to the stars so long as it's cheap

Newt Gingrich Still Angling For Job As Governor of Moon

Next goal: Moon reps in CongressThe 2012 election is the collision of many, many smaller issues: Immigrants, and how they’re destroying everything; the disenfranchisement of Poors, due to laziness; that little issue of health care and who gets to blame whom for $700 billion in Medicare cuts. Plus deficits and tax rates and reproductive rights and Freedom and student loans and Sharia law and Libya and Gitmo and income inequality and gay marriage and how single women are whores, just to name a few.

There’s a lot of stuff going on in a lot of places. What should we be focusing on?

I know! The moooooooon!

If some of you Undecideds were feeling pretty ambivalent about all those issues but are super passionate about space travel, the Romney campaign has prepared a brochure for you — they’ve got a whole space plan!

One Republican, however, is displeased with the plan: Captain Newton Tiberius Gingrich, he of the famous primary-season promise of an American moon base.

“The Romney plan for space starts to move in the right direction but could be much more robust,” the former House speaker told NBC News a day after the Republican presidential nominee unveiled his “Securing U.S. Leadership in Space” plan. “We could move into space much, much faster than we are. Romney is better than [President] Obama on space but could be bolder and more visionary.”

Yes, those are demands for more vision in science, from the guy whose summary of evolution is “We could have been rhinoceroses, but we got lucky this week.” Tell us, Newt, what’s the plan? Bigger telescopes, for Jesus-hunting? An orbiting McDonald’s? Replacing street lamps with space mirrors?

We do not know, because he rather disappointingly did not elaborate, but it’s good to know that Romney is better on space than Obama. (Just don’t ask him to pay teachers or pave roads, because DEFICITS.)

In any case, it’s definitely settled that Gingrich would really appreciate an appointment to the Official Office In Charge Of Moon Stuff, which could possibly include a trip to the moon, where there are surely people he hasn’t married yet.

As part of the plan’s glorious (and hopefully distracting) unveiling, Paul Ryan was on Florida’s space coast Saturday to talk to folks out there about how important space travel is:

“Today, if we want to send an astronaut to the space station, we have to pay the Russians to take him there,” Ryan said to boos from the crowd. “China may someday be looking down on us from the Moon. That’s unacceptable.”

Certainly signs of good news for the region hit hard by unemployment after the shuttles were retired, right? Let’s go to the space plan:

A strong and successful NASA does not require more funding, it needs clearer priorities.

Ah. So, no jobs, then? At least Ryan, like, so loves NASA, as ABC points out:

The Obama campaign reacted to Ryan’s comment this afternoon by noting that Ryan voted against NASA funding twice in the 2008 and 2010 NASA Authorization Acts.

OK, OK, so maybe he’s glossing over that because it was a ridiculous thing to vote against, or maybe he’s had a genuine change of heart. We can all at least agree that “China may someday be looking down on us from the Moon” is not the way to show them our good side. Surely Mr. Ryan’s running mate is in favor of getting there first? Did somebody ask Romney about this back in January, when ol’ Newt was all gung-ho about that moon base? DUH they did:

“I spent 25 years in business. If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I’d say, ‘You’re fired,’” Romney said in the debate… “The idea that corporate America wants to go off to the moon and build a colony there, it may be a big idea, but it’s not a good idea.”

Romney/Ryan space plan, in review: NASA, good. More money for NASA, bad. Obama helping send a rover to Mars: not mentioned. Vote Romney.

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136 comments

  1. randcoolcatdaddy

    Please, by all means, feel free to send Mitt to the moon. And the prancing little horse he rode in on.

  2. tiredalways

    Here is how it works – N*r in the house- bad. Vote Romney. That is their one & only selling point. Everything else can be thrown out the window if you look at their records.

  3. Arkoday

    “The idea that corporate America wants to go off to the moon and build a colony there, it may be a big idea, but it’s one great fucking idea.”

    /fixed

    1. FakaktaSouth

      I think your big take-away should be it's all okay – everything has been settled, Jesus loves America best, we do everything the best, in whatever order in time we choose to believe they happened. We have all of the answers in Jesus' name – as long as we do not know what the actual questions should be.

    2. KeepFnThatChicken

      If you're not a Christian (like me), you don't have to think about that any more. That was for special children with special eyes.

      If you are a Christian, you can still dismiss their solipsism anyway, because FACTS.

  4. KathrynSane

    If they're looking for volunteers, I'd love to be shot into space and never have to hear from any of these idiots ever again.

  5. Cognito_Jones

    The moon can not be good for humans, anyone who has been there is dead or almost dead. It is obvious we should stay away.

  6. SoBeach

    Ryan wasn't actually on the "Space Coast" — he was in Orlando holding a "town hall" where painfully obvious plants were asking him gentle, leading questions.

    Obama WAS on the Space Coast very recently. People lined up for hours to get tickets, and for hours to get into the venue. It was a rocking, ecstatic crowd.

    And yes, Obama managed to mention our killer little Mars lander, to thunderous applause.

      1. GhostBuggy

        I though he was already mentioned in the article…no, wait, that was Newt. Sorry, I get those two confused all the time.

  7. calliecallie

    Why are they talking about space at all? Maybe we should spend more time talking about the space between their ears.

    1. Caelan Aegana

      I follow the Saganist tack: curiosity, open-mindedness and the will to think and do big things – the essence of science – don't just exist by themselves. They result in ambitious ventures like space exploration. Shutting down that ambition is the equivalent of telling people "don't think like that" or worse, "don't think."

      Talking about space, or the oceans, or volcanoes or human genome research…it's all important.

  8. ManchuCandidate

    The one thing Newt will fear on Moonbase Alpha Fatass is Whalers on the Moon.

    We're Whalers On The Moon,
    We Carry A Harpoon,
    For Newt is that one Whale
    Who just tells Tall Tales
    And we'll be hunting him soon.

  9. no_gravity

    The worst part of Leroy Newton's opinion on sciencey stuff is that he's the only republican with any views on sciencey stuff.

    1. GemlikeFlame

      And most of that wrong, I was going to suggest that we send Newt up there, but then I thought that was kind of an insult to a barren piece of rock. I dislike insulting inanimate objects, especially one as pretty as that one.

      So, no Newt to the moon. The sun, though…

    1. GemlikeFlame

      Callisto. Must be a male relative.

      Edit: Yeah, blew that. Callisto was a nymph. Good thing I had a classics professor close enough to ask or I might have had to look it up. Actually, my Bullfinche's Mythology is around here somewhere…

      1. SorosBot

        All of Jupiter's moons are named after various women that old Zeus sexed up in mythology. Dude really got around.

  10. ManchuCandidate

    BTW, there is no ultra heavy lift rocket that is capable of firing Newty Toot into space.

    Although to be fair, I'd be happy to fire him into space with a rubber band Catapult from ACME Industries.

  11. the_cuntress

    I'm so proud/impressed of that picture.

    Also, I bet these guys are wetting themselves for the opportunity for colonialism and intergalactic missionary work. Newt has a painting of himself as Columbus in his spaceship (cardboard box). Must be how he found Callista.

  12. Oblios_Cap

    “The idea that corporate America wants to go off to the moon and build a colony there, it may be a big idea, but it’s not a good idea.”

    We probably went there originally as a publically financed exploration to see whether there was any mineral wealth worth exploiting.

  13. Allmighty_Manos

    “Today, if we want to send an astronaut to the space station, we have to pay the Russians to take him there,” Ryan said to boos from the crowd.

    Sounds like the free market at work to me. If you can't afford to pay for a moon trip yourself, then you need to get a job first.

      1. starfanglednut

        And it doesn't affect his grandiose sense of self at all, that's the funny thing. i guess he just assumes that people who boo him are too stupid to comprehend his special genius.

  14. fartknocker

    I understand that Tiffany's has a special moon rock series that allows one to share his love with her using rocks from the moon to show her how special she is. Maybe Newt can take all his Fannie Mae History Lesson money and fund his own flight and custom made StayPuff Marshmellow man space suit.

    Newt and Hermain spouted off this weekend. I guess they are in need some relevance love.

  15. EatsBabyDingos

    We could land on Newt's big fat white ass, which is about as big a target, with a Beltway Oriented Optical Telescope, or a BOOT to the ass.

  16. SorosBot

    Why is the Obama administration focusing NASA's gutted budget on unmanned missions like the Mars rovers or the New Horizons mission to Pluto that return lots of important new information for scientists when they could instead be wasting it on flashy manned missions that look impressive but don't accomplish all that much instead?

    1. Guppy

      All in all, if the flag-waving nationalists insist on blowing money on a dick-waving projects, I'd rather it be sending geologists to the moon than on new and interesting ways to bomb people.

    2. Incitefully_Joe

      FUN FACT: one of the totally hilarious and totally unintended consequences of the "moon base" nonsense that had been stoked by Dubya in the mid-aughts is that a sizable chunk of the NASA atmospheric science budget was diverted to manned space and lunar colony exploration.

      Good thing global warming is a silly fantasy, unlike moon bases and asteroids full of oil, eh?

  17. Terry

    "“The Romney plan for space starts to move in the right direction but could be much more robust,” "

    So, let's cut taxes on the rich while increasing the defense budget (really, the money to defense contractors) AND have a robust program to establish a moon base. How? By taxing the poor? Will the IRS take hobo beans in payment?

    Do they think that all this lunar building will be done by defense contractors? The same contractors who put up substandard buildings in Iraq and Afghanistan? The ones who fed the troops substandard food? If you build substandard on the moon, there's a wee issue with atmosphere.

  18. StarsUponThars

    "It may be a big idea, but it’s not a good idea” pretty much sums up Romney's run for office so far.

  19. ttommyunger

    What a joy to see this pix: I am apparently not the only not-having-a-life dweeb who has seen (and loves) "The Mighty Boosh"; one of the funniest and most original comedy series ever to air on Cable. Thank you, Rich, whoever you are… BTW, who the fuck is Newt Gingrich?

  20. Texan_Bulldog

    Oh good, another constituency for Mittens to pander to: aliens.

    If real aliens get a load of Mittens, they are no longer going to be interested in probing humans because they will think we are too damn stupid.

  21. James Michael Curley

    I'm an Undecided. I haven't decided to start that Quarterly Report or hang on Wonkette all day.

  22. SorosBot

    “China may someday be looking down on us from the Moon. That’s unacceptable.”

    Uh, why? Wouldn't that be cool, if another country made it too the moon? Hell, I'd certainly find it awesome to see people on the moon during my lifetime; that was long over with by the time I was born. Why would it matter what country they were from?

    I really don't understand this mindset that sees any success for another country as somehow being bad for America, when one like this would have no negative effect on us whatsoever.

    1. James Michael Curley

      Who rules Mar Humorum commands the Ocean of Storms
      Who rules the Ocean of Storms commands the Moon
      Who rules the Moon commands the, uh, Moon

      1. SorosBot

        Yeah, in wingnut land we always need an enemy. Hell, remember how the early Bush administration was trying to stoke fears of China into Cold War 2.0 before the 9/11 attacks gave them the Muslims as the new Enemy?

    2. friendlyskies

      Oh, whoever controls the Moon basically controls the future of space travel – Japan can construct its groovy space elevator, but the Moon is a huge, natural, low-gravity platform that will probably be used for most future launches. It's also the strategic high ground – and thanks to the Earth's massive gravity well, all anyone really needs to do to mess with us from above is "throw rocks." (see Heinlein) Of course, you can throw anything, and aim pretty darned accurately, at a fraction of the expenditure of returning fire. At the very least, we'd be forced to build that pricey missile defense shield.

      Plus, considering China's focus on strategic rare-earth mineral reserves, they'd probably find something useful up there and just store it, rather than sell it on the free market. </nerdblather>

      1. Guppy

        but the Moon is a huge, natural, low-gravity platform that will probably be used for most future launches.

        That assumes that the launch vehicles can be built on-site. There's no advantage to launching interplanetary missions from the moon if you have to ship most of the materials from the earth anyway.

        In any event, putting a telescope on the far side of the moon would be a fantastic way to avoid light pollution and radio noise.

    3. Incitefully_Joe

      The same reason it's supposed to be Terrifying! If the most populous country in the world somehow manages to overtake the US in terms of raw GDP, even though the US is less than a quarter the size of China and China's per capita GDP is abysmal either way.

      The idea of non-Americans who aren't living in squalid poverty is clearly the worst news EVAR, because everybody knows that economic growth is zero-sum and that broad-based economic prosperity bears no relationship to political liberalization.

  23. Goonemeritus

    “The idea that corporate America wants to go off to the moon and build a colony there, it may be a big idea, but it’s not a good idea.”

    As a younger engineer I was part of a team that won a contract to develop thrusters for a mission to one of the moons of Saturn from JPL. When I told my boss thinking he would share my excitement he gave me a dismissive look and said let him know when they have a regular bus route.

    1. Terry

      There needs to be a reason for a moon base. Basic research? Good reason, but Congress hasn't exactly had a commitment to basic research. Mining and exploitation of resources? Ok, have they worked out the details of that? How do you do the mining? How to do you transport the materials to Earth? Can you do it in a way that you can make a profit on the materials once you get them to Earth? Shouldn't there be a discussion at the U.N. perhaps over exploitation of the Moon's resources since we all sort of share it?

      1. Goonemeritus

        Cost per pound of payload pretty much rules out any commercial reason. Were we to build a base on the moon (and I am not saying we should) the decision would be based on the desires of the scientific community.

  24. SoBeach

    China may someday be looking down on us from the Moon.

    If it's a warm summer night and they're looking down at me in my pool they're liable to see a moon of their own.

  25. JoeHoya

    I would have figured Newt would be more interested in establishing a colony on Mars, as he's never been married to a three-breasted woman.

  26. noodlesalad

    Ryan has discovered that you can build spaceships without money. His perpetual motion machine makes it possible to have your severe science budget cuts and fly to Mars, too.

  27. Peckerwood_Pete

    Oh, that's exactly what the moon needs… a little bit of "corporate America"….

    Tell ya… the best way to fuck the moon up… put our Democrats and Republicans in Congress up there, along with "corporate America"… and let them all see how fast they can drop to their knees in their spacesuits and blow them for campaign contributions.

  28. UW8316154

    / snark off /

    How is it possible that Romney and Obama are polling neck-and-neck? I go to news sources other than Wonkett, and with the exception of redstate, just don't see any rational basis for such a close race. Who are these people? Why don't lies and inconsistencies bother them? I look at Mittens do damage control and see an uncomfortable, lying, condescending asshole married to a frozen bitch queen. What is going on??

    /snark on/

    I got nuthin', I'm just too fuckin' weirded out right now.

    1. SorosBot

      They're not anymore, though; while the polls vary, only the Rasmussen poll which always overcounts Republican support shows the race tied; the other big ones all show Obama with a decent lead.

    2. James Michael Curley

      As I said before, even if there was an expectation from polling that it would be a 50%/50% popular vote on November 6, the actual lead Obama is gaining in the individual states is growing across the increasing large number of electoral votes.

      Right now if Obama gets Florida's 29 electoral votes there is no way Romney can win. Even if Romney gets Florida his polling results are creating many doomsday scenarios.

      Even if he gets Florida if he looses Ohio he's toast.
      Even if he gets Florida and Ohio if he looses New Hampshire and Virginia he's toast.

      As to why things look as they do on so called journalistic reports, two issues:
      First the reports rarely advise that the current report they are highlighting is only one of many and may even be an outlier to polls the same company conducted in the past and will conduct in the future.
      Second, how many people would bother to tune in the so-called journalist if he started reporting day after day "The 2012 race for President is over." These suckers have a month and a half of high priced rate cards to fill which would be worth a fraction of what they are charging in September and October of 2013.

    3. fuflans

      i heard something this weekend on npr – i think it was a michael lewis interview? anyway, he talked about how unbelievably popular bamz is overseas – so much so that many world leaders don't want to contradict him as it would hurt them with their own electorates.

      and do you EVER hear anything like this on our media? left or right? course not. you only ever hear about pew polls saying america is now no more popular in the world than it was under bush.

      my point here is simply there's a world of truth out there that headlines – and headline polls – don't capture or report.

    4. UW8316154

      Ok, after reading your comments (thank you!) I am feeling a little better. The news media has another month and a half to fill, and need to create some tension, or they won't sell clickies.

      However, I won't be able to trust any votes – popular or electoral – from Florida until the end of January, 2013.

  29. KeepFnThatChicken

    Space anything sounds stupid from the mouths of Republicans. Some of them think they can launch into space at the end of Flat Earth, or that they'll cause a rainstorm of Noah proportions when the launch vehicle rends the firmament.

    A Beka. Better Christan Facts™.

  30. LibertyLover

    Someone has to keep Callista in Tiffany's diamonds…. and maybe Newt is getting a little tired of that short leash she has him on? You never see them apart. It's like she doesn't trust him out of her sight for some reason. I wonder why? ;-)

  31. LibertyLover

    “China may someday be looking down on us from the Moon”

    Well, we'll just moon them back. Collectively.

  32. a_pink_poodle

    Normally I'd roll my eyes but if we need a fake Cold War 2 Electric Boogaloo rival to get a moon base, I guess that's the price we have to pay. Just don't go overboard and pull a Cuban Missile Crisis!

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