Disclaimer: This watchdog
website is obviously not affiliated in any way with NASA,
.NASA Watch . info
Below, you can
find some of our archived, truly commercial space
& press releases. Predictably enough, their essence
is usually ignored by our rival
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.
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
Some space & related scandals...
NASA press release: NASA Chief of Staff Courtney Stadd departed from NASA HQ on July 4th, 2003.
NASAWatch.INFO: He also headed the Bush Cheney transition team regarding NASA. Has NASA become even a little more significantly pro-entrepreneurial during the 2.5 years that he was the chief of staff there before taking the revolving door into the lucrative, favoritism-laden space private sector? If not, can we taxpayers please have our money back?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Hey! At least he behaved timidly so that I could keep on profiting at taxpayers' expense while our space program continued to languish in ways that directly benefit monopolistic government contractors that donate to my business affiliate's Space Transportation Association. Doesn't he deserve a medal for his polite complacency?")
AP article: "The government...has issued the first license for a manned suborbital rocket, a step toward opening space flight to private individuals for the first time."
NASAWatch.INFO: Why did you delay in posting that information, Keith?
"Why should I be pleased about this? Have you forgotten how
my SpaceRef business affiliate & space book co-author
is now heavily involved with Burt Rutan's government contract-seeking
competitor SpaceX? I know which side our bread is buttered
Space.com article: "NASA will start from the top down to change its internal culture....Starting with just a few NASA centers, the space agency hopes to make fundamental changes in its organizational culture and behavior that will reinforce its commitment to safety and support it's employees."
NASAWatch.INFO: This must be an election year or something. But notice how a real transformation at monopolistic, pork-laden NASA is nevertheless not being proposed? Where are the pro-entrepreneurial reforms?
FoxNews.com article: "Nearly 300 caucuses are currently active on Capitol Hill, according to a Congressional Quarterly report. They include 60 trade and business caucuses, 25 international issue caucuses and dozens of others formed to promote specific policies, ideologies, racial and ethnic pursuits. In 1995, the Republican-led House prohibited caucuses from using taxpayer funds for personnel, office space and materials. But that hasn't stopped the proliferation of these groups. Special interests like corporations, trade associations, unions and public policy think tanks help shoulder the cost by sponsoring Capitol Hill events, conferences and member trips, and even have formed their own foundations to raise money for and lobby lawmakers."
USAToday.com article: "[T]he members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation made no comments during the hearing about what is probably the most damning section in the recently released Columbia accident report -- and for good political reasons. Had they brought it up, it would have revealed Congress' own culpability in the failure of the United States' space program during the past two decades. The report described how, since the 1980s, nearly $5 billion -- practically as much as it cost to build the original shuttle fleet -- had been wasted in an effort to build some form of shuttle replacement. None of the programs NASA started -- and that Congress had approved -- ever got off the ground. Most of the programs never even built usable hardware. Each failure makes a strong case for turning to private enterprise... During the same years that NASA was wasting a fortune, a handful of new American rocket companies struggled to finance their own reusable launch systems. Two companies built hardware; one, Rotary, actually completed several manned test flights. Their designs were lean and mean; their estimated combined construction costs were about the same as what NASA had spent on blueprints. When the commercial launch industry went bust and their sources of venture capital went dry, these firms offered their services to NASA as cheap shuttle alternatives. But NASA was not interested. Funding these upstart and independent projects would have meant siphoning money from NASA's bloated bureaucracy. The companies went bankrupt, and no new launch system was ever completed."
NASAWatch.INFO: Would you believe that NASAWatch.COM defeated us in the race to linking to this impressively pro-entrepreneurial article? We must admiringly give credit where credit's due.
"Can anyone blame me for occasionally pretending to be "fair and
CNN.com article: Europe does the Moon for just "110 million euros (US $122 million)."
NASAWatch.INFO: Is anyone surprised that NASA has tried to fool the Europeans and other nations into partnering with NASA instead of competing against it? When there's competition, doesn't humanity win even if the NASA bureaucrats and pet contractors finally have to tighten their belt$?
"How ridiculous. Space is expensive. Plain and simple.
NASA has proven that. Now let's increase NASA's budget.
Anything less than an increase is a cut. My moles want more
NASAWatch.INFO: "Lori let's do it. Let's move to Mars!" Seriously though, what are the odds that we could manage to get a President Schwarzenegger in 2008?
(NASAWatch.COM: "What's wrong with having a President Gerry Brown?!? He let me disgrace him into being nicknamed "Governor Moonbeam". That's my kind of gullibility!)
FoxNews.com article: "While space is indeed challenging, there's no excuse for many of the management mistakes that have given us near-sighted telescopes, misguided space probes, the fiery loss of billions of dollars of hardware with its crews, and most tragically, the squandering of billions of dollars, and irreplaceable years, on mismanaged and misbegotten programs that were ostensibly to reduce the cost of space flight, but instead ended up lining the pockets of contractors while delivering, at best, hangar queens...Now, in the wake of the CAIB report, NASA is once more confronted with a need to change, something that it has never been able to do in the past, and seems institutionally incapable of doing now. It retains its monopoly on civil space, and its defenders continue to claim that there's no problem--it's just that space is hard. This is certainly a convenient excuse, because it allows them to continue to ask for more money, despite the disastrous track record for the past three decades."
NASAWatch.INFO: Like the pork-barreling politicians care? Regardless, as Ben Franklin said, the people have the government that they deserve. Space-related reforms are long overdue, and the sponsorship-seeking media outlets that conveniently ignore them warrant our scrutiny.
(NASAWatch.COM: "These Fox-sponsored, Libertarian OpEds are quite entertaining - but offer little else than an entertaining litany of past sins - real and imagined. These pundits complain about how bad NASA is - but never, ever offer a cogent solution to the problems they cite. Yawn.")
WashingtonTimes.com article: "Today the U.S. government's reaction to China's challenge should not be a new space race and bigger NASA budgets. Rather, the United States should turn to private providers in a free market to open outer space to all humanity... Since NASA already is considering major changes in light of the Columbia disaster, the Chinese launch should spur it to real innovation. It should phase out its flights to orbit and instead contract out for rides on private rockets. It should place space station management and expansion in private hands. And if it needs transitional vehicles, it should look to private suppliers for versatile systems that can serve commercial purposes. Further, the U.S. government should remove current barriers to private commercial space companies. For example, the Commercial Space Transportation office in the Federal Aviation Administration was created to speed the licensing process for private rocket launches. But other parties within the FAA want to classify many suborbital rockets as "experimental aircraft," which would foist enough new regulations on emerging private launch companies to kill them in the crib. And in 1999, export licensing was moved from the Commerce Department, which did a tolerable job of facilitating private American multinational space activities, to the State Department, which does a terrible one, again chaining American entrepreneurs to the ground."
FoxNews.com article: "Congress should be investigating whether or not it is appropriate for the government to even be doing business with Boeing, not bailing out the company."
Senator John McCain's statement: "I am troubled by the Air Force Secretary's submission of its report regarding the Boeing lease proposal. I continue to have grave concerns about the need for, and price of, this proposal, which is calculated to cost taxpayers about $20 billion over the next 6 years. The tankers were never requested by the Air Force before an authorizing provision was slipped into an appropriations bill. There was never a needs assessment or formal competitive bid process. On initial review, the report seems to state that the six-year lease (which does not include the purchase of the aircraft) will cost $1.9 billion more than buying the tankers outright. I understand that after the six-year lease the Air Force will have to return the tankers to Boeing or pay over $4 billion more to purchase them."
CNN.com article: "Federal officials said that the applications of the two [$15 billion X-Prize-contending] rocket teams have already been approved by the FAA. The teams are Scaled Composites, led by aviation maverick Burt Rutan, and Armadillo Aerospace, a Dallas group headed by John Carmack, a computer game designer who made a fortune on "Doom" and "Quake." There are 23 other registered groups from seven countries competing for the $10 million cash prize. There are teams from Russia, United Kingdom, Romania, Israel, Argentina and two from Canada. The rest are headquartered in the U.S."
NASAWatch.INFO: Have you noticed how NASA's $15 billion, annually, encourages so few aspiring participants?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Suborbital space travel's not even remotely as tough as ordinary space travel, though. Or at least that's what the jealous NASA clique hopes you'll believe.)
USAToday.com article: Microsoft's abuses are ongoing, says the European Economic Community's antitrust regulators.
NASAWatch.INFO: Isn't it intriguing how different governments representing educated citizens can sometimes reach such different conclusions regarding important high tech. matters? Perhaps much of this can be explained in terms of the extent of implementation of campaign finance reform in each advanced nation? Media bias also varies from region to region, in part due to differences regarding the pursuit of sponsorships, or newsleaks from insiders. Isn't it at least a little reassuring that despite pressures from the "international space station" groupies to reduce if not eliminate competition among nations regarding space, there will nevertheless be at least a few missions to Mars emanating from Europe which won't be that heavily tainted by inefficient, overpriced, monopolistic and downright corrupt NASA?
H.R. 1725: A House bill "to change the deadline for income tax returns for calendar year taxpayers from the 15th of April to the first Monday in November." Sponsor: Rep Roscoe G. Bartlett, [MD-6].
NASAWatch.INFO: This bill would make tax-filing season immediately precede elections. It already had 51 cosponsors as of July 30th, 2003.
CapWiz.com advisory: "Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain has introduced a resolution that would cut back substantially on pork-barrel projects being tucked into appropriations measures." McCain, along with several co-sponsors such as Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL), wants to change the rules of the Senate to make it easier to strip these projects out of certain bills. Members long have piggy-backed pork onto spending bills, for the benefit of their home districts. But it's so bad now that these projects cost $45 billion in the 2003 budget."
NASAWatch.INFO: What if
finance reform had existed in 2000, when McCain was outspent 9:1 by the
candidate who went on to lose the popular vote?
NASAWatch.INFO: Why not leave it up to genuinely empowered entrepreneurs to decide?
WashingtonPost.com article: "China's desires to roar into space are constrained by a tight budget. Xie said China has spent $2.2 billion over the past 11 years on its program, in comparison to NASA's annual $15 billion. Four previous unmanned space launches cost $100 million apiece, he said. The launch of Shenzhou 5, or Divine Vessel 5, carrying astronaut Yang, cost $120 million, Xie said, "but that is natural because there was a person aboard." Chinese budgetary statistics, particularly involving operations that are controlled by the military, such as the space program, are often artificially low. China's real defense budget, for example, is believed to be as much as three to four times higher than the one it publicly acknowledges."
NASAWatch.INFO: Why doesn't the Washington Post come forward with statistics about how well-funded it is by monopolistic and bloated U.S. aerospace sponsors such as Lockheed? The same can be asked of the rest of the U.S.A.'s sponsorship-seeking media, too.
CNN.com article: "Bob Walker, a space analyst and former congressman, said the Chinese program appears to be well-funded. "It's a very aggressive program where they're putting lots of resources into it, and they believe it's a part of their national destiny," he said. ...[n]o less than 270,000 are employed by the Chinese space program. Walker said it could be time for the United States to pay close attention to the growing Chinese program. "If the Chinese decide to take leadership in this area and decide to challenge us both commercially as well as perhaps strategically, then the United States has to make a very, very clear decision about whether or not we are going to advance our space technology or whether or not we are going to rest on our laurels of the past," Walker said.
NASAWatch.INFO: Do you remember Bob Walker? In July of 2000, he represented George W. Bush in a space policy debate on Capitol Hill, during which he said that if elected into office, a Bush Administration would take action on the recognition of private property rights in space. Since the election, though, nothing significant has happened. Now Mr. Walker's for-profit lobbying firm has clients such as Lockheed Martin which benefit from advocating what are arguably very questionable policies that tilt the playing field in their favor.
WashingtonTimes.com article: "[Author Rep. Robert S. Walker is a former congressman and was chairman of the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry. John W. Douglass, a member of the commission, is president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Industries Association.] The best deterrent to European competition is a strong U.S. aerospace industrial base. This means substantial and consistent government investment in research and development, as well as military programs to foster new technologies. Such government stimulus will encourage investment in the industry and support a supplier base for both commercial and military aircraft. This, in turn, will help address one of the industry's other pressing problems a diminished workforce. Aerospace employment is at its lowest level since record-keeping started in 1953. Ironically, Europe and the U.S. are each others' largest aerospace markets. So we have ample reason to continue transatlantic discussions, currently underway through organizations like the Aerospace Industries Association, to set common industry definitions and standards. Progress here will make cooperation easier while better defining areas of competition." "
NASAWatch.INFO: In the abovementioned
Washington Times passage, we see a subtle call for still more competition
from federal programs against potential space entrepreneurs (at taxpayers'
expense). Wasn't Andrew
Beal's having to compete against government programs one of the cited
reasons that he shut down his quarter of a billion dollar space operation
prior to the 2000 elections? Meanwhile, nowhere in that Times
article do we see the advocating of pro entrepreneurial legal
(NASAWatch.COM: "What an obnoxious line of questioning! Far be it from ME to ask something like that at MY purported watchdog website. It's not like *I* want the status quo to improve. I've devised ways for my soap opera digest of space to profit from the current problems, after all.")
NASAWatch.INFO: Can you believe how
the sponsorship-seeking space
media is practically ignoring how much smaller China's space budget
is than bloated and under-achieving NASA's? Here are
as reported by a seemingly neutral source. Meanwhile,
George W. Bush has been publicly asked about his views regarding the Chinese
space program and here
is the videoclip of his response.
NASAWatch.COM: "What does a former NASA historian know about the history of NASA? There's only one ideal solution here. More tax dollars should subsidize the Shuttle program, and especially my bureaucrat and contractor allies. Let them take credit for U.S. space endeavors, while keeping Carmack, Rutan & Bezos close to where Beal wound up. Jeb Bush deserves this for Florida."
NASAWatch.INFO: Never mind how the Russians haven't lost a life in space in over 3 decades even as a trip to space on a Russian Soyuz costs about 25 times less? Why not offer NASA-funded competitive prizes to private industry while enacting other pro-entrepreneurial reforms as well?
FoxNews.com article / WashingtonTimes.com article: Even as the Wright Brothers were the first to fly, the tax-subsidized & co-opted Smithsonian museum nevertheless tried to claim the title for its own ally whose tax-subsidized "rig" fell into the Potomac River during its attempted take-off. The Smithsonian did not [temporarily] correct its misrepresentation until decades later, after Americans seeking to set the record straight called the scandal's attention to an overseas competitor known as the Science Museum of London, in 1928.
NASAWatch.INFO: Misleading people in Washington
D.C.? Gee what a surprise.
"I'm lucky she doesn't care about space corruption here in our nation's
Will ProSpace be engaging in its usual government contract-seeking, deceptively secretive shenanigans related to its "March Storm" charade conducted at volunteers' and congressional staffers' expense? For an analysis of what ProSpace typically does, please click here. Meanwhile, here's an analysis of the parasitic corruption that plagues nearly all U.S. space lobbies.
Yahoo News article: Bush officials: our new space initiatives will be undertaken "within a framework of fiscal responsibility."
FoxNews.com article: "Total federal spending in 2003 topped $20,000 per household for the first time since World War II, Riedl said, and is set to grow another $1,000 per household in 2004. New spending has gone up by $296 billion from 2001 through the 2003 budget year. Of that, 34 percent, or $100 billion, has gone to defense. The cost of homeland security, clearing the wreckage of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and money for victims and international assistance and security, has totaled 11 percent of new spending, or about $32 billion. Fifty-five percent, or $164 billion in new spending, is unrelated to national security, going to such programs as unemployment benefits, education, and healthcare, Riedl said. Combined with tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and the downturn in the economy, new spending pushed the federal budget into a $374 billion deficit in 2003, the largest dollar amount on record. The Congressional Budget Office and the White House have projected a $450 billion deficit for 2004."
NewsMax.com article: Many young idealists - liberal and conservative - arrive in Washington "with a pocketful of dreams and good intentions," but soon are seduced by the "natural tendency of any person in a new venue" to want to be "accepted, and to be part of the action."... The "big shots, media celebrities, and visiting glitterati" can obscure the goals of a young idealist who arrives here to "make a difference."... The late House Speaker Sam Rayburn advised incoming freshmen that they would be wise to "go along to get along." [Unfortunately] Washington... "is the only city in America that makes [almost] its entire living off the rest of the country. The city produces [almost] nothing. It only taxes, regulates, spends, and compels through the use of force...The city is involved in an eternal love affair with itself."
NASAWatch.INFO: We inserted the "[almost]" there twice, but reluctantly...
(NASAWatch.COM: "It's merely Tuesday and yet you're already being rude to us Beltway Bandits again!")
Space.com article: "Tourist-class seats will be available on a Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station in 2004-2005."
NASAWatch.INFO: Did you know that despite numerous invitations from the official Russian Cultural Centre in Washington D.C., absolutely nobody from NASA attended their 40th anniversary celebration of the first female's flight into space on June 17th, 2003 even though it was held in our own nation's capital?
Could the competitive threat that the Russians inspirationally pose to NASA's overpriced near monopoly on launching humans into space be responsible? Why are U.S. taxpayers still being forced to subsidize a Shuttle program that costs dozens of times more to launch humans into space? The Russian system hasn't lost anyone in space in well over 3 decades. How about NASA? By the way, doesn't NASA claim it's so interested in women's progress that it deserves all that extra money even as it ignored Valentina's recent official event, during which the Centre's beautiful space library was essentially inaugurated? And did you know that NASA didn't send a woman into space until 2 decades after Valentina went? And are you aware of what NASA did to privatized Mir while imposing its own space station fiasco on U.S. taxpayers?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Shush!!! Stop posing a threat to my NASA bureaucrat alllies, who generate pageviews on my sponsorship-seeking websites and who leak gossip to me for my soap opera digest of space, all at taxpayers' expense!")
NASAWatch.INFO: So if they discovered oil in space, would Bush's campaign contributors prod him to empower us to invade space too (by finally having NASA fund competitive prizes)?
CNN.com article: The founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, has created a firm called Blue Origin "to pursue his dream of establishing an enduring human presence in space..."With the cocky self-assurance of entrepreneurs, they believe they can re-engineer rockets from the ground up, with modern information-technology systems, to accommodate spaceflight at a significantly lower cost than government bureaucrats now incur," Newsweek reports (here).
Scaled Composites website: "Scaled Composites recently unveiled the existence of a commercial manned space program. This previously hidden, active research program has been in the works at its facility for two years."
XCOR press release: XCOR successfully tests new engine.
NASA Watch.INFO: Isn't it revealing how jealous NASA still won't offer competitive prizes to incentivize such companies which post risks to NASA's Shuttle monopoly? When (if ever) will NASA offer competitive space prizes which reward a launching company for its efficiency instead of its having the most lobbyists, or the most (job-seeking) friends in government bureaucracy? Meanwhile, why aren't numerous other pro-entrepreneurial reforms becoming a reality either?
WashingtonTimes.com article: "[T]op executives of companies including Unilever PLC, Boeing Co. and Pfizer Inc. are urging global trade negotiators to limit their agendas in Cancún to reaching accords on farm subsidies and access to cheap drugs."
NASAWatch.INFO: Gee. And who ever suspected that Boeing was inclined to take steps to try and protect its niche, anticompetitively?
CNN.com article: "With NASA under orders to fix its safety culture in the wake of the Columbia tragedy, industrial psychologists and management wizards say extreme measures may be needed: a purge at the top, the return of Apollo-era decision-makers, more businesslike behavior, possibly even a new name."
NASAWatch.COM: "A new name? But then what good would my revenue-generating NASAWatch.com[munists] domain address be?!? The playing field would become less slanted in my favor then. No! I like the inertia. Heads will roll if they do this! I can blackmail people in power..."
NASAWatch.INFO: Phillip Morris tobacco
recently changed its name now that it says it won't slaughter people as often,
or hinder economic growth as much. So did the U.S.S.R. Why not
NASAWatch.INFO: Whatever happened to campaign promises of fiscal conservatism & discipline?
"Can't you just keep quiet and let 'em spend spend spend?
My allies depend on the
WashingtonPost.com article: Senate Science Committee Chairperson John McCain does, indeed, plan to run for the Senate again in 2004. "[He] also intends to continue his fight against "pork-barrel" spending, including lawmakers' favorite projects, although he has had little success on that front."
NASA Watch.INFO: Senator McCain has
publicly said that NASA often stands for "never a straight answer." How much
of an impact might he have on fighting the perennial funding of wasteful
Here's his conservative reforms website, at which one can subscribe
to his free newsletters:
WashingtonPost.com article: "In fact, [Professor John] Logsdon said, "human spaceflight had become a place where dissent was not welcome." He attributed this "organizational pathology" to NASA's long-standing cultural defensiveness, sense of isolation from the public and know-it-all culture -- a sense that they are "special and more knowledgeable than anyone else."
NASAWatch.INFO: Isn't it remarkable how NASAWatch.COM's editor didn't publicly criticize that quoted source until AFTER Mr. Logsdon was no longer close enough to the NASA inner circle to be of sufficient use as a potential mole or policy shaper?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Whadya mean I'm being hypocritical by publishing the following critique of him: "Nice observation, John. Correct me if I am wrong, however, but I really do not recall you talking like this when you were on the NASA Advisory Council under Dan Goldin."?!? Why can't you simply remember what I want you to remember and forget the rest? After all, dissension's fine as long as it's not directed at me or those that help me earn a living. That did it. You just wait!")
Dow Jones Business News article: "[There is] a long list of Pentagon officials who have taken jobs at companies whose fortunes are made in large part through government contracts. Pentagon officials say there's no law against taking such jobs. The only restriction is a limit on personal contact with the Pentagon for a year or two, depending on the job."
NASAWatch.INFO: Would you believe that the other NASA Watch linked to this before we did? We're impressed.
(NASAWatch.COM: "Will you finally stop policing me now? I've got bills to pay, ya know.")
Air Force Press Release: Boeing gets penalized.
Yahoo.com article: "Lockheed Given $1 Billion in Boeing Deals"
NASAWatch.INFO: Did you notice how no competitive prizes are being offered which could enable Boeing's & Lockheed's potential competitors, though? Has anyone forgotten how the Bush Administration has peculiarly ignored its own "competitive sourcing" mantra regarding the murderous Space Shuttle monopoly that funnels so many of our tax dollars with brother Jeb's state of Florida?
Space.com article: Kistler files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and sheds up to $600 million in debt.
it seem pretty clear that amidst Boeing's whining and blackmailing
regarding how indispensable it supposedly is to taxpayers despite its misdeeds
against them, we should enact pro-entrepreneurial
reforms for the benefit
of competing launch companies?
NASA Watch.INFO: What's kind of interesting is how the state government regulators are suddenly changing their policies, in ways that are drastically detrimental to such non-petro-consuming vehicles. When this kind of thing happens in OTHER countries we suspect bribery of one form or another is transpiring. But that couldn't be taking place in this country, right? After all, isn't the petroleum industry patriotically eager to wean us all from our unhealthy dependence on it?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Why should I care about,
let alone cover, the government's failure to enable private industry
to replace tax-subsidized NASA?! Admittedly the private sector is more
efficient than our bureaucratic, contractor-manipulated space program.
Hopefully NASA won't fix its corrupt & inefficient way of doing
business, though. Otherwise, why would anyone want to bother to visit my
soap opera digest of space to read gossip about the latest mishaps committed
with your increasingly scarce tax dollars, especially considering how our
national debt has reached an all time high of
dollars? This is yet another reason why I don't want
reforms to materialize.
USAToday.com article: "The House approved a $2.2 trillion budget for next year early Friday (March 21st) embracing President Bush's tax-cutting plan for bolstering the economy after top Republicans appealed to GOP lawmakers to show wartime unity... "I'd describe it as patriotic intimidation that's going on," said Rep. Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn., describing the session..."The Republican plan allows U.S. troops to go into a war today and then slashes their veterans benefits by billions when they return tomorrow because their budget needs those billions from veterans to fund a $90,000 tax cut per millionaire," said Steve Israel, D-N.Y. [A]nnual federal deficits [are] expected to set records exceeding $300 billion."
NASAWatch.INFO: Meanwhile, space-related 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)?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Oh, just hush about pork barreling & bureaucratic wastefulness! I need the bureaucrats to remain powerful and with lots of time on their hands so they can leak news & gossip to me in time for my $haring it with my mSpace instant news customers. Besides, have you callously forgotten that the SpaceRef venture in which I very actively participate also includes the president of the decreasingly subsidized but still pro-pork and pro big government Space Transportation Association? Can't you cease with the unfavorable scrutiny of the Shuttle monopoly (etcetera) at least until I can get paid off for continuing to conveniently "look the other way" regarding how numerous potential competitors keep getting excluded while the lion's share of tax dollars continue going to a couple of supposedly "competing" companies? I want Boeing & Lockheed to remain fat, happy & generou$ to the "unbiased" Space Transportation Association, after all...")
Huh? Wouldn't it be better for our country to abolish
taxation on pioneering space-related ventures for BEFORE 2011, before fighting
to extend tax-free treatment of inheritance of vast wealth for beyond
2011? Space tax incentive
bills already have plenty of congressional sponsors, so why does the
White House think that not embracing them while nevertheless striving to
achieve a permanent (post-2011) ban on the "death tax" for
multi-millionaires is so much more likely to boost the GOP's electoral prospects?
NASAWatch.INFO: Huh?!? To learn more about President Bush's admirable endeavor to reform the notoriously inefficient & corrupt federal civil service so that it will finally be less cumbersome to fire more of the deadweight & opportunistic bureaucrats at NASA and elsewhere, please click here.
"Oh just shush!!! I need for as many bureaucrats to remain comfortably
employed at NASA as possible so that they can keep on viewing my sponsored
websites at taxpayers' expense, and leaking national secrets to me for my
own personal profit.")
NASAWatch.INFO:And yet NASA still isn't funding competitive prizes? Do its pet contractors fear competition or something?
NASA is now helping to sponsor Odyssey Of The Mind, a creative problem solving competition involving numerous students. NASA is challenging students to design, build and run three small vehicles to transport items from an Orbit Area to an Assembly Station in space.
NASAWatch.INFO: So the use of competitive prizes is deemed effective enough by NASA for the sake of indoctrinating kids (future taxpayers & voters whose parents presently pay taxes & vote). Isn't it peculiar, though, how NASA nevertheless isn't offering adequate competitive prizes for its actual procurement?
RocketContest.org: NASA was actually a partner in a $59,000 competitive prize that was split among 5 winning student teams that launched model rockets in May of 2003.
NASAWatch.INFO: What?!? Have Bruce Mahone and David Logdsdon at the Aerospace Industries Association somehow managed to help gradually change the paradigm regarding NASA procurement? Could this be the start of bigger and better competitive prizes to come for the aerospace industry, and hopefully next time with a far less negligible percentage of NASA's $15 billion dollar annual budget? Stay tuned...
(NASAWatch.COM: "Needless to say, my coverage of that rocket contest makes NO suggestion whatsoever that NASA should offer competitive prizes: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=818 ")
Business Week article: "Californians voted out an incumbent who failed to make the tough decisions to balance the budget. The pro-recall supporters included 47% of Hispanics and 46% of union members, according to an ABC News exit poll analysis. But another incumbent who has failed to make the tough decisions to balance the budget will be on the Presidential ballot next year. The California recall demonstrates that many voters are really mad at incumbents and aren't afraid to fire them [in favor of political neophytes]. President Bush's approval ratings have plummeted in California -- more rapidly than they have nationally. That can't be good news for the White House."
NASAWatch.INFO: Did you know that around 18 U.S. states have recall provisions for their elected leaders?
USA Today editorial (by James Oberg): "NASA needs an inspiring leader, not just a competent manager, to guide it out of this wilderness and set a course for the next decade and beyond...New faces at the very top either in the administrator's office or in the close circle of his top advisers are going to be needed. Nothing less will be adequate to set NASA on a course toward healing itself and regaining the nation's confidence."
NASAWatch.INFO: How different would NASA finally be if Burt Rutan became the new Administrator? Regardless, if some feel that Sean "Orbital Spaceplane [instead of competitive prizes]" O'Keefe won't go unless George W. Bush does, it's worth mentioning that Bush's contract's due for renewal (or rejection) in November of 2004. Captains go down with their ship and the USA is more indebted and with a larger foreign trade deficit than it was when George H.W. Bush was leading in the polls at this time in 1991. Indeed, our $6.7 trillion dollar national debt has nearly doubled since then, while our country's population has gotten significantly older.
of NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, October 2002:
NASAWatch.INFO: Could this "revolving door" into the lucrative private sector aspiration be at least part of why long overdue pro-entrepreneurial reforms essentially are not materializing?
(NASAWatch.COM: "I'm not going there. There's too much money to be made for me behind the scenes.")
USAToday.com article: "Former Pentagon official Richard Perle resigned Thursday as chairman of a group that advises Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on policy issues, saying he did not want a controversy over his business dealings to distract from Rumsfeld's management of the war in Iraq... He became involved in another controversy stemming from an article in The New Yorker that said he had lunch in January with Saudi-born businessman Adnan Khashoggi and a Saudi industrialist. The industrialist, Harb Saleh Zuhair, was interested in investing in a venture capital firm, Trireme Partners, of which Perle is a managing partner. Nothing ever came of the lunch in Marseilles; no investment was made. But the New Yorker story, written by Seymour M. Hersh, suggested that Perle, a longtime critic of the Saudi regime, was inappropriately mixing business and politics. Perle called the report preposterous and "monstrous."
NASAWatch.INFO: When was the last time somebody from the NASA monopoly resigned due to conflicts of interest? Meanwhile, perhaps the Administration should pay greater attention to the farewell address warnings of Republican and former General Dwight D. Eisenhower which Ike made after serving 8 years in the Oval Office?
WashingtonTimes.com article: " Since December, the Treasury Department has pushed Congress to increase the $6.4 trillion debt limit, but no legislation to raise it has been offered. On Feb. 19, Treasury Secretary John W. Snow said in a letter to congressional leaders that he was no longer able to "fully invest" in the federal employee retirement system and avoid exceeding the limit. While pointing out that such an accounting maneuver was taken by his predecessors last year and in 1995, Mr. Snow urged Congress to raise the debt limit to "maintain the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, especially at this critical time."...."We are going to hold the Republicans' feet to the fire on raising the debt limit," said House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat. "It is directly related to their mismanagement of the country's budget and the economy, which has created huge deficits that will burden our children with a 'debt tax.' " "
NASAWatch.INFO: Sure, why not add more to our record high $6.4 trillion dollar national debt? Our population's probably older than ever, our foreign trade deficit's definitely higher than ever, and besides...it's not THEIR money that those beltway bandits are spending...
WashingtonTimes.com article: "With a GOP majority, the new federal budget angers conservatives...The [spending] surge comes with Republicans having control of the federal spending process [for the duration] for the first time since 1954, under President Dwight Eisenhower. "
WashingtonTimes.com article: "Negotiations over the long-delayed 2003 omnibus spending bill have added billions of dollars in additional funding for the military, Amtrak, Medicare and drought relief, leaving doubts about whether the final product can fit under President Bush's $390 billion limit on nonmilitary spending."
NASAWatch.INFO: Rather than throw more money at the problem (NASA), why not simply make it finally fund competitive prizes in pursuit of a Shuttle replacement and other achievements that numerous space entrepreneurs would love to get to offer? Is our record high $6.4 trillion dollar national debt not already high enough for our rapidly aging population?
SFGate.com article: Reversing course, President Bush is no longer so sure he's been to Texas' Johnson Space Center before.
NASAWatch.INFO: Is NASA basically just a way to funnel pork to defense contractors Boeing & Lockheed nowadays? They're "competitors" which paradoxically joined forces to form United Space Alliance (USA), the monopolistic operator of the Space Shuttle. Critics say that if our elected officials really cared about achieving breakthroughs in space, or in giving Boeing & Lockheed meaningful competition, then why has the initiative apparently fizzled whereby NASA would start offering competitive prizes instead of corruption-inspiring government contracts? That initiative emerged from former NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver of the Clinton Administration, but was nixed by a Republican-controlled Congress. Now it seems that practically all advanced nations except ours have cheaper access to space, even as NASA continues having a larger budget than all the rest of the world's civilian space agencies combined (source: Euroconsult-ec.com).
GovExec.com article: "A prominent civil rights group on Saturday vowed to step up its efforts to protect federal work from contractors, arguing that the Bush administration's competitive sourcing initiative disproportionately endangers jobs held by minorities and women. "We need to get together and lay out a game plan [to prevent outsourcing]," said Leroy Warren, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Federal Sector Task Force..."
There is NO federal holiday dedicated to a single American in this country other than Martin Luther King day. It began in 1986, after bureaucrats threatened to withold federal funding from states refusing to celebrate the birthday of this doctor of divinity who nevertheless engaged in a considerable amount of marital infidelity. Anyhow, in practically any other country there's a holiday dedicated to the parent of the country, but not in the USA. Not even George Washington has a federal holiday in his honor nowadays. All presidents' birthdays were consolidated into merely "Presidents' Day". Does this peculiarity not show an inherent bias on the part of federal bureaucrats to pretend to be helping blacks even as they keep them down & dependent on the bureaucrats' plantation? For instance, the bureaucrats won't offer competitive prizes to empower black entrepreneurs like billionaire aerospace enthusiasts such as Robert Johnson or Donald Watkins. Central planners insist on offering contracts instead, and merely for those who (counterproductively) certify themselves as being ethnically disadvantaged. Ironically, though, Dr. King said "judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin." But we're talking about a cash cow for the central planners, so instead of liberating blacks with competitive prize offerings that they can win, they get a special holiday instead. Wouldn't the majority of them prefer to have the prizes, no matter what fundraisers pretending to represent them say?
(NASAWatch.COM: "What does this vitriolic stuff have to do with space?!?")
NASAWatch.INFO: Oh who are you fooling, you
predictably statist, hypocritically pandering bigot... As for
anyone with integrity, feel free
Space.com article: Senate recommends a funding boost for NASA.
VA-HUD FY-OF House Appropriations Bill, U.S. House Committee on Appropriations:
"NASA is funded at $15.1 billion, $229 million below last year and $1.1 billion below the request. The bulk of these savings come from the elimination of funding for new initiatives."
NASAWatch.INFO: Notice how some pork barrelers tried to cloak the pork-laden, wasteful part of NASA's requested budget increase with the [pathetically small] competitive prizes initiative? Will Congress throw the baby out with the bathwater by extinguishing prizes along with some of the pork, though?
"Prizes don't work! Please start thinking that prizes
don't work (for my allies' sake)! Despite my token recognition
of the concept once in a great while, I'm highly uncomfortable
with NASA's offering
competitive prizes. Keep
trying to fund them privately and leave my bureaucrat & contractor
allies' $16 billion annual budget completely alone. Can't you keep
quiet until all of Congress finally affirms the latest civil service
pork initiative? I have
bureaucratic and contractor allies to protect, so they can keep on viewing
my sponsored websites at taxpayers' expense, and leaking national secrets
to me for my own personal profit.
In exchange, one never knows how I could subsequently benefit "friends' " ability to get their own tax-subsidized government contracts at their competitors' expense. That is, of course, unless they don't display sufficient gratefulness to me whenever I feel like demanding it. Sure it's a corrupt industry, but I gotta pay the bills somehow and I sure as heck don't care about space nearly as much as I care about my own ability to extract a profit off of taxpayers and predictably disappointed stargazers.")
(NASAWatch.COM: "Stop linking to Space.com
articles!!! I despise Space.com. Why? I don't
know why. Who has time to answer such questions... Go away, or stop
asking me prying questions! Hey, come to think of it, that's kind of
what I told Space.com when they wouldn't offer me enough money for my
own website(s) during their buying spree, thereby forcing me to try and eek
out a living after the .com financial fallacy had already
been exposed. So then I repeatedly tried to disgrace them
(especially Lou Dobbs) into buying me out just to be able to shut me
up, but that didn't work either.
NASAWatch.INFO: Have you noticed how the protectionist aerospace cabal of contractors, bureaucrats and politically manipulative types haven't let our space program finally fund competitive prizes to reward the first companies that relatively swiftly bring about a replacement for that over-priced, conveniently labor-intensive and central planner-aggrandizing Shuttle monopoly?
InterestAlert.com article: "[Social Security's] cash flow will be in the red in 2018 and the program's money will be exhausted in 38 years and "neither of those dates have changed since last year's report. Part of the growing problem is the 76 million baby boomers who will be retire and file for Social Security in the next couple of decades."
Space.com article: Bush proposes humans to the Moon [basically by 2020], and to Mars [basically by 2030].
NASA Watch.INFO: Did you notice the dates, folks? What's wrong with this statist picture? WashingtonPost.com article: "-- A fourth [C-SPAN] channel [is] ready to start up instantly if the Supreme Court ever agrees to let the cameras in --"
NASAWatch.INFO: Why would the Supremes allow for such transparency which could call attention to how they hear probably just 1% of all the the cases appealed to them in our democracy? Isn't it the case that in some other countries the Supreme Court hears ALL of them?
Space.com article: "[Regarding Lunar exploration, NASA must use] data purchases, and other approaches that put new exploration infrastructure into commercial hands like contests and long-term leases. I've heard rumors that some academic labs or other contractors have been told to begin designing yet another Federal space probe, but there's still hope that NASA will obey the law," said David Gump, President of LunaCorp, based in Reston, Virginia.
NASAWatch.INFO: There comes a time when diplomatic approaches are exhausted and...
(NASAWatch.COM: "How can you call yourself diplomatic when you never sold out like I did? You won't see ME covering this sort of law-related scandal. I'm a biologist who is above such things.")
WashingtonPost.com article: "The Senate [recently] approved a $390 billion "omnibus" package grouping all of the remaining spending bills but a final version will still have to be negotiated with the House."
Space.com article: "If the Senate recommendations become law, NASA would be looking at a roughly $14.7 billion budget, about $200 million less than it got for 2002..."
Would we not get a much bigger "bang" for
our tax-bucks if pro-entrepreneurial
reforms were finally enacted?
Maybe these long overdue potential budgetary pressures can prompt NASA
to help make them so now that we have a president who believes
in competitive sourcing.
USAToday.com article: "Eight years after wresting control of the House of Representatives, the party that waged the "Republican Revolution" has become somewhat less revolutionary. House Republicans have grown less enamored with term limits. They have reversed some ethics reforms and rules aimed at budget discipline. Their leaders have tightened their grip on power."
NASAWatch.INFO: Their receptiveness towards Newt Gingrich's recommendation of NASA-funded competitive prizes seems rather revealing, as well. Perhaps we're somehow expected to forget how our national debt has reached an all time record high $6.3 trillion dollar level. And perhaps we're not supposed to mind the traditional aerospace oligopoly's unimpressive & wasteful performance regarding space.
WashingtonPost.com article: "President Bush will propose a 2 percent pay increase for civilian federal employees in fiscal 2004...The pay proposal is an attempt to fix a "broken" compensation system in which most federal pay raises are determined by longevity rather than results, administration officials said. The federal pay system has been in a time warp for over 50 years," said Mark Everson, deputy director for management in the Office of Management and Budget..."
GovExec.com article: "The Senate Thursday passed a $390 billion fiscal 2003 omnibus appropriations package that includes a 4.1 percent pay increase for civilian federal employees this year...In its fiscal 2003 budget last February, the Bush administration proposed a 2.6 percent raise for civilian federal workers."
NASA Watch.INFO: Wasn't inflation around 2% last year, if that high? Have the bureaucrats been so productive that they've earned such an exorbitant raise while most in the private sector feel lucky to even have jobs with which they must nevertheless pay taxes to subsidize the bureaucrats' parasitism? Are the bureaucrats not largely to blame for our economic woes, as the privatized Mir story demonstrates?
USAToday.com article: "President Bush's job approval rating as he nears the middle of his term has dropped below 60% for the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll has found."
NASAWatch.INFO: Perhaps it's partially due to how our national debt recently reached an all-time high of $6.3 trillion dollars, while government wastefulness in our space program (and other agencies) still abounds? Just how much progress (or lack thereof) have space-related legal reforms made? And with a quota system intact, have minorities had any incentive to potentially rock the boat by demanding pro-entrepreneurial reforms that could benefit everyone (themselves included)?
Virginia Senator George Allen won't chair the space subcommittee despite previous rumors to the contrary from NASAWatch.COM. Could a NASA center closure be in store for Virginia or elsewhere?
NASAWatch.INFO: Our national debt recently reached an all-time high of $6.3 trillion dollars. Meanwhile, according to this TaxFoundation.org chart: for every tax dollar that Virginia sent to Washington D.C. in 1999, it got back $1.53. That was the 7th highest rate-of-return in the entire country. And as for former Senate Majority Leader Senator Trent Lott's Mississippi, for every dollar it sent to Washington in 1999 it got back $1.69, giving that state the nation's 4th highest rate of return. Hundreds of millions in annual funding go to NASA: Langley & NASA: Stennis, according to this NASA chart. Could Trent Lott's recent resignation as Senate Majority Leader have an impact on Stennis, just like the end of the Cold War impacted so many (now closed) military bases?
"Don't mess with my livelihood, reformers. Bureaucrats give me
potentially sponsored pageviews, government contract-related favors, and
national secrets-oriented gossip for me to publish. All I have to
do in exchange is offer them protection however I can.")
NASAWatch.INFO: Is space really so difficult that the president's rather pro status quo aerospace commission can't have similarly disinterested members?
WashingtonPost.com article: "President Bush has named a commission to look into privatizing part of the [highly inefficient and predictably unionized] United States Postal Service. The investigation is part of Bush's plan to allow private contractors to compete for nearly half of the government's civilian jobs in coming years. The post office has lost $6 billion since 1971 and owes the government $11 billion when borrowing from taxpayer funds is included, according to administration figures. USPS finances were recently improved by a postage rate increase that took effect in June, though, when the cost of a first-class stamp went up 3 cents, to 37 cents. Officials have projected a surplus of $600 million this fiscal year."
Former Congressman Bob Walker, director of the
Wexler & Walker Public Policy
Associates lobbying firm who has also chaired the Bush Administration's
Aerospace Commission, will
serve on this commission. Hopefully pro-entrepreneurial, and genuinely
cost-cutting recommendations will emerge. Should
the Postal "service" really continue giving FedEx a monopoly, for
One of the most recent official reports from AerospaceCommission.gov...
NASAWatch.INFO: What's noteworthy isn't so
much the reforms they recommended, but rather the pro-entrepreneurial
reforms that they did
not recommend... How did they manage to (conveniently?) ignore
Lori Garver's formally testifying before
the entire commission that NASA should offer
competitive prizes just
as other federal agencies are already doing? Might there be a
conflict of interest involved among those who profit from the status quo
while nevertheless claiming to want to "mend" it in their capacity as
a member of the tax-subsidized U.S. Aerospace Commission?
NASAWatch.INFO: Have you seen the September 29th,
2002 edition of the Space Transportation Association's SpaceLift Washington,
"5. Commercialization should not become an excuse for the federal government to avoid its traditional role as funding source for advanced research and development for space. Prizes, competitions, commercial programs and services are all essential parts of the space community. But none are going to have the deep pockets to fund these technologies alone. If they could do so, we'd be flying grandma into space on a regular basis by now. "
How could anybody possibly know? Has NASA
ever funded any adequate competitive prizes before? Has
NASA ever funded ANY competitive prizes before, for that matter? Is
it not true that adequate prizes tend to leverage or attract far greater
than their amount in terms of competing private sector investments pursuing
such prizes? Scaled Composites'
Burt Rutan is one of several who would support that contention, in fact.
(NASAWatch.COM: "If you want SpaceRef to try and make money in a less dishonest way, start by finding us some adequately paying sponsors to replace the Discovery Channel's lost account! Here are our rates: http://www.spaceref.com/company/advertising.html )"
Space.com article: In the wake of the latest Shenzhou mission's recent successful return from space, China could be sending humans into space fairly soon...
NASAWatch.INFO: Would it not appear (based on this analysis of China's space program) that the Chinese (like the Russians) accomplish relatively far more in space, dollar-for-dollar, than bloated, bureaucratic NASA does?
(NASAWatch.COM: "China's good for ONE thing: intimidating America into hopefully boosting NASA bureaucrats' & bloated contractors' budgets.)
When asked about new partners for the
World Trade Organization member China,
NASA Administrator Sean OKeefe reportedly said that is an attractive
and appealing possibility". Chinas burgeoning space program,
including future human spaceflight, is a demonstration of that countrys
national prowess and capacity. (Source: an April 11th,
NASAWatch.INFO: If bloated,
contractor-manipulated & excessively bureaucratic NASA has the Chinese
to help pay for its own wastefulness, will we become a spacefaring species
anytime soon? Shouldn't there be competition between space
programs and companies, rather than collusion, so that prices will finally
NASAWatch.INFO: If the media won't do its policing job then just about all we have left are insiders who are determined to expose corruption.
NASAWatch.COM: Hogwash! Times is a conservative media outlet and its opinion therefore lacks credibility. No Leftist journalist would criticize the media as having been lazy or sold out, instead of victimized.
NASAWatch.INFO: Oh? Then how do you explain this SFGate.com article? "Says Dan Rather: [m]ost journalists haven't measured up in the year since the terrorist attacks, shying away from asking the nation's leaders tough questions. "We haven't lived up to our responsibility, to our duty," the CBS anchorman said at a forum sponsored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. "Our duty is to be there every day and knock on the door and say what's going on in there." The public anger over the attacks and surge in patriotism makes many journalists reluctant to take on this traditional role, he said. Rather didn't criticize any news organization specifically, and didn't exempt himself and CBS News from his comments. "I think it's unpatriotic not to do it," he said. "The idea that patriotism is wearing a flag in your lapel and never saying anything bad about whoever is in power ... is not consistent with the American character."
(NASAWatch.COM: "Uh Dan? Does the fact that I can't seem to find any sponsors now that the Discovery Channel has told us "goodbye" cleanse our reputation despite our traditionally offering flagrantly biased coverage favoring my bureaucrat and pet government contractor allies?")
NASAWatch.INFO: Dan, if the space
media adequately scrutinized the NASA cartel then how would they still
be able to get aerospace sponsorship? This dilemma poses a
real problem in our industry, as this
NASAWatch.INFO: Abe Lincoln helped bring forth the passage of this law, which is available at Title 31 of the United States Code from section 3729 through section 3733.
TheUnionLeader.com article: "EARLY IN DECEMBER, two senior Defense Department officials met to wrap an early Christmas present for U.S. taxpayers. There was no announcement, no publicity and, on the contrary, a reluctance to reveal what had happened. They had killed a generous helping of corporate pork for the hard-pressed Boeing Co...John McCain did not give up. During the past summer, he bombarded the administration with unavailing requests for information about the leasing deal. In letters to Mitch Daniels and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, McCain concluded with an identical plea: The American taxpayers are counting on you. ...No administration has ever really assaulted corporate welfare, and denying bailouts to Boeing and United marks a good start for George W. Bush."
NASAWatch.INFO: Thank you President Bush & Senator McCain!
(NASAWatch.COM: "Oh no! My business affiliate's Space Transportation Association depends on Boeing!")
Sound familiar? WashingtonTimes.com article: "The inspector general of the post office wastes money on "team-building" retreats and intimidates staffers who don't embrace her management style, according to written complaints sent to Iowa Senator Charles E. Grassley... "I've received information alleging problems in the postal inspector general's office," Mr. Grassley said in a written statement. "These allegations include the waste of agency dollars, employee intimidation and operational inefficiency. These allegations are troubling. An inspector general's office should be above reproach to function effectively as an agency watchdog. I'm looking into the allegations." Mrs. Corcoran has been the inspector general of the post office since the position was created in 1997. Before taking the position, she served on then-Vice President Al Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government."
Might you know anyone at NASA who is similarly arrogant, inefficient
and quite possibly corrupt? It is becoming easier than
ever to get them transferred to Siberia or some place so that they'll quit
leeching off of taxpayers despite their undeserved career protections.
Here's a directory
for use in contacting your elected officials to report their improprieties
and find out what more can be done. The bureaucrats' salvation will
not be back in 2004...
NASAWatch.INFO: As Al Gore's decision NOT to run in 2004 shows, it's hard to revive a presidential campaign when one's own political party's donors won't back one (Time.com article), and one's recent books couldn't even make the Top 1,500 seller list at Amazon.com until the surprise Dec. 15th announcement. (Amazon's ranking is available here).
(NASAWatch.COM: I want to say this about my website: When Al Gore ran for president, we voted for him. Were proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldnt have had all these problems over all these years, either.)
WashingtonPost.com article: [Amidst various nations' fairly recent acquisition of nuclear capabilities] a House committee is expanding its inquiry into allegations [regarding] Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Los Alamos? Is it not at least a little odd how the (heavily
media has told us so little about Al Gore's recent fundraising trip to
North Korea's neighbor China, which this article
article discusses? Are we supposed
to forget about Gore's Buddhist Temple and other fundraising scandals, and
how his campaign contributors Boeing & Lockheed subsequently got mere
"slaps on the wrist" for divulging military secrets to the Chinese?
Why are we hearing so little about Gore's renewed cozy relationship with
the Chinese? Here's information on how the
X-33 Shuttle Replacement
program, and the
international space station one
were run during his Vice Presidential tenure.
NASA Watch.INFO: If the federal government shut down again like it did in 1995, how much would we really miss it? Shouldn't many of the tax leeches' funds instead go towards paying down our record high $6.3 trillion dollar national debt?
Previous postings on the bureaucrats' latest expression of unpatriotic greed...
CNN.com article: "Federal civilian workers won't see the full pay raise they were promised with President Bush's announcement that he was cutting the planned salary hikes because of the war on terrorism. The workers were to have received an average increase of 18.6 percent, but will now get a 3.1 percent raise. "Full statutory civilian pay increases in 2003 would interfere with our nation's ability to pursue the war on terrorism," Bush said in a letter released Friday to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and President of the Senate, Vice President Dick Cheney...."Should the need arise, the government has many compensation tools, such as recruitment bonuses, retention allowances and special salary rates, to maintain the high-quality workforce that serves our nation so very well," Bush said... But advocates for federal workers disagreed. "This is just another slap at federal employees," Bobby L. Harnage Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 600,000 federal workers, told the Associated Press. The Bush administration says "they want to recruit the best and the brightest, but they can't even keep the best and the brightest in those jobs now." Earlier this month, the administration announced it wants to let private companies compete for up to half of the 1.8 million federal jobs. Also, Bush sought and won broad powers to hire, fire and move civil service-protected workers in 22 agencies being merged into the new Homeland Security Department."
NASA Watch.INFO: Can you believe the hypocrisy from that civil service labor union's director? If the bureaucrats really wanted talented competitors to be able to join their ranks, they'd not require that it take at least half a year just to get to hire somebody new who could compete for their "jobs" [i.e. sinecures]. Everybody in the real world's lucky to get any raise at all, assuming they even get to keep their jobs while we continue enduring the consequences of the bureaucrats' having jealously sabotagedthe private space industry's potential progress over the years. And yet bureaucrats still have career tenure even as practically nobody else does?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Don't mess with my livelihood, reformers. Bureaucrats give me potentially sponsored pageviews, government contract-related favors, and national secrets-oriented gossip for me to publish. All I have to do in exchange is offer them protection however I can."
For rocket enthusiasts who haven't yet seen October Sky, it's now available online at a very reasonable pay-per-download basis here. (No this doesn't generate potential revenues for us; we're just glad to see it's finally so conveniently available.).
MSNBC.com article: "NASA has completed an initial contingency study of how to evacuate the International Space Station and leave it without a permanent astronaut crew for up to a year. The interruption of permanent occupancy of the space outpost may be forced by Russias failure to finance the regular visits of manned Soyuz space taxis and unmanned Progress cargo ships."
NASA Watch.INFO: What if
NASA's jealous bureaucrats and pet contractors had simply refrained
from sabotaging privatized Mir's
upcoming IPO on Wall Street? Anyhow, why not privatize the space station,
and purchase data from any
that puts their own crewed space station on orbit? Surely that couldn't
be as wasteful as the lone remaining
space station's squandering path to construction, could it?
NASA Watch.INFO: There is little doubt that life exists elsewhere in the universe, even if merely in microscopic form. Is there any merit to the assertion that we have been visited by intelligent extraterrestrial life here on Earth, though? Laugh all you want to, but it might be worth asking yourself the following question at some point: Is it in the NASA bureaucrats' and their pet contractor allies' best interest for American taxpayers and voters to think that the monopolistic NASA clique has left us unprepared to fend off potential onslaughts from alien civilizations that have access to services which bloated NASA still can't offer us despite its $16 billion annual budget? Isn't it more convenient for them to simply act as if those who believe we have been (or are being) visited are simply quacks?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Ha! Ya see?! I TOLD you NASAWatch.INFO is nothing but a bunch of quacks. Now you can ignore all their exposés regarding my corruption, o.k.? Please?")
The following statement was released today by Space Frontier Foundation spokesman Rick Tumlinson on the subject of NASAs request for a budget modification to develop a new Orbital Space Plane:
The Space Frontier Foundation opposes funding for the new NASA Orbital Space Plane or any other development programs at the agency at this time. We will call on Congress to with hold any new funds for this venture until there is an investigation into the reasons for the failure of past much vaunted then cancelled programs and the resulting billions of taxpayer dollars that have been wasted.
For over two decades the agency has put forward first one then another space vehicle program as the One Right Way to proceed, spent billions of dollars, and then cancelled or simply dropped the projects.. The failure of these projects to deliver on the promises of the agency has kept the cost of entering space at an astronomical level, hamstringing all space activities including exploration programs, commercial enterprises and the operation of the International Space Station. Another major result of this erratic and inconsistent behavior has been to maintain uncertainty in the commercial space investment community, wreaking havoc on private sector initiatives that could lower costs through competition.
NASA Watch.INFO: Has Newt Gingrich's idea of NASA-funded competitive prizes as a means of procurement been adequately considered? Or are these folks and their closely affiliated sister-group ProSpace simply trying to keep potentially derailed Alternate Access funding supplies nevertheless headed for CSI, as this rather scandalous article analytically suggests?
Washington Times.com article: "Most people on the outside of government, looking in, will say that when they have to contact a government agency from the Internal Revenue Service to the local Department of Motor Vehicles they would prefer to visit the dentist. On a recent visit to a Cabinet-level department, I found the halls filled with people who did not appear to be working. Partially overheard conversations were about break time, vacations, sick leave and other benefits. Upon entering an office, I saw one employee doing her nails and another engaged in what appeared to be a personal phone call. There did not appear to be a working attitude, much less a working employee, in the place. My tax dollars are paying their salaries, and so I care how they are being spent."
WashingtonPost.com article: "[President] Bush's own backlog of tax cut proposals includes extending expiring tax breaks from last year's package and extending the business tax credit for research and development... Most of those are being pushed to the back burner. Why? According to the Congressional Budget Office, the total cost of those proposals would reach $558 billion by 2012, exacerbating budget deficits that private-sector forecasts now say will reach $200 billion this year... [Regarding the estate tax] an influential Republican lobbyist said some affluent GOP donors are pushing hard for Congress to immediately repeal the tax, or at least lower the tax rate well below the current 50 percent. Under the plan signed into law last year, the tax rate on estates will drop slowly to 45 percent through 2009, while the value of an estate excluded from taxation will rise slowly, from the current $1 million to $3.5 million by 2009. In 2010, the estate tax will be repealed completely."
NASAWatch.INFO: And yet, there are
numerous space-related tax incentive
bills that have surprisingly languished over the years.
NASAWatch.INFO: There are numerous space-related tax incentive bills that are languishing in the Senate which House members have already heavily sponsored. Those bills will expire soon, unless swift (and seemingly long overdue) action is taken. Meanwhile, there are numerous other potential reforms that could significantly boost the genuinely entrepreneurial space industry, as opposed to the pathetically pork-laden one. Among them are civil service reform, and procurement through competitive prizes instead of "cost-plus" contracts such as that of the unsurprisingly failed X-33 Shuttle replacement or NASA's highly over-priced & under-performing space station.
Space News article: "[n]either the U.S. House of Representatives nor the Senate version of the 2003 NASA spending bill includes any funding for the space solar power program. Prospects for getting some funds when House and Senate appropriations conferees meet to hash out the differences in their respective bills are dim, according to space solar power proponents both at NASA and on Capitol Hill."
NASAWatch.INFO: Hmmmm.... Is this good or bad? On the one hand, some claim that the space solar power concept is highly suspect, if not ludicrous. On the other hand, whatever potentially opens up new markets in space seems worth taking seriously. Perhaps ProSpace, which lobbied hard for space solar power funding over the years while apparently having some of the money funneled to ProSpace donors, tarnished the concept's image like they did the Space Launch Initiative? Congress doesn't like being associated with alleged corruption during an election year, after all. For a related exposé on ProSpace's alleged selling out for the benefit of a few select individuals, feel free to click here.
Meanwhile, there's always the prospect of space solar
power's getting funding from the National Science Foundation. The NSF, like
DARPA and others, could make fine competitors for NASA. Numerous arguments
for giving NASA far greater interagency competition are listed and explored
NASAWatch.INFO: Russia DOES do space around
25 times more cheaply than its (jealous?) NASA clique competitors, doesn't
it? Remember how
NASA thwarted privatized Mir?
we can afford to keep dilly-dallying, while NASA continues to squander
much of its $15.3 billion dollar annual budget? Isn't it time
for space-related legal
"11. An increase of $1,000,000 for the Advanced Interactive Discovery Environment engineering research program at Syracuse University."
Hey NASAWatch.INFO, have you been sleeping at your post?!? Zzzzzzzzzzzz.....? :-0 " )
CNN.com article: "President Bush called on Congress to tighten spending and "exercise fiscal responsibility" Monday, singling out the Democratic-controlled Senate for criticism because it has not passed a federal budget."
NASAWatch.INFO: Here is NASA's new competitive
NASAWatch.INFO: Why doesn't NASA use some
of its $15.3 billion dollar annual budget to help fortify that $10 million
dollar prize, or any other
NASAWatch.INFO: Who can help but wonder how much better off the Russian space industry could have been if only the NASA clique hadn't jealously thwarted privatized space station Mir's progress, as is graphically and concisely documented here?
CNN.com article: Los Angeles will soon be leasing several hydrogen-fueled vehicles to improve air quality, reduce dependence on foreign oil.
NASAWatch.INFO: The fuel cells involved are made of platinum that is supposedly abundant on asteroids. What's taking Houston and Washington D.C. (etcetera) so long to lease such vehicles for some of their own government employees?
(NASAWatch.COM: "What's this got to do with NASA? You outta know that NASA generally does not enable markets in space. NASA merely talks about doing so while charging taxpayers billions each year for token success stories, while I try to profit. If it's fine with the NASA clique, it's fine with me.")
Houston Chronicle article: "After a 3 1/2-hour wind delay, a private company successfully launched a 14-foot rocket Saturday night from a remote site on arid West Texas ranchland that organizers are calling Texas' newest spaceport....JP Aerospace, which has built and flown low-cost aerospace systems over the last 23 years, bills itself as "America's other space program." With a small core staff of about four people and nearly 50 volunteers, the company is trying to establish a private launch service. Using government facilities for commercial launches is expensive, said Alfred Differ, a volunteer who is the company's director of analysis."
NASAWatch.INFO: Hmmmm.... Isn't it peculiar how something as noncontroversial as the Spaceport Equality Act tax incentive (which would resemble tax-free treatment that ALREADY applies to airports, seaports, high speed rail, mass transit and other transportation projects, but NOT to spaceports) continues to languish on the pork-loving Capitol Hill?
(NASAWatch.COM: "If the Space Transportation Association's alliance of spacepork-luvers doesn't want to fight for them, then why would I? I mean, the STA's president is a business affiliate of mine. Whadyaa mean you didn't know that?!? Get with the program! The bureaucrats' & bloated entrenched government contractors' space program, that is. I will continue to pay almost NO attention to how this tax bill almost inexplicably languishes in Congress. Why? Because I luv space, that's why. Now go away! I have zero time to answer these kinds of nosy questions!").
Government Executive article: "The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is using its growing budget to shift its focus back to long-term, high-risk projects, many of which are based in space, DARPA Director Anthony Tether said Friday. Speaking to reporters at a breakfast sponsored by New Technology Week, Tether said the Bush administration has instructed him to transform DARPA, which played a central role in creating the Internet, "back to the way it was when it was a swashbuckling agency, constantly getting the director in trouble, and almost getting him fired."
NASAWatch.INFO: Here's an article discussing the merits of finally giving monopolistic (and underperforming) NASA far greater competition from other federal agencies.
is just blasphemous! Do you realize what competition could do to my
lazy allies in the NASA bureaucracy, as well as to their bloated government
contractor sycophants? They'd no longer have as much time to generate
pageviews for my sponsorship-seeking websites, or leak national secret gossip
to me. Meanwhile, in order to get employees to stop squandering
tax-subsidized time, their supervisors might even ban access to my websites
due to all the frivolities with which I waste folks time. This
is unconstitutional! That did it; I'm gonna sue somebody for copyright
infringement or whatever. I know my rights!").
NASAWatch.INFO: One of our regular readers recently commented "If used properly, this recently changed law could revolutionize government accountability. Of course it could also tie up government employees answering frivolous claims though. Either way NASA is very vulnerable to this, with all of the bogus claims and pseudo facts that they publish."
CNN.com article: Citing exorbitant costs and a lack of funds, Russia suggests the possibility of ending permanent occupancy of the lone remaining space station.
NASAWatch.INFO: Do you remember how jealous, competition-despising NASA used to claim that privatized Mir (which tax-subsidized bureaucrats helped sabotage) supposedly was not needed to keep humanity in space enduringly?
(NASAWatch.COM: "So what if I never gave any significant coverage to the scandal of NASA's disdain of privatized Mir until after it was too late? How can you blame me for not potentially disrupting my tax-leeching business plan?")
The prospect of the emergence of NASA-funded prizes is starting to look brighter than it has for quite some time, indeed. For details, please feel free to consult our prizes page.
NASAWatch.INFO: Don't prizes seem superior to the "NASA as a venture capitalist" alternative approach? After all, with prizes isn't the government far less likely to be able to corruptly or at least inefficiently "pick winners"?
"I'll give some token coverage to the
NASA-funded prizes issue
now that NASA A.A. Dr. Scott Pace is calling a little attention to it, but
that's going to be the end of that! If you want space prizes to exist,
go fund them yourself. My bureaucrat and contractor allies want the
$15 billion dollar annual NASA budget basically all to themselves. Why
should I embrace, or even call much attention to a
procurement approach that they don't want? After all, they help
enrich me with pageviews and news-leaks, while not letting access to my sites
get banned from their workstations, or those of their peers. They also
do favors for my allies and buddies. So, uh, prizes
are a, er, childish idea. Go away!")
NASAWatch.INFO: According to
there are over a dozen other celebrities who are already more or less
lined up for future missions. Can you believe that they reportedly
require that one sign around a 400 page contract to get to visit NASA's space
station? Wouldn't things run more smoothly if it wasn't for
the lack of tax incentives
and other long
overdue legal reforms
that could empower private industry in space? Isn't it
a shame that privatized Mir was
so opportunistically mistreated by the U.S. government? There
weren't any 400 page contracts involved with a potential visit there, right?
(NASAWatch.COM: "Despite my recent lip service
supporting space tourism, let's not forget that I initially criticized Dennis
Tito's attempts to visit the last remaining tax-subsidized space station
after the bureaucrats helped destroy
privatized Mir. I only changed my tune after
I opportunistically detected that I wasn't in line
with my mainly bureaucratic readership who wanted space to become
relevant to taxpayers for a change, amidst a potential budget crisis.
But I for one am not exactly comfortable with seeing the private
sector potentially make taxpayer-subsidized NASA and my bureaucrat and contractor
allies seem redundant, though.
Previously on a related subject...
Co. is negotiating a deal for what could be one of the highest-profile promotions
in marketing history: an unprecedented $35 million program that would award
the winner a ticket to ride on the Russian Soyuz space shuttle...Pepsi would
pay about $15 million for the rights to the ticket and another $10 million
to $20 million to promote the trip. It is unknown how much of that budget
would support producing the TV show...The estimated
$35 million program represents about one-third of Pepsi-Cola Co.'s 2003
promotional budget, according to people with knowledge of PepsiCo's plans.
(NASAWatch.COM: "Stop linking to Space.com
articles!!! I despise Space.com. Why? I don't
know why. Who has time to answer such questions... Go away! Hey,
come to think of it, that's kind of what I told Space.com when they wouldn't
offer me enough money for my own website(s), thereby forcing me to try
and eek out a living after the .com financial fallacy had
already been exposed. So then I repeatedly tried to disgrace
them into buying me out just to be able to shut me up, but that
didn't work either.
Perhaps Brazil understandably grew tired of
NASA's pork-laden, space-station
wastefulness, and decided its own money is better spent beefing up its
Alcantara spaceport in hopes of sending tourists to either Mini-Mir or Bigelow's
space hotel(s) someday? Hopefully it's not a pipe dream to think that
either or both of those projects will actually get off the
NASAWatch.INFO: It's much tougher for THREE political parties to be co-opted by bureaucrats' labor unions and their pet government contractor clique, than it is for just TWO such parties to be. That's a major reason why most democratic nations have multi-party political systems. In contrast, the USA's Federal Electoral Commission still requires that third party presidential candidates already have 15% of the popular support in polls BEFORE they can even debate in nationally televised presidential debates. How much longer will that remain the case now that at least some campaign finance reform's a post-November 5th, 2002 reality?
"Oh come on! Addressing merely the symptoms generates
far more pageviews for me than actually analyzing what's keeping a series
of cures from coming about. NASA's discontinuation of the Shuttle's
wasteful CLCS (Checkout and Launch Control System) is
the hot issue now. My readership of bored
contractors and bureaucrats will decline because of this discontinuation.
Sean O'Keefe, are you listening? The long term doesn't interest
me; it's short-term gains that I'm after for my web ventures."
Previous postings on this subject...
Have you ever felt surprised to see a supposed watchdog get distracted
from its purported mission, while at least some of its directors secretly
seek financial self-enrichment from the same entities they pretend
to be policing? Has NASA recently
paid $2.3 million dollars
for loyalty from Prospace, the supposed "Citizen's Space Lobby," while
taxpayers continue getting ripped off?
this the largest potential repayment, ever, that the government
has demanded of military or aerospace contractors for nonperformance
on a failed program? Meanwhile, how involved with this impressive and
patriotic cancellation was NASA Administrator Sean
O'Keefe, while he was still at the Pentagon along with [now Vice
(NASAWatch.COM: "Hogwash! I'll NOT
link to his response which he first included in Space News, and I'll pretend
my omission is due to some supposed lack of permission from him, or
something. Once Beal's willingness to invest
additional money in his company did not emerge after he had already
invested $250 million in trying to compete against the tax-subsidized,
bureaucracy-favored NASA clique, he sold some of what was salvaged from his
subsequently closed-down establishment to the NASA monopoly. As
I published at NASAWatch.com before, doesn't
that make Beal a government contractor just like all the rest? Leave
the highly criticized "make-work" Space Launch Initiative 's numerous flaws
out of this, will ya? Many of my readers, confidential news-leakers,
and even e-commerce supporters at Marshall down in
Alabama need to make a living, you know.")
(NASAWatch.COM: "Visionary?!? A potentially
paying sponsor for my SpaceRef "news" service, hopefully
practically everybody else knows that the only people who will pay
to send people into space are taxpayers, and that one ought to train for
years to get to go. The recent space tourism phenomenon is merely
a passing fad, and I refuse to waste time covering how relevant
space tax incentive bills
are still getting thwarted on Capitol Hill (despite the scandals
involved and my hypocritic oath of journalistic integrity). Why can't
we simply fully fund the U.S. Space Shuttle monopoly ASAP? After all,
one of my business affiliates needs to earn a living as the President of
the Space Transportation Association. Besides which, the more
privatized space endeavors become, the less time space enthusiasts [especially
bureaucrats, or what's left of them] will have to financially enrich me with
pageviews, e-commerce and confidential newsleaks in exchange for my
convenient journalistic blindspots. And why don't you just let
it go regarding how I all but ignored how the
NASA clique jealously thwarted
privatized Mir even as I conveniently tried to focus everyone's attention
on the need to fund NASA's magnificent [tax-subsidized] space station? Get
a life! ")
NASAWatch.INFO: How sincere is Congress, given how its members profit from all the pork barreling?
Additional articles & commentary are archived here.
NASAWatch.INFO wasn't completely offline for 5 consecutive days a while back (from Jan. 18th-23rd, 2002)... Can monopolistic NASAWatch.COM honestly say that? By the way, did anybody else notice how NASAWatch.COM was apparently too busy pretending not to notice a this space prizes-related OpEd from Newt Gingrich, at least not until that purported "watchdog's" editor was publicly scrutinized days later for predictably not linking to it? Wouldn't prize offerings render obsolete some of his well-placed moles in the tax-subsidized & bloated NASA bureaucracy (to whom he is temporarily loyal, while it suits him)? Meanwhile, wouldn't a more level playing field for companies (resulting from prizes) also present an unwelcome challenge to a tiny group of bloated aerospace companies that help enrich him and his allies (at taxpayers' expense)?
Which proposed legal reforms could best help our stagnating aerospace industry?