Pie

I am just poking my head up after a 4-hour trip down the rabbit hole of Internet research. In the midst of writing a paper (that I don’t feel like working on right now) I made the mistake of trying to locate a fact rather than leaving my usual lacuna [need info here].

[need info here] is my way of continuing to write rather than stopping to edit. Today I stopped to edit. The info I needed was the amount of federal money spent on a particular program from 2001 – 2012. The problem was that in our click-able world I ended up reading 2013 Agency Budget Requests to Congress instead of finding the information I was after.

As I am sure you know the 2013 budget, written by the POTUS in February 2012 for approval in October 2012, is still languishing on the edge of a cliff. The 2014 budget may actually reach Congress before the 2013 one is settled. Or maybe there is some archaic rule that will keep that from happening.

The piece of the pie that interests me in my work sits in the “Remaining Programs” slice, the 2% allocation to Science and Medical Research to be specific. Of that 2% the agency I write grants to gets 21%. From the 21% my program area gets (hopefully) $17 million in 2013, down from $23 million in 2009. In my world that means two fewer $750K projects funded every year.

The looming 10% sequestration cuts figure very large in my world.And now they are threatening temporary sequestration cuts whatever that means. More game playing with peoples lives.

Maybe that’s why writing the paper, that will help prove the value of the work, so the funding to continue can be secured, doesn’t feel so pressing. It can all be undermined by a bunch of clowns throwing pies.

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