Friday, October 24, 2008

Fruit Flies 2, Sarah Palin 0

Hmm … I’m beginning to think the DNC has burrowed a mole deep in the McCain-Palin campaign. We know Palin’s not very bright, but aren’t her handlers supposed to do the thinking for her, vet her “policy” speeches?

Here is clueless Sarah belittling fruit fly research:

And where does a lot of that earmark money end up? It goes to projects having little or nothing to do with the public good -- things like fruit fly research in Paris, France


(I must say, I like the dig at "Paris, France." Nice going, Sarah: definitely un-American!)

From the Washington Post:

As soon as Palin spoke, Democrats issued a long list of examples in which McCain had voted against fully funding IDEA and other special education programs. They also noted that scientific studies involving fruit flies are helping further researchers' understanding of autism, a disorder that both Palin and McCain speak of frequently while campaigning.


The Think Progress blog amplifies:

[S]cientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for..nerve cell connections to form and function correctly. The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism.

The study of fruit flies has also been used for other autism research and “revolutionize[d]” the study of birth defects.

7 comments:

Luis said...

The fruit fly research she was talking about will only help those who like olives. She was referring to a $700,000 earmark, $200,000 of which would be spent in France, for olive fruit fly research. It was requested by a California congressman:

“Some lawmakers defended their earmarks, such as Rep. Mike Thompson, D-California, who channeled $742,764 to olive fruit fly research.

“The olive fruit fly has infested thousands of California olive groves and is the single largest threat to the U.S. olive and olive oil industries,” he said."

Google “pig book cnn” for the article

Karlo said...

Truth and facts have this funny way of getting in the way of nice rhetorical flourishes.

Lula O said...

To Sarah Palin, a fruit fly's only purpose is to infest the rotting bananas on her tour bus.

I'm Not Ned said...

The US grows about 10% of the olives/olive oil consumed in the US. It's an $80 million dollar crop for California. Would we be better off shutting down that sector, firing those people and importing yet more oil from overseas?

Earmarks or "pork" is not always wasted money. Obama earmarked money for water treatment facilities and clean water supplies for small communities who could afford nothing more than dumping raw sewage into rivers that flow through suburban areas.

McCain doesn't tell you about the one earmark he fully supports. It's the largest earmark in the Federal budget. $6.7 billion dollars and it all goes overseas... to Israel. Thanks John, that's going to really help.

Carlos said...

If Sarah Palin wanted to make a point about pork barrel spending, then she picked the wrong earmark:

Fruit fly research has had tremendous scientific value in the very subject area of her policy speech: special needs and autism.

Palin never specified the type of fruit fly research in her speech. But research funds directed at “the single largest threat to the U.S. olive and olive oil industries,” seems worthwhile. Even the watchdog group’s president said that his organization is criticizing “the way lawmakers direct money to specific projects, not the projects themselves.”

Which begs the question: Does Palin really want to go there? Alaska with Palin as governor spends more on federal earmarks per capita than any other state in the union.

“Just this year, she sent to Sen. Ted. Stevens, R-Alaska, a proposal for 31 earmarks totaling $197 million — more, per person, than any other state.

Some of Palin's requests were for science research, such as $499,900 to assess halibut harvesting; others for lighting village airports in the Alaskan bush, where small planes and gravel runways may be the primary link to the outside world.”

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008154532_webpalin02m.html

Can Sarah Palin and her right wing cohorts spell H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.S.Y?

More to the point: This incurious, anti-Science approach is exactly what we do not need. And that is why the voters are ready to run know-nothing Republicans out of office and restore to government a healthy support for solid, well-funded scientific research. Nothing less than our leadership and competitive position in the world are at stake.

Lula O said...

YES! YES! YES! - No I'm not Sally from 'When Harry Met Sally', but reading this stuff puts me pretty dang close. You guys are awesome! Finally some people that think like me. Ah....I feel all warm and fuzzy.

PatEsposisto said...

this incurious, anti-Science approach is exactly what we do not need. And that is why the voters are ready to run know-nothing Republicans out of office and restore to government a healthy support for solid, well-funded scientific research. Nothing less than our leadership and competitive position in the world are at stake.

Exactly. Did you read the David Letterman piece that's going around? I was just ranting against it and could have used approximations of your words here to answer nearly every issue he raised. Countries that don't produce and have nothing to offer will fall.