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posted by mrpg on Tuesday March 13 2018, @01:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the alien-subject dept.

NASA's acting administrator, Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., has announced that he will retire on April 30. The U.S. Senate has not yet voted on confirming Jim Bridenstine as a permanent replacement:

[...] In September, President Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, to be the next administrator. But the Senate has yet to vote to confirm Mr. Bridenstine.

All 49 Democrats in the Senate appear unified in opposition, in part because Mr. Bridenstine gave a speech disparaging climate change several years ago. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, has also expressed doubts about Mr. Bridenstine.

The space agency's No. 2 position, deputy administrator, is vacant. The Trump administration has yet to nominate anyone. Steve Jurczyk, formerly the associate administrator for space technology, was named in late February as a temporary fill-in for Mr. Lightfoot's previous job, associate administrator. NASA is also lacking a chief of staff.

[...] Mr. Lightfoot's 406 days as acting administrator is by far the longest NASA has operated without a permanent leader, eclipsing the 176 days that passed at the start of the Obama administration before Mr. Bolden was confirmed.

Previously: President Trump Nominates Congressman Jim Bridenstine to Lead NASA

Related: President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Tuesday March 13 2018, @02:34PM (9 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday March 13 2018, @02:34PM (#651822) Journal

    Getting rid of Earth science at NASA solves nothing in particular. The real issue is that NASA is spending billions to develop what will become an obsolete launch capability, because Congress is handing that portion of the budget as pork to the beltway bandits. Everything NASA does on the exploration/colonization front will become much cheaper and more effective when flown using SpaceX BFR, and Blue Origin and other players may get in the game as well.

    If climate science is a bridge too far for the "right" politicians, maybe they should pick up the phone and call their owners [time.com].

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @02:40PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @02:40PM (#651824)

    We're talking about the politics of gridlock.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:15PM (7 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:15PM (#651837) Journal

      Gridlock has become a permanent part of the political playbook. Rand Paul will almost never get to vote on small, self-contained bills, and even those bills could be filibustered or held hostage, like when unrelated bills are voted down or not even considered, or when we get a government shutdown over a single issue.

      Trump has had more trouble than previous presidents at filling these positions because he's nominated unqualified people. People who often have to leave after Trump publicly feuds with them (see Tillerson). It would not be hard for Trump to find a NASA Administrator that could immediately earn the vote of Rubio or Democrats.

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      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:40PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:40PM (#651850)

        Chances are, things won't get better until they get much much worse.

        Rand Paul's solution involves putting into place mechanisms that force congress to define what it means for a bill to be readable by legislators, and then to force congress to meet that criteria.

        Secondly, such small bills would naturally obviate the "Omnibus" bills that are so often the cause of these government "shutdowns", as it would force Congress to pass budgets in a way that they already can pass budgets: By passing budgets for the various elements of government in parallel, thereby funding non-contentious aspects of government, and thereby pinpointing exactly where debate must occur with regard to shutdowns.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @05:12PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @05:12PM (#651884)

          "Chances are, things won't get better until they get much much worse.

          Rand Paul's solution involves putting into place mechanisms that force congress to define what it means for a bill to be readable by legislators, and then to force congress to meet that criteria."

          just like Ron Paul, it should be clear how screwed we are when an obviously honest, competent, patriotic statesman is rejected by the dependent invalids that call themselves citizens and voters.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @05:32PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @05:32PM (#651891)

        I didn't realize all the federal judge positions were having unqualified individuals appointed. By unqualified are you using the Schumer definition which means too many white guys? I just want us to be clear.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @06:03PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @06:03PM (#651907)

        It's partly just democrats being democrats. It's partly because there are many republicans that don't actually oppose the democrat agenda. All of them mainly want to please donors.

        Trump's nominations have been mostly wonderful. That includes Tillerson, and it is mighty sad that Tillerson was unable to accept that he doesn't get to unilaterally decide the Iran issues. His oil company experience makes him perfect for dealing with Russia and the Middle East, and pretty darn good for the rest of the world -- oil being an underlying factor in most conflicts, second only to Islam.

        Some other choices that were wonderful: department of education, EPA, DoD

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday March 13 2018, @06:15PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday March 13 2018, @06:15PM (#651916) Journal

          DeVos and Pruitt are trash. We'll see how long Mattis sticks around before being thrown overboard.

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @08:42PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @08:42PM (#651991)

            DeVos got rid of the policy that forced colleges to consider people guilty-until-proven-innocent (exactly backwards) in rape accusations. That policy fucked up many lives.

            DeVos supports school choice.

            DeVos isn't anti-gun. Leaving our children like sitting ducks, totally unprotected, has been the leftist/liberal/democrat policy. That's likely to change.

            Both DeVos and Pruitt keep their agencies from the usual unbounded growth.

            Pruitt is putting a stop to economy-killing regulations.

            Pruitt has rescinded the Clean Water Rule, which was an uncompensated land grab that effectively stole private property in violation of the "takings" clause of the 5th amendment of our constitution.

            Mattis is mostly wonderful too, but I'll point out a flaw: he holds an incorrect view on torture.