Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hubble: Real Men at Work

The one woman in the mission is probably neglected from mention because she stayed inside the shuttle, and didn't venture outdoors, though she did capture the Hubble with a robotic arm. Nonetheless, the point of this column is to juxtapose real, tough, American hombres and wimpy, whiny, bureaucratic politicians, primarily that witch Nancy Pelosi. This is another one of those in the stable of the Journal's right-wingers.

The news inundates us now with daily battle reports from the low-grade war that is America's politics. One cost is a national preoccupation with failure.

National preoccupation? Some people focus on success.

Politics always and forever is about the failure of others. President Obama appears before us daily, and that ensures we will hear again about "the failed policies of the past." The laws of political physics then require that his opponents crack back at his manifest failures. To spend all one's time with politics is to marinate in failure.

Well, the policies of Bush and Cheney were failures, did fail.

It becomes easy to forget that most people go to work each day to succeed, not fail. Still, it was startling last week to catch sight on TV of men floating in space. This was Servicing Mission 4, NASA's long-scheduled flight to fix the space-based Hubble telescope. It was pure success. Anyone able to avert their eyes the past week from Speaker of the House Pelosi swimming in her own marinade of failure could have watched a team of Americans doing miracles in space for days.

Many people didn't avert their eyes, nor give much time to focusing on the Speaker, or on Republicans attacking her, wallowing in their own marinade of failure. We have jobs to do, and success to pursue.

On the first long spacewalk last Thursday -- and just about the time federal employee Nancy Pelosi was wrestling with the press over the meaning of "briefing" -- Astronauts Grunsfeld and Feustel installed a new camera and data-handling unit to beam images back here. On Friday, Massimino and Mike Good replaced six gyroscopes. That took eight hours. The next day Grunsfeld and Feustel fixed a camera not designed for repairs in space. After Massimino's Sunday battle with the bolt, Monday was kind of a Home-Depot day, installing new insulation.

Thursday? Let me see? Was that the day that federal employee John Boehner and former federal employee Newt Gingrich, along with other federal employees, were attacking Pelosi, wrestling with the meaning of the word lying?

Lessons abound in what one witnessed during the 11-day mission to restore the legendary Hubble, which ends tomorrow when the astronauts land in Florida. Here's one: Like the Hubble team, try to be lucky enough once in life to be part of a great project worked by great people -- the early Microsoft or Genentech, the Manhattan Project, the 1927 New York Yankees, many now-gone Wall Street financial "shops" at the top of their game, or the Iraq surge.

Opposed to the '27 Yankees might be such enterprises as the remains of now-gone Wall Street "shops" brought to failure (there's that word again) by incompetents, Ronald Reagan's ignominious retreat after the 1982 the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, and Gingrich's contract with America.

Depends how you look at it.

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