Congress

Bloomberg, Weiner, and asteroids

In a New York Times article a few days ago about Congressman Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) reelection campaign—which is designed as much to position Weiner to run for mayor of New York next year as to return to Congress—aides to current mayor Michael Bloomberg referred to Weiner’s past interest in funding asteroid research when criticizing ads run by Weiner:

Mayoral aides also poked at the congressman’s own soft spot – a plan he once promoted called the Studying and Prevention of Asteroid Collisions with Earth Act, or Space Act, which sought to allocate $4 million to NASA to track “near-Earth objects.”

“In his self-aggrandizing pursuit of publicity and his naked ambition to be mayor, this ridiculous ad may very well violate the rules of both the Federal Election Commission and the New York City Campaign Finance Board,” said the mayor’s spokesman, Edward Skyler. “Two-Strike Tony should stick to press releases lauding his funding of intergalactic asteroid research.”

It’s worth noting that while Weiner promoted—and earned ridicule from—such legislation, I have never found any evidence that Weiner actually introduced the SPACE Act in the House this session; it does not show up in the list of legislation he sponsored.

4 comments to Bloomberg, Weiner, and asteroids

  • Mark Zinthefer

    “intergalactic asteroid research”?

    man, we have enough problems with ones in our solar system :)

  • Jim Muncy

    Actually, HR3813 was introduced with an incorrect title. Chairman George Brown’s
    middle initial was E, not R.

    So the bill was reintroduced as HR 4544.

    And Rep. Weiner is a co-sponsor of this bill,
    which is correctly titled.

  • Brad

    New York know-nothings

    The Bloomberg aides who think asteroid collision is funny and the NYT which reports it as a “soft spot” reminds me of when the NYT belittled Robert Goddard.

    From Wikipedia — Most notable however was the, retrospectively funny, response of The New York Times to Goddard’s landmark paper, “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes.” The Times lambasted his research because “everybody knows” rockets won’t travel in the vacuum of space , where there’s nothing to push against. Goddard, the article claimed, “seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”

  • Interestingly, the NYT’s song on the Space Station, and human spaceflight in general, has drastically changed over the years. I remember a couple of decades ago when they were firmly in the “automated science is the only way to go” camp. Like the Clinton Administration, their initial opposition has become something far more naunced as they found “liberal” reasons to keep the project going. In fact, for better or worse, I believe the Clinton Administration saved the Space Station. The project was on the edge of cancellation when they took office, but the Administration found it a useful tool to help try to tie the Russion economy into the global economy. Bringing the remains of the Soviet Empire into the rest of the human fold alone justifies any amount of money spent on human spaceflight — it was cheap at the price.

    Likewayse, the NYT ridiculed the Space Telescope, but since have clearly recognized that they were wrong, while perhaps never quite admitting.

    The culture is changing, and with it the national view of spaceflight, even among those of us on the left.

    – Donald