The wisdom of freshmen

Give Rep. Parker Griffith (D-AL), the new congressman from northern Alabama, credit for a little humility: “When asked how much his being on the House Science Committee affected a boost in President Obama’s NASA budget outline, Congressman Parker Griffith smiled Friday and admitted, ‘Very little.'” And that’s probably an overestimate.

Also over the weekend, Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), the new congressman from the Houston-area district that includes the Johnson Space Center, penned an op-ed for the Washington Times about NASA where he have the agency perhaps a little too much credit, writing: “NASA provides the only means our nation currently has to access space with manned and unmanned missions while also performing cutting edge research.” That NASA is the only means for unmanned missions to reach space will be something of a surprise to both the Defense Department and the private sector (the latter, in some cases, hoping to also provide the means for human spaceflight as well.)

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