The problem with the Obamacare scam:

Faced with incontrovertible evidence that he and his allies have no intention or ability to fulfill their commitment to Americans regarding their current coverage, President Obama decided today at his press conference to try to redefine the promise. What he meant, he now says, is that the government wouldn’t force people out of their health-care plan. If tens of millions of people get pushed out of their current coverage, it would be because firms chose to drop their insurance plans — never mind the fact that they would do so based on the financial incentives the government put in place.

They must think we’re stupid. Of course, based on last November’s election results, they have some basis for it.

The First Weightless Wedding

Back in the early nineties, when I unsuccessfully tried to get a weightless experience business started, this was one of the markets for it. It took a lot longer than I hoped or expected back then, and I didn’t make it happen, but I’m glad that someone did. And I see that she used one of the designs that Misuzu had the contest for as a wedding dress.

Of course, as usual, almost everyone gets this wrong:

The idea of these flights seems to be that the plane makes 16 huge dips from 36,000 feet to 24,000 feet to simulate zero gravity.

The weightless effect doesn’t just occur on the descent — it occurs through the entire parabola, up and down. If it only happened on the way down, the weightless period would only be half the time that it actually is.

More From Mark’s Imaginary Friends

Here’s the latest straw man:

A lot of people are confidently predicting the death of Ares 1 just becaus [sic] the Second Augustine Commission exists.

I’m not aware of anyone who predicts the death of Ares I on “just” that basis. Can Mark point to someone in particular, or is it one of the mysterious and always unnamed members of the “Internet Rocketeer Club”?

We (or at least I) predict the death of Ares I because its schedule continues to slip (expanding the dreaded “gap”), its technical problems continue to mount with no obvious solution, its budget has ballooned to two and a half times the initial estimate, with no signs of coming under control, and it turns out that NASA has been less than truthful about the competition, and put a thumb on the scale when it did its trade analyses to get the “right” answer. The existence of the Augustine Commission is simply a recognition of this reality by the administration. And Mark can take comfort from Rob Coppinger’s whistling past the Ares deathbed if he wishes — the ultimate disillusionment will simply be all the greater when the plug is pulled.

[Late afternoon update]

Imaginary friends, and imaginary behavior:

Rand Simberg screams and leaps again at my analysis…

Hilarious. One wonders how many moons orbit the planet on which he resides, from whatever alternate universe he posts this insanity. I neither “screamed” or “leaped,” as anyone can see, above.

And what “analysis”? He did no analysis. He never does an analysis. He’s simply incapable of it, not understanding the things he’s “analyzing.” He just pointed to a post by Rob Coppinger.

And then there’s this:

…repeating some of the standard conspiracy theories concerning Ares and its alternatives.

“Conspiracy theories”?

Mark, it is not a “conspiracy theory” that the schedule is slipping to the right. It is a fact, documented by the GAO.

It is not a “conspiracy theory” that Ares I development costs have gone from fourteen billion to thirty-five billion, by Steve Cook’s own admission. That is a fact.

Facts are stubborn things. Though not as stubborn, apparently, as Mark.

And this:

He seems to suggest (though likely, being Rand, he will deny it in retrospect) that Augustine could actually report that Ares is still the best alternative but it will ultimately fail anyway.

I only “seem to suggest” that to someone who has difficulty parsing out plain English.

Barack Obama…

meet reality:

Whew! What happened? Well, that, no doubt, is what the Obama team must be wondering. It is not merely the president’s poll numbers which are crumbling; it is the premises which formed his world view and domestic agenda which are disintegrating. The world is a dangerous place with despots immune to even “smart diplomacy.” Governments really can’t spend their way to prosperity. And even in an economic recession America remains a right-of-center country.

Obama, it seems, never confronted a critical media or a viable political opponent who could effectively quiz him on his assumptions and policy prescriptions. He waltzed through an election on essentially a “not Bush” campaign and a cloud of feel-good messages ungrounded in the real world. But once in office he finds the world — filled with rogue states, recalcitrant laws of economics, squirrely citizens, and cold, hard budget numbers — is not so easily charmed. Facts are stubborn things, after all.

I always find hilarious the lack of irony with which these people presume to call themselves the “reality based community.”

At Least He’s Being Honest

Sort of:

I’m…glad to see that Ezra Klein is explicit about his acceptance that climate change is expected to have extremely limited effects on the United States for at least the next hundred years. I figure that ought to be pretty important when debating the proper policies for the government of the United States. On the other hand, we continue to disagree about the financial efficiency of the foreign aid program defined by transforming the energy sector of the American economy in order to very slightly ameliorate a predicted problem that might affect people who might live in low-lying equatorial regions of the world decades from now.

As Bjorn Lomborg would say, it’s a lousy deal. But of course, it’s not about economic efficiency. It’s about forcing everyone into the secular religion of our moral betters.

[Early afternoon update]

Keep the lights on! Fight the bill.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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