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posted by Fnord666 on Monday November 19 2018, @12:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the science-of-politics-and-politics-of-science dept.

The Planetary Society reports:

Representative John Culberson, an 8-term Texas Republican and staunch supporter of NASA and planetary exploration, lost his re-election bid to Democrat Lizzie Fletcher last week. Many factors played into this outcome, but one bears consideration by space advocates: his support for the scientific search for life at Europa was seen as a weakness and attacked accordingly.

Over the past four years, Culberson used his chairmanship of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations subcommittee to increase spending on NASA and missions to search for life on Europa. He directed hundreds of millions of dollars to this effort and played a critical role in getting the Europa Clipper mission officially adopted by NASA and the White House. And he did this without cannibalizing other NASA programs. His motivation was passion, not parochialism, as the prime benefactor of these federal dollars was California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located far outside his Houston-area congressional district.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19 2018, @04:03AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19 2018, @04:03AM (#763781)

    The court fool, or jester, was usually highly intelligent. Yes, his job was to entertain, but also to present unpalatable truths to power in a way that didn't end up with his head on a spike. People who were stupid did not last long in that role.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday November 19 2018, @07:19AM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 19 2018, @07:19AM (#763812) Journal

    I suspect that was probably true in classier courts. I also suspect that many a petty king was nothing more than the strongest brute in the area, with some cunning and guile. No real brains required to keep him amused.