The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 10 October 2013

Air Date: 
October 10, 2013

Photo, above: Egyptian Air Force F-4 Phantom, Mirage III, F-16 Falcon, Mig-19 and a Mig-21 in formation with U.S. Navy Grumman F-14 Tomcat , Vought Corsair and a A-6E Intruder fly over one of the Great Pyramid near Cairo during Bright Star '83. See Hour 1, Block D. et seq., on US cessation of military aid to Egypt and its regrettable consequences.


Hour One

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Rep Devin Nunes (CA-21), in re: . . . We could get rid of Obamacare entirely and still go broke.  Ways and Means have been meeting for three year . . .  we have  proposal, comprehensive; it’s still gotta see the light of day; at least we have a product ready for prime time.

Obama and G.O.P. Fail to Agree on Debt Limit Plan  President Obama and House Republicans did not reach agreement on a short extension of the nation’s borrowing authority during a White House meeting on Thursday, but both sides agreed to keep talking.

Obama, GOP Open Talks 
on Debt Fix Obama and House Republicans began talks on a GOP proposal to extend the nation's borrowing authority for six weeks, marking a new opening in the budget stalemate that risks a U.S. debt crisis. 

What's Behind GOP Overture

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Edward W Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence, in re: a young family intimidated, harassed, attacked, and he father pulled from the car and beaten, has turned into a major scandal within the NYPD.  New York Post: "NYPD Internal Affairs cop part of beating"  - Internal Affairs is to keep cops from engaging in conduct inappropriate for an officer, which is exactly what the cops were doing on 29 Sept. See video: many miles along the West Side Highway, which travels through very expensive real estate.  Internal Affairs or someone needs to set up a special task force. There are a lot of bikers clubs. The undercover in charge of keeping an eye on the group was the guy breaking the window!  Commissioner Kelly is in trouble; this comes on the heels of stop and frisk.  Can motorcycles be banned from Manhattan? Might be a good idea. IS this just the work of a few bad actors? Yes. But stop and frisk was a failure constitutionally – they weren't professional in their approach and hey weren't properly supervised. Bill Bratton is a creative thinker; he knows how to spread authority and promote competent people. De Blasio  is considering him.

Undercover NYPD Cop Accused of Gang Assault in Biker Beating Identified in Video

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Paul Roderick Gregory, Stanford &; Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: Obama's Pre-existing Conditions Whopper

We Are Shutting Down Only Thirteen Percent of the Government (at Most) Eighty cents out of every federal non-defense dollar represents a transfer from taxpayer to recipient. Entitlement transfers do not require annual Congressional approval. They can be changed only by entitlement reform, which is not on the table. We cannot, therefore, “shut down” a federal government whose primary business is income redistribution. The entitlement checks and interest payments must go out the door, government shutdown or no government shut down. The social security, unemployment compensation, disability, Medicare, and Medicaid checks go out automatically like . . .

In fact, a max of 1.5 mil Americans are subject to preconditions when they apply for health insurance. Administration looked at stats for how many have diabetes, asthma, hypertension, chronic diseases. in fact, one person my have three conditions.  This is a gold – at least, silver – medal for lying with statistics.  Off by a hundredfold. As for "families being turned away" – look at CBO projections: 25 mil insured over the next decade; staring number is 36 mil.   For Obamacare,  they need 7 mil to sign up; hard to make that projection since it all depends on how many young people decide to sign up or pay the penalty. 

Gayle Trotter ‪@gayletrotter Only 51,000 completed #Obamacare applications. 800,000 in NJ lost their insurance last month. Math is hard.… Jeff Bliss: CoveredCalifornia made a bunch of declarations; about 43,000 applications. All together, 51,000 have applied all across the country.  At first blush, this is a disaster, a laughingstock.  If you actually get on the system, you can’t get off the system! I don’t like very sensitive, personal health info being passed around to the IRS.  We cannot get info in the US; had to go to the London Daily Mail to get statistics.  Our govt is doig badly, including the GOP.

 Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Paul E Vallely, US Army Major General (ret), in re: US has in fact cut off aid to Egypt, which now is reverting to MiG21s since parts for F16s are no longer available. ["Our first show together was 9/8, then again on 9/11] Was with Westminster Group in Egypt for three days: Min Def, Amb Moussa (redoing the constitution, CofC, a wide variety, all sent a msg to take back to the US. SO disgusted  after being allies for forty years, to have Jane Patterson support the Muslim Brotherhood instead of what 33mil people stood up to say: We want a new govt. Gen Sisi brought  in the mil to prevent unrest for ht interim, till elections next year.  Under an agreement we had under DOD, mostly concerning "modernization" – could be guns, helos, logistical programs; in Egypt, was modernization of their aircraft: Apache helos, esp on Sinai and over Suez and south Libya.  The US M1A1, the F16s, no parts; what can they do? They've grounded the F16s; have kept the MiG-21s with parts now from Ukraine; have gone to Saudis, UAE, Qatar for financial support. The US is likely to lose Egypt to the Russians. The Egyptian generals: "We love America, can’t believe what the State Dept has done to us."

Aid suspension fuels anti-US sentiment in Egypt

Hour Two

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  Michael Singh, managing director of The Washington Institute; in re:  Iran cancels annual anti-Zionism conference  - this shows what a low bar we're starting from in order to consider this an accommodation. What actions is the US looking for from Iran? Wendy Sherman says that the US position is "maximalist." Zarif's endeavor to divide the powers.  It's true that he ambiance has changed, but Iranian positions have not.  Maintaining P5+1 unity will be difficult.  Pres  Obama thinks a year or more is available: question is, what timeline are you looking at? When Iran has enough nuclear fuel for one weapon (Israeli line), or enough to [bld many]?  US  had a 1994 agreement with North Korea that might be similar to what we ask for from Iran – but the result is that DPRK now has a fully functional nuclear program.  Iran made a significant investment in shoring up Assad, which they must see as having been successful.  China and Russia have intervened in the Security Council; Iran see this as positive. The whole Middle East has become more polarized on a sectarian basis since the Arab Spring, bad for Iran. 

Latest gesture from regime intent on changing its public image garners criticism from hardliners ; in show of military might, Israel drills long-range air force attack ; U.S. Should Hold Firm in Iranian Nuke Talks   If President Obama stands fast on key requirements, both sides can get what they need most: relief from crushing sanctions, and a strategic shift in Tehran.   In an Oct. 3 op-ed in the New York Times, Vali Nasr asserts that Iran is approaching the nuclear negotiations slated to resume Oct. 15 from a position of strength and that American ambitions should therefore be modest. He suggests limited sanctions relief in exchange for "concrete steps to slow down Iran's nuclear program and open it to international scrutiny." Nasr's prescription, however, would provide neither U.S. President Barack Obama nor Iranian President Hasan Rouhani with what they need. Iran is not riding nearly as high as Nasr, the dean of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, suggests, but is in fact under tremendous economic, political, and military pressure. The charming self-assurance projected by Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif mask a  . . .  [more]

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Eric Trager, Washington Institute, in re: the Obama administration’s decision to cut military aid to Egypt is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what transpired in Egypt this summer.  Further, cutting aid right now, when the military is especially unlikely to act democratically, means losing influence later when the environment might be more hospitable to a pro-democratic US posture in Egypt. We're told that the change in govt was a "military coup" but that's not official US policy; we call the temporary cut-off _______..  jihadis moving in from Sinai to attack major Egyptian cities, incl Cairo. this is a terrible gesture on the part of the US, as Egyptians already think that the US supports to Muslim Brotherhood. US policy is shockingly insular: UN ambassador and other wanted to cut off aid  immed; Secy of Defense and other opposed. As a thousand people were killed in the crackdown the WH shifted, This is about a White House internal policy, not about strategic thinking.  Congress was totally caught off guard; current govt shutdown and wrangling may have led to zero consultation with Congress. Event he Egyptian amb to Washington and defense attaché were caught off guard by the US withdrawal of funding – learned of it on CNN! A policy disaster. We have problems with Bahrain, Morocco: a lack of clarity as to what it is that the US is trying to accomplish - democracy? to maintain a lynchpin of US strategy in the Middle East for four decades?   We do this [withdraw funding] just as the new Egyptian govt is engaged against the darkest elements in the Middle East. WH says, "Oh it's just symbolic."  Not.   The jihadis are coming from Sinai, and Libya, making their way to heavily-popul ated regions – a YouTube of their attacks on a fancy neighborhood. Egyptian people are [freaked out]. We are losing Egypt.

Obama Just Made a Terrible Mistake on Egypt In a certain sense, the Obama administration’s decision to withhold much of the $1.3 billion in annual aid given to Egypt isn’t surprising. U.S. law mandates cutting off aid to countries in which a coup has taken place, and the Egyptian military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi this summer was, analytically speaking, exactly that. Moreover, the Egyptian military’s behavior during the three months since Morsi’s removal has made Egypt’s slide towards enhanced autocracy impossible to ignore: Over 1,000 people have been killed in the military-backed government’s crackdown on pro-Morsi protests; journalists who criticize the military have been prosecuted in military courts; and the new constitution will likely further shield the military from any kind of civilian oversight.

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Jonathan Schanzer, former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury;  in re: Saleh Aruri, Operational founder and Commander of the Kassem Brigades [Hamas] in the West Bank, has been based in Turkey since October 2012. has implications for Turkey and for US policy. How does this serve Recep Tayyip Erdogan?   Now a picture  of Erdogan greeting Khaled Maschaal – Hamas is dying on the vine, in desperate need of a new headquarters. Found it in Qatar under Sheikh Hamid, but his son has taken over and asked Maschaal to leave. Ergo, he's trying for abris in Turkey.  Hamas has a HQ crisis, and Gaza base of operation is dreadful as Egypt mounts a war against Hamas and closed the needed tunnels; cash strapped, unable to make payroll last month of $25mil; a severe balance-of-payments crisis in Gaza.  Lat year, Qatar was Hamas's top patron; this year, looks like Erdogan.   Erdogan's conduct has been bizarre for a long time: illness? medications?  He keeps advocating for an global Muslim Brotherhood order.  He's wildly misjudged all this.  US should have given up on the Turkish alliance, all considered.  Libya. Egypt. Turkey.  The US has no friend left. Even the Israelis wonder why US cut off aid to Egypt when it needs aid to survive. The only nation the US is speaking sweetly to is . . . Iran.  Iran focuses on Hamas and Hezbollah, both under much strain , "their own little Vietnam."   Who wants these two groups? Erdogan's policies are now backfiring on him; he's gone from "zzero problems" to having no neighbor who favors him, he's now a pariah – esp after the Gezi Park episodes. He wants to bring down Bashir al Assad and will do anything. Buy off groups on the other side of the border. Nasty game. 

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Emanuele Ottolenghi, FDD, in re:  Rouhani has used smiles and slight concessions to present a softer ambiance, but his moves are in fact aggressive. He initiated many military exchanges with North Korea; he boasts to the press f having lied across his career.   He's been at the center of the Iranian security apparatus since Day One of the Islamic State.  Ordered the bombing of the cultural center in Buenos Aires; put down student protests.  Historically, a basis for major governmental transition – USSR, South Africa – is to see that something is terribly wrong with its functioning. No such on the clerics in Iran right now – are convinced they’re on the right side of history. Their success at the UN recently suggests they're not losing. 

Hour Three        

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents,  in re: Iran Egypt, Turkey, nuclear talks.  Cancelled this year's anti-Israeli conference, which could be inconvenient during a charm offensive.  Reports of a Russian-US-Iranian understanding allowing Iran t have 20% enrichment, keep the Qom facility, and a few other sops, are not the point: need a full shutdown; that's the criterion. Europe not buying into this: "Iran is using tranquillizing word to chloroform the West." Israel remains ready to act in the event that Iran is ready to build the bomb.  The Israeli air force announced long-range training event over het Med, same distance as form Israel to Iran.  If we fall into the trap – Lavrov said it'll take 6 to 9 mos to have an agreement with Iran – that's not good. Meanwhile Iran's economy is heading soon to total collapse.  Egypt: suspension of mil aid to Egypt: wrong direction [see Hour 1]. 

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:  Khaled Maschaal, head of Hamas, looking desperately for a new HWQ – tunnels shut by Yet, Gazan economy on the ropes – but Maschaal found a new sponsor: Erdogan – who called Assad a terrorist, backed the wrong horse in Egpt (Morsi), has alientated all of his neighbors.  Trying to show the Arab street that he's a good guy, although 73% of Turks reject support of Hamas, Saleh Aruri, Operational founder and Commander of the Kassem Brigades [Hamas] in the West Bank, has been based in Turkey since October 2012.  Erdogan is half off his rocker and furious that the US didn’t bomb Syria.  His aggression toward Israel has increased.  He wants to a the top leader in the Sunni vs Shia fight.  His populace is dissatisfied with him; he could lash out in any way.  The Syrian civil was is a scar on the planet; it’s not about chem. weapons, it's about massacres.

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block C: John Tamny, RealClear Markets &, in re: The popular view that says educational attainment drives economic growth is only realistic insofar as it shows just how confused are the proponents of this politically correct myth.  Quality education, whatever that means, is an effect, not a cause of prosperity.  The economic success of the U.S. and China show why.  The Politically Correct Myth About Education Driving Economic Growth The successful conduct of business demands qualities quite other than those necessary for passing examinations - even if the examinations deal with subjects bearing on the work of the position in question." - Ludwig von Mises, Socialism, p. 165

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Nicholas Wade, NYT, in re: Genes Suggest European Women at Root of Ashkenazi Family Tree  A genetic analysis indicates that the women who founded the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Europe were not from the Near East, as previously thought.

Hour Four

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze by Peter Harmsen (1 of 4)

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze by Peter Harmsen (2 of 4)

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze by Peter Harmsen (3 of 4)

Thursday  10 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze by Peter Harmsen (4 of 4)

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Hour 1: The Proposition, Sin City 

Hour 2: Breaking Bad, The Road

Hour 3: The Ghost Writer, Inception, The Good German

Hour 4: The Good German