Monday 4 March 2013
Poster, above: said to be the "Answer to questions about the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam." See: Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block A, Michael Auslin, on Sulu.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: Jihadi opera. Report: airstrike killed Taliban shadow governor Sheikh Dost Mohammed One of the most-wanted Taliban commanders in eastern Afghanistan, Sheikh Dost Mohammed, was reportedly killed along with two other Taliban leaders in a US airstrike in the Ghaziabad district of Kunar province. The death of Dost Mohammed has been erroneously reported in the past.
Chadian forces claim raid killed top Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar Chadian military forces operating in Mali claimed to have launched a successful counterterrorism raid against a jihadist base camp that killed top Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar. The death of Belmokhtar has not yet been confirmed by other sources.
Pakistani clerics endorse suicide bombings, reject proposed peace conference The chairman of Pakistan's Ulema Council said suicide bombings should continue in "occupied" Muslim areas that do not have the atomic bomb. His rhetoric is identical to that of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.
AQAP releases 10th copy of Inspire; features Adam Gadahn The American traitor calls for the continuation of attacks against the West, while a cleric known as Ibrahim Yayha says the death of Osama bin Laden has invigorated al Qaeda. Al Q is so disorganized, this boy had time to do an interview. Since he's one of the first Americans, he's basically a finger in the eye of he US; not too articulate, but a needle who speaks out against the US for years. Targetted by drones? Not known for sure . . .
US to aid Syrian groups that support al Qaeda's affiliate The State Department will back the Syrian Opposition Coalition, which opposes the US's designation of the Al Nusrah Front as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and the Free Syrian Army, which fights alongside with and under the command of Al Nusrah.
American Shabaab fighter urges Muslims to join the 'fronts' of jihad Abu Ahmed al Amriki implores Muslims to leave their lives of comfort and wage jihad in Somalia, Mali, Afghanistan, Iraq, or the Islamic Maghreb -- North Africa.
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Fouad Ajami, Hoover, in re: John Kerry's Syrian Second Chance (Wall Street Journal) As the war that has degraded and all but partitioned Syria enters its third year, the amorphous coalition known as the Friends of Syria continues to hover just off-stage. The Western democracies, moderate Arab governments and international organizations that constitute the coalition are indeed friends of the opposition to the despotic regime of Bashar Assad—but at arm's length. There is always another meeting around the corner, another set of benchmarks laid out by these friends, who then judge that the opposition has not achieved a sufficient level of pluralism and democratic devotion to merit the coalition's wholehearted support. The latest meeting comes Thursday in Rome, where Secretary of State John Kerry's get-to-know-you European tour will bring him together with the Friends of Syria—and with representatives of the Syrian rebellion. The Friends of Syria would like to broker peace negotiations, but what the Syrian opposition wants and needs is not negotiations: The rebels want to overthrow the murderous Assad regime. Walid Bunni, a spokesman for the Syrian National Coalition, told Al Arabiya television Monday that opposition leaders would attend the Rome meeting following assurances that the U.S. and the U.K. would increase direct aid to the rebels. The group would go to Rome, he said, and "see if the promises are different this time."
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Lara M Brown, Villanova, in re: Gullible Nation Who believes the president’s doom-saying?
"Our hope is that as more Republicans begin to see the pain in their own districts they'll . . . [reduce] their absolutist positions." – Gene Sperling, Washington insider
"Hope is not a strategy. They hope for pain?" – John Batchelor
"Crisis fatigue? They know how to function only in a crisis; otherwise, they just dissemble." – Salena Zito
Political memo: G.O.P. Clings to One Thing It Agrees On: Spending Cuts As many Republicans soften their stance on social issues, including same-sex marriage and immigration, the only issue truly uniting the party is a commitment to shrinking government. ["Roaring then, whimpering now"]
In a shed atop East Pittsburgh's old eight-story Westinghouse plant, five men and the company's chief engineer made history when they broadcast results of 1920's presidential election. That culture-changing moment ended one of the most dramatic U.S. presidential elections, in which six once-or-future presidents — Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt — jockeyed for the White House. Although the election eventually came down to Harding and James M. Cox, early on, both Wilson and “TR” plotted third-term campaigns — Wilson to avenge his tarnished presidency, Roosevelt emerging as a clear front-runner in a year that soured on Democrats. here for link
Teddy Roosevelt certainly would have won the office in that very Republican year,” said presidential historian David Peitrusza, “save for his death in his sleep in January 1919.” Seeking Compromise, President Reaches Out to the Rank and File In conversations last week with Republican senators and rank-and-file members of Congress, President Obama hopes to build a broad consensus on deficit reduction that includes new revenue.
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re: The American Spectator : The Sequester Amnesty Duncan, for all his faults, is relatively harmless. The same cannot be said about Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose department has begun releasing criminal illegal aliens — which for this discussion is not redundant — from the jails where they were being held pending deportation. Even before Friday, when the $85 billion in cuts took effect, Napolitano’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement began releasing criminal illegal aliens among the public. It’s the Obama administration’s “sequester amnesty,” which endangers the public to make a political point. Pinal County, Arizona, is about seventy miles from the Mexican border. It’s larger than Connecticut, running south and east from the city of Mesa. Its sheriff, Paul Babeu, is a tough guy in a very tough place. And both his job and his county are made a lot tougher by ICE’s release of an unknown number of these criminal illegals, people who were held pending deportation because their criminal records made them “inadmissible” into the United States. Arizona is high on Obama’s list of enemies. It’s the state Obama’s Justice Department sued to set aside the state law that enables the arrest and detention of illegal aliens. The Supreme Court struck down part of the law, but left in place the part that allows state law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people they’ve stopped for other reasons.
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: John Fund, National Review Online, in re: March 1965: the march over the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, when the sheriff deputized "every white man in the county"; Bloody Sunday. Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most successful pieces of legislation in US history: Section 5, vs certain most odious jurisdictions, requires pre-clearance to change any voting actions, is now under review. Is it still Constitutional, since only some parts of the US are under review; some people hold that the circumstances no longer warrant these restrictions. Others hold that these Southern states are irredeemably flawed. The complaints are that the unequal treatment renders Sections 5 unconstitutional. the Court has lost patience with Congress; Scalia says there's no political solution so the Court may have to review, as it's been known ab initio that it was to be a temporary restriction. "Pre-clearance" – for Alabama and a dozen-odd other states.
John Boehner's Mixed Messages . SCOTUS The Demise of Section 5? It’s become a politicized weapon. The One Thing Republicans Agree On. The New York Times reports Republicans are now split on Obamacare, immigration and even same-sex marriage. But they remain firm on spending and taxes. "Four months after Mr. Obama won a second term, the only issue that truly unites Republicans is a commitment to shrinking the federal government through spending cuts, low taxes and less regulation. To have compromised again and agreed to further increase taxes or roll back spending cuts would have left Republicans deeply split and, many of them say, at risk of losing the core of the party's identity."
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Syria is an example of the Supreme Leader's threats, projecting power from the Med to the Hindu Kush; he knows that the US is the power he must remove. Then he can be the main power regionally. He enjoys no love among he populace; the Iranian military is hovering . The Supreme Leader acts on this threats. Recently, cyberwarfare: preparing for a major cyberattack on US infrastructure in the very near future. Brigadier Gen, Chief of Staff of the Army, said, Technical ability allows us to reach America. He warned that if the peoples of the US and Europe won’t confront the anti-regime policies of their govts, they can expect [damage]. At Carnegie Mellon, many v bright yond students are extremely aware of the threats from China and Iran. The recent attack on BofA [?] was Iran. Kayhan, mouthpiece of the Supreme Leader, warned of this last year. They have assets seeded many places, incl within the US. Viruses like Stuxnet? Pentagon said this would be an act of war, although Iran thinks the US is incapable of a response. Wrong message for them to believe; consequences and escalation . . . We need to speak with a louder voice. Khamenei has OK'd the IRGC commanders to say that negotiations with the US are meaningless, that as long as the US refuses to condemn "the Zionist regime," only hostility is possible.
"The source informed WND hours after this story was posted that the Islamic regime ruling Iran is in preparation for a major cyberattack very soon on major U.S. facilities – to send a warning to the US that the regime is capable of harming America’s infrastructure. It would be intended as a message to the Barack Obama administration that Iran’s nuclear rights must be accepted and sanctions relieved. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given the green light to the guard commanders to publicly make statements attacking the US and the current negotiations; and the head of the IRGC, Mohammad Ali Jafari, is to make a major speech in this regard."
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Rep Devin Nunes (CA-22), in re: despite the sequester, all the lights are on in DC and New York. "The way you move on is, you just change the subject." The CR [continuing resolution]: GOP says there'll be no stubbornness, no effort to just shut the govt down. But these cuts are nothing compared to what we have to do. We cd get closer to three trillion in cuts having to be made. Remember claims against Paul Ryan's proposal that he was "trying to push grandma over the cliff"? Calls that the GOP is "absolutist" – didn’t we get rid of that when we jettisoned the divine rights of kings? Everybody knows that we could safely cut 5% or 10% from the federal budget. PXs run for military: Sen Coburn says that their prices are more expensive than Costoc's – so there's a bunch of subsidies that aren’t working. We cannot run trillion-dollar deficits.
Conservatives Claim to Be Prepared for Cuts and for Life Under the Sequester Conservative lawmakers elected to Congress in the Republican wave of 2010 came to Capitol Hill pledging that they would lead by example in cutting spending. In the 112th Congress, even before House GOP leadership mandated that members’ office budgets and committee coffers would be slashed first by 5 percent and then by 6.4 percent, many Republican members said they were already envisioning running operations slim on staff, franked mail and interstate travel. It’s making the task of adjusting to life under the sequester a bit less of a challenge, they say. “We came in at a 20 percent reduction the first two years,” boasted Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., who said his office won’t see any changes under the sequester. “Name another class in Congress that cut their budget 20 percent.” Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., who also entered office in 2010, said his office, too, has always come in under budget. Perhaps the only difference under the sequester, he said, will be that he cannot return as much money to the Treasury Department to go toward deficit reduction as he would like. In both chambers, lawmakers are anticipating steep cuts to the allowances they receive to run their offices on Capitol Hill and back in their districts. Chairmen and ranking members for House and Senate committees get money to hire staff and support their panels’ work, and those budgets also will fall under the sequester’s knife.
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: the Natl Peoples Congress meets – 2,900 deputies meet, many of them surreptitious billionaires. State President, Secy of the Party, and Char of the Central Military Commission, will all be "elected." Xi has two roles: PLA is not a state army, as ours is, it’s a private army that reports to the Party, so the Party has a Central Military Commission. Xi is on Politburo Standing Committee, apex of power, and the Military Commission. He's General Secretary because he doesn’t really belong to any faction, but he thus lacks part of a power base. Any new Genl Sec needs abt two years to consolidate. The princeling groups don't constitute a cohesive faction and don't all agree. He also has Hu and Jiang leaning over his shoulder. Deep inside Xi is a rabid nationalist, has made corrosive statements. Military budget said to inc by 10.7% in 2013 – in fact probably more. Not a happy sign. This is not a state uncomfortable with predation.
New Chinese Leader Shores Up Military Support On the eve of the opening of the National People’s Congress, Xi Jinping is using the armed forces to cement his political authority and present a tough stance by China in growing territorial disputes. China's technocrats have not repealed the laws of economics. Too bad for them.
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Michael Auslin, AEI, in re: The Sulu Mouse That Roared. A Filipino sultan invades Malaysia. Welcome to East Asia, where nationalism gives new life to old disputes. In early February, a band of Filipino Muslim insurgents called the Royal Sulu Army invaded the Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo. Their goal: recapture the state for the Sultan of Sulu, whose ancestors ruled the region from the mid-17th century until 1878. While initial reports of the invasion may have suggested Flashman-like, picaresque South Seas intrigue, the reality is grim: 14 police and insurgents died in a shootout last week, with another five Malaysian policemen murdered in an ambush on Saturday. The Sulu Sultanate's 19th-century claim over Malaysia gives its invasion a time-warp feel. But the conflict reflects an utterly contemporary phenomenon. Yet another contested sovereignty claim to East Asia's seas and shores, the Sulu-Sabah standoff provides a study in miniature of how nationalist passions have threatened regional peace and cooperation.
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Michael McDonald, Michael McDonald, Bloomberg News, Liberty University Online, in re: God a Click Away as Web Courses Fuel Falwell’s College Students on campus at Liberty University make up just 14% of the school’s population. The Lynchburg, Virginia-based school founded by Baptist minister Jerry Falwell in 1971 has an additional 82,500 online students, making Liberty the largest, private non-profit university in the U.S. Liberty stands out because it is growing like for-profit colleges did before competition and federal scrutiny of recruiting tactics and graduation rates crimped their business. “There’s a science to it and Liberty is applying it very well,” said Clinefelter, whose Louisville, Kentucky-based company advises schools on setting up Internet-based operations. “The margins are bigger in these online programs if the institution can figure it out.”
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Anne Jolis, WSJ Europe, somewhere between Douentza and Gao, Mali, in re: Chasing Jihadists in Mali with the French. The Doctor and the Jihadists The French troops say we're stopping for lunch. But after 90 minutes on the side of the road in northern Mali's badlands, it's clear that even the French army doesn't need this long to eat, smoke and digest. (1 of 2)
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Anne Jolis, WSJ Europe, somewhere between Douentza and Gao, Mali, in re: Chasing Jihadists in Mali with the French. The Doctor and the Jihadists The French troops say we're stopping for lunch. But after 90 minutes on the side of the road in northern Mali's badlands, it's clear that even the French army doesn't need this long to eat, smoke and digest. (2 of 2)
Image: Sultanate of Sulu birth certificate
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Tyler Rogoway, AviationIntel .com, in re: the Aurora hypersonic spy plane. (1 of 2)
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Tyler Rogoway, AviationIntel .com, in re: the Aurora hypersonic spy plane. (2 of 2)
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: Mars, and caving on the Moon. Caves on the Moon and Mars - SkyTel Beyond ... - Sky & Telescope Earth is not the only world in the inner solar system with caves. The same volcanic processes that created some of Earth’s caves also occurred on the Moon and Mars. Using imagery from a variety of orbiters, geologists have spotted a number of openings on these other worlds that don’t have the classic features of impact craters. Some, most, or all of these features are likely to have underground passages that would offer substantial protection and stable temperatures for future human explorers and colonists. We show below additional photos of possible caves on the Moon and Mars that couldn't fit in the article.
Monday 4 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Bud Weinstein, Texas A&M and the Bush Institute, in re: Keystone key to energy independence - The Hill's Congress Blog In recent months, the press has been replete with reports that America is on the verge of achieving energy independence. For example, a recent study by the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that by 2020 the U.S. will surpass Saudi Arabia to once again become the world’s largest oil producer. By 2030, according to the IEA, the U.S. could be a net oil exporter.
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