THE NERVY ONE – AT 9:48 A.M. ET: There are times when President Obama's sheer political gall is beyond reason. The great Andrew Malcolm, at Investor's Business Daily, gives us the most recent example, as egregious as it was predictable:
The JPL-NASA robot explorer called Curiosity, a one-ton obedient rover, touched down on the Martian surface at a gentle 2 feet-per-second speed late Sunday, Pacific time. (Here's what Curiosity looked like before its departure last November.)
Fourteen minutes later the radio signal bearing the good news, traveling at 186,000 miles a second, finally reached the control room at mission control in Pasadena, igniting earthbound cheers and hugs. Moments later came a blurry black-and-white photo of a wheel in the sand.
Almost immediately President Obama, whose minions have been whacking the NASA space budget ruthlessly for money to spend elsewhere while promising grand vague things ahead, issued a statement celebrating American exceptionalism:
"The successful landing of Curiosity — the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet — marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination."
Alas, budget cuts have retired the entire U.S. space shuttle fleet scores of missions short of their designed flight lifespans. Highly-trained American astronauts are steadily retiring. While those remaining must rent seats aboard Russian rockets to reach the International Space Station for years to come. While China plans manned Moon landings before 2020, an American return is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
So successful have Obama's budget cuts been that NASA has had to pull out of a pair of joint missions with European countries to retrieve Mars rocks for study on Earth. Russia took over the U.S. leadership role.
Even another Mars rover mission this decade has become uncertain. Monday as mission controllers, now living on Mars time for the next several months, began awakening Curiosity's intricate systems after their eight-month space journey, Obama took his newly-refurbished Air Force One to campaign fundraisers No. 196 and 197. Both in Connecticut.
COMMENT: So well said. Obama guts the space program, then waves the flag when a mission, approved by his predecessors, goes well.
Well, at least he didn't tell Americans that they didn't build this alone. Thank you, Mr. President.
There are planners, and there are dreamers. The Europeans are planners, Americans are dreamers. The people running the current administration are European-oriented. Many of them undoubtedly spent their "junior year abroad," sitting in a cafe in Brussels, absorbing the planning, and imagining Obamacare.
We need to return dreaming to national government. When Jack Kennedy pledged to send a man to the moon in the decade of the sixties, Americans loved the dream, and achieved it. Compare please to the reception for Obamacare.
Jack Kennedy couldn't get the Democratic nomination for president today. Too much of that American stuff.
August 7, 2012