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Obama's Evolving Stance On NASA

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago

Democrats 941

mknewman writes "The Houston Chronicle is reporting a change in Obama's stance on NASA, saying his position on space exploration continued to evolve Sunday as the Illinois Democrat endorsed a congressional plan to add $2 billion to NASA's budget and agreed to back at least one more space shuttle mission."

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941 comments

don't fall for it (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644263)

if you vote for mccain or obama this fall, you have failed.

grow some balls

Re:don't fall for it (0, Offtopic)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644309)

Both have plans for missiles, just a matter of where the missiles will be put to use.

Re:don't fall for it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644439)

The only missle they both have plans for is the cock missle, and they want to put it in your ass. Meet the new boss, same as the old.

Grab your ankles and enjoy the ride!

Obama Should Love NASA (0, Troll)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644275)

He finds ways to justify all sorts of unconstitutional, unnecessary spending of the American tax payer's dollar (like his proposed $80B/year for international poverty), so why not NASA?

Re:Obama Should Love NASA (5, Insightful)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644619)

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but I see a lot of this around. I don't understand how people can be so dumb as to think that Democrats are the heavy spenders. The Republicans have, ever since Reagan, been trying to outdo each other by lowering tax but raising spending. See here [businessweek.com] for a discussion. It is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who are the big spenders. And if you believe that you can run a deficit for decades without harming anything, then you're a fool. And McCain has admitted that the economy isn't his cup of tea, as evidenced by his proposed cuts to the fuel tax. At least Obama knew enough economics to oppose that.

Given the current crisis, I'd vote for Obama on that alone. What economic knowledge he's demonstrated makes him far more qualified a candidate than McCain or Clinton, despite some of his other failings.

Re:Obama Should Love NASA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644715)

I see. So you're comfortable with voting for a thinly-veiled Socialist radical. Good for you, douche-bag. Yes, the Republicans have an atrocious spending record, but you're a fool if you think they're no better than your beloved Spendocrats who think they are divinely entitled to the money taken from citizens. The two worst presidents of all time were LBJ and FDR - FDR for starting the American social welfare state and LBJ for greatly expanding it.

Re:Obama Should Love NASA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644839)

dumbass, you wouldn't know a socialist radical if one came up and kicked you in the nuts

Re:Obama Should Love NASA (0, Troll)

MJMullinII (1232636) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644845)

I see. So you're comfortable with voting for a thinly-veiled Socialist radical. Good for you, douche-bag. Yes, the Republicans have an atrocious spending record, but you're a fool if you think they're no better than your beloved Spendocrats who think they are divinely entitled to the money taken from citizens. The two worst presidents of all time were LBJ and FDR - FDR for starting the American social welfare state and LBJ for greatly expanding it.

So says the "Anonymous Coward".

Re:Obama Should Love NASA (-1, Troll)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644869)

I didn't say they were no better. I said they were worse. The rest of your post is typical right-wing spew that I see so often. Why are Republicans such hateful people?

Regardless, it's been shown [washingtonpost.com] that Obama's tax cut plans would help the lower income brackets more than McCain's, and tax the rich more. This is obviously what a tax system is supposed to do. As someone who makes a high income, I'd be better off, in the short term, with McCain, so I'm not arguing for my own personal gain here.

Re:Obama Should Love NASA (5, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644843)

I would counter your 'gas tax holiday' argument (about which you're entirely correct) with everything else Obama wants to do with respect to gas prices. Windfall tax on oil companies? That'll drive prices up. Preventing drilling for domestic oil reserves? That won't help either. Pull oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? That won't last long. Force the oil companies to drill the leases they already own? Gee, you'd think they would already be doing that if it would make them money. But it wouldn't, in large part due to government interference.

Obama claims that he will eliminate our dependence on middle-east oil in 10 years. Anyone who believes that is deluding themselves. At least McCain is willing to admit it's a weakness, rather than pretend he knows better.

Re:Obama Should Love NASA (5, Insightful)

amabbi (570009) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644977)

And McCain has admitted that the economy isn't his cup of tea, as evidenced by his proposed cuts to the fuel tax. At least Obama knew enough economics to oppose that.

Given the current crisis, I'd vote for Obama on that alone. What economic knowledge he's demonstrated makes him far more qualified a candidate than McCain or Clinton, despite some of his other failings.

Obama has demonstrated nothing. I agree with Obama's decision not to support a gas tax holiday, but Obama's flip-flop stance on releasing the Strategic Reserve to combat high gas prices proves that he's probably even stupider than the average politician. And that he proposed this strategy a mere month after announcing that he wouldn't, while criticizing McCain for his reversal after 8 years when the price of gas has increased by 6x, shows that he's the consummate politician-- and that's certainly no compliment.

The whole point of the Strategic Reserve is to be used for emergencies. Obama wants to withdraw light crude from the reserve and then refill it with heavy crude. This presupposes a drop in gas prices, which certainly is no guarantee. It also undermines one of the reasons why the reserve is important; say, a hurricane wiping out refineries. Replacing light crude with heavy crude which requires MORE refining runs counter to logic.

I'd have wished that Obama was smarter and opposed the gas tax holiday for sane reasons. Now, it just seems like he was trying to differentiate himself from Clinton and McCain.

Re:Obama Should Love NASA (0, Flamebait)

sheldon (2322) | more than 5 years ago | (#24645005)

I think the reason why Republicans end up spending more money than Democrats is because their attitude sucks.

Because of their attitude they have this perception that they don't care about people, don't give a shit, etc. Then when something bad happens, they can't just say "I feel your pain, I understand your suffering" or whatever cause nobody believes them. So they respond by spending boatloads of money in order to prove they are Compassionate.

It's all about the psychology. When you've got economic advisors walking around saying the US is full of a bunch of whiners, and the economy is fine, you have to undue the damage through actions, otherwise known as spending boatloads of money.

Let's end the ruse (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644279)

If you adjust for inflation, NASA's budget is about half [wikipedia.org] of what it was during the space race years in the 60's. You can't go to Mars on that. You probably can't even go back to the moon on that. And a paltry $2 billion isn't going to make much of a difference.

Obama is no more serious about NASA's lofty aspirations that Bush or Clinton. It's just political pandering for Florida. And I am tired of hearing promises from politicians that they know damn well they can never deliver on.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

However... (5, Interesting)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644357)

"Obama is no more serious about NASA's lofty aspirations that Bush or Clinton. It's just political pandering for Florida. And I am tired of hearing promises from politicians that they know damn well they can never deliver on."

Usually, I'd agree with that, however, I think you're ignoring the "new cold war" aspect here. China is developing an aggressive space program, and if they say they're going to the moon, they mean it.

Frankly, I think McCain is a little more inclined to beef up NASA precisely because of that aspect, and Obama will say damn near anything to win Florida. But it's also possible that he's reconsidered his positions on space because if he becomes President, he knows people aren't going to let him slide on the space race.

Re:However... (3, Insightful)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644787)

Not to mention the recent renewal of "old cold war" tensions.

One thing commonly pointed to by politicians in reducing spending on NASA is the current cooperation with other countries. If Russian turns into a rival again, then I suspect space rivalry will again follow. Nothing like a little nationalism to shake the purse strings.

Re:Let's end the ruse (4, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644369)

Obama is no more serious about NASA's lofty aspirations that Bush or Clinton. It's just political pandering for Florida. And I am tired of hearing promises from politicians that they know damn well they can never deliver on.

Of curse he is. The candidates are going to say whatever they have to and then do whatever they want when in office.

I'm voting Libertarian when I can and then voting against the incumbent - regardless of what party he belongs to. We need term limits in Congress. If we got rid of this career politician horseshit, we'd have MUCH better representation in Washington.

Re:Let's end the ruse (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644451)

Ahh... GFXGUY's "clean sweep" act of 2008. No incumbents are allowed to run for this or the next election.

Of course, it's not very democratic... so if we want to accomplish the same thing, BitterOldGUy's plan is a great one; I'd already decided to vote against all incumbents (and libertarian where possible), but I want to help in spreading the idea.

Re:Let's end the ruse (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644969)

it's not very democratic...

I disagree on that one. Firing a politician is always the democratic thing to do.

I think our current system of incumbents who end up with basically lifetime office is undemocratic.

Re:Let's end the ruse (5, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644781)

I'm voting Libertarian when I can and then voting against the incumbent - regardless of what party he belongs to.

If you vote Libertarian, aren't you already voting against the incumbent?

Re:Let's end the ruse (2, Informative)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644871)

If you vote Libertarian, aren't you already voting against the incumbent?

There aren't Libertarian candidates running for all offices. So, if there's no Libertarian candidate, I vote against the incumbent, and if the incumbent is running unchallenged, I abstain.

Re:Let's end the ruse (2, Insightful)

sheldon (2322) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644881)

We need term limits in Congress.

Why? So the unelected bureaucrats can run the Government? I don't think so. If an incumbent is really bad, they get kicked out by the voters.

What you are really saying here is that the electorate is a bunch of stupid morons who you don't trust, and you'd prefer a monarchy. But who gets to pick the monarchy?

Re:Let's end the ruse (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24645043)

So the unelected bureaucrats can run the Government?

They already do.

If an incumbent is really bad, they get kicked out by the voters.

Which is extremely difficult and expensive. Easier said than done.

What you are really saying here is that the electorate is a bunch of stupid morons who you don't trust, and you'd prefer a monarchy.

I never said that and please don't put words in my mouth - thank you very much.

Re:Let's end the ruse (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644391)

To be fair, we *can* go to the moon and mars on 2 billion more a year. It'll just take more years and/or cuts elsewhere. Hopefully the private sector will help reduce costs, but even not counting on that we'll get to the moon/mars eventually... just not in 10 years this time.

Re:Let's end the ruse (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644403)

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

That's a nice lyric from The Who but there are actual real differences between Obama & Bush. He seems to list specifics of a planned removal [barackobama.com] from Iraq:

Barack Obama believes we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 â" more than 7 years after the war began.

I think what's lacking when it comes to candidates is there's no accountability. I like to see goals listed out that are achievable, realistic & measurable. But when they are elected and these goals melt away or the politician is so deluded the think they're achieving these goals, I just cringe.

It happens to every politician every election for every position. You're right in saying that everyone's tired of failed promises. But there are some larger issues that Obama has (at least for now) claimed definite goals for. I'm not an Obama supporter but I can find his plans for removal from Iraq for better or for worse.

If Obama can't deliver $2 billion to NASA, I'll be pissed. This may be political pandering (in fact, I'll guarantee it is) but I really don't care. I would like to see more money devoted to NASA and our progress to human proliferation through space.

The odds are high that if elected he'll never follow his Iraq plans or he'll alter them or claim there's new data that makes it impossible ... but what can I do but vote for the candidate that at least (for now) is saying what I want my Commander in Chief to say?

Re:Let's end the ruse (4, Interesting)

flitty (981864) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644457)

President Bush opposes the $2 billion in funding, saying it would be fiscally irresponsible.

HA! Upwards of $464 BILLION in debt is just fine for Bushie, but 2 BIL for funding for NASA, that's crossing the line. Thanks for the laugh early on monday morning.

Iraq vs. Going to the moon. (3, Insightful)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644825)

As I recall last time I did some Googling, for what we have spent on Iraq so far we could have had something like 16 Apollo programs in today's dollars.

Steve

Re:Let's end the ruse (1, Redundant)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644637)

That's a nice lyric from The Who but there are actual real differences between Obama & Bush.

Bush isn't running.

Re:Let's end the ruse (3, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644861)

Bush isn't running.

But he is the "old boss". If you want the "new boss" to not be the "same", Obama has some significant differences. (Though not as many as I'd like, and he's rapidly backpedaled from to positions I found most interesting. which is why I'll probably be writing in Nader.) McCain, less so.

Re:Let's end the ruse (0, Redundant)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644823)

there are actual real differences between Obama & Bush.

Bush isn't running this time. HTH.

-jcr

Re:Let's end the ruse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644915)

lawl, but McSameBush is, amirite?

Re:Let's end the ruse (2, Informative)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644891)

but what can I do but vote for the candidate that at least (for now) is saying what I want my Commander in Chief to say?

I'd rather take a candidate that'll tell me the honest truth, even if it isn't popular. Setting a timeline for withdrawl pretty much tells Iran/Al Qaida/whoever else "just lay low for a year and a half, then you'll have free rein." It's naive foreign policy.

Re:Let's end the ruse (1, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644407)

Whose to say that Obama doesn't want to really raise it more, but thanks to the war that W. started to avenge daddy, simply cannot? The Iraq war just keeps on costing, and costing, and costing the United States in so many ways, and yet a significant number of people support one of the wars biggest cheerleaders....

Re:Let's end the ruse (2, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644867)

Whose to say that Obama doesn't want to really raise it more, but thanks to the war that W. started to avenge daddy, simply cannot?

I assume by the "avenge daddy" bit that you were referring to the attempted Iraqi assassination of George HW Bush when he visited Kuwait? Do you think it is OK for a foreign government to assassinate US presidents? Do you think that the US should have no response when something like that happens?

IMHO, it makes no difference who a sitting or former president is related to or what party he belongs to. When a foreign government attempts to assassinate one, they gotta go. It's a shame so many of people are such big pussies that they will let true acts of war slide by.

Re:Let's end the ruse (2, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644417)

Normally I don't support privatisation, normally I don't agree with people who claim that private companies would do better in every situation.

But NASA is a huge fucking money hole.
Read Feynman account in "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" of NASA and how it's run.

If someone put that 2 billion up as a prize for the first private company to put a man on the moon we'd see a new fucking space race.
Put up 10 billion for the first company to put a man on mars and it wouldn't be long before we had men in deck chairs at the summet of mon olympus.

Re:Let's end the ruse (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644971)

Minus the profanity, I would agree. NASA performed amazing feats in the '60s and early '70s, but since it's had a government-backed monopoly. I don't fault NASA - they've gotten a raw deal from congress - but more privatization may be the way to go. You wont see men on Mars for $10B, but you wont see it at all from NASA. There's no way - zero chance - that NASA will receive the consistent funding to make it happen. They also wont let the government fund non-NASA efforts, and being a slave to congress for near-pointless chest beating like sending men to Mars when everyone knows congress will renege in the end... it's gotta suck to be NASA.

Re:Let's end the ruse (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24645039)

retard, take a look at federal budget breakdown sometime, NASA gets a whopping 0.6% this year. money hole? shit with all that money we could pay for another 15 minutes in Iraq.

Re:Let's end the ruse (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644677)

100% agreed.
One side says he's flip-flopping.
The other says his position is 'evolving'.

Well...I don't see much difference between EITHER platform, which, when really dissected means "we're going to promise everyone anything their hearts desire, knowing we can't do it, because, well, at least we'll get the gullible vote, and most voters are too stupid/busy/cynical to pay attention enough to hold us to account for our statements four years from now."

Personally, after we're done (mostly) in Iraq, I'd love to see at least half of the annual Iraq costs go to paying down the deficit and the remainder to the space program. But then, I'm a voting bloc of one, with no lobbyists or trade organizations.

Re:Let's end the ruse (2, Insightful)

sheldon (2322) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644847)

And I am tired of hearing promises from politicians that they know damn well they can never deliver on.

I for one am damned happy that some politicians haven't been able to deliver on their promises.

11-12% Increase (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644281)

Just to give you an idea on how much $2 billion might help NASA, there are some stats [wikipedia.org] for NASA's budget. In 2007 they had a budget of $15.861 billion and for this year they are using $17.318 billion. If you adjust for inflation, NASA has averaged $16.290 billion dollars per year which means this $2 billion would be about a 11.5-12.2% increase in its annual budget.

By comparison, the DoD budget was $439.3 billion in 2007 [wikipedia.org] but my gripe with U.S. fiscal spending is probably a bit off topic here.

Here' an Idea (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644289)

Let's Put our Astronauts in Shuttles that don't use fuel and go green!

CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!

Re:Here' an Idea (5, Informative)

Comtraya (1306593) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644615)

Let's Put our Astronauts in Shuttles that don't use fuel and go green!

The exhaust of the main engines of the space shuttle is water.

Let me shift the paradigm with this idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644925)

The newest extreme sport : Riding the rocket wave! A (often deadly) combination of rocket ravel, surfing and parachuting (hopefully in that order).

Digg (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644331)

Obama news on the frontpage - has somebody done a /. theme for Digg?

Evolving? (0, Troll)

Jock Kodimar (599124) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644349)

Evolving stance? Is that the PC version of flip flopping.

Re:Evolving? (1, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644389)

Evolving stance? Is that the PC version of flip flopping.

This is slashdot, so it's the Linux version of flip-flopping.

Re:Evolving? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644443)

Evolving stance? Is that the PC version of flip flopping.

This is slashdot, so it's the Linux version of flip-flopping.

I didn't realize that Linux was the opposite of PC. In fact, I thought Linux was software. Maybe this is the reason we don't see the year of Linux on the desktop.

Re:Evolving? (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644459)

I love how not being able to change your mind or agree with someone else's proposal is now a thing of weakness in a politician.

The thing I like about Obama is that he pushes for compromise, builds consensus, and isn't just out to fuck over the other party.

But no, no, the fact that he is open to funding something that wasn't a priority for him originally, is this HUGE FUCKING PROBLEM because OMFG HE CHANGED HIS MIND~!@!@$#~!

Fucking zombies.

Re:Evolving? (1, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644603)

No, he changed his mind within the context of a campaign. PLEASE tell me how that should not be immediately suspect.

Re:Evolving? (1, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644721)

PLEASE tell me how that should not be immediately suspect.

Because the world doesn't stop for a campaign. Situations change, attitudes change. Both of these guys are moderates... not exactly known for sticking to their guns for no good reason. That is why people like them.

Though I wish both had stuck to their guns with the "no negative campaigning" bit. These new attack ads are terrible. Neither side is even very accurate, though the Obama ad showing the oil surplus in Iraq and proclaiming it to be "McCain Economics" is a bigger stretch.

Re:Evolving? (3, Interesting)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#24645007)

I know this is hard to understand after 8 years of "the decider", but, this is *exactly* when you want him to open his mind and alter his positions. Right now, he is, in theory, pounding the campaign trail and, *gasp*, listening to people. Did it occur to you that, during such bouts of listening, he might've actually changed his mind on one or two things?

Re:Evolving? (1, Insightful)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644679)

Think about what this -- and "evolving your opinion" on other issues -- means. It means the candidate either: (1) didn't think through their previous position, (2) licks their finger and finds out which way the wind is blowing, or (3) has new facts that have changed their opinion. Of course (3) is how you want a leader to act, (1) is acceptable for certain minor issues, but this is a clear case of (2). That means he's the worst kind of politician, willing to say anything to get elected. Oh, and the motivation for the change?

He also said he was hoping "to ensure retention of" thousands of NASA workers in Texas and Florida whose jobs are threatened by a possible five-year gap before the beginning of the Constellation initiative to send astronauts to the moon and Mars.

So NASA can become a fucking welfare agency.

Re:Evolving? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#24645057)

but this is a clear case of (2)

Funny, it looked like a clear case of 3 to me. Gotta love those partisan glasses... they colour everything, don't they?

Re:Evolving? (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644717)

Thats what it's called when you really really like the candidate. Its the like fanboyism....

(For the record I had mod points and thought about modding you + but around here it wouldn't have helped)

Evolution vs. pandering? (5, Insightful)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644367)

It is interesting to me how when one politician changes his stance due to recognition of the will of the people, he is vilified as a panderer or "flip-flopper." Yet it is called evolutionary when the other does the same thing.

Could we not just as easily say that both are listening to the people who would put them in office? Or at least letting us think they are listening to us.

Re:Evolution vs. pandering? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644487)

This just in: Americans are f*cking morons with a black-and-white political system.

If you believe team A is bad, it means team B is good.

For instance, if you don't like (most don't) much of the Bush administrations power grabs, it means you must fully support those of Clinton (DMCA, among others)

If you oppose Republicans and Big Oil, that means you ahve to support censorship and Big Media.

THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND

stop thinking

dont waste your vote, give it to OBAMAMAMA

Think about it, if McCain is bad, he HAS to be good. ITS SO LOGICAL

Re:Evolution vs. pandering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644621)

Someone who doesn't change their mind shouldn't really be in a position of power. People should always reconsider their position on a subject after they have learned something more about it. Contrary to popular belief on /. people are not all knowledgeable on all things.

Re:Evolution vs. pandering? (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644649)

I noticed the same thing. Any rational person would need to be prepared to change their mind in light of new arguments or new information. A leader needs the ability to be flexible.

Picking a position and then closing your mind to any and all opposition worked really well for Bush right?...

Re:Evolution vs. pandering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644731)

By the time someone has the experience to run for President they should have already decided whether they support major projects such as returning to the Moon. This story should not have happened, whether due to a flip-flop or due to a n00b mistake last year.

Re:Evolution vs. pandering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644975)

Well, sure, it's unfair.

But Republicans don't believe in evolution, so we have to say God flip-flopped them.

3... 2... 1... (1)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644379)

cue the "obama flip-flopped on space exploration" crowd any time now. and probably from people who don't even support (read: care about) it to begin with. his position on space isn't going to be a deal-breaker for me this election, but I would really love to see some more support from him. unfortunately, there are bigger fish to fry this time around.

Better this than unfunded mandates. (4, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644385)

"Considering Obama's shifting positions, he cannot be trusted to fully support NASA's mission to Mars," said the RNC's Conant. "The only thing Barack Obama knows about sending a man to the moon is that it's a good applause line."

Yes, because it's much better to tell people we're going to go to Mars, and then not give them sufficient money to do so, resulting in other programs getting cut. Even John Glenn referred to Bush's "Vision for Space Exploration" as an unfunded mandate [space.com].

And it's not like this is the only unfunded mandate shoved down NASA's throat -- how much is HSPD-12 costing all of the agencies?

Disclaimer : I've been a contractor at NASA, and one of my projects lost their funding for more than year because of the Mars program ... by the time we got funding again, we couldn't get the team back together, because they had been assigned to other projects.

re: since you worked at NASA ..... (2, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644583)

I'm not sure how much knowledge you have in this area, to speak authoritatively on it? But my big question would be; Why does NASA expect they *deserve* more federal funding, when it appears they've been making too many mistakes and mis-steps in recent years?

I mean, the obvious issue that comes to most people's minds was the shuttle explosion, apparently caused by poor engineering decisions, and subsequent cover-ups of them. But those who follow NASA a little more closely might remember such things as them accidentally letting a new satellite fall off a transport platform, onto the floor, causing expensive damage. (As I recall, the reason for this mishap was failure to properly secure it before moving it.) Going further back, we have issues like the Hubble telescope not working as designed, and several issues with arms on landers they've deployed, etc.

I realize space exploration, by nature, is a risky endeavor, and accidents will happen with complex technologies. But the problems that developed in the "space race" era felt much more like truly unavoidable situations that the "best and brightest" went to great lengths to resolve in the best manner possible. In recent years, the problems appear to be caused more by incompetence, putting priorities in the wrong order, or just rushing to meet deadlines?

Oh noes! (5, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644411)

He changed his mind! It's clearly pandering of the worst sort!

I really wish we could get rid of this ridiculous focus on changing views. Emerson summed it up nicely, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." In this case, it would have been foolish of Obama to be consistent -- he was wrong. He was persuaded otherwise. Is this somehow a bad thing, a moral failure? Yeah, it was advantageous of him to come to this conclusion, but it's almost always advantageous to change from a wrong conclusion to a correct one.

Re:Oh noes! (2, Informative)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644567)

I don't have a problem with a pol changing his mind, but you ALWAYS have to take timing into account. Any position change made within the context of a campaign is immediately suspect.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

furball (2853) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644689)

I'm wary of politicians who changes their mind.

Let's say for purposes of example, I voted for Obama because he wasn't going to fund NASA. The value of a man is the word he keeps. If he says he is going to do (or not do) something, and I'm counting on him to stick to it, there will be only disappointment when he breaks his word to me.

Another example. A candidate says he opposes war. I vote for him. Then when it's convenient, he changes his mind.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

sheldon (2322) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644817)

Picking a single issue and voting because one guy said yes or no, is a recipe for disappointment.

There are differences between candidates, surely, but you can look at the full record of what they are saying and see trends of how they think about issues. You're better off looking at this and voting for the person who seems to think most like the way you feel the country needs to go, then to focus on one single lone little issue.

Re:Oh noes! (5, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644811)

but it's almost always advantageous to change from a wrong conclusion to a correct one

It's not about changing your mind. It's about evaluating why someone held their previous position.

Did they simply have bad information?

Have they suddenly had a fundamental philosophical change that alters how you should look at their entire world view, and every policy pronouncement of theirs that is built on that platform?

Is their value system still only half baked, and this is just a sign of them slowly getting their act together?

Remember, Obama is the guy that just the other night (in that quasi-debate-format thing he attended with McCain in Colorado) who, when asked about when "human" life begins in the womb (as it relates, of course, to the abortion issue) said "that's above my pay grade." Wow. Never mind WHERE you are on that issue, isn't that - right there - THE most fundamental thing you have to wrestle with ... science-wise, value-wise, and in all other ways before you should be talking about how you think that issue should be handled legislatively and judicially? For the record, I agree with him on being pro-choice, but I'm hugely annoyed with him (though hardly surprised) that it turns out he's been pandering on that issue for votes, rather than having a solid sense - personally - on how to think and communicate on that issue. Or worse (and this seems more typical of him), he DOES have such, and he's trying to continue to dance around answering so that he doesn't risk annoying the people who are supporting him only because he hasn't offended their sensibilities yet.

Why wonder about his real thoughts on space/science when one of the signature hot-button science/philosphy issues of modern times seems to be beyond his much-lauded intellect and communications skills to talk about? That was a VERY telling moment, if you ask me.

How about a vision for space (4, Interesting)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644415)

Reading the article, it really just comes across as Obama trying to push the shuttle layoffs to the right so they don't take place during his first term in office.

It's unfortunate, but I would really like to see him and McCain come up with a strong vision for space to spur international and private sector investments with a corresponding push in maths, sciences and engineering.

As trite as they may be, I could get excited about a candidate that pushed:

  • Solar Power Satellites
  • Mining of the moon and asteroids
  • Manufacturing of proteins and other molecules that can't be done efficiently on Earth
  • etc.

Note that I don't say "NASA". I think NASA has a very important role to play in the development of space technology but at some point they have to be out of the business of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) operations.

myke

Re:How about a vision for space (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644947)

1. Solar power satellites? You mean satellites with large solar panels that would beam power back on Earth? Why?? Do you have any idea how little in panel area you can send in orbit, how inefficient it would be to beam power to Earth and how astronomically cost inefficient it would be compared to putting solar panels on every rooftop in California or even covering a part of Nevada with those?

2. I seem the recall that it has been calculated that mining Helium 3 on the moon would be cost inefficient and furthermore mining on the Moon would make dust fly around and create a kind of smog. What the hell would you want to mine on an asteroid, and do you realise how hard it would be to go to an asteroid (which are all thankfully orders of magnitude further from the Earth than the Moon), mine there and send tons of minerals back to Earth?

3. Which? How?

4. Why should the NASA launch any LEO stuff? You want us to ask the French to send our LEO stuff?

You're no better than people who get excited about hearing politicians say we're going to Mars, you don't really have a clue either, you just wanna hear something that sounds fantastic even if it's utterly nonsensical. Same reason why you got modded up really.

Love those /. neo-cons! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644427)

Remember when /. was full of bright, liberal hippy types? Before it got overrun by Reagan worshipping frat boys?

Anyhow, I'm sure th

What part of 'news for nerds' is... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644489)

No, I don't remember that. What part of "news for nerds" is hard to understand?

Re:What part of 'news for nerds' is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644589)

So as far as your 5 digit ID can remember, it has always been Reagan worshiping frat boys?

ROI (4, Insightful)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644561)

I think the return the US gets for its NASA spending is greatly under calculated. The last space race caused the US to focus on creating engineers and scientists through education. Look around you for the benefits.

Today I sometimes feel we are raising generations of people who will order a "Bud" because they can't read or pronounce Budweiser.

Re:ROI (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24645035)

Look at the bright side of things! By not being the #1 anymore, at least people around the world will stop hating us for being #1 as they have for decades!

More like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644633)

...an evolving stance on ever-increasing taxation. He wants to increase $332 billion in spending and he plans to do that by taxing the top 1% rich people in America. Guess what, the rich can get out of paying taxes in many ways. Equity swaps are lovely vehicles, for instance, there are many other ways though. He won't be able to cancel any of the government programs/handouts because that's the people voting for him, so he'll have to fill in the gap by going after the other 'rich' people in america - the middle class! We're going from a Bush Nation to an Obamanation.

What pisses me off about NASA and welfare. (4, Insightful)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644667)

It's perfectly acceptable to waste billions of dollars paying uneducated dolts to sit around and do nothing but create more useless babies.

But it's not acceptable to pay smart eggy headed scientists a whole lot less, people who have to be really fracking smart to actually work and do sciencey stuff using their brains and finding out stuff about the universe and world we live in.

Plus the scientists don't usually have a mess off leech-like children, if a NASA engineer does mate it is usually one child or two, which is below replacement levels. Plus their children are usually made to go to school and actually do somethign with their lives because the smart eggy headed scientist types are usually better at raising children that their child crapping counterparts.

I say, End all welfare programs and shovel all that money to NASA, we may have to worry about not having enough people, but by golly we will damned well have our permanent base on the moon, so when all of the breeding stock left on earth blow themselves up over their little sky god we can at least re-colonize the earth, or at least still preserve the best of humanity.

We have enough peoblems (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644675)

We don't need NASA , we need to spend that money on people US Citizens Not illegal or foreigners.
Anything NASA did or has done has had very little practical benefit to anyone , What they did boggles the imagination and it looks nice while doing little

NASA A total waste of Money!!

I like Obama subjectively but... (1, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644701)

...objectively I can't figure out what the heck he actually plans to do. Every couple of weeks the ideas change. I mean, he seems like he has no clear vision about what he wants to actually do besides become President of the United States. This (NASA) being a good example. Factor this in with his relative inexperience in government and I start to feel like that at least with Clinton you would have known what you were getting. Either way, an unwashed chimp would be better than the cretin currently occupying the oval office. What happened to the John McCain of a few elections back? I used to like him too. Now he sounds like just another Republican.

Re:I like Obama subjectively but... (3, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644961)

Every couple of weeks the ideas change.

Citation needed. Other than his position on NASA, which changed months ago (this is only a minor evolution in his most recent position), I can't think of any specific examples to support your claim (not that they don't exist, I just can't think of any). Can you?

There's no department! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644793)

Simple oversight or something more sinister?
Perhaps Slashdot.org has achieved sentience and has no need for departments to write stories anymore!

What a flip flopper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644801)

Obama is a known flip-flopper (FISA) who will probably win just because Mc Cain would be a much worse disaster for the USA. If he had balls he'd grab some real big money from the military and spend them for NASA, green friendly energy and other non destructive ways of doing research.

NASA is a waste of money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644803)

There are better returns on investment. The US can't afford to be space cowboys or world police. How bout this, bring our troops home from around the world, and allocate all those big brains from nasa to the department of energy so we don't end up being the the middle east's bitch? (NASA $17B) + (DoD Iraq $235B) == better energy

Another Flip-Flop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644827)

Add it to FISA, Off shore drilling, and the list just goes on and on. Barack Hussein Obama makes John "Waffle King" Kerry look principled by comparison.
At this point, only a complete moron would vote for an unpatriotic racist like Obama. McCain is going to give Democrats everything they want anyways.

Things Are Gonna Get Sticky... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644859)

...With the Space Shuttle being retired in the next few years, the current tensions with Russia may cause some serious issues with servicing the International Space Station and other missions dependent on the Russian Heavy Lifters.

We need some real strategies for our space program, not empty promises and wishful thinking.

For instance: If they can magically pull billions out of the hat to fund a bogus war in Iraq, why can't the same sort of magic push some significant funding towards something that will reap benefits for all mankind instead of death, misery and instability.

Funny how people complain more about the peanuts the government spends on the space program than the billions spent in Iraq.

As head of the board of... (1)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 5 years ago | (#24644905)

As head of the board of the Space Review Board, the head of the Treasury and the head of the department of combustion, he should have no difficulty raising this money, or a week later, not.

NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24644939)

Nasa is the USPS with rockets, the US government can't run anything including themselves.

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