Blue Origin going to Huntsville for some rocket-testing.

I originally wrote ‘rocketeering,’ but that would have had the wrong connotations.

One of Huntsville’s historic Apollo engine test stands is coming back to life under an agreement between NASA and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company.

NASA announced Wednesday it has signed an agreement to let Blue Origin use Marshall Test Stand 4670 to test its BE-3U and BE-4 rocket engines. The BE-4 has been selected to power United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan rocket and Blue’s New Glenn rocket.

Via Instapundit.

Huntsville, where we keep the rocketmen; and [the rest of this sentence has been redacted in the interest of national security]. There are three seasons in Alabama: hot and rainy, just hot, and just rainy. Just as happy to skip that, thanks.

Blue Origin opening a shop at Huntsville.

I forget where I saw this first, but: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is setting up a shop at Rocket City. For those who don’t know, Huntsville Alabama is where a lot of our commercial rocket infrastructure ended up after World War 2.  The 23rd century is going to romanticize the heck out of the place in their popular fiction, but for right now it’s a place where serious work is being done. The goal here is avowedly to re-acquire an American alternative to Russian rocket engines; Blue Origin’s engines will be the ones ending up in ULA’s Vulcan rockets. And, of course: the more American manufacturing infrastructure in place here, the better.

I quite liked this @DariusFoster ‘In a Box’ campaign ad for Alabama’s 56th state legislative district.

Republican Darius Foster is running to be a state (not federal) legislator for Alabama (District 56), and he’s got a good introductory campaign ad up:

The district in question has had a bit of a shakeup: the incumbent state legislator there was defeated in the Democratic primary. …And I have pretty much no other information besides that; I freely admit that I have not memorized every state legislative race in America, and have no intention of ever doing so. Anyway: good ad work from Darius Foster, and a nice website, too.  We can’t ignore the state legislatures, folks. If for no other reason than they’re a combination of civics laboratories / farm teams.

Remington may be ‘expanding’ to Alabama.

This is very much an unconfirmed report, but if it’s true… oops?

High level sources have informed Yellowhammer News that Remington, one of the world’s largest gun manufacturers, will on Monday join Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in announcing that they are bringing over 2,000 jobs to Alabama.

The company is viewing the move into Alabama as an expansion, but it will likely impact their Ilion, NY plant as well. The New York facility currently employees around 1,200 people. It is expected to stay open, but with a reduced workforce.

Continue reading Remington may be ‘expanding’ to Alabama.

RS Interview: Dr. Chad Mathis (R CAND, AL-06 PRI).

Talked with Dr. Mathis yesterday: he’s one of the guy’s running for Alabama’s opening seat in the Sixth District.  It is, for those wondering, a wondrously Republican district; so the June primary is very much a relevant one.  As you can see from the “Doctor,” Chad is a surgeon in real life; and as you might imagine, he has views on Obamacare.  Here’s the interview:

Dr. Mathis’s site is here: he’s also collecting Alabaman Obamacare horror stories at Hands Off Our Healthcare.  Hope his servers have plenty of cloud storage space…

Moe Lane(crosspost)

(Now-Republican) Alabaman[***] legislature strikes blow for individual liberty.

Legalizing homebrewing, of course.

The Alabama Senate tonight gave final passage to the homebrewing bill, possibly ending Alabama’s status as the only state in which homebrewing is still illegal.

“Alabama is literally the last state that makes homebrew legal, assuming the governor signs it,”said Sen. Bill Holtzclaw,R-Madison.

The Alabama legislature was, of course, controlled by the Democratic party until the historic elections of 2010; homebrewing enthusiasts have been fighting for years to get the hobby legalized, but pretty much went nowhere until this current session**.  There’s every expectation that the governor will sign this legislation (which does not supersede individual areas that are still ‘dry’).  I applaud this development, and only wish that previous (Democratic, remember) legislatures had embraced the future earlier. Continue reading (Now-Republican) Alabaman[***] legislature strikes blow for individual liberty.

#rsrh Artur Davis hearing the siren call of the Dark Side…

weeeee haveeeee coooookieeesssss

While I’ve gone to great lengths to keep this website a forum for ideas, and not a personal forum, I should say something about the various stories regarding my political future in Virginia, the state that has been my primary home since late December 2010. The short of it is this: I don’t know and am nowhere near deciding.  If I were to run, it would be as a Republican. And I am in the process of changing my voter registration from Alabama to Virginia, a development which likely does represent a closing of one chapter and perhaps the opening of another.

As to the horse-race question that animated parts of the blogosphere, it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2015. If that sounds imprecise, it’s a function of how uncertain political opportunities can be—and if that sounds expedient, never lose sight of the fact that politics is not wishfulness, it’s the execution of a long, draining process to win votes and help and relationships while your adversaries are working just as hard to tear down the ground you build.

Continue reading #rsrh Artur Davis hearing the siren call of the Dark Side…

A PSA for former Rep Artur Davis.

Rep. Davis is, of course, the former Democratic candidate for AL-GOV who lost his primary when it turned out that Alabama Democrats actually weren’t ready to vote for an African-American for a statewide race. He’s since then been reassessing his options, but seems to be under a misapprehension:

Davis also suggested running as a Republican might be a viable option, but said that the Alabama Republican Party has declined to embrace politicians who have switched parties. He noted that party-switching former congressman Parker Griffith was defeated in a GOP primary last year after leaving the Democratic Party.

Continue reading A PSA for former Rep Artur Davis.

#rsrh We’ll give Artur Davis a couple more years.

To formally convert to the GOP, that is.  Partially because Artur Davis probably wants the time anyway; and partially because (and here I speak from personal experience) it takes time to reconfigure one’s basic partisan identification.  While your principles shouldn’t change when you switch political parties – and neither should your worldview – there is usually a whole list of damfool notions that you no longer have to grit your teeth, smile, and nod about; and it takes time to go through that list and cheerfully discard them all*.

But that’s OK: It’s going to be a couple of years before the next statewide elections in Alabama anyway.  Plenty of time for a proper realignment.

Moe Lane

*Unkind people will mutter that you instead have to memorize a whole new list of damfool notions to grit their teeth, smile, and nod about.  But I’m sure that I have no idea what those people are talking about…

Artur Davis (D, apostate) admits he got Voter ID wrong.

Which begs the question: what else did former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis* (D) get wrong?

I’ve changed my mind on voter ID laws — I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one — and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office.


Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too-mentally-impaired to function, cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights — that’s suppression by any light. If you doubt it exists, I don’t; I’ve heard the peddlers of these ballots brag about it, I’ve been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results.

Bolding mine.  I’d like the former Congressman to expound a little on that part, if he pleases; only this time, with names, addresses, and last known location.  Actually, I’d like him to expound a little on that part even if he doesn’t please.  Because what Mr. Davis is describing are felonies. Continue reading Artur Davis (D, apostate) admits he got Voter ID wrong.