Tuesday 14 May 2013
Photo, above: Paraphernalia said to belong to Ryan Fogle, an American diplomat arrested on Monday night or Tuesday morning by the FSB, who allege he's a CIA spy trying to recruit Russian citizens. Confiscated during his arrest were a dagger, a karaoke-style microphone, a hand compass, a map of Moscow, and a pair of awful wigs. See: Hour 2, Block C: Larry Johnson of NoQuarter.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-host: Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC, and Cumulus Media; James Taranto, Wall Street Journal
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Larry Kudlow, and James Taranto, in re: Scandalmageddon. US State Dept employee in Moscow arrested and perp-walked, accompanied by his two wigs (one blond), dagger, karaoke-style microphone, flashlight, and other unexpected items, along with a whole lot of cash. IRS scandal: joke abt siccing IRS administrator s on university heads who did not award him an honorary degree. Idaho: Mr Vandersluit donated to Bush and soon found himself inundated with IRS interrogatories. A general nod from Washington to do this sort of thing? Lois Lerner, tax-exempt div, knew these investigations were going on two years ago- and jut testified that she didn’t. Oops. Same thing with another guy, who wrote lies to Congress. The whole agency has gone rogue. The IRS is in a heap of trouble. NOTE: It'll be the IRS in charge of Obamacare. JT: Messages from Homeland Security, NYT, others, all drumming up a moral panic about the Tea Party. JB: To many scandals to cover in a mere four-hur program. Will the American people turn their backs on Pres Obama? LK: Yes – these scandals and othrs; the second term is in trouble as a result of the break-out of these stories. The IRS has only two political appointees; is supposed to be completely apolitical, which is its history. Recall that the head of the IRS refused to do Nixon's bidding. I believe the IRS leaked Mitt Romney's tax returns, David Koch's tax returns – this is brand-new, needs to be investigated.
He said that he was 'confident that the people involved in this … followed all applicable Department of Justice regulations' even though he claimed not to actually know the details of the decision-making process as a result of his recusal. President Obama was forced to follow Holder's press conference with the release of a statement saying that the incident does not shake his faith in his close friend and the country's top legal adviser. 'The president has confidence in the attorney general,' press secretary Jay Carney said. The controversy came when the Associated Press reported that two months worth of reporters' telephone records without their knowledge, obtaining a wide breadth of records that had nothing to do with the leak of information that they were concerned about. The Justice Department has spoken in the past about how they were upset over the leak of information about a foiled al Qaeda plot where the terrorist group planned to detonate a bomb on a plane bound for the United States. 'I've been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, it is within the top two or three most serious leaks I've ever seen,' Holder said.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: James Taranto, WSJ, in re: IRScandal. The IRS's Nonprofit Helper A tax-exempt charity disseminated confidential tax information.
White House mess of the day and The New Nixon This time, the press cheered as the IRS investigated the president's opponents.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Joseph Rago, WSJ editorial board & Pulitzer Prizewinner, in re: . . . Nominal nonprofits set up to promote causes [beneficial to Obama Administration]; improper. Guys go out, help to write the bill, then set up an organization; Katherine Sibelius is soliciting funds from the industry she regulates as head of health and Human Services Administration for a slush fund. Private sources funding public works is highly unusual. What's so shocking abt the selective enforcement vs political groups is that at the same time the IRS is vastly expanding – the Thelma to _____'s Louise. Variety of regulatory roles; in the catbird seat, This supposedly nonpartisan agy is becoming a highly political body. Highly private, confidential medical information is supposed to be handed over to the IRS. Recall that ProPublica received in the mail on Nov 15 31 applications for 501(c)3, of which nine had not been approved. How can we trust? This is sophisticated information technology. Annually half a million people get the wrong tax-return check. IRS is to get 1600 new agents to oversee Obamacare? GOP should be all over this. – and that's 1900 new agents requested. When govt gets so large it can’t do a few things well, has to do a=everything poorly, that's bad. Govt agencies become corrupt, which is what happened to the IRS – same as SEC, FEC, and others. Will take a long time to cleanse and to regain their reputation. They’re sure not ready to run Obamacare.
Actually, Sen. Baucus, ObamaCare Is Facing Multiple Train Wrecks Sen. Max Baucus raised concerns that ObamaCare will be a "train wreck"; actually it's more like multiple train wrecks, and many have already . . . Reid on Obamacare train wreck: I agree with Baucus - Washington ... Michal Conger Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said yesterday he agrees with Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., that Obamacare will be a “huge train...
SK: How quickly do you expect action to be taken on this? Obviously this is an important time for the administration, with the launch of much of the health law nearing.
LA: I and other members of Congress will send a letter this week to GAO asking them to investigate if Sebelius is coordinating with these outside groups to do what congress has refused to do. I and others, I’ve sent a letter to Sec. Sebelius asking her a series of questions. I would hope the inspector general [at HHS] would become interested. I hope the Secretary will rethink what she’s doing and stay within the authorization of appropriations, not try to make an end run.
http://washingtonexaminer [dot] com/reid-on-obamacare-train-wreck-i-agree-with-baucus/article/2528679: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said yesterday he agrees with Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., that Obamacare will be a “huge train wreck” if the administration doesn’t change the way it’s implementing the law. Reid made the comments during a radio interview on the Rusty Humphries Show.
“Of course I read it. I didn’t sit down on a Friday evening and read it, you know,” said Reid. “This legislation was drafted over a period of months and months. It took a long time to get it done. So I can pass a test on it, I know the law pretty well. But Max Baucus, Max is my friend, he decided not to run for reelection, that’s too bad. But he’s been there for 34 years in the Senate, and he spent 6 or 8 years in the House.”
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC; and Cumulus Media radio, in re:
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: . Jim McTague, Barron's Washington, in re: In 2011 Lois Lerner knew of political IRS investigations in Cincinnati; Treasury surely knew, as must have the Hays-Adams bar; only now to we hear of it. Also, a blogger said that in Sept 2010, Politico: Sen Max Baucus called on investigations of political groups raising funds for the GOP, sent letter to Doug Shulman, commissioner who was head of IRS. Scandal moves to Senate, to White House. Now the FBI will investigate. Chief counsel of the IRS reports to chief counsel of the Treasury.
The FBI is launching a criminal inquiry into allegations that IRS officials targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for special scrutiny, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday. "The FBI is coordinating with the Justice Department to see if any laws were broken in connection with those matters related to the IRS," Holder said. "We are examining the facts to see if there were criminal violations." The IRS on Friday disclosed that officials had selected groups with the names "tea party" and "patriot" that had applied for tax exempt status for additional review. The IRS said the actions were wrong and apologized.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Charles Pellegrino, author and explorer, in re: Update on Titanic.
Nobelist didn’t speak of his having survived Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings. Shimomura put himself seven-and-a-half miles away, saw the parachute canisters going down by parachute. Was somewhat protected by hills, but was east of the bomb and covered by the "black rain" – everything, all the vapor from the plants on the ground, stream beds, irradiated soil, everything hoisted into the cloud. Lot of isotopes carried into the air; some had a half-life of only a few minutes, but if you ingested it, not survive. Grandmother washed him off in fresh water immediately, so he survived. One of the double survivors, Mr Hirata, kept his secret till 2010; didn’t even want his children to know. Alvarez
For Witness to Nagasaki, a Life Focused on Science Osamu Shimomura, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist who, as a teenager, lived through the dropping of an atomic bomb, recently visited the birthplace of the atomic era.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, in re: State employee is perp-walked by FSB in a discount blond wig with a cell phone, two batteries, odd stuff. FSB waited till it'd be maximally embarrassing to the US to bust this guy as a spy. Ready to go with cameras, glitz. The guy is the laughingstock of London, too. Next: Benghazi. Dipl talking points to the investigation; report issued in mid-December: Thomas Pickering & Adm Mike Mullen issued Accountability Review Board report that cleared Pres Obama of all culpability in Benghazi. Pickering wants to testify before Darryl Issa's committee – but Pickering has been on TC every twenty min for months and we still have no idea what happened. Head of Dipl Security reports directly to Pat Kennedy, who makes decisions of who gets to stay or leave a foreign country. Kennedy reports directly to Secy of State. Mr Pickering did not call Kennedy or Clinton about Benghazi. Lawyer's trick: went through a very, very narrow investigation of fault in Benghazi, and managed to absolve Kennedy and Clinton of any responsibility. Pickering will try to argue process to defend his own integrity. He's not aware of other whistle-blowers who may have come forward with contradictory evidence; this could burn Pickering. Investigators did not name the chain of command that night – process, not meaning. Didn’t even address how State dealt with the attack. The American people don’t want to know "lessons learned" – want to know what happened. Why won’t the Obama Adminsitgrati0n do that? Because they were concerned abt the upcoming election, not look as though we didn;t know whow to deal with al Qaed, and tahtt's d bring attn to activities at tha actin arming rebels linked ot Isl exftremisyty
Sen. Angus King says the administration should prove its innocence by releasing Benghazi emails. Russia Detains an American, Saying He Is a C.I.A. Officer Russian officials summoned the American ambassador to respond to allegations that an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency had been caught trying to recruit a Russian agent. The Lede: Video of American’s Arrest in Moscow Carney spinning on Tuesday 14, another day with scandal Benghazi:"contradictory information about what might have happened," says Carney. Another day of Benghazi "sideshow." About the intell community at large, led by - in this case - the CIA.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: The Bridge of Doom – the to-be-constructed replacement for the Bay Bridge from Oakland to Treasure Island (to a tunnel?) to San Francisco. Bolts, rods, fall off or disintegrate. Hanky-panky with materials supply. Hydrogen got into area surrounding bolts and degraded the metal – but Caltrans (California Dept of Transportation) says that the "bridge is overengineered, so nothing to worry about." It rained causing the problem, or salt air did. Originally the new bridge would be plain and functional. Caltrans was worried abt seismic problems and wanted a replacement soon; Jerry Brown was displeased, demanded a new design for Oakland. Treasure Island was a military base, now the Pelosi family is developing Treasure Island for riches; now we're bldg bridges to accommodate. New bridge: a bike path to from Oakland to Treasure Island but not to the City, so it’s right back to Oakland.
The American Civil Liberties Union was curious about warrantless government snooping on citizens' text messages. So the group filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Justice Department. Here's what they got back: Totally Redacted FOIA response A memo header: “Guidance for the Minimization of Text Messages over Dual-Function Cellular Telephones” and then 15 pages, completely blacked out. An "unprecedented level of openness in government."
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Stephen Cohen, NYU, in re: the State Dept character busted this morning ostentatiously by the FSB in Moscow. Did he buy his two wigs in Russia? And why now, simultaneous with a joint press conferernce with the US president and the British PM talking about meeting with Putin. Since the Boston terrorist attack, there's been much better coordination US-Russia on intell, and a discussion on Syria has sort of begun the threshold of a breakthrough. Bizarre arrest of a bizarre, amateur spy – a CIA agent? He sure looks comical. "He tried to recruit a Russian terrorist expert," says the FSB. Did someone in the US send this clown to get busted? Some cabal of Russians turned this into theater to say, "Americans can’t be trusted," which message Putin got. Powerful interests in Moscow that do not want favorable relations between Russia and the US. U2 incident and collapse of the peace talks. " Cold War mysteries suddenly occur on the eve of improving relations." Remember that Ike said he'd ordered an end to U2 spy planes, but someone in the US military sent it anyway, knowing that it distressed Russians. See also the Cuban missile crisis: countries driven apart just as détente was opening, Zenoviev Letter; and 1964, Khrushchev was to go to Bonn, someone committed a toxic mustard attack in Moscow and Khrushchev didn’t go. This guy – three pairs of sunglasses, a letter spelling the terms, a compass, a dagger? A farce. They do intensely dislike McFaul.
In the Machiavellian world of spy-versus-spy, Russia’s Federal Security Service may also be trying to exacerbate tensions between Kerry and the CIA. As the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry served as an Obama envoy in high-level talks with Pakistani officials a few years ago, for instance, and was reportedly incensed when the CIA launched a drone strike that angered the Pakistanis in the midst of his shuttle diplomacy. The arrest of an alleged CIA agent in Moscow so close on the heels of Kerry’s recent visit could heighten those tensions.
"I played the Russian game for most of my working life, and sometimes anything that causes the U.S. government discomfort makes the Russian security forces happy,” said a former top U.S. intelligence official. “It gives them a jolt.” A third possibility is that the Federal Security Services are looking for payback for a 2010 incident in which 10 Russian agents were very publicly exposed in the United States, and pled guilty for failing to register as foreign agents before being expelled from the country for intelligence gathering. In another scene right out of the Cold War handbook, they were released in exchange for Russia’s release of four Russian prisoners accused of spying for the United States. That incident also occurred in the aftermath of an important meeting, that time between President Obama and then-President [Dmitri] Medvedev, who characterized the meeting as a big success.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Stephen Cohen, NYU, in re: the peace conference proposed by the US president, the British PM and others on Syria. Planning reps of Assad govt and of the insurgents, but Assad would not be part of the next regime; ergo, Russians are taking responsibility that Assad will attend to writ his own end game. Russia has to deliver Assad, US has to deliver its clients, the anti-Assad forces. Someone in Moscow doesn’t like this. 1) Doesn’t trust Putin, who talks tough and gives in. 2) Russians across the board don’t trust the Obama Administration. I think Moscow understands that Assad won’t survive as head of Syria; what'll replace him? Moscow sees a Middle East as destabilized, bringing jihadists ever closer to power, with blowback into Russia's 20 mil peoples, esp in the North Caucasus, and that the US ignores that. Russians see Shia as countervailing force; sees Washington's policies in the Middle East as destroying any moderate outcome.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Steve Greenhouse, NYT, in re: Global Retailers Join Safety Plan for Bangladesh Under mounting pressure, several companies agreed to a landmark plan to help pay for safety improvements in Bangladesh’s garment factories. Paid $37 a month. April 24, 2013.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: SpaceX is about to finalize a deal with the Air Force to launch satellites on both its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.
For the Discovr mission, scheduled for late 2014, a Falcon 9 will be used to launch an Earth and space weather satellite to the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L1, a location approximately 930,000 mi. from Earth. The Dscovr program, which will provide warning of space weather events, is a joint effort between the Air Force, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The STP-2 mission, which is targeted for launch on a Falcon Heavy in mid-2015, includes two space vehicles: the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate-2 (Cosmic-2), designed to monitor climate behaviors; and the Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX), which will conduct radiation research. [emphasis mine]
The big story here is that even before it's flown, the Falcon Heavy once SpaceX already has a customer for it. The engineering test prototype of Dream Chaser has been shipped to California for drop tests this summer. Checking the cracks on the first Orion capsule to fly.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Kori Schake, Hoover, in re: An intervention focusing on the plight of refugees might provide that key, allowing a humanitarian motivation, supported by the United Nations and the Arab League, with narrow involvement by U.S. military forces operating as one small part of a broad coalition, and heavy emphasis on "smart power" diplomacy to bring Russia into participation and growing governance capacity among the Syrian opposition. Syria's civil war has displaced 4,250,000 Syrians from their homes to other parts of the country, and another 1,400,000 have fled outside the country to reside in neighboring states. Jordan alone is giving shelter to 524,000. One of the refugee camps constitutes Jordan's fifth largest city; this in a country without the largesse to provide much assistance and whose political structure has never come to terms with the long-term residence of Palestinians who left Israel in 1948. Jordan is tottering under the weight of providing for refugees and fear they may become permanent. President Obama acknowledged the burden on Jordan during his recent visit, pledging additional U.S. aid.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Imminent attacks planned by al-Qaida, Quds Forces, Hezbollah. On Tuesday, the source provided additional new information on the terrorists’ plan for a major attack – that it is to take place within weeks and is planned to be “spectacular,” using a new method. The information was immediately passed on to the appropriate U.S. agency. TERRORIST SUPER-AXIS TO STRIKE WITHIN U.S. Imminent attacks planned by al-Qaida, Quds Forces, Hezbollah
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Kim Barker, ProPublica, in re: "The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year," report Kim Barker and Justin Elliott. In their new piece on how ProPublica received the social welfare nonprofit applications, Barker and Elliott note, "In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved-meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy." Regular readers of ProPublica know that we published more than 100 storiesabout "dark money" groups that told the IRS they were doing social welfare work, but misled them about the extent of their political activities. And as part of our reporting, ProPublica reporters regularly requested applications from the IRS. Barker and Elliott go on to show that conservative groups spent $322 million in the 2012 election (or 84 percent of the money spent), who at the IRS sent us the information, which groups were disclosed and how Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS responded to our requests. [more]
Tuesday 14 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Joseph Petrucelli, Jazz Foundation of America, in re: May 17th, 2013: Archibald Cox, Jr. to receive Dr. Billy Taylor Humanitarian Award at the Apollo Theater! The Jazz Foundation of America is proud to recognize Archibald Cox, Jr. with the Dr. Billy Taylor Humanitarian Award. Past Honorees include: Brad Pitt/Make It Right Foundation, Quincy Jones, Stephen Siegel/CB Richard Ellis, William Douglass/K2 Advisors, Ambassador Andrew Young, Claude Nobs, Michael Novogratz, and Dr. Agnes Varis.
Pre-Concert Reception - 6:30 PM The Concert - 7:30 PM Gala Dinner - 9:30 PM followed by After-Party
Performances by: An unforgettable combination of jazz, blues, R&B and rock legends with Elvis Costello, Paul Shaffer (Late Show with David Letterman), Jeffrey Wright (Basquiat, Cadillac Records), Long John Hunter, Steven Bernstain (Musical Director) & the Kansas City Band: James Carter, Henry Butler, Don Byron, Curtis Fowlkes, Nicholas Payton, Jerry Dodgion, Art Baron, Craig Handy, Victor Lewis, Ray Anderson and many more. With a special appearance by Quincy Jones.
Concert Produced by Hal Willner: Music producer for Saturday Night Live, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, Macy Gray, Robert Altman's Short Cuts and lots more.
About Archie Cox: Archibald Cox, Jr. is chairman of the Foreign Policy Association and of Sextant Group, Inc., a private investment firm. He is also chairman of Ayablu Incorporated, Fairfield, CT, EyeLock, Inc., San Juan, PR, and serves on the boards of Unifi, Incorporated, Greensboro, NC, and several privately-owned companies. Mr. Cox has nearly a half century of financial, investment and operating experience. During his career he has lived in New York, Indiana, London, Singapore and Toronto. A native of Wayland, Massachusetts, Mr. Cox holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard College (1962) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (1964). Mr. Cox joined Morgan Stanley & Co. following graduation from business school. In 1977 he launched Morgan Stanley International in London and served as its chief executive officer until he resigned in 1988. From 1990 until 1993 Mr. Cox was president and chief executive officer of The First Boston Corporation and a member of the group executive board of CS First Boston Group, Inc. In 1993 Mr. Cox formed Sextant Group, Inc., a private investment firm, which in 1995, together with a group of Chinese and US investors, purchased the Magnequench (rare earth magnetic materials) business of General Motors Corporation. From 1995 until 2006 he was president and CEO of Magnequench, Inc., Anderson, Indiana, and Singapore. In 2005 Magnequench merged with a Canadian company to form Neo Material Technologies Incorporated, of which he became chairman for a year. In 2008 Mr. Cox became chairman of Barclays Americas and a member of the Executive Committee of Barclays Capital. He resigned from Barclays in June 2011 to focus his attention on private investments. He is on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the board of trustees of St. Paul’s School, in Concord, New Hampshire. He lives with his wife, Judy, in New York, NY
http://jazzfoundation [dot] org
.. .. ..
Hour 1: Infamous; Skyfall; Skyline
Hour 2: Skyline; Spyfall; Dark Knight Rises
Hour 3: Expendables; Flight of the Phoenix; Star Trek
Hour 4: Skyfall; Dark Knight Rises.