subsidies on gas and food – which would lead to much unpopularity. Sinai: the disaster began under Mubarak, has much further deteriorated. At present, a spike in jihadist attacks; they're currently in a war vs the Egyptian military in Sinai, but the military is weak and not much trained. Egyptian domestic security: police not professional, have been merely repressive, will be used for putting down Ikhwan protests. Al Sisi is being idolized as was Nasser; he looks as though he'll run for president. Much worse ahead.
Hoover Institution Press today released Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity by Samuel Tadros. In this book, Tadros ties the story of the Copts to that of their motherland, Egypt. In providing a clear understanding of who the Copts are, including their long history, he sheds light on how the Coptic community’s struggle to modernize is inevitably intertwined with Egypt’s quest for modernity. In Egypt’s ongoing struggle to reconcile the Islamic faith with modern ideas and practices, Tadros explains that the Copts have been secluded from the public sphere even under Egypt’s most liberal order. The hopes unleashed by the fall of the Mubarak regime have come to naught as the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power posed a colossal challenge to Copts. Now with the fall of President Morsi, Egypt’s Copts continue to face enormous challenges because they are being held responsible by the Islamists for their fall from power. “Samuel Tadros has written an essential history of an important subject,” writes Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal. “In crisp prose and with an eye for the interesting detail, he . . . [more]
Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity by Samuel Tadros. In this book, Tadros ties the story of the Copts to that of their motherland, Egypt. In providing a clear understanding of who the Copts are, including their long history, he sheds light on how the Coptic community’s struggle to modernize is inevitably intertwined with Egypt’s quest for modernity. In Egypt’s ongoing struggle to reconcile the Islamic faith with modern ideas and practices, Tadros explains that the Copts have been secluded from the public sphere even under Egypt’s most liberal order. The hopes unleashed by the fall of the Mubarak regime have come to naught as the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power posed a colossal challenge to Copts. Now with the fall of President Morsi, Egypt’s Copts continue to face enormous challenges because they are being held responsible by the Islamists for their fall from power. “Samuel Tadros has written an essential history of an important subject,” writes Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal. “In crisp prose and with an eye for the interesting detail, he . . . [more]
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Arif Rafiq, Middle East Institute and Vizier Consulting, in re: Karachi's secular militant challenge Sept 12010, in London, Dr Imran Farouk walking home, is murdered by three men wielding a kitchen knife and bricks. Looks as though members of his own party killed him; he'd discussed forming a new party, and two of his colleagues were also killed. Perhaps ordered from the top. Main suspects (many now based in Pakistan, being held, dunno if they'll be extradited;): head of MQM, Altaf Hussain. Wonder if the party will fight it out in the street, leading to chaos. Imran Khan (center-right, nationalist; wants to challenge the establishment in Islamabad and Karachi; MQM is afraid of him). Multiparty overlap in a confusing puzzle; hard for Washington policy-makers to grasp what's going on. Altaf Hussain resembles criminal enterprise – like Chicago in its heyday – politics, social movement, political parties, criminal networks, militant factions: gangs in organized violence and targeted killings. Also: Pakistani Taliban is now a threat to everyone. Islamabad has lost control of Karachi. The British Foreign Office has been moving carefully to try to help stabilize.
Will Karachi Crumble? In Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, militancy is not exclusive to the religious. It also has a secular, beardless face in the form of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), an ethnic-nationalist and militant political party directed by its London-based leader, Altaf Hussain. A number of Scotland Yard investigations—including one implicating London-based MQM officials in the murder of a fellow party member—could cause a crisis of leadership in the party and result in greater instability back home in Karachi. Furthermore, the cases surrounding the MQM raise some important questions about the morality and strategic utility of Britain’s relationship with a Pakistani politician who incites violence back home from London.
A Party Born Amid Ethnic Tumult Now Karachi’s most powerful political party, the MQM emerged in the late 1970s as an advocate for the city’s middle class, Urdu-speaking muhajirs—Muslims who migrated to Pakistan from India after the 1947 partition. The MQM fed off of a growing muhajir sense of precariousness as other communities in the multiethnic city began to assert themselves economically and politically, as well as through militancy. The party itself would become both a victim and purveyor of violence. By the early 1990s, it . . . [more]
Altaf Hussain, the notorious MQM leader who swapped Pakistan for London Altaf Hussain lives in London but leads Pakistan's powerful, controversial MQM party, which has millions of supporters. He has also been accused of inciting murder and violence in his home country.
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Amity Shlaes, director, Four Percent Growth Project at G W Bush Center, in re: Bush Institute Economic Debate Center. Student debates in Vermont at the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation. Let the Debates Begin - on protectionism. The winners will get a trip to Dallas for finals. The George W. Bush Institute's 2013 high school economic debate program kicked off on Friday with a regional qualifying debate tournament at the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. More than 100 high school debate students, who are in New England this summer participating in the "Debate Institutes at Dartmouth," are debating the topics of protectionism, trade and economic growth.
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: Light-Rail to Nowhere: Honolulu, Hawaii's Train Boondoggle
- Casey Jones Bliss on BART strike ending?
- Officer Bliss on Hastings crash video
-Ace Reporter Bliss on Filner rehab?
- Kochs buy LA Times (after Bezos ate WaPo)?
- KVTU fallout on Asiana hate speech?
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: VIDEO REVEALS DECEIT OF IRAN'S PRESIDENT The so-called 'moderate' boasts of buying time to build Iran's nuclear program.
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: The competition heats up: SpaceX has confirmed that it plans to begin vertical take-off and landing tests of a full-scale Falcon 9 first stage. The tests would be in New Mexico’s spaceport, and are essentially a scaled-up version of the Grasshopper tests the company has been doing in Texas. It appears they're going to do these ground-up tests in conjunction with attempts on each future Falcon 9 launch to land the first stage.
NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver is leaving NASA to take a job “in the private sector outside the space industry.” Garver was instrumental in accelerating during the Obama administration the new commercial space program that Mike Griffin began during the Bush administration. What may happen with her gone and Charles Bolden on his own is worrisome. Moreover, one wonders why she's leaving now. She's worked in the private sector in the past, but never when she had the opportunity to influence policy during a Democratic administration. It could simply be that she got an offer she couldn’t refuse; or it could be that she doesn’t like what she sees in NASA, the Obama administration, or Congress, and wants out.
Japan today successfully launched its fourth unmanned cargo freighter to ISS.
The rendezvous and berthing is scheduled for August 9. Besides supplies, the HTV-4 carries more equipment for NASA’s robotic refueling demonstration project on ISS.
Russia has announced that it will resume Proton rocket launches in September. Though they've pinpointed the specific cause of the most recent launch failure, they haven't yet announced any remedial actions. Note also the expected number of launches for the rest of the year, 4 to 5, is down from earlier expectations. Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan, an official in that country’s space program has been arrested for taking bribes.
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast, in re: Ralph Nader Has Truly Lost It
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay by Jess Bravin (1 of 4)
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay by Jess Bravin (2 of 4)
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay by Jess Bravin (3 of 4)
Tuesday 6 August 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay by Jess Bravin (4 of 4)
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Hour 1: Farewell, My Lovely. Mark Twain. Shawshank Redemption. A Beautiful Mind.
Hour 2: Incepti0n. Mark Twain.
Hour 3: Hotel California.