Archive for nuclear program

Meanwhile, Iran's nuclear program has slowed almost to a halt


ray of sunshine

The Los Angeles Times has encouraging news that nobody is talking about on the Tee Vee Machine because it's more beneficial to them to concentrate on all the controversy over the Affordable Care Act, besmirching the president, and creating even more drama in order to boost ratings.

Well, here at the Political Carnival, we can write and chew gum at the same time. Happy Friday:

Iran's new government has slowed expansion of its nuclear program almost to a halt since August, according to the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, in what experts view as a strong signal of Tehran's desire to resolve a decade-long diplomatic standoff.

A report released Thursday by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency provides the first independent evidence that President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected in June after promising to end the crisis, has essentially stopped new work at Iran's nuclear facilities, including enrichment of uranium and construction of the heavy-water reactor at Arak. [...]

With sanctions slowly strangling Iran's oil-based economy, Rouhani and his top aides have declared their eagerness to do a deal and thaw long-frozen relations with the West. The IAEA report, which reflects developments in Iran since Aug. 28, provides a measure of tangible reassurance that Rouhani is serious, analysts said.

What a socialist war monger President Obama is.


ENTIRE VIDEO: President Obama remarks on Iran, possible government shutdown


obama on govt shutdown, Iran

President Obama spoke from the briefing room today. Here's are recaps from Los Angeles Times and Politico email alerts:

President Obama said today that he had spoken by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the first such direct contact between the presidents of the two countries since 1979.

"I do believe there is a basis for resolution" of the standoff over Iran’s disputed nuclear program, Obama said in the White House briefing room, reiterating two points that have been crucial to Iran.

"I've made clear that we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy in the context of Iran meeting its obligations," the president said, adding that an agreement on the issue could lead to "relief" from international sanctions that have harmed Iran's economy.

For the latest information go to

And via Politico:

President Barack Obama on Friday called on the House to approve the government funding bill passed earlier in the day by the Senate, warning that failure to do so would force a government shutdown but would not stop the implementation of his health care law.

"If Congress chooses not to pass a budget by Monday, the end of the fiscal year, they will shut down the government along with many vital services that the American people depend on," he said from the White House briefing room. The Senate "acted responsibly" by passing its bill, he said, and "now it's up to the Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same."

He asked Republicans "to think about who you're hurting" by letting the government shut down, and said "it would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction."

Even "many Republican senators and many Republican governors have urged Republicans to knock it off, pass a budget and move on. Let's get this done," Obama said.

He also made clear that a government shutdown wouldn't stop the Affordable Care Act from being implemented. "That's not going to happen. More than 100 million Americans currently already have new benefits and protections under the law. On Tuesday, about 40 million more Americans will be able to finally buy quality affordable health care just like anybody else."

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Video- SNL: C-SPAN North Korea Cold Open



VIDEO: Obama, Netanyahu press conference, including admonishing NBC's Chuck Todd for asking too many questions


chuck todd netanyahu obama presser

As I watched the Obama/Netanyahu Press Conference Moment of More-Than-Chuck-Todd-Bargained-For live, I noticed tweets flying by saying things like:

"Chuck Todd. Sigh."

"I know. I caught that. Hope msm is listening (Hear that FOX?) Todd's pissing me off again tho"

"#ChuckTodd such an a**hole!"

Seems Chuck overstepped just a tad by jamming in more questions than was allotted to each reporter. The responses he got were in fun, but made the point.

President Obama:

"Chuck, How many you got? Do you guys do this in the Israeli press? You say you get one question and then you add like five? You see how the young lady from Channel One, she had one question, she was very well-behaved, Chuck?"


"These are Talmudic questions -- they have iterations."


"I thought I had four questions. Passover starts in a couple days, I get four questions, right?"


"Look, and this is not a kosher question, but don't hog it."

Chuck, to Netanyahu:

"My question to you was going to be, why do you believe the Israeli people have not embraced President Obama the same way they've embraced our last two U.S. presidents?"

President Obama:

"So you had to get a polling question in there right at the end. Chuck. I mean you're just incorrigible."

Then there was Todd's question about why peace talks have stumbled during the president's first term. Here is the president's answer:

"Look, the opening premise to your question was, having failed to achieve peace in my first term, then I must have screwed up somehow... My commitment was not to achieve a peace deal in my first year, or my second year, or my third year, that would have been nice. What I said was, I was not gonna wait to START on the issue until my second term, because I thought it was too important, and that's exactly what I did."

so there

Here are the opening remarks:

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From Dep't. of Under-reported, Under-Appreciated Very Important Items: Pres. Obama will renew his push for nuclear treaty


obama nuke security

Um, this is kind of important. It's also very under-reported and under-appreciated. In fact, other than Rachel Maddow, I can't remember a single person at any cable news outlet that pays much attention to President Obama's relentless efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Remember this? Anyone? Bueller?

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President Obama, 2009:

As a nuclear power as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it. We can start it. So today I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. [applause] I'm not naive. This goal will not be reached quickly. Perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, yes we can."

Now the president is renewing that push for a nuclear treaty at the United Nations. Per The Hill, progress on a treaty has been stalled due to Pakistan's opposition:

Administration officials and arms control activists believe they now have a new window for action. They point to increased cooperation on the UN Security Council and the beginning of John Kerry’s tenure as secretary of State as reasons for optimism. [...]

[Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association] said progress on Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) would depend on cooperation from Pakistan, which harbors fears of archrival India having more access to fissile material. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council might hold side talks with India and Pakistan in April to try and move the treaty forward, he said. [...]

Kerry is seen as a potential facilitator in those talks because of his long-standing relationship with Pakistan. [...]

Kimball said that if Pakistan won't agree to let the treaty talks proceed, another option would be for other nuclear powers to jointly declare that they will collectively observe a moratorium on fissile material production. The United States, Russia, France and Great Britain have already acknowledged they've stopped producing fissile material, and China is believed to have ended it as well.

Maybe it's finally time to get this news around, whaddya think?


VIDEO-- Defense Sec. Panetta: Iran has "not made the decision to proceed with the development a nuclear weapon."


schmo mentum

File under SchmoMentum: Another Republican talking point has bitten the dust, at least for now.

Earlier, Paul Krugman destroyed Carly Fiorina's GOP blahblahblah with, “Don’t think about bureaucrats….We’ve laid off 100s of 1000s of school teachers.”

Now Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta smothered another one, at least for now. Apparently, Republicans can put down their military weapons, stop hyperventilating, stop frothing at the mouth, and start backing off of their accusations that President Obama (and Chuck Hagel, while we're at it) is a big ol' wuss, especially when it comes to Iran.

If you recall, Saxby Chambliss is one of the panicky GOP who think Iran is on the verge of having their very own nuke, and the U.S. better be ready to pounce. And by pounce, I mean attack. And by attack, I mean create a brand spankin' new and enormous Middle East crisis. And by Middle East crisis, I mean world crisis.

Via Think Progress:

“If your position is truly prevention and not containment, Chuck, what is the redline [on Iran], what is the point?” asked Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). “We know there’s some things happening over there right now that are very serious.”

Yes, we must take Iran very seriously and keep our ideas and options wide open, but let's not revive this golden oldie quite yet, mmkay chickenhawks?

Panetta on Meet the Press:

Leon Panetta: What I’ve said, and I will say today, is that the intelligence we have is they have not made the decision to proceed with the development a nuclear weapon. They are developing and enriching uranium, they continue to do that...

Chuck Todd: Why do you believe they’re doing that?

Panetta: I think it’s a clear indication — They say they’re doing that to be able to do their own energy source. I think it is suspect that they continue to enrich uranium, because that is dangerous, and that violates international rules.

Todd: You believe that they are probably developing nuclear weapons, but you don’t, the intelligence doesn’t —

Panetta: No, I can’t — I can’t tell you they are in fact pursuing a weapon, because that’s what not intelligence says they’re doing right now.


Did Clinton Aide Lose the Nuclear Launch Codes?


Tom Ricks reads General Shelton's memoir so we don't have to. I heard the General being interviewed this week, and he did promise some interesting revelations. Via Ben.

...he reports, a bit mysteriously, that late in the Clinton administration, the president's authorization codes to use nuclear weapons strike were lost. He doesn't really explain what happened or who knew about it, except that the guy who was supposed to make sure once a month that an aide to the president had the codes kept getting the runaround, and putting up with it. It turned out that an aide to the president had misplaced the codes, and had no idea where they were. The situation only came to light when it was time to collect the old codes and replace them with new ones, and the aide apparently confessed. Shelton tells the story a bit oddly -- I had to read this section a few times. I am guessing that the story is about the nuclear "football" that a military aide carries. It made me wonder what happened to that aide. Also, what would have happened if the president had decided to launch a nuclear strike? (392-393)