Smart Diplomacy

The bottom line:

…the Obama team picked the wrong horse, found itself in a diplomatic dead end, found a mechanism to abandon its failed gambit, and now supports elections — the very position that the Honduran interim government and the administration’s critics have been urging from the beginning. Well, in fairness, it is a display of diplomatic genius compared with Obama’s Middle East policy.


NGLLC Ceremony

Clark Lindsey has a first-hand report:

Mr. Bolden, a couple of House members and a representative of the administration all said very good things about not just the NGLLC but about prizes in general and their ability to leverage lots of innovation and productivity at low cost. Got the impression that there will be more money coming for Centennial Challenges and other prize programs.

Dave Masten and Phil Eaton gave brief but eloquent remarks.

Two former NSS executive directors were there: Lori Garver, now Deputy NASA Administrator, and George Whitesides, now NASA’s Chief of Staff. With entrepreneurial firms getting big checks via an innovative program like Centennial Challenges, which was inspired by the X PRIZE, and with space advocates in NASA management, I get the feeling that the NewSpace current is starting to flow into the mainstream.

Whatever comes of the Constellation mess, this at least is encouraging.

[Mid-afternoon update]

Chuck Divine also attended, and has more details.

Fort Hood Shooting

OK, not much info to go on yet, but a single shooter has different implications than multiple shooters. And when it’s on an army base, it looks like a suicide murder, at least eventually. Call me a bigot, but the latter has to make me speculate about the shooters’ religious beliefs. And if that plays out, I think that it could be said that the administration didn’t keep us safe from attacks. But we’ll see.

[Update a few minutes later]

OK, the FBI is saying that this was “not a terrorist incident.” A dozen people dead, a couple dozen more wounded, by multiple shooters, but it wasn’t a terrorist incident? What in the world does that mean? If they mean it’s not international terrorism, or Islamic terrorism, then they should say that, but they just make themselves look stupid if they deny that this is terrorism.

[Mid-afternoon update]

Major Malik Hasan Nadal. Probably a Jehovah’s Witness.

Move along, nothing to see here.

[Evening update]

Had meetings this afternoon, then came home and made dinner, so not much time to follow up.

Just three points:

First, if you want to call this guy crazy, then he has millions of crazy cohorts who agree with everything he said. The only thing different about him is that he managed to survive in the US military with such beliefs for so long.

Second, I’d like to know how far up the chain of command warnings about his behavior went, and at what level they were squelched. This might tell us the degree to which this was a failure of the current administration.

Third, in response to Dave O’Neill, yes, absolutely there would have been many fewer casualties today had the people who have been issued, and trained in the use of, their service revolvers semi-automatic pistols been allowed to carry them on base (not to mention in public in one of the most liberal, using that word in its correct meaning, states in the allowing of carrying weapons by trained citizens, off base). Those military and civilian personnel were just as sitting ducks as people in idiotic “gun-free” schools and universities. I’d like to think that this would result in a rethinking of the policy of disarming military personnel on base, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for it in this administration. <sarcasm>That regulation sure prevented Major Nadal from bringing his own 9mm weapons to the slaughter.</sarcasm>

And Patterico documents the emerging politically correct and false narrative from the media.

One other point. From what I hear, his cousins and family (Muslims) are devastated and cannot understand his actions. I have no reason to believe that they are not patriotic Americans, and my heart goes out to them, as well as to the families of the victims. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that he was, at its root, driven by his own religious beliefs, warped or otherwise. If we continue out of political correctness to refuse to confront that reality, we cannot win this war.

The Final Solution

I hadn’t realized just how stupid George Pataki was until I read this:

“It is conceivable,” George Pataki, declared in 2000 when he signed a hate-crimes bill into law, “that if this law had been in effect one hundred years ago, the greatest hate crime of all, the Holocaust, could have been avoided.”

But if he decides to run for Senate, he’ll fit right in:

When asked by what specific part of the Constitution authorizes Congress to mandate that individuals must purchase health insurance, Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) pointed to the part of the Constitution that he says authorizes the federal government “to provide for the health, welfare and the defense of the country.” In fact, the word “health” appears nowhere in the Constitution.

Picky, picky, picky. Of course, this is the guy who claimed that he couldn’t have bribed Blogojovic because “I ain’t got no money.”

The country’s in the very best of hands.

[Update a few minutes later]

OK, so does Robert Gibbs think that there’s no concern that this could be unconstitutional, or that the White House doesn’t give a damn whether or not it is? Judging from their behavior in general, I’m going to go with option B.

None Of The Above

NASA Watch has a poll up on what kind of heavy lifter NASA should build. I’ve decided to do my own, proper poll:

Which Heavy Lifter Should NASA Build?
Ares V
Ares V Lite
SDLV Sidemount
EELV Heavy
NASA doesn’t need a heavy lifter free polls

[Mid-afternoon update]

Wow, not much love for either flavor of Ares, at least from my readers. So far, the vast majority goes for “none of the above.”

The Madness

of Queen Nancy. She seems determined to drive her party over a cliff. OK by me.

More than a few Democrats in Congress are perplexed and worried that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is insisting on ramming through a 1,900-page health care bill on Saturday, just days after her party took heavy losses in Tuesday’s elections. “It reminds me of Major Nicholson, the obsessed British major in the film ‘Bridge on the River Kwai,'” one Democrat told me. “She is fixated on finishing her health care bridge even as she’s lost sight of where it’s going and what damage it could cause to her own troops.”

Indeed, the Speaker’s take on Tuesday’s off-year elections struck some of her own members as delusive “happy talk.” “From our perspective, we won last night,” a cheerful Ms. Pelosi told reporters, citing her party’s pick-up of a single House seat in a New York special election and retention of another strongly Democratic seat in California.

That’s not how many of her own troops see it. Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama told that members are “very, very sensitive” to the fact that the agenda being pushed by party leaders has “the potential to cost some of our front-line members their seats.”

You don’t get it, Congressman. She doesn’t care about your seats, as long as she doesn’t lose her majority. She can do without you knuckle-dragging southerners.

And this is simply stupid, but explains why the Dems are screwing up so badly — they complete misread history:

One Democratic House moderate says the leadership has mislearned a lesson from the 1994 collapse of Hillary Clinton’s health care bill. “They believe they lost the elections that year because they failed to pass anything,” he says. “But they forget it might have been even worse if they’d passed the wrong bill.”

They lost the House in 1994 because (among several other things) a) they attempted to pass a similar bill and b) they passed the “assault weapons” ban and c) they had established a reputation for corruption, with Rostenkowski and others. Not to mention d) Newt came up with an appealing campaign strategy. All that’s missing for a similar earthquake next year is a Republican Party that isn’t brain dead — all the other ingredients in terms of corruption and overreach are already there, and if they ram this through the House, it will just add fuel to the fire, even if it dies in the Senate. Unfortunately, a smart Republican Party is often too much to ask for.

Another Karine-A

Noah Pollack has the story:

What will Obama say about all this? Being that evidence of Iranian-Syrian hostile intent complicates the administration’s desire for “engagement,” whatever that means anymore, the answer is: probably nothing.

What will the human-rights hustlers say? Where is Judge Goldstone? Where is the flurry of outraged press releases from Human Rights Watch? These weapons are intended for one purpose only — to terrorize Israeli civilians and drag the region into war. Shouldn’t this be an easy call for peace-loving human-rights activists? HRW has condemned Israel for violating international law over the way it funds public schools. I would bet a large sum that HRW will say nothing about the 500 tons of arms Iran just tried to send to Hezbollah. Priorities, you see.

That this is happening almost exactly thirty years after the hostage taking in Tehran is particularly appalling.

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