So it was that the Obama team that desires to kill NASA's manned spaceflight program brought their blue-bag budget to the United States Congress... there they had high hopes of finding some friends who would see things Lori Garver and John Holdren's way. Ya' know... taking the guts out of the United States space program and then watch with glee as it withers and the propped-up "commercial" operators fail thus taking this nation out of Human Spaceflight operations forever. They packed up their lackey, the supposed NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden to go in, read the script, talk the circle talk and take the point, as well as the flack. My bet is they figured, as I did, that the committees in both houses would be about 50/50 for and against... we were both wrong.
What they got instead was a royal tail flaming by all but one of the Congressional committee members. Holdren went first and not only did the members of the Congress want to drive a stake through his heart, if they could actually find it, but they worked hard at wrecking his fantasy of anthropogenic Global Warming. He held firm to the Global Warming myth but found little cover when it came to NASA and the emperor's new budget. Holdren had brought a squirt gun to a firefight. In short- he got the stew he helped concoct tossed right back into his face. Other than seeing this political goon in a dentist's chair getting a triple root canal, this show was about as entertaining as it could have gotten for me.
Charlie Bolden was next and his afternoon in the Senate was focused strictly on the department that he is standing command over and driving at flank speed toward the Obama iceberg. Charlie read his opening statement containing the reasoning that he and his little group of zealots are trying to sell to us in order to explain their gutting of the United States space program. His reasons were about as thin as the paper they were written on. There were no direction, no objectives and not a thread of inspiration nor a hint of pride in Charlie's opening- there was only circle-talk and a hefty garnish of "possibilities" "somedays" and general vapor.
To say that Charlie was ill-prepared for the coming onslaught of Congressional anger would be something of an understatement. Charlie, in pilot terms, got his six waxed. If his chair had been equipped with an ejection capability, Charlie would have done well to, as John Young said, "Just pull the little handle." At one point I swear I saw him reach down looking for the "D" ring... it was not there. Even I was surprised as one after another the committee members stated the small shreds of the Obama budget that they favored and then turned on Charlie and beat him up with the rest of it that they hate. The process continued in the House hearings the following afternoon. In all some 24 of 25 congresspeople skewered Charlie and he had no good answers to any of their questions.
It is quite clear that the architects of this radical direction that the Obama administration intends to send NASA on are actually making it up as they go along. That is one hell of a way to run the United States space agency. Their appearances in front of the Congress in an attempt to justify this gutting of NASA is a stab in the back to every person who has dedicated their lives to NASA and the efforts of that agency that has given great pride to this nation. The Obama budget and those who have had their hands in its authorship are a disgrace. Charlie got exactly what he deserved- he was ill-prepared, lacking in his ability to communicate, unable to recover from mistakes and easily confused. He failed this checkride.
Posted by Wes Oleszewski at 10:05 AM