NASA, States

The Lone Star State feels a little lonely

With all the attention that Florida has gotten in recent days with President Obama’s visit to the Kennedy Space Center, as well as the promise of $40 million to support workforce transition efforts there, the folks in Texas are feeling a little left out. On Friday several Houston-area congressmen, along with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), criticized the president for his plan as well as leaving out Texas in that workforce plan, the Houston Chronicle reported. Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), whose district includes the Johnson Space Center, invited the president to visit it “to understand the potential losses to U.S. spaceflight capabilities.”

Their criticism is modest, though, compared to comments made by Texas Gov. Rick Perry Saturday in a press conference Saturday in Fort Worth. Perry, a Republican running for reelection this year, said it was “very disconcerting” for him to have the president talking about supporting jobs at KSC while saying nothing about JSC. “The message there was: ‘You’re from Texas. We don’t care about you,'” he said, as quoted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I tell people this president has put a target on Texas’ back.”

Perry’s Democratic opponent in the general election, former Houston mayor Bill White, also wants more details about the revised plan, but without the same rhetorical zeal as Gov. Perry. “To properly plan and continue to be a leader in NASA’s new future, the Johnson Space Center community needs more details as soon as possible,” White said in a statement a day before the president’s speech, after the fact sheet about the revised plan. “I’ll encourage more cooperation and open communication between NASA, our congressional delegation, and our JSC family.”

46 comments to The Lone Star State feels a little lonely

  • eh

    Won’t they be busy with the extra five years of ISS operations?

  • I know the finger is pointing at Obama, but NASA HQ knows the full plan and is supporting it. Why has not Administrator Bolden huddled with his JSC staff and provided more information and clarification? I feel for the folks at JSC that are NOT getting the word in any fashion and no info regarding their futures. Hard to keep morale high in an information empty room.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Bad Hair Perry is in a tough race with Bill White and the strain is starting to show Robert G. Oler

  • Vladislaw

    They were not saying this a week ago:

    “calling upon him to visit Johnson Space Center.”

    “U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, a Republican whose district includes Johnson Space Center, urged the president to visit Houston”

    I wonder how accurate this is, as draft bills moved through without much issue.

    “There truly is virtually no support for the president’s budget in Congress.”

    Or is the support for constellation limited to the 27 representatives who signed that letter to the President.

  • Vladislaw

    Johnson Space Center highlights:

    “Flagship Technology Demonstrations: New Program Office to manage $424 million in FY 2011 and $6 billion over five years, with the Deputy Program Office at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), to demonstrate transformational technologies for next‐generation space flight capabilities.

     Commercial Crew Development: New Deputy Program Manager to manage, with KSC’s Program Office, $500 million in FY 2011 and $5.8 billion over five years to foster private‐sector transportation services to Earth orbit.

     Commercial Cargo: The FY 2011 Budget provides a one‐time increase of $312 million to add new capabilities and demonstrations to this program, and to ensure commercial cargo servicing of the ISS through 2020.

     Human Research Program: Augmentation of this JSC program of $63 million in FY 2011 (42% increase) for a total of $317 million over five years to further research on human habitation in space.

     International Space Station: An addition of over $3 billion over five years to augment ISS functionalities, enable maximum utilization of the ISS, and extend ISS, likely to 2020 or beyond.

     Constellation Transition: Funding of $1.9 billion in FY 2011, and $600 million in FY 2012, is provided to transition and closeout the Constellation Program.”

  • Oink, oink, oink.

    Never mind what’s good for America. Give us our pork.

  • amightywind

    Obama ignores Texas because he knows there are no votes there, leaving lone star state liberals on there own to deal with the seething masses. It is fun to watch them squirm.

    On another note, former lunar astronaut Harrison Schmidt has made another forceful argument against Obamaspace.

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/education/university/article_a9339038-4af7-11df-9b2e-001cc4c002e0.html

  • Vladislaw

    “another forceful argument against Obamaspace”

    I find it funny, when President Bush laid out the VSE, I never heard it refered to by opponents as “Bushspace” and even when supporters, like myself, that were in favor of the VSE and against how it was executed by Griffin it was never refered to as “Griffinspace”.

    The VSE and the Constellation program is still the space policy and direction of the Nation until the 2011 budget is approved.

    Why does the right always do this with everything Obama does but never with anyone else?

  • Bennett

    Vladislaw wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    When you can’t make a coherent argument based on facts, you start name calling.

    Harrison Schmidt may have contributed much to NASA and HSF, but like all opponents of our new POR, he makes up many of his “facts” and conveniently forgets to mention that Constellation was going nowhere while eating the entire NASA budget.

    But hey, the truth doesn’t help their cause.

  • eh

    Because demonizing individuals and making them personify issues for rhetorical shorthand is how they roll (gore = global warming, etc). I don’t know the psychology behind it but it seems to be a pattern. They don’t want to discuss things on the merits and have a real Manichean sense of their own opinions. They are absolutely right and anything else is absolutely wrong, probably a falsehood, and possibly representing evil intent.

  • Vladislaw

    Thanks for the link, just read the article. I am glad I did, for I now KNOW what the importance and function of Constellation was REALLY about:

    ““The Cold War II opponent on this planet right now is China, and the United States — if it wishes to continue to protect liberty and the Constitution and other rights that we have” … then we have to keep funding Constellation, because not only will it protect our liberty, it will protect us from: “the Chinese may have the best chance of making the trip to harvest Helium-3″.

    The moon is 9 BILLION acres, if we only funded Constellation and landed there a couple times it eliminatine China’s chances of landing anywhere on those 9 billion acres and harvesting any of OUR helium-3.

  • Vladislaw

    eliminate, sorry.. I was laughing to hard I had trouble typing.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Obama ignores Texas because he knows there are no votes there, leaving lone star state liberals on there own to deal with the seething masses…

    yes in the rain this morning they were rioting on NASA Parkway as we drove past the main entrance to JSC…

    the “if only Politician X will come to see program Y he/she will love it as much as we do and recognize that it is vital to the future of The Republic and will fund it no matter what the results are because we are not exceptional without the program” is just about the last argument one uses after “jobs” etc are tossed in the mix and dont work.

    Most of the people in Texas dont care about human spaceflight. Go to the 5/10 Dinner or the Dixie Chicken in Hearne or College Station and what you hear “the seething masses” talking about is not “wow we wont have our mythic heroes to singlehandindly stop the Commie hordes” but fear and concern that the State of Texas under Rick Perry is now in debt or Perry wants to make every highway a toll road to try and solve the debt and pay off his contributers…or more to the point that farms which have been in families since 1836 are in some jeopardy.

    They really dont care that a very few people are up on ISS doing the equivalent of blowing soap bubbles or that people who have not produced anything of value for the cost in 20 years are going to lose their jobs. They really dont.

    Space Fans have an unrealistic view of human spaceflight and one of those is that the rest of America really would care about it, if only there would be Jay Barbee in everyone’s’ living room telling them how great the space effort is.

    Sorry, at least this is a better argument then the right wing normally has “Obama is Hitler” but I am sure we will get to that at some point…

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    Harrison Schmidt needs to turn up his Oxygen content…

    “Schmitt, who turns 75 this summer, says Obama may not want to see the United States succeed because the “president never grew up as an American; he grew up in Indonesia for the most part. His whole formative years were outside of America. I also think he has a very strong feeling, and he makes it quite evident, that he does not like what America has done in the past.” (Obama actually spent just four years in his youth living in Indonesia, from ages 6 to 10.)”

    he has gone “whittington” (sorry Mark just couldnt resist)

    Robert G. Oler

  • eh

    Wow, Schmidt’s a teabagger type.

  • I spent the better part of the morning writing this opinion article for my blog:

    Click here to read on SpaceKSC.com

    As for China, as has been written many times China has no Moon program. All they have is a study. As documented as recently as Wednesday, the Chinese are aiming to have an operational Space Station by 2022.

    It’s amazing how people will make things up, like a new Red Menace, when the facts don’t support their position.

    And it’s pretty sad how these old Cold Warriors can think outside of their 1960s framework.

  • That should be:

    “And it’s pretty sad how these old Cold Warriors can’t think outside of their 1960s framework.

    Typos, sheesh …

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    That should be:

    “And it’s pretty sad how these old Cold Warriors can’t think outside of their 1960s framework…

    nice blog…nope they cannot. All the folks in the last administration wanted to do in Iraq or going to the Moon was to relive the Cold war…and this time fight it hot.

    what the right wing has become is full of people who cannot handle…change. and who think that the answers of old, which worked well for the conditions then, can work in conditions completely different. In this case it is to invent an enemy (but of course we are on solid ground there…at one point “Saadam” was going to attack us with balsa wood airplanes launched from tankers off the coast)

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen

    “An article in the Business section of the April 18 Florida Today details how commercial interests have tried for years to penetrate the NASA bureaucracy at KSC, with little interest.”

    no joke. the ground is full of companies that tried to do business with NASA nationwide and floundered.

    Robert G. Oler

  • amightywind

    Interesting comments on my previous posting. NASA is an expression of American nationalism and exceptionalism. Like Tom Wolff wrote, it is really a branch of the military. Most of us swell with pride on every shuttle launch, or every successful planetary mission, or new science result. The US does things in space other countries can’t or won’t do. It is difficult for us to understand the the self-loathing mind set of those who willingly seek to be less in the world.

  • Bennett

    amightywind wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    It is difficult for those of us who love our country and NASA watch someone who seems to have a reasonable amount of brains reduce himself to troll status by writing idiotic comments designed to create animosity and spread misinformation.

  • Robert G. Oler wrote:

    what the right wing has become is full of people who cannot handle…change. and who think that the answers of old, which worked well for the conditions then, can work in conditions completely different.

    You might be interested in this September 14, 1960 speech given by then-candidate John F. Kennedy. The relevant part:

    What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?” If by “Liberal” they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer’s dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of “Liberal.” But if by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

    Me, I’m registered non-partisan and have been since 1992. I vote for who I think is the best candidate. I used to work for a politician who’s Democrat but turned to the Dark Side, so I went to work for the Republican who was dedicated to stopping his corruption even through we sometimes disagreed on certain issues. Many others of the Democrat’s inner circle followed me out the door to support the Republican.

    I think Democrat/Republican and liberal/conservative labels get in the way of what’s right, and what’s wrong. We’re seeing that right now where the Republicans in Congress are not allowed to support anything Obama proposes. Shameful. At least Dana Rohrabacher had the consistency of his rhetoric to support Obama’s space proposal; Rohrabacher has always favored commercialization of space access.

  • By the way, I got the JFK “liberal” quote from the Democrat who later turned evil.

  • Bennett wrote:

    It is difficult for those of us who love our country and NASA watch someone who seems to have a reasonable amount of brains reduce himself to troll status by writing idiotic comments designed to create animosity and spread misinformation.

    None of my business, but when you respond to the “idiotic comments” you’re giving the author what he wants — which is to distract people from discussing the facts and talking about the author instead.

    If no one ever responds to the idiocy, then they’ve failed.

    When you respond, they succeed.

    I choose not to respond.

  • Bennett

    Stephen,

    Normally I follow the same credo, but that really long sentence jumped into my head and it would have been criminal to waste it…

    ;-)

  • porkypine

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Obama to make similar visits to Houston or Huntsville. Ain’t gonna happen.

    It’s simple raw politics, very little to do with good or bad space policy. Florida could go Blue or Red in the 2012 Presidential election. Texas and Utah and Alabama are unlikely to go anything but Red. So after the new budget threatens all those states with losing big chunks of their existing NASA white collar jobs, the President visits Florida and offers them a little over half their threatened jobs back. Joy ensues. Meanwhile the definite-Red states are SOL.

    Never assume when a politician does the right thing that it’s solely for the right reasons. The next election is just about always being weighed too.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 2:58 pm ..

    those are good words…they harken back to the argument(s) that President Adams the second used in the Amistead case.

    America is about the triumph of our courage over our fears…and that means the ability to see an America that is different then todays when we extend the freedoms we (us) enjoy to others. One Marine in Iraq told me as she took the citizenship test (which BTW I made 100 on!) that to her America is a place where there were no minorities or majorities just Americans.

    The right wing doesnt see that. To them anything that is different threatens their notion of The Republic.

    To me the new plan is all about summoning a future that is not predictable. If one buys into the POR “vision” one can see the best it is…ie a few NASA astronauts going to the Moon, doing some science but in the end doing not a lot that changes America.

    If Musk (or whomever) succeeds then the future is as freewheeling as when Douglas made that twin engine airplane!

    Robert G. Oler

  • Doug Lassiter

    Let’s not forget that Governor Perry not long ago suggested, out of exasperation with Obama, that Texas might want to secede from the Union. That raised a few eyebrows. One might look forward to hearing how the new country of Texas would develop its own space program!

    So, having said that, now Perry is upset that this President has “put a target on Texas’ back”, and doesn’t care about Texas. I guess it works both ways.

    I don’t think Charlie Christ has been talking about Florida seceding from the Union. Well, I gather south Floridians would like to separate themselves from the rest of the state, but that’s another matter.

  • Robert G. Oler

    porkypine wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Obama to make similar visits to Houston or Huntsville. Ain’t gonna happen.

    It’s simple raw politics, very little to do with good or bad space policy. Florida could go Blue or Red in the 2012 Presidential election. ..

    Texas could as well…depending in my view mostly on the outcome of the 2010 Gov race and how the economics of BHO’s administration work out…and who the GOP puts up.

    Whatever vote percentage that Rick Perry gets in the Nov election..that is the high water mark for a Palin type candidate. If he wins then well Texas is likely red in 12…if he does not…then dont look for a Sarah Palin or a clone of her to do much better. Texas is in transition because its demographics are changing. The cities soon will hold a majority of the people and “Norte Mexico” (the area from San Antonio, South to the ocean up the River all the way to El Paso and then East to San Antonio De Bexar) is growing.

    If Space X suceeds watch for a lot of people to travel to WACO TX

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    Doug Lassiter wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    is it now south florida? When I lived on the Red KANECK Riviera that was the group that was thinking it was unique Morning Joe Country

    Robert G. Oler

  • Speaking of Mr. Musk …

    Some have claimed the only reason Obama is commercializing LEO access is because Elon Musk donated to Obama’s campaign.

    Well, I looked up Musk’s campaign contributions. Click here to read on the Huffington Post.

    Turns out he gave $28,500 in the first quarter of 2008 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

    He gave $25,000 in the first quarter of 2007 to the same GOP committee.

    In the presidential race, he gave $4,600 to Hillary Clinton. He gave $2,300 to Barack Obama in the third quarter of 2007, but given the date I’m assuming that was for his Senatorial campaign debt, it doesn’t say.

    In the 2004 presidential election, he gave $2,000 to Bush, $2,000 to Kerry and $2,000 to Wesley Clark.

    Looks like that $53,500 he gave to the Republicans didn’t buy him much.

  • Re-did the calendar math, third quarter of 2007 would have been the presidential race, my bad.

  • googaw

    You’re missing a few:

    $2,300 to Senator Bill Nelson (D-Senator from FL)
    $700 to Friends Of Barbara Boxer (D-Senator from CA)
    $700 to Friends Of Barbara Boxer (D-Senator from CA)
    $1,000 to Committee To Re-elect Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
    $1,000 to Committee To Re-elect Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
    $2,300 to “Friends of Jane Harman” (D-CA)
    $2,300 to Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate
    $2,000 to Ken Calvert For Congress
    $1,000 to Chet Edwards For Congress
    $1,000 to Chet Edwards For Congress
    $1,000 to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
    $1,000 to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
    $1,000 to Democratic Senatorial Campaign
    $1,000 to Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
    $1,000 to Ike Skelton For Congress
    $1,000 Donation to Ike Skelton For Congress Committee
    $500 to Reyes Committee, Inc., The
    $500 to Reyes Committee, Inc., The
    $500 to Solis For Congress
    $500 to Solis For Congress
    $250 to Chet Edwards For Congress
    $250 to Chet Edwards For Congress
    $200 to Friends Of Jane Harman

    Quite lot of smoothed palms for a “commercial” venture.

  • sc220

    Why should Obama care about Texas, or Alabama, Utah, Mississippi and Louisiana for that matter? These states will stay solidly red no matter what he does. It’s a waste of dollars to pump any more NASA $ into these states. The fact that Marshall and JSC actually did quite well compared to other NASA centers in the 2011 budget amazes me.

    If I were him, I would have singled out red state centers as places to extricate resources in order to rebalance the agency. The fact that he didn’t shows that he is a much better individual than most of us.

  • Why should Obama care about Texas, or Alabama, Utah, Mississippi and Louisiana for that matter? These states will stay solidly red no matter what he does.

    Exactly. If I were the Obamanator, I would starve them out too. Even if they did get more of the pork pie, they would be ungrateful and vote red anyway claiming he was a socialist muslim.

    He may be many things, but stupid isn’t one of them.

  • googaw wrote:

    You’re missing a few … Quite lot of smoothed palms for a “commercial” venture.

    Absolutely. But my point was that some people have claimed Obama’s LEO commercialization is no more than political payback to Musk for donating to his presidential campaign. Clearly that’s a lie. He gave twice as much to Hillary ($4,600) as he did to Obama ($2,300). It’s fairly ridiculous to suggest that Obama is proposing a radical change to the American space program in exchange for $2,300.

    Musk gives mostly to Democrats, but he gives to Republicans too. He covers his bases.

  • We’re seeing that right now where the Republicans in Congress are not allowed to support anything Obama proposes.

    You keep saying this, but never provide any evidence for it. You instead provide counterevidence (Dana Rohrabacher). Don’t you even read what you write?

  • Robert G. Oler

    Rand Simberg wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    to keep this on space policy.

    Certainly any upcoming battles on the NASA budget under Obama will be an at least “small” test of the theory that Republicans will support things on their merit and ideology.

    As noted in another thread Newt and Dana R, two people who in the GOP have a solid grasp on space policy both support this plan. So far their logic seems to not have penetrated the “save our jobs” mentality of those in the GOP who are pushing for “something” else (that something related to their district)…even when on the face of it there is more money and such for certain districts and obviously the Constellation project is floundering.

    It will be entertaining to see, at least in space policy how this works out

    Robert G. Oler

  • Freddo

    On Musk’s donations: Chet Edwards is the rep for the Texas district where SpaceX does its engine tests. And their HQ is *almost* in Jane Harman’s district (it was back when they were in El Segundo, I think, now they’re in Maxine Waters district.)

    For all the talk about Rohrbacher being in SpaceX’s pocket, not only is SpaceX not in his district, it doesn’t look like he’s getting any money from Musk. Maybe Dana actually likes the plan because it aligns with his ideology!

  • Freddo wrote:

    On Musk’s donations: Chet Edwards is the rep for the Texas district where SpaceX does its engine tests. And their HQ is *almost* in Jane Harman’s district (it was back when they were in El Segundo, I think, now they’re in Maxine Waters district.)

    The Congressional districts get redrawn after this election, based in part on the census. So who’s in what district may change.

    For all the talk about Rohrbacher being in SpaceX’s pocket, not only is SpaceX not in his district, it doesn’t look like he’s getting any money from Musk. Maybe Dana actually likes the plan because it aligns with his ideology!

    Rohrabacher has been a fairly lonely voice for years within Congress calling for commercialization of space access. There are a number of aerospace companies in his district, the largest I suspect is Boeing Launch Services.

    To quote from their web site:

    Boeing Launch Services is a customer-focused subsidiary that provides business development, sales, procurement and program management of Delta launch services for commercial customers.

    It’s reasonable to assume that Dana will be lobbying for Orion Lite to ride atop a Delta rocket.

    Maybe Dana actually likes the plan because it aligns with his ideology!

    Rohrabacher has close ties to the founders of the Space Frontier Foundation, which is fairly libertarian in nature and also endorses Obama’s proposal.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Freddo wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Simberg did this a while back …but I thought that SpaceX San Diego was in Sanchez district…but I dont know.

    what is going to be entertaining is the race in TX 17. I have no doubt that Chet is going to win again (he is being groomed for the Senate in 2012 after having been a surprise on Obama’s short list in 08) but Phil G. has injected himself into the race.

    Robert G. Oler

  • The Congressional districts get redrawn after this election, based in part on the census. So who’s in what district may change.

    It’s hard to imagine a radical enough gerrymander to put Hawthorne in the same district as Huntington Beach. SpaceX is not going to become Dana’s constituent.

    Boeing Launch Services is a customer-focused subsidiary that provides business development, sales, procurement and program management of Delta launch services for commercial customers.

    It’s reasonable to assume that Dana will be lobbying for Orion Lite to ride atop a Delta rocket.

    If so, it’s not because it helps his district much. Most of that work was moved to Decatur, Alabama, and it’s now United Launch Alliance, not Boeing.

  • amightywind

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    “The cities soon will hold a majority of the people and “Norte Mexico” (the area from San Antonio, South to the ocean up the River all the way to El Paso and then East to San Antonio De Bexar) is growing.”

    Interesting notion. Conversely, with burgeoning narco-terror in northern Mexico and the possible breakdown of a civil government, a US military invasion and occupation is certainly an option. I have always found it galling that California ends at San Diego, when it would much more logically extend to all of Baja California.

  • Curtis Quick

    amightywind wrote @ April 18th, 2010 at 7:38 pm …

    I have always found it galling that California ends at San Diego, when it would much more logically extend to all of Baja California.

    I’m sure the people of northern Mexico feel similarly and have wondered the same thing about California all the way up to Santa Rosa and beyond (I can almost hear them asking themselves… Why doesn’t Mexico extend all the way up past Santa Rosa….?) As a kid growing up in LA, I always wondered why there were so many Spanish sounding names for nearly all the places nearby I would visit. Makes you think.

  • anne spudis

    Colorado politicians had two-week lobbying blitz to help save Orion project

    [snip] Although other states, including Utah, are likely to be hit hard by the cancelation of Constellation, Colorado had several advantages others didn’t.
    There was a viable Plan B for Orion, which will now be scaled back and made into a rescue vehicle for the international space station. And the state is delicate political terrain for Democrats, with several critical races this year that will be close, including those involving Bennet and Hickenlooper, who is running for governor.
    “There are a lot of reasons for the White House to be on the side of Colorado at this point,” said one top Colorado Democrat.
    By the time Udall and Bennet met with Bolden on Tuesday morning, there were glimmers of hope, said aides familiar with the meeting.
    By that evening, the White House made it official, sending e-mails to key members of the delegation to tell them — with only the barest of details — that Orion would stay, a $4 billion program saved from the scrap heap by a hairbreadth.
    White House aides recast the president’s speech, and Obama announced Thursday that the Orion capsule “will be part of the technological foundation for advanced spacecraft to be used in future deep space missions.”
    “In fact,” said Obama, standing in a hangar at the Kennedy Space Center, “Orion will be readied for flight right here in this room.”

    Orion highlights political tension
    [Snip]
    By most estimates, the president’s last-minute decision to maintain a version of the Orion program was based on politics.

    Colorado is a swing state containing key and vulnerable races for Democrats, and the loss of the $8 billion program could have been devastating for Sen. Michael Bennet and other Democrats. Even Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper joined the fight.

    In reports last week, The Denver Post’s Michael Riley outlined a series of back-channel negotiations on the part of Hickenlooper, Bennet, Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. Ed Perlmutter.

    Among the Democrats’ top arguments for keeping the spacecraft — even in its new downgraded role as a rescue unit for the space station — was the delicate political environment their party now faces here.

    For a nation that needs to make tough choices about structural changes in the overall budget to rein in out-of-control spending, the political fight over keeping the Orion spacecraft under construction ought to prove instructive…..

    .

  • amightywind

    The previous is a very interesting post. The dems are terrified of handing the GOP a great issue in CO and FL. If (when) Obama loses these, especially FL, he is finished.

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