…or PolitiFiction?

In fact—if we may use that term without PolitiFact’s seal of approval—at the heart of ObamaCare is a vast expansion of federal control over how U.S. health care is financed, and thus delivered. The regulations that PolitiFact waves off are designed to convert insurers into government contractors in the business of fulfilling political demands, with enormous implications for the future of U.S. medicine. All citizens will be required to pay into this system, regardless of their individual needs or preferences. Sounds like a government takeover to us.

…As long as the press corps is nominating “lies of the year,” ours goes to the formal legislative title of ObamaCare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For a bill that in reality will raise health costs and reduce patient choice, the name recalls Mary McCarthy’s famous line about every word being a lie, including “the” and “and.”

I’ll go with politifiction.

[Update a while later]

Pere Suderman isn’t impressed, either:

If you had to rank the biggest political lie of 2010, what would it be? The utter horse-hockey that we’ve somehow proven that the stimulus created a zillion-billion long-term jobs and acted like a fiscal-policy Powerbar for the economy? The president’s oft-repeated and flatly untrue statement that under the health care overhaul, if you like your doctor or your health plan, you can keep it? The contrived justifications for describing ObamaCare as indisputably “fiscally responsible” despite a hotly contested and thoroughly gamed budgetary scoring process? How about the administration’s repeated but totally false claim that the CBO backs up its Medicare accounting, when in fact the CBO has said that the administration’s numbers constitute a form of “double counting”?

Say what you will about the rest of its accomplishments (or lack thereof), but the White House has proven a remarkably consistent and high-quality bullshit factory this year. The way they churn this stuff out, you might think they’d be up for an award! No such luck…


A History Of Space Suits

…and an interesting one, at the New York Times.

What it doesn’t describe is the lack of innovation since Apollo, like NASA at large, because there wasn’t any competition, even within NASA. It’s nice to hear the history from Joe Kosmo (what an appropriate name — the only thing better would be if it were spelled instead with a “C”), but there is no mention or interview with Vic Vikukal or Bruce Webbon (with whom I reacquainted myself, after a quarter of a century, a couple of months ago in Las Cruces) who worked at Ames, who were shut out of the competition in the sixties, and never allowed back in, despite their superior suit designs. This issue was the primary reason that I suggested the first MillenniumCentennial Challenge, which turned out to be quite successful. There are still a lot of improvements to be made, though, if only NASA would allow it to happen.

Don’t Strangle The Baby In The Cradle

Dave Huntsman has an interesting comment at this article about merging ESMD and SOMD:

Many (not all) in the ‘Code M world’ – including the relevant NASA centers, and some managers at NASA Headquarters – are viscerally opposed to the establishment of a competitive, American-led creation of new commercial space industries. Some literally see them as competition to the old Apollo way of doing things, which they consider sacrosanct. Others have been told – falsely – that expansion of American industry into economically-sustainable space industries that lead the world somehow means the death of human spaceflight and exploration. Not only is that not the case, sustainable human space exploration – space exploration with humans we can actually afford to keep doing – is in the long run dependent on the creation of economically sustainable space industries to support them, particularly for routine operations.

As Elon Musk has said, if you don’t do things that pay the bills you won’t achieve the ultimate objective of humanity’s expansion into space. The cutting edge far exploration items – to asteroids, Mars, etc. – are always cost sinks; after all, even Thomas Jefferson failed in his effort to get Lewis’ and Clark’s explorations to pay for themselves in the nearer-term, and he didn’t have to build rockets to go up the Missouri. That is why it is absolutely incumbent that NON-cutting edge far exploration items, such as LEO trucking and taxi services, followed by space servicing and refueling services, absolutely require economic viability and the development of sustainable industries. That will be threatened if these cost-sharing partnerships with industry is lumped in with the NASA Code M organization, whose very history has never been intended to work for anything other than those human space programs that NASA totally funds, owns, and operates.

Let’s consider re-creating Code M for the shuttle transition, space station, and NASA exploration (beyond Earth) functions. But in my view it would be a violation of our direction via Law and National Space Policy to subsume innovative commercial space development and partnerships to some of the same folks who are working so furiously behind the scenes to prevent sustainable space from ever happening. The Apollo-style Code M organization needs to be separate from innovative commercial space development partnerships.

I hope that Charlie and Lori understand the nature of the saboteurs that persist in the bureaucracy at the centers and HQ.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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