Don't Mess With Texas
Shuttle squabble continues — N.Y.'s Chuck Schumer to Houston: Drop Dead (withvideo)
Your New York City trash talk doesn't scare us, Chuck Schumer.
The New York Senator has obviously heard our motto "Don't Mess With Texas," since he felt free to misappropriate it, but maybe he should have taken its advice.
Since NASA's inexplicable decision on Tuesday to deny Houston's space exporation heritage and snub our bid for a space shuttle, there's been an uproar in Space City.
While the selection of Florida's Cape Canaveral is hard to argue with and many Houstonians know that California technology centers and Air Force bases played a role in the space program, they are particularly incensed that New York's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum received the shuttle prototype Enterprise rather than the Johnson Space Center.
On Thursday 16 Texas congressmen upped the stakes when they wrote a letter demanding an explanation from NASA administrator Charles Bolden and honorary Texan Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah actually introduced a bill to redirect a shuttle to Houston.
"If there is no rational explanation ... for the choice of the Intrepid museum in New York City ... we will do everything in our power in Congress, including legislation to prevent funding of the transfer, to stop this wasteful decision," said the letter, written by Rep. Ted Poe. "It's like putting the Statue of Liberty in Omaha," he added on the House floor.
Faced with a fight, Schumer stepped into the fray on Friday, telling Texans to "fugheddaboutit."
"I say to Houston, when people all around the world, in London and in Tokyo and in Paris, Buenos Aires say 'Gee, I can't wait for my trip to Houston,' then you can have a shuttle," said Schumer.
By his logic that the shuttles belong in the most internationally visited places, we should give the Enterprise to Paris, which has nearly twice as many international visitors and just as much to do with NASA's success.
New York, the city with the most tourist attractions in the country, needs a shuttle added to the mix like Donald Trump needs another bankrupt building with his name on it. Houston, on the other hand, considers the space program its contribution to posterity and the heart of a town built around science and engineering.
Will the controversy get Houston a shuttle over New York? Probably not. Unfortunately we are going to have to agree with Mayor Parker's statement on this one:
"If he could overlook the history of human spaceflight here in Houston, if he could overlook the fact that we have been the home to the astronaut corps since its beginning, if he could overlook the fact that the memorial services for the Challenger and Columbia disasters were here, … I don't know what else we can do to convince him."
See what Sen. Schumer said about Houston: