NASA

Bolden: not worried about sequestration

Bolden at STA luncheon

One word has been on the lips of official Washington the last two weeks, and also inhabiting its nightmares: sequestration. It’s the official term for the automatic budget cuts scheduled to be triggered in fiscal year 2013 after the failure of the “supercommittee” last month to come up with its own deficit reduction plan. One of the few people in Washington who doesn’t appear to be openly worried about sequestration, though, is NASA administrator Charles Bolden.

“I don’t talk about sequestration because I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Bolden said in response to a question about any NASA planning for sequestration during a Space Transportation Association luncheon on Capitol Hill Monday. He said he’s optimistic that Congress will find a solution in the coming months that will prevent the automatic cuts from going into effect. “We are not planning for sequestration. We are not budgeting for sequestration. We are in the normal budget process” of working with the administration on the agency’s FY13 budget request, he said.

Bolden said his focus was instead executing on the FY12 budget, which was enacted last month. He called getting that budget passed “a huge deal” in a positive way. “The proposal and the disposition ended up being pretty doggone close,” he said, referring to how the final budget was close to the administration’s original budget request. “So we’re happy.”

One discrepancy between the original proposal and the final budget was in the agency’s commercial crew program, for which the administration requested $850 million but received only $406 million. “We’re going to continue to look at the commercial crew program to find out the most effective and efficient way we can bring it into being,” he said when asked about any potential changes in the program given the reduced funding. “We’re going to continue to work on that.” He did not disclose any specifics about potential changes, including whether NASA will proceed as previously planned with an RFP for the Integrated Design Phase, the next phase of the program.

Bolden did emphasize the importance of commercial crew during his talk. “We’re committed to having American companies, with sufficient oversight to ensure human safety, send our astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station, rather than continuing to outsource this work to foreign governments,” he said. “I’m trying to be very, very, very, clear, and it’s important for me to say that in these halls.” He noted it costs NASA $450 million a year to buy Soyuz seats, a figure he said would likely increase in the future. “So we can either choose to either continue to pay that, or we can foster what we know can be a successful industry here in the United States.”

On another topic, Bolden confirmed it remains NASA’s long-term plan to send astronauts to Mars first on an orbital mission and then, at some later date, perform a human landing on the Red Planet, a slower rate than what one member of Congress suggested in a press release last week. “Ideally you would want to land them in the decade that you orbited,” he said, declining to provide a specific schedule given the uncertainties involved in planning such a mission at this time. “The big challenge right now for us is developing the technologies, the capabilities we now know we don’t have” but are needed for such a mission.

37 comments to Bolden: not worried about sequestration

  • GeeSpace

    Bolden confirmed it remains NASA’s long-term plan to send astronauts to Mars first on an orbital mission and then, at some later date, perform a human landing on the Red Planet. “Ideally you would want to land them in the decade that you orbited, The big challenge right now for us is developing the technologies, the capabilities we now know we don’t have” but are needed for such a mission.

    So, NASA will send people on a multi-month trip to fly around Mars without any landing on the planet or ine of its moons. Perhaps, NASA should first send a monkey or monkeys to fly around Mars.

    Secomd. it takes 15-20 years of development to develop Mars mission technolpgy?? New concepts (game changingm if ciurse) need to be developed because apparently the concepts and techologies in existing trade studies are too old fashion.

    .

  • Sounds like Charlie’s thinking on sequestration is the same as what I suggested months ago — Congress will ignore its own legislation, or they’ll reverse it.

    If Obama is re-elected, hopefully he’ll stick to his promise to end the Bush tax cuts, which will go a long way towards reducing the deficit, and sequestration will be largely irrelevant.

    And not to stray too far off-topic, but since Charlie brought up Mars … One value of the ISS is to learn what happens to the human body during long-duration spaceflight. It’s 6-9 months one way to Mars. A tour of duty on the ISS is six months.

    In recent months, several studies have been released showing the harmful effects of long duration spaceflight. ISS crew members have suffered optic damage. One month of spaceflight is equal to one year of bone loss here on Earth. And the latest study suggests that the human heart atrophies in microgravity.

    We have a lot of fundamental problems to overcome before we even think about sending people to Mars.

  • Jim Muncy

    I think Charlie is evidencing his Marine training of not worrying about something he can’t control. Sequestration is going to happen, it will cost NASA about a billion in FY2013, and it will force choices on NASA and even the U.S. Senate.

  • vulture4

    I just do not agree on the effects of weightlessness. People have been in orbit for up to 14 months with only minor problems. There have been several cases of visual changes, but certainly nothing disabling. Anyone might need new glasses after a year. The bone loss is not as severe as is seen in people immobilized by spinal cord injury; a reasonable level of exercise can minimize it.

    The main obstacle to going to Mars is the same as it has always been; with current technology it is much too expensive for any Congress, Dem or OP, or any tourist, to pay for it.

    As to the budget, there are devastating cuts in Commercial Crew and even more severe in technology development, both relatively small budget items with high payoffs. This was done to boost the already gargantuan Constellation budget. KB Hutchinson in particular seemed repulsed by the idea that private industry might actually put Americans in space again before the Bush-era SLS/Orion, and was intent on holding back Commercial Crew for as many years as it takes to let Constellation go first.

  • vulture4

    If sequestration ends the Bush Tax Cuts it will be worth it. I do not see this happening; the Dems will crack at the last minute and extend the tax breaks in exchange for Republicans not calling them bad names.

  • stick to his promise to end the Bush tax cuts, which will go a long way towards reducing the deficit

    That would either do little for the deficit, or worsen it, since they weren’t “tax cuts,” but “tax rate” cuts. The two things are not the same.

  • Mark R. Whittington

    Actually sequestration is not going to happen for the simple reason that Congress will not agree to put a gun against its own head and pull the trigger.

  • Coastal Ron

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    In recent months, several studies have been released showing the harmful effects of long duration spaceflight… We have a lot of fundamental problems to overcome before we even think about sending people to Mars.

    Agreed. I think there is a lot of hope that medical breakthroughs will solve many of these problems, but I don’t think they will, or at least won’t soon enough.

    I have long thought that learning how to build artificial gravity space stations would enable us to stay for long periods of time at the Moon, Mars and anywhere else we want to go. For now that means mastering rotating space stations, and they will have to be fairly long/large in order to mitigate rotational effects.

    Without artificial gravity our astronauts will be risking their lives not only at the end of the missions when they return home, but also mid-mission if something happens to them physically. Losing an astronaut (or two) on a mission, or having a crew come back with serious health issues, will have a devastating effect on future missions. Stationing a “mini-Earth” in orbit above the Moon and Mars allows for easy access to frequent R&R, which should slow down the detrimental effects of being in space for so long.

    Because many proposed missions keep wanting to echo Apollo-style exploration (i.e. Earth-to-Moon or Earth-to-Mars without stopping in-between), no serious thinking and planning is going into what it takes to live in space far away from Earth. I think they’re being short-sighted.

    My $0.02

  • Edgar Zapata

    It actually is productive to think through things we can’t control. The thinking that one should focus on what can be controlled has nothing to do with the external matters that can’t be controlled. Yet somehow it seems to me that the saying and thinking about “control” has gotten this fame and been misunderstood in management and leadership circles more and more as time goes by.

    Look at it this way, using a battlefield analogy. Do you control where an enemy decides to attack, or where an enemy decides to setup camp? Ignoring the presence, location or potential direction of this external factor is a sure way to have the enemy decide the day of battle, on his terms. Being informed and thinking through how to react, matters under ones control, or where to attack, is the best way to assure that the location of battle and it’s terms are more to your advantage.

    Similarly, scenario planning that considers mostly external circumstances is practiced by the leadership of many large corporations. The idea is to define how to best respond to many potential scenarios. That set of actions under ones control that best responds across many scenarios would be favored actions and direction; again, wholly under ones control.

    I hope the answer eventually becomes something like the prior, that the agency takes on scenario planning at high levels, and that the administrators response was more about how worry can be unproductive if it’s energies are not channeled the right way.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Sounds like Charlie’s thinking on sequestration is the same as what I suggested months ago — Congress will ignore its own legislation, or they’ll reverse it.>>|

    I agree with Muncy on this…sequestration is going to happen.

    It is going to happen because there is not the political will or the politics in The Republic to reverse it. Gridlock is where we are and that means little changes. Particularly as we move into the “joy” that is going to be the election cycle.

    If it is just a GOP/DEM show or even if it is a Dem/GOP/INde show then there is going to be a debate over not only tax policy but also spending policy as the clock counts down on this one.

    In the end Charlie has to be happy. Muncy is correct that it is going to happen but it is going to end up costing NASA about 1.5 billion and htat will be the end of SLS.

    No matter what the Bush tax cuts will go away…but for everyone.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mark R. Whittington wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Actually sequestration is not going to happen for the simple reason that Congress will not agree to put a gun against its own head and pull the trigger.>>

    the clever part is that the GOP Congress has already done just that. As I predicted when the super committee idea surfaced…and was executed; the GOP has run itself into a Diablo canyon and one cannot figure why they did that. RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I would add one more thing

    On my Facebook page I have been predicting for sometime now that Newt would get a second vetting…and in the last month I have become convinced that Newt might actually be the nominee…in my view that possibility grows more likely every day.

    If Newt is the nominee then it will be entertaining how the sequestering thing works out particularly in terms of NASA.

    Newt (who I will most likely NOT vote for if he is the nominee) has figured something out that the rest of the little people in the GOP have not…this election will be about leadership/ideas/ideals…that is what is moving him now…and in large measure I suspect that he will start to advocate the things he has already talked about, about NASA.

    that will put many people here in at least to me…a fun position.

    Robert G. Oler

  • SpaceMan

    Newt might be the nominee (I sure hope so) but he has ZERO chance in the general, ZERO.

    Lotta you folks really need to “get out” more often and associate with actual citizens instead of your small circles of robotic yes people.

  • vulture4 wrote:

    I just do not agree on the effects of weightlessness. People have been in orbit for up to 14 months with only minor problems.

    The scientists actually involved with studying bone loss disagree with you:

    http://www.jaxa.jp/article/special/expedition/matsumoto01_e.html

  • Robert G. Oler wrote:

    It is going to happen because there is not the political will or the politics in The Republic to reverse it. Gridlock is where we are and that means little changes. Particularly as we move into the “joy” that is going to be the election cycle.

    Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Both parties have a common interest here — they don’t want to see their pork cut. So they will choose to either reverse sequestration or simply ignore it. If Congress chooses to violate its own law, who will file suit to challenge it? How long will it take to make it through the court system? Many years — long after the federal fiscal year has expired.

    The only way anything is done legally is if a sympathetic Supreme Court judge agrees they should hear the case ASAP — and even then, how will it be enforced? By the Justice Department? Can the Justice Department tell Congress not to violate its own budget policy? I don’t think so. In the end, Congress is the final arbiter of its own laws, so I think the Supremes will stay out of it and nothing will happen.

    On my Facebook page I have been predicting for sometime now that Newt would get a second vetting…and in the last month I have become convinced that Newt might actually be the nominee…in my view that possibility grows more likely every day.

    Not to drift too far off-topic, but if you watch last night’s Rachel Maddow show on her web site (click here) her opening segment was showing several clips where recently Newt proposed forcing poor children to work as janitors in their grade schools. The idea was endorsed by Donald Trump in a joint news conference the other day.

    If I’m running against Newt, all I have to do is run that clip in my campaign ads and it’s a cakewalk.

    In any case, Newt won’t be the nominee because he has no effective campaign organization — another point made by Rachel. Romney does, so in my opinion he’ll be the nominee absent some unforeseen event.

  • Robert G. Oler

    SpaceMan wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Newt might be the nominee (I sure hope so) but he has ZERO chance in the general, ZERO.>>

    the odds are you are correct…but actually Newt is one of the few GOP candidates who I can see an actual path to TWH for…although it is a slim one.

    If I were to use a sports analogy (gads) a Willard/Obama race is a jump ball. Both are people without any real public moral notion of the idea/ideals that they want to bend America to…and both have just horrific past in terms of sticking by what they say.

    Gingrich…well only Nixon could go to China. Gingrich has figured out that the notion in play in this election is not the economy; it is leadership. The American people are hungry for leadership and neither Obama nor the GOP House has provided it. Obama is probably the weakest leader of our time.

    Gingrich has both ideas and ideals…perhaps to many of them; but like his NASA notions they are new and fresh and are a clear pathway to where he would take America.

    Now those ideas could either fall flat or be subject to nuttiness (like his kids working theory) or simply fall victim to Newts ability to self destruct…BUT if they dont well when someone shows up in a vacumn of leadership and is a leader, the American people excuse a lot of sins.

    Gingrich space politics and policy would to me be refreshing. Newt knows that human exploration of space by a government agency is a non seller in the country and he also knows that the bureacracy at NASA is the thickest matter in history (second well I guess to the Pentagon)…

    a campaign with some space policy discussion would be well entertaining to me watching the GOP faithful RGO

  • Newt might be the nominee (I sure hope so) but he has ZERO chance in the general, ZERO.

    The latest polls don’t support your wishful thinking.

  • Bolden has nothing to fear form sequestration.

    SLS is most likely target of budget cuts and Bolden has never found SLS essential to NASA’s immediate or nearer-terms goals. Neither House of Congress was able to do that convincingly either (beyond being a regional domestic jobs program).

    I don’t care much for Newt but methinks he’d do away with this SLS foolishness in short order and insist upon viable doable programs with real-time return on investment. He might even like Bolden and Garver if he can get past the campaign donations from ULA, Lockmart, etc.

    President Obama’s leadership is certainly there, it’s just GOP stalls and stymies any initiative for political reasons. Commercial Space is best example of Obama’s leadership and GOP’s failure. That’ll cost NASA billion(?)s in later years of this decade riding with Russians.

    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  • common sense

    Gingrich is rising since no one in the current crop of GOP candidates is half way competent enough.

    I believe he will not win, even if he is the nominee. I suspect too many skeletons or possibly even too many closets… We’ll see.

    What does it tell the GOPers that at the last election McCain was the nominee and that this time around Gingrich might be the one? Simply, there is no new blood. The GOP is fading away.

    Robert, I don’t think that what is missing is leadership in the WH. What is sorely missing is leadership in the Democratic Congress. People with guts.

    The GOP Congress? Well they don’t need leadership at this stage in Congress since all they do is try to demolish whatever this President is doing. But again they don’t have any good leader either. And they will loose these elections. Just ask yourself: What in heck do they propose to get out of this mess????? WHAT?

  • Robert G. Oler

    common sense wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Gingrich is rising since no one in the current crop of GOP candidates is half way competent enough. ..

    I dont agree.

    Newton is rising because he recognizes that The Republic yearns for a leader with new ideas and ideals for a new century and a new set of problems….and because Newt is a pretty good politician who has been blessed with complete political baffons for opponents.

    The GOP nomination process for over two decades (maybe since 1988) has been about amassing enough “wedge voters” to win the primary …and doing this by nuancing enough views on social and other issues to get a coalition of mostly immature voters. The GOP dislikes insurgent candidates…McCain was one in 00…and Gingrich is one now…

    Obama is viewed (and I think is) as a failure by a large majority of Americans and by almost all in the GOP base…and what Gingrich has been able to capitalize on is his notion of “a new Republic” one for this century.

    This is what I find amazing because his ideas for NASA are “new” and pretty solid. It will be entertaining if he is the nominee to see if he holds on to them.

    SLS/Orion most of the ideas of spaceflight concerning humans are very “last century”…now Newt has a habit of talking large and progressive and then fading in the legislative stretch…but the next few months should in my view be interesting particularly if the campaign gets to FL…(which it might)

    Then we will see what Newt says about space RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Rand Simberg wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    The latest polls don’t support your wishful thinking….

    you are smarter then that. Head to head matchups in the general are meaningless now. (and Rasmussen in particular over polls Republicans, even Fox dropped him as their pollster) Having said that if one goes into the basic focus groups one sees a way to TWH for Newt…it is right now a thin one, but it could grow. There is no other real road for any other GOP candidate. RGO

  • nom de plume

    common sense wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Obvious the GOP are trying to take political advantage with this mess so that they can blame Obama and the Senate for all our country’s woes. How else could they take back the Presidency, make executive branch appointments, eliminate whole departments, retain majority rule in the House, and win majority in the Senate? Strategy? .Not by leadership. If people get disgusted enough with negative politics, voter turn-out will be low. Then all the GOP campaign has to do is mobilize their base.

    Back on topic, wouldn’t a sequestration go in effect 1/1/13? So the outcome of the elections will be known just prior. A year from now we could have a lame duck congress that either brokers a last minute deal with a victorius Obama, or with a lame duck president, or no deal – sequestration. NASA’s FY13 budget will likely be a mess because of the uncertainty. Regardless of the outcome of the elections, I don’t see a scenario where SLS will continue to be funded much longer given the push to cut trillions from the federal budget.

  • Robert G. Oler

    common sense wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    “Robert, I don’t think that what is missing is leadership in the WH. What is sorely missing is leadership in the Democratic Congress. People with guts. ”

    Slightly off topic but no. Leadership would include getting the Dem Congress particularly when it was a majority and He (Obama) had political capital on his side RGO

  • Stephen C. Smith wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 1:53 pm
    The scientists actually involved with studying bone loss disagree with you:

    Not to make too much of it, but I am also a scientist and I have been studying bone for over 30 years, using everything from dual-photon densitometry to atomic force microscopy. Dr. Matsumoto is in the classic space life science dilemma. If he says something is actually dangerous he will be obligated to order his crewman not to fly. But if he says it is safe no one will see any need to fund his research. So he says it may be dangerous. Bisphosphonates have been around for over 30 years; they do slow bone loss although at the price of some side effects.

    But the suggestion that bone loss in disuse states continues indefinitlely is flatly wrong; studies in spinal cord injury shows that it slows with time and reaches equilibrium in about 18 months, and the ultimate level of bone loss can be reduce by even a moderate resistance exercise program. No one flying in space has ever had the degree of bone loss that is associated with a significant increase in fracture risk in comparable osteoporosis on the ground.

    It is a concern. But it is manageable.

  • Unfortunately the current attitude of congressional aides seems to be that if NASA takes a hit they will just cut everything equally, making Commercial and technology development practically disappear and ensuring (as if it were necessary) that SLS will spend most of the money and not produce anything of practical value.

    What an irony. NASA’s leadership apparently wants to do the right thing under the circumstances, and is being prevented from doing so by congress and by opposition within the NASA civil service and some of its major contractors.

  • Manny Louis

    Talk is cheap. SLS is in work and might prove usable for the future missions though seems like its largely redundant with other vehicles available now or in the future. Its hard to say what the role of Orion is. What, are they going to send astronauts to Mars in an Orion capsule. Really? I can see the astronauts yelling and screaming after the first couple weeks “let me out!”. It makes no sense. The real issue is that NASA’s human space flight organization is not set up to go anywhere anytime soon. ISS might keep flying for another 20 years but as long as they stay organized this way, no more progress anywhere.

    So far it appears NASA is not putting forward a sensible plan. Where is the leadership?

  • Doug Lassiter

    Manny Louis wrote @ December 7th, 2011 at 9:05 am
    “So far it appears NASA is not putting forward a sensible plan. Where is the leadership?”

    Talk is cheap, and we’re doing it because in many respects that’s all we can afford. Having a Mars-cable craft and program is less a matter of leadership and more a matter of money. Even technology-wise, the extent to which SLS is unaffordable in the existing fiscal climate doesn’t make it a particularly sensible solution, though it allows it to be a monument to what can be spun good intentions. Apollo had money. Gobs of it. It happened to have good leadership too, but that was probably secondary. To the extent that leadership in the White House and Congress provides more money for our space program, I guess that’s important. But let’s be clear. The problem here isn’t NASA leadership.

  • common sense

    @ Robert G. Oler wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    “I dont agree.

    and because Newt is a pretty good politician who has been blessed with complete political baffons for opponents.”

    I think we do agree. You just formulated it slightly differently than I did.

    This being said I think you put way too much value into what Gingrich says. I do no see how he would a much better leader than our current President. ESPECIALLY if he is seen as an insurgent in his OWN party. A little like what Obama was in ’08. He may be more vocal than Obama but that does not make him a leader. A leader is one who can bring people together. You might argue that Obama is not a leader. I am not so sure about that though. We’ll see next term.

    Gingrich supported Obama’s space policy. So indeed we’ll see what he has to say about it now. I hope he will not do a Romney on that one but I am not holding my breath.

  • common sense

    @ nom de plume wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    “Obvious the GOP are trying to take political advantage with this mess so that they can blame Obama and the Senate for all our country’s woes. How else could they take back the Presidency, make executive branch appointments, eliminate whole departments, retain majority rule in the House, and win majority in the Senate? Strategy? .Not by leadership. If people get disgusted enough with negative politics, voter turn-out will be low. Then all the GOP campaign has to do is mobilize their base.”

    None of what the GOP says will happen. Closing whole departments???? They don’t even have the bxlls to cut SLS/MPCV!!! Nah it is just fanfaronade. Of course Dept. of Education is a nest of liberals, but the Dept. of Energy???

    I would hope the US public would learn some lessons from past elections… “I am going to change Washington this and that”… Blahblahblah nonsense.

    We do not need a “new” President. We need a whole new Congress that will not arrogantly bask in shame in view of everyone.

    Will it happen? Probably not, not unless the crisis turns for the worse. Which Obama has been able to avert, so far. People tend to forget that. But Obama was able to keep the situation under some control. It is leadership. Leadership that may not be to the taste of every one, leadership nonetheless.

  • I do no see how he would a much better leader than our current President.

    I don’t see how almost anyone, including a random name out of the phone book, wouldn’t be.

    unless the crisis turns for the worse. Which Obama has been able to avert, so far. People tend to forget that. But Obama was able to keep the situation under some control. It is leadership. Leadership that may not be to the taste of every one, leadership nonetheless.

    The debt is a much higher percentage of the GDP than it was three years ago, at historic levels, the economy is stagnant, unemployment has gone down only because they don’t count the millions who have given up looking for work, the Middle East is melting down, as is the Eurozone. If that’s “leadership” and “keeping the situation under control,” and the “crisis not turning for the worse,” I’d hate to see the opposite.

  • MrEarl

    Gingrich carrys a huge burden left over from his time as Speaker of the House. I think it’s telling that of the members of the House that were swept in with Gingrich’s Contract with America in 1994 only one or two have endorsed him.

  • SpaceMan

    We need a whole new Congress that will not arrogantly bask in shame in view of everyone

    Absolutely.

    Very uncommon sane perspective. I doubt we will be fortunate enough to get such but stranger things have occurred. Mr. Obama has done about as good as possible under the circumstances. Term Two should be enjoyable.

    And for you Newties, I hope you keep deluding yourself clear through next November. Mr. Obama’s second term could be the necessary therapy for your recovery to reality.

    Thanks to RGO for responding correctly to the Simberg arrogance so I didn’t have to.

  • common sense

    @ Rand Simberg wrote @ December 7th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    “I don’t see how almost anyone, including a random name out of the phone book, wouldn’t be.”

    Please be specific. Who do you see today in the GOP contenders who might do better and why? With a real plan. Not the plan that shuts down two.. err three agencies. Or someone who thinks that his healthcare works in his State but not in the USA… A link will suffice.

    “If that’s “leadership” and “keeping the situation under control,” and the “crisis not turning for the worse,” I’d hate to see the opposite.”

    Yeah I would hate that too and it is not that far off. Also, I said the situation under “some” control.

    FWIW

  • common sense

    @ SpaceMan wrote @ December 7th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    “Very uncommon sane perspective.”

    Goes to who you how far “common sense” can get you…

    ;)

  • Robert G. Oler

    SpaceMan wrote @ December 7th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    “Mr. Obama has done about as good as possible under the circumstances. Term Two should be enjoyable.”

    If he gets it. I dont think the notion that it is a given is any more valid then the notion Rand and others pump out that he is toast. There are a lot of events in the next 11 months or so that will drive to one of those conclusions but it is hard to see where it is going now.

    World affairs, economic affairs (which are partly world but also local) the nature of the GOP primary, the nature of the nominee and the general election scenario (does a serious independent get in) all will have pretty serious perturbation as to the outcome…as of course will the dynamics of the fall campaign.

    it is undeniable that Americans are willing to replace Obama. This is not a going to end up (I believe) in its terminal phase as a 84 election or a 32 election or even a 72 election. It certianly is not now a 04 (1904) election where the incumbent although a “fill in” was a near certianty for election. If anything it is a 04 as in 2004 election. The American people are not happy with Obama, he has failed in leadership and to reverse the course that The Republic was on when they elected him TO DO JUST THAT.

    The question is, is there anyone to replace him with?

    Space politics and policy illustrate that (although they are not a serious part of the campaign). Obama has changed course, but if human spaceflight were something taken seriously then the course change would at best seemed muddled. Some (a lot) of the old still exist; Worse, Obama has not painted any sort of viable picture as to where the new policy is taking us (hence the clinging by “dead enders”…sorry couldnt resist…to the old notion of we “need a place as a goal”).

    This state of affairs is illustrative of almost the entire direction of his administration…and that is not satisfying to the American people.

    And that is why he (Obama) is the weakest President in my lifetime RGO

  • If he gets it. I dont think the notion that it is a given is any more valid then the notion Rand and others pump out that he is toast.

    I didn’t say he was toast. But reading comprehension has never been your long suit.

  • DCSCA

    Newt likes to profess he’s a “historian.” All the more reason to review his own history:

    “Gingrich Criticizes NASA

    House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Saturday that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should have been disbanded after the Apollo moon program ended in the 1970′s. Source- NY Times February 6, 1995″

    The history of Gingrich is self-destruction. This rise will be no different. And history both rhymes and repeats itself. Always. The “Newtonburg” is destined for his rendezvous with history… at Lakehurst.

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