Shutdown Chronicles, NTSB Division

Crash investigations -- who needs 'em? Nobel prizes too. We're saving the world from Obamacare.
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From Tennessee:

From Washington. D.C.:

From Southern California (about crash shown above):

From the South Pacific:

These damned leeches and goldbricks on the federal NTSB payroll. Better off without them. In the same spirit, a comment from the head of the NIH after America's latest Nobel Prize sweep in the sciences:

“This is a stark reminder of how these are the best of times and the worst of times for American biomedical research,” Dr. Francis Collins, the N.I.H. director, said in an interview on Monday. “Today we celebrate the three N.I.H.-supported Nobel Prize winners, but we’re being slammed by sequestration and a government shutdown.”

Even before the shutdown, scientists were facing severe budgetary difficulties that restrict the kind of research that led to this year’s Nobel Prize, Dr. Collins noted. “How many potential future Nobel Prize winners are struggling to find research support today, or have been sent home on furlough?” he said. “How many of them are wondering whether they should do something else — or move to another country? It is a bitter irony for the future of our nation’s health that N.I.H. is being hamstrung this way, just when the science is moving forward at an unprecedented pace.”

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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