Experimental Error: Electile Dysfunction

From Science:

Tea You probably won't hear too many people admit this, but … I'm from Delaware. From the placid waterways of Sussex County, to the credit card companies of Wilmington, to the rolling hills that are more likely in Pennsylvania, my home state is a hotbed of scientific innovation. Or was. When I was in third grade, my teacher asked us to raise our hands if one or both parents worked for local chemical giant DuPont. Almost every hand went up. My mother worked for nearly 20 years as a scientist at DuPont, which later became DuPont Merck, which then became DuPont Pharmaceuticals, whose campus then became a ghost town when it was bought by Bristol-Myers Squibb. You suck, Bristol-Myers Squibb. Recently, however, I was alarmed to hear that my fellow Delawareans voted to oust Representative Mike Castle, a solid moderate who pushed for embryonic stem cell research and was handily elected as the Republican representative of a largely Democratic state for nine consecutive terms, in favor of Christine O'Donnell, who, as far as I can tell, is a houseplant.

Suddenly, Delaware became the bellwether state for the nation, presaging Tea Party upsets from New York to New Hampshire in the coming midterm elections. Television pundits asked difficult questions, such as “Can the Democrats hold on to their legislative majorities?” and “Which state is Delaware in?” The issues receiving the most attention in this election have been the ones Tea Partiers are proud to stand behind: lowering taxes, reducing government spending, and proving that Hawaii is Kenya. But ask any Tea Partier to define “science” and you'll get an answer whose value is less certain: “Something it's important to stop doing.” I tried reaching several Tea Party candidates and officials to learn their specific views on today's major scientific issues, but no one returned my calls, so I guess I'm on my own. (It probably didn't help that I have the same name — same spelling, too — as the political director of MoveOn.org.) Here, as well as I can determine, are the Tea Party's views on science. In a couple of weeks, when you tap Diebold's proprietary and easily hacked touchscreens — that is, when you attempt to cast your ballot — remember what might happen to your beloved science career if the Tea Partiers triumph:

The space program:

The Tea Party isn't opposed to outer space per se. After all, the Scientologists in its ranks claim that their founder came from there. They just don't like us fiddling around in the heavens without a purpose prescribed by the heavens, or at least one comprehensible to a fifth-grader. For example, one of NASA's current projects is called “Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere.” Boring! Who even knows what these crazy words mean? “Aeronomy”? “Mesosphere”? “Ice”? None of these words appear in the Bible! No, the Tea Party will support the space program only if we tether our efforts to an arbitrary timeframe, a simplistic goal, and a meaningless patriotic gesture: We will put an American on Callisto by 2023, and he will plant a flag made of guns!

More here.