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Saturday, 23 July 2011

image for Looming NASA layoffs sparks quasar renaming campaign

A massive glob of water 140 trillion times the volume of the earth's oceans was recently discovered 12 billion light years away surrounding a quasar in deep space.

The revelation proves water is prevalent throughout the universe, even in its most primitive reaches, according to scientists. It was being held as a major discover, but has quickly turned into a political fiasco.

Wilco Samson, lead researcher in the project that discovered the presence of the water, has requested that the scientific community accept a renaming proposal for quasar APM 08279+5255.

"We feel the President should be honored to be associated with one of the greatest astronomical finds of this decade," Samson said, during his announcement of the formal request to rename the quasar, "The Barack Obama Quasar."

Samson is well-known among the space community. His grandfather Roger Samson was a key figure in NASA's formative years, and his father Hovert Samson is also NASA royalty and a key figure in the launch of the space shuttle program.

Obama's camp, as well as a very vocal contingency of the US population, has taken issue with the move, saying the young Samson, who does not work for NASA, is simply causing a stir in response to news that massive NASA layoffs were on the horizon.

Critics point to his close family ties with the national space program as motive for attempting to embarrass the President.

"It is my understanding," Obama said, "that at the heart of a quasar is a giant black hole hellbent on consuming its surroundings. I don't think there was any honor intended by his request."

Samson defends his choice for changing the name.

"Look, we just need a better name than APM 08279+5255, because this is something we are going to be talking about for many years in the astronomy community," he said. "We are not implying President Obama is a big black hole, wrecklessly sucking the life out of his surroundings until everything collapses."

Monday is expected to feature heavy debate on the issue, and whether the government should consider an official retort to the implications contained in Samson's proposition.

"I don't want to talk about it," Obama said late Saturday morning when cornered on the argument. "I will have an official statement Monday."

This debate is expected to bring Washington to its knees for the next three weeks, and provide a flashy distraction to shift attention from the battle over government spending.

House Speaker John Boehner publicly accused Obama of refusing to reevaluate spending in Washington despite a massive national debt.

Debt discussions scheduled for next week have already been postponed until the end of the month to make the floor more available for high-profile, 24-hour coverage dedicated to speculating on the intent of Samson's comment.

"We understand that topics such as racism are great financial boosts for the American media workforce, and we're glad to help that industry in these difficult financial times," Obama said over a beer-bottle social event Saturday afternoon.

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