Fellow LC member, Rivka at Respectful of Otters has a great post explaining why President Bush's announcement of a future Mission to Mars is the best Science Fiction money can buy.
And that is the really exasperating part. We have the technology, the vision, the manpower, the expertise and above all, the desire to shoot for the Mars and beyond. Just not the money. And Bush knows this. And worse, he doesn't care. He is purposely yanking on the dreams of sci-fi geeks and future astronauts everywhere, all to garner a percentage point in his bid for reSelection. Then he'll ignore it for the next four years and let the Democrat that has to clean up after him take the fall for being the spoil sport who cancels the Mars Colony due to budgetary constraints. It's shallow, crass schoolyard politics at its worst.
The part that breaks my heart and makes me want to scream is that it will probably work. He'll get the applause, just like he did for the AIDS project that he's underfunding and for No Child Left Behind and Fill in the Blank. And no one in the media will call him on it.
Welcome to the future, folks. We all thought that 2004 would be just like Science Fiction. Too bad we got our wish.