Category Archives: Political Commentary

Blue Origin

They’re filing a lawsuit against the USAF over launch procurement.

I don’t understand why the Air Force wouldn’t want more than two launch providers.

[Afternoon update]

I have some thoughts on Twitter, based on some of the comments here.

First, since people are saying that Blue Origin should demonstrate the ability to develop an orbital rocket, it’s fair to say that so should ULA. They’re flying vehicles developed by other companies over two decades ago.

Arguably, only two teams with recent orbital launcher development experience are SpaceX and NGIS (by acquiring Orbital ATK). Vulcan and New Glenn both currently remain paper rockets. At this point in time, SpaceX has the most experienced launch-development team on the planet.

And while NGIS does have the Antares experience, that won’t necessarily apply to their new vehicle. Even if it was a good idea, no one has successfully developed an orbital launcher based on a large segmented solid rocket. We know that Ares I had teething issues. And of course, this all ignores the reusability factor.

I assume that ULA still wants to recover engines, but that won’t make them competitive with Falcon series, let alone a successful Starship program. At least Blue plans booster reuse.

And ULA will remain hobbled by its parents’ unwillingness to allow it to spend sufficient resources on Vulcan development (and forget ACES). So the trajectory is that, if only two providers, Blue Origin and SpaceX are the way for the USAF to bet.

Also, both Blue Origin and SpaceX will have large commercial markets. Because it probably won’t be cost competitive, Vulcan probably won’t. But there are political reasons for the blue suits (if they remain in charge of launch procurement) to want to keep ULA alive.

If I were the head of Pentagon procurement, I’d go talk to the FECFTC about forcing a divestiture of ULA from its parents, not just on legitimate charges of child abuse, but because of the huge changes that have occurred in the launch market since 2006. But USAF seems to be stuck in the past, when it comes to procuring launches.

[Tuesday-morning update]

A nice history of the RD-180 and how it’s about to be superceded by both BE-4 and Raptor. The days of Russian dominance in rocket propulsion have come to an end.

[Bumped]

Jeffrey Epstein

Gee, this isn’t suspicious at all.

[Update a few minutes later]

Sharyl Attkisson has some questions.

In retrospect, it’s surprising that he’s survived this long.

[Update early afternoon]

Here’s a more complete story. The biggest question right now: If he was taken off suicide watch, why?

[Update a few minutes later]

Ben Sasse has four questions for Bob Barr. I find the absence of any mention of Bill Clinton curious here.

[Monday-afternoon update]

Jeffrey Epstein gets Vince Fostered.

[Bumped]

Joe Scarborough

White supremacist?

[Late-morning update]

The strange case of white supremacy.

Yes, America is such a horrible racist place that millions of people of all races are clamoring and even risking their lives to get here.

And say, did you know that being pro-life is a white-supremacist position?

Yes, that’s right. Those evil white supremacists are trying to prevent the murder of millions of black babies in the womb.

Both Ohrs

…in troubled waters:

Mueller’s professed lack of knowledge during recent congressional testimony regarding Fusion GPS was inexplicable since, as former deputy assistant attorney general Bruce Ohr’s closed-door testimony before Congress shows, Weissmann had full knowledge of the fake nature of the Steele dossier that was a major predicate of the Russian witch-hunt that became the Mueller probe. Weissmann knew there was collusion with the Russians, and that it was between the DNC, the Clinton campaign, British agent Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, the DoJ, the FBI and, yes, Russian sources interested in upending the Trump presidency.

Bruce Ohr, the number four official at the Justice Department as U.S. Deputy Associate Attorney General and the highest-ranking nonappointee, with an office a couple of doors down from Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, kept Weissmann “in the loop” about the fake dossier and its journeys through the deep-state swamp, along with a myriad of other co-conspirators in a web of conspiracy and deceit so vast that Watergate trivia question Carl Bernstein may be right in a way he did not intend when he suggested this whole matter may be bigger than Watergate. It seems only the DoJ janitor was not involved.

If Horowitz finally releases his report next month, it may be a very interesting month.