Federal Agencies May Lose Funding For R&D Projects Because The NSF Didn't Fire An Employee Who Saw Porn
from the there-goes-the-sec dept
"to salaries to those officially disciplined for violations regarding the viewing, downloading, or exchanging of pornography..."Want to get a federal employee fired? Send them an email with a pornographic picture as an attachment. What does this particular amendment have to do with federal funding for research? Apparently, the guy who wrote the amendment says he's upset about giving money to the NSF, because it merely "disciplined" and suspended rather than fired an employee found with porn on his computer. Of course, give the recent revelations about porn web surfing at the SEC, if this goes through, say goodbye to the SEC.
Because no one wants to be seen as supporting government employees viewing porn, this particular amendment passed easily. We're coming up on election season, and you can bet no Congressional reps wanted to hand their opponents this line in a commercial: "While in Congress, Rep. X voted in favor of letting federal employees view porn on their computers..." or something along those lines.
Of course, that same amendment also pulls funding for a number of programs and may cause the entire bill to be withdrawn, leaving the status of funding for a lot of research in limbo. Now, I'm all for making sure that the funding is used in a reasonable manner, and if certain programs are ineffective, it's worth looking to see if they should be removed from the bill. But, to lump in decisions on funding with a program about firing employees who view porn just seems like a crass political ploy during a debate on a particularly important issue. It may be par for the course in Congress, but to those of us who actually care about innovation, it's stories like this that make us so cynical about the US government.