Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
United States Government NASA Republicans The Almighty Buck Politics Science

Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs 496

romanval sends word that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will become the new chairman of the subcommittee that oversees NASA and government scientific research. Cruz has both spoken in favor of NASA and attempted to cut its budget, but he's most notable for his opposition to the science supporting climate change. From the article: His vociferous opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and his support of extreme budget cuts could spell trouble for NASA's less prominent programs, such as its own climate research and sophisticated supercomputers. His role on the front lines of the 2013 government shutdown, which critics say had lasting negative effects on public safety, NASA research and EPA scientists' ability to visit contaminated sites, also suggests at best a narrow focus on NASA's largest projects and at worst a disregard for agencies that require science funding.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

Comments Filter:
  • Goodbye SpaceX (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Hello pork projects for Boeing.

  • by bytethese ( 1372715 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @04:50PM (#48797193)
    Joel Osteen to head committee on Evolution?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A head of NASA who thinks his agency's "foremost" task is to make Muslim's "feel good"?

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/7875584/Barack-Obama-Nasa-must-try-to-make-Muslims-feel-good.html

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Argos ( 173864 )

        Dishonest decontextualization, as usual. The complete quote:

        One, he wanted me to help reinspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me 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, math, and engineering.

    • by WayToGoPhil ( 1341289 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @05:05PM (#48797327)
      Michele Bachmann on House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.. Oh wait. Seriously though what could possibly go wrong.
      • by Shakrai ( 717556 )

        She's been on the Select Committee for quite some time. No news there. She was actually the voice of moderation on a few issues regarding Pakistan back during the 2012 primary debates. No one was more surprised than I; I guess it's sobering when you get the sort of briefings that she's getting as a member of that committee.

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      Charles Manson to head the FDA. News at 11.

  • by linuxguy ( 98493 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @04:50PM (#48797197) Homepage

    This is what democracy is all about.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      True, but he doesn't represent my state so I couldn't vote for or against him, yet he will have lasting impacts on my state.

      That sucks.

      Of course, so does Ted.

      • American's voted the Republicans into the majority. If the Democrats were in majority, he would not be leading the subcommittee. So in a sense, you did vote for this, you might have just been outvoted.
        • by turkeyfish ( 950384 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @06:52PM (#48798283)

          Actually, Dems received nearly 20,000,000 more votes national than the GOP, which goes to show just how badly the GOP has gerrymandered the Congress.

          • by JustinKSU ( 517405 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @06:57PM (#48798325)
            That's why we need to agree on an open algorithm to do districting.
            • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @09:20PM (#48799379)
              That would be a reasonable suggestion for candidates for the House of Representatives, but it still wouldn't have changed anything for Cruz, who's a Senator, as those seats are allocated directly based on the state boundaries.

              If anything though, Cruz's constituency is overly large, meaning that he represents more people, and therefore likely had more raw votes, than most of his Senate counterparts - Texas's population is somewhere on the order of 25-26 million, easily more than the 10 least populous states. In the 2012 election, he received 4.4 million votes out of about 7.8 million or so

              Overall though, the Senate is grossly disproportionate in a lot of ways. Large states like Texas are grossly underrepresented, not only because all those people who voted for him don't have the same influence as a state less than 10% the population of Texas, but also because the number of people who voted for his Democratic opponent alone (3.1 million), nevermind 3rd party candidates, is larger than the full population of something like 20 states, and larger than the average number of Senate votes in many more than that. Those people get absolutely zero representation in the Senate.

              To illustrate just how far off it can get, the 26 least populous states have somewhere around 56 million residents (source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population). You could elect a Senate majority with half that, and if we go by the national voter turnout rate from the 2014 election of 36.3%, and not considering how many of those individuals are ineligible to vote (due to citizenship status, age, etc) you'd only need about 10 million votes, in a country of roughly 320 million people to have full control of the Senate.

              Now, that's a bit of an extreme example, and it discounts that some of those smaller states lean left (VT, DE, RI) while others lean right (WY, AK, ND/SD), just as the same is true for some of the very populous states (CA, TX), but it serves to illustrate just how skewed and disproportionate the Senate can be in terms of representation.
              • by Teancum ( 67324 ) <robert_horning@NoSpam.netzero.net> on Monday January 12, 2015 @11:48PM (#48799953) Homepage Journal

                Overall though, the Senate is grossly disproportionate in a lot of ways.

                This is intentional and deliberate. The Senate was never supposed to be even an elected body in the first place as it was supposed to be essentially a counterpoint to the UN General Assembly. In other words, it was supposed to be a body made up of representatives of the various state governments and definitely not supposed to be remotely representative of ordinary citizens.

                You might be advocating an elimination of the Senate in the fashion that the House of Lords has sort of faded into obscurity in the British Parliament, but there is definitely no reason for it to become even more of just a horrible copy of the House of Representatives, something that was never the original intention in the first place. The disparity is that for better or for worse, the U.S. Senate seems to have grown even more with regards to political power, where individual senators sort of think of themselves individually as vice-presidents ready to step into the "top job" at any time and definitely command their staff as if they will be the next president. The ego needed to become a senator is definitely something right now that basically is a waypoint for many who have presidential ambitions.

                Complaining about the disproportionate nature of the Senate is just downright silly and ignoring its purpose in the first place.

                • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

                  This is intentional and deliberate. The Senate was never supposed to be even an elected body in the first place as it was supposed to be essentially a counterpoint to the UN General Assembly. In other words, it was supposed to be a body made up of representatives of the various state governments and definitely not supposed to be remotely representative of ordinary citizens.

                  There's a bigger problem than that, we've gotten away from civics in general to the point that I'd wager most Americans could not guess who their state legislators were even if you put them on a multiple choice exam. We care (sadly) about federal offices, first and foremost. Then whomever is governor. And some might care about who the mayor is. Waaaaay at the bottom of the list are those guys you send to the state capital, whoever they are, where they can cause trouble for the governor you actually voted fo

          • by JustinKSU ( 517405 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @07:02PM (#48798363)
            Your number is way off. In the House the GOP got 4.4 million more votes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections,_2014) Haven't found the senate numbers yet.
          • by JustinKSU ( 517405 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @07:12PM (#48798425)
            That number is very misleading: http://www.realclearpolitics.c... [realclearpolitics.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, some idiots a couple thousand miles away voted for this fool and now we all get to deal with it.

      I feel so free. My voice was heard. I'm sure that Cruz will readily accept he doesn't JUST serve his party and ideology, and will take a reasoned approach to dealing with topics that have a vast array of opinions, evidence, and reasonable motivations behind them. He'd never just kowtow to specific interests. I have faith this will be the case because our democracy assures this. ....

      Anyone that thinks we hav

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ralph Wiggam ( 22354 )

        Yeah, some idiots a couple thousand miles away voted for this fool and now we all get to deal with it.

        The American people, collectively, chose the Republican Party to be in charge of the Senate. This is the result.

        • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @05:41PM (#48797683) Homepage
          The lowest voter turnout in 72 years [nytimes.com] chose the Republican Party to be in charge of the Senate. The last time the Republcians had the large majority in the House [politico.com] was before the 1929 stock market crash. Something to think about.
          • by Ralph Wiggam ( 22354 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @06:26PM (#48798049) Homepage

            The people who didn't vote are just as responsible as the people who voted for a Republican Senator.

            If you think "they're all the same anyway", then fine. Just don't complain when Ted Cruz is a committee chair.

          • Yes, the Republican strategy of disgusting and confusing their opposition with the state of US politics, while simultaneously drumming up their base with fear mongering worked

            People who are not right-wing zealots need to hold their nose and vote against the goper scum, even if they only find that the opposition to those righties smells only slightly less bad

            It's a game that must be played, even if you feel a little dirty at the end of the day

          • Your last four 2-term presidents - Reagan, Clinton, G W, and now Obama - have faced both both houses controlled by the other party in the last 2 years of their term.

            Seems your presidents just wear out their welcomes before their full 2 terms are over.

          • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

            Tough shit. Don't vote? You can suck it, because you deserve to sit on the sidelines while the people who did vote get to have their decisions implemented. That's what voting is all about. If some people want to give up and spout of platitudes about how their vote doesn't matter... well they matter a hell of a lot less than if they did vote. It's a cheap cop-out and excuse for laziness.

    • This is what democracy is all about.

      You get what you pay for - oh, you're not paying? Then you're probably not getting. Welcome to the Corporatocracy (tm).

    • This is what democracy is all about.

      Somebody here commented a while ago that in Texas they don't flush their toilets, they collect what's left in the bowl into big bags and elect them to congress. I must say the result looks quite a bit better than I expected, it must be the odour that gives them away.

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @07:56PM (#48798761)
      Decline and fall of the United States will be from causes within.
  • LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2015 @04:51PM (#48797205)
    If this wasn't so sad, it'd be funny. NASA's new prime directive: find evidence that God created the Earth 6,000 years ago. :(
  • WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viros ( 1128445 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @04:52PM (#48797221)

    Why do we keep putting people who have a history of being enemies of the scientific community to the scientific subcommittees in Congress? This does nothing productive except give people like Jon Stewart more material.

  • by barlevg ( 2111272 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @04:53PM (#48797239)
    • by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @05:58PM (#48797805)
      well, since he's such a "small plane enthusiast" maybe he'll have some accident like so many other Oklahoma small plane pilots. Some kind of freak weather accident, that is climate-change related would be the best. He's so old...we Oklahoman s who understand the science despise him; he's anti-intellectual and only anti-climate since all his major donors are oil companies and the Koch Brothers. Either way, he has the "old person fuck the environment cause I'll be dead" attitude that almost everyone over 60-65 has.
  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @04:56PM (#48797255) Homepage
    I thought it was Ted Nugent.

    After some thought, I think that would in fact be better than Ted Cruz. All we would have to do was tell him the commies are building X and we would get funding to build X twice as big.

  • Nigeria is laughing at us. I'm waiting for other nations to start sending us foreign aid.

    Surely, next time I look up the definition of irony in the dictionary, it will contain the quote "Ted Cruz heading Science Committee" -- or perhaps that's an oxymoron, like "Military Intelligence" or "Jumbo Shrimp".

    • > I'm waiting for other nations to start sending us foreign aid.

      You can stop waiting. Foreign aid is most commonly in the form of loans. We've been borrowing from China for decades. As Slash would say, "First we did a little, but a little wouldn't do, so the little got more and more."

    • So let me get this straight, in 1776 the Founding Fathers got together to protest the mass poverty and bad British tea, and started NASA so we could lob said tea into space. It eventually made us so rich we became the best developed country on the Earth and now we're exploring how to cultivate tea and coffee on Mars.

      Uh huh. If it were that easy to create developed nations, we'd be going into third world countries handing out space programs, not rice (and all the less lovely stuff our foreign aid props up)

  • Republicans in charge of NASA's budget. What could go wrong?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who amongst us is the biggest bible thumper?
    That would be Ted Cruz..

    Good, he has the job.. Now we can blame all of the stuff Nasa doesn't do on Obama in the next election and cut Nasa funding at the same time!

    But wait, you say, This is Obamas last term, he can't run again..

    But you also forget, Jeb Bush is going to try to run for president so the republican mandate is to screw up as many things as they can while Obama still is president so the right wing can do what it has been doing since 2008, which is to

  • Geeks don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @05:12PM (#48797409) Journal

    To the average American, NASA is just a huge portion of the budget (Billions! of dollars) spent to put some clown in orbit a couple of times a year. This is, in fact, exactly what they want based on their knowledge of what NASA does. All the technology gained by what NASA has learned over the decades by doing the hard and impossible things is entirely lost on Joe Sixpack. And, unfortunately, government / private interaction is not an efficient (in the economic sense) sense, so that the effects of cuts won't be felt where the average person lives for 20 years. It's our own damned fault for living in a country filled with morons.

    • by cusco ( 717999 ) <brian...bixby@@@gmail...com> on Monday January 12, 2015 @07:24PM (#48798499)

      Surveys show that the vast majority of people think that NASA and foreign aid take up large portions of the Federal budget, a large percentage think that the two aspects take up almost half the budget. Only a small percentage are aware that the Pentagon sucks up over half of Federal spending.

  • Lettergate (Score:3, Funny)

    by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @05:15PM (#48797435)
    You might not be excited about it, but Senator Cruz is ready to get to work! He's going to start by tasking NASA with finding where all those letters and numbers go when the teachers wipe them off the whiteboards, and if Obama is involved somehow.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @05:24PM (#48797541)

    Just because he doesn't want the EPA running around making overbearing rules that help no-one, doesn't mean he has anything against further NASA climate research and ESPECIALLY means nothing about being against a bank of supercomputers, which can you realize be used for any purpose?

    The very fact he;s spoken in favor of NASA before is a GOOD THING. It didn't have to be that way and there are plenty (Democrat and Republican) that would not be nearly so favorable of NASA.

    Bad press you see around Cruz in generally farmed up by people trying to prevent him running for president.

    • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @05:42PM (#48797685)

      The very fact he;s spoken in favor of NASA before is a GOOD THING.

      Talk is cheap and even the summary pointed out that Ted Cruz has voted to cut NASA's budget in the past. Follow the actions of politicians instead of their words because they have a reputation for speaking out of both sides of their ass.

      • Follow the actions of politicians instead of their words

        I'm not really concerned about previous NASA cuts as some roles will transition to private industry (like SpaceX).

        I agree actions mean much more, we'll see - I just don't think it will cause any real issues.

        • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @06:44PM (#48798231)

          I'm not really concerned about previous NASA cuts as some roles will transition to private industry (like SpaceX).

          For the most part, the private sector only cares about products and services that can make a profit within the next few quarters. That is not and never has been the purpose of government research. Government research is often done in areas where there is no immediate path to profitability, but the results of that research can be used to generate lots of money depending on what we learn from the experiments.

          We used to have a good balance of public and private research in the U.S. but now public research is considered vile and to be avoided at all costs. People honestly believe that the private sector alone should be responsible for performing all research tasks despite its unwillingness to take on big projects that will greatly advance our understanding of the universe such as the large hadron collider. I'm not too worried since other countries seem content with the decline of U.S. research and are using a combination of the public and private sectors to pick up our slack, but as an American it was nice when we had the courage to invest in our future using both sectors to become the leader in scientific research. Maybe we'll eventually come to our senses, but based on the current cynicism against all things government, I'm not holding my breath for that to happen anytime soon.

    • Maybe he will finish funding the "Rods from God" and begin the militarization of space again.
      • If you are not 100% space will CONTINUE TO BE be militarized going forward, you are a fool.

        What's wrong with the Rod From God idea anyway? Would you prefer we keep nuclear weapons around? Seems kind of stupid to prefer something with far more harmful side effects.

  • I smell a big Carly Fiona moment coming...

  • Tyson / Nye 2016! WRITE IT IN! Bring science into the White House before we all die from some easily avoidable global disaster.
  • by dbleoslow ( 650429 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2015 @12:18AM (#48800089)
    I voted for Kodos.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

Working...