Sam Nunn on nuclear weapons, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

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Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn, speaking at the UGA Charter Lecture earlier this year. AJC/Special

On Wednesday, former Georgia senator Sam Nunn joined host Bill Nigut and one of your Insiders on GPB’s “Political Rewind” to talk about the nuclear threats waiting for the next president.

Said the head of the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative:logo-all

“You’ve got North Korea, which has already tested nuclear weapons. You’ve got an Iranian agreement now that took place under President Obama that suspends, probably, the Iranian program – with a lot of verification there. It could be breeched, but there’s very tight verification, so it looks like, in effect, we’ve got 10 or 15 years on that one….


“The big question is, can the United States and Russia get together again and establish a modicum of coordination and cooperation in the nuclear field. Because these are the two powers that own 90 percent of the nuclear weapons and 90 percent of the nuclear materials. Without cooperation between the United States and Russia, the world gets more dangerous.”

Last week, in the Wall Street Journal, Nunn wrote an op-ed that endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. In it, he quoted William Swing, a retired Episcopal bishop:

“Whoever wins will have his or her hand on the weapons that could end life, as we know it, on this planet. We are not so much voting for a president as choosing a god. When you put your hand on the nuclear trigger and become the single agent of the Earth’s destruction that is power beyond human imagining.”

Said Nunn on Wednesday:

“I did think it was powerful, and I think it puts it into proper perspective. I ask the question in the article, ‘Can anyone assume that awesome responsibility? Is anyone qualified?’ And my answer to that is probably not. But we have a choice between two people, and we have to make that choice…


“To me this is a threshold question. There are a lot of other questions in terms of judging who to vote for, but we don’t have checks and balances on the president of the United States in terms of decision-making and in terms of taking steps to employ nuclear weapons. So you want someone who has the calm temperament, you want someone with good judgment, you want someone that knows allies and certainly knows our adversaries….


“You want someone with those same qualities in Russia, and today I’m not sure we have that. We want to make sure we have it in the United States….”

Here’s what Nunn said about Donald Trump:

“I don’t know Donald Trump, so I’m just judging from what he said. And what he said has been very disturbing in terms of his approach to nuclear weapons. First, it was clear he didn’t know what the triad was. Of course, that’s pretty fundamental if you’re commander-in-chief. It’s land-based missiles and bombers as well as submarine missiles.


“He was also cavalier about whether South Korea, Japan, and Saudi Arabia might develop nuclear weapons. It seems as if he was even tacitly encouraging it.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.


On a somewhat similar topic, take a set of nuclear launch codes and figure them into this New York Times piece:

Researchers report in a paper to be made public on Thursday that they have uncovered a flaw in a wireless technology that is often included in smart home devices like lights, switches, locks, thermostats and many of the components of the much-ballyhooed “smart home” of the future.


…That may not sound like a big deal. But imagine thousands or even hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices in close proximity. Malware created by hackers could be spread like a pathogen among the devices by compromising just one of them.


And they wouldn’t have to have direct access to the devices to infect them: The researchers were able to spread infection in a network inside a building by driving a car 229 feet away.


One wonders if the Donald Trump campaign has brought these two groups together. From the press release:

Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Association (GA Chapter) has organized a “Muslims for Life” blood drive in partnership with the Suwanee Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) on November 5th, 2016 to strengthen the friendly ties between the two organizations and to reinforce the idea of sanctity of life that both communities proudly adhere to. 


This blood drive will be followed by a short presentation program organized by the disaster preparedness focused non-profit organization, Noah’ Ark & Co. Their goal is to educate and partner with local faith leaders about disaster preparedness – so that in case of a disaster, they can help each other and save lives.

Trump, you’ll recall, is having a tough slog in the red state of Utah due to Mormon antipathy to the candidate.


Presidential candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente’s uphill battle to land on Georgia’s presidential ballot is over.

De La Fuente had a steep enough climb after he missed the July 1 filing deadline by 11 days and the Georgia Secretary of State’s office could only verify about 3,000 of the 7,500 signatures needed to secure a spot. But he filed a legal complaint contending that the requirements were unconstitutional, and asked the courts to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp to put his name on the ballot.

The case wound up before the Georgia Supreme Court after a mountain of litigation, and on Wednesday the justices unanimously affirmed a trial judge’s ruling that dismissed De La Fuente’s lawsuit.

“Even if the Secretary were to examine his nomination petition and conclude that it is a proper nomination petition, De La Fuente still would not be entitled to have his name placed upon the ballot,” wrote Justice Keith Blackwell in the opinion. “He cannot obtain the ultimate relief that he seeks, and so, the superior court was right to dismiss his lawsuit.”

For more on Rocky, check out this AP story:

HELENA, Mont. (AP) – Presidential candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente says he has a plan to torpedo both Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.
The 62-year-old Reform Party and American Delta Party candidate was in Helena on Friday to explain his “Rockies Strategy.”

It involves unlikely electoral math, nonexistent candidate cooperation and a lot of luck.

De La Fuente says if third-party candidates win all of the Rocky Mountain West, then neither major-party candidate would have enough electoral votes to win. The decision would go to the U.S. House of Representatives, where anything could happen.

He says he is ready to cede some states to other third-party candidates, but he is gunning for Montana, Nevada and Alaska.

He says the plan may be a long shot, but long shots come in once in a while.


A new poll finds the Georgia Senate race in danger of stretching into overtime.

Emerson College’s new survey shows incumbent Johnny Isakson with an 8 point lead over Democrat Jim Barksdale, 48 percent to 40 percent, but still below the threshold for avoiding a runoff.

This is one of Barksdale’s better showings in recent polls, which have generally put Isakson ahead by double digits. The Atlanta investment manager has slashed in half his deficit compared to the last Emerson poll, but he’s still hovering around the 40 percent support mark, which means he has substantial ground to make up.

The same poll shows Donald Trump with a 9 percentage-point lead over Hillary Clinton in the Peach State, with Libertarian Gary Johnson only notching 2 percent support.


Jim Barksdale, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, will hook up with state Rep. Park Cannon and other Atlanta Democrats to cast an early ballot today at the Adamsville-Collier Heights polling venue.

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