Tuesday, March 24, 2009

About that "reset" button 
...that Hillary Clinton gave to the Russian foreign minister.

It's worse than I ever imagined: It's not that they got the translation for the word "reset" wrong. This carnival of clowns didn't even use the right alphabet!

I can understand missing the translation. Actually, it happens all the time, though it would be unusual at this level. But not realizing that, gee, I've noticed over the years that Russians seem to use some sort of crazy backwards alphabet, but still taking the idea, running with it, and getting all the way up to the Secretary of State without any adult supervision looking at the damn thing even once on the way up the flagpole takes incompetence to a whole new level of stupidity.

But it's not just incompetence. All administrations have teething problems in the early weeks. All administrations make some bad hires and accidentally let morons through the vetting process (though after the Livingstone thing, Hillary seems to have taken that practice to a high art.)

That kind of incompetence is understandable, and will eventually weed itself out as the incompetent staffers are identified, let go, or placed in positions where they can't do any more damage. Like Secretary of Education, for instance.

But this incident belies incompetence for the worst of all possible reasons:

The error appalled some in the State Department, because the button – which was inscribed in Latin script, not Cyrillic – hadn’t been assembled with the help of State’s cadre of Russian speakers and professional translators, but rather by Clinton’s small political team.

Why in God's name does the Secretary of State still have a "small political team" of commissar loyalists? She's the farging Secretary of State, not the President. She's not a politician. She's a diplomat. Apparently, she's congenitally incapable of telling the difference.

And why is she allowing her small, political team of operatives to stick their juvenile, incompetent noses in protocol functions, where they have zero expertise? Why isn't she putting them on a leash and limiting their functions (to, say, making coffee at Foggy Bottom)?

Why? Because Ms. "Ready-To-Lead-On-Day-One" doesn't have much executive experience herself, and apparently doesn't know when to rely on her career Russia experts. Instead, she's allowed herself to be surrounded by Clintonista sycophants who don't know shit from shinola. And as a result, Hillary Clinton, the executive, doesn't know shit from shinola either.

If President Obama has any testicles, he'd tell Hillary to punt her private praetorian guard. Give them their walking papers, pronto. They are on the public payroll now, but they aren't serving the public interest. They are there to serve Hillary's interests, and preserve her option to stab the President in the back should she desire to run again in 2012.

You know they are running roughshod over the career State Dept. professionals, throwing their weight around. If Obama has them ousted, he'll be a hero at State. And Clinton will be a better Secretary for it.

Splash, out


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With the president's affinity for bi-partisanship, it's just a shame that there hadn't been some high level State holdover from the previous administration with expertise in Russian relations who could have been tapped for the job.
I heard she'd rather be playing the piano.
I presume you were being facetious in asking President Obama to man up and take control of this situation. He seems to be running the White House on pretty much the same model, and he has displayed no testicular fortitude yet.

Frankly, I'm appalled and bemused by the level of incompetence displayed by the current administration. I had low expectations, but, damn.
It's not like the SoS had access to experts on Russia or anything.

Oh, wait, she does.

And frack me with a chainsaw, anyone with more than passing interest in Russia will know to use a Cyrillic type face. I would, and I'm just a cluefuck Aggie goober. If can figure that out, why couldn't the Smartest. Woman. Evah!?

But you think Obama has time to make heads roll? please, he's too busy avoiding making appointments the top spots at Treasury.
The Associated Press would like Americans to believe that our representatives have no clue what they are doing. Judging from comments on the various message forums Americans are gullibly buying the simplistic explanation that our State department supposedly doesn’t know how to translate the word “reset” into Russian. Nonsense! The Russian word peregruzka appears at the top of the button, spelled in latin letters. If this was meant to be a literal translation, why would the letters be in Latin? The english translation for this word is “overload” and anyone that knows how to type a few letters into an online translation website can easily figrue that much out. An english word appears below the button and that word is “reset”. These words do very much make sense together: when something is overloaded (like a circuit), you reset it.
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