I was the staffer who got the daily list of NSF grants.
Senator Proxmire hated science so he got famous for handing out the Golden Fleece Award. He would just pick some scientific title that his Neanderthal supporters would laugh at and published them.
Scientific publications kept pointing out that Proxmire had an uncanny knack of finding research projects that led to practical excellent results in medicine and other areas.
Now here is the kind of thing I got paid for. Ashbrook asked me if I could make a list like that for him to use.
I gave him a lesson straight from “Why was this information produced?” I told him that Proxmire got away with this because he was a liberal fool. If Ashbrook made the same dumbass error, the press would crucify him.
The Director of OPM I worked under as a Reagan appointee disliked me for calling him on dumbass publicity tricks that his own beloved assistants called genius. So he got rid of me and I went to career writer at VOA.
That same Director was the only Reagan appointee who got reappointed by Reagan in 1985, but who pulled such a dumbass trick that he did not get Senate approval. It is almost unique for a reelected President not to get the approval of the Senate for a renomination, especially in a Senate controlled by his own Party.
A pro staffer can save your ass.