Will anyone who has not been thrown a political bone by George Bush please step forward and receive your federal program? Geeze. As if the whole illegal immigrant proposal wasn’t blatant pandering to Hispanic voters, now GW has tossed bones to geeks and conservatives.

I have mixed emotions on the whole space exploration thing. I love the idea. It’s hugely romantic, it drives cool innovations, and ultimately holds the future of mankind. But I’m not convinced we can afford it right now. Bush makes the point that this won’t be much if any incremental funding in the short run, but ultimate success will require hundreds of billions of dollars over many years. There’s no point in planning for a trip you don’t intend to take. So until we get a viable path to spend those large sums, this is just so-much political posturing.

The marriage program is one of those things where you’d laugh if you weren’t trying to fight back the tears. $1.5B on promoting healthy marriages? I’ve not seen any specifics on this, but I’m unsure just what role the government thinks it needs to play here. Do we really want the state defining what constitutes a healthy marriage? Apparently we (and by “we” I mean Bush) already know that only relationships between heterosexual couples are healthy. (Which I guess means he’s given up on the gay vote.) But beyond that, what will they be promoting? Isn’t this the domain of religions, counselors, self-help books, and Oprah? Does GW really add value here? Probably not, but it’s a bone to throw to the conservative Christians. I can only hope that Bush is as committed to this as he was to his “no child left behind” initiative and pulls the funding after the election.

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