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<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><a
href="https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/isnt-petition-response-youre-looking">https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/isnt-petition-response-youre-looking</a><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>It’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek.  Read on.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><span class=official><font size=1 color="#333333"
face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>Official
White House Response to</span></font></span><font size=1 color="#333333"
face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>
<span class=petition-title>Secure resources and funding, and begin construction
of a Death Star by 2016. <o:p></o:p></span></span></font></p>

<!--/petition title-->

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN
style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:#333333'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<!--/response author-org-->

<h1><b><font size=5 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:
17.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>This Isn't the Petition Response You're
Looking For<o:p></o:p></span></font></b></h1>

<h1><b><font size=5 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:
17.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:#333333'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></b></h1>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>By Paul Shawcross<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>The Administration shares your desire for job
creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon.
Here are a few reasons:<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal style='margin-left:15.0pt;text-indent:-.25in;line-height:
160%;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1'><![if !supportLists]><font size=2 color="#333333"
face=Symbol><span lang=EN style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:160%;font-family:
Symbol;color:#333333'><span style='mso-list:Ignore'>·<font size=1
face="Times New Roman"><span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>                      
</span></font></span></span></font><![endif]><font size=2 color="#333333"
face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:10.5pt;line-height:160%;font-family:
Arial;color:#333333'>The construction of the Death Star <a
href="http://www4.lehigh.edu/business/about/deathstar.aspx">has been estimated</a>
to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the
deficit, not expand it.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal style='margin-left:15.0pt;text-indent:-.25in;line-height:
160%;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1'><![if !supportLists]><font size=2 color="#333333"
face=Symbol><span lang=EN style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:160%;font-family:
Symbol;color:#333333'><span style='mso-list:Ignore'>·<font size=1
face="Times New Roman"><span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>                      
</span></font></span></span></font><![endif]><font size=2 color="#333333"
face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:10.5pt;line-height:160%;font-family:
Arial;color:#333333'>The Administration does not support blowing up planets.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal style='margin-left:15.0pt;text-indent:-.25in;line-height:
160%;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1'><![if !supportLists]><font size=2 color="#333333"
face=Symbol><span lang=EN style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:160%;font-family:
Symbol;color:#333333'><span style='mso-list:Ignore'>·<font size=1
face="Times New Roman"><span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>                      
</span></font></span></span></font><![endif]><font size=2 color="#333333"
face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:10.5pt;line-height:160%;font-family:
Arial;color:#333333'>Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death
Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>However, look carefully (<a
href="http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/">here's how</a>) and you'll notice
something already floating in the sky -- that's no Moon, it's a Space Station!
Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized <a
href="http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html">International
Space Station</a> in orbit around the Earth that's helping us learn how humans
can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six
astronauts -- American, Russian, and Canadian -- living in it right now,
conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods
of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage
mashers, etc. We've also got two robot science labs -- <a
href="http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html">one wielding a laser</a>
-- roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>Keep in mind, space is no longer just
government-only. Private American companies, through <a
href="http://www.nasa.gov/offices/c3po/home/index.html">NASA's Commercial Crew
and Cargo Program Office (C3PO)</a>, are ferrying cargo -- and soon, crew -- to
space for NASA, and are pursuing <a href="http://goldenspikecompany.com/">human
missions to the Moon this decade</a>.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>Even though the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place
 w:st="on">United States</st1:place></st1:country-region> doesn't have anything
that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we've got <a
href="http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/">two spacecraft leaving the Solar System</a>
and we're building a <a href="http://solarprobe.jhuapl.edu/">probe that will
fly to the exterior layers of the Sun</a>. We are discovering <a
href="http://kepler.nasa.gov/">hundreds of new planets in other star systems</a>
and building a much more <a href="http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/about.html">powerful
successor to the Hubble Space Telescope</a> that will see back to the early
days of the universe.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>We don't have a Death Star, but we do have <a
href="http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/spheres.html">floating
robot assistants</a> on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around
a <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/3994322108/">light saber</a>
and <a
href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/07/president-obama-launches-marshmallow-cannon">advanced
(marshmallow) cannon</a>, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,
which is supporting research on building <a
href="http://www.dekaresearch.com/deka_arm.shtml">Luke's arm</a>, floating <a
href="http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2012/12/06.aspx">droids</a>, and
quadruped <a href="http://www.darpa.mil/newsevents/releases/2012/09/10.aspx">walkers</a>.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or
better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology,
engineering or math-related field. The President has held <a
href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2010/10/27/first-ever-white-house-science-fair">the
first-ever</a> White House <a
href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2012/02/09/2012-white-house-science-fair">science
fairs</a> and <a
href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Always-Reach-for-the-Stars-Astronomy-Night-at-the-White-House">Astronomy
Night on the South Lawn</a> because he knows these domains are critical to our
country's future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world
in doing big things.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

<p><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;
font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>If you do pursue a career in a science,
technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us!
Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star
system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p><em><i><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN
style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:#333333'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></i></em></p>

<p><em><i><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span lang=EN
style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:#333333'>Paul Shawcross is Chief
of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and
Budget</span></font></i></em><font size=1 color="#333333" face=Arial><span
lang=EN style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:#333333'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><o:p> </o:p></span></font></p>

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