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posted by janrinok on Friday April 20 2018, @07:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the when-politics-runs-science dept.

Oklahoma Representative James Bridenstine, a Navy Reserve pilot, was confirmed as NASA's 13th administrator on Thursday.

In a 50-49 vote Thursday, Oklahoma Representative James Bridenstine, a Navy Reserve pilot, was confirmed as NASA's 13th administrator, an agency that usually is kept away from partisanship. His three predecessors — two nominated by Republicans — were all approved unanimously. Before that, one NASA chief served under three presidents, two Republicans and a Democrat.

The two days of voting were as tense as a launch countdown.

A procedural vote Wednesday initially ended in a 49-49 tie — Vice President Mike Pence, who normally breaks a tie, was at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida — before Arizona Republican Jeff Flake switched from opposition to support, using his vote as leverage to address an unrelated issue.

Thursday's vote included the drama of another delayed but approving vote by Flake, a last-minute no vote by Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth — who wheeled onto the floor with her 10-day-old baby in tow — and the possibility of a tie-breaker by Pence, who was back in town.

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  • (Score: 1, Redundant) by khallow on Saturday April 21 2018, @04:21AM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 21 2018, @04:21AM (#669944) Journal

    First Reds make stuff bad. Then Reds complain stuff bad. Then Reds get rid of stuff. Then all else bad.

    There is an alternative narrative for that. Blues make shitty service because feelz. Because it's shitty, it doesn't work right. Blame reds. Go back to step one.

    I think the real problem is that most politicians on both sides half ass this stuff rather than do it right, because half assing gets you just as many votes with a lot less effort. I can't tell you how many times I've complained about a broken government program or blowback from a poorly thought out public good and the reply is some pathetic ad hominem along the lines of "So you hate poor people?" or "You're getting paid to say that!" So there are plenty of people out there for which half assing works. The box got checked: poor people helped or abusive government program targeted.

    But it seems to me that there's no point to complaining about how the other side does things, if you're not willing to fix what's broken.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23 2018, @06:06PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23 2018, @06:06PM (#670819)

    Yes, gov't is inefficient, but the alternatives have other problems. Letting people in a jam die is one approach. Obviously, dying is no fun. The private sector is usually more efficient, but also have an incentive to try to trick and trap consumers/users above making a better mouse-trap. The problem is that humans suck, not gov't specifically. Just be glad civilization mostly works: there's no guarantee it will keep working.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday April 24 2018, @04:12AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 24 2018, @04:12AM (#671030) Journal

      Yes, gov't is inefficient, but the alternatives have other problems.

      And I guess we shrug at this point and just continue believing whatever because inertia?

      The problem here isn't that humans and their things are imperfect, but rather that a bunch of people are completely ignoring rational sources of disagreement and then blaming dissenters when things don't work as perfectly as expected.

      But why aren't the advocates for these programs insuring that any interference isn't so destructive? The "reds" can't operate in a vacuum. They are successful only because they aren't strongly opposed. And why aren't the naysayers just killing the supposedly problematic programs outright? That's the half-assed efforts right there.

      Who really believes the people who have made the current political system such a slimy mess would make less of a mess, if they were even less supervised? Some accounting is just being sane. But what makes the current accounting so screwed up is that it keeps track of insignificant details like the disposition of screws and blows off huge details like how much the latest jet fighter costs.