Gulf Watch: National Hurricane Center gadfly shooed out

We've reported here on concerns raised by National Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was wasting money on a frivolous 200th anniversary celebration while front-line researchers faced budget shortfalls and a failing satellite used to forecast storms.

Proenza's complaints sparked a mutiny among NHC staff, who charged that he was damaging public confidence in their work. In response, the agency earlier this week placed Proenza on indefinite leave, replaced for now by NHC Deputy Director Ed Rappaport.

How silencing someone bearing such an important message -- that the nation is under-investing in hurricane research -- is supposed to restore public confidence, we're not sure.