The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Air Date: 
February 05, 2013


Photo, above:  "Greed is not a crime. But the question is: where does greed lead?" said Olafur Hauksson, a special prosecutor in Reykjavik.


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

Hour One

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Dr. Michael J. Boskin  Hoover Institution and Stanford University, in re: Taming Leviathan James  Buchanan: public economist.  The govt will continue to expand and expand until the citizenry draws that to a halt. Now, we've seen a breakdown in the rule of law- EPA, e.g., tries to invent lay and is slapped down by courts;  Federal Reserve has pressed it's authority to extreme limits, probably overreaching now.  WE need constraints, e.g., Constitutional amendment requiring balanced budgets. With Soc Sec & Medicare, complicated.  Congress has slightly tried, but it's more Swiss cheese than solid. Taxes: Jim Buchanan favored very broad base and low rates. Also, to fund Social Security: if we didn't have Social Security, too many people wd show late in life on some other govt program, so while it’s better to save for retirement, not abandon people.

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:   Dr. Michael J. Boskin  Hoover Institution and Stanford University, in re:  Larry was on to something: The best way to read Pres Obama: wants a larger govt, a legitimate view; put in addtl spending as emergency, and now he's trying to protect it. Continuing resolution at previous levels, avoid cuts, and return for more taxes. Stuffing the beast."  Deeply unfortunate. Not only makes the populations cynical abt Washington, but also – Reagan and Tip O'Neill shook hands; not here.   Need Constitutional provisions and enforcement mechanisms.  In a very bad economy and deep recession, maybe short-term benefit – say, mil spending – from govt spending. As soon as the economy is out of crisis the effects of govt spending become overwhelmingly negative.  Budget ceilings and revenue floors.  What we have now is lawlessness where a t least one body, the Senate, refuses to issue a budget. How can the people know where their money will be spent if the Congress won’t even put out a budget?

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Steve Moore, WSJ, in re: Harry Always Wants More - Reid demands another tax increase even as revenues begin to climb. Who runs the Beast? Obama wants to raise taxes as much as he cans because he wants to spend more.   Coming: an energy tax on everybody?  Today's CBO numbers: spending down to 21.6% of GDP in 2015. Do we buy this? [Nuts} – don’t expect this sort of spending restraint; they're fantasy numbers.    ObamaCare and fiscal cliff tax increases.  Claim that if we diminish spending by $85 bil, it'll derail the economy, but if we increase taxes that'll be good.  Keynes: "What drives the economy is spending, not investing."   The whole idea of tax reform was to close loopholes and make it more efficient. Who invented the sequester? Pres Obama.

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  David M Drucker, Roll Call, in re: Obama to Propose 
Short-Term Fix to Avert Sequester   President Barack Obama will call for a short-term fix to avert across-the-board spending cuts Tuesday afternoon, and wants new revenue to be part of the deal, according to a White House official.  Also: House Leaders Weigh U.S. Spending Bill Below $1 TrillionQ2 ; Meat Inspections Face Cuts Without Sequester Deal, Vilsack Says - The U.S. will need to reduce the number of inspections at meatpacking plants unless Congress can avoid threatened across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect in March, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

Hour Two

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  David Feith, assistant features editor of WSJ, in re: charter school myths and facts.  "Charter schools are successful when they start successfully"?   Those that are in good shape in the third year tend to stay healthy. Stanford report:  CMOs and independent Charter schools.  Help parents and policymakers understand different slices of the charter-school world.  Can have three or more schools, sometimes a hundred, in one network. Uneven performance across these schools, but also a problem with the study: doesn’t divide the study up by state; rather, nationally.  Can be misleading because it can vary greatly by state.  Of the schools in the bottom quintile: 80% tend to remain there into the future. Enormously contentious political debate around the issue.  Public money, but nonpublic administration; managed outside district bureaucracy, which can be rid of occasional hidebound, rigid unions. Have to have charters re-authorized every five years.  CREDO study - charter school growth and replications.

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Roy Greene, Boston Globe Education editor, in re: "Harvard students linked to cheating scandal to withdraw." In an apparent disclosure about the Harvard cheating scandal, a top university official said Friday that more than half of the Harvard students investigated by a college board have been ordered to withdraw from the school.  In an e-mail to the Harvard community, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith wrote that more than half of the students who were brought before the university’s Administration Board this fall were required to withdraw from for a period of time.  Of the remaining cases, approximately half the students received disciplinary probation, while the rest of the cases were dismissed. Smith’s e-mail does not explicitly address the cheating scandal that implicated about 125 Harvard students, but a Harvard official confirmed Friday that the cases in the email solely referred to one course.

In August, Harvard disclosed the cheating scandal in a Spring 2012 class. It was widely reported to be “Government 1310: Introduction to Congress.” “Consistent with the Faculty’s rules and our obligations to our students, we do not report individual outcomes of Administrative Board cases, but only report aggregate statistics,” the e-mail said. “In that tradition, the College reports that somewhat more than half of the Administrative Board cases this past fall required a student to withdraw from the College for a period of time. Of the remaining cases, roughly half the students received disciplinary probation, while the balance ended in no disciplinary action.’’

 Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  . Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Feb. 5, AP reported. The two leaders held talks on the situation in Syria and other issues. Ahmadinejad is in Cairo for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit. Iran has pushed to improve ties with Egypt since the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Iran, a government not of law but of men. 

Ahmadinejad Visits Egypt, Signaling Shift  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, above with President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, traveled to Cairo on Tuesday in the first visit there by an Iranian leader since 1979.

Iran Nuclear Talks to Resume This Month, Ahmadinejad’s Ally Arrested as Fight With Political Family Grows   Larijani-Ahmadinejad dispute breaks out on Iranian radio – they’ve had words for years; ; Larijani brothers are unpleasant folk; A. asked to play and audio tape in parliament; Khamenei demands no more public fights.  Fascist prosecutor has been arrested: aggressive move by Larijanis, arrested Ahmadinejad's ally. Ali Akbar Valayati:      .  Whomever the Supreme leader picks behind the scenes will be the new president.  Ahmadinejad parades with he second monkey, goes to Egypt to be embraced by Mursi. He thinks delusionally that he has some public base – which he has not.  He also has a lot of documents to reveal from when he was i the intelligence operation.  Explosion at Fordow changes everyone's calculus - throws them all off base; this was to be the ace they had against the 5+1.    The US VP met, or his cutouts met, with reps of Iran in Germany; will again in Kazakhstan at the end of the month.  21 Jan 2013 Fordow: threatens Iran, and also Washington, because it can’t make a deal with a country whose secret weapons program has just been wrecked.

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Andrew Higgins, in re: Iceland, Fervent Prosecutor of Bankers, Sees Meager Returns. The Elliott Ness of Iceland.

"Greed is not a crime. But the question is: where does greed lead?" said Olafur Hauksson, a special prosecutor in Reykjavik.

Hour Three

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:   Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: Solyndra deal closes, capping Fremont solar saga. You can't call it "the Solyndra building" anymore.

Seagate Technology has closed on the sale of Solyndra LLC's former solar-panel factory, inaugurating a new chapter for the high-profile building.  The transaction was completed Friday, according to several people with direct knowledge of the deal. The price was not believed to be different from the $90.3 million sale price previously reported.  Seagate gains a 412,000-square-foot facility at 47488 Kato Road in Fremont that Solyndra originally built for $300 million. The building went dark after Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in late 2011.   Although a significant transaction in itself, the deal gained international attention because of the property's connection to the high-profile failed solar-panel maker. The company's bankruptcy caused a firestorm of political controversy because it had accepted hundreds of millions of dollars in federal loan guarantees. The city of Fremont welcomed the sale when it was announced as a fresh start and symbol of investment in the community by Seagate, which is already a large employer in the area.

Also: Brown vs. Green: Clash of the Titans in California.  Massive shale oil reserves could give California one of the biggest oil booms on Earth, but the ueber-powerful California green lobby is gearing up for the fight of its life.

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  . Lois Beckett, Propublica,  in re:  The gist is that state Democratic Parties are thinking about selling individual voter information that they’ve collected from canvassers to major retailers and credit card companies.  The people who gave this info to the canvassers have no idea their personal political data is being sold.  Apparently, the parties formed a coalition and they decided it would be a good way for some of the states to make some easy money.

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:   Tim Starks, Roll Call, in re: After Leaked Memo on Drone Killings, Senators Still Seek More Details 

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Dean Popps, Strategic Materials Advisory Council, in re:   U.S. panel backs Chinese A123 bid - Alex Guillen - 

Hour Four

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Gretchen Morgenson, NYT, in re: Banks, at Least, Had a Friend in Geithner  Timothy F. Geithner, who is leaving as Treasury secretary, helped America’s big banks get back on their feet after the financial crisis. But how much did he do to prevent future debacles?

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re:  The American Spectator : Hagel in the Headlights

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Games Primates Play: An Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships [ GAMES... by Dario Maestripieri; 1 of 2

Tuesday  29  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Games Primates Play: An Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships [ GAMES... by Dario Maestripieri; 2 of 2

Psychology Today   “Read this if…You want to understand the parallels between all primate societies. Maestripieri illustrates that the behavior of Tony Soprano’s family mirrors that of macaque monkeys and explains how to figure out celebrity breakups by studying the mating practices of apes.”

Toronto Star   “The University of Chicago primatologist begins with a thorough, albeit unsettling, analysis of what we do when we encounter a stranger in an elevator, then guides us through the gamut of common social interactions, relating our behaviour to that of our primate brethren in the wild and in the lab. His observations on our common impulses are fascinating.”

Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Neuroscience, Stanford University, and author of A Primate’s Memoir

“At the end of the day, there is no social interaction of humans that does not bear the imprint of our being a species of animal, of primate, of ape. In this smart and witty book, one of our finest primatologists, Dario Maestripieri, gives a tour of human social behavior and its primate legacy. A fun, insightful read.


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Hour 1: Iron Lady

Hour 2: Infamous

Hour 3: Knight & Day, The Raid

Hour 4: The Raid.