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If you watch Al Jazeera, you know Obama's new mission for NASA: To help Muslim nations 'feel good'

July 8, 2010 |  3:08 am

Noted hard-luck critter Wile E Coyote

You know how Wile E. Coyote straps himself to the rocket and lights the fuse? And it burns. And burns. Silence. Nothing. He's poised, hopefully, awaiting launch. We wait, painfully, for the bad thing certain to happen.

That's what we've been doing for almost a week now, anticipating the explosive public reaction to word from NASA chief Charles Bolden that President Obama has tasked his once-fabled space agency with a brand-new earthbound mission that has absolutely nothing to do with space.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Bolden's stunning announcement about the taxpayer-funded space agency's new task did not come at home. It came overseas during a televised interview with Al Jazeera, the Middle Eastern TV network.

In the interview (full video below), Bolden reveals that even before the Democratic ...

... president offered him the job as top space official, Obama ordered that his "foremost" assignment was "to reach out to the Muslim world ... to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering."

Say what?

There's been much skepticism, criticism and suspicion about Obama's "new" space program announced in April, that it was really a beautifully wrapped downsizing and abandonment of the nation's pioneering manned space exploration.

Giving up any more Moon missions. Or unilateral space trips. Relying soon on Russia to ferry U.S. astronauts to the space station --  and maybe even the Acme Supply Co. for parts. All in order to have even more money to spend on the Democrat's expensive earthly social priorities.

Here's that longer Bolden quote about Obama to Al Jazeera:

When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering.

Without the vigilant Byron York, Bolden's bold statement might have gone unnoticed at home, which perhaps was the goal.

Actually, even with the vigilant York's report and his amazing follow-up, the story has largely gone unnoted offline, drawing virtually no coverage from major newspapers and broadcast news operations. They were more focused over the holiday weekend on the latest gaffe by GOP party chairman Michael Steele, who's been filling the political clown role while VP Joe Biden was in Iraq celebrating Obama's war success.

Bolden was in the Middle East as part of a conga line of Obama folks celebrating the first anniversary of the president's Cairo speech to the Muslim world. In Bolden's own remarks in Egypt, recounted by York, the NASA chief noted it has been four decades since the first moon landing. Bolden candidly admitted that under Obama:

--"NASA is not only a space exploration agency, but also an Earth improvement agency."

--"We're not going to go anywhere beyond low Earth orbit as a single entity. The United States can't do it."

The fuse is lit. Here's the video.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Video: Al Jazeera     Photo: Acme Supply Co.

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