Recently, it’s come to light that Congress, when it returns from its current vacation, is on track to do next to nothing. Of the several thousand bills that have made it through the initial approval process, the whole mess has managed to pass only 147, or less than 4% of the total number of bills that they spent time working on. Only 61 of those bills made it to the President’s desk. The others are languishing in conference committees or being used as toilet paper in the Congressional washrooms, which are actually quite nice. The last Congress to do this little was growing victory gardens on top of underground bunkers in case the Nazis managed to perfect the jetpack.
But Democratic Reps. Donna Edwards (of Delaware) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (of Texas) are out to change that. In fact, building on the momentum created by Newt Gingrich when he really needed a new idea to inject some excitement into his national primary campaign, this dynamic duo is proposing something spectacular: a national park.
On the moon.
Two House Democrats have proposed legislation that would establish a national historical park on the surface of the moon to mark where the Apollo missions landed between 1969 and 1972.
The bill from Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) would create the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park. The park would be comprised of all artifacts left on the surface of the moon from the Apollo 11 through 17 missions.
The bill says these sites need to be protected because of the anticipated increase in commercial moon landings in the future…
nder the legislation, the park would be established no later than one year after the bill passes and would be run jointly by the Department of the Interior and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The measure would allow the government to accept donations from companies and foreign governments to help manage the landing sites and “provide visitor services and administrative facilities within reasonable proximity to the Historical Park.”
The bill has a fun turnaround provision that boosts NASA’s budget to almost $20 billion and charges it with a human mission to Mars if Richard Branson doesn’t get there first, but that’s sort of secondary to the real story here. Which is that we appear to be actually moving forward with establishing a moon base that will not only manage government and commercial moon landings, but will also provide a warm and helpful welcoming center staffed by park rangers with the best goddam job anywhere. We will be the moon’s cheerful ambassadors. We will provide the clean park service toilets to space travelers from across the globe.
Because we are America.
Granted, this will likely require at least on hundred union representatives, mostly from SEIU, plus a heavily scheduled work permits and no-bid contracts which will prevent work from being done in any reasonable amount of time, so that when our moon base finally opens, everyone who works at it will have to learn to speak Chinese. Buuuuuut, at least Congress is doing something that isn’t immediately altering my life. And bonus: if they succeed, they can govern from there.