Late Night Open Thread: To Infinity, With Branding!


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The Trump Administration wants all kinds of stuff it ain’t gonna get:

The White House plans to stop funding the station after 2024, ending direct federal support of the orbiting laboratory. But it does not intend to abandon the orbiting laboratory altogether and is working on a transition plan that could turn the station over to the private sector, according to an internal NASA document obtained by The Washington Post.

The plan to privatize the station is likely to run into a wall of opposition, especially because the United States has spent nearly $100 billion to build and operate it. Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said he hoped recent reports of NASA’s decision to end funding of the station “prove as unfounded as Bigfoot.” He said the decision was the result of “numskulls” at the Office of Management and Budget…

“The ISS is built for science and human exploration, it’s not built for profit seeking,” said Andrew Rush, the chief executive of Made In Space, a company that uses 3-D printing to manufacture objects on the space station.

Frank Slazer, the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association, said the plan also could prove sticky with the station’s international partners.

“It will be very hard to turn ISS into a truly commercial outpost because of the international agreements that the United States is involved in,” he said. “It’s inherently always going to be an international construct that requires U.S. government involvement and multinational cooperation.”…

Progressives support the ISS, because science, and conservatives support it, because WIN THE SPACE RACE has been a Repub applause line since the 1950s. (Not to mention, Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ miracle missiles.) Declaring bankruptcy and walking away, not an option.

Per the New York Times, “NASA Budgets for a Trip to the Moon, but Not While Trump Is President”:

Sending astronauts back to the moon is one of the top space priorities of President Trump. But his administration wants to accomplish that without giving NASA additional money, and it won’t occur until after he leaves office, even if he wins re-election…

In future years, the administration would like NASA’s spending to drop to $19.6 billion and stay flat through 2023. With inflation, NASA’s buying power would erode, effectively a budget cut each year…

The proposal is just an opening bid. Congress decides the final spending numbers, sometimes adjusting them or ignoring a president’s priorities. But an administration’s wishes are often incorporated.

NASA’s budget will be announced at a moment when the agency has no permanent leaders to carry out the new directions. Mr. Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma congressman, to be the next administrator, but the Senate has not yet confirmed him. Whether the administration has the votes to confirm him remains uncertain. This is by far the longest period in NASA’s history without an administrator…

Apart from the photo-op, Trump doesn’t really give a damn, so the scientists still there are trying to slow-walk his wilder demands until he’s out of office, right?

107 replies
  1. 1
    Mike J says:

    AL @ top:

    The Trump Administration wants all kinds of stuff it ain’t gonna get:

    Senator Patty Murray Verified account @PattyMurray 2 hours ago
    The best thing about President Trump’s budget: It will be ignored by the Democrats and Republicans actually working to get results

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Jeffro says:

    Just keep calling it a “Trumpov Space Hotel”… that should kill its chances for good. Even the Repubs understand how the touch of Shit Midas works…

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Another Scott says:

    The local NPR station was listing all kinds of things that Trump wants to privatize during a local news break. The GW Parkway, DCA and IAD, The Washington Aqueduct, etc., etc.

    They want to sell everything, and get a cut of the price (somehow). They’re grifters.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    GregB says:

    One of these days Melania…….to the moon!

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Also too, some of the same articles quoted Dolt 45 as calling space “the new American frontier” and everyone seems to have glossed over that.

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  6. 6

    These people are a fucking cancer.

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  7. 7
    Bupalos says:

    @Jeffro: Um no. No they don’t.

    If you call it “trumpov space hotel” 10’s of millions of junior nazis will spontaneously ejaculate at how mad the libtards is gonna be.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    The Trump Space Hotel.

    Pigs in spa-a-a-ace!

    ReplyReply
  9. 9

    @Bupalos: Well we can’t have that, ew.

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  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    That’s only the beginning of how bad his NASA/NSF/etc. budget requests are. Just one example from that article:

    If you think it’s only a joke to suggest that the Trump administration would terminate an active observatory once we’ve gone through the expense of putting it in orbit, well, then you haven’t read the rest of the budget proposal, which attempts to follow through on earlier threats to gut NASA’s Earth-observing missions. Two are not yet launched. One is a satellite called CLARREO pathfinder, which is intended to develop instruments for a follow-on satellite to produce detailed climate records. Another, PACE, would track ocean-atmosphere interactions. Two other satellites would have specific instruments shut down—one of them an Earth-observing camera championed by Al Gore that’s been targeted by every Republican administration since he left the Vice Presidency (the Bush administration shelved the working hardware rather than put it in orbit).

    But the most striking thing is the call to shut down the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, which has only been in operation for less than four years. The ability to monitor Earths’ carbon dioxide fluxes was considered so important for following climate change that NASA built a second after the first was lost in a launch accident. The Trump Administration would now shut it down.

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  11. 11
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    The White House plans to stop funding the station after 2024, ending direct federal support of the orbiting laboratory.

    Counting our chickens before they hatch, are we Twerp?

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  12. 12
    The Dangerman says:

    Why stop at privatizing the Space Station after all the public funds put into it? How about the Trump Interstate Highway System? How about a real Trump University (it would have to one with it’s own golf course, natch)?

    ETA: OK, Scott got there at 3.

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  13. 13
    Matt McIrvin says:

    If I recall correctly, the Obama administration was discussing just scuttling the ISS in the near future, so privatizing it might be a step up.

    Honestly, the scientific value of the ISS is not that large. Aside from human long-duration space studies (which have mostly revealed that long periods in microgravity mess you up real bad and we probably shouldn’t do them), most of the experiments there probably could have been done some other way.

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  14. 14
    dm says:

    Progressives support the ISS, because science

    Isn’t that a reason to oppose the ISS? It costs tons of money and delivers very little science (compared to, say, the Hubble Space Telescope, Cassini, or New Horizons). I suppose it might deliver some biology (the effects on the human body of long periods of weightlessness) and engineering (how to keep a habitat in space habitable), but robots are much better at delivering science in space.

    Privatizing the ISS doesn’t bother me much. Privatizing weather satellites and eliminating Earth observation satellites bothers me a good deal more.

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  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    Fantasy, sadly.

    The Old Post Office in D.C. is put on the block, snapped up by liberal-leaning money and Dolt 45’s lease is cancelled.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    @Jeffro:
    Motel 6rump ™

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  17. 17
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @dm:
    Space stations are a great stepping stone towards long-term space missions, such as traveling to Mars. They’re useful for that. Which is why I will be eternally pissed we gave up on Skylab-type stations (along with the awesome Apollo CSM) and ceded that to the Soviets

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  18. 18

    @dm:

    I suppose it might deliver some biology (the effects on the human body of long periods of weightlessness) and engineering (how to keep a habitat in space habitable)

    Those kinds of science are hard to study without having some sort of station in space.

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  19. 19
    Aleta says:

    The road between downtown DC and Dulles–was that built (as the story goes) for the convenience of Senators and Reps? Is it a toll road?

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  20. 20
    John Revolta says:

    Will that thing still stay up there after they gold-plate everything?

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  21. 21
    danielx says:

    “It will be very hard to turn ISS into a truly commercial outpost because of the international agreements that the United States is involved in,” he said. “It’s inherently always going to be an international construct that requires U.S. government involvement and multinational cooperation.”…

    International agreements? Has Trump suddenly started giving a shit about international agreements?

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  22. 22
    GregB says:

    In OT news. Gun maker Remington has filed for bankruptcy.

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  23. 23
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @dmsilev: Those are the real crimes, to my mind. Gutting Earth-observation science just because you hate treehuggers is far worse than selling off the ISS.

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  24. 24
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @GregB:
    All the profits went away when Twerp became President. Isn’t that sick?

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  25. 25
    NotMax says:

    Eagerly anticipating results from the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) once it becomes fully operational. Launch is scheduled for springtime of 2019.

    NASA has described JWST as the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, but not a replacement, because the capabilities are not identical. JWST will have the ability to see high-redshift objects, typically both older and farther away than previous instruments could assess. The result was to extend the life of Hubble until JWST, as the next generation telescope, could go online. This led to a radically altered design for JWST to obtain images deeper into the infrared than Hubble, and beyond the capabilities of the Infrared Space Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

    In contrast to the Hubble Space Telescope, which has a 2.4-meter (7.9 ft) mirror, the JWST primary mirror is composed of 18 hexagonal mirror segments for a combined mirror size of 6.5-meter-diameter (21 ft 4 in).…

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  26. 26
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Aleta: There’s a free access road that just goes to the airport, and a toll road built in opposing lanes on the outside of the access road. It’s supposed to be illegal to use the free road for anything other than airport business (to keep it from clogging up with general traffic), but they eventually built the toll road because so many people were driving to the airport on the access road and then backtracking to where they actually wanted to go.

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  27. 27
    B.B.A. says:

    @Aleta: It’s set up so you have to pay tolls if you’re not going to or from the airport. But I think the toll booths are owned by the Virginia DOT, and the Feds can’t sell what isn’t theirs. (Not that it’ll stop them trying.)

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  28. 28
    danielx says:

    I refuse to link, so you have to go look up David Brooks’ latest encomium yourself. It is a typically Brooksian bait and switch column entitled “The End of the Two Party System”. I read it and was going mmm-hmmm, nothing too objectionable, although I don’t agree with his premise as to why, but okay. Then I get three quarters of the way through the piece and get to the a-ha! moment, and there it is:

    Both sides! Both sides! Both sides!

    Got to give Brooks credit for some sort of twisted consistency, if nothing else. He does know upon which side his extremely expensive bread is extremely expensively buttered, insufferable asshole that he is, and he never fails to disappoint.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    Aleta says:

    Bryce Covert‏
    @brycecovert
    An incomplete list of the programs Trump wants to eliminate in his budget:
    
The Social Services Block Grant, which gives states funding to help the most vulnerable populations, like abused children and the elderly.


    
LIHEAP, which helps poor people pay their energy bills and keep their houses warm in winter.

The Rural Economic Development program, which gives loans to utilities to do projects that create jobs in rural areas.




    The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which discharges people’s student debt after 10 years of working for a nonprofit or government.


    
Food for Progress, which helps developing countries develop their agricultural industries.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    Anne Laurie @ Top:

    Apart from the photo-op, Trump doesn’t really give a damn, so the scientists still there are trying to slow-walk his wilder demands until he’s out of office, right?

    Honestly, I think any scientists who are still there are looking for new jobs.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Aleta says:

    @Matt McIrvin: @B.B.A.:
    Thanks, helpful.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Origuy says:

    Trump wants to slash food stamps and replace them with a ‘Blue Apron-type program’

    The Trump administration wants to slash food aid to low-income families and make up the difference with a box of canned goods — a change that Office of Management and budget director Mick Mulvaney described in a Monday briefing as a “Blue Apron-type program.”

    If this isn’t the dumbest idea yet.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33

    @Origuy: I assume this is a Kushner proposal.

    Disrupt food stamps with blockchain cloud drones!

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    And it is planned to be launched from the spaceport facility in French Guiana, which has the added bonus of ticking off you know who.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    randy khan says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding the value of pure science. ‘Tis a pity.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    randy khan says:

    There are too many places to count in this budget where it is inconsistent with the deal that Congress passed and the President signed just a week ago. Apparently nobody in the Administration thought it was important to fix those problems before sending it along. That makes it even deader on arrival than the usual budget proposal.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    @Origuy

    Do they even make canned T-bone steaks?

    (Those sentient during the Reagan debacle will instantly know of what I speak.)

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Kyle Griffin @ kylegriffin1
    DLCC says that Democrat Karla Bigham has won the special election in SD-54 for the Minnesota Senate, maintaining a seat in a district that Trump narrowly won in 2016

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  39. 39
    B.B.A. says:

    @randy khan: Is there any point to the Presidential budget anymore? Seems to me like we could eliminate it and make it official that the budget is set by last-minute Congressional negotiations every six weeks or so.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    danielx says:

    @NotMax:

    And will these boxes be delivered in Cadillacs, preferably with gangster sidewalls and fender whiskers?

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @B.B.A.: Was there ever? It’s always been something of a wish list and butt-covering exercise.

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  42. 42
    JGabriel says:

    @danielx:

    International agreements? Has Trump suddenly started giving a shit about international agreements?

    Doesn’t matter. The US isn’t the sole owner. It’s not the US Space Station; it’s the International Space Station:

    The International Space Station program is tied together by a complex set of legal, political and financial agreements between the fifteen nations involved in the project, governing ownership of the various components, rights to crewing and utilization, and responsibilities for crew rotation and station resupply.

    We’ve only funded about 40% of the ISS:

    The ISS has been described as the most expensive single item ever constructed.[315] In 2010 the cost was expected to be $150 billion. This includes NASA’s budget of $58.7 billion (inflation-unadjusted) for the station from 1985 to 2015 ($72.4 billion in 2010 dollars), Russia’s $12 billion, Europe’s $5 billion, Japan’s $5 billion, Canada’s $2 billion, and the cost of 36 shuttle flights to build the station; estimated at $1.4 billion each, or $50.4 billion in total.

    It’s owned, and/or governed, by the Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement:

    Ownership of modules, station usage by participant nations, and responsibilities for station resupply are established by the Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). …

    … The Russian part of the station is operated and controlled by the Russian Federation’s space agency and provides Russia with the right to nearly one-half of the crew time for the ISS. The allocation of remaining crew time (three to four crew members of the total permanent crew of six) and hardware within the other sections of the station is as follows: Columbus: 51% for the ESA, 46.7% for NASA, and 2.3% for CSA.[4] Kibō: 51% for the JAXA, 46.7% for NASA, and 2.3% for CSA.[13] Destiny: 97.7% for NASA and 2.3% for CSA.[14] Crew time, electrical power and rights to purchase supporting services (such as data upload and download and communications) are divided 76.6% for NASA, 12.8% for JAXA, 8.3% for ESA, and 2.3% for CSA.

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  43. 43
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Yay!
    But…

    Pennsylvania Republicans have drawn a new congressional map that is just as gerrymandered as the old one

    The new districts generally respect county and municipal boundaries and don’t “wander seemingly arbitrarily across Pennsylvania,” as the state’s Supreme Court wrote. Unfortunately for Pennsylvania voters, the new districts show just as much partisan bias as the old ones.

    You can demonstrate this using the precinct-level results of the 2016 presidential election: See which precincts are assigned to which districts under the new map, use those assignments to calculate the total presidential vote in each of the new districts and compare those figures with the vote totals under the old districts. That will give you a good sense of how the partisan makeup of the new districts compares to the old ones.

    Brian Amos, a redistricting expert at the University of Florida, has done exactly that. Amos combined the new district maps with precinct-level returns compiled by cartographers Nathaniel Kelso and Michal Migurski.

    The similarities are striking: In 2016, Donald Trump received more votes than Hillary Clinton in 12 out of Pennsylvania’s 18 districts. Under the Republicans’ new map, Trump would similarly outperform Clinton in exactly 12 districts.

    Not only that, but the vote margins in each district would be virtually identical. The chart below plots, for each district, the vote margins in 2016 vs. the margins that would result from the Republicans’ new map. Across all 18 districts, the average difference in vote margins between the old and new map would be a little over four percentage points.

    […]

    Pennsylvania Republicans deny partisanship was a factor in their new maps. “Partisan data was not used in any form in the development of the proposed map,” Drew Crompton, general counsel to Pennsylvania’s state Senate Republicans, said in an email. “The proposed map fully complies with all the metrics laid out by the plaintiff experts in the case as well as the tests set forth in the majority opinion by the Supreme Court of Pa.”

    […]

    Experts consulted by the plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania case have testified that it’s highly unlikely the level of partisan skew observed in the old maps — and now the new ones — is accidental. Jowei Chen of the University of Michigan created 500 computer-drawn district maps optimized for Pennsylvania’s traditional redistricting criteria of compactness, contiguity and equal population. Among those maps, “the highest number of classified Republican districts was 10, and in none of the simulated plans would 13 of the congressional districts be classified as Republican” as they are under the existing maps, Chen found.

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has until Thursday to review the new Republican-drawn map. If Wolf rejects it, the Supreme Court will instruct independent redistricting expert Nathaniel Persily of Stanford University to draw a new map from scratch.

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  44. 44
    Brachiator says:

    Can we launch Trump to the Space Station? We could even paint a life support segment gold, just like he likes it.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    NotMax says:

    @B.B.A.

    As an in print guideline and ready reference as to what are deemed national priorities (as well as to what are not or have been elevated, altered or demoted) it serves a purpose.

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  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bupalos: And this is a problem because…?

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  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    Finished making Galentines for my coworkers (women only, of course). And I have to get up a little early tomorrow to pick up a couple of King Cakes from Porto’s for our office. We first got a King Cake when The Princess and the Frog was in production and now we’re addicted.

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  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷:

    Pennsylvania Republicans have drawn a new congressional map that is just as gerrymandered as the old one.

    Could we take away the electoral votes of any state that does not produce a non-partisan congressional map?

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    dmsilev says:

    @Brachiator: Can we launch him in a small car on an asteroid-belt orbit instead? I hear Elon Musk has just the rocket for that.

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  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @randy khan: I am a liberal arts/law school guy; I don’t understand the value of pure science. The thing is. I understand that it has value and that I don’t really know what is and is not. Let’s learn stuff. Maybe some of it will be useful.

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  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JGabriel:

    I already see where the problem is:

    The Russian part of the station is operated and controlled by the Russian Federation’s space agency and provides Russia with the right to nearly one-half of the crew time for the ISS.

    If the US and Russia agree to privatize the ISS — perhaps with a nice US/Russian oligarch partnership — there’s not going to be a lot the rest of the commission can do about it.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    @JGabriel:
    No matter. Trump can launch the TrumpISSAwesomeModule ™ to attach to the side. It will be gold-plated (naturlich) and the size of Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge. Winining!

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  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    @GregB:

    In OT news. Gun maker Remington has filed for bankruptcy.

    So, they are going out with a whimper, not a bang?

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    GregB:

    Gun maker Remington has filed for bankruptcy.

    Hmm.

    [Ponders.]

    Trying to decide if bankrupting gun manufacturers was worth electing a Republican controlled government …

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  55. 55
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    I wish. That would probably need a constiutional amendment and that’s not happening anytime soon.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    lynn says:

    The Chinese will buy ISS and use it to resupply their colony on the moon.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: I consider “the Supreme Court will instruct independent redistricting expert Nathaniel Persily of Stanford University to draw a new map from scratch” to be a good outcome.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @dmsilev:

    Can we launch him in a small car on an asteroid-belt orbit instead?

    Ha! Even better.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Origuy: Yet again, Donald can fuck the fuck off.

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  60. 60
    Jay says:

    @lynn:

    China has their own space station.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Mike J says:

    @Jay: Didja see where the booster from the last launch wound up?

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  62. 62
    trollhattan says:

    @dmsilev:
    Ground Control to MajorSuperGeneral Don.

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  63. 63
    Steeplejack says:

    @Aleta:

    To add to what Matt and B.B.A. said:

    The “dedicated” Dulles Access Road doesn’t go all the way from downtown; it goes from the Beltway to Dulles. You get on it from I-495 (the Beltway) or I-66 (a fairly straight shot from downtown). Once you’re on it there are very few exits, and those drop you onto the local toll roads. But there’s no toll to go to the airport.

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  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    Did no one explain to dem Scheißgibbon or his administration that the ISS isn’t America’s to privatise, or did they refuse to listen?

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Oh I do. Have I mentioned that axing Skylab and the Apollo CSM was a huge mistake? ;)

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Citizen Alan says:

    My personal theory: Shitgibbon is pushing for a return to the Moon solely so that astronauts can leave a plaque there with his name on it that will endure forever even if you destroy the planet in a nuclear war. The only signs of our race’s existence will be monuments to Nixon and himself.

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  67. 67
    efgoldman says:

    @Steeplejack:

    those drop you onto the local toll roads. But there’s no toll to go to the airport.

    If you stay on until the Air & Space Annex, you pay a toll. But even with the tolls and parking, it’s still;one of the best bargains for the least $$ around.

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  68. 68
    Aleta says:

    @Steeplejack: Thanks.

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  69. 69
    Mike J says:

    @Citizen Alan: He could just carve his name in it like Chairface Chippendale.

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  70. 70
    Redshift says:

    @Aleta:

    The road between downtown DC and Dulles–was that built (as the story goes) for the convenience of Senators and Reps? Is it a toll road?

    I haven’t heard that story. The better-known one is that the reason DCA still exists is that it’s just across the river from DC and senators and congresspersons have their own parking there.

    I’m pretty sure the Dulles Access Road was built to try to make that airport more convenient for everyone, back when it was in the middle of nowhere.

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  71. 71
    Aleta says:

    Going out on a limb for no reason but I’m going to say this (because the NBC commenters watching Shaun White kept saying oh,my,god) …

    They’re not mentioning that in trade for getting to go last, he’s shown his competitors some of what he brought. But I could be wrong that he’s disadvantaged in that way now. Strategery.

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  72. 72
    Redshift says:

    @efgoldman:

    If you stay on until the Air & Space Annex, you pay a toll. But even with the tolls and parking, it’s still;one of the best bargains for the least $$ around.

    That’s because the Air & Space Museum isn’t at the airport. It’s nearby, but it’s entrance is from Route 28. To get to Route 28, you’re on the toll road, not the airport access road, which is free.

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  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    @Redshift – @ et al.

    As good an opening as any to drop in a little Carol Burnett.

    :)

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  74. 74
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax: oh,my,god

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  75. 75
    Duane says:

    @Origuy: Envision the former Commodity Food Program. Black and white packages of surplus food. Who gets those contracts? I foresee profit!

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  76. 76
    Redshift says:

    @Citizen Alan: Astronaut Stan Love quipped that he guessed the Moon must be a red state, because there doesn’t seem to be any other reason Republican presidents always want to go to the Moon, and Democratic presidents want to go to Mars.

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  77. 77

    @Mnemosyne: The kid got us one for Christmas dinner, quite good.

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  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Redshift: Explain JFK.

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  79. 79
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Redshift:
    In all honesty, establishing a moonbase would probably be easier than traveling to Mars and perhaps a bigger stepping stone towards eventually going to the red planet. Imagine being able to manufacture spacecraft and rockets on the Moon. The low gravity would mean a hell of a lot of fuel wouldn’t be needed just to get into an Earth parking orbit initially. Even better, rocket fuels could be made on the moon, converted from materials there.

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  80. 80

    Just watched episode 4 of the new X-Files season (“The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat”, a Darin Morgan episode), and what a delight! A bit of an indulgent groaner for about thirty seconds though.

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  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Darin Morgan is a genius.

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  82. 82
    jl says:

    Only spent a few minutes searching, but Think Progress has the most specific run down the Trump plan to take an ax to social insurance.
    I think a lot of the cuts are just gimmicks to cut off benefits. Some articles characterize some of the big cuts as reductions in payments to providers. But I think they are more than that, they are devices to make continuity of care more difficult for elderly people who need institutional rehab and long term or transitional care. I guess the Trumpsters figure the old parasites can just go home to families, go home alone, and the cuts will prevent referrals and payments for skilled care and rehab institutions, and the sick old farts will just die off quicker.

    I guess the bright side, if there is one, is that this garbage will be easy to portray as a obvious and simple betrayal of Trump’s populist campaign promises. Because that is exactly what it is.

    I guess the miserable idiot Trump will say most of the cuts to Medicare aren’t really cuts, they are just clawing back expanstion that happened under the blah president, so that doesn’t really count as cuts. Except, the actually are deadly cuts, to sick people.

    The Trump monstrosity is probably why Ryan has been chomping at the bit to get to chopping social insurance. Ryan probably knew something really egregious was coming out, and he would try to play reasonable good cop trying to find a centrist compromise. I don’t think it will work.

    As i mentioned a few days ago, during Holiday tour of ancestral stomping grounds, ran into some conservaDem and former GOP family members who wanted to take a lead pipe to Ryan, and his GOP Congressional buddies, and were eager to say so, over and over again whenever politics cam up. And exactly over this crap.

    Trump’s budget cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, breaking core campaign promise
    This would be over a trillion dollars in cuts to some of the nation’s most vulnerable.
    RYAN KORONOWSKI
    FEB 12, 2018
    https://thinkprogress.org/trump-promises-cuts-medicare-medicaid-social-security-36a0e8a57ae0/

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  83. 83
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    How do the new seasons hold up compared to the old show in your opinion? I’m only still in Season 4.

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  84. 84

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: Oh, they’re worse, but there’s at least two Darin Morgan episodes, which makes each season worth it on its own.

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  85. 85
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:
    Mind=blown. And here I didn’t think I could love her any more than I already do.

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  86. 86
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Well, that sucks to hear. It should have just been left alone.

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  87. 87
    RandomMonster says:

    Coming up—Trump puts the space station up on Airbnb.

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  88. 88
    Mary G says:

    H/T Al Giardano, music that makes me happy tonight.🎹🎵🎶🎤

    Also we are getting a bit of rain tomorrow.☔🌈🌻

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  89. 89
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷:
    Have you got as far as Memento Mori? One of their best episodes ever.
    ETA: With all due respect to Major Major Major Major, watch the new episodes for yourself and form your own opinion. You might see things in them that he doesn’t, and vice versa.

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  90. 90
    Steeplejack says:

    @Redshift:

    Thank you! I was just about to wield the Nerf hammer of correction, but you took care of it.

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  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mary G:

    We got some tonight. It was that very So Cal conversation of, “What’s that weird sound?” “I’m not sure. Could it be … rain?”

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  92. 92
    Mike J says:

    @Amir Khalid: I stopped in season 6 or 7. If I wanted to try it, where should I pick it up?

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  93. 93

    @Amir Khalid: hey, he asked.

    ETA and I’m pretty obviously still watching it, my brief review notwithstanding. ‘Worse’ hardly the same as ‘terrible, skip!’

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  94. 94
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Oh, I plan to and no I haven’t seen that episode, but I will. I’m normally non-discriminating when it comes to media I consume. I just enjoy it for it is: escapism.

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  95. 95
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷:
    Scully’s monologue in the Memento Mori teaser is classic. You don’t often hear the word “numinous” on TV.

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  96. 96
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @dm:

    but robots are much better at delivering science in space.

    But a segment of progressives are freaked out about robots.

    You know…… drooooooooooooooooooooonze!1!

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  97. 97
    Mike J says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Have you seen the Boston dynamics dog that holds the door open so the gunbot can go through?

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  98. 98
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Mike J:that’s pretty funny. My cat is really tall and he opens doors that have a level handle. And he’s more efficient than a robot – I don’t have to plug him into a wall at night or update his firmware.

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  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike J:
    I think you can safely skip most of seasons 8 and 9, which had single-mom Scully, absentee-dad Mulder and not much sense that the show’s larger story was going anywhere.

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  100. 100

    @Mary G: We got 0.17″ outside the cave tonight.

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  101. 101
    Cermet says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: Except for low gravity, they are of no real use for deep space missions since the station is inside the earth;s magnetic belt providing massive protection from the Galactic cosmic radiation threat. The orbit is all wrong so one can’t use it as a launch platform or fuel storage so it isn’t a LEO base at all; the on board systems do not provide data for the harsh Mars planetary surface environment; and frankly, the station consume vast amounts of money that could have been directed for space creating the moon or Mars missions.

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  102. 102
    Jinchi says:

    “NASA Budgets for a Trip to the Moon, but Not While Trump Is President”

    Reminds me of George W. Bush’s “Mission to Mars”, which was also really a plan to return to the Moon, also completely unfunded by the man who proposed it, and served as cover for shutting down NASA’s only existing manned space flight capability.

    Republicans like to take credit for big initiatives, but not so much actually doing them.

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  103. 103
    debbie says:

    The ISS would be the perfect spot for his parade!

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  104. 104
    Cermet says:

    @lynn: Again, wrong orbit inclination so, that is not really possible. People need to read up on a subject before making such statements.

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  105. 105
    Jinchi says:

    @dm:

    robots are much better at delivering science in space.

    No, they’re cheaper. If robots were better at delivering science, we would just replace every field geologist with a remote drone, and every chemist with a portable chemistry kit. Robots work well with the limited budget available, but people on site would be far superior.

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  106. 106
    Cermet says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: Do the math – not worth it (NASA has and I have; it isn’t too hard.) A moon base is just another gravity well. Finding fuel there is a fool’s quest since there is still no proof there is any water at all – likely just bond up hydrogen – and worse, its at the poles. The worse possible place to try to create a base (extremely difficult orbital profile (lots of fuel needed to get there/leave.) Throwing out ideas based on speculation is worse than useless – it just muddies the waters for what can be done at the best price. Building rockets on the moon is just silly if one looks at it from an engineering logistics or human radiation issue angle.

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  107. 107
    Boatboy_srq says:

    1962: JFK: “We choose to go to the moon”
    2004: GWB: “We’re going to Mars (just not using the space shuttle to help)”
    2018: DJT: “SpaceX is gonna get us back into orbit”

    Rethugs make for small, small pResidents. This one in particular.

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