The John Batchelor Show

Monday 18 March 2013

Air Date: 
March 18, 2013

Photo, above: "The lights were dimmed and the doors were locked. But inside a branch of Laiki Bank, one of Cyprus’s two dominant banks, a few silhouettes glided about Monday, filling cash machines to calm a wave of anxiety that has washed over this tiny island since European leaders took the unprecedented step Saturday of trying to force depositors to pay for part of an international bailout."


Hour One

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD,; Thomas Joscelyn, Sr editor, Long War Journal, in re: watering the seeds of the caliphate with the blood of patriots and Islamists.

Benghazi suspect fled to Pakistan, recently detained in Libya A Libyan named Faraj al Chalabi has been detained in connection with the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi. It's "unclear" what role he's suspected of playing, but he fled to Pakistan afterwards. Muammar Qaddafi's regime said he worked twenty years ago that he worked in or with al Qaeda.  We know that the 12 Sept 2012 Beghazi attack was well planned in advance and a large-scale operation, so unlikely that the US could get fully enough info from one person in the for of Chalabi.

Al Qaeda in Iraq claims 'storming' operation in Baghdad  The Iraqi terror group said the attack was part of its "Destroying the Walls" campaign, which was announced by the group's emir, Abu Du'a, last year.

Afghan forces thwart unprecedented terror plot in Kabul  NDS forces raided a Haqqani Network, "one of the heads of the hydra," safe house in eastern Kabul, killing five militants, capturing two others, and seizing a 7,800-kg truck bomb wired for detonation. The bomb's destructive capacity had a radius of nearly one mile, according to Afghan officials. Cell was broken just as Hegel was about to arrive in Kabul. Will extract as much blood as possible as the US leaves.

Palestinian jihadist trainer killed fighting for Al Nusrah Front   Muhammad Ahmed Qanitah was a member of the al Qaeda-linked Tawhid and Jihad Group in Jerusalem, and previously served in Hamas' Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: . Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD,; Thomas Joscelyn, Sr editor, Long War Journal, in re: continued - watering the seeds of the caliphate with the blood of patriots and Islamists. Al Nusrah.  gateway groups, slowly make their way up to more radical groups; the profile of the intl jihadists. Iraq became central battlefield in the 2000s; now turned against the Assad regime. Also fighting all throughout the Middle East and North Africa; a very capable intl fighting force that extends into South Asia. US pretends that e can pick off certain leaders with our drones, and that'll contain them. Not working.  By no means a defeated organization – excellent at recruiting, organizing, fighting, fundraising.

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block C:  Mona Charen, NRO; Lara M Brown, Villanova; and Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in re: Why the U.S. Doesn't Choose Its President Like a Pope

The Humble Pope
A tonic for a cynical age.

Boehner Digs in on Taxes  House Speaker John Boehner told ABC News that talk of including revenue as part of an effort to strike a so-called "grand bargain" was "over." Said Boehner: "The president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people. We're not going to get very far. The president got his tax hikes on January 1. The talk about raising revenue is over. It's time to deal with the spending problem."  RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told CBS News that he wants the party hold its presidential nominating convention earlier, preferably in June or July. Said Priebus: "I'm calling for a convention in June or July. We are going to set up a commission that's going to make that decision. I'm going to be a part of that, I'm going to chair that commission. But no more August conventions."

Bloomberg’s Soda Folly  The ban is gone, but its lesson isn’t.

G.O.P. Report Is Blunt in Its Call for New Direction  A review of the Republican Party’s 2012 election efforts unveiled proposals for improving the way the party talks about its ideas, turns out potential voters and raises money.

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With all the talk of black smoke and failed ballots in Rome, it should be remembered that the United States almost created its own conclave—to select the president. Although a large majority of Americans would vote to abolish the Electoral College, few realize that the Constitutional Convention often considered and nearly adopted a less democratic proposal to have the national legislature (Congress) choose the president. We further forget that when the framers were sequestered in Independence Hall in 1787, constructing our government, most of the world's chief executives were born into their positions (i.e., kings). The College of the Cardinals, which began selecting popes in the late 13th century, offered the framers a rare example of how a vast state might elect an executive. Simply put, this means: Delegate the task to a permanent body of officials deeply vested in the outcome. Convene them in one central location. Use secret balloting to promote internal integrity. Place trust in the conscience of each individual casting his ballot and have faith that God's choice will be revealed in the votes.

G.O.P. Report Is Blunt in Its Call for New Direction  A review of the Republican Party’s 2012 election efforts unveiled proposals for improving the way the party talks about its ideas, turns out potential voters and raises money.  Republicans Act with Air, if Not a Vote, of Confidence

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Jillian Kay Melchior  Michigan Unions vs. Teachers
Obstructing a right-to-work law.

Hour Two

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  David M Drucker, Roll Call; John Fund, National Review Online; John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast,  and Newsweek International, in re: Fortieth annual CPAC .  "The bitterness of 2012 is behind us." – well, at least everyone is trying to look forward, figure out which way to go, and who should lead them there. Marco Rubio a bit more in the Reagan tradition, Rand Paul more Libertarian.   At CPAC, Hunger for New Leadership  The grass-roots activists that fuel the Republican Party’s gas tank appeared less divided during the three-day Conservative Political Action Conference than they did in flux as they try to determine which road to take next, and whom to follow.

With bitter 2012 election losses still on their minds, it might be easy to interpret the debates at CPAC as a movement — and, by extension, a political party — torn asunder. But the respectful tone that accompanied panels exploring immigration changes, candidate recruitment and the role of the U.S. in the world, and the equally raucous applause that greeted speeches by varied political figures such as Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., suggest otherwise. ]g“It’s not fighting, but it’s strong and passionate discussions and I think that it’s great for us. And, not only that, it helps the Republicans to have that passionate discussion,” said Micheline Doan, a 60-year-old CPAC attendee from Vancouver, Wash. “We’re still looking for the one that enlightens us — that lights us up again. I think that’s the fight. Who is going to be the one that’s going to come in and regenerate us like [Ronald] Reagan?”

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  David M Drucker, Roll Call; John Fund, National Review Online; John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek International: continued

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  .Satyajit Das, ex-banker and author, Extreme Money,Traders, Guns and Money, in Australia, in re: Cypriot Bailout Sends Shivers Throughout the Euro Zone.    Credit Anstass, bank that fell in ___ and generated a larger collapse.  The smart money has started to move out from under the ECB, this will stop withdrawals and cross-border transactions.  Merkel ,et al., think Cyprus is a sunny place for shady people – in fact, a lot of Russian cash is there. Putin says he won’t see Russian citizens robbed.  "'Twas a stupid idea whose time had come." Spain and Italy: if they have to be bailed out – perilously close to requiring intervention – no one has enough money to do so. The ECB's and EU's much-vaunted resolution mechanisms resemble  the Maginot Line.  Initially, Russian oligarchs will play a political game; let's see if eventually it comes to guns. The Fed probably was advised as a matter of courtesy. Problem's been here since June 2012.

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Gordon Chang,, in re: Jack Lew's First Big Mistake.  Jack Lew will be making his first foreign trip as Treasury secretary this week as he heads to Beijing for meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Chinese see this as an act of subservience; Lew probably will speak on cyberattacks, currency manipulation, IP and corporations, etc.    Last Tuesday US Director of Natl Security called cyberattacks the No. 1 natl security issue – Beijng will laugh at him. They're happy w the US doing what it's done up till now: nothing; will push him around the way they did the pinhead Timothy Geithner.  Smarter to go to Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei.  Once we start enforcing our own law, Beijing will sit up and take notice. This is the same drift as Chamberlain to Munich – they seized Scarborough Shoal, bombed Korea, invade Indian space hundreds of time each year.  Xi sees all this as being forgiven when Jack Lew, and then Secy Kerry, go to China as suppliants.  What Lew and Kerry will tell us on their return? "China is our trading partner," etc. GC: "Yes. Blah-blah-blah."

Lew’s visit comes on the heels of Friday’s installation of Li Keqiang as China’s premier and Thursday’s confirmation of Xi Jinping as president, the last formal steps in the transition of China’s “Fourth Generation” leaders to its Fifth.  As a “senior U.S. official” told Reuters last week, “It’s important to deepen our relationship with China’s new leadership team at this time.” Is it?  For decades, Washington officials believed the key to good ties with China was knowing its leaders well, therefore devoting great effort to getting acquainted with their Chinese counterparts.  Yet Beijing’s behavior has generally deteriorated over time even though American and Chinese officials have gotten to know each other, in many cases well. Acquaintance—even friendship—has virtually no influence on Chinese foreign policymakers, however.  China’s policy is especially “realist,” so it should come as no surprise that as the Obama administration tried harder to work with Beijing, ties in fact deteriorated.  [more]

Hour Three

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: California's Billionaire Beach: Where Larry Ellison Leads a Pack of 10-Figure-Plus Fortunes - ForbesThe dispute echoes the record mogul David Geffen's long battle to prevent use of a walkway on his property along the same stretch of Malibu beach. In 1983, Geffen agreed to allow a pathway to Carbon Beach when he sought permits for a pool and other additions, but he later filed suit to fight the access. In 2005, Geffen settled the suit and allowed the public to use the walkway.

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  . Gretchen Morgenosn, NYT, in re: JPMorgan’s Follies, for All to See The nation supposedly has new safeguards against another financial crisis. But a Senate report on JPMorgan Chase’s $6.2 billion trading loss offers cause for worry.Senate Report Shows Anxious Moments for JPMorgan Traders.  The Pecora Investigation was an inquiry begun on March 4, 1932, by the United States Senate Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the causes of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The name refers to the fourth and final chief counsel for the investigation, Ferdinand Pecora.

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  . Chris Christoff, Bloomberg, in re: Only Wall Street Wins in Detroit Crisis Reaping $474 Million Fee

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Anna Nemtsova, Newsweek/Daily Beast, in Moscow, in re: Bolshoi Theater Director Contends Acid Attack’s Mastermind Yet to Be Found  The web of intrigue around Russia’s Bolshoi Theater continued to grow over the weekend after Anatoly Iksanov, the theater’s general director, told Russian television that he doesn’t believe that the mastermind behind the January acid attack on Sergei Filin, the ballet company’s artistic director, has been found.

“He was pushed — the entire collective is certain of this,” Mr. Iksanov told “Vesti Nedeli,” a weekly current affairs program broadcast on Sunday night, of Pavel Dmitrichenko, the Bolshoi Ballet soloist who was arrested last week on charges of ordering the attack on Mr. Filin. “That’s why he’s not the actual instigator that he’s being made out to be. He is one of the perpetrators. There is a mastermind, and the investigation must find this person.” Two other men have been arrested, one for carrying out the attack and the other as his accomplice.  [more]

Hour Four

Monday  18 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Christopher Drew, NYT, in re: Initial Tests of Battery by Boeing Fell Short  Evaluations that Boeing conducted while the the 787 jet was in development proved to be far off the mark in predicting what would happen when the plane was in use.

Monday 18 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Lanhee Chen, Hoover, former Romney Policy Director, in re: outline of the policy proposals that emerged from the Romney transition efforts last year, which the authors believe President Obama should seize upon to grow the economy and create jobs.  “Taxes, energy, and trade offer big opportunities for bipartisan success,” they write.

Monday 18 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Margot Kiser, Nairobi, in re: Kenya's Raila Odinga lodges legal challenge to election result
   Raila says he won election and will prove it

 Prime Minister Raila Odinga embarked on a visit of the coastal town of Mombasa and claimed he won the March 4 electio. 
Jubilee Drafts Raila Reply as AG Seeks Part

Monday 18 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Tyler Rogoway,, in re: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II - Wikipedia  The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, ...

Lockheed Martin F-35 ...Joint Strike Fighter programCanadian procurement

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