Author Archives: Robert Zimmerman

Tea Party freshmen may rue $100B in cuts

Now for some squealing from the “press”: Tea Party freshmen may rue $100B in cuts. I like this comment in response to the story:

Where was the press when Democrats passed $800 billion in useless stimulus? Where were they when unemployment shot up and over the 8% limit Democrats said we would reach without the lame stimulus? They sure jump up when you come up short on $100 billion in cuts…good luck and go after entitlements, please.

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White nose found in North Caroina

The fungus that has been killing cave hibernating bats throughout the eastern United States has now been found in North Carolina.

In a related note, the National Speleological Society has sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, expressing its concern over what many cavers believe has been the government’s indiscriminate cave closure policies in response to the white nose fungus. Key quote:

Our members have been extremely patient and collaborative throughout the entire [white nose syndrome] situation, but the frustration and discontent has been growing. We are hearing more and more from across the country that cavers do not want to participate in collaborative efforts – in much part due to management decisions by federal and state agencies that are perceived by knowledgeable and conservation-minded cavers to be over-reactive, based on sometimes slim science, speculation and political pressure, and insensitive to broader science and conservation issues. That result would not be beneficial to anyone.

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New Congress lets expire a decades-old $2.4 billion pork program

Change! The House kills a decades-old $2.4 billion pork program. Key quote:

The Trade Adjustment Assistance program dates back to the Kennedy-era Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and was expanded under the 1974 Trade Act, signed into law by Gerald Ford. It was the kind of bipartisan program thought to be bulletproof. In the last session, it went from a small program, designed to aid workers displaced by foreign trade, to a huge $2.4 billion pork program providing laid-off workers with 156 weeks of “income support,” subsidies and even education.

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SpaceX puts Dragon 9 space capsule on display in D.C.

SpaceX has put the Dragon 9 space capsule that flew in space on display in D.C. Though it is really cool that they are making the capsule so available to the public, this quote tells us the real story:

With Congress preparing in the weeks ahead to again address the question of government contracts for commercial space businesses such as SpaceX, the company wanted to give it (and attendees of the nearby FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference) an opportunity to see the capsule. Members of Congress and of the Obama administration were invited to attend a Thursday evening viewing, and company officials said the response has been enthusiastic.

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Los Angeles gets tough with political protesters

Los Angeles gets tough with political protesters who break the law.

Understand that I do not consider this action by LA to be an attack on free speech, since the prosecutions all focus on illegal disruptive protests, such as blocking traffic for hours. Protest in a free society must be encouraged, as long as it doesn’t impinge on the rights of others. These protests did.

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Cutting the Full $100 Billion

Keep this momentum going! The House Republican leadership was forced this week to increase its proposed budget cuts to $100 billion because of tea party movement pressure, both in the House and back at home. Key quote from this New York Times report:

The reversal was the most concrete demonstration yet that the wave of fiscal conservatives who catapulted Republicans into the House majority is reshaping the political and policy calculations being made by the party leadership.

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More details on Ares/Ariane hybrid rocket

More details on Liberty, the Ares/Ariane hybrid rocket proposed by ATK and Alliant to provide crew/cargo capabilities to ISS. Key quote:

[Liberty] would be able to lift 44,500 lb. of payload to the International Space Station, enough for any of the commercial crew capsules under development as potential space shuttle replacements.

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