Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Barry Bush (A Work in Progress)
Patton in Palestine (A Work in Progress)
Obama Should Move Toward Flat Tax, Deregulate to Spur Economy
What's Obama Strategy Holding Jobs Speech Same Night as GOP Debate?
The White House has requested a Joint Session of Congress to hear President Barack Obama present his new jobs bill Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern. This coincides with a Republican presidential debate scheduled for the same night.
Texas Supreme Court Upholds Nude Dancing Tax
Paul Spudis: Destination Moon or Asteroid - Part 1 Operational Considerations
Irene Power Outages Bring Back Memories of Hurricane Ike
Family of Moammar Gadhafi Escapes Libya
Mike Griffin, Former NASA Chief, Unloads Against Obama's Space Policy

Naturally neither Rand Simberg nor Clark Lindsey are very happy. Rand, by the way, is ruminating about "educating" the republican presidential candidates about space policy. See comments here.

Mind, being in the room when Rand does his Dr. House impression (You're all idiots and I'm here to set you straight.) would be interesting to witness. Also I wonder if he has thought through how one of President Obama's warmest supporters where space policy is concerned will be recieved by the likes of Romney, Perry, Palin, or Bachmann. Due to my charter membership in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, I can report that it has become recieved wisdom among conservatives that the space program is going to hell in a handbasket and that it is all Obama's fault. I even heard Ann Coulter express this opinion. So having someone who supports Obama's space policy tell people who want to be president that they need to do more of the same might be a tough sell.

Among Clark's bill of particulars is the notion that Griffin wanted to sink ISS by 2015. Mind, I think that decision had been taken above his pay grade, but nevertheless it may come to pass that ISS may get tossed into the ocean in 2012 on Obama's watch. Talk about the death of Skylab on steroids!
Palin to Speak in New Hampshire After Iowa; What Does She Mean by That?
Christine O'Donnell to Speak in Iowa After All, Gets Second Chance to Shine
Christine O'Donnell, the former candidate for U.S. Senate who was first invited and then uninvited to speak at the tea party rally in Indianola, Iowa, has been invited again to speak, according to Politico.

Addendum: Disinvited again?
Belief in Global Warming, Not Global Warming, Causes Mental Illness
An Australian group calling itself the Climate Institute has issued a report suggesting that climate change, i.e. global warming, is causing an uptick in mental anxiety and even mental illness. Bjorn Lomborg is skeptical, according to the Daily Caller.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ethical oil...

The Tragedy of Christine O'Donnell
Rick Perry is Not Dumb, but He is From Texas
Hollywood, Capitol Hill Would Benefit from 'Ugly Affirmative Action'
Daniel S. Hamermesh, a professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin, has made a remarkable proposal. Hamermesh is in favor of what amounts to affirmative action for ugly people.
Obama's Left Flank Looking Increasingly Vulnerable
The same CNN/ORC poll that shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry pulling ahead of a crowded field for the Republican nomination for president also shows that just over one in four Democrats wants someone other than Barack Obama to be the Democratic nominee.
Obama's Uncle Arrested for Drunk Driving, Held as Illegal Immigrant
Dick Cheney and Colin Powell Continue to Feud
What's for Dinner on Mars?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The World the Same If Gore Had Been President -- Seriously?
Suitcase-Size Nuclear Power Plants May Revolutionize Space Exploration
Moammar Gadhafi: 'They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There'
9/11 Anniversary Events in Houston
Dick Cheney's Book Causes George Will's Head to Explode
Is the Lockerbie Bomber Really Dying This Time?
Tookie's, a Texas Hamburger Institution, Rises from the Watery Grave
Can Al Sharpton Make it as a TV Talker on MSNBC?
Recap: 'True Blood,' Season 4, Episode 10, 'Burning Down the House'
"True Blood," Season 4, Episode 10, "Burning Down the House" begins with the mayhem that Marnie/Antonia turns the "Festival of Tolerance" into with her evil sorcery, causing people to attack one another with wild abandon. Oddly, Sookie is unaffected, except for being really angered and frightened. She finally calls upon her fairy power to stop Eric from killing Bill.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ingrate Kids' 'Bad Mothering' Lawsuit Dismissed in Illinois
A living example about how tort reform should not just include loser pays, but also in some cases loser has to be whapped upside the nose with a rolled up newspaper was a law suit by two adult kids against their mom for "bad mothering."

Cheney-Palin 2012 -- Why Not?
Someone has created a joke website touting a "Cheney/Palin" ticket for the 2012 election. Reading some of the misinformation on the site suggests it was created by a liberal having fun. The "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" photo was cute, though.
Dick Cheney's Memoirs Causes Heads to Explode
Can Rick Perry Fix Social Security?
NASA's International Space Station May Be Abandoned in November

Saturday, August 27, 2011

From 'Joe the Plumber' to 'Joe the Congressman?'
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," is thinking of changing his job description and his handle to "Joe the Congressman" by running against Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur. Some analysts give him a pretty good chance of succeeding.
Is Gadhafi in Zimbabwe?
The Daily Mail is reporting Moammar Gadhafi has been reported spotted in Zimbabwe, having apparently escaped to that African country from Libya and is now ensconced as a guest Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean dictator.
Former NASA Administrator Griffin: Keep Space Exploration on Life Support Until Next President
As Irene Strikes, Ron Paul Questions the Need for FEMA
Al Gore: Eat Less Meat, Grow Organically, Save the Environment, Kill Billions of Third World People
The irrepressible Al Gore, former vice president, presidential candidate, and environmentalist scold, has embarked on yet another campaign to save the environment, according to Politico. We must eat less meat, Gore urges.
Will Obamacare Create Government Run Health Care Through the Back Door?
In 2009, while the debate over health care reform was raging across the United States, President Barack Obama loudly proclaimed that under his proposed system, anyone who wanted to keep his private insurance can do so.
Hurricane Irene Caused by Global Warming, Environmentalist Claims
Hurricane Irene was still ravaging the East Coast of the United States when a certain group of people concluded what was the blame for it. Clearly global warming is the cause of a hurricane headed for New York and points beyond.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Foul Scorn on the 9/11 Truthers
Neil Armstrong's Final Mission: Send America Back to the Moon, Then on to Mars
Pros, Cons of Palin's Facebook Post on Post-Gadhafi Libya
While chaos still swirls around Libya, particularly the capital city of Tripoli, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has posted some helpful suggestions to her Facebook page about what American policy should be going forward.

Gadhafi Adopted Daughter 'Killed' in 1986 Bombing Raid Very Much Alive
When President Reagan sent American warplanes to bomb targets in Libya in 1986, including Moammar Gadhafi's compound, Gadhafi loudly proclaimed that his infant adopted daughter Hana was killed in the raid.

Raid on Gibson Guitar Factory May Drive Company Offshore
While the Obama administration talks a good game about creating American jobs, the government is setting about with a will to destroy them. The latest instance was a bizarre raid on the Gibson Guitar factory by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Texas Lawmakers Unimpressed with NASA's Bolden-Space Shuttle Report
Rep. Rohrabacher, Sen. Hutchison Differ on Russian Progress Spacecraft Failure

Addendum: Rand Simberg reacts. He doesn't offer any evidence to refute the position that adding just a few hundred million is not going to advance the schedule of the commercial space vehicles becoming operation, besides throwing out words like "nonsense."

Rand also takes the public statements of SpaceX officials about how they are going to really be committed to getting a crewed Dragon operational sooner than contemplated at face value. But since SpaceX's program has had its own share of schedulate slippages (and this is not to slam them, that is a problem common to a lot of space technology projects) those statements have to be taken with a grain of salt.

Of course, one might concede the point that if one were to pour billions of dollars into the commercial crew program, which I think Rand is implying, one might get something flying in "a couple of years." But does Rand think that amount of money is going to be forthcoming? At least until the budget deficit situation eases, I would doubt it.

Also, I think Rand has also admitted, though he will likely deny it, that funding projects like the Space Launch System more than currently contemplated would advance the advent of that launch system as well. But then, commercial crew is the cool kid and SLS the hated outsider where the Internet Rocketeer Club is concerned.

Han Sulu?
Moammar Gadhafi's Condi Rice Obsession No Laughing Matter
There has been a lot of jocularity about the discovery in Moammar Gadhafi's compound of a photo album filled with pictures of former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Permit your humble correspondent not to join in.

Recap: 'Burn Notice,' Season 5, Episode 10, 'Army of One'
In "Burn Notice," Season 5, Episode 10, "Army of One," Michael and Sam approach a warehouse that Lucian, the dying Romanian war criminal, mentioned the location of the man who built him the bomb.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pentagon Reports Disturbing Chinese Military Buildup
Proposed 'Star Trek' Reboot Sounds Exciting
David Foster of 1947 Entertainment has an idea for a "Star Trek" series. According to /Film, the premise appears to be to return to Gene Roddenberry's "original vision," which presumably means it is about a ship that "explores strange new worlds" and so on.
Sarah Palin, Karl Rove Need to Make Peace
The Sarah Palin/Karl Rove feud has been at once entertaining and aggravating. For one who admires Rove for his political acumen and really admires Palin for her potential as a world historical figure, it tends toward the latter.
Kinky Friedman Endorses Rick Perry
Recap: 'Deadliest Warrior: Teddy Roosevelt Vs. Lawrence of Arabia'
Just as last week's episode pitted two of history's greatest villains against one another, "Deadliest Warrior," Season 3, Episode 6, "Teddy Roosevelt vs. Lawrence of Arabia," brought together two of history's great military heroes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is it Too Soon to Run Against Gabrielle Giffords?
Is it too soon to think about replacing Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Congress? According to the Daily Caller, a special education teacher named Anthony Prowell, a Tucson Democrat, doesn't think so.
Robert Rodriguez Creates Clips for Joke Film 'Blood in the Salsa'
Apparently inspired by the 1978 cult classic "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," filmmaker Robert Rodriguez has produced some clips from what he claims is an upcoming film, "Blood in the Salsa," about burritos that come to life and kill people, according to Mun2 TV.
Ron Paul's Foreign Policy Uninformed and Tainted
Russian Progress Launch Failure Raises Questions About Access to NASA's ISS
Moammar Gadhafi's Son, Saif Al-Islam, Still at Liberty
Gadhafi Asylum Request to Nicaragua Unlikely to Be Accepted
Moammar Gadhafi Shows Defiance from an Undisclosed Location
Paul Krugman Did Not Wish the Virginia Earthquake Had Been More Destructive

But He Might as Well Have

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

9/11: In the Mind of the Hijackers
Joe Biden Shows a Cavalier Attitude Toward China's One-Child Policy
Hillary Clinton Draft Movement Unlikely to Find Wings in Iowa
Steffan Schmidt, a professor of political science at Iowa State University, has written a piece for the Des Moines Register on an attitude he is increasingly hearing from Democrats: Things would be so much better if Hillary Clinton were president.
Rand Simberg, in his endless jihad against the Space Launch System, indeed any heavy lift, offers a pair of analogies that he thinks are great but are actually horrible.
SLS is like Columbus postponing his voyages to try to build the world’s largest ship, using all the funds available to him for many years to do so. Instead of outfitting three modestly-sized ships with the crew and provisions to set out as soon as he can, Columbus spends many years to build an enormous ship. Meanwhile, no exploration is done. And Columbus makes sure the shipbuilding employs lots of people in key cities in Spain for political reasons, instead of designing the ship as efficiently as possible. In the end, the English beat Columbus to the New World because by the time Columbus finishes his ship, he can’t afford the crew or provisions for it, and the costs of simply maintaining the ship while it sits in its harbor are too high.

Then there is this:
Building SLS is like re-creating Saturn V without doing the rest of the Apollo program at the same time. It would result in SLS being cancelled, just as Saturn V was, for cost reasons, but without ever flying anything useful, because we weren’t doing another Apollo at the same time.

The only programs that could possibly use SLS would be hugely expensive and take a long time to develop. So if we finished SLS without working on the programs that would use SLS at the same time, we’d end up with a hugely expensive SLS draining money for many years before the payloads could possibly be ready, even if by some miracle all that huge amount of money appeared from somewhere (the Apollo program budgets were far greater, as a share of GDP, than NASA’s current budgets).

Anyone can commit historical analogy to prove a point. Here is mine.

Not doing SLS is like Prince Henry the Navigator deciding to buy off the shelf galleys to try to get around the horn of Africa instead of developing the ocean going caravel.

Not doing SLS is like Boeing deciding that building the 747 is just too expensive and sticking with off the shelf 707s.

Not doing SLS is like NASA not doing the Saturn V and instead trying to go to the Moon with Atlas rockets.

See, it's very easy.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Surging in the Polls
Virginia Earthquake Shakes Buildings in Washington, D.C., Causes Panic
A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck Tuesday 87 miles south of Washington, D.C., near Mineral Springs, Va. It was felt in New York City and as far north as Rhode Island and Martha's Vineyard, where the president is vacationing, according to the the U.S.Geological Survey.

Glenn Beck in Israel 'Restoring Courage'
Where is Moammar Gadhafi?
3.4-Billion-Year-Old Micro Fossils Found in Australia; Implications for Extra Terrestrial Life
NASA's First Three Exploration Technology Demo Missions Have a Dual Use

Monday, August 22, 2011

Facing Death on 9/11, the Sorrow and the Pity
'NASA Inspired Works of Fiction' a Brilliant Idea
Romney Home Renovation Fair Political Issue or Silly Class Warfare Fodder?
Mitt Romney plans to bulldoze his $12 million beachfront home near San Diego and replace it with a new house roughly quadruple its size. This has apparently become a campaign issue for 2012, according to The Daily Caller.
President Obama Faces Rising Discontent, Even in Martha's Vineyard
Libya News of the Fall of Gadhafi Brings Satisfaction
Joe Biden Talks About Stammering and Not Speaking Mandarin at Sichuan University
Thatcher Biopic 'The Iron Lady' Sounding Worse and Worse
Friends and relations of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were invited to a screening of a biopic of her, titled "The Iron Lady," to gauge their reaction. That reaction was, putting it mildly, furious.
Palin Stays 'Maverick' in Run Up to Likely Presidential Announcement
Speculation about a Sarah Palin presidential run has shifted from "Will she?" to "When will she?" The best guess anyone has, noting her schedule and the campaign timeline, is it will happen in the month of September.
Rick Perry Makes Enemies of the Trial Lawyers, Much to His Good Fortune
With Gadhafi Gone, What Next in Libya?
Recap: 'True Blood,' Season 4, Episode 9, 'Let's Get Out of Here'
"True Blood," Season 4, Episode 9, "Let's Get Out of Here" escalates the vampire vs. witch war while also developing some subplots that involve Sam, Jason, a Creole ghost girl named Mavis, and Sookie.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Iowa Passion Video Suggest Palin Presidential Run
A new video about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's recent bus trip that included first in the nation caucus state Iowa, entitled "Iowa Passion," is fueling speculation that Palin intends to run for president of the United States.

Report Says American Troops to Remain in Afghanistan Through 2024
The U.K. Telegraph is reporting the United States and Afghanistan are on the verge of signing a military pact that would feature thousands of American troops remaining in the country through 2024,
Bill Clinton Goes Vegan For His Sins
For his sins, former President Bill Clinton has gone on a strictly vegan diet. He consumes no animal flesh of any kind and no dairy. He now exists purely on a diet of plants, vegetables and beans.

Sen. Hutchison Space Launch System Statement Highlights Political Squabbling Over NASA's Future
Galveston 'Vampire' Given Rohypnol Date Rape Drug Before Biting Attack, Lawyer Claims
Anthony Bourdain Attack on Paula Deen, Other Food Network Stars Unwarranted
Several Food Network Stars, including Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, and Guy Fieri, were subjected to a bizarre attack by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain according to TV Guide. Bourdain was especially caustic about Dean's style of cooking.
Reboot of 'Conan the Barbarian' an Uncomplicated Gorefest
The reboot of the 1980s classic "Conan the Barbarian" is an uncomplicated bit of fluff. What is lacks in the Nietzschesque pretensions of original, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, it more than makes up for in blood and thunder.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Alien 'First Contact' Paper Tainted by Media Misreporting
Rick Perry's Strength Among Hispanic Voters May Make Him Unstoppable
Is Conan the Barbarian Rick Perry?
Recap: 'Burn Notice,' Season 5, Episode 9, 'Eye for an Eye'
In "Burn Notice," Season 5, Episode 9, "Eye for an Eye," while Michael and Sam go after a Romanian war criminal who tried to blow him up, Fi and Jesse go on a job to protect a drug company magnate named James. Things do not go as planned, of course. Spoilers follow.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NASA, European Space Agency Plan Future Asteroid Missions
Obama's Jobs, Deficit Reduction Proposals Likely Won't Work
Splat! Two Moons over Miami?
Global Warming Hoax Is a Winning Issue for Rick Perry
Bachmann's $2 a Gallon Gas Promise Politically Astute, Doable
Republican presidential candidates and potential candidates, such as Rick Perry and Sarah Palin, have provided critiques of President Obama's energy policy that discourage the development of oil and gas reserves in the United States. Michele Bachmann has expressed the matter in terms every American can understand. She has promised that if she were elected, she would introduce policies that would lower the price of gasoline to below $2 a gallon, according to CNNMoney.
Ridley Scott Planning New 'Blade Runner' Movie
After finishing his upcoming science fiction epic "Prometheus," Deadline New York reports Ridley Scott is planning to do a film set in the same universe as "Blade Runner," a 1980s dystopian film about a man who is assigned to hunt down and kill "replicants" in the year 2019.
Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan give a pep talk to Afghan soldiers. The three were last seen lambasting Obama's abandonment of the Moon.
Saddam Hussein Beats Pol Pot in 'Deadliest Warrior' Contest of Despicable
"Deadliest Warrior" "Saddam Hussein vs. Pol Pot" was another instance in which one could have wished both sides could lose the contest. Both combatants were ruthless tyrants with a 5 million person body count between them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A great account about the Mars Society Comference in Dallas by Ian O'Neill of Discovery news. Ian was on the panel on Space and the Media I was also on.
Sarah Palin is Smarter Than They Think She Is
Steve Kettmann, writing for the Huffington Post, has just had a sudden and, for him, horrible thought. What if Sarah Palin is more intelligent than people like Kettmann think she is?

Abercrombie & Fitch Too Good for 'Jersey Shore?'
To stipulate from the start, your humble correspondent has not seen even a single episode of "Jersey Shore." Nor has he worn (at least to his knowledge) anything from Abercombie & Fitch.
Stephen Colbert, NASA Cheerleader and Certifiable 'Space Nut'
President Obama's Grim, Black, Expensive Bus Makes for Bad Visuals
Lyle Monroe Bensley Tries to 'Feed' on Galveston Woman
Obama Self Comparison to Lincoln Reveals Disturbing Pattern
Obama's Bad N.J. Poll Numbers Reveal Terrible Electoral Map for 2012
Hard on a poll that showed President Barack Obama was underwater in New York in his job approval rating comes another Quinnipiac Poll that shows him in trouble in neighboring New Jersey, 52 percent disapproval to 44 percent approval.

Introducing a novella length version of "Dark Sanction."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ron Paul, the Other Presidential Candidate from Texas, Struggles for Respect
Newt Gingrich Proposes 'Lean Six Sigma' Method to Cut Government Waste
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich went to the Heritage Foundation and did what he does best, delivering a speech filled with ideas about how to reform government. He championed implementing Lean Six Sigma to eliminate government waste, according to Politico.
9/11: The Day a "Terrible Beauty Was Born"
Transforming Military Retirement Funds a Risky Proposal
The U.S. military is mulling a radical overhaul of its pension system with a view of saving about $250 billion over the next 20 years. The proposal runs the risk of getting flack from veterans' groups, according to CBS News.

Obama Wide of the Mark to Blame Fox, Blogs for Uncivil Discourse
President Barack Obama was in Iowa on a bus tour stop and chastised the modern media for creating political rancor and controversy. He harkened back to the good old days when everyone listened to Walter Cronkite.
Albert Brown, Oldest Survivor of Bataan Death March, Dies at 105
Father of Decapitated Special Needs Child, Jori Lirette, Could Get Death Penalty
Wild West Outlaw Butch Cassidy Lived to Old Age, Suggests Newly Discovered Manuscript
Nov. 30 Test Flight of SpaceX's Dragon Important for Future of Commercial Space Travel
Tea Party Hecklers Expose an Angry, Flustered President Obama

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why a 'Department of Jobs' is a Bad Idea
The Obama administration, while casting about for new ways to try to help the economy and studiously avoiding solutions that have provably worked, has hit upon the creation of a new cabinet department called the Department of Jobs.
Obama's Bad N.Y. Poll Numbers May Portend Landslide Defeat
A Quinnipiac Poll released Friday shows President Barack Obama with a 49 percent disapproval to 45 percent approval rate in New York.
Don't Count on a Matt Damon Presidency
Could Matt Damon, the actor, run for president as a really far left alternative to Barack Obama? As The Guardian's Observer suggests, stranger things have happened. And Damon would hardly be the first actor to get into politics.
Did Paul Krugman Propose Expanding the Space Program to Fight an Alien Invasion?

Addendum: Then again maybe the Internet Rocketeer Club would oppose a government sponsered resistance to an alien invasion and instead insist on a "Anti Alien Weapon" prize that would give--I don't know--Australia to the group that devises a weapon that destroys or turns back the aliens.
Rick Perry's Texas Health Care System Less Costly Than Romneycare
President Obama's 'Magical Misery Tour' an Escape from Solving the Nation's Problems
Palin Tours Illinois and Mulls Her Political Future; Run Now or Wait Until 2020?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry Upstages Michele Bachmann in Waterloo, Iowa
It is at once amusing and saddening when extremists of two different types clash. First up, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC:
We didn’t put a man on the moon because some company thought they might be able to make a profit doing it. It takes vision to involve the common good of the American people without regard for profit. If you’re charting a course for this country and your big idea is “NO WE CAN’T”, then I don’t want you leading this country.

Then, the irrepressible Rand Simberg:
No, Rachel, we put a man on the moon because we wanted to show that a democratic socialist space program was superior to a totalitarian socialist space program. If we’d done it for profit, it would have taken a lot longer, but we’d still be doing it.

Maddow is nutty for suggesting that the Apollo model for exploring space is the only legitimate means of doing so. Rand, on the other hand, is nutty for suggesting that the Apollo model is the sole illegitimate means. His misuse of the term "socialist" is a bit tiresome as well. Apollo was no more socialist than Lewis and Clark.
The following marriage proposal, which took place at a science fiction convention, is beyond cute, especially for the unexpected blessing from a familiar fellow at the end:

Recap: 'True Blood' Season 4 Episode 8 'Spellbound'
"True Blood" Season 4 Episode 8 "Spellbound" consists mainly of the run-up to the second skirmish in the great vampire vs. witches war. Also, several dysfunctional relationships are explored.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

George Will Implies that Michele Bachmann Can't Be Trusted with Nuclear Weapons
George Will, the venerable pundit whose column runs twice a week in hundreds of newspapers and who dispenses wisdom on the ABC Sunday Show "This Week" handed down judgment on Ames Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann.
Obama Shows Martyr Complex by Comparing Himself to Martin Luther King
President Barack Obama, while attending a New York fund raiser that contained a lot of Hollywood glitterati, such as Harvey Weinstein and Gwyneth Paltrow, compared himself to Martin Luther King, says White House Dossier.
Tim Pawlenty Could Never Catch Fire, so He Calls it Quits
Sagging poll numbers and a shortage of campaign cash had bedeviled the Tim Pawlenty campaign for the presidency even before the Ames Straw Poll. But a third place showing convinced the former Minnesota governor to toss it in.
Can Rick Perry, a Texan, Play Well in New Hampshire?
Obama below 40 percent. The death spiral continues apace.
Michael Myers to Star in Fourth Austin Powers Movie
White House Science Czar John Holdren's Three Shaky Pillars of Space Exploration
Michele Bachmann Wins the Iowa Straw Poll; Does it Matter?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Throws His 10-Gallon Hat into the Ring
50 Years Ago the Rise of the Berlin Wall Showed the Evil of Soviet Tyranny
Today is the 50th anniversary of the erection of the Berlin Wall. The Wall eventually became a barrier of concrete, barbed wire, land mines, and towers filled with uniformed men with orders to shoot anyone who crossed.
Ames Straw Poll Not an Accurate Predictor of Who Will Become President
NASA May Miss Its Astronauts as They Leave with the End of the Space Shuttle Program
Is Sarah Palin a Cunning Politician or Just a Teasing Flirt?
Sarah Palin is a fascinating person to write about. That applies whether one is favorably disposed toward her, or whether one spews at the very mention of her name. A case in point of the latter is Kathleen Parker's latest Washington Post column.

Friday, August 12, 2011

11th Circuit Court Ruling Places Viability of Health Care Reform in Doubt
The latest federal court to attack the underpinnings of health care reform, also known as Obamacare, is the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court has ruled that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.
Fund Raising Effort Reopens SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array
Texas Governor Rick Perry: a Timeline
Palin's Entry to Iowa State Fair like Cleopatra's into Ancient Rome
Even while Tim Pawlenty was grilling pork and Rick Santorum was delivering a speech from the official soapbox, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin arrived at the Iowa State Fair and was immediately mobbed by fair-goers and the media.
Ron Paul's Isolationism, Appeasement of Iran Makes Him Unfit for Office
One of the more arresting performances at the Ames, Iowa, GOP debate was that of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, a perennial presidential candidate who takes libertarianism to the far fever swamps of madness, especially in his Iran policy.
Recap: 'Burn Notice' Season 5 Episode 7 'Hard Out'
In "Burn Notice" Season 5 Episode 7 "Hard Out," Michael and his friends have to split into two pairs because there are two missions: one to find out who is trying to discredit/kill Michael, the other to help Pearce on a smash-and-grab operation.

Pawlenty, Bachmann Fight Main Event of Iowa GOP Debate
The main event of the Ames, Iowa, Republican debate featured Tim Pawlenty going after Michele Bachmann. Apparently Pawlenty believes this is the way to save his faltering campaign. It will likely not work.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hardened Attitude Toward Rioters Healthy, Could Lead to U.K. Reforms
Mitt Romney Banters with Hecklers at Iowa State Fair, Holds His Own
rmer Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stopped by the Iowa State Fair to address a crowd for about 10 minutes before throwing things open for some questions. He got a little more than he expected, thanks to a pair of angry liberals.
TV Show 'Pan Am' Plays Fast and Loose with History; Does It Matter?
"Pan Am" is one of a number of shows that is trying to cash in on "Mad Men" by using an early 1960s setting. "Pan Am" appears to be a lighthearted romp about the adventures of a group of airline stewardesses as they fly around the world.
Sarah Palin Bus Tour Headed for Iowa to Steal Thunder, Have Some Fun
Kingwood, Texas, Main Street Bank Shuts Down to Avoid Overzealous Regulators
Rep. Posey Says NASA Lacks 'Clear Mission'
Genghis Khan Predictable Winner of 'Deadliest Warrior' Match with Hannibal
"Deadliest Warrior: Genghis Khan vs. Hannibal" pitted two generals separated by about 14 centuries. In the one corner a Carthaginian conqueror who defied Rome for over 20 years, in the other a barbarian who built the biggest empire in world history.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Al Gore for President? Absolutely
Brent Budowsky, a former aide to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Chief Minority Whip of the House Bill Alexander, believes he has found the man who could save the Democratic Party and the United States.
Time to Give the British the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Nile Gardiner, writing in the UK Telegraph, has offered a thought that has been considered unthinkable across the pond. In view of the viciousness of the riots that have rocked English cities, it is time to grant Britons the right to keep and bear arms.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry Picks Up the 'Support' of Stephen Colbert

Addendum: Kind of lame, actually:

ABA to Oppose Attempts to Reform Birthright Citizenship
Wisconsin Elections Vindicate Gov. Scott Walker
Al Gore's Rant Shows the Arrogant, Petulant and Defiant Attitude of Global Warming Hysterics
NASA Proposes Demonstration of a Space-Based Fuel Depot
Union Failure in Wisconsin Recall Elections Has National Implications
'Covert Affairs' Shows Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be
In "Covert Affairs," Season 2, Episode 10, "World Leader Pretend," Annie gets to help extract a Chinese defector, an engineer named Shen, from the clutches of his handlers at a Washington conference. Things go wrong, of course.
Can a Reboot of 'Bewitched' Work in the 21st Century?
Coming Soon reports that an attempt will be made to bring a reboot of the 1960s television sitcom "Bewitched" back to the small screen. Previously, a movie version starring Nicole Kidman had been made with mixed results.
One thing about these riots in London. They would have never happened if my Great, Great, Great...Great Uncle Dick was still running things. He had a positively medieval approach to law enforcement, after all...

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Jaws as told by Peanuts.
27 Hitchcock cameos in less than 4 minutes.

Obama Plan to Destroy Mitt Romney Likely to Fail, Backfire
The Obama 2012 campaign, having been bereft of any positive record to defend, has hit upon a strategy of sorts. It plans to destroy Mitt Romney, the presumed frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
Al Gore Climate Change Rant Reveals Anger of Failed Environmental Prophet
Just a few short years ago, former vice president and failed presidential candidate Al Gore was at the top of the global warming world. With a Nobel Prize and an Oscar, Gore was the new environmental prophet; no longer.

FLDS Cult Leader Warren Jeffs Latest to Be Convicted of Child Sexual Assault
Dow Plunges on S&P Downgrade, Reflecting Disquiet About America's Debt Problem
Rand Simberg reports on a tweet from a speech by Bill Posey that praises commercial space. Meanwhile Senator Barbara Mikulski wants to cut commercial space in order to save the James Webb Telescope.

This time I find myself in complete agreement with Rand, except that it has already gotten ugly.
The Tottenham London Riots Were Created by the Welfare State
Could NASA's MPCV (Orion) Launched on a Delta IV Be an Alternative to Commercial Crew?
Would a PETA-Sponsored Vegan Mars Colony Be Viable?
PETA , ever inventive in finding new ways to be outrageous, has hit upon an idea of making Mars a meat-free planet. Toward that end, it has sent a plea to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to make sure this happens, reports Mogulite. How Musk would have that power is an open question.

Sarah Palin Provides Common-Sense Solutions in Facebook Post on the S&P Downgrade
NASA Explores the Moon, Mars and Jupiter

Monday, August 08, 2011

Palin and Bachmann Continue to Stir Passions
'Killing Bin Laden' Latest in Series of Presidential Films
Michael Moore Flies Fascist Colors, Calls for Arrest of S&P CEO
Michael Moore, the irrepressible creator of such fictional documentaries as "Fahrenheit 9/11," "Sicko," and "Capitalism: A Love Story," seems to hanker after Cuba's legal system as well as its health care system.
Charlie Sheen's Death on 'Two and a Half Men' Fraught with Poetic Justice
New and somewhat grisly details about how Charlie Harper, the character Charlie Sheen played on "Two and a Half Men," will die have been revealed thanks to Reuters. It seems to be a death fraught with poetic justice.
Barack Obama Debt Downgrade Speech Fails to Reassure
Big Spring, Texas, to Build Water Recycle Plant as Drought Continues
Financial Crisis Rocks World Markets, Threatens Obama Presidency
Tax Credits to Hire Vets: A Good Idea or Does it Ignore the Problem?
Britain's Prince Harry Wants to Be an Astronaut; Why Not Grant Him His Wish?
'Falling Skies' Ends Season 1 with 'Mutiny,' 'Eight Hours'
Falling Skies" ended its first season with two back-to-back episodes, "Mutiny" and "Eight Hours." The first was its version of "The Caine Mutiny" and the second was the awe-inspiring climax with a twist ending.
Recap: 'True Blood,' Season 4, Episode 7, 'Cold Grey Light of Dawn'
"True Blood," Season 4, Episode 7, "Cold Grey Light of Dawn" finds the vampire community in a lot of trouble. Antonia has taken over Marnie's body and is determined to finish what she started in 1610: kill all vampires.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Why the Ape Rebellion in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Must Fail
Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is yet another reworking of the "Planet of the Apes" franchise in which Apes, which is to say gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans, rise up and take over the world, subjugating humans.
Will the TV Show 'Talker' Do Right by the Right?
A TV pilot is being developed under the following premise. A would be right wing talk show host is not having a lot of luck until he visits President Reagan's Rancho del Cielo and gets advise for the ghost of the Gipper himself.
Was it Appropriate for Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Pray in Public?
Blaming the Tea Party for the Debt Downgrade is Orwellian
The Space Launch System May Cost $38 Billion for Just Two Launches; Is NASA Serious?
Recap: 'Burn Notice,' Season 5, Episode 7, 'Besieged'
"Burn Notice," Season 5, Episode 7, "Besieged" finds the Michael Weston clone, an unemployed construction worker of somewhat limited intelligence, in a great deal of trouble. Fortunately Fi and Sam find him first.
The UK Sun is reporting that Prince Harry would like to dly in space. I seem to recall an old Arthur C. Clarke story about a Prince Harry who stows away on a British rocket ship. Wherever he is, Clarke must be pleased.

By the way, Cowing's labeling him as a royal party boy is a little bit unfair. His Highness has served in Afghanistan in dangerous conditions, after all.
The "Space and the Media" panel at the Mars Society Conference was free wheeling and I must say a lot of fun. We were Pat Duggins of NPR, Ian O'Neill of Discovery News, John Zarella of CNN. and your humble corespondent representing Yahoo News. My assessment of the future of NASA and space was, succinctly, in the short term bleak, in the long term uncertain, but hopeful.

I'm told the Mars Society folks would like to have me back. Remarkable.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Light blogging likely for the next couple of days. I'm off to Dallas this AM to share my wisdom at a "Space and Media" panel at the annual Mars Society Conference. On the panel will be someone from CNN, someone from NPR, someone from Discovery News, and me.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Bill Maher Smears Mormons by Pulling the Muslim Card
Bill Maher never fails to entertain when he pontificates about subjects he has no knowledge of, which is pretty much everything. But Maher on the subject of religion can really be a hoot, as when he compared Mormonism to Islam.
Has the Debt Ceiling Deal Doomed Obamacare?
The left has discovered, much to its collective horror, that the debt ceiling deal has placed health care reform, also known as Obamacare, at risk. This is because of the automatic budget cuts that will occur if the congressional committee deadlocks.
Is the Tea Party Insane? MSNBC Probably Is
The latest slam against the tea party, which has been called everything from hobbits to terrorists, is that they are crazy people with addiction issues. What is the tea party addicted to? That is not entirely clear.
Al Gore's Call for U.S. 'Arab Spring' Uprising Not Well Thought Out
Former Vice President Al Gore, without a hint of irony, recently suggested that what the United States needs is an "Arab Spring"-style uprising in response to the debt ceiling deal. There are several problems with his thesis.
Recap: Army Rangers, North Korean Special Ops Duke It Out on 'Deadliest Warrior'
In "Deadliest Warrior," "U.S. Army Rangers vs. North Korean Special Operations Forces," the show takes a departure from its main concept by pitting two forces against one another that could actually clash in the modern world.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Taylor Dinerman provides as clear an analysis about how Obama and his minions screwed up the space program as anything yet published.
To say, as Newt Gingrich did recently, that the problem at NASA is "Bureaucracy" is too miss the point. It was not NASA's employees who got America into this humiliating mess; it was America's politicians.

Admittedly, NASA's Administrator and his Deputy worked hard, along with the President's science advisor and the rest of the White House team, to alienate a critical mass of members of Congress by ignoring their concerns, rejecting their advice and blindsiding them with critical space policy decisions.

. The Obama administration then wrecked the previous program on the grounds that it was underfunded and behind schedule, and replaced it with a new program that looks as if it is now underfund and behind schedule. Congressmen and women being human, and under massive pressure to cut spending, have now cut the guts out of the space agency's proposed budget.

And here is the takeaway.
Just as the Constellation Return-to-the-Moon program that the administration destroyed was constantly forced to adapt to funding shortfalls,the commercial human spaceflight program is also learning to adjust to constantly changing levels of government funding. If the next administration wanted to, it could cancel the whole commercial program and base the cancellation on the same grounds that were used to kill Constellation: that it is behind schedule and underfunded.


Addendum: Justin Kugler attempts to respond, but instead makes a a number of disjointed, unsupported statements that appear to be talking points rather than an attempt of reasoned logic.

Paul Spudis discusses exotic volcanoes on the Moon
'Conflict Oil' Poses Crucial Threat to U.S. Security
Can oil be divided into "conflict oil" and "ethical oil" much in the same way other resources are, such as diamonds? An ad being run by Alykhan Velshi in some Canadian newspapers suggests the case can be made.
Extreme Houston Temperatures Spark Heat Emergency Plan
Letter Urging SRBs for Space Launch System Has Whiff of Pork Barrel Politics
Palin Mocks Romney; Romney Ignores Her and Mocks Obama
Rep. Doug Lamborn Apologizes for 'Tar Baby' Remark but is Now Stuck on One
Egypt's Hosni Mubarak Faces Trial in a Hospital Bed Surrounded by an Iron Cage
U.S. Should Beware Perils of Decreased Defense Spending
One of the many worrisome aspects of the debt ceiling deal is, if nothing is done, it will gut defense spending, bringing it down to about $500 billion a year. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton has sounded the alarm, according to The Weekly Standard.
Recap: 'Covert Affairs,' Season 2, Episode 9, 'Sad Professor'
In "Covert Affairs," Season 2, Episode 9, "Sad Professor," Annie is told that not only is her beloved languages professor dead but he was a CIA operative. What's more, he recommended her to the CIA for employment.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Charlie Sheen's Character Confirmed to Die on 'Two and a Half Men'
According to Deadline Hollywood, Charlie Sheen's character on "Two and a Half Men" will indeed die, confirming a story published just over a month ago. The first two episodes will concern the funeral and the selling of the beach house.
The Devil's Double" is apparently about Uday Hussein as the "Scarface of Arabia."
Gabrielle Giffords' Return to Congress a Triumph
Hydrogen Tank from Space Shuttle Columbia Found in Lake Nacogdoches, Texas
Could Platinum Be the Catalyst that Enables a Return to the Moon?
Oregon Physicist -- Crop Circles Go High Tech
Insurers Birth Control Mandate Troubling to Roman Catholics
Ameneh Bahrami Pardoning of Her Attacker Shows the Quality of Mercy
Did an Arizona Daily Star Cartoon Advocate Violence Against the Tea Party?
Have the Communist Smurfs Embraced Freedom at Last?
The Smurfs, aside from being the most annoying children's television characters with the possible exception of Barney the Dinosaur, have long been seen by some scholars as unrepentant communists. Or maybe even Nazis.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Joe Biden Uncivil Comparing the Tea Party to Terrorists
First the tea party was composed of hobbits, i.e. living in fantasy land. Now they are terrorists, in a narrative started by Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., and taken up by Vice President Joe Biden, according to Politico.
MTV Turns 30, No Longer Exclusively Music Television
MTV has turned 30 years old, though it has not been the network it was when it was born with the music video of "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. MTV is now more known for reality shows than music videos.
SlutWalk Movement, Protesting Sexual Violence, Arrives in New Delhi, India
The SlutWalk movement seems to have arrived in New Delhi, India, albeit with a slightly tamer version of "slut" than adheres in other parts of the world. Young women marched to protest sexual violence and harassment, apparently a problem in India.
SpaceX 'Red Dragon' Proposal for NASA Mars Mission Could Revolutionize Space Exploration
A proposal to land a probe on the Martian surface on board a SpaceX Dragon capsule has been proposed by NASA planetary scientist Chris McKay. The mission, dubbed "Red Dragon," may be ready for launch by 2018.
NASA's Dawn Begins to Study Vesta in Earnest
Even before entering into orbit around the asteroid Vesta in the middle of July, NASA's Dawn spacecraft had discovered a mysterious dark spot at the asteroid's equator. Since Dawn has been taking numerous images of Vesta.
Texas Man Takes Possession of $340,000 House for $16
The town of Flower Mound, Texas, is the center of a strange controversy involving a man's creative use of an obscure Texas law known as "Adverse Possession," which allowed him to take possession of a house that he does not own.
Has the FBI Found DB Cooper After 40 Years?
The DB Cooper case began as one of the strangest airplane hijackings in the first age of hijackings that started in the late 1960s. Generally hijackers of that time were political extremists or lone nuts. But DB Cooper did it for money.
Debt Ceiling Compromise Weakens Obama, Empowers Tea Party
The debt ceiling agreement has been struck between President Obama and congressional leaders almost at the last minute and is expected to pass both houses of the Congress and be signed into law literally at the last minute.
Recap: 'True Blood,' Season 4, Episode 6, 'I Wish I was the Moon'
In "True Blood," Season 4, Episode 6, "I Wish I Was The Moon," the quaint little town of Bon Temps turns out to be an entertaining place indeed under the full moon, which is understandable considering who and what live there.
Recap: 'Falling Skies,' Season 1, Episode 8, 'What Hides Beneath'
In "Falling Skies," Season 1, Episode 8, "What Hides Beneath," an offensive is being planned against the alien structures located within the ruins of Earth's major cities. Also, a number of revelations occur.
Tea Party Annoys Establishment by Insisting on Freedom, Spending Cuts
In the continuing imbroglio surrounding the debt ceiling crisis, a new enemy of the people (or perhaps an old one) has been trotted out. The one group that must be destroyed so all good things may happen is, once again, the tea party.