The John Batchelor Show

Friday 4 April 2014

Air Date: 
April 04, 2014

Photo, above: Sheldon G. Adelson together with his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, at the construction site of the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in 2007 in Singapore. The election's most generous donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, were Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. They spent at least $53 million pushing for their desired electoral outcomes, but despite owning a casino empire, the two seem to be poor political gamblers.


Hour One

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 1, Block A: Jim McTague, Barron's Washington, in re: U.S. Added 192,000 Jobs in March; Jobless Rate Holds  Better weather encouraged employers to begin hiring workers more aggressively, but the unemployment rate remained 6.7 percent.   Economix: Millions of Jobs Still Needed    More Analysis »    Holder: U.S. Probing High-Speed Trading

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 1, Block B:  Michael Ledeen, FDD, in re:  The Obits: Denton, Schlesinger, Walsh and Davis  Quite a quartet.  Quite a variety of famous men, and a woman no one ever heard of, all members of a generation rapidly headed for judgment and reward, all dead in the past few days.  I knew two of them — Admiral Jeremiah Denton and Secretary James Schlesinger — fairly well, and I spent years in the nightmare supervised by Judge Walsh when he was special prosecutor in the Iran-Contra matter.  I never knew Wendy Davis, but her obituary is a disaster, and I’m going to correct it. But first the famous men.

It’s hard to render more honor to Admiral/Senator Denton than he has received from the great New York Sun.  He was the Platonic ideal of the hero, an almost mythic embodiment of courage and honor who informed and inspired us by repeatedly blinking out the word “torture” in Morse Code during an interview with a Japanese television reporter designed by his Vietnamese captors to deceive us into thinking Denton and his fellow POWs were being decently treated.  As befits an officer, he was among the last prisoners released from that Asian hell, and he served one term in the Senate before retiring.  He was a fine senator who was shabbily treated by most of the leading journalists.  He’d attended the Naval Academy, after all, not the anti-war bastions of ignorance and narcissism that were hard at work to indoctrinate our intellectual elites in the ways of anti-Americanism and multiculturalism.

Jim Schlesinger was a brilliant man, one of few capable of running CIA, Energy, and Defense, under Democrat and Republican presidents.  An evening with him was always delightful, as well as a learning experience.  I’m sure he was tough to work for;  he wasn’t very patient with people less talented than he, which means most of mankind.  He had a fabulous wife, which says a lot.  He was very academicky, from his manner of speaking to the ever present pipe throughout his public career.  He did several surprising things, converting from Judaism to Lutheranism, and going public with some of CIA’s most cherished secrets, the so-called “crown jewels,” including stories about James Jesus Angleton that effectively ended the career of CIA’s long-time counterintelligence chief.  He served as SecDef at the same time Henry Kissinger was at State, and one can only . . .  [more]

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 1, Block C: LouAnn Hammond,, in re: David Friedman, the acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also testified at the Senate hearing and surprised lawmakers by admitting he did not know his agency had subpoena power to demand documents.  Mr. Friedman told the Senate subcommittee that the N.H.T.S.A. had been paying close attention to legal action related to potential car safety defects.

Senator McCaskill asked Mr. Friedman if his agency had legal standing to demand from automakers the details of sealed and confidential lawsuits and legal settlements that could be connected to safety defects.

He said he did not think the agency had that ability.

Then she asked Mr. Friedman if the safety regulatory agency had subpoena power to request such documents. “You can subpoena, right?” she asked.  Mr. Friedman checked with his staff, sitting behind him, and said yes.  “It worries me that you did not know,” the senator said.

“It worries me as well,” Mr. Friedman said. Senator McCaskill asked how often the safety regulators had used subpoena power to get such records. Mr. Friedman said he would check and get back to the panel.

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 1, Block D: Coral Davenport, NYT NEWS ANALYSIS, in re:  Climate Study Puts Diplomatic Pressure on the White House With no chance that Congress will agree to a huge increase in so-called climate aid, a new study by the United Nations on the effects of climate change creates a diplomatic challenge for President Obama.

Hour Two

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 2, Block A:  Daniel Henninger, WSJ, in re: WONDER LAND  The Income-Inequality Love Train

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 2, Block B: Victoria Stillwell, Bloomberg, in re: Payrolls in U.S. Rose 192,000 in March, Unemployment 6.7%.       Private U.S. Payrolls Top Pre-Recession Peak: Chart of the Day

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 2, Block C: Brooks Barnes, NYT, in re:   Warner’s C.E.O. Is Bullish on the Big Screen  In Hollywood’s sea of bravado, Kevin Tsujihara, the quiet new chief executive of Warner Bros., may seem miscast. But he is already making bold bets to keep the studio on top.

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 2, Block D: John Tamny,, in re:  Northwestern Exploits Its Athletes? Please, Athletes Exploit Their Schools   The idea that colleges and universities exploit their athletes through billions of dollars earned is not a credible one, and does not rate serious discussion.  If we ignore how many 'can't miss' scholarship recipients flame out at great cost to the school, the reality is that college is a credential, not a place where real-world knowledge is attained.  Athletes get the credential, plus major name recognition that opens many doors.  

In his upcoming book, The Soft Edge, Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard writes that in "the real world it's grit that makes us smart." He goes on to write that smarts isn't "defined by 800 math SATs. It's more about the importance of hard work, perseverance and resilience."

As NetApp CEO Tom Goergens told Karlgaard, "I know this irritates a lot of people, but once someone is at a certain point in his or her career - and it's not that far out, maybe four or five years - all the grades and academic credentials don't mean anything anymore. It's all about accomplishment from that point on." Goergens doesn't even know where some of his employees went to college.  

Hour Three

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 3, Block A:   Michael Vlahos, Naval War College, in re: Russian ambassadors 'joked about annexing Scotland'   A leaked recording purporting to be of envoys joking about adding Scotland, Alaska and Venice to Russia's conquest of Crimea is the latest salvo in the war of dirty tricks over Ukraine. e war of dirty tricks over the Ukraine crisis escalated on Friday with the leak of a conversation purporting to be of two Russian ambassadors joking about adding Scotland, Alaska, and Venice to Russia’s conquest of Crimea.

The expletive ridden conversation posted on Youtube features two voices said to be Igor Chubarov, the ambassador to Eritrea, and Sergei Bakharev, the ambassador to Zimbabwe and Malawi.  The voice labelled as Mr Chubarov’s congratulates Mr Bakharev on persuading Zimbabwe to back Russia’s position on Crimea at the UN, and goes on to joke about telling a European diplomat about future conquests.

“We’ve got Crimea, but that’s not . . . all, folks. In the future we’ll take . . .  Catalonia, Venice, as well as Scotland and Alaska,” the voice says.  The pair go on to add Miami and London to their hit list, noting that "Miamiland' is . . .  95 percent Russian citizens."  (1 of 2)

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 3, Block B:  Michael Vlahos, Naval War College, in re:  Ukraine crisis: Poland asks Nato to station 10,000 troops on its territory

Nato is divided over demands from Poland and the Baltic states for a permanent deployment of the Alliance's troops to defend them from Russia

Ukraine crisis: Nato 'to step up military cooperation with Russia's neighbours'

Nato 'to step up military cooperation with Russia's near neighbours Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Republic of Moldova'      (2 of 2)

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 3, Block C: Gene Marks, NYT, in re: Tech companies deliberately attempting to hire people with autism. Wal-Mart has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard     The Business of Building Roller Coasters

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 3, Block D: Joshua Green, Bloomberg Business, in re: Sheldon Adelson's Search for an Electable Republican Who Hates Online Poker  This weekend a crop of potential blue-chip GOP presidential candidates will assemble in Las Vegas competing for the attention, favor, and money of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is worth $38 billion. The marquee names in attendance: former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and current governors Chris Christie (New Jersey), Scott Walker (Wisconsin), and John Kasich (Ohio). Adelson really wants to elect a Republican president in 2016. And the fact that he and his wife dropped almost $93 million in the 2012 cycle is an indication of how much they’re willing to spend in pursuit of that goal.

What’s happening this weekend is essentially a beauty pageant. At some point soon, Adelson is going to pick a Miss Republican, and instead of a crown, the lucky winner will get a boatload of money, probably in the form of  . . . [more]

Hour Four

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 4, Block A: Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War by Dale Maharidge (1 of 4)

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 4, Block B: Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War by Dale Maharidge (2 of 4)

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 4, Block C: Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War by Dale Maharidge (3 of 4)

Friday  4 April  2014 / Hour 4, Block D: Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War by Dale Maharidge (4 of 4)

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..


Hour 1:  Ides of March. 

Hour 2:  Ides of March. Pacific Rim. 

Hour 3:  Uncharted. Michael Clayton. 

Hour 4:  Brake.