Washington Babylon — June 5, 2008, 10:23 am

McCain on the Everglades: I was against it before I was for it

From the Miami Herald:

John McCain will venture into the Everglades for the first time as a presidential candidate Friday, an obligatory rite of passage for politicians shoring up their environmental credentials in a crucial state. But the Arizona senator opposed spending $2 billion on restoring the national park, siding with President Bush against Florida’s political establishment — including top Republican supporters Gov. Charlie Crist and Sen. Mel Martinez.

It took seven years after the state and federal governments closed a sweeping Everglades cleanup deal for Congress to authorize spending in 2007. McCain was campaigning and missed the vote, but he later urged his colleagues to let Bush’s veto of the measure stand…

McCain is planning to tour Everglades Safari Park on Friday and possibly take an airboat ride. ”He will discuss fulfilling our energy needs in balance with the goal of a cleaner environment,” said McCain spokesman Jeff Sadosky.

“It bothers me that Sen. McCain would vote against this funding and then come down and act like he’s a friend of the Everglades,” said Eric Draper, deputy policy director at Audubon of Florida.”

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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