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        4. Thursday, May 23, 2019

          Dear NASA, SpaceX blew up.

          I'm surprised there hasn't been more reporting on this.

          During a static test of SpaceX Crewed Vehicle, Dragon, the vehicle exploded. A leaked video and commentary was posted on the web before SpaceX could stop it. The media referred to the explosion as an "anomaly". You can watch the video below.

          This was suppose to have tested the abort system on the crewed vehicle. SpaceX was scheduled to put humans into this vehicle for their first manned trip to the Space Station in late 2019. I can only hope the root cause of this "anomaly" will be found, corrected, and re-tested before any human being puts a foot into it. They have successfully launched the crewed vehicle without a crew and docked with the Space Station earlier in the year.

          This is not the first vehicle that blew up on the pad for SpaceX. In 2016 an unmanned vehicle was destroyed along with the payload. In 2015 they had another "anomaly" which destroyed the payload and vehicle. Payloads can be replaced. Humans cannot. This isn't pushing the envelope technology. Escape systems were developed over 50 years ago. "Anomalies" like this should concern everyone. Especially the crew.

          BTW. NASA successfully tested the Launch Abort System for the Orion Crewed Vehicle being developed by Lockheed back in 2010. 

          Wednesday, May 22, 2019

          Slap down of Houston Police Union President, Joe Gamaldi

          In the words of Hank Hill, that boy ain't right.

          Houston Police Union President, Joe Gamaldi, is sowing discontent between the Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney's office. (More about that later) It's probably because he is trying to divert attention away from his ill advised press conference after the botched raid resulting in 4 Police Officers being shot. Here's the story from Click 2 Houston:

          After the botched raid, while our officers were recovering in the hospital, Gamaldi went on a tirade blaming activists. Here is what he said:
          “if you’re the ones that are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, just know we’ve all got your number now, we’re going to be keeping track of all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure that we hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers. We’ve had enough, folks. We’re out there doing our jobs every day, putting our lives on the line for our families.”
          Police Chief Acevedo, in an email, clarified and denounced Gamaldi's statements:
           I made it clear that President Gamaldi represents the HPOU and that I, as the Chief of Police, along with my executive team, run the Houston Police Department.  I also stated that activists should not be painted with a broad brush nor should the Houston Police Department be painted with a broad brush due to the comments of one person.  Rather, the Houston Police Department should be judged by the body of its work as performed by its leaders, officers and support staff.  The 5200 professionals that make up the Houston Police Department work tirelessly to build relationships with the community, including our activist community.  The Houston Police Department is not “keeping track” or “targeting” activists.
          The fallout from the botched raid is going to be felt for a long time. Cases have been dismissed due to the actions of the Police Officer responsible for the botched raid. Indictments are sure to follow. Gamaldi ought to do everyone a favor, let our HPD do their jobs, and shut the hell up for a while.

          Monday, May 20, 2019

          Donating Campaign Cash: Tony Buzbee playing both sides

          There is nothing worse than someone who attempts to play both sides. Case in point, Tony Buzbee, Republican running for the Mayor of Houston.

          Since 2011 Buzbee has donated $905,601 to various candidates. $520,423 to Republicans, $268,678 to Democrats, $17,100 to unknown candidates, and $100,000 to Texans for Insurance Reform. Texans for Insurance Reform is described as
          "The sole mission of Texans for Insurance Reform PAC is to stand with and support candidates for the Texas Legislature.  Candidates who aren't afraid to stand up to the insurance industry....."
          The details of the donations are significant. On the Republican side Buzbee donated $308,000 to Greg Abbott and $79,000 to Rick Perry, and $2000 to the Galveston County Republican Party. He gave nothing to the Harris County Republican Party. He donated about $142,492 to a number of judicial candidates.

          On the Democratic side Buzbee helped the party wipe out the Republican judges in Harris County with his $90,000 donation to the Harris County Democratic Party not including the $20,000 to their Federal PAC in 2018. He also donated $176,178 to Democratic Judicial Candidates. Every one of them won.

          Tony Buzbee used to be a Democrat. He was the Chair of the Galveston County Party and a Democratic candidate for House District 23. Then he struck it rich and started to be a player. As I have said before:
          In 2016 Buzbee gave the Trump Victory Fund $250,000. He held a fundraiser for Trump at his home in River Oaks. He donated $35,000 to Trump's PAC and $165,000 to the RNC. He then donated $500,000 to Trump's inauguration
          He is player, playing both sides, but Democrats know better. Maybe the Republican Judges that are without a job understand this also.

          Friday, May 17, 2019

          Ted Cruz is right. There are pirates at NASA

          From SpaceRef
          During a Senate hearing our Texas sized idiot, Ted Cruz, said the following concerning NASA and the Space Force:

          "Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space.

          "In this same way, I believe we too must now recognise the necessity of a Space Force. To defend the nation, and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration."

          Yes. He said that out loud. Beside the fact there is no space commerce and there will never be any space commerce, there are no pirates in space. Never has been. Never will be. Trump's Space Force is a Farce. It's another reason to sink more money into the military budget. It also gives a good reason to make a fool out of yourself. Ted Cruz did just  that.

          But....there was once a group of pirates at Johnson Space Center back in the 90's working on a rescue
          Ted Wolverine Cruz
          vehicle called X-38. They adopted the skull and bones flag and called themselves pirates, getting the job done, ignoring bureaucracy and the NASA model historically used for vehicles that would carry crew members. They were free spirited led by someone who enjoyed the spotlight, standing on tables in the conference room during meetings, yelling for his staff from the opposite side of the building, and removing technical people from his project when they would question the technical decisions being made. NASA management and the legal office never liked the pirate label. It gave the appearance that they were pirating software or breaking established rules and federal laws as well as safety regulations.

          The X-38 was eventually cancelled by Bush Jr. and the pirate vehicle was sent to Nebraska for display. Yes. Nebraska.

          Wednesday, May 08, 2019

          Raising Campaign Cash: Bill King

          From Houston Public Media
          King is yet another Republican who wants to buy his seat.

          In his campaign finance report filed 1/4/2019 King has $108,000 with a $110,000 outstanding loan from himself. So he basically is running a deficit in his own campaign much like what most republican are good at. King has had up to $685,000 in outstanding loans since his last campaign in 2015.

          In his report filed 1/15/2016, after his first loss, King has an outstanding loan balance of $650,000 with a Cash on Hand of $52,000 after spending $701,000 and raising $485,000. There isn't a clear source of the $650,000 loan. There are a couple of $150,000 loan entries from his 2015 run for Mayor but I could not find the other $300,000 entries.

          Buying an election has become a republican trait. King is a republican.

          Tuesday, May 07, 2019

          The Honorable and Childish Pete Olson

          It makes you want to ask Congressman Pete Olson: "How old are you? 12?". From his latest tweet:

          Aint that just so cute. This is a Uniteds States Congressman tweeting this childish stupidity. Olson used to be in a safe district so he was required to be the waterway for Trump, to lead chants like CNN Sucks, to nominate Trump for a Noble Peace Prize for his photo op with Kim Jun Un. Its what you do when you are in a safe district. But that has changed.

          In 2018 he returned to Congress after winning by only 3 points, in a district he was to have won by 15. In 2020 he will have a well financed and experienced challenger that has reached out to all voters in the district and one that would actually be worthy of the label "The Honorable".

          Until then Olson is worthy of the label "The Childish".

          Monday, May 06, 2019

          HCDE Trustee Michael Wolfe censured over sexual allegations

          Leave it to a dick. From an email from Harris County Department of Education Trustee Eric Dick:
          Harris County Department of Education’s board voted to censure Trustee Michael Wolfe over sexual harassment allegations hours after a state district judge denied his request for a temporary restraining order.
          Dick has been a dick about this issue for months. He and Wolfe have had a fallout with a lot of finger pointing and allegations. The investigation recommended that Wolfe and Dick should not be involved in screening applicants for employment and should not be on a committee together. Both are like children in an adult Department working for children. In a previous email Dick said:
          The investigation clearly shows that Mike Wolfe is a pervert. He should resign immediately. If he refuses, I beg the County Attorney to file a law suit to remove him. It is unacceptable to serve as an elected official when you sexually harassed someone." - Eric Dick
          The investigation he is referring to was filed by Dick against Wolfe and the recommendations included comments against Dick:
          The process of hiring the Executive Assistant was tainted by Messrs. Dick and Wolfe. Transparency was sacrificed in the cause of political cronyism. The testing/ranking process was turned into a sham. The way Messrs. Dick and Wolfe, in particular, pushed their less-qualified friends and allies into running for the job of Board Secretary opened HCDE up to charges of favoritism and bias, caused employees to lose faith, and rendered the process arbitrary.
          These allegations are serious and should be investigated by the Harris County Public Integrity Office. Wolfe and Dick do not deserve to be on the board.


          Medicare for All is not for everyone

          Bernie Sanders (S-VT) has filed Senate Bill 1129 establishing the "Medicare for All" act. This bill has a 0 chance of ever becoming law. Zero. As in Nada. Zero. Zip. It has as much chance of passing as the 912 other bills that he has filed over the last 30 years with only 3 becoming law. It is a Socialist pipe dream.

          Sander's bill has been sent to the Finance Committee and will get a hearing so the republicans can talk about the $32 Trillion price tag and use testimony in ads to attack every Democrat who runs on MCA. It had a hearing in the House with republicans taking to MSNBC to highlight this price tag although the CBO Cost Estimate has not been issued yet. Look for "Socialism" and "Socialized Medicine" to be said over and over and over again even though it is not Socialized Medicine.

          There is no doubt that our health care system is the most expensive in the world probably because the insurance companies add 20-30% on top of the cost of care for their salaries and the high cost of services and drugs prices are driven by the insurance companies. It's a vicious cycle but will Medicare for All or Single Payer, or Universal Health Care solve it? No.

          No because Sander's bill has absolutely no way to become law. He is the last person in Congress along with any other Socialist to be leading the charge on this, including freshman Socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. It's not only a pipe dream it is a weapon that will be used against us.

          The Affordable Care Act barely passed in both chambers and required help from Republicans in the Senate to get it to the floor and eventually passed into law. In the words of Joe Biden "This is a big f****** deal!". And it was. It was the first major overhaul of our health care system in decades and it required months of hearings and working with both parties something Sanders has not and will not do. His MCA is a legislative pipe dream.

          With that, Medicare for All isn't for everyone. It is for no one.

          Friday, May 03, 2019

          Raising Campaign Cash: Tony Buzbee

          True to form.

          Just like Trump, Buzbee is trying to buy his way into the Mayor's office or at least attempt to. Money Mayes Middleton the Republican in Galveston did the same thing raising $2.5 Million with $2.25 Million coming out of his own pocket. Besides the fact he bought his way into the race and defeated a fellow Republican he spent $2.5 Million for a seat that should have cost no more than $500,000 if it was a competitive race. It wasn't.

          Buzbee, like Trump and Money Mayes Middleton, has money to burn, a lot of money to burn. According to his campaign finance report of 1/2019 he had only one donor, himself, for $2 Million. This is a donation not a loan. He has spent over $500,000 most going to an out of state media firm.

          This has become a pattern for republicans running for office. Kathleen Wall spent $6 million of her own money in a losing effort to win a seat in Congress. Patrick Fallon raised $2 Million with $1.8 coming from his own pocket. Former State Senator Huffines spent $6 Million of his own money of his $7.4 Million total.

          Huffines lost. So did Wall. Maybe Buzbee can be added to that pattern.

          Thursday, May 02, 2019

          FYI: Tony Buzbee is a Republican. When he needs to be.

          Buzbee is playing both sides.

          Mary Hamon, Communications Director for Tony Buzbee questioned the owner of a spreadsheet which listed Tony Buzbee as a Republican and asked that it be changed to "Independent". Here is the request via Erik:

          The spreadsheet will not be changed and for good reasons. Buzbee used to be a Democrat. He was the Chair of the Galveston County Democratic Party for a short time. He ran against Larry Taylor for State Representative. That was all before he became very wealthy. Then he switched to the Republican Party.

          As I have said before:
          In 2016 Buzbee gave the Trump Victory Fund $250,000. He held a fundraiser for Trump at his home in River Oaks. He donated $35,000 to Trump's PAC and $165,000 to the RNC. He then donated $500,000 to Trump's inauguration

          But that is not all. Since 2015 Buzbee has become the sugar daddy of a number of state parties donating $110,000 to the Republican Party in 11 different states. He has donated over $1,000,000 to various candidates including $308,000 to Greg Abbott and $80,000 to Rick Perry.

          On top of that Buzbee is courting the Houston Pastors Council, and extreme right wing, of the Republican Party that prides themselves in attacks on the gay community.

          Buzbee is also playing both sides. He donated $110,000 to the Harris County Democratic Party and tens of thousands to various judicial candidates which resulted in every Republican judge to be ousted from their court. He played the Republican Party. Idiots.

          So is Buzbee a republican? You're damn right he is. His support of trump and the Pastors Council should disqualify him for Mayor and solidify him as another politically ignorant ahole.