Showing posts with label NASA. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Texas Congressman Brian Babin on NASA. Lost in space.

Texas Congressman Brian Babin has finally realized he is in a race to keep his job. He started a twitter account and he is posting on Facebook, even though he is factually incorrect. From his latest concerning NASA:

With the Russian Soyuz spacecraft grounded indefinitely and no other options available, American astronauts now have no way to get to the ISS.

And/Or DUH! Babin has been lost in space ever since being elected to Congress. He has neglected the agency until this year, touring NASA/JSC with others afraid of losing their jobs, like Ted Cruz. He has spent less time working for NASA than John Culberson whose district is in Katy. Under Babin's watch NASA/JSC lost a Shuttle as a museum piece. Major integration and test facilities were sent to other states. He has been working hard to take NASA's money and distribute it to others, others as in non-Texans.

The retirement of the Shuttle was under his party's watch. George Bush signed the bill, authored by then Republican Senator from Texas Kay Bailey Hutchinson. The agreement to ride with the Russians was their idea. Babin has supported it ever since. 

Until he found himself in a race for his job. As with all mishaps, the cause of the problem with the Russian vehicle must be found and corrected before another flight. Space flight is dangerous and should never be rushed. We knew those risks when President Bush signed the bill.

Besides shooting his mouth off, Babin has a $1 Trillion deficit to deal with. One that his party created. We really have no extra money for Space exploration.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Left with Egg on his face Texas Congressman Pete Olson

Texas Congressman Pete Olson CD22 isn't as conservative as one might think. Just because you have an R behind your name doesn't mean you are a Conservative. In the case of Pete Olson it means Conspiracy. Even the Houston Chronicle stated:

He has pandered to bizarre conspiracy theories on talk radio and inaccurately claimed that Pakistan was responsible for the terrorist attacks on 9/11 — it wasn’t.

But there is more. For instance....

No Prayers at Military Funerals
In 2011 Olson fell for the fake conspiracy concerning the National Cemetery not allowing prayers at a funeral for a veteran.  According to his press release:
"Recent media reports raising concerns with alleged censorship of certain words during funeral services at Houston National Cemetery are deeply troubling. 
Unfortunately his "media reports" came from breitbart and Michael Berry, the white wing radio host of Houston. It wasn't true. Olson went on to file various religious freedom legislation that died on the House floor.

Health care stunt
In his only town hall meeting held in LaMarque back in 2009, Olson was taped using a woman and her son as props in a failed attempt to warn about the Affordable Care Act. He described how the private insurance industry and private hospitals and private medical doctors turned down a treatment for her son. She eventually received the care (provided by government provided healthcare) but Olson went on to claim that under the government's Affordable Care Act, she would have been turned down.

Someone (me) with a camera yelled "THE GOVERNMENT DIDN'T TURN HER DOWN! THE PRIVATE SECTOR DID!". Olson looked like a deer caught in the head lights of a truck. His look of stupidity earned him a spot on Keith Olberman. 

Nobel Peace Prize
Pete Olson was one of a few Congressman including conspiracy darling Louie Gohmert and Brian Babin and a dozen of The Who the Hell are You club to nominate Donald Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize for his photo op with Kim Jun Un. Even his photo op was a disaster.

Honoring James O'Keefe III
Olson was on the floor of our House introducing a resolution to honor Jame O'Keefe. O'Keefe secretly recorded actions by ACORN, an organization dedicated to helping low income people. O'Keefe's video was later found to be heavily doctored and false. According to his press release:
Rep. Pete Olson today introduced a resolution in honor of Hannah Giles and James Oa€™Keefe III for their diligent investigative journalism exposing the fraudulent and potentially illegal activities of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now or ACORN.
O'Keefe was eventually sued, issued an apology, and paid a settlement leaving Pete Olson with egg on his face. 

Space Shuttle
And while Olson was busy chasing conspiracy theories his district lost out on a Space Shuttle berth at Space Center Houston. If there was one place a Shuttle should have been placed as a museum piece, it was here in Houston. Once again Olson failed leaving egg on our face.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trump proposes cuts to NASA employee benefits

Someone has to pay for the tax cuts.

These cuts have been talked about for over a year but now there is growing concern and distain for government employees that may make these cuts real. Also the great tax cut for the rich has created a huge $1Trillion deficit with no end in sight. Somebody has to pay for this and it looks like Federal employees (NASA included) may end up donating $143.5 Billion to the cause. Trump justified his cuts:

"Everyone knows government employees are lazy, some are incompetent, and we can't fire them. They do half the work the private sector does for twice as much money. They have golden retirement pensions, months of free vacation, and free health care that we all pay for. And what do we have? Nothing. It's a disgrace. Believe me."

Actually he didn't say that but he will. Believe me. In typical trump fashion he will demonize federal employees and turn the public against them to justify his cuts. The proposed cuts will affect current employees, future employees as well as those who have retired. From the Washington Post:
  • Eliminating supplements for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuitants who retire before being eligible for Social Security benefits. [affects early retirees]
  • Reducing federal pensions by basing them on workers’ basic pay five-year averages instead of three years. [less pension]
  • Increasing employee retirement contributions with no increase in benefits. The plan would sharply boost the 0.8 percent of basic pay most FERS employees contribute. The letter makes the impact on federal retirees clear. “Under this proposal, FERS employee deduction rates will increase by 1 percent per year until they reach 7.25 percent of basic pay. … This proposal would require FERS employees to fund a greater portion of their retirement benefit.” [7.25 cut in pay with less pension]
  • Reducing or eliminating retirement cost-of-living adjustments. The administration plans “to reduce the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) by one half of one percent and to eliminate COLAs under the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) for current and future retirees.” [no COLA for retirees]
So think of it as a 7.25% reduction in pay to fund the retirement system with no added benefits once retired. No cost of living increase for retirees so the pension will not increase over your retirement years which could be 20+ years. Other cuts to federal employee benefits that have been discussed include:
  • Reduction in sick leave
  • Reduction in vacation days
  • End of flex days
And yet NASA employees will continue to vote for republicans. You have to wonder how we will ever get back to the moon.