1960s NASA: We will get to the moon! Today's NASA: We will make Muslims feel good!
In the video below, Charles Bolden, head of NASA, tells Al Jazeera that the "foremost" task President Obama has given him is "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering." Thus, NASA's primary mission is no longer to enhance American science and engineering or to explore space, but to boost the self-esteem of "predominantly Muslim nations."
Exploring space didn't even make the top three things Obama wants Bolden to accomplish. The other two are "re-inspire children to want to get into science and math" and "expand our international relationships."
If the actual video didn't exist, we'd be tempted to believe this was a broad parody most likely from The Onion: The one federal agency most dedicated to the advancement of science and the exploration of the unknown is turned into the advance guard for the internationalization of the self-esteem movement. Conservatives couldn't come up with a better stereotype of the progressive mindset if they tried for 100 years.
In posts a few months back, I wrote that I was cautiously optimistic about the intentions of the administration to continue our exploration of space. Alas, "cautiously" optimistic might have been too optimistic.