Patterico's Pontifications

7/4/2010

Redefining NASA

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 7:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There was a time when the mission of NASA — the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — was “to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.” Not anymore:

“In the video below, Charles Bolden, head of NASA, tells Al Jazeera that the “foremost” task President Obama has given him is “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.” Thus, NASA’s primary mission is no longer to enhance American science and engineering or to explore space, but to boost the self-esteem of “predominantly Muslim nations.”

Exploring space didn’t even make the top three things Obama wants Bolden to accomplish. The other two are “re-inspire children to want to get into science and math” and “expand our international relationships.”

Imagine the possibilities when little things like agency mission statements no longer apply.

— DRJ

Fudging Unemployment

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 6:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Tyler Durden explains how the BLS is fudging the unemployment rate:

“The only reason for the decline in the unemployment rate to 9.5% was yet another decline in the labor force participation rate, which according to the BLS dropped another 652k people in the month of June. This resulted in a labor force to the civilian non-institutional population ratio of 64.7%: the second lowest number in decades of data, and only better than December 2009, when this number was 64.6%.
***
if there was a mean reversion to the last 10 year labor force participation average rate of 66.2%, there should be another 3.5 million jobless added to the 14.6 million tally. And as this differential is the easiest thing in the world for the BLS to fudge, adding the two and dividing by the labor force of 153,74, we get an unemployment rate of 11.8% …”

Americans need jobs but we can’t afford Obama’s choices for jobs: Not the $160K per job explained in Ed Morrissey’s Hot Air post on broadband technology, nor the $266K per job for Colorado solar projects.

— DRJ

“I Love My Life”

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 6:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Post at NRO, sent by a Denver reader:

“Today I celebrate my 21st anniversary of my U.S. Citizenship. Received in uniform, on board my ship “Old Ironsides” (USS Constitution), in the middle of Boston harbor during the annual “Turnaround Cruise”.

My commanding officer, a good man, made this happen for me. Me, a lowly enlisted immigrant who made it to these blessed shores, determined to earn my citizenship by enlisting in the mightiest Navy in the world.

My Commander stopped the ship, halting the nearly two thousand vessels following us – everything from kayaks to luxury yachts – and told the several hundred on board that they were about to witness the swearing-in ceremony of one of his crew.

Admiral Crowe, Chairman Joint Chiefs, was our guest of honor. He welled up, and had to pause several times in his introduction of me to the crowd. A Federal judge then swore me in, the second time I had the honor of swearing allegiance to the Constitution (the first being when I had enlisted a few years prior).

It was the finest, proudest most grateful day of my life.

So today I shall play catch with my kids, and raise my glass to this special country that has been and remains a beacon of hope and liberty to the world’s oppressed. With my neighbors, we shall grill burgers and dogs, drink beer, let the kids light a few hundred dollars worth of fireworks and toast our men and women in uniform.

I love my life.”

I raise my glass to you.

— DRJ

BP Relief Well Prepares to Kill the Well?

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

BP’s first relief well neared total depth on or about June 27, followed by several days of electromagnetic testing to locate the original well bore and drilling to bring them into alignment for the bottom kill procedure. The process is explained in this BP video.

My guess is they are preparing to start the bottom kill procedure. If so, this may be over soon.

— DRJ

Apocalypse Now

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 3:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Recently, even President Obama acknowledged the potential fiscal apocalypse caused by record deficits and called on Republicans to put up or shut up:

“Next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits step up. Because I’m calling their bluff.”

For now, most Republicans have focused on deficits but the Wall Street Journal calls this Obama’s Tax Trap:

“Mr. Obama’s plan has been to increase spending to new, and what he hopes will be permanent, heights. Then as the public and financial markets begin to fret about deficits and debt, he’ll claim that the debt is “unsustainable” and that the only “responsible” policy is to raise taxes.”

Instead, the WSJ argues the GOP’s focus should be on growth and spending, not deficits, or they will fall into Obama’s tax trap:

“Republicans need to break out of their rhetorical preoccupation with debt and deficits, focusing their political aim instead on spending and above all on reviving economic growth. They should hold the line against all tax increases and begin to consider a menu of tax cuts to make the U.S. more competitive, especially if the economy continues to underperform.

Mr. Obama’s strategy of spending our way to prosperity clearly hasn’t worked, as the voters are coming to understand. But if the GOP policy response is merely to bemoan deficits, they will soon find themselves back at their historic stand as tax collectors for the welfare state. To avoid Mr. Obama’s tax trap, Republicans also need a growth agenda.”

Too bad Congress doesn’t have someone like Rick Santelli and his Stop Spending message. I think that argument resonates with most Americans.

— DRJ

Pan Am Bomber Could Live Another 10 or 20 Years

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:24 pm

Lovely:

A report in the Sunday Times said Libyan authorities, keen to secure Megrahi’s release, asked several experts to put a three-month estimate on the bomber’s life but Professor Sikora was the only one to agree.

Professor Sikora, the dean of medicine at Buckingham University and medical director of CancerPartnersUK in London, was paid for his medical assessment of Megrahi at Greenock prison on July last year.

He told the newspaper: “There was always a chance he could live for 10 years, 20 years … But it’s very unusual. “It was clear that three months was what they were aiming for. Three months was the critical point. “On the balance of probabilities, I felt I could sort of justify [that].”

He denied he came any under pressure, but admitted: “It is embarrassing that he’s gone on for so long.”

“There was a 50 per cent chance that he would die in three months, but there was also a 50 per cent chance that he would live longer.”

There’s a 100 per cent chance that this guy is a scumbag.

Independence Day

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

General David Petraeus delivered a message in Afghanistan on this 234th anniversary of America’s independence:

“We are in this to win,” Gen. David Petraeus said Sunday as he took the reins of an Afghan war effort troubled by waning support, an emboldened enemy, government corruption and a looming commitment to withdraw troops even with no sign of violence easing.”

America’s patriots also faced obstacles but had the will to win. May they prevail once again.

— DRJ

Celebrating America’s Flag

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 12:04 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

A handful of workers are painting what may be the world’s largest American flag on the roof of a Houston business:

“Work on the nearly 3.5-acre painting started on Flag Day, June 14. Lamons assembled a handful of temporary employees to help LoBaido with the project, and even the company’s president, Kurt Allen, got up on the roof to wield a paint roller.

“America is the best place to live, and I’ve been to over 40 countries,” said Allen, who’s from the United Kingdom. “When I heard about this, I told Scott that whatever it takes, we would help. I’ll be up there on Sunday, too, helping him finish this.”

The project cost nearly $50,000, with sponsors including Lamons helping shoulder the cost, Allen said.

While LoBaido considered several locations for the painting, he said Lamons’ was best because of its diverse work force, which includes people from more than 23 countries, and because of its building’s close proximity to the airport.”

Painting was delayed when Hurricane Alex dumped 3 days of rain on the effort, but the crew is determined to finish by July 4th so returning troops will see it when they land at a nearby airport.

— DRJ


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