$2 million "for the promotion of astronomy" in Hawaii – because nothing says new jobs for average Americans like investing in astronomy.
I agree that that earmarks are a lousy way to allocate funding. But it really bothers me that complaints about earmarks so often take the form of contemptuous mocking of science. For the record, astronomy jobs are jobs, and astronomy is a significant industry in Hawaii. Yes, the average American doesn’t work in the astronomy industry, but the average American doesn’t work in, say, road construction either.