Sunday, November 30, 2008

Was the Mumbai attack a ploy to start a war between India and Pakistan, two US allies? If so, Obama is going to have his hands full.
Azam Amir Kasab Sole Terrorist Captured in Mumbai
The terrorist battle in Mumbai has resulted in perhaps three hundred dead, almost as many injured, and one captured terrorist, a young Pakistani named Azam Amir Kasab. Azam Amir Kasab is now talking under interrogation.

Addendum: And, apparently, the Israeli victims were tortured before they were murdered.
Space Shuttle Landing Delayed: Mission of Endeavour Ends Amid Uncertainty About Future US Space Efforts
Best Restaurants in Houston, Texas 2008 Nontraditional fare in Space City

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Increased NASA funding as part of a stimulus package? Well, considering the plans Obama has for spending, not so much like a drunken sailor, but like a sailor on crack, I would not be surprised.
Amity Shlaes gives Paul Krugman's prescription for a depression the thrashing it deserves.
David Frum has eight reasons why George W. Bush's legacy will be brighter than the mainstream media likes to pretend.
Best Television Shows of 2008
Jon Goff offers a complaint that suggests the following question: How much should NASA spend on technology development and how much on missions? In an ideal universe, NASA would be given a budget that would allow for both. Unfortunately, and this is one of my few criticisms of Bush space policy, it hasn't been given that. So something has to give and, like it or not, getting human explorers beyond Low Earth Orbit is both a Presidential and Congressional mandate. Developing technologies that might prove useful down the road is not.

Mind, I think it should be. And it is hard to say whether the incoming Obama administration wil improve things. On the one hand Obama did promise to boost NASA's budget. On the other hand it looks like Team Obama is contemplating the possibility of cut backs, including outright cancellation of Orion/Ares, presumably to pay for other priorities.
Best Vampire Themed Movies, Books, Etc for 2008
Some of the Best Non Fiction Books of 2008
I had forgotten how funny Eleanor Cliff could be.
Enough with the Lincoln analogies; Reagan is the president that Barack Obama is most closely modeling himself after. Ronald Reagan inherited stagflation, a defeat abroad and a nation at its nadir in morale. Through the sheer force of his personality as much as his policies, four years later, it was "Morning in America," the theme of his 1984 re-election campaign when he won 49 states. Obama isn't president yet, but his determined calm and orderly transition pace appear to be soothing the financial markets, producing the first sustained gain in stocks since the mid-September meltdown.

The really funny thing, aside from the delusion these word sugget, is that Cliff absolutely hated Reagan back when he was President.
It looks like that Team Obama is looking at options for the Vision for Space Exploration, including outright cancellation.
The questionnaire, "NASA Presidential Transition Team Requests for Information," asks agency officials to provide the latest information on Ares 1, Orion and the planned Ares 5 heavy-lift cargo launcher, and to calculate the near-term close-out costs and longer-term savings associated with canceling those programs. The questionnaire also contemplates a scenario where Ares 1 would be canceled but development of the Ares 5 would continue.

While the questionnaire, a copy of which was obtained by Space News, also asks NASA to provide a cost estimate for accelerating the first operational flight of Ares 1 and Orion from the current target date of March 2015 to as soon as 2013, NASA was not asked to study the cost implications of canceling any of its other programs, including the significantly overbudget 2009 Mars Science Laboratory or the James Webb Space Telescope.

Obama's NASA transition team also asked agency officials to investigate how much it would cost and how long it would take to build a smaller version of Orion and human-rate an Atlas 5 or Delta 4 expendable rocket to serve as its launcher.

Additionally, the questionnaire requests that NASA "[e]stimate the feasibility of designing a resized Orion capsule that could be launched by international launch vehicles such as the [European] Ariane 5 or the [Japanese] H2A."

There may be less to this than meets the eye, as every incoming administration likes to look at all options. Or, perhaps, Team Obama is after all contemplating reneging on the campaign pledge to continue the exploration program. There is one bright spot:
The transition team also wants information from NASA about accelerating plans for using the agency's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program to fund demonstrations of vehicles capable of carrying crews to the international space station, a proposal Obama supported during his campaign. NASA is not asked what it could save by canceling COTS. Nor is NASA asked to contemplate canceling the space shuttle or space station programs, although the transition team does request the budget implications of flying the shuttle until 2015 and committing to U.S. utilization of the space station through 2020.

Addendum: The option to "resize" (i.e. cut back on capability, crew, etc) to fit the Orion on an EELV or an Ariane 5 strikes me as another example of politicians trying to be aerospace engineers. One supposes if that option is chosen, then maybe two people will get to go to the Moon at a time. This sort of thing nearly wrecked the space station project as numerous administrations and Congresses tinkered with the design for reasons that had little to do with anything besides political whim. It looks like Team Obama is contemplating repeating that folly with the Ares/Orion.

Addendum 2: Mr. X actually has some interesting things to say about the options apparently being considered by Team Obama. For instance, he rejects the Orion on EELV/Ariane option, which should get him burned at the stake by the Internet Rocketeer Club. He rightly suggests problems with accelerating the current program for any amount of money. He has an interesting idea that involves ramping up COTS and doing the return to the Moon on two Ares Vs (presumably the one launching the Orion would be on a stripped down core version.) That would doubly get him burned at the stake by the IRC since to them heavy lift as as anathema as eating pork is to a Taliban. My only quibble with his idea is that he wants to wait until the space flight gap is closed to commit to going to the Moon. There're a lot of things that have to happen before we go back to the Moon that have nothing to do with launch vehicles and should not be deferred. Obama needs to confirm the lunar goal shortly after being sworn in in order to alleviate uncertainty.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Terrorist Attacks by "Deccan Mujahedeen"
Islamic terrorists have attacked targets in the Indian city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) killing, as of this writing, over a hundred people, wounding nearly three hundred, and taking numerous hostages. Indian security forces are responding,
Proof that Ann Coulter's recent accident has not dulled her eloquence.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Looks like the One has not brought forth the age of universal peace and siblinghood. Or at least the terrorists in Mumbai did not get the memo.
Details Magazine has one of those nice end of the year lists they call, the Power 40.
Though overshadowed by the yelling and screaming over the anti same sex marriage Proposition 8, Proposition 11, which banned Gerrymandering in California, has even greater implications.
Weilding wounds shut using lasers.
The Shield Series Finale
The series finale of The Shield has aired. The ending of the FX show about the most corrupt cops in the history of television ended with a kind of Shakespearean splendor that was awesome to behold.
Astronomers may have imaged a second extra solar planet orbiting Beta Pictoris.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Carleton University has cancelled a fund raiser for cystic fibrosis because it is supposed to only kill white men. That is a vile, racist, sexist reason. It is also not true, as CF kills other people too.
A radio telescope peeks at the celestial object known as Hanny's Voorwerp, named after Hanny van Arkel, the Dutch schoool teacher who discovered it as part of the Galaxy Zoon project.
Now we have the war on Thanksgiving.
Ann Coulter's Jaw Wired Shut After Accident
A liberal dream has been made reality. No, we're not talking about the election of Barack Obama with a Democratic Congress. It seems that Ann Coulter, the willowy, blond conservative bomb thrower has been forced to shut up, after she took a fall last month and sustained injuries that have required that her jaw be wired shut.
Barack Obama has named Peter Orszag as Director of Management and Budget. Of somne interest to space advocates, Orszag is an advocate for prizes as a means to encourage technological innovation. On the minus side Orszag seems to have drunk the climate change koolaid.

Addendum: More on Peter Orszag and Technology Prizes
President Elect Barack Obama has named Peter Oszag, current Director of the Congressional Budget Office, as his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The selection will bring into the Obama White House an advocate of prizes to foster technological innovation.
Russian Warship 'Peter the Great' Arrives at Venezuela
A Russian Navy flotilla, led by the cruiser Peter the Great, has arrived at the port of La Guaira in northern Venezuela for joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan Navy to coincide with a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Do Economic Stimulus Checks Stimulate the Economy?
Part of President-Elect Barack Obama's plan for a stimulus package consists of mailing people rebate checks, similar to the ones mailed by the government earlier this year. But experience suggests that this is a poor way to stimulate economic growth.
The trailer for the last ten episodes of Battlestar Galactica is not up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One certain accomplishment of Barack Obama - millions of ex-Democrats.
India begins to plan for a manned space program.
Marine General Jim Jones in Line as Obama's National Security Advisor
One of the most intriguing stories to emerge from the Barack Obama transition is the possibility that retired Marine General Jim Jones may be selected to be Barack Obama's National Security Advisor. It is a selection bound to enrage many liberals supporters of Obama.
Alan Colmes to Depart Hannity and Colmes
Alan Colmes, the liberal half of the Fox News Show Hannity and Colmes, will be leaving the show at the end of 2008. Alan Colmes will remain at his Fox syndicated radio show and will possibly develop a new weekend show for Fox News.
Dave Barry Blogs the Return of Jack Bauer
My favorites:
OK, we get it. Jack is done with violence. Great. Now let's get to the shooting.

I guess there's very little chance that President Woman President's son's girlfriend will revert to Lingerie Mode for the inauguration.

and, of course:
Why don't they call Chloe and get the land-mine schematics?
Christina Romer to Chair Obama's Council of Economic Advisors
Christina Romer, a Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkley, has been chosen by President Elect Barack Obama to chair his Council of Economic Advisors. An early Obama supporter, Professor Romer has written extensively on tax policy.
True Blood Season 1 Concludes>
True Blood Season 1 has concluded, with certain story threads tied up, but others set up for True Blood Season 2, to come the HBO next summer. True Blood proves, along with the hit movie Twilight, that blood suckers are popular.
More on space based solar power. Alan Stern's piece (see below) doesn't touch on this as a way to make NASA "relevant", though perhaps he should have.
The winners of the 2008 SpaceVid Vision Contest
Alan Stern believes that he has the prescription to making NASA more relevant.
The new administration could accomplish this by combining NASA’s space exploration portfolio with new and innovative initiatives that address hazards to society, make new applications of space, and foster new industries.

And how to do that?
Such new initiatives should include dramatically amplifying our capability to monitor the changing Earth in every form, from climate change to land use to the mitigation of natural disasters. Such an effort should also accelerate much needed innovation in aircraft and airspace system technologies that would save fuel, save travelers time, and regain American leadership in the commercial aerospace sector. And it should take greater responsibility for mitigating the potential hazards associated with solar storms and asteroid impacts.

So, too, a more relevant NASA should be charged to ignite the entrepreneurial human suborbital and orbital spaceflight industry. This nascent commercial enterprise promises to revolutionize how humans use spaceflight and how spaceflight benefits the private sector economy as fundamentally as the advent of satellites affected the communications industry.

Such a retooled NASA could also serve an educational purpose—inspiring a new army of students and young workers to careers in technology fields, further fueling America’s economy into the 2020s, ’30s, and ’40s.

I'm a little skeptical about tasking NASA with monitoring "climate change." It seems like, if the government does it at all, it should bee something NOAA does, not NASA. The aeronautics technology development program seems like a good idea, but how that relates to exploration I'm not sure. Fostering commercial enterprise is a good idea. Maybe the rumor we here that Obama is going to put off his tax increases for business will help in that regard. Education? NASA has been dabbling in that since I was in grade school.

I'm a little dubious about this obsession with connecting with "youth." Teenagers and even some twenty somethings are generally not the best judges of public policy, at least until they start careers and start raising families. Then their political sense begin to mature. Catering to young people may be fine for selling video games and sporting equipment, but not, I think, for public policy.

Addendum: On the other hand, Alan Stern has some sobering but relevant things to say about cost inflation plaguing certain NASA projects.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I was puzzled just a little by this latest post by Rand Simberg until I realized that he was being a little humor impaired.

For those gentle readers who don't get the joke, the "Internet Rocketeer Club" consists of people who like to bloviate or even rant about space policy on the Internet, generating quite a lot of heat, but very little light. The name, which I bestowed on them, is just my gentle way of poking a little fun. And, no, I will not give out the membership list, as it is a deep, dark secret, but in their hearts, they know who they are (g).
SpaceX has tested the nine engine Falcon9 at a facility in MacGregor, Texas.
Giving thanks to George W. Bush.
24 Redemption a Review
It loooks like that the One True Obama, the Merciful, the Compassionate, has after all found the value of the Bush tax cuts.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It looks like NASA is going to study manrating the core stage of the Ares V, possibly as an alternative to Ares 1. This news has stirred up the Internet Rocketeer Club to ome extent, though for reasons hard to fathom. Launching Orion in a core Ares V might solve a number of problems now facing the Ares 1, which I thought was the whole point. But maybe I'm missing something.
Victor Davis Hanson has ten politically incorrect thoughts.
Hillary Clinton has even been officially announced as SecState, not to mention confirmed, and already the anonymous sniping by Obama aides have begun.
Rashid Rauf is now burning in Hell thanks to a Predator missile.
The Kennedy Assassination 45 Years Ago
Forty five years ago, on November 22nd, 1963, a disturbed man named Lee Harvey Oswald pointed a rifle from a sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas and fired at a passing convertible in the street below.
Twilight Film Review
Twilight is the film version of the first of Stephenie Meyer's hugely popular novels about teenage vampires who dwell in the Pacific Northwest. The books have been compared to Harry Potter in their popularity with younger readers.
Obama Girls to Enroll at Sidwell Friends
Barack and Michelle Obama have decided to send their daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha, to the Sidwell Friends School, an elite and very expensive private school in Washington D.C.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Secretary of Commerce Bill Richardson?
Media reports are suggesting that Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson is a top choice to become Barack Obama's Secretary of Commerce. Bill Richardson would be the first Hispanic to run the Department of Commerce.

Jeff Foust thinks that this potential appointment might benefit commercial space in the Obama administration.
Turkey Executed During Palin Press Conference
Governor Sarah Palin went to a turkey farm near her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska to perform the annual thanksgiving ritual of "pardoning" a turkey. Palin inadvertently facilitated two things, thanks to the video camera that was running.
Barack Obama may have his first confirmation fight over Eric Holder for Attorney General. The latest revelation is that Holder favors regulating Internet speech.
National Intelligence Council Releases Global Trends 2025 Report
The National Intelligence Council, which reports to the Director of National Intelligence, has released as report called Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World which contains the best guess of what the world 17 years hence will be like.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Cornell study suggests that computer models are overestimating global warming. I'm not surprised.
John Dingell Ousted as Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
In a sign that the Democratic controlled House is lurching to the left and toward environmental regulation, Congressman Henry Waxman has ousted Congressman John Dingell chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Keith Cowing expresses surprise that stupidity takes place on Bill Maher's HBO show. The entire purpose of Real Time is for people to express stupid, ignorant opinions in an entertaining fashion.
The nascent Obama administration may be facing its first scandal over illegal campaign contributions.
Janet Napolitano Chosen for Homeland Security, According to Media Reports
Governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano appears to be President Elect Barack Obama's choice to be Secretary of Homeland Security. If chosen and confirmed Janet, Napolitano would become just the third Secretary of Homeland Security
Ferris Valyn begins a discussion of the folks doing space policy for Obama. The one thing that jumps out at me is how top heavy the list is with Clinton retreads (Garver, Ladwig, Heffernan.) Now if policy follows people, are we therefore in for a revival of the Clinton era space program with tight budgets, deemphasis on exploration and commercial development, and more focus on science? Stay tuned.
Rob Coppington comes out against space based fuel depots. Clark Lindsey responds. I've always thought of space based fuel depots as a pretty good idea as an enhancement for Ares/Orion once the system starts taking people and cargo to and from the Moon. It can be used by private space craft, which will be necessary to maintain and expand a lunar human presence, as well.

Addendum: Jon Goff responds.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tom Daschle Selected as Secretary of Health and Human Services
President Elect Barack Obama has selected former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Tom Daschle will also wear another hat as White House Health Czar, helping to write Obama's health care reform.
Gettysburg Address, the 145th Anniversary
145 years ago, on November 19th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made some brief remarks at the dedication of the soldiers' cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The brief, two-minute Gettysburg Address entered into American political literature.
Al-Zawahri Calls Barack Obama a "House Negro"
Ayman al-Zawahri, the Al Qaeda number two leader, used a racist slur against President Elect Barack Obama, translated as "house negro." Al-Zawahri's insult of Barack Obama is likely to enhance his stature in the United States, however.
Vice President Dick Cheney Indicted by South Texas Grand Jury
Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been indicted by a grand jury in Willacy County in South Texas in a bizarre case involving a privately run federal prison and a prosecutor who himself has been under indictment.
The pirate war near the Gulf of Aden is heating up, with the Indian Navy Ship Tabar blowing a pirate ship out of the water. Meanwhile, lots of handwringing about the pirate situation:
But U.S. Navy Commander Jane Campbell of the 5th Fleet said naval patrols simply cannot prevent attacks given the vastness of the sea and the 21,000 vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden every year.

"Given the size of the area and given the fact that we do not have naval assets — either ships or airplanes — to be everywhere with every single ship" it would be virtually impossible to prevent every attack, she said.

I have one word for Commander Campbell: Convoy. It worked in the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, it could work now until the pirate nests are taken out.
Paul Spudis has a new blog, called, of course, The Once and Future Moon, which we are pleased to include on our blogroll. Lots of good stuff on Chandrayaan-1. Paul is the principle investigator on that probe's Mini-SAR radar instrument.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eric Holder Tapped for Attorney General
Eric Holder, a Deputy Attorney General under President Bill Clinton, has been tapped for Attorney General in the upcoming Barack Obama administration. The selection is likely to cause controversy partly because of a man named Marc Rich.
Associated Content, which I use for some of my longer articles, has become one of the one hundred most visited websites in the world.
The Planetary Society responds to Harrison Schmitt's resignation with what I suspect they think is a tone of reconciliation, but manages to further annoy.
We represent public interest in space exploration - and thus we represent even those who disagree with some of the details in the Roadmap.

Oh, really? Paul Spudis responds:
Who assigned the Planetary Society the role to "represent public interest"?

Insufferable arrogance coupled with unsurpassed ignorance. Quite the accomplishment.

Economic First Aid and the Obama Administration
As anyone who has been awake for the past two months knows, the world economy is in trouble. Besides the credit crunch, the stock market has lost about a third of its value. A recession, possibly a depression, looms in the near future.
How Obama Got Elected
John Ziegler decided to have a little bit of fun with his How Obama Got Elected website, in the same way that Jay Leno has fun with his man in the street interviews. But behind the fun, there is a very sobering reality.
One of the more entertaining aspects of the arguments over such issues as 'Ares 1 - total turkey or pathetic travesty?" is the heavy reliance on anonymous sources to buttress some point or another. Usually these consist of people posting anonymously to the comments sections of certain blogs, claiming special knowledge. There is one blog, Rocketsandsuch run by someone calling himself "Rocket Man" that has to be read to be believed. One post that is making its way through the blogosphere is illustrative of "Rocket Man's" somewhat unique style.
Who would have thought that the cloth-less genius with so many degrees, who promised us a safer than shuttle CEV by 2011, would a.) miss the date by five or six years, and b.) miss the safer than shuttle part, too?

Next week, Viceroy Guyer's team will report out that CEVs flying to the space station will have a 1 in 30 chance of not coming least not with anyone alive inside. And rather than figuring out what is wrong with the design that makes it that way, that is to say, besides BroomHilda's vacuous directives, the Emperor's minions will ask for a change in the requirement to reduce the probability of the loss of crew to...take a guess...yep...1 in 30.

We hope the Snow Princess and her elfish Changelings are paying attention to this latest criminal act. The IG should have a look, too.

And maybe an American taxpayer or three.

As the reader will notice, there is more purple prose here than in the average bodice ripper. It reads much like a teenage attempt at writing a fantasy sword and sorcery epic. "The Emperor" is NASA Administrator Mike Griffin. "The Snow Princess" is Lori Garver, now heading up Obama's space transition operation and working hard and long at NASA HQ. I'm not sure who BroomHilda is, but all the post needs is Conan the Barbarian and a good sword fight to complete it.

Rand Simberg links to this post somewhat uncritically because, of course, the news of the 1 in 30 LOC revelation somewhat meshes with his personal biases.

Mind, I don't know whether or not the 1 in 30 LOC will actually be announced or not next week. So many stories about Orion/Ares swirl about the Internet one cannot be sure what is true or not without a lot of checking and verifying, not to mention determining context and implications. But if I were working on a story about Orion/Ares development and brought this story to an editor, I would get some rather hard questions.

Q. Who is the anonymous source?
A. Don't know.
Q. How does he know that the Orion LOC will be estimated to be 1 in 30?
A. Don't know.
Q. Have you verified the story from a second source?
A. Not really.

At this point an editor will ask me to take a drug test, especially if he actually reads Rocketsandsuch blog. Or he might just advise me to take a permenent vacation.

Take this as a warning about getting your information from the Internet. A lot of it is rumor, much of it wrong, and even more of it out of context. Be skeptical. Otherwise you will be in a constant state of turmoil and aggravation, which will not be good for your mental or physical health.
Somali Pirates Seize Saudi Super Tanker
Somali pirates have taken their biggest prize yet, the MV Sirius Star, a Saudi owned super tanker with a crew of twenty five and possibly carrying 100 million dollars worth of crude, according to the AP. The Sirius Star is 1080 feet from stem to stern.
Happy birthday, Mickey Mouse.
It appears that the Cult of Obama has a new doctrine. It seems that Barack Obama is the reincarnation of Lyman Trumbull, an Illinois Democratic senator and the principal author of the Thirteenth Amendment, which put an end to slavery in US.

Of course he is.
A somewhat less flattering portrait of Elon Musk than one usually gets. Mind, there are some parts of this article to nitpick, such as the false statement that Falcon 1 would launch the Dragon into space (it's the Falcon 9.) Nor have I seen Musk anywhere else behave the way the writer depicts as someone with his own reality. He is a visionary, though, and thus perhaps someone who is capable of making reality.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chandrayaan-1 is now looking for ice on the Moon.
How John McCain Could Help a Barack Obama Administration
Senator John McCain met with President Elect Barack Obama on Monday for the first time since McCain lost to Obama in the general election. The meeting was said to be about how John McCain could be of help to Barack Obama.
Not Evil Just Wrong Documentary to Take on Global Warming
The debate on global warming, that great climate expert Al Gore has opined, is over. However the makers of a documentary, Not Evil Just Wrong, now in development would beg to disagree. And they have some support from actual climate scientists.

Addendum: The trailer:
Is participation on ISS next for India? Jeff Foust examines two "alternatives" to the Vision for Space Exploration, one from the Planetary Society, one from the far left Center for American Progress. Both are controversial for various reasons. part two on the subject of a possible Russian resurgance as a space power.
Mark Cuban Charged With Insider Trading
Dallas, Texas, entrepreneur Mark Cuban has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with insider trading over his selling of his stake in a company called Inc prior to a public offering of shares in the company.
The League of the South and Barack Obama
One of the more curious reactions to the election of Barack Obama is a slight uptick of interest in an organization called The League of the South, which wants to overturn the verdict of the Civil War and establish a southern Republic.
Barack Obama Interviewed on 60 Minutes
Barack Obama gave his first post election TV interview to 60 Minutes where he displayed his skills of saying not much very eloquently. 60 Minutes interviewer Steve Kroft made things easy for Barack Obama with a series of soft ball questions.
Harrison Schmitt leaves the Planetary Society over its roadmap that bypasses the Moon, while offering a devestating critique of the same.
This strategy would leave deep space activities, exploration and resources to others, i.e., China, India, maybe Russia, for the indefinite future. I believe that would be major step in initiating the decline of America's global influence for freedom and the improvement the human condition. Although I wrote the book "Return to the Moon" as an illustration of how it makes financial and national sense for private investors to provide the Earth with the benefits of lunar helium-3 fusion power, having NASA develop the initial Earth-Moon infrastructure may hasten the time when that alternative to fossil fuels and non-economic other alternatives becomes available.

Oh, and by the way, about Earth observation and global warming:
As a geologist, I love Earth observations. But, it is ridiculous to tie this objective to a "consensus" that humans are causing global warming in when human experience, geologic data and history, and current cooling can argue otherwise. "Consensus", as many have said, merely represents the absence of definitive science. You know as well as I, the "global warming scare" is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making. It has no place in the Society's activities.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

No matter what the One has in mind, Charlie Rangel has his own ideas about taxes.

Addendum: Stacy Bartley comments:
I thought Charlie Rangel's ideas on taxes was to avoid paying them
unless discovered...?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barack Obama channels Jimmy Carter.
Fraudulent data being used to support global warming hysteria? Perish the thought.
It looks like Barack Obama is backtracking on interrogation reform and indefinate detention. Lovely what happens when reality collides with campaign promises.
Space Shuttle Endeavour Launches
The space shuttle Endeavour launched from the Kennedy Space Center at 7:55 PM on Friday, November 14th, with a cargo module filled with supplies and additions to the International Space Station that will enable the crew of ISS to expand from three to six.
Dick Morris is, of course, aghast at the idea of a Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Has the birthplace of civilization been found?
The elaborate temple at Gobelki Tepe in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, is staggeringly ancient: 11,500 years old, from a time just before humans learned to farm grains and domesticate animals.

According to the German archaeologist in charge of excavations at the site, it might be the birthplace of agriculture, of organized religion — of civilization itself.
Dude, where's my flying car? Maybe, because of this Pentagon project, that will no longer be a rhetorical question.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It looks like that Lori Garver and Roderic Young is working on Obama transition issues at NASA headquarters. Garver is a natural pick, due to her knowledge and experience on space issues. Roderic Young, however, is a public relations guy and, even though he had been press secretary to Dan Goldin, his inclusion is a curious one. It could be, as "Vladislaw" suggests in the comments section here that his job will be not so much to make policy as to sell it.
Rand Simberg has a long post in which he discusses wrangling over destinations (mainly Moon vs Mars) and then goes into the vision thing. Rand decides to quote himself
I have a vision of hundreds of flights of privately-operated vehicles going to and from low earth orbit every year, reducing the costs of doing so to tens of dollars per pound. Much of their cargo is people who are visiting orbital resorts, or even cruise ships around the moon, but the important things is that it will be people paying to deliver cargo, or themselves, to space, for their own purposes, regardless of what NASA's "vision" is.

At that price, the Mars Society can raise the money (perhaps jointly with the National Geographic Society and the Planetary Society) to send their own expedition off to Mars. Dr. Spudis and others of like mind can raise the funds to establish lunar bases, or even hotels, and start to learn how to operate there and start tapping its resources. Still others may decide to go off and visit an asteroid, perhaps even take a contract from the government to divert its path, should it be a dangerous one for earthly inhabitants.

That's all very nice and sort of derives from Heinlein's old saw about being in orbit is being halfway to anywhere. But things are a little more complicated than that.

Travel to the Moon, not to mention to Mars or asteroids, is geometrically more challenging that travel to Low Earth Orbit, which is proving challenging enough for private business. The effects of radiation and long term exposure to microgravity, not to mention survival on rather inhospitable celestial bodies compound the technical and economic hurdles to lunar and interplanetary travel.

In other words, private businesses that are delivering people and cargo to and from Low Earth Orbit facilities are not automatically going to blast off across the solar system, at least with any amount of ease or urgency.

That is not to say that eventually someone won't undertake such voyages. But the cost must be low enough and the benefit great enough to motivate a commercial entity into doing the Moon or Mars.

In the meantime, some country (Russia or China perhaps) without an antipathy toward big, bad government space programs will go ahead and will wind up on the Moon and/or Mars decades ahead of the hypothetical commercial entity.

Indeed, one suspects that under that scenario, the first thing the heroic private expedition will have to do upon reaching the Moon and/or Mars is to present a visa to some unsympathetic bureaucrat and answer the question about what they have to declare.
ISS the Opera? Well, ok, but the term "operatic" and ISS are not two words I would ordinarily put together. Now, Apollo 11 was very operatic. IMHO.
Planet Formalhaut B Imaged by Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope has taken the first visible picture of a planet circling another star. The planet is named Fomalhaut b, circling the star Formalhaut which is twenty five light years distant from Earth.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?
Media reports are suggesting that the Barack Obama transition team is mulling over none other than Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Other candidates include Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar and Governor Bill Richardson.
The Chandrayaan-1 impact probe has crashed into the Moon successfully.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?

Addendum: Richard Lugar Should Top an Obama Secretary of State Short List
It seems that the Monty Python dead parrot joke has an ancestor in a book of jokes from the 4th Century. Via Donna Calcote.
George Abbey, without a doubt the most hated Director of the Johnson Space Center who ever lived, cowrote a position paper on space for the left wing group run by John Podesta, Center for American Progress. John Podesta runs Obama's transition team, which leads Rand Simberg to offer a nightmare scenario, NASA Administrator George Abbey.
George Foreman Deep Fryer
George Foreman is just as well known for the line of fat reducing grilling machines as he is as a boxer. George Foreman is now presenting a kitchen gadget called the George Foreman Lean Mean Spin Frying Machine.
The Planetary Society, not surprisingly, wants to "defer", i.e. abandon, going back to the Moon in preference to flights to the Lagrange Points and Near Earth Asteroids in preperation for Mars. In short, a nonstarter.
Global warming, about which everyone from Al Gore to Barack Obama seem to be all concerned about, will likely avert the next ice age.
Sarah Palin Africa Story a Hoax
The story that Governor Sarah Palin did not know that Africa is a continent appears to have been a hoax. What's more, the alleged source of the hoax, a "senior McCain advisor" named Martin Eisenstadt does not exist.
Bob Zubrin returns to Mars:
2012 Teaser Trailer Now Available
The teaser trailer for Roland Emmerich's upcoming epic movie, 2012, has been rolled out. There is very little to it, except a depiction of giant waves inundating the Himalayas while a Tibetan monk bangs desperately on a gong.
The Republican Party is launching another legal assault on McCain-Feingold.
Ralph Peters is afraid that the new Obama administration will be addicted to talking our enemies to death. Our deaths.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The idea of Bobby Kennedy Jr. as head of EPA continues to cause consternation.
Batman, Turkey, Sues Warner Brothers, Chris Nolan
Mayor Huseyin Kalkan of Batman, Turkey, is suing both Warner Brothers and Vhris Nolan, the director of Batman: The Dark Knight for using the name of his town without permission. On the face of it, this seems like another silly lawsuit.
Ted Nugent is going Rino hunting.
Some Somali pirates took on the Royal Navy and then very soon wished they hadn't. The British have seemed to have learned from the HMS Corwall fiasco.
Sam Nunn Joins Obama Transition Team
The Obama Transition team has added former Senator Sam Nunn as an advisor on Defense policy. Sam Nunn used to be Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, so he would seem to be a good fit for the position. There are a couple of problems, though.
Apparently the Obama transition team is contemplating a congestion tax on all cars at one cent a mile, along with an increase in the gas tax and a one percent sales tax on cars. These taxes would, of course, fall heaviest on the middle class.
Sarah Palin for Senate? I predicted it a few days ago.
With the defeat of the McCain/Palin ticket, Sarah Palin goes back to her duties as Governor of Alaska. Her first major task will be what to do about Ted Stevens, the senior Senator from Alaska and a convicted felon. Remarkably Ted Stevens won reelection to his Senate seat. Nevertheless, if Ted Stevens loses his appeals and is convicted on schedule in February 2009, he will have to resign his seat.

This will provide Sarah Palin an opportunity, According to Alaska law, if a Senate seat is vacated in such a way, a special election must be held to fill it. Sarah Palin could run in that special election and would very likely win the race in a walk. Thus Sarah Palin would be able to serve in the US Senate and get some Washington experience. And that would position her neatly to not only be a voice of opposition to Barack Obama but also the ability to run to replace him in 2012.
John McCain Speaks to Jay Leno
Senator John McCain made his first post election appearance on the Jay Leno Tonight Show on November 11th, Veterans Day. It was John McCain's fourteenth appearance on Jay Leno and he was gregarious and relaxed, happy one suspects for the campaign to be over.
American Humanist Society Calls for Godless Holiday
Just in time for Christmas, the American Humanist Society, an atheist group, is launching a $40,000 ad campaign calling for a "godless holiday," according to the AP. The campaign will consist of ads placed on Washington DC buses.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Paul Broun: Barack Obama to Establish Marxist Dictatorship
Paul Broun, a Republican Congressman from Georgia, is accusing President Elect Barack Obama of plotting to establish a Marxist dictatorship. Hotair's Ed Morrissey suggests that Paul Broun is suffering from "Obama Derangement Syndrome."
4,300-Year-Old Pyramid Found in Saqqara, Egypt
A 4,300-year-old Egyptian pyramid has been discovered at Saqqara, twenty kilometers south of Cairo near the site of the ancient city of Memphis, according to the CBC in Canada. It is thought to be the burial site of Queen Sesheshet, mother of Pharaoh Teti, founder of the Sixth Dynasty.
Armistice Day Ninety Years On
Ninety years ago today, on November 11th, 1918, the guns fell silent on the Western Front that stretched from Belgium in the northwest to the Swiss border in the southeast. On the "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" the "War to end all Wars" ended.
The problem with government bailouts is that sometimes they don't know when to stop, as with the proposal to give lots of cash to the car companies.
Well, Obama hadn't been president-elect for more than 72 hours before he suggested that auto-industry executives descending on Washington to plead for a bailout might get it. Can we save corporate dinosaurs that have been mismanaged for decades? Yes, we can!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The mission of the Mars Phoenix has concluded.
Happy birthday, United States Marines. Semper fi.
Obama's Site Undergoes Changes
Now that Barack Obama has been elected President, the task of reconciling campaign promises to objective reality lays before him. An indication that the Obama team is aware of this occurred when the detailed agenda vanished from
Barack Obama Executive Orders
Barack Obama, following the traditional practice of incoming Presidents, plans to put his own stamp on the United States by issuing a series of executive orders that will have the force of law. The choice of the executive orders is illuminating.
Dear President Elect Obama - Don't Govern from the Left
Dear President-Elect Barack Obama,

First of all, congratulations on a hard-won victory in a hard-fought campaign. Now, as the cliché goes, comes the hard part. You get to govern in an era of economic distress during a time of war.
An Obama National Holiday?
A group of Barack Obama supporters, no doubt still delirious over the victory of their man in the recent Presidential race, are rallying to create a Barack Obama National Holiday. This is not a parody from the Onion. This is really happening.
Joe Biden Booed at Philadelphia Football Game
Vice President Elect Joe Biden hasn't been much in the news lately. Joe Biden was watching the Philadelphia Eagles get beat by the New York Giants from the safety and comfort of Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie's box when he got into the news again.
Jeff Foust examines the various space policy choices facing the incoming Obama Administration. Dwayne Day touches on the problems facing military space. Taylor Dinerman exposes the threat posed by a possible Secretary of Transportation Oberstar to commercial space. Nader Elhefnawy begins his warning of a Russian space resurgence.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The sanity of Chris Matthews is being question, with good reason.
Russian Submarine Nerpa Suffers Fatal Accident
An accident aboard a Russian nuclear submarine, the K-152 Nerpa, has killed twenty people. The accident, which involved the accidental release of Freon gas used by the fire suppression system, took place as the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Speaking of committments, will Obama follow through on the ones he made concerning NASA?
There seems to be some confusion over whether Obama will honor the committment to build a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

Addendum: A case of telling the Poles one thing and the public another? Obama had better get out of campaign mode and realize that he is, actually, going to be President and his decisions have real world consequences.
Chandrayaan 1 has entered lunar orbit.
Mini nuclear reactors capable of powering up to twenty thousand homes available in five years.

Addendum: More on Hyperion Power Generation and the Nuclear Power Module
A company called Hyperion Power Generation Inc has developed a kind of nuclear battery, just about the size of a small shed, that can power twenty thousand homes. Hyperion is already taking orders and will be delivering in five years.
Team Sarah - the 2012 Campaign Begins
Proving that it is never too early to start a campaign for President, the Team Sarah website, originally set up to support Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President, is now shifting gears to support Sarah Palin for President in 2012.
Boycott Utah, Same Sex Advocates Urge
Gay activists and other opponents of California's Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage, are urging a boycott of the state of Utah out of anger over the Mormon's Church's role in the passage of the amendment.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Newt Gingrich in 2012? Bob Novak thinks it could happen and I think it would be a fascinating race, depending on what the world situation is four years hence.
Klansmen wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks?
It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU N----R, one man shouted at men. If your people want to call me a F----T, I will call you a n----r. Someone else said same thing to me on the next block near the and my friend were walking, he is also gay but Korean, and a young WeHo clone said after last night the n----rs better not come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them.

So much for unity in the Age of Obama. The mind boggles.
Bill Nelson is telling Obama to keep Mike Griffin at NASA for now. My personal choice, almost certain not to be made by the new administration, is Pete Worden.

Of course Rand Simberg is very unhappy.
Barack Obama's Press Conference
Barack Obama conducted his first press conference as President Elect, with Vice President Elect Joe Biden and his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at his side and his economic advisors, looking appropriately dour and serious, standing behind him.

Addendum: Obama has apologized for the slam at Nancy Reagan.
Impeach Obama?
Barack Obama was not elected for a single day when Impeach Obama groups started to pop up all over Facebook. It would seem to be somewhat premature to make such an Impeach Obama effort. Obama doesn't even get sworn in until January 20th.
Rand Simberg looks at the Obama transition team's work on space policy, and finds it curiously lacking, except where it concerns space based weapons, which Obama is against, even if deployed by the United States.
It looks like that Rahm Emanuel is tied to the collapse of Freddie Mac.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Rand Simberg reacts with understandable horror at the idea of James Oberstar as Obama's Secretary of Transportation. Oberstar, as a member of Congress, wanted to impose safety regulations on commercial space that were so draconian that the commercial space sector would effectively be killed.

Addendum: On the other hand, Jeff Foust is not particularly worried.
The Obama cult of personality is slightly creepy says Newsweek's Evan Thomas. You think?
Anonymous McCain Staffers Trash Sarah Palin
The defeat of John McCain is not even a couple of days old, and disgruntled and anonymous McCain staffers are already trying to place blame, not on themselves, mind, but on the one bright spot of the campaign. It seems that Sarah Palin is a doofus.
Impeach Barack Obama? That didn't take very long. One problem. We get Slow Joe Biden in that event.
Is the Obama Campaign, by all accounts awash with cash, stiffing their workers of their pay.
Some folks are starting to wonder whether Barack Obama will keep his space policy promises or not. I'm on record as suggesting not, though I am willing (and in fact eager) to be proven wrong. Some groups calling itself the Obamanauts proposes to become "watch gods" to make sure Obama keeps his promises?

Or they'll do what, precisely?

Meanwhile some of the Internet Rocketeer Club is becoming even more unhinged. Lori Garver as a "snow princess?" I've looked askance at some of her political and policy choices, but that is just plain insulting.

Here is what might happen. Obama actually does present a budget that is pretty generous to NASA. Then the House, led by people like David Obey and Barney Frank, carve it up like a Christmas turkey. No more VSE. No more COTS. Orion does become an ISS only vehicle. The Senate may or may not object, but it will be to no effect. The House version is pretty much what comes out of conference.

Then Barack Obama, not wanting to clash with his guys in Congress over what he'll regard as a trivial issue, signs the appropriations bill.

In the meantime, by the way, Obama's appointee to the FAA slaps a lot of safety regs on the nascent commercial space industry that will either kill it or drive it off shore.

So, Obamanauts, again, what are you prepared to do?
Barack Obama's first foreign policy test may well be a the deployment of missiles by Russia on the borders of NATO. If Obama follows his stated policy, he will fold disastrously.
Has technology made the Fairness Doctrine obsolete? Of course, but that doesn't mean they'll not try to impose it anyway.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The 2008 election as a cover for an Oceans 11 style jewel heist. Sweet. And I loved Sarah Palin with the British accent and the Emma Peel style cat suit.

Addendum: More on South Park: About Last Night
The South Part episode, About Last Night, provided the first laugh since election night. Abut Last Night sent up the 2008 Campaign beautifully, sparing neither Barack Obama and his supporters nor John McCain and his supporters. Spoilers follow.
Meet Barack Obama's real opposition--the Congressional Democrats.
Election 2008 in Texas
Texas was a bright spot for the Republicans in the 2008 election. The McCain/Palin ticket won the state and its 34 electoral votes easily. Republicans met with some success in down ballot races in Texas as well.
What Next for Sarah Palin?
One of the bright spots of the 2008 election, filled as it was with disastrous defeats, is the advent of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as a national figure. Sarah Palin is the front runner to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012
Remembering Michael Crichton
My first awareness of Michael Crichton was, as with many people, The Andromeda Strain, both the book and the movie. Michael Crichton has provided uncounted hours of pleasure, on the small and large screen, and with tautly written novels.

Addendum: Michael Crichton's greatest hits and misses.
Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff
President Barack Obama apparently offered the job of White House Chief of Staff to Rahm Emanuel, currently a member of Congress from Illinois. This first appointment had a number of disconcerting implications.
John McCain's Concession Speech
Very little John McCain has done in his life has done him more honor than how he behaved in defeat. John McCain's concession speech was filled with grace and dignity, as contrast with the gross triumphalism of some of Barack Obama's supporters.
The Content of Barack Obama's Character
There is something rather unseemly about the celebration of the election of Barack Obama as the first African American United States President. For one thing, it violates that credo of judging a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.
How Barack Obama Will Govern
Now that Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States, the question of how he will govern has started to arise. The answer to that question will determine the shape of the next four years.
Jeff Foust has a couple of good posts about the effects on space of the just concluded election. He discusses the changes in the House as well as the vote in Florida. Even though Barack Obama won the state, he lost the aerospace rich Bervard County. Barack Obama's election year conversion to space advocate seems not to have worked or mattered.

Addendum: One wonders how friendly to commercial space Obama's pick for FAA is going to be.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"Black Panthers" Intimidate Voters in Philadelphia
Things got a little tense in Pennsylvania when two men dressed as Black Panthers stationed themselves outside a Philadelphia polling place. One of the so-called Black Panthers was brandishing a nightstick.
Bob Barr's Libertarian Campaign for President
Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr, a former Republican Congressman, seems to be running not so much to win as he is to send a message to his former party. Considering the tiny number of votes Bob Barr is expected to get, one wonders what that message will be.
"The end of Jewish Domination in the United States"
Jim Moran explains why expecting to keep ones wealth is such a quaint notion:
More stories of voter fraud and intimidation in Pennsylvania.
Chuck Schumer compares talk radio to porn>, hence something the government can regulate.
The Nathan Bedford Forrest High School Controversy
The Duval County School Board in Florida voted five to two to retain the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest as the name of a local high school along racial lines. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate General and perhaps a founder of the Ku Klux Klan.
Obama Sweeps Dixville Notch, Harts Location
Election Day was not even a half an hour or so old when Barack Obama won by a landslide—in the New Hampshire towns of Dixville Notch and Harts Location. Does it foreshadow something for the general election? Maybe, maybe not.
Barack Obama will pay for this lady's gas and mortgage:
Voting fraud already in Pennsylvania.
SpaceX introduces DragonLab:
SpaceX to Host (Invitation-only) Users Workshop on November 6

Hawthorne, CA - November 3, 2008 – Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is introducing a new commercial product called DragonLab™, a free-flying, reusable spacecraft capable of hosting pressurized and unpressurized payloads to and from space. DragonLab will launch to orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

DragonLab provides a platform for in-space experimentation, including recovery of pressurized and some unpressurized payloads, as well as deployment of small spacecraft. As a complete system, DragonLab provides for all aspects of operation: propulsion, power, thermal control, environmental control, avionics, communications, thermal protection, flight software, guidance, navigation and control, entry, descent and landing and recovery.

SpaceX will host a DragonLab Users Workshop on November 6, 2008. This workshop will be an opportunity for potential customers to fully explore DragonLab's capabilities, as well as present customer-specific interests and requirements. The workshop agenda includes an overview of the Dragon spacecraft, concept of operations, payload accommodations and cost parameters.

"Just as importantly," said Max Vozoff, Product Manager for Dragon and DragonLab and host of the Users Workshop, "we will hear from potential users about their applications, requirements, and concerns, as well as discuss contracting mechanisms. We will also include a tour of our 550,000 square foot SpaceX manufacturing facility where we design and build all major systems for SpaceX launch vehicles and spacecraft."

SpaceX is currently manufacturing the Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 launch vehicle to provide the U.S. with cargo services to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) competition. The maiden flight of Dragon/Falcon 9 is currently scheduled for June 2009 from SpaceX's Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Two subsequent flights will be completed by 2010, culminating with Dragon berthing with the ISS.

Contact to request further information or an invitation to attend. All participants must register in advance to attend this workshop.

Monday, November 03, 2008

An in depth study of the "launch drift" problem that has cropped up for the Ares 1 seems to point to a rather simple, albeit a time consuming and costly, solution:
The issue is by no means a showstopper, and can be mitigated via the addition of contingency spacing between the ML and the vehicle during its first few seconds of launch.

This can be achieved by moving the vehicle or moving the tower. Moving the tower would require less ML rework, but that would result in a major redesign effort that would take six months to a year.

Increasing the clearance would also require longer umbilical arms, access platforms and crew access arm.

These longer arms would weigh more and require additional tower structure to support the additional weight.

Additional weight is something the new ML can not really afford, as current documentation shows the vehicle and infrastructure is already at the top end of the existing crawler capacity.

Schedule is also another factor, with actual construction of the new ML was to start with in 90 days. A redesign of the ML at this late date would also add costs to the program.
Barack Obama dazzles with his eloquence as only Barack Obama can:
Did Barack Obama Flip Off John McCain?
Did Barack Obama flip off John McCain during a recent campaign speech? Hotair's Allahpundit doubts it was intentional, concluding that it was an unconscious tick. But there was an incident in which Barack Obama did something similar to Hillary Clinton.
Barack Obama to Bankrupt Coal Plants
Back in January, in a press interview, Barack Obama promised to bankrupt the coal industry should he be elected President. The fact that he said it is remarkable. That he said it is only coming to light the weekend before the election is more remarkable.
Joe the Plumber Death Threat Mars Airwaves
When Joe the Plumber asked Barack Obama a simple question about taxes, he had no idea what he was getting himself in for. From government officials rooting around in his records illegally to media smears, Joe the Plumber has been paying the price ever since.
Mark Levin suggests another way the Left can try to kill talk radio besides the so-called Fairness Doctrine.
Lingerie with a GPS tracking system. The feminists are naturally outraged. So how about a line of mens' briefs with a tracking system as well. Seems only fair.
More money for NASA as part of a new stimulus package. "Refining" the Vision for Space Exploration. The latest news on commercial space.
Which candidate could handle scifi related crises as President? My take, written long ago, on The Presidential Candidates and an Alien Invasion

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Barack Obama promises to bankrupt the coal industry:
Ben Affleck Skewers Keith Olbermann on SNL
Ben Affleck hosted Saturday Night Live November 1st. While Ben Affleck is not known as an actor with a very wide range, he did reveal a hitherto unknown talent for comedy and satire when he sent up MSNBC's star Bush hater, Keith Olbermann.
Farewell to Berkley Breathed's Opus the Penguin
Berkley Breathed is bringing to conclusion the career of Opus the Penguin, his iconic comic strip character, for the third time in almost thirty years in order to concentrate on children's literature. This time it may well be for good, mores that pity.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Barack Obama's Aunt an Illegal Alien
Zeituni Onyango, Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt whose existence in a South Boston slum recently came to light, is also living in the United States illegally. The development highlights the issue of illegal immigration in the 2008 election.