JPL'S Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2

Ted Cruz is pretty darn annoyed with NASA these days, seeing as how it’s just been wasting a lot of taxpayer money studying the climate and foolishness like that. For heaven’s sake, everyone knows that NASA is supposed to be about space, and there is no climate in space. And that’s why he was ready to give a good talking-to to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden about all these stupid satellites that NASA has looking down at boring old Earth and its atmosphere and oceans, instead of looking out at other, more interesting things that are far away. So Cruz, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees NASA, kicked off a hearing last Thursday by asking Bolden just why NASA is ignoring its key mission of doing science to things that won’t cause problems for the fossil fuel industry.

Oh, and what a fine loaded question Cruz had for Bolden; it was a question designed to show what a fraud the Obama administration’s budget request for NASA is, since it fritters away far too much money on Earth and climate science:

“I’d like to start by asking a general question: In your judgment, what is the core mission of NASA?”

Ooh, gotcha, Bolden. Because “climate” is definitely not one of the words in “National Aeronautics and Space Administration.”

Oh, but the wily NASA guy (also Marine test pilot and real honest-to-god astronaut) was ready for the tricksy Cruz, yes he was. Noting that he went back and looked at the original legislation that set up NASA in 1958, Bolden answered, “Our core mission from the very beginning has been to investigate, explore space and the Earth environment, and to help us make this place a better place,” adding (and perhaps channeling LBJ ordering pants), “So that’s the nuts of it.”

Aha! But there’s nothing “core” about dumb old global warming, is there, Cruz fired back:

Well, there’s no doubt that there are multiple important priorities within NASA. But I would suggest that almost any American would agree that the core function of NASA is to explore space. That’s what inspires little boys and little girls across this country. It’s what sets NASA apart from any other agency, is the mission that has landed man on the moon, that has the potential to explore new worlds beyond our imagination.

You can almost hear the Star Trek theme rising in the background there, as Cruz reminds the stupid old astronaut that he’s supposed to be inspiring kids, not mucking about with measuring atmospheric CO2 levels, because what little boy or girl was ever inspired by that? “I am concerned,” Cruz said, “that NASA in the current environment has lost its full focus on that core mission.”

Cruz was very unhappy that between 2009 and 2016, Earth science has had an increase of 41 percent, while the budget for human exploration of space has actually been reduced. What a shame. Where is the glory? Where are the spacesuits, for godssake?

Bolden notes that this is pretty much what NASA was aiming for when it retired the Space Shuttle — a beautiful, inspiring, but ridiculously expensive hunk of obsolete 1970s technology that “cost us $2 billion a year to maintain…whether we flew it or not.” Exploring farther out into space with robotic probes, on the other hand, actually is giving us bold new discoveries at a fraction of the price.

As for Earth science, Bolden is proud of that mission, too, since it has “enabled us to understand our planet far better,” a role for science that is “absolutely critical.” Heck even Texas — home not just to Canadian refugees like Cruz but to actual space explorers like Bolden — has benefited from NASA’s Earth missions, which helped determine that too much pumping of the aquifer was causing the level of the ground to sink, with effects on Earth’s gravitation that are measurable from space. Now that should give you a sense of wonder and inspiration.

Not that Cruz was impressed. Again, why is Barack Obama cutting budgets for sending humans to Mars, which is undeniably cool, and wasting it on climate science, which is not cool, not one bit?

Bolden said that just maybe, doing something about climate change does work into the big inspirational space exploration picture:

We can’t go anywhere if the Kennedy Space Center goes underwater and we don’t know it — and that’s understanding our environment… It is absolutely critical that we understand Earth’s environment because this is the only place that we have to live.

Bolden then glanced around the hearing room and noted that he didn’t see anyone else there who has seen the planet from space, adding:

We’ve got to take care of it. And the only way we can take care of it is that we know what’s happening. And the only way we know what’s happening is to use instruments that we develop in NASA. And we do it better than anybody else, and I’m proud to say that.

Cruz was all out of boys and girls in astronaut costumes by that point, and couldn’t even manage a “boldly go where no man has gone before.” He just moved on to the next witness.

Point, Bolden. You want inspiration? This is the only planet we’ve got, this pale blue dot:

It would probably be a good idea not to make it unlivable (at least for large mammals like humans) for the sake of a few more decades of oil and coal industry profits.

[Mashable via Crooks and Liars / Christian Science Monitor]

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  • SnarkOff

    I thought the purpose of the space program was to advertise Tang.

    • retiredeng

      Is that disgusting stuff still around?

      • Thatsit Fortheotherwon

        Normally served with Poon these days.

    • OneYieldRegular

      Space Food Sticks.

    • NellCote71

      Is that the name of the newest Palin?

  • Lizzietish81
    • JustPixelz

      You’re back!!11!

      I think Cruz’s head exploding would sound more like cabbage rolling off the counter and hitting the floor. SPLAT Followed by “oh fuck, now I have to clean up this cabbage”.

      • Lizzietish81

        I am! You’re only the third person to notice today, I feel like I don’t make an impact on people’s lives.

        • AntiDerpomeme

          I’ve noticed too, so make that four people. Or maybe eleventy-dozen, I dunno, I went to the Ted Crooze Skhool of Learnin’ Stuff Gooder for Jesus during my formative years (no, I actually did not–imagine the mental scaring!!)

          • Lizzietish81

            My ego is fragile and needs constant fluffing

          • Virginia Dreaming

            nooooooooo, that makes you sound like a republican. ;-)

  • FauxAntocles

    They could study the space between Ted’s ears for pennies a day.

    • Virginia Dreaming

      The space between Ted’s ears is an infinite vacuum.

      • chicken thief

        Covered with a quart of used 40 wt oil.

  • “That’s what inspires little boys and little girls across this country.”

    Ted Cruz thought he was in the SubCommitee for Macaroni and Cheese Oversight

    • Lizzietish81

      And here I thought Cruz wanted Jeebus to do all the inspiring

  • They’ll just give any old moron a Harvard diploma these days, eh?

    • Lizzietish81

      Not ANY old moron. A rich old moron.

      • Anarchy Pony

        The primary entrance exam: So how much money are you going to give us?

    • Virginia Dreaming

      Both Cruz and Cotton demonstrate the difference between having an education and using your education.

      • Mormos

        between having an education and being educated?

    • Spurning Beer

      Sad to say, the Lesser Ivies aren’t so undiscriminating.

      Wait, yes they are. Keith Ablow and Bobby Jindal both went to Brown.

  • cousin itt

    Ted the Toady: Oh goody! My illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator!

  • Toomush_Infer

    I can’t watch this because I can’t watch Ted Cruz without engaging my vomit reflex, but Go Bolden , Where no Cruz has gone before….

  • ThePuckStopsHere

    Needs moar snowball.

  • memzilla

    Yes, I would pay good munniez for a Send Ted Cruz Into Space program.

    • retiredeng

      All the way to Mars. One way.

      • memzilla

        With an Acme™ Spacesuit.

        • retiredeng

          With an Acme™Anvil as ballast.

      • PubOption

        He should like it, the entire planet is a red state.

        • Thatsit Fortheotherwon

          *Golf clap.*

    • Steverino247

      To the Moon, Alice!!!

    • MrBlobfish

      No sense waiting on the Canadian Space Agency, eh?

      • willi0000000

        oh i dunno . . . i can think of some good uses cruz’s proctologist could put Canadarm II to.

      • Blank Ron

        We’re still trying to figure out if the Canadarm can open a beer.

  • Ikimizi

    You know how NASA could inspire me? By sending Cruz to Mars.

    • retiredeng

      Sorry. I keep repeating this quote because I think it’s incredibly funny:
      “OK, let’s ask someone who’s actually been to Mars.” — Larry Wilmore

    • Msgr_Moment

      I’ll volunteer to go, just so I can push him out the airlock. With votes and no spacesuit.

    • toughsister

      On a one-way trip.

      • jmk

        What do you have against Martians?

  • PubOption

    Why is Pedobear in the corner of the Sagan video?

  • JustPixelz

    “I am concerned,” Cruz said…

    Hey this is a fun game!

    “I am concerned the Senate is 54% fucktard.”

    “I am concerned we are not studying Ted Cruz’s citizenship using birther science

    “I am concerned we are not applying the 1% doctrine to the dangers from climate change global warming.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      I am concerned that if I see Ted Cruz’s smug fucking face again, I’m going to puke.

  • Mehmeisterjr

    “It is absolutely critical that we understand Earth’s environment because this is the only place that we have to live.”

    Not Ted. He’d renounce his Earth citizenship in a second if he thought he could become President of the Galactic Empire.

    • retiredeng

      Of course the site of the Galactic Empire is the center of the nearest super massive black hole.

    • beatbort

      I hope Ted becomes more interested in space travel. Perhaps we can take up a collection for the next flight to Mars.

    • JustPixelz

      What about the moon? Let’s ask Moon President Newt Gingrich.

    • Wonkaholic

      Senator PalpaTed.

  • ArgieBargie

    Fuck you, you regressive, do-nothing, demagogue fucktard.

    Also too, stop terrifying little girls cry, you coward.

    • Toomush_Infer

      “Are we on fire?”….just his pants, little girl….

  • beatbort

    Cruz looks so bored and dispirited having to do stuff like ask questions about NASA when he much prefers standing in front of TV cameras ragging on Pres. Obama being a socialist Muslim Marxist Communist, etc.

  • onedollarjuana

    NASA should be studying how to use Tom Cotton’s neck for the “elevator to space”.

    • chicken thief

      Or his hot air to propel a balloon also too?

  • Well, this American thinks the core purpose of a space agency is to figure out the costs and benefits of what we can learn from space – including what we can learn about our own planet from space. I am less interested in astronauts as such just for the sake of having them. Mainly because their uniforms are so bulky and not snug.

    • FauxAntocles

      Speaking of inspiration…

  • Thatsit Fortheotherwon

    I believe the term “pus-bomb” was coined for Ted Cruz.

    • Lizzietish81

      Acne libel!

  • FauxAntocles

    Maybe the Fed Rethuglicans should ban the use of the terms “global warming”, “climate change”, “environment”, “thinking”, …

  • Msgr_Moment

    Okay, so the small-government Rethugs want to bring back the Apollo dinosaurs because……
    Because maybe we can compost them into fossil fuels like the Jurassic ones?
    Oh, no, I remember. It’s so Uncle Newt can have his future honeymoons in weightless conditions.

    • Blank Ron

      Newt? Weightless? I’m not sure physics works that way.

  • Virginia Dreaming

    I get the feeling Ted Cruz thinks pie day is actually about coconut cream.

    • retiredeng

      Cream pie in the face day. I’ll be the first to throw one at his puss.

      • jmk

        I would order the Pay-Per-View of that.

      • Land Shark

        I admire your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

        • retiredeng

          No newsletter. Just random snarky comments and quotes here on Disqus. I’m just an old guy totally disgusted with our broken government.

    • Wonkaholic

      Rats, another pi day come and gone, and I missed it! Not that I didn’t celebrate, it’s just that I missed a good reason to.

  • schmannity

    The farce be with you, Ted.

  • chicken thief

    “But I would suggest that almost any American would agree that the core function of NASA is to explore space.”

    So let’s go with ‘fuck what the actual mission statement is, let’s go with what I suggest most Americans think’? Let’s try that, Teddy!

    I suggest almost any American would agree that the core function of Congress is to keep the federal government funded and running.


    • retiredeng

      STFU and legislate. You know, what you were elected to do.

      • willi0000000

        oh please! . . . not that . . . you know what kind of legislation he would try to pass.

        • Land Shark

          You mean the “Douchey Ignorant Person Speaking Hilarious Insipid Tantrums” (DIPSHIT) Act?

          • willi0000000

            i was thinking of the Lets Give The United States to the kochs Act

    • Spurning Beer


      I would suggest that almost any American would agree that the core function of a Republican Senator is to capitalize on fear and hatred to aggrandize and enrich themselves and their cronies while helping make our society courser and stupider.

  • Spalding

    We live in a lifeboat, there is no getting off. All around us as far as we can imagine is cold, rock, airless, death. Ted how much are you paid to mess with the boat that carries us all?

    • Blank Ron

      Don’t bug me, I’m busy.

      – Ted “drilling holes in the hull with my Koch-brand power drill” Cruz

  • chicken thief

    “….Again, why is Barack Obama cutting budgets for sending humans to Mars,…”

    It never ceases to amaze me how Obama sneaks over from the golf course to Congress and forces both Houses to vote on his space exploration slashing budget.

    • SmokinGood

      It’s all explained in Cruz’s seminal work (for which Bill O’Rielly won the Nobel peace prize) On the Politico-dynamics of Obama Budgets where he introduces his special theory of relativity, which scientifically sciences a science model of how concrete facts can differ depending on the politics of the observer, and applies it to the case of a Black “President.”

      • Toomush_Infer

        I’m confused by your comment about Bill O’Rielly winning the Nobel Peace Prize – which time are you referencing?…

        • jmk

          I think that was his third win…

          • Land Shark

            Was that before or after the fourth Pulitzer? Or was it before BillO led the invasion of Iwo Jima?

  • chicken thief

    Needs more “Hitler in 1939”.

  • Virginia Dreaming

    This is a little off topic, but Scott Walker’s sons are planning to drop out of college and campaign for their father. I guess this demonstrates how much he values education (as if we didn’t already have enough evidence that he likes ignorance.) Either that, or it is the conservative version of going on tour with the Grateful Dead.

    • Zippy

      they ate the brown acid

      • Virginia Dreaming

        Given their Dad, that is a truly disgusting mental image!

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Reminds you of the Romney sons, don’t it?

    • artem1s

      OMG, Mittlings made of acid and bile! What did we do to deserve this?

  • Goposaur

    his face looks especially punchable today

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Yet another nominee for the dictionary illustration of Backpfeifengesicht

    • BearGHAZI

      you mean donkey-punchable right? That man is a sex god

  • Barley_Brains

    Makes me feel especially stabby this early in the morning.

  • OneYieldRegular

    Questioning a NASA scientist as to whether studying the earth has any relevance to space exploration is like questioning a geneticist about whether studying mutations has any relevance to cancer research.

    • willi0000000

      and Administrator Bolton isn’t even a scientist . . . but he is an astronaut and currently administers an agency that employs, and surprisingly listens to, a whole gaggle (flock?, bunch?, examine?…) of scientists . . . and he not only listens but he remembers.

      it also helps when he just talks over cruz’s attempts to interrupt and baldly points out that he does not agree with ‘your graph’ [i think he was tempted to say ‘pretty little meaningless graph’]

  • Zippy

    Ted is more into scaring little boys and girls than he is into inspiring them

  • Spurning Beer

    In the interest of inspiring little boys and girls, the committee should change its name to the Senate Committee on Oversight of Superheros, Transformers, Dinosaurs, My Little Ponies, and Theme Parks.

    • Blank Ron

      Kindly keep Winnipeg Ted away from our ponies, TYVM.

  • Barbara Schepers

    Ted Cruz gets NASA and the United Federation of Planets mixed up all the time.

    • Lizzietish81

      He does realize that the Federation was a socialist institution right?

      • Portia Elm

        with (gasp) no money anymore

        • Ted would be a Ferengi. Probably their Grand Negus or whatever.

        • Poodle Tooth

          That’s what happens when you are a socialist. You run out of money.

  • Official Teabagger

    Can anyone with connections with Ted ask if he can get more funding for Hoveround space research?

  • artem1s

    Dear Senator Cruz,

    The Earth is in space. Iran does not like ISIL. Now go back to working on something you know something about, i.e., grifting or nothing, your choice.

    Yours Truly,
    Carl Sagan

  • RoyalUglyDude

    What’s so inspiring about environmental scientists? They probably don’t even drink Tang.

  • there is no climate in space

    But space weather conditions can interrupt interplanetary communication while implementing Plan 9.

    • MrBlobfish

      Now, don’t you worry. The saucers are up there. The graveyard is out there. But I’ll be locked up safely in there.

    • You see? You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!

  • MrBlobfish

    What good is NASA if the can’t drop space junk on Cas de Cruz?

  • Guest

    Ted Cruz is a walking, talking Canadian refugee ahole.

    • pstockholm

      Spider from Calgary

  • Kurtis Engle

    It’s good to know at least one of the Cabbage Patch Kids has a good job.

  • TheBidenator

    It has to be said- Ted Cruz has the most punchable face in the history of man…

    • Land Shark

      Ted Cruz has a future career as the “Head Model” for all douchebros.

  • TheBidenator

    Well it looks like Edmonton Ted’s Fox News soundbite got shut down; let us all take a moment to mourn the death of his soapbox for this witness. Better luck next time you smug hunk of shit…

  • Baby_Raptor

    But I would suggest that almost any American would agree that the core function of NASA is to explore space.

    I don’t care what they do so long as they don’t start murdering people. Am I no longer “American”?

  • say wha

    “You can almost hear the Star Trek theme rising in the background there,” I was actually hearing Thus Sprach Ted-a-Cruza, because whenever he talks, all I can see is a monkey beating a bone.

  • Blank Ron

    The temperature of empty space is -455 degrees F, therefore global warming is a myth.

  • kfreed

    Let’s start a petition to send Ted Cruz into space. Money well spent and we wouldn’t have to waste any perfectly good monkeys.

  • SuspectedDemocrat

    And what’s with this “Earthrise” picture? I’m looking at you, Apollo 8. You were sent there to take pictures of the Moon, not Earth you dum dums!

  • Jeff Mathis

    Ted Cruz is an intellectually challenged anti science goober who belongs on a science committee like a
    Chimp belongs there. Cruze belongs on the sub sub committee studying the true color of crap and why it doesn’t smell like roses.

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