The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Air Date: 
February 12, 2013

Photo, above:  Help name two of Pluto’s five moons!  See: Robert Zimmerman,, Hour 4, Block C


Hour One

State of the Union speech

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 1, Block A:   John Batchelor in re: SOTU.

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:   John Batchelor in re: SOTU.

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . John Batchelor in re: SOTU.

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  John Batchelor in re: SOTU.

Hour Two

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  John Batchelor in re: SOTU.

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, and Eli Lake, Daily Beast, in re: 34,000 U.S. Troops to Exit Afghanistan within a Year  The president’s decision, which he plans to announce Tuesday night, appears to be a careful balancing of political interests and military requirements. President Obama will announce in his State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan within a year.

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  . Larry Johnson, No Quarter, and Steven Herman, Voice of America, in Tokyo, in re: SOTU.  "Cognitive dissonance coupled with a complete lack of irony" against the backdrop of Benghazi. They could've deployed troops to let the FBI get in there – if nothing else.  Complete lack of vision and focus.

At this stage, we don’t know if DPRK bomb as plutonium or HUE. US and Japan have aircraft looking for radioactive gasses; were it HEU, that'd  be more ominous, since they can have a much larger supply. No sign yet of a mobile [long-range] missile test.  No info on whether or not Iranians were present yesterday; however, many years' collaboration between Iran and DPRK.

North Korea's nuke: what the USGS saw.  Timeline on North Korea’s nuclear program and how American presidents have struggled to end it: nyti.  ms/WFT62r

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board; David M Drucker, Roll Call; Lara M Brown, Villanova, in re: SOTU

Hour Three

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Bill Whalen, Hoover, in re:  SOTU – everyone in the Cabinet present except Stephen Chu.

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  .Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, and Gordon Chang,, in re:   North Korea's moving toward capacity to bld a miniaturized nuclear weapon to mount on an ICBM and hit the US; China's and Iran's total enmeshment in this project.   Chinese leaders are being undermined by the somewhat-improving prosperity of the leaders; North Korean leaders emphatically do not want to follow suit.

North Korea is on track to  help the Iranians build a nuke for ICBM.

Iran: They have the technology; once they arm their missiles, it'll be a whole ne ball game. Collaboration under way for a long time to miniaturize the bomb for use on ICBM.  Iran's top hoods were bragging yesterday about how DPRK had [flummoxed] the US.

Persian New Year: usually around 20 March; people visit for two weeks and give gifts; on the thirteenth day, people leave town and pray for a better year to come.

China thinks it can get concessions from Washington in exchange for pretending to rein in North Korea; the cost may be a demand that the US sand down while China aggresses against Japan.

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:     Bret Stephens, WSJ editorial board, in re:  Obama's Nuclear Fantasy

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Alan Ohnsman, Bloomberg News, in re: Tesla vs NYT

Hour Four

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Inspector Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: Dorner Sighted In Big Bear, Gunfire Exchanged, 2 Officers Injured   The California fugitive Christopher Dorner is [was, as of that moment] pinned down; they're bringing in the heavy machinery right now. Sounds as though like they'll plough down the cabin he's if necessary.  The firefight was pretty intense. 

This has been a story that's got national play but really captivated SoCal for the better part of a week. Cops and their families have been under 24/7 protection, police stations guarded and barricaded, security for the Gramm's was greatly increased, and thousands of tips came in to police - all in the hope of getting out from under the threat of this guy and hoping to pick up a $1 million reward.  The action is taking place right now on Jenks Lake Road. I've walked it many a time and that lake was the first open body of water I ever swam all the way across. Beautiful country.


Update: LAPD just announced the site is "too hot to enter" and that "no body has been recovered or identified." Protection remains in place for key LAPD personnel who were thought to be targets as well as for LAPD facilities. Next presser tomorrow 8 AM. 


The Executive Order the Press Agreed to Keep Secret for Five Hours  Shortly before 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, the White House emailed reporters that President Obama had signed a highly anticipated Executive Order aimed at protecting cyber security.  The order — setting up new programs aimed at stopping online espionage and terrorism — was already the law of the land, signed by the president. But it was also secret.

The document was "embargoed until delivery of the President's in the State of the Union address" — despite the fact it had already been signed.  Such embargoes — imposed unilaterally, rather than agreed-upon — are not binding on news organizations, which weigh the urgency of the news against the headache of, for instance, being dropped from the White House's distribution list. BuzzFeed abided by the embargo, having participated in a background briefing on the move, but thought it appropriate to report on the unusual delay.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor explained in an email Administration's decision to, temporarily, conceal the new order: "We wanted to release the EO early on an embargoed basis because the subject matter is complicated and we knew you guys would have questions. It seemed more helpful for the press corps than sending it concurrent with the speech."

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Adam Nossiter, NYT, in re: Militants Battle Malian and French Troops in Liberated Town  Gunfire rang out in the streets of the strategic town of Gao in northern Mali two weeks after French forces appeared to have chased radical Islamists out of the town.

Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Bob Zimmerman,, in re: Curiosity has obtained its first drill sample. Help name two of Pluto’s five moons!

The weak solar maximum continues  On February 4, NOAA released its monthly update of the Sun’s sunspot cycle, covering the period of January 2013. As I do every month, I have posted the latest graph, with annotation, below the fold. Not surprisingly, the sunspot numbers in January showed a recovery and rise from the steep plunge in December. What is surprising, however, is that the rise is not very much, barely bringing the sunspot number for the month back to the weak numbers we’ve seen for most of 2012.
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Tuesday  12 Feb 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Nicole Gelinas, Manhattan Institute, in re: payroll tax.    . . .  But if the payroll tax wasn’t necessary, it’s a far worse idea to take it away. It’s not just the pure economics of it. Economics, of course, would already tell you that if the payroll tax did help the economy, even a little, it’s going to hurt the economy to take it away.  That’s what happened in Britain, when the supposedly conservative David Cameron government hiked the value-added tax on goods and services by 14.3 percent, to 20 percent from 17.5 percent. People markedly cut back their spending because they had less money to spend.

The psychology of the payroll-tax move matters more than the economics. Enacting the tax cut and taking it away doesn’t have the same result as never doing anything at all. Think of it this way: If you give your friend a gift, she’ll be pleased; if you say in a month that you’ve decided you want it back, she’ll be less pleased than if you'd never given it to her in the first place.

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Hour 1:  Babylon AD, Starship Troopers, Shaolin

Hour 2:  Shaolin, Crysis, Skyfall, The World is Not Enough

Hour 3:  Darkspore, The Raid

Hour 4:   House of Cards, The Radi, Tomorrow Never Dies, Brake, Star Trek, Jurassic Park

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