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NASA Space Censorship Government Politics

NASA Public-Affairs Appointee Resigns in Disgrace 698

Posted by jamie
from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept.
belmolis writes "George C. Deutsch, who tried to muzzle top NASA climate scientist James Hansen and ordered NASA web designers to add the word 'theory' to every mention of the Big Bang, has resigned. The New York Times reports that NASA declines to discuss the reasons for his resignation, but that it came the same day that Texas A&M University, from which Deutsch claimed on his resume to have graduated, revealed that he had attended the university but did not complete his degree." The New York Times reports it today, but as of yesterday, it was the Times that had unquestioningly passed along the falsehood of Deutsch's graduation, and it was the blog Scientific Activist whose investigation revealed he'd left before graduating to work on the Bush reelection campaign. For more on the 24-year-old political appointee's interesting viewpoints, see World O' Crap; on Monday, we covered the anger over his attempts to squelch science -- something that, sadly, Jim Hansen has gotten used to.
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NASA Public-Affairs Appointee Resigns in Disgrace

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  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:28AM (#14668758)

    The increasing availability and ease of access of information is making it increasingly difficult to get away with lying.

    Good news for the people, bad news for governments.

    On a related note, that same increasing availability is starting to render traditional news outlets [nytimes.com] obselete. No wonder they're so upset [slashdot.org].
    • by CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:40AM (#14668831) Journal
      I'd just read the article below before seeing this as well.

      86 Evangelical Leaders Join to Fight Global Warming [nytimes.com]

      Could this actually mean that well intentioned christians are actually beginning to crawl out from under the thumb of the right-wing extremists like Dobson, Robertson, Bush, etc?

      I know this is only a small beginning and may be offering false hope, but at least its better than the complete lack of any hope for American socieity I'd been feeling recently.
      • by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:49AM (#14668884) Homepage Journal
        Don't forget the 10,000 member of the clergy [uwosh.edu] who signed an online petition explicitly stating that Intelligent Design is a religious idea trying to be passed off as science and should not be taught.

        For as much as I like to harp on the religious right (all religions, not just christianity), it is refreshing to see people who understand that science is science and religion is religion and there is no problem with the two co-existing so long as neither tries to intrude onto the others territory. Though it is interesting to note that religion has asked science to help solve at least one of its mysteries, the shroud of Turin.

        Every time I hear someone say, "But it's only a theory, not a fact" I cringe and then immediately ask them if they have a problem with the Theory of Electromagnetism or the Theory of General Relativity since they too are "just theories" and not facts. The usual response is a blank stare as their mind tries to not assplode from having to defend such a ridiculous statement.

        • by ehrichweiss (706417) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:33AM (#14669204)
          Has anyone tried actually educating people about the differences between "theory" and "hypothesis"? People are usually thinking of a hypothesis when they refer to a theory.

          Theory - 1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

          Hypothesis - 1. A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation.

          There is a definition of "theory" that means what they think it means but that's not the same definition that science uses.

        • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:48AM (#14669312) Homepage Journal
          Every time I hear someone say, "But it's only a theory, not a fact" I cringe and then immediately ask them if they have a problem with the Theory of Electromagnetism or the Theory of General Relativity since they too are "just theories" and not facts. The usual response is a blank stare as their mind tries to not assplode from having to defend such a ridiculous statement.

          You're in good company. Lord Macaulay in his 1841 speech to parliament on the issue of copyright extension had to deal with exactly this misunderstanding of what a "theory" is:

          My honourable and learned friend talks very contemptuously of those who are led away by the theory that monopoly makes things dear. That monopoly makes things dear is certainly a theory, as all the great truths which have been established by the experience of all ages and nations, and which are taken for granted in all reasonings, may be said to be theories. It is a theory in the same sense in which it is a theory that day and night follow each other, that lead is heavier than water, that bread nourishes, that arsenic poisons, that alcohol intoxicates.


          Always happy to plug one of my favorite writers. Macaulay's riposte probably works better than yours because he uses more homely examples.

          If I had to put the missing point in a nutshell, I'd do it this way: in science, not all theories are true, but all truths are theories. Of course it's a bit of an overstatement, in that one can certainly talk about an individual fact in isolation. But as soon as you try to connect facts, you have a theory.

          Of course religion has its theories as well, which are called "doctrines". For example you have the doctrine of original sin, and the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, which I believe any fundamentalist should be familiar with. These are, within a certain scope "testable", in the sense they can be compared to scriptural sources. The difference between a doctrine and a theory is the ultimate test, the foundation upon which all other tests reside.

          In religion, this is mystical experience. The Christian experiences the Bible as a manifestation of God's grace and love, and therefore accepts it as authoritative. In science the foundation is sensory experience.

          The reason then that many thoughtful religious people reject fundamentalism is that by confusing science and religion, you are in a sense denying grace itself. Fundamentalism is often mixed up with mystical movements like pentacostalism; indeed many individuals are both. But these are inconsistent. Fundamentalism is a form of pseudo-rationalism.

        • I heard that (Score:3, Insightful)

          by HangingChad (677530)
          Every time I hear someone say, "But it's only a theory, not a fact" I cringe ...

          I invite them to test the theory of gravitational attraction by jumping off the top of a very tall building. After all, if they had faith the size of a mustard seed, they'd be able to land safely, right?

    • With increasing information to the general public comes people who spin it and use that information to justify many things. Then, there is representation of information and how people look at organizations as authority figures. An example here is the Big Bang. To be scientific, as the organization is, shouldn't the big bang be described in accurate scientific terms with using terms such as model or theory? How will misrepresentation of information lead people into paths of believing things that just are
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The increasing availability and ease of access of information is making it increasingly difficult to get away with lying.

      Hey, I'm doing fine so far.

      Love,
      George W.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:30AM (#14668768)
    He never would have thought that he would be on the receiving end of a puppeteer's hand.
  • Number of points (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:31AM (#14668771) Homepage Journal

    1. Deutsch is young. True, while at 24, Deutsch is young, that really does not say anything about his ability to be a spokesperson for science policy....if he is capable of representing the science for NASA and not necessarily a political agenda.

    2. Deutsch did not graduate college. The fact that he is not a college graduate does not in of itself eliminate him from a spokespersons job. However, the major issue is that he lied about his graduation and because of that lapse in integrity should not be trusted.

    3. Scientific integrity. NASA is an organization that should be proud of its scientific accomplishments and should care enough to represent those achievements to the world through the best possible spokespersons possible. Having these positions as appointed posts rather than earned posts or hires based on merit circumvents this process.

    4. Motivations. Placing limits on science by appointing sycophantic toadies who are carrying out a politically and/or religiously motivated agenda is becoming a recurring theme in this administration which leads one to suspect potentially other agendas.

    • 24 years old? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Phoenix666 (184391)
      Sorry I missed this the first time this story came out, but the guy who's muzzling scientists at NASA is a 24-year old stooge? Talk about adding insult to injury. The only thing that would have made this more humiliating is if the guy had failed to graduate from Oral Roberts University or Bob Jones University.
  • by SnapShot (171582) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:34AM (#14668789)
    This could be a win-win situation. NASA has an opening for a job to be filled by a Republican crony. Michael Brown is unemployed. Looks like a natural fit! Give that man a call!
  • He should have kept his feet calm instead of walking out into political territory with creationist thing.
    Nobody would have ever noticed his non-existant degree.
    • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:49AM (#14668886) Journal
      He should have kept his feet calm instead of walking out into political territory with creationist thing. Nobody would have ever noticed his non-existant degree.

      I have been 24 years old. And, at that age, you think you know EVERYTHING. And, I have been involed in politics (when I was about 24 years old, as a matter of fact). Guess what? In politics, when you are on the winning side and you get a political appointee job, you have a huge "ego factor".

      A 24-year old political appointee is, almost by definition, a cocky S.O.B. (not to say all 24-year old political appointees are cocky, but there is a high probability). Asking him to "keep his feet calm" is like asking a shark to ignore the chum in the water.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:36AM (#14668805)
    ....is that he could have graduated from college in theory!
  • by millahtime (710421) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:37AM (#14668808) Homepage Journal
    The "Theory of the Big Bang" is at the least how it should be described. NASA is a scientific organization. They should not be trying sell ideas but do strict science.

    Theories, Models, and Laws are all terms that mean something. It's not just a matter of verbage but a title given to the status of something in the scientific methods. The Big Bang is actually a model according to scientific methods. To call it a theory is a stretch. To have something as a model is not a bad thing it's just a different descriptor for it.
    • by BobTheLawyer (692026) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:54AM (#14668913)
      Really? When I studied for my degree in physics the Big Bang was certainly described as a theory. I'd understand a "model" to be something you construct around a "theory" - the two are not really alternatives.

      That said, the problem here is not the description of the Big Bang as a theory (clearly correct) but that the word is used in a deliberate attempt to mislead the public by confusing the colloquial meaning of "theory" (i.e. not much more than a guess) with the scientific meaning of "theory". I'm betting that this guy didn't insist on NASA desribing rocketry as a "theory".
    • > The Big Bang is actually a model according to scientific methods. To call it a theory is a stretch. To have something as a model is not a bad thing it's just a different descriptor for it.

      A theory is a model.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:27AM (#14669151)
      Any scientist will tell you that of course it's a theory.

      The fact here is that some snotnose bush brat is telling scientist that they must explicitly state the obvious as part of a plan to diminish the value of science on impressionable young minds. If something logical and rational were presented factually, the flock might wander. So "theories" are for science, and facts are for the bible!

      "Penguins ain't natural, they was chemically man-made like The Incredible Hulk."
      "Anthony, how do you know this about the penguins?"
      "It's in the Bible."
      "It ain't in the Bible."
      "It's in the Bible wit' Noah! Noah didn't take no penguins wit' 'em on the ark, so therefore penguins ain't natural. Read your Bible. There's no mention of penguins whatsoever."
      "Okay."

      -- The State
  • The Big Bang (Score:2, Insightful)

    by toupsie (88295)
    Has the Big Bang been established as scientific fact? Not saying it isn't, just would like some more info.
    • Re:The Big Bang (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ubi_NL (313657) <joris.ideeel@nl> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:43AM (#14668850) Journal
      From now on, we should only speak of the 'Christianity theory' and the 'Islamic theory', as neither is scientifically proven. For some reason however, I have the feeling that the 'theory' zealots won't like this...
      • Re:The Big Bang (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jasen666 (88727)
        Yeah, probably not. Religions, generally, can't even qualify as theories. A theory requires some amount of factual evidence to support it. Not a lot, but at least something. Some religious events or aspects may qualify under that, but if you take the entire religion as one large entity, it would not.
        An idea that has not been supported by facts yet would be a hypothesis.
        So it would be better worded the Christian Hypothesis. :)
      • by DreamerFi (78710) <john.sinteur@com> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:18AM (#14669076) Homepage
        It's not the word "theory" you're looking for.

        Every time a Christian, Muslim or Jew speaks of anything to do with their religion, they must use the phrase "ancient tribal myth" in the same sentence.
    • Re:The Big Bang (Score:5, Informative)

      by helioquake (841463) * on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:47AM (#14668866) Journal
      Look up "cosmic microwave background" on google.

      That's probably a good place to start learning about the current state of cosmology. It usually takes more than a decade of dedicated learning to master the topic, so take your time.
    • Re:The Big Bang (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arkanes (521690) <arkanes&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:48AM (#14668877) Homepage
      I'm not an astrophysicist (I can't even spell it!) and I'm not even an interested amateur, but the blog linked from the previous covererage of this story said that the Big Bang model has been extensively proven out by observation, and while the origin of the bang itself is unknown, what happened during and immediately after the Bang is considered extremely solid and proven.
    • Re:The Big Bang (Score:5, Insightful)

      by grimJester (890090) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:49AM (#14668882)
      Read up on the scientific method, look up the word "fact" in a dictionary and rephrase your question.
    • Re:The Big Bang (Score:5, Informative)

      by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:51AM (#14668896)
      There's a lot of compelling evidence for some sort of Big Bang. The universe is clearly expanding: further galaxies show a distinct "red shift", a change in the light coming from that can be measured and shows how fast away they're going. Their distance is estimated by looking for bright, measurably bright objects like nova or supernova and extrapolating their distance from the brightness.

      The further away they are, the faster they seem to be going. That hints at some sort of event, roughly 10 billion years ago, that forced them all away and in fact created these objects. That's coupled with a background microwave radiation we'd expect from a universe at about 3 degrees Kelvin, as if the matter that spread out has cooled down to about that average temperature.

      Other theories, such as the "Cyclic" theory assume that the universe keeps exploding and contracting, but it's hard to detect enough matter in the universe to allow it to re-contract from gravitation. Or the "Steady-State" theory assumes that the matter, the universe itself somehow keeps regenerating itself over time: some weird quantum ideas describe universes where matter forms from vacuum, but those theories don't predict the actual measurements very well.

      So there are 3 common theories: the Big Bang explains the existing evidence well, but leaves people wondering "what happened before" and "what will happen later". Like gravity or light, the basic facts seem well explained, but there are weird details that do require more work to really understand.
      • Re:The Big Bang (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ironsides (739422) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:36AM (#14669225) Homepage Journal
        The further away they are, the faster they seem to be going. That hints at some sort of event, roughly 10 billion years ago, that forced them all away and in fact created these objects. That's coupled with a background microwave radiation we'd expect from a universe at about 3 degrees Kelvin, as if the matter that spread out has cooled down to about that average temperature.

        You missed one thing. The rate at which they are traveling seems to be accelerating as well.
    • Has conservation of energy been established as a scientific fact? Not saying it isn't, just would like some free lunch.
    • I've just been reading "Big Bang" [amazon.co.uk] by Simon Singh, a compelling account of the history of astrophysics and in particular the history of the Big Bang theory. I'd never appreciated how much observational astronomy had contributed to this theory beyond Hubble's original work, and I'd strongly recommend it as a fascinating read. (I haven't attached my Amazon associate id to the above URL - in case anyone's wondering!)
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:39AM (#14668820)
    Let this be a perfect example of why cronyism is not a good practice.

    Now that this guy is found out to be a fraud, it begs the question as to how many other people are holding positions that they neither deserve nor are qualified to hold?
    And how many more qualified individuals were passed over because of cronyism?

    The US Government should do a resume audit to find out who actually went to college and worked where they say they did.
    But, of course, this will never happen.
    • eh. why? this is one guy; that does not establish any sort of trend. besides, if some NASA data processor who's been sitting at a desk doing his job quite well for the past 20 years lied about some degree or certification two decades ago, is it really that big a deal? sure, it's certainly wrong, and if found out he should be punished, but we don't really need a witch hunt here. i think it's a better use of everyone's resources to just examine the problem cases.
      • by ctid (449118)
        eh. why? this is one guy; that does not establish any sort of trend.

        Do you remember Browny, who was "doing a heck of a job" at FEMA?
      • no trend?!? (Score:5, Informative)

        by sammy baby (14909) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:10AM (#14669469) Journal
        You want to see a trend? Start here [tnr.com].

        Here's a notable excerpt:

        According to his official biography, Stewart Simonson is the Health and Human Services Department's point man "on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies." Hopefully, he has taken crash courses on smallpox and avian flu, because, prior to joining HHS in 2001, Simonson's background was not in public health, but ... public transit. He'd previously been a top official at the delay-plagued, money-hemorrhaging passenger rail company Amtrak.


        And he's ranked 7 out of 15 for hacktitude.
    • Have we already forgotten Mike Brown, the ex-head of FEMA who had practically no experience in emergency services, disaster response, or incident management. Heck, in his previous job (Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association) he was forced our for "accounting irregularities".

      I'm expecting a good many of Bush's appointees follow the same pattern, much as Clinton's did (Chief of White House Personnel Security was a bouncer at a strip club). This is just how the Executi
    • OOOHH I know! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BitterAndDrunk (799378) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:17AM (#14669074) Homepage Journal
      "Now that this guy is found out to be a fraud, it begs the question as to how many other people are holding positions that they neither deserve nor are qualified to hold? "

      Let's start with the President! *ducks*

  • It's people like this that force me to carry around a copy of my college transcript to all of my job interviews. Honestly, it shouldn't be this easy to say, "Yeah, I have a degree from xxxx University," without any reputable employer (and I usually lump the Feds into this category) checking up on such claims...

    • And I have friends without degrees who get their resumes discarded even before job interviews if they make it clear on their transcript. They've learned to fudge: their qualifications are excellent, but they wound up doing other things their final year (such as having kids, founding start-ups, or building houses for the poor).

      But not having that degree often gets the HR person to take you off the list of candidates: it's a real problem for some very skilled people.
      • Not that it really excuses lying, but you're absolutely right. The underlying problem is the belief that a college degree is some sort of basic requirement for having the ability to do a job. Much to the chagrin of many people paying off huge student loans, it's simply not!

        The Slashdot story yesterday about new govt. hiring guidelines going into effect will just make the problem even worse. If resumes are expected to contain every single requirement listed in a "want ad" - guess what? Most of them will
  • by sg3000 (87992) * <{moc.cam} {ta} {cilbup_gs}> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:43AM (#14668849)
    Let's recap for those at home keeping score.

    MIchael Brown, the guy Bush picked to head FEMA, had no experience doing disaster recovery, having been fired from his previous job as commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Assocation. However, Bush appointed him because he was the roommate of the college roommate of Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's 2000 campaign manager and Brown's predecessor at FEMA.

    Next, he nominated to the Supreme Court his personal lawyer Harriet Miers who had absolutely no judicial experience. Luckily she didn't get her "up or down" vote due to a Republican backlash (but probably for the wrong reasons).

    And now we find that Bush appointed to NASA a 24-year old journalism major who dropped out of college but had all the qualifications of someone who worked on his campaign. And the guy was censoring real scientists!

    This problem of Bush cronyism goes much further than just giving plum jobs to to one's friends. These types of appointments are dangerous to our democracy because they can do real damage (as we saw in Brown's case). The fundamental problem is Bush and his ilk value loyalty more than experience or expertise; they value faith more than facts.
    • by SnapShot (171582) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:54AM (#14668915)
      Don't forget:

      Bolten as U.N. Ambassador.

      Ellen Sauerbrey as (recess appointment to) Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration ($700M budget).

      Melvin Sembler, youth cult leader, appointed to Amabassador to Italy.
    • by damsa (840364) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:57AM (#14668932)
      Considering that the Bush campaign won in 2004 with all sorts of problems. I'd say anyone working on that campaign is qualified for any PR positions in any company or government agency.
    • by NormalVisual (565491) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:21AM (#14669102)
      Next, he nominated to the Supreme Court his personal lawyer Harriet Miers who had absolutely no judicial experience.

      I'm not suggesting that Miers was suitable for the high court, but a lack of judicial experience doesn't automatically make someone incompetent to serve there. A few other justices that started their judicial career with the Supreme Court: John Jay, John Marshall, Earl Warren, and William Rehnquist.
  • What's going on? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fiachra06 (945611) * on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:44AM (#14668852) Journal
    This guy was able to hold a prominent position in the government? Only a day ago we were discussing how this guy was trying to influence NASA's output for a political end and now we find that the people who put him in the job weren't smart enough to do a background check. If you've ever been in poltics this is Lesson #1. Before you put someone in front of a camera to represent you, you make sure of their job credientials.
    It's bad enough that a 24 year old was trying to tell NASA what to do but he never even graduated college. Whoever gave him that job should be fired along with him.

    On a more personal note, Serves you right you dozy eejit.
  • by soshdin (848718) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:44AM (#14668854)
    I wonder if Deutsch had a problem with heliocentrism. The idea that the earth goes around the sun is as much a theory as the Big Bang or evolution.
  • by Vengeance (46019) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:52AM (#14668906)
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!!

    Disgrace and shame is better than folks like this deserve, but it's the best we can realistically hope to see. The appointment of political officers to oversee scientific speech smacks of the bad old days of the Cold War, and I mean the BAD guys.

    Unfortunately, this is only one small win for the side of truth, justice, and the American way. We've still got a *long* way to go before honesty and integrity are restored to the government.
    • Disgrace and shame is better than folks like this deserve

      It's certainly not as good as the taxpayers deserve, however. Deutsch committed a fraud and should be required to repay his salary to the US Treasury, with interest and penalties. Never happen, of course.

      I'd favor a few months in prison too, but he's already cost us enough. Maybe a few hundred hours of community service... say, picking up litter in the NASA parking lots. I imagine that there's a proportion of scientists there - just as there are a pro

  • Appointees (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:57AM (#14668945) Homepage Journal
    I generally laugh when an appointee fails. They aren't a good example of the success of representative democracy, and no matter which side is in power, there are people crying foul about whoever is appointed.

    They lie? Don't all politicians? They're too white? They're too left? They're too right? They're unqualified? They're qualified but they don't have real life experience? They're cronies?

    Let's look at how this works in a free market:

    John Johnson hires his son John Johnson, Jr, to help run his company. Nepotism. John I dies. John Jr takes over, and the general history of business shows us the John Jr has never felt pain, so he doesn't work as hard as he should. Business fails. The market solution is to give the person with the best output and lowest price the work. John Jr rarely will be that person.

    In the market of government, we don't really have much to control. We can't vote with our dollars OR vote with our ballot. We can't directly affect the actions of the appointee, and some appointees are so powerful it amazes me that the country doesn't cry foul more often (see Ben Bernanke).

    Positions of power are better suited to be competitive rather than elected, and better elected rather than appointed. Do you feel better when "your man" is the appointee? Do you forget all the damage that occurs when it isn't "your guy?"
  • by phlegmofdiscontent (459470) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @09:59AM (#14668953)
    Because some other asshole will be asked to step into his place.
  • by cerebud (868302) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:02AM (#14668974)
    I can't believe this administration hired some young kid to this position (well, I can but...). Besides the Michael Brown/FEMA disaster, there's this shocking bit (from Al Franken's latest): And then there was Scott Erwin, twenty-one, a former intern for Dick Cheney and Tom DeLay, who didn't need a job because he was still in college. Erwin marveled to the University of Richmond newletter that "in one week I went from chatting on the quad, eating in the Heilman Dining Center and attending ODK [Omicron Delta Kappa] meetings to being briefed in the Pentagon, flying in a C-130 military plane from Kuwait City to Baghdad and living in one of Saddam's many palaces." Erwin soon landed a gig as the top Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) official managing the finances of Iraq's civilian security forces -- fire units, customs, border patrols, and police. What a great job! Almost as much fun as his previous favorite job, which he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch was "my time as an ice cream truck driver." Erwin was one of the six youngsters given control of Iraq's $13 billion budget. ... CPA Inspector General Stuart Bowen concluded that no less than $8.8 billion went unaccounted for ...
    • by greg_barton (5551) * <(greg_barton) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:21AM (#14669540) Homepage Journal
      Erwin soon landed a gig as the top Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) official managing the finances of Iraq's civilian security forces...

      All this administration needs (and probably wants) are warm bodies it can manipulate. These eager young kids are a dime a dozen, and can be replaced at the drop of a hat once they're exposed. Just look at the amount if work it took to expose and out the NASA guy: one week of intense media pressure. How many hundreds...thousands more are there dispersed through the government?
  • by bombadillo (706765) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:13AM (#14669053)
    Only days ago Bush praised George Deutsch for his work at NASA, "Deutschy your doing a heck of a job!"
  • Resume (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheZax (641389) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:16AM (#14669063) Journal
    I guess he should have added the word theory after Texas A&M everywhere on his resume.
  • by Deslock (86955) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @10:18AM (#14669077)
    Sweet! There is a god.
  • Only a theory... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by underpope (952425) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:10AM (#14669471) Homepage
    Given this Administration's behavior and appointees of late... Well, any theory that President Bush really wants the US to lead in science and global competitiveness is just that: a theory. And one that has absolutely no evidence supporting it (and which seems to be pretty well falsified at this point, actually). On the other hand, it's comforting to remember that the judge who ruled against ID in the Dover, PA case was a Republican and a Bush appointee. So perhaps all is not lost.
  • by jafiwam (310805) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:17AM (#14669508) Homepage Journal
    The person that is responsible for appointing that underqualified-chucklhead needs to resign or be fired too.

    This event is a disgrace to the entire scientific community in the United States.
  • Big Bang is a theory (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rspress (623984) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:55PM (#14670325) Homepage
    The big bang is a theory but not for the reasons the PR guy mentions. There are a few problems coming to light with the big bang theory that scientists are running into such as galactic clumping and the early moments of the big bang. Also what they are seeing at the far ends of the universe are not what they expected with a big bang theory. Until they figure out the unified field theory...see the word theory in there, they will not have an answer for the big bang theory. It may turn out to be a snapped cosmic string theory.

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

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