Thursday 14 November 2013
Photo, above: PLA Navy Coast Guard, off Senkaku Islands, East China Sea.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent, in re: Today's New York Times editorial, Andrew Rosenthal: Mr. Obama has dealt another blow to his own already damaged credibility with this latest reminder of how he and his team bungled the rollout of health care reform. . . . Hovering over the press conference at the White House today was the question of whether Mr. Obama lied — whether he deliberately said what he knew not to be true with the intention of deceiving people — when he said repeatedly that Americans who like their policies would be able to keep them. . . . Mr. Obama sometimes shoots from the hip, that he is still struggling to handle the politics of the presidency after nearly five years in office, and that he is surrounded by people who are too incompetent or too weak to help him.
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Edward W Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence, in re: New York City homelessness and indigent people, some with severe mental health problems, wandering the streets. NYPD Commissioners. Yes, there's been a change over the last months; tonight, there was an aggressive homeless woman in the bus chewing something and spitting out pieces, angry. The next Commissioner appointed will be very important. The largest group coming into the police academy is Hispanic. You can’t go up to them and say, "How ya doin', brother?" because they’ll say, "I know who my mother is and you ain't my brother." Bill Bratton? Rafael Piñeiro?
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Jose Mallea, policy director, The Libre Initiative, in re: Affordable Care Act. People, many on modest incomes, seeing their policies cancelled, coverage lost, costs go up, very bad for our community and economy and small business; Joe Garcia supports the ACA. We'll soon be in a bunch of other states. Note that the ACA has no functioning Spanish-language site!
The LIBRE Initiative, a conservative Hispanic-outreach group, has announced it's going after Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia [FL-26] over his support for Obamacare. The big question: Does this line of attack actually work? And will it work in 2014 when Garcia is likely to face Republican Carlos Curbelo?
The fact that Garcia is being targeted is a sign that District 26 is in play. It's a newly drawn swing district, so it can't be taken for granted by either party. Garcia is raising money like a demon and incumbents are tough to beat, but then Democrats tend to underperform in mid-term elections. . . . [more]
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Michael Auslin, , in re:
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: "freezing enrichment" in Iran? Not; freezing the stockpile, with no 20%-enriched uranium allowed. Secy Kerry today angered senators with his refusal to answer questions. Iran has 19,000 centrifuges; during negotiations, cd produce enough for another bomb or three. "Relaxation" of sanctions would release another $30-40 billion. Khamenei alone has enterprises worth roughly $95 billion. (See Reuters investigation.) There've been no sanctions till June 2013; Administration refuses to answer why, although they say, "We don’t want to make sanctions look as though we’re supporting regime change," which is Alice in Wonderland talk. . . . "The farther back you look, the farther ahead you'll see." – Churchill. Secy of State Kerry in effect threatened violence by Palestinians. Secy Condoleezza Rice rated Ohlmert as though he was Bull Connor. Is it something about the water in the State Dept bldg? To avoide a war, show strength to the Iranians. Syrians made a deal only when the US ha d a aircraft carrier on the coast Ehud Barack in 2008 speaking w Pres Bush: "We got this far not from quoting Isiah, but from the gun"
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Edwin Black, author, Financing the Flames, in re: NGO and nonprofit money pouring into the hands of the Palestinian Authority and other troublemakers. Channeling into Israeli NGOs to finance violence and sometimes overt terrorism. Rendering peace impossible. New Israel Fund funding 800 organizations, some very valuable, but scores are working to achieve what leading Knesset member say is "destabilizing" the IDF. What Egypt Jordan and Lebanon couldn't do on the battlefield the New Israel Fund does under the guise of do-good. These organizations are also getting money from the Saudis. "Consensus" represent s 300 military men who've issued a statement saying that these groups are focused on harassing IDF [hear segment]. Every man, woman and child n the US is helping to subsidize the New Israel Fund. See also: USAID – violates US law, as 6% goes into paying Palestinian terrorists's salaries.
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Eli Lake, senior national security correspondent, Newsweek/Daily Beast, in re: Iran negotiations. Former Sen John Kerry calling on his former Senate colleagues; sharp words: Sen Mark Kirk, usu judicious, cautious, mild-mannered, said, Secy Kerry's briefing was fairly anti-Israel; I don't disbelieve everything the Israelis told me – the Administration instructed us to 'discount everything the Israelis say.' " What?! Sanctions on Iran have basically isolated Iran from the global banking system; any bank that violated them would be blocked from doing business with US financial markets, incl electronic banking, which has made things quite difficult for the mullahs. 'Discount everything the Israelis say' – Secretary Kerry is telling everyone, "Never mind"? This Administration really wants to deal with Iran; State spokeswoman in effect called Netanyahu both wrong and a liar.
Inside Obama’s Iran Sanctions Strategy Obama believes he’s near a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program—and is willing to offer up to $10 billion in sanctions relief. But Israel and Congress think he’s giving away much more. [more]
Thursday 14 November 2 013 / Hour 2, Block D: Emanuele Ottolenghi, FDD, in re: Kerry’s presentation to Senate; new sanctions; Iran negotiations: Kerry spent five hours with Iranian foreign minister, no info to US allies; very odd. Ayatollahs are "bazaari kings," think they can out-negotiate everybody. Iranians have agreed to "partially open, under managed access," enrichment plants, meaning that Iranians would control the whole inspection process. A deal without transparency ins not deal.
France Derails Iranian ‘Sucker’s Deal’ Well into last weekend it looked as though Iran was going to win the latest round of negotiations — by a knockout, not on points. Secretary of State John Kerry had flown to Geneva to sign a deal that would have stuffed tens of billions of dollars into the pockets of Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, easing the economic pressure — the pressure that had brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place. The funds would have been turned over with no restrictions. Khamenei could have used them to further Iran’s illicit nuclear-weapons program — the program that negotiations were meant to stop.
In exchange, Iran’s rulers would not have been required even to . . .
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: US Senate recommends holding or increasing sanctions on Iran in order to keep it from further aggression. Administration, esp Secy Kerry, doesn't feel free to share basic information, which dismays and alarms the Congress; 63 members today demanded swift action. The nature of the concessions [problematic]. After all other considerations, the 19,000 centrifuges keep spinning. Russians offered Alexandria as Russian port – Russia has a ne presence; Lavrov will confirm this agreement in coming hours. Egyptian military: 48% is Russian-based, 52% is US arms. Saudis paying for huge Egyptian arms purchases from Russia. Gaza sending out rockets today; Israel responded in the evening, Ten thousand people demonstrated I Gaza; then 6,000 for Islamic Jihad. Shoulder-launched missiles, rocket launchers. Hamas is out of money, gets up to $50 mil from Iran. Israel meanwhile is sending huge assistance to Philippines.
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, in re: settlements; letter to Secy Kerry. Kerry: "Israeli settlements are illegitimate." This is an expression of opinion, to which one is entitled, but is factually inaccurate and wrong in law. Shooting from the hip. Oslo, specifically from 1995, says that both Palestinians and Israelis may continue planning, zoning and bldg until final agreement. Only exception is . . . Secy of State is threatening Israel with a Third Intifada and intl isolation: this is incitement. Absolutely scandalous. Rather than helping to advance the talks, it limits them. I rather think that the Secretary knows better and simply spoke intemperately.
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL- 27), in re:
“If true that the Administration is actually proposing sanctions relief for Iran in exchange for a six-month halt in its nuclear program, it would be a significant error in judgment that very likely could have the opposite intended outcome. Iran has shown time and time again that it will use whatever means necessary at its disposal to buy time to complete its nuclear program. There can be no concessions whatsoever – no easing of sanctions, no deals – until Iran takes the first verifiable and concrete steps to dismantle its nuclear program.
“Iran has been steadily increasing the amount of advanced centrifuges it has in operation, making its program much more efficient. Iran could at any moment start its enrichment back up and within weeks be capable of producing enough material for a nuclear weapon. The White House is falling for Tehran’s trap at the peril of our national security, and that of our allies, like the democratic Jewish State of Israel. I urge the White House and the Senate to learn from the lessons of the past and not offer sanctions relief in return for the false hopes and empty promises of the Iranian regime. Instead, new rounds of sanctions must be implemented to gain further leverage because any misstep in calculations at this juncture will have devastating and irreversible consequences that will be difficult to correct retroactively.”
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Jessica Silver-Greenberg, NYT, in re: A Bank’s Fruitful Ties to a Member of China’s Elite To promote its standing in China, JPMorgan Chase turned to a seemingly obscure consulting firm run by a 32-year-old executive named Lily Chang.
Ms. Chang’s firm, which received a $75,000-a-month contract from JPMorgan, appeared to have only two employees. And on the surface, Ms. Chang lacked the influence and public name recognition needed to unlock business for the bank.
But what was known to JPMorgan executives in Hong Kong, and some executives at other major companies, was that “Lily Chang” was not her real name. It was an alias for Wen Ruchun, the only daughter of Wen Jiabao, who at the time was China’s prime minister, with oversight of the economy and its financial institutions
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Joseph Rago, WSJ editorial board & Pulitzer Prizewinner, in re: ObamaCare's Nonfix You still can't keep your plan, but Democrats get political cover.
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: A buggy software upgrade on November 7 caused Curiosity to spend a week rebooting itself. They've switched back to the older software so that Curiosity can continue its journey to Mount Sharp while they debug the upgrade here on Earth.
SpaceX has delayed the next commercial launch of its Falcon 9 rocket by three days, from November 22 to November 25. It seems they simply wish to give their people some breathing room prior to launch.
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg, in re:
Service Corporation International (SCI), North America's largest provider of “deathcare products and services,” is buying up rivals to get even bigger. Report goes inside SCI and questions if its growth is coming at the expense of grieving families. By early 2014, SCI, which is publicly traded and has a market capitalization of $4 billion, expects to operate 2,168 funeral homes and cemeteries, and will control 15% of the U.S. death industry. SCI’s size means it enjoys volume discounts but the chain charges customers more than independently -owned rivals do. In fact, on the list of the U.S.’s 100 most expensive funeral homes, 73 are owned by SCI.
Thursday 14 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Sebastian Gorka, FDD, in re: Russian ship docks in Alexandria. Varyag, the flagship of the Russian Pacific Fleet, docked in Alexandria ahead of one of the highest-level visits by Russian officials to the country in decades.
During the unofficial visit, Russian sailors are scheduled to tour Egyptian Navy warships and share their experiences, which will be followed by sports competitions with their Egyptian counterparts. The ship will be in Egypt for six days, and is expected to later join Russian forces in the Mediterranean.
Varyag is Salva-class cruiser that was laid down in 1979, launched in July 1983, and commissioned in October 1989. She has the length of 186.4m and can reach a speed up to 32 knots (59 km/h; 37mph). Varyag is equipped with: . . .
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Hour 1: Downton Abbey. Sin City. The Proposition. Infamous.
Hour 2: The Hurt Locker. The Eagle. Metal Gear 4.
Hour 3: Metal Gear 4. Babylon AD.
Hour 4: Season of the Witch. Starship Troopers. Assassin's Creed.