This isn’t a full transcript, but it’s a good selection of key points made during last week’s Senate Appropriations hearing.
The headline of this good National Journal article on yesterday’s Senate Appropriations hearing is very misleading. One would think from it that’s it’s about the commercial crew competition between Dragon and CST, when in fact it’s about the competition between SpaceX and ULA for milsat launches. I assume that the copy editor screwed up, not the author. Anyway, note the typical socialist argument against competition that Dick Shelby uses.
Eileen Collins explains why it will be successful.
…with seven energy policies.
They’d have the additional benefit of sparking economic growth.
The biggest implication is that the models are worse than useless as a guide to policy on climate. And places like California are taking a wrecking ball to their economy for nothing.
I say it’s time to end it, over at PJMedia.
A live blog of the Senate hearing, with Elon Musk and Michael Gass. ULA is running scared, and Shelby is running interference for them, spouting economic lunacy.
The magical thinking behind it:
This mission requires more magical thinking than a leprechaun trying to predict the track of a flock of flying unicorns on their annual migration.
MPCV employs a heat shield designed for lunar return and its CM is ~20% (thousands of pounds) overweight for its parachutes. But we’re going to equip MPCV with an even heavier heat shield for Mars return and magically it will be capable of a safe Earth landing?
There’s practically no element of the ISS ECLSS that lasts more than a year. But magically every component will remain operating for 17 months in a new vehicle when applied to a Mars flyby mission?
ASAP is warning about the lack of an ECLSS shakedown on MPCV before sending astronauts around the Moon for a few days. But magically we’re going to decide that the ASAP membership are all wimps of the highest order and decide to risk astronaut lives for 17 months on the first shakedown of the MPCV ECLSS?
At best, SLS is scheduled to have an upper stage capable of launching this mission a half decade after the mission’s 2021 window closes. And magically that half decade of development is going to be accelerated by more than a decade?
Congress can’t find funding to perform testing like AA-2 or to finish development like MPCV ECLSS in a timely fashion, and the White House is wrapped around the axle of ARM. But magically billions of dollars of federal funding are going to appear in a timely manner to develop a new ECLSS, a new hab module, a new heat shield, and a new upper stage for this mission?
If Tito really wants to see this happen, he has to give up on getting NASA to pay for it, and for it to happen with NASA hardware. He needs to sit down with SpaceX and Bigelow.
It’s not as crazy as The Economist thinks:
No doubt water, pension liabilities and Democrats (who would let this happen over their dead bodies) pose seemingly insurmountable obstacles to partition. But this is a reform movement we hope gains steam over time. The competing interests and priorities of California’s unmanageable, schismatic population are bad for democracy and bad for Californians.
It’s a mess.
Yes, that is the way we talk in America, you stupid fascists:
Bittman likes Freudenberg’s debunking of notions of “rights and choice,” because he agrees that “we need… more than a few policies nudging people toward better health.” As Freudenberg told Bittman: “What we need… is to return to the public sector the right to set health policy and to limit corporations’ freedom to profit at the expense of public health.” Oh! Did you see that? Freudenberg said “right.” He said “right” in the context of government, and he spoke of returning this “right” — a right to control people — to government. He’s saying “right” where the legal term is actually “power.” He wants government power at the expense of rights. And the fact that he speaks of the “return” of power to the government is either deceptive or unAmerican. We are free and have a right to do what we want until we give power to government. If the laws that restrict us are repealed, it makes sense to speak of returning rights to the people, but it’s wrong and really offensive to characterize new restrictions in terms of returning a right to the government.
I know it sounds like crazy talk to you, but we really do have rights to do things of which you disapprove.
People like this should be “nudged” out of town on a rail, bedecked with petroleum bi-products and bird coverings.
As a side note, I’d bet this guy would also tell me I don’t have a right to risk my life in a spaceship.
Over an Space News, Donald Robertson has an op-ed that could be a summary of my book, though he doesn’t mention it.
Why we lost it, and why we’re continuing to lose it, despite many trillions of dollars. The only way to win the war on poverty is to end the war on the market and economy.
They had a tough day in court. I wonder if any administration has lost as many court cases as this one?
It’s part of the upscale left’s war on science.
(Libertarian) John Mackey is getting rich satisfying a niche.
Why it continues to be unpopular:
“Current and former administration officials . . . have been surprised at how steadfast the opposition has remained,” the Washington Post reported last summer, quoting MIT economist Jonathan Gruber saying, “It used to be you had a fight and it was over, and you moved on.” But few have moved on, for reasons which are not all that hard to tease out: It’s not working out, in fact it’s a disaster; it’s blowing holes in the federal budget; the win-to-lose balance is way out of kilter, as many more people are hurt than helped by it. Obamacare may collapse on its own for practical reasons, but there is a fourth strike against it that adds a dimension of weakness no comparable measure has faced: Much of the country believes it’s a fraud, passed dishonestly, and not deserving of moral authority. In short, they find it nearly illegal, highly immoral, and possibly fattening. And their minds won’t be changed.
Nor should they be. When you cram the biggest crap sandwich in the history of the world down the county’s throat on a lying, corrupt partisan basis, you deserve to lose credibility and power. Read the whole thing, though.
Chavez’s legacy and deadly end game:
As the economy has deteriorated, the government has resorted to dubious stopgaps such as price controls. The price controls have produced more shortages, leading to more stopgaps … and more political repression to control complaints about the shortages and stopgaps. People made much of the fact that Chavez won elections — but less of the fact that he won them in the context of government policies that required television stations to broadcast hours of his speeches every week. And that he silenced stations that opposed him.
This has only continued to get worse under President Nicolas Maduro. Having shrunk the space for legitimate opposition so far, its only outlet seems to be the streets.
They’re streets that the murderous Maduro should be dragged through. But the White House, and much of the media, remains silent.
I hadn’t realized the degree to which George McGovern was responsible, and how much he was influenced by Pritikin. They and their junk science are responsible for millions of premature deaths, from the seventies on, likely including my father’s almost thirty-five years ago.
No, p00p is not a drug.
A report on his disastrous “debate” on Meet The Press.
Kirsten Powers, on how working at Fox has been good for her.
As some have pointed out, Roger Ailes succeeded by catering to a previously untargeted market niche — over half the country.
A story on his plans for orbital and lunar bases, starting three years from now, at CNBC.
Thoughts on the policy stupidity of it. As noted, truckers already have plenty of incentives to get their trucks as fuel-efficient as possible. This also applies to CAFE (which in turn is equally stupid to the new light-bulb rules).
[Update a while later]
The single-entry bookkeeping of the Left. This is particularly the case with carbon mitigation, which the warm mongers always ignore, or fantasize that it will be less than the cost of changes in the climate.
…are on the order of a hundred billion per year, a lot of it from Medicare/Medicaid.
One of the stupider arguments (among many) made by proponents of those programs it that they “have low overhead costs,” relative to private insurers. Well, it’s easy to have low overhead costs if you pay no attention to whether or not a claim is valid. I consider a hundred billion in overpayments in fact a very high overhead cost.
Did it work?
As some wag noted at the time, it was stimulating in the same way a clumsy ugly person doing a pole dance was.
Are we being saved from it by the student loan bubble? What an awful, awful government policy. It’s destroying a generation’s financial prospects.
Colleges and universities are nonprofits. When extra money comes in — as, until recently, has been the pattern — they can’t pay out excess profits to shareholders. Instead, the money goes to their effective owners, the administrators who hold the reins. As the Goldwater study notes, they get their “dividends” in the form of higher pay and benefits, and “more fellow administrators who can reduce their own workload or expand their empires.”
But with higher education now facing leaner years, and with students and parents unable to keep up with increasing tuition, what should be done? In short, colleges will have to rein in costs.
When asked what single step would do the most good, I’ve often responded semi-jokingly that U.S. News and World Report should adjust its college-ranking formula to reward schools with low costs and lean administrator-to-student ratios. But that’s not really a joke. Given schools’ exquisite sensitivity to the U.S. News rankings, that step would probably have more impact than most imaginable government regulations.
Something’s going to have to give.
About six years ago, commentators started noticing a strange pattern of behavior among the young millennials who were pouring out of college. Eventually, the writer Ron Alsop would dub them the Trophy Kids. Despite the sound of it, this has nothing to do with “trophy wives.” Rather, it has to do with the way these kids were raised. This new generation was brought up to believe that there should be no winners and no losers, no scrubs or MVPs. Everyone, no matter how ineptly they perform, gets a trophy.
As these kids have moved into the workforce, managers complain that new graduates expect the workplace to replicate the cosy, well-structured environment of school. They demand concrete, well-described tasks and constant feedback, as if they were still trying to figure out what was going to be on the exam. “It’s very hard to give them negative feedback without crushing their egos,” one employer told Bruce Tulgan, the author of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy. “They walk in thinking they know more than they know.”
When I started asking around about this phenomenon, I was a bit skeptical. After all, us old geezers have been grousing about those young whippersnappers for centuries. But whenever I brought the subject up, I got a torrent of complaints, including from people who have been managing new hires for decades. They were able to compare them with previous classes, not just with some mental image of how great we all were at their age. And they insisted that something really has changed—something that’s not limited to the super-coddled children of the elite.
“I’ll hire someone who’s twenty-seven, and he’s fine,” says Todd, who manages a car rental operation in the Midwest. “But if I hire someone who’s twenty-three or twenty-four, they need everything spelled out for them, they want me to hover over their shoulder. It’s like somewhere in those three or four years, someone flipped a switch.” They are probably harder working and more conscientious than my generation. But many seem intensely uncomfortable with the comparatively unstructured world of work. No wonder so many elite students go into finance and consulting—jobs that surround them with other elite grads, with well-structured reviews and advancement.
Today’s new graduates may be better credentialed than previous generations, and are often very hardworking, but only when given very explicit direction. And they seem to demand constant praise. Is it any wonder, with so many adults hovering so closely over every aspect of their lives? Frantic parents of a certain socioeconomic level now give their kids the kind of intensive early grooming that used to be reserved for princelings or little Dalai Lamas.
All this “help” can be actively harmful. These days, I’m told, private schools in New York are (quietly, tactfully) trying to combat a minor epidemic of expensive tutors who do the kids’ work for them, something that would have been nearly unthinkable when I went through the system 20 years ago. Our parents were in league with the teachers, not us. But these days, fewer seem willing to risk letting young Silas or Gertrude fail out of the Ivy League.
The combination of the self-esteem movement and the demand for credentials has been a disaster.