Category Archives: Media Criticism

The National Space Council

A brief history.

I don’t know whether or not it will help with the current policy mess. It probably partly depends on who heads it up (that is, the real day-to-day work, not Pence).

This is strange:

According to historians, in 1992, council staff convinced Bush to fire the NASA chief because they thought he would resist their ideas. As is the case in many bureaucratic environments, the dysfunction of the council had little do with national interest or policy, but with office politics.

Truly wasn’t fired because the council staff “thought he would resist their ideas.” He was fired because he was actively sabotaging Bush’s Space Exploration Initiative, and actually having his AA for legislative affairs lobby against it on the Hill.

[Update a while later]

Stephen Smith has a blog post on the (meaningless) NASA authorization ceremony last week. Trump seems remarkably uninformed, but that’s true of most subjects, I think.

[Update a few more minutes later]

Jeff Kluger says that magical thinking won’t get you to Mars. But a) this isn’t an appropriation and b) he seems to think that we can do Apollo again.

The Republican ObamaCare Debacle

Byron York has a good analysis. This is a key point, which was entirely predictable:

‘The Art of the Deal’ doesn’t work with ideologically-driven politicians. The pundits mentioned Trump’s most famous book thousands of times during the Obamacare negotiations. But in dealing with the doctrinaire conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, Trump was facing differently-motivated partners than in the deal-making recounted in his 1987 book. If the president wants to succeed in Washington, he’ll have to learn how to deal with people who aren’t in it just for the money.

[Update a few minutes later]

Inside the Trumpcare meltdown.


Fine, Investigate Trump

…but also investigate Obama:

Whether Barack Obama ordered the surveillance of Donald Trump during the transition is not the question. He would never have had to. In fact, he would have been highly unlikely to have done so for obvious legal and practical/political reasons. Instead, supporters of the then president in a position to authorize or activate such surveillance would normally know or assume his wishes anyway without having to be told and could act accordingly.

That is the way of the world since there was a world.

Yup. I noted the same thing in the IRS situation (though it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there were exchanges between the White House and Lerner that we’ve never seen because they destroyed the emails).

Persecuting The Heretics

It’s crazy that a bill like this should even be necessary:

Lockman, however, wants to protect all people with opinions on global warming and prevent a Republican attorney general from conducting a similar investigation.

“I don’t want to see a Republican state attorney general issuing subpoenas for the records of progressive or liberal think tanks or public policy groups to chill their free speech,” Lockman told AP.

“It’s about Citizens United and the government abridging speech,” Lockman said. “It’s not about climate science. It’s about climate policy.”

Maine Democrats and environmentalists oppose Lockman’s bill, so it doesn’t have much hope of passing. Some environmentalists apparently want state prosecutors to be able to investigate “climate deniers.”

“Clearly an attempt to provide cover for climate deniers,” Dylan Voorhees, with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, told AP. “I see a trickle down from the Trump administration that has emboldened some folks to make climate denial statements.”

Calling skeptics “deniers” is slanderous, unscientific, and trivializes the Holocaust.