The Morning Briefing: It Is Rocket Science, and the Government Is Awful at It

Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Tuesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Certubrux spent half a year preparing for his groundbreaking “Liberace Riverdance” performance at the annual Quad Cities “Gefiltefest.”

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As is usually the case the day after a federal holiday, things will be quick(ish) today. The Mailbag is back, though!

My friend Stephen Green wrote a couple of articles about rockets yesterday, and I can never resist a good rocket story. I defer to his expertise in all things having to do with space travel, but I’m going to go off about the bureaucracy, which is something that both of us have a history of writing about. 

First up is Stephen’s article about Boeing’s beleaguered Starliner. (Believe it or not, the AI doesn’t autosuggest “beleaguered” after typing “Boeing’s,” but it’ll get there.) 

VodkaPundit

Engineers working to solve Boeing’s Starliner helium leak uncovered an unrelated “design vulnerability” on Friday that in an extremely unlikely set of circumstances could prevent the deorbit burn that allows its crew to return to Earth, but NASA has given the go-ahead for launch on June 1.

Here we go again…?

I’ve written twice in the last two weeks about a small helium leak in one of the 28 maneuvering thrusters on Starliner’s service module that forced NASA to scrub the planned May 21 inaugural manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Originally rescheduled for last week, the launch was put off again while engineers figured out whether they could fix the helium leak — that they described as “small and stable” or just “get comfortable” with it.

Here we go again, indeed. 

I’m sure we’re all having flashbacks to the Challenger and Columbia tragedies, when NASA ignored warnings in order to avoid bad publicity. Now NASA is partnered with Boeing, perhaps the company most in need of a win and some good publicity on the planet. 

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What could go wrong?

Boeing’s track record with safety has been abysmal since late 2018, when the first of two Boeing 737 Max 8 planes crashed. Boeing was accused of rushing the 737 Max planes into production. The company’s troubles in the last few months have been well-chronicled here. 

Boeing and NASA are hardly a dream team. They’re both plagued by different kinds of bureaucracies that have had some historic misses. Those misses have all come with body counts. 

We’ll just have to hope and pray that this isn’t one of them. 

Now we’re on to Stephen’s column about President LOLEightyonemillion and SpaceX’s Starship

If Biden were genuinely interested in this country keeping and expanding our space dominance — which is necessary to our economic growth, technological innovation, national security, and our American need to dream — he’d tell his gawdawful federal bureaucracy that Starship is a national priority (which it is) and to get the hell out of Elon Musk’s way.

Instead, Starship’s fourth test flight awaits the slow-moving federal bureaucracy’s insistence that the soup doesn’t taste right until they’ve had a chance to pee in it. The ship is stacked and ready to go. SpaceX says the flight could take place as soon as June 5 (and likely could have come much sooner) but the bottleneck is the wait for an updated Federal Aviation Administration license and regulatory approval. Or maybe it will take longer.

There is no doubt that the typical “slow as molasses in January” federal bureaucratic processes at the FAA are a huge part of the problem. Something else could be at play here, and I’m not the first one to think of it. 

Elon Musk has, um, rocketed up the Democrats’ enemies list since he bought Twitter, gave it the worst rebrand in history and started letting people say more stuff. Hell hath no fury like Democrats losing their control over a media platform. 

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The Biden administration hasn’t hesitated to behave in a punitive manner towards those it feels have wronged it politically. Elon Musk has really trampled their feelings of late. It’s not outlandish to think that the FAA is getting some communication from on high ordering it to slow play all things SpaceX. 

In fact, it’s rather in character for this goonish lot (I’ve been watching a lot of British television lately). 

Maybe Musk should tell Biden he’s launching a Tesla. 

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The Mailbag of Magnificence contributions can be sent to [email protected].

The Mailbag of Magnificence

We’ll kick things off with this note from David: 

Howdy Kruiser;

Trump does have one thing in common with Mussolini – the trademark jaw-jutting.  He should cut it out, along with the school yard stuff and the hysterical crap like “they authorized deadly force to kill me!”   If he would just keep reciting the price of gas, milk, and mortgages; then and now,  Abraham Accords and the elimination of ISIS vs. the shambles the Middle East is in now, he might persuade some in the mushy middle to abandon the scary cadaver in the White House and actually vote for him, even though he is a jackass.  I’ll have to.

I do think that Trump was sticking to a good script until he had to hang around New York all of this time. The Dems aren’t wearing him out with the lawfare to the extent that they’d like to, but his frustration with the nonsense is apparent. Regarding him as a person, as I’ve written many times: I’m looking for a president, not a prom date. We don’t have to like each other. 

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Charlotte writes: 

Hey, Kruiser-Man,

Hurry back. Your replacements are ok, but there’s no “Everything Isn’t Awful.” Your briefing & “Everything Isn’t Awful” are the start to my day. Hurry back!

Let’s set the record straight on one thing: the people who fill in for me are wonderful. They do it out of the goodness of their hearts and because they’re friends of mine. Lifesavers all. The good news for those who can’t get enough of me is that I rarely take time off in chunks like that. The Tucson visit of Mr. and Mrs. VodkaPundit just happened to be close to the New York trip for my daughter’s law school graduation. They all deserved my full attention. I probably won’t be absent again until long after I’ve nursed my election hangover. 

This is from Jim: 

Mr. Kruiser

 I have been enjoying (and paying for) your wit since Kruiser Control on the late great PJTV.

 [I can’t believe that Kruiser-kid is on the cusp of becoming a lawyer.  Please have her take post graduate lessons from Schlichter]

We talked for a moment at the Dulles Airport Holiday Inn when you, Katz and Dick Morris were campaigning for Bush.

 Anyway, I have been watching the campus protests and looking at all the pictures which started me to thinking “before Oct 7, what was the market for keffiyeh scarfs here in the good old U S of A?” From where did they all of a sudden appear and where do 20-year-old liberal co-eds get one in a hurry? 

It then occurred to me that some great entrepreneur(s) saw a need and decided to fill it. 

Next place I looked was the Jeff Bezos home page and (as Biden would say), Son of a Gun, you can get them in all sizes and shapes.

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What is the best part??? Guess what is their “country of origin”?

You can take a guess, look it up for yourself or accept my hint of 10% for the big guy.

What a country!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, that was a long time ago. Thanks for hanging around all these years! Tony Katz and I were actually campaigning against Tim Kaine on that trip. Well, his policies, anyway. Dick Morris was gracious and fun. He still gets everything wrong, but he was a nice guy. 

It would have been nice to have the Fake Muslim concession at the encampments. I have to start being more opportunistic. 

As for KruiserKid listening to Schlichter — he told her not to go to law school. 

We’ll finish with a couple of questions from Arnold, who’s referencing the conversation I had with my cousin

Hey Kruiser,

How did that conversation go?  Are you two still speaking?

My cousins and I are tight. We’ve never let politics interfere with anything. Another cousin and I have been going at it about politics since we were teenagers. He’s always been super-lefty and I never had a wandering liberal phase when I was young. We would just get it out of our systems and be done with it. That was back in the day. I can’t remember the last time that we discussed anything remotely political. 

Please keep those digital cards and letters coming, my friends!

Everything Isn’t Awful

I’m starting to think these are all AI. I have NEVER seen dogs and cats get along like this.

PJ Media

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