The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 20 December 2012

Air Date: 
December 20, 2012



Photo, above: NCG5113, taken by Hubble at 1.3 billion light years away – a Christmas ornament.


Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents.

First Hour.

Thursday 905P Eastern Time:  Lara M Brown, Villanova, in re: gun control proposals by the Obama administration; mental health and the gun check; also debt ceiling, fiscal cliff.

Thursday 920P Eastern Time: Lara M Brown, Villanova, continued about the fiscal cliff, and the fail of the GOP to pass permanent tax relief for those earnung less than $1 million/year..

Thursday 935P Eastern Time:  Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, & Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: Three professionals executed (so to speak) a State Dept; also, Gen Petraeus gone – hence removed are many of those whom one might like to question on Benghazi. US hires, trains, arms, ships, jihadists from Libya to Turkey to Syria . "Hire a fire to stop a fire." Mr Pickering's unclassified report: four State staff gone:  Boswell; Dep to Boswell; Charlene Lamb in dip sec, and Principal Dep Secy for the Mahgreb: all resigned. State took the beating for a botched intell operation.  That mission never was a consulate; gave dipl cover to the actions. Principal actors were CIA and colleagues; State was sort of secondary.    US-supplied weapons falling into the hands of al Qaeda in Libya.  State had problems, and someone shd take responsibility for security lapses, but the center is the intelligence: jihadists groups attacked the mission (safe/unsafe house).  White House started a fire, thought it'd find a fire extinguisher somewhere but haven’t.    Whole operation was largely off the books; WH kept the FBI away for twenty-plus days, or FBI would have got to the bottom of this.

Thursday 950P Eastern Time: Elise Young, Bloomberg, in re:  the CHPS division officer with a package from the state of $460K and $174K per year.   Cal state troopers were paid $863mil in 2011; averages $109K.   Many earned over $200K.   Door prize: Jeff Talbott, retired, $583,501 last year. Now with a pension. He's 53 years old. 

Second Hour.

Thursday 1005P (705P Pacific Time):  Malcolm Hoenlein, in re:  Vladimir Putin is "implacable" in his support of Syria – whose collapse, if it occurs, can pull in the whole region incl Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel. What happens after Assad?  The day after: who will rule?  Jihadists grow in strength; everyone steps out htf heir way because they’re so vicious.  AL Qaeda is also gaining strength. UN finally acknowledges  that Hezbollah is fighting for Assad , as is IRGC, as is PFLP!  Chem weapons can be loaded into artillery shells and used by troops: once you start, there's no turning it off. Mercedes & Volvo trucks look like long-haul reefers, but have mixers and can mix chem./bio soups en route and be ready to launch on arrival at site.  Isabel Kirchner in West Bank. Less than one per cent of Israel's population . . .    Israel gave West Bank a two-month cash advance.  Sheikh Amir Fayyad, part of funding process to push jihadist fighters into Syria (Ankara, Doha, Cairo triad).  Israelis gave him permission to enter – Qatar wants to be a player, Arabs call it a country based on a TV station n (al Jazeera); he wants to leverage money. Arabs never pay their pledges to Palestinians: pledge billions, pay millions [confirm as accurate. –ed].

Thursday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-19), House Foreign Affairs Committee, in re: US foreign policy and the Middle East. Many in Syria clamor for democracy – a challenge, but could come out well if we handle it correctly. The UN GA move to recognize the PA as a proto-state doesn’t serve Palestinians's goals. Much frustration in Washington as Palestinians didn’t even represent their own best interests. Decision to go to the UN was bad enough—ignores Oslo, Camp David Accords; but they then established that they cd pursue claims in the ICC: were they to do so, that wd pose a threat to aid to PA; and cd close the PLO mission.   Bipartisan 57 Sen sent a letter to the president about need to be clearer on Iran.

Thursday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): Mohsen Sazegara, Iranian journalist and pro-democracy political activist; held high-ranking positions in the govt of Mir-Hossein Mousavi - deputy prime minister, minister of industry, deputy chairman of the budget and planning department - before becoming disillusioned with the govt in 1989 and pushing for reforms; in re: Recent developments in Iran. This regime believes that it must fight the entire world; not possible to trust them. They may say anything, and hide something; they may lie. Anent sanctions negotiations: hardly you can believe them  Russian destroyer docks in Iran on Wednesday morning: they are working on nuclear arms, have been for 18 years., enrichment of uranium. Everyone knows not sufficient for a power plant, they enrich for other purposes. Offers to s=assist them in medical or peaceful uses are rejected. Also, Parchin garrison SE of Iran, so far not let IAEA inspectors in although there's sat evidence that they have done many experiments there. We shd notice Iranian power structure: they have no authority, it all goes to Ayatollah Khamenei, others just say whatever he wants. He believes if  he can potentially make nuclear weapons as a deterrent – says IRCG – first, can threaten Israel with missiles and deter US from a military strike against Iran, that these are the only ways he can stay in power.  Any Iranian presidential is not free: Council of Guardians pick candidates and then elect them. People want free and fair elections. Four years ago was a good situation for Iranian people to mobilize, intended to petition inside regime. Inside IRGC, we have some signals showing here are deep _ inside, as well; lots of troubles esp for lower _ in Iran. he sanctions bite; dissent derives from the failing economy and failure of the Supreme leader to create [favorable] relations with the rest of the world. Elections next June, very important.

Thursday 1050P (750P Pacific Time): Tony Badran, Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, focuses on Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah; in re: Iran (and Russia?) looking for candidate to replace Assad – a Sunni not too strong, not too weak. Mmm – maybe, but it's more important to keep orientation same as before, keep him "in the group of the resistance against Israel axis."  Salahi clearly said Iran will prevent Asssad's removal by any means necessary. Syria has now mixed, then moved, chem. precursors to chem. weapons, and fired a test. Does Assad think Marines will come to shore as soon as he kills a few hundred Syrians? Maybe not.  Even Amos Gilad said that Syria's chem weapons are pretty secure, since they represent his security for his position, incl for bargaining later on, as an insurance policy for an Alawite enclave. Kuwaiti paper in Sept cited Brit sources: much already moved to Tartus.  Northern vs eastern vs coastal parts of Syria are not well glued together. We’ve seen Arab-Kurdish fighting, intra-Kurd fighting, will see intra-Sunni fighting.

Third Hour.

Thursday 1105P (805P Pacific Time):  Malcolm Hoenlein, in re:  the 442d was a unit formed in Hawaii and the Pacific open to Japanese young men who volunteered for service, when FDR detained, deprived of property and transported Japanese-Americans to camps surrounded by barbed wire as though they were spies of saboteurs - unacceptable! A blot on American history. Daniel Inoue and his friends volunteered; went to Italy, lost an arm fighting,  He became a long-serving Senator, always helped  Malcolm Hoenlein.   Was so humble, always listened to carefully y both sides, earned he admiration of Republicans and Democrats, presidents and everyone.    Chavez's cancer has returned; provincial elections: Chavistas stay in control (rigged), meaning that Iranians can stay to work their wickedness.  The IRGC has clear connections to the regime, money changes hands, Hezbollah training camps; Iran also in Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil. Iran's Supreme  Leader is the devil: religious commitment to chaos. Jonathan Pollard: arrested under Reagan, accused of spying for Israel – but recent document s show that he in fact did nothing treasonous or in espionage. See: Lee Smith's column in The Tablet; had to to do with Pakistan and Arab countries, naught to do with US security at all. Most of those who pressed for his incarceration have now come out and decried the imprisonment. This is now very odd. Even Cap Weinberger disavowed  his original statements.  Who, what, in the US govt continues to persecute a man because he's Jewish?

Thursday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): Malcolm Henlein, in re:  West Bank: E1 is not interfering with contiguity; Hamas rallies, resentment vs Fatah and the corruption of Hamas.  P5+1 : used by Iran to stall and gain leverage; today said they wd not stop higher-grade enrichment.  Iran moving closer and closer to "red line" – nuke mil capability.  Use time to obfuscate and mock the West.   John Kerry. Chuck Hegel: questions about him, incl his conviction that IRGC is not a terrorist org; also on Deutsche Bank's American advisory group during money-laundering problems Also weird comments – "widely called racist and unacceptable."  Wd send a bad message to Iran. Many of his Republican colleagues have come out against him.

Thursday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): Richard Epstein, Hoover, in re: is this the end of unions? What does the Michigan vote tell us about conservatism and liberal governance? What about right-to-work laws?

Thursday 1150P (850P Pacific Time): Richard Epstein, Hoover, continued.

Fourth Hour.

Thursday/Fri 1205A (905 Pacific Time): Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Al Qaeda and Al Quds force working threats to European capitals in new year

Thursday/Fri  1220A (920 Pacific Time): John Cochrane, Hoover and Chicago, in re: Why the QE is not working; why Bernanke is like Odysseus lashed to the mast to ignore the siren calls; why the Fed policy will not prosper in the new year. The Fed's Great Experiment by John H. Cochrane Grumpy Economist Meantime, the Fed's near-zero interest rate policy will continue to disguise the real cost of government borrowing. One reason the Obama Administration can keep running trillion-dollar deficits is because it can borrow the money at bargain rates. Stanford economist and Journal contributor John Taylor says the Fed has bought more than 70% of new Treasury debt issuance this year. All of this will create a fiscal cliff of its own when interest rates start to rise. The Congressional Budget Office says that every 100 basis-point increase in interest rates adds about $100 billion a year to government borrowing costs. Pity the President and Congress who have to refinance $15 trillion in debt at 6%. If Mr. Bernanke really wants to drive the President and Congress to reduce future spending, he shouldn't keep bailing them out with easier money

Thursday/Fri  1235A (935P Pacific Time):  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: space engineering, Spaceship Two and ISS and Tau Ceti, a bright star in the constellation Cetus (Whale): preliminary finding of five rocky planets in the Tau Ceti system: all planets within the orbit or MArs.  Tau Ceti e is a two scale Earth, at 168 day orbit.

Thursday/Fri  1250A  (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt.  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: the leaked IPCC 5 report and what’s wrong with climate modeling

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