Thursday 13 November 2014
Photo, above: Log jam at Big Ripple, North Fork of Clearwater River, Idaho. See Hour 1, Blocks C & D, Stephen Yates, Idaho Republican Party Chairman, & DC Advisory.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board & host of OpinionJournal.com & Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 1, Block A:
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 1, Block B: Edward W Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence, in re: . . . the Rev Sharpton knows how to deliver votes. De Blasio is not the candidate of a West Indian immigrant who's got two jobs; rather, of resentful people and extremely well-heeled elitists.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 1, Block C: Stephen Yates, Idaho Republican Party Chairman, & DC Advisory, in re: why don’t major pols when in an intl meeting address serious issues? Be cause it could fail and look bad. In current mtgs in Asia, Pres Obama declines to discuss human rights, or cybersecurity with China, which has hacked into the US govt, our largest corporations, and even the US post office and the weatherman! Pres Obama had a secret negotiation with China on climate control. Why secret?? Xi Jinping agreed to nothing. China successfully bullies Pres Obama. . . . Mr McCain endorses the use of force to back up democracy. Senate and House bills to arm Kiyev. No visible accommodation in this matter by the Obama White House. Difficult and perhaps inadvisable to run foreign policy from the Congress. . . . Land bridge to Crimea. Europe keeps being surprised by Putin. . . . Arming rebels tends to lead to wars.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 1, Block D: Stephen Yates, Idaho Republican Party Chairman, & DC Advisory, in re: We're focusing on winning the 2016 presidential election; our preparation and consequent overcapacity can be utilized by neighboring states. We found Pres Obama and his party to be intensely negative. We have a strong Libertarian bloc in Idaho along with conservative families. (Scott Walker in Wisconsin did well with 18-24 vote.) GOP has not fared well with people under 30; common sense says: go talk and listen to young people. We did very well with college students because we listened closely. Medicaid expansion, health exchanges - $18 trillion in debt and going higher – do not endear themselves to young people. In January, in San Diego all the GOP state party chairmen will meet. GOP leadership always passes to the next person in line. Idaho is the California of the Republican Party.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 2, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Secy of State Kerry travelling to Amman to meet with King Abdullah of Jordan, as is the Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu. Jordan is known to be the best regional ally of Israel, whereas a chill has settled over US-Israeli relations. Some of the recent violence in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, misreported to the king, put him under domestic pressure to withdraw the Jordanian ambassador. PM Netanyahu [sorted it out]. ISIS in both Syria and Iraq; Jordan has fortified its border, has started to prosecute those who recruit fo ISIS in Jordan. Seven thousand mosques. Even the Russians said it may not be possible to resolve, as did Fabius. Exchange of letters with Khamenei. Iran this week denied entrance to IAEA senior staff. 411 executions in the first six months of 2014; circumvention of bank laws, with vast sums going to groups that are targeting US troops. Abbas was not invited to Amman: he's part of the problem, has engaged in incitement – "protect Temple Mount by all means at all times" – and encouragement of he violence of the last weeks. The Palestinian Authority has not taken a constructive role.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 2, Block B: Lee Smith, Weekly Standard, Hudson Institute; author, The Consequences of Syria; in re: Iran – lack of human rights, predation; Congressmen who support Israel: will they speak up sufficiently? The Administration will try to do an end-run around Congress. Ben Rhodes said, "We devised an end-run a year ago," However, there's bipartisan support in Congress. IAEA inspectors's being blocked: White House keeps saying it's not a problem; but the IAEA team needs to get in now in order to benchmark all these items. What I'm concerned about is the secrecy with which the Administration is moving; it’s already conceded – caved in on – that gives us enough reason for concern. They give up and roll over on many issues – often, behind the backs of Congress. Does Pres Obama write secret letters to Khamenei because he thinks he's the US Supreme Leader and so can do this? . . . US is trying to thread the needle . . .
Now That He's Lost the Senate, It’s Time for Obama to Seal His Deal with the Devil By boasting of enabling Iran’s bloody nuclear hopes, the Obama administration ushers in the age of Renfield and Dracula. Being president of the United States is often described as the most powerful job in the world not because the president can remake America with the stroke of a pen (he can’t), or because the United States is the most powerful nation in the world (although that helps), but because of the unrivaled power it gives the executive to chart America’s course in the world. At home, the president may not be able to do much about the roads, taxes, or even delivering the mail. Abroad, he can start and stop wars, make enemies into friends (and vice versa), and otherwise determine the tone and often the direction of the entire planet—or at least that part of the planet that responds to American economic, diplomatic, and military cues. Which is one good reason why that even presidents who come to office proclaiming their disinterest in foreign policy—like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—often wind up their second terms in office focused on the one policy area they can actually control.
With the Senate falling into Republican hands, then, the Obama Administration will naturally turn more of its attention to foreign policy. So, what’s on tap? The first and easiest prediction that any number of pundits have made is that the administration will circumvent Congress and push through a permanent agreement with Iran over its nuclear weapons program when the deadline comes up Nov. 24.
Any deal with Iran, the administration seems to believe now, is better than no deal at all. In fact, as we learned last week, the administration has already helped Iran get across the nuclear finish line—and they’re bragging about it. Lost in all the noise . . .
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 2, Block C: Michael Singh, Washington Institute managing director; in re: The fight with the ayatollahs is not going well and the US doesn't have a good strategy. Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee running again in two years. How do regional groups feel about Pres Obama's secret exchange of letters – do they feel sold out? They hold that the problem with Iran is not the only, sole regional problem – there's Assad, and ISIS< and many others. When they see the president writing to the Supreme Leader saying, "We can do a deal," they’re nervous, And it’s not the fact of the letter, it’s the content. Aren’t we emboldening the Shia? A concern – and what we need to do is stabilize . . . Germans and Australians have provided some support for the Kurds. About the 24 November deadline: what’s he benefit of postponing a realistic assessment? The two sides are too far apart of a deal by then, but all sides speak of an extension. If so, why will that be different form the last year of fruitless diplomacy? ISIS has erased the border between Iraq and Syria. The root instability . . . The fight with the ayatollahs is not going well and the US doesn't have a good strategy. Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee running again in two years. How do regional groups feel about Pres Obama's secret exchange of letters – do they feel sold out? They hold that the problem with Iran is not the only, sole regional problem – there's Assad, and ISIS, and many others. When they see the president writing to the Supreme Leader saying, "We can do a deal," they’re nervous, And it’s not the fact of the letter, it’s the content. Aren’t we emboldening the Shia? A concern – and what we need to do is stabilize . . .
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 2, Block D: Mohsen Sazegara, Iranian journalist and pro-democracy political activist; in re: Conditions in Iran as we approach the 24 November deadline: no US-Iran agreement, may continue till March. Both sides dn;t want to achieve an agreement. Ayatollah Khamenei has colon problems (cancer?); succession: at least three or four options – Rafsanjani, or IRGC – but within IRGC are several factions. Khamenei would like his son to succeed him, but that won't work. Some activists are disappointed by Pres Obama: how can he and his advisors be so naif, to write a letter to Khamenei and achieve cooperation against ISIS? Khamenei doesn’t have the final word – IRGC, the intelligence organization, some clerics, al have powerful voices. IRGC runs drugs and alcohol, sex trafficking, other Mafia activities. Drugs bring in $3 bil PA or more, same for the other activities. Sanctions are effective, esp as the oi price dwindles. Wil have 50% deficit in Iranian 2015 budget. If he US Congress continues to cause reduction in Iranian oil export, that will be effective. Rouhani hopes to solve the problem by removing the sanctions, but . . .
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 3, Block A: Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21), in re: Abbas, Iran. Three Congressmen wrote to Abbas on the question of incitement, emphasizing htat to be taken seriously he must cease, as he's been praising overt terrorists. Failing to condemn terrorism raises questions on his commitment to peace. Also, economic and many many other issues. Billions will be spent on reconstructing Gaza; mustn't go to tunnels.
Cyprus: Turkey suddenly announces it'll do seismic testing for undersea gas and sends a warship; also, US sailors in Istanbul have been beaten up by a local gang. Not an accidental simultaneity. The Marmara: Intl Court refused to entertain a case, called it [frivolous]; even the European parliament said that Turkey has violated the right of Cyprus. Neither Abbas nor Secy Kerry has replied to each letter. Man Congressional members and regional leaders express concerns about Erdogan's wish to re-establish the Ottoman empire. Yemen: 26 million people, govt has collapsed; US drones are striking against the al Qaeda in the south. Chaos matching Syria. Iran;s fingerprints all over Yemen. Recall Iran's huge reach in supporting terrorism, incl throughout the world.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 3, Block B: Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld, foreign press spokesman for the Israeli police; in re: . . . vehicular attacks in Jerusalem: "lone wolves" who in fact are coordinating with one organization or another. Pattern of escalating incitement? Police dealt with this carefully, then a decline in the number of incidents for two weeks; then extremists – Hamas and Jihad Islami – decided to take it to a higher level. Recent events on the Mount of Olives, police made arrests -; working 24/7,police have made over a thousand arrests. Now, increased intell on preventing and detecting, Finding suspects before they set out; usu from neighborhoods quite nearby. Any way to protect oneself while waiting for light rail or a tram? Yes – if you see anything odd, immed call police. Also, have set up concrete blocks all along light rail for protection. Meanwhile, Arabs are allowed in Judaism's holist sites but Jew are not. A late mtg last night with the Israeli PM Secy Kerry ad King Abdullah to quiet tensions on the Temple Mount. Now, there's no age limit – no prevention of youngsters who often riot – on Temple Mount.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 3, Block C: Jerry Hendrix, Center for New American Security; in re: conservative defense policy; overusing US Navy ships – don't have enough money to replace those being decommissioned. Not enough excess capacity to turn on the market to build more ships. Lots of tankers hauling energy – has to go on a US bottom by law. Furthermore, the ships we’re choosing to build are the expensive ones. The Littoral combat ship under question. Small-surface combattent program under review by the Secretary. To replace the Ohio-class nuclear deterrent ships – each one will cost $6 billion. DoD has seen this coming for some time, and talking about it, but we nonetheless have bought platforms much more expensive than what we can afford.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 3, Block D: Lanhee Chen, Hoover; in re: GOP courted Asians – and it paid off.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 4, Block A: Daniel Henninger, WSJ, in re: It wasn't just Obama
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 4, Block B: James Taranto, WSJ; in re: Jonathan Who? Nancy Pelosi can’t remember ObamaCare’s architect.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 4, Block C: Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: Engineers have until Saturday to reposition Philae before its batteries go dead Sitting in the shade under a cliff and on its side, engineers have until Saturday to nudge it into brighter territory before Philae’s batteries go dead. One of Philae’s major scientific goals is to analyse the comet for organic molecules. To do that, the lander must get samples from the comet into several different instruments, named Ptolemy, Cosac and Civa. There are two ways to do this: sniffing and drilling. Sniffing involves opening the instruments to allow molecules from the surface to drift inside. The instruments are already doing this and returning data.
Thursday 13 November 2014 / Hour 4, Block D: Ken Croswell, Science News, in re: Swiss cheese galaxy