The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Air Date: 
June 11, 2013

Photo, above: Jabbar Collins, with family, has now filed a $150 million lawsuit for wrongful conviction.  The long-time Brooklyn, New York, District Attorney Charles Hynes is accused of running a private jail system where witnesses were illegally interrogated and forcibly detained indefinitely. The lawyer for Jabbar Collins, who spent 15 years in prison for murdering a Brooklyn rabbi until he was ordered free by a federal judge, has uncovered what he believes is new evidence of widespread prosecutorial misconduct in the 1990s. See:  Hour 3, Block C: Joaquin Sapien, Propublica.


Hour One

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC; and Cumulus Media radio, in re: Jared Bernstein & Jimmy Pethakoukis discussion; SF Fed. In 2014, the US could grow at 3%, but will be 2% growth because increased taxes are promised – and will constitute 90% of the diminution from 3% to 2%. ObamaCare is a big part. Cap gains and payroll taxes going up – also the tax penalty for those who opt out of ObamaCare. The Obama Adm doesn’t understand growth, doesn’t believe in it hasn’t the foggiest idea how to get it. Two small bz owners tonight: Obamacare is a big upcoming problem.  Obama Adm says that sequester is bad because it lowers govt spending - they have it backwards. Need to reduce taxes and esp reduce the power of the IRS.  During the Twenties, the Sixties, and the Eighties-Nineties were the three great growth periods in recent US history - when we had significantly reduced taxes.  Right now, the country is growing at 4%, with an inflation rate of zero.

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Gordon Chang,, in re: Producer price index has fallen for __ mos; Natl Bureau of Statistics say that growth has been 7%, but that's physically impossible. Stock mkt is falling; H Share Index (Mainland firms – large, state-owned enterprises – listed in Hong Kong) has been falling.  Li Kaichung,  premier and economics honcho, says the only way out is reform. The Politburo Standing Committee controls this and will refuse, so China will continue to slump.

     Hu Jintao stopped his predecessor's reforms; for the last 10-1/2 years, Chinese economy has slowed and now is beginning to gum up like molasses.  In 2010, the workforce began to diminish, giving a little more bargaining power to workers.  US mfrg is thus becoming competitive with Chinese.  Problem with China's CPI is that its compiled very badly; it's fiddled with politically so is thoroughly inaccurate.   

      Thos Donilon gave a press wrap-up on Sat of Obama-Xi mtg in California; Donilon spoke only of what Obama said to Xi, not what Xi said to Obama: a very bad sign. China will cut interest rates only if desperate; it's trapped; has run up to the limits of what's possible in the economy, hasn’t many routes going forward.  Labor unrest and a slump.

China's economy slowing; government may not care

MarketWatch China Job Market Shows Signs of Strain

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Phil Izzo, WSJ lead editor, Real Time Economics blog, in re: We were running 225,00 new jobs per month; now down to 175,00 What's happening? Pull-back in govt jobs, although some are furlough or cutting time; in the next few mos can improve in the US – consumer numbers are up (not fantastic but steady).  Retail sales are consistent w 2%; best thing out there is housing, which is a small art of the economy. Not see companies making long-term investment, Auto coming back a bit, but . . .     Fed will start to taper its bond purchases?  -- Oops: Fed hates the word "taper," as it wants to cut bond purchases but if slowing is to great, if needed will jump back in and buy.  PI: "We’re not a mfrg economy; we're a svc economy."  LK: Fed has caused a de facto tightening in world money markets – caveat 1937 when the Fed tightened prematurely and [caused global disaster].  Investor say "not a matter of whether or when" – and are taking actions to a deflationary bias. Fed needs to clarify.  World is obsessed about the Fed.  From a monetarist standpoint, Fed is not easing, M2 ( = all available money incl in circulation) in the pat five mos: has grown at 4% annual rate because money is not circulating, velocity is falling by 3% - tight monetary numbers. Gold falling. Makes you wonder. I'd say, just stand pat. Money will leak into the economy; we need pro-growth policies out of DC (fat chance). Not from Europe – the monetary story there – European M3 is either slowing or falling. The ECB is 'way too tight: six quarters of negative growth! Everyone thinks of Weimar - everybody's terrified. We’re trapped in this. Bernanke is also terrified of deflation – if we see that, the Fed will not pull back. US is different from China in this.  We've got 1% inflation, 2% GDP, 7% unemployment. Fed should just continue, not ease.

        Secondary Sources: Fed Sensitivity, Job Growth, Slave Trade

        A roundup of economic news from around the Web.  REAL TIME ECONOMICS   Number of the Week: 140% Increase in Food Stamp Use Since 1990
  More people than ever before are receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, but the rate of increase has slowed substantially since the height of the recession.   Good News! The Unemployment Rate Rose
  The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.6% in May, but behind the increase was some good news evidenced by a fall in a broader measure of unemployment to 13.8% from 13.9% a month earlier

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC; and Cumulus Media radio, in re:  Danny Werfel (director of OMB is apptd by president; director chooses the Comptroller), came from Comptroller, had prior knowledge of IRS Commissioner before he, himself, became Commissioner.   The guy they've gotta get to is ht chief counsel of the IRS, Wm Wilkins, political appointee by president, Hasn't yet surfaced but is in charge of all the lawyers – a massively important job; was in close touch with genl counsel of White House and genl counsel of the Treasury. Hope the Issa oversight commission gets there. Good that Lois Lerner is sidelined; also took out Hull, who worked for Wilkins – who knew about targeting and investigations for years. 

Hour Two

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  Eli Lake, senior national security correspondent, Newsweek/Daily Beast, in re:  Q Group has been looking for Ed Snowden since early May, when he went missing.   Inside the ‘Q Group,’ the Directorate Hunting Down Edward Snowden   The top-secret ‘Q Group’ has been chasing Edward Snowden since he disappeared in May. Eli Lake on the intell community’s internal police—and why the agency is in ‘complete freakout mode.’


Even before last week’s revelations by The Guardian newspaper that the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting call records from telecommunications companies and had the ability to mine user data from major U.S. Internet companies, the NSA was already on the trail of the leaker, according to two former U.S. intelligence officers with close ties to the agency.  On Sunday, The Guardian revealed its sourcea 29-year-old former U.S. Army soldier and CIA employee named Edward Snowden. Snowden—who worked as a contract employee at an NSA station in Hawaii—said he agreed to have his identity revealed because he feared that the NSA would put pressure on his family and his friends for information about his whereabouts. From a hotel in Hong Kong, he told The Guardian he expected he would never be allowed to return home and that he could end up imprisoned or murdered because of his decision to leak.

The people who began chasing Snowden work for the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence, according to former U.S. intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The directorate, sometimes known as “the Q Group,” is continuing to track Snowden now that he’s outed himself as . . . [more]

        Snowden said he made $200K; Booz Allen said $220K (may include overtime; station-pay gradations., etc.  He did work for CIA, apparently at  low-level job, how'd he get access to such high-level data so quickly?  Other people buried in the system; he was good at cloaking his Internet movements. We know he's been in contact w a filmmaker who was in contact w the Guardian and WaPo. He says, himself, that this has been bldg for three years – but it doesn’t add  up.  He's had access to major info. I personally don't believe Clapper, DNI.  China and the US are in many ways close trading partners, but at a sort of cyber war and intell war; the freedom of movement a US citizen – a spook - wd have in Dubai, Amman or Tel Aviv, does not exist in Hong Kong (China), and the PRC is unlikely to approve the CIA's grabbing Snowden. 

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Brian Chen, NYT, in re: From Apple, an Overhaul for Mobile and the Mac  The company introduced a major redesign of its mobile software system, as well as upgrades for some Mac computers.  iOS 7: Activation Lock renders the machine inoperable after it’s reported stolen. Only way thief can use it is for owner to enter his username and p/w.  Siri will be in Nissan Toyota, Honda, now that she has a high school education. Can respond to more commands – make screen brighter; check my last voicemail, etc.  "So we get a mother-in-law for a car."

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, in re: State Dept security – seen as troglodytes, but they work by the book; ensure security for our foreign embassies. High members of State now stand accused of serious misbehavior . . .

Patrick Kennedy, UnderSecy for Mgt; UnderSecy for Dip Security reports to him.  OIG report. Counterintell; addtl review. Dip Security ofcrs will not engage w  fight w Foreign Svc ofcrs over  nothing, Not just where there's smoke there's fire – here, there has to have a blazing inferno.  Frustration among profls when hey see truth and facts being covered up. Patrick Kennedy is a competent career foreign svc ofcr, but blinds himself to what's right and chooses to do what's expedient. They’re very bright but acting like complete dunderheads. Kennedy is the same guy who was on the call to all the teams in Benghazi: "Do not alert the counterterrorism bureau!"

Commentary -  If Hillary Clinton thought the soft glow of the good press she received while roaming the globe to no great effect during her four years as secretary of state would last until her planned 2016 coronation as president, it’s time to for her to rethink her strategy. Public anger about the lies that were told about the Benghazi terror attack as well as her failure to provide adequate security to diplomats that were placed in harm’s way was bad enough. But the latest State Department scandal linked to her office is the sort of thing that could begin the process by which Clinton’s status as the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee starts to unravel. [more... ]  Jony is lead software

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 2, Block D:   Greg Bishop, NYT sports, in re:   "The Mysterious Death of a Quarterback"   So little about Finnerty’s death made sense. Here was perhaps the most successful quarterback in college football history, a three-time national champion who was crowned the Division II player of the decade by one Web site. He was 30, married, the father of two children, one age 2 and the other 3 months. One week earlier, the family had gathered for his daughter’s baptism. On Memorial Day weekend, he accompanied his wife’s family on vacation.

Hour Three

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: Jerry Brown all-Blue, announces he's reached a budget deal with the legislature – which is entirely under the control of his party. California has been troubled for these years; hasn’t solved them; is in dispute; the Bay Bridge  - construction, bolts, rods, many rotting and breaking. Call for investigation. Assemblyman Mark Levine expressed concerns abut bonuses for contractors and the panoply of safety issues.   Yachts: Larry Ellison, owns Oracle, is one of the gazillionaires refunding America's Cup money – a sailor on Artemis, the Swedish vessel, drowned, so a governor was put on speed, causing teams to re-evaluate methodology. People paid a lot for grandstands seats (first time the finish line has been so close to land). California – broke and underwater – is about to give raises to union members. Former head of BART – Bay Area Rapid Transit -  was forced out; has action tie of $920,000, and is also collecting $333,000 in pay for 2012, when she never worked a day – it's unused vacation time. Koch Brothers are among the leading contenders for the Los Angeles Times; more than half the editors said they'd leave if the Koch Brothers bought it – but we have a thousand New York journos who'd join in a heartbeat.

          Fracturing in CaliforniaDemocrats revolt against a ban on oil and gas 'fracking.' Largest California State Workers Union Says Pay Raises on the Way.  With the latest revelations out of Sacramento, the question many in California are asking is, "Should Jerry Brown be giving state workers a pay raise, or should the extra money be used for other state services?"   California's largest union of state workers, SEIU Local 1000, said it has reached a tentative agreement with officials of Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to award "across-the-board" pay raises to its members.  The raises, which were detailed on the union's website, would total 4.5% over three years.   Part of the raises would begin on July 1, 2014, if the state collects enough tax revenue to afford them. If revenue targets aren't met, the union said, the full 4.5% raise would not take place until July 1, 2015. The targets for tax revenue were not specified on the union's website.  A spokeswoman for the state agency that handles union contracts did not have an immediate comment Tuesday morning.  The tentative agreement also promises no furloughs over the course of the three-year contract and unspecified increases in business and travel expenses, the union said.

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Mohammad Reza Aref, the sole reformist candidate in Iran's presidential election, has withdrawn, boosting moderate Hasan Rowhani. .     

Reza Kahlili @Reza_Kahlili   . @cnnbrk @FoxNews Iran elections 2013: Does the president even matter?    @Reuters @AP #Iran

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  Joaquin Sapien, Propublica, in re:  Jabbar Collins.  Joe Hynes, Brooklyn DA. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes office ‘running a private jail system’: Jabbar Collins’ lawyer.  ‘Witnesses were illegally interrogated and forcibly detained indefinitely,’ Collins’ lawyer Joel Rudin charges in explosive court documents in the $150 million wrongful conviction lawsuit.

 Now 35, Johnson has spent the last 12 years behind bars for Stuart's misconduct. His lawyers maintain he never received a fair trial. "It doesn't get easier," Johnson said in an interview at Sing Sing. "You see your Mom get old. You see your children getting older. Relationships fall apart. People die. It gets harder as you go along. My son was five years old when I got locked up. My son is 17 on Friday." Who Polices Prosecutors Who Abuse Their Authority? Usually Nobody.

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Juli Bykowicz, Bloomberg, in re:  NSA Leaker Was Shy, Computer-Bound Teenager in Maryland   The Snowdens are a government family. Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old U.S. contractor who revealed a once-secret electronic surveillance program, spent a few months in the Army Reserves and has said he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. His older sister, Jessica Snowden, is a researcher for the Federal Judicial Center, a Washington policy shop for the judicial branch. His mother, Elizabeth Snowden, is an administrative clerk for Maryland’s federal court. His father, Lonnie Snowden, retired in 2009 from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Hour Four

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  John Avlon,, The Daily Beast & Newsweek International, in re: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Peter Coy, Bloomberg Busienssweek, in re: A BETTER WAY TO GET BIG BRAINS FROM ABROAD  The bipartisan immigration bill before the Senate has a largely unnoticed
provision that would make it easier and more desirable for companies to
sponsor highly skilled foreign workers for green cards, creating a
citizenship path for them. The legislation—the biggest attempted overhaul
of immigration law since 1986—may still leave many foreign workers stranded
in H-1B limbo. That’s in large measure because of heavy lobbying from the
tech industry, which wanted . . . 

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Andrew Conte, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in re: Rise of the machines!  The latest Trib series looks at a robot army being deployed to meet North Korean troops if they ever cross the DMZ. That’s just one example of how robots are getting smarter – and deadlier.

    We also consider the end of privacy – and anonymity. Soon computers will be able to identify anyone instantly and build an intimate dossier about their family, friends, likes and wealth.

 And finally, we take the Trib Total Media drone out for a spin. Check out the video: Skinny-dippers beware!

Monday  11 June  2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Data from an experiment on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has confirmed that light plastics can provide sufficient protection for humans against radiation. This is very good news indeed. Combined with the data from Curiosity, which indicated that the radiation levels in interplanetary space were less intense that expected, it appears that radiation will not be a serious obstacle to interplanetary travel.   Now we just have to get the bone loss and vision problems solved.

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Hour 1:  Mission Impossible; Ghost Protocol; Shaolin

Hour 2:  Infamous; Gears of War II; the Taking of Pelham 123

Hour 3:  Sin City; Tears of the Sun; The Taking of Pelham 123

Hour 4: