When so many of your elected representatives refuse to accept science as a very successful way of knowing how can it be anything of a surprise when science funding slumps? Here's a story about how bad things are for bio-medical researchers. Colleagues who have worked on panels that determing the rankings say that as many as 50% of all grant submissions are for science that should be supported, but the percent of grants being funded is one-fifth of that. And if you think things are tough for these bio-medical guys at NIH, no more than 5% of evolution and ecology grants get funded by NSF. Fortunately for some of us, our research is cheap so we can keep going by funding our own research, but it's students who get stiffed. It just costs too much to feed them! They need to do summer field work, but there's no money to pay them; TPP doesn't need it for himself. And compared to the cost of bio-medical research, us ecologists are "dirt" cheap. This is why TPP has sought a patron of botany to help out but all for naught so far probably because my organism isn't cute enough. So our greatest patriots, people who love the USA more than we do, our GnOPe, want to diminish the one thing where the USA really was number 1, science.