A Green Tea Party

That’s what Pulitzer-Prize-winning authoritarian-government admirer Tom Friedman thinks the Tea Partiers should form. I always love this:

I’ve been trying to understand the Tea Party Movement. Sounds like a lot of angry people who want to get the government out of their lives and cut both taxes and the deficit. Nothing wrong with that — although one does wonder where they were in the Bush years.

They were there all along, and few of them were very happy about the spending, but they weren’t idiotic enough to think that the Democrats would be better. And sometimes quantity has a quality all its own.

Anyway, I think that what Beijing Tom really wants is a watermelon tea party.

The Challenges Going Forward

G. Ryan Faith has a good overview of the differences between the original VSE and the new plan, and the problems it (and really, any) government space program will have in maintaining political momentum. Which is why it’s important to transition to a commercial program as soon as possible.

[Update a few minutes later]

I agree with Faith that the new plan is actually much closer to the original VSE (particularly as regards to the Aldridge recommendations) than it became with the misbegotten ESAS/Constellation. The only really significant difference is the lack of moon first as an explicit goal. But that goal had become meaningless anyway under Constellation, because all of the technologies that would have potentially made it useful to go to the moon had been defunded to feed Ares/Orion. As he notes, if we can keep this on track, there will be plenty of time to once again make the argument for lunar return, long before we go anywhere else. If we establish logistics nodes at the Lagrange points for departures and returns from deep space, the moon will look ever more compelling.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!