More Advice For “Liberals”

From Frank J. How to deal with angry conservatives:

Call them racists: If we shout “Racist!” every time they say something, maybe they’ll finally reflect on the racism that motivates them against a black president and give up whatever silly cause they think they’re pushing. If they dispute the racism accusation, point out how sensitive they are about the charge and how that further proves it’s true (people who really aren’t racist shouldn’t have any problem with being called racist). If further evidence is needed, point out to them that the president is black and they are white and that it’s obvious to everyone that a white person saying bad things about an underprivileged black person is quite racist. If the conservative isn’t white, though, this can be confusing. Make sure to give that person a pamphlet describing the political views he is supposed to have based on his race. If the person doesn’t read the pamphlet, you might have to try using a racial slur. It’s okay, if the person deserves it.

Point out how much smarter Obama is than they are: Obama is obviously very smart (obviously!), but somehow conservatives are overlooking that simple fact. Maybe they’ll be less angry if we keep emphasizing how Obama and his staff are much, much smarter than they are, and in fact they are very stupid compared to Obama and other liberals. Then conservatives will realize that Obama, being smarter than them, probably knows what he’s doing, so there is nothing to fear and be angry about unless you’re a really stupid person.

It’s great advice. Let’s hope they keep taking it.

Legislative Malpractice

Beldar has a draconian solution to the problem of convoluted bills, with which I heartily agree:

I would genuinely support a Constitutional amendment which required every Congressman and Senator, upon casting every vote, to swear under penalty of perjury — with existing perjury criminal penalties, PLUS instant disqualification from office — that he or she had read every word of everything he or she voted upon. Not just a summary (although they could read summaries too, if they chose) or a recommendation (again, fine as a supplement, but not as a replacement). Enforcement to be by a mechanism where 10% of either chamber’s members could indict and prosecute any member of either chamber for an alleged violation, trial to be held within 30 days on national TV, finder of fact to be a jury of 51 randomly selected voters (one from each state plus the District of Columbia), conviction and expulsion (without appeal) to be based on a simple majority vote.

…This is, and should be, a completely non-partisan “good government” issue. But I’m relatively sure which party’s politicians would bitch and moan the loudest and fight the hardest.

So am I.

Send More Money

I find it hard to get behind efforts like this, because there is no discussion of what NASA should actually be doing with the money, and it’s assumed that there are no problems at NASA that money won’t fix. But absent major reforms and ways of doing business, sending more money to NASA is like sending more booze to a teenager behind the wheel.

[Update a couple minutes later]

From the “About” page:

We hope you’ll join us in showing your support for NASA and human spaceflight by sharing this website with your friends and family, and by contacting your elected representatives.

Note the implicit assumption that NASA is identically equal to “Human spaceflight.” How naive. And counterproductive. When I look at Constellation, I have to channel William Proxmire: “Not one penny for this nutty fantasy.”

[Update Sunday morning]

Jeff Foust has further thoughts on the petition:

The site…just rehashes many of the old arguments, the ones that have not proven compelling in the past. The site includes a letter you can sign to send to your representatives, but the call to action is weak: “I urge you to provide adequate investment in our nation’s space program.” What may be one person’s “adequate investment” may be another’s wholly inadequate—or simply unaffordable.


[Late Sunday afternoon update]

More thoughts from Clark Lindsey:

I know these guys mean well…but I can’t support giving more money to an agency that would waste it on absurdly expensive projects like Ares I/Ares V. If the cost of access to space cannot be reduced substantially from currently levels, it is pointless to continue with human spaceflight. These projects neither lower space access costs nor lay a technology development path towards lower costs.

Yes. As I’ve noted often, even if these programs were successful by their own metrics, they would be an utter failure in terms of opening up space to humanity, as all of NASA’s human spaceflight programs have been to date.

Fifty-Two Percent

That’s the (devastating) unemployment rate for young people:

Al Angrisani, the former assistant Labor Department secretary under President Reagan, doesn’t see a turnaround in the jobs picture for entry-level workers and places the blame squarely on the Obama administration and the construction of its stimulus bill.

“There is no assistance provided for the development of job growth through small businesses, which create 70 percent of the jobs in the country,” Angrisani said in an interview last week. “All those [unemployed young people] should be getting hired by small businesses.”

There are six million small businesses in the country, those that employ less than 100 people, and a jobs stimulus bill should include tax credits to give incentives to those businesses to hire people, the former Labor official said.

“If each of the businesses hired just one person, we would go a long way in growing ourselves back to where we were before the recession,” Angrisani noted.

…Angrisani said he believes that Obama’s economic team, led by Larry Summers, has a blind spot for small business because no senior member of the team — dominated by academics and veterans of big business — has ever started and grown a business.

But they went to Ivy League schools, and are smarter than us, so things will work out. Perhaps they just haven’t raised the minimum wage high enough.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!