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Honoring Excellence in the SponsorDome

If you like football, read this piece by Gregg Easterbrook. It’s long, but it is worth your time. It’s called Tuesday Morning Quarterback. He writes one these every week…wow.

If football isn’t your thing, he tucks in some other commentary. Like this:

Ships, bridges, spacecraft -- they should bear inspirational names of great men and women, leaders and artists, or of important historical moments. Instead, increasingly they bear the names of insiders and political hacks.

NASA's first big space telescope was named the Hubble, after astronomer Edwin Hubble, who proved there are other galaxies beyond the Milky Way. This was a wonderful, appropriate name. NASA's replacement for the aging Hubble -- planned at $1.2 billion in 2010 dollars, its price tag has risen to $6.8 billion thanks to waste and fraud, with launch still years off -- is to be called the James Webb Space Telescope. Webb was the NASA chief administrator during the early phase of the moon race. He did a good job; but never took any risk, discovered or invented anything, had no notable service to others. Mainly he pushed paperwork and demanded taxpayers give him money. Maybe it's fitting a project with severe cost overruns is named after Webb, but it sure isn't inspirational. Great scientists or astronauts -- name the telescope after one of them. Don't name it after a guy whose achievement was sitting at a desk.

H/T: Newmark’s Door