Disclaimer: This watchdog website is obviously not affiliated in any way with NASA,
or with the sponsorship-accepting,  NASA favor-seeking, usually pro "big government" (predictably),
& certainly nontrademarked NasaWatch.COM.
  You  really CAN learn something here...


How can we stop pork barrel spending at taxpayers' & space-enthusiasts' expense?NASA Watch .INFO

Incidentally, NasaWatch.INFO is a completely free service which has never accepted
any sponsorship (sort of like Consumer Reports).
 Why might this matter?   Our answer. 


.NASA Watch . info

 Below, you can find some of the truly commercial space frontier-enabling articles & press releases.    Predictably enough, their essence is usually ignored by our rival  NASAWatch.COM (the pride and joy of the tax-leeching bureaucrats' & government contractor  media sponsors), and by much of the traditional space media.   After some of these articles, we include our commentary, and after some others we include what we believe that NASAWatch.COM would say if injected with a healthy dose of some truthfulness serum and subsequently prompted to comment.  
        If you know of an article from a reasonably credible source that addresses an unfairly and opportunistically suppressed reform-related idea, or that reveals a little-known scandal involving humanity's often thwarted struggle to finally open up the space frontier for our entire species, then please feel free to send us a confidential e-mail at
scandals@NASAWatch.INFO here in Washington D.C.   We can happily discuss our linking to it, for free of course, from this increasingly popular noncommercial website.   We focus on calling attention to what one canNOT easily find in the traditional space media, which (unlike us) DOES accept biasing sponsorship or depend upon the cabal of corruption in some other way.   Our main goal is to make it impossible for thieves to continue hiding in the alarmingly stagnating & seemingly underperforming aerospace industry.  One can perhaps better ascertain what we consider to be sufficiently scandalous or progressive enough to warrant a link & commentary from us, by reading what's below.
          If you want to grab the precise URL of an external article,  please simply right click on it with your mouse.

You  really CAN learn something here...

Remember,  if you want to understand what's REALLY causing the space industry to underperform even as some folks opportunistically pretend to praise its "progress," just follow the money!

To see who contributes to whom, or receives what from whom in terms of campaign financing,
please feel free to consult the following free source:  


Other liberating links:

Google News Alerts (a free news update service tailored to YOUR preferences)...

WikiFoia: "guidance on open records requests at the state and local level"

Wikileaks.org: an "uncensorable wikpedia for anonymous document leaking & analysis"

Pro-entrepreneurial reform proposals that could probably yield far better results than NASA's...

Some of the latest space & related scandals...
(and what we believe that NASAWatch.COM would say if injected with a healthy dose of truth serum)

Nobody's untouchable in our democracy.
We now have a page dedicated to the deposed NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin:



Has NASA been sufficiently more pro-entrepreneurial since Dan finally "resigned", though?

Sean O'Keefe: How many millions does he hope to make in the private sector in exchange for having sold out taxpayers while still in charge of NASA?       Mike Griffin: sufficiently pro-entrepreneurial?  How does it look to you so far?

FoxNews.com article: "Most of the great breakthroughs in aviation in the '20s and '30s were the result of prizes. Lindbergh flew to Paris for a $25,000 prize," [Newt] Gingrich said. "I would like to see vastly more of the money spent encouraging the private sector into very aggressive experimentation."  Some of those prizes, he added, might reward getting humans back to the moon, sending them to Mars, building space stations and developing the commercial spaceflight industry.  There are a whole series of things you can do that could be dynamic that are more than just better government bureaucracy," Gingrich said. "They're fundamentally leapfrogging into a world where you're incentivizing people who are visionaries, and people in the private sector to invest very large amounts of money in finding very romantic and exciting futures."  Gingrich also implied he would trim NASA's budget, which currently represents roughly 0.5 percent of the federal budget. "I'd like to see a leaner NASA," he said. "I don't think building a bigger bureaucracy and having a greater number of people sit in rooms and talk gets you there."

NASAWatch.INFO: Could Newt be suggesting that some at NASA have sticky fingers, such as this imprisoned former Bush chief of staff at NASA?

NASAWatch.COM: Hey! Easy now! The stickier their fingers, the more they can (hopefully) share with me for my coverage gaps!


TheHill.com blog posting from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher: "We will only lose America’s leadership in human spaceflight if we prevent the free market from pursuing multiple, independent launchers and vehicles. "

NASAWatch.INFO: Why not aggressively endorse offering launch prizes through Challenge.gov, then?

NASAWatch.COM: You don't expect me to crusade about that cause, do you?

Politico.com article:  "The Supreme Court on Jan. 21st, 2010 opened wide new avenues for big-moneyed interests to pour money into politics....The long-awaited decision overruled a 1990 ruling by the court that allowed the government to bar corporations and unions from spending on ads expressly urging a candidate’s election or defeat."

Wall Street Journal article: U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen has reported that there is "an effort to bar companies that received federal bailouts and big government contractors from electioneering, similar to rules affecting federal employees."

NASAWatch.INFO: Bureaucrats' unions may nevertheless purchase such campaign ads now.    Money talks...even as our elected officials help lead the U.S.A. deeper into bankruptcy...

FAMU.edu: "FAMU's Department of Computer Information Sciences has garnered more than $2 million in grants to support academic and research efforts within the department. The largest of the funds is a $1 million grant from NASA to establish the Minority Innovation Challenges Institute. The purpose of MICI is to get more minority students around the country to become interested in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields by using the NASA Centennial Challenges [competitive prizes] as a motivating factor."

NASAWatch.INFO: Isn't it remarkable how NASA pretends to offer certain ethnic minorities (but not others) a racial spoils system of government contracting preferences in exchange for their political support, while nevertheless sneakily keeping them down & dependent on the bureaucratic & parasitic central planners'  "NASA plantation"? Have you noticed how little NASA traditionally tells them of its competitive prizes program?  Notice its absence here, for example?

NASAWatch.COM:  Oh stop it!  Just stop it!  Race-baiting is only politically correct when it supports growing government programs, not outsourcing them away from my bureaucrat allies who favor me at taxpayers' expense in so many ways.  

VentureBeat article: With still existing  NASA prizes already won, $4 million are allocated for NASA prizes in 2010 (out of NASA's annual $18 billion dollar budget).

NASAWatch.INFO:  Will Congress nix that funding allocation again, though?

NASAWatch.COM: Of course I'm practically ignoring this funding scandal!  If NASA embraced the prizes paradigm shift significantly more, there'd be far less need for my [advertising-coveting & promoting] "soap opera digest of space" "news" service.   Meanwhile my bureaucrat moles and financers would lose more of their tax-subsidized monopoly, thereby hindering my business plan.  

OrphansOfApollo.com: a documentary of NASA's jealousy of privatized Mir...

Google Lunar X Prize  

NASAWatch.INFO:  How is it prudent that we force the competitors to pay taxes to subsidize NASA, a bureaucracy which offers miniscule space prizes in comparison (and reluctantly at that)?


Newt.org interview: "I am for a dramatic increase in our efforts to reach out into space, but I am for doing virtually all of it outside of NASA through prizes and tax incentives. NASA is an aging, unimaginative bureaucracy committed to over-engineering and risk-avoidance which is actually diverting resources from the achievements we need and stifling the entrepreneurial and risk-taking spirit necessary to lead in space exploration."

NASAWatch.INFO:  Can you believe Obama's essential rejection of  government-funded competitive prizes?  Why?  Remember when a leading Democrat presidential contender took the issue seriously?    Previously:  

HillaryClinton.com speech: "[L]et's use competitive prizes to encourage innovation...If we propose prizes to be part of our budget at our research agencies, we could seek out new ideas from unexpected places."

NASAWatch.COM: How can you expect me to risk my press pass by covering this sort of scandal?

Defense Department's prizes pageDepartment of Energy's H Prize.  Senate bill S.365 is available at thomas.loc.gov, and the bill's status (post House-approval) is available here: H Prize. 
Space.com article: "[According to Bigelow Aerospace attorney Michael Gold], the great irony of space is that the technology has never been the limiting factor. "It's a matter of politics. It's a matter of financing. And those two challenges are much, much worse than any engineering issue that will arise." The success of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 was not only technological...it was proving that we could do it at the cost that we did," Gold stated. "I would be willing to gamble that the two missions will go down in history as the most cost-effective space operations in history. That's the paradigm shift...that's what really needs to occur." "
NASA's 2008 budget request (.pdf, page 460): requested prizes funding declines drastically during future years...

NASAWatch.INFO:  The Department of Energy is poised to offer considerably large competitive prizes as this article documents, and as one can follow daily at Thomas.loc.gov here: [S.365.IS] & [H.R.632.IH]. Are your elected officials supporting this healthy paradigm shift? This bill died in the Senate during 2006, with apparently fewer senators signed on than it has now.      
       Although NASA is not a fine example, the  Defense Department's DARPA has nevertheless already offered substantial competitive prizes and has not made them [conveniently] nearly impossible to win either.
 Since the White House's budget proposal for NASA's Centennial Challenges  competitive prizes program is so meager, it would seem that additional funds will apparently have to come from other NASA programs.  Might you have any in mind that you'd like to democratically recommend for cuts?

Wall Street Journal Online article:  " 'Prize philanthropy' is useful for breaking a bottleneck where government bureaucracy and markets are stuck..." [Competitive] prizes work in ways that conventional R&D doesn't, and finding ways to spur innovation is crucial to improving how well we -- and our children and grandchildren -- live."

Space Frontier Foundation press release: Please rescue NASA's competitive prizes program!
NASA's prizes program now has its share of problems, as one can see here but also here (where it says as follows):

     "The Committee does not provide any funding in fiscal year 2007 for the Centennial Challenges program. Funding provided in previous fiscal years for this program is sufficient for NASA to run a prize based competition, as well as to verify that NASA will see tangential benefits from running such a program. Providing additional funds to a program based on prizes only creates a pot of unused funds while other aspects of NASA's mission are being cut or delayed due to a lack of funds."

DARPA's Urban Challenge has a financial challenge of its own now, too, astonishingly enough...

Darpa.mil press release:  "DARPA announces Urban Challenge. Teams will compete to build an autonomous vehicle able to complete a 60-mile urban course safely in less than 6 hours... New discussion forum is now on-line."

NASAWatch.COM: Gee, I wonder how many points I could score with corrupt bureaucrats if only I could somehow defame the whole prizes movement by publicly smearing its proponents?  How can  I arm-wave most profitably?  After all, as a pseudo-journalist I'm sure as heck not making much money on selling banner ads now that the Discovery Channel's sponsorship account of my "news" services is toast, while my New Moon Rising book sales flopped beyond what I can stand to admit in public (even as ISBN sales-tracking services can readily confirm the painful truth).   Why isn't there interest in buying a banner ad from me, though? http://www.spaceref.com/company/advertising.html "  Other than the traditional banner networks that pay pennies a week, practically nobody is interested.  Rats! I guess I'll just try and peddle NASA ringtones through Google's ad newtwork now, since I'm already one of the NASA bureaucracy's biggest media sycophants.  Won't ya please chip in?

NASAWatch.INFO:  Sigh, Keith...   We noticed how you completely ignored this article, as well: 

New York Times.com article: synopsis: resentfulness & jealousy towards NASA's competitive prizes program lingers among those whom it could displace...


San Francisco Chronicle article:  "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- the gee-whiz Pentagon outfit that brought us the Internet, stealth bombers, "smart bombs" and a short-lived terrorism futures market -- has for 40 years dreamed of the day when robotic vehicles would wage war. It has thrown vast sums at defense contractors who, so far, haven't accomplished much...Disappointed by the slow pace and facing a congressional mandate that one- third of all Army ground combat vehicles be unmanned by 2015, DARPA decided to kick-start the research by inviting any scientist, engineer or gearhead with an idea to give it a try [with a million dollar competitive prize as their incentive]...The competition has attracted teams ranging from robotics powerhouse Carnegie Mellon University, which has budgeted $5 million for the task, to former NASA engineers to a pair of guys cobbling together a vehicle in their garage in St. Louis.  The real money, contestants said, comes with marketing the technology."

NASAWatch.INFO: Did you notice how the government's offering competitive prizes provides former NASA employees with opportunities to make far more money than they could have at NASA, and without its tedious bureaucracy?   Will current NASA bureaucrats be able to overcome their jealousy and tolerate an increase in the size of such prizes?


FoxNews.com article:  NASA finally offers competitive prizes, resembling DARPA's multi-million dollar Grand Challenge. "DARPA was convinced that good ideas existed for overcoming some of the problems plaguing vehicles that drive themselves. But officials also suspect that they aren't hearing all those ideas because some people are unable or unwilling to run the bureaucratic paperwork gauntlet necessary to secure a DARPA contract. "Who's out there in their garages, their bedrooms, in their labs, working on this?" Negron said. "We want to know." The race might appeal to some people who simply want to show what they can do, without all the red tape."

Wikileaks.org: an "uncensorable wikpedia for anonymous document leaking & analysis" 


Google News Alerts feature.  http://www.google.com/newsalerts now offers a free ability to create a search for news items from thousands of  different news sources, and have links to related stories e-mailed to one for free either once daily or as often as Google encounters a new relevant story. According to the Washington Post: "The service allows a great deal of customization, especially if you use Google News's advanced-search function to fine-tune a query."

(NASAWatch.COM: "Huh? But what will folks need SpaceRef and NASAWatch.COM for now?")

NASAWatch.INFO: That's an interesting question, Keith.  And Google doesn't even have a reputation for being sold out to special interests, either.   Indeed, isn't it easier to filter what a searchbot sends out in hopes of finding useful content than it is to screen "coverage" from self-serving statist journalists?  

NewYorkTimes article: "Lockheed's Atlas 5 had only one commercial order in 2005, compared with 22 in 1998. Boeing has withdrawn its Delta 4 rocket from the commercial market and relies exclusively on business from the United States government. At stake is a market that was worth $4 billion last year, when governments and businesses paid for 55 launchings, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Of those, 18 were commercial, with a value of $1 billion."


WashingtonTimes.com article: A former Boeing executive who also held important procurement positions in the Air Force and at NASA has pled guilty to conspiring to get Boeing a government contract at grossly inflated rates in exchange for a lucrative job with Boeing.

NASAWatch.INFO: Considering all the "revolving door" corruption that plagues the U.S. aerospace industry without even getting probed, isn't this kind of like putting a band-aid on a hemorrhaging wound, or locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen?  Regardless, don't incidents like these suggest that space mission pricetags would become much more credible if NASA finally got out of the central planning business and into that of offering more and better competitive prizes, and possibly doing research that contestants can't do but need to have done?

NASAWatch.COM: Of course I didn't pull strings to try and protect her. She didn't leak enough national secrets to me while she still could have.  She also didn't persuade Boeing to pour new money into sponsoring my websites.

NASA's Centennial Challenges remain inadequate even as NASA can lawfully increase them.

   Previously... Space.com article: "Both the House and Senate versions of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 that is scheduled for conference in mid-December include provisions that would allow NASA to offer prizes worth millions of dollars or more."      

Space.com article: NASA issues its latest Centennial Challenges (even as funding issues remain)

(NASAWatch.COM: " I'm not comfortable with NASA's offering competitive prizes.  Keep trying to fund them privately and leave my bureaucrat & contractor allies' $16 billion annual budget alone. ")

NASAWatch.INFO: Well then:   Forbes.com article: "Abolish the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) or drastically scale back its mission. Since the moon landings over three decades ago, NASA has become an obstacle to advancing space exploration and travel. If NASA had been in charge of developing the automobile, we'd still be riding horses."

USA govt. jobs board: NASA HQ shamelessly refused to outsource its small business outsourcing czar job...(i.e. Those who are not civil servants [bureaucrats] need not apply to run NASA's small business office.).  Like they really want to improve upon their abysmal  outsourcing record?


NASA HQ press release: NASA HQ's Small Business Utilization Office needs a new boss...

WashingtonPost.com article: "[NASA Administrator Mike Griffin] expressed dismay that NASA over the past several years had put a lot of people in top management positions because of what one source described as "political connections or bureaucratic gamesmanship -- not merit." "

NASAWatch.INFO: Just how aware of the problem IS he, though?  And isn't it remarkable how NASA pretends to offer certain ethnic minorities (but not others) a racial spoils system of government contracting preferences in exchange for their political support, while nevertheless sneakily keeping them down & dependent on the bureaucratic & parasitic central planners'  "NASA plantation"? Have you noticed how little NASA tells them of its competitive prizes


FederalTimes.com propaganda / article:  "The Democratic staff of the House Small Business Committee recently released its [2005] annual report card that purports to grade federal agencies on their small and disadvantaged business utilization....[T]he House report card gave NASA an F.  This report demonstrates more than ever the need for an alternative, uniform measurement that yields a fair and credible assessment of the government in this important arena."

  NASAWatch.INFO: Things went from bad to worse.  Have you seen this  2003 Congressional Score Card which evaluates the small business procurement records of all the U.S. federal agencies, based on official records reported by agencies such as NASA to the Small Business Administration?  NASA has the nation's 3rd largest procurement budget but scored a D-, as one can confirm beginning on page 47.  That grade placed NASA in the bottom tier of federal agencies in terms of complying with its legal obligations to spend 23% of its prime contracting dollars on small businesses. Indeed, NASA's percentage during 2001 was merely 14.52% and during 2002 it was 14.69%, which is actually a slight improvement over what the previous administration "achieved."  Anyhow, within the aerospace sector the Small Business Administration says that companies can employ "up to 1,000 [one thousand] people" and still remain classified as small businesses, as the following SBA u.r.l. can confirm [see "Subsector 541"].
  Who audits NASA for truthfulness, though?  Meanwhile, do you believe their predictable claims that it's not possible for NASA to outsource more to small businesses such as Bigelow Aerospace, MirCorp, or any rocket company seeking investment to revive the DC-X or some other potential competitor for the Shuttle monopoly?  Regardless, kudos go to the House Small Business Committee Democrats (led by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, D, NY)  for compiling this study that's potentially helpful to all the excluded small businesses.   Some at NASA predictably claim that Nydia doesn't have her facts right but are these not statistics reported directly by NASA to the Small Business Administration?
     To learn more about NASA's jealous hostility towards privately owned ventures that could potentially outperform whatever the NASA clique still gets to deceptively push on taxpayers, please read this article.      Meanwhile, how is it that NASA's Small Business Office (portrayed here:
http://www.osdbu.nasa.gov) got to host a tax-subsidized  "annual" minority awards ceremony on September 24th of 2002 when they just had such an "annual" event on February 20th, of 2002?   Is that a public relations-driven entity, or a performance-driven one?   Don't the numbers seem to speak for themselves?   To learn more about how NASA's supposedly pro-minority programs actually stifle minorities by keeping them dependent on NASA bureaucrats' plantation, please click here.


U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C.) case document:  NASA HQ's purported outsourcing-related antidiscrimination czar Ralph Thomas (head of SADBU since 1992) was recently found liable for discrimination in a way that has just cost taxpayers (and NASA) a very large amount of money.  The March 30th, 2005 final ruling regarding docket # 95cv00155 (Susan Borgo vs. NASA HQ) may be obtained by calling the files and copies division of D.C.'s federal court at 202-354-3080.

NASAWatch.INFO:  Wasn't he Dan Goldin's first appointee, who later somehow burrowed in as a career civil servant despite laws protecting taxpayers from such self-perpetuation?

NASAWatch.COM: Shhhh!  Of course I didn't rock the boat by disclosing this litigation news.  You should hide this story, too, just like NASA must!  Otherwise it will be harder for NASA to continue fighting its eventually offering adequate competitive prizes, which NASA pretends it must not offer so that it can self-perpetuatingly claim to fight outsiders' supposed discrimination!  C'mon, folks know that almost nobody can accuse African Americans at NASA HQ of discrimination without risking upsetting alliances maintained with others there (and elsewhere) who are of the same ethnicity (to varying, admittedly potentially conflicting degrees), who have similar career protections, and who are similarly eager to sell out the well-being of other members of their race so that they can personally enrich themselves at their overall ethnic group's expense (tragically enough).  Can you imagine what would happen if they stopped helping NASA hide its inefficiencies from voters & taxpayers? Why can't you embrace the double standard? There's no shame in being a coward when it's "politically correct". Bureaucrats enjoy substantial career protections.  So why did his stellar NASA career just end?  Wasn't his performance not only flawless but also fabulous?


Washington Post.com article: "A former Pentagon agency director and his top aide were charged yesterday with extortion and bribery for allegedly demanding payoffs, prostitutes and expensive watches in exchange for government contracts. Robert L. Neal Jr. headed the Defense Department's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization from 1996 to June 2001, and Francis D. Jones Jr. was his executive assistant. In a 52-page affidavit unsealed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria yesterday, federal agents said the two men instructed contractors to make payments to companies friendly to Neal and Jones to obtain or maintain lucrative federal jobs. The money would then be laundered through a sham company or a secret trust in the small principality of Liechtenstein, the affidavit said... The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization was created to help small and minority businesses obtain defense contracts. The office awards few contracts, but it exerts influence within the Pentagon, officials said... The office also directly controlled $28 million annually for the Mentor-Protege Program, in which small businesses find a large Defense Department contractor to serve as a partner and receive both training and contracts. One small business in the program told investigators that in 1997 and 1998, Neal and Jones demanded several payments of $8,000 to $15,000, "or they would take certain adverse actions or cease taking helpful actions" for the participant's company, according to Stroot's affidavit."

Washington Times article: "According to the affidavit, Mr. Neal and Mr. Jones, both of whom are black, engaged in a wide range of criminal activities during their tenure at the Pentagon, using their positions as leverage to receive illegal extortion payments, bribes and gratuities from minority or disadvantaged Defense Department contractors seeking to participate in the preference programs....Mr. Neal has been awarded the Secretary of Defense's Outstanding Public Service Medal and Outstanding Achievement Award, the OMB's Special Performance Awards, OMB's EEO Award and OMB's Divisional Awards for Special Performance."

NASAWatch.INFO: And some folks still wonder why there's been so much (self-perpetuating) reluctance by the federal government to simply offer adequate competitive prizes as a means of procurement?
                                                                                                                                                                                  Previously...Yahoo News article: "A professor who claimed she was targeted in a hate crime that stirred student protests at the Claremont colleges is suspected of staging the vandalism herself, police said Wednesday. Kerri F. Dunn's car was vandalized and covered with racist, anti-Semitic and sexist epithets on March 9, leading faculty to cancel classes and students to stage rallies the following day. Two witnesses interviewed by police investigators allegedly saw Dunn, a visiting professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College, commit the vandalism, police said in a statement."

NASAWatch.INFO: Maybe she deserves a NASA contract now?  After all, doesn't self-proclaimed victimhood pay at an agency that is desperate for political support from any group for its predictably underachieving, over-priced space programs?   


 WashingtonTimes.com article: "An American historian says that more than a million Europeans were enslaved by North African slave traders between 1530 and 1780, a time of vigorous Mediterranean and Atlantic coastal piracy."

NASAWatch.INFO: Even so, NASA's race-related contract preferences continue to exclude Jews, Arabs, and Europeans because they supposedly lack the historical "disadvantages" of other ethnic groups.   Again, to learn more about how NASA's supposedly pro-minority programs actually stifle minorities by keeping them dependent on the NASA's bureaucrats' plantation, please click here.

Space.com article: The government oppresses cost-reducing launch entrepreneur Elon Musk.

NASAWatch.INFO: If Boeing & Lockheed lose marketshare, wouldn't that diminish NASA bureaucrats' revolving-door employment opportunities into the private sector later?  

(NASAWatch.COM: "Yes I'm ignoring this scandal! Elon hasn't paid anyone in my alliance in years!")

Space.com article: "LEAGUE CITY, TX - Commercial space station cargo ships, crew ferries and other spacecraft will prove a vital cog in NASA's engine for future space exploration, the agency's top official said [on Nov. 15th, 2005]. "We want to be able to buy these services from American industry," NASA chief Michael Griffin told American Astronautics Society (AAS) during its annual conference here, adding that the first space station resupply proposals are expected this fall. "It will not be government business as usual.""

NASAWatch.INFO: One reader has asked: "Why can't NASA simply offer this as a competitive prize, combined with fixed price contracts to all entrants that succeed in building and flying cargo vehicles capable of supplying the space station?   Otherwise what is to stop NASA from using tight Prox Ops requirements to weed out cost-reducing upstarts that could undermine the NASA clique's dominance?"

NASAWatch.COM: "I would raise these kinds of issues if only someone would pay me to do so."

Forbes.com article: "If President Bush is serious about rekindling NASA--a worthy idea--I have a suggestion. NASA's annual budget is $16 billion...Within that budget NASA sets aside $20 million for prizes to reward real accomplishments, not just paper proposals. That's wa-a-a-ay too little. In fact, it's a puny one-eighth of 1% of NASA's budget...President Bush wants to fire up his presidency. Here's a way: Commit America to big, gaudy, public contests in space travel and energy. These will fire up an entire country."


Space.com article: NASA will [finally] begin to offer launch-related competitive prizes...

MSNBC.com article:"One big unknown relates to the size of the purses offered. Sponberg said he hoped the prizes could be set at $1 million or more, but that would depend on congressional approval. He noted that the legislation governing NASA's funding for the coming year was still being considered."

NASAWatch.INFO: How much would you like to bet that monopolistic NASA's prizes will remain conveniently inadequate, while occupying a trivial percentage of NASA's overall taxpayer-financed $16 billion annual budget?


TechnologyReview.com article: "There's a legal cap on federal agencies' offering prizes larger than [$250,000] [says a fine NASA official who unfortunately has to take orders from above]." "Our request for special authority to lift that is working its way through the congressional queue. There's $10 million earmarked for challenges in our latest budget, so hopefully you'll see some bigger prizes."

NASAWatch.INFO: Is NASA thwarting its own pro-entrepreneurial competitive prizes initiative that it nevertheless touts as being a "justification" for taxpayers' and voters' desired approval of its much, much larger, conveniently statist program$?

1) NASA's "small business utilization" office website peculiarly ignored  NASA prizes for years, and of course made absolutely NO mention of the Centennial Challenges workshop on its calendar (or elsewhere, from what we have seen).  [NOTE: for more on NASA's minority-contracting hypocrisy, please click here.]

2) NASA's Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS) made absolutely NO mention of its Centennial Challenges workshop in its special events and announcements section.

3) NASA peculiarly opted to store the workshop's agenda in a format that makes one's operating system warn one about the harm that can be done to one's computer by actually opening it.  

 NASAWatch.COM: Of course I ignore how NASA thwarts its own reforms.  You haven't forgotten about my conflicts of interest, have you?


Space.com article: "[X-Prize director Peter] Diamandis explained that for the promise of $10 million, over $50 million has been spent in research, development and testing.  "[X-Prize contestant John Carmack said] if I was willing to throw a million dollars at the problem by hiring the right firms to write the environmental impact statement and finish the launch license, things could get done faster, but I'm not willing to toss that kind of money at parasitic paperwork.""

NASAWatch.INFO: A 5:1 ratio isn't bad, considering how the size of the prize was so inadequate (despite its very noble nature).  But DARPA's Grand Challenge I prize had more like a 50:1 ratio.

MSNBC.com article:  "[In the Tether Challenge]" $50,000 would go to the team whose tether outlasts the others in a pulling machine that Schwager called "a tether torture chamber."  "To make sure the winning tether really represents a technological leap, it will have to show a 50 percent improvement in breaking force over commercially available products."

Grist Magazine article: Laser beams could power rural areas, even cars and airplanes. 

For the latest news on NASA's "space elevator" challenges, see:
tether challenge /  beam power challenge.

NASAWatch.INFO: How can NASA justify offering just $50,000 for its space elevator tether challenge?  Are there sticky fingers somewhere in the budget offices, leeching off of the prizes funds? Are there companies seeking to lessen certain competitions in hopes of getting contracts?

(NASAWatch.COM: "Hey! Don't you dare point that scrutinizing spotlight in our direction! We're practically ignoring the story, and conveniently ignoring the scandal!")

Citizens Against Government Waste article: "To keep the U.S. space launching industry competitive, the Air Force [etcetera] should do whatever it can to open the field to new competitors..."

NASAWatch.INFO: CAGW held a  Washington Waste Wire program on space waste during July '05.


Citizens Against Government Waste document: "Mankind's future in space no longer depends on politicized bureaucracies and tax-funded boondoggles," Schatz concluded. "The success of SpaceShipOne, startup space companies, and the advent of space tourism have opened the door to an exciting future of private enterprise in space. Such endeavors are economical, realistic, and more likely to yield tangible benefits for mankind and taxpayers."

NASAWatch.INFO: Isn't it encouraging to see such a patriotic and bold organization on NASA's trail?

NASAWatch.COM: "&$#@)!!! We're not yet prepared to cope with their traditionally effective corruption-busting and pork-exposing.  More ad hominem is our only defense!"

SF Chronicle article: "On Oct. 26 in Washington, D.C., the National Academy of Sciences  held a free public symposium titled "Property Rights and the Moon," which poses questions including "the degree to which land on the moon may be privately owned."


TechCentralStation.com article: "But both the Pilgrims and those prehistoric colonizers from Siberia had something that modern space enthusiasts don't -- they were pretty sure that once they got here, they could claim land without government interference. That modern space enthusiasts can't say the same thing was demonstrated just last week..."

COPUOS Legal Subcommittee annual meeting, April 4-15, 2005...

NASAWatch.INFO: Still no serious discussions about private property rights in space?


       National Review article: the Bush Administration & the USA should back out of Article II of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.   Article II prohibits national appropriation of property rights in space.  Many consider it a relic of the Cold War that some proponents hoped would discourage private investment in space mining and colonization, thereby making funds more available for competing military endeavors.  
            That National Review article raises the possibility that the prohibition against national appropriation allegedly makes it more difficult for the U.S. government to protect American settlers' own private property rights in space.   Simultaneously, Article II nevertheless allegedly renders their property rights vulnerable to expropriation by super-national entities such as the bureaucratic United Nations.    
(NASAWatch.COM: "Oh no!   If we fortify the recognition and eventual protection of private property rights in space, then won't that incentivize private industry and thereby make more of the bloated and overpriced NASA clique increasingly obsolete in the eyes of taxpayers?! How can I personally profit from that?")  

NASAWatch.INFO: To learn more about the property rights in space issue, please click here.  Meanwhile, perhaps it's worth keeping in mind this TransOrbital press release: [After a successful testing designed to test rocket separation, downlink telemetry, spacecraft orientation and mass properties in preparation for the formal lunar launch] TransOrbital is on target to begin routine Moon travel....  “Significant commercial demand exists for high definition (HD) video, lunar mapping, data storage, scientific research, communications, and data archiving. Many corporate marketers see their products associated with the first commercial missions to the Moon.”  “Additionally, there is worldwide demand from private citizens to send personal items such as photographs, legal documents, business cards, burial ashes, and jewelry to the Moon.” TransOrbital is the first and only commercial company licensed by the U.S. Department of State and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for private sector flights to the Moon.

TransOrbital press release: "TransOrbital, Inc. has become the first private company in the history of space flight to win approval from the U.S. government to explore, photograph, and land on the moon. The company expects to launch its Trailblazer Mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan within the next 9-12 months."

NASAWatch.INFO:  Wouldn't their raising needed capital be greatly facilitated if NASA would offer adequate prizes to the first company or companies that could achieve certain milestones on the Moon (etcetera)? After all, NASA's annual budget is "only" $16 billion dollars.  That's around the same as all the rest of the world's civilian space agencies' budgets COMBINED.   Regardless of what such prizes are offered for, pro-entrepreneurial reforms such as tax-incentives continue getting stifled.   Who on Earth could be responsible for that?   Pork barrelers?  Or those who believe tax cuts should primarily benefit the wealthiest 1% of our population (many of whose members "earned" their money the old fashioned way by inheriting it)?

Christian Science Monitor article: "China says the Shenzhou program has cost $2 billion over 10 years (a number thought low by international experts, who question whether Beijing is revealing the full cost)".

NASAWatch.INFO: NASA's annual budget's over $16 billion.   Regardless of which estimates regarding Chinese space expenditures you believe, the Chinese space program does quite a lot with reportedly a far smaller budget than NASA's.   For more information about how much China achieves with relatively much less money, feel free to visit here.  

 NASAWatch.COM: Why not simply use China as a competitive excuse to give my NASA bureaucrats MORE tax dollars to waste?

San Francisco Chronicle article: "Stanford engineers steered the world toward a new era of driverless vehicles Saturday when their robotic Volkswagen SUV was the first to cross the finish line after a 132-mile race across the Nevada desert...The best showing last year was turned in by a Carnegie Mellon robo-Hummer nicknamed Sandstorm, which went just 7.4 miles in that 142-mile course before it strayed off the road and spun its wheels until the rubber burned. Yet even that ignoble finish fired the imaginations of inventors and hobbyists, who responded in even greater numbers to DARPA's 2005 challenge. In contrast to the 15 teams that raced robots last year, 195 teams applied for starting positions in this year's race. Carnegie Mellon re-entered Sandstorm and a second Hummer, called Highlander. DARPA let 43 teams compete in elimination trials that preceded the race and thinned the field down to the 23 driverless vehicles that began Saturday's race."

NASAWatch.INFO: Didn't around half a dozen finish the race in 2005?  Now they can enjoy the fruits of their efforts in the private sector...


Space Frontier Foundation press release: "[We are] hoping to avoid conflicts that might arise if the [space] prize-giving entity remains with NASA, which has many vested interests in areas where prizes might best be applied.  For example, one often cited prize would be for the development of a comfortable, rugged and easy to use glove for astronauts’ space suits. In this case, NASA has personnel already working on space suit development with multi-million dollar contractors, who have strong ties to various NASA centers and programs, which might cause biases to creep into the prize process."..."While the government fights over a measly $34 million dollars out of its huge budget, we have a private prize out there for $50 million from just one person! After years of wasting billions on studies and presentations that often lead to dead ends, allocating less than 1/100th of our civilian space budget to pay for actual results should be a no brainer," concluded Tumlinson."

WashingtonPost.com article:  "DARPA chief Anthony Tether said the top prize would be $2 million in the second race instead of the $1 million prize offered at this year's Grand Challenge... [Program manager] Negron said the $12 million-plus that DARPA spent to organize the first Grand Challenge prompted participating teams to spend as much as $50 million researching autonomous vehicle technology."

NASAWatch.INFO: What's more noteworthy?  The 50:1 private sector investment: prize amount ratio?  Or the 12:1 bureaucrat expenditures: prize one?  And what's DARPA's annual budget?  OVER $1 billion.

NASAWatch.COM: "I simply cannot go as far as to shed light on the bureaucratic parasitism at NASA to which I crave the chance to return so that I won't have to corruptly chase after contractors and sponsors for contributions any longer. "


Space.com article: "How does NASA justify its intention to spend tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to build what will probably be a far less efficient space transportation system than what the commercial space industry is developing for its own purposes. Look at the contrasts. Bigelow is assuming that his $50 million dollar America’s Prize will result in a safe and reusable passenger capsule for roundtrips between Earth and low Earth orbit. NASA is expecting to spend over $10 billion dollars to develop the same sort of capability. Yes, Bigelow expects the winner to spend far more than the actual prize amount based on hopes of follow-on markets; and yes, the winning capsule will have fewer bells and whistles that anything NASA builds, but the magnitude of difference in the development costs is ridiculous. NASA, the White House and Congress are being driven more by the power of traditional aerospace lobbying and the need to maintain political constituencies than practical and common sense understanding of the changes at hand."

WashingtonTimes.com article: "A new White House management reform proposal would create a commission able to shut down unnecessary and wasteful U.S. government programs...Congress would have to approve the creation of a commission to review every federal program according to an agreed upon timetable and recommend whether a program should be retained, curtailed, merged with similar programs or eliminated all together. Programs recommended for termination would be shut down unless the Congress reauthorized them."

NASAWatch.INFO: Can anyone name a single NASA program that couldn't be better administered through the government's awarding of adequate competitive prizes to space entrepreneurs?  

 (NASAWatch.COM: "Don't even suggest that space entrepreneurs' lack of success in space over the years has had anything at all to do with bureaucrats' jealousy & impudence!  My bureaucrat allies and their Congressional pork partners are still smarting from your annoying analysis of what bureaucrats did to force privatized Mir's deorbiting in 2001. Who cares if bureaucrats and ordinary government contractors have achieved remarkably little in space these past 30 years.  Doesn't that merely prove that they deserve to receive even more of your tax dollars?").  

NASAWatch.INFO: Is it not shameful that the X Prize Cup and [soon] Robert Bigelow's America's Space Prize are so much further ahead of any NASA-funded prizes that Congress could fortify but still hasn't?


MSNBC.com article: "U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback [a Kansas Republican who chaired the Science, Technology and Space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee - which oversees NASA] proposed... that a prize of some $200 million dollars be offered for the first private, piloted mission to orbit Earth."

NASAWatch.INFO: Notice how corrupt ole' NASA's not jumping onto that bandwagon?  Here's why.


WashingtonPost.com article: "But Rutan and his team are the first to do so with no government help -- and not in a titanium machine powered by solid-fuel rockets, but a relatively lightweight craft. It was "a manned space program designed from scratch," Rutan boasted, in four years for $20 million -- about what NASA would spend "on a paper study," Rutan taunted".

CNN.com article: ""The reason we haven't had the advances is no one had the courage to demand it," [Burt Rutan] said."

NASAWatch.INFO: Like the tax-leeching NASA bureaucrats and their pet contractors wanted to risk letting their monopoly erode before campaign finance reform curtailed their antidemocratic powers?  Isn't it time that NASA finally funded adequate competitive prizes?

[NASAWatch.COM:  "Can't you shut up and enjoy the fireworks!? I'm trying to get a job at NASA. You're not helping... This kind of talk could lead to pro-entrepreneurial bureaucracy-trimming!"]

Space.com article: "NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle is expected to cost $5.5 billion to develop, according to government and industry sources, and the Crew Launch Vehicle another $4.5 billion. The heavy-lift launcher, which would be capable of lofting 125 metric tons of payload, is expected to cost more than $5 billion but less than $10 billion to develop, according to these sources."

NASAWatch.INFO:  Now that Hurricane Katrina is making it less unfashionable to cut government waste, will this CEV endeavor be achieved competitively, or through mere "competitive bidding" through some monopoly-anointing contract offer?   Should we sit still and risk their imposing another X-33-style fiasco on us? Unsurprisingly, the pork-barrelers continue refusing to lend significant support to pro-entrepreneurial space reform initiatives.  But such reforms would save money for taxpayers, and would generate economic growth as well as actual progress in space instead of contracts to a few players and their crumb-seeking sycophants.  

(NASAWatch.COM: "I blame inadequate funding for how the lone remaining international space station was supposed to cost $8 billion and house around a dozen people, only to cost around a hundred billion just to house a couple.  I mean doesn't Moore's law say that at least in the competitive computer processing sector, speed doubles every 18 months while prices fall by around half?  There ya have it!  It's clearly not my bureaucrats' and their pet contractors' fault.") 

NewYorkTimes.com article: "Kraft, a former director of the Johnson Space Center, said about [SpaceAdventures' $100 million lunar orbiting mission set for as early as 2008 that]..."the flight would be cramped and probably extremely unpleasant.""

NASAWatch.INFO:  Oh and we can suppose that that tax-leeching NASA pension collector would have us believe that the USA's dependence on the murderous Shuttle (for which he is partially responsible) is preferable even at several times the price per flight and while covering far less distance?

(NASAWatch.COM: "Hey!  Ease up on the Shuttle monopoly like I usually do, will ya?  The solution is always to throw more money at a problem [as long as it's not my own money].  Mike Griffin will wish he would have hired me if he ultimately doesn't.  He owes me...  But meanwhile, have you callously forgotten that the SpaceRef venture in which I very actively participate also includes a director of the decreasingly subsidized but still pro-pork Space Transportation Association?  Can't you cease with the scrutiny of the Shuttle monopoly (and my at least tacit supportiveness of it)?  

UniverseToday.com article: In the wake of Hubble budget fights, should we build an observatory on the Moon? Arguably the benefits would be considerable but  challenges obviously exist.

NASAWatch.COM: Support Hubble instead! Some of my allies want that and I have to pay some bills!

News24.com article:  "Challenger was obliterated in its 1986 disaster, and Columbia was lost in 2003, killing a total of 14 astronauts in the two accidents. NASA is left with Discovery and Atlantis, ages 20 and 21, as well as the 13-year-old Endeavour that replaced Challenger.  People are young at 20, but electronics are well into maturity by then - if not beyond. "I wonder whether I could find a single electronics box in my house that's 25 years old and still works. I don't think I can. It's the same thing with the orbiter," the Nasa administrator said of a recent shuttle part breakdown."

NASAWatch.INFO: In the wake of that candid admission (and all the other commonly known facts), can you imagine the tort liability (at taxpayers' expense, for starters) that will result if and when another Shuttle (quite foreseeably) sort of collapses under its own weight, too?  

(NASAWatch.COM: "The solution is always to throw more tax dollars at the problem."

St. Petersburg Times article: "When Bush came to office our national debt stood at $5.7-trillion and there was a budget surplus. Now the debt is nearing $8-trillion and growing daily."


WashingtonPost.com article: "Hundreds of whistleblower complaints about waste, fraud and abuse in government are going unexamined, with the backlog of cases at the Office of Special Counsel more than doubling in the past 18 months, according to newly obtained figures."

NASAWatch.INFO: Tax cuts are great, but why are these sources of potential savings being ignored?

 Washington Post.com article: "The Bush administration, like many of its predecessors, both Republican and Democratic, would like to put an end to the perennial problems caused by the legal limit on how much the Treasury Department can borrow to finance the rapidly rising national debt."

NASAWatch.INFO: Yes, forced fiscal discipline DOES tend to get in the way of politicians' pork-barreling & vote-buying, doesn't it?  Meanwhile, our national debt just reached an all-time $6.7 trillion dollar  record level.

(NASAWatch.COM: "Oh just shishhhh! I'm ignoring scandals like this. Why can't you just sell out like I eagerly did?")

Don't Space Shuttle "workers" get to collect more overtime pay when launches are postponed?


Space.com article: "What if the Shuttle never flew again?"

NASAWatch.INFO:  Have you seen how many more $600 million per flight Space Shuttle rides NASA hopes to impose upon taxpayers [presumably for Floridian governor Jeb Bush's benefit]?   Nearly two dozen:  


Will the pathetically wasteful and murderous Shuttle monopoly survive?  In light of our federal deficit and record high national debt, why wouldn't an alternative candidate rush to continue outsourcing from the much more affordable private industry, initially from the Soyuz providers  (which are at least 20 times cheaper) until Rutan or Carmack or Bezos or Musk or somebody else can fill in?  
       How about finally applying President Bush's supposed mantra of
"competitive sourcing" to the Shuttle monopoly for a change?  Or would Floridian governor Jeb object?  It looks that way, doesn't it?


SunHerald.com article: "Brownback, a Kansas Republican and former chair of the Science, Technology and Space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee - which oversees NASA - questioned whether the large amount of money NASA spends on the shuttle, combined with safety and maintenance issues for the aging fleet, is worthwhile as the agency tries to reshape itself for more ambitious exploration....He wants to hold a hearing on recent problems within the space shuttle program and whether NASA's remaining fleet could or should be retired sooner than the current target date of 2010... In his statement, Brownback said he wants to know whether NASA would be better off shutting down the shuttle early, and plowing the money saved into an accelerated schedule for a new spacecraft, or even a project developed by the private sector. While Brownback is not the first lawmaker to raise the idea of scrapping the shuttle because of safety and cost concerns, that idea has not been the main topic of a congressional hearing."

NASAWatch.INFO:   U.S. Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-Texas) has said that the Shuttle is too dangerous to fly with people on board.  "I think we should use the three remaining orbiters in an umanned capacity, in other words convert them so you don't put humans in the orbiter," said Barton during an appearance on CNNfn. "We should use the Russian Soyuz or develop our own new shuttle or spaceplane to take astronauts back into space."   At least President Bush has a greater interest in Mars than he had a few years ago, though, as this somewhat historic online video clip suggests."

NASAWatch.COM: Stop rocking the boat! I want to profitably sell my book  (http://www.cgpublishing.com/Books/NewMoon.html) about this statist plan before it becomes financially doomed.  Don't you DARE insinuate that I don't deserve the Pulitzer!

WashingtonPost.com article: "A political odd couple, backed by an unusual coalition of advocacy groups and news organizations, is looking to crack down on government officials who ignore public requests for information. Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) are pushing a package of legislative proposals that would create, for the first time, penalties for agencies that ignore Freedom of Information Act requests."

NASAWatch.INFO: Once again, Mexico has more democratic rights than its Northern neighbor: http://www.informacionpublica.gob.mx

NASAWatch.COM: Why shouldn't I prefer that practically only >I< can access nearly secret information (through my sycophantic sources of leaks whose causes I champion)?

UMD.edu bio: Michael D. Griffin


FoxNews.com article: "A congressional investigation of misuse of funds at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is focusing in on possible abuses by recently departed NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe..."

NASAWatch.COM: Shhhhhh!

NASAWatch.INFO: Keith, why did you keep quiet about this sort of thing for so long?


AP News article: "President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries Wednesday not to hire columnists to promote administration agendas after disclosure that a second writer had been paid to assist an agency."

NASAWatch.COM: "Buy my sycophantic book.  Now!!!  Despite months and months of publicity campaigns, and all the special access that I was astonishingly given to Bush Administration officials, we had barely even sold 500 copies as of November 16th, 2004 (roughly half a year after its release).  Its increasingly languishing sales are not even ranked highly @ Amazon, due to your laziness and preference for actual critical analysis.  What's the matter with you?!?  I opportunistically looked the other way while the monopolistic Space Shuttle was forced upon us again and this is all that I get?"

NASAWatch.INFO: What do these sales figures signify? Click here to discuss...

The book entitled Space: The Free-Market Frontier (from the Cato Institute) is still ranked #681,114 out of over a million books for sale at Amazon.  [We have absolutely no relationship with that book, and we were never asked to mention it here. We simply admire its pro-entrepreneurial positions, and are pleased that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now aggressively embracing the space industry.]. And the authors of THIS book have something unique, too: published words of which to be proud.

Cato Institute book forum: Space: The Free-Market Frontier: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 12:00 p.m. (video & audio are available there for free).

NASAWatch.INFO: Predictably ignoring invitations, NASA ultimately sent nobody to speak in a related Cato event 2 years ago.  There are elections in November of '04 though, so this time someone [Courtney Stadd] showed up to speak for NASA (while peculiarly NOT accepting any publicly asked questions).  Nice things were said about NASA by him (and he has since resigned to cash in out in the private sector) but, ahem!,  where are the pro-entrepreneurial reforms?  The Columbia disaster is a justification for them, not an excuse to ignore them, right?

WashingtonPost.com article:  "President Bush and his Texas comrades have succeeded in doing what no one else could in 120 years of civil service. They have ended the deal. New personnel regulations at the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense will dramatically change the way 860,000 workers there are paid, promoted, demoted and disciplined. The plan is to spread the changes throughout all the land of federal government. No more automatic raises. No more simple pass-fail evaluations. No more Job for Life. The unions have taken it on the lip. While the pay-for-performance changes won't take effect until 2009, workers are getting anxious. They don't know what their life will look like. And knowing what life would look like, after all, was always the point."

NASAWatch.INFO: Why can't this article be fair and balanced?  It laments how civil service reforms could discourage folks from passing up the chance to work in a major accounting firm instead of the IRS, but ignores how a flat tax (like more competitive prize offerings) would make such tax-leeching and unpredictability-inducing jobs unnecessary.  It mourns the upcoming reduction in government "worker" volunteers for events like after school PTA gatherings, while ignoring  how ordinary people have to miss such events because they must work harder and longer hours to give half of their annual earnings to the government.  It claims that the current system protects taxpayers from political favoritism while ignoring how the vast majority of these career-protected bureaucrats have allegiance to the same political party (the Democrats), and they leak timely news and dole out tax-funded contracts to universities and media outlets (etcetera) with similar political leanings.   So what can be said in the Washington Post's purported defense when critics call it the Washington Compost?   

 (NASAWatch.COM: "I sure hope the bureaucrats win their lawsuit to thwart these legal reforms!").


NASA Watch.INFO: In a victory for taxpayers and for those who find excessive bureaucratic hurdles to be a hindrance to generating economic growth, a growing quantity of bureaucratic sinecures are finally being competitively sourced to the private sector.   Feel free to consult our anti-bureaucracy page dedicated to analyzing the inertia which stubbornly fights such progress even as our national debt has reached an all time record high $8 trillion dollar level.

(NASAWatch.COM: "Oh no!  This could wreck my business plan. I'd better show my renewed loyalty to the side my bread is buttered on.  I want for some deadweight tax leeches in NASA's bureaucracy to remain comfortably employed at NASA so that they can keep on viewing my sponsored websites at taxpayers' expense, and leaking national secrets to me for my own personal profit.   Besides, if some of my allies lost their bureaucratic sinecures then how could I subsequently continue furthering my own agenda in ways that benefit close business affiliates?
     Admittedly though, it's getting rather infuriating that despite my years of selling out, my allies in the NASA bureaucracy and entrenched government contracting realm still haven't found me any adequately paying sponsors to sufficiently replace the Discovery Channel's lost account.  Here are my advertising rates, folks: http://www.spaceref.com/company/advertising.html .   Do you want me to keep needing handouts from the Space Transportation Association, which has been run by a SpaceRef business affiliate with a sponsorship-accepting, government contractor-pandering, predictably statist agenda?  I'd prefer to further my own self-serving agenda.")

And what interesting elections they were, too!

NASAWatch.COM: Does this mean I can continue with my book-sales about Bush's space vision?

NASAWatch.INFO: As you wish, Keith.  We'll keep covering what you corruptly ignore.  


WashingtonPost.com article: "The largest federal employee union will work to defeat President Bush in November after endorsing presumptive Democratic nominee John F. Kerry last week. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which has 210,000 dues-paying members, said the Massachusetts  senator would help turn back the Republican's efforts to revamp federal pay and personnel systems and open up more federal work to private contractors.  Kerry, who has voted with the AFGE 88 percent of the time during his Senate career, also opposes private accounts in Social Security...The IFPTE, with 40,000 members in the Defense Department and NASA, typically makes no endorsement, but it broke with that tradition because "this administration has been so anti-labor, particularly when it comes to federal employees," said Matthew S. Biggs, an IFPTE spokesman."

NASAWatch.INFO: So for more of the same at NASA, vote for whom the bureaucrats endorse...


GazetteTimes.com article: "President Bush is on track to become the first chief executive since John Quincy Adams in the 1820s to complete a full term without vetoing one bill....That hasn't pleased everyone, including some fiscal conservatives who have faulted Bush for not blocking spending increases. A year ago, Bush demanded that a final 2003 spending package be held to $385 billion, but then signed a $397 billion bill.  "The president cannot say, as he has many times, that ‘I'm going to tell Congress to enforce some spending discipline' and then not veto bills," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said.  The writers of the Constitution assured strong presidential influence in the legislative process by giving the president the power to reject bills passed by Congress. Except for a few presidents, they have used the power sparingly, with 2,550 vetoes over the 213 years of the republic. Vetoes can be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate, but that has happened only 106 times, Congressional Research Service records show."

NASAWatch.COM: Why can't this discomfortingly distracting discussion wait until after my Bush-related space book's been on sale for a lot longer?  Please purchase your copy today! http://www.cgpublishing.com/Books/NewMoon.html

NASAWatch.INFO:  Has anyone forgotten how the Bush Administration peculiarly ignored its own "competitive sourcing" mantra regarding the murderous Space Shuttle monopoly that shares so many of our tax dollars with brother Jeb's state of Florida?   Whatever happened to various pro-entrepreneurial reforms regarding space that Bush could have supported but chose not to, despite the predictable Columbia disaster?

(NASAWatch.COM: "I'm not going there. There's too much money to be made for me behind the scenes. I support whoever is in power as long as I get to profit [at taxpayers' expense].")

WashingtonTimes.com article: The IRS will now more heavily scrutinize certain nonprofit groups' supposedly "not for profit" executive compensation packages.

NASAWatch.INFO: Have they considered looking into at least one of those linked from this list?

USAToday.com article: "The Bush administration has told officials...to prepare preliminary 2006 budgets that would cut spending after the presidential election, according to White House documents....If you propose to increase funding above that level for any account, it must be offset within your agency" by cuts in other accounts "so that, in total, your request does not exceed the 2006 level assumed for the agency," the memo read in part."

MSNBC.com article: "But with the budget deficit exceeding $400 billion this year, tough and painful cuts are unavoidable, said Brian M. Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Federal agencies' discretionary spending has risen 39 percent in the past three years. "I think the public is ready for spending cuts," Riedl said. "Not only does the public understand there's a lot of waste in the federal budget, but the public is ready to make sacrifices during the war on terror."

NASAWatch.INFO: Isn't it a bit late to finally start with that long overdue budgetary streamlining?  Regardless, does NASA need to keep operating the still nonprivatized, lone-remaining International Space Station?  Not according to this report on space station entrepreneurs at Bigelow Aerospace.   How about the $600 million per flight murderous Space Shuttle?    Not according to this report on spaceport entrepreneurs who are achieving real space launches.

NASAWatch.COM: "Don't touch NASA's space station! I used to work on it while a tax leech at NASA. If it's de-emphasized then what will I have to show for my time as a tax leech?  As for the Shuttle, I have allie$ who do not want it abolished either so just shush! What we should abolish, instead, is NASA's $20 million dollar per year competitive prizes initiative.  I'll not advocate its survival unless the Shuttle, CEV and the Station get fully funded like my cronies and partners in crime desire."

Independent.co.uk article: "An official inquiry into the failure of the Beagle 2 space mission to Mars at Christmas will condemn the British-led project as mismanaged...and done too cheaply."


BBC article: "But while the fate of Beagle may never be known, Esa has other plans to go back to Mars at the end of this decade. The aim is to send a big cousin of Beagle to explore the biology of Mars followed by a mission to snatch a sample of Martian rock for return to Earth. The British companies that helped build Beagle can make a key contribution to this programme. It rests on the UK Government to decide whether to sign up to the plans and commit the money that could make some kind of "Beagle 3" a reality."

NASAWatch.INFO: Surprise surprise: they're practically asking for lots more money for Astrium, instead of for a government-sponsored Beagle 3 competitive prize for the most efficient player(s)... Did Astrium actually WANT the lean-budgeted Beagle 2 to fail?   The European Space Agency is almost as socialist as NASA. Some in Europe have complained that socialist ESA has anointed basically one contractor monopoly, Astrium, while we already know that NASA has anointed its own for Mars as well: Lockheed Martin. LockMart and Astrium are basically NOT competitors for government contracts, and neither one is particularly commercial where space is concerned either. Anyhow, even though Astrium built Beagle 2, it apparently stands to profit disproportionately if embarrassment from it should result in political demands for better funding for ESA-sponsored interplanetary probes. How much support was there in Europe for interplanetary missions BEFORE this "unintentional" embarrassment emanating from Europe's first attempt? Not nearly as much, right?
     Do you remember what happened when Lockheed's 1999 Mars missions failed miserably? LockMart and tax-leeching bureaucrats involved with Mars missions got MORE money for future NASA missions to Mars. Although LockMart got its feather$ ruffled a bit in the process, did it not come out ahead financially because of the 1999 "failures"? And weren't the causes of those Mars failures rather silly (if not intentional), as is documented here? It wasn't enough that orbiters had successfully made it to Mars: the public wanted photo-ops of the surface.
     Here's the most annoying part: since then, Lockheed has worked against the emergence of pro-entrepreneurial, NASA-funded COMPETITIVE prizes.   Lockheed consequently maintains its monopolistic stronghold over NASA's Mars endeavors. Now then, is it unsurprising that we've not heard of monopolist Astrium's supporting competitive prizes' emergence in Europe, either? It was a competitive prize, NOT a government contract, that lured Charles Lindberg's historic entrepreneurial flight from the USA to Europe. Nevertheless, the socialists in Europe's space agency now seem to prefer to overlook this awkward detail, just like the socialists corruptly dominating NASA do. Isn't it time to get the bureaucrats and their pet contractors out of humanity's way so that we can finally bring life to space, and space to life?

(NASAWatch.COM: "Utterly preposterous! There's no conspiracy-mongering unless I report about it. If I refuse to report about it due to my numerous conflicts of interest, then anyone else who outshines me will be branded a peon and attention-seeker by me and my accomplices.  How dare them demonstrate (by example) how undeserving of the Pulitzer that I am!  The Mars Institute can't profit as much if we alienate Astrium or any other major Mars players, so back off!  And don't you DARE insinuate that I don't deserve the Pulitzer!
         Meanwhile, hooray!   Faster, better, cheaper [i.e. non-NASA] missions to Mars are having a less-than-stellar record thus far!  The more I promote this news (and withOUT conspicuously mentioning pricetags, of course), the more newsleaks and other favors I'll get from my moles in the government bureaucracy and within the government contractor clique.   I'll also have more taxpayer-subsidized stays (and other favors) awaiting me and my closest accomplices at the NASA Haughton Mars Research Project in the Devon Island region of the world!
        Burn this Holiday season, Britain's Beagle 2, Burn! And take the BBC's Dr. David Whitehouse with you! It's not fair how he gets so much more recognition than I do. It just isn't.")


HuntsvilleTimes.com article: "Every time there's a major budget problem in Washington, the idea of closing a major NASA center is kicked around, said Keith Cowing, a former NASA manager who now runs an independent Web site, NASAwatch.com.  "It's talk and that's generally all it is," Cowing said. "That seems like a way to save money quickly, but when the details get fleshed out, it just doesn't pan out that way." ....Other NASA centers, most notably Glenn Research Center, in Cleveland, Ohio, and Ames Research Center, near San Francisco, sit on prime real estate. Glenn is located right next to an airport, and Ames is near a research park. "Either one of those could be sold for big bucks," Cowing said.          
      Howard McCurdy, a space expert with American University in Washington, said an effort to close Marshall would expend a lot of political good will that the White House doesn't want to burn.  "It's not a very likely scenario," McCurdy said. "It's just not high up on the priority list, either. The White House is concerned with the war and Social Security reform, not NASA problems."

NASAWatch.INFO: What does Keith Cowing and his jointly owned SpaceRef venture stand to gain by tweaking NASA Ames like this?   Perhaps more tax-subsidized support for SpaceRef's collaboration with the NASA Haughton Mars research project around Devon Island, Canada in which NASA Ames participates? For more insights, feel free to click here.

(NASAWatch.COM: "^ $ # % * ^ ) ]  @ & !!!!!" )  

We have LOTS more to offer regarding how NASA has ripped us all off regarding Mars, here.

NASA's Mars-related underachievement


The Mars Institute (which is run by a major SpaceRef investor, and promoted aggressively by both SpaceRef and NASAWatch.COM) wants your money!  


So what?  Well, how often will "journalistic" publications associated with this supposed "501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation" look the other way or even attempt to sabotage potential reformers [such as Dr. Robert Zubrin] whenever NASA civil servants behave unpatriotically, in exchange for donations or timely newsleaks from such bureaucrats or their pet contractors?    Meanwhile, let's keep the tax-subsidized "Combined Federal Campaign" on our radar, folks...

NASAWatch.INFO: How can one be a sufficiently neutral "watchdog" regarding NASA when one actively seeks favors from the NASA clique, as our  Devon Island exposé  helps reveal? 

(NASAWatch.COM: "^ $ # % * ^ ) ]  @ & !!!!!" )  

WashingtonPost.com article: "Federal regulators on Thursday refused to impose new restrictions on political groups that are spending millions on the presidential election..."


Individual voters prevail with the final ruling from the Supreme Court on campaign finance reform.

NASAWatch.INFO: The May 2004  527 groups-related ruling is a source of legitimate concern...

Washington Post article, "In the United States, the top 10 percent owns 70 percent of the wealth”…."the top one percent have 40 percent of the wealth.”  Anyhow, would it not seem that there's a direct relationship between the success of Senator McCain's campaign finance reform endeavor, and companies' modern day INability to continue pillaging and plundering at taxpayers' expense?  

(NASAWatch.COM: "Actually, I like our plutocracy.  Wouldn't reforms shake up my business plan?")

SpaceX.com update: "Our suggested solution to this problem, given that the Kistler contract is already performance based, is to open it up and turn the objectives into a prize that can be won by any company. That company might be Kistler, SpaceX, Lockheed or an entity yet to be formed (perhaps by a reader of this newsletter). Given how powerful the $10 million X Prize has been in generating entrepreneurial vigor around suborbital flight, I`m confident that a quarter billion dollar prize would have an incredibly beneficial effect on orbital flight."

NASAWatch.INFO exclusive: When asked about the possibility, while answering technical questions at a private event at the National Aerospace Museum in Washington D.C.  about SpaceX's new Falcon rocket, CEO Elon Musk replied that their being able to service the "International Space Station" is seemingly not that out of reach.   Musk, an internet multimillionaire, also replied to a question about whether he favors NASA's finally offering competitive prizes. "Prizes? Sure. We'd like it if NASA offered prizes.  We are in favor of whatever levels the playing field to true competition."  A prominent and clever NASA budget official looked on with some interest, as did several space entrepreneurs and space enthusiasts...
    Admittedly, there are those at perhaps all well-financed space companies who would not really want for a level playing field to emerge as that could eat away at their potential earnings.  However, is that their fault, or NASA's?   The market for spacelaunch vehicles is currently so predictably depleted that companies have to fight for every scrap that they can get.   This goes double for the companies which focus on seeking tax-subsidized government contracts.   Meanwhile, space-related companies won't be able to get us to Mars if they collapse ahead of time, while still in search of mere Lower Earth Orbit profits.  Altruism doesn't pay very well, and it takes lots of money to get humans to Mars.      


MSNBC.com article: Musk says that there are three things government could do to make things easier for the Wright brothers’ aerospace heirs: relaxing environmental restrictions,  creating a “commercial space traffic control system,” and “establishing certain criteria for areas where you could do experimentation with rockets, where you’re out of the range of being able to cause any harm to people, so there’s no third-party risk.

 WashingtonPost.com article:  "Citing policy and budget concerns, key members of Congress have called on NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe to postpone further work on the next U.S. space plane designed to carry crews to and from orbit. "

 Space.com article: "The field of likely bidders to build the Orbital Space Plane is about to shrink from three to two, according to industry sources. Northrop Grumman is dropping plans to bid for the Orbital Space Plane prime contract and has entered discussions with Lockheed Martin Corp. about a teaming arrangement on the program, industry sources said. Such a move essentially would pit the Lockheed Martin-Northrop Grumman team against Boeing Co. for the multibillion-dollar contract."

NASAWatch.INFO: Space News fairly recently published two lengthy articles  (republished here) which were authored by Space Frontier Foundation founder Rick Tumlinson, in which Rick calls the Orbital Space plane the "Orbital Stupid Plane".   In replacing the bloated government contract-pandering OSP, Rick also advocates the offering of "national prizes ... for the first teams to fly four people (or relative mass) safely to and from LEO at the lowest demonstrated cost, with the shortest turn around period."

Newsday.com article: "`60 Minutes' incident brings spotlight to issue of corporate ties and news...Blindsided by a controversy over its corporate ties to the publisher of Richard Clarke's book, "60 Minutes" has promised that it will not happen again...Internet columnist Matt Drudge first raised the Viacom issue in connection with Clarke, and some conservative critics questioned whether "60 Minutes" was helping to drive profits to another Viacom division...Consider it a foreshadowing, however, of questions that TV news organizations are likely to face more often in this world of media consolidation.  Plenty of news divisions and publishers are corporate cousins..."

NASAWatch.INFO:  Ahem...  http://www.cgpublishing.com/Books/NewMoon.html is co-authored by a current employee [a D.C. lobbyist] of a government contractor.   Want to get featured?  Give 'em a tax-subsidized contract before they even have their first launch (like the Bush Administration has already done) and see what happens.  Offering launch-related competitive prizes for the first time would incentivize SpaceX and plenty of others too, but then it would be much tougher for Bush to influence the media during an election year...  

(NASAWatch.COM: "Why don't you just shut up and let me co-write my book?   If SpaceX can somehow help slow the pace of entrepreneurial reforms, it can help hold back other upstarts.  Then taxpayers can still have someone new to spend their launch money on and I can profit.  Go team!")

WashingtonPost.com article: "Nader hopes to appeal to a broad spectrum of third-party voters and would accept their organizations' support, volunteers and ballot lines. "It's more powerful to have a coalition of third parties come together and say: We are joined together to challenge the duopoly," Zeese said.  However, Nader will run with at least one party -- his own. The candidate recently created the Populist Party, under whose banner he will run in states that require fewer signatures from new parties than they do from individual candidates...Nader has said he will appeal this year to disgruntled conservatives and independents. Yesterday, he posted an "Open Letter to Conservatives Upset With the Policies of the Bush Administration," inviting them to join his independent campaign."


Dartmouth article: "32 years ago...Kerry implored Dartmouth students to "be their own Ralph Nader".

NewYorkTimes.com article: "Already, most voters think Mr. Kerry is a politician who says what people want to hear, the poll found, rather than what he believes ...."

NASAWatch.INFO:  At least Bush's father allowed Perot to debate in '92.  Is Kerry so ashamed of his record that he won't extend a similar pro-democracy courtesy to Ralph Nader?


FoxNews.com article: “Right now there is a lot of unfairness. We’ve got a good old boy system that’s squeezing people out,” through difficult ballot access requirements [a Reform Party candidate] said.  Third-party advocates have long complained about the lack of media coverage and being blocked from participation by the two parties in the nationally televised debates."

NASAWatch.INFO: Is the following reform proposal not intriguing?  "In some places in the country, people are now advocating a system called IRV for instant runoff voting. Under it, you would mark your preferences among all the candidates. In counting the ballots, the counters start at the bottom and drop the candidate receiving the least votes each round.  The people who voted for that candidate then have their votes counted for their next most preferred candidate in the group still around. With this system people don't have to worry about wasting their votes. If their most preferred candidate doesn't draw much support, their vote goes to their next most preferred candidate. The major political parties hate it because it will make it less scary for voters to vote for third party candidates."
       Meanwhile, the USA (unlike most democratic countries) still offers no guaranteed access to presidential debate participation for whichever 3rd party happens to be the most popular at the time.  That is unless it already has 15% of the popular support PRIOR TO such an affordable publicity opportunity.  Sooner or later, the folks at the highly politicized FEC.gov and also at Debates.org will have to submit to the growing public demands for increased competition for voters' votes.  Meanwhile, though, we wonder why well under 40% of registered American voters tend to vote during mid-term elections, even though our record high $7 trillion dollar national debt keeps growing?  There are slightly over 200 million Americans who are eligible to vote, but at least 120 million won't.
 Perhaps campaign finance reforms will make a difference?

(NASAWatch.COM: "Let future generations worry about such political disenfranchisement. It's not my problem if I profited from it while of course looking the other way as others did too.")


FoxNews.com article: " "Congress is now spending money like a drunken sailor" [said Senator John] McCain, R-Ariz.].  [Senator McCain] and others kept the Senate from passing a $390 billion bill last week that would have paid for operations of 10 of 14 government departments and scores of lesser agencies...Senate aides said McCain is expected to delay passage as long as possible... "Any economist will tell you cannot have this level of debt and increasing deficits without its eventually affecting interest rates and inflation," he said. "Those are the greatest enemies of middle-income Americans and retired Americans." "

WashingtonTimes.com article: Authentic conservatives are getting very tired of Bush's hypocritical spending increases and lack of fiscal responsibility.

WashingtonTimes.com article: "The case that Bush is a big spender is irrefutable. Federal spending on Bush's watch has sky-rocketed. According to the Heritage Foundation, the years 2000 to 2003 marked the biggest spending spree in the history of the United States, except for WWII. Total spending has gone up nearly 14 percent in Bush's first three years, and discretionary spending has gone up nearly 20 percent.   Bush spent a pile not only on guns, but on butter. Non-defense spending has gone up by almost the same amount as defense spending, and defense spending constitutes barely a fifth of the total increase in spending from 2000 to 2003...Bush has an annoying habit of opposing proposals on the grounds they're bad policy or too expensive only to end up supporting them when the pressure gets too intense...He hasn't vetoed any spending bills and he hasn't proposed any huge spending cuts the way Ronald Reagan or Newt Gingrich would have."

USAToday.com article: "The White House said Thursday it did not suppress a report that projects the U.S. government faces a long-term budget deficit of more than $44 trillion....The study outlines how the United States is in danger of being overwhelmed by the future health care and retirement costs of the baby boomer generation...For this fiscal year, the government's cash shortfall is widely expected to be more than $300 billion while accumulated debt from previous budget deficits stands at around $7 trillion."

NASAWatch.INFO: That $7 trillion dollar national debt is at record high levels, and will only grow.  


 WashingtonPost.com article:  "Confounding President Bush's pledges to rein in government growth, federal discretionary spending expanded by 12.5 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, capping a two-year bulge that saw the government grow by more than 27 percent, according to preliminary spending figures from congressional budget panels."

NASA Watch.INFO: Meanwhile, the Congressional pork-barrelers continue refusing to lend significant support to pro-entrepreneurial space reform initiatives that would not cost taxpayers, and would generate economic growth as well as (gawk!) actual progress in space.  

  (NASAWatch.COM: "Oh be quiet.   Just let 'em spend 'til their hearts are content.  I'll look the other way and ignore most of it as long as it's spent in ways that benefit my latest band of allies. Who might that be? Whoever scratches my back the best, and in the way that I happen to want them to at the moment. It's only taxpayers' money, after all. We deserve it and we do them a favor by spending it for them in ways that we say are good for them [and especially for us].")

 GovExec.com article: "House committees have identified between $80 billion and $100 billion in wasteful federal spending, and House Budget Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, said he thinks that is just the beginning."

NASAWatch.INFO:  Gee, do ya really think so?

(NASAWatch.COM: "You don't expect for parasitic, backboneless ME to acknowledge these scandals, do you?  My soap opera digest of space profits  most by keeping things just as they are.")

WashingtonTimes.com article:  "As part of the 2004 federal budget, the House and Senate Budget Committees asked each congressional committee to examine the entitlement programs under its discretion. The modest goal was to identify 1 percent of entitlement spending as waste, fraud or abuse. Committees were asked to report their findings to Congress by Sept. 2, 2003.  Less than half of the congressional committees bothered to submit their findings by the deadline. The contempt both parties displayed toward this request exemplifies Congress' institutional bias against saving taxpayer dollars....
    The Republican Party [which chairs every Congressional committee] may have once stood for fiscal responsibility, but it has since succumbed to the temptation of playing Santa Claus to whatever voter blocks (farmers, seniors, soccer moms) it thinks will swing the next election. To those who see government spending mainly as a means to buy re-election, reducing waste is a thankless and potentially dangerous distraction.  Such profligacy comes at a high price for taxpayers. In 2003, federal spending will reach $21,000 per household, up from $16,000 just four years ago. Taxpayers have been temporarily shielded from these costs because of annual budget deficits that now top $400 billion and could reach $600 billion within a few years. But all spending must eventually be funded through taxes, and budget deficits only delay the inevitable choices Congress must make. Reducing federal spending is the only way to reduce the long-run tax burden."

NASAWatch.INFO:  Is NASA even nearly as efficient as it could be?

(NASAWatch.COM: "Oh just shush!  We beltway bandits LIKE the status quo.  Can't you tell by the way I totally ignore articles like these?")


USAToday.com article: "A week after California voters ousted a governor, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll found an electorate nationwide that shares some of the discontent that fueled Arnold Schwarzenegger's election there. Support for unspecified changes in the political system was strong: 17% in favor of a "complete overhaul" and another 33% backing major reforms. Just one in 10 said no reform was necessary. Four in 10 said a third major political party was needed.  The close divide that marked the 2000 election hasn't changed. In the poll, 38% of registered voters said they definitely would vote for Bush and 38% said they would definitely vote against him. In the middle: 24% who haven't decided."

USAToday.com article: "As the minority party in Congress, the Democrats can't schedule a congressional hearing, issue a subpoena, demand a special counsel or rely on the GAO to get information that the White House doesn't want to give.  Predictably, the parties disagree on whether this a good thing.  "When the Republicans ran the Congress and Clinton was in the White House, there was no accusation too small for them to pursue," says California Rep. Henry Waxman, the senior Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee. "Now that President Bush is in power, there's no scandal so large that they have any interest in examining it."

Washington Times article:  "Those [aspiring voters] registering with third parties or as independents increased from 14.3 percent of the voting-age population in 1998, to 15.7 percent this year. It has steadily increased through the years and is up nearly eightfold from the mere two percent who registered with third parties in 1962...The shift is partly because of people becoming increasingly frustrated with the political gridlock of the two parties and tired of feeling that their votes do not make a difference, he said."

NASAWatch.INFO:  Unlike in 2000 when Bush narrowly lost the popular vote, space entrepreneurs and their  volunteer supporters must now try and credibly answer the following question:  what have we gotten in exchange for our previous political support besides merely a reshuffling of deck chairs on the Titanic (NASA)?  Where are the adequately pro-entrepreneurial, tax-saving reforms?   The electoral decision is yours.  Our goal is merely to make sure it's as well-informed as possible.


APNews.com article: "Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday he will ask Americans earning more than $200,000 a year to pay the taxes they paid under President Clinton and pledged to retain the Bush tax cuts for the middle class and even add to them."

NASAWatch.INFO: Washington Post article, "In the United States, the top 10 percent owns 70 percent of the wealth”…and..."the top one percent have 40 percent of the wealth.”  Didn't Al Gore, as undesirable a candidate as he was, insightfully mention during the presidential debates that 43% of Bush's proposed tax cuts would go to the wealthiest 1% of our population?  Exacerbating matters, has Bush not subsequently become the first U.S. president in nearly 200 years not to veto a single congressional spending bill? 

Space.com article: "Space industry investor Stephen Fleming, of EGL Ventures, told commissioners that while NASA's exploration ambitions to other planets are laudable, they don't leave much room for long-term sustainability. "Flags and footprints make lousy business plan," Fleming said. "Profitable industries are sustainable, government industries are not." Fleming told the commission that the first step to a space industry is lowering launch costs, which NASA can do by committing to launches run by private companies and relinquishing design control on launch vehicles. The only thing NASA should provide is the payload and a check for services rendered, he added. "I don't want another space program, I want a new space industry," Fleming said of the new space vision. Some commissioners expressed concern over the need to press NASA's vision of exploration into a profitable venture. "It's not that we're going to do this to make spaceflight cheap," said commissioner Paul Spudis, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, adding that flags and footprints on other worlds stimulate more than just investor pocketbooks. "If you create a system where you can learn new skills and new technologies to live and work in space, then that's valuable." Commissioner Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, said he feels the President's space vision should "ride even higher than the possibility that it can be spun off as an industry." "


Space.com article: "Some [Presidential Space Commission] commissioners, however, cautioned that depending on private space entrepreneurs to develop new space technologies or crafts under cash prize contests could be a weight on the yoke's of NASA's mission timeline. For example, the recent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored Grand Challenge to award $1 million to the first team to build a robotic rover capable of winning a desert race fizzled earlier this month when all of the entries broke down."The NASA vision, as it's put forth, is not a vision that has the luxury of waiting around for anyone to invent something new," said astrophysicist and commission member Neil deGrasse Tyson. "I worry about the mismatch between waiting for these prizes to be won and the timeline for these space vision missions."

NASAWatch.INFO: Broken down like Tyson's planetarium's own website has been lately? www.haydenplanetarium.org.  Meanwhile, has anyone considered the conflicts of interest which are prevalent on this Commission? Here's their membership: www.moontomars.org/about/members.asp.  How many get money or at least power from Boeing & Lockheed or from civil servants or labor unions that despise pro-entrepreneurial reforms?  Robert Walker's own website openly sort of boasts about how his lobbying firm's on Lockheed's payroll:www.wexlerwalker.com/clients.htm .   Meanwhile, how much federal money does Neil deGrasse Tyson's planetarium receive each year for rather monopolistically conducting research that could otherwise be competed through data-purchasing competitions?

WashingtonTimes.com article:  "[President Bush said] "We're going to phase out the death tax — which is a bad tax to begin with — and then let it pop back to life. But that's reality."  Aside from the renewed call to make his tax cuts permanent, the remainder of the six-point economic plan is largely a repackaging of earlier Bush initiatives. These include free trade, tort reform, reduced regulations, Medicare reform and a comprehensive energy bill.   "Our economy is starting to grow again; Americans are feeling more confident," Mr. Bush said. "I am determined to work with the United States Congress to turn these hopeful signs into lasting growth and greater prosperity and more jobs."

NasaWatch.INFO: If job creation is the real goal regarding making permanent the inheritance tax abolition favoring multimillionaires, then why are space-related reforms being almost completely ignored? 

 WashingtonTimes.com article: A growing quantity of influential conservatives are withdrawing their potential support of Bush during this electoral season, for spending like a drunken sailor in his  seemingly selfish bid for a re-election that escaped his father.

FoxNews.com editorial: "[In President Bush's speech] NASA was not just given the lead--it was apparently given sole responsibility. There was no mention of private enterprise, or of any activities in space beyond "exploration" and "science." It was encouraging to hear a president talk about the utilization of extraterrestrial resources, but only in the context of how to get to the next milestone.  This is the part of the policy that should be most vigorously debated in the coming months--not whether or not humans, and American humans, are heading into the cosmos, but how we get humans doing that who aren't only civil servants, and whether or not there are roles for other agencies, and sectors of society. Given NASA's track record, and in the interests of competition, the administration should in fact consider setting up a separate organization to manage this initiative, and put out portions of it to bid, whether from NASA, DARPA, other agencies, or the private sector. "

NASAWatch.INFO: Indeed, if the emperor lacks clothes, taxpayers need to know.

(NASAWatch.COM: "Don't talk to me.  Too many people are still wondering increasingly aloud how I let myself get duped into publicly talking up this "major plan" that wound up merely giving us another decade of the Shuttle monopoly which enriches the state of the president's brother, while buying more votes like the prescription drug entitlement did.   But no, I wasn't used or anything.   Why not?  Well, uh, because I enjoyed the favorable attention while it lasted.  And since I seldom do the patriotic thing, I'll continue to try and put favorable spins on this ripoff in hopes that some are dumb enough to believe that I broke some significant story, and without flagrant overstatements.  Do buy my book this summer, please.  Needless to say, I've got my empty palm waiting under the table... Would somebody put $omething in it, PLEASE?   CSI, perhaps?") 

                                         http://www.spaceref.com/company/advertising.html .  

  New York Times OpEd: "As it shoots for the moon, NASA should provide material encouragement to entrepreneurs who are making progress in developing human-rated spacecraft for popular use. It should also create incentive programs to reduce the cost of launching things into orbit, which is still the biggest challenge, and thus the greatest cost, in space flight. Name a price per pound: if a company can meet it, give it the money. That would help both NASA and the embryonic "space tourism" industry."

(NASAWatch.COM: "Ha!  I linked to it before YOU did.   Doesn't that make ME more pro-entrepreneurial than you guys, now?   Nah nah nah!")

NASAWatch.INFO:  If only there were so much justice in this world, Keith.  Notice how you did NOT include the following quote from that same article?  "Was Charles Lindbergh any less inspirational because he was, to put it bluntly, an aerial privateer chasing a cash prize?"  Why might that be, Keith?  Are you perhaps aligning yourself with a very small group of already-funded alternative contractors in hopes that they'll favor you and your closest sycophants later, while all sorts of potential innovators continue being sidelined by a scandalous lack of pro-entrepreneurial reforms which you "coincidentally" ignore?

(NASAWatch.COM: "I'm starting to acknowledge the potential value of competitive prizes. Regardless, I want you to be censored.  Now!")

  FloridaToday.com article: "[Former NASA historian and current NASA pundit Alex] Roland [of Duke University] also asserts that space shuttle development ran absurdly over budget. But this is also untrue. If one turns to page 23 of the report of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, you will see that NASA completed the shuttle for only 15 percent more than its projected development cost, "a comparatively small cost overrun for so complex a program," the report states."
      "The [International Space Station's] $8 billion cost first provided in 1984 was before the program was changed in dramatic ways, such as including the Russians and changing the scope of the project. More importantly, that number did not include assembly and operations costs. So comparing this to the actual costs is akin to comparing the cost of buying a new car to fueling, maintaining and insuring it for 15 years in addition to buying it. Second, the $100 billion cost that Roland cites for the anticipated costs of the International Space Station has been adjusted for inflation, whereas the 1984 cost has not. Roland is not the first person to do this -- it is a common tactic for space station critics to use -- but he is still being disingenuous. He understates the "promised" cost of the space station in order to exaggerate the difference between it and the actual cost and to once again bash NASA."

NASAWatch.INFO: Weren't NASA's initial projections regarding the Shuttle that it would fly FAR more often than it has and with far less labor-intensive maintenance work between flights? Wasn't the Shuttle touted as having the potential to bring down the cost of access to space in ways that purportedly justified NASA's NOT turning to genuinely entrepreneurial contractors like it is now [predictably] forced to do with FOREIGN launch service providers?  
   Meanwhile, didn't NASA's initial cost projections for the ISS two decades ago entail the space station's housing 12 people by now, instead of the two or three that it tends to (uncomfortably and even dangerously) host as of late? Second, hasn't inflation since 1984 apparently been less than 40%? Third, how is bringing in the Russians (which NASA said would save us money) something which excuses NASA's flagrant ISS-related cost-overruns? Indeed, haven't the Russians helped NASA save money regarding the ISS (while keeping it afloat)? Weren't annual operating expenses for privatized Mir (despite the controversially sabotaged tether export and thwarted academic outreach endeavors) under $100 million when the Russians and some entrepreneurs spending their OWN money were in exclusive control? And yet NASA's annual operating expenses for ISS are somehow justifiably much more for ISS?

  (NASAWatch.COM: "Hush! Author Dwayne Day served as an (only somewhat pro-statism biased) investigator for the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, and is a space policy analyst ("hack for hire") in Washington.   As intentionally misleading as his inept "analysis" is, I NEED him from time to time to help further my corrupt agenda in Beltway Banditland.  Indeed, I have publicly recommended that Florida Today hire him! Why do you have to rain on parades like you do whenever you smell a rat?

 WashingtonPost.com article: "[t]he White House this week succeeded in weakening provisions, previously agreed to by congressional negotiators, that would have assisted federal employees who are being forced to compete with private contractors for their jobs. Among other changes, Office of Management and Budget officials were able to strip out language that would have granted employees the right to appeal to the General Accounting Office if they lose job competitions under President Bush's "competitive sourcing" initiative."

NASAWatch.INFO:  After selling out future generations to the highly pandering, costly and socialist medicare "reform" program, standing up for privatizing more of D.C.'s bureaucracy is little more than the least our president could have done for our country's well-being.

(NASAWatch.COM: "I need for lazy, petty bureaucrats to be able to keep on viewing my sponsored websites at taxpayers' expense, and leaking national secrets to me for my own personal profit.  If I didn't think Sean O'Keefe would ultimately back down rather than endure my potential wrath, I'd be raising Caine about this. He knows which side his bread's buttered on, though.")

GovExec.com article: "The Office of Management and Budget will ask agencies to create multi-year plans for opening federal jobs to private sector competition as a prerequisite for receiving a "green" rating in competitive sourcing, according to a senior Bush administration official.  The plans, which will require agencies to subject a certain number of jobs to private competition over the next several years, will give OMB a tool to determine whether agencies deserve the top rating in competitive sourcing, OMB Deputy Director for Management Clay Johnson said in an interview with Government Executive."

NASAWatch.INFO: Must things really proceed this slowly?   What's stopping the Administration from pushing as hard for long overdue competitive sourcing?   Presumably it doesn't matter that the USA's foreign trade deficit (like its national debt) have recently reached record high levels?  

(NASAWatch.COM: "Keep on soft-pedaling!!!  I have allies to protect in the NASA bureaucracy and also within its pet contractor clique, so that they can keep on viewing my sponsored websites at taxpayers' expense, and leaking national secrets to me for my own personal gain while subverting possible attempts to officially ban access to my sponsored websites.")

NationalReview.com article: But what if the dyed-in-the-wool space lovers are right? What if private companies can compete to open up space, relieving the government of the need for massive subsidies, and putting individuals into space at their own risk — climbers on Everest? I suspect the threshold costs are too high for private businesses to play a serious role in getting us to Mars or the moon. And I don't think prizes or tax breaks will change this.

NASAWatch.INFO: What on Earth does it cost us to try out the competitive prizes and tax incentives approach?  Practically nothing.   

Would you like to see the latest news regarding U.S. politicians' views on space?


We have absolutely no affiliation with them.  It simply seems like a helpful resource...

WashingtonPost.com article:  "WASHINGTON - President Bush's plan to build a space station on the moon and eventually send astronauts to Mars hasn't grabbed the public's imagination, an Associated Press poll suggests. More than half in the poll said it would be better to spend the money on domestic programs rather than on space research....Just over half of Democrats' opposed the plan by "the United States." Once it was identified as a "Bush administration" plan, Democrats opposed it by a 2-to-1 margin."

NASAWatch.INFO: Can anyone rationally dispute the contention that if we want voters to support Bush's bold new agenda, then it has to be pro-entrepreneurial?  Competitive prizes empower folks in every state to dream that they can win and change the course of history forever. Money's easier to get when investors know there's a prize instead of some ephemereal market that even Beagle 2's charismatic Colin Pillinger couldn't find, after all. Along with that, it couldn't hurt to have property rights recognized in space, and space-related tax incentives as well.

    Hopefully "W" has learned from the first President Bush's bold space proposal's flop. The Administration has already taken an interesting step by leaking it through a Democrat-dominated, pro-statism media source. Now, in our democracy, the PEOPLE (especially voters) need to feel like they're actively involved, or at least know someone who is. If these projects are dealt out in monopoly-preserving contract form for the military industrial complex though, how long will they last? 

 Newsday.com article:  John Ashcroft announced modified federal hiring policies for the Justice Department, which will give weight not only to race and gender but ALSO to economic and geographic background. The latter approach extends attorney outreach to otherwise neglected groups, including economically and / or geographically diverse white men. "We made a concerted effort to not just concentrate on race and ethnicity" said Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, who was in charge of the diversity initiative before accepting a job at the Brookings Institute. Economic and geographic background are not covered by discrimination law and are not found in most affirmative action or diversity hiring plans.

NASAWatch.INFO:  Isn't it remarkable how NASA still pretends to offer certain ethnic minorities (but not others) a racial spoils system of government contracting preferences in exchange for their political support, while nevertheless sneakily keeping them down & dependent on the bureaucratic & parasitic central planners'  "NASA plantation"?  

 Keith Cowing, editor of NASAWatch.COM: "Nasawatch.com is kind of like the water cooler for everybody who has an issue to raise that they couldn't do through, you know, legitimate means."

NASAWatch.INFO:  "For everybody"?  Even the ones whose pro-entrepreneurial message doesn't gel with your self-serving, tax-leeching agenda?  When is the last time you even so much as hinted that downsizing at NASA would be a good thing? Heaven forbid that you might lose the loyalty of the tax-subsidized , frequently obese bureaucrats who reciprocate for your protecting their jobs by downloading your sponsored pages on government time, leaking national secrets to you, and doling out subsidies to your questionable projects such as the one on Devon Island.  There are SO many other conflicts of interest with your revenue-seeking "water cooler" that one can't overlook reading this analysis if one truly aspires to avoid being kept in the dark.

Keith Cowing, editor of NASAWatch.COM:  "I'm not even going to dignify any of that with a response.  How's THAT for a "rebuttal"?"

NASAWatch.INFO:  The new director of the National Republican Congressional Coalition actually brags [in his biography] about the following pork-endeavors on his website: "Reynolds prides himself on strong constituent casework, and in just the past two years, helped deliver more than $272 million in federal money to his Western New York Congressional District."  So much for fiscally responsible Republicans?

(NASAWatch.COM: "Let the others get distracted from the real issues.   Just don't ask me what I'm scheming (at taxpayers' expense) by posting the following plug for a D.C. lobbyi$t on my supposed watchdog website:

"I don't think the Congress is going to be unwilling to spend more. But they want to know it's going to solve the problems, and they want to know it's going to get you somewhere in the long run, that it's not just a short-term fix," said Jim Muncy, an independent space-policy consultant at PoliSpace, based outside Washington, D.C."  NASAWatch.COM Editor's Note: Word has it that OMB is considering a $380 million supplemental appropriations request which would address Shuttle repairs, upgrades, and what it would take to accelerate the Orbital Space Plane project."

NASAWatch.INFO: Why not disclose what you're getting out of this perpetuation of the status quo, Keith?

 WashingtonTimes.com article (authored by the Club for Growth): "The [recent] headline-grabbing number of 2.4 percent GDP growth, immediately applauded throughout the media as strong, is about double the real rate that the private economy grew. While the private economy grew at about 1.3 percent, the federal government component of GDP increased by a staggering 25 percent, the largest quarterly increase in more than three decades.  In 2001 and 2002, the government component of GDP was growing about 4 percent yearly, whereas private businesses increased their output by less than 1 percent. Since most Americans are employed by private businesses, not government, and since more than half of American workers are also stockholders and thus owners of the private-sector corporations in America, the growth of government does not make America's workers feel more prosperous in any way.... Here is our proposal: The conventional GDP numbers should be replaced with Private-Sector GDP. Private-Sector GDP would omit government spending from the calculations. This would allow us to measure how much the market-based economy is expanding over time. By excluding government spending, no longer would economists and policymakers automatically assume the Keynesian theory that increasing government spending increases economic output."

NASAWatch.INFO: Our $8 trillion dollar national debt just reached a record high level.  Meanwhile, NASA's budget keeps growing and growing even as its output declines.

 Cleveland.com article: "Concerned about a recent evaluation of the NASA Glenn Research Center that detected leadership and performance problems, Gov. Bob Taft has written the head of NASA, Sean O'Keefe, urging reform.  "We cannot continue to tolerate a situation that reflects poorly on NASA Glenn's able workers and fails to realize the center's full potential to contribute to national aerospace objectives and to the state's economic growth," Taft wrote O'Keefe in a letter dated June 6.  The federal government surveyed 100,000 federal workers, including NASA employees, and asked them questions related to their work and their bosses. Among U.S. space centers, NASA Glenn ranked lowest in 27 of 50 questions about leadership, performance and other areas.  Flush with highly educated scientists and supported by a budget of $750 million, the center has vast economic development potential. Yet most of that hasn't taken root locally, these groups say."

NASAWatch.INFO: How is it that it's o.k. to shut down military bases but not NASA centers?

(NASAWatch.COM: "I could generate a lot of sponsored pageviews by sensationalizing this kind of issue.  My civil servant allies at NASA Glenn had better kiss up to me by continuing to view my sponsored websites at taxpayers' expense, and leaking national secrets to me for my own personal profit.  Otherwise they'll not get the protection from me that they think they need in order to be able to continue making money from the space industry.   But I'm also a business associate with the Space Transportation Association's sporadic director, and its backers are after government pork... so I can't annoy the Administration.   What's a sold-out pseudo-journalist like me to do?")

MSNBC.com article: "IN A STUDY described in Britain’s Observer newspaper, Glen Newey, a political scientist at Britain’s University of Strathclyde, concluded that lying is an important part of politics in the modern democracy. “Politicians need to be more honest about lying,” he told the newspaper. According to Newey, whose findings were published by the government-funded Economic and Social Research Council, voters expect to be lied to in certain circumstances...the main cause of lying is increased probing by the public into areas that the government would rather not discuss candidly. If voters only asked fewer questions, politicians would tell them fewer lies."

(NASAWatch.COM: "I wish  that my various conflicts of interest (part I & part II) weren't scrutinized as much as they are nowadays, too.  I want a Pulitzer Prize, or something.").

NASAWatch.INFO: Then why keep corruptly ignoring how pro-entrepreneurial reforms are still thwarted?

On Thursday, April 17th of 2003, Beltway Banditland's very own "National Press Club" (http://npc.press.org) held a luncheon event at which Sean O'Keefe was to answer questions from the public.  Pretending to be transparent, NASA had sent out a massive e-mail on Tuesday, April 15th to the general public entitled "NASA ADMINISTRATOR SPEAKS AT NATIONAL PRESS CLUB". Conveniently enough for NASA, though, the NPC president happens to be Tammy Lytle, Washington Bureau Chief of the Orlando Sentinel.  How far is Orlando, Florida from NASA's pork-laden Kennedy Space Center, from which the wasteful, murderous and monopolistic Space Shuttle is launched?  About 50 miles. Needless to say, questions for Sean O'Keefe surprisingly had to be written (even as NASA pretends to care about the environment), and of course filtered through & selected by Tammy.   Tammy picked the speaker too, in fact. Meanwhile, despite the NPC's representation online that questions for Sean O'Keefe could be e-mailed from the general public, an NPC official privately disclosed that such questions would not be considered.  Receipt of such questions wasn't even acknowledged until the following week.
   Using our tax dollars as subsidies (for as long as our elected officials continue to allow), the National Public Radio helped pull of this pro-NASA publicity stunt with the NPC.  To attempt to hear the (for many computers inaccessible) NPC archive of the event, feel free to visit here: http://www.npr.org/programs/npc/index.html

(NASAWatch.COM: "Why should I report on this kind of deceptiveness involving our monopolistic space program's public relations endeavors?   If I'm a good boy,  I might get some sponsorship from some NASA contractor.   Hey, might anybody know anyone out there who might be interested?  Please(!) check our our latest advertising prices:  http://www.spaceref.com/company/advertising.html .   And try to forget about how the murderous Shuttle monopoly continues to violate President Bush's competitive sourcing mantra.  My business affiliate's pork-promoting Space Transportation Association sure would like for you to, so he can get paid.   Gosh, as you know, numerous press outlets need sponsorship and news-leaks to survive, just as you so inconsiderately analyze here.")

CNN.com article: "China retaliated on Thursday against a U.S. report critical of its human rights performance, accusing America of turning a blind eye to violations at home while "pretending to be the world's judge of human rights." A report by the State Council, or cabinet, titled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2002," was Beijing's answer to an annual State Department report highly critical of China's human rights record issued earlier this week. The Chinese report...accused the United States of having a "democracy of the rich" that was not representative of the majority."

NASA Watch.INFO: Pro-entrepreneurial space-related potential reforms (like some other long overdue legal changes in our country) are actually rather popular, but they didn't stand much of a chance before campaign finance reform became a reality fairly recently... 

Does Academia get marching & lobbying orders from NASA?  Have you seen how much tax-subsidized "academic pork" NASA doles out to so many different academic institutions each year?    Details are available here.
WashingtonPost.com article: " "The Bush administration is drafting an executive order that will delay the release of millions of historical documents for more than three years and make it easier to reclassify information that could damage national security."I thought that they might eliminate or sharply curtail all declassification," said Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists' government secrecy project. "That would have been consistent with this administration's preference for official secrecy." "

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