Election 2008: October 2008 Archives

Obama Space Policy News

Astronaut Rusty Schweikart, Obamanauts To Launch Weekend Canvassing, GOTV Efforts

"On Saturday, November 1, former Apollo crew member Rusty Schweickart will launch final canvassing and Get Out the Vote efforts for the Obama-Biden campaign. Schweikart will then join the Obamanauts - Space Coast residents who support Barack Obama - along with hundreds of volunteers from every corner of the state to knock on doors this weekend to personally contact thousands of voters before Election Day and encourage them to take advantage of the last days of early voting."

Diamandis editorial supports Obama Space Policy

"Responding largely to concerns voiced by Florida's voters, Senator Obama has offered an unambiguous pledge to right-size NASA's budget. But his space policy is not devoted solely to NASA; it points to an Obama Administration's support for space commercialization, space workforce retention, space research and technology development, national security space programs, space-based environmental monitoring, and using space to inspire our nation's youth to excel in math and science."

Previous McCain and Obama Election posts

Remarks by John McCain in Miami, FL (29 Oct 2008)

"I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, NASA, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes."

He Did It Again: In Ormond Beach, McCain Pledges Spending Freeze with No Exception for NASA

"Days after attempting to clarify his ever-changing position on space funding, John McCain returned to the region this morning and reinstituted his call for a spending freeze - without an exception for NASA. Speaking in Ormond Beach, McCain promised to freeze spending on "all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, social security and health care," pledging to "veto every single pork barrel earmark." Notably absent was any exception for space funding, muddying a position McCain tried to clear up last week."

Previous McCain and Obama Election posts

Inspired kids will reach for stars under Obama, Sally Ride, Orlando Sentinel

"Somewhere in America today, there's a 10-year-old girl who could be the first person to walk on Mars. She's probably playing with a toy chemistry set or a kid's telescope right now, gazing up at the heavens and dreaming big dreams. I know a lot about that girl because in 1961, during the inspirational early days of our space program, that was me. The world that girl will enter, and in particular the state of our space and science industries, is different for her than it was for me. In some ways, she has greater opportunities. While still unacceptably behind men, women have more avenues to becoming scientists today than they did when I answered a call in a newspaper ad to become an astronaut. In other ways, our space program has lost the national stature it had when I was growing up. In both regards, though, we can and must do better."

Editor's note: We all know by now that Mike Griffin prefers to call himself "Spock" (audio). But who does the REAL Spock (Leonard Nimoy) prefer in election 2008? Listen to this excerpt from a recent appearance by Nimoy and you will hear about an encounter between Barack Obama and Nimoy a while back - and yes, Obama does the Vulcan salute. Hmmm ... does this have any bearing upon space policy under a possible Obama administration?

Video below

Biden on Space Policy

Senator Biden on Reinvigorating our Space Program

"When John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to go to the moon, he noted that the space industry not only demanded the best minds, it also created the best jobs. Ladies and gentlemen, the objective was not just to go to the moon. But it was to get another 435,000 engineers and scientists and mathematicians. When the Shuttle is retired, NASA estimates that 3,500 jobs could be lost - and that doesn't count the impact on local businesses or the long-term cost of allowing our global leadership to atrophy. The Bush Administration has left our space program in a very difficult position. And John McCain, as Chairman of the Commerce Committee hasn't helped. He oversaw the plan to retire the Space Shuttle before a replacement was ready."

He Did It Again: In Ormond Beach, McCain Pledges Spending Freeze with No Exception for NASA

"Days after attempting to clarify his ever-changing position on space funding, John McCain returned to the region this morning and reinstituted his call for a spending freeze - without an exception for NASA. Speaking in Ormond Beach, McCain promised to freeze spending on "all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, social security and health care," pledging to "veto every single pork barrel earmark." Notably absent was any exception for space funding, muddying a position McCain tried to clear up last week."

Previous McCain and Obama Election posts

Editor's note: I wrote this about a month ago.

A Speech on Space Exploration by President XXXXXXX

Delivered XX, XXXXX 2009

Last Fall we celebrated NASA's 50th anniversary. When you celebrate such events you always look back - and look forward. NASA is made of people - and people pause and reflect. NASA is no different.

As we look back at NASA's history we see stunning accomplishments, difficult challenges, heartbreaks, roaring resurgence, and continued exploration. Yet as with any human endeavor, reaching age 50 calls for some introspection and some re-prioritization.

In 2004 NASA was given an opportunity it had not had for a generation - a new commitment to the human exploration of other worlds. This happened barely a year after the agency suffered the tragic loss of Columbia and her crew. The President of the United States of America came to NASA to give the agency its new "vision". With a renewed commitment to explore, NASA set forth to develop the plans and hardware needed to implement this new era of human exploration.

However, within a short time, NASA fell back on bad habits. Discarding the wisdom of the marketplace and a bounty of external ideas, it discarded this advice, and picked an architecture that relied upon re-designing existing hardware under the guise of reusing it. And there was no back up plan in case things did not work out. All too soon, things did not work out and America's replacement for the Space Shuttle's crew carrying capability slipped further into the future. The gap between the retirement of the Space Shuttle and its replacement grew when the wisest course would have been to shrink it - indeed, to eliminate it.

Statement from Barack Obama on India's Lunar Launch

"As a child, I remember sitting on my grandfather's shoulders and watching the Apollo astronauts return from a splashdown to Hickam Air Force Base, dreaming of where they had been. It inspired my imagination and gave me confidence in what we as Americans could achieve. It's time for a space program that inspires our children again. As President, I will lead our space program boldly into the 21st Century - so when my daughters, and all our children, look up to the skies, they see Americans leading the way into the deepest reaches of our solar system."

Previous McCain and Obama Election posts

Obama Hits McCain On Health Care, NASA, National Journal

"Obama also released a radio spot in Florida Thursday accusing McCain of wanting to cut NASA funding, an argument that turns on McCain's proposal to enact a spending freeze to close the budget deficit. McCain "wants to freeze NASA spending at last year's level," says Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., in the ad. "So layoffs would loom larger, and NASA would continue to be starved of funds for future exploration."

McCain Promises $2 Billion to Help NASA, WS Journal

"Sen. John McCain came to the space coast today and promised $2 billion to help NASA transition from the space shuttle to a new space vehicle. "I've always been a strong supporter of manned space flight and NASA," he said in a community that is home to many in the field. "If I'm elected president I won't cut NASA funds like Sen. Obama." McCain aides noted that Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, had promised to pay for education programs by delaying the Constellation space program, which is meant to fill the gap to the next space vehicle, only to backtrack later."

John McCain campaigns in Melbourne, seeks Space Coast votes, Orlando Sentinel

"The Obama campaign immediately seized on what it said was a change in McCain's space stance. "One day it's a spending freeze; the next day it's not; but whatever his stance is, Space Coast voters are looking for a change from the Bush-McCain policies that brought us to the brink of thousands of job losses," Obama spokeswoman Adrianne Marsh said."

Nelson Vs McCain Over NASA

CQ Transcripts: Obama and McCain Advisers Hold Teleconferences on Healthcare Plans, CQ Politics

"Sen. Nelson: Well, as we speak, John McCain has left Miami and he's en route to my home town of Melbourne. And the fact that he's going to Brevard County is an indication that he is quite concerned that Barack has really sliced in to that traditionally Republican area, because Barack has a very detailed proposal on America's space program, and John McCain has had a proposal, as he said two nights ago in the debate, of a freeze at last year's levels across the board.

And, of course, if they do that with NASA, it will absolutely continue to savage NASA, as George Bush's administration has done, that's leading us at the space center, when they shut down the space shuttle, to 4,000 to 5,000 jobs laying off because they have not developed the new rocket to replace the space shuttle, and we're going to be beholden to the Russians to get to the very space station that we built and paid for, and -- and -- and without an American vehicle for five to six years.

Barack has addressed this. And I submit to you that that's exactly why McCain is going to Brevard County, which went heavily for George Bush over John Kerry , and he's going in there because he knows that -- that Barack has -- has absolutely pierced those Republican engineers who are so concerned about America's space program."

Obama Touts Connection to Space Program in New National Ad (with video)

"Barack Obama launched a new national television ad today that prominently features Apollo Astronauts as Obama recounts how they inspired his early days. In the 60-second ad entitled "Buster," Obama speaks directly to the camera about the lessons he learned from the early space program and what it taught him about America. The ad is the first by either presidential candidate to highlight the space program. Obama has pledged to increase NASA funding to save Florida jobs and maintain America's leadership in space. Senator McCain has pledged to freeze discretionary spending in his first year, which would negatively impact the space program."

Biden Discusses Economy, Obama During Local 6 Interview, local6.com

"Number two, look what John wants to do with the space program. He wants to essentially put it on ice. I think it is clear, Florida is hurting."

Reader note: "I hope you will write a post on this tidbit of ludditery from McCain at tonight's Presidential debate. Senator McCain said Sen. Obama supported a congressional earmark of "$3 million for an overhead projector at a planetarium in Chicago, Ill. My friends, do we need to spend that kind of money?" The Adler Planetarium to which Sen. McCain refers is one of our key education and public outreach partners for many NASA projects. Sen. McCain's criticism of the heart of the Adler Planetarium is anti-science, threatening to kill off one of the best ways we have to communicate the scientific results of a NASA mission to the public. The suggestion that this is somehow just an overpriced tranparency projector is disengenous at best."

Obama Announces FY08 Federal Funding Requests

"Adler Planetarium, to support replacement of its projector and related equipment, $3,000,000 - One of its most popular attractions and teaching tools at the Adler Planetarium is the Sky Theater. The projection equipment in this theater is 40 years old, and is no longer supported with parts or service by the manufacturer. It has begun to fail, leaving the theater dark and groups of school students and other interested museum-goers without this very valuable and exciting learning experience."

Union Event at KSC

Wednesday Obama Campaign Press Conference: Just Laid Off From Their Space Industry Jobs, Workers To Respond to GOP's Anti-NASA Stance

"WEDNESDAY, October 8, engineers and other space industry workers will hold a press conference to denounce Senator John McCain's plan to freeze NASA spending and his Republican Party's attack on the space program. The Republicans' criticism of Senator Barack Obama's $2 billion plan to save space industry jobs comes as NASA Administrator and Republican appointee Dr. Michael Griffin thanked Senator Obama personally for his "leadership" in getting critical legislation passed to help maintain an American presence in space. Griffin wrote to Obama: "without your leadership, this would not have happened."

Obama Gets a Thank You from NASA, NY Times

"NASA confirmed that Dr. Griffin sent the note, which first appeared on the website nasawatch.com, but added that he sent similar letters to other members of Congress. ... With the economy tipping precariously, was Dr. Griffin trying to ensure that at least one employee of the space agency would remain in his job in January? It does not sound like the Griffin style, frankly -- he is an engineer, not a Washington schmoozer, and when asked to describe his feelings early in his tenure, replied, ""I don't do feelings. Just think of me as Spock"

Click on image to enlarge

Obama Spend-O-Meter, Republican National Committee

"Obama Has Proposed $2 Billion In Additional NASA Funding. "Sen. Barack Obama has detailed a comprehensive space plan that includes $2 billion in new funding to reinvigorate NASA and a promise to make space exploration and science a significantly higher priority if he is elected president." (Marc Kaufman, "Obama Suggests $2 Billion In New Funding For NASA," The Washington Post, 8/19/08)"

John McCain: America's Space Program

"As President, John McCain will - Ensure that space exploration is top priority and that the U.S. remains a leader; - Commit to funding the NASA Constellation program to ensure it has the resources it needs to begin a new era of human space exploration. - Review and explore all options to ensure U.S. access to space by minimizing the gap between the termination of the Space Shuttle and the availability of its replacement vehicle; ..."

Editor's note: The Washington post article that the RNC quotes also says "While Obama's ambitious plan embraces President Bush's 2004 "vision" to send astronauts to the moon by 2020 and later to Mars -- a plan McCain co-sponsored in the Senate -- the Democratic presidential candidate said the administration's "poor planning and inadequate funding" have undermined the effort and jeopardized U.S. leadership in space."

I am not certain how McCain can accomplish what he has proposed - which seems to be more or less what Obama has proposed - unless he either increases NASA's budget or cuts something rather dramatically to pay for what he wants to see NASA do. That said, McCain does have a strong stance in support of NASA. As such, the RNC snipe at Obama for holding a similar stance to McCain's is curious. Perhaps the RNC did not check with the McCain folks ...

Nelson hits RNC on NASA stance, Orlando Sentinel

"Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said the Republican National Committee "just stepped in it" when they blasted Barack Obama for his promise to give NASA $2 billion more in funding. "It's not only ridiculous, it shows how totally out of it they are," said Nelson, who said extra NASA funding helps grow jobs in Florida, home to the Kennedy Space Center and a key swing state in the upcoming presidential election. "They simply don't know what they are talking about."

Editor's note: Former NASA PAO flack Patti Phillips is clearly losing it over at the Washington Examiner. She uses a post about Obama and space policy to launch off on a bizzare path that ends with Nazis. Sure, Patti's over the top rant at Obama is just that. But the link to a video she includes - a video that overtly uses Nazi symbology and swastikas in comparison to the campaign banners used by the Obama campaign and overlays films of Hitler youth with audio of children signing an Obama campaign song - is just plain obscene and has no place in civilized discussion. She introduces the video by saying "You decide if the Obama truth squads, youth squads, and hype are bringing some horrific history back to life. Here's a provocative YouTube video that wraps up some current issues." What was this woman thinking?

Editor's update: This just appeared online at the Examiner: "Note: at the request of an Examiner editor, who had concerns about the harshness of the comments posted in response, the video has been removed." "Harshness"? The YouTube video "Obama Youth Revolution - Sing For Socialism" that Patti Phillips thought was appropriate is outright racist. Patti did not have the common morals to see that this video was outright inappropropriate - but her editor did. This is what the page looked like before. Note that the title "Obama builds up the rubber in his space flip flops, truth squads, and kid allegiance squads" is now simply "Obama builds up the rubber in his space flip flops". Look at the URL for the story "http://www.examiner.com/x-504-Space-News-Examiner~y2008m10d6-Obama-builds-up-the-rubber-in-his-space-flip-flops-truth-squads-and-kid-allegiance-squads". Also, removed are the allusions to Hitlerian tactics, the video, and outraged reader comments. Let's just pretend that this never happend, eh Patti? I wonder what Patti will come up with next as she tries to link space policy to an ever-increasing array of partisan and bizzare topics.

Obama on World Space Week

Sen. Obama Issues Statement on World Space Week

"Senator Barack Obama issued the following statement today on World Space Week and the 50th Anniversary of the inception of NASA: "This week, we join more than 50 nations around the world in celebrating World Space Week. And this year, as we mark the 50th anniversary of NASA, our space program is at a crossroads. As other countries are moving forward in space, my opponent's vision would cause us to fall unacceptably behind. His pledge to freeze all discretionary spending for programs other than veterans and defense would assure the loss of thousands of jobs in Florida, and seriously threaten America's leadership in space. I have a different vision. My plan to revitalize our space program will reduce the gap between the Space Shuttle's retirement and its next-generation replacement; and we'll increase funding for a robust human space exploration program and research that pushes the very boundaries of discovery."

President Clinton Reinforces Senator Obama's Plans to Preserve and Reinvigorate Space Program, earlier post

President Clinton Reinforces Senator Obama's Plans to Preserve and Reinvigorate Space Program

"ORLANDO - TODAY, speaking in Orlando and Fort Pierce, President Bill Clinton spoke to Floridians about reasons a Barack Obama and Joe Biden administration would benefit Americans. The former President strongly supported Obama's policies on the economy, energy independence and health care. Possibly the most salient of issues for Floridians was the former President's support of Barack Obama's vision for a robust space program. "He has a plan to support the space industry, which I think is important not just to Florida but to America. This is a very big deal," said Clinton during his speech in Orlando. "We have a vested interest in staying on the frontiers of technological change and many of the answers to our environmental and other challenges will be found by continuing the push into space."



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