Foam Finger Dissonance

Since Curiosity is a NASA project, I thought it might be fun to see how wingers are dealing with the contrast between this latest “we’re #1” moment and the rest of what NASA does. Michelle Malkin’s twitter feed is a good example, alternating between re-tweets of pictures from Mars, pointing out that Curiosity began in the Bush administration, and lobbing accusations that Obama’s science advisor is some kind of “population control freak”. As far as I know, Malkin is still a global warming denier, so it must really hurt when even the conservative Washington Post Opinion Page gives NASA’s James Hansen, the climate scientist that the Bush Administration tried to censor, room for a big “I Told You So” in Friday’s edition. And I assume she and the rest are working hard to cast converted skeptic Richard Muller out of the temple.

That’s about all the nutpicking I could stand, but many of you are made of tougher stuff, so here’s a thread for the crazy.

44 replies
  1. 1
    AxelFoley says:

    To kinda quote Dave Chapelle, this is for you, Michelle Malkin: “Mars, bitch!”

  2. 2
    amk says:

    Do we need to talk about this diarrhea mouth of an ignoramus ? Let’s celebrate and enjoy the real meaningful moment of y’day.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Schlemizel says:

    I would be very careful about Mueller’s recent conversion. His report was not peer reviewed and from what I read there is some doubt about his methodology and his conclusions.

    I always assume an attempted ratfuck from these guys but in this case if we are to remain true to true science we should hold his latest report at arms length

  5. 5
  6. 6

    […] “population control freak”[…]

    Funny how a little three-word phrase can reveal so much about a mindset.

    (There’s a reason one of my personal nicknames for Right-Wingers is “The Yeast-People”).

    I had to get up early today, so I had to miss the live landing. Considering all that could have gone wrong (70+ explosive charges, each one a single point of failure), an awesome success.

  7. 7
    Jamey says:

    Here’s why it sucks being a Progressive Dem: Before we can do an end-zone dance, we have to use puppets and a white-board to explain to right-wingers why we’re dancing.

    Stayed up till 2:am (EDT) to watch the live feed. Best min-by-min commentary provided by none other than funny vulgarian (and fellow-traveler), Seth MacFarlane. Guy has as much money as Romney and how does he spend it? Wrangling a pass into the celeb room at JPL/Curiosity Mission Command. How awesome is that?!

  8. 8
    Cermet says:

    Science RULES and the non-geeks drool: that is, all the asswipe teabaggers (read republicans.)

  9. 9
  10. 10
    JGabriel says:


    That’s about all the nutpicking I could stand …

    I thought nutpicking is when people dig through wingnut comment threads for the most offensive comments and quote/link them, rather than the top-line posts and articles?

    Not that I disagree with the characterization, per se — I’m just not sure whether the definition of nutpicking is still flexible enough to appropriate it for the intended context.


  11. 11
    mai naem says:

    Seriously Michelle Malkin just went through a massive fire in her Colorado neighborhood. Just STFU beeyotch or God’s going to come around and give you even more of your bad karma that’s got a massive balance that’s got to be spent.

  12. 12
    Jamey says:


  13. 13
    Riilism says:

    @Schlemizel: This is good to know. Whether he’s a ratfucker or not, it takes an arrogant prick to ignore or dismiss the results of GW scientists (you know, the ones with actual extensive experience studying the problem) and act like AGW is sketchy until he “proves” it ain’t sketchy…

  14. 14
    Todd says:


    Best min-by-min commentary provided by none other than funny vulgarian (and fellow-traveler), Seth MacFarlane. Guy has as much money as Romney and how does he spend it? Wrangling a pass into the celeb room at JPL/Curiosity Mission Command. How awesome is that?!

    That’s a great point. What cool things has the RomBot ever done with his money? Photo safaris in Africa? Long distance sails? Racing cars? Adventures in Antarctica?

    Dude aims for comfort.

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    My former sister-in-law, who is a NASA engineer at Langley, just sent me this, from a Ford press release:

    Copied from a Ford press summary:
    Blog: Motor Trend, Aug-02-2012 – The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor may be one of the baddest off-roaders on Earth, but Ford wanted to see how it would compare with something a bit more, well, alien. With NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity about to land on the red planet, Ford created this helpful infographic comparing the specs of the Raptor to the ultimate off-road Mars vehicle.
    Raptor vs. Rover: Ford Compares F 150 SVT Raptor to NASAs Mars Rover Curiosity image
    So how does the Raptor stack up with the Curiosity? Well if speed’s your thing, you’ll want the Raptor, which tops out around 100 mph. The Curiosity, on the other hand, is only capable of 500 feet/hour or roughly 0.095 mph. If you’re on a budget, the Raptor is also has the advantage, considering its $43,970 base price is dwarfed by the Rover Curiosity’s $2.5 billion program cost.
    That said, there are aspects where the Curiosity gets the edge on the Raptor. For example, the Curiosity’s six wheels are powered by electric motors, which are powered by a nuclear thermoelectric generator fueled by 10.6 pounds of plutonium dioxide. Ford’s chart notes the Curiosity produces up to 500 lb-ft of torque at each wheel. The Raptor, in comparison, only has a single 6.2-liter V-8 that runs on boring-old 91 octane, and makes ‘only’ 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque.
    If you find yourself more interested in the Mars Rover Curiosity than the Raptor, the closest you can get to owning one is probably the 1:64 scale Hot Wheels version, which is set to arrive in stores by September.

    That Hot Wheels would make a pretty nifty toy. Put it on your wish list naow.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Here’s a link to the Ford infographic (.jpg or .pdf)

  17. 17
    Jamey says:

    @Todd: Romney gives 10% of his [pretax] earnings to some weird success cult (whose most devout dissident adherents practice ritualized child-rape) that’s HQ’d in Utah. Other than that, I got nuthin’.

  18. 18
    different-church-lady says:

    I wonder how well an internal combustion engine works in Mars’ atmosphere.

  19. 19
    redshirt says:

    USA! USA! Except not Obama, ok? Or the Government. Or the majority of the population!

    Actually, CSA! CSA!

  20. 20
    gbear says:

    My message to Malkin is ‘You didn’t build that!”

  21. 21
    dmsilev says:

    @different-church-lady: Very poorly, unless you bring your own oxygen source along with the fuel.

  22. 22
    Jamey says:

    And here we get to the nut of why Rmoney’s taxes matter: Enough people massage loopholes to get out of paying their fair share and we’re unable to fund initiatives like NASA’s Mars programs.

    How can that possibly be good for America?

  23. 23
    Elizabelle says:


    Well said, Jamey.

  24. 24
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    “The Yeast-People”

    Hey now! Humans have yet to prove they are smarter than yeast.

  25. 25
    different-church-lady says:

    @dmsilev: Well, that’s it then: I’m buying the Curiosity.

  26. 26
    ericblair says:


    That’s a great point. What cool things has the RomBot ever done with his money? Photo safaris in Africa? Long distance sails? Racing cars? Adventures in Antarctica?

    This is an interesting line of research. So what do the ultra-rich do with their money? For each Branson or Gates, who use the freedom to do something useful or just interesting, there seems to be 99 mindless blobs who take their great wealth to buy ginormous boats and houses from each other and stuff their money into the international short-term money market where banks sit on it or use it as chips in the big pointless finance ca$ino.

  27. 27
    wrb says:

    I suppose the USPS makes city dwellers subsidize first class mail to Mars.

  28. 28
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I LOL’ed.

  29. 29
    PeakVT says:

    According to a schedule from NASA, there will be news briefings at 12PM and 7PM EST.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:


    He’s probably also using the opportunity to get some footage for his upcoming remake of Cosmos starring Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

    I guess spending your millions on hookers and blow gets boring eventually.

  31. 31
    M31 says:

    Well, the idle rich who sit around on yachts getting drunk are much better people than the non-idle rich who sit around on yachts using their money to take Social Security away.

  32. 32
    Mark S. says:

    I prefer the idle rich who dress up as bats and fight crime.

  33. 33
    Jamey says:

    @Mnemosyne: WHOA, I did not know that!

    But if Seth’s Cosmos reboot is on FOX, will we be forced to accept that space has only two dimensions, or that the expanding universe is just a theory?

  34. 34
    ellenbrenna says:

    A right-winger calling anyone else a “population control freak” is one of those classic pot-kettle situations. A good portion of their political philosophy revolves around the notion that poor people should be compelled to keep it in their pants until they get rich.

  35. 35

    @S. cerevisiae:

    Humans have yet to prove they are smarter than yeast.

    The point of my joke, exactly. You have the Yeast-People, who are totally happy to breed and consume until we all get to choke on their toxins… and the Fruit-Fly people, who want to adjust population to fit the environment.

    Jury’s still out as to which ‘sub-species’ will win. Given that nearly every religion, culture and economic system on the planet favors the Yeast POV, the chances aren’t very good.

    But for now, I get to call Sarah Palin “The Queen of the Yeast People”, if only to amuse myself.

  36. 36
    trollhattan says:

    Little-known Curiosity feature: Countertop Inspection Package–or CIP(tm).

    So there, prospective Martian moocher bacteria.

  37. 37
    Haydnseek says:

    Is Michelle Malkin one of the yeast people, or does she just have a yeast infection?

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    Hey now! Humans have yet to prove they are smarter than yeast.

    I for one welcome our new Yeast Overlords.

  39. 39
    El Cid says:

    @Haydnseek: Yeast are useful organisms, producing many substances needed for human food & drink.

    Michelle Malkin, on the other hand, is an entirely parasitic organism with no known benefits to actual humans.

  40. 40

    Curiosity began in the Bush administration

    I’m going to concede a little bit of this point. Especially because of its historical tie to “national security” (particularly considering the big players that make up the aerospace industry), borrow-and-spend Republicans have always been pretty good friends of space exploration. And as the party of “let them die,” they don’t have the problem of a constituency that asks “why aren’t we spending all that money on our problems here on earth?”

    Obama is better for NASA than his opponents would have you believe (especially considering that NASA is more than just space probes), but under the economic circumstances he inherited, he’s in no position to go on Gingrich-style pie-on-the-moon spending sprees. I think it sucks that his admin proposed cutting NASA’s budget, but what is he supposed to do?

  41. 41

    @To answer my own question, of course, he probably doesn’t have to cut the budget at all. As Phil Plait points out, NASA’s total budget is less than 1% of Federal spending, so devastating the Planetary Sciences program is merely symbolic austerity that helps nobody and hurts a lot.

  42. 42
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    what do the ultra-rich do with their money?

    There’s one group (Waltons, etc.) that sets up generations of idle rich kids, another group (Buffett, Gates) who are following an older philanthropic model, and another group still (Kochs, etc.) who are trying to buy themselves the government of the United States to serve at their will.

  43. 43
    Haydnseek says:

    @El Cid: You’re absolutely right, of course. Excellent description of Malkin, too, much better than the one I had in mind. My father explained the importance of yeast to me when I was a kid. He and a friend were making home-brew in the garage at the time, and I respect his memory by imbibing his favored beverage on a regular basis.

  44. 44
    Joel says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: You neglected to mention that fruit flies eat yeast, which has some unsavory implications.

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