Lost in space: Obama’s NASA program

Jeff Crouere Contributor
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The idiocy of the Obama administration continues to amaze us, even after eighteen months of leftist policies. After becoming president, Obama sent federal spending into the stratosphere, increasing the burden on future generations of Americans. However, one of the few agencies that he has grounded is involved in one of our most vital national missions, space exploration. Sadly, the president has reduced spending for NASA, while boosting spending for almost everything else in the federal government.

The result is that facilities like Michoud in New Orleans East are in danger of closing, resulting in the loss of thousands of high paying jobs. Instead of reaching for the stars, the president wants NASA to become more focused on earthbound challenges like the politically charged issue of global warming. This is a ludicrous departure for the once proud agency, which is now led by staunch Obama supporter Charles Bolden. In a recent speech delivered in Egypt to mark the one-year anniversary of Obama’s Cairo address, Bolden said that NASA is not just interested in space exploration, but is also “an Earth improvement agency.” With this mission, there is no need for astronauts, only geologists.

As chief NASA administrator, Bolden has canceled the Constellation program and eliminated plans to return to the moon. In making this controversial move, Bolden also canceled the production of new rockets and spaceships that were involved in the Constellation program.

The leader of NASA should be focused on expanding our space mission and returning the agency to its glory days. Instead, he is assisting the state department in promoting diplomacy in the Islamic world. Incredibly, during his Middle East trip, Bolden appeared on the Al Jazeera television network and claimed that expanding international relations was among his top goals. He said that the president told him his foremost mission was to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.”

When did it become the NASA administrator’s top job to “reach out” to the Muslim world and make them “feel good?” In the past, NASA administrators were busy managing their agencies, but not Mr. Bolden. He is our ambassador to the Muslim world, speaking for President Obama. In the interview, Bolden sounded more like a politician or a diplomat than a NASA administrator.

The whole episode paints another disturbing picture of an administration with a curious and frightening agenda. Bolden should be focused on how this country will explore space in a time of tight budgets and an international recession. Instead, Bolden, under the direction of Obama, is playing politics in the Middle East.

This initiative will not advance space travel because none of these Muslim nations has a legitimate space program and none has ever sent men or women into space. This is just another example of the president currying favor with the Muslim world at the expense of a vital national security interest, in this case, our space program.

Bolden claims that the United States needs international help to travel beyond low-Earth orbit. He said we “can’t do it” alone anymore. So the United States, the country that designed the fabulously successful Apollo program and won the space race in the 1960’s is now unable to leave low orbit without the assistance of the Muslim world? It is a sad commentary on the condition of NASA and the plight of the United States of America.

Jeff Crouere is the Host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the Political Analyst for WGNO-TV ABC26 and a Columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com or e-mail him at jeff@ringsidepolitics.com.

Jeff Crouere