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Obama Moves to Restore $$$ for Weather Satellites GOP Congress Cut as "Luxury America Can't Afford"

by: mooncat

Mon May 09, 2011 at 14:00:00 PM CDT

Mary Orndoff correctly reports that President Obama is asking Congress to restore funding for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) which would provide forecasters with precise information on storms like the ones that devastated Alabama on April 27th.

"Under current funding scenarios, the JPSS-1 mission could be delayed by up to two years, thus forcing the weather forecasting community to rely solely on satellites that will be operating well past their planned mission life," John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told Congress last week.

Work on the satellite slowed when Congress this spring made deep cuts in the fiscal year 2011 budget, he said. So President Barack Obama's administration is asking for a $1.1 billion increase for 2012 to get things back on track. The money is targeted for NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

What is missing from this report is the fact that every Republican Congressperson from Alabama voted to eliminate funding for those satellites.  They were one of those "luxuries" that America just can't afford anymore in the Republican view.  The GOP budget plan is the reason these satellites are now behind schedule.

On Thursday, as the search for survivors continued in devastated communities across Alabama and other southern states pummeled this week by massive, terrifying tornadoes,  President Obama said “we can’t control when or where a terrible storm may strike, but we can control how we respond to it.” Unfortunately, thanks to the spending bill orchestrated by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, he couldn’t say we are doing everything in our power to protect Americans from future extreme weather events. Events that are becoming ever more frequent, as CAP’s Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez pointed out in a report and interactive map released Friday.


It is precisely those “pinpoint satellite forecasts” that Congress, including every GOP member of Alabama’s delegation, decided were luxuries America cannot afford when it passed the continuing resolution to keep the government operating for the remainder of the fiscal year.

It's amusing to watch GOPpers like Spencer Bachus (R, AL-06) scrambling to cover their asses by now supporting increased funding for advanced weather satellites.  They just got a lesson in what is and is not a "luxury."

Other things that were on the Republican chopping block but are definitely not luxuries: 

  • FEMA is not a luxury, although all Alabama Republican Members of Congress voted to cut funding for FEMA earlier this year.
  • Air Traffic Control is not a luxury.
  • Food safety and inspection is not a luxury.
  • Nutrition for poor women and children is not a luxury.
  • State and local law enforcement assistance is not a luxury.
  • Renewable energy research is not a luxury.

On the other hand, Republicans have repeatedly voted for some things which without a doubt deserve the "luxury" label:

Republicans vote to defund needed programs, then turn around and spend billions on tax breaks for the rich and powerful ... Republican priorities are wrong and most people would agree they're wrong if only they had the information. 


mooncat :: Obama Moves to Restore $$$ for Weather Satellites GOP Congress Cut as "Luxury America Can't Afford"
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Hello, Alabama news media. (4.00 / 3)
Shouldn't this be your lead story?

oh they can't be bothered with that! (4.00 / 2)

They're busy interviewing football coaches about how the tornado will affect the fall season!


"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
They're too busy being "polite" (4.00 / 2)
And being "team players" with government officials.  Maybe that's what they teach in journalism school in the Deep South -- the media should team up with government, not keep an eye on them.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
Alabama's state religion (4.00 / 3)

Yesterday and this morning, and probably tomorrow, the lMontgomery Advertiser ead headline is questionable eligibility of Prattville High School athletes (mostly football players, of course.)


Glad to see that they're doing some investigative reporting, but funding for weather forecasting is perhaps more important.

(Disclaimer:  my daughter works for NOAA.) 


Weather satellites are a vital national security asset (4.00 / 3)


Securing ports, cities, and infrastructure from attacks by Mother Nature is every bit as important as defending from any nation or terrorist organization.  Because, frankly, Mother Nature has more fire power and can kick the ass of any human nation or organization ever foaled.

Like the commercials used to say:

"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!"

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
- John Adams

Remember when Bobby Jindall told us the nation didn't need (4.00 / 3)

volcano analysis?  Of course, there ain't a heluva lot of volcanos in Louisiana, but there ARE tornados in Alabama, and Mississippi, and Arkansas, and Georgia, where a lot of these idiot Republicans practice what passes for leadership.


Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

To add to all of the above: (4.00 / 2)

 Farmers are struggling enough to have critical weather information taken away from them.

 The GOP is on the ropes in their cronyistic attempt to keep climate change information from the public. Now's the time for the knockout punch. Now's the time for green politics.

October 2012 was the 332nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985. - N.O.A.A.

Write your local newspaper (4.00 / 1)

Since the news media cannot be bothered to report our "representative's" short-sighted votes, I encourage everyone to write letters to the editor. I don't know if very many people read the letters, but it is one of the few outlets available where we are not preaching to the choir.

 This needs to be done around the state on a continuous basis. 



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