Is the higher-education bubble on the verge of popping?
The administration is asking the judge who declared the health-care law unconstitutional to order it to be implemented.
I’d say good luck with that, but I’d be lying.
[Update a while later]
It’s not just the mandate. Just in case the bill survives the Supreme Court, the waivers are unconstitutional as well. These would seem to be a slam dunk from an equal protection standpoint. It’s government by fiat, and rule of men rather than law. Which is the only kind that works for the White House, because the people sure don’t want it.
Leonard David has a nice story on a vehicle that’s being built almost in his back yard. Let’s hope Webb doesn’t eat up all the funding for it.
There are documentation problems at NASA. It’s endemic to the industry. It’s one of the causes of high costs. And failures. Be sure to read the comments.
One of the advantages that SpaceX has is that with a tightly integrated co-located team, the knowledge is much more accessible, though individuals become more critical
…of the Atlas Shrugged movie:
And an interview with the screenwriter and producer:
On Wednesday the full House, debating the full-year continuing resolution HR 1, voted 228-203 to approve an amendment that would transfer $298 million from NASA to the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services, a program that provides funding for local police forces. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was actually debated Tuesday evening by the House and failed by a voice vote, but prevailed in the recorded vote hold over to the next day, with 70 Republicans joining 158 Democrats to approve the amendment.
In the current environment, the agency is a wounded antelope on the savannah, and the jackals and hyenas are going to be swarming on it in the coming days and weeks, with people like Anthony Weiner foremost among them.
This is awful on two levels — first, that there is no sensible discussion about what our space policy should be, and second, that there was no discussion of whether or not community policing is even a legitimate federal responsibility. I’d like to see the names of the Republicans who voted for this atrocity, and see how many have claimed fealty to the Tea Party, because if so, they’re flaming hypocrites, and should be mocked and shamed.
[Cross posted at Competitive Space]
[Update a few minutes later]
John Healey at the LA Times agrees:
…it’s hard to extrapolate from the actions Wednesday to a coherent vision of smaller government. The vote that really confounds me is the one in favor of a proposal by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to restore $298 million for COPS, a neighborhood policing program. The money is to come out of NASA’s budget, shrinking that agency’s funds by an additional 1.6%.
I wouldn’t argue that hiring cops is more or less important than conducting space missions. But hiring cops is clearly a local responsibility, and NASA is clearly a federal responsibility. If you’re going to shrink the federal government, the starting point should be eliminating its involvement in what are purely local affairs. You can’t get more local than neighborhood policing.
But that’s not the logic typically employed by members of Congress. In their calculus, anything that promotes law enforcement is A Good Thing. And until NASA has a mission as sexy as winning the race to the moon, it will never be able to compete with programs like COPS.
Here’s an idea for an even sexier mission: opening up the solar system and its resources to humanity. Which it could afford to do if we would end the insistence on making it a jobs program for engineers of unneeded new rockets.
A take-down by Robert Samuelson.
[Update while later]
Florida Governor Rick Scott has turned down funding for it.
* My decision to reject the project comes down to three main economic realities:
o First – capital cost overruns from the project could put Florida taxpayers on the hook for an additional $3 billion.
o Second – ridership and revenue projections are historically overly-optimistic and would likely result in ongoing subsidies that state taxpayers would have to incur. (from $300 million – $575 million over 10 years) – Note: The state subsidizes Tri-Rail $34.6 million a year while passenger revenues covers only $10.4 million of the $64 million annual operating budget.
o Finally – if the project becomes too costly for taxpayers and is shut down, the state would have to return the $2.4 billion in federal funds to D.C.
That last “if” should be a “when.” Good for him. Too bad we don’t have as much sense in Sacramento.
[Update a couple minutes later]
the Reason Foundation issued its report nearly two weeks ago. Using estimates for a proposed rail line in California, it projects the Tampa-to-Orlando link could cost $3 billion more than estimated.
Research by the Reason Foundation and the study’s main author, Wendell Cox, regularly offers a skeptical view of rail, so the findings are not particularly surprising. What’s notable is the work was overseen by Robert Poole, a foundation director who served on Scott’s transition team for transportation issues.
“It’s understandable that some are dreaming of flashy high-speed rail trains carrying tourists and residents between the two cities,” Poole said in a news release. “When you look at realistic construction costs and operating expenses you see these trains are likely to turn into a very expensive nightmare for taxpayers.”
Hey, Jerry, I’m sure Bob’s available for a similar analysis for CA. In case you haven’t noticed, you have budget problems, too.