Scott Pruitt On Climate

I agree with Professor Curry that the media has distorted his statement beyond recognition (and I basically agree with his position, as does she). I also agree that this statement is nonsense:

The right’s refusal to accept the authority of climate science is of a piece with its rejection of mainstream media, academia, and government, the shared institutions and norms that bind us together and contain our political disputes.

The “authority of climate science.” Sorry, but “climate science” has no “authority” (no science does). It and its ignorant defenders have beclowned themselves.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: A new paper says that only five out of thirty climate models can capture the Asia Pacific Oscillation. But sure, let’s use them as a basis to pauperize much of the world.

[Update a while later]

Oh, look, here’s some insanity from NBC News:

Pruitt’s view is at odds with 99.99 percent of climate scientists, according to peer-reviewed studies.

At least it’s precise, if not accurate.

The Alabama Porkers

It’s not enough that they have to screw up human spaceflight; now they want to cripple ULA and military launch as well:

“The United States Government (USG) must have a hands-on, decision-making role… in any decision made by United Launch Alliance to down-select engines on its proposed Vulcan space launch system, especially where one of the technologies is unproven at the required size and power,” the letter states. “If ULA plans on requesting hundreds of millions of dollars from the USG for development of its launch vehicle and associated infrastructure, then it is not only appropriate but required that the USG have a significant role in the decision-making concerning the vehicle.” The letter then goes on to say the Air Force should not give any additional funding to ULA, other than for current launch vehicles, until the company provides “full access, oversight of, and approval rights over decision-making” in its choice of contractors for the engines on Vulcan

Vulcan, by definition, cannot use the AR1. It’s a methane vehicle. AR1 means continuing to use the Atlas V, which can’t compete with SpaceX (or Blue Origin’s reusable New Glenn). This doesn’t hurt Blue Origin that much, because its main use for the BE-4 is for its own vehicle, but it would be devastating for ULA if they’re forced by politics to stick with an uncompetitive launch system to please the Alabama delegation.

Although both Rogers and Thornberry are members of the House Armed Services Committee, it is difficult to avoid ascribing at least some political motives to the letter. In January, Aerojet Rocketdyne said it would produce the AR1 rocket engine in Huntsville, Alabama, creating 100 new jobs near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Already, another Huntsville company, Dynetics, has become a subcontractor for the engine’s main propulsion system. (A spokesman for Rogers didn’t not reply to a request for comment).

Politics in space hardware procurement? Say it ain’t so!

The IRS Non-Scandal

They’re still withholding 7000 documents that show how (as Koskinen himself admitted) they were targeting conservatives.

As I wrote on an email list this morning (in the context of Big Data, Facebook and government spying): “I’m much more worried (or at least was in the last administration) about being targeted as a “right-wing” (i.e., someone who is a classical liberal, and gives a s**t about the Constitution) rather than Islamic terrorist, if they’re looking through my contacts and statements. And I think that the previous administration was the worst since Woodrow Wilson in terms of targeting what it perceived to be its political enemies (including through the campaign…). I’d call it Nixonian, except Nixon didn’t get away with it.”

“We Will Definitely Catch Up”

As I said, I went to the Satellite 2017 conference. Unfortunately, my flight was too early yesterday to catch this panel:

Shotwell also anticipates that using Falcon 9 rockets with pre-flown first stages will enable the company to execute on its backlog, which is currently loaded with customers that expected to have their satellites launched in 2016. SES-10 was one such mission.

“We do anticipate reflying about six vehicles, [with] pre-flown boosters this year, which should take some of the pressure off of production,” Shotwell said.

Let hope. I’ve been saying that the plans for the Apollo 8 re-enactment next year aren’t as unrealistic as some think (I give it about 30%). They have to get flying again, and they have to fly the heavy this year, and they have to get in those qualification flights, but I think those, not the Dragon itself, are the long pole in the tent. Once they have both pads going, they may in fact be able to work of that backlog, and if they’re regularly reflying first stages, that will be historic.

“Biggest Jobs Gains In Years”

Yes, there is such a thing as an economic environment, and psychology. These are not “Obama’s jobs.”

When Obama came in, the Democrats had already had a jackboot on the neck of the economy since 2006 (including talking it down and things like Schumer helping start the bank runs), and when business (mainly small business) saw that Obama was going to be elected, they pulled in their horns to weather the storm that they hoped would last only four years. It turned out to be eight (though it was mitigated somewhat by the mid-term losses of the party of War On The Free-Market Economy). Despite Paul Krugman’s hilarious prediction, for which he should rightly be mocked until the end of time, the post-election market rally was because she lost, and this boom is part of that relief, despite Trump’s own anti-market instincts.

[Noon update]

Related: It’s an older piece, but Democrats can’t win until they recognize how terrible Obama’s economic policies were.

In other words, they can’t win.

A Classic SLAPP

Popehat shows how this works. As he says, Colorado doesn’t have an anti-SLAPP law, but it may just get dismissed.

By the way, while I don’t generally discuss my own case, briefly, because he’s a public figure, if it ever actually gets to trial, he has to show that I acted “with malice.” Legally, what this means is that I had a “reckless disregard for the truth,” which means that I either knew what I was writing wasn’t true, or I didn’t care whether or not it was.

Whatever else you might think of him, you know who recklessly disregards the truth every day? Donald J. Trump. Though Barack Obama did it a lot, too, to cram ObamaCare down our throats (among many other things).

Haven’t Checked Out Yet

In case anyone was wondering, that last post wasn’t a permanent blogging break, but I’ve been taking an unannounced temporary one. I’ll be back in CA tomorrow, and back to the usual hijinks.

[Wednesday-morning update]

The above was posted from my phone, before I got on the plane in DC on the way back to LAX. I didn’t warn about the blogging break because I didn’t plan it; it just sort of happened. I had my laptop with me the whole trip, and was on it quite a bit, but just didn’t bother to post anything (BTW, for future reference, if this happens again, and you want to see if I’m still metabolizing and on line, check my Twitter account, which remained relatively active throughout, at least in RTs).

I flew out Saturday morning to Dulles, and spent a relaxing half weekend with friends in rural Virginia, then took the train into DC Monday morning to attend the Satellite 2017 conference at the Convention Center, which I normally don’t attend, and in fact never have attended, because I’m not really a satellite sort of guy. But I’d been asked to speak at a panel on Monday afternoon, and I had other business in DC. It turned out that there were a lot of friends and useful contacts at the event, and while I was checking mail and Twitter, I just never got around to posting anything, not even a brief link, because it would have been a distraction. I in fact didn’t realize that the post had been the last one that I’d made until I saw comments there, so decided to at least put something up to assuage concerns, or disappoint those who were hoping for my demise (though I doubt that to the degree they exist at all, they spend much time here).

But in thinking about it, I may be suffering from blogging burnout to a degree, after over a decade and a half of it (last October was my 15th bloggiversary). There’s a lot going on in my life right now, both professionally and personally (good things, I hasten to add), and while in the past that might have been blog fodder, I don’t really feel motivated to discuss it long form, and the things that I do make the effort to discuss long form I try to place other places than the blog these days. I do still tweet a lot (probably too much), and maybe for now the best thing to do is to get my Twitter display working on the blog again, so it will at least be a microblog, and people who stop by will know I’m still here, even if I don’t overcome the additional energy barrier to put up an actual post.

Death, And The Meaning Of Life

I have no idea how I will face my impending end (and I’m doing everything reasonable to put it off as long as possible), but I get meaning from my goal of moving humanity into space, and I’ll continue to do so as long as I’m alive. When I see people who win the lottery have their lives ruined over it, I suspect it’s because they don’t have any real purpose in life other than material pleasure, and have never given any serious thought to what they’d do with the winnings. I’d have no problems at all; if I had a billion dollars, I’d start a serious space venture.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!