Water, Water, Everywhere

I’ve been wondering what Paul Spudis would have to say about yesterday’s press conference. Well, we need wonder no more:

What’s surprising about this new data is not the presence of water, but its pervasiveness. The published image (above) shows this water to be present from the poles down to about 60° latitude. This area subtends over 10 million square kilometers, or about one-third the surface area of the entire Moon! Although the water appears to be present only in the upper few millimeters of the surface, its total mass could be enormous, greatly exceeding the several hundred million tones estimated to be present as ice in the dark areas of the poles.

As always with good science, the new results raise many more questions than they answer. In part, this is a “chicken or egg” issue – do the newly discovered deposits result from surface alteration by water derived from the polar ice, or do they serve as a source for such deposits? How does water form, move, get destroyed or get cold-trapped on the Moon? What are rates of water deposition and removal? What and where are the ice deposits and how pure might they be? Right now we can only dimly perceive the beginnings of a whole new sub-discipline of lunar studies: polar geoscience.

Lunar geoscience. I guess the battle is lost…

“Thrust Oscillation May Be Less Than Feared”

Then again, it may not be:

…there were early claims by engineers and Ares I supporters that the test proved that that the Ares I rocket won’t shake violently during its ascent to orbit — as had been predicted — and that the shaking problem, called thrust oscillation, is no longer an issue for NASA.

But as the data is studied further, engineers and managers for NASA and ATK say those early conclusions are overstated.

NASA’s associate administrator for space operations, Bill Gerstenmaier, told NASA officials and contractors not to repeat the claims, especially to members of Congress, because, “That is not what the test showed.”

Picky, picky, picky. That mean old Gerst is such a party pooper.

Guys, it’s not possible to know how a motor will perform dynamically in free flight from a horizontal hold-down test. At best, they got some valid data to plug into the dynamics models, the latter of which they may or may not have confidence in (though the Ares I-X test will help to validate — or invalidate — them).

[Update a few minutes later]

“Rocketman” has similar thoughts:

Drawing good news conclusions from one test, pinned to the ground, is folly. Proposing Ares 1 as a tech development program for Ares V is also folly. And taking a crap shoot like Ares 1X is desperate folly. But, these are the kind of fool’s games that will be played from here to cancellation.

It will continue until the administration comes up with a policy. But like Afghanistan, it seems determined to continue to kick the can down the road for now. I don’t envy Administrator Bolden right now.

Breitbart

Triumphant:

“It’s so obvious that the mainstream media needed the netroots,” said Breitbart. “It needed The Huffington Post and the Daily Kos and the Media Matters of the world to protect them from future Swift Boats and Rathergates.” The ACORN scandal, he said, was “Rathergate 2.0.”

“The left has done a very good job with Internet stuff,” said Flynn. “Josh Marshall has broken some interesting stuff at TPM. They ought to know that you don’t need a big backer to break news. This notion of this right-wing conspiracy — look, I’ve been inside what would be called the right-wing conspiracy for a long time, and there’s no planning. These people couldn’t plan a bake sale.”

On Wednesday afternoon, ACORN filed lawsuits against the filmmakers and against Breitbart. He has not responded to that yet; when he spoke with TWI, he was still laughing at how mainstream media reporters could get so excited about Abu Ghraib and so angry at his site and his reporters.

“This is the Abu Ghraib of journalism!” said Breitbart. “Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, everywhere you go. I heard that two million times, from when they reported in 2004 to right now. This is the Abu Ghraib of Abu Ghraib. Abu Ghraibs for everyone! NEA Abu Ghraib! White House Abu Ghraib! ACORN Abu Ghraib! Journalism Abu Ghraib! You’ve all been exposed, you corrupt bastards.”

They’re like the dinosaurs, wondering what that approaching object is in the sky.

Obama And ACORN

…sitting in a tree. K I S S I N G:

Obama’s playing dumb about ACORN is disingenuous in the extreme. His longstanding activist, political, and financial connections to the group, as Stanley Kurtz showed prior to the presidential election, are wide and deep. Indeed, they constitute his most significant and enduring tie to the anti-capitalist and revolutionary “New Left” movement of the 1960s.

Sol Stern writes that ACORN sprang from “one of this movement’s silliest and most destructive groups, the National Welfare Rights Organization.” The NWRO’s strategy was to eliminate welfare requirements and overwhelm welfare offices with clients, simultaneously staging disruptions and sit-ins, in order to bring about “a radical reconstruction of America’s unjust capitalist economy.”

Obama could have only been buying into this vision by intimately allying himself with ACORN and its ilk over the years.

And speaking of mendacity about his past, was Jack Cashill right?

Obama had not as yet written anything. But he had taped interviews with family members. Andersen writes: “These oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers.” Look over those words. A man Obama said before the campaign — after conservative pundits continually raised the issue that he was friends with an “unrepentent terrorist” — that he knew only in passing as someone in the neighborhood. He was simply an acquaintance — not someone he had any real friendship or relationship with. Yet Obama evidently gave Ayers his notes, tapes, and the small amount that he had already written.

On the latter point, Andersen also writes, quoting a Hyde Park neighbor of Obama: “Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together. It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both.” Why should it be secret? We know the answer to that. Obama was denying this relationship, as well as suggesting it was not true they worked on projects together. Everything that was ferreted out at the time that proved this was hardly likely was simply ignored by the MSM.

Finally, Christopher Andersen concludes: “In the end, Ayers’s contribution to Barack’s Dreams From My Father would be significant — so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’s own writing.”

Makes sense to me. There is no extant evidence of Obama’s writing ability other than the books (particularly since he continues to hide his academic records). We have no particular reason to think that he was some kind of savant genius who suddenly became an eloquent writer (particularly when listening to him off the prompter). So he did go to “just the guy in his neighborhood” for “help” in writing the book.

[Update a few minutes later]

There’s a good comment at Radosh’s piece:

Writers of the caliber of the prose in Dreams tend to be compulsive about expressing themselves. Thus one would expect to see both examples of earlier, less polished works and a multitude of articles and essays, etc., flowing from Obama’s pen after the critical success of Dreams. Instead the entire Obama oeuvre outside of Dreams consists of one embarrassingly sophomoric article in the student newspaper from Obama’s days at Columbia, a very short law review note, the pedestrian campaign kick off book The Audacity of Hope and a couple of mediocre op eds.

A quality writer pressed for time may hire an assistant to do the research and knock out a rough draft, but he or she makes time to polish the final product. Those op eds suggest that not only can’t Obama write very well, he can’t even distinguish between good writing and the work of hacks well enough to hire a top notch ghoster.

I’m pretty sure that if I wrote a book on space policy, no one would accuse me of having a ghost, because I have an extensive public record on that topic, and of writing in general. This doesn’t exist for Barack Obama. But his defenders will continue to live the liedream.

Giving Them Hell

Netanyahu is addressing the General Assembly, and tearing them multiple new ones. And that comment yesterday from Obama about the 1967 borders was reprehensible.

[Update a few minutes later]

Jim Geraghty has some related thoughts about the UN:

… what would it take to see the United Nations as a source of moral authority? How many years of keeping noses clean at the organization would be required before people began to invest moral authority in the U.N. and its leaders?

I don’t know, but it hasn’t even attempted to start to do so. The UN is a disgrace.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!