George Bush has been extremely abrasive toward the National Academy of Sciences throughout his time as President. John McCain foreshadowed his own animosity towards government spending on science research recently by lambasting Congress for passing an item of pork which included in it $4.8M to research grizzly bear DNA over a five year period, that is less than $1M per year for a study that has proven conservation efforts have been successful in reviving the once decimated grizzly population in North America.
John McCain failed to explain to the American people a few details about that piece of pork. McCain said "You will know their names!" Well, I guess you should give the American people YOUR name John McCain because you voted for it! Not only did McCain vote for the bill which included the outrageous sum of less than $1M per year for a study on a bear population.
John McCain also didn't mention the name of the legislator who proposed the scientific study, his Montana campaign Chairman: Conrad Burns, who now, after losing his reelection bid in 2006, is a lobbyist.
Some readers may think this is not a big deal, but it is for two different reasons. First it shows that McCain is trying to tell the American people that he will cut wasteful spending in Washington while his record is telling us he has voted for wasteful spending throughout his legislative career. Second it tells us that McCain will not follow through with his promises to cut wasteful spending because his campaign is filled with lobbyists, many of whom would not collect a check if they didn't provide some pork for their clients.
Most frightening to me, however, is the fact that McCain specifically chose a couple of earmarks to make fun of, despite the fact that he voted for them and his Montana Campaign Chair introduced one of them. McCain is lying to the American people about his record and what he will do as president if elected. The National Academy of Science has been politicized in the past eight years by Bush. Requests for grants have been turned down for political reasons rather than scientific reasons. McCain thinks that scientific studies are silly and something to joke about.
McCain also didn't tell the American people that Conrad Burns really wanted to do the study so that more oil fields could be opened up in the oil rich state of Montana. By finding the Grizzly has recovered from near extinction that has paved the way to open up some federal lands in Montana for drilling. Oil, not offshore, which is available now.
The bear DNA really highlights the lies and deception the McCain camp has employed in this election and it says something about who John McCain really is. McCain did get on the Senate floor to get some laughs about the Bear DNA earmark but he didn't do anything about it. He proposed amendments to that bill to remove other pieces of pork but not Conrad Burns' pork. Most likely he didn't try to cut that piece of pork because it was his friend that introduced it.
What does this say about John McCain? It tells us that he doesn't follow through with his word. He is not a man of his word at all. He will acknowledge the fact that he opposes a piece of legislation in public proceedings and then vote for it. That is being two-faced and deceptive. It also tells us that he is willing to compromise his principles for friendship, a truly disgusting trait found in many politicians in Washington. McCain talked tough on Bear DNA in the Senate and then turned around and voted for the bill.
McCain's campaign has continuously deceived, misled and lied to the American people when it sounds good and is politically expedient. That is the same recipe the Bush team has employed. Who cares about the truth? Just tell them what will get us a win! That's the attitude and I, as an American, am disgusted by it.
It goes beyond Grizzly DNA, however. McCain has also made a point of making fun of the Bridge to Nowhere when his running mate once supported it and didn't do anything to kill it. He also has made a point of making fun of a Woodstock Museum. As far as the Bridge to Nowhere is concerned, McCain never took a stand against it and he also voted ABSENT for the bill when it came up for a vote. The Woodstock Museum McCain actually introduced an amendment to kill its funding but he also voted ABSENT FOR HIS OWN AMENDMENT! He was probably hosting a bunch of lobbyists who were doing a fundraising event for him.
Over and over again the McCain campaign is willing to lie and deceive in order to be victorious in November. This is a guy who on 9/12/2001 was calling for the invasion of Iraq, Iran and other Mid-East countries. He was jumping to conclusions and had an itchy trigger finger.
The attack on the Grizzly DNA really struck a cord. Perhaps it is because of the attack the sciences have been under during the Bush Administration. Numerous worthwhile studies have been denied funding for religious reasons. Bush has also cut funding for all kinds of other programs like PBS and funding for art programs in public schools. The Federal Government under Bush has made a decision that it is better to bail out Bear Stearns and AIG while cutting tax revenues and overseeing the biggest 8 year drop in median incomes for 99% of Americans in my life.
McCain is willing to talk tough on earmarks to the public and then when it is time to take a stand chooses to stand with his friends. He will go for the sound bite but won't follow through on his promises. He has been tied up with lobbyists for his entire career and nearly went to jail for it. While he promised to sever the ties he had with lobbyists and fight their earmark projects in Washington he has continuously shown that even if he publicly opposes earmarks he will cast a vote FOR them. He also never made good on his promise to sever ties with lobbyists. All one has to do is google his campaign chair of Montana, Conrad Burns, to discover that he is now a lobbyists as are dozens of other campaign chairs, staff and advisers.
John McCain knows how to get some good laughs, and he knows how to get the last laugh too. He acts like a reformer but is really a wolf in sheepskin. Sure, he might not propose the pork, but he has no problem voting for studies on Bear DNA and is conveniently Absent when his own amendments to kill pork projects come up for a vote. He isn't just out of touch, he is a liar.