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The ranking GOP member of the Senate Finance Committee wants Congress to reconsider new funding to the National Science Foundation amid allegations that top staffers spent long stretches of their day surfing the Internet for pornography. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to the foundation's Office of Inspector General on Tuesday seeking all documents it has related to the inappropriate use of the foundation's network. The foundation is the major source of federal backing in fields such as mathematics, computer science and social sciences.
NSF is probably the most cost-effective federal agency in Washington. The money appropriated by Congress results in the most highly merited scientific research and development. And all this with hardly any money devoted to internal agency overhead. The issue raised by Grassley was “buried” within an internal IG report and probably has already been addressed by NSF. But Grassley apparently sought to raise it now for his own political reasons: to divert money from NSF to some other part of his committee jurisdiction. That is usually how the Congress operates. However, if that is not the case, and he is truly supportive of NSF, it dumbfounds me why he would take this relatively minor issue and blow it up at this particularly time. Is the guy sort of, well, not very bright? I wonder. I understand he is big on "waste, fraud, and abuse." He refers to this as a “systemic” issue. I fear that small, bean-counting minds looking for "perfection" tend to be unable to put things in a larger perspective, much like religious fanatics and other weirdos. Please, Sir. Pick on another agency. Leave NSF alone. It gives much more back to the American taxpayer than you ever have or ever will.