Shrimp on treadmills
Politicians who didn't hesitate to spend a trillion dollars invading and occupying Iraq apparently think they can win a few votes from ignoramuses by ridiculing spending on scientific research. Their latest target is "shrimp on treadmills." Here's a NSFW (National Science Foundation Website) link to the project in question.
Looks worthwhile to me. They're studying how bacterial infection affects respiration and swimming ability in shrimps and crabs. One could argue that the main beneficiaries are the shrimp and crab industries, so they should have paid part of the cost. But work with one species often helps us understand other species. Much of what we know about genetics of humans and crops goes back to research done with fruit flies. I'm glad Thomas Hunt Morgan didn't have to depend on the banana industry to fund his research.
I agree that we should be scrutinizing public spending to make sure we're getting value for money, but NSF is a model of efficiency and transparency. How about starting with the most-expensive programs and working down? And it seems only fair to give those criticized a chance to respond.