The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 17 May 2018

Air Date: 
May 17, 2018

Co-hosts:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, and Thaddeus McCotter, The Great Voice of the Great Lakes.
Hour One
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: Sebastian Gorka, Fox News national political strategist, in re:  . . . Does China understand that this president actually means what he says? That this Administration is happy to work carefully toward a successful negotiation but will not hesitate to walk away if DPRK is [truculent]?  An excellent question; after the last several Administrations, it wouldn’t be surprising if Beijing were puzzled. However, [at some point,] they will understand.  . . . US sanctioning a banker in Iran and one in Iraq, funneling money into the IRGC. Extremely harsh sanctions. “Getting into the weeds of wonkery.” Sanctions are most effective when they target individuals – key players in Iran, Russia, elsewhere; when they feel the eat personally, you tend to see remarkable things happen in short order.  Not so with blanket sanctions.
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Sebastian Gorka, Fox News national political strategist, in re:  Trump campaign anticipating the allegation that . . . the Obama Administration’s FBI might be surveilling Trump and his staff and
The line between the Nunes report and this latest report is an important line to draw. This is the first anniversary of t he decrepit Mueller probe.  There’s [not a scintilla of evidence that anyone in Trump’s ambit had anything to do with Russians.]  Operation Resolute Support (Afgh) needs support; Taliban fight or decline battle at will,  controlling the field. They crash in to where they wish, steal weapons, kill people, and the Afghan army can’t stop these.  There’s no unitary solutions - Afgh never has been a Westphalian nation; which Taliban [of very many] are we referring to?  Afgh territory must ever again be used for an attack on both United States; this can be managed. 
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Francis Rose, host, Government Matters, (Washington, D.C.) ABC 7 & News Channel 8 at WJLA-TV; in re: Veterans’ Administration. House is moving a big package — $52 bil — for VA healthcare.   . . .  VA has signed a contract with Cerner (private-sector healthcare software developer).  Coast Guard said it also will sign on to military system.  GAO report says the MHS Genesis system isn’t working – one of the largest Fed contracts, ceiling of $10 bil over ten years.  Previous contract failed and as junked, money out the window. Former acting Chief Information Ofcr said Vista will be around for ten years because it’ll take that long to deploy the Cerner system throughout the VA. If [the Feds] can't securely protect their systems from outside raiding . . .  Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation: secure not only the hardware but also the data inside, and partitioning it so one can't easily get in; blt in a more resilient way.   . . . If CDN turns out not to have been woven into the Cerner system, there’ll be a lot of very angry Congressmen.   . . . Hawkins ran the DIA IT operation, rendering him well-suited to take over the VA.
White House Search for VA Secretary Narrows to Candidates Including Two Retired Generals Two retired generals have visited the White House in the past week to interview with aides for the Veterans Affairs secretary position, a White House official said Tuesday.  Under consideration for the cabinet post are retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter. Also in the mix is Ron Nicol, a senior adviser at the Boston Consulting Group, though the White House official said his chances of getting nominated are less likely.
President Donald Trump is looking for a permanent head of the 360,000-person VA, the second-largest government agency after the Pentagon. In March, the president ousted VA Secretary David Shulkin amid a controversy surrounding an official trip he took to Europe in 2017.  . . . 
In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Ferriter said: “I grew up in a military family and my father served in the military in the Second World War. Since I retired, I’ve been totally immersed in taking care of veterans and their families and their soldiers, and if I were asked to serve, I would find that very appealing.”
Mr. Hawkins declined to comment. A colleague said he is president and chief executive of the Hawkins Group, which provides federal and commercial advisory and consulting services involving cybersecurity and information technology.     Mr. Nicol, reached Tuesday night, said he spoke to White House staff about the VA job last week. The 64-year-old Dallas resident said he didn’t have a sense of his prospects for the nomination, though he remains interested in becoming VA secretary.   “I care deeply about our veterans,” said Mr. Nicol, who was part of Mr. Trump’s presidential transition team. “We should be thinking about the resources of the VA. We have a lot of resources in both budget and people. We should think about allocating those resources to every veteran to make sure we’re optimizing the value of those resources.”
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block D: Veronique de Rugy, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; & nationally syndicated columnist; in re:  Seattle.  .  .  They looked around, said, “We have very rich companies; lets impose a head tax of $500 per employees for $20 mil-plus companies; came down to $275 per employee. Could be $12 mil for Amazon’s 12,000 employees. There are 585 companies facing this new tax. Shows the incredible mentality of those who think they can spend the money you earned better than you can.
Amazon said, We were about to build a huge extension; then a labor group said that Amazon should be charged with a felony for having “threatened” public employees.  You vote with your feet, but these guys can't conceive of Amazon’s moving.
Companies don’t pay taxes; individuals do.  Who will actually pay for this fee is future employees with lower salaries, shareholders with lower dividends, etc.   “Head tax” is a Medieval phrase.  Note that 69% of Seattle’s dwellings are single-occupancy. 
Hour Two
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  Jonathan Schanzer; in re: Gaza, the fence. Injuries, deaths, Hamas; instigation; a boiling point.  Sixty-eight [?] of those killed were specifically Hamas operatives.  Israeli intell was blunt about the fact they they needed to have done better,; after-action report on the high number of deaths, much much regretted. However. Palestinians at the behest of Hamas laying IREDs at the border, sending in burning kites;; they closed school and forced kids to go to the fence; sent prisoners out of jail and forced them to fence, also; sent them to 13 different places to foil the IDF. No strong Hamas strategy; basically, trying to augment the misery of Gazans. Note that this was long planned, and certainly much antedated the moving of the embassy. 
Turkey: growth of a Hamas presence inside Turkey. Kidnappings planned by a senior Hamas figure. Billions of dollars pouring int the Gaza Strip; lately, during he stabbings and vehicular attacks around Jerusalem heard hat Turks had been investing heavily in East Jerusalem, effort to prevent Israelis from buying and esp to Islamize Jerusalem. Jordanians are alarmed – their brand of Islam is fundamentally different from that of the Turks. 
Since joining FDD in February 2010, Dr. Schanzer has been singularly focussed on ensuring that FDD delivers not only accurate and timely research, but also research that is useful to decision-makers inside the Beltway, across America, and around the world. He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers.  A former research Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block B:  Simon Henderson, in re: Iran.   JCPOA is gone. Europe has a commercial interest in trading with Iran; will decide which is more important: trade with Iran or with US?   Enormous bureaucratic machine. Debilitating effect on Iranian economy. Europe is at odds with the US in diplomacy, anent not only Iran but other parts of the world. Not only that Europe dislikes Pres Trump; Iran has got itself involved in this schism. Two of the three M’s visited Washington to try to persuade Trump not to end JCPOA and Iran may have thought they had a chance.  Simplest thing Iran can do is enrich uranium in larger quantities and to higher [purification] than permitted under JCPOA. British position is compounded by Brexit – tremendous distraction – the smaller element is there are several Iranian dual nationals w Britain
Simon Henderson is the Baker Fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The Washington Institute, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf. A former journalist with Financial Times, Mr. Henderson has also worked as a consultant advising corporations and governments on the Persian Gulf. He became an associate of the Institute in 1999 and joined the staff in 2006. He started his career with the British Broadcasting Corporation before joining the Financial Times. His experience includes serving as a foreign correspondent in Pakistan in 1977-78, and reported from Iran during the 1979 Islamic revolution and seizure of the U.S. embassy.
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block C:  Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, in re: Guatemala today opened its embassy in Jerusalem; Honduras announced it will, eke Czech Republic. Iran demands they withdraw their ambassadors from Teheran. Global tide turns against that POV. How often do we see this propaganda – anticipating slaughters, riots, insanity, none of which occurs — propagated by the American media? Many Christian leaders and foreign ambassadors attended the ceremony. Hamas gave wire cutters to Gazans in saying that the goal is to kill Israelis.
Obvious that they were running money; supporting the Hamas terrorists, the Houthis in Yemen. Quds forces vacuumed in the cash. The Obama Adm refused to deal with the obvious flow of money into Iran, whose economy is in parlous state with 40% unemployment.
Didn't the Iran deal send huge flows of cash into Iran?  They're pouring a billion dollars into Syria annually.  US has allowed that.  Iran tried to blame the Syrian army for Iranian missiles that were sent into Israel; these aren't heroes – they're cowards. The Obama Adm danced around this; was hell-bent on obtaining a deal of any sort.  Congress couldn’t have done anything about it.  Obama knew exactly what was going on.
Israel continues to send 53 trucks of food into Gaza daily – and the PA now prevents them!  Today more than 50 trucks loaded with medical eqpt, bandages; 14 truckloads of food and diapers. How d they explain to Palestinians that they refused food and medicine?  Hamas tries to redirect the frustration and misery of its own people; they divert hundreds of tons of cement from bldg. houses and hospitals to bld tunnels to kill Israeli civilians.
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block D: Benjamin Weinthal, in re: Iran . Heidelberg University rejected BDS, the anti-Jewish movement vote: 16 against, 15 for, 15 abstentions. Students opposed BDS.  Leipzig and Hamburg universities also opposed BDS.   . . . Merkel protect Germany trade with Iran.  New US amb to Germany advised German firms to wind down their trade with Iran. Merkel is still fighting. Bulgaria: activate a law protecting deals ’twixt Europe and Iran?
Benjamin Weinthal is a research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. A widely published journalist based in Berlin, he serves as FDD's eyes and ears in Europe. Benjamin’s investigative reporting has uncovered valuable information on Iran’s energy links to European firms, as well as Hamas and Hezbollah’s terror-finance operations in Europe. He has also examined the growth of the Islamic State in Europe, growing anti-Semitism on the Continent, and neo-Nazism.
Hour Three
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block A: Dr. Yardenna Alexandre, Israeli Antiquities Authority Archaeologist and Assistant to the IAA Spokeswoman; in re:   . .  . Sanhedrin trail – the 70 sages who were leaders of the Jewish people in the Galilee; Sanhedrin were like the High Court; met at different places from about 135 AD to about 429 AD; wound up in Tiberias. This constitutes the basis of today’s Judaism, basis of the Mishna and Talmud (codifications of Jewish law).  A person or family can go on this walk or part of it and with their mobile phone get all the information on the way. 

Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block B: Colonel Richard Kemp; in re: Gaza. Hamas still getting money.   . . . At the wall: a complex, sophisticated, well-organized logistics operation by Hamas. Can see people organizing and directing, These are not peaceful demos; use grenades, rifles, antitank explosives, IEDs, wire cutters, flaming kites and balloons to burn crops – I drove through a field of wheat burned by a fire kite. 
Richard Kemp has spent most his life fighting terrorism and insurgency, commanding British troops on the front line of some of the world’s toughest hotspots, including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland. He is now a writer, journalist, media commentator and motivational speaker. He provides strategic consultancy services on leadership, security, intelligence, counterterrorism and defense.
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block C:  Andrew C McCarthy, an American columnist for National Review; served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; in re:  Comey and Sessions. Special counsel needs god ground for a criminal investigation; there must be grounds for a criminal investigation for ____ to happen. Rosenstein appointed Mueller to investigate under FBI counterintell authority any Russian [participation]. A general warrant: here’s the person, go find something.  . . . secretly gave an authorization to Mueller, but 4/5 of the memo remains redacted. Only two slim paragraphs released to the public, only on Manafort, having naught to do w Russian espionage or the 2016 elections.
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block D:  Andrew C McCarthy, an American columnist for National Review; served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; in re:  Comey and Sessions
Hour Four
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block A:  The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency, by James Tobin
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block B:  The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency, by James Tobin
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block C:  The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace, by David B. Woolner
Thursday 17 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block D:  The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace, by David B. Woolner