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July 29, 2005


Oh joy. Makes you wonder what else "vigorous lobbyists" have obtained. And here I thought that the Bush administration was mad at Canada.

Well, screw it. Put me down in the Michael Moore column: we deserve everything that happens to us.


Yes, that's sarcasm. Heavy, black sarcasm. Sarcasm that squats on your chest like a 300 lb toad.

here I thought that the Bush administration was mad at Canada.

Money talks, baby. Money talks.....

Is there no policy that Republicans will not set aside in favor of someone's commercial expediency?

This is pure insanity. U-235 is the easiest path for a terrorist to assemble an atomic weapon. It represents a far greater danger than plutonium.

Weapons-grade uranium means 90%+ U-235 (normal uranium is .7% U-235; normal enriched uranium for reactors is 2 to 3% U-235). It is very hard to enrich uranium to this concentration of U-235. The only practical method for terrorists to get it is to steal an existing supply.

15 kg is all that is needed for a bomb, and it is very easy to make a bomb with U-235. The Hiroshima bomb was simply one plug of U-235 shot down a tube into another mass of U-235 (formed in rings around the tube) to assemble critical mass. Boom.

I am surprised to learn that any shipments of weapons-grade uranium are allowed at all; it is not necessary except for those unwilling to spend the money to upgrade to better reactors. Although not mentioned in the linked articles, I wonder if there was also lobbying by the US companies selling the U-235.

The medical isotope sob story is just that -- a convenient cover story so that Republicans can pretend that they are not whores for any commercial interest that makes the right donations.

There is something about nuclear proliferation that the current crowd infesting our government likes.

Wasn't their first move out of the box in 2001 to cut funds for dismantling the Soviet Union's death machine.

They say they don't like North Korea's and Iran's attempts at an arsenal, but methinks they do like it.

So, why would that be?

"So, why would that be?"

I don't know, have to go read my Tim LeHaye, maybe he could help.

It was Chris Dodd who said "we have it both ways,we criticize big business and we take their contributions",and it was Bill'kiss it" Clinton who led the way in building two nuclear reactors for North Korea. As posted the bill is an abomination,abominations not being the sole province of Democrats. 1725 pages,36 hours,what do you expect? It's not that the republicans are whores,it's that government in general is a totally whorish project yet some can't get enough of it, cut the cows loose in the field and you're going to get cow chips. Most congressmen were shocked to find out just what McCain-Feingold meant,months after they voted for it,George Mitchell handed out 1500 pages of health care reform 24 hours before he expected a vote. That's how the nut house works,suprised?? Just remember,your cherished social legislation gets the same level and duration of thought. Now let's pause and have a hearty laugh at small government libertarians.

as long as DeLay, hero of the stupid, got his $1,500,000,000 gift to the record-profit-making oil industry in there, it's all good.

this is what we vote for. this is what we get. pretty simple.

Johnt, don't you think that nuclear nonproliferation is a subject that deserves more than a flippant "pox on both your houses" dismissal?

It's not like this is a done deal. Knowing what we know now, we can all try to draw attention to this legislation in the media and with our elected representatives. If President Bush takes nuclear nonproliferation seriously, he can veto this bill and send it back to Congress, telling them what he objects to and asking them to draft legislation that does not increase the chances of enriched uranium falling into the hands of terrorists.

That is, of course, provided Bush is willing to wield a veto for something other than preserving the government's ability to commit human rights abuses.

While johnt does (somewhat uncharacteristically) have something of a point in his 9:32 post, there is a MAJOR difference between the inclusion of unnecessary spending or pork-barrel programs in "social legislation", and the relaxations of controls on nuclear materials. A tax-break, a subsidy, a regulatory (re)interpretation: these can all be repealed, revised or dropped without doing too much damage to the Nation. A "rogue" atomic bomb in the hands of terrorists, though can. THAT is what makes issues like this truly scary.
Controls on the spread of nuclear weaponry, whether the traditional "non-proliferation" efforts, or production/trade restraints such as the ones relaxed by the Burr Amendment ought, as matter, literally, of life and death, be a first-order priority for any US government (regardless of whose Adminsitration is in power). That it is not, and is seemingly considered just another lobbyist giveaway - well, the word "disgrace" doesn't even come close!

Well, we're in the dog days of summer.

We get a little more nuclear proliferation, a Bolton appointment to the U.N., and the dismissal without comment of the Republican- operative-posing-as-Secret-Service-agent case in which Bush got to choose who was a citizen and who not.

Maybe this John T. and mini-me johnt have libertarian sensibilities in common. As far as I'm concerned, the less regulation of fissionable materials by the evil government, the better. I'm for personalized, portable nuclear weapons for all individuals, especially in schools and at the theatre. We should have one upstairs and down, like fire extinquishers.

I mean, look, if you're going to get kicked out of a political rally for the boy-king for a lousy bumper sticker, why not strap a little fissionable material to your person and see if the fake Secret Service agent really knows his stuff.

Or are the threats of pointed questions and, God forbid, heckling now the biggect terrorist threats?

Paul Glastris

A lot of people have been talking about Peter Scoblic's New Republic piece about the Bush administration's proliferation policy. The article itself is subscriber only.


Matt has longer excerpts. Links without comment at this time.

Although one might decline to do so in favor of supporting TNR with a subscription, or one may not, bugmenot.com usually works for TNR.

I waxed sarcastic about this issue some 20-odd posts ago here, by the way.

Nice to see you back, Gary :)

"Nice to see you back, Gary :)"

They try to suck you in with their smiley faces, but we're on to your tricksessssss! We merely glide lightly by, we does, my precioussss.

Is there no policy that Republicans will not set aside in favor of someone's commercial expediency?

I guess this is simply snow. In truth, anyone from either party who saw this and allowed it to pass without comment is responsible. I'm a little curious how something that was rejected over a month ago, though, made it back into the bill.

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