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  You  really CAN learn something here...


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


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 Below, you can find some of our archived, 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:

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

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?

(NASAWatch.COM: "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 on.) article: "[Astronaut] Duque has discovered that "ordinary" pens work just fine in space and that the famous American versions that use a pressurized ink source may be a little overkill."

NASA Watch.INFO:  NASA guilty of monopolistic, parasitic and certainly tax-squandering overkill?  Really? 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? 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." 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.

(NASAWatch.COM: "Can anyone blame me for occasionally pretending to be "fair and balanced"?") article: "The latest effort by science to answer whether there's ice on the moon has come up empty. There's no sign of a lunar skating rink in the mysterious polar craters -- or even a big slab of ice."

Previously... 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$?

(NASAWatch.COM: "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 $.") article: "Mr. Schwarzenegger's accomplishments, which have defied the political odds from the beginning, are winning the Republican governor praise from Democrats and once-skeptical fellow Republicans... "He has kept us off balance by being smarter than I would have imagined and by surrounding himself with people of different ideological stripes who give him good counsel," a Democratic consultant said. "He speaks in such simple sentences, but he is smarter than his rhetoric." ...Mr. Schwarzenegger's term expires in 2006, and the betting in both parties is that he will go for a second term. Some in his party continue to boost him for president, and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, is pushing a constitutional amendment to allow a foreign-born American be elected president."

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!) 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.") 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." 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." 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.) 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. 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 campaign finance reform had existed in 2000, when McCain was outspent 9:1 by the candidate who went on to lose the popular vote? article: "No firm date has been announced [for a Mars mission], but some administration officials suggested it would be after 2030."

NASAWatch.INFO: Why not leave it up to  genuinely empowered entrepreneurs to decide? 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.

Previously: 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.

Previously: 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 reforms, unsurprisingly enough.
     The same justifiably cynical interpretation can be made of Bob Walker's Aerospace Commission's conclusions too.   How did they manage to basically ignore Lori Garver's formally testifying before the entire commission (on May 14th, 2002) that NASA should offer competitive prizes just as other federal agencies (such as DARPA) are already doing?   How did they conveniently manage to ignore other  pro entrepreneurial legal reforms ?
    Anyhow, in that Washington Times article we also see a framework subtly promoted which would encourage the Europeans NOT to compete as aggressively and ruthlessly against monopolistic price-fixers here in the USA.  We all suffer as a result, but numerous folks who worked on Capitol Hill with Bob Walker in the past would likely tell you nowadays (in confidence) that his #1 priority these days is little more than merely his own amassing of personal wealth.   Isn't it patriotic of him to parasitically profit off of taxpayers while leaving younger generations with both the bill (including our record high national debt) and a predictably languishing space industry?

(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 budget details 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. article: "The head of the [Shuttle] accident investigation board said management errors at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration were as responsible as mechanical problems for causing the Columbia disaster... "I think the [Columbia Accident Investigation Board] will be very tough in its criticism," Duke University professor and NASA historian Alex Roland said..."I don't think they're prepared to fix the mistakes the board points out," Mr. Roland said. "I think the direct causes [of Columbia´s disintegration] were systemic, and they aren't going to look at the system. There's a real fear that nothing changes... "NASA is very good at saying, 'Yes, yes,' and doing" nothing...""

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? article / 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.

Yahoo news article: "US hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill stunned leading members of the Roman Catholic Church when she accused them of moral corruption, exploitation and abuse from the stage during a Christmas concert at the Vatican...Italian press reports Sunday said her attack was unlikely to be included when the concert is broadcast on Italian television on December 24, Christmas Eve."

(NASAWatch.COM: "I'm lucky she doesn't care about space corruption here in our nation's capital!") article: "Throughout the '90s, everyone in the space entrepreneurial community looking for money had a great deal of difficulty raising it because, even if they had a good business plan, it couldn't compete with dot-coms that were promising almost-instant high returns, and they couldn't even get the attention of the investment community, which tends to run in fads, rather than on a rational basis. After the dot-com bubble burst, it wasn't possible to raise money because once-burned investors weren't investing in anything. But now, slowly, they're starting to come back to the table.... If any, or all of these ventures are successful, they'll prove that what NASA (search) has been telling us for all these years, that space is hard and expensive and only they can do it, is untrue."
 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." 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."

NASA Watch.INFO: Wouldn't pork-laden space proposals do more harm than good to the space-reform movement? 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!") 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?  

WHY did supposedly politically correct NASA rudely boycott Valentina's official 40th anniversary celebration in Washington D.C. on June 17th, 2003?

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!") article: The Iraqi informant who delivered information on the whereabouts of Saddam's two sons will get a $30 million dollar prize.

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)? article: The founder of, 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? 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? 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[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 NASA? article: "The Republican-led Congress passed legislation Friday allowing (our record high) national debt to grow by a record $984 billion, brushing past Democrats' attempts to spotlight the federal IOUs that have resumed piling up under President Bush. The Senate gave the bill final congressional approval by 53-44, only hours after lawmakers had passed $330 billion in new tax cuts through 2013, a major priority for Bush and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Democrats want to link that and other tax cuts Bush has won to the government's mounting debt. But GOP senators were united in an effort to get the measure to the White House - and out of the political limelight - quickly."

NASAWatch.INFO: Whatever happened to campaign promises of fiscal conservatism & discipline?

(NASAWatch.COM: "Can't you just keep quiet and let 'em spend spend spend?   My allies depend on the pork subsidies.") article: "President Bush's domestic agenda is taking a wartime beating in Congress, often from fellow Republicans...The setbacks are unusual for Bush, who used a combination of charm, promises and outright bullying to pass most of his agenda through Congress in 2001 and 2002."

Previously... 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  spacepork?  Here's his conservative reforms website, at which one can subscribe to his free newsletters:

(NASAWatch.COM: "Yikes! Pork-trimming and NASA-reforms could be bad for my business!") 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. 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?

Previously: article: Kistler files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and sheds up to $600 million in debt.

NASAWatch.INFO: Doesn't 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? article: this article is of potential interest to those who follow alternative fuel-consuming roadway vehicles, the platinum fuel cells for some of which could incentivize the asteroid mining industry.

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 $6.4 trillion dollars?    This is yet another reason why I don't want pro-entrepreneurial space reforms to materialize.   

Washington article: The Senate preserved room for $626 billion in new tax cuts in its budget bill yesterday (March 21st) ...A final, unified budget is expected to be out of conference committee and ready for floor votes by April 11. 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...")  


President Bush urges senators to approve a PERMANENT  repeal of the estate tax, for beyond 2011:

NASAWatch.INFO's commentary:  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?           
       Fortunately campaign finance reform takes effect starting in mid-November of 2002, and political donations from extremely wealthy donors, as well as from corporations, will be greatly restricted if not banned in most instances.   Politicians' judgement will become more mainstream as a result.   Meanwhile, though, have we demonstrated with out voting habits and with our other means of democracy-related participation that it's worth it for politicians to invest their scarce political capital into space-related tax reforms yet?   Evidently not. article: U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) to Sean O'Keefe during a Feb. 27th Congressional hearing: "Have you fired anyone for not bringing [e-mailed reports of potential Shuttle problems prior to the Columbia disaster] to your attention sooner?"

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.

(NASAWatch.COM: "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.")

Seattle Times article / Grand Challenge website:   NASA's badly needed competitor of DARPA is now offering a million dollar prize for a scientific breakthrough  pertaining to transportation & artificial intelligence...

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?  

Previously... 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 ")

 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.


AIAA interview of NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, October 2002:  
   AIAA: "Your predecessor served a record 10 years in this job. Do you aspire to such longevity?"
   Sean O'Keefe: "Absolutely not! Please take me out of my misery long before then! I have a working understanding with my wife: When we are about six months from going broke, please let me know-that's when I'll quit. The timing will be when I have three kids that will be entering college, that's going to be the pacing item. Or I'll have to get a paper route to supplement!"

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.") 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? 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's not THEIR money that those beltway bandits are spending... 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. "

Previously... 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? 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: 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 to read more. 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: What are the odds that a compromise will be reached that gives NASA more money than even the White House requested?  Pork pork pork, minus the pro-entrepreneurial reforms.

(NASAWatch.COM: "Shhhh!!!")

Previously... article: "If the House version of the [NASA spending] bill becomes law, NASA would have a difficult to impossible time starting any new programs, including Centennial Challenges."

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?  

  (NASAWatch.COM: "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.
      If small companies want tax dollars currently funneled through NASA, then they should try to get them by colluding with me somehow.  I'm sure as heck not making much money on selling banner ads now that the Discovery Channel's sponsorship account is toast.   
      By the way, you ought to buy banners from a web venture in which I've been heavily involved for years, which NASAWatch.COM aggressively promotes: 

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 articles!!!  I despise    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 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.
    So here I am, trying to cash in somehow and feeling resentful that didn't even consider me for its 100 most influential space personalities list (which included my rival Robert Zubrin).   But why should I try and help call attention to the REAL problems at NASA, and to potential  reforms which could help solve such problems AND save taxpayers a bundle?   After all, NASA's present predictable failures enable me to profit from selling more advertising banners at my sensationalist "soap opera digest of space" websites.  The more pageviews, the more money, you see.  Tax-subsidized bureaucrats (who have so much time on their hands for being petty while caring so little about space, itself) prefer to see bad news because it gives them something to chat about and feel good about.
  By the way, folks, prices for banner advertising are now published at: .   

And you wondered why you never saw a green animated arrow distinguishing our "journalistic" SpaceRef / NASAWatch.
COM publications from the others on this list of  alleged space media sellouts?  Heck, the same space companies that pillage & plunder taxpayers each year have advertising needs too, you know. But the best kind of advertising that I offer is looking the other way when certain scandals emerge.   Give me ONE good reason why I shouldn't sell out like I repeatedly do? And stop asking such rudely prying questions... because I'm busy and important, you least among those who stupidly let me intimidate them into not standing up to all the corruption plaguing the U.S. space industry.") article: "Until a few years ago, NASA was exploring several designs for vehicles to replace the space shuttle. But NASA's new administrator, Sean O'Keefe, shelved those designs and committed to operating the [3 remaining] space shuttle[s] for the next 10 to 15 years...The next generation of reusable space vehicles is at least 10 to 15 years off said Donald H. Emero, who served as the shuttle's chief engineer from 1989 to 1993."

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? 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."

Previously... 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? 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?

Previously... 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.") 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."

Previously... 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..."

NASAWatch.INFO: 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. 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. 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..."

Previously... 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? 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 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?

(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.") article: "Charged with creating a fresh business model for the Postal Service, a newly created presidential commission got an eye-opening presentation Wednesday on the daunting challenges that lie ahead...During the three-hour hearing, most of the commissioners, none of whom have any ties to the mailing industry or the Postal Service, displayed a solid understanding of the problems facing the agency.  [Privatization is on the table, too.]"

NASAWatch.INFO: Is space really so difficult that the president's rather pro status quo aerospace commission can't have similarly disinterested members?

Previously... 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."

NASAWatch.INFO: 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 example?  
   Meanwhile, hopefully more of NASA will finally be privatized by the recently emboldened Bush Administration, too...

  One of the most recent official reports from

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.COM: "Hey, as long as they don't get in the way of what the Space Transportation Association wants, then my business affiliate [the STA president] will be happier, and I will be too.  We're all part of a mutual admiration society. No it has nothing at all to do with corruption folks; we gotta pay our bills too, ya know.  Thus, I'll not scrutinize this commission even as they work their tax-squandering mischief.  Don't be surprised if you learn of the attendance of some at the STA's townhall meeting (held on October the 8th, 2002).  Seating was closed well in advance but fortunately NASA has invested everyone's tax dollars promoting this publicity stunt on its own exclusive t.v. network. Enjoy!")

  NASAWatch.INFO:  Have you seen the September 29th, 2002 edition of the Space Transportation Association's SpaceLift Washington, available here: ?   Can you believe what it says about competitive prizes?    Here's the surprising excerpt:

  "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. "

NASAWatch.INFO:  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.
    So why would that SpaceRef / SpaceLift article say such an absurd thing against competition-encouraging prizes?  Hmmmm...Could there be a conflict of interest between being a SpaceRef journalist and simultaneously presiding over the pro status quo Space Transportation Association, which receives and covets financial support from companies that profit by keeping prices high and competition relatively nonexistent?

(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: )" 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 ISS, specifically World Trade Organization member China, NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe reportedly said that is “an attractive and appealing possibility".   China’s burgeoning space program, including future human spaceflight, is a demonstration of that country’s “national prowess and capacity.” (Source: an April 11th, 2002 article).  
       Mr. O'Keefe also reportedly said that relevant bilateral talks have already started to take place between NASA and the host of the 2008 Olympics...

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 come down? article: "The FBI agent who wrote a scathing memo on FBI intelligence failures and women who blew the whistle on corruption at corporate giants Enron and WorldCom were recently named as Time magazine's Persons of the Year for 2002.  The magazine's editors chose Coleen Rowley, Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins "for believing — really believing — that the truth is one thing that must not be moved off the books, and for stepping in to make sure that it wasn't." "

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 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 article discusses. article: "The whistleblower or "qui tam" provisions of the False Claims Act allow individuals, known as "relators," to file suit on behalf of the United States against those who have falsely or fraudulently claimed federal funds, including Medicare, Medicaid, disaster assistance and other benefits, subsidies, grants, loans and contract payments.  Persons who file qui tam suits can recover from 15 percent to 25 percent of any settlement or judgment reached in a case if the United States intervenes in the action, or up to 30 percent if they pursue it on their own. In fiscal 2002, relators recovered more than $160 million."

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. 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? 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."

NASAWatch.INFO:  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 ( article), and one's recent books couldn't even make the Top 1,500 seller list at  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. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”) article:  [Amidst various nations' fairly recent acquisition of nuclear capabilities] a House committee is expanding its inquiry into allegations [regarding] Los Alamos National Laboratory.

NASAWatch.INFO: Los Alamos?  Is it not at least a little odd how the (heavily sponsored) traditional media has told us so little about Al Gore's recent fundraising trip to North Korea's neighbor China, which this article this 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. article: "Though the Bush administration announced last week that it would limit the 2003 federal civilian pay raise to 3.1 percent, union leaders said Monday they will continue to fight for a 4.1 percent raise. [They're still rather impossible to fire, by the way]. In a statement released Monday, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. said he plans to push for a 4.1 percent pay increase in the 2003 Treasury-Postal Service Appropriations bill or to try and add one to an omnibus bill. However, President Bush says that granting a pay raise larger than 3.1 percent would jeopardize homeland security efforts. Nevertheless, Hoyer says that this latest move by President Bush sends the wrong message to federal employees. “Anything less than the 4.1 percent pay adjustment sends the regrettable message that the services they provide to America every day are not valued,” he said.      “The president's decision is further evidence of the administration's low regard for the professionalism and dedication of the federal workforce, and for the vital services provided to the nation by federal employees,” says National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley. “Even more than that, however, this mistaken and unwise decision completely ignores the critical role pay plays in making the federal government a competitive employer with the private sector. Members of the 107th Congress clearly understood that, as evidenced by the bipartisan and bicameral support for a 4.1 percent raise in 2003.”

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... 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.). 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 Russia’s 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 space-related company 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? article: "[t]he Space Shuttle ...program receives its lowest level of support in this poll since CBS News started asking about it in 1986...In addition, the public gives the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) its lowest job rating to date... article: Numerous Congressional staffers are about to lose their jobs on Capitol Hill.  To report any staffers' arrogance or laziness which you believe should be taken into account while hiring and firing decisions are being made, here is a directory of links to Congressional (and other governmental) offices. As Ben Franklin once said: "the people have the government that they deserve." article: "SCI FI Channel may sue US govt. for UFO documents."

 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 NASA’s 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 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." 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.

Washington Times article: Prior to the elections, the Republican National Committee took an internal poll that showed that Republicans were trusted over Democrats by eight points on the economy.   Meanwhile, no Republican president has ever gained net seats in the House in their first midterm. And no president from either party has ever won back the Senate in a midterm. Both happened on November 5th, 2002.   Besides homeland security, the Republican wish list is topped by tax breaks and defining an energy policy.

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 here. article: "The chief of Russia's space agency said Monday that investigators were considering "malicious intent" among other scenarios for the cause of a rocket launch disaster that killed one person earlier this month...Russian Space Agency chief Yuri Koptev said Monday that a foreign object had obstructed a hydrogen peroxide pipe in one of the rocket's engines, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. "Traces of iron and chromium -- materials that are not used in the production of this pipe -- have been found in the remnants of the engine," Koptev was quoted as saying."

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? article (original source): "Humans take up 83 percent of the Earth's land surface to live on, farm, mine or fish, leaving just a few areas pristine for wildlife, according to a new report this week. People also have taken advantage of 98 percent of the land that can be farmed for rice, wheat or corn, said the report, produced by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network in New York."

NASAWatch.INFO: Like 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 reforms?

(NASAWatch.COM: "Ha!  For once I seem to have been a more efficient watchdog than NASAWatch.INFO!   I've hinted at how slowly pro-entrepreneurial reforms are materializing regarding the Space Launch Initiative and the Space Shuttle while simultaneously raising awareness about NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe's political activism in Florida (near the Kennedy Space Center) and in Alabama (near the Marshall Space Flight Center).   I've even raised awareness about how his alma mater's getting a raise from NASA:

"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 "  )

NASAWatch.INFO:   "No, just admiring how you've been doing your homework lately Keith, while you've actually had the patriotism to publish your findings too.   One has to wonder, though, if Sean O'Keefe's recent actions (and lack thereof) are part of a prudent long term strategy to gain political support(ers) for pro-entrepreneurial reforms (the stifling of which, NASAWatch.COM tends to ignore).   Considering how earmarks have reportedly tripled in Congress since 1994 when the Republicans took over Congress for 6 consecutive years though, it would seem that neither political party, in what's still a mere two party system here, is willing to make the hard decisions that NASA needs to have made.  NASA needs for a leader to do what's right, and there's no better time than the present to slash wastefulness,  given our record high $6.2 trillion dollar national debt.  By keeping the presure on,  it empowers genuinely worthwhile leaders to adequately pressure others into accepting unpopular but necessary reforms.  Such scrutiny also helps keep folks relatively more honest.  This isn't to say, though, that reformers should be targeted while the real culprits get to stand on the sidelines and laugh (with impunity) at taxpayers' expense.  Fair enough?"

Previously... 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 sourcing website.

"Government should be market-based - we should not be afraid of competition, innovation, and choice. I will open government to the discipline of competition."    -George W. Bush article: [Recently] Peter Diamandis announced a January 1, 2005, deadline to claim the X prize, which requires a team to safely send a three-person crew 62 miles (100 kilometers) high twice within two weeks in the same vehicle.

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 competitive space prize? article: "One soldier died when a rocket carrying a research satellite exploded a few seconds after liftoff from a launch pad in northern Russia."

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? 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.

(NASAWatch.COM: "This 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!").

Washington Post article:  "From now on, virtually every piece of information that the federal government makes public -- through a rulemaking, a publication or a Web site -- becomes open to challenge for its accuracy and veracity.  Thanks to an obscure provision in an appropriations bill two years ago, business groups and others who have sometimes criticized government information as being biased or of poor quality no longer have to wait until a rule is issued to seek corrective action. They can lodge a complaint about the agency's data, along with the basis of their challenge, and the federal agency has to respond in a timely way -- probably 60 days."

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." 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?")

Other articles addressing additional controversial subjects
directly involving our still under-performing space program::

 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"?

(NASAWatch.COM:  "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!") article: reports that Lance Bass will NOT be going to the lone remaining space station before April (at the soonest).  Meanwhile, a previous article reports that Lance Bass has recently been in Moscow training, and that Pepsi might be behind his trip's potential revival.

NASAWatch.INFO:  According to this article, 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?   
     Meanwhile, let's not forget Lori Garver (who somehow managed to persuade bureaucratic NASA to embrace space prizes instead of inefficiency-rewarding contracts as a worthwhile means of procurement).  That former NASA associate administrator already endured a battery of medical tests and gall bladder surgery in her sponsorship-based bid to visit the space station. ( article).

(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.  
      Come to think of it, I thought I told you to quit disrupting my business plan.  Do NOT mess with my bureaucrats.   I am their "defender of the common good."   And it's merely coincidental they have much more free time on their hands and can therefore generate more banner impressions for my venture than efficiency-oriented private sector folks can.  Bureaucrats can also find time to gossip about NASAWatch.COM, and leak secrets to me (resulting in further pageviews and plenty of additional personal ego-massaging that I crave for some reason).   Additionally, bureaucrats can help funnel contracts and endorsements to my friends,  uh... albeit  in exchange for my protectiveness and journalistic blindspots.  So repeat after me everyone... "bureaucracy adds value!" Got it?    "How?", you ask?  Whadya mean, how!?!   Oh all right...  gimme a little while; I'll think of an answer.  Maybe because, uh... some people are more equal than others and therefore deserve relatively unproductive tax-subsidized sinecures from which to add societal value however they see fit, while taxpayers have the privilege of  obligatorily subsidizing them? Yes that DOES, too, make sense!")

Previously on a related subject... article: "Pepsi-Cola 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. " article: A National Research Council (NRC) report issued recently concludes that ... scientific community interest in using the orbiting research station is in jeopardy and NASA's primary goal for the station is not clear.

(NASAWatch.COM: "Stop linking to articles!!!  I despise    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 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.
   So here I am, trying to cash in somehow.   Why should I try and help call attention to the REAL problems at NASA, and to potential  reforms which could help solve such problems AND save taxpayers a bundle?   After all, NASA's present predictable failures enable me to profit from selling more advertising banners at my sensationalist "soap opera digest of space" websites.  The more pageviews, the more money, you see, and bureaucrats (who have so much time on their hands for being petty while caring so little about space, itself) prefer to see bad news because it gives them something to chat about and feel good about.
  By the way, folks, prices for banner advertising are now published at: .   

And you wondered why you never saw a green animated arrow distinguishing our "journalistic" SpaceRef / NASAWatch.
COM publications from the others on this list of  alleged space media sellouts?  Heck, the same space companies that pillage & plunder taxpayers each year have advertising needs too, you know. But the best kind of advertising that I offer is looking the other way when certain scandals emerge.   Give me ONE good reason why I shouldn't sell out like I repeatedly do? And stop asking such rudely prying questions because I'm busy and important, you least among those who stupidly let me intimidate them into not standing up to all the corruption plaguing the U.S. space industry.") article:  "Brazil informed NASA in July that it will not provide an external payload accommodation pallet to the International Space Station program as previously planned."

 NASAWatch.INFO: 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 ground.

  This new Washington Times article concisely discusses the status of two of the most viable third political parties in the USA.  

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?   

(NASAWatch.COM: "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."

NASAWatch.INFO: ProSpace's sister organization, the Space Frontier Foundation, hosted an annual event OPEN TO ALL (but focused on activists) on September 12-14th, 2002.   This annual event only attracted a few dozen people (source:  In comparison, the previous month's annual Mars Society convention attracted over 400 paying participants...which might suggest that it's a badge of integrity and dynamism to seem inappropriately  singled out by  the pro-bureaucracy and pro entrenched government contractor  NASAWatch.COM.   Anyhow the Space Frontier Foundation's attendance quite probably suffered so substantially due to public perceptions regarding its close affiliation with ProSpace.   It's the so called  "Citizen's" space lobby that nevertheless sneakily kisses up to NASA in the eyes of Congress after publicly criticizing it seemingly in exchange for NASA-funded government contracts awarded to a company that predictably enriches some of ProSpace's "leaders" (some of whom are shareholders).  

   We predicted that the Foundation would NOT completely distance itself from ProSpace unless space venture capitalist Walt Anderson (now with requested it.  Walt did not attend this year's annual event though, despite the Foundation's inaccurate public assertion to the contrary while it was simultaneously trying to lure still others to pay to attend.  And as for those who  would claim that being involved in a business makes one unlikely to have time to attend such supposedly pro-entrepreneurial annual events, it's worth noting that privatized Mir was quite active during the Summer of 2000 when Walt nevertheless attended the Foundation's annual conference.    Perhaps the Foundation's days of relevance are numbered, at least in part thanks to its enduring relationship with ProSpace?
 Meanwhile, are any of the other space activism organizations capable of filling the void or are they all similarly too co-opted?

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?

  Washington Post article:  Dick Cheney got tough with Boeing, which (together with General Dynamics) may now have to repay taxpayers somewhere around $2.3 billion dollars for a canceled wasteful program that fell way behind schedule.

NASAWatch.INFO:  Is 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 President] Cheney?

              (NASAWatch.COM: "Gulp! Could this inspire others to start demanding compensation for money recklessly wasted on Boeing's space station, or Lockheed's X-33 shuttle replacement vehicle, etcetera?   Yikes! Like the Discovery Channel would continue with its sort of perennial tendency to sponsor SpaceRef if NASAWatch.COM potentially annoyed such companies by raising this sort of possibility?  I'd better simply link to that article without mentioning the space waste from which so many of my allies have personally profited (as have I).   Boeing & Lockheed (etcetera) are big potential advertisers AND sources of content that Discovery Channel needs, arguably enough.  And I need the Discovery Channel's money.  
              Incidentally, buddies of NASAWatch.COM's lone editor work for (or sub-contract from) Boeing (etcetera), and such companies could retalliate if the space refunds possibility is aggressively raised.  Among other things, they could even ban employee web server access to a for-profit website such as NASAWatch.COM.  'Tis better to look for excuses NOT to raise the issue then, while nevertheless pretending to be an objective space journalist.")

The cover page of now hosts two of Andrew Beal's
most famous post-mortem letters that are justifiably critical of the NASA clique.  Perhaps Mr. Beal finally believes that our elected officials finally care significantly more about what genuine space entrepreneurs (as opposed to mere government contractors) think?

(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 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 pork-luvin' Huntsville, Alabama need to make a living, you know.")   

   Walt Anderson, a space entrepreneur and one of NASA's most significant pundits who helped back the visionary privatized Mir venture before the NASA clique jealously helped cause Mir's demise, got involved in an apparently pioneering niche of the space business again... Here's the company's website:

(NASAWatch.COM: "Visionary?!?  A potentially paying sponsor for my SpaceRef "news" service, hopefully ;-) but...   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! ") article: "Under a resolution passed by Congress this year, each committee is tasked with identifying cost-cutting measures equaling 1 percent of total spending in their jurisdiction. The deadline is Sept. 2, 2003, at which time each committee must submit a report to the House Budget Committee (search) detailing its findings...In July, three freshman House lawmakers announced the “Washington Waste Watch,” in which they hope to identify “the shocking amounts of wasted tax dollars” and suggest legislative solutions to problems such as the ones uncovered by OPM.  Reps. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., plan to take to the House floor every week to bring attention to different areas of waste, mismanagement and fraud in the federal bureaucracy.  “Spending other people’s money can be an intoxicating experience,” Feeney told “Part of this is to remind ourselves and one another that we are the guardian watchdogs of the taxpayers’ purse."

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)?


Has NASA's Mars record justified taxpayers' expenditures and NA$A's enduring monopoly status?


Will recent campaign finance reform breakthroughs essentially banning corporate
donations to political parties for federal campaigns reduce NASA's wasteful pork barrel spending?


.What is preventing NASA from offering space-related prizes to the private sector,
as an efficiency-rewarding means of procurement?
 Why should we care?

                .                   .

In December of 2001, former rocket entrepreneur Andrew Beal took out
the following full-page ad in Space News.
  Why is the heavily sponsored
space-related media essentially ignoring it?


Has NASA been stifling commercial space ventures that could otherwise outperform it?.


Which  proposed legal reforms could best help our stagnating aerospace industry?


Is it wi$e to maintain NASA´s official government agency monopoly?