Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Part Infinity and Beyond

Christ on a crumpet:

I suspect the entire Space Force concept is a post-hoc justification for some dumb, off-the-cuff thing Trump said. If I’m right, its origins are similar to the voter fraud commission, which was was conjured into existence as post-hoc justification for the stupid, face-saving lie Trump told about “millions of illegal votes” costing him a popular vote victory, when in truth it was millions of sane people recoiling in horror from the prospect of a Trump presidency.

But while the fraudulent fraud commission only wasted a few million dollars, this Space Force business could potentially become a trillion-dollar boondoggle.

PS: Pence is the most obsequious worm in DC. He always tags Trump in on his slobberingly sycophantic tweets and uses language befitting a 19th century bodice-ripper. So embarrassing!

252 replies
  1. 1
    Winston Smith says:

    I want a Gamelon invasion to be taking place. Anything less will be dpressing.

  2. 2
    The Dangerman says:

    Lessee, which is the greater threat … space threats or cyber threats … lemme ponder that a few minutes …

    Of course, one makes Raytheon much more money, so there’s that to consider.

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I suspect a little digging would turn up a movie titled something like “Buck Rogers and The Space Force” that played at the Queens Empire Motion Picture Palace on a Saturday afternoon in 1953, and that one of Fred’s underlings took the brat to , and he remembers that as the day his father told an adult to be nice to him, the closest wee Donald ever came to getting love or affection from the old racist.

    (I’ve been away a while– do we have to reenter name and email every time now?)

  4. 4
    Mom Says I*m Handsome says:

    Pigs in spaaaaaaaaaaaace…

  5. 5

    If I’m right, its origins are similar to the voter fraud commission, which was was conjured into existence as post-hoc justification for the stupid, face-saving lie Trump told about millions of illegal votes that denied him a popular vote victor.

    I don’t think the voter fraud commission was created just to cover Trump’s ridiculous claims about voter fraud. The Republicans have been selling their lies about voter fraud for a long time as a justification for voter suppression. That’s why they had a ready-made team of “experts” like Kobach and von Spakovsky ready to staff Trump’s commission the moment he called for it. There probably would have been a voter fraud commission in any case because they know they need ever stronger voter suppression to counterbalance the Democrats’ growing demographic advantage.

  6. 6
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    Bumpersticker concept:

    IMPEACH REMOVE PENCE FIRST!!

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    “My fairest Trump, I beg thee, please do not be unjust to my ❤️.

    Your always faithful,

    Michael.”

  8. 8
    RP says:

    Pence = Eddie Haskell as VP

  9. 9
    aretino says:

    Can we spare a moment to sympathize with poor Wilbur Ross?

    It comes out that he stole $120 million, and that was only the third biggest political corruption story of the day.

    Perhaps he can lobby Forbes to insist that it was a cool billion!

  10. 10
    Yarrow says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: He’ll resign. He’s a traitor and he’s hiding lots of unChristian activities that he doesn’t want made public.That’s the kompromat that’s part of why he’s committed treason. He desperately doesn’t want it made public so his best bet is to resign.

  11. 11
    MattF says:

    Pence is special– George Fucking Will called him a ‘grovelling lickspittle’, which is quite special.

    And Kris Kobach is special too– not everyone could turn a voter fraud study into a grift, but Kobach did, so there’s real talent there. Evidence is that Kobach has endeared himself to Trump in this fashion.

  12. 12
    germy says:

    Carl Sagan never lived to see this. He’d be disgusted.

  13. 13
    Gravenstone says:

    A war fighting force, yet the Kremlin would have us believe that one of the topics discussed privately between Putin and his poodle was the banning of spaceborne weapons. Hmmmmmm…

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    this Space Force business could potentially become a trillion-dollar boondoggle.

    Not worried. The existing Air Force, Army and Navy will fight tooth and nail to keep their parts of space operations.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @Gravenstone:

    Can’t ban them unless you create them. Checkmate, librul!

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @RP: That’s an insult to Eddie Haskell.

  18. 18
    Platonailedit says:

    pence is a post turtle.

  19. 19

    @Roger Moore: It’s true Republicans have been lying about voter fraud for a long time, but that commission was formed to justify Trump’s lies about the popular vote. I remember it distinctly, and the Democrat on the panel cites it in his scathing report.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @RP: I always think of Paul Ryan as Eddie Haskell of politics, with the difference that unlike the Solons of Sunday Morning Round Tables, Ward and June were never dumb enough to fall for Eddie’s schtick, not for a moment, much less for more than ten years.

    @Yarrow: What Mike and Mother get up to when the curtains are drawn is nobody’s business but their own.

  21. 21
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Baud: Aren’t space-borne weapons explicitly banned already anyway?

    So maybe they were talking about “banning” in the same way The Trump Tower meeting was about “adoptions”.

  22. 22
    kindness says:

    The US has signed treaties not to bring nukes into space. Not that a treaty scares Trump, it doesn’t. More like a ‘Hold my Beer’ moment for him. But without nukes not much of our current conventional weaponry works in space. No oxygen, no boom with bullets or bombs. So we end up with a bunch of people sitting in ships twiddling thumbs. Hmm. Sounds like a job for Grifterman. No wonder Trump loves this idea. It spends all our monies and hands it over to the people Trump loves with absolutely nothing to show for it.

  23. 23
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: True, but the kompromat is not about what Mike gets up to with Mother.

  24. 24
    germy says:

    #AlexJonesABook The Alt Right Stuff— Paul Lander (@paul_lander) August 9, 2018

  25. 25
    Aleta says:

    Looks like a great way to build a wall around a stash of taxpayer money and a pipeline to move it to private contractors, who won’t have to account for it because their work is classified.

  26. 26
    Zinsky says:

    Hardcore conservatives have been getting a hard-on about militarizing outer space since before Reagan. When the only tool you know how to use is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Of course, like almost every conservative endeavor, it is an incredibly stupid, expensive and unnecessary waste of resources. Imagine President Jefferson proposing a new branch of the military after closing the deal on he Louisiana Purchase. Disgraceful. Democrats should tear this new “Space Force” out, root and branch, when they take back Congress and put the money into something productive like education.

  27. 27
    germy says:

    My wife in her sewing room with the radio on. Public radio station. Why the democrats have lost their way. Democrats in the wilderness. How could they lose in 2016, etc.? No mention yet of Russia or Comey. It’s a mystery.

  28. 28
    bluehill says:

    Call it the cyberspace force. Trump won’t know the difference and maybe he’ll force congress to allocate some more money to where the real battle is occurring.

  29. 29
    Gravenstone says:

    @kindness: Umm, explosives and propellants work just fine in near vacuum, thanks. You don’t need nukes to have viable kinetic weapons in that environment.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Trump said his son Baron was good on the computer, so he might be fulfilling his son’s wish. Video games in the skies.

  31. 31
    Tim C. says:

    @kindness: well it’s good news and bad news on that. We actually likely already have working antisatellite capability though a variety of methods. Not sure what else this Space Force would be tasked with doing. Also a good conversation needs to be had about Kessler syndrome in any space shootout.

  32. 32
    gwangung says:

    @Gravenstone: Or to drop them from orbit onto ground targets.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gravenstone: But you can’t hear them. Where’s the satsfaction in that?

  34. 34
    JWL says:

    “..this Space Force business could potentially become a trillion-dollar boondoggle”.

    “This space force” was first announced by Ronald Reagan, remember? It’s already cost taxpayers our back teeth.

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    I suspect the entire Space Force concept is a post-hoc justification for some dumb, off-the-cuff thing Trump said.

    I don’t know. Trump appears to be as serious about this as he is about his wall, even though I don’t know if he wants to bill Mexico for any “space force” the US develops. This space force nonsense is something that he is especially adamant about at his rallies, because he knows that Cletus and Ray from East Bumfuck, Middle America can easily grasp the idea of rocket ships with the good ol’ US of A insignia on them zooming through the skies blasting … something … with laser guns. Whether this shit is practical or needed don’t matter. Trump is like a 6 year old with the federal government at his disposal. Nothing good can come of this.

    @MisterForkbeard:

    Aren’t space-borne weapons explicitly banned already anyway?

    Don’t matter. We are talking about Donald the First here. Not content to try to erase all traces of Obama from presidential history, Trump believes that American history begins with him. All prior treaties and agreements are subject to renunciation if he so wishes.

  36. 36
    Martin says:

    I’m almost positive he’s going to demand we build Voltron. I mean, is Putin really that bad when you have Drule King Lotor trying to destroy you.

  37. 37
    germy says:

    I was sort of hoping outer space would be the place for all nations to come together in a spirit of cooperation and peace. Like the international space station, everyone contributing and learning and benefitting. Not this space wars bullshit.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:

    @germy: please tell us the show. We should complain to public radio about that swill. Do tell!

  39. 39
  40. 40
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Martin: On one hand, that’d be a huge waste of money.

    On the other hand, Voltron.

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    Dale Brown’s books are fiction, not policy.

    Of course, we used to say that about “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

  42. 42
    germy says:

    Lindsey Graham says that there's "a real likelihood" that Democrats "not only win the House, but they win it by 10 or 12 more seats than they need." https://t.co/YXs36TJcMF
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 9, 2018

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Elizabelle: Ima guess Joshua Johnson’s 1A. He has really interesting topics, but he’s got a baaaad case of the bothsidez

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    Interesting OT article.


    “You can blame Millennials for a lot of things,” said John, who is 59 years old and has a teenaged daughter. “But you can’t blame them for killing mail.”

    https://m.govexec.com/management/2018/08/one-thing-millennials-arent-killing-postal-service/150396/

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    I love when they try to do “upbeat! positive!” things and then one of them reverts true to form and say something incredibly and gratuitously nasty about some person or group of people.

    Tick tock! It ALWAYS happens. They’re not positive people, the Trumpsters. They shouldn’t try. They were elected on a hate platform and they should stick with that. It works for them- a good fit.

  46. 46
    Alien Radio says:

    Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest sonofabitch in space.

  47. 47
    Platonailedit says:

    Of course, the creepy fundies are sex offenders.

    The leaders at one of the biggest megachurches in the US have quit over a sexual misconduct scandal that has already claimed its founder.

    A statement from elders at the Willow Creek church said a “new start” was needed, and that they should have handled the allegations better.

    Bill Hybels stepped down earlier this year after accusations of inappropriate conduct emerged.

    He has denied the allegations but said he had become a distraction.

    Several women have come forward with accusations against Mr Hybels dating back to the 1990s.

    Earlier this year, the Chicago Tribune and Christianity Today both detailed allegations that he had made unwanted advances and suggestive comments to church members.

    Church leaders were reportedly told four years ago that Mr Hybels was having an affair with one woman and was accused of harassment by others.

    An internal investigation cleared him of wrongdoing.

  48. 48
    germy says:

    @rikyrah: Waiting patiently for Season 2. Love the show, love the actors. The talented lady who plays the youngest daughter is a great actress.

    Interesting that the writers didn’t know if the series would last another season, so the last episode came full circle, with him jogging down his street.

  49. 49
    Platonailedit says:

    Blog is beyond fubar now.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    DeVos can’t even make a kindergarten visit positive and upbeat. I don’t know how you blow that. Melania managed to screw up a visit to children, too, with her weird, passive aggressive clothing signboard.

    They can only cover the nasty for, oh, say ten minutes. Then it shows up. Always.

  51. 51
    germy says:

    @Elizabelle: I think she’s listening to Vermont Public Radio.

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    @Martin

    Or raise the Arizona and refit it for space duty.

    After all, if the Japanese can do that with the Yamato

  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    I was sort of hoping outer space would be the place for all nations to come together in a spirit of cooperation and peace. Like the international space station, everyone contributing and learning and benefitting. Not this space wars bullshit.

    This is exactly why Trump wants his space force. He childishly wants to have the most powerful military ever, and this includes dominating space, even though the idea is beyond stupid.

  54. 54
    AlienRadio says:

    Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest sonofabitch in space.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @Platonailedit:

    I read this blog “recovering” fundie home schoolers for a while and they were all over this. It’s crazy how many little silos there are- it looked big enough where I figured it would eventually break out.

  56. 56
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Platonailedit: Oh, I don’t know. I think “Technically functional but disorganized” is a good description of the commentariat here. Our environment reflects this. :P

  57. 57

    How is this different from Reagan’s Star Wars?

  58. 58

    @Zinsky: Yep. This was specifically mentioned in the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” white paper put out by the Project for a New American Century back in 2000. IIRC, Jeb Bush was one of the signatories, maybe Newt Gingrich too, although I’m not so sure about that. They’ve been wanting to militarize space for a long time.

    This isn’t crackpot Trump insanity — this is mainstream Republican policy. (I know, they’re indistinguishable.)

  59. 59
    germy says:

    If they’d had the space force when trump was a teenager, maybe instead of shipping him off to military school, his parents would have banished him to some orbiting satellite destroyer.

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    @Gravenstone: The Soviets put an anti-aircraft gun on Salyut 3 and actually tested it in orbit.

    Ballistic weapons are really hard to use in space because the orbital mechanics, while more predictable than atmospheric ballistics, is quite a bit harder to sort out at the distances that we do things in space. It’s likely the telemetry data is good enough that doing that calculations wouldn’t be a problem, but that’s a bit of a guess.

    Self-guided weapons could work pretty well by being able to exploit gravity to increase their kinetic energy. There’s not a lot up there to confuse the guidance, the calculations aren’t that hard, if the telemetry is off a bit, the weapon itself could self-correct.

    Alternatively, probably preferably, just attach a small explosive to a device that can maneuver efficiently and have it navigate to the target and detonate on the surface of the target. Everything currently in space is fragile as hell. Durable is heavy, and heavy is expensive to impossible.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    The idea of a military force in space doesn’t make a lick of sense. Earth is not currently at risk of war with a hostile extra-terrestrial power. A war between hostile terrestrial powers would still be fought mostly on the planet’s surface, over things and places on the surface; that’s where all our stuff is. Putting personnel and weapons in space is the most expensive and unpractical way imaginable to fight terrestrial wars. Someone should point this out, I think.

  62. 62
    Martin says:

    @NotMax: Shit, dog, that was my favorite cartoon as a kid. My first anime.

  63. 63
    Downpuppy says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Reagan’s Star Wars had a clear, though utterly impossible, goal : shielding from ICBMs. Space Force is just a name looking for a mission.

  64. 64
    Martin says:

    @Amir Khalid: It’s about control, about the US being the arbiters of what everyone else can and cannot to. It’s the Mike Pencification of Earth.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    This cribs more directly from George Lucas’ Star Wars.

  66. 66
    B.B.A. says:

    My wingnut mom is telling me that San Francisco wants to let illegal immigrants vote. Is this 100% pure horseshit from the wingnut wurlitzer, or is there a grain of truth buried in there somewhere?

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @germy:

    Mary G and I were just saying on this here website that we don’t just want a win in November. At this point, we’re pissed enough that we want a total blowout, with the Republicans losing so many seats that it would take 10 years for them to gain them all back.

    I am redoubling my efforts because I want us to pound these assholes into the turf. Let’s go.

  68. 68
    Peale says:

    @kindness: So basically you take the best soldiers that we have, who in the past would join the special forces, and remove them to a place off the planet where they don’t do anything.

  69. 69

    @Downpuppy: So its even worse and even more stupid.

  70. 70
    Platonailedit says:

    @B.B.A.: You should have stopped at wingnut.

  71. 71
    Peale says:

    @Amir Khalid: You laugh now, but when you get your bill from our government every time you look up at the moon without permission, you won’t be laughing.

  72. 72
    bemused says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    True but I did have an image of Pence with Eddie Haskell mannerisms, facial expressions and suckup attitude. Then again even Eddie Haskell wouldn’t have proudly posed for embarrassing publicity photos wearing a baseball cap backwards like Paul Ryan.

  73. 73
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @B.B.A.: It’s mostly bullshit. They let non-citizens and undocumented immigrants vote for local school board elections if they fit a number of other requirements like being able to prove residence, not being criminals, etc.

    New York did the same thing from ’68-’03, and a number of other cities in non-western states do this as well. It should be uncontroversial. I haven’t heard that they’re planning on expanding that, but if it expands at all it’s for city issues and elections only, nothing even at the county level.

  74. 74
    Geoboy says:

    @Brachiator: Brachiator: I have to take exception to the second half of your statement “Trump is like a 6 year old with the federal government at his disposal. Nothing good can come of this.” Ever since Reagan, the Republican Party has been on a path to bankrupt the USA while turning it into a fundamentalist kleptocracy. Historically, they’ve been very good at hiding their actual intentions with a critical mass of the voters while achieving a dismaying amount of success. What The Donald is doing is ripping the gauzy facade to shreds in plain view. The backlash is beginning to fundamentally alter our politics, especially with regard to large numbers of progressive women attaining office at all levels, and like the Thunder Cats, using their power for good. It’s no fun what we’re going through, but I see a new and far better world coming, and sooner than we might believe possible.

  75. 75
    Aleta says:

    What does Pence do most of the time? Is there any public record? (I suppose there’s some bogus schedule of ‘meet with business and religious leaders’ and ‘stand behind and to the side, in front of cameras.’) But what is he doing? Reporting seems scarce except for the planned photo ops.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    OT yet space specific.

    Last Call for Titan! is on Amazon Prime. Stunning CGI in an excellent documentary covering the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn’s moon Titan, from project conception to the (planned) fiery end of the mission. Fascinating stuff.

  77. 77
    Amir Khalid says:

    @B.B.A.:
    To my knowledge, there are countries that let permanent residents register to vote. But I suspect that in America this would require a Constitutional amendment, and would thus not happen before Mar-a-Lago freezes over.

  78. 78
    Chyron HR says:

    Donald the Dove (air)strikes again.

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    @Downpuppy: The mission is american exceptionalism. It’s about kicking a homeless person just so you can feel good about not being homeless.

  80. 80
    Downpuppy says:

    @Aleta: Pence is hard at work overseeing GODS work in a secret bunker. There’s a cardboard cutout that takes his place at public functions. (They keep several backup cutouts in case of rain or doublebooking)

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Aleta:
    I think his day, like Trump’s, is devoted mostly to Executive Time — you know, doing absolutely fuck-all.

  82. 82
    Mike in NC says:

    Jared will make a fine commandant for the Space Force, and Ivanka will get to design the uniforms.

    But seriously, Mattis is an utter slug to go along with this moronic idea.

  83. 83
    lynn says:

    This is right up there with Reagan’s laser BS weapon. We have spent billions and have one working laser weapon on a ship somewhere at sea.

  84. 84
    Martin says:

    @Aleta:

    What does Pence do most of the time?

    Given his holier than thou attitude and weird hangups around his wife, I just assumed he spent most of each day either mastürbating or molesting boys.

    That seems to be the normative pattern for that crowd.

  85. 85
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    Along with all her other negative traits, I just don’t think she’s got much going on upstairs, not very bright. I’d bet if I met her in person, had a conversation with her having no idea who she was, I’d be bored silly in no time.

  86. 86
    Yutsano says:

    I know this much: if this ends up happening and there’s a Marine division, a friend is re-enlisting. It was the only way he said he would get back in. Well…

  87. 87
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Speaking of Melania, who was last seen getting credit for praising LeBron James for building a school and declaring her openness to visit the school after her husband insulted James — does anyone know if James responded? I hope he never does. That’s the response she deserves.

  88. 88
    David Evans says:

    I think if the GPS satellites were knocked out a large number of US weapons would become instantly useless. To that extent the US military has a legitimate interest in near-Earth space operations.

  89. 89
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Of course, one makes Raytheon much more money, so there’s that to consider

    Unlikely we would get even that much good out of this – there is no clear goal or opponent like with the current military so the contractors wouldn’t even know what to propose as projects. Presumably the current satellite stuff the Navy and the Air Force does would be moved to the US Spacey.

    Let’s consider the must have things

    *A new and fantastic headquarters since you know the silly old Pentagon won’t do for Trump’s Space Force.

    *A new military collage for future US Spacey officers only run by the best people like Trump University.

    *Uniforms since blue, camouflage and white just aren’t going to cut it with Trump. We’re talking all black with gold braid, gold belt buckles with the “God is with us” engraving.

    *Oh and David Prince for base security.

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    you know, doing absolutely fuck-all

    Constitutionally, that is pretty much the Veep’s job description. See: John Nance Garner.

    ;)

    ;)

  91. 91
    Martin says:

    OT, but this is a seriously important bit of science

    For thousands of years, people from Sierra Mixe, a mountainous region in southern Mexico, have been cultivating an unusual variety of giant corn. They grow the crop on soils that are poor in nitrogen—an essential nutrient—and they barely use any additional fertilizer. And yet, their corn towers over conventional varieties, reaching heights of more than 16 feet.

    A team of researchers led by Alan Bennett from UC Davis have shown that the secret of the corn’s success lies in its aerial roots—necklaces of finger-sized, rhubarb-red tubes that encircle the stem. These roots drip with a thick, clear, glistening mucus that’s loaded with bacteria. Thanks to these microbes, the corn can fertilize itself by pulling nitrogen directly from the surrounding air.

    It’s taken them 40 years to understand exactly what’s happening here. And eliminating the need for fertilizer in a range of staple crops would be life-changing to a lot of parts of this planet. Very proud of my UC colleagues working with the Mexican government on this.

  92. 92
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Aleta: I don’t know, but I suspect Pence spends a lot of time actually running the country — badly, of course. I remember reading an interview with Obama, and he said he was so damn busy he adopted an interchangeable wardrobe so he wouldn’t waste a minute here or there picking out ties, socks, shirts, etc. Trump takes every Friday off, goes golfing every four days and live-tweets Fox and Friends most mornings. He’s our first retiree president, so the work falls to someone. Maybe Kelly and Pence split it between them.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques

    Uniforms since blue, camouflage and white just aren’t going to cut it with Trump. We’re talking all black with gold braid, gold belt buckles with the “God is with us” engraving.

    Don’t forget the prominent SS insignia. For Space Squadron.

  94. 94

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s true Republicans have been lying about voter fraud for a long time, but that commission was formed to justify Trump’s lies about the popular vote.

    Pretext. They wanted one, they were going to get one somehow. I think the bigger point is that Trump is the right wing fever swamps brought to power. He’s been marinating in all their crazy for a good long time, and he’s soaked it up. Now that he’s in power, he’s out talking about all the craziest ideas they’ve come up with since the birth of the Birchers. Even worse, I don’t think he fully understands it all, so the version that he spouts is twisted in all kinds of idiotic ways compared to what people were saying before. Then “Dear Leader” syndrome kicks in and they have to accept his even loonier version. He hears it repeated back to him and becomes even more certain he’s right. It’s a really dangerous feedback loop.

    A good recent example of the “Trump misunderstands loony right wing conspiracies” are his comments about the wildfires here in California. He’s heard right wing complaints about how all their water problems are caused by stupid environmentalists wanting water to flow out to the ocean instead of being used for farming, but he doesn’t really understand them because he doesn’t know squat about California’s water situation. When he hears about fires and the problems fighting them, he remembered something about water being allowed to flow out to the ocean and assumed that was making it hard to fight fires. Now his misunderstanding is driving Federal policy; he wants NOAA to take control of our rivers so they can be used for fire fighting. Within a few days, this will be accepted wisdom throughout the conservative echo chamber, and Trump will be convinced of his genius when he hears his lies repeated to him on Fox and Friends.

  95. 95
    gene108 says:

    Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

    The Treaty was opened for signature by the three depository Governments (the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) in January 1967, and it entered into force in October 1967.

    the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
    outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
    outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
    States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
    the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
    astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
    States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
    States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
    States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.

    http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/.....reaty.html

    We basically spearheaded the idea that space IS NOT A WAR FIGHTING DOMAIN.

    Fucking idiots.

  96. 96
    Van Buren says:

    The weapons thing is just a coverup for the real goal: Putting a “TRUMP” sign on the moon bigly enough to be seen from Earth.

  97. 97
    Cermet says:

    @kindness: Uh, guns will work in the vacuum of space – while it is true that the sealing of bullets is haphazard – so with long exposure the air within the shell case will be depleted over time but for a short exposure the weapon will work fine; however, the leakage issue is a trivial issue to fix.

    Explosions doe require shock waves and those would definitely be missing in the vacuum of space.

  98. 98

    I guess this means that Trump finally saw Star Wars.

  99. 99
    danielx says:

    @RP:

    Eddie Haskell was sleazier, but I like the concept.

  100. 100
    stan says:

    @Amir Khalid: Putting personnel and weapons in space is the most expensive and unpractical way imaginable to fight terrestrial wars.

    Friend, that’s the point. What is “expensive” to us taxpayers is “profitable” to the corporations that build the secret orbiting death rays. They will love this shit.

  101. 101
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    What I am curious about is were are they going to get the officers to staff Trump’s US Spacey? The US Air Force’s founders were US Army officers like Hap Arnold who spent their whole careers in the US Army as pilots and working towards an independent air force. It’s hard see some US Navy Admiral or US Air Force general whose any good giving up his career for a gamble with something that’s very likely to die the next when administration comes in. On top of it the US Spacey would have to be made of up of mixture of US Navy and US Air Force officers and that just sounds like endless infighting.

  102. 102
    Yutsano says:

    @Betty Cracker: I haven’t seen much evidence that Pence does anything at all really. I mean, I assume he shows up to his office every day and does…something. But that something is opaque because Orange Julian sucks up all the attention. It doesn’t sit well with me.

  103. 103
    eric says:

    it is so clear: Space is not sending us its best; it must be vanquished!

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Martin:

    I actually think Pence is straight — still a creepy predator, but towards women. It would explain why Mother will never allow him to be alone with another woman, ever, and it even explains his obsession with the sinfulness of gay people. After all, if only gay sex is sinful, then the sick shenanigans he gets up to are A-OK with God because they’re man-on-woman, like The Lord intended!

    In short, if you’re a wife who’s suspicious that her husband is playing around on the side with men, you don’t ban him from seeing women unaccompanied. It makes no sense.

  105. 105
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: I don’t know how you blow that.
    I guess it’s doable if someone doesn’t like children except as one’s personal possessions/showpieces. And if all your attention is on getting the right photo, the only reason you have come. Reminds me of how they dragged some kids into a few photos with Trump, but now that it’s been done, they feel no need to any more.

  106. 106
    Jeffro says:

    I’m so confused by this: what could Laura Ingraham possibly mean when she says that “the America we knew and loved is gone due to immigration“?

    Did America’s values change? Constitution get torn up? No longer using the federalist system that’s worked so well? Going back to being a British colony or something? What, exactly, is no longer “American”, Ms. Ingraham?

    Anyway, if anyone can help me out here, that would be greatly appreciated. Gotta run, my dog is going nuts about something…

  107. 107
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: The silly thing is that there’s actually some fairly convincing arguments for shutting down the Air Force. If the Air Force wasn’t completely temperamentally un-suited to running a spaceforce (which is far more like a navy), we should just shove them over in that direction with whatever assets they need to keep to support the current mission, and move everything else back to the army/navy.

  108. 108
    Cermet says:

    @B.B.A.: There is truth to it; for local elections, that is. Any state or city can control who can vote in their local elections for State held offices. Not for offices that are federal. So, basically kinda yes.

  109. 109
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    does anyone know if James responded? I hope he never does. That’s the response she deserves.

    I think I would have seen it if he did. I hope he doesn’t respond also. The public school district could respond, but I hope she doesn’t go. They’re sad sacks when they go to schools. DeVos goes to public schools and delivers grim, scolding lectures. She toggles between telling them public schools suck and telling them they’ll never get a job in the “21st century economy”. Which she knows so much about, having never worked a day in her life at a job her family didn’t hand her.

    It’s not good for kids – we need upbeat positive adults. Christ, first day of school is stressful enough without sending nasty strangers in willy-nilly. Tell her to show up and check in at the office. They’ll see what they can do.

  110. 110
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Jeffro: Brown people are notionally get respect now. It’s unacceptable and no one Ingraham knows asked for this!

  111. 111
    Mandalay says:

    Perhaps some good has come out of the most recent Stand Your Ground white-on-black execution in Florida: “all five Democratic candidates for the state’s open November governorship race said that, if elected, they would repeal SYG legislation”. Good for them. Meanwhile, Rick Scott is ducking the issue:

    When asked by a reporter last week about Democrats’ calls to end or amend “stand your ground,” Scott didn’t answer the question and instead talked about the tragedy and the state’s crime rate.

    And an NRA lobbyist (presumably well aware of the negative publicity for SYG) is claiming that the sheriff who declined to prosecute the killer is full of shit:

    Nothing in either the 2005 law or the 2017 law prohibits a Sheriff from making an arrest in a case where a person claims self-defense if there is probable cause that the use of force was unlawful,” said Marion Hammer, Tallahassee’s NRA lobbyist who helped shepherd “stand your ground” through the GOP-led Florida Legislature.

    “Nothing in the law says a person can sue the Sheriff for making an arrest when there is probable cause,” Hammer added in an emailed statement to POLITICO.

    This case is so egregious, and there is real outrage from the public, so the killer may still end up in court.

  112. 112
    NotMax says:

    @Yutsano

    While I don’t find the spotty coverage unusual (see, for example, Humphrey or Rockefeller), I do find it troublesome because it is Pence. Quayle got coverage because of his vapidity. Pence deserves the same because of his venality.

  113. 113
    Shell says:

    Buck Rogers and The Space Force

    To me it sounds like some kids Saturday morning show, played by marionettes.

  114. 114
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @NotMax

    : Don’t forget the prominent SS insignia. For Space Squadron.

    yes, on the collar with some fancy font.

  115. 115
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m on a public school commitee and I’m trying to get them to adopt a more discerning attitude. I think the approach should be “what do you offer these kids and why should we put you in front of them to speak to them?”

    Public school people are too nice. Make these assholes earn an audience with your students. Their time is valuable! The students, I mean :)

    What does Melania bring to the table? Has to be something!

  116. 116
    mr gravity says:

    They are going to be so disappointed with Space War I. It will be a quiet affair. The explosions will be very low key.

    We will probably not even be greeted as liberators.

  117. 117
    Another Scott says:

    @kindness: ASM-135 ASAT:

    On 21 December 1982, an F-15A was used to perform the first captive carry ASM-135 test flight from the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California in the United States.[7]

    On 20 August 1985 President Reagan authorized a test against a satellite. The test was delayed to provide notice to the United States Congress. The target was the Solwind P78-1, an orbiting solar observatory that was launched on 24 February 1979.[7]

    On 13 September 1985, Maj. Wilbert D. “Doug” Pearson, flying the “Celestial Eagle” F-15A 76-0084 launched an ASM-135 ASAT about 200 miles (322 km) west of Vandenberg Air Force Base and destroyed the Solwind P78-1 satellite flying at an altitude of 345 miles (555 km). Prior to the launch the F-15 flying at Mach 1.22 executed a 3.8g zoom climb at an angle of 65 degrees. The ASM-135 ASAT was automatically launched at 38,100 ft while the F-15 was flying at Mach .934.[7] The 30 lb (13.6 kg) MHV collided with the 2,000 lb (907 kg) Solwind P78-1 satellite at closing velocity of 15,000 mph (24,140 km/h).[9]

    There are lots of good reasons why a Space Force makes little or no sense (treaties, cost, invitation to attack our space assets, etc., etc.), but we (and others) do have ASAT capabilites without it (and without nukes).

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  118. 118

    @Cermet:
    You don’t need to seal a cartridge for it to work. The whole point of gun powder is that it has both fuel and oxidizer, so it doesn’t need any air or anything to work.

    And shock waves are only one way explosives can do damage, and not necessarily the most important one. Explosives can also accelerate nearby solid objects to high speed, and those high-speed fragments do most of the damage for things like anti-personnel and anti-aircraft weapons. For use against armored targets like tanks, you can use shaped charges, which again work by using the explosives to generate high-speed projectiles that do most of the damage. When using explosives for direct explosive damage, you get far better results if the explosive makes direct contact with the object you’re trying to destroy; air is far less effective at transmitting explosive force than direct contact.

  119. 119
    Gravenstone says:

    @Martin: Bacterial nitrogen fixing is nothing new. But having it take place simply from the air using exposed, supported colonies is a hell of a trick for Nature to have up her sleeve.

  120. 120
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jeffro:
    How does Laura Ingraham say that and manage to keep a straight face? Is she Native American?

  121. 121
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    and manage to keep a straight face?

    Botox.

    :)

  122. 122
    prostratedragon says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: A couple who named their son Wallace Cleaver might have regarded Eddie as doomed to the junior league.

  123. 123

    @Gravenstone:

    Bacterial nitrogen fixing is nothing new.

    Sure, but until now it’s been restricted to fabacea. Finding it in a completely unrelated plant, and one that’s already a major crop, is really exciting. It makes it much more likely we can make any plant we want support symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacteria.

  124. 124

    @MisterForkbeard: The Air Force does have a Space Command.

  125. 125
    eric says:

    @Roger Moore: plus, you do not have to “destroy” satellites. Strikes me that sending remote controlled drones would be effective, allowing for slightly delayed informational back and forth.

  126. 126
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jeffro: Somewhere there is an enterprising genealogist who is about to make Ms, Ingraham cry after they expose her own immigrant family history. Because, unless you’re First Nations, we all came from somewhere fucking else.

  127. 127
    Another Scott says:

    @Martin: Neat. Thanks for the pointer.

    Of course, in general giant plants aren’t what commercial farms want – energy spent growing tall isn’t energy spent on making more fruit/seeds/grain.

    Still figuring out how to get nutrients is really, really important. Maybe Breatharians were just a little too far ahead of their times. ;-) ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  128. 128
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Trump has stated clearly and forcefully, space is “a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea.”

    The Outer Space Treaty would like to have a word with you Sec. Mattis.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Because white people aren’t really immigrants, even if our ancestors came from a different continent. We’re God’s chosen ones, so we deserve to be here, unlike all of those brown people who just happened to be here first.

  130. 130
    prostratedragon says:

    Getting this off my mind:
    “The Brothers Go to Mother’s, ” Mancini

  131. 131
    Brachiator says:

    @Geoboy:

    Ever since Reagan, the Republican Party has been on a path to bankrupt the USA while turning it into a fundamentalist kleptocracy.

    I’m no fan of Reagan, but I doubt that this was his intention. Republicans, and their oligarch paymasters, have variations of the fantasy of the US as a Christian Libertarian Paradise (obviously a contradiction, but that never stopped them).

    I think that Trump is taking advantage of conservatives as much as he is screwing over everyone else. No clear plan, no ideology, no agenda.

    The backlash is beginning to fundamentally alter our politics, especially with regard to large numbers of progressive women attaining office at all levels, and like the Thunder Cats, using their power for good. It’s no fun what we’re going through, but I see a new and far better world coming, and sooner than we might believe possible.

    We will see what happens. I certainly hope that there is a significant shift as we hit the midterms.

  132. 132
    g says:

    @Roger Moore: Uhoh, you’re talking those GMO thingies, aren’t you? Bad bad evil science person, you.

  133. 133

    @Gravenstone:

    Somewhere there is an enterprising genealogist who is about to make Ms, Ingraham cry after they expose her own immigrant family history.

    No, they aren’t. It doesn’t matter that her ancestors were immigrants, because they were the white right kind of immigrants. Her objection isn’t to immigration, per se; it’s to letting the wrong kind of people in. You know, the way immigration from Norway would be fine.

  134. 134
    sdhays says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    … thus not happen before Mar-a-Lago freezes over.

    If we just have to wait for Mar-a-Lago to be under water, it might happen in my lifetime!

  135. 135
    TenguPhule says:

    @Winston Smith:

    I want a Gamelon invasion to be taking place. Anything less will be dpressing.

    In the remake, the humans shot first.

  136. 136

    @Brachiator:

    I’m no fan of Reagan, but I doubt that this was his intention. Republicans, and their oligarch paymasters, have variations of the fantasy of the US as a Christian Libertarian Paradise (obviously a contradiction, but that never stopped them).

    I think Reagan’s goal was to threaten bankruptcy as an excuse for destroying social safety net programs. You can say that he didn’t really want to bankrupt us, but he was clearly willing to threaten it as a policy lever. And there’s very little functional difference between “Christian Libertarian Paradise” and “fundamentalist kleptocracy”.

  137. 137
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow:

    He’ll resign.

    No he won’t. He wants to live. He’s in this till the bitter end.

  138. 138
    TenguPhule says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    Aren’t space-borne weapons explicitly banned already anyway?

    Technically its space weapons that can be used against Earth which are banned by treaty.

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    @kindness:

    But without nukes not much of our current conventional weaponry works in space. No oxygen, no boom with bullets or bombs.

    Kinetic Kill devices work just fine.

  140. 140
    Gravenstone says:

    @Roger Moore: Oh, I know. Although I live in hope that some of these more egregious racist pig fuckers find some more melanin enhanced ancestors hidden in the old family tree.

  141. 141
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    DeVos can’t even make a kindergarten visit positive and upbeat. I don’t know how you blow that.

    I assume she pinched one of the children and complained there wasn’t enough marbling.

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    That it’s the most expensive and wasteful is the entire point and has been since Ronnie Raygun. That’s where he got that moniker, Raygun. The friends of the “leaders” of the repukes always like money to be given to them when they don’t have any real pressure to accomplish anything with it.

  143. 143
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    How is this different from Reagan’s Star Wars?

    Bigger, stupider, more expensive.

  144. 144
    TenguPhule says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Earth is not currently at risk of war with a hostile extra-terrestrial power. A war between hostile terrestrial powers would still be fought mostly on the planet’s surface, over things and places on the surface; that’s where all our stuff is. Putting personnel and weapons in space is the most expensive and unpractical way imaginable to fight terrestrial wars.

    Space is the ultimate high ground. Simply dropping very large rocks on your opponents gets you all the advantages of a small nuclear strike without any of the pesky decades of radiation fallout afterwards.

    This is why we had a treaty banning the militarization of space. EVERYONE benefited from not having to worry about the one place you really can’t defend against.

  145. 145
    eric says:

    @TenguPhule: Dumb and Dumber To.

  146. 146
    Chyron HR says:

    @Martin:

    Given his holier than thou attitude and weird hangups around his wife, I just assumed he spent most of each day either mastürbating or molesting boys.

    Hey, I spend most of my time masturbating, and I’m a well-adjusted atheist.

  147. 147
    The Moar You Know says:

    But without nukes not much of our current conventional weaponry works in space. No oxygen, no boom with bullets or bombs.

    @kindness: Sadly, you’re wrong about that. Both bullets and explosives are self oxidizing. They have to be. They’d just snuff themselves out otherwise.

    Guns in space would be tricky with the temperature extremes, but that’s fairly easily solved with some alloy work. We know explosives in space work, us, the Russians and the Chinese have all tested it to satisfaction.

    You want to see mankind stuck on this planet with no way off and no satellites (which get used for day to day stuff that you’ve never even thought of), start blowing shit up and shooting in space. Bullets and shrapnel circling the globe at orbital speeds will make anything in orbit into more shrapnel. Wouldn’t even be able to launch through it.

  148. 148
    EBT says:

    @Amir Khalid: The idea would be to use the weapons to attack satellites.
    Well in THIS administration they would probably use them to launch NBC weapons or perform a colony drop.

  149. 149
    TenguPhule says:

    @Geoboy:

    and like the Thunder Cats, using their power for good.

    I take it you haven’t seen the new reboot of the series yet.

  150. 150
    KithKanan says:

    @Amir Khalid: @Cermet:

    I don’t think it would require a constitutional amendment for a state to allow non-citizens to vote for federal office. The amendments on voting rights set a floor for who must be allowed to vote, but not a ceiling on who the states may allow to vote.

    The stated qualifications for voters for members of the House (Article I, Section II, Clause I) and the Senate (Amendment XVII) are only that they “shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures”.

    Women in several states were allowed to vote decades before the 19th Amendment expanded the franchise nationally.

    I don’t think it would be a constitutional problem for a State to allow non-citizen voting in Presidential elections, either, since there’s actually no constitutional requirement for states to allow anyone to directly vote for their presidential electors. As far as I know, the state legislatures can choose them by any means they wish, which presumably would include allowing non-citizen input.

  151. 151
    Ramalama says:

    Phooey. Does no one ever talk about what’s gonna happen when the Arctic melts? That’s where our next big war adventure will be. Forget the #spacefarce.

  152. 152
    The Moar You Know says:

    I was sort of hoping outer space would be the place for all nations to come together in a spirit of cooperation and peace. Like the international space station, everyone contributing and learning and benefitting.

    @germy: As recently as a decade ago, most people were still promising the same horseshit about the internet. Look how that turned out.

  153. 153
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Tangential to that, I suspect that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t realize that she won her race because she was not the straight white dude, and thought it was because of her “Democratic Socialist” stances.

    I really hope she wises up before the general election and stops thrashing around attacking “establishment” Democrats. She seems to be smart and a hard worker, so I think she could go far if she figures out who the real enemy is.

  154. 154
    TenguPhule says:

    @lynn:

    We have spent billions and have one working laser weapon on a ship somewhere at sea.

    Isn’t that a railgun, not a laser? We mount the lasers on the big Airforce jets.

  155. 155
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Amir Khalid: Doesn’t even have to be permanent residency to qualify for some elections here in the UK. Irish citizens can vote in General elections for members of Parliament as long as they’re on the Electoral Register i.e. staying at a particular address when the registration form comes around (or is sent electronically as it is done mostly these days). EU citizens can vote in local elections and EU elections if temporarily resident in the UK. There are a few other special cases to voting — in Scottish local elections 16-year-olds can vote otherwise the age limit is 18.

  156. 156
    Kelly says:

    @Roger Moore: Even is it only works on corn millions of tons of fertilizer would be saved and runoff reduced.

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    so the work falls to someone.

    Actually its probably worse then you think.

    The work and authorizations are almost certainly not getting done. Its piling up and people on the lower levels are spitballing to keep things going.

  158. 158
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Don’t forget the prominent SS insignia. For Space Squadron.

    And the gold skulls. With ominous Latin motifs underneath.

  159. 159

    @TenguPhule:

    Simply dropping very large rocks on your opponents gets you all the advantages of a small nuclear strike without any of the pesky decades of radiation fallout afterwards.

    The utility of this kind of thing is greatly exaggerated. It’s expensive to put something into orbit- only a tiny fraction of your total energy expenditure goes into the object that winds up in orbit- and once you’ve put it there it wants to stay, which is what makes it an orbit. To get it back out of orbit, you have to put a bunch more energy into it. Even then, you have something moving really fast, but it’s still nothing close to the energy you’d get from a similarly sized nuke.

    The case where bombarding people with rocks from orbit works is if you can find objects that are already in orbit around the sun and you can change their orbit enough to put them on a collision course with Earth. Then you’re using a relatively small amount of energy relative to the amount you’re delivering. But we’re nowhere near having the technology to do that kind of thing, much less to be able to do it precisely enough to hit a target smaller than the whole planet.

  160. 160
    ruemara says:

    @B.B.A.: You really have to ask? OK, it’s wingnut nonsense.

    @Betty Cracker: Everyone forgets that the offer on the table to be Trump’s Veep was to be the most powerful one ever. You do the executivin’, I get to be decorative presidentin’. Stop worrying about Prez Pence. You already have Prez Pence. This is the best of the worst of both worlds.

  161. 161
    TenguPhule says:

    ABC is talking about killing Rosanne.

    On the show.

  162. 162
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Obligatory Ace Combat 4 reference

  163. 163
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    How is this different from Reagan’s Star Wars?

    Bigger, stupider, more expensive.

    Ooh, the Republican Phantom Menace.

  164. 164
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    As recently as a decade ago, most people were still promising the same horseshit about the internet. Look how that turned out.

    2% of it actually works like that. Its not their fault pron and spam own the rest of it.

  165. 165
    MattF says:

    @EBT: Given that reconnaissance satellites are obviously vulnerabie to high-powered lasers, one can assume that much of this has already happened. There are lots of classified launches, after all.

  166. 166

    @TenguPhule:

    The work and authorizations are almost certainly not getting done. Its piling up and people on the lower levels are spitballing to keep things going.

    Honestly, I’d be much happier to hear that the federal bureaucracy is running on autopilot than that Trump’s appointees (or his buddies from Mar-a-Loco) are running things. Some important things might not get done, but at least nobody would be actively trying to wreck the place.

  167. 167
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @TenguPhule: Energy budgets are not your friend and rocks are not good orbit-to-ground weapons.

    It takes a lot of fuel to deorbit anything in a free orbit around the earth to the point where atmospheric resistance takes over and starts to aerobrake the vehicle at which point rocks tend to overheat and fragment, exploding into unguided fragments high in the atmosphere. Thetre’s also the problem of which orbit to set your weaponised rock on initially, it could take days or weeks before a suitable re-entry path would deliver the rock to close to a particular target. Changing orbits? See “energy budget” again. Any rock that makes it to ground in one piece is either solid metal weighing thousands of tonnes or so slow on impact it does little damage comparatively speaking.

    On the other hand a ballistic missile stays at home for all the time it’s not being used but it can get to wherever it’s needed with an accuracy of [redacted] in an hour or less from the Big Red Button being pressed and express several exajoules of nuclear goodness in a compact manner.

  168. 168

    @TenguPhule: No, just a variation on the ol’ tried and true; gold lightning bolts.

  169. 169
    EBT says:

    @The Moar You Know: I mean, I taught myself JavaScript for free over the course of a few weeks on the internet. So if you have the gumption to go out and educate yourself, the internet is actually a great tool.

  170. 170
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @kindness:

    Dingdingding….We have a Winner!

    This is in the same category of “we’re going to expand our nuclear deterrent – nobody’s going to mess with us”.

    I can’t think of a better budget busting money hole than weapons systems that nobody can use because the results are too terrible.

  171. 171
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    ABC is talking about killing Rosanne.

    I’m not sure that “fans” would be interested in the show without Rosanne. I guess it could hobble along for a season so that the actors and crew can get paid, but otherwise there is not much point in the thing.

  172. 172
    But Her Emails!!! says:

    @kindness:

    The US has signed treaties not to bring nukes into space. Not that a treaty scares Trump, it doesn’t. More like a ‘Hold my Beer’ moment for him. But without nukes not much of our current conventional weaponry works in space. No oxygen, no boom with bullets or bombs.

    Umm. This isn’t the case for most if not all modern explosives and munitions. No air is required as the necessary oxygen and oxidizers are included.

  173. 173
    EBT says:

    @TenguPhule: Porn was the early investor on the internet. If it wasn’t for porn, we wouldn’t have internet commerce.

  174. 174
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @MattF:

    Given that reconnaissance satellites are obviously vulnerable to high-powered lasers,

    Actually, not really. Satellites are already exposed to about 1100W/sq m of solar energy, a ground-based laser suffering defocussing from being fired upwards through several tens of kilometres of atmosphere is unlikely to be able to add more than a couple hundred watts per square metre to that at best. They can theoretically temporarily blind sensors or obscure areas under immediate observation but the designers know about lasers and possible damage to sensors and take pains to prevent it happening.

    Lasers are good short-range weapons but any significant distance to target through air is a bitch. As for Naval use of lasers as direct-energy ranged weapons fortunately it is never foggy or cloudy at sea and it never rains.

  175. 175
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:
    I had thought that. They didn’t know whether they would get a season 2, so they gave enough of a finale to be satisfying.

  176. 176
    Leto says:

    @Martin: Ever hear of Project Thor, aka Rods from God? This was discussed over on the USAF subreddit last year and basically was pretty much dismissed as the asinine concept it was. I mean, totally sounds neat in theory but in practical application it’s just dumb (cost prohibitive/slow/non-flexible/etc..). Link to the discussion thread.

    @MisterForkbeard: I always love the “there’s convincing arguments about shutting down the Air Force”. There’s also convincing arguments for having a single unified military, for shunting the Army into the Marine Corp, and for having shorts as duty uniforms. I mean, they’re convincing to people who like pie in the sky ideas but yeah, “convincing”.

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Shhhh! That was our secret!

  177. 177
    EBT says:

    @Leto: I mean, ending the chairforce and pushing all the abusive chirstonists who rule it currently out to pasture is a fan fucking tastic idea. And not just saying this cause my dad spent 22 years in Army Aviation.

  178. 178
    L&DinSLT says:

    In a specific school board election if their children attend.

  179. 179
    TenguPhule says:

    “It’s a different kind of Watergate. It’s on the side of the investigator,” Giuliani said. “Corrupt investigations through and through.”

    Today’s edition of “Shutupshutshutup Rudy”!

  180. 180
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Brachiator: Why would you say that? Bottom line, Roseanne Connor was always the weakest aspect of the sitcom and Barr was smart enough to realize that, which is why she made the decision to find one of the strongest supporting cast ever found on television.

  181. 181
    TenguPhule says:

    @Leto:

    I always love the “there’s convincing arguments about shutting down the Air Force”.

    Give the A-10s to the Army and there would be a lot less of that.

  182. 182
    Mel says:

    @Martin: This is amazing. Imagine just the immediate positive impact on inland waterways if fertilizer run-off were greatly reduced.

  183. 183
    rikyrah says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Have you seem the youthful pictures of Pence that they have been trying to bury?
    Gaydar pings all over them.

  184. 184
    TenguPhule says:

    A new 20 percent tax break included in last year’s $1.5 trillion tax overhaul could wind up benefiting Trump’s real estate empire given how the Treasury Department plans to implement the provision, several tax experts said.

    On Wednesday, the Treasury Department issued a sprawling regulation outlining the types of companies and professionals eligible to qualify as “pass-through” entities and get the 20 percent tax deduction. The widely anticipated rule has huge implications for law firms, real estate trusts, family farms and other companies that are structured so their profits are taxed as individual income for their owners.

    The 184-page rule probably means a windfall for authors and small banks, who appear eligible for the 20 percent deduction, but a disappointment for dentists, who are not. It takes some steps meant to stop individuals and companies, such as law firms, from gaming the loophole to reduce their tax bills.

    FTFNYT

  185. 185
    Leto says:

    @MattF: Someone mentioned this upthread, but talked about knocking out GPS satellites through conventional means (missiles shot into space). Enemies don’t even have to do that now. They currently have the ability to spoof and jam our GPS signals, in theater, right now. Destruction of our physical satellites is always a possibility, but they have active measures going on right now that we’re having problems coping with; it also doesn’t help that a lot of our ECCM (Electronic Counter Counter Measure) assets have been retired with no replacements.

    General reveals that US aircraft are being ‘disabled’ in Syria — the ‘most aggressive’ electronic warfare environment on Earth

  186. 186
    Yutsano says:

    @EBT: Yup. Avenue Q covered this quite nicely.

    https://youtu.be/zBDCq6Q8k2E

  187. 187
    The Moar You Know says:

    Give the A-10s to the Army and there would be a lot less of that.

    @TenguPhule: Will never happen. 1954 Key West accords. The Air Force, if they had a gun put to their collective heads, would rather keep flying the A10 than ever let the Army have a fixed-wing aircraft.

  188. 188

    @TenguPhule:

    ABC is talking about killing Rosanne.

    Just the character, though.

  189. 189
    The Moar You Know says:

    Well. “Edit” is now completely borked.

  190. 190
    Bess says:

    Can lasers be used against intercontinental missiles? Would they be able to interrupt their flight?

  191. 191
    Leto says:

    @TenguPhule: The Army doesn’t want them, so why give it something they don’t want? Plus it’s a core USAF mission (which the Army had major issues fulfilling even during the Army Air Corps time of super awesome Army leadership!)

    Or you can have Congress draft a new Key West agreement.

  192. 192
    The Moar You Know says:

    Can lasers be used against intercontinental missiles? Would they be able to interrupt their flight?

    @Bess: No.

    And to be crystal clear: some governments, including ours, are touting antimissile capabilities that don’t work. And won’t for the forseeable future. There is no defense.

  193. 193
    Leto says:

    @Bess: Well we developed the YAL-1 to destroy Tactical Ballistic Missiles while in boost phase. ICBMs? I wouldn’t think so. You’d have to get them either 1) in the boost phase which means you’re deep in Russian territory (not going to happen) or 2) much like the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) program, trying to get them as they’re in their re-entry phase which is problematic, not to mention we’d need to station a ton of planes in continuous orbit on the predicted ICBM flight paths. It’s cheaper to stick with the ABM approach (which still has major issues), cheaper still to agree to reduce our nuclear stockpiles through treaties.

  194. 194
    M31 says:

    Space Force is just 1960s sci fi.

    What we need is 1860’s sci fi, so The Hollow Earth Subterranean Abandoned Lava Tube Spelunker Central Sea Force. Maybe there are some dinosaurs down there we could saddle up, too, that’d get the evangelical vote.

    The steampunk uniforms would be awesome

  195. 195
  196. 196
    germy says:

    Who will be the first Space Force vet to crowdfund their chemotherapy because a Mar a Lago club member doesn't think cosmic radiation is real?— zeddy (@Zeddary) August 9, 2018

  197. 197
    M31 says:

    @EBT:

    OMG “We keep the galaxy from getting worse.” WTF

  198. 198
    Chyron HR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I really hope she wises up before the general election and stops thrashing around attacking “establishment” Democrats.

    Yes, I too hope she “wises up” and stops doing the thing that was her entire motivation for running.

  199. 199
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Tangential to that, I suspect that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t realize that she won her race because she was not the straight white dude, and thought it was because of her “Democratic Socialist” stances.

    I really hope she wises up before the general election and stops thrashing around attacking “establishment” Democrats. She seems to be smart and a hard worker, so I think she could go far if she figures out who the real enemy is.

    Ultimately, she has to effectively represent her constituents, or it won’t matter about her stance or her attacking of “establishment” Democrats. The progressive movement has largely been swallowed up by the Democratic Party. Obviously, some of them think that they can do better if they are independent of the Democrats. Voters don’t quite agree. We’ll see how it shakes out at the midterms.

  200. 200
    Aleta says:

    Does the admin plan to take the X-37 away from the Air Force?

  201. 201
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Just read Let’s Not Throw the Word Treason Around by Christopher Please-don’t-call-me-a-racist Buskirk on the op ed pages of Breitbart. Just kidding… it was the fuckin’ New York Times, as usual.

  202. 202
    Leto says:

    @The Moar You Know: @EBT: When the Army stops using cartoons to document maintenance procedures, or when they write maintenance manuals above a 6th grade level, I’ll think about it. The fact that my E3s run rings around most of their E6/7s, in technical competence, tells me enough. Now actual running… well I have an even split of “just doing enough” to pass PT, and the crossfit people.

    Also, stay Army Strong!

  203. 203
    Kay says:

    An Ohio public school that LeBron James helped create says it would welcome a visit from first lady Melania Trump, who broached the idea after her husband insulted the NBA star on Twitter.
    The Akron Beacon Journal reports a spokesman for the Akron school district in northeast Ohio said Monday there aren’t any plans for the first lady to visit James’ I Promise School but would be willing to discuss the possibility.

    Okay they’re nicer than I am but THAT was obvious.

    I myself would hold a grudge :)

    Tell her to bring a big sack of federal funding and it’s a deal. Wrestle it away from DeVos, it’s probably on one of the yachts.

  204. 204
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @EBT: @M31:
    Low-rent version of DS9

  205. 205
    khead says:

    I’m thinking Trump watched Moonraker a few too many times.

  206. 206

    @Bess:

    Can lasers be used against intercontinental missiles?

    It would be theoretically possible but practically very difficult. Missiles have to be reasonably tough to withstand the stress of launch, so you have to do a fair bit of damage to do much good, which means you have to deliver a lot of power on target. And despite what you may have heard, laser beams do spread with distance, so getting enough power in a small enough area to do any real damage is very, very difficult. You need to have a ridiculously powerful laser to make it work, and in practice it probably has to be in space, which is also tough. And you can’t put them in geosynchronous orbit (too long a shooting distance), so you’ll need lots of satellites to have enough of them where they need to be to do the job.

  207. 207
    Leto says:

    @Aleta: It’ll be the first Intergalactic Trump Shuttle! Sort of like Virgin Galactic, just with more corruption/grift.

  208. 208
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @khead: Do you think he could follow the plot?

  209. 209
    Leto says:

    @Leto: @The Moar You Know: TMYK, I erroneously tagged you in that post because I was going to respond with an agreement, then decided not to, then saw EBTs comment without taking out your reply. Long story short: borked edit funtion is still borked.

  210. 210
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Mom Says I*m Handsome: Link Hogthrob bears a striking resemblance to a certain Republican pResident.

  211. 211
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Yarrow: A neighbor of mine is of the opinion that an FBI search of Pence’s basement would produce evidence of unspeakable perversion. She’s only half kidding.

  212. 212
    West of the Rockies says:

    I’m just not sold on Space Force as a name. What about…

    Thunderbirds!

  213. 213
    Booger says:

    @kindness: yeah, bombs don’t need oxygen. That’s why they’re bombs

  214. 214
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Leto:

    Hey, now, Army training cartoons have a long and storied history!

    https://youtu.be/vWNpnkW1sVk

  215. 215
    Gravenstone says:

    @TenguPhule: Nobody did. That’s why it didn’t even air a full season before being pulled.

  216. 216
    Aleta says:

    @M31: Ivanka’s company is free now to design business spacesuits for working moms who get spa treatments.

  217. 217

    @Roger Moore:

    Just the character, though.

    You never know Roger, they are part of the Giant Evil Corporation.

  218. 218
    ericblair says:

    I can imagine the boring sane version of this happening, by bureaucratic surgery. The military uses space for GPS, communications, meteorology, early warning and intelligence among a couple of other things. Right now they’re operationally under different umbrellas and in different services (Air Force and Navy). Consolidating these under common operational and readiness organizations might help, or might not. Either way, it’s your basic paper pusher money war, which would involve amazing amounts of kicking and screaming in the Pentagon.

    Of course, by the time any of this gets filtered through the little carton of cottage cheese that comprises the yam’s brain, he probably figures it’s SPACE MARINES BABY! Maybe like the invisible F-35, we can tell him we invented the Klingon cloaking device and the spaceship is right…over…here.

  219. 219
    EBT says:

    @Brachiator: Primary votes can be seen as attempts to shift the overton window leftward, as well.

  220. 220
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Platonailedit:
    Willow Creek Mega Church….I drive by the palatial estate every day going to and from work.

  221. 221
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @rikyrah:

    Love love love Black Lightning. I hope they keep season 2 short and tight like season 1. And Cress Williams has to be the luckiest working man in the world. One of my favorite scenes, because I’m a pig like that.

  222. 222
    L85NJGT says:

    The White House is run by fourth rate hangers on trying to do a redux of Reagan’s greatest hits, with an asshole boss, and a movement well past sell by. They have the sheet music, but they can’t play and have no idea who sits where.

    In Indiana, Pence was at ground zero of self described “American” voters shifting from Democrats to the GOP – yet they still wanted to run him out of state on a rail. Even Trump had immediate second thoughts. The man is the peter principle in action.

  223. 223
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    On Wednesday, the Treasury Department issued a sprawling regulation outlining the types of companies and professionals eligible to qualify as “pass-through” entities and get the 20 percent tax deduction.

    I’m surprised at how poorly written the NY Times article is. Oh yeah, Trump is affected, but the new law affects everyone who files a Schedule C, and people with business income from partnership or S Corporation income. The huge ass 184 page guidance is necessary because this tax reform monstrosity was rushed through Congress.

    One thing:

    The law allows any business owner earning less than $157,500, or $315,000 for couples filing jointly, to take the deduction.

    It’s more accurate to say that “The law allows any business owner earning less than $157,500, or $315,000 for couples filing jointly, to take the full deduction, since the point is to phase it out for higher income individuals.

    Business reporters and other analysts have hurried to read this crap, and a few tax and accounting sites have already had to issue clarifications.

    It is fucked up, though, that because we never got a chance to see Trump’s tax returns, we won’t really know the degree to which he and his cronies will personally benefit from the new law here.

  224. 224
    EBT says:

    @Leto: The problem is talking is the Es. My father ended his time as CWO; which meant he ran all the aircraft maintenance wherever he was stationed. Sharp mind and well read.

  225. 225
    Mike in NC says:

    Has anybody forgotten how Newt Gingrich promised to build a colony on the moon before the end of his second term? Everybody had a good laugh over that nonsense.

  226. 226
    EBT says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: That sounds like something that someone proposes to build in the next 35 years.

  227. 227
    Leto says:

    @Mnemosyne: They do! They’re useful as a fun filled way to help point out additional maintenance areas that people need to pay attention to. But they were devised in the 50s when the general education level was much lower and you needed comics to help pass information. It’s also reflective of the general education level required by the Army, even today. It’s also a further illustration of the differences between the Army and the USAF. I love my Army brothers/sisters, I’ve spent a good deal of my career directly supporting them, and it’s also through one of them that I came to this blog, but there are substantial differences between us. This is one of the easier ones to show.

  228. 228
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Ooh, in the interview Tobias Whale says 16 episodes. Perfect!

  229. 229

    @ericblair:

    Maybe like the invisible F-35, we can tell him we invented the Klingon cloaking device and the spaceship is right…over…here.

    Here’s a picture of two invisible F-35’s and an invisible B-2.

  230. 230
    Leto says:

    @EBT: Exactly, most of the really good Es went CWO. The USAF eliminated their CWO positions (we still technically have them on the books, but they’re never coming back) and put all of that responsibility on the enlisted. Our chief of maintenance for aircraft is usually an O3 (depending upon Squadron size), but it’s the E8/9 who actually run everything.

    @Mike in NC: I was thinking about this on my run today at lunch. I figured this was a deep sleeper plan by Newt for his space colonies. I’m glad someone else remembers this.

  231. 231
    L85NJGT says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    STAR FORCE!

    They can tie it into the old crank’s fixation on bringing back big gun battleships. Develop a wave motion gun and launch the old hulls into orbit.

  232. 232

    @Booger:

    yeah, bombs don’t need oxygen.

    Most bombs. There are also thermobaric weapons, which use a fuel and atmospheric oxygen to create their boom.

  233. 233
    Aleta says:

    @Yarrow: In a novelization, he’d be a plant put in place by Manafort, to serve (?).

    I used to assume his overly careful face was meant to show servitude. But it’s also the classic cartoonish face of someone careful not to betray their true identity.

  234. 234
    MattF says:

    @Robert Sneddon: I didn’t mean lasers from the ground. I’m saying it’s quite possible that there are ‘unfriendly’ satellites in orbit. And I guess I should add a disclaimer: this is entirely a guess.

  235. 235
    Brachiator says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Why would you say that? Bottom line, Roseanne Connor was always the weakest aspect of the sitcom and Barr was smart enough to realize that, which is why she made the decision to find one of the strongest supporting cast ever found on television.

    I hear what you are saying, but her character was the focal point of the show. I would be surprised, but not unhappy, if the new show is a success without her.

  236. 236

    @L85NJGT: St. Ronnie did bring back the old battleships. Of course the last 4 are all museums now.

  237. 237
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s been done before — I’m thinking of John Ritter’s last show, which they kept going after he died of a heart attack. And they fired Valerie Harper from her show titled “Valerie,” killed her character off, changed the name to “Valerie’s Family,” and kept it going for several more seasons.

  238. 238
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s been done before — I’m thinking of John Ritter’s last show, which they kept going after he died of a heart attack. And they fired Valerie Harper from her show titled “Valerie,” killed her character off, changed the name to “Valerie’s Family,” and kept it going for several more seasons.

    And “Good Times” continued with the firings of John Amos and Esther Rolle. Obviously, there is no hard and fast rule that says a show will succeed or fail after the loss of the lead.

    But given the topical political spin of the show, I think they might have a harder time continuing. We shall see.

  239. 239
    L85NJGT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Dick Sargent Dick York

    Get it to syndication moves. I don’t believe Carsey-Werner needs new episodes, and ABC may just want to move on.

  240. 240
    RedDirtGirl says:

    Did y’all know Sean Hannity’s mom was a prison guard?

  241. 241
    J R in WV says:

    @kindness:

    You’re incorrect about “bullets and bombs” failing to work in the airless void of space. Bullets (actually cartridges with propellant inside and a bullet up front to be propelled) contain all the oxidizer needed to ignite completely. Modern guns actually work somewhat underwater.

    Same for bombs, the whole point of explosive material is that it contains both fuel and oxidizer in extremely close proximity, ready for instant conflagration. Just as torpedoes explode underwater, so will munitions explode in space. Unfortunately for combat, bullets in space continue to fly long after they pass by a target, just as shrapnel from a bomb will fly in all directions for a very long time.

    Obviously thing get vastly more complicated in space way past what I can discuss in a comment.

    Space opera SF fan here. If it isn’t realistic, it isn’t good fiction.

  242. 242
    L85NJGT says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    This is the D students version of a shining city on a hill.

    The fixation on naval gunfire support defies rational analysis – I think it came from the fevered brain of Marine Jim Webb, not quite grasping WWII style amphibious assaults were history.

  243. 243
    Mike in NC says:

    @L85NJGT: Webb’s nemesis Oliver North also was a big believer in maintaining 70 year old technology. Bringing back those battleships was a colossal waste of money, but Ronnie sold it to a spineless Congress. After a fatal mishap they were quickly mothballed again.

  244. 244
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @RedDirtGirl: Well, she would have to be, wouldn’t she?

  245. 245
    TenguPhule says:

    @L85NJGT:

    The fixation on naval gunfire support defies rational analysis

    It looks really really impressive in front of the cameras.

  246. 246
  247. 247
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @MattF: Energy budgets, how would you power an orbital laser weapon?

    Lasers suck in terms of efficiency, converting 10% or less of the electrical power input into radiant energy, the rest is dumped as heat which is a neat trick in a vacuum (see also the problems of thermal-cycle nuclear reactors in SPAAAACE!)

    GPS birds fly high in 12-hour orbits at about 20,000km up which makes them difficult/impossible to shoot down with conventional anti-satellite missile systems like Standard-3 and their ilk. A space-based laser in LEO would have to hit a box the size of a two-door refrigerator at that sort of distance and there are few if any large-ish “secret” satellites in orbit given radar and visual search capabilities. There are even amateur spy satellite hunters who use backyard telescopes to report on the flight path of such birds.

    James Davis Nicoll reserves his greatest opprobrium for the Helium-3 Moon mining fan boys but his contempt for stealth in space comes a close second.

  248. 248
    El Caganer says:

    @Chyron HR: It will never happen. She worked for Bernie Sanders. SHE IS A MEMBER OF THE SANDERS CULT! SHE IS UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!

  249. 249
    hugely says:

    @Kay: i saw on msnbc that repubs are running on “anxiety” in the midterms. WTF? it is called Hate and Fear. Why does the media talk in code and metaphor. I guess i wont buy that F150 or a Reverse Mortgage if they report the story accurately

  250. 250
    Tanna Nicholson says:

    As someone has said, We already have a Space Force. It’s called NASA,

  251. 251
    D58826 says:

    Seems to me, if it hasn’t already been done, that all space related activities be consolidated under a unified command in the air force. Just like SAC, military airlift command, etc. Maybe in 10-20 years when we have colonies on the moon. etc a separate sixth military branch might make sense but not now.

  252. 252
    workworkwork says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    And Cress Williams has to be the luckiest working man in the world.

    He gets to make out with Christine Adams, so this is very true.

Comments are closed.