McCain begins

He calls the town hall meeting the essence of what democracy is about.

Washington is broken, McCain says. Spending has gone completely out of control. Three million to study the bears in Montana. It’s grown into the billions of dollars and bred corruption. The hardest thing to do when people come to you is to say no.

He brings out a list regarding the farm bill. $93 million for race horses. $15 million for asparagus growers. The point is: we can’t spend this kind of money when people are sitting around there kitchen table wondering how they are going to stay in their homes. Sometimes congress needs to say no.

He points out that Barack Obama supported the farm bill.

Two more issues he says. Gas prices are next. The higher gas prices are hurting Americans on fixed incomes. Generally it’s the lowest income Americans that drive the furthest and use the most gasoline. The higher gas prices are regressive.

McCain had proposed gas tax relief for the summer. He admits it solved nothing, but would be a relief to some families.

He also believes that climate change is real and greenhouse gases are harming the planet.

To top it off, we’re trading for oil with countries that don’t like us very much. We need to become independent of foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve our nations security.

(Big ideas, I’d have to say.)

He says nuclear power has to be a solution. The crowd applauds. McCain reminds the crowd that there are nuclear submarines that have run safely for years with that power on board. He also reminds them that the French have 80% of their power from nuclear sources – he also jokes that he realizes how much we want to be like the French, but is glad to say that there is now a pro-America president in France.

Next he talks about Iran and Iraq. He points to two students from

He says it’s dangerous to negotiate with dangerous leaders without preconditions. Senator Obama has no experience with this issue. He doesn’t understand the situation in the Iraq. It’s been 872 days since Obama was there. How do you understand what’s happening there unless you go?