America’s Chamberlain?

Has President Obama already sold out eastern Europe to the Russians?

Ellison thinks that “Obama’s people believe that many global problems will be more easily solved together with Moscow.” In particular, nuclear disarmament. Ellison says that Obama will “sacrifice a lot” to get it. You know, the way Czechoslovakia was “sacrificed” to a certain mustachioed German house painter several decades ago.

Is Barack Obama going to become America’s Chamberlain? Is he going to ignore the horrific spate of obviously political murders the Kremlin has been committing ever since Putin arrived? The invasion of Georgia? The relentless anti-American rhetoric? The nuclear bombers buzzing Alaska with metronomic regularity?

Is he going to eliminate nuclear deterrence in Europe and leave its eastern regions helplessly vulnerable to Russian tanks, just as Georgia was left vulnerable?

It seems so. As blindly as Chamberlain, Obama appears to believe that our foes can be appeased into becoming friends and that we can rightly sacrifice smaller nations to our noble vision.

I wonder if people thought they were voting for this last fall?

A Brief History

…of NASA’s resistance to commercial competition, in a comment (number 31) over at Space Politics by Al Fansome:

For the last 25 years, NASA has had to be brought KICKING & SCREAMING every step of the way — into a partnership with commercial industry. It has been resisted by the NASA iron triangle (NASA + contractors + Center politicians).

* The DOT was given the legal authority by Congress in the 1980s to regulate commercial space transportation over the objections of the traditional status quo space powers.

* Commercial payloads were taken off of the Shuttle after Challenger by the Reagan Administration over the active opposition of the then NASA Administrator (Fletcher).

* The Launch Services Purchase Act of 1990 — which was the first law mandating that NASA buy commercial space transportation services — was passed by Congress over the objections of NASA.

* Instead of partnering with the American Rocket Company in the late 1980s, NASA MSFC created a competing hybrid rocket R&D program in an attempt to put AMROC out of business. (They succeeded.)

* The Congress passed the Commercial Space Act of 1998 that mandated that NASA should purchase ISS cargo resupply services. NASA resisted that mandate for 6 years — until Columbia happened and the Bush Administration created the Commercial/Crew Cargo services budget as part of the VSE in 2004. In December 2008, over 10 years after CSA98 passed, NASA finally signed an ISS cargo services delivery contract.

* NASA is still resisting doing commercial crew — which was part of the original official VSE plan (it was the CREW/cargo services program in the VSE). It has taken a national commission of space experts — reporting to the White House — to unequivocably recommend (its in all the options) that NASA institute a commercial crew (instead of Ares 1).

* NASA could have instituted “propellant depots” as part of the national strategy years ago. Why were propellant depots so obvious to the Augustine Commission as a key enable for our national goals in space, but ignored by the traditional NASA bureaucracy?

It is not because the NASA bureaucracy is dumb. I assert the reason is that creating a depot based architecture is not in the “bureaucratic interest” of NASA, as it outsources a large portion of the supply chain for exploration to commercial providers.

Prediction — NASA will resist creating propellant depots to the extent it is given the means to do so.

I think it’s a safe prediction. Those means have to be restricted. Though at least, this time, I think that we have top NASA administration on the right side.

[Early afternoon update]

He left out the saga of the Industrial Space Facility.

Some Questions For Nancy Pelosi

and the CIA:

1. Given that you were aware of the conduct for which CIA interrogators are now being investigated and possibly prosecuted, and you at least tacitly approved of such conduct, will you ask President Obama to pardon the interrogators?

2. Since you were aware of what the CIA interrogators were doing yet remained silent, are you at all complicit in their conduct?

Speaker Pelosi, assuming that you reject the IG’s report (and Leon Panetta’s assertion that the CIA told congress the truth in 2002) please respond to the following:

1. When you discovered that you were lied to in September 2002, did you confront Director Tenet? If not, why not?

2. Were the CIA personnel who lied to you in September 2002 fired and prosecuted? If not, why not?

3. When you discovered that you were lied to in September 2002 did you insist upon Congressional hearings? If not, why not?

There are more. But don’t expect the press to ask them. They’re only a watchdog when it’s a Republican in office. With Dems, they’re lapdogs.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!