March 12, 2008

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In the never-ending list of Bush administration scandals, snafus and screw ups, we have the opportunity to inject a little reality into McCain's campaign stump speeches. Apparently, as an example of wasteful government spending that Republicans give lip service to being against (until earmarks come around, that is), John McCain has been holding up a $3 million study on bears, authored by Conrad Burns (R-MT), as indicative of the ridiculous government spending. Only problem for Sen. McSame is that the study he's deriding is actually a very successful one:

As the Post explains, the project by field biologist “is focused not on the DNA of grizzly bears, but on counting them.” Before this study, the size of the population was unknown:

Grizzly bears in northwest Montana are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. But Kendall’s project — the results of which will be published soon in a scientific journal — revealed that there are more grizzlies than anyone had realized. That suggests that three decades of conservation efforts, costing tens of millions of dollars, have paid off.

A National Wildlife Federation spokesperson told the Washington Post, “Someone like McCain should be delighted, in fact. The Endangered Species Act works.”

Doesn't that NWF spokesperson know that Republicans hate it when government works well? Then there is the completely unbiased testimony of former Attorney General John Ashcroft that there was no conflict or appearance of conflict for a recent $28 million no-bid contract awarded to....John Ashcroft. Oh well, if you say so, John. After all, you've been so trustworthy up to this point...

And finally, there is the same old fear-mongering and sneaky maneuvering that the Republicans are wont to do in their "War on Terror." Stymied by the Democratic majority in the House from simply rubberstamping Bush's telecom immunity, Rep. Peter Hoekstra tried to slip a telecom immunity proviso into a mental health parity bill. His justification:

This bill is intended to ensure the mental health of Americans yet no American’s health can be fully secured if they are under attack by terrorists or facing the potential threat of terrorist attack.

Beat. Head. Against. Keyboard. Now.

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