The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 4 January 2018

Air Date: 
January 04, 2018

Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal; Curtis Sliwa, WABC Radio (noon and 5 PM), and NewYork1 television; and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents.
Hour One
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: Mary Kissel and Curtis Sliwa, in re: So far, three new Yorkers are (apparently) running for the presidency in 2020: Bill DeBlasio (New York City mayor), Andrew Cuomo (New York State governor), and Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed Senator from New York. CS: The one person who’ll survive this is Chuck Schumer, who created Gillibrand, She was Annie Oakley from the Adirondacks with guns under her bed; she had no liberal credential at all to run for the Senate to replace Hillary Clinton when Clinton became Secretary of State for Obama.  Other major Democratic figures wanted other candidates, but Schumer prevailed with Hillary’s backing.  The Clintons are Gilllibrand’s money machine; her statement that Bill should have resigned over his presidential scandal did not endear her to them.
Mario Cuomo was Cicero; Andrew has no soul. The other day he was trying to seize the mantle.  Back in 1980, Liz Holtzmann was about to indict Schumer; Mario made it go away. Andrew, however, advised his father to indict Schumer, which Schumer of course never has forgot.
Andrew was the head of HUD, the most fraud-ridden agency in Washington. His record in New York State: he ran on reducing taxes and creating jobs, but instead has raised taxes and lost jobs. Now he’s wasting more money on suing the federal govt over Trump’s tax reform.  His strategy today is resistance, following the Clintons nationally and to please the left-most portions of the Democratic Party.
Gillibrand has other strategies.  She knows where all the skeletons are buried in the House, so they have to be careful with her.  Joe Percoco, “closer to Mario than his sons” – Andrew and Chris Cuomo – and a dear, lifelong friend of Andrew, is now on trial for shaking down energy chieftains in upstate NYS.
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Mary Kissel and Curtis Sliwa, in re:
“We can't think of Chelsea running for office”; DeBlasio broke ranks to support _____, had Bernie Sanders to swear him in for his mayoralty. JB: Oops – Bernie Sanders, a Brooklyn guy, also is running for the presidency in 2020. The only one running and not from New York is Elizabeth Warren. CS: Look at DeBlasio, in an interracial marriage with a well-admired son, Dante.  JB: He attacks Pres Trump with genuine hatred.  CS: DeBlasio is running perhaps for the vice-presidency.  Is running as similar to John Lindsay.   JB: A year from now they’ll all be gathering in Iowa. 
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: John Tamny, RealClearMarkets and Forbes,  in re: Dow Jones at 25,000  this morning. With stagnant wages?  Yes – they're not stagnant.  Wages are a function of investment. Facebook is so desperate for talent it pays interns $70K per year. Google is buying apartments in the Bay Area for its staff. Starbucks offers a free college education, Walmart offers Walmart University.  MK: Are there enough skilled workers in the country? JT: Yes, people learn very swiftly when the jobs are there.   Where the wages are, people adapt to the skills.  JB: Worldwide market rally, Does this upset central banks? JT: Of course, they want to be relevant.  They believe what's ridiculous: that economic growth causes inflation and product shortages, In fact, the opposite occurs.   An iPhoneX would have cost millions only a few years ago; it's about a thousand now, The tractor destroyed a lot of jobs; the Fed gets it backwards.  When you remove Washington from the equation, investors love that.  HB: Capitalism is a self-dealing fix of cronyism?  JT: The industries closest to the govt rarely are closest to the top. Recall Microsoft under govt attack; Amazon was $1/share; Facbook didn't exist; Google was a start-up; yet these are now the most valuable firms in the world.  It's fun to say we have a crony system, but it doesn’t stand up.  What also makes me optimistic is the fact that there’s so much pessimism to there – people willing to sell, meaning investment.  Roads, cars, airplanes , trucks, the Internet – all are about bringing us closer together. Trump’s campaign rhetoric was about the opposite, but Trump can talk all he wants about getting tough with other countries, but even 30% of the Ford F150 is made overseas.  You can't fracture the world economy any more. 
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block D: Lisa Daftari, Foreign Desk, in re:
Iran – protests in the streets, starting in Mashhad and spreading across the whole nation. The regime says it’s all over; social media say it's not.   Another example of the masterful abilities of the regime’s PR machine; 48 hours ago came out against the chants, the demos, everything, Hosted pro-govt rallies: workers were forced to attend or be fired.    Most important thing to look at now: even if it fizzles out, the disenchantment with the regime will continue to run very close to the surface Eighty million Iranians. The govt will have a challenging task to [keep a lid on this].  Authoritarian govts tend to use physical violence and control of information; what's he regime’s capacity to stop communications, and how much do govts like China help the?  Good question!  Yes, the people are organizing based on social media platforms, but young people have grown up learning how to bypass censorship. They’re canny and careful.  JB: The Iranian revolution will not be televised.  
Hour Two
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  Ambassador Dani Dayan,  of Israel to the United Nations; in re: Jerusalem.  . . . recall Orient House in Jerusalem, when mass chaos was predicted and did not occur. Note that the Palestinian problem is not the center of all Middle Eastern problems  There are much, much worse ones.  The silence of Europeans on the Iranian uprising is the very definition of hypocrisy. . . . My late father was ambassador to Guatemala, dedicate five yeas to persuade he got to move its embassy back to Jerusalem.  Honduras and eight other countries are intending to move their embassies to Jerusalem simply to correct an injustice.   I was disappointed by the vote of Brazil; had no expectation for Venezuela and Bolivia. 
As of August 2016, Dani Dayan officially assumed the post of Consul General of Israel in New York. Dayan was Chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria from July 2007 until January 2013. He then acted for two additional years as the Council's Chief Foreign Envoy. Dani Dayan began his professional career as an entrepreneur and businessman, founding Elad Systems in 1982 at the young age of 26. He served for several years as its CEO and later as Chairman of the Board. From 1990-1992, Dayan served as the general secretary of the Techiya political party. Before establishing his own information technology company Dayan spent seven and a half years in the Israel Defense Forces serving in the elite MAMRAM computerized data processing center, attaining the rank of Major.  
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block B:  Elliott Abrams , CFR and author, Realism and Democracy; in re: Iran – Pyongyang and Beijing must be regarding the Iranian uprising with horror, esp Beijing, which tries to buy people off with prosperity. Iranians have hated this theocratic tyranny since the beginning.  All the Obaamatrons are defending his silence in during the critical 2009 uprising ; Nathan Shcharansky has pointed out that US support f dissidence it Soviet Union was critical.  Our VoA Persian service [ain’t] too good; they listen to the BBC. I'd call a special session of the UN.  . . . The reason there are demos in Iran and not in  Saudi is that the Saudis think that the new king is in fact working on bringing about change, whereas in Iran no such, Also, not much change in Egypt, In Iran, it can hardly get worse – belligerent and aggressive regime, so whatever comes next will likely be better.  As Chinese people grow richer they’ll want more independent freedom of intellectual and other movement.  There are now more Christians than Communist Party members in China.   Is it fair of the US to withhold funds from antagonists in the UN? Of course – they've been playing us for suckers.
Elliott Abrams is senior Fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC. He served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor in the administration of President George W. Bush, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East for the White House.
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block C:  Ilan Berman, the American Foreign Policy Council , in re: Iran. All the national and confessional minorities living in Iran are watching the uprising and the Pasdaran. In 2009 the protests were political; today, the causes are fundamentally economic and the protests are more broad-based. Regime corruption, spending billions on foreign adventures in Syria and Yemen and around the world. Discontent started in Mashhad, ’way east next to Afghanistan, and spread to major cities in the west.   Loss of purchasing power is worst among poor people – fuel eggs, everything. Now citizens are yelling, “Death to Khamenei,” which could bring the death penalty for them. My sense is hat this is a slow-bun sort of event, Also, he disposition of the security forces: instruments of repression to maintain hold n power, When they remain glues to the regime, the outcome is bad for he people; where they don’t, the regime quickly becomes rickety. The clerical army, the IRGC, are the die-hard regime loyalists; where they're willing to fight is dispositive. The Internet is essential.  ‘re approaching a time where more forceful action by the regime is more likely; that’s why this is the moment for Trump to take concrete actins: help with communications and other.  Will Europeans ever take a moral stand?  The EU silence is deafening and cynical; EU is heavily invested in economic ties with Iran —between Germany and France, inter al.,  and the regime. It violates the Helsinki Act and others that the EU signed. Very cynical. Mogherini, EU foreign minister, said the “riots are the result of the US not lifting sanctions fast enough.”  Ayatollahs constantly prefer guns over butter; the EU position is ludicrous.  Russia has shown a muted response – it’s a long-time partner in crime with Iran, esp in Syria anent the Assad regime; but internally, Moscow must be nervous: the unaccountable and corrupt Iranian regime is comparable to behavior of the Putin regime, and ordinary Russians will be watching with that in mind.
Ilan Berman is Senior Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C.. An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, he has consulted for both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense, and provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices.
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block D:  Mohsen Sazegara, in re:  Iran. Rouhai after a week of protests by the working class, the middle class. Are the people blaming Rouhani?  As far as I know n a private meeting with Khamenei, Rouhani took responsibility to suppress the people, so far with 52 victims.  Was this in fact spontaneous? It's a lie that Mashhad hardliners were behind this, that the hardliners wanted to test sentiment with a demo they called. However, within 48 hours it had spread nationwide, faster and larger than ever before . “We’ll l die but we must reclaim our country from these mullahs.” “Death to Khamenei, to the Islamic republic.” “Leave Syria, think about Iran.” This is quite different from the Green Movement, which was ltd to the upper-middle class. Qassem Soleimani, where is he? He’s not at all a significant personage right now – regime tried to sell him but soon the population [hated] him. How sustainable is this movement? Is Reza Pahlavi a candidate to take over?    This is not the time to centralize this movement; political leadership will emerge as a wide spectrum of opposition groups is activated. 
Mohsen Sazegara is an Iranian journalist and pro-democracy political activist. Dr. Sazegara held several high-ranking positions in the Government of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, includng deputy prime minister, minister of industry, deputy chairman of the budget and planning department, and many more before becoming disillusioned with the government in 1989 and pushing for reforms. He applied to become a candidate for president of Iran in the 2001 election but was declined.
Hour Three
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 3, Block A: Eli Lake, Bloomberg View columnist, in re: Iran.  Pres Obama’s singular foreign policy accomplishment: the Iran deal. Now he should use his good offices to promote Western support for Iranians who want to live in a free society.  The US expert class says that Iranians want “reform” of a regime that’s only become more rapacious over time.  This is a sustained process requiring full-time attention from prominent people. We were gulled – we lifted sanctions in exchange for the nuclear program. Recall the Shcharansky line under the Soviet Union: The real issue, and how it must be judged, is how the regime treats its people. The current gang of Iranian thugs and terrorists will not reform. The Washington echo chamber?  – NIAC, Ploughshares, etc.  We should announce a new ___ Seven so they can meet for years and issue white papers while the rest of us can support liberty for Iranians.  Any medium that bring on Trita Parsi is discredited.  The regime has got away with larceny, violence,  terror, predations, for decades.  Javad Zarif is a con man. Could John Kerry say that?  Kerry had a lot invested in his personal relationship with Zarif, but the door is always open to [his becoming an honest man –editor].   We’ve tried our best with the mullahs; the Iranian people don’t want them; time to bring in [freedom]. 
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 3, Block B:  Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: Attack on synagogue in Shiraz where “hoodlums” broke in, took sacred Torah scrolls and threw them in the toilet, and burned prayer books. No real action by the govt.  Unrelated to the uprising?  Not clear who was behind it; Iranian police can usually find malefactors when they choose to. / IRGC is establishing a permanent presence in Damascus, which causes much concern to many people, incl Israelis. Rent-a-mob Palestinians: Hamas uses cement not for residences but for military tunnels. US gives them $300 million a year.  ISIS has declared war on Hamas for not being anti-Israeli enough? ISIS wants to establish itself in Gaza. 
Iron Dome – I watched in in 2014 as it shot a missile down over me; Israel now can transfer it to a corvette and use on for oil rigs in the Med. Only abt 40 km from rigs to Hamas. Iron Dome in this matter gives Israel mobile ability. 
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 3, Block C: Sebastian Gorka, Defeating Jihad author and Fox news;  in re:  President’s tweets are intensely important to those on the barricades; recall my father in Hungary.   . .  Iranian regime is terribly overstretched with forces in  Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, even the Triborder Area of South America. Quandary: recall forces to put down domestic protests, or not, and risk losing Iran?  . . . The Ikhwan, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, is the progenitor of all Muslim terrorist movements. Read the MBs founding documents. 
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 3, Block D: Sebastian Gorka, Defeating Jihad author and Fox news;  in re:  Russians say that radical Islamists killed Russians in Syria?   RT and the Syrian natl news agency try to explain. What is Russian capability today in expeditionary warfare? What’s actually going on in Syria? …  CENTCOM erected a steel bridge in 27 hour east of Raqqah in response to post-infrastructure destruction [?] by Da’ish.  Now Syria has a Russian, a Syrian and an American zone, This did not work out well in Germany.   Pres Trump: anything the US does must be tied to US interests such that an iron worker in Youngstown, Ohio, could understand.
Ukraine:  Russian invasion of Crimea was the first breach in the Eurasian landmass since 1945, when it was universally agreed that Westphalian states may not use force to expand territory.  . .  My time in the WH taught me that Europe may have designs, but at the end of the day, when the US shows the way, countries, incl Germany, fall into line and follow.
Intrusions at the blockchain level . . . US national security matter.
Hour Four
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 4, Block A: 
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 4, Block B: 
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 4, Block C: 
Thursday  4 January 2018 / Hour 4, Block D:  
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