NASA Is a Federal Government Agency Whose Administrator Should Be a Nonpartisan Science-Based Executive, Not a Political Extremist
PresidentÂ Donald Trump has taken more time to fill the hundreds of key federal government positions necessary for a fully-functioning government than any other president in modern history. To give you an idea of just how badly he is doing in thisÂ critical job responsibility, let’s look to The Washington Post, which is tracking all of Trump’s nominees for 591 key positions that require Senate confirmation. (There are actually more that require Senate confirmation, and thousands that do not, but we’ll keep our focus on the most important roles.)
As of Wednesday, for thoseÂ 591 key positions,Â Trump has had only 117 nominees confirmed. He has formally nominated another 106, which the Senate must act on. There are 2 people he has said he was going to nominate but has yet to do so formally. And, there are 366 key positions for which he has not bothered to nominate anyone.
Again, that’s as of Wednesday, according to The Washington Post. Trump did nominate several dozen candidates late Friday to various positions, so these numbers are a bit off, but overall they give you an excellent idea of just how bad a job Trump is doing.
One of the people Trump nominated late Friday is his candidate to run NASA, theÂ National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is a federal government agency whose administrator should be a nonpartisan science-based executive.Â
NASA is not just about putting people into space. It’s a vital federal government agency that is responsible for many of the modern-day technology we use in our everyday lives. NASA in 2008 produced a 215 page document detailing all of the commercial products and technologies that it has contributed to.
NASA is also a big part of America’s research into climate change, which, contrary to the Commander-in-Chief and almost every Republican in Congress, is real. The U.S. Dept. of Defense says climate change is a major threat to national security.
So naturally, President Trump has just nominated a climate change denier to run NASA.
U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine, Republican of Oklahoma, is 42 years old. He sits on the HouseÂ Committee on Armed Services and on the HouseÂ Committee on Science, Space and Technology. And because the Speaker of the House is also a climate change denier, Rep. BridenstineÂ is the chairman of the HouseÂ Subcommittee on Environment.
BridenstineÂ is also, unsurprisingly, an anti-gay extremist.
“Jim Bridenstine is a Hard-Core Conservative,” says OnTheIssues, a nonpartisan site that tracks politicians’ votes and statements.
When the Boy Scouts voted to remove its own ban on gay Scouts, Rep. BridenstineÂ took to the House floor to attack LGBT people.
“Some of us in America still believe in the concept of sexual morality, that sex is intended for one man and one woman within the institution of marriage,” BridenstineÂ said in 2013, as Towleroad reported. “Organizations that hold this philosophy and promote it among our youth should be commended, or at least you would think, tolerated. Unfortunately, the intolerant Left bullies and browbeats private organizations like the Boy Scouts into accepting their philosophy.”
BridenstineÂ argued that LGBT activists “didn’t start their own organization,” but rather, “went after the Boy Scouts of America.”
Remember, it was the Boy Scouts that voted to remove their ban.Â
“The Left’s agenda is not about tolerance, and it’s not about diversity of thought. It’s about presenting a worldview of relativism, where there is no right and wrong. Then using the full force of the government to silence opposition and reshape organizations like the Boy Scouts into instruments for social change.”
He concluded with a reference to Jesus.
“To my friends on the Left, this is not tolerance. but here’s the good news about true tolerance. the most tolerant one of all has the ability to redeem us all.”
One year later, when a federal judge ruled Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, BridenstineÂ made clear his thoughts.
“Marriage is not a ‘governmental benefit.’ Marriage is the foundational institution in our culture which recognizes the very unique and complimentary contributions men and women make in the raising of children.”
And afterÂ the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage, BridenstineÂ bristled. At a Christian anti-gay, anti-abortion rally Bridenstine told supporters, â€œfive unelected lawyers changed the definition of marriage in this country.â€
BridenstineÂ is everything you’d expect of a Republican Congressman from Oklahoma. He’s anti-gay, opposes same-sex marriage, opposes ObamaCare, opposes a woman’s right to choose, denies climate change is real and even opposes supporting alternative energy, he “pals around” with far right wing extremists likeÂ Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, wants fetuses to have the same civil rights as people who have been born, wants a federal law banning same-sex marriage and thinks states should have the right to ban it. BridenstineÂ also wants special protections for people of faith who oppose same-sex marriage, wants no federal standards for education, supports abstinence-only “education,” opposes restrictions on gun purchases, supports privatizing social security, wants to get rid of the IRS, and more.
You get the picture.
BridenstineÂ does not belong at the head of what is a nonpartisan vital U.S. government agency. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) agree.
Let’s hope more Senators do, and vote this abominable nomination down.
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Bernie Sanders Reverses – Announces He Will Not Release His Full Medical Records Even After Heart Attack
‘I Don’t Think We Will’
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, has announced he will not be releasing his full medical records after suffering a heart attack late last year. Sanders, 78, is currently seen as the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic nomination for president.
“We have released, I think, quite as much as any other candidate has,” Sen. Sanders said, defending his decision to reverse his promise of releasing a full set of medical records just after his October heart attack.
But in October, after the heart attack, Sanders said releasing his medical records was “the right thing to do.” He also had promised to release them “before the first votes are cast,” a deadline he’s missed.
“People do have a right to know about the health of a senator and someone running for president,” Sanders told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta on October 10. “At the appropriate time we’ll make all the medical records public for you or anyone else who wants to see them.”
Here’s Sanders just after his heart attack promising to release his full medical records:
Question: “Plan to release your medical records sooner than originally planned now?”
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “We’ll release them, we always planned to release them. And we have more medical records obviously now, and we will release them at the appropriate time.” pic.twitter.com/X8b0bWvnPc
— The Hill (@thehill) October 8, 2019
Tuesday night he gave a very different response.
“We released two rather detailed letters from cardiologists and we released a letter that came from the head of the U.S. Congress medical group, the physicians there. So I think we have released a detailed report, and I’m comfortable with what we have done,” Sanders told Anderson Cooper Tuesday night at a CNN town hall.
“If you think I’m not in good health come on out with me on the campaign trail and I’ll let you introduce me to the three or four rallies a day that we do,” Sanders joked.
Cooper pressed the three-term Senator if he would be releasing his full medical records in the future.
“I don’t think we will, no,” Sanders responded.
President Donald Trump was largely decried and mocked for his refusal to release his full medical records when he was running in 2016. He has never released a full set, and his White House physician’s reports have been largely received as fictive.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had a heart attack last year, tells @andersoncooper that he doesn’t think he will release any more medical records than he already has. #cnntownhall https://t.co/DcVxz2JQLM pic.twitter.com/mObVIbJHFO
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 19, 2020
MSNBC analyst and DailyBeast columnist Jonathan Alter called Sanders’ move “Trumpish.”
Talking Points Memo founder and publisher Josh Marshall weighed in:
It’s much worse than Trumpish. Other than his weight we had no reason to think Trump was ill during the 2016 campaign. Sanders is almost 80 and just had a heart attack. It’s INSANE for the public not to get some concrete information about his health.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 19, 2020
New Report Claims Barr Has Said He Is Considering Quitting if Trump Continues to Tweet About DOJ: WaPo
The Washington Post Tuesday night reports Attorney General Bill Barr has told multiple people “close to President Trump” inside and outside the White House that he is considering quitting if the President continues to tweet about Dept. of Justice investigations.
“He has his limits,” said one person familiar with Barr’s thinking, speaking on the condition of anonymity, like others, to discuss internal deliberations.
The new report comes on the heels of what many believe to be a disinformation campaign coordinated by the DOJ and the White House last week, when Barr told ABC News that Trump tweeting about investigations makes it “impossible” for him to do his job.
Trump dismissed Barr’s remarks, and has continued to tweet about DOJ matters.
Many experts have gone as far as to say Barr believes his job is to protect the President, and Trump’s tweets just make that harder.
Family of One of the Felons President Pardoned Donated Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Trump Campaign: Report
Out of the blue President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned or commuted the sentences of eleven people. One of those who received a full pardon from the president is Paul Pogue, the founder of a large Texas construction company.
Pogue pleaded guilty to underpaying his taxes over a three-year period by $473,000. The White House published a long list of the charitable giving Pogue has made to support Trump’s decision to issue the pardon.
“For more than 30 years, he has provided significant humanitarian aid to countries around the world, including Africa, India, and Mexico, all while continuing to help his fellow Americans in times of need,” the White House stated. “Mr. Pogue is the founder of two non-profit organizations. One constructs churches, clinics, schools, and orphanages in developing countries.”
What the White House neglected to mention are donations to the Trump campaign made by his family after his conviction.
“According to FEC filings, Pogue’s family has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct contributions and in-kind air travel to the Trump Victory Fund,” The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona and Asawin Suebsaeng report. “Beginning in August 2019, Ben Pogue—CEO of Pogue Construction and son of Paul Pogue—and his wife Ashleigh made over $200,000 in contributions to the campaign.”
The Daily Beast notes that just this past August, “Ben Pogue donated $85,000 to Trump Victory while Ashleigh Pogue contributed $50,000 that month. The following month, Ben Pogue made an in-kind air travel contribution of $75,404.40. The couple also made several large donations to the Republican National Committee and each donated $5,600 to Donald Trump for President Inc.”
Along the way the Pogues a few made smaller political donations, including to Rick Santorum’s 2016 presidential campaign. Now a CNN contributor, Santorum argued for Pogue’s pardon.
“In 2015, Pogue and his family contributed $11,000 to Santorum’s 2016 campaign,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, making clear that Santorum “helped secure a pardon” for Pogue.
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