We've talked long and hard about the decisions surrounding the Space Shuttle and where to put them. I thought about commenting on Neil's thread, but I thought I would add my own post here. I personally have nothing to do with the space program and never have. One of my father's best friends was actually sitting in Mission Control during Apollo 13. He didn't rate Ed Harris or Gary Sinise, but we speculate that the actor that played "Johnny" in those Bud Light ads may have been him.
One of my sister's friends' father was on the shuttle mission immediately before Challenger and I graduated with the daughter of one of those seven. They used to live around the block from us. Naturally, they moved to a nicer neighborhood after the disaster. We never talked much in school, but I'm sure she would rather have her dad back. The point of all this is that for those of us in Clear Lake, the space industry is woven within all of us even if we don't work in the space industry. Seeing astronauts and rocket scientists is not a big deal. Hell, I married one of them.
So, the following is not an indictment on Barack Obama. I'm sure he was under a great deal of pressure to appease certain people and there were probably solid reasons beyond greasing palms. Yet, the whole process smacks of making something so complicated that there wasn't any way it could have turned out right. This is simple, when you think of space exploration, what locations do you think of? I know Neil Armstrong and the gang had a parade in New York, but that pretty much sums up their contribution in space exploration.
The representative from New York even argued that they should have gotten it because New York is the cultural and economic center of the United States. That's great, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Nebraska is quite literally the center of the United States. Should we send one to Lincoln? Kennedy Air Force Base (Florida), Johnson Space Center (Houston), and the Smithsonian in D.C. were three logical destinations. Let the rest of the country fight for the fourth.
Opponents of Obama will make this about Obama. It really isn't. If this happened under the Bush presidency I'm sure Houston would have gotten one since he is from Texas, but palms would have been greased elsewhere. Thus, the moral to the story is not about New York, New York, Walla Walla, Washington, or Light My Fart, Arkansas. It's about the failure to recognize simple achievement and work. This is a society problem. It's not a Democrat or Republican problem. A little of the Clear Lake area died this week. Obama wasn't the killer, but he's holding the knife and standing over the victim when the police arrived.