Once again, a Trump project has failed because he did not lay the proper groundwork, made no attempt to get support from Congress, and because he is not, in fact, a great dealmaker.
Since 2017 President Donald Trump has said he wanted to return Americans to the moon. He promised he would make an American astronaut the first woman to walk on the moon. He promised to do it by 2024 – four years ahead of NASA’s planned schedule. And he sent Vice President Mike Pence out repeatedly to deliver his message.
“Some will say it’s too hard, it’s too risky, it’s too expensive, but the same was said back in 1962,” Pence, trying to echo President John F. Kennedy, said in March. “Now as then, the United States has a president who is a dreamer, who understands that this is a challenge that once again we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win again.”
NASA appropriately christened the project Artemis, named for the Greek goddess of the moon – who is Apollo’s twin sister.
Early last week Trump even tweeted about it:
Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars. I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
On April 9 NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine brought in Mark Sirangelo to make it all happen. Thursday, Sirangelo up and quit – six weeks after he was hired.
Reuters chalked it up to “the culmination of internal strife and dwindling congressional support for the lunar initiative.”
Once again, a Trump project – this time a rare worthwhile one – has failed because he did not lay the proper groundwork, made no attempt to get support from Congress, and because he is not, in fact, a great dealmaker.
Sirangelo’s “departure came after lawmakers rejected NASA’s proposal to create a separate directorate within the space agency to oversee future lunar missions and ultimately develop human exploration of Mars,” Reuters’ reporter Joey Roulette notes.
“The proposal was not accepted at this time, so we will move forward under our current organizational structure,” Bridenstine said in a statement. “Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities.”
But hours earlier Bridenstine was delivering a speech to students at Florida Tech.
“This is the Artemis generation,” he told them, as Roulette tweeted:
Question from a UF student in the audience: How big of a risk will the 2020 election be for Artemis?
Bridenstine: Won't make predictions, but if we do this right, it won't be partisan. I believe it's time for us to have our own capability. "This is the Artemis generation."
— Joey Roulette (@joroulette) May 23, 2019
One day after Trump’s tweet, NASA pinned this tweet to the top of its Twitter page, where it currently remains:
We are going to the Moon — to stay.
— NASA (@NASA) May 14, 2019
Internet slams ex-Trump aide for bragging he’ll be loyal to the president when he testifies before Congress
On Tuesday, ahead of his public testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski took to Twitter to effectively boast that he will parrot the president's talking points and offer nothing new to House Democrats — and tease an upcoming run for Senate in 2020:
Excited about the opportunity to remind the American people today there was no collusion no obstruction. There were lots of angry Democrats who tried to take down a duly elected President. Tune in. #Senate2020.
Trump is a wannabe dictator in training
In a view shared by many, it is easy to believe that what Donald Trump really wants is not to be president of the country, but dictator of it.
Indeed, he has suggested how good it might be for him to enjoy a third term, perhaps more, even though the Constitution forcefully forbids it.
In a Father's Day tweet he fantasized over the possibility, suggesting the public might “demand” that he serve a third term. The [good news], he wrote, “is that at the end of six years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT)….”
Two entrepreneurs explain why the health insurance industry is a direct threat to middle-class life
Among many recent troubling headlines was this one: “Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class.” That story came on the heels of a report that consumer debt in the United States hit $14 trillion in the first quarter of the year, a level not seen since just before the financial crash of 2008.
To understand how we got here, it’s important to note another finding we feel has been perhaps most damaging to America’s middle class: since 1990, health care costs have risen 276 percent as wages, when adjusting for inflation, have barely grown at all.