Monthly Archives: March 2011

Delays in NASA heavy-lift rocket plan stir skeptics

More proof it’s nothing but pork: Witnesses at House committee hearing express strong concerns about the heavy-lift rocket plan (the-program-formerly-called-Constellation) imposed on NASA by Congress.. Key quote:

“We simply do not know what is next,” said Maser, president of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, which builds the space shuttle’s main engines. “We are in a crisis.”

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Adventures in Federal Budget Cutting

A cautionary tale: Adventures in federal budget cutting.

The experience has been difficult and has caused me some personal problems. I am afraid this will be the case for anyone who tries to cut spending — in the face of an entrenched bureaucracy that thrives on ever-increasing budgets.

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AARP’s Billion Dollar ObamaCare Windfall

So this is why they lobbied for the crappy bill: AARP’s billion dollar Obamacare windfall.

Almost half of the $500 billion in ObamaCare’s Medicare cuts come out of Medicare Advantage. The cuts don’t kill the program, but they mortally wound it. CBO estimates that the Medicare Advantage program will be cut in half, causing over 7 million seniors to lose their health care coverage. They will be forced to return to traditional Medicare and, in most cases, will need to purchase Medi-Gap coverage.

Using very conservative assumptions (AARP keeps its current share of the Medi-Gap market and premiums don’t rise), this increase in the Medi-Gap market will generate more than $100 million a year in additional license fee revenue for AARP. Over a billion dollars every decade. Keep in mind, this revenue is simply for using AARP’s name, so it is almost pure profit.

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Ancient Books Uncovered in Jordan May Date to Start of Christianity

Ancient books uncovered in Jordan may date from the start of Christianity. Then again, they may be forgeries.

The books are currently the subject of a dispute between authorities, archeologists and an Israeli Bedouin who smuggled the books into Israel and hid them, claiming they were found by his great-grandfather, The Telegraph reports. Authorities in Jordan want the books returned, since under Jordanian law, they are property of the Kingdom of Jordan, according to the news release. Archeologists in Israel claim the books are forgeries, while British archeologists are committed to saving and studying the ancient scrolls.

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Going Broke: Treasury Down to $58.6B in Cash, $130.5B Borrowing Authority

The reckoning is about to arrive: The federal treasury is down to $58.6 billion in cash with only $130.5 billion in borrowing authority.

Meanwhile former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos reports that a tentative deal between the parties in Congress will finalize the cuts from last year’s budget at $33 billion.

As I said, the reckoning is about to arrive.

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University in Argentina to give Hugo Chavez a journalism award

What does this tell us about the intellectual bankruptcy and political leanings of these academics: The University of La Plata in Argentina is giving Hugo Chavez a journalism award.

Maybe it’s because the leftwing Chavez likes to shut down opposition news organizations.

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Geert Wilders: Time to Unmask Muhammad

Geert Wilders: Time to unmask Muhammad.

Anyone who voices criticism of Islam and Muhammad is in grave personal danger – as I have experienced. And whoever attempts to escape from the influence of Islam and Muhammad risks death. We cannot continue to accept this state of affairs. A public debate about the true nature and character of Muhammad can provide insight and support to Muslims all over the world who wish to leave Islam.

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When is an Asteroid Not an Asteroid?

When is an asteroid not an asteroid?

The layered structure of Vesta (core, mantle and crust) is the key trait that makes Vesta more like planets such as Earth, Venus and Mars than the other asteroids, McCord said. Like the planets, Vesta had sufficient radioactive material inside when it coalesced, releasing heat that melted rock and enabled lighter layers to float to the outside. Scientists call this process differentiation.

This question immediately demonstrates once again the terrible mess the International Astronautical Union made when it decided several years ago to define what makes a planet, and came up with a definition that simply doesn’t work. For if Vesta should be considered a planet, why not Pluto?

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