Monday 8 May 2017
Photo, left: Blackhawk Done.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-host: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, The Great Voice of the Great Lakes
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 1, Block A: Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor & FDD, and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal senior editor & FDD, in re: Al Qaeda moves to reclaim the loyalty of its pubic by opposing ISIS.
Back to Blackhawk Down. @BillROggio @ThomasJoscelyn @ThadMcCotter. @FollowFDD
A US soldier was killed yesterday outside the capital of Mogadishu while fighting Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia. The casualty took place just five weeks after the Trump administration approved the expansion of military counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa.
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced the death of an American soldier “during an operation against al-Shabaab near Barii, Somalia, approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.” According to AFRICOM, American forces “were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army.”
The nature of the operation against Shabaab has not be disclosed, and it is unknown how many casualties Shabaab incurred during the fighting. Previously, US forces have partnered with Somali forces to target training camps, bases, and other infrastructure used by Shabaab to launch attacks in the region.
AFRICOM described Shabaab as “a threat to Americans and American interests” and said the group “has murdered Americans; radicalizes and recruits terrorists and fighters in the United States; and attempts to conduct and inspire attacks against Americans, our allies and our interests around the world, including here at home.” http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/05/us-soldier-killed-battlin...
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 1, Block B: Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor & FDD, and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal senior editor & FDD, in re: MOAB an other US ops in Afghanistan: mostly against ISIS, which controls much less territory than does the Taliban, which constitutes a more serious problem. Washington PR for domestic use? . . . North Waziristan.
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Gordon G. Chang, Daily Beast & Forbes.com, in re: the US EB5 visa and its unattractive aspects. Jared Kushner’s sister uses it to raise vast funds from bad actors. Disgraceful.
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 1, Block D: James Holmes, professor of strategy at the Naval War College and a former surface warfare officer; and Gordon G. Chang, Daily Beast & Forbes.com, in re: “China urged the United States to sack the head of the U.S. Pacific Command in return for exerting more pressure on North Korea amid concerns over its growing nuclear and missile threats, a source close to U.S.-China ties said Saturday. The Chinese leadership headed by President Xi Jinping made the request, through its ambassador in the United States, to dismiss Adm. Harry Harris, known as a hard-liner on China, including with respect to the South China Sea issue, the source said.”
Beijing instructs Washington to fire the head of PACOM, a senior and deeply esteemed admiral? Has Beijing lost its mind? What may have generated this amazing command? “Hubris,” says Gordon.
PRC aims to intimidate the US Navy by demanding Admiral Harry Harris step down. @GordonGChan @ThadMcCotter James Holmes @NavalWarCollege BEIJING – China urged the United States to sack the head of the U.S. Pacific Command in return for exerting more pressure on North Korea amid concerns over its growing nuclear and missile threats, a source close to U.S.-China ties said Saturday. The Chinese leadership headed by President Xi Jinping made the request, through its ambassador in the United States, to dismiss Adm. Harry Harris, known as a hard-liner on China, including with respect to the South China Sea issue, the source said.
China’s envoy to the United States, Cui Tiankai, [pron: tswey] conveyed the request to the U.S. side, to coincide with the first face-to-face, two-day meeting between President Donald Trump and Xi in Florida from April 6, but the Trump administration likely rejected it, the source said. China is a longtime economic and diplomatic benefactor of North Korea. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/06/asia-pacific/china-urged-u-s-fire-pacific-command-chief-harris-return-heaping-pressure-north-korea/#.WREr1VKZOHp
JAPANESE ISLAND WARGAMES Excerpt: A report on on a war game examining Senkaku Island scenarios involving incidents which bring Japan and China into direct conflict. James Kendall, a fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and a former U.S. Marine Corps officer, directed the event and said it provided some valuable insights. “A U.S. team that was very experienced — very senior, and very used to dealing with Japan and Asia — they did not understand the depth of Japanese restrictions and concerns about using the Self Defense Force,” Kendall said. “The controllers were surprised at how determined the Japanese side was to keep the SDF out of the situation. For the China team side, this caused a great deal of mistrust … So, this was a very good lesson … But this is mirrored in reality.”
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 2, Block A: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Senior Congressional correspondent; John Fund, NRO, in re: Are the political parties disintegrating as in 1854? @DavidMDrucker @CNN @ThadMcCotter
“Just a couple of months ago Republicans would boast of the plethora of Senate pickup opportunities in 2018. Democrats will be defending 25 seats, Republicans only nine. Among the Democratic seats up for grabs are a slew from states President Trump won in 2016 — Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin. As of February, the Cook Political Report rated four Democratic seats (plus the seat of independent Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats) as “lean Democratic” races and listed eight in the “likely Democratic” column. By contrast, only two GOP-held seats are in the “lean Republican” column.
In the light of the confirmation hearing of now-Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and the House passage of the American Health Care Act, it’s very possible the Democrats could stay even or lose only one or two net seats. There are a bunch of reasons for Democratic optimism.
First, most Senate Democrats, with few exceptions, voted to filibuster Gorsuch. That prevented any challenge from their left flank without much downside. Gorsuch is on the court so Republicans have a hard time arguing that Democrats “obstructed” him. By taking away what remained of the filibuster on nominations, Republicans ironically absolved the Democrats of responsibility for any failed nominations…” https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/05/08/the-ahca-d...
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 2, Block B: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Senior Congressional correspondent; John Fund, NRO, in re: Sally Yates with The Democratic Narrative: Russia Russia Russia,
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 2, Block C: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, and Amb Dani Dayan, Consul-general of Israel in New York; in re: Pres Trump will be travelling to Riyadh, Rome, Jerusalem. Will meet GCC, Saudi and Jordanian kings, and Egyptian president el Sisi. The success of the upcoming Trump visit to Jerusalem. @DaniDayan Malcolm Hoenlein, @Conf_of_pres. PART 1 of 4 / Dani Dayan (Hebrew: דני דיין); born 1955) is the Consul General of Israel in New York since August 2016. He is an Israelipolitical leader, entrepreneur  and advocate for the Israeli settlements in the Judea and Samaria, or the West Bank. He served as the Chairman of the Yesha Council from 2007 to 2013. In 2013, he resigned as Chairman of the Yesha Council to endorse Benjamin Netanyahu for Prime Minister. Dayan was subsequently appointed as Chief Foreign Envoy  of the Yesha Council, as the only official representative of the Israeli settlement movement to the international community. After a diplomatic stand-off over its assignment of former settler leader Dayan as ambassador to Brazil without consulting the government of Brasilia, Israel backed off and in March 2016 assigned Dayan as Consul General of Israel in New York.
Described by the New York Times as “worldly and pragmatic” and "the most effective leader the settlers have had." Dayan is perceived by many to be the face of the Israeli settlement movement to the international community. His writing appears in many publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Guardian, Haaretz, The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dani_Dayan
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 2, Block D: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, and Amb Dani Dayan, Consul-general of Israel in New York; in re: Pres Trump will be travelling to Riyadh, Rome, Jerusalem. Will meet GCC, Saudi and Jordanian kings, and Egyptian president el Sisi. The success of the upcoming Trump visit to Jerusalem. @DaniDayan Malcolm Hoenlein, @Conf_of_pres. PART 2 of 4.
John Batchelor: Spanish Eagles Reawaken. Saving the Spanish imperial eagle was never going to be easy. This enormous bird, which once dominated the skies above Spain, Portugal, and northern Morocco, saw its numbers drop to just 380 breeding pairs in 2014, thanks to habitat loss, poaching, poisoning from farmers and hunters, and electrocution from power lines. Now, a new study highlights a potential way of restoring eagle populations to their former glory: dropping them into long-abandoned habitat.
One common approach for bringing threatened species back from the brink is to reintroduce them to the places they were last known to live. For example, the sea eagle in Scotland—which was hunted to extinction on the Isle of Skye in 1916—was successfully reintroduced in 1975 to Rùm Island near its last known breeding ground. But not all such efforts bear fruit: When scientists tried to release the same bird to its former range in western Ireland in 2007, the newcomers fell victim to the same poisoning that had done them in 107 years earlier.
“The tendency is to think that the last place that an animal was present is the best place for the species, but this isn't always the case,” says Virginia Morandini, a biologist with the Spanish National Research Council’s Doñana Biological Station near Seville. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/parachuting-birds-long-lost-terri...
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: Andrew W McCarthy, in re: The difference between a criminal investigation and a counter-intelligence investigation. @AndrewWMcCarthy
WASHINGTON — When did the White House know — and exactly who knew — about conversations that Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, had with the Russian ambassador? That was the focus on Monday at a Senate hearing where Sally Q. Yates, the former acting attorney general, testified about Russia’s interference in the presidential election.
James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence, also testified, giving senators a chance to go well beyond the Flynn affair and ask about leaks of classified information to the news media; the F.B.I.’s investigation into the Russian interference and possible collusion by Trump associates; and — this being a hearing in the Republican-controlled Congress — Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Eric Trump Claimed Funding Came from Russia Author James Dodson described to WBUR a conversation he had with Eric Trump in 2014 while playing golf:
“So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.”
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 3, Block B: Jeff Blissm Pacific Watch, in re: University of California ‘Recalled Retirees’ Receiving $300,000+ in Annual Pensions — Twenty-five University of California retirees are each collecting pensions of at least $300,000, totaling more than $8 million annually, public documents show. The non-profit California Policy Center obtained documents from the Office of the UC President this week through a California Public Records Act request, and shared those documents with CBS San Francisco.
The revelation that such large pensions are being received by UC retirees — both teaching faculty members and non-teaching staff — comes at a time when the Office of the President faces severe scrutiny after a slush fund of up to $175 million was discovered during an audit.
UC President Janet Napolitano has apologized for how she handled the audit but maintains that the amount of money not in the public view was much less.
In addition to the hefty pension packages, California Policy Center Director of Policy Research Marc Joffe says some UC employees not only receive their pensions, but also get a salary if they return to work in the UC system while still in retirement.
One of the so-called “recalled retirees,” Dr. Fawzy I. Fazwy, received over $650,000 in 2015, according to public documents.
Dr. Fawzy did not immediately respond to CBS San Francisco’s request for comment, but in 2016 he actually held a lecture, which was posted to YouTube, that instructs junior UC faculty on how they too can receive the most money possible for their retirements.
In 2016, UC implemented a new employee retirement plan that places a cap on the pensionable earnings of future employees. In return for implementing the new plan, the UC system will get $436 million from the state to help pay down its unfunded pension liability.
Following the approval of the new retirement program, Regent Monica Lozano said the regents were committed to “developing a set of retirement options that are financially prudent, are oriented toward the long-term sustainability of the university and that allow us to effectively recruit and retain the very best faculty and staff.”
Under California law, accrued pension benefits cannot be revoked or reduced, so the reforms only apply to those employees hired after July 1, 2016.
Joffe said that because pension reforms normally only apply to new hires, long-standing faculty members appear to be “immune to any changes.” But he did suggest that to rein in the largest pensions, the state could consider applying a surtax to pensions above a certain amount.
The UC Office of the President did not immediately respond to a request for an interview and UC regents Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Gov. Jerry Brown have not responded to a request for comment.
UC secret salary fund sparks bill to curb autonomy, by Nanette Asimov
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 3, Block C: Walt Gragg, author, The Red Line, on a world war that destroys Central Europe.
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 3, Block D: Harry Siegel, NY Daily News, in re: Tammany Hall Never Sleeps: Honest graft wins easy in New York City. @HarrySiegel And de Blasio, putting his progressive spin on “honest graft.” In just a few days, a guy who kicked big bucks to de Blasio’s operation in the hopes of winning favors from his administration will take the stand as the government’s star witness in its case against another guy. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/mayor-sliding-sleaze-article-1.3140718
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 4, Block A: Thomas Hone, editor, Midway, part 3 of 4
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 4, Block B: Thomas Hone, editor, Midway, part 4 of 4
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 4, Block C: Hotel Mars, episode n. David Livingston, the Space Show, and Rand Simberg, aerospace engineer and consultant in space commercialization, space tourism, and Internet security; author of Safe Is Not an Option: Overcoming the Futile Obsession with ‘Getting Everyone Back Alive’ That Is Killing Our Expansion into Space (2013) ; Simberg’s blog, Transterrestrial Musings .transterrestrial.com. @Simberg_Space and @SafeNotAnOption; all in re: Space mining (1 of 2)
Monday 8 May 2017 / Hour 4, Block D: Hotel Mars, episode n. David Livingston, the Space Show, and Rand Simberg, aerospace engineer and consultant in space commercialization, space tourism, and Internet security; author of Safe Is Not an Option: Overcoming the Futile Obsession with ‘Getting Everyone Back Alive’ That Is Killing Our Expansion into Space (2013) ; Simberg’s blog, Transterrestrial Musings .transterrestrial.com. @Simberg_Space and @SafeNotAnOption; all in re: Space mining (2 of 2)
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