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NASA Politics

Bill Nye 'the Science Guy' Urges Letters To Obama To Restore NASA Budget Cuts 259

MarkWhittington writes "Bill Nye, once known as 'The Science Guy' for his 1990s PBS educational television show, has cut a YouTube video in his current capacity of CEO of the Planetary Society urging people to write to President Obama to restore cuts to planetary science. The budget cuts were enacted by the president last February, causing consternation in the scientific community. Nye writes, 'If that proposal continues the steep decline in funding to NASA's planetary program it will gravely endanger the unique capabilities and outstanding people that have delivered U.S. leadership in space. We will lose a capability that took decades to develop and may never be replaced.'"

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Bill Nye 'the Science Guy' Urges Letters To Obama To Restore NASA Budget Cuts

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  • Re:Romney too. (Score:5, Informative)

    by LostCluster2.0 ( 2637341 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:16PM (#41645191)
    However, Romney has no credibility on budgets... he claimed that he left MA with a $20 Billion "Rainy Day Fund" when actually that was $20 Million in a debate just before the NH Primary that was televised by CNN.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:33PM (#41645309)

    You should check out the FAQ about this: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreier/20121011-write-the-president-for-planetary-exploration.html#faq

    The point is that Congress is not working on a budget right now, and won't be until 2013. They put some money back into this area within NASA, but since they never passed the budget, NASA has to assume that the President's proposed budget is all they have to work with.

    The Office of Management and Budget is the agency that allocates money and long-term spending within federal agencies. The President has control over the OMB. By ordering the OMB to release (or reallocate) funding to the planetary exploration division, the budget can be restored without special action from Congress.

  • Re:Romney too. (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:41PM (#41645371)

    As compared to President Obama and a democratic majority in the Senate who create no budgets and spend $1 Trillion in deficits each year, yet can't manage to fund planetary science. Who has credibility then?

  • Re:Bill Nye (Score:5, Informative)

    by Riceballsan ( 816702 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:43PM (#41645387)
    Umm... Bill Nye actually has a job as executive director of the planetary society, has a degree in mechanical engineering and he's worked as an engineer at boeing. The man knows his physics, just because his acting is why he is well known, does not effect his actual qualifications.
  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:47PM (#41645409) Homepage

    Bill Nye 'the Science Guy' Urges Letters To Obama To Restore NASA Budget Cuts

    "Restoring cuts" sounds like NASA getting less money.

  • by tbird81 ( 946205 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:00PM (#41645503)

    Anyone who truly understands science is inherently anti-religion. Sciences looks for answers for things that religion would rather you just shut-up and believe (and give money and power).

  • Re:Romney too. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:50PM (#41645853)
    Yes it is pathetic: the Republicans sponsored a bill that they called the president's budget when it of course was not, and it was unsurprisingly defeated 97-0. The 99-0 vote was a repeat of the same pathetic Republican political antics. You have to be stupid to believe that zero Democratic Senators would be willing to vote for an actual White House budget.
  • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @10:16PM (#41646291) Homepage Journal
    The last time we funded NASA, it resulted in three decades of Earth shattering scientific advances, an increase in desire for higher education and an explosion of growth in employment in technology fields. Let's be sure not to make that mistake again.
  • Re:Romney too. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zagnar ( 722415 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @10:54PM (#41646439)
    Maybe it's feeding trolls here but this is correct. The budget wasn't the president's, it was put forth by an Alaskan senator. We're all civilized people here, perhaps we should check that our sources aren't from far left news sites next time. Here's a source from a local newspaper, not some dreadfully slanted news site. http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_20640869/senate-rejects-budget-passed-by-republicans-house [denverpost.com]
  • Re:Romney too. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @05:41AM (#41648045)

    The simple fact is that the Republicans in Congress have voted as a unified bloc, over and over, ever since Obama took office, while the Democrats have not.

    The actual voting record says that BOTH parties have behaved as a unified block on the exact same issues.

    These are the very last 10 House votes, no cherry picking of any kind.. I just picked the last 10.

    Roll Call 603 [house.gov] Republicans 214-13, Democrats 19-162
    Roll Call 602 [house.gov] Republicans 0-227, Democrats 173-6
    Roll Call 601 [house.gov] Republicans 215-10, Democrats 11-171
    Roll Call 600 [house.gov] Republicans 218-11, Democrats 10-172
    Roll Call 599 [house.gov] Republicans 7-222, Democrats 161-21
    Roll Call 598 [house.gov] Republicans 3-225, Democrats 157-25
    Roll Call 597 [house.gov] Republicans 224-4, Democrats 23-159
    Roll Call 596 [house.gov] Republicans 2-227, Democrats 162-20
    Roll Call 595 [house.gov] Republicans 0-228, Democrats 164-18
    Roll Call 594 [house.gov] Republicans 222-6, Democrats 20-162

    These are the actual numbers, not just some pundit bullshit. Notice that the largest deviation from "uniform block" on the Democrat side was only 1 out of 7.28. Sure, the Republicans are a bit more partisan, but the Democrat voting record hardly paints the picture that you are trying to paint.

    It almost seems like you just believe whatever Democrat pundits will tell you. I check up on claims like these because I know for a fact that the media will not, while you just repeat whatever bullshit your party tells you to repeat. What does that tell you about the difference between people like me and people like you, and will this demonstration that should be wholly embarrassing for you effect your future critical thinking when listening to Democrat pundits? Will you just repeat a lie next time when you arent sure what the facts actually are? I wonder.

  • Re:Romney too. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @12:31PM (#41649981) Homepage Journal

    Aaaand now you've demonstrated the complete Republican departure from reality. Did you actually look at the numbers you posted? It is absolutely clear from that list that far more Democrats are willing to vote against the majority of their fellow party members than Republicans are. Let's look at the numbers in terms of percentage of members breaking from the party line:

    603: Republicans 6% / Democrats 10%
    602: Republicans 0% / Democrats 3%
    601: Republicans 4% / Democrats 6%
    600: Republicans 5% / Democrats 5%
    599: Republicans 3% / Democrats 12%
    598: Republicans 1% / Democrats 14%
    597: Republicans 2% / Democrats 13%
    596: Republicans 1% / Democrats 11%
    595: Republicans 0% / Democrats 10%
    594: Republicans 3% / Democrats 11%

    On average, again just going from your own numbers, Democrats are willing to vote against their party line 10% of the time, Republicans 2%, a fivefold difference, and more than enough to make the difference in a close vote. If even 8% of Republicans were as willing to compromise as their Democratic colleagues are, the country wouldn't be in the mess it's in right now.

    Oh yeah, here's the R code in case you want to accuse me of playing games:

    # index
    rollcall = 603:594

    # 1 indicates members voting with party majority, 2 indicates members voting against
    r1 = c(215, 227, 215, 218, 222, 225, 224, 227, 228, 222)
    r2 = c(13, 0, 10, 11, 7, 3, 4, 2, 0, 6)
    d1 = c(162, 173, 171, 172, 161, 157, 159, 162, 164, 162)
    d2 = c(19, 6, 11, 10, 21, 25, 23, 20, 18, 20)

    # capital letters indicate ratios of members voting against party majority to total part members voting, expressed as percentages
    R = 100 * r2 / (r1 + r2)
    D = 100 * d2 / (d1 + d2)

    # package it up
    report = data.frame(rollcall, R, D)

    # mean percentages
    print(round(colMeans(report[c("R", "D")])))

    That should be enough to get you started for running some significance tests if you like.

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