Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The pitch was likely like this "Homelander is sort of like Twilight, but with terrorists instead of vampires."
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 10 'The Package'
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 10 'The Package' resumes the series' use of parallel time tracks, this time featuring Jin and Sun, the Korean couple who has been caught up in the South Korean mafia; Sun's father is a high ranking chieftain in the Korean mob.
'V (2010)', Season 1, Episode 5, 'Welcome to the War'
'V' Season 1 Episode 5 'Welcome to the War' marks the return of the 21st century remake of the classic 1980s series about an alien invasion of Earth. The battle for the fate of humanity is continuing to be shaped.
'Justified' Season 1 Episode 3 "Fixer'
'Justified' Season 1 Episode 3 'Fixer' finds Deputy Marshal Rayland Givens being tasked with handling the local snitch, a criminal from Brooklyn named Pinter. Raylan finds that he and Pinter have a few things in common.
Obama to Allow Oil and Gas Drilling in Vast Offshore Areas
President Obama is slated to announce the opening of huge offshore tracts to oil and gas drilling. These include the Atlantic Coast south of New Jersey, the eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida, and an enormous area on the Arctic coast of Alaska.
India is working on a two stage reusable launch vehicle.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sarah Palin's 'Real American Stories' to Air on Fox News Thursday, April 1st
Sarah Palin may or may not become the next president of the United States, but she is rapidly becoming the Queen of All Media. The former Alaska governor's latest gig is the first airing of a show on Fox News called "Real American Stories."
If you propose to return to the Moon, then for goodness sakes return to the Moon
Sir Michael Caine goes Charles Bronson on British street punks:

Karl Rove Attacked by Code Pink in Beverly Hills
Canada is not the only place where conservative illuminatos attract angry mobs, as Karl Rove found out on a stop in his book tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. Rove's talk on his new book about his tenure in the Bush administration was disrupted by Code Pink.
Davenport, Iowa Tries to Abolish Good Friday
The town of Davenport, Iowa has tried to abolish Good Friday, thinking it an unsuitable holiday for an increasingly "diverse" town. The news of this decision, which came on Palm Sunday, is not sitting well with the citizens of Davenport.
'Castle' Season 2 Episode 18 'Boom!'
'Castle' Season 2 Episode 18 'Boom!' starts about the second that the previous episode ended, with Detective Kate Beckett's apartment exploding. Castle invokes his inner Mal Reynolds, busting through the door, yelling for his partner.
'Saving Grace' Season 3 Episode 11 'Let's Talk'
'Saving Grace' Season 3 Episode 11 'Let's Talk' begins perhaps a half an hour after the previous episode ended, which it did in a spectacular manner with Grace and a crazy woman surviving intact a fall off a 12 story building.
Two Independence Day sequels in the works?

Monday, March 29, 2010

More horrors from the land of Soviet style health care.
Project Hero and the Threat of Canadian Imperialism
John Derbyshire over at National Review has come upon a curious controversy happening in Canada. It seems that a program to give scholarships to children of Canadians killed in active service has called attention to the threat of Canadian Imperialism.
Apparently the Amish and other religious dissenters are exempt from Obamacare.
The Search for Life Lecture at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston
Norman Leboon Arrested for Eric Cantor Threats
The FBI has caught one of those haters, one of those nut jobs who have been threatening to kill and commit mayhem against members of Congress. Unfortunately for the narrative, the member in question is Eric Cantor, number two House Republican.
'An Open Letter to Sean Penn' by Maria Conchita Alonso
Sean Penn's man crush on Hugo Chavez has gotten a response in the form of an "Open Letter to Sean Penn" from Cuban born actress Maria Conchita Alonso. Sean Penn will most likely want to throw Maria Conchita Alonso in jail for it.
Edward Ellegood has some helpful suggestions for President Barack Obama for the upcoming Florida Space Summit. Jeff Foust discusses ITAR reform. Bob Mahoney looks at the future of Obamaspace. Andrew Weston examines the new British space agency.
'The Pacific' Part 3 'Melbourne'
The Pacific' Part 3 'Melbourne' starts with the arrival of the men of the 1st Marine Division to Melbourne, Australia. It was for those Marines like taking a ship from Hell straight into paradise. And Australia in 1943 was a particular kind of paradise.
Barack Obama in Afghanistan
Why did President Obama suddenly take a surprise trip to Afghanistan? The answer lays as much in domestic politics in the United States as in progress in the war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

If anything illustrates the madness of President Obama's retreat from the Moon, the specticle of the half billion dollar launch tower with no rocket to launch it fits the bill just fine. What is that Man in the White House thinking?
Cell therapy to repair brains damaged by injuries and disease.
Sarah Palin Rallies Tea Partiers in Searchlight, Nevada
The third Tea Party Express began its long journey across the United States in the town of Searchlight, Nevada, a small town of a 1000 residents 60 miles from Las Vegas. The desert community would have been an odd place for a political rally.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

John Birmingham's top ten manly movies.
One usually doesn't hear things on NPR that not only don't make one wince, but actually has one's head nodding in agreement.

Double NASA's budget? Impossible? Inconceivable? Only if the proposition is not put forth. Considering how much crap is financed by the government under the current administration, it would not be a half bad investment.
'How To Train Your Dragon' - a Review
'How to Train Your Dragon' flirts a lot, but never quite crosses the line, into excessive cutesiness. Instead the animated movie, about a conflict between Vikings and dragons, has a sense of wonder and, at times, even awe.
'24' Has Been Cancelled, but Will Live on the Big Screen
It has been announced that '24' is to be canceled and this season will be its last. While we regard this news with a little sadness, perhaps it is wise to retire the franchise after eight seasons. Besides, there will be big screen movie versions.
Sarah Palin Stumps for John McCain
Almost two years after John McCain plucked Sarah Palin from political obscurity and into the national spotlight, the former governor of Alaska flew to Arizona to rescue her former running mate from the toughest primary fight of his life.
What if Apollo 13 had missed the Earth?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama to Health Care Reform Critics: 'Go for It!'
President Obama is, if nothing else, the author of some succinct slogans. During the 2008 campaign there was "hope and change" and "yes we can!" Now President Obama has authored the slogan for the 2010 and 2012 campaigns: "Go for it!"
Ed Shultz Wants Socialism on the Airways
Ed Schultz, a radio talk show host and an MSNBC personality, has apparently decided that socialism not only means that income should be redistributed, but also free speech. Schultz has called for socialism on the air ways.
Max Baucus, Health Care Reform, and the 'Mal-Distribution of Income'
In the event the gentle reader is of the opinion that the purpose of health care reform was to provide more people health insurance at lower cost, Senator Max Baucus would like to correct that misimpression.
Sarah Palin Blamed for Threats Against Democrats
When a trumped up crisis, such as the "wave of violence and intimidation against Democrats" occurs, it is only a matter of time before Sarah Palin gets blames for it. Oddly enough, though, Sarah Palin is the object of real death threats.
Obama Humiliates Binyamin Netanyahu
The diplomatic strategy being employed by President Barack Obama seems to consist of embracing enemies of the United States, while slighting its friends. No greater example of the latter took place as how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keith Cowing has come around to the idea that a compromise on Obamaspace is in the works. That is certainly possible.

On the other hand, high off of his health care victory, the One is just as capable of going down to Florida and telling the folks there to suck it up.
Republican Eric Cantor Threatened, Office Window Shot Out
Inconveniently for those people who are trying to construct the narrative of rabid tea party people threatening Democratic Congressmen, Republican House Whip Eric Cantor announced at a press conference that he too is being threatened.
Bogus Coffin Story Published, Fact Checked, and Refuted in a Single Day
One of the stories put out to support the narrative of a systematic campaign to harass and intimidate Congressmen who voted for health care reform was the one about a coffin being placed on the front lawn of Rep Russ Carnahan.
'South Park' Season 14 Episode 2 'The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs'
'South Park' Season 14 Episode 2 'The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs' demonstrated that ability of South Park to present sly social commentary and cultural criticism along with the massive expulsion of bodily fluids.
Why the Opposition to Commercial Space from Republicans?
One of the issues arising from the debate over President Obama's proposal to cancel the Constellation program and to commercialize space travel is what some regard as an odd response of Republican lawmakers toward the proposal.
Violence Against Democrats in the Wake of Health Care Reform
The Washington Post is reporting what it says is an upsurge of vandalism and threats against Democratic lawmakers in the wake of the passage of health care reform. Democrats are using the incidents as an issue to blunt their opposition.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Lt. Governor of Florida wants Obama to debate Obamaspace when he comes down to Florida. Also this:
There is some talk about a Town Hall meeting with space workers, but many people — not least KSC Center Director Bob Cabana — are reportedly opposed to the idea because tensions are running high at KSC. As many as 9,000 shuttle workers are set to lose their jobs when the shuttle stops flying, perhaps later this year.

It goes to show that the President of the United States cannot be in contact with aerospace workers for fear of answering some pointed questions.
Paul Spudis argues for a return to the Moon based on as much current technology as possible.
Not that I would ever advocate violence as a response to the health care reform debacle, but if HCR is such a great deal, why are so many people willing kill Congressmen over it?
John Dingell: Health Care Reform to 'Control the People'
Congressman John Dingell let loose the mother of all Freudian slips when he explained why some of the provisions of health care reform won't come online until
2014. According to the American Thinker, the purpose is to "Control the people."
'Justified' Season 1 Episode 2 'Riverbrook'
'Justified' Season 1 Episode 2 'Riverbrook' spins one of those wonderful stories of the misadventures of classic Elmore Leonard characters, a group of colorful, albeit very dim witted criminals, from the point of view of Raylan Givens.
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 9 'Ap Aeterno'
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 9 'Ap Aeterno' abandons, at least for now, the device of following a 'Lost' character through the two parallel time tracks. The back story of the immortal and disillusioned Richard Alpert is revealed.
Tax Increases to Pay for Health Care Reform
When President Barack Obama triumphantly signed the health care reform law, one thing he did not mention in his speech was all of the taxes that were going to be raised to pay for it. As it turns out, the taxes are broad and sweeping.
Will Senate Democrats Support Viagra for Sex Offenders?
One of the Republican tactics to try to derail or at least slow down health care reform is to try to add amendments to the reconciliation measure now winding its way through the Senate to "fix" the bill passed through the House and signed by President Obama.
Ann Coulter Canada Speech Cancelled by Angry Mob, Skittish Police
Ann Coulter, the American pundit and TV personality, is causing the most consternation in Canada since Benedict Arnold attacked Quebec in 1775. An angry mob and skittish police shut down a speech she was to give at the University of Ottawa.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More talk of Plan B for Space, along with denials. In reality, there has to be a Plan B. The Obamaspace is not going to pass.
Lawrence Meyers has a great plan to fix what ails Hollywood.
Congressional Staff Exempt from Health Care Reform Mandates
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised that we would find out what is in the health care reform bill after it passed. And, true to her promise, certain provisions are now coming to light, including one that exempts certain Congressional staff.
Ann Coulter to File 'Hate Speech' Complaint in Canada
It looks like that Francois Houle, vice-president academic and provost of the University of Ottawa, in trying to tell Ann Coulter what she could and could not say during a speech at the University, has taken on the wrong woman.
Personally I think Richard Garriott is dreaming if he thinks he owns lunar property because of his ownership of Lunokhod 2. State sovereign power is required to enforce property rights. Otherwise anyone's claim is not enforceable.
Bill Gates is getting into the nuclear power business.
Cold fusion, from "junk science" to hope of the future

Addendum: A round up on the state of play for fusion, hot and cold.
'Castle' Season 2 Episode 17 'Tick Tick Tick'
'Castle' is one of those charming TV series that pairs two mismatched people who find that they not only have to work together, while they bicker, but also find that they work together well in the weekly quest to find and apprehend murderers.
Nancy Pelosi, Architect of Health Care Reform, Most Powerful and Most Hated Woman of Our Times
In the wake of the passage of health care reform, attention is being directed at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who, probably more than any other American politician, is the architect of that passage. It will be a mixed blessing, at best.
NASA is apparently trying to skirt around the law in an effort to shut down as much of Constellation as it can. Congress is not pleased and is likely to make its displeasure known.

Sadly this suggests that one of the most lawless administrations in recent memory has infected NASA with its corruption. This will not end well.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Family Guy is now mocking Terri Schiavo, the woman who was put to death by court order five years ago.
In an article describing the various Congressional reactions to Obamaspace, Florida Today fingers John Holdren, Obama's version of Dr. Strangelove, as the architect of the policy.
The irrepressible Rick Tumlinson urges Virginians to rally around Obamaspace.

I'm starting to notice that defenders of Obamaspace are starting to sound like defenders of Obamacare. First they blame Bush for everything. Then they promise good things from the new policy that no sane person will ever believe will happen. It is weird in a way.
Check out this new picture of Mars.
Health Care Reform and the End of American Super Power
Mark Steyn, writing for National Review, has suggested that there is one consequence of health care reform that is not being widely discussed. That consequence is the end of the United States as a world super power and all that implies.
Will Health Care Reform Delay New Medical Advances?
A story in Reuters relates how a study using a technique that involves delivering a therapy that turns off a cancer growth gene with nanobots in the human blood stream is showing promise. But there is one non medical problem with the therapy.
John Culberson, Sheila Jackson Lee and Chet Edward Split on Health Care Vote
Living in Houston, Texas one did not see too many surprising developments in the health care vote. John Culberson, the Republican member in the district where this writer resides, voted no as did every other Republican House member.
'Fire Nancy Pelosi' and Other Battles in the War to Repeal Health Care Reform
Having passed the most significant piece of social legislation in a generation and the most unpopular in the history of the American Republic, the Democrats may be forgiven for not wanting to hear the words "health care reform" for a while.
Health Care Reform Passes the House
Bismark once opined that there are two things that should not be looked at too closely, sausage making and law making. Unfortunately the passage of health care reform in the House made the American people look full in the face how laws really are made.
'The Pacific' Part 2 'Basilone'
'The Pacific' Part 2 'Basilone' covers the balance of the Battle of Guadalcanal, mainly through the eyes of John Basilone, with an occasional glimpse of Robert Leckie writing letters home to Vera.
Taylor Dinerman suggests that he who controls lunar water controls the Solar System.
There are plenty of institutions, and people who run them, who would be all too happy to take control of the solar system’s water resources. One can be certain that they will claim to be doing so with the best of motives. Yet, as Wittfogel pointed out, “the hydraulic state prevents the nongovernmental forces of society from crystallizing into independent bodies strong enough to counterbalance and control the political machine.”

If, in the course of humanity’s expansion into the solar system, such a controlling authority were to be installed, it would freeze any hope for a spacefaring civilization made up of free and independent men and women. The control of water would lead to the control of other vital space-based resources. In time the institution’s power would grow until it would be able to have a stranglehold on the flow of off-Earth resources down to the surface of this planet.

For many, in America and elsewhere, this is not a happy thought.
Jeff Foust asks Can commercial space win over Congress? The problem is that President Obama has linked commercial space, which might have picked up support on its own, with the cancellation of Constellation, which is proving very unpopular, to its detriment.

Addendum: Rand Simberg, as is his habit when he gets worked up, is socialism! Tom Matula, in the comments, instructs Rand about what socialism is and is not.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bill Nelson to Change Obamaspace
It is often a truism in American politics that no plan floated by the President of the United States ever survived, at least in its original form, contact with the Congress. That seems to be holding true with President Obama's space proposal.
Alcee Hastings: 'There Ain't No Rules Here' on Health Care Reform
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) Florida, a member of the House Rules Committee, made one of those gaffes that is defined as speaking the truth when he really ought not to have. Hastings articulated the approach the Democrats are taking for health care reform.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

'The Bounty Hunter' is Not Too Torturous
Any man who is married or is in a committed relationship must, on occasion, see the occasional chick flick romantic comedy. In that genre, 'The Bounty Hunter', starring Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston, is not all that bad.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nancy Pelosi Invokes St. Joseph for Health Care Reform
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is so keen to get health care reform passed in the House, that she is now invoking divine assistance in support of her desire. She has invoked St. Joseph the Worker for help in getting health care reform passed.
War films are not doing well. Of course Hollywood won't consider the possibility that people don't want to see movies with Americans as the bad guys, but would go to see them depicted as the good guys.
The F 35B in flight.

John Boccieri Flip Flops on Health Care Reform
Rep. John Boccieri (D-OH), who voted against health care reform the last time, has switched his vote to a yeah. This means that the House Democrats are one vote closer to passing health care reform, though still not at the magic 216 number.
Would signing a health care reform bill passed under the Slaughter Rule be an impeachable offense?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Sarah Palin's Alaska series appears to be closer to reality.
Did Senatoe Robert Bennett mess up when it came time to question Charles Bolden and Lori Garver during their confirmation hearings? I think they all did.
What ailes Hollywood?
1) Movies operate in a statistical environment of extreme uncertainty

2) Uncertainty creates fear

3) Fear creates a desire to control

4) Desire to control has resulted in a multi-layered, needlessly expensive studio bureaucracy, resulting in sub optimal risk management.

5) The goal of each individual level of the bureaucracy is to insulate itself from criticism from the layer above it.

6) This results in the hiring of the most expensive, but not necessarily most talented or suitable, creative team
to manufacture product that audiences are losing interest in and are not designed to achieve maximum ROI.
Steven Spielberg on the heroes of World War II and the War on Terror. Much nicer than Hanks.
The Multiplying Mysteries of Moonwater

The Moon actually has a water cycle. Who would have thought it?
Fess Parker, TV's Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, Has Died
Fess Parker, who played two of the most iconic American characters in the opening of the Western frontier on television, has died at the age of 85. To many of a certain age, Fess Parker was Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.
Obama to Trade Space Policy for Health Care Reform?
The Obama space policy that would cancel the Constellation space exploration program and commercialize space flight has run into trouble in Congress and with the public. But now it looks like Obamaspace has a new threat
to it.

The threat may be President Barack Obama himself.

Addendum: Bart Gordon, who is rumored to be in line for NASA administrator should he vote for health care reform, just announced that he will be voting for health care reform. Should Charlie Bolden be worried?

Addendum 2: Moe Lane says Why Barton, it profits not a man to give his soul for the whole world, but for NASA?
Houston Mayor Annise Parker invites Obama to visit Johnson Space Center
Human Events is reporting an interesting rumor that Obama has promised Rep. Bart Gordon the job of NASA administrator if he will vote yeah on health care reform.

If true, this has enormous implications for the debate on Obamaspace. Obama would not only be willing to knife Charlie Bolden, who has been loyally carrying his water for Obamaspace, in the back but, since Gordon is opposed to Obamaspace, Obama would be willing to deep six his own space plan for health care reform.

Oh, and Lori Garver's career goes against the wall too. Never let it said that there isn't a silver lining in any cloud.
'Ugly Americans' Pilot
The pilot of 'Ugly Americans' is a the start of very weird animated series, premiering on Comedy Central right after South Park, set in an alternate New York City inhabited by aliens, mutants, monsters, zombies, and every other creature imaginable.
Bret Baier Interviews Barack Obama on Fox News
In a display that shows just how much he wants health care reform, President Barack Obama consented to be interviewed on Fox News by Bret Baier. In retrospect, President Obama might have wished he hadn't.
'South Park' Season 14 Episode 1 'Sexual Healing'
'South Park' Season 14 Episode 1 'Sexual Healing' asks the question, why do rich, successful men all of the sudden try to have sex with as many women as possible? Is it because having lots of money makes some people do stupid things?
Is Suzanne Kosmos engineering a "sunshine sellout" trading a yes on health care reform for NASA jobs?
Former Congressman Bud Cramer is lobhying for both Constellation and commercial space.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Flight of the Gray Falcon: A Tudor Fantasy
Dennis Kucinich Switches from No to Yes on Health Care Reform
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) Ohio, a fervent critic of Obamacare from the left, has now switched his no vote to a yes vote to pass the measure that he once found unacceptable in the House, should it come to a vote.
Space age advertising during the era of Don Draper.
Texas, synonymous to oil and gas, is now the leading state for clean energy such as wind power. The secret? A lack of regulation.
A kind of encomium to Texas came in, of all places, a New York Times analysis last fall: Texas and California as "policy laboratories" for clean, renewable energy. Texas, wrote Kate Galbraith, "has...emerged as the nation's top producer or a commodity prized by environmentalists: wind power. Eager developers are covering its desolate western mesas with giant turbines." (They ain't much to look at, I can tell you, lady, but they sure beat up a whole lot of energy!)

"The world's largest wind farm began operations in Texas [in October 2009], and the state now has close to three times as much wind capacity as Iowa, the second-ranked state....Texas' secret, besides strong winds and lots of land, is its lack of regulation. Wind developers rave about the fact that, in essence, they need few state permits to build a turbine farm." Indeed, the state's renewable energy requirement dates back a whole decade to (how do you like it, Miz Pelosi?) the governorship of George W. Bush. In 2008, those good ole gasoline-sloshing Texans got 5 percent of their energy from wind. Yee-haw.

From a different ideological quarter, that of Investor's Business Daily, comes the sound of more clapping hands: "California should copy Texas" -- by easing central planning requirements, encouraging enterprise, and dialing down some of the grosser environmental enthusiasms, such as saving "obscure species of fish" at the cost of drying up once-fertile agricultural land.
Obama and Florida's Nelson Discuss Obamaspace
Sen. Bill Nelson (D) Florida had a meeting with President Obama in the White House over the president's plan to shut down the Constellation space exploration program and to commercialize Earth to low Earth orbit space travel.
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 8 'Recon'
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 8 'Recon' focuses the twin time track experiences on James 'Sawyer' Ford, the amoral con artist with the sordid and sorrowful past who seems to have thrown his lot in with the Locke Monster but maybe not.
'Justified' Season One Episode One 'Fire in the Hole'
'Justified' Season 1 Episode 1 'Fire in the Hole' is based in a series of stories by Elmore Leonard, creator of such memorable characters as Chili Palmer and Karen Sisco, about a Deputy US Marshal named Raylan Givens.
"The Slaughter Rule" Slaughters the Constitution
With House Democrats still falling short of the votes to pass Obamacare, the House leadership is contemplating an end run called variously "the Slaughter Rule," "the Deeming Maneuver," and "the Self Executing Rule."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stacey Bartley sends me "Sayings of the Jewish Buddha."
If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

Drink tea and nourish life: with the first sip, joy; with the second
sip, satisfaction; with the third sip, peace; with the fourth, a Danish.

Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.

Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health, or a
life without problems. What would you talk about?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Oy.

There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you
never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?

Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do
you have, Bupkis?

The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take
sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others.
The Tao is not Jewish.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and
attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as a wooded
glen. And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with such
rounded shoulders.

Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten
thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to
see a specialist.

Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that
not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

The Torah says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The Buddha says “There
is no self.” So ... maybe we're off the hook.
Charles Bolden continues to try to spin Obamaspace.
Looks like China wants to build a Lunar Receiving Lab. I suspect this facility will be form more than just a few grams of dirt to be returned by a robotic sample return mission.
Journalists Fail to Recognize Iwo Jima Flag Raising Photo
Ron Grossman of the Chicago Tribune decided to do a little experiment. He distributed a copy of the iconic photograph of American Marines raising the Stars and Stripes over Mount Surabachi on Iwo Jima in World War II.
Stars and Stripes Absent Over American Troops in Haiti
American servicemen and women are busily providing aid and comfort to the people of Haiti; food, shelter, medical treatment. But, apparently, under orders from the Obama administration, they are not to do so under the Stars and Stripes.
Paul Spudis, Bob Zubrin, and Steven Squyres agree that Obamaspace needs a destination. They just disagree about which one.
Eventually all of them. But the Moon first.
'House' Season 6 Episode 15 'Black Hole'
'House' Season 6 Episode 15 'Black Hole' starts with two hormone and vodka addled teenagers trying to ignore the interruptions of a lecture of a planetarium so that they can gossip. Then the girl, Abby, starts to spew nasty, bloody stuff.
Bill OReilly and Tom Hanks Get into an Argument
Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News host, and Tom Hanks, the famous actor and producer, have gotten into one of those tiresome media wars in which both gentlemen have taken to sniping at each other from afar.

Addendum: Now Hanks has irritated Karl Rove.
Things are not going well when the cost of shutting down a program is under estimated.
Keith Cowing is reporting now that Rahm Emanuel is now directly involved in the Space Summit. This is not a good sign. Also the protests will be kept as far away as possible.

Here's a suggestion. If the Space Summit is going to be a heavily scripted farce, how about a counter Space Summit where real people can express themselves on Obamaspace?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Despite assurances from Charles Bolden, NASA may still be violating the law by trying to wind down Constellation before Congress can save it.
Why Does Obama Hate Israel?
The latest fight that the Obama administration has picked with a friend of the United States, in this case with Israel over a bureaucratic screw up that involved Jewish housing being built in North Jerusalem, has many people scratching their heads.
A video protesting Obamaspace:

Forbes has a piece upon the theme of how people support space exploration but not paying for it.

There is some truth to the supposition, though Forbes does not examine a root cause, which is ignorance of how much NASA spends. There is some data to suggest that people have an exaggerated view of the level of space spending and are shocked to find out how little actually is spent.

Mind, this doesn't mean that NASA is not a government agency with all that implies. But it does suggest that both Clark Lindsey and Rand Simberg are just plain wrong that the space agency is comprised of a bunch of out of control spend thrifts. The more accurate truth is that we're spending too little for what we're trying to accomplish in space.

Then again the Obama administration does have the perfect solution to the cost of space exploration. Not do it.
Jeff Foust reports on the strange rebirth of the idea of extending the shuttle in Shuttle supporters’ last stand?

Taylor Dinerman says that Mike Griffin's Greatest Mistake was not trying to sell Orion as an American Soyuz. I disagree. The Internet Rocketeer Club would have been offended by that one too. Still, Dinerman actually thinks Ares 1 has great potential, which will enrage the IRC folks.

Michael Huang wonders about Obama picks a Tea Party Tax Day for his space summit I'm not sure that Obama wants to call attention to taxation and spending, though. All the junk he is spending money except to explore space can be pointed out.

A Review: My Dream of Stars

Finally Space export control reform: the different schools of thought and a proposed way forward
'The Pacific' Part 1 'Guadalcanal/Leckie'
'The Pacific,' produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, is a ten-hour miniseries, a companion piece to 'Band of Brothers,' but focusing on Marines in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Part 1, 'Guadalcanal/Leckie' aired on HBO.
Memories of Peter Graves, of Mission Impossible and Airplane!
Peter Graves, best known for being the spymaster Jim Phelps in the Mission Impossible series and the depraved pedophile airline pilot in the Airplane! Films, has died at his home at the age of 83.
Lori Garver apparently debuted a a couple of graphics that purports to show a timeline under Constellation and one under the new plan, suggesting of course that the new plan is "better" with "sustainable exploration" starting in 2024. The article suggests, not surprisingly, questions of accuracy. The "sustainable exploration" part is very vague, with destinations and such undefined. No funding assumptions are given, of course.

Also none of the suggested options from the Augustine Report are included.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Apollo Astronauts Cernan, Lovell Slam Obama Abandonment of the Moon
Former Apollo astronauts Jim Lovell and Gene Cernan were in London recently for a private event held by the Royal Society. Both Lovell and Cernan had some pointed things to say about the cancelation of the Constellation
return to the Moon project.
"Shrek Forever After" Movie Trailer Now Out
The trailer for the fourth Shrek movie, "Shrek Forever After", is out and the film looks to be a hoot. This is fortunate, because after three films, the Shrek franchise looked as if it was running out of gas.
Keith Cowing seems to be shocked, shocked that Obama's space summit may turn out to be a scripted farce.
If the President is trully enaged in all of this - as OSTP Director John Holden is so fond of saying that he is - and if the President is indeed concerned about the NASA and contractor workforce, then OSTP needs to find a way for him to interact with people - directly - not via a scripted circus with intermediaries and surrogates. In other words, the President needs to do something in a way that resonates with how he got the job in the first place.

As it stands now, the people who are most affected by these OSTP policies are the least involved in this event. That is fundamentally wrong and inconsistent with an Administration that heralded openness and transparency as the hallmarks of their new way of doing business.

Heralded but hardly practiced.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Neil Armstrong has emerged from his hermitage to tell Charlie Bolden that the plan is a disaster.
In commercial space news, Bigelow is hiring astronauts, some experience required. And SpaceX successfully executed a hot fire test of the first stage engines of Falcon 9.
Looks like Green Zone has bombed big time. When will they ever learn?
Tiger Woods and sex addiction will get the South Park treatment in the new, upcoming episode.
New Predators Movie Tease Trailer Now Out
The first teaser trailer for the Predators remake/sequel has been posted to the film's official site. The new Predators movie, produced by Robert Rodriguez and starring among others, Laurence Fishburne and Adrien Brody comes out in July.
China to Build Moon Rocket in 'Saturn V Class'
While the Obama administration seeks to cancel the Constellation program that would have returned American astronauts to the Moon by 2020, the Chinese appear set to develop their own heavy lift rocket to send their own expedition to the Moon.
A slew of anti Iraq War films have all bombed at the box office. So Hollywood thought it would be a good idea to make another one for $150 million with an A list director and star.

Was it a good idea? Not so much, apparently.
The Martin Jet Pack protype is now out. Here is what we wrote about it a couple of years back.

Friday, March 12, 2010

One would surely have liked to have been a fly on the wall of this meeting of Obama and his advisers trying to figure out how to salvage the train wreck space policy.
War of the Worlds - teh Documentary.
Gene Cernan has a particularly good reason to be cross at President Obama. He has spent most of his life being the last man on the Moon and has not liked it one bit.
It seems that one unforeseen result of the vaunted Obama space place will be to double launch costs for the US military.
More on the Chinese Moon rocket.
Victor Davis Hanson, an actual historian, not just one who plays one in Hollywood, asks the question, Is Tom Hanks unhinged?

Addendum: More on Tom Hanks and 'The Pacific' Controversy
Tom Hanks has had the image of the historical enthusiast who has honored America's war heroes and celebrated the glories of the American space program. That image has some basis in fact, but recently Hanks tarnished it considerably.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Apparently the White House has nixed the town hall format for the Space Summit. Likely wise on their part, though it has the appearance of shutting out the common people with just politicians and bureaucrats let in.
Paul Spudis argues, very convincingly IMHO, that the key to lowering the cost of space travel is not some quick, technological fix, but rather use of space resources especially those on the Moon.
What Obama Should Say at the Space Summit
When the Obama administration first announced that there would be a Space Summit in Florida, the purpose of which was to explain the new Obama space policy, it was met with some degree of skepticism and even cynicism.
Dr. Milton Wolf, second cousin to one Barack Obama, comes out against Obamacare.
"Primum nil nocere."First, do no harm. This guiding principle is a bedrock of medical care. Sadly, those politicians who would rewrite our health care laws do not live in the same universe as do the doctors and health care professionals who must practice it.

Imagine if, like physicians, politicians were personally held to the incredibly high level of scrutiny that includes civil and financial liability for any unintended consequence of their decisions. Imagine if they were forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on malpractice insurance and still faced the threat of multimillion-dollar lawsuits with every single decision they made. If so, a government takeover of health care would be the furthest thing from their minds.
Clark Lindsey has some advice for the President about what he should say to the simple people down in Florida who insist on clinging to their dreams of space exploration.
First give a clear account of the reasoning behind the new budget and the arithmetic that drove it. Then explain that the only way to save NASA's human spaceflight program is to make spaceflight much less expensive. And the only way to make it less expensive is to encourage commercial companies to compete with innovative approaches. Lower cost spaceflight will not only enable NASA to do great things but also lead to lots of new jobs, new technologies, and new opportunities in space. This approach may not satisfy the local audience but I think it would play well with the broader public and with Congress.

The sad part is that is likely what Obama will try to do. The notion that we have to wait another few decades, this time until the commercial folks get their act together and until some quick, technological fix is created, is the same logic behind the space shuttle. The space shuttle was suppose to lower the cost of space travel, thus allowing for things like voyages to the Moon and Mars.

That worked out rather well, don't you think?

The better way, which was the original strategy, was to allow the commercial companies to take over Earth to LEO space travel while NASA does the cutting edge exploration and science that it can actually do very well. Instead we're just going to wait until a commercial version of the space shuttle succeeds or else when the Chinese start selling tickets.
One of the stars of Twilight has been banned from groping Dakota Fanning.

To make it even more kinky, it's not the one who plays Edward or the one who plays Jacob.
New York State to Ban Salt?
First they came after tobacco. Then they came after transfats. Now the Nanny State, at least the New York Nanny State, is coming after the use of salt in the preparation of food. Chefs, restaurant owners, and customers are in revolt.
Carlos Slim Helu World's Richest Man
Most people have not heard of Carlos Slim Helu, a Mexican billionaire of Lebanese descent. That is about to change, since Carlos Slim Helu's wealth has been pegged at $53.5 billion, making him the world's richest man
Video has been found of Eric Cartman signing for those Blackawater weapons:

Original story on Cartman's nefarious gun running activities.
Leonardo DaVinci action hero?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Apparently the first Chinese female astronauts were required to be married.
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation is the latest to condemn the Obama plan to abandon the Moon. "... that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain..."
Sarah Palin and Canadian Health Care
The latest silly obsession by Enemies of Sarah Palin is a story she let slip during a speech in Calgary that, in the late sixties, her family used to slip across the border to get health care in the town of Whitehorse in Canada.
Even more push back against Obama's train wreck space policy.
'Lost Boys' Star Corey Haim Dead of Drug Overdose
Actor Corey Haim, age 38, has died of a drug overdose. Ordinarily this would not be worth a mention; Corey Haim had basically destroyed his career with drug abuse. But one has more than a bit of nostalgia for 'The Lost Boys.'
More on the aborted test firing of SpaceX's Falcon 9 engines.
Health Care Reform, the Soprano Presidency, and the Wacking of the American People
Michael Tanner, writing for the New York Post, is suggesting that the final push for health care reform is starting to look like an episode of the Sopranos. The difference is that the wackings are taking place in the House Ethics Committee.
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 7 'Dr. Linus'
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 8 'Dr. Linus' focuses on the wicked and very sad Ben Linus, former leader of the Others, now in fear for his life in one time line and living a pathetic life of a High School history teacher in another.
Tom Friedman is the latest MSM guy to declare victory in Iraq. At this rate, George W. Bush will get a Nobel Peace Prize and for actual accomplishments.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

More push back against the abandonment of the Moon.
Harrison Schmitt's credentials as a space policy analyst include several days of walking on the moon. The Apollo 17 astronaut, who is also a former U.S. senator, is aghast at what President Obama is doing to the space program.

"It's bad for the country," Schmitt says. "This administration really does not believe in American exceptionalism."

Schmitt's harsh words are part of a furious blowback to the administration's new strategy for NASA.
John Shannon says that the shuttle can keep flying if the Congress mandates it. But the question is, should it?
More on the proposed Chinese Moon Rocket.
The 2010 Census: Answering the Questions on Race
When the first Census was taken in 1790, its purpose was to count the number of people in the various states in order to apportion members of the House of Representatives and electors for choosing presidents.
The hot fire test for the Falcon 9 was aborted soon after it started. Mind, if this had happened to an Ares test flight, the Internet Rocketeer Club would have been all over it. But SpaceX is one of the cool kids and gets judged by a different standard.

On the other hand rely on the commercial space skeptics to hyperventilate.
Obama to Ban Recreational Fishing?
The Obama administration is considering new environmental rules that would, in effect ban recreational fishing in the United States, according to ESPN. This move is apparently being contemplated under pressure from environmental groups.
Darth Monet Finds Your Lack of Artistic Appreciation Disturbing.
'House' Season 6 Episode 14 'Private Lives'
The patient in 'House' Season 6 Episode 14 'Private Lives' starts to exhibit mysterious bruising about the face and bleeding from the gums, which causes the apartment super to jump to conclusions. She is also a blogger, even more alarming.
Law suit protection for space tourism companies signed in New Mexico.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The latest Sarah Palin (Non) Scandal. It turns out that the Yukon hospital did not have socialized medicine when Palin's family used it when little Sarah was three.
Keith Cowing posts some words of wisdom about Obama's summit.
Either way, it should be clear that this summit was not a NASA idea. Announcing something like this on a Sunday afternoon - with no NASA follow up is weird enough. In addition, the choice of a date is weird. Not only does it chop the end off of a large annual event that many space people attend, but it also brings the need for enhanced security during a shuttle mission - one whose launch could slip at a moment's notice. In addition, there is a question of cost. Given that the focus is on human space flight, and by its location, on Florida, one would expect that the entire KSC work force will want to try and attend or listen in. Given the logistics involved, this could amount to loss of perhaps half a work day. Multiply this by the tens of thousands of people affected. This time not only needs to be charged to something, it also puts a crimp in preparations for subsequent shuttle missions.

While the President is almost certain to walk into a buzz saw of public outrage over the new space policy, there is something to be said about this trip. Not unlike Daniel in the lion's den, instead of relying on staff or surrogates to push this new policy, he's going to take the message there personally. Given the reaction to this space policy across the state of Florida this may not be the smartest thing to do politically, but given that it is "his" policy, it is probably the right thing to do from a personal perspective.

That said, he is going to get an earful. Telling people about how cool his new policy is or reminiscing about sitting on his grandfather's shoulders as an Apollo lunar crew passed by won't go far with this crowd. They live and breathe space exploration 365 days a year - and have done so for decades - and now they are going to be unemployed.

Of course the fact that Obama is going himself is just proof of how much trouble the policy is in. Daniel in the Lion's Den had God on his side. I'm pretty sure God wants us to explore space. Otherwise He would not have provided us with that nice Moon which now seems to have a lot of ice in it.
Sean Penn: Jail Time for American Journalists Who Criticize Hugo Chavez
Sean Penn did not win an Academy Award Sunday night and therefore didn't get to make a fool of himself in front of a live, world-wide audience. However, lack of a popular venue like the Oscars does not stop Sean Penn from expressing himself.
Democrats Learn to Sound Tough on Terror
According to a story in the Politico, Democratic politicians are actually taking classes on how to sound tough on terrorism. Apparently there is some concern that Republicans outpoll Democrats when it comes to national security issues.
Bill and Ted together again?
Andrew Malcolm suggests that Obama's space policy is less than is being presented.
Eric Massa Claims Intimidation Behind Resignation Decision
One of the juiciest scandals to hit the House recently happened when Rep. Eric Massa D-New York announced that he would resign his seat after allegations of Massa sexually harassing a male staffer surfaced. Now a different story has arisen.
Luis Fernández Carril suggests that we ignore the abandonment of space exploration and look at the good things the Obama plan gives us.
Claude Lafleur counts the cost of manned space flight.
Taylor Dinerman asks, Does NASA Have an International Future? Dinerman also has a modest proposal that I've heard before:
The negative reaction by some in Congress to the proposed cancellation of the Constellation program could be seen as an opportunity for the US legislature to rethink the way it funds these big long-term programs. It should not be beyond the ability of Congress to pass a budget law designating certain programs as “settled” and immunizing them from the normal year-to-year political flux. The fact that such programs would deprive Congress of its ability to fine-tune annual policy would insure that these programs would be rare indeed and would have to be especially valuable.

Such a change in the system would, over the long term, make the US a leading partner in global science and technology projects, not only due to the excellence of our researchers and the size of our budgets, but due to America’s reliability. Otherwise we will continue to be seen as a dangerous and unstable ally, liable to quit any project with the slightest shift in the political winds.
Jeff Foust muses about the train wreck Obama space plan and its mangled roll out in NASA’s need to win hearts and minds

Hearts and minds? Like Vietnam? I wonder how that worked out...

Foust seems to be advancing the supposition that all the Obama administration needs to do is to explain the new policy better. But the new policy, because of its pull back from space exploration and lack of direction, is fatally flawed. Not all the spin in the world is going to change that fact.
What Didn't Happen at The 82nd Academy Awards
The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony was fascinating for what didn't happen as for what did. No Oscar winner used their acceptance speech to make stupid political comments. 'Avatar' did not sweep the Oscar awards.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Houston buisness leaders to visit Washington to save Constellation

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Would Reagan have supported Sarah Palin?

Gee. Let me think...yeah, I think so.

And the idea of the Gipper whipping up a Tea Party rally makes me really wish people really could come back from the dead.
Who will say the stupidest thing at the Oscars tonight?
Obama to Hold Space Summit in Florida
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that President Barack Obama's next issues summit will be about his new space policy. It will take place on April 15th, likely at the Kennedy Space Center. Other details, such as invitees, are yet to be determined.

Addendum: It has been pointed out to me that April 15th is also the occassion of Tea Party rallies, including a big one in DC. Well, it should be pleasant weather in Florida around that time...
More adventures in government health care. A man literally dies of thirst in a British hospital because the nurses couldn't be bothered with him.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

More on China's planned Moon rocket. Isn't it odd that this comes up just as Obama is trying to abandon the Moon?
Bill O'Reilly gives Tom Hanks the back of his hand.

John Nolte also has some choice words to say about Hanks.
It seems that President Obama himself will be coming to Florida for a "space summit" to explain his space policy. This should be interesting.

It is, in any case, an admission of failure on the part of the Obama administration to sell their space policy to the Congress, to the aerospace community, and the public at large. Unless Obama is going to pull some new deal out of his hate (which he would be well advised to do) he will be disappointed in the attempt to put lipstick on this pig through his sheer, wonderful eloquence.

Also, I would hate to be either Charles Bolden or Lori Garver right about now. Obama clearly did not want to devote any time to this. Their failure has made it necessary.

Two questions. Who gets invited? And will the thing be televised?

Much more anon.
The following is from an upcoming web series about Buck Rogers, circi about 1916 or so. Buck is played by Bobby Rice. His parents are played by Gil Gerard and Erin Grey, together again after thirty plus years:

Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' a Review
The conceit of Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' is that Alice, having visited 'Underland' in dreams during her early childhood, is now a grown up woman at 19 iv Victorian England and is getting ready to be married to a Lord.
LaRouche follower Kesha Rogers wins Democrat nomination for Congress on 'Save NASA. Impeach Obama'

Friday, March 05, 2010

Space News is reporting that NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said some extraordinary things to a Capitol Hill audience recently.
NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver called on a space community divided over canceling the Constellation program to find “common ground,” warning that infighting could jeopardize NASA’s proposed budget growth.

In other words, even though the Administration started the fight by proposing to cancel Constellation without prior consultation with the Congress, Garver wants the fighting now to stop.

And the not so veiled threat could be restated as, "Nice NASA budget you have there. Pity if anything happened to it."

Garver went on to talk about how much more keeping Constellation would cost, not mentioning that the Augustine Committee offered some options that it said would cost less. Mind, there would be a little more credibility here were it not for the fact that the Administration is so free with money in areas that it actually cares about. Selective frugality is not evidence of frugality. It is evidence that there are certain things the White House just doesn't want to do, like explore space.
The story about what has come to be called "Plan B for Outer Space" keeps changing ever so slightly. First the story was that NASA administrator Charles Bolden had asked JSC Director Mike Coats to form a team to develop a compromise plan that could be sold to the Congress.

Then Bolden issued a statement that denied that the initiative came from him, that Coats had asked for and received permission to develop some alternate ideas.

And then Bolden stated that the initiative did indeed come from him but that Mike Coat's mandate was only to figure out a way to fask track the development of a heavy lift launcher.

As they say, curiouser and curiouser.
The Palestinians do not really want their own state at least until they render the Middle East Jew free.
More about the Plan B for Outer Space that Charles Bolden claims does not exist and yet is being worked on.
Climate Scientists to Pursue Political Activism
In another example of how science and political advocacy seems to have merged, the Washington Times is reporting that climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences are planning to hit back at climate change skeptics.
'Burn Notice' Season 3 Episode 16 'The Devil You Know'
'Burn Notice' Season 3 Episode 16 'The Devil You Know' starts seconds after the conflagration that destroys Mason Gilroy. The man Gilroy sprung from the rendition flight is loose and Michael is on the run from the law.
John Patrick Bedell, Pentagon Shooter, Dies of Wounds
A Bush Hating 9/11 Truther and Iraq War Opponent

A man named John Patrick Bedell walked up to the Metro entrance of the Pentagon and shot two police officers before himself being shot. Bedell, age 36, subsequently died in the hospital. The two police officers were superficially wounded and survived.
A female Captain Bligh? In the modern Navy? The mind boggles.

However she also seems to have some qualities of one Captain Queeg.

Addendum: More on Captain Holly Graf Relieved of Command
Since more jobs have been opened up to them, women in the military have found ways to distinguish themselves, at least for the most part. But Captain Holly Graf, formerly commander of the USS Cowpens, has made a little
different history.
The return of Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus drawing nigh? I hope so, but wasn't old Lucius dead?
Senator Richard Shelby apparently had a frank discussion with NASA administrator Charles Bolden. Meanwhile Every Florida lawmaker has signed a letter opposing the Obama plan.
The Pentagon shooter was a Bush hating, 9/11 Truther. Of course he was.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Looks like the Chinese have started work on their Moon rocket.
Sander Levin Now Chair of House Ways and Means
It seems that the mercurial Pete Stark will not, after all, take over the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee from Charlie Rangel. The new chairman of Ways and Means is Sander Levin of Michigan.
NASA's Bolden to Seek Compromise Plan with Congress
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has asked NASA managers to develop a "Plan B" alternative to the Obama space policy that would be a compromise between that and the Constellation program.

Addendum: While Charlie Bolden "goes rogue" over the Obama plan, Lori Garver preaches stay the course.

Meanwhile Rob Coppinger chimes in.
Let's not beat around the bush, the politicians are concerned about jobs both within NASA and of those supplying the agency. They want centers maintained and industry supported. So what could be done considering a $19 billion budget?

* Wind down Shuttle slowly with fewer flights per year and a shift to two orbiters
* Augustine recommended a flight proven booster for the commercial crew program, use NASA resources to help develop the modified Atlas V for that
* Rapidly select a heavy lift concept and fund it for post-2020 deployment
* Rename Orion the Deep Space Exploration Vehicle by adding a habitat module to it
* lastly provide a sliding scale of delivery based on NASA funding increases that Congress can understand

That last is crucial. For this to not be a make work program that goes nowhere, some kind of option, with a price tag attached, has to be presented for actual space missions sooner rather than later.

Addendum 2: Space News publishes a written statement from Bolden "clarifying" what he is up to.
"The President’s Budget for NASA is my budget. I strongly support the priorities and the direction for NASA that he has put forward," Bolden said in a written statement. "I’m open to hearing ideas from any member of the NASA team, but I did not ask anybody for an alternative to the President's plan and budget. We have to be forward thinking and aggressive in our pursuit of new technologies to take us beyond low-Earth orbit, and the President's plan does this. After years of underinvestment in new technology and unrealistic budgeting, we finally have an ambitious plan for NASA that sets the agency on a reinvigorated path of space exploration."

This is, in my judgment, a clever CYA maneuver. Bolden is supportive of the President's policy, of course, but also knows that it can't pass the Congress. So he has Mike Coats working on a compromise plan that will preserve as much of the policy as possible, while satisfying Congress's need for something resembling an actual exploration program.
Did Obama Sell a Judgeship for a Health Care Vote?
President Barack Obama has nominated Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Scott Matheson, a former U.S. attorney, just happens to be the brother of Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah, undecided on health care reform.
Sarah Palin, New Book, TV Docudrama
Sarah Palin's media empire continues to grow like a leviathan. Not only is the former governor of Alaska coming out with a new book, but is also pitching a TV docudrama based on Alaska.
15 "Mind Blowing" moon base designs
Looks like Charles Bolden is going rogue on the Obama plan and is trying to come up with his own plan to sell to Congress.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Recently President Obama canceled Project Constellation that would return Americans to the Moon by 2020. Some maintain that Constellation was over budget, behind schedule and needed cancellation. What if we had approached another project the same way?

'Operation Overlord' Canceled
Amalgamated Press. January 26th, 1944. General George C. Marshall today announced that the planned invasion of Europe has been canceled. There have long been rumors of cost overruns and other problems plaguing the planned invasion, which was designated 'Operation Overlord', which General Marshal referred to in his announcement and subsequent press conference.

Addendum: Rand Simberg and company goes nuts. One suspects they would have thought that Overlord was just a repeat of Gallipoli or something. My point is made exactly.

One point of idiocy is that I am somehow mocking technology development. Anyone with reading comprehension would know that what I am mocking is substituting that for doing things.

Yet another criticism of the Obama retreat from space exploration.
I have long maintained that we'd never really know this administration's intent toward NASA until we saw its first budget proposal. Last month that shoe finally dropped, and the news - a dim, lethargic, uninspired view of the future - was not good. The administration proposes to strip NASA of meaningful human exploration goals, and instead turn the agency into a space technology hobby shop with a charter To Boldly Go Where Ever.

The "yes, we can" team has told NASA "no, you can't."

For those of us who supported Barack Obama, the candidate, based on a clear and well-articulated space policy plank in his campaign platform, our disappointment is now complete. During the campaign, we were encouraged and excited about what this Administration could - and would - do for space. Instead, we are facing arguably the worst presidential decision on space since Richard Nixon killed Apollo.
Looks like Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has barely skipped a beat after being defeated in the GOP primary for Governor of Texas and now has made the first attempt to fix the Obama train wreck space policy.

I have some arguments with Hutchison's approach. Extending the shuttle, especially at this late dead, would be really expensive. Also the beyond LEO exploration language may be a little vague. Mandating a return to the Moon by--say--July 20th, 2019 would be a vast improvement, especially if money is allocated to match the goal.
The NASA Associate Administrator for Public Affairs has been reassigned to be one of Bolden's aides, a window sitting job one suspects. This is a sure sign that NASA thinks the Obama train wreck space policy just has a public relations problem.
Newsweek is now proclaiming victory in Iraq many months after it actually took place. It is even suggesting that democracy is taking hold, something many Iraq War opponents claimed could never happen.

The actual title of the piece should have been "Bush was Right."
Reagan to Be on the $50 Bill?
A North Carolina Republican congressman has proposed replacing the likeness of President Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill with that of President Ronald Reagan.
Charlie Rangel Steps Down 'Temporarily' from Ways and Means Chairmanship
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, wounded by a finding by the House Ethics Committee that he had violated House ethics rules, had been defiant about stepping down. That is no longer the case.
I have just joined Cocoa Party and so should you.
Rick Perry Beats Hutchison, Medina in Texas Governor's Primary
The fight for Republican nomination for governor of Texas in the Texas primary was the hardest fought in recent memory. But in the end incumbent Gov.
Rick Perry beat both Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Tea Party favorite Debra Medina.
Sarah Palin Gets Laughs on Jay Leno
Former governor of Alaska and political and media force of nature Sarah Palin showed up for the second night of the second iteration of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Sarah Palin showed some more talent as a stand-up comedian.
'Lost' Season 6 Episode 6 'Sundown'
In 'Lost' Season 6 Episode 6 'Sundown' the two parallel time tracks continue, this time featuring Sayid, the former Iraqi Republican guardsman. In turns out that Sayid is not a happy man in either reality.
Rob Coppinger discusses the extra $300 million proposed for COTS in the Obama proposed NASA budget, Here is an interesting takeaway:
However, considering aerospace projects tendency to take longer and cost more than originally projected it is likely that NASA will simply use the money to try to ensure the COTS companies, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Orbital Sciences, deliver on the promised cargo transport capability next year as Space Shuttle is retired this year

SpaceX is already over two years late in the launching of its first COTS demonstration flight. That was planned for 2008 and its third flight was to have taken place by the end of last year. Orbital, which replaced Rocketplane-Kistler in early 2008, originally planned its demo flight for the fourth quarter of this year but a NASA requirement change for a pressurised cargo module saw that launch pushed back to March 2011; a date which itself could come under threat.

One of the raps against Constellation is that it is over budget and behind schedule. But it looks like the New Space alternatives are also over budget and behind schedule. That is not meant to be a slam against SpaceX or the other entrepreneurial companies. In new rocket development, everything costs more and takes longer. But New Space does not get the sort of criticism that Constellation receives. That is because New Space are the cool kids and Constellation is not.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Brooklyn DA Declines to Prosecute ACORN
After a five month-investigation into the activities of ACORN, sparked by videos of ACORN workers advising a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute how to set up a brothel, the district attorney in Brooklyn has
declined to prosecute.
The castaways from Lost are Simpsonized.
More on Water ice now confirmed at Moon's North Pole

Monday, March 01, 2010

This piece is by a South American and it illustrates the severe danger President Obama has placed us in by giving up on beyond LEO exploration.
In the United States, to the astonishment of the world, NASA's budget has been "redirected" to simple LEO applications and some inexpensive research programs. Can this be true?

This is the agency that has contributed most to America's prestige with its innovative and extraordinary achievements in space, from the time of early explorations of the universe to today's highly advanced technological achievements. Is prestige important?

Not only is prestige important, it is part of the American tradition, part of American life and by extension, America's preeminence lights the free world and provides hope and support that other nations, too, can shine and succeed.

The budget is important for any administration. Traditionally, most countries around the world wait for a signal from America - the scientific
and technological leader - and rely upon America to protect their freedoms. Until now, countries pursuing space programs have not competed against America or against each other, but they will now have to continue alone or somehow partner with other countries.

Without NASA's leadership, who will guide the world in peaceful space applications? Without NASA there is a void of experienced leaders well grounded in science. Indeed, we are approaching a new era in which space will be exploited by private, political, economic and military interests - not only in LEO, but also in deep space exploration.

Clearly neither the administration nor the Internet Rocketeer Club that supports this train wreck of a policy have thought things through.