tablet mg


Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

NASA, the Mars Rover and a Comic Tribute

January 29th, 2010 Comments off

That would be NASA and not Pixar.

There has been science in the news this week.  It hasn’t been great, but even the worst news sometimes has a silver lining.  And I think that’s the case here with both stories.

President Obama’s budget proposals in his first year have been science heavy.  His 2009 budget gave bumps to several science-focused departments and additional programs, granted NASA stimulus money and tried to find room for a return to the moon by 2020.

Not withstanding my belief that Obama cares more about science than the recently departed government CEO, he’s pretty much been forced to end his support of it this year.  Particularly with NASA, the spending freeze he’s instituting is gutting science.  On Monday, he’s expected to announce that he’s killed the Moon 2020 plan and it looks to move to commercialize and privatize space flight [There’s a joke to be made here that he’s finally found one industry sector he doesn’t want to socialize].

This is not, however, to say that the President has killed NASA.  Quite to the contrary, I think he’s merely made an amputation of the fully government-controlled space flight program in an effort to save the corpus as a whole.  He’s proposing to grant the ISS several more years of life and I’m confident he might try to find a way to extend the Hub and other observational satellites, which are the stuff of scientific magic.  Nevertheless, it’s a bit of a dark day when you realize that manned flight (that which contributes the most to a child’s imagination) is taking the brunt of the hit.

All this comes just two days after the true-life Wall-E story of the robot that just wouldn’t quit.  The Mars rover Spirit is almost 1900 days past its scheduled run of 90 days of operation.  Unfortunately, much as with me golf courses, you don’t want to get stuck in a sand trap on Mars.  That’s exactly what Spirit did this past week.  Spirit is now permanently in said trap but remains scientifically operational.  There’s a long winter ahead for it, but it’s done its service to America and humanity at large, and it appears it will continue to do so, at least for the time being.

XKCD put together a great tribute cartoon for Spirit which I’ve linked after the jump. Read more…

Pres. Obama and Legislative Success

January 13th, 2010 Comments off

NPR is reporting on a new Congressional Quarterly study which says that President Obama is the most successful president in the last 50 years, with respect to getting legislative measures through.  The study states that the President has succeeded in getting passage of 96.7 percent of all legislation in the House and Senate for which “the president had a clear position.”  This means that where the President has publicly urged a vote one way or another on a bill, almost 97% of the time his will was adhered to.

That’s lovely.  It’s also a ridiculously incomplete picture of reality.  They talk of him having a better record than Lyndon Johnson.  Uhh… no.  Johnson’s percentage may not have been higher, but he got the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act through (admittedly, on the back of the Kennedy assassination).

Conversely, President Obama has, as the article states, “picked his battles” by cherry picking which legislation to publicly support and push through his Democratically controlled congress.  More misleading is the amount of compromise that goes into those legislative measures.  For example, the Health Care Reform bill looks nothing like what the President campaigned on and most of the financial stimulus measures were truly corrupted… though necessary.  The NPR article does do a pretty good job of pointing out those facts.

Source: Congressional Quarterly and NPR -- Click to see the article.

#NoStateOfUnionFeb2: This time you go too far

January 7th, 2010 Comments off

As reported across the Blogosphere this morning and in a few papers (like the Washington Post), the White House could be threatening the President’s support with a key demographic: people who care more about LOST than Healthcare Reform.  Count me among them.  The Healthcare Reform packages are an absolute joke with more pork and less true direction in them than one could have imagined.  Yes, if Obama had followed through on his promises on Healthcare Reform, I’d be jazzed about it (and hearing him talk about other reform plans).

A good solution could be simply superimposing the SOTU address over the LOST premiere.

Instead, the White House is pushing it’s SOTU address from January 26th to February 2nd solely because they think they can get a half-assed reform bill signed by then and therefore have some “substance” to go along with the pomp and circumstance of the joint session. But the bill sucks.  It sucks on a Paolo and Nicki level.

This would not be the first time the President has ruffled the feathers of network heads.  Back in March, he capped a string of primetime addresses by pre-empting American Idol.  Eventually Fox had enough and they ditched his next address.  This time it’s ABC who will feel the big sting with a major hit to their expected viewership.

Maybe if we were talking about reform that didn’t require handing out the Treasury to holdout Senators (this blog pretty well sums up the last second deals), I could get excited about the bill… or at least I might if the bill accomplished what the President set out to do.  Maybe if he followed through on some of his other promises I could get excited about the speech in general, even absent good health care reform.

So if the President moves forward and pushes LOST back another week, my only hope is that Rep. Joe Wilson (or some person of any party persuasion) interrupts him by screaming out a reminder that “Ben Lies!”

There are plenty of dumb Obama supporters too…

November 25th, 2009 Comments off

But what strikes me most about this video from the Palin book tour is how much I hate people from Columbus, Ohio. CNN constantly insists that Columbus is the face of America, but I don’t buy it for the following reasons (among others):

  • They like THE ohio state university [new rule is that only the “THE” is permitted to be capitalized further to emphasize that Tosu is THE state university… also to emphasize what jackasses Buckeyes are];
  • They prefer Skyline Chili to just about anything and yet somehow didn’t originate the This Is Why You’re Fat Tumblr;
  • They are fat and content with it — your obesity is the reason healthcare (universal or not) won’t work in our country; and
  • They are the only soccer fans in America.

Mind you, I love soccer… it’s just that I find it depressing that Columbus is the only place it can catch on as a professional sport.


Categories: News / Op, Politics Tags: , , , ,

SNL May Suck, But This Cold Open = Awesometown

November 23rd, 2009 Comments off

This may have been one of the better pieces of satire that SNL has done of late.  Fred Armisen’s President Obama isn’t as good as his Governor Patterson (see, e.g., below), but this sketch just nails it both on humor and reality.


52% of Republicans Believe ACORN Stole The 2008 Election

November 20th, 2009 Comments off

Story Link is Here:

via hatethefuture – While 94% think Attorney General Eric Holder is a poorly disguised Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

And I’m sure more than half of Democrats felt that the Supreme Court acted in bad faith in stealing the 2000 election for George W. Bush. I still don’t understand why this is any more disturbing than the fact that only 39% of Americans believe in evolution, on the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species (which will be observed on Tuesday).

Yes, there are serious issues regarding the perception of legitimacy of American elections (even if those issues are largely perception-based, and not substantive). I still believe the greater threat to our government’s legitimacy is that our standard-bearing representatives are largely or commonly a) incompetent (see, e.g., Congress), b) corrupt (see, e.g., Jefferson and Trafficant), c) closeted but willing to deny civil rights to the people they sleep with on the side (see, e.g., pretty much every hard right wing religious righter), or d) crazy/stupid (see, e.g., Palin).

Of course, my true hope is that Palin will choose the TV talk show path, now that Oprah has announced her retirement. I think America misses Jerry Springer and there is a place for her on the CW. In the meantime, I’m going to go back to worrying about the fact that CafePress thinks its OK to sell mugs and bumper stickersthat advocate the assasination of a sitting president.

Clay ’12

November 6th, 2009 Comments off

Clay Davis '12

I have no idea where this originated, so I can’t give proper attribution. A friend posted it on Facebook a while back and said it came from

I just know I’m all on board for Clay ’12.

For those seeking explanation, please see The Wire. No really… please see it, you’re missing out.