And why might George W. Bush endorse a Moon base or Mars mission? Either he's a science illiterate surrounded by advisors who are science illiterates, or it's a blank check for aerospace contractors.
Given this UPI article (Easterbrook and UPI in one post! oh my!), I think we can see where it's going:
Sources said Bush will direct NASA to scale back or scrap all existing programs that do not support the new effort. Further details about the plan and the space agency's revised budget will be announced in NASA briefings next week and when the president delivers his FY 2005 budget to Congress.
It's basically a plan to junk any money spent on pure science (sure, the shuttle and the station are probably worth cutting, but there are plenty of other things), and open the coffers to the aerospace industry. Lovely.