Monday 18 November 2013
Photo, above: Typhoon survivors in Philippines in the hold of a C-130 cargo plane as they try ot leave Tacloban.
The USS George Washington battle group is stationed in Philippines to provide aid to typhoon survivors. The nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and accompanying ships arrived off eastern Samar province on Thursday evening, carrying 5,000 crew and more than 80 aircraft. The entire ship is only a relief mechanism – it removed all F-16 planes, carries only Osprey helos for ferrying aid and medics. See Hour 2, Block C, Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, on the US military doing an excellent job in the Philippines.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, , in re: Mujahid shahid: Taliban VBIED martyr attack hit a military convoy in Kabul, killing about 30 people. Attacked an imminent loya jirga, called them all "puppets" – the who's who of Afghanistan was about to vote on a bilateral agreement to take effect on 21 Nov. Gulbaddin Hekmatyar sent a Corolla full of explosives. This is the future for Kabul city after the Americans leave. Ansaru, jihadi group in Nigeria: Boko Haram's transnational actors – its away group, its foreign ministry, so to speak. Praises Zawahiri as its amir; attached to core al Qaeda. Intercepts: US govt acknowledges direct communication (documents from bin Laden, from Mali, from the historic "conference call") the Niger Delta directly threatens the West.
.. .. .. .. .. ..
Taliban claim credit for Kabul suicide attack Yesterday's attack, which targeted the meeting site of the Loya Jirga that will vote on the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US, killed 13 Afghans.
Ansaru leader calls Zawahiri 'our good emir,' praises al Qaeda branches Abu Usama al Ansari also describes Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar as the "Emir of the Believers." His group, Ansaru, was added to the US' list of terrorist groups on Nov. 13.
Palestinian from Gaza reportedly killed fighting for ISIS near Aleppo Before reaching Syria, Amer Abu Ghoula was reportedly sentenced to a year in prison in Gaza for aiding those behind the kidnapping and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni.
US adds Boko Haram, Ansaru to list of foreign terrorist groups Boko Haram has adopted al Qaeda's tactics and has communicated with top al Qaeda leaders to coordinate in the global jihad. Ansaru, a Boko Haram splinter group, was also added to the terrorism list.
British officials discuss 'rising' al Qaeda threat during testimony Top British intelligence and security officials testified to the "rising" threat of al Qaeda last week. One official explained that there have been 34 terrorist plots in Britain since the 7/7 bombings and most of these have ties to al Qaeda groups overseas. The officials also expressed concern over al Qaeda's growing presence inside Syria.
.. .. .. .. .. ..
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Liz Peek, The Fiscal Times & Fox, in re: France, essential friend of the US since Yorktown. Paul Krugman (Liberals see France as a beacon of hope; but its S&P credit rating is poor) finds S&P to be evaluating France from an ideological POV.
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Lara M Brown, political analyst and author, Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review & Pirates fan, in re: many, many Americans are puzzled and dismayed by Pres Obama's decision to decline to go to Gettysburg on the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Joe Biden is from PA – why won't he be there? Probably because he was sent to the hinterlands. Note: another president decided not to attend the hundredth anniversary; he went to Dallas.
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Justin Elliott, ProPublica, in re: Huma Abedin, closest assistant to Secy Clinton, was serving as a "special govt employee" – meaning: had a second job; Abedin, at Teneo, in effect a branch of the Clinton Fdn - during her final year at State; 'twas a category designed originally to let specialists serve; historically, used during the New Deal by dollar-a-year men. Other agencies sent lists of whom they'd hired on this basis, whereas State refused on silly grounds, then "saw the light" and said they'd send the list, but it's been for months of sequential delays. Foot-dragging? Incompetence? The full story, including full lists of the other agencies' special government employee, is here:
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent, and John Fund, National Review Online, and John Fund, National Review Online, in re: ACA: the ambition is to guide consumers directly to health care insurers for plans; then you give them your e address and they write back. The WH will never acknowledge it's failed; website will stay up even though it's insecure. It'll be a portal – a crippled ship, floating the seas but nonfunctional. Robert Wilkins's fate before the US Senate.
Obama health care woes become credibility fight The political challenge posed by Obama's disastrous health care rollout is far greater than those he overcame during the nasty debt ceiling fight with Republicans, his stumbling campaign debate in 2012 or even the painful recession.
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent, and John Fund, National Review Online, and John Fund, National Review Online, in re: Nick Rahall, the broader conversation was that . . . were the site up and running, he'd be proud to have voted for it.
.. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Obamacare: So, what could go wrong next? Busted website, canceled policies, lousy early enrollment numbers. And that could be just the warmup. Because the lesson of the last six weeks is that when it comes to the Obamacare rollout, if it can go wrong, it probably will.
The stumble-filled debut of President Barack Obama’s health care law is drawing new attention to the other risks that have been on the radar screen of health care wonks for months. Think health insurance plans sinking under the weight of sick customers, newly insured people being stunned that they still have to spend on health care, and possibly another wave of canceled policies — right before the 2014 elections.
They’re mostly worst-case scenarios, and an Obamacare recovery in the next few months could still prevent some of the biggest ones from ever happening. But health care experts are taking all of them a lot more seriously now — because at this point, why wouldn’t they?
A complete list of possibilities could be overwhelming, but here are the main ones to watch:
‘Death spiral’ This was always the worst of the worst-case scenarios: Only sick people enroll in the Obamacare health insurance plans, healthy people stay away, and everyone’s premiums rise out of control because there are no healthy people to cover the sick people’s costs.
That’s the dreaded “death spiral,” and it has been a possibility all along. But it was only a . . .
.. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re: The US military is doing an excellent job in the Philippines. And no one is talking about it. Helping Our Neighbors | USS George Washington, Nimitz-class, parked at Philippines, arrive 14 Nov. AN entire battle carrier group is there, all delivering aid – the ship is a genuinely awesome as a rescue ship. The entire ship is only a relief mechanism – removed all F-16 planes, carries only Osprey helos for ferrying aid and medics. (US had 33 ships stationed in Indonesia for their catastrophe.) UK has sent an aircraft carrier; Israel has sent ships and a field hospital. France and Malaysia have sent all they could – but China offered to send $100K; finally, under huge global shame, upped it to less than $2 million. China offers aid only in exchange for direct returns; are clueless about what a humanitarian mission might be. Disgraceful. Same with Saudis.
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: China's One-Child Change Doesn't Avert Demographic Collapse The fifth generation of Chinese leadership, in a panic, is trying swiftly to correct the sadistic error made in 1979 under Deng Xiao-ping (millions of baby-girl infanticides). Deng decided there were too many Chinese people so he instituted a policy of one child per couple. China will get old faster than it realized. The one-child rule has been most enforced and done the most damage in cities. Under the new regs, a couple where one parent is from a one-child family may w have two children There exists a monumentally huge family-supervision bureaucracy, and those workers will not easily lose their jobs. In fact, the family-planning police are the Party's strongest control over the populace, so the Party will not scrap the one-child policy!
Philippines; China offered to send $100K; finally, under huge global shame, upped it to less than $2 million. China offers aid only in exchange for direct returns; are clueless about what a humanitarian mission might be. Disgraceful. Democracies offer humanitarian aid. Hard-line tyrannies don’t.
.. .. .. .. .. .. ..
On Friday, China’s Communist Party announced what the Wall Street Journal termed “the most significant adjustment in a policy that has defined Chinese family life for more than three decades.” Soon, a couple in China will be permitted to have two children if either parent is an only child. Previously, both parents had to be only children. Because of numerous exemptions for rural residents—they are already permitted two children if the first-born is a girl, for instance—the change will mainly affect urban dwellers.
Analysts believe the relaxation of the one-child policy will result in a substantial increase in births. Zhai Zhenwu of Renmin University estimates 15 to 20 million people will become eligible to have a second child and 50% to 60% of them will be interested in doing so. . . .
.. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Nov 20 s next conversation among P5 + 1. Velayati is behind Zarif in negotiations I Geneva. The story turns to Washington: Senate and House considering dealing a serious blow to Iranian economy, which already is on its knees. President Obama on Tuesday will ask Senate (chairman of Banking C'ee – Menendez bipartisan initiative; or Sen Kirk's amendment to Defense Appropriation Act, et al.) to delay the latest sanctions regime. Iran's enrichment program [details]. Arak to be made nonoperational? . . . Amit Dror: Israel can do it alone; concern about the deal. The "right" to enrich? This is not in the NPT. The new Middle East entente: Cairo, Riyadh, Moscow.
Geneva talks a facade, US-Iran worked secretly on deal for past year’ ; Israel said to be working with Saudi Arabia on Iran strike plan ; Israel can strike Iran alone if needed, says PM’s ex-top security aide
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Jordan has approached the UN to take the Security Council seat that Saudi Arabia rejected. Secy Kerry has postponed his visit to Jerusalem till after Thanksgiving; lack of progress n talks with Palestinians; David Makovsky has been added to the negotiating team. Israel has sent to Philippines a lot of physicians and a field hospital; delivered a dozen babies and treated 300 people a day. Hard for Americans to imagine the consistently negative, sinister propaganda that the European press hurls at Israel, but it never reports the large number of Palestinians treaded daily in Israeli hospitals.
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Bruce Webster, andstillIPersist dot com, in re: I would swap out the entire ‘Apply Now’ section (and the supporting backend) for a very simplistic information gathering system. This system would gather your information (including your estimated annual income, with no verification). That’s pretty much it. At some time later, the government would then send you — via mail or e-mail — some form of comparison chart or document showing available plans. It would also have instructions to have you call or contact the appropriate insurance providers or your state Medicaid provider directly. The document would also contain the ‘subsidy calculation’, which may be reduced to a simple comparison of your declared estimated income against a chart/formula. This approach should cut out almost all the interfaces with existing Federal systems and with private insurance companies. It would also defer the sticker shock until you got that list of available plans in the mail/e-mail.
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Henry I Miller, M.D., Hoover & Forbes.com, in re: "The Myth of Organic Agriculture." Letter to Wall Street Journal: Genetically Engineered Foods a Plus Andrew Kimbrell makes many misstatements in his letter "Our GM Food Fears Aren't Irrational" (Nov. 9): "The vast majority of GE crops are developed to resist and therefore promote pesticides, sharply increasing the amount of pesticides used in agriculture." In fact, a significant fraction of GE crops have been specifically, and successfully, crafted to . . .
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt by John Taliaferro (1 of 4)
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt by John Taliaferro (2 of 4)
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt by John Taliaferro (3 of 4)
Monday 18 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt by John Taliaferro (4 of 4)
.. .. ..
Hour 1: Blackhawk Down. Dark Shadows.
Hour 2: Robin Hood. Clash of the Titans.
Hour 3: John Carter. Dark Knight Rises.
Hour 4: The Expendables. Copper.