Oh, that John McCain. Adorable and straight shooting. A war hero, too, and that's for real. But so is his noteworthy ignorance on issues of war and peace (it's kinda important to know the difference between Shi'a and Sunni in Iraq when you're supposed to be a foreign policy "expert".) The idea that it's okay because many Americans don't know the difference, as suggested by the adoring McCain press defenders, is scary because we know that'll be the attitude when we get into questions about science.
Friday at noon in Seattle, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will speak at a luncheon event being co-presented by the Discovery Institute -- the controversial organization that promotes intelligent design theory and combats Darwinism.
As usual, the adoring press finds excuses for McCain:
McCain is beng hammered by a liberal group for associating with the Discovery Institute, although the luncheon is being formally hosted by the CityClub of Seattle and the Seattle World Affairs Council, with the Discovery Institute is one of nine organizations "co-presenting" the event...
McCain's campaign pooh-poohs the controversy.
"He's addressing the Seattle World Affairs Council and CityClub of Seattle and there are a number of co-presenters as well, of which the Discovery Institute is one," says McCain exploratory committee spokesman Brian Jones.
The Discovery Institute is as loathsome to science as an appearance at an anti-Catholic fundie school like Bob Jones would be to those of faith, or anti-Catholic bigot John Hagee (let's talk about his sermons, fair and balanced press):
Our double standard: Barack Obama takes a hit for wacko comments by his minister. And the GOP prince? McCain said he was "very honored" by the support of the Rev. John Hagee, who takes a back pulpit to no one in the divisive-speech department. Hagee slams feminists, gays and the Catholic Church (he calls it "the great whore"). Like Obama, McCain says he disagrees with the pastor's comments. Unlike Obama, McCain is forgiven.- Linda Valdez, editorial writer
But McCain hasn't stopped there. So far,
two weeks in a row, he has put his foot in his mouth on science and medicine issues that, btw, are laced with politics and controversy. Last week it was over vaccines and autism:
McCain said, per ABC News' Bret Hovell, that "It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines."
McCain said there’s "divided scientific opinion" on the matter, with "many on the other side that are credible scientists that are saying that’s not the cause of it."
Actually, there's overwhelming evidence that there's no scientific link between vaccines and autism and there's no "divided scientific opinion". Another pass from the press, because isn't McCain just adorable, and, like, science is, you know, hard!
So now to
this week last year, this time, and to help everyone out, here are the facts from CDC:
When condoms are used reliably, they have been shown to prevent pregnancy up to 98 percent of the time among couples using them as their only method of contraception. Similarly, numerous studies among sexually active people have demonstrated that a properly used latex condom provides a high degree of protection against a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.
and from the Fed's own AIDS site:
Be safe. The best way to prevent HIV is to abstain from having sex. If you do have sex, use a new latex condom every time. Do not share needles or syringes.
Any questions? Any questions for straight shooting John [March, 2007, bolded mine]?
John "the surge is working" McCain. When you don't know something, do as George W. Bush does. Bush was ignorant about Shi'a and Sunni before he invaded Iraq for bogus reasons, and that's sure worked out well for the US, hasn't it? Sure it has. Just ask John McCain to read the graph.
Reporter: "Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?"
Mr. McCain: "Well I think it’s a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes – and I was just reading the thing he wrote– that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn’t succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I’m not very wise on it."
(Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)
Mr. McCain: "I haven’t thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it."
Q: "What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?"
Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy."
Q: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"
Q: "I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?"
Mr. McCain: (Laughs) "Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it."
Q: "But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?"
Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) "Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before."