Politics again visits the pages of FourthAnd140.com. Bear with me for a couple hundred words whilst I vent.
As I wrote last week, NASA selected me and 149 other lucky twitterers to witness the final launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Awesome opportunity, and damn do I feel lucky. Last week, my fellow NASA tweeps and I learned that a space log jam – and some feisty Russians – would delay the launch 10 days.
Not a big deal. We rallied, secured new travel and lodging plans, and cherished the additional time to bond on Twitter and in our hyperactive Facebook group. Most of us recommitted to be there April 29 to witness history and really get to know each other during this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Tonight, all bets are off.
The impending government shutdown – which pains me to write about here – is screwing up everything. First, let’s acknoweldge the thousands of others with far more at stake in this than a few lucky tweeters and their Florida travel plans. There are troops to be paid, home loans to process, museums and national parks to run, mortgages and bills to be paid, and so on.
But personally, it’s hitting home for this harried group of tweeps who hail from all over the globe. We join the rest of the country in disbelief at our so-called leaders. And as of midnight April 9, all communications will cease from our wonderful NASA Tweetup coordinator, Stephanie Schierholz. Not mission-critical staff, Stephanie and her colleagues will be unable to do the work necessary to prepare for launch day. They won’t even be tweeting from the @NASATweetup Twitter account:
Unfortunately, we will not be able to communicate with you, including via @ NASATweetup, if there is a furlough. However, we will give you an update as soon as possible after we return.
Meanwhile, jackasses in Washington mess everything up, and refuse to come to an agreement on the federal budget. And let’s get this straight – they’re all jackasses in my book for letting it get this far. Neither “side” is exempt from that label. And that’s as much politics as you’ll get out of me here.
It’s an unfortunate consequence for these lucky – and now tightly connected – 150 NASA Tweetup folk. We’ve made it this far, and I hope for those selected, we can make it just a little further.
More importantly, I hope our country can persevere. We need to heal these deeply divisive political wounds that have been festering for years. We need to move forward and make choices that benefit the whole country.
I’ll get to NASA Tweetup eventually. Hopefully. But our country needs to get going in the right direction now.
Thanks for being a fan – or in this case – a citizen.