The Corner

Shameless Politicians, Cont’d

A reader alerted me to this latest outrage:

WASHINGTON — The following is a statement from NASA’s Chief Scientist, Waleed Abdalati, on the Space Telescope Science Institute naming its astronomical database the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). MAST holds science data from the Hubble Space Telescope and 14 other NASA missions.

“The Space Telescope Science Institute’s decision to name its database for Senator Mikulski is an honor very much deserved. She is a tremendous advocate and supporter for science, NASA and the astrophysics community.

“Thanks to Hubble and other space observatories, our view of the universe and our place within it has forever been changed. Space research holds tremendous benefits for our lives here on Earth. Images and data capture the imagination of people everywhere, especially of our youth. Images from this collection have permeated American society and culture and are internationally recognized icons of science and exploration.

“We live in an age of extraordinary scientific advancement with astronomy at the forefront. NASA is committed to conducting world-class science from our space observatories, and the data that will be returned to the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes are sure to yield many exciting new discoveries.”

Wait a minute, I too am a supporter of “science, NASA and the astrophysics community” — why didn’t NASA name the thing after me? Oh, I see — she chairs the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA. So gets to stick her name on things that she voted to buy with other people’s money.

Has NASA really run out of fallen astronauts to name things after? Yes, I know, there are more important problems, what with our being quadrillions in debt and all, but this should be a tea-party issue — until these jerks realize it’s not their money, we’re never going to get things under control.


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