The Martian Conspiracies have begun, just as the mail room clerk ‘predicted.’ Also, the GOP meltdown continues as conservatives call for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to follow Speaker John Boehner in resignation. (More)

The mail room clerk wants credit for her ‘prediction’ in last night’s Campus Question, that NASA’s announcement of flowing water on Mars would spark conspiracy theories. Maybe I’m just grumpy – I like Marvin the Martian, plus I haven’t had my second macadamia yet – but I don’t see why Ms Crissie is gloating. First, it’s easy to predict conspiracy theories. They pop up like weeds. And second, the conspiracy theories had already begun when she posted that comment:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: There’s so much fraud. Snerdly came in today ‘what’s this NASA news, this NASA news is all exciting.’

I said yeah they found flowing water up there.

‘No kidding! Wow! Wow!’ Snerdly said ‘flowing water!?’

I said ‘why does that excited you? What, are you going there next week? What’s the big deal about flowing water on Mars?’

‘I don’t know man but it’s just it’s just wow!’

I said ‘you know what, when they start selling iPhones on Mars, that’s when it’ll matter to me.’ I said ‘what do you think they’re gonna do with this news?’ I said ‘look at the temperature data, that has been reported by NASA, has been made up, it’s fraudulent for however many years, there isn’t any warming, there hasn’t been for 18.5 years. And yet, they’re lying about it. They’re just making up the amount of ice in the North and South Poles, they’re making up the temperatures, they’re lying and making up false charts and so forth. So what’s to stop them from making up something that happened on Mars that will help advance their left-wing agenda on this planet?’

And Snerdly paused ‘oh oh yeah you’re right.’

You know, when I play golf with excellent golfers, I ask them ‘does it ever get boring playing well? Does it ever get boring hitting shot after shot where you want to hit it?’ And they all look at me and smile and say ‘never.’ Well folks, it never gets boring being right either. Like I am. But it doesn’t mean it is any less frustrating. Being right and being alone is a challenging existence.

OK so there’s flowing water on Mars. Yip yip yip yahoo. You know me, I’m science 101, big time guy, tech advance it, you know it, I’m all in. But, NASA has been corrupted by the current regime. I want to find out what they’re going to tell us. OK, flowing water on Mars. If we’re even to believe that, what are they going to tell us that means? That’s what I’m going to wait for. Because I guarantee, let’s just wait and see, this is September 28, let’s just wait and see. Don’t know how long it’s going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda. I don’t know what it is, I would assume it would be something to do with global warming and you can – maybe there was once an advanced civilization. If they say they found flowing water, next they’re going to find a graveyard.

Tsk tsk.

“This will give them lots to think about”

I suppose “a science 101, big time guy” wouldn’t know that scientists don’t want to put any probe near the water because they don’t want to pollute Mars’ water supply:

John Bridges, a professor of planetary science at the University of Leicester, said the study was fascinating, but might throw up some fresh concerns for space agencies. The flows could be used to find water sources on Mars, making them prime spots to hunt for life, and to land future human missions. But agencies were required to do their utmost to avoid contaminating other planets with microbes from Earth, making wet areas the most difficult to visit. “This will give them lots to think about,” he said.

That’s not something teachers cover in science 101. But Mars program scientists have been thinking about it for awhile:

The fact that there is still liquid water on the surface of Mars is very exciting, but space agencies need to proceed carefully. Any probes that visit these potentially watery areas must be completely sterilized which is a complicated and expensive procedure. If there were any traces of Earth microbes on the probe, it could easily contaminate that which it was sent to study. The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) is part of an international organization that defines good research practices in space and would shut down any mission that did not ensure the utmost of cleanliness for the spacecraft.

Of course, completely eliminating microbes is incredibly expensive. To completely prevent contamination, the probe would need to be heated using hydrogen peroxide vapor or ionized radiation to kill anything that might be stuck on the space craft. Similar treatments were performed on Voyager 1 & 2 and were about 10% of the entire budget that has spanned over 35 years. For a probe that would be able to land on Mars and analyze potential liquid water samples, the sterilization price tag could be too great to overcome for any one agency. Eventually, though, the mission will be done correctly, and having accurate and meaningful data will be well worth the investment.

So there’s your ‘far left agenda.’ Good, conservative scientists wouldn’t worry about polluting Mars’ water supply any more than they worry about polluting ours here. But, again, I guess I shouldn’t expect “a science 101, big time guy” to know about that.

Anyway, that conspiracy theory was already circulating even before the mail room clerk wrote her comment. She insists she hadn’t seen it and says her comment was still a prediction. But of course that’s what she’d say if she conspired to make a ‘correct prediction’ about something that already happened….

“They had to interrupt Putin’s speech with something very serious”

And other conspiracy theories soon followed. For example, Russian parliament member Vyacheslav Nikonov says NASA made this announcement to distract attention from Vladimir Putin’s speech to the United Nations:

“Putin’s speech was certainly the central element of the UN General Assembly session,” Nikonov was quoted by the state-run TASS news agency as saying on September 28. “It is not surprising that the United States held a NASA news conference devoted to water found on Mars at the time when Putin was addressing the UN General Assembly.”

Putin spoke not long after U.S. President Barack Obama gave his own speech before the UN assembly. In their speeches, each accused the other’s government of fomenting instability in the world.

“Putin’s speech was tough and concise. He formulated the basic principles of international relations without matching the United States and its allies. He offered concrete steps for resolving major international problems,” said Nikonov, a member of the Kremlin-backed United Russia political party and a grandson of Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s foreign minister.

“This means that they had to interrupt Putin’s speech with something very serious,” he added.

Yeah, right. I think Nikonov offered that conspiracy to distract everyone from the real conspiracy….

“I knew that months ago”

Call it the Hollywood Conspiracy, the idea that NASA made this announcement to boost box office prospects for Ridley Scott’s The Martian:

NASA’s big announcement that liquid water exists on the surface of Mars – raising hopes of past or present life on the red planet – came at a perfect time for Fox’s sci-fi film The Martian. Too perfect, some might say.

Within moments of the announcement, Twitter began lighting up with cynicism and sarcasm suggesting that the news was timed to generate more attention for both the film, which opens Friday, and NASA’s own explorations. On Monday, The Martian director Ridley Scott did nothing to dispel the notion that the space agency was waiting for the most opportune time to present its findings about water on Mars.

“I knew that months ago,” Scott told Yahoo Movies.
[…]
But Scott specified to the New York Times that he only learned about Martian water after the film went into production – sparing him from having to adjust the plot. “[Damon’s astronaut] would’ve found the edge of a glacier, definitely. It would be fascinating,” said Scott. “But then I would’ve lost a great sequence. He has to make water, and the steaming device, and put up the plastic tents, which creates the humidity, which grows the plants, which is the most basic form of irrigation.”

And Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog believes that one:

The announcement’s timing had nothing to do with Putin or liberalism. This is America. It was probably all about cross-marketing.

I think Marvin the Martian put NASA up to it. But I’m a fictional squirrel, so that’s not a big reach for me.

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“Our base is demanding we do something or they’re going to leave us”

Oh, and Louisiana state GOP director Roger Villere wants Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to resign:

“Mitch is a good and honorable guy, but the base is leaving our party,” Villere said. “I’m out in the field all the time and we have all our elections this year for state offices, and it’s hurting us tremendously with our elections.”

He said that the majority leader should have pushed harder against President Obama’s agenda while leading the Senate.

“Mr. McConnell could have suspended consideration of confirmations for all presidential appointees, except for those who are essential to national security, until the president rescinded his unconstitutional executive action on amnesty,” he said.

Villere suggested that McConnell did not fight hard enough to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. He said that McConnell’s support for a temporary funding bill that provides funding for Planned Parenthood will hurt the Republican party.

“If we lose the battle, we will never win the presidency again in my lifetime,” he said. “I’ve worked for 12 years as chairman to build this party, and I just don’t want to see it all go down the drain because they aren’t willing to fight for what we believe in. Our base is demanding we do something or they’re going to leave us.”

Perhaps rather than railing against McConnell, Villere could spend some of his time “out in the field” explaining the Article I Presentment Clause. That’s the part of the Constitution that specifically authorizes the president to veto bills passed by Congress. That clause also offers a remedy if members of Congress want to override a presidential veto: pass the bill again, with two-thirds majorities in each chamber.

That’s the only remedy the Constitution offers. There is no clause authorizing the Senate to block all executive nominations unless and until the president agrees to repeal an order or sign a bill. Nor does the Constitution authorize the House and Senate to refuse funding and shut down the federal government unless and until the president submits to Congress’ demands. The American people know that, intuitively, and that’s one reason 69% of voters oppose shutting down the government to force President Obama to defund Planned Parenthood.

And Majority Leader McConnell understands that, so he’s pushing Senate Republicans to support a short-term funding bill to avoid a shutdown.

Yes, the people who want Senate and House Republicans to wage high-stakes, no-win fights with President Obama are the GOP base. And yes, they may comprise a majority in GOP primary elections. But they are a small minority of all voters … and they demand a legislative process that is not authorized in the Constitution.

They may hate the fact that Barack Obama is President of the United States, and the fact that Republicans lack two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate. But those facts are still facts …

… unlike the Martian Conspiracies.

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Photo Credit: raelynn36 (wikia)

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Good day and good nuts