Thursday 23 May 2013
Photo, above: Gaggle of aggressive fools - the eight candidates approved Tuesday for Iran's June 14 presidential election to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who cannot run again because of term limits.
ALI AKBAR VELAYATI: Top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on international affairs. Velayati, 67, served as foreign minister during the 1980-88 war with Iraq and into the 1990s. He is a physician and runs a hospital in north Tehran. He was among the suspects named by Argentina in a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
MOHAMMAD BAGHER QALIBAF: Tehran mayor and former commander of the Revolutionary Guard during the Iran-Iraq war. Qalibaf, 51, is a pilot who enjoys good relations with Khamenei.
HASAN ROWHANI: A former nuclear negotiator and Khamenei's representative at the Supreme National Security Council, which also handles the nuclear dossier. Rowhani, 64, is a British-educated cleric.
MOHAMMAD REZA AREF: Liberal-leaning former vice president under reformist President Mohammad Khatami. Aref, 61, a former Tehran University chancellor, vowed to drop out of race if Khatami decides to run.
MOHSEN REZAEI: Former chief commander of the Revolutionary Guard. Rezaei, 58, ran in 2009, but finished fourth. He currently is secretary of the Expediency Council, which mediates between the parliament and Guardian Council.
SAEED JALILI: Iran's top nuclear negotiator since 2007. Jalili, 47, began his career as a diplomat in 1991. He has the support of ultraconservative cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, who was previously seen as Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor.
GHOLAM ALI HADDAD ADEL: A 68-year-old former parliament speaker, who is currently a member of the Expediency Council and considered a strong conservative voice. His daughter is married to Khamenei's son.
MOHAMMAD GHARAZI: A former oil and telecommunications minister. Gharazi, 71, also served in parliament in the 1980s and '90s. He is considered conservative and portrays himself as a steady-handed technocrat.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Mona Charen, NRO, in re: the tangle of scandals in Washington. Lerner signed a letter authorizing harassment of 15 conservative groups. Criminal liability? Depends. [list of inappropriate-feasances]Democrats so loner getting air cover from HuffPo. Eric Holder wil review Eric Holder. Special Prosecutor route not available; Congress can’t lend its creditbility to this review. reports of other news networks; of investigation not only of organizations but of individuals. "Perhaps we shouldn’t be talking" say sources, journos. "Hi IRS if you’re listening!" Holder signed off on surveillance – possibly criminal – of journalists.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Edward W Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence, in re: Eric Holder signed off on a wiretap without court authorization – to see if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend you shouldn’t have; he'll set you up on some other level; you get audited, then your brother, then your uncle gets audited . . . . who does he think he is, this guy? A guy who wants to talk with me may not be afraid of talking with the six guys wiretapping. What do you do? Shut up. Never talk. Mary Kissel: That makes our jobs almost impossible. Listening device is less than the size of a penny. EH: It's a little better if a court authorizes it, but the whole thing smells. Do you think the IRS is so uncooperative without their bosses . . . they have pensions. How could only one area of the IRS be so permeated . . . ?
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Tim Wilson, Director of Climate Change Policy & the IP and Free Trade Unit Institute of Public Affairs, Melbourne, in re: former NSW Minister alleged to have turned over a coal mine deal that would have netted him $100mil. Whole Labor party is topsy-turvey. Gillard once accused of incorrect slush fiund; union funds across the board. Allegations that our PM is being investigated by the Victorian police.She re-made herself from being a hard-nosed union lawyer; as PM, softer haircut, better figure, voice lessons. Was famously an organizaer for the socialist left; progressively moderated her position. At university: equal rights for gay Australians; now is married, refused to support same-sex marriage. Naked ambition.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: .Abheek Bhattacharya, Heard on the Street WSJ in Hong Kong, in re: China is the Sun in the Asian solar system; if a bad ec. report emerges, bad also for India.Yesterday's report of a contraction isn’t necessarily [prognostication]. One longstanding story w India is no one knows how to invest there. Besides genl slowdown, is now affecting consumption. Serious for companies betting on India – Unlever, othrs. Good for rthe very long run, but over the medium term, lots of problems – slow growth, high inflation, generally bad consumption mkt. China doesn't buy so isn’t giving SE Asia a chance to grow, whereas India does, and is. India may have too much consumption – juiced by govt subsidies.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: . Robert Satloff, exec dir, Washington Institute, in re: Political instability in Jordan. The king is facing a destabilized landscape. Long history of people inaccurately predicting the end of the Hashemite kingdom, but the array of problems now is severe. King Abdullah is one of the keystones of the region; lowr parliament called for removal of Israeli ambassador Growing division among htose formerlyloyal to the monarchy? the exhaust valve of berating Israel is a time-honored tradition; considered acceptable politics:Tcan’t attack the king, so you attack vicariously the king's favorably relations with Israel. Beneath this is a fgrowinfg sidtance between many in ht east bank – Jordamian heartland – the spine of th ekingspm, the buttress of support for the monarchy; when that goes weak, hjte monarchy is in trouble. Presence of he Syrians conrtributes to the political destabilizatin because they eat up assets – paid by truue Jordanians, who for years paid for Palestinians; feel that they’re getting the short end of the stick. Corruption, incl a whiff of peopek near the plalace (not the king); a high degree of disaffection. Protest: Heraq (the Movement). Off the record, Israelis are doing an enormous amount to help Jordan; publicly, the traty doesn't much exist. US priority needs to be to give the king the financial assets he needs to deal with the new situation. Need to bring in Saudis to have them live up to their commitments; let Jordan borrow on the intl mkt; Arabs are fair-weather friends.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: . Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Iranan election: Rafsanjani out; Jalili and Velayati are leading congtenders (Khamenei get sto decide on eight candidates out of 600); Velayati has been wanted for murder in Argentina. Jalili is slavishly devoted to Khamenei, has very limited intellect. Radio Free Europe: Iranian charge d'affaires in Buenos Aires signs MOU to form a Truth research to investgate the 1993 murders. Irony! Money t Mme Kirchner for her assent to this; goal is to exoneragte Velayati so he can becoe new Iranoan president. Note: Iran is paving over PArchin so even sat images don’t; show radioactivity, Have 13,000 centrifuges running, intend to produce 15 or 20 nuclear bombs a year. The plutonium plant is now coming to the fore.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Raymond Ibrahim, Middle East Forum and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, in re: Treatment of Christians in the Middle East. Morsi, Copts, Easter: yes, a change - for the worse. relationship gone from chaotic persecutions (attacks on cathedrals) to becoming institutionalized: blasphemy laws, imprisoning huge numbers of Copts for no deed and no transgression. Get three to six years in jail because huge crowds stood outside the court demanding death to the Christians. Christians being hanged in Iran. Mali. Indonesia. Spillover to Europe: London beheading – this is a daily occurrence in the Muslim world. Not a phenomenon only in the Arab world or in certain socio-economic situations; it's in Morocco, Mahgreb, central Africa, Central Asia. Church bombings, killing apostates, treating Christian women and children as subhuman to be enslaved or raped at will. The only common denominator is Muslim populations surrounding small Christian populations. Persecution of Christians under Muslims is Islam's Achilles heel: the sloppy [Western, exculpatory] arguments no longer work, since all the Christians want to do is go to church, yet they're being attacked and killed for that. Religious hostility and intolerance around the world among Muslims – it’s not grievance on their part, is supremacism. The reality totally undermines the narrative of the poor Muslims' being treated badly. This is Medieval. When they say, "Shariah is the way," that's code for persecuting Christians. Not an aberration, is a continuity of history, following, e.g., the Ottoman empire. It’s governmental (Islamic theocracies: Christians forbidden to speak in Farsi in Iran!), societal, personal, and mobocracies.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: .Mohsen Sazegara, Iranian journalist & pro-democracy political activist, in re: all eight candidates running for the Iranian presidency are Khamenei flaks. John Batchelor's candidate is Velayati, wanted for mass murder in Buenos Aires; Malcolm Hoenlein's candidafe is Jalili, he of limited intellect. Mohsen's obercvations: the only diffrences are those who want to kiss Khamenei's hand, and those who want to kiss his feet. Jalili has "grown up" under Khamenei & has nothing but what the Supreme Leader has given him. Rafsanjani is out because he intended to change Iran's foreign policy. Jalili, proud to be radically fundamentalist and anti-Jewish, will continue supporting Assad, and [in effect picking fights] around wherever Iran is now doing that.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Hezbollah plunges deeper into the Syrian civil war. In reach of cutting off rebels's supplies from Turkey & . Rebels seem to bebacktrcking. Not an Assad victory, but consolidating hold on roads to Damascus & coastal safe zone. Supply lines to Syrian forces noe miuch stronger – Russian help, incl ships. Rebels do not have a command structure, with tribal & religious fighting among themselves. Sanctions vs Iran have hurt citizenry but failed to slow down regime by enough. North Korea is R&D for weapons and delivery systems. IAEA: "Red line hasn’t been crossed" - ? Malfeasants consider tht th West has no spine. Egypt – 7 security ofcrs released from "lawless Sinai" – rogue state with weapons, smuggling, guns, drugs, is a direct threat to Israel, Saudi, Jordan, Yemen. Egypt went after them – who;d been tainined in Gaza - with planes and bombs; had to collaborate with Israel to succeed. Cairo: people walking around in black masks who’ve declared war on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Itamar Marcus, founder & dir, Palestinian Media Watch, in re: Al-Dura. UNESCO. Israel calls off UNESCO mission to Jerusalem Israel said it called off a United Nations investigative mission to Jerusalem's Old City due to start Monday because of Palestinian efforts to politicize the visit, as the UN said it was postponed. Israeli Prime Minister receives report of special inquiry committee on the “France 2 Al-Durrah Report, its Consequences and Implications”
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Ken Anderson, Hoover, in re: The Case for Drones1. When Obama Embraced Drone Warfare. How, exactly, did drone warfare and targeted killing become key elements in America’s counterterrorism strategy? And why should we care about them as essential national-security tools for the future.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: . James Taranto WSJ, in re: Who'll Frame the President? Obama is not a Nixon, says a Crook.
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Richard Epstein, Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution), in re: The Real Lesson of the IRS Scandal ; 1 of 2
Thursday 23 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Richard Epstein, Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution), in re: The Real Lesson of the IRS Scandal ; 2 of 2
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