Not much of an expert of nuclear issues

Well, that’s one way of putting it:

“Try asking me something meaningful instead of quoting the brainless gibberish of a blithering idiot” would be my way.

It boggles the mind that anyone in the media would consider Palin’s opinion about anything more momentous than the best way to field dress an elk to be “newsworthy” — at this point, they have to be quoting her just for the sheer brain-damaged comic relief.  “No other administration would do it”??  FAIL.

24 Responses to “Not much of an expert of nuclear issues”


  1. 1 Brian Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

    As opposed, of course, to the vast nuclear experience Barak got as a community organizer, autobiographer, state senator, part itme US senator and full time campaigner.

    The fact is, there is no school for nuclear policy. If Palin’s lack of nuclear-policy experience disqualifies her from having a meaningful say (as Barak implied), then he would be unqualified by the same measure.

    It is smarmy and snippy for Barak to answer the question put to him by belittling Sarah Palin. Kudos to Stephanopolis to clarify for the class dunce what it was that the question actually was.

  2. 2 brebis noire Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:32 am

    She’s such a massive train wreck it’s impossible to look away.
    Palin is the very epitome of spinny, and the more attention she gets the more it shows.
    You can see Stephanopoulous and Obama trying very hard to stop from cracking up; the effort of forcing the sides of their mouths down must’ve been enormous.

  3. 3 brebis noire Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:35 am

    /tongue partly in cheek./Brian, in your neverending quest to make the world a better place, please try to spell people’s names correctly. You can double-check the spellings yourself, it’s not that hard.

  4. 4 Brian Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I thought I might have George’s name wrong. Thanks, Brebis, for the tip (and the example of spelling it correctly).

  5. 5 JJ Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Brian – I’m sure Obama at least realizes that total nuclear disarmament was a Reagan policy, which Reagan even moved forward on in the 80s. Reagan would at the very least endorse the Obama treaty. If he had any complaints about it, it would likely be that the treaty doesn’t go far enough.

    For Palin to be so blissfully ignorant of the position of her own party’s idol is beyond stupid. She really is a blithering idiot.

  6. 6 JJ Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

    brebis – Is it just me or does she seem to be getting stupider by the day?

    The only mistake Obama made in his answer was to even acknowledge her by name. I would have stopped at “I don’t have a response for that” and then asked “Next question?”

  7. 7 brebis noire Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Actually, it’s Stephanopoulos. Hadda look it up.

  8. 8 J. A. Baker Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

    As opposed, of course, to the vast nuclear experience Barak got as a community organizer, autobiographer, state senator, part itme US senator and full time campaigner.

    Brian, if you’re going to criticize Obama’s nuclear policy experience, at least have the mental acuity to not crib from Palin’s talking points. And learn to spell his first name correctly…

    Also. I’d say that working with Dick Lugar on securing loose nukes counts as nuclear policy experience. But, of course, Obama has a “D” after his name, so it doesn’t count, amirite?

  9. 10 J. A. Baker Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:53 am

    For Palin to be so blissfully ignorant of the position of her own party’s idol is beyond stupid. She really is a blithering idiot.

    JJ, take a look at this picture from Palin’s speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and tell me that the tele-palm-ter hasn’t made a comeback.

  10. 11 JJ Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    JAB – I guess that’s her “thing” now, to show how she’s one of the Commoners 🙄 …at $100,000 per speech to them.

  11. 12 Brian Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    …total nuclear disarmament was a Reagan policy, which Reagan even moved forward on in the 80s. Reagan would at the very least endorse the Obama treaty. If he had any complaints about it, it would likely be that the treaty doesn’t go far enough.

    For Palin to be so blissfully ignorant of the position of her own party’s idol…

    Reagan also was resolutely against unilateral disarmament. He also is famous for “trust but verify.” It is largely felt that Obama is giving without getting here, something that Reagan would have opposed strongly.

    We really need to wait a bit and see, as details still need to come out.

    But the issue with Palin/Obama was not this recent reduction agreement, but announcing what the US’s nuclear use policy is. It is virtually always a bad idea to “telegraph” your chosen tactics. On that, Reagan and Palin would have agreed, disagreeing with Obama.

     

    …at least have the mental acuity to not crib from Palin’s talking points.

    If someone makes a good point, I see no reason to avoid using it. To me, whether points are “talking points” or not makes little-to-no difference. The only thing that matters is their content: are they accurate? do they squarely address the issue? and so on. I though the point that no one in this situation has expert status on nuclear issues stemming from experience was germane. Almost everyone on earth that deals in these realms (nuclear policy) can only look at what others have done before, see how what they’ve done worked, and add to that whatever they can from their own experience in negotiating, and with dealing with others. Because of that, Obama’s response was ad hominem, avoiding answering the actual question put to him. Palin’s response highlights the way in which his answer was not really an answer to what he was actually asked.

     

    “Securing loose nukes” is a different field from nuclear policy. It is an OJT experience that Palin does not share, but it still misses the mark on what Stephanopoulos (still had to look…) asked.

     

    …take a look at this picture…

    It is common for everyone to use notes when “speeching.” But teleprompters are not notes, they are verbatim script of what to say. That’s why, though both are “things written down regarding the speech,” they still are very different. Using a teleprompter so often (as opposed to using notes — whether written on the hand or on paper) has been ridiculed, whereas the criticizers of that do not criticize using notes.

  12. 13 brebis noire Friday, April 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    “I though the point that no one in this situation has expert status on nuclear issues stemming from experience was germane. Almost everyone on earth that deals in these realms (nuclear policy) can only look at what others have done before, see how what they’ve done worked, and add to that whatever they can from their own experience in negotiating, and with dealing with others.”

    Seriously? That’s the best you can do in defense of Palin’s idiocy and hubris? What you’re writing is barely even coherent.
    Step back and take a breath. Obama is President of the USA. As such, do you seriously think that he is not being advised by experts? And do you seriously believe that Palin’s team has more info and expertise in nuclear issues, including geopolitics, than the team of civil servants and military personnel – most if not all were there before Obama was even elected?

    And where exactly do you get the impression that this is unilateral? Does Reagan have to rise from the dead and approve the agreement so that the teabagger ilk can be patriotic and support the president of their country for once?

  13. 14 smelter rat Friday, April 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    God Brian, you’re such a fucking tool. Are you a politician?

  14. 15 JJ Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Brian

    It is virtually always a bad idea to “telegraph” your chosen tactics.

    I doubt that what they are saying publicly is their actual tactical policy. Obama wouldn’t trust Putin, with good reason. But the fact that they are talking not just about disarmament but about securing loose nukes is a step in the direction of working together against common threats.

  15. 16 Brian Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Are you a politician?

    No.

     

    I doubt that what they are saying publicly is their actual tactical policy.

    I think (and hope) you’re right.  My opinion is that that is always the case in every country, under every administration.  The difference between what is stated & the actual policy is different here versus there, but there is always a difference between the two.

    But I think the likelihood that the statement and actual policy differ makes this particular statement one that increases the likelihood of nukes being used higher than it would otherwise be.  It seems to indicate that we will “take it on the chin” as a policy, when perhaps we won’t.

    Whatever one might think of Israel, focusing just on this one issue, I think their complete silence on anything associated with any nukes they might have has made whatever nukes they have much more effective as a deterrent than they might otherwise have been.  That seems the best policy to me — at least, the best public policy.

  16. 17 Brian Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Obama is President of the USA. As such, do you seriously think that he is not being advised by experts?

    No, I think he has expert advice (which, BTW, George Bush also had).

    And do you seriously believe that Palin’s team has more info and expertise in nuclear issues, including geopolitics, than the team of civil servants and military personnel – most if not all were there before Obama was even elected?

    Maybe. But then maybe not. There are experts in places other than the White House, and some who are in the White House are under a false impression of being an expert.

    There certainly are far more experts outside the White House than inside it. It doesn’t pay very well to work in the white house compared to what you can make as a combination consultant/speech giver.

    And where exactly do you get the impression that this is unilateral?

    Unfortunately, this thread has evolved into 2 discussions, one being the treaty Obama put together with Medvedev, the other being Obama’s announcement of when we would– or would not make a nuclear response. The 2nd was unilateral. There were no summits, no conditions need to be met by any other world leaders before we put this policy into action.

    …can be patriotic and support the president of their country for once?

    Would you have denounced those who so vociferously opposed and insulted George Bush?

    Presidents get support when they make popular decisions, they catch bloody hell when they make unpopular decisions (even if those decisions are the right thing to do), and they get impeached if they are making a sufficiently bad mess of things.

    During the last administration, many who are decrying Obama’s lack of support trumpeted that dissent was the highest form of patriotism as they didn’t support George Bush as president (many actually asserting “He is not my president!”).

    For me, with respect to patriotism, discussing the president’s actions, and explaining why this or that was a bad idea is near the limit, but not across it. Actually traveling to a foreign land, and lending support to America’s enemies in front of news cameras from that land is on the other side of the line.

  17. 18 brebis noire Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Don’t be disingenuous. Obama hadn’t even been elected before a certain tea-bagger ilk had already decided he was not their president.
    As for George W. Bush, much of the opposition and criticism of him was extremely benign at the beginning; he only encountered serious criticism, a movement, when it became obvious he was an incompetent, a liar and a warmonger. He earned his criticism, but with Obama it is totally off the charts, and largely unearned. Obama is also criticised often from the left – but at least it’s constructive dissent. Right-wing dissent is currently destructive and mean-spirited, in addition to being untruthful and astroturfed.

    Also, I’d love a clear and non-obfuscated explanation of exactly how nuclear disarmament is a bad thing. You haven’t even come close, so far.

  18. 19 Brian Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I am not being disingenuous. It was wrong for people to disavow Bush as their president, and it is equally wrong for anyone to do that regarding Obama. If we cannot decide things by election, then violence will be sure to ensue (wide-scale violence, not the kind the nuts on the fringe are always up to in sporadic events).

     

    I agree with you regarding Bush; many who hated him did so because of his actions. Of course there were those who were over the edge, and had what was called Bush Derangement Syndrome, an inability to countenance anything about Bush except vitriol.

    There are some like that now with respect to Obama, and they, too are in the wrong.

    But it is not true that Obama has not earned dissent against him, and for you to say so opens you up to the potential of being seen as being disingenuous.

    And really, don’t you think it is kind of mean-spirited for all these different sources to assert as settled fact the idea that anyone who criticizes Obama can be doing so for no other reason but racism?

     

     

    Nuclear disarmament is not bad, per se. What is bad is if the countries who possess nukes responsibly (none have been used in 60 years) get rid of theirs, but irresponsible or fanatic countries have 1 or more.

    The nukes of the United States don’t pose a threat to anyone unless they cause us really significant harm. Russia’s nukes are largely the same, though their political direction is less stable than that of the US. England’s nukes are not a problem.

    All this intensity of reducing the numbers of nukes, without regard to who it is that is doing the reducing, is (to me) unfruitful.

    But now N. Korea is threatening to use the nuclear devices she has. If Iran gets nukes, I am convinced that the world will be a materially less safe place.

    If we get rid of all of our nukes (the US), but Iran and N. Korea get a useful collection of them, broad-scale war is almost guaranteed (IMO). I also think (but it is merely an opinion) that if the US got rid of all her nukes, but Russia did not, the bellicosity in the world would rise in a way that would not pertain if the players were reversed.

    Perhaps you can explain for your part why the US, Russia and Israel having nukes is problematic, pragmatically speaking.

  19. 20 brebis noire Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 5:21 am

    “Perhaps you can explain for your part why the US, Russia and Israel having nukes is problematic, pragmatically speaking.”

    Just off the top of my head (I’m not an expert on nuclear issues):
    – accidents, leakages, false alarms
    – deterioration of equipment, storage sites and safety concerns
    – creating a desire among other nations to arm themselves with nuclear weapons
    – nuclear proliferation, with the potential for theft by sinister NGOs and agencies that do not answer to any government
    – false accusations of WMD possession by nations striving to “catch up”, leading to unjust wars
    – constant tension and worry for ordinary people and their children

  20. 21 Brian Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 9:33 am

     Those are all certainly important things to be concerned about, to be sure. But I don’t feel that, in terms of proportionality, they are more to be concerned with than those issues to be concerned with from disarming in a way that creates the possibility of war. (I don’t suppose that surprises you…)

     I don’t know of any weapon leaks or accidents. I certainly hope none take place though. Steps should be taken to guarantee that.
     Deterioration seems to be a force that would reduce the arsenal though… Apparently nukes have a limited shelf life.
     I think the US, Russia, China and so on getting rid of all of their nukes would increase desire of others to develop nukes. For far less cost others could reach “the top of the pile.”
     I share your concerns without qualification regarding sinister NGOs (as well as sinister governments).
     Regarding nations trying to catch up, I addressed that just above. A shorter distance to the goal line encourages sprinting.
     The world was in constant tension before the advent of nuclear weapons, culminating in WWI and WWII, both of which were pre-nuclear-era wars. I don’t like that is has been and is in tension, but I don’t think disarmament — whether nuclear or otherwise — by the West will do anything but make the world more tense, and closer to the brink. Both the US and England cut way back on armaments after WWI. That appears to have done little to reduce the likelihood of WWII, and might have actually played a role in leading to it.

       From grade school, I have observed that everywhere, at every level, there are bullies or would-be bullies.  What protected the kids from bullies in school was the overwhelming power of the school staff, and their intervening to ward off incidents.
       In society at large, bullies & would-be bullies are held at bay by the the law (in the case of would-bes) and fire-power and training of state and local police.  Their power is not as overwhelming as was the power of teachers and the principal, so the prevention of incidents is not as effective.
       Removing a controlling agency’s power does not reduce the frequency or severity of incidents, it practically guarantees that they will take place and be more severe.
       Ours is a world governed by the aggressive use of power.  If one power is removed, another will immediately step in to fill the void — at least that has been my observation.  I don’t like that it is that way, but I haven’t seen any evidence that it can be otherwise.

  21. 22 RossK Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Here’s the real thing….

    The fact that Gorgeous George, whose hair and make-up are almost, but not quite, as good as Ms. Palin’s, even brought up the idiotic statements of the former Vice Presidential candidate is the real issue here.

    Why?

    Because it demonstrates that he is not a serious interviewer and therefore should not be afforded serious interviews with serious people.

    And, second…..

    It falsely legitimizes codswallop as evidenced by the ridiculous rantings uttered directly above.

  22. 23 Brian Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I t is standard methodology, when an interviewer wants to bring up a topic to get the interviewees response, to cite someone who has said something about that topic. It prevents the interviewee taking the position that the interviewer holds the opinion of the person being cited (warding off an on-camera fight).

    Usually an emblematic figure is cited, rather than an authoritative one. This elevates the amount of attention viewers pay.

    MANY people feel that Obama’s statement about when we will or will not use nukes was a case of telegraphing where the line was drawn for actions that enemies of the US could take without fear of a nuclear reprisal. The person most heard expressing this take was Sarah Palin. So George was following standard news interview protocol. He said nothing about Palin’s authoritativeness, accuracy, or whether she was right to say what she did. It does not legitimize the person being cited in this way to cite them.

    Notice, though, how George introducing her into the question has inspired participation on this thread at UnRepentantOldHippie.com. This is going on all over the net, I have no doubt. For an interviewer — any interviewer — to get people to talk about his segment after the fact at all is a job well done. For it to carry so long as it has here? Sacre bleu! That practically elevates him to legendary status!

  23. 24 JJ Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Ross K – I think this is what they do on a “slow news week”, try to stir the pot. Gawd 🙄


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