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Tilting at Windmills

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October 27, 2008

NUCLEAR SAFETY IS FOR WUSSES.... For months, John McCain has blasted Barack Obama for his reluctance to support expanded nuclear power plants. Obama has pushed back, noting that he supports nuclear as part of a comprehensive energy strategy, but before an expansion, he wants to resolve lingering questions about the security of nuclear fuel and waste, waste storage, and proliferation.

Campaigning in Iowa yesterday, McCain responded with the kind of intellectual rigor and seriousness of thought we've come to expect of the Republican nominee.

"You know, the other night in the debate with Senator Obama, I said his eloquence is admirable, but pay attention to his words," McCain said. "We talk about offshore drilling and he said he would quote, consider, offshore drilling. We talked about nuclear power, well it has to be safe, environment, blah, blah, blah."

Now, the Republican activists on hand for the speech found "blah, blah, blah" to be absolutely hilarious. I haven't the foggiest idea why.

But it does raise a question about McCain's approach to the issue. Obama has clear concerns about safeguards for nuclear power; McCain believes these safeguards are not only irrelevant, but worthy of mockery.

I'm curious: which concerns, specifically, does McCain dismiss as trivia? The security of spent fuel, storing nuclear waste, or nuclear proliferation?

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (39)

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There you go...there is our potential CIC mocking not only "health of the woman" but also "safe nuclear power"...WAY TO GO BIG JOHN...but, I'm asking this morning which day this week you think we'll either be at WAR with Syria or there will be some major terrorist threat put out there to capture our "shiny object" MSM and frighten the HELL out of the fundamentalist Christian nutcases (who you would think would just want to get right up there to JESUS)...and, trust me, if this happens the American people are just STUPID enough to fall for it!

Posted by: Dancer on October 27, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

I especially loved in the debates where he said he was going to build 30 nuclear plants "right away " OK. From design , permitting , to construction and bring a plant online take approximately 15 years. John McCain will be in a nursing home with his teeth in a glass of water before the first Kilowatt is delivered.

Posted by: John R on October 27, 2008 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

It can't be understated, either, that Republicans not only favor deregulation, but defund oversight agencies so that even mild regulation is not enforced. The New Orleans levees, Minneapolis bridge, Sago and Utah mines, Enron collapse, leaded dog food, e-coli beef, subprime crisis, refinery fires and nuclear sub emissions are not merely the result of too few rules.

Posted by: Danp on October 27, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Y'see, that right there's the problem with all you libruls, all this egghead blah-blah about "environment" 'n' "safeguards" 'n' all that stuff. But real Main Street Americans like Todd 'n' me, we know that real Americans who work hard for a living, and want to save their hard-earned dollars for their children and their future, don't want to be held hostage to Hugo Chavez 'n' a bunch o' foreign oil-millionaires, and nuclear power is gonna keep American energy here at home and create JOBS, and that's what America's all about!

Posted by: bleh on October 27, 2008 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

They also thought tire gauges were funny.

Posted by: Winkandanod on October 27, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

McCain dissmisses ALL concerns over anything as trivia. Just do as he says, or he'll get Palin's thuggish 'First Dude' to kick your ass. Safety is for pussies.

Posted by: Hunter Gathers on October 27, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

"We talked about nuclear power, well it has to be safe, environment, blah, blah, blah."
--John McCain

"Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too."
-J. Frank Parnell

Posted by: Steve Paradis on October 27, 2008 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

What does a bit of lost or loosely controlled reactor fuel have to do with a suspicious Pacific island birth certificate? It's not as if ACORN is going to be processing the spent fuel rods. Hell, McCain fried eggs on reactor piping in the belly of a warship and he didn't exactly get cancer or anything for it. Oh, wait.........

Posted by: steve duncan on October 27, 2008 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

3,2,1 New Republican talking point Bla, Bla Bla Bla, It will be repeated ad infanatum because they "think" it has traction.

Posted by: John R on October 27, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

"Blah, blah, blah" is a pretty accurate description if the vast majority of McCain's policy proposals. I'm not surprised he's a fan of the saying.

Posted by: Jake on October 27, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

I'm assuming McCain is volunteering to store the spent fuel in one or more of his 7 homes.

Posted by: Dudley on October 27, 2008 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Well, since spent fuel is not that big a deal and is simply "blah, blah, blah" - who knew? - I vote that Senator McCain volunteer one of his many houses as a storage facility.

Posted by: Bridger on October 27, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Now, the Republican activists on hand for the speech found "blah, blah, blah" to be absolutely hilarious. I haven't the foggiest idea why.

Because he's making fun of liberals.

There's a certain group of Republican activists who, if a liberal candidate suggested that turning off the lights when you leave a room will conserve energy, save money, and help the environment, would immediately turn on all of the lights in their house and leave them on all of the time because they know it would piss off a liberal if they found out.

They really are that dumb. That was what the tire gauge stuff earlier this year was about (remember that - remember when people thought it couldn't get stupider than Republicans encouraging folks to drive around on flat tires? Good times, good times.).

So of course they think this stuff is funny. Obama is for safeguarding nuclear materials, therefore, if we want to piss off liberals, we should hand those nuclear materials over to Al Qaeda ASAP. QED.

Posted by: NonyNony on October 27, 2008 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Mocking conservation worked for Reagan. Maybe mocking nuclear safety will work for McCain. The man's ideas are aging by the day. By November 4, his ideas will be 100 years old.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 27, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Simpsons

Kent Brockman: Uh, Mr. Burns, people are calling this a meltdown.

Mr. Burns: Oh, meltdown. It's one of these annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an unrequested fission surplus.

I should check the video, but I think Burnsie was air-quoting "buzzwords".

Posted by: James M on October 27, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

McCain doesn't think, he does things. Just do it, don't think about it. Kind of like W doesn't think, he does what his gut tells him to do. But it appears that W's gut is a little smarter than McCain (I can't believe I wrote that).

Posted by: nerd on October 27, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

3,2,1 New Republican talking point Bla, Bla Bla Bla, It will be repeated ad infanatum because they "think" it has traction.

It's actually quite sad, this belief they cling to that things that stupid people find funny will be funny to everyone else. The movie Idiocracy was based on these folks. Imagine Obama in a meeting with Republican leaders trying to explain to them that the reason the crops won't grow is that they're watering them with Gatorade, when what crops really need is water. "You mean, like from the toilet?" say the Republicans. "Then how come you never see PLANTS growing in the TOILET?"

Posted by: Jennifer on October 27, 2008 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

This "blah, blah, blah" should be accompanied by a rim shot. McCain and Republicans are finding that the only ideas they can come up with are ways to make fun of Democrats. They're like bad comedians at this point. They just parrot what Obama's saying but in a whiny voice. "Change! Waaah!" "Environment! Waaah!" Some of the die hard fans might still think it's funny.

But the rest of the crowd is catching on. The comedian's a hack and isn't coming up with any new material.

Posted by: chrenson on October 27, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

NonyNony: You're so right! At the height of the gas crisis, Rep. Virgil Goode [Va-R] rode in a campaign parade in a Hummer. "Blah, blah, blah."

Posted by: chrenson on October 27, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

@ Jennifer You said it. Stupid raised to a virtue.

Posted by: John R on October 27, 2008 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

I'm curious: which concerns, specifically, does McCain dismiss as trivia? The security of spent fuel, storing nuclear waste, or nuclear proliferation?

The answer is Yes.
Blah,blah,blah.

Posted by: dennisS on October 27, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

I heard this - in the debate too, it was his talking point - about all those Navy sailors like himself who spent all that time on nuclear powered ships and they were PERFECTLY safe.

Uh huh. and how many melanomas have you had, John?

Posted by: g on October 27, 2008 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

One more example to add to Danp's list from 8:32 AM.

The Bush FDA actually blocked a company that wanted to institute 100% testing for mad cow disease.

Posted by: tanstaafl on October 27, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

This is good news. A perfect fix for nuclear NIMBY: red county reactors. No outcry, no expensive safeguards, and reduced progeny. Win-win-win!

Posted by: Jay on October 27, 2008 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Let's just agree that Crawford, Texas should receive the national nuclear storage area.

Hell, let's exempt every state that votes for McCain from environmental regulations.

Posted by: Aeolus on October 27, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

What do you think the odds are that, when McCain talks about doing something about the greed and corruption on Wall Street, he says or thinks the same 'blah blah blah'???

Posted by: rnato on October 27, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

I'm absolutely sure that our Navy has managed to squirrel away all of it's nuclear waste safely.

I also believe in the tooth fairy.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on October 27, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

I should check the video, but I think Burnsie was air-quoting "buzzwords".

Posted by: James M on October 27, 2008 at 9:20 AM

Actually, he was interviewed via telephone while the news stations showed a picture of Burns wearing a mismatched toupee.

Posted by: ItAintEazy on October 27, 2008 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

We can't leave Iraq unless we end this mistake with Victory blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah Iran!

Economic crisis blah blah blah. Lower taxes blah blah blah.

McCain sure has a way with words.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on October 27, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

God I love John McCain. He's out there forcefully declaring that nuclear waste is safe and you can wash your hair with it, while at the same time he's back in Arizona pledging to the people that that shit will not even be driven through Arizona to be taken to Yucca Mountain. So I guess it's safe, but not safe enough to be driven through Arizona on the way to somewhere else. I guess Arizona roads must contaminate all the safe nuclear waste.

http://thesebastards.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Matthew on October 27, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

So McCain needs Pennsylvania, which is where Three-Mile Island went down, right? That's an ad waiting to happen. Heckuva job, Johnny.

Posted by: cha cha cha on October 27, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

We all know Bush "yada yada yada'd" the Constitution, but it looks like McCain would "blah blah blah" the mushroom cloud they told us we needed to go war to prevent.

To paraphrase George on Seinfeld: "You don't think he'd yada yada nukes?
Bush: [raising hand] I've yada yada'ed the Constitution.
McCain: Really?
Bush: Yeah. I met this lawyer, John Yoo, we went out to dinner, I had the lobster bisque, we went back to my place, yada yada yada, we never heard from [a bunch of detainees] again.
Cheney: But you yada yada'd over the best part.
Bush: No, I mentioned the bisque.

Posted by: David on October 27, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Reactors in the Republican Base areas would be fine. Except that the workers wouldn't meet the educational minimums in science to be able to run them. Faith based reactors don't actually deliver any power ...

Posted by: royalblue_tom on October 27, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

I am moderately pro-nuke, but McCain would be the death of the industry. What killed the nuclear industry the first time was the go-go attitude which treated nuclear fission as just another technology, one that any utility could handle, and which could be sited in heavily populated areas. The result was that the nuclear industry lost the public trust. Restoring this trust will require a go slow approach, demonstrating that well designed well operated plants appropriately sited are safe and reliable. Dealing with the waste issue (which again is as much a political as technical issue) would also be a huge plus.

All of Grampy’s blathering about nuclear power warships is largely irrelevant. To put it bluntly, the commercial power industry can not afford the brute force approach of huge well trained crews and the frequent maintenance the Navy uses to insure its reactors are safe.

Posted by: J Frank Parnell on October 27, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

I am moderately pro-nuke, but McCain would be the death of the industry. What killed the nuclear industry the first time was the go-go attitude which treated nuclear fission as just another technology, one that any utility could handle, and which could be sited in heavily populated areas. The result was that the nuclear industry lost the public trust. Restoring this trust will require a go slow approach, demonstrating that well designed well operated plants appropriately sited are safe and reliable. Dealing with the waste issue (which again is as much a political as technical issue) would also be a huge plus.

All of Grampy’s blathering about nuclear power warships is largely irrelevant. To put it bluntly, the commercial power industry can not afford the brute force approach of huge well trained crews and the frequent maintenance the Navy uses to insure its reactors are safe.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on October 27, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if this will end up being John McCain's "bozo" moment. Both George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole both called Bill Clinton a "bozo" right before getting cut down by him. Maybe "bozo" will be replaced by "blah blah blah" as the new marker of astonishing Republican unseriousness.

Posted by: reader on October 27, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Considering that McCain is 72, infertile, senile and already has cancer, I can see why he wouldn't be too alarmed about the dangers of nuclear radiation.

And, given his stunning ignorance, I'm also not surprised that McCain doesn't know about the utility industry's original desire to build lots of civilian nuclear power plants WITHOUT CONTAINMENT DOMES -- a plan that was only barely headed off by then-fledgling environmental movement.

Without the containment dome, Three Mile Island could easily have turned into the US version of Chernobyl.

Blah, blah, blah.

Posted by: Peter Principle on October 27, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

If McCain is so unconcerned about safety of nuclear waste storage, I know where there's a really big plot of land in the Sedona, AZ area where we could stash a bunch of it. Some of the structures are already built. Just need a little reinforcing. I hear they get good cell phone service there as well.

Posted by: Seitz on October 27, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

If the Obama campaign is as smart as I think it is, they will turn this into a campaign ad in Nevada right f*king now.

Posted by: Sam on October 27, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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