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What Happens To Forecasting When America's Weather Satellites Die?

We look at what’s at stake for the future of weather forecasting when our aging weather satellites die.

This Aug. 5, 2014 satellite image provided by NASA shows two tropical Pacific Ocean hurricanes - Iselle at center and Julio at right - bearing down on Hawaii, top left. (AP)

This Aug. 5, 2014 satellite image provided by NASA shows two tropical Pacific Ocean hurricanes – Iselle at center and Julio at right – bearing down on Hawaii, top left. (AP)

The weather report comes on, satellite images light up our screens, and we see the future barreling down on us.  Hurricanes, super-storms, you name it – swirling across the blue Earth.  Tracked from space.  Our beach days depend on what we learn there.  But so do our farmers, our fliers, our cargo ships, our traffic planners, and sometimes our lives.  Now, incredibly, the US weather satellite system is in trouble.  Aging out, without guaranteed replacement.  We could soon be flying blind.  Depending on the Chinese military to forecast America’s weather.  This hour On Point:  a rough forecast on weather.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Kathryn Miles, writer-in-residence at Green Mountain College. Author of the forthcoming book, “Super Storm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy.” (@Kathryn_Miles)

Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia. (@DrShepherd2013)

Kerri Cahoy, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dave Brody, executive producer at Space.com. (@DavidSkyBrody)

From The Reading List

Popular Mechanics: America’s Weather-Tracking Satellites Are in Trouble — “To pull together your five-day forecast, meteorologists rely on two types of satellites. The first sits 22,000 miles up, capturing basic information on a fixed location. The second orbits the poles, 500 miles up, filling in crucial image gaps and, more important, providing essential information about cloud formation, surface temperatures, and atmospheric conditions—the data that help us know where a storm is heading and how big it will be when it gets there. “

NextGov: Hacker Breached NOAA Satellite Data From Contractor’s PC — “Unauthorized smartphone and thumb drive use was recently detected on 41 percent of components in systems supporting POES; 36 percent of GOES support systems; and 48 percent of components in the Environmental Satellite Processing Center, a system that handles data received from the satellites.”

The Vane: Why Can Google See Your Car But Satellites Can’t Clearly See Debris? — “Satellites are an integral part of life these days, from meteorologists tracking storm systems to spying on your neighbors in Google Earth. When Malaysia Airlines 370 went missing a few weeks ago, investigators turned to satellite imagery to aid search and rescue teams spot any possible wreckage in the ocean. While crews are using the blurry images as possible leads to search for debris, people on social media want to know why we can’t see the objects more clearly from space.”

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  • JS

    Send up more Satellites instead of building aircraft carriers we don’t need.
    (Not that we don’t need aircraft carriers, just don’t need many more)

  • James

    A friend of mine is working on this problem. All satellites need some fuel to extend their shelf life, otherwise gravity drags them back into the atmosphere and they burn up. But these satellites don’t have gas caps on them. They were sent up with the expectation that they would need to be replaced when they ran out of fuel. My friend is working on a way to refuel these satellite’s in space.

    • JAH

      What kind of fuel do most of these satellites use? i always assumed they were solar powered, is it that the batteries are just reaching their useful life? or do they use other types of fuel?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        They have to use rocket motors. Solar energy is for electricity used in the satellite, but it cannot provide propulsion.

    • commhealy

      What about nuclear or solar powered ion thrusters.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Not to worry: forecasting will be just as approximate* without satellites as with. The best forecaster of weather is still the man in his yard: being rained upon.

    * Often erroneous.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    A congress representative said (paraphrasing): Why do we need weather satellites, when we have the Weather Channel?”

    • AC

      that is awesome…..

    • TFRX

      Tangent time: Is this some Republican from Penna?

      I rememeber a bill introduced by a GOPer who wanted to keep you and me from going to weather.gov, the place where the weather channel gets its forecasting info. (The claim was that my tax money’s NOAA stuff should only be available through commercial entities who sell it to me.)

  • nj_v2

    Satellites? We don’t need no stinkin’ satellites! (I know, it’s a bastardized quote.)

    Just more wasteful, “big government” spending. And, they provide information that those commie, global-warming kooks use to scare us all! Who needs that?

    We should should just do what Rick Perry and the other whacknut, religious freaks sincere, intelligent, people of faith recommend and just pray for whatever weather we need.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/08/26/praying-for-rain-the-intersection-of-weather-and-religion/

    [[ Former Alabama Governor Bob Riley signed a proclamation in June 2007 asking Alabamians to pray for rain to help break the drought that gripped a large swath of the country.

    A few months later and following in Riley’s footsteps, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue held a controversial public prayer rally on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol in an attempt to break the drought through divine intervention.

    More recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a proclamation declaring April 22-24, 2011 the “Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas” in order to end the devastating drought of 2011 that crippled much of the southern and central United States, but hit Texas especially hard.… ]]

  • JGC

    Many of us will come to depend on HonestDebate1′s front porch rocker report (“It’s 59 degrees on my front porch this August night. I just love weather…”)

    • Ray in VT

      Well, all the scientist can’t be trusted.

      • nj_v2

        I bet some of those scientist are terrorist. You know, the global-warming ones.

        • Ray in VT

          Maybe they are terrorist. At the least they are likely lib pinheads, so common sense says not to trust them. They’re probably NSA spies feeding info to the IRS.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            And FEMA.

          • Ray in VT

            They are building concentration camps I hear.

          • dizzy7

            And planning to take away all our guns.

          • nj_v2

            Those scientist are just a bunch of alarmist.

      • JGC

        Ray in VT is walking his dog at a speed of 8 km/hr while rain is falling at an angle of 60 degrees. The time on his smartphone says it is now 11:30 a.m. Does JGC in Montreal need to take an umbrella when she goes out in the afternoon?

        • Ray in VT

          Maybe. From what direction is the rain coming down?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Yes. And no.

          • JGC

            Never mind, guys. I am just going to sit out on my own porch rocker and consult nj_v2′s weather rock…

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT – I figured you’d be interested in this, so I’m “using the back door” to let you know about:

            [Radical___Moderate], who has quoted (plagiarized, actually, sound familiar?) some cherry-picked data, from a source linked to white nationalist/separatist/supremacists.

            If you’re interested in reading the thread, go to the “Legacy And Lessons From Ferguson” forum. You’re looking for this comment from [TFRX]:

            “TFRX • a day ago
            “There is not a phenomenon of young white people being shot by black police officers.”

            This fact has to be stated in the press more. It’s basic backgroung.

            I applaud Cobb for his ability to not show any strain of emotion while relaying this oft-ignored fact.”

            It’s down a ways. As of this moment, there are 517 comments, so you’ll need to [Load more comments] at least 4 times, then scroll down to the thread.

            Or … this might be the best way. Go to [Radical___Moderate]‘s DISQUS thread, here, then read all of the “Legacy and Lessons From Ferguson” posts, which include mine, as well as some from [TFRX], and the first one from [nlpnt]

            https://disqus.com/home/user/Radical___Moderate

            ================

            Here’s a link to the evidence of plagiarism. I don’t recommend opening any of them, except the SPLC’s link, BTW. Suffice it to say, except for the first three, every word of [Radical___Moderate]‘s reply to me that begins with,

            “Here, have fun….

            American crime by race”

            was lifted from the linked source.

            The evidence – an online piece from “whiteout” press dotcom, a site founded by Mark Wachtler, who is a featured commenter on the white nationalist/separatist/supremacist “American Freedom Party,“ whose motto is “LIBERTY SOVREIGNTY IDENTITY CULTURE,” and, per the SPLC,

            “The American Freedom Party (formerly American Third Position) is a political party initially established by racist Southern California skinheads that aims to deport immigrants and return the United States to white rule.”

            This is the link:

            http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q32013/america-s-elusive-crime-statistics-by-race/

            RELATED LINKS:
            http://www.whiteoutpress.com/about-us/
            http://www.oppositionhq.com/founder/
            (both sites above were founded by Mark Wachtler)

            http://american3rdposition.com/
            (the American Freedom Party’s site)

            http://american3rdposition.com/?s=wachtler&x=0&y=0
            (Wachtler’s posts on the AFP site)

            http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/american-freedom-party
            (The SPLC’s take on the American Freedom Party)

          • Ray in VT

            One does wonder why when discussing this subject some go to or take information from sources or groups that have really pretty questionable views on race. Hopefully some are just taking what Google gives, but one wonders what may lead some along those lines in the first place. For instance, does one consume media that use such sources, thereby leading people to search for specific figures that do come from questionable groups. I would hope that some are unaware of the questions regarding the validity of some of those sources and their conclusions or interpretations or figures, but some percentage I would think likely have a bias that leads them there, and those sources only serve to confirm some biases.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — TYFYR.

            Yes, there can be some “affiliation/confirmation bias” in search results, but this guy said he “studied the stats” for “an academic roundtable”!

            It’s curious how the pattern is the same as with Gregg Smith:

            1. Make claims about race and crime
            2. When challenged about sources and methods, don’t specify them
            3. Plagiarize more specious claims, using cherry-picked stats
            4. When challenged, don’t provide sources and methods
            5. When it’s pointed out the source is a white separatist/nationalist/supremacist site, claim the source doesn’t matter, and/or that “it’s the FBI’s stats!”

            6. Claim that you tried to post the sources, but they “disappeared.”

            This particular cretin said this:

            “I am not doing your homework for you. Go to the FBI home page, find the tabs, and search each category. I studied those stats nearly two years ago when I was asked to participate in an academic roundtable on “Race and Perceptions” in my city. I am positive you will find them mind-blowing when it come to the sheer level of violent crimes committed by black Americans. Proportion is one thing that is unbelievable, but raw numbers by category may shock you. For instance compare the rates of perpetration of interracial rapes! It is disgusting.

            THE BIGGER QUESTION YOU WILL END UP WITH AS I DID IS: “WHY???”

            I do not have an answer for that one.”

            – AND –

            “You really have NO idea what you are talking about at all. I sent you some stuff to appease your strange craving. You also have no idea who you are writing to my friend. I am happy to admit that I am quite educated by human standards. Do you have two post-graduate degrees from an Ivy League School?? Have you been published in pier reviewed journals to acclaim in your filed?? Didn’t think so!!!”

            Darwinism is why I am where I am and others, possibly like you are not. I likely pay three times or more what you do in taxes. Without people like me, who would pay for your welfare state???

            Perhaps it is as the great and powerful Vladimir Putin said referring to Ms. Hillary Clinton: “It is best not to argue with women.”

            Sound familiar?

    • hennorama

      JGC — indeed, combined with the oft-repeated,

      [It's not about me.] (until it is, of course) and

      [No point really.] (except for the implicit point, of course)

      The above always improve one’s credibility, making the “front porch rocker report” about as valuable as “Tai’s Weather Rock,” depicted above.

  • Jon

    how about just looking out of the windows?

    • Rick Evans

      Yeah, that certainly worked predicting the landfalls of the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and hurricane Camille,

    • nj_v2

      Just buy everyone a weather rock with the money we save. No problem.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Beyond the blue horizon
    There’s a bunch of lousy science!

    {and chaos theory doesn’t make it easier}

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    NOAA will need more buoys for Florida.* See: sea level rise.

    * And the tenders that go with them.

  • Dab200

    Perfect juxtaposition of subjects = priorities in the two hours of ON POINT today! I definitely want my tax dollars to go towards weather satellites, crumbing infrastructure at home rather than to be blown up in Iraq or towards any other war/building democracy abroad crusade!

  • Ed

    The less data we have about the weather the easier it is to deny that the global climate change is happening due to CO2 emissions.

  • Michael Wilde

    I have been following this for several years. These satellites are not “off the shelf” items. Our vision or current plan for upgrading our aging weather satellites ranks right up there with that of our capability of putting our own astronauts into orbit. Yes we can get information from other nations. But what happens when things don’t go right in international relations? The Russians have stopped exporting the RD-80 rocket engine to the U.S. The RD-80 powers one of our current unmanned launch vehicles — The Atlas V.

    • couchdog27

      And what happens if we have a disagreement with said country — i.e. we no longer have the means to get astronauts to the International Space Station

      • Michael Wilde

        I fully agree. The Russians have said they will stop export of their RD-80 engine to the U.S. That is the engine that power the first stage of the Atlas V rocket. One that we still use.
        If things get worse, and they decide to take American Astronauts to the ISS — we are screwed until 2017 at the earliest. We do not currently have a man-rated spacecraft.
        All of this is a lack of foresight over the last many years. But, primarily, a lack of funds — taxpayer money — allocated. If it isn’t military oriented, money for civilian projects take a back seat.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          But space is military. The high ground is paramount.

          • Michael Wilde

            Two different budgets — Two different requirements. Besides, we hold no high ground on the military space side anymore. Other countries have caught up. We no longer are the biggest kid on the block. The Russians have far more launches than we do per year. Just about every country has military satellites looking down on us and others. Budgets were cut for NOAA programs so now there are a few other countries that have both military and climate/meteorological capabilities. We don’t even have a way of putting astronauts up. We are completely dependent on the Russians to put our astronauts on the ISS and return them until 2017 at the earliest. The Chinese are in the process of putting men on the moon. Impossible? That’s what they said when Kennedy announced we would have a man on the moon before the end of the 60s. The only thing we had done up to that point was one manned sub-orbital flight.
            The Chinese have also successfully knocked out one of our dead satellites as a test of their capabilities. We can tell ourselves we are the best but that is not the reality anymore. The technology is available to just about everyone.

  • hennorama

    Tom — you’ve answered your own question by pointing out that weather and other satellites are part of the national infrastructure.

    It is implicit US policy to allow national infrastructure to decay to the point of failure before any action will be taken.

    • couchdog27

      ahem.. cough cough Do nothing congress cough cough

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Why do we pay taxes, again? Why do we need a government?

    I think this is case in point, for both questions.

  • AC

    i may have missed the news, but isn’t there a lot of orbital debris that needs to be removed? how crowded is it up there? is there room for more w/o a clean-up effort?
    also – who owns the ‘space’? does it follow maritime law?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Yes, there is a fair bit of space junk. This is part of the problem – space junk hitting the working satellites.

    • hennorama

      AC –”The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is the Secretariat for the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), which is the primary international forum for the development of laws and principles governing outer space. In addition to providing parliamentary services, the Office prepares legal studies and background documents on various aspects of space law to assist member States in their deliberations. ”

      See:
      http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/oosa/en/SpaceLaw/index.html

      • AC

        Oooooohhh! Thanks!

        • hennorama

          AC – you’re welcome, of course.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      technically–it is similar–but ignored by the US who has a policy of full spectrum dominance–owning space, which seems a contradiction if they want to contract with China.

  • Ray in VT

    It’s been cooling off since 1998? Ugh.

  • AC

    bob is drinking whiskey. ‘hold your finger out the window’ ha! Tom made me giggle

    • TFRX

      Bob’s input is enough to give whiskey a bad name.

      But at least he’s going hardcore about it and not pretending, a la those who would drink mimosa or bloody Mary at “brunch” on a Thursday at 11am.

      • hennorama

        TFRX – I figured you’d be interested in this, so I’m “using the back door” to let you know about:

        [Radical___Moderate], who has quoted (plagiarized, actually, sound familiar?) some cherry-picked data, from a source linked to white nationalist/separatist/supremacists.

        You and I have been engaged with this miscreant in the same thread, as you know.

        Here’s a link to the evidence of plagiarism. I don’t recommend opening any of them, except the SPLC’s link, BTW. Suffice it to say, except for the first three, every word of [Radical___Moderate]‘s reply to me in that thread, that begins with,

        “Here, have fun….

        American crime by race”

        was lifted from the linked source.

        The evidence – an online piece from “whiteout” press dotcom, a site founded by Mark Wachtler, who is a featured commenter on the white nationalist/separatist/supremacist “American Freedom Party,“ whose motto is “LIBERTY SOVREIGNTY IDENTITY CULTURE,” and, per the SPLC,

        “The American Freedom Party (formerly American Third Position) is a political party initially established by racist Southern California skinheads that aims to deport immigrants and return the United States to white rule.”

        This is the link:

        http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q32013/america-s-elusive-crime-statistics-by-race/

        RELATED LINKS:

        http://www.whiteoutpress.com/about-us/
        http://www.oppositionhq.com/founder/
        (both sites above were founded by Mark Wachtler)

        http://american3rdposition.com/
        (the American Freedom Party’s site)

        http://american3rdposition.com/?s=wachtler&x=0&y=0
        (Wachtler’s posts on the AFP site)

        http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/american-freedom-party
        (The SPLC’s take on the American Freedom Party)

  • couchdog27

    great comment by Bob… ‘I have my head in the Sand’

  • nj_v2

    Thanks for the comic relief, caller Bob!

    • couchdog27

      comic to some — unfortunately there are too many that nutjobs that believe that point of view

  • Rick Evans

    Clearly the 11:28am caller is CLUELESS about the difference between weather and the time average of weather, climate. Jeesh.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Caller Bob is clueless, period.

  • AC

    you need air traffic control, so to speak, can’t just launch willy nilly into space…

  • couchdog27

    Do what congress does — put up a weather satellite that has vehicle gps attached to it. (a satellite that sends signals to gps)

  • hennorama

    As to the distributive satellite network under discussion, Google has been working on a network of balloons to facilitate a communications network in remote areas. This of course is not the same thing, but it gives one an idea of how such a network might work.

    It’s called Project Loon. See:

    http://www.google.com/loon/how/

  • Steve

    Retired NWS forecaster. Remember Regan tried to give weather satellite
    system to private sector in 1980′s. The satellite is a global monitoring
    agreement with the WMO involved. We need satellite data to diagnose the
    atmosphere in between observation time. The NWS has always provided a
    bang for the limited bucks they get. The GOP = non science viewpoint.

    • nj_v2

      “The GOP = non science viewpoint.”

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/meet-the-house-gop-s-anti-science-committee

      Meet The House GOP’s Anti-Science Committee

      Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) told an audience this week that former colleague Todd Akin was”partially right” when he claimed women resist pregnancy from “legitimate rape.” Gingrey has something else in common with Akin — both used to serve on the House Committee on Science.…

      Nor is it just the rank and file members who have drawn attention with their pronouncements. The outgoing committee chair, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), has suggested that climate change is the product of a mass global conspiracy of scientists — the overwhelming majority of whom have concluded that burning fossil fuels cause warming — to obtain grant money. In 2011, he told National Journal he didn’t believe climate change was man-made because “I don’t think we can control what God controls.”…

      Smith’s vice chairman this year, Rep. James Sensebrenner (R-WI), decried climate change theory as a “massive international scientific fraud” and evidence of what he called “scientific fascism.” Another climate skeptic on the committee this year, Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), suggested in a hearing that “dinosaur flatulence” might explain historic warming patterns.

      • dizzy7

        And folks vote for clowns like these to make our laws! American Exceptionalism, indeed.

      • Sima

        It seems these guys only believe in science if it will get them somewhere–cars, planes, microphones, TV ads . . .

  • nj_v2

    Google will cover us…

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/googles-satellites-could-soon-see-your-face-from-space

    Google’s Satellites Could Soon See Your Face from Space

    “…Two months ago, after much lobbying by the biggest satellite company in North America, DigitalGlobe, the US government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm resolution—twice as detailed as the previous limit of 50 cm.

    Now, the first commercial satellite set to capture these high-res images, DigitalGlobe’s Worldview-3, will launch this Wednesday. Six months after that, private businesses willing to fork over the money will be able to get their hands on hyper-detailed photos and videos of the globe.

    That, of course, includes Google.…

    • Rick Evans

      “Google’s Satellites Could Soon See Your Face from Space”

      “…the US government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm
      resolution— …”

      Even with 25 mm resolution a face would be a pixelated blur. At 25 cm a face would be contained in a pixel.

    • Michael Rogers

      2 years ago I easily read my neighbors street address by googleing the location and reading it off his mailbox! YES, I CAN recognise faces.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Where are all our “conservative” friends? Their silence speaks volumes …

    • nj_v2

      I would have put friends in quotes, too.

    • Patro321

      Can you only identify them if they conform to the caricature in your head?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        We all know who they are.

        By the way, they are not actually conservative – having a robust set of satellites so that we can know all the important things that satellites can tell us – is conservative.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          ????

      • FrankensteinDragon

        they are caricatures– designed by propaganda and Koch financing

  • Sima

    Privatization is gambling public assets for private profit.

    • nj_v2

      Why stop with satellites?

      http://theantinews.com/anti-news108.html

      AIR GETS PRIVATIZED!

      For the last 4 billion years, air has been free of cost for everyone’s survival needs. But this week, there’s a change in the air. Because air, the clear breathable substance that sustains all life on Earth, is being privatized.

      Trillionaire garbage tycoon Theodore Gagsworth recently purchased the world’s air supply for a bargain price of $500 billion. “Hey, a bunch of bums were sucking it back, for free,” said the savvy businessman. The essential combination of oxygen, CO2 and nitrogen that surrounds our planet is now part of Global Air Works, a for-profit corporation owned by Mr. Gagsworth.

      The process is simple. Global Air Works will sequester the entire atmosphere into a series of colossal tanks in near-Earth orbit. Just log onto your account at MyBreath.com and receive your monthly air supply. “it’s as easy as paying your electric bill, plus you get to stay alive,” explains a slick, hip TV spot. Options include the family size tank, the couple’s tank , and the portable back pack tank (air masks and helmets not included).…

      (snipped)

      • dizzy7

        If any of our beloved “job creators” should happen to read that article, I’ll bet they would think to themselves: “Damn, what a great idea. Why didn’t I think of it?”

      • Sima

        Yay, satire!

      • FrankensteinDragon

        A dude in china actually is selling canned air in Beijing. its not just satire. as the world continues to be polluted by china they will sell us air made in china to breath. In pretty bottles with designer labels.

  • Patro321

    Can we please stop with the alarmist “black out” scaremongering weasel words? At most we are talking about a degradation from our maximum capability which is pretty darn good. Probably far better than actually needed for 99% of what we use it for. I wish that wasn’t going to happen but even if there were no satellites we are not going back to weather balloons. We have ground radar and other monitoring stations around the globe. We have aircraft monitoring specifically relevant to hurricanes for instance.

    We had far less capable space assets in the 90s and we didn’t have zero forecasting ability. We had even less in the 80s and the same was true. Repeat until you reach the birth of modern meteorology. The idea that hurricanes will just show up randomly on your doorstep as was all but said on air is insulting to the listeners. As is the idea that we need space assets to tell you if it’s going to rain today (that’s primarily from radar data). They are not used at all for things like tornado warnings for instance (again this is ground radar). Which again is not saying satellites are not important.

    Also note that everyone in this show has a vested personnel interest in as much money as possible being spent in their field. I agree with them weather is important but most people in any other field say the same thing about their work. These guys should not be immune to having to justify their work against dollars spent or to being outcompeted by other equally important projects. If there was a trillion dollars in their account they would still be asking for more. As would the Air Force. As would the Social Security Administration. As would the EPA. I question their perspective when they seem oblivious to their position as one amongst many competing equally important priorities and use ridiculous exaggerations like “blackout.” I question their ability to be good stewards of the tax payers dollar when they seem to dismiss out of hand that the reality of a finite pool of tax dollars should impact them in the slightest. That instead its an irrelevant maliciousness forced upon then rather than simple program management reality all agencies deal with.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      What happens when a satellite fails?

      • FrankensteinDragon

        it burns up in the atmosphere.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Yes, but how do we work without the information it was providing?

          • Patro321

            This is just one satellite from one system out of multiple maintained by the US, plus there are plenty of other nations we can share with. It was mentioned already that the EU is already providing the data for one of the three of the satellite systems we routinely use. As it should be, there is no need for us the duplicate efforts if we can avoid it.
            .

    • FrankensteinDragon

      appreciate your level head. Its the willingness to turn to China that burns me–i hope its just inflammatory rhetoric to piss me off.

  • Patro321

    Also the first guest pointed to one of the reasons why satellites are harder to get funding for and engineer correctly and its the same reason the military has procurement problems. They are gold plating everything as she mentioned with that current test satellite being used (this was before she made her excellent decentralized mirco satillite approch comments).

    If you want to treat it like infrastructure then do so. Most new roads and government buildings for instance are not twenty lane highways or paragons of modern architecture. They are rather proven understood working examples of utilitarianism. So if that weather satellite from the 90s worked fine for most intents and purposes just build it again. Don’t add any new super resolution cameras. Don’t add any random trendy climate change sensors. You can have those things but don’t jeopardize the core mission in order to get them by linking it all together. Of course since they might not get their cool new toys if they did it that way they won’t, just like the military.

  • Salty

    OK — Waiting for the podcast but just read through the comments…

    Seems most commentors won’t miss a chance to have a go at conservatives and global warming / climate change / climate stagnation skeptics. (Just using the word “denier” rather than “skeptic” indicates a lot…) The science behind climate ___________ is just not in yet. We can “deny” that all we want, bet we would be wrong. There are political agendas behind both the proponents and the skeptics. But data just doesn’t support man made climate _________ / global ____________. I won’t go into all the support for this at this moment. Many wouldn’t understand it or have an open mind toward it anyway. (I come at this with a university background in mathematics. physical sciences and education, so I know my stuff on this subject. I know more than just what one reads on easily accessible we sites…)

    On the satellite and weather forecasting issue…Why do we assume that government is best placed to solve this problem? why can’t the private sector do it? A private company build and launch good “stuff” and sell the rights to use it. Let TV stations, forecasting entities buy access from the free market. Good “stuff” will generate business. The “Man” can enter into a contract for the use of the good “stuff”. There would be incentive to develop better “stuff” as well. This should not be complicated. Get the “Man” out of the way and the market will work in just about everything.

    Class dismissed.

    • Sima

      Ah, the magical “free market” solves everything . . . sort of like God. What could go wrong?

      • Salty

        Reread… … … … … Ready to move on? … … … OK, now that you reread the comment above, you will see that I said “just about everything”, not “everything”. (This didn’t even take an entire lesson – just a short chat at your locker…)

        • FrankensteinDragon

          Start your script-agenda by denying climate and you lose your readers–no one wants to read all that hot air. try agreeing with your audience to some degree first and then leaving us with your nonsensical conclusions.

          • Salty

            How’s for agreeing? I don’t think the private sector can solve every problem. (I do think they can solve most though.). Here’s another one: I do believe that climate can and does change over time. The ice ages would an example. (I do not think that we are in a period of climate / global _________, and I certainly don’t believe ‘man’ is causing that supposed ________. I used the __________.since we have gone from cooling to warming to change back to cooling back to warming. I have also heard of stagnation.)

            Two quick points
            1. I am not sure what my script-agenda is. I just share my thoughts, reactions and what I have learned over the years.
            2.

          • BTBisceglia

            The mechanism that links CO2 emissions with the greenhouse effect has been known for over 150 years. I don’t think Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius knew or cared about any of the modern politcal agendas regarding climate change (or “PSM”).

            There is no scientific merit to the idea that human activities do not influence climate, unless you can propose and support an entirely new theory of atmospheric physics.

            Now, how the Earth’s systems interact with those influences is a much more difficult topic, and one on which I agree there is a great deal of fuzziness. Increased temperatures can, for instance, create more cloud cover, which might mitigate some warmth (with other knock-on effects, of course). Or the seas could act as a great sink for heat, giving us warmer, more acidic oceans but a little less heat in the air. Of course, that’s pretty bad for the oceans, and that kind of thermal expansion could add to sea levels that have been rising for decades already.

            My point is that it can be hard to say from prospective modeling what, exactly will happen and when. But the science that tells us we’re making something happen is older than any political machinations, and extremely well-tested.

          • Salty

            Good points. You stated my case well. The case is not closed. We have many dampening / buffering affects as well as feedback loops that are not completely understood. The modeling is far from exact. We also are unsure as to the exact impact of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will play or has played. It could be that the CO2 we have added to the atmosphere is insignificant to the climate when compared to other factors.

            I believe that many who say the case is closed and demand massive changes to the way we live our lives are just jumping on the bandwagon of the PSM elite.

            Finally, if we are going to spend billions of dollars on saving Man’s future, how about we spend it on something that is certain and something that will have an unarguable positive impact – clean water for everyone.

          • BTBisceglia

            Prospective modeling is inexact, but the retrospective evidence is pretty good that CO2 (along with other gases) is playing a major role. Both the prospective and retrospective pieces, along with our ability to filter other factors, get more refined every day. And they consistently point to overall global warming. That’s not hype.

            No scientist will ever be 100% sure of anything. Science is always provisional. Some environmentalists definitely overstate the dangers, but neither do I think this kind of destabilization of systems is anything to dismiss.

            I have less confidence about what to do, though I know that massive changes are already underway in both the public and private sectors. Some industries are more resistant than others, but those that embrace change often experience other positive benefits to the bottom line as well.

            There are people who jump on bandwagons, which is what makes things like greenwashing scams so effective. But I’m not averse to changing the way I live my life if I can find a clear justification for it. And I have changed many of my practices over the years to reduce my overall burden on resources.

            Clean water would be great, and I think there’s plenty to be done to solve that problem (and other human ailings) that can simultaneously reduce the release of greenhouse gases.

        • Ted

          You still offer no ‘evidence’, studies, data or facts.

          Only wise-cracking personal attacks that demonstrate a crude level of simplicity.

          • Salty

            I never offer personal attacks. Reread my posts. You won’t find one. I will take it that you mean “wise-crakcing” as in thought provoking and funny a times, then, thanks.

            The research is there. I am not going to get in I present mine, you present yours… Nothing to be gained from it. I just challenge everyone to read, read and read some more and not just jump on the PRM elite bandwagon. Independent thought is prudent and rare.

          • Ted

            your posting untruths that have been thoroughly debunked is not posting ‘research’.

            Posting untruths is *not* presenting research. wow.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      The basics of climate change are very much settled. So, the rest of your points are moot.

      • Salty

        Actually, uh… No. Further reading on your part would be helpful. But, most folks just parrot the line of the PSM elite…

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Don’t make me laugh!

          You seem to think that every scientist that I know of is wrong – and you, some anonymous person on the Internet – is right.

          • Salty

            Do the research. Don’t rely on the PSM elite.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What do you mean by “PSM elite”?

            You do realize that scientists know what they are talking about, right? I am not able to second guess them, and neither are you.

          • Salty

            PSM is a term used to shorten political / social / media. I is often used in connection with the term “elite” as in a group that tells others what to think, do, feel or believe.

            As to the other point – read please. The case is not “closed” there is a huge body of work out there that says “Global ___________, not so fast…”

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You, sir / madam, are not correct about climate change. And by insisting that scientists are wrong, and you are right makes you sound ridiculous and belligerently ignorant.

            It is non-controversial accepted science, and there is not “pause” and we know that it is because of we humans burning fossil fuels.

            The effects are already profound, and obvious. Acidification of the ocean, melting glaciers, increased evaporation, changing weather patterns, lopsided ratios of record high temperatures vs record low temperatures.

          • http://www.solvingtornadoes.org Solving Tornadoes

            Never trust a scientist that refuses to discuss/debate the details of their supposed scientific beliefs. Especially don’t trust groups that do the same. AGW is a cult, not a science. The fact that Marshall shepard dodged the issue tells the whole story. Insiders know not to rock the boat.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            One doesn’t “believe” in science.

            So, it can’t be a cult.

            About the basics of climate science, there is nothing to “debate”. It is knowable an checkable by anybody who wants to.

            Your arguments are old and worn out. Facts are facts; whether or not you or I “believe” in them.

          • http://www.solvingtornadoes.org Solving Tornadoes

            It’s been turned into a cult. Cults don’t debate. Science always debates. You are brainwashed.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            When something is settled, as it is for the basics of climate science, there is no debate. The science about the basics of anthropogenic climate change is settled.

            You are wrong. And as such, you have no credibility on this.

          • http://www.solvingtornadoes.org Solving Tornadoes

            Pseudoscientists always find a reason to not discuss what they cannot explain.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Go ask a climate scientist.

            http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

            You are essentially saying that there is controversy around 7+8+9 = 24.

          • Salty

            Enjoy your ride in the band wagon of the PSM elite. Don’t worry, you have plenty of company. I find comfort in standing in a crowd of reason, even if I stand amongst few.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Reality will affect you, too.

          • Ted

            You stand amongst a crowd of internet trolls, where “reason” has no meaning other than it being the season to offer no facts and only lob toothless attacks.

          • Salty

            Not sure what you mean by a “troll”. I see no bridge under which to hide.

          • Ted

            haha… you are correct in saying you see no bridge as you fail to connect the logical dots.

            You are either very ignorant on the topic or simply working to confuse the weak minded by posting untruths like the Townhall piece.

            Please, don’t play ‘whack-a-mole’ with me. You cannot defend your claims so simply move on to new, false claims.

          • Salty

            Ted — I never make personal attacks, please consider the same courtesy. Also, please do not make assumptions about my intent. No one knows my intent other than me. And here it is: To simply promote tough, often uncomfortable thought through insightful commentary and questions supported by evidence.

            And by the way, Town Hall does create content – it simply aggregates material already in the public arena.

          • Ted

            Salty the internet troll. Offers no proof as he climbs from his denying abode. Pokes a stick at those who study, only purpose is to confuse and muddy.

          • Salty

            OK, Here;s a start for you. If you need more help, please let me know. http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2014/02/18/5-scientific-reasons-that-global-warming-isnt-happening-n1796423/page/full

            Be wary of bandwagons, you may be amongst a crowd but you may not like the destination.

          • Ted

            Thank you for providing that link. It is a link that proves you are talking out of your hat.

            Literally, every single point in that Townhall piece has been debunked by the scientific method.

            You posting this makes it clear you do not understand statistics and the math supporting anthropogenic climate change.

            I understand why you are so delusional, since you do not comprehend the topic.

            Salty strikes out big time.

          • Salty

            Sorry you feel that way Ted. I am not sure I will be able to sway you or provide enough material for you to re-examine your position. It is not easy for most in today’s mass media world for folks to have independent thought.

            What credibility anyone has is a forum like this is vastly degraded by personal attacks vs thoughtful comments and supporting material.

          • Ted

            The research is underway and has been. You deny the research results and offer no clue as to what “research” supposedly backs up your myths.

        • Ted

          You offer no resources to support your claim and “just parrot the line of the” contradictory and money-based carbon fuels industry.

    • S David H de Lorge

      Would you please devote yourself to creating such a private enterprise, and assure its effectiveness.

      • Salty

        There are times truth does not ride the band wagon. (You may need help with the figurative language there. But, believe me, it is fitting.)

        The joint Philosophy 101, English 101, Statistics 101 and Climate Science 529 and Atmospheric Chemistry 209 classes are now dismissed.

        • nj_v2

          Your vaporous comments are now dismissed.

          • Salty

            Enjoy your company on the wagon as it meanders down the road….

          • Ted

            Enjoy your journey down into the anti-science pit, demonstrating your choise to only selectively believe if it strikes your non-scientific fancy.

          • Salty

            Sorry Ted, my background is in science, mathematics and education, both academically and professionally. I am well versed in the subjects being discussed.

          • Ted

            Apparently not. Your comments do not support your claims!

        • S David H de Lorge

          Remarkable.

          So the truth, which you initially revealed onto us with justification derived from your own mathematical knowledge, now is held to derive only from itself?

        • Ted

          Salty statement that says nothing and offers no proof of anything other than a condescending demeanor.

    • Reggie

      But why would you place such a strategic resource in private hands? This is relevant to national security… Does everything need to be contracted out to 3rd parties?

      • Salty

        Good point. Like communication infrastructure, I would think there is military component already there…

        • Reggie

          I hope so, but it didn’t sound that way on the show. Why would we look at paying another gov’t for data before our own?

    • FrankensteinDragon

      What could political agenda possibly be? and how do you get all the worlds independent scientists –individuals–like yourself–behind it?

      Mention the weather, and Climate DENIERS never miss a chance to come and talk stupid.

      Pollution is a problem–regardless of your brainwashed delusions. But we know conservatives and texans love pollution. go figure. if you love it sooo much go suck on an exhaust pipe. But you–as individual–have no right to contaminate my space, my water, my air, my life–its trespassing! And a crime against humanity! Support it and you are a criminal. IN my world–it carries a sentence of death. punishment fits the crime–you deliberately contaminate a lake with toxic chemicals you have to take a bath in those chemicals until death. But only in a just world. IN this world we got DENIERS.

      OIil and coal and fracking is a political agenda smart guy.

    • Ted

      Denier is an appropriate term. Your sect as a whole moves from skepticism to denial as time and audience changes.

      There is no consistency in your sect’s claims and clearly no scientific validity.

      You mention political agenda, but that’s like saying there is oxygen in the air. Of course there are political agendas with the talking heads, but there is *no* evidence of a political agenda in the scienfitic conclusions of the 97% of climate scientists.

      The data *does* support man made climate change and global warning. You won’t go into “all the support for this” because you cannot provide any that stands up to the scientific method.

      You won’t, because you cannot. Condesending statements about people not understanding your myth makes your anonymous comments downright uneducated.

      You claim to know your stuff, but then please prove that in any way, shape or form via studies, data, actual tests, vs. character assassinations and sweeping generalizations.

      Regarding your claim on the private sector. You may have a point, you may not. People are *not* assuming the government is the best solution and it has also not been proven that the private sector would be. It’s a valid topic that Regressives like you love to mix in with other topics, for example climate data (which Regressives do not like, want to de-fund, and wish would disappear) may be best gathered with the same satellite as weather data. In other words there are cases where the private sector falls short or does not accomplish needed tasks and that is where the government can and will come in.

      As a side note, but an important one… you hopefully realize that the so-called “free-market” does not exist in the real world and is only an example used in textbook / classroom situations where it is pointed out that it is a theoretical example.

      • Salty

        Ted, Ted, Ted… There is a lot there… “sects”, “regressives”, “like me”, “myths”… Not sure how you “know me” so well… It would take someone with a better psychoanalytic ability than I poses to get to the root of all this…

        Oh and for evidence and facts I pasted and early primer for you on another response down in these comments. Enjoy…

        • Ted

          ?Not sure how you “know me” so well”? I read what you wrote and most all is unsubstantial.

          What you write is *not* conservative, it’s regressive and backwards, with the elements of a sect and repeating myths, not offering facts that withstand the scrutiny of the scientific method.

          I drilled down the comment section deep enough to not see any “evidence and facts.”

          You struck out salty. It’s not there.

          And FYI… I don’t see any psychoanalytic ability in what you wrote either.

          • Salty

            Ted, one who follows me would see that I never try to get into “why” people say what they do. My effort is insightful thought and commentary trying to get people to challenge popularly held beliefs.. Many may not be able to see past the surface to the depth. I need to be less subtle I suppose.

            Did you not see the TownHall piece I posted? It can help one begin the journey to independent thought. It is only the first step. Much more work would have to take place to examine the often neglected view.

          • Ted

            You flatter yourself far too much, you are far, far from someone a person would “follow”. Your path of misinterpretation and illogical conclusions points to a shallow pool, little more than surface glare.
            You do not need to be less subtle, but being somewhat logical would be a solid start.

            False analysis and conclusion is not something to brag about nor feel guile over. It’s just easily disproved.
            The TownHall piece demonstrates how mud sullies your logic pool. Scientifically speaking the TownHall points have been debunked and disproven.

            They are beyond weak, they are false and simply wrong. They are not the “neglected view” they have simply been proven wrong.

            Take your self-worship to another altar where truth and examination are absent.

          • Salty

            Ted, a few things…
            * I did not supply a “Town Hall piece”. TH aggregates material primarily rather than create.
            * I believe I made my point clearly. Some may “get it”, some may not. Sadly, many folks have predetermined ideas and / or conclusions. That is more than sad. I know I can do little about that other than challenge them to open their eyes, minds, ideas and beliefs to other possibilities.
            * Finally, I never take personal shots at anyone. I would encourage you to consider the same. When one takes personal shots at another ,any facts, sense or logic in their points get lost.

            I have enjoyed the “back and forth”, I hope you have.

    • Matthew Leo

      Why do we assume government is best placed to solve this problem? Because nobody in the private sector has proposed solving the problem themselves on a commercial basis — as SpaceX is with launch vehicles.

      Clearly the private sector is capable of launching and operating weather satellites. They already build the satellite and launch hardware.. So why haven’t they offered to take over the whole shooting match? Because it’s not practical to make a big enough private profit from knowledge of the weather days in advance.
      We knew almost a week in advance where Sandy was going to hit How to privatize that knowledge? If enough people know to make a significant economic difference, then everyone will know, unless you outlaw talking about the weather. In economics this is called “non-excludability”. This is one of the hallmarks of a “public good”.

      The other hallmark of a public good is “non-rivalrious consumption”. If someone else using a good doesn’t diminish your use of it, that use is “non-rivalrous”. In the case of weather it’s beyond non-rivalrious; even if you paid for the five day forecast, others taking a “free ride” on that information actually benefits you (e.g., the airlines you are going to fly on can adjust their schedules; the snow removal company can make sure their drivers are ready, etc.) Even if you *could* prevent other people from knowing the hurricane or blizzard is going to hit, you’d just be shooting yourself in the foot.

      Since everyone benefits from this information, it can’t practically be hoarded, an in fact everyone benefits the more that others have that information, it makes sense for the government to provide this service, to pay for it through taxation, and to distribute it for free.

      As for the science of climate change not being settled, I have to presume that you don’t get your science information from scientific journals. I followed the debate in the journal Eos for years, and it was largely settled by the mid 90s.

      It’s incorrect to call climate denialists “skeptics”. Having a contrary opinion to the scientific consensus doesn’t necessarily make you a skeptic; you have to have a rational basis for your disagreement. Denialists are actually quite credulous. They believe what they are told uncritically. They don’t read the literature, search the abstracts, or look at the data themselves, all of which are easy to do these days, but not as easy as swallowing and regurgitating barrels of guff.

      Class dismissed.

      • Salty

        Interesting points on the weather forecasting and satellite issues. I am afraid you are simply incorrect about the science and modeling of climate change. I am well read in the area I have posted elsewhere in the comment sanction some simple examples of why I am skeptical. Saying something is so often enough doesn’t make it so. Even proponents of models that have been used in the past 29 years are perplexed as to why he models don’t seem to be working out as predicted.

        Anyway. I appreciate your thought out points. I am sure we will both learn more as more and more facts come in…

  • Michael Rogers

    I have been monitoring atmospheric spraying and heaters for some years and guess that the controllers:DARPA etc. probably have their own weather monitoring system to allow efficient management of the SDI shield. Anyone have hard information??

  • marygrav

    Find someone with a bad back. My mother could tell the weather by her knee and she was never wrong.

  • S David H de Lorge

    Ask the Tea Party.

  • http://www.solvingtornadoes.org Solving Tornadoes

    Did you hear the one about the guy that goes to buy a suit?
    http://wp.me/p4JijN-3j

  • http://www.nascentinc.com/ Wolfgang Baer

    A caller said ” you do not need satellites, just look at your thermometer, the temperature has been going down since 1998. So why are we being asked to spend a lot of money to prevent global warming when it is getting colder”
    Toms guest did not answer the question but when on a long lecture on why weather forecasting is important and satellites are important.
    My question is:
    Was the caller right. Has our average temperature been declining in the last decade or not?

    • nj_v2

      That would be a “no.”

      The guest chortled and dismissed the caller’s nonsense for what it was.

      http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/temperature.html

      http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/temperature.html

      Latest Data Shows Global Climate Continues Warming Trend

      The latest statistics are in from 2013 and both NASA’s and NOAA’s measurements of global temperatures show Earth continued to experience temperatures warmer than those measured several decades ago.

      NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures, while NOAA – which uses a different method of analyzing temperature data – said that 2013 tied with 2003 as 4th-warmest year globally since 1880.

      “The long-term trends are very clear, and they’re not going to disappear,” said climatologist Gavin Schmidt from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). “It isn’t an error in our calculations.”

    • Matthew Leo

      To answer your question, first think about another question. Why use 1998 as a baseline? Why not make it a round 20 years with 1994?

      Denialists like to use 1998 as the baseline because at the time it was the hottest year ever BY FAR. It’s like choosing the year you won the lottery as a baseline to argue that your income hasn’t been increasing.

      The warming trend is unquestionably continuing; 2005 was hotter than ’98 and 2010 was hotter than ’05. But denialists *hide* these outliers by rolling them into an average for all the years following ’98 and comparing them to a single year, ’98, that was an outlier. What an honest person would do is compare apples to apples: the average for a decade vs. the average for the prior decade.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Okay, that’s good to know.

  • rfra20

    Everything else is made in China why not our weather satellites too!

  • William Thon

    Tom…Satellites cost money. that is money we could use to give to the rich to create jobs (trickle Down) Republicans don’t believe in science and Research…they will pray the storms away. BWAHAHAHAHAHA Republicans!!!!!!!

  • William Thon

    yes let’s turn it over to the private sector…we can trust them!!! 5 dollars for every forecast or 20 dollars for a weekly forecast. trust the private sector…LOL I have an idea lets have a 3 trillion dollar war instead of a 100 million dollar satellite.

  • Reggie

    It possible that conservative politicians block funding for weather satellites because they don’t want scientific corroboration/validationof global warming??

  • FrankensteinDragon

    Everything for china–china china china! Made in china. Big F_______mistake! Why do you people want junk! Junk in space! OUr entire country–the entire f—-country is being sold to china. Revolution is near! More jobs for china in space.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    Bob climate is not local weather. Your temps are not global. stay retired.

  • commhealy

    I was up in Ontonagon last year. I couldn’t get any NPR stations there. How did that goof even know to call in?

  • Bud Lewis

    Why not cut taxes repeatedly while fighting two wars? This is the kind of thing that happens. Look at how much Mitt Romney paid in taxes. Compare to what his father paid. Today’s Americans don’t believe it is necessary to pay what their parent’s paid in taxes. Why does it surprise you that essential infrastructure is being allowed to go to hell?

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    How can this even be an issue? Weather is a national security issue- that costs US tens, hundreds of billions a year- one word, Katrina!

  • ExcellentNews

    Come on, are we Americans or are we sissies ?!?! We don’t need no stinking satellites or science. We need to put Jesus back in the White House. We need inheritance tax cuts for the Waltons, Murdochs, Romneys, Massies, and few others favored by God. We also need a gun in every kindergartner lunchbox. We need to appoint Bob who called at 19:20 as Secretary of Education. Oh, wait! We need to abolish the Department of Education. Now, I gotta go back and watch my Nascar races…

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