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Does Trump have the best space policy?

This opinion column looks at the three remaining politicians campaigning for president, and finds that Donald Trump probably has the most favorable position toward commercial space.

While all three candidates mouth favorable platitudes towards NASA and space exploration, all three also express reluctance to fund a giant government space program. Trump however was the only one to note the positive aspects of commercial space and express

…support for the government partnering with private space companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX. “I think there needs to be a growing partnership between the government and the private sector as we continue to explore space,” Trump told AIAA. “There seems to be tremendous overlap of interests so it seems logical to go forward together.”

Obviously, one can’t and shouldn’t put much faith in what any politician says during the campaign. Nonetheless, this might be a hopeful sign that if elected, Trump would push to dump NASA’s SLS/Orion and have NASA instead focus on buying space exploration services designed and operated by private companies.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Cotour

    Me thinks we have found the one singular thing (other than the specter of Hillary Clinton as president) that will comfort the R. Zimmerman as he pushes the button for D.J. Trump for president :)


  • Unlike you, I demand evidence before putting my faith in a candidate. Cruz had provided me that, as a sitting senator who followed through with his conservative campaign promises. Trump has so far provided me nothing to go on, and plenty to worry about.

    If Trump shows me actual evidence that he is as conservative as he has recently claimed, in office, I will be quite happy. Up to now, we lack that evidence. Even this story does not provide it, because it reflects things he is saying on the campaign trail. I merely note it, because it is important to keep an open mind and be informed.

    Also, it won’t be just Trump’s space policy that will matter to me. Space policy is a good indicator, but it is hardly the most important policy issue for any president.

  • Cotour

    I hear you, I have many problems with the man. He is going to need input and guidance as he attacks his learning curve. I think we both, along with the many other participants here and in on other venues will be forcefully providing it as we can.

    What will further comfort us both? His choice of VP.

    1. Newt? 2. Tom Cotton? 3. Allen West? (please let it be Allen West) 4. Mike Lee? As of now an unknown?

    This choice, along with who he is most likely to appoint to the Supreme Court are the keys to my personal happiness and I suspect yours.

  • Cotour

    Three more reasons that Trump is the most likely next president :




    I just heard the president on the radio, he said:

    “its time that we begin to analyse every single thing that Trump says, being president is not about entertainment”

    Has anyone ever analysed everything that Obama has said? I have personally heard him spew lie, after lie, after blatant documented lie. So is what the president saying that as long as Trump just lies and does not actually tell people what he intends then its OK?

    January of 2017 can not come fast enough for me, I have patently been waiting for it for 7 plus years.

  • Wayne

    This is probably repetitive on my part, but just (re) inquiring:
    Is it your position that Trump WANTS to become a Conservative?
    Not readily following your “learning-curve” point. I don’t see Trump as someone who wants to modify his life-long positions & I see him hiring Professional “yes-men” with their own internal bizzaro agenda’s.
    Under pressure, Trump appears tome, to default to standard left-wing narratives.

    Anyone whom Trumps picks as VP, will lose points with me.

    HAR–Can’t readily work a Star Trek reference, off the top of my head, but an appropriate cultural reference might be this:

    Everclear “Everything to Everyone”

  • Cotour

    No, his political / government learning curve. How much of a conservative he will be is to me an unknown at this time.

  • Cotour


    Another reason that Trump is the more likely next president.

  • Mitch S.

    So Wayne, are you saying Trump will imprint his “engrams” on the political machine?
    Or is he preprogrammed to shoot at anything that shoots at him while he devours the planets?
    Star Trek (TOS) and The Simpsons are all that’s needed to understand humanity…

    Let’s get real.
    Trump has to focus on winning the election, not proving his conservative bona-fides.
    A VP pick is part of campaign strategy, not ideological purity.
    Remember Reagan picked George HW Bush.
    Trump will probably want a woman or at least a minority to reach out to those groups.
    I don’t see Trump as a conservative but he’s not a liberal either. He’s a businessman who surfed the political waves to help his business.
    His core campaign planks prove he’s far more conservative than Hillary and her crew.
    That’s our choice, Trump or Hillary.

  • Wayne

    Good ST reference! (“it’s M-5’s game!”)

    “That’s our choice, Trump or Hillary.”
    -Precisely what bothers me.

    “Trump will probably want a woman or at least a minority to reach out to those groups.”
    -No clue myself whom he might choose. If he plays Identity-Politics with the VP, it only reinforces my belief’s he’s a crony-progressive.

    “He’s a businessman.”
    -That’s how he earns a living, but what does the guy actually believe? Trump may well not be liberal, but he smacks of… crony-progressive.

    Not a Trump hater, –I just don’t believe the guy.

  • Cotour

    For entertainment purposes only :)

  • Wayne


  • Joe

    Cotour, for entertainment purposes, that’s funny!

  • Cotour

    Information or disinformation?
    (even the Enquirer breaks those unbelievable stories now and then and they turn out to be true)

    Could this association between Cruz’s father be true? And might it be one of the reasons, besides his numbers, that Ted did drop out in some peoples estimation too soon? He is the right age and was politically active at the time.

    I have said it before, I would put nothing past any of them in order to acquire or retain power, nothing. Either in creating “facts” or digging up real facts. You have to admit at the minimum it is an interesting element in this elections trajectory.

  • Crap. And that you spread it discredits you. Moreover, that you made a big deal about Cruz’s wife’s job at Goldman Sachs, but say nothing about Trump appointing a former Goldman Sachs manager with numerous close ties to Democratic leftist organizations, further reveals your partisan agenda.

    You simply did not want a conservative winning the nomination, and are quite happy with the liberal Democratic primary coming in November. And as a New Yorker, I am not surprised. You can now protest, but you are exposing yourself.

  • Let me add that if you think, even slightly, that this is disinformation, which you indicate in your own post, than the honorable thing to do is to not spread the disinformation. By doing so, you encourage the big lie.

    And at a certain point I will no longer tolerate this on my website.

  • Wayne

    —am I missing a sarcasm-alert?

    —The “300” clip, is very humorous, –filled with 1/2 truths & clever edits, but done pretty well. Entertaining propaganda, hits all the correct cues & emotional-triggers.

    Alex Jones, National Enquirer, Lee Harvey Oswald….
    —Their reputation’s precede them, need I say more?

    —When the wheels fly off the carriage, the crazies come out of the woodwork. (Something like that…)

    ” [you] would put nothing past any of them in order to acquire or retain power,”
    —I just don’t get the faith in the unknown-quantity that is Trump. (What he really thinks.)
    —He sings a good “agrarian, protectionist, isolationist, populist, nationalist,” tune, which is what scares me, —the hallmark of a Crony-Progressive.

    My guy is out, its all apparently on Trump now, and Trump hasn’t wasted any time convincing me he’s exactly who I think/thought he is, and not what you think he might transform himself into.

  • Cotour

    Like it or not you have to admit that it is very interesting if for no other reason then it reveals, if it is just a Roger Stone tactic, just to what level each side will lower themselves. Do you hide from the truth of what may be what is the most important thing to understand, the potential of the depravity the human animal will lower itself related to the chasing of power? That, when you think about it is what ALL of the stories about politics you post here is all about. (even though you may not realize it)

    This story is in the news (information or disinformation?) and for you to ban me from even talking about something that has already happened and is after the fact and is part of the record because it subjectively upsets you seems a bit harsh to me. You may characterize or label me as you wish, I will not ban it, but I will be respectfully commenting on the full spectrum of things that are real and are in the news and appear to me to be relevant. I attempt to label them in such a way to properly characterize them.

    You may not want such “trash” on your site but you and everyone else must understand that these things are a part of how, whether true or false, the people are tuned up and emotionally controlled in order to get them to act in certain ways. I do not post them to cheapen your site but to reveal them and intelligently discuss them.

    I have been here quite a while and I feel I add a degree of interesting commentary and content to your site. Sometimes edgy, sometimes sharp, sometimes insightful, but always with a positive intent to know more, If you feel differently about me I will understand.

  • “it reveals, if it is just a Roger Stone tactic, just to what level each side will lower themselves.”

    No, it reveals to what level your side, led by Trump, will lower itself. At no point during the campaign did Cruz ever do anything so vile as this. Not only did Stone push it, so did Trump, based on no evidence. Quite disgusting. That you don’t see this as very real reason to reject Trump and his minions, forcefully, but instead want to consider it possibly true of Cruz and his father, is even more disgraceful.

    Are you now going to start posting the disinformation spread by the new mayor of London, because, hey, it might be true? What about the lies that Hamas and ISIS spread? Maybe we should give them credit for possibly being true. You could even go back and reconsider the positions of Goebbels, Hitler, and Stalin. How do we know they were bad? Maybe the Jews were really behind it?

    Like I say, this big lie by Trump and Stone discredits them, badly. It is one of the reasons that my interest in Trump has continued to decline, from the moment I started to observe him. That you don’t see this, and instead want to use it to smear Cruz, is an epic fail.

  • Wayne

    Dude… ya did it. Eat it, own it, recognize it, move on. Once you hit that “Post Comment,” button it’s “forever.”

    I’m new here. You do have a recognizable methodology (to me at least) of presenting your Guy in a most favorable, hopeful, light, while damning his opponents with carefully crafted faint-praise.

    “these things are a part of how, whether true or false, the people are tuned up and emotionally controlled in order to get them to act in certain ways”

    –Exactly what your Guy is masterful at doing; using his crony-progressive connections, fellow-travelers, and “useful-idiots,” for agitprop. Bad propaganda, done crudely, targeting the marginally-involved.

  • Steve Earle

    Back to the OT: If nothing else I will be very happy when the Obama people are kicked out at NASA.

    I still remember the stories of Lori Garver (I think that’s the right name?) going in and treating long term employees like dirt and making it clear that they had better kiss her ass or they were gone….

    It would be nice if they got a taste of their own medicine. Maybe the Muslim Outreach Space Agency will get back to it’s original mission?

  • Cotour

    I reject your entire post except for this element:

    ” You could even go back and reconsider the positions of Goebbels, Hitler, and Stalin.”

    And this is where you and apparently Wayne totally misunderstand me. I am not considering any of their positions, I am observing their strategies and tactics. (please re read that)

    What is the truth about “The Big Lie”? The Big Lie works, its effective. The bigger the better. Its going on right under your noses and all you can see is me attacking Cruz. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

  • Cotour

    This is my core, very well understood by me, position on this particular subject. I have posted it before, reread it slowly, dissect it, try to disprove it, until you understand it, and at the moment when the light goes off in anyone’s head who reads it that is the moment when you will “see” the reality of politics and what I know about it. “They” will do ANYTHING in order to acquire or retain power. ANYTHING.



    How civilizations, governments and wars throughout history are founded, fought and must at their existential core operate.

    Strategy Over Morality describes a two-tiered “conversation” between a Public and their Leadership where the Public believes there is only a single, no tiered conversation occurring and that single conversation relates to the Public’s morality model perspective.

    A model in which leadership can choose to formulate an interpretation of their core fiduciary responsibilities which becomes paramount over and above the public’s morality model. Where plausible deniability can be claimed when “immoral” acts or strategies are employed by leadership or by arms length leadership proxies.

    In this “conversation”, leadership steps “down” to the public’s level and presents information, agenda or strategy in a tailored, palatable package the public can believe and comfortably accept. Leadership then steps back to their “higher” level, formulates and executes “necessary” agenda and strategy where the public’s interpretation of morality is not relevant.

    CONCLUSION: The public lives and operates under a moral code perspective which they assume their leadership is constrained by. This is a subjective false perspective conclusion on the part of the public, in fact leaderships core fiduciary responsibility requires that leadership is or can be selectively or necessarily void of “morality”.


    PUBLIC: The individual citizens of any civilization, society or country.

    LEADERSHIP: Any macro governing body concerned with the formulation and implementation of laws, strategies and policies, both civil and military.

    LEADERSHIPS CORE FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITIES: Above all else the promotion and survival of the society, culture, boundaries, power and treasure.

    Related questions:

    1. Who’s benevolence and self interest model would you rather live under, yours or your enemies ?

    2. What steps will you not undertake in order for your benevolence and self interest model to prevail ?

    3. When does morality trump power and treasure ?

    4. What influences leadership and agenda ?

    Answers and Rules of operation:

    1. You never want to live under an enemies benevolence and self interest model.

    2. You will take any steps in order to live under your benevolence and self interest model.

    3. In order for “morality” to be implemented it is initially trumped by survival and power. “First we eat, then civilization”

    4. The possessors of power and treasure always influence leadership and agenda.

    5. Leadership never willingly gives up power.

  • Steve Earle

    So the “Big Lie” works and your guy Trump is using that tactic? Was that your point?

    You are correct, the Big Lie does work when backed by the State. Look at AGW and how the “Party Line” is parroted and then used by those in power to reach their own ends.

    Every other time Obama opens his mouth, he’s using AGW to justify another power grab or forcing more power plants to shut down.

    But you seem to be saying that you don’t care what the Big Lie / disinformation is or isn’t, just that it’s being used as a strategy or tactic?

    If that’s the case, doesn’t it bother you that Trump is using it? That tells me he is not above using “Big Lies” to smear his opponents. If he’s doing that to his own side (allegedly…) what will he do once in office and has access to the machines of government?

    Will he use the IRS and the EPA and the Justice Dept like Obama has? Will he issue E.O.’s whenever the mood strikes him, and then lie and name-call about anyone who stands up to him?

    It sure looks like that may happen.

    The Donald knows best. It’s going to be YUUUUGE! ;-)

  • “I am observing their strategies and tactics.”

    Bah. You are not doing a very good job of this, since you apparently assign the same strategies and tactics here of Trump and his associates to Cruz. They are not the same, and that you don’t realize this difference discredits your effort.

    Moreover, if you are so innocently just looking at their tactics, you should write that more clearly. You did not. What you did instead was simply spread the vile slanders of Donald Trump and Roger Stone and then suggest that maybe it was true. Those were the words you wrote. They are there for all to read.

    By the way, the former I have no problem with, if done honestly and accurately. The latter is unacceptable. Get your writing in order, think about this before you put fingers to keyboard again, and fix it.

  • Cotour

    No one is innocent.

    I will continue to work to improve my writing. Thank you for pointing out when I might miss the mark. I look forward to and consider hard feedback, how else could anyone further develop their communications skills ?

  • “No one is innocent.”

    All politicians cannot be trusted. I’ve said this repeatedly. However, you have to use clear judgment to distinguish between their typical inconsistencies and distortion (which Cruz can surely be accused of) and the slanders and big lies of Trump. You have not.

  • Cotour

    One thing that I totally agree that I miss communicated, my intent was not to support the idea that Mr. Cruz might have participated in the JFK incident. How many people demonstrating in the sixties might have stood by or known or walked past a protesting Oswalt and might have had their picture snapped?

    I do not know that it was even he in the picture, the point is about the applied strategies and tactics.

    I do see the larger point here, my bad.

  • Wayne


    Your writing is very clear. —It’s the Idea’s therein, that some of us take issue.

    I can’t really add anything constructive at this point, other than to proffer the concept that “human beings are never a means-to-an-end, human-beings are an end-unto-themselves.”

    Steve: Agree that Obama political appointees to NASA, (among every Agency) need to GO. What worries me, is over the past 7 years political-appointees have secreted themselves into the Civil Service, at which point it becomes impossible to get rid of them for their political-belief’s.

    I want dispassionate career-professionals with zero Political Agenda’s, among the rank-and-file at NASA, and I want Conservative free-market thinking, out of the appointed Managers/Directors.

  • Steve Earle

    I agree Wayne, Bush’s NASA people weren’t exactly setting the world on fire with the Shuttle program and it’s supposed replacement the Constellation program, but at least they weren’t complete political toadies and shills for the Community-Organizer-in-Chief…..

    I knew as soon as the stories leaked out about Lori Garver and other Obama people visiting NASA right after the 2008 election that things were not going to go well there.

    Here’s a couple of clips from a recent story of about that:

    “……Obama did not really support NASA or space exploration in general. Garver’s task was to bury the program and transition to something that more suited the president’s mindset, which did not involve anything that smacked of American exceptionalism, a quality Obama abhorred. Griffin was soon given the royal order of the boot and, after an extensive search, former astronaut and nonentity Charles Bolden was placed in charge of NASA. Garver was installed as Deputy Administrator as a reward for her efforts. Her term was fraught with controversy and acrimony….”

    “….When, a year later, the Obama White House killed Constellation, the firestorm in Congress was hot and furious. No one, outside a secret group that included Garver, knew what was coming. No one else was consulted. A strange and ultimately dysfunctional compromise was quickly devised that would become the Journey to Mars. NASA has meandered ever since. Garver is one of the chief architects of the disaster. Obama himself announced the new plan in a now infamous speech at the Kennedy Space Center on April 15, 2010….”

    “….However, the next president is likely to have to make extensive changes to NASA and the programs its conducts. Much of that work will involve cleaning up the mess Garver wrought almost eight years ago….”

    Now it looks like she is positioning herself as the one Hillary should pick to stop the SLS program at NASA…..!

    Bob would know far more about this than me, but isn’t SLS part of the mess SHE helped create? So now she wants to stop it? huh? As much as SLS should be stopped, Garver is the last person who should be doing it.

    And sadly, Garver is as likely a pick of Trumps as she is of Hillary’s…..

  • Steve Earle

    Speaking of Hillary and Space, here’s another story about Lori Garver and Hillary’s attitude towards NASA:

    “….One last note about what may inform a President Hillary Clinton space policy concerns a story she often tells about sending a letter she says she sent NASA in the early 60s inquiring what she might do to become an astronaut. Clinton claims that she got a response that, in effect, told her to get lost because girls can’t become astronauts. Journalist Jim Oberg examined the story and found it to be implausible, to say the least. However, the story suggests that NASA might be one of the many institutions to bear the brunt of gender grievances under a Hillary Clinton presidency….”

    “…On the other hand, Clinton would have a great opportunity to separate herself from one of the many failures of the Obama administration, one which she did not have direct involvement in, by proposing a visionary and exciting program of space exploration and development. But will she? That is an open question….”

  • Wayne

    Great stuff! I learn a LOT here, that I did not know. (thanks)
    (Slowly figuring out who the “usual suspects” are and are not, In Space.)

    Vaguely recall the Hillary/Astronaut delusion she put forth. (Wow…)
    Do recall she claimed to be named after the mountain-climber! (Yow..)

    Tangent: At least Bill is a likable skilled liar….Hillary is just a liar. (in my opinion)

  • Edward

    Usually you make reasonable arguments, but on occasion, you go a little too far into the realm of unbelievable conspiracy hypotheses (to call them theories gives them too much credibility, since the evidence that they are true is that there is no evidence that they are true – theories require actual evidence).

    You wrote: “Its going on right under your noses and all you can see is me attacking Cruz. Wrong, wrong, wrong.”

    Actually, re-reading your comment shows that you favor the point of view, the attack on Cruz:
    You wrote: “(even the Enquirer breaks those unbelievable stories now and then and they turn out to be true) … Could this association between Cruz’s father be true? … He is the right age and was politically active at the time.”

    Clearly you were suggesting that perhaps this thing that seems unbelievable could possibly be true.

    You wrote: “my intent was not to support the idea that Mr. Cruz might have participated in the JFK incident.”

    Of course it was. If Cruz drops out* because* of the accusation–the implication of the video link – then how is the conclusion *NOT* that Ted Cruz thinks his father was involved? If you are not supporting it, why are you commenting upon it in such a positive way? In fact, if you are not supporting it, why did you post it in the first place?

    This is just another time when you went too far with the conspiracy hypotheses.

    You wrote: “’They’ will do ANYTHING in order to acquire or retain power. ANYTHING.”

    Well, duh. We don’t have to believe in strategy over morality to figure out that.

  • Thank you for recognizing the problem with your post and apologizing. This is very much appreciated.

  • Cotour

    You are welcome.

    Im not here to cause havoc, stir the pot a bit, maybe present a not considered question or perspective, but not to intentionally spread “facts” that are not facts. I endeavor to spend more time formulating my thoughts and editing before the button is pushed. I appreciate your patients and civility.

    This is a bit off the topic of this panel but I think it interesting regarding the roiling political competition.

    Q: Why has D. J. Trump turned his sharp tongue towards Elizabeth Warren? It may be it is very likely that Hillary does not make it to November and he is setting up Warrens public imagery in the media beforehand?

    This is no BS and if there is nothing real done in regards to it there will be real consequences. This situation is the poster child for the term “Between a rock and a hard place”.

  • Steve Earle

    Re: Trump vs Fauxcahontas

    If we learned nothing the last election we learned how important it was to define your opponent AND yourself in the public eye before they can.

    Romney made that mistake and paid heavily for it.

    Trump is making sure that doesn’t happen to him by ensuring Liawatha doesn’t have a chance to define him and also taking the opportunity to try and label her if he can.

    So far Trump, Hillary, and now Chief Spilling Bull have been immune to Labels. Part of it is a complicit press, and Trump knows that they will turn on him soon while continuing to protect Hillary and company.

    BTW, the names I used for Lizzie Warren were all well-earned by her and printed in one of our two Boston papers The Boston Herald, who did a series on her prior to the last election. The other paper, The Boston Globe, not only wouldn’t report on her lies, but went out of their way to glorify her. She won.

    If any of you are curious about her now that she is poised to go on the national stage, please Google her name and “indian”….

  • Wayne

    “Lizzie Warren.”
    –> that is priceless!

    (well aware of her dubious graduate-work in Econ…. fuzzy on her alleged current “Indian” heritage– something like “1/128th” last I knew…. har)

  • Steve Earle

    Yes, she almost makes the Clintons look honest. She not only has practically no Indian blood in her, she also has no real Social Justice Warrior blood either….

    She has claimed to be the “Inspiration” for the Occupy Movement, but what she doesn’t tell them is her pampered childhood, her making money off of flipping houses, or her drawing 300 plus thousand a year for teaching one class, while Harvard used her as their token “Native American” faculty member.

    While running against Scott Brown for the “Ted Kennedy Senate Seat” she made all sorts of SJW claims against the rich, the Banks, and the corporations, but didn’t say anything about her days as a rich corporate lawyer…..

    The Boston press mostly gave her a free ride, and if she runs with Hillary or in place of her, you can bet the national press will do the same. That is why it’s important for Trump to attack her early and hard.

  • Wayne

    (Relying on you for Lizzie-Warren info/updates, if she gets in the fray!)

    Totally tangential to Space Policy, but hits at SJW antics & tactics:

    “Kling on the Three Languages of Politics”

    Nifty Econ-Talk podcast wherein Libertarian-Economist Arnold Kling argues “that Progressives, Conservatives, and Libertarians each have their own language and way of looking at the world that often doesn’t overlap.”
    –They discuss Warren peripherally, as an example of a full-blown Progressive who views everything through an “oppressed Vs. oppressor” lens.

    More on-topic:
    I’m convinced the economy is/has-been, artificially propped-up & WILL collapse, sooner rather than never.
    How will that impact Big-Space and/or Private-Space? (as opposed to “safe-spaces”)

  • Cotour

    A MSNBC watching friend sent me this article with he tittle : “Experts predict economic disaster from Trump recovery idea.”–election.html?ref=gs

    What else would you expect if someone from outside of the box, if indeed Trump is on the outside of the box, were to be installed as the president when all of this time and effort has been invested in this:

    Borders are not the problem, its the ILLEGAL UNDOCUMENTED people who cross them that are the problem and the welfare state that supports them with other peoples money that is the problem!

  • Wayne

    “Elizabeth Warren Announces Her Bid for Senate”

    (PARODY– >Language-warning<.)

  • Wayne

    “Lizzie Borden Song,”
    Chad Mitchell
    (PARODY- >crime scene picture alert…)

  • mpthompson

    Not related to space policy, but an interesting take on the Donald Trump phenomena.

    Donald Trump will win in a landslide. The mind behind ‘Dilbert’ explains why.

    I’m curious what other’s think?

  • Wayne

    mpthompson :
    Interesting take on Trump (Dilbert story)—

    –I would differ as to characterizing Trump as a “master-persuader,” but he’s definitely speaking to people on a purely emotional level & hitting home to large numbers of people.
    –That only works in the short/medium-term however, there’s no underlying unifying-philosophy by which his followers can crystalize their thought & action, into an actual “movement.”
    –I’m not a Trump hater, but it’s more akin to a cult-of-personality, and he only has to keep it going until November.
    –If trump didn’t like the GOP-Party Primary rules on delegate distribution, he won’t like the way the Electoral College allocates Electors by State, and he needs 270 to become the President. It’s possible he could win a popular vote and still not be elected President.
    There’s a relatively small number of Congressional Districts that control the outcome of the Electoral College.
    (which, thankfully, is neither “agrarian, populist, or nationalist,” it’s Representative-republican-Federalism.)

  • mpthompson

    Wayne, I would characterize Trump as the “master resonator” more than the “master persuader”. Despite being worth billions (or whatever the number might be, he certainly travels outside the circle of everyday Americans) he seems to be more in touch with what the common man is thinking than any other politician at the national level. Of course, what the common man thinks may disgust 1/3 or more of the population, but that’s another subject.

    Regarding the electoral college, I wonder if Trump is just going to go for broke and try to get as much as the popular vote as he can and hope that it translates to an electoral victory. In some respects, winning the popular, but losing the electoral college may be the best outcome for him. He proved he can be top dog, and he doesn’t have to actually take on the miserable job of trying to get this country back on track.

  • pzatchok

    Donald Trump in my opinion has been throughout his life very Machiavellian.
    Though he is abrasive, egotistical, boisterous, and self centered. (nothing I have a personal problem with)

    I expect him to do the same throughout his presidency.

    This is something I can understand. I can also get an idea of what to expect from him. I might not agree with everything he does but thats when I have to trust my other elected politicians to step in and and stop him.

    He has always been about promoting his brand and thus his business. I believe that he will embrace the presidency and this nation as his new bushiness and thus try to push it forward into a more profitable and prosperous period.
    I don’t even care if he makes a few bucks doing it. Every other politician has. Some very dubiously.

  • LocalFluff

    pzatchok, yes he is all of that and greedy. But he will be greedy for America! People love it.

    On space, I guess he will:
    – Stop paying for the ISS, the partners have to pay the full bill from now on, incuding for US use of it. Perfect thing for him to make a deal about since the alternative is to abandon the station, that won’t be done abruptly.
    – SLS/Orion will be scrapped, I don’t think he will tolerate any over budget delayed programs.
    – More private space for job creation and to offload NASAs budget.
    – Big on military space.
    – Possibly a space race with the Chinese for prestige, later if the economy gets good and the Chinese land on the Moon. America is supposed to be great so it would be a problem for him to lag behind others in space.

  • Edward


    America did not become great by being greedy. We became great by encouraging our ability to be productive and creative.

    If we stop spending money on the ISS, then so will all of our partners. It is already a burden to them. ISS will stop being a useful space station and we will get no more science from it.

    Scrapping SLS and Orion is not up to the president. If it were, they would not exist, as Obama has no interest in them and did not want them. This is Congress’s baby, and it is Congress who must discover the lack of return on investment for them to kill either of them.

    Be careful. Private space is not a big job creator, at least not yet. These companies are running lean, because they cannot yet afford to be as wasteful as large companies or as the government. Their incomes are limited, and there will be a lot of failed companies, in the nest few years, as we figure out what pays off and what does not. More care must be taken, because after the Iridium fiasco, people became reluctant to invest in space, even the communication satellites, which had always made money, before Iridium and Glabalstar went bankrupt shortly after startup.

    Military space is where many jobs will come from, as we adapt to the new threats, both on the ground and to our space assets.

    I agree. Letting the Chinese get to the moon before we go back would be a huge gain for the Chinese, and everyone will wonder why the US is so poor. The answer, of course, is the high rate of workers out of the workforce (not being productive, which is what makes America great) and the huge national debt.

  • LocalFluff

    I think Trump himself will decide what is up to him and what is not. He is defining a new game. Busted budgets and schedules is one of those things I don’t think his nature can tolerate, just out of old habits, nothing political. The Trump leadership will be very much about his personality. Basic research and space science have ignorance as their very foundation. Optimal budgets fail half of the time, they are guestimates, so that’s a challenge. The space lobby should focus on the building concept now. Building on the Moon. Building eternal monuments. Space hotels. He’ll like to listen to that sort of talk. Think beyond the sale! The party, America, the world and beyond.

    Keeping and maybe extending ITAR should be put on the list of Trump space policies in my expectations,

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