Chairman and CEO of US oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, speaks during the 2015 Oil and Money conference in central London on October 7, 2015.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.  Democrats and some Republicans, including South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, have expressed concern about Tillerson’s close ties with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.  We’ll look at Tillerson’s record, his likelihood of confirmation, and what his selection signals about a Trump foreign policy.

Guests:
Margaret Talev, White House correspondent, Bloomberg
Jim Geraghty, senior political correspondent, National Review
Antonia Juhasz, investigative journalist; author, "The Tyranny of Oil" and "Black Tide"
Emma Ashford, research fellow, Cato Institute

  • marte48

    Is this such a surprise? We have been fighting wars for oil for at least a century.

  • Kevin Skipper

    wow. I expected to walk in on a hot debate! came on to tell everyone to snap out of it, and get a feel for what is proving to be just another narrative. Just like climate change and industrial accidents, corporations limit their risk by investing in the story. Trump’s appointments, while unorthodox, are not unheard of. From the looks of it all, policy is due for a wholesale reboot. Propping up the most recognizable and provocative figures in each administrative area is going to be a great way to shed light on some of the processes that we might traditionally consider hidden or ‘inside’ activities.

    • JohanNilsenNagel

      no idea what you’re talking about: “Just another narrative”? Huh?

    • chriswinter

      It’s because this program wasn’t listed on the Web site until about 9:25.

      • chriswinter

        Here’s Bolton in a September 2016 interview on Fox News:

        Well, if we had a real president I would be prepared to do a lot of things. I mean, ultimately I think our objective should be to overthrow the regime in Tehran, but that’s obviously not the policy we have now, and we don’t have a president who’s demonstrated competence in difficult international confrontations like this. I understand why people are irritated by what the Iranians are doing. They’re clearly advancing their interests over ours, but we need to be prepared to do it right if we’re going to respond. I don’t see that in the White House.

        Right, because overthrowing Iran’s government worked out so well for us the last time we did it.

        Ref: https://mediamatters.org/video/2016/09/13/foxs-bolton-if-we-had-real-president-us-could-overthrow-iranian-government/213033

    • Robert Thomas

      The bright arc light kindled by the vastly increased risk of misery and death for untold thousands – or millions.

  • chriswinter

    Not to worry about Tillerson’s lack of diplomatic experience, fellow campers. It looks like the Deputy Secretary will be John “Joltin'” Bolton, who’s got lots of experience.

    • chriswinter

      Here’s Bolton in a September 2016 interview on Fox News:

      Well, if we had a real president I would be prepared to do a lot of things. I mean, ultimately I think our objective should be to overthrow the regime in Tehran, but that’s obviously not the policy we have now, and we don’t have a president who’s demonstrated competence in difficult international confrontations like this. I understand why people are irritated by what the Iranians are doing. They’re clearly advancing their interests over ours, but we need to be prepared to do it right if we’re going to respond. I don’t see that in the White House.

      Right, because overthrowing Iran’s government worked out so well for us the last time we did it.

      Ref: https://mediamatters.org/video/2016/09/13/foxs-bolton-if-we-had-real-president-us-could-overthrow-iranian-government/213033

      (Moved to here…)

      • William – SF

        Cue the neocons?
        Dick Cheney can’t be far in the wings.

  • Robert Thomas

    It’s a hoot to note that John Bolton – one of the chief perpetrators in 2002 of false assertions about yellowcake uranium moving from Niger to Iraq – is being considered by the Trump transition team for high office, even as they chide their critics for having once believed his lies, as they were delivered by the CIA and by Secretary Powell.

    • Kevin Skipper

      Bolton has proven himself a willing builder and proponent of any given narrative. Looks like a new title for the same role.

  • Kevin Skipper

    America is changing her narrative. What used to be a military and defense contractor is now set to emerge as a dedicated policy and resource management operation.

    Where is everyone?Perhaps all the other net pundits have been apprehended. I’m the last one left!

  • marte48

    Is there anyone in the Trump cabinet who is NOT a climate change denier?

    • Bill_Woods

      Rex Tillerson is the one who leaps to mind.

      In doing so, we must continue to lower emissions. At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious and warrant thoughtful action. Addressing these risks requires broad-based, practical solutions around the world. Importantly, as a result of the Paris agreement, both developed and developing countries are now working together to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while recognizing differing national responsibilities, capacities and circumstances. In our industry, the best hope for the future is to enable and encourage long-term investments in both proven and new technologies, while supporting effective policies.

      http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/company/news-and-updates/speeches/the-path-forward-in-todays-energy-environment

    • JohanNilsenNagel

      When these supposedly adult, professionals claim that climate change doesn’t exist, what exactly are they saying? That humans have zero influence on the rise of CO2? How and why would anyone take them seriously on anything after that? I’m confused as to how these people gain power or influence.

    • Alice Smith

      not yet

  • Robert Thomas

    Earnest Moniz;

    Stanford PhD in theoretical physics, “Moniz worked in the United States Department of Energy, serving as Under Secretary of Energy from 1997 to 2001. Moniz is one of the founding members of The Cyprus Institute, where he and other scholars undertook the coordination, research and planning of the project. In 2013, he received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid as a recognition of his research on energy policies and technologies.” -WP

    Rick Perry;

    Buffoon.

    • Ehkzu

      Loyal, ideologically “correct” buffoon. When the Republican Party occupied Iraq they did the same thing. Everyone they sent over there to run the country was vetted for ideology and loyalty. Actual content knowledge / proven relevant skills? Not so much.

      • William – SF

        Buffon – come one …those glasses …

      • chriswinter

        As I recollect it, a few people with knowledge slipped through — but they didn’t last long.

        The worse failure was the failure to anticipate and plan for trouble. Two paragraphs from James Fallows’s Blind into Baghdad:

        In practice, Feith said, this meant being ready for whatever proved to be the situation in postwar Iraq. “You will not find a single piece of paper … If anybody ever went through all of our records—and someday some people will, presumably—nobody will find a single piece of paper that says, ‘Mr. Secretary or Mr. President, let us tell you what postwar Iraq is going to look like, and here is what we need plans for.’ If you tried that, you would get thrown out of Rumsfeld’s office so fast—if you ever went in there and said, ‘Let me tell you what something’s going to look like in the future,’ you wouldn’t get to your next sentence!”

        “This is an important point,” he said, “because of this issue of What did we believe? … The common line is, nobody planned for security because Ahmed Chalabi told us that everything was going to be swell.” Chalabi, the exiled leader of the Iraqi National Congress, has often been blamed for making rosy predictions about the ease of governing postwar Iraq. “So we predicted that everything was going to be swell, and we didn’t plan for things not being swell.” Here Feith paused for a few
        seconds, raised his hands with both palms up, and put on a “Can you believe it?” expression. “I mean—one would really have to be a simpleton. And whatever people think of me, how can anybody think that Don Rumsfeld is that dumb? He’s so evidently not that dumb, that how can people write things like that?” He sounded amazed rather than angry.

        Ref: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/01/blind-into-baghdad/302860/

        • Robert Thomas

          Douglas Feith!

          A decade ago, I proposed an award be given each year for the single federal employee having achieved the highest quotient – of political influence divided by degree of personal stupidity. I proposed it be called The Dougie.

  • Kevin Skipper

    9:44 : Who was that?!?! Best comment I’ve heard all day! Say the guests name again.

  • tommm

    For decades, since 1946, Cold War resistance to Russia has been a “keystone” in American foreign policy — US foreign policy was always simplified to resistance to Russia. This means that at least one generation of American policy makers have not developed the capacity to see beyond Russia to the far more complex reality of international relations. Putin’s Russia is not Soviet Russia

    • William – SF

      Perhaps the US and Russia will soon share a common ideology …kleptocracy.

  • Curious

    Obama’s, Clinton’s and Kerry’s foreign “policy” has been an abject failure.

    • geoff st.john

      Yer boring

      • Curious

        But accurate.

  • Alice Smith

    Having all the tech companies meeting with Trump is very disturbing. A dictator moves in on his foes and secures their silence.

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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