Congress

DeLay at JSC and other budget news

Yesterday House Majority Leader Tom DeLay visited NASA’s Johnson Space Center to celebrate winning effectively full funding for the agency in FY05, according to the Houston Chronicle and Galveston Daily News. Perhaps the most interesting comment he made suggests that support for the Vision for Space Exploration is not unanimous within the Bush Administration: “The president’s support has not wavered, but there are some within the administration that would like to see this money go elsewhere.” He added that NASA was the last agency dealt with during negotiations on the omnibus budget bill: DeLay reportedly said he would block the full omnibus bill if NASA did not get its full funding.

Some people, like Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, are already thinking ahead to FY06, according to a quote in the Chronicle: “However, in the future, the administration will need to propose, and Congress enact, a larger budget if we are to return to flight and pursue the moon, Mars and other bold initiatives for space exploration.”

Both the Chronicle and Florida Today note that the budget will eliminate the need for layoffs of shuttle or other workers. However, the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday that KSC plans to “phase out” 100 shuttle processing jobs, relying on attrition rather than layoffs. The report also said that similar steps are expected in shuttle offices at JSC.

Finally, the New York Times takes note of NASA’s fortunes in an overall review of the budget Tuesday, referring to the VSE as the “Mars Program” in the article’s headline. It plays up the fact that the across-the-board cuts in other programs were increased slightly to pay for the additional NASA funding. However, I think few will bemoan the fact in the Times article that the IRS also ended up with “substantially less” than requested…

13 comments to DeLay at JSC and other budget news

  • Mark R. Whittington

    The Times must be scratching its head at the sight of other programs being cut to pay for space exploration and the world having turned upside down.

  • Mike Puckett

    May the slanderous, lying vermin at the NYT cook in their own spite.

    I love it that they are in misery over this at the Ministry of Disinformation. Suck on it Oberfurher Pinchy!

  • 1). Give the NYT credit. They used to be one-hundred percent against human spaceflight. They are not today. They are willing to learn from their mistakes.

    2). They are now our allies, you idiots. Human spaceflight in the near future will not have the kind of broad constiuency that, say, automobiles and the freeway lobby have, yet it costs that kind of money. If we want the President’s vision to succeed, we need to build as broad a constituency as we possibly can. Telling the NYT names — by extension NYT readers like myself — is not a good way to get their support.

    3). Like it or not, you do need blue-State support. They pay a good part of the taxes we will need, and we are not going to Mars if we continue to be bogged down in a, frankly, silly cultural war, especially if it continues to escalate. You don’t need to look very far into history to find empires that consumed themselves in just such fights. We are well down that road.

    4). It seems to me that if we have time to call each other names, rather than engage in constructive dialog, we are not wisely using our time and skills to further the cause we all agree on.

    The bottom line is it does not matter whether we agree on anything else, we do agree on spaceflight in its broadest sense, and that means we _must_ learn to cooperate.

    Or, we will get nowhere.

    – Donald

  • Bill White

    It seems to me that if we have time to call each other names, rather than engage in constructive dialog, we are not wisely using our time and skills to further the cause we all agree on.

    Two thumbs up!

  • Mike Puckett

    “1). Give the NYT credit. They used to be one-hundred percent against human spaceflight. They are not today. They are willing to learn from their mistakes.”

    I didn’t get the meme, when did this happen?


    2). They are now our allies, you idiots. Human spaceflight in the near future will not have the kind of broad constiuency that, say, automobiles and the freeway lobby have, yet it costs that kind of money. If we want the President’s vision to succeed, we need to build as broad a constituency as we possibly can. Telling the NYT names — by extension NYT readers like myself — is not a good way to get their support.”

    With allies like that, one needs no enemies. The NYT has shown nothing but contempt for human space exploration for decades. I am simply returning the favor for a change. If they are going to reform, they are going to have to earn my trust. Right now, I hold the NYT in less regard than the National Enquirer. The NYT is worse because they do a better job couching their disinformation in a veil of competence.


    4). It seems to me that if we have time to call each other names, rather than engage in constructive dialog, we are not wisely using our time and skills to further the cause we all agree on.”

    Didn’t call you personally any names, just the NYT. If you are that emotionally attached to a newspaper, any newspaper for any reason, I sincerely pity you sir. It is a newspaper, please don’t respond as if I called your parentage into question.

    It is way past overdue for Oberfuher Pinchy to be called to task for the damage he has done this nation and the space program in particular, for that I hold no sorrow, I resreve my NYT related sorrow only for all the pine trees that die for that disinformation printed daily.

  • My only comment to this is, perhaps you should read the journal you are criticising. The New York Times does not offer uncritical support to all aspects of human spaceflight, nor should they. Nor do I agree with all of their editorial page positions. I have no desire to read a journal that I always agree with, that simply parots my own beliefs. The only way I can learn to think truly and honestly about spaceflight is to understand all sides — to know my enemies. But, the fact remains, while the NYT is critical of many aspects of the way we implement human spaceflight, they are in no way opposed to the existance of a human space program, which is what you acused them of.

  • Mike Puckett

    If that is the case, they have changed in the 12 years since I graduated college. I used to read it daily in the school library.

    What manned programs have they recently supported?

  • Robert G. Oler

    Posted by Mike Puckett at November 24, 2004 10:15 PM

  • Mike Puckett

    Robert, you can call a tail a leg all day long but a Dog still only has four legs.

    Don’t you have anything different to add?

  • Dogsbd

    Robertson: They are now our allies, you idiots….. ….Telling the NYT names — by extension NYT readers like myself — is not a good way to get their support.

    Pot to kettle, you’re black!

  • Fair enough, Dogsbd, but I haven’t called anyone names. Nor have I denied that Mr. Bush has proposed what I believe is an excellent space policy and (much to my surprise) appears ready to support it. On this one issue, I fully accept that Mr. Bush is an ally and I do what I can to support him in this while not supporting his other positions.

    If Mike wishes to argue that the NYT is seriously misguided in their space Op Eds and that this has had a negitive impact on the United States, that is fine — and I wouldn’t fully disagree with him, at least in the past. The NYT was dead wrong on the HST and they have implicitly acknowledged that by definding it to the hilt (even before recent events). I have only argued that many of Mr. Bush’s military and social/economic policies are very seriously misguided and are likely to do severe damage the United States (and any Moon-Mars initiative) in the long term. Whether I am right or wrong, that is a fair position for me to have.

    However, I have not called Mr. Bush, “slanderous, lying vermin” nor asked that he “cook in [his] own spite.”

    It is the difference between constructive criticism and name calling. It’s a fine line, and there may be occasion when I go over it (though I try always not to), but it is a very important line. I am willing to agree to disagree with my conservative compatiates when we do agree about space, while not backing off of my criticism of Mr. Bush where I think he is wrong. It looks to me like many of my Conservative friends are not prepared to return the favor.

    – Donald

  • Robert G. Oler

    Posted by Mike Puckett at November 24, 2004 11:17 PM

  • Dogsbd

    >and you can call Okeefe’s program something useful all day long but that doesnt make it so.

    Bob, you are very adept at stating what is wrong with, well with everything. But you’ve never stated in a clear, concise to the point and coherent manner what NASA should do, if anything.

    What should NASA’s mission be? Should NASA be shut down? Should the US leave space exploration to the Russians, ESA, India and China etc? How do we get to privatization of space “usage” if privatization is the goal? What is the private sectors’ incentive to go beyond LEO?

    Stop throwing bricks long enough to build something instead.