The John Batchelor Show

Monday 9 December 2019

Air Date: 
December 10, 2019

Co-host: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes
Hour One
Monday 9 December  2019/ Hour 1, Block A: Tom Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; & Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re:  Afghanistan.  Washington Post: “The Afghanistan Papers,” and “At War with the Truth” article.  However, Bill Roggio and Tom Johnson have scrupulously followed the conflict from the Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean. For the last decade, often in this interminable war the government hasn’t even been able to name the enemy.  Currently, word that the Administration is speaking with Taliban. In 2010,we were told that al Qaeda was on the run, defeated, and never again to be a threat to US national security.
     We argued that this was ridiculous. Those statements were taken from press reports and al Qaeda statements.  The various militaries killed more al Q members than the US acknowledged even existed. We’ve called them out for almost a decade and, sadly, it’s proven to be correct..
Monday 9 December  2019/ Hour 1, Block B: Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal and FDD; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re: Accurate record-keeping in this war against the cutthroats. See image of Taliban’s control over Afghanistan; looks like a crab eating it. And now Washington refuses to give us metrics. What does that tell you?  Taliban refuses to talk unless the US [swears] to ;eave. It’s winning on the battlefield, surrounds almost everything but Kabul, and the routes into Pakistan. The   Probably are prepared to take over Kabul; already are ruling70 of the country’s 400-plus districts. US has been fudging numbers. Taliban have a shadow govt, its own military.  The Afghan govt’s days (months) are numbered. Thereafter, al Qaeda, which has invested heavily in Taliban, will reap benefits. President Trump, had he wanted to, needn’t have gone through all these [hoops]; could simply have withdrawn troops.   LongWarJournal has consistently been accurate in matters great and small; in this sad way, LongWarJournal, with its focus and transparency, has won the discussion.
Monday 9 December  2019/ Hour 1, Block C: Gordon Chang, Daily Beast, in re:  The story in East Asia is violence and doubt. The undistinguished dictator of the failed state of North Korea calls Pres Trump “a heedless old man.”  UNSC meets on Wednesday to discuss, in “an emergency meeting,” the North Korean missile program.  Its Christmas gift many be a (nuclear?) detonation over the Pacific Ocean.  As for Beijing, it’d like the US to go to China to ask for help in negotiations.   Then China would ask for something in return; I doubt that Pres Trump will fall for that.  The just-issued jobs report is spectacular, whereas their economy is slumping, incl a fall in exports for November.  The jobs report is a blast below the waterline for China.  
North Korea will ask for cash; will Pres Trump send some? I doubt it; last time, he just got up and walked out of the room.  By now, it’s Kim who looks like the bad guy.  DPRK’s statements are about Trump’s impeachment and his domestic difficulties; that Trump needs success with North Korea to win the 2020election Boy, have they go that wrong.   Likewise, China thinks that Trump needs a trade deal to win; wrong again.
As for Moon, he’s been telling Trump that now’s the time for reconciliation with DPRK, and then DPRK acts [horridly], makes Moon look bad; his popularity is in the low 40s.   Moon is extremely ideological; his goals are to get US off the peninsula, reunify with the North, and makes the whole thing a vassal state to China. Kim family uses violence to upset the status quo. He’s sort of hit the wall in what he can do these days. 
Monday 9 December  2019/ Hour 1, Block D: Michael Yon, Hong Kong reporter, in re: Hotel prices are reduced by one-third; hoteliers are having “mandatory vacations” for staff.  A very large, peaceful demo to support the protests against Beijing and the derogation of promises made twenty years ago.  Lots of US flags out there, and gratitude for the Hong Kong Democracy Act in Congress. In the streets, energy high and very positive.  At least two cops had M16 rifles.   A new police chief – installed by Beijing?  The liberators/protestors, have been less physical toward police since 18 November.  Cops still hassling journalists, pepper-spray a few people, used rubber bullets just a few hours ago.  “Revolution of the nerds”—look how fast they got Human Rights and Democracy Act passed; and now have Italy and the Netherlands involved: very good at fighting with their minds. The actual danger comes from the police.
I wrote a book on IEDs; nothing I’ve seen here is anything like as dangerous as what I’ve dealt with professionally in the past.  I used to be in Iraq and Afgh, on the ground with scorpions and real bullets.  Hong Kong today is comparatively easy.  And this is the perfect time for visitors to come here—hotel prices down by a half or more and not too many Mainlanders clogging up the streets.
Hour Two
Monday 9 December  2019/ Hour 2, Block A:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, & John Fund, NRO, in re: Boris Johnson-Jeremy Corbyn election  BoJo is probably the closest thing to a populist that the Britons will ever elect. Makes a good case that he’s the only one who can bring this all to a close. BoJo will probably win a bunch of Labour seats.
Impeachment articles:  Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.  Pelosi has enough votes in the House although perhaps not in the Senate. Undecided voters: Why are you wasting time with this when there’s a general election in months? What are you doing for voters? Any defections will be on the Democratic side, not the Republican. Impeachment s a political remedy, not a legal proceeding; these legal terms were brought in to [prop up] the inquiry. The Democratic base is in a primal scream. Trump is tweeting 105 times a day and is lashing out. Democrats are trying to drive Pres Trump crazy.
Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress: neither is a crime. But impeachment doesn’t depend on a crime before the courts.   Note that the FBI abused the FISA court, deceived it to secure a warrant; this endangers everyone’s civil wrights. Can politicians be trusted with this?  Apparently not.
Monday 9 December  2019/ Hour 2, Block B:  John Fund, NRO, & David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, in re: Mr Durham: “I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Inspector-General . . . ; however, our investigation, based on the evidence to date . . . we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions.”
The IG’s report excoriates the FBI and the predicates for the FISA warrants  (500-plus pages to the report); yet it says there’s no bad intent despite the misconduct, so nothing should be done.
Monday 9 December  2019/ Hour 2, Block C:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:   The Israeli election: looks like March 2.  Lots of shuffling today. electorate is not happy with this election.   New S sanctions against Iranian IRGC thugs. IAEA pressing for explanation of nuclear particles found.
Iran said there’d be a “crushing response” to Israel
Ethiopia-Egypt dam negotiations are coming to a head in January.
Iranian radar froze Syrian data, causing Syrian missiles to blow up
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 2, Block D: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:  Abdallah Shatilla, a Lebanese, businessman bought ten of Hitler’s possessions for 600,000 euros to prevent them from falling into the hands of neo-Nazis. “Hitler is the personification of evil, for everyone, all of humanity.”  Includes Hitler’s hat, typewriter, and a silver-trimmed copy of Mein Kampf, and is in Israel today, donated them to Yad Vashem,  the Holocaust memorial. Two items escaped hm. He got thousands of messages from Jews, and only four or five from Lebanon. Is being celebrated on Israel.
Hour Three
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 3, Block A: Monica Crowley, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Treasury; in re: Pres Trump’s promised agenda of economic freedom.  November job number: 266,000 — ’way more than the market, or anyone, expected. Extraordinary job creation. WSJ says this is a jobs and income boost for the rank and file worker.
For 30 years before Pres Trump, wages have slowly increased or stayed flat. Pres Trump enters office, caries out his Economic Freedom Agenda, and now we say significant wage growth.
Earnings for non-supervisory or production workers rose 3.7%, which is a blue-collar boom. Those in the lowest quintiles saw the greatest increases; in the industrial Midwest, at a pace we haven't seen n a long time. Today, women are half the workforce.    Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017!  Deregulation, liberating the energy sector, and liberalizing trade reforms.  USMCA. Unemployment is at a fifty-year low.  The predicted recession?  Nowhere near.
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 3, Block B: John Tamny, RealClearmarkets , in re:  Steve Jobs (and Mark Andreesen, who insisted that no one wanted a screen keyboard) forged ahead with the digital keyboard. Elon Musk – cybertruck, Starship with fins, tunnel under LA to build a sci-fi road story. No one expected Amazon. It's not just “know your customer”; real entrepreneurs lead us into the future.  @JohnTamny  The rich are venture buyers.
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 3, Block C:   Andrew C McCarthy, author, Ball of Collusion, in re:  Mssrs Barr and Durham. “I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Inspector-General . . .”  “ . . .  other persons and entities both within and outside the US.”  Only one shoe from a centipede falling.  John Durham may have been responding to something written in WaPo that indicated that Durham had essentially concurred with Horowitz’s findings — oops! As for Barr, we knew this was coming in view of the weakness of his report that mirrors the weakness of the Clinton email report – minimal, lowest-common-denominator standards.  Satisfying this is nothing to write home about – having no standard and met it. Authorizing an investigation such as this using a low threshold [defies common sense].  The divergence between Barr and Durham, on one hand, and Horowitz: the latter has defined his investigation almost to the point of irrelevance. “It’s not my job to review discretionary decisions made in the course of an investigation, or if one should go forward on the merits,” my job is de mimimis.    “” “You’ve hit the nail on the head.”
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 3, Block D:  Andrew C McCarthy, author, Ball of Collusion, in re:  They have not found a crime, which is why they rely on this very vague and nebulous standard of abuse of power, which is precisely what the framers tried to avoid in the impeachment clause, as Jon Turley [explained]. They worried that maladministration was too vague a term, rather than identifying the egregious conduct needed to reverse the results of an election.
Hour Four
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 4, Block A: The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History, by Lee Smith 
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 4, Block B:  The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History, by Lee Smith 
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 4, Block C:  Night Soldiers: A Novel, by Alan Furst
Monday 9 December  2019 / Hour 4, Block D:  Night Soldiers: A Novel, by Alan Furst..  ..  ..