Monday, September 30, 2013

Here comes another serving of Satan Sandwich

As it looks like the government is headed for the first shutdown since 1995,* it's time to point out again the effect the previous serving of Satan Sandwich is having on science research.  This time, Boston University, one of the campuses on this year's campaign trail, has the honor.

MED Grapples with Major Sequestration Cuts
Centers bracing for cuts, layoffs as NIH budget slashed
By Susan Seligson
No one knows the ultimate toll that federal sequestration will take on the Boston University Medical Campus. But its research centers have already seen cuts of up to 100 percent for fiscal 2013, necessitating layoffs and a renewed, urgent push to secure nongovernment funding sources.

Research funding for the School of Medicine has fallen 16 percent from last year, says Karen Antman, MED dean and provost of the Medical Campus and the John Sandson Professor of Health Sciences. Virtually all of the drop is in funding for centers. “Big center grants are being hit hardest,” Antman says. And a conversation with MED researchers makes it clear the cuts are having a large ripple effect already.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) “is making the right choices given the terrible position the Congress put them and us in, but it’s awful for researchers and for the country,” says Joseph P. Mizgerd, a MED professor of medicine, microbiology, and biochemistry and director of the Pulmonary Center. Mizgerd says the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) did not renew funding for a multiproject lung development center grant, now in its 20th year, a decision being appealed by principal investigator Wellington Cardoso, a MED professor of medicine and pathology. Sequestration “is only the latest event in a decade of fading congressional support for biomedical research,” Mizgerd says.
Of course, that's not the tune the corn pone fascists are singing.

Let's see how happy they will be in a few days, when the scenario I posted on Kunstler's blog this morning comes true.
I don’t think the “suicide caucus,” as Charles Krauthammer called them, has a clue. On the other hand, some of their big money funders just might. Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker thinks that after the markets tank today and tomorrow, they’ll call the GOP leadership and tell them in no uncertain terms that what they’re doing is bad for business and to stop the nonsense.
Let's hope that makes enough of a difference to both stop the shutdown and get a debt ceiling increase.

And that's it for this month, which like last month, saw more than 11,000 page views for this blog.  While it wasn't as many views as last month, it was still the best 30-day month in terms of readers in this blog's history.

*I was working for a contractor to the U.S. government then.  It didn't hurt me, but it was ridiculous none the less.

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