Commercial space has won

Today the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, chaired by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), held the third of a series of hearings on the future regulatory framework required for American commercial space to prosper.

My previous reviews of the past two hearings can be found at these links:

In today’s hearing the witnesses in general once again called for a variety of reforms that would simplify the regulatory process for private enterprise. Dr. Moriba K. Jah, associate professor from University of Texas at Austin, suggested removing NOAA’s veto power on remote sensing, something that the proposed House bill I analyzed in my Federalist op-ed actually does). Jeffrey Manber of Nanoracks suggested giving the private sector a certain date when ISS will be decommissioned so that they can more easily obtain investment capital for building the privately-built space facilities that will replace it. Tim Ellis of Relativity, a company trying to build rocket engines manufactured entirely by 3D printing, called for more American spaceports, accessible by private companies, as well as a simplification of the FAA permitting process. Robert Cabana, Director at the Kennedy Space Center, talked about the need for government facilities to provide the infrastructure for private companies, as the center has done for the private launch sites and manufacturing facilities they have helped get established at Kennedy since the retirement of the shuttle.

Tim Hughes from SpaceX topped them all.
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Democratic Party law professor made a fool of at House IRS hearings today

A law professor brought before a House committee today by the Democrats to argue against appointing a special prosecutor in the IRS scandal was made to look ridiculous when he couldn’t answer the most basic legal questions in connection with the concept of conflict of interest.

The article describes Congressman Trey Gowdy’s (R-South Carolina) questioning quite well, but you should still watch the video below the fold. It reveals how blindly partisan today’s Democrats have become, willing to defend this IRS harassment of their political opponents under all circumstances, no matter how stupid and corrupt it makes them look.
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More video from IRS commissioner John Koskinen testimony today during House hearings.

More video from IRS commissioner John Koskinen’s testimony today during House hearings.

Koskinen is so full of crap I think I could fertilize half the farm fields in the state of Iowa with it. This response from Kevin Brady (R-Texas) sums it up quite cogently.

“The IRS denied for two years targeting of Americans based on their political beliefs. That wasn’t the truth. They said it was a few rogue agents in Cincinnati. That wasn’t the truth. You said you were targeting liberal organizations. That wasn’t the truth. Then you assured us you would provide us all the emails in May and that wasn’t the truth. And today, you are telling us out of thousands of IRS computers, the one that lost the emails was a person of interest in an ongoing congressional investigation. And that is not the truth either. This is the most corrupt and deceitful IRS in history.”

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Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish leaders all testified at a Congressional hearing today that they would go to prison rather than obey the Obamacare mandates being imposed by the Obama administration.

Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish leaders all testified at a Congressional hearing today that they would go to prison rather than obey the Obamacare mandates being imposed by the Obama administration. Key reaction from one Congressman:

“Well, just so everybody understands what is going to happen: These guys are either going to go to jail because they won’t violate their religious beliefs, or the hospitals and the schools are going to close, which means governemnt is going to get bigger, because they’re going to have to fill the void that is left when you guys quit doing it. And maybe that’s what [the Obama administration] wanted all along.”

When did we become a nation where government officials can order anyone to do anything, even if that order contradicts a person’s personal religious beliefs? And if you are a Democrat and don’t mind Obama’s orders because you agree with them, just remember that the Democrats are not going to be in power forever. Do you want a conservative Republican to have that same power?

In a free society, no politician should ever have such power. It is essential that everyone stand up against this attack on freedom. And it is even more important that these thugs be removed from office as soon as possible.

Testimony at a Senate hearing about the theft of customer funds at MF Global revealed today the Jon Corzine did know of the theft, contrary to his own testimony before Congress.

Testimony today at a Senate hearing about the MF Global scandal revealed that Jon Corzine, the former Democratic New Jersey governor and a fundraiser for President Obama, was aware of the theft of customer funds, contrary to his own testimony before Congress. More here.

Questions about White House pressure for campaign donor in GPS controversy

A four-star Air Force general told a congressional committee last week that the White House pressured him to soften his testimony concerning the military’s opposition to the technology being used by the broadband company Lightsquared– a major Democratic campaign donor — because it interfered with GPS signals.

In a related update, LightSquared boss said Wednesday that the company is near an engineering breakthrough that will solve the technical issues that worry GPS users.

NASA stalls, Texas lawmakers fume

The law is such an inconvenient thing: In a bipartisan effort, Texas lawmakers roast NASA administrator Charles Bolden for not meeting mandated Congressional deadlines for Congress’s personally designed rocket, the program-formerly-called-Constellation.

The heavy-lift rocket and capsule that Congress insists NASA build is a complete waste of money and nothing more than pork. It will never get built, mainly because Congress has given NASA less money and less time to build it than they did for Constellation under the Bush administration. Unfortunately, the reason they continue to require NASA to build it is to provide pork to their districts.

In a perfect world this funding would be cut now, especially considering the state of the federal debt.
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At House hearing head of NOAA challenged on ignoring Congressional law

At House hearings this week the head of NOAA was attacked for ignoring Congressional law in setting up a National Climate Service.

One big sticking point for legislators is language in this spring’s final 2011 spending bill that averted a government shutdown, which states that “none of the funds made available by this division may be used to implement, establish, or create a NOAA Climate Service.” Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said the appointment of Karl and the hiring of six regional directors appear to have ignored those instructions. He quipped that NOAA was “living in climate sin,” a reference to Karl’s statement during an interview in December 2010 with ClimateWire that “we’ve moved in, … we’re waiting for the marriage certificate, but we’re acting like we have a climate service.”

Lubchenco defended her actions, saying that her appointments were “smart” and merely “good planning.” She said their salaries are drawn from “existing funds” and that legislation dating back to the National Climate Program Act of 1978 describes providing climate services as part of NOAA’s mission. She responded to Hall’s concerns that the climate service would take away from NOAA’s other activities by saying, “It’s good government to reorganize periodically.” She also referred to its economic potential, citing the $1 billion industry that has emerged around the National Weather Service.

Speaking with ScienceInsider after the hearing, she made it clear that NOAA intends to push ahead. “This is an idea whose time has come.” [emphasis mine]

In other words, so what the law forbids NOAA from doing this. We know best, Congress can go to hell.