Every party has a pooper and the Republicans have Rand Paul. As Mediaite reports, Paul hopped up on his soap box on Tuesday to complain about quails hopped up on cocaine. The topic at hand? Sending $40 billion in aid to help the people of Ukraine to continue fighting against Russia and Putin, who he seems to like a lot.
“If the defense of Ukraine is really in our national security interests, shouldn’t the gift come from our military budget?” Paul asked from the Senate floor. “What about cutting wasteful spending? My office cataloged over $50 billion in waste.”
For Paul, this is where the real fun of his job is—in noting the many wild ways in which our government is wasting your money. Among the things they’re doing right now, according to the Kentucky senator: Conducting $1 million study to determine whether “taking selfies of yourself while smiling, and then looking at these selfies later on, makes you feel good.” Seems like a fair tradeoff, but cutting $1 million isn’t going to get us to $40 billion anytime soon—but Paul has a plan for that, too:
“Couldn’t we cut the budget of the National Science Foundation that spends billions of dollars studying such burning questions as: Do Panamanian city frogs have a different mating call than the country frogs? Couldn’t we maybe cut the $2 million the NIA spent studying cafeterias to see if someone sneezes in front of you sneezes on the food, whether you’re more or less likely to eat that food.”
But Paul saved the best for last: “Couldn’t we maybe cut the money spent on Japanese quail, and studying whether or not they’re more sexually promiscuous… when you give them cocaine?”
Obviously, the answer to that last question is “no, we cannot cut that funding,” as Paul no doubt knows. Particularly as he has cited that particular study several times before, mentioning it before in 2018, and then again in 2021. But as Mediaite points out, that study concluded years ago—even before Paul first mentioned it in 2018. As Michael Luciano writes for Mediaite:
As the Washington Post noted last year, “You can look up data on NIH grants. This particular research was called “Enhancement of Sexual Motivation” and it did, in fact, receive $873,503 from the agency over the course of its progress. But that funding ended more than five years ago. It ended before Paul raised it in 2018.”
The Post cited an article in Scientific American pointing out that while the study sounds ridiculous on its face, it may have broader implications for humans.
“There is already an extensive literature on drugs like cocaine, how it impacts various behaviors and how it acts in, and changes, the brains,” said the publication. “But we don’t know everything by any means, and we certainly don’t know enough about mechanism to treat cocaine addiction effectively. Studies to understand how cocaine impacts every behavior are important to our understanding of the drug and how we can combat its effects.” The Senate is set to vote on the aid package this week because last week Paul objected when Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) attempted to pass it via unanimous consent.
Take that, Rand.