The John Batchelor Show

Monday 17 November 2014

Air Date: 
November 17, 2014

Photo, above: The Cushing Oil Field, also known as the Cushing-Drumright Oil Field, is an oil field in northeastern Oklahoma, part of the Mid-Continent oil province. The 10-mile (16 km) by 3-mile (4.8 km) field includes southeastern Payne County, northwestern Creek County, and northeastern Lincoln County. Named for its primary supply center at Cushing, Oklahoma, the field was developed from 1912, when the discovery well, the Wheeler No. 1 Oil Well came in near Drumright for wildcatter Thomas Baker Slick, Sr.. Peak production was in May 1917 at 310,000 barrels per day, accounting for two thirds of the refinable crude oil production in the western hemisphere during that time, and provided twenty percent of the petroleum sold in the United States in 1915-1916. At the peak, 3,090 wells were producing, making the field the most significant production field in Oklahoma. The Drumright Dome, near Drumright, Oklahoma, was the first area to be exploited, followed by the Shamrock Dome. The field stimulated the construction of up to fifty refineries and ten natural gasoline ("casinghead gasoline") plants in the area. Production declined quickly after 1920, dropping to 6,209 barrels per day in 1955.


Co-host: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, The Great Voice of the Great Lakes.

Hour One

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 1, Block A: Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor, & Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: (1 of 2) Islamic State releases new execution video, purportedly kills American  The Islamic State has released a new execution video highlighting the mass beheadings of Syrian soldiers captured by the group. An Islamic State executioner also claims to have killed Peter Kassig, an American who was kidnapped in Syria late last year.

US airstrike targets al Qaeda in Syria  The US military's airstrikes in Syria show that there is no firm dividing line between al Qaeda's so-called Khorasan Group and the Al Nusrah Front, which is al Qaeda's official branch in the country.    Sinai-based jihadist group rebranded as Islamic State's official arm  A new video has been posted online by jihadists claiming to be the Islamic State's official arm in the Sinai. The Sinai jihadists were formerly part of Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, but are now marketing themselves as the Islamic State's representatives.  Iraqi forces, Iranian-suported militias report success in Baiji  The League of the Righteous, a Shiite militia that is responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq between 2006-2011, helped Iraqi forces take control of Baiji. The US provided air support.  Islamic State leader claims 'caliphate' has expanded in new audio message  The Islamic State has released a new audio message from its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who claims the group has expanded its "caliphate" into Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 1, Block B: Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor, & Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; (2 of 2)

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 1, Block C:   Tom Curry, CQ Roll Call, in re: Keystone XL Pipeline.  Would it ease rail congestion?    Bakken shipper argues that rail, not pipelines, is the future of crude transport.

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 1, Block D:  Gordon Chang,, in re: The country that can't make a car for the U.S. market is about to sell planes for American skies. 

Hour Two

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 2, Block A:  John Fund, National Review Online, & David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Senior Congressional correspondent, in re:  . . . Gruber makes the Supreme Court's job so much easier.   I don’t remember the argument back then being that the American electorate is so stupid.  Immigration: the president is asserting?  rattling his letter-opener, about immigration.  There are voices in his own party saying, don’t do this.    Now it’s 6.5 million people to be given in-effect-legal status.  Problem is that he, himself, said this is illegal.   Sen Lee from Utah said 74% of these who voted in the midterms do not want this.  However, the president said in his press conference that he's paying attention to the two-thirds who did not vote. He marches into the teeth of the bitter winter wind – "forget the rule of law, it’s a rule of men; I'm the top man and eventually people will appreciate me."  This is an interesting vote.  He forgot: Divide your opponents; do not galvanize them. 

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 2, Block B: John Fund, National Review Online, & David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Senior Congressional correspondent, in re: Last time, the shutdown was a disaster; and this time the GOP won. so you'll see a response to whatever Executive action is [proffered].  Mr Boehner is said to be confident and relaxed, will stay for the full two years.  He's learned to listen and steer rather than direct and push.   House Republicans are disciplined and untied: the resident continues to wave red flags in front of them.  Ted Cruz is running for president, is becoming more ecumenical. The biggest gift to the GOP is [Pelosi and Reid].  Pelosi paid no penalty for the elections – hunh?  Nobody wants to step up and take the leadership.  Pelosi and Reid still have a large degree of loyalty – it’s the president who's being blamed.  The president is more than removed from them – Reid and Obama don’t just dislike each other, they loathe each other.  On immigration: I think most Congressional Dems don’t want the president to back off; that his plan will help the 2016 presidential nominee's chances and their own.  Is it too much to hope that the GOP will do the right thing?  No – esp if the Democrats keep doing the wrong thing first. 

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 2, Block C:  Lee Smith, Weekly Standard, The Tablet & Hudson Institute, in re: Caving to Iran  It's not clear when (or whether) the Obama White House will conclude a final agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. The extended deadline for the interim deal known as the Joint Plan of Action is set to expire November 24. And the president very much wants a deal that would cement his foreign policy legacy. On the other hand, there are still gaps on key issues, like how many centrifuges Iran gets to keep. But here’s the heart of the matter: The White House has caved on so much already that whether or not a final agreement is reached at the end of the month, American interests have already been damaged by the administration’s pliant dealings with a state sponsor of terror. Its record on Iran—not only during nuclear negotiations, but also in its larger regional policy—is nothing but a chronicle of concessions to the Islamic Republic.

It’s instructive to recall that very early in his presidency Obama promised that the military option was still on the table, if all else failed to stop the Iranians from building a bomb. The concern, as White House officials warned back then, was that strikes—American or Israeli—on Iranian nuclear facilities might cause Tehran to retaliate against American -targets in the region, especially U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never mind that the Iranian regime was already responsible for thousands of American deaths, and tens of thousands of wounded, in those two theaters. What’s telling is that the White House saw the U.S. military not as the guardian of American interests, the best friend of American allies, and the dread enemy of American adversaries, but as potential hostages.  . . .

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 2, Block D: Robert Graboyes, Mercatus Center; in re: Robert on CSPAN's Washington Journal discussing healthcare reform.   Prof Gruber of MIT mocking the American public for having accepted Obamacare.  The year 1910: the govt stepped in and unhorsed most medical programs in the country. "Fortress" – the world view to imagine every terrible thing that can happen and protect us from them; ans see that mfrs, insurers are protected from competition. "Frontier" is the opposite.  The Flexner Report began a process of homogenization . . . demonized for-profit medical schools, declared that doctors must be social instruments.  Wiped out most of the African-American medical schools.  . . .  The [mess] around ebola for the first months.  We have data overload trying to go through a central hub.  We have little data on the insurance markets of the last he=year – it’s dribbled out to suit HHS. We know less now than we knew a few years ago.  All they s=cite is Gallup Surveys – but the govt could ask insurers to "drop us a note tomorrow and give us the numbers" – but the govt chooses not to.  I've had trouble with Gruber for years and written about him. The videos suggest that the [discrepancies} were not accidental. 

Key points to know about open enrollment:

1) The public has no clue as to what to expect. Insurers were sworn to secrecy as to how well testing went. Furthermore, a functional consumer interface does not necessarily mean that the back end--the part where insurers receive purchase orders and payments--is functioning.

2) For the last year, the federal government has failed to provide meaningful data on insurance enrollment--including the most basic data on how many people have insurance coverage.

3) The enrollment period should have been two months long, but the start date was pushed from October till November 15. Millions of people (and the exchanges and insurers) effectively have until December 15 to complete the process. Otherwise unknown numbers of people could wind up with no insurance coverage in January.

4) The process places difficult to impossible demands on Americans to predict their incomes for 2015. Someone who misjudges their income could receive thousands of dollars in subsidies and then find the federal government demanding that they give it back early in 2016. That unpleasant event will happen to some people in early 2015, when they file their 2014 taxes.

5) The cost of insurance will rise, but is being held down artificially by enormous federal government subsidies. Those subsidies end in 2017, meaning that will be the year when premiums are likely to explode.

Hour Three

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Iran. ISIS. Netanyahu.  Will the deal between Pres Obama and the ayatollahs of Iran be acceptable to the people of the US? of Israel?  Expect an extension. Looks like not a particularly good deal. German Foreign Minister said there'll be a "responsible" deal.  Oops – a major shift.  The Iranian economy was down 25% last year, is now way up despite the drop in oil price.  Lot of talk of "criminal nuclear activity" by German prosecutors.  Iran intends to invade its frozen sovereign fund.   Supreme Leader regularly speaks of obliterating Israel, but begins with the Crusaders (the West), whereas ISIS starts with the Saudis, then the Houthis, then Israel third. Execution of an American army veteran doing charity work in Syria. The growth of the Islamist movement is a cause for real concern.     Baghdadi congratulates the growing movements.   VP Biden goes to Turkey again; hard to understand why.   ISIS has infiltrated movements all over the Arab world – that 's why it’s IS, not ISIS.  Israeli govt and elections: Could be a reshuffling of the deck. Bibi's party is the largest; Bennett is second; the others are smaller. You never can tell – an election in six months is a lifetime in politics. 

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 3, Block B:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Philae spotted before and after first bounce  A close review of a series of Rosetta images has identified Philae’s first landing site, as well as the spacecraft itself as it approached and bounced away.  The second link is especially amazing, as it includes a gif animation of the landing site, showing the before situation, the puff of dust just after impact, and then Philae drifting away with its shadow hitting the surface of the comet.

Philae has gone to sleep  Despite several attempts to reposition the lander to get more sunlight to its solar panels, Philae went into hibernation on Saturday.  There is still a chance the lander will come back awake, but right now the Rosetta science team considers its mission complete. Meanwhile, Rosetta will continue its flight with Comet 67P/C-G, tracking it closely for the next year as it makes its next close approach to the sun.

Russia's pulling out of ISS in 2020  Another news story from Russia has confirmed that the Russian government intends to break off its partnership at ISS in 2020, and that it will instead start assembling its owns space station in 2017 and will use some modules now docked with ISS to do it.  This event was always possible, and one of the many reasons I always opposed Bill Clinton’s decision to form the ISS partnership. The partnership acted as a crutch for NASA and the U.S, allowing us to avoid spending the money to build a self-sufficient space station. When the Russians leave in 2020 ISS will lack some crucial facilities that it now depends on, and will require some fast scrambling and additions to the station by NASA to keep it going at that point.

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 3, Block C:  Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Wall Street Journal, in re:

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 3, Block D: John Bolton, AEI & NY Post, in re: Iran’s nukes: Too desperate for a deal  The levels of diplomatic activity, fear and even desperation regarding Iran’s steadily advancing nuclear-weapons program are rising rapidly in the White House. The same is true for Israel and America’s Arab allies in the region, but for very different reasons. Israel and friendly Arab states worry that the religious fanatics and militarists ruling Tehran will achieve their long-sought goal of possessing deliverable nuclear weapons.

President Obama worries that his endless concessions to and compromises with these same fanatics and militarists will fail to produce a piece of paper he can call a diplomatic success. With the Nov. 9-10 talks in Oman apparently producing no breakthroughs, it’s looking likely that the looming Nov. 24 negotiating “deadline” will simply be extended — though Iran may even force Obama to offer further sanctions relief before it will consent to another extension.

Tehran has Obama exactly where it wants him. The past year’s intense “P5 + 1” negotiations (culminating a dozen years of such diplomacy) have seen the Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany make one concession after another. This is not speculation: The White House has . . .

Hour Four

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 4, Block A: The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade, by Philip Jenkins  (1 of 4)

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 4, Block B: The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade, by Philip Jenkins  (2 of 4)

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 4, Block C: The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade, by Philip Jenkins  (3 of 4)

Monday  17 November  2014  / Hour 4, Block D: The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade, by Philip Jenkins  (4 of 4)

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