Rep. Lamar Smith on Friday called for hearings on space science and exploration, following the aftermath of the meteor that landed and an asteroid making its close fly by of the Earth. […]Screw climate change, screw poison water—but a big space rock? Now that's something worth getting excited over. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it might be because that is one of the few scientific endeavors that might someday involve blowing the holy hell out of something with a gigantic space bomb, which is the most Reagan thing anyone ever thought of, ever.
“We have been spending millions to find and track asteroids and comets, but the indications are that this one was so small that we aren’t even looking for objects of this size,” [Rep. Dana Rohrabacher] said in his own statement. “What concerns me even more, however, is the fact that we have no plan that can protect the Earth from any comet or asteroid. So, even if we find one that will hit us, we might not be able to deflect it.” [...]
Rohrabacher said in his statement that he plans to work with Smith to expedite a hearing on planetary protection as soon as possible.
There's no word on whether Rohrabacher and Smith are proposing that Republicans acquiesce to spending any more money to the shriveled NASA, or whether they instead just plan to call hearings to berate NASA as to why they haven't pulled some money out of their one remaining couch for comet-busting. But let's just go with it, all right? If the only way we can get back into space is because of an abject fear over the destruction of the planet, sure, we'll take it. It'd be nice to see the same urgency applied to rising sea levels that threaten to take out a good chunk of our nice beachfront property, but you can't nuke tides, so we're probably on our own on that one.