Snide, amusing article on my Congressman Brian Baird’s planned trip to the Galapagos Islands regarding climate change from our GOP mouthpiece, The Columbian:
U.S. Rep. Brian Baird will lead a congressional tour of the Galapagos Islands beginning Friday. The 16-member group will travel via U.S. military jet to Quito, Ecuador’s capital, and tour the islands by charter boat, returning to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Accompanying Baird, D-Vancouver, will be his wife, Rachel Nugent; six other members of Congress, including Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., who served with Baird on the House Science and Technology Committee; three other congressional spouses; and five staff members. Hooley is leaving Congress at the end of this year.
The Washington Post spoofed the trip as a junket Wednesday, noting tongue-in-cheek that its purported purpose “is to meet officials and scientists and search for elusive facts on global warming and marine science and such.”
He defended the trip as a way for committee members to see first-hand a place on the planet that holds answers to such global riddles as the effects of climate change and ocean acidification, a place where ocean currents converge and tectonic plates collide. What happens there is relevant to his own constituents, he said.
Baird can’t get any love lately, it seems.
Either it’s his reputation on the right as being one of the most liberal members of Congress on the West Coast or his support for the surge via his trips with Chris “I didn’t read the report” Shays.
It doesn’t help if you quote John McCain:
Reading published scientific papers isn’t the same as seeing the places where the research occurred, Baird said. “I don’t think there’s a substitute for seeing these things with one’s own eyes. It can make a real difference. I’m told it was a trip to Antarctica that made John McCain a believer in climate change.”
Masterful agitprop by the Columbian, though:
Baird, whose Web site includes a National Debt Clock, could not say how much the trip will cost American taxpayers. A search of travel Web sites turned up weeklong commercial tours of the Galapagos ranging in price from $2,300 to $3,000 per person, excluding airfare to Quito.
Baird’s congressional travel has attracted attention before. In 2006, the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity released travel information for congressional frequent fliers. Baird’s $17,000 weeklong trip to Japan with his wife was the third-most-expensive privately funded trip taken by any member of the Washington congressional delegation between January 2000 and June 2005. The trip, which violated no House rules, was paid for by the nonprofit Japan Center for International Exchange.
Read whole article.