The John Batchelor Show

Monday 25 March 2013

Air Date: 
March 25, 2013

Photo, above: Apple Store: Beijing.  See Gordon Chang, Second Hour: Apple under attack by PRC and CCTV.


Hour One

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, and Thomas Joscelyn, managing editor of Long War Journal, in re: Caliphate rising. al Shabaab, Zawahiri, Ansar Dine, drones.   France confirms death of senior AQIM commander Abou Zeid President Hollande said that the senior al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb commander was killed "during combat led by the French military in the Ifoghas Mountains in northern Mali at the end of February."    US posts $5 million reward for American suspected of being Zawahiri's emissary to Shabaab  The FBI told The Long War Journal that Jehad Mostafa is thought to be Abu Abdullah al Muhajir, the American who distributed aid at a Somali camp in 2011 on behalf of al Qaeda's emir. The US also offered a $5 million reward for Omar Hammami. 

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, and Thomas Joscelyn, managing editor of Long War Journal, in re:  Al Qaeda-linked group claims responsibility for rocket attacks on Israel The al Qaeda-linked Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) claimed responsibility for rocket attacks in Israel earlier this morning. The attacks were in protest of President Obama's visit.

      Social Media Jihad: Mohammed al Zawahiri's new Facebook page March 22   Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, has launched his own Facebook page. 

    US drones kill 4 'militants' in Pakistan  The strike took place in the terrorist hub of Datta Khel in North Waziristan, where some of al Qaeda's top leaders have been killed in the past.

     Social Media Jihad: Mohammed al Zawahiri's new Facebook page Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, has launched his own Facebook page.

     Senior pro-Assad Sunni cleric killed in Damascus suicide attack  Syrian "activists" say that the "deeply religious" rebels are incapable of conducting an attack in a mosque, but this ignores scores of suicide attacks and bombings in mosques by al Qaeda and its allies over the past decade. 

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Lara M Brown, Villanova, and Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in re: Obama Loses Edge Over GOP Despite Good Economic News

Micah Cohen notes that President Obama's advantage over Congressional Republicans on economic issues "has all but vanished. Public approval of his handling of the economy has slipped, according to polls, and surveys now show that a roughly equal number of Americans favor Mr. Obama as favor Congressional Republicans on economic matters."

"It is not clear what is causing the decline, but it doesn't seem to be the actual economy. There are increasing signs that the recovery is accelerating. Recent reports on jobs and housing have been unexpectedly strong. And all the while, the stock market has been bullish."

Wonk Wire: Finally, signs of a solid economic recovery.

       Last week, in a small town named after the moon (because of what once was considered the town's vast distance from the big city, according to one local legend), at a university named after a critically important yet universally forgotten Revolutionary War figure, a little miracle happened for a basketball team that captured the hearts of many Americans.With 8.7 seconds remaining in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament, the Robert Morris Colonials stunned the defending NCAA champion Kentucky Wildcats, 59-57. Their improbable journey played out on Twitter and their victory read like a fairy tale.  The Colonials did it with grit, heart, talent and a determination that nearly every American can relate to on some level of their life, either by personal accomplishment or in the goals they are working toward.

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Arif Rafiq, Middle East Institute, in re: Pakistan. At the time of his overthrow in 1999, Sharif was probably the most hated man in Pakistan. He may soon be Prime Minister.

In the spring of 2000, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif stood in a jail cell in Pakistan's notorious Attock Fort as members of the local and international press looked on. Imprisoned by the army chief he appointed, Sharif appeared utterly demoralized and even pitiful. It was a radical reversal of fortune for a man who just two years earlier had not only been prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan — but a democratically-elected leader with a commanding parliamentary majority who took on the military and conducted the country’s first open nuclear tests.

United States economic sanctions automatically triggered by the tests would spoil the party for Sharif. And relations with Gen. Pervez Musharraf, whom Sharif appointed as army chief, would quickly deteriorate as the army waged what Sharif claims was a secret military operation in the Kargil area of Kashmir that would bring Pakistan and India close to a fourth war[more]

Hour Two

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  . John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast,  and Newsweek International; Taegan Goddard, Political Wire;  John Fund, National Review Online, in re: Immigration, same sex union, gun control.

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  . . John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast,  and Newsweek International; Taegan Goddard, Political Wire;  John Fund, National Review Online, continued in re Hillary Clinton inevitable?

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  .Elizabeth Rosenthal, NYT, in re renewable energy vs fossil fuel in the 21st Century.

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Gordon Chang,, in re: Gordon Chang,, in re:  CCTV organizes minions to attack Apple in order to prevent a foreign company from garnering too  much money from Chinese people. Beijing has been going after successful foreign companies recently, and ill-advised comments by CEO Tim Cook in January may have made Apple China's No. 1 target. [Absurd tale.]

China’s Leader Argues for Cooperation with Russia        President Xi Jinping of China suggested that the two countries could find common ground as they each seek to claim a place as a respected great power. “Nobody knows what the devil they are up to,” said Einar Benediktsson, Iceland’s former ambassador to Washington and a critic of his country’s expanding ties with Beijing. “All we know is that it is very important to China to get a foothold in the Arctic, and Iceland is an easy prey.”

Hour Three

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re:  The Quds site, 24 km from Fordow (which mysteriously collapsed) has three facilities:  One is similar to Fordow, being 370 ft deep, doing weaponization of uranium; also has enough Pn for several bombs; construction began same time as Fordow, they have same capacity: 8,000 centrifuges.

Second: ________   Third: 300 ballistic missiles


Centrifuges - dozens of thousands whirring out weaponized uranium for delivery by Ayatolllah Khamenei to neighborhoods worldwide, especially Saudi Arabia, Israel, Western Europe and North America.

Gulpa News, associated with the Defense Min of Iran, is run by someone who's designated as replacement of Supreme Leader should the latter be incapacitated.  Picked up report by Reza, immed launched an attack on him, screamed that if there is such a site no one may inspect it.  Reza is in a blog fight with the Iranian regime.   No one has evenr spoken of the Quds site in public.  Now, the US, Germany, and all the public talkers are staying mum. However, Al Arabiya and Saudi news have picked up the tale. Reza Kahlili is currently much under attack by the ayatollahs.    

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  KAHLILI: Heavy traffic across Iran’s ‘red line’ Obama’s failure to act invites frightening consequences

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  .Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law, in re: The End of Innovation?  Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law, in re: This past week, patent lawyers were feverishly preparing reams of new patent applications to be filed under the 2011 America Invents Act (AIA), which took effect on March 16, 2013, a year and a half after Congress passed that unwise measure. The AIA replaced the old First-to-Invent standard with a First-Inventor-To-File standard. To the outsider, that shift in legal rules may seem like no big deal. But there are firms to which patent priority is worth many millions of dollars. Under the new paradigm, firms must ensure that they “file as early and as completely as [they] can!

Hour Four

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Jim McTague, Barron's Washington, in re: 'Net Sales Tax? It's Coming.| MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR If you buy things over the Internet and then voluntarily remit the sales tax to your state, then either you're a model citizen with above-average recall, or a model citizen with the diligence of an archivist. So pat yourself on the back, and then boot yourself in the behind. Nationally, online customers "forget" on April 15 of each year to pay about $23 billion in sales tax. In the Senate, Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin says that in his state alone the annual gap between what is owed by online shoppers and what Maryland actually receives from them is an estimated $375 million. Missouri Republican Roy Blunt says that 300 people in his state last year volunteered to pay the tax, though "I suspect many more than that shopped online." Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate who represent states that collect sales taxes have been trying since 1999 to pass legislation that would require online retailers, even those physically located out of state, to collect the levy the same way in-state, brick-and-mortar merchants do—at the time of sale. The difference, of course, is that the Internet retailers would have to compute the tax for 45 states containing more than 10,000 local taxing jurisdictions.

      This year in the Senate, Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republicans Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, the latest iteration of the legislation. To make tax collection less onerous, the bill would require the states to simplify their codes and provide free tax-computing software to the Internet retailers. This would give Main Street merchants a fighting chance, the supporters claim. They tell tales of shoppers who try on clothing at the local dress shop and then purchase the items on the Internet to save on taxes. In the Senate last Friday night, supporters successfully attached the bill as an amendment to a budget plan introduced by Finance Committee Chairman Patty Murray of Washington by a vote of 75-24. The amendment was a publicity stunt of sorts because Murray's partisan budget will never make it through the Republican-dominated House. The GOP calls the Murray budget a giant tax-and-spend plan that would end up eliminating popular middle-class deductions. But the stunt exceeded the wildest expectations of its supporters. The legislation is more alive this year than [more]


Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Mark Schroeder, Stratfor, in re: Central African Republic President Francois Bozize fled Bangui as Seleka rebels seized control of the city March 24. Though Bozize's whereabouts are unconfirmed, an unnamed presidential advisor reportedly said Bozize has crossed into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to a Seleka rebel spokesman, Bozize's departure from the country is required to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. The Central African Republic's terrain has long provided sanctuary to a number of rebel groups, making them difficult for the government to eradicate.

France has deployed troops to the Central African Republic after Seleka rebels clashed with government forces in the capital of Bangui, Reuters reported March 23. Central African Republic forces reportedly are still in control of the city; French troops will assist in securing the capital and the airport, according to an unnamed diplomatic source. Clashes in the country resumed after rebels rejected a government peace deal March 21. A cease-fire reached in January fell apart in late February. Some residents of Bangui reported rampant looting after Seleka rebels entered the Central African Republic capital March 23. The rebels turned off the power March 23, and there is still no electricity or water in the city. France sent 350 more troops to the country, where there are now 600 French military personnel total.

Summary: Chief of the Seleka rebel alliance Michel Djotodia (R) sits alongside rebel leader Christophe Gazzam Betty and rebel military chief Ali Mahamat on Jan. 17, 2013, in Bangui .  Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic have taken control of the government in Bangui. On March 24, the rebels overran the presidential palace, deposed President Francois Bozize and replaced him with rebel leader Michel Djotodia. Because the Seleka movement consists of several rebel militias, any government that takes shape could fall victim to the various ideological and personal agendas of its member groups. Now that the rebels have access to state resources, they could be better positioned to help their allies in the region, most notably in Chad, where a similar rebellion -- if properly supported -- could threaten the Chadian government in the future. 

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Joshua Green, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re: THE SECRET GINGRICH-SANTORUM 'UNITY TICKET' THAT NEARLY TOPPLED ROMNEY

It’s one of the great untold stories of the 2012 presidential campaign, a tale of ego and intrigue that nearly upended the Republican primary contest and might even have produced a different nominee: As Mitt Romney struggled in the weeks leading up to the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum nearly agreed to form a joint “Unity Ticket” to consolidate conservative support and topple Romney. “We were close,” former Representative Bob Walker, a Gingrich ally, says. “Everybody thought there was an opportunity.” “It would have sent shock waves through the establishment and the Romney campaign,” says John Brabender, Santorum’s chief strategist.

Monday  25 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:  Michael Powell, NYT, in re: On his second day of freedom after serving 23 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, David Ranta suffered a serious heart attack Friday night, his lawyer said. Mr. Ranta was taken to a New York hospital — his family did not wish to disclose the name — where doctors discovered that one of his arteries was completely blocked and another was halfway closed. Doctors put in a stent and Mr. Ranta was expected to undergo another procedure, the lawyer, Pierre Sussman, said.  Mr. Ranta, 58, was convicted in 1991 of killing a prominent Hasidic rabbi, Chaskel Werzberger, following the failed robbery of a jewelry courier in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the year before. He was sentenced to 37 and a half years. He was released last week after prosecutors acknowledged that the evidence against Mr. Ranta had fallen apart over the years.  Mr. Ranta was staying in a city hotel with his family, to give him time away from prying eyes after nearly a quarter-century in prison. Re-entering the outside world from the rule-bound and unforgiving world of a maximum-security prison can be a profoundly disorienting experience, say those who have gone through similar experiences.  As Mr. Ranta told the news media Thursday: “I’m overwhelmed. Right now, I feel like I’m under water, swimming.”  [more]

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Hour 1: Syriana, dark knight rises, house of cards, Iron Lady

Hour 2: Iron Lady, battleship

Hour 3: Argo, knight & day

Hour 4: Brake