Thursday, November 24, 2005


Reality vs. The Bush League: Mars Delusions

Remember George Bush's plan to destroy NASA oops, I mean "Vision for Space?" The one where we cut funding of the Hubble Space Telescope in favor of visions for expensive and purposeless manned missions? The one requiring billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars at a time where Mr. Bush was trying to "drown the beast" with tax cuts? Now that the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina maxed out the credit cards, guess which agency's funding is getting cut?
Bush's Space Plan in Danger
Shuttle Program's Deficit May Mean Far Fewer Flights

By Guy Gugliotta
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 24, 2005; Page A01

A large deficit in NASA's troubled shuttle program threatens to seriously delay and possibly cripple President Bush's space exploration initiative unless the number of planned flights is cut virtually in half or the White House agrees to add billions of dollars to the human spaceflight budget.

Sources familiar with ongoing negotiations between NASA and the White House say the administration has no intention of spending extra money to deal with a shortfall that some space experts say could exceed $6 billion from 2006 to 2010, when NASA plans to retire the shuttle for good.
Initially, Congress expressed suspicion that the initiative was either a grandiose but empty gesture or a risky project that would cannibalize established NASA programs to raise the needed funding. Last year, it took an eleventh-hour arm-twist by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) to win passage of NASA's $16.1 billion budget, but this year lawmakers easily passed the 2006 budget -- for the full $16.5 billion the White House requested.
Now, Congress' worst fears have come true: Mr. Bush's "Let's cut the Hubble Telescope so we can go to Mars" program is now shown to be a trojan horse aimed at destroying NASA. Bush's true plan was clear: first use the development costs as an excuse to gut NASA's useful and popular programs; second, claim the Mars trip was too expensive and cut that as well; and third, close down NASA completely and shift the civilian work to "private enterprise" while handing off military satellite launches to the US Air Force.

For those not paying attention, part 2 just started. I believe part 3 is scheduled for just after the 2006 elections - probably timed for the first deficit reports in 2007.

People claim Mr. Bush is stupid because he promises one thing and then immediately does things designed to make the original promise unachieveable. If one instead assumes Mr. Bush intends the obvious consequences of his actions and has no qualms about lying to achieve them, it is much easier to see where we're actually going.

This fits in well with appointing John Bolton to the UN. The only rational excuse for this appointment was to create an excuse for the US to pull out of the UN. Mr. Bolton has set about creating just such an excuse:
The assembly's decisions on budgets are taken by consensus and allow the United States, which pays 22 percent of the budget, to block them. Privately, EU members, who collectively pay some 35 percent of the budget, fear the Bolton plan might backfire, with developing nations rejecting all reform plans.

In interviews and comments to reporters in the past two weeks, Bolton has warned the United States might bypass the United Nations if it does not undergo radical changes.
(Source: Reuters EU rejects US tactics on UN reform, Nov. 23, 2005 [emphasis added.])
Classic Bush League MO: set an obvious course directly for your goal while telling blatant lies (a.k.a: "spinning") about your intentions.


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