The federal official most intimately concerned with geoscience is the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. The just-retired USGS chief, Marcia McNutt, gave a wide-ranging interview to Eos in which she spelled out why the "sequester" budget cuts that threaten the agency on 1 March are so pernicious: "It's the across-the-board nature of [sequestration] without any discretion for how we can deal with it to mitigate the impacts that makes it so difficult. . . The sequester says we have to take it program for program, and sometimes the cuts are really kind of stupid because you are cutting part of something, which means that the rest of it is useless." Here's a good word for the sequester: procrustean, named for the legendary Greek villain who would subject captives to a large iron bed. If the victim's body was too large for the bed, Procrustes would cut off extremities; if too short, he would stretch them on the rack. The hero Theseus showed Procrustes no mercy, killing him outright and freeing his captives. Congress should do the same to the sequester.