We're a little more than six months away from Election Day, and you know what that means -- it's time to brace yourself for attack-ad season.
Florida Republican Rep. Cornelius "Connie Mack" McGillicuddy sent one out on the airwaves yesterday that didn't have very much content in its 30 seconds, but what it did have was pretty interesting: Sen. Bill Nelson, his Democratic opponent in the Senate election, voted to pay for monkeys getting high on cocaine.
It is true? Well, while Nelson didn't literally vote for the monkey cocaine thing, his vote did lead to monkeys getting high. (The animal, not the band.)
"When Bill Nelson voted for the stimulus, he voted for millions in wasteful spending," the ad says, "including spending our tax dollars to see how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine."
The stimulus did sent around $145,000 to Wake Forest University, but, as PolitiFact points out, the study was not called "Let's Get Zoo Animals Tweaked Because Fuck the American Taxpayer."
As the grant summary explains, researchers were looking into "glutamatergic mechanisms," whatever they are, and how they affect the "role of neurotransmitter systems in the reinforcing effects of cocaine." It wasn't $145 grand flagged for letting Capuchins pretend they're Tony Montana -- it's to understand how cocaine could affect human brain chemistry. You'd think a party so preoccupied with government employees getting drug-tested would be a little more supportive of actually helping people who are addicted.
"Clearly, drug addiction is a serious problem facing our country, and finding new medical treatments is a high priority," Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told the Washington Post ages ago. "I don't know if the critics want us to experiment with humans or just give up on the problem of drug addiction, but we aren't going to do either."
In addition, Nelson had no idea that money was going to the monkeys. Not because he missed that bullet point but because the bullet point didn't exist -- the money in the stimulus bill was flagged for scientific research (egad!), but the grant was awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services months after the stimulus passed.
In any case, here's a sample of what we have to look forward to in the coming months: