Wednesday Evening Open Thread: Mars, Bitches!

What is it with Repub draft-dodging Preznidents and the Red Planet? Olivia Nuzzi, professional journalistic assassin, targets “President” Ted Baxter for NYMag:

Donald Trump nearly derailed a televised call to the International Space Station after he got distracted, first by a sudden fantasy of going to Mars before the end of his first term in the White House, and then by a trip to the bathroom to check his reflection in the mirror, according to Team of Vipers, a new book by Cliff Sims, who worked as a communications official for Trump on his presidential campaign and in the West Wing.

The April 24, 2017 video call to congratulate the astronaut Peggy Whitson, who that day broke the record to become the American who has spent the longest amount of time in space, was an unusually smooth public event for the president…

Sims detailed the logistics of setting up the call, something that required NASA engineers and diagrams of the Oval Office and a walk-through beforehand. But the most important aspect of the plan, Sims learned, would be the timing. An engineer explained something called “orbital mechanics” to him, how the Space Station would only be reachable during a specific period of about 20 minutes when it was in just the right place. “The President would have to be right on time, a rarity,” Sims wrote…

As Sims explained to the president what was about to happen, “he scanned over his prepared remarks, crossing out some of the text with a Sharpie.” Meanwhile, Sims wrote, “the giant flat-screen TV hanging on the wall was turned to Fox News, on mute.” Trump asked him where the cameras would be positioned and “which side of his head would be most prominently featured.” Sims wrote that he “made sure the press cameras would be positioned on the right side,” which was Trump’s preference.

Then, something happened. Trump “suddenly appeared distracted, distant,” wrote Sims. “I could sense the gears inside of his head starting to turn. I was losing him.” As the clock ticked down, Trump “suddenly turned toward the NASA administrator.” He asked: “What’s our plan for Mars?”

Lightfoot explained to the president — who, again, had recently signed a bill containing a plan for Mars — that NASA planned to send a rover to Mars in 2020 and, by the 2030s, would attempt a manned spaceflight.

“Trump bristled,” according to Sims. He asked, “But is there any way we could do it by the end of my first term?”…






133 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    WHY can’t we put him in a rocket and fire him into space?

  2. 2
    Luthe says:

    We need to do it before the end of his first (and only) term. That way we can ship him off to Mars and get him the fuck off this planet.

  3. 3
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Stupid, childish moron says stupid, childish thing. Par for the course these days.

  4. 4
    kindness says:

    So long as the interaction with Trump wasn’t recorded the guy should have promised to do the Mars trip his 1st term. I mean, when Trump starts crowing about it (a certainty) all the guy would have to do is say Trump is lying again. Who wouldn’t believe that?

  5. 5
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Remember the plethora of tell all books by disgruntled officials during the Obama era? We have plummeted so far so quickly.

  6. 6
    germy says:

    This would be a comedy if it wasn’t a tragedy.

  7. 7
    Plato says:

    Daily dose of disastrous incompetence.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    germy says:

    As its first act in the new Congress, the new Democratic majority passed House Resolution 1, a massive anti-corruption measure aimed at restoring the credibility of American elections, safeguarding the right to vote that has come under steady Republican attack and outlawing partisan gerrymandering. It also called for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United, that most pernicious of Roberts Court decisions.

    McConnell’s reaction to this forthright, clear-headed and long overdue clarion call for reform?

    “It’s a power grab,” opined the man for whom exercising power as an end unto itself. “Apparently the Democrats define ‘democracy’ as giving Washington a clearer view of whom to intimidate and leaving citizens more vulnerable to public harassment over private views. . . . The bill goes so far as to suggest that the Constitution needs an amendment to override First Amendment protections.”

  10. 10
    SFAW says:

    Maybe if we tell the Traitor-in-Chief that he can do a test run with the Kanamits? (“It’ll be fun! And they really appreciate how awesome you are! Why, their nickname for you is ‘Super Size’!”)

    Send Traitor Turtle along, too.

    ETA: And, after reading Traitor Turtle’s response to HR 1 (thanks, germy!), I’m thinking: the sooner, the better.

  11. 11
    chopper says:

    go to mars in a year? oy

  12. 12
    Mike in NC says:

    Remember when Newt Gingrich boasted that there would be a base on the moon (or was it Mars) before the end of his first term? He’s a complete idiot but a deep thinker compared to our addled Fat Bastard.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    Pete Buttigieg is articulate.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    NASA employees remain furloughed pending a funding bill.

    Yeah, I know some of those. They’re not happy campers, just like all of the other folks caught in this mess.

    Does Trump think that the Sun orbits the Earth? Or, more likely, does he think that both the Sun and the Earth revolve around him?

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    Kamala Harris on Maddow tonight.

  16. 16
    Ruckus says:

    @SFAW:
    You know if you strapped both of them to the outside of the ship there would be more room inside for important cargo. 5 point harness would work.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    WHY can’t we put him in a rocket and fire him into space?

    There are safety rules about putting giant flaming gasbags on board rockets.

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    @dmsilev:
    The real trick is that he believes that the earth revolves around the stick up his ass. There are a number of people with this disease.

  19. 19
    AThornton says:

    We’re not going to land people on Mars anytime soon and we’re not even going to send people to Mars anytime soon. Long term exposure to sub 1 g environments would cause irreversible physiological – including neurological – damage. Further travel outside of the van Allen belt exposes people to cumulative exposure to all kinds of life ending radiation.

  20. 20
    JGabriel says:

    NY Mag:

    Trump Offered NASA Unlimited Funding to Go to Mars in His First Term

    Sims wrote that he leaned in toward Lightfoot and made him an offer. “But what if I gave you all the money you could ever need to do it?” Trump asked. “What if we sent NASA’s budget through the roof, but focused entirely on that instead of whatever else you’re doing now. Could it work then?”

    Lightfoot told him he was sorry, but he didn’t think it was possible. This left Trump “visibly disappointed,” Sims wrote.

    Lightfoot / NASA should have accepted the money, then stiffed Trump by spending it all on Global Warming research.

  21. 21
    SenyorDave says:

    Note to the American media: Please stop insulting toddlers by lumping them together with Trump.

  22. 22
    lamh36 says:

    So the Cryptkeeper, sorry, of course I meant Kellyanne… is a leaker…who’s surprised…her and her husband have been running a game this entire time.

    No one should be naive enough to think Georgr Conway and his wife aren’t in cahoots.

    @kylegriffin1
    Ex-W.H. aide Cliff Sims says that he once watched Kellyanne Conway iMessage no fewer than a half-dozen reporters over the course of 20 minutes to, among other things, bash Kushner, Priebus, Bannon, and Spicer. All by name

    https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1088253909678899202

  23. 23
    germy says:

    @AThornton: Those are facts that most sci fi movies ignore, so Trump is ignorant of them.

  24. 24
    germy says:

    @lamh36: Oh shit! Wait until Trump finds out….

  25. 25
    The Dangerman says:

    @germy:

    This would be a comedy if it wasn’t a tragedy.

    Indeed.

    I mean, it appears he (or Guiliani or someone) scared Cohen off his congressional testimony by implying that Cohen’s FIL is tied to the mob. Well, one, how the hell would he know that and,two, if the FIL did, why the hell isn’t the DOJ going after him?

    Tragedy.

  26. 26
    germy says:

    Ex-W.H. aide Cliff Sims calls out Kellyanne Conway: "Kellyanne was playing a double game—putting a foot in both worlds—telling Trump and his supporters on Fox one thing, while bad-­mouthing them to the 'main­stream' media in private." https://t.co/4ClcKyonJ1— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 24, 2019

  27. 27
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @dmsilev:

    Does Trump think that the Sun orbits the Earth?

    Don’t believe he’s ever been a catholic

  28. 28
    Shrillhouse says:

    The supposed negative effects of radiation are totally another liberal fake news hoax. Just like global warming and magnets.

  29. 29
    mad citizen says:

    Phucking J. Idiot!

  30. 30
    dmsilev says:

    @JGabriel: Except that, minor problem, Congress is the one that decides where to allocate money. And while Ryan and McConnell were willing to back Trump on a lot of things, unlimited government spending not on military stuff was not one of those.

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    @Shrillhouse: Look, radiation gave us Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. How bad could it be, really?

  32. 32
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    You can’t imagine how much this pains me but I’m with Newt (gags). I think a lunar base makes way more sense than sending people to Mars. What the hell are they going to do when they get there? Plant a flag? Collect some samples? Snap some pics and climb back into the rocket for the long trip home? Send robots.
    Don’t get me wrong – I want it to happen! I know it will happen. But why does it have to happen NOW?
    Besides, a lunar base would pave the road for the commercialization of space IMHO. When people can vacation on the Moon, the money for space exploration (and exploitation) will come rolling in. Especially for Mars.
    Either way – I won’t live to see it. And neither will Trump.
    And fuck Newt.

  33. 33
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: I’ve been waiting for one of these cretins to turn on Kellyanne

    Kyle Griffin @ kylegriffin1
    -W.H. aide Cliff Sims says that he once watched Kellyanne Conway iMessage no fewer than a half-dozen reporters over the course of 20 minutes to, among other things, bash Kushner, Priebus, Bannon, and Spicer. All by name.
    -Ex-W.H. aide on Kellyanne: “It became hard to look long at her without getting the sense that she was a cartoon villain brought to life. Her agenda … became more and more transparent. Once you figured that out, everything about her seemed so calculated.”

    if Kellyanne pisses off JarVanka…. actually it would probably only hasten her exit and inevitable return to Morning Joe and the Maher show

  34. 34
    germy says:

    @The Dangerman: Trump was a business partner with Cohen’s F.I.L.
    Isn’t that why he hired Cohen in the first place? As a favor to the F.I.L.?
    Does he expect us to forget that?

  35. 35
    lgerard says:

    @SFAW:

    Maybe if we tell the Traitor-in-Chief that he can do a test run with the Kanamits?

    Someone told me that episode is on MeTV tonight.

    can’t be a coincidence

  36. 36
    germy says:

    I wish I could get bitten by a radioactive confident person.

    — Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) June 29, 2012

  37. 37
    lamh36 says:

    Good evening BJ.

    Well damn…I had already heard bout Singer from other blogs, but with the award season prospects of Bohemian Rhapsody…this is an even bigger expose than ever.

    Half way through the article, I had to take a break…I mean I’d heard stuff, but WOW!

    Damnit…I will never watch the X-Men films again…oh..and makes ya think REALLY hard bout some of the dudes who starrred in Singer’s films who themsleves have rumour around them.

    Now I see why I kept seeing an article/interview with Rami Malek saying he “didn’t know” of the allegations against Singer. And I guess I can see how you could be in that Hollywood bubble esp if you don’t run in the same circles. Still… As someone who admittedly enjoyed Rami in BH, I gotta say…naw Rami…just give this one up. I can’t say that I believe he never heard anything…although as awkward as he was in tv interviews, he does seem in a bit of a bubble sometimes…still he can give this up. He’s young enough and talented enough…to parlay the success of BH into a better turn w/a less predatory director.

    And maybe Singer, like Spacey will FINALLY get what’s coming to him


    The “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer has been trailed by accusations of sexual misconduct for 20 years. Here, his alleged victims tell their stories. @MisterAlexFren1 and @maxapotter report:

    If you are easily triggered maybe don’t read the entire article in one sitting, you may need a break.

    Oh and how intriguing is it that the article was started for Esquire, but according to the writers it was killed by the Hearst owners!

  38. 38
    Martin says:

    A few things need to be pointed out here. Going to Mars is not easy. Between now and the 2020 election, there is exactly one launch window – Dec 2019. They occur about every 26 months. It takes 6 months to transit to Mars, so a landing in May 2020 or so.

    Now, it needs to be noted that we don’t have a rated manned spacecraft to get to the ISS. We might have one by June or so. But that craft can’t keep a human alive for the 6 month journey to Mars. What’s more, we don’t have a human rated launcher that can get that craft to Mars. The SLS is the vehicle we expect to fill that role, which might be ready for a first launch in June 2020. But let’s be serious here – it’s years late, and will be years more late. Further, Keeping a human alive for the trip to Mars requires a quantity of radiation shielding and life support that even it won’t be able to lift a craft from Earth to Mars. It’ll need to be done in 2 steps – put it in earth orbit, outfit it, then send it to Mars. We’ll need about 10t of mass just in consumables to get a person to Mars.

    If that isn’t daunting enough, there’s no infrastructure for the person on Mars. Say we solve all of those problems and land the person on Mars, they need to stay there until the next launch window home, and then the 6 months trip back. All told, it’s a 2 year trip. They’ll need live support. They’ll need medical care. That’s all additional mass. Every manned Mars plan involves multiple unmanned launches to stage that stuff. But, again, we have only one launch window – so are we now sending a fleet of landers? And even if we could solve all of that as well, we have no way to get the person back. We have no lander that could carry the amount of fuel necessary to get off of Mars and back to Earth. We don’t even have a paper design for that, let alone a single component of it made – and that needs to go in that same launch window.

    This is about 20x as complicated as going to the moon, we have about half as much infrastructure available to do it, and instead of being able to launch literally any day to go to the moon, we have 1 short window in which to do it. It’s literally impossible – except – except if you take ‘manned mission’ in the most literal sense. Put Trump in a Dragon II capsule, stick him on top of a Falcon Heavy, and send him on his way. He’ll die long before he gets to Mars, but he’ll get there. A man will be on Mars. He’ll be dead, and nobody will ever visit his body, but mission accomplished.

    I’m for it.

  39. 39
    lamh36 says:

    Bish please…u were fine with the shutdown when you was sipping tea in the Sit room..

    @thedailybeast
    Follow Follow @thedailybeast
    More
    Ex-Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly calls on president to end shutdown
    https://twitter.com/thedailybeast/status/1088256098090524677

  40. 40
    SFAW says:

    @Ruckus:

    You know if you strapped both of them to the outside of the ship there would be more room inside for important cargo. 5 point harness would work.

    Harness? Fuck that shit. Moby Prick deserves nothing less than a harpoon.

  41. 41
    andy says:

    I see The Leader’s approval rating is damn near Crazification Factor territory.

    We need to have a general strike, and put the fear back into these “people”.

  42. 42
    germy says:

    @lamh36: Hearst is never to be trusted. They’ve been horrible for a long time.

  43. 43
    Steeplejack says:

    Adam L. Silverman will appreciate this:

    Among others it’s Seb Gorka’s turn in the barrel. How was he teaching US special ops servicemembers w/ no real credentials, job experience & then got a top terrorism job in WH after he founded a neoNazi organization in Hungary? He was utterly unclearable but wanted a TS/SCI. Why? https://t.co/eNYNnw7KqR

    — Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) January 23, 2019

  44. 44
    SFAW says:

    @dmsilev:

    Does Trump think that the Sun orbits the Earth?

    Wait, what??

  45. 45
    JGabriel says:

    @dmsilev:

    Except that, minor problem, Congress is the one that decides where to allocate money. And while Ryan and McConnell were willing to back Trump on a lot of things, unlimited government spending not on military stuff was not one of those.

    Well, sure, if you’re gonna be all pragmatic and realistic about it …

  46. 46
    catclub says:

    @germy:

    This would be a comedy if it wasn’t a tragedy.

    Read The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis on the botched transition and the jewels
    of government science these people are sabotaging.

  47. 47
    AThornton says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Moon’s gravity is 83% of earth’s gravity which rules out long and medium term habitation.

    Until we figure out how to create a 1 g environment we’re stuck on Earth. As an old L5 Society member I’m not happy about it but that’s the way it is.

  48. 48
    germy says:

    @Steeplejack: Interesting part of that thread:

    Malcolm, Vitezi Rend members are banned from immigrating to America. How did Gorka immigrate here in the first place?

    Malcolm Nance:
    Ducked into Britain and from there into Fox News & White House.

  49. 49
    SFAW says:

    @germy:

    Hearst is never to be trusted. They’ve been horrible for a long time.

    Well, maybe not a LOOOONG time, but at least since the sun rose, bud.

  50. 50
    dmsilev says:

    Truly, they are strategic geniuses. CNN: White House officials caught off guard by Pelosi’s letter canceling State of the Union address

    White House officials were caught off guard Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally disinviting President Donald Trump from giving his State of the Union address from the House chamber, leaving them scrambling for a response.

    White House officials had believed Pelosi wanted only to postpone Trump’s State of the Union for political reasons after she sent a letter to him last week asking him to delay the address until after the partial government shutdown ended. The plan from administration officials was to call her bluff by pressing forward with plans to deliver the speech, including a new letter on Wednesday that they hoped would force her hand.

    Now they’re left exploring alternative venues. White House officials say they are hesitant to hold a campaign-style rally because they realize it’s not formal enough to look like the traditional speech. Officials also recognize that it’s harder to keep Trump on message during a rally, where he often feeds off the crowd, versus a more formal address.

  51. 51
    SFAW says:

    @AThornton:

    Moon’s gravity is 83% of earth’s gravity which rules out long and medium term habitation.

    Isn’t it more like one-sixth (i.e. 16-17 percent)?

  52. 52
    Eric NNY says:

    +2,000,000

    Im arguing politics with poor people and they blame other poor people.

    It’s about to be +4,000,000.

  53. 53
    dmsilev says:

    @SFAW: Yes, and Mars is roughly 1/3 g.

  54. 54
    germy says:

    @SFAW: Westbrook Pegler and earlier.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    khead says:

    In a sane, alternate universe, this story about the Chinese landing on the dark side of the moon would’ve spurred a lot more national action than a bunch of Pink Floyd posts on my Facebook feed.

  57. 57
    Raven says:

    @SFAW: The eternal Thompson Gunner
    Still wanderin through the night
    Now it’s ten years later
    But he still keeps up the fight
    In Ireland, In Lebanon
    In Palastine and Berkley
    Patty Hurst
    Heard the burst
    Of Roland’s Thompson Gun
    And bought it.

  58. 58
    SFAW says:

    @dmsilev:

    Truly, they are strategic geniuses.

    Calling them morons is insulting to morons everywhere.

    And how does a rally qualify as “reporting to Congress” (or whatever the exact wording is)?

  59. 59
    JGabriel says:

    @SFAW:

    Well, maybe not a LOOOONG time, but at least since the sun rose, bud.

    [Groan.]

  60. 60
    AThornton says:

    @SFAW:

    Yes it’s 83% less than Earth’s. Good catch, Thank You.

  61. 61
    RAVEN says:

    @Ruckus: You check out my man? He was a USMC refrigerator tech,72-76.

  62. 62
    SFAW says:

    @germy:

    Um, you’re taking me too literally.

    Would it help if I changed my nym/nom to “SFAW, designated bad-joke attempter and shitty punster”

    Maybe if I had wrote “Yeah, they’ve been razing Kane for a while”?

  63. 63
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @AThornton:

    AThronton: I’m sorry Lurker, science says you can’t have a lunar base right now.

    Midnight Lurker: Not with that attitude.

  64. 64
    SFAW says:

    @AThornton:
    I figured that’s what you meant, but thought I’d check.

  65. 65
    Duane says:

    @SenyorDave: When toddlers do something stupid or mean, there’s hope. They will learn. With Trumpov, its a lost cause.

  66. 66
    germy says:

    @SFAW: My sarcasm detector is in the shop.

    I wonder if the Hearst executives are best buddies with Singer’s lawyers?

  67. 67
    SFAW says:

    @JGabriel:

    [Groan.]

    As expected. [See my comment at #62]

  68. 68
    dmsilev says:

    @SFAW:

    And how does a rally qualify as “reporting to Congress” (or whatever the exact wording is)?

    The wording is that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”. No mention of how often, or what means of communication is involved. Getting up on a stage at a rally and starting with “Congress, you’d better be watching this!” probably would count.

  69. 69
    Jeffro says:

    @andy:

    We need to have a general strike, and put the fear back into these “people”.

    Wait…you can’t say ‘general strike’ around here…some folks will go apeshit and say it’s never been done before and you’re really just calling for civil war. (Seriously!)

    Ok, never mind, let’s call for a general strike ;)

  70. 70
    Jeffro says:

    @dmsilev: “WHAAAAAT?!? She backed down? (sound of two brain cells dying) Gahhhh!”

  71. 71
    Fair Economist says:

    @AThornton: I’m not aware of any research indicating low gravity (as opposed to microgravity) is an insurmountable health risk. It’s possible Moon residents eventually couldn’t return to earth, but the record holder for time in microgravity, Valeri Polyakov, is still around on Earth at 76 after 22 months in space, so it seems we can tolerate Moon life quite a bit. Mars should be even less of an issue, although the cost of returning is so high if we do send people there it may be one-way.

  72. 72
    SFAW says:

    @dmsilev:

    Yeah, I had noticed the “from time to time” part a while back, figured Traitor-in-Chief would someday say “Next year, maybe — and only if I feel like it, bitches!”

  73. 73
    AThornton says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Stop Lurking and get working on a Gravity Making Machine! All ya gotta do is figure out how to bend Space/Time.

  74. 74
    frosty says:

    @JGabriel: Nice catch, I missed it!

  75. 75
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @dmsilev: What on earth did they think was in that letter that could “force her hand”?

  76. 76
    germy says:

    Now Trump has taken to insulting Schumer, calling him “Nancy’s puppet.”

    His frustration is palpable.

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @Gelfling 545: Pure manliness.

    @germy: Trump shouldn’t be referring to puppets.

  78. 78
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @AThornton:

    Stop Lurking and get working on a Gravity Making Machine!

    Magnets!

    All ya gotta do is figure out how to bend Space/Time.

    Mirrors!

    HA! And the first moon crater we can fill with water and turn into a hot tub is mine!

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Look, I think Mars is willing to take one for the team here.

    How about this, we dump Trump on Mars and plan our first mission to put a living person on Mars to retrieve Trumps body and launch it into the sun. It’s hella expensive, but I think it’s worth it.

  80. 80
    mad citizen says:

    Maybe Trump could deliver his speech from Ford’s Theater. The Balcony Box on the side. Then the events of April 14, 1865 would only be the second worst thing to have happened there.

  81. 81
    Barbara says:

    @germy: Calling Schumer names seems like a low percentage move on Trump’s part. The average politician has the hide of a hippo.

  82. 82
    Citizen_X says:

    @AThornton:

    Long term exposure to sub 1 g environments would cause irreversible physiological – including neurological – damage.

    There is no evidence that this is true. There is zero research on long term exposure to gravity > 0 and < 1 G. For obvious reasons: one would have to research subjects on the moon, or Mars, or in a rotating space station that produces < 1G.

    There are medical problems associated with free fall, of course. But at least for most of the problems encountered by ISS crew, they have “an advanced countermeasures suite up there,” according to astronaut Michael Barratt.

  83. 83
    clay says:

    @germy: “Hmmmm, I need something from Democrats… I know! I’ll start insulting them and calling their leaders names. Donald, you genius, you’ve done it again!”

  84. 84
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: Schumer’s twitter intern is missing an opportunity
    No puppet! No puppet! You’re the puppet!

  85. 85
    trollhattan says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    You’re gonna have to share that hot tub.

  86. 86
    dmsilev says:

    @Gelfling 545: They thought, to use the word loosely, that making threatening grunting noises would be enough to intimidate Pelosi into backing down.

  87. 87
    Ruviana says:

    @catclub: Yeah, I think that one actually scared me the most.

  88. 88
    Suzanne says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    WHY can’t we put him in a rocket and fire him into space?

    I believe that we can!

  89. 89
    Ken says:

    @Gelfling 545: Was that the letter where Trump said the “offer and acceptance” created a contract? Possibly Speaker Pelosi remembers more than 67% of her business law courses.

  90. 90
    Keith P. says:

    At least we can deduce that Trump still listens to Newt Gingrich. How that guy didn’t get made chief-of-staff instead of Mulvaney is beyond me

  91. 91
    Citizen_X says:

    @Citizen_X: Wanted to edit to add, BUT COULDN’T, so I’ll add: I’m not aware of any neurological issues with free fall, so if you had any links I’d be interested.

  92. 92
    PPPilot says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I’m not aware of any research indicating low gravity (as opposed to microgravity) is an insurmountable health risk.

    Many (most?) Space Station astronauts have optic nerve damage. Basically, they sign up for developing glaucoma when they sign up for longterm space living.

    Zhang LF, Hargens AR. Spaceflight-Induced Intracranial Hypertension and Visual
    Impairment: Pathophysiology and Countermeasures. Physiol Rev. 2018 Jan
    1;98(1):59-87. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00017.2016. Review. PubMed PMID: 29167331.

  93. 93
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Philip Rucker @ PhilipRucker
    Jared Kushner has positioned himself as king of shutdown talks — a “master negotiator,” in the words of one House ally — but others on Capitol Hill see the presidential son-in-law as a nonentity

    Matthew Yglesias @ mattyglesias
    I remember this dude working his flip phone around to dorm to manage the Somerville rental properties his dad bought for him.
    For real, this is what he spent his time doing … playing landlord with $10 million of daddy’s money.

  94. 94
    AThornton says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Basically the problem is we evolved in a 1 g environment and so our biochemistry can be thought of as complex 4d (varying over time) geometry in a 1 g liquid solution. No longer in 1 g and the system is outside of specified parameters … to put it in engineering terms.

    There’s a lot of research out there and it’s an active field. Here’s a paper to start with.

  95. 95
    Elizabelle says:

    John’s twitter feed just now:

    Just realized I have been using Marie Kondo’s method my entire life, just on people.

    That’s so perfect. Does it spark joy? GTFOOH.

  96. 96
    Jay says:

    Stormy Daniels tweeted Cohen today, offering to loan him some of her balls, as threats against her and her family, ( probably arranged by Cohen), didn’t stop her from going public.

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Martin says:

    Shoutouts to Kaiser L&D on Maddow! My kids are in good company.

  99. 99
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I remember hearing that Obama put out some feelers about a crewed Mars mission and had the usual sticker shock when they told him how much. I think basically every modern President does something like that. The idea that you could get people there in two years by just spending enough is very Trumpian, though.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Oh, Joy Reid is just laying into some trump executive that Lawrence O’Donnell is trying to turn into a pundit, for some reason. Said wannabe-pundit tried out some both sides shit and Joy was not having it

  102. 102
    Wag says:

    @Ruckus:

    The real trick is that he believes that the earth revolves around the stick up his ass. There are a number of people with this disease.

    The real trick is to get all those people on the same stick, rotating in the same direction. The amount of energy generated could power the world without the need for fossil fuels.

  103. 103
    AThornton says:

    @Citizen_X:

    From the cited paper

    Gravitational influences have been observed to affect cells at the cytoarchitectural level. Gravity contributes to the spatial relationship of the intracellular organelles and cytoskeletal structures, which also affects biochemical and biosynthetic pathways. Consequently, DNA replication, RNA transcription, and protein transport can be negatively affected.

    I note “protein kinases are signalling molecules par excellence” and ” … the majority of eukaryotic proteins during their lifespan, and that this reaction is catalysed by the members of a large family of protein kinases, susceptible to a variety of stimuli controlling nearly every aspect of life and death.” (Venerando, Andrea, Luca Cesaro, and Lorenzo A. Pinna. “From phosphoproteins to phosphoproteomes: a historical account.” The FEBS journal 284.13 (2017): 1936-1951.)

    In short, messing with the molecular biology of protein expression is a tremendously bad idea.

  104. 104
    plato says:

    5 ex-Homeland Security secretaries are calling for Trump and Congress to "fund the critical mission of DHS," according to letter obtained by @NBCNews.
    One of the secretaries is John Kelly, who was still technically Trump's chief of staff when the shutdown started last month. pic.twitter.com/coD85MEhk8
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 24, 2019

    Can’t say this enough, fuck you, john fucking kelly, you pos.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    Steeplejack says:

    @lgerard:

    Yep—12:30 a.m. EST tonight on MeTV.

  107. 107
    plato says:

    "The media horserace coverage of the shutdown is divorced from real life. People aren't wondering 'Oooh, who's going to win the shutdown?' They're wondering 'How am I going to eat? How am I going to pay my bills?' That's what's at stake." — @gaslitnation https://t.co/lWucfXq8xV
    — Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) January 24, 2019

  108. 108
    Doug R says:

    I know microgravity is a problem, especially at long exposures but I don’t think Mars’ 0.39G is going to be that much of a problem. We manage to ride in cars that can pull 0.8G in a turn, we ride roller coasters that reach 0G and 3G. We evolved from lemurs, FFS.
    That being said, 0.17G on the moon could be a lot closer to OG in its effects. But having 6 month or so rotations should help plus maybe a larger centrifuge/gym where everyone could work out in 1G would help as well.
    Here’s a website to calculate this. Looks like about a 10m radius at 9.4 rpm gets you 1G
    https://www.artificial-gravity.com/sw/SpinCalc/

  109. 109
    Ken says:

    @Matt McIrvin: As the narrator in Charles Stross’ Saturn’s Children says, “Sending canned primates to Mars was never going to end happily. But theirs was a glorious madness!”

    (Said narrator and her kind routinely travel to Mars, Jupiter, and even the Kuiper belt. But they have the twin advantages of not needing oxygen, and of being able to slow their clock rate so a day takes five subjective minutes – and even then, they get bored on the longer trips.)

  110. 110
    Keith P. says:

    WHY can’t we put him in a rocket and fire him into space?

    Because NASA charges by the pound and will require payment up front.

  111. 111
    Steeplejack says:

    @germy:

    Every time I see Gorka’s name now I think of Zeddary’s pinned tweet:

    Gangstaaaaaaaaaaasss… what's up guys? pic.twitter.com/2nTxnlunAg

    — Zeddy (@Zeddary) November 25, 2017

  112. 112
    Bess says:

    @PPPilot:

    Based on my experience with glaucoma is that it easily and quickly treated. The procedure take just a few minutes per eye. No pain during or after treatment. A tiny ‘snapping’ sensation when the laser drills drain holes so pressure can equalize.

  113. 113
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Doug R:

    We manage to ride in cars that can pull 0.8G in a turn

    Uh, 0.8G—what kind of shitty car do you drive?

  114. 114
    West of the Rockies says:

    OT, so please forgive: I saw Kamala on MSNBC tonight and am more excited than I was before. I think she’s got a great chance.

  115. 115
    sdhays says:

    @Keith P.: I think I can persuade House Democrats to pony up $5 billion, no questions asked…

  116. 116
    Doug R says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I said ride, not own.

  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    @RAVEN:
    I think I may have missed something somewhere.
    No idea what you are talking about.
    So to answer your question, no.

  118. 118
    Ken says:

    @AThornton: I’m getting an “eppur si muove” feeling about that paper. It’s mostly because people have spent months, even years, in 0G without dying messily, which is generally what happens (quickly) when RNA transcription is inhibited.

  119. 119
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @West of the Rockies: Ah, I wanted to watch that. I’ll have to see when it gets posted

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @Duane:
    drumpf has been a toddler a long long time because he never learned humanity 101 the first or 20th time around.

  121. 121

    @Gelfling 545: and @germy:
    His whole* ‘strategy’ subsequently fits with Trump’s bizarre anger Schumer wouldn’t take his side against Pelosi in the first public meeting. All decision making on his part is running on the assumptions of a profound level of misogyny. Walk out on her when she won’t completely submit. Ignore her threats and try to walk over her. Taunt the man on her side as if being led by a woman is shameful. Make a point that he’ll only talk about her by her first name. Get his wife to call her out on stereotypical housewife stuff. And we keep getting reports that he is completely baffled that these textbook methods for keeping a woman in her place aren’t working. He can’t even grasp the idea of a woman as an equal.

    *McConnell forced him to put forward a counter-offer bill, although Trump’s misogyny may have played a part in it being such a shit sandwich it couldn’t even pretend to be a compromise.

  122. 122
    Ruckus says:

    @Martin:
    We have to start somewhere and sending drumpf to mars seems like a great idea. The fact that he probably can’t work a toaster let alone a space ship shouldn’t be a factor, automated flight should be available at Space Ships Are Us cheap enough and there is probably enough gold plated things to keep his attention. And just because a rescue flight would be years away can’t be that much of an issue…..

  123. 123
    joel hanes says:

    mars ain’t no kind of place to raise a kid
    in fact it’s cold as hell
    and there’s no one there to raise them if you did

    and all the science, I don’t understand

  124. 124

    @plato:

    The media horserace coverage of the shutdown is divorced from real life.

    Which is why they can’t sell the ‘both sides’ narrative. They’re not speaking the same language as the people making up their minds.

  125. 125
    Ruckus says:

    @Wag:
    You really want to risk being within a few thousand miles when that many people are hanging on to that stick? It is a large stick for sure and it’s firmly lodged there, having been there for at least 70 yrs, but 27% of the US population might just over load it. He’s impossible to take now, what happens when the load gets out of balance? Maybe the out of balance load will be countered by the out of balance crap in his fat head.

  126. 126
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @Ruckus: The stick has obviously reached his brain, Monsignor Guillotine has an excellent device to sever the stick. S/

  127. 127
    Ruckus says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]:
    I like how you think.
    Hadn’t thought about the stick growing but with him being full of all that fertilizer……..

  128. 128
    James E Powell says:

    Very sad night. I had to say goodbye to my old yellow dog Toby. He’s been my friend for over 15 years. Two days ago he all the sudden started struggling to breath. It was cancer all through his lungs. The vet came to the house. We held him in our arms and brushed him as he went away quietly. I never had to do anything like that before. I have to say the vet is a special person. Gentle, kind and caring. I’m going to miss my friend something fierce.

  129. 129
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Isn’t that how The Marching Morans ends?

  130. 130
    emrys says:

    @James E Powell: So sorry. Hugs from all the kitties.

  131. 131
    Luthe says:

    @PPPilot: IIRC, the astronauts who suffer visual problems are primarily men. Female astronauts aren’t as affected by that side effect of microgravity. Yet another reason future space missions should be all-female.

  132. 132
    rekoob says:

    @James E Powell: Just in case no one else saw this right away, condolences. I have a yellow-ish dog nearing 16, and I can well imagine how quick the end comes. Being there with Toby was absolutely the right call — I said goodbye to a very sweet Beagle about 12 years ago in a similar fashion and I’m eternally grateful I did. The release is hard, but the relief will come.

  133. 133
    TomatoQueen says:

    @James E Powell: Always hard to say goodbye to our best friend. Holding good thoughts for you and light to Toby on the Bridge.

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