Democrats & Liberals Archives

Will Stem Cell Bill Produce 1st Bush Veto?

President Bush is expected to cater to a minority fringe of religious right activists, and exercise his veto power for the first time in nearly six years after the Senate’s expected passage of a bill loosening restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research tomorrow. If these activists were really sincere they ought to be worrying instead about in-vitro fertilization.

There are sincere people to be sure who feel that a just fertilized human egg, is deserving of the same protection as an already born human, but they are a tiny minority, and only a subset of those who oppose allowing abortion. Such people should be aghast that IVF (in-vitro fertilization) clinics are allowed to continue the practice of helping infertile couples realize their dreams of childbirth by creating multiple fertilized eggs and implanting those considered most viable while discarding the rest.

But instead, because they know this procedure (IVF) is popular and unstoppable, some demagogues are manipulating the passions of those opposed to "the destruction of human life" to prohibit funding for life saving research which would harvest these fertilized eggs OTHERWISE DESTINED TO BE DISCARDED for a greater purpose. In fact the bill, HR 810 which is expected to pass tomorrow specifically limits funding to such cells destined for destruction. As Robert Bazell notes at MSNBC, the whole vote an orchestrated sham.

That this conservative and Republican controlled House already passed this bill, and the Senate is expected to follow suit, shows that support for this research is widespread across the political spectrum. Bush's planned veto is pandering of the highest order, since he has supported IVF in the past. Let's briefly compare IVF to ESCR (Embryonic Stem Cell Research).

IVF attempts to address infertility one couple at a time.
ESCR attempts to find long-standing cures for many diseases.

IVF creates fertilized eggs, most of which will never have a chance to grow into humans.
ESCR repurposes those abandoned eggs for a higher purpose.

IVF is a procedure paid for by the clients it serves.
ESCR's clients are future generations for whom federal funding makes the most sense.

The vocal minority opposing ESCR have latched onto the mantra that we cannot use public funds to destroy human life. How can ESCR fairly be accused of destroying a life when the fertilized eggs used were simply going to be discarded? And remember, we're not talking about embryos in any advanced stage of development here. The frozen embryos are allowed to thaw a matter of a few days, just long enough for the stem cells to be harvested before being destroyed. While I can understand that genuinely sickens some people, the fact is that it is IVF which created these cells which would never develop into humans. What sickens me is the demagogues who use this issue to divide us at the expense of potential life saving research.

Bush avoided tough questions a year ago about IVF that would point up his hypocrisy on this issue. He naively asserts that we could find adoptive families for these extra IVF embryos, as if finding adopters for 3 day old fertilized eggs rises to the level of the need to find parents for living breathing human children. His position is not principled, but rather is the very definition of pandering.

Posted by Walker Willingham at July 17, 2006 8:33 PM
Comments
Comment #168452

I’m betting that Bush will hold out - if not get louder about his veto threat… and the REPs in the Senate will pull the bill nack for further review - leaving it still on the table when Congress adjurns this session. This way, everyone can go back and tell the voters that they are on one side of this debate or the other (or that they did their job and passed it in the House) and Bush & REPs avoid a veto show down.

Bush knows there are enough votes to override his veto - and unless this is a tactic to allow Congress to be seen standing up to the President (just before elections) and I can not imagine the REPs would do this to their President.

I know the DEMs don’t have the spine to try and force a vote - they wilt even under the little pressure they received on the web video clip (on the DCCC site.) They want to wait until they take control this election, which is the exactly RIGHT way to LOOSE this election.

Posted by: tony at July 18, 2006 7:27 AM
Comment #168453

With so many folks on the stem cell bandwagon, we have overlooked some inconvenient items. First of all, several researchers have come to the conclusion that fetal stem cells are not the way to go. Cord blood and adult stem cells may show more promise. Second, Those who are pushing so hard for stem cell research(fetal type) are dependent for their money fromguess who, us, the taxpayers.

As a personal aside, and not in any religious context, I find the idea of producing fetuses for the express purpose of destroying them to be most disgusting and quite inhuman. I could almost equal it with the Nazi’s experiments during WW2. As a matter of fact, I can imagine Dr. Mengele being right at home in stem cell research.

Posted by: John Back at July 18, 2006 7:27 AM
Comment #168455

“I find the idea of producing fetuses for the express purpose of destroying them to be most disgusting and quite inhuman.”

It’s the people who are fertilizing these eggs for use in vitro that are doing the producing. The scientists are using the “wasted” material for stem cells. Also, the only stem cells know to be able to be grown into any form are only found in embryonic stem cells, not adult stem cells.

http://clearlyexplained.com/nature/life/cells/stemcells.html

You might want to read up on this a bit.

Also, I find the idea of allowing actual people to die from horrible diseases in order to protect the ideals of others more horrible… and btw - the real horror of Mengele is that is used real people for his experiments… or was the horror he created just theory as well?

Posted by: tony at July 18, 2006 8:04 AM
Comment #168477

John,

“Those who are pushing so hard for stem cell research(fetal type) are dependent for their money from guess who, us, the taxpayers.”

You’re right. So many people here are upset that we fund overseas advertising for big businesses…so why should we pay for their research as well? Don’t the drug companies have any money set aside for research?

I’m all for stem cell research. AND I’m all for the drug companies paying for it.


Posted by: Jim T at July 18, 2006 9:31 AM
Comment #168527

Wow, all the uninformed people showed up to comment today, didn’t they.

First of all, John, listen to Tony and read up a bit. The bill that is the subject of this post expressly limits research to cells from embryos that are going to be destroyed.

And as far as taxpayer dollars go, this is basic research, not product development. This research is going on at the university level, not within corporations. The results of this research will be public and able to be used by all humanity to save human lives.

Let’s say you got your wish and the drug companies paid for this research. And let’s say they came up with a cure for alzheimers. But they decide to charge $50,000 for the treatment even though it only costs $200 to administer. How many of you would be up in arms about the heartless drug companies gouging the poor sick alzheimer patients?

This is promising technology. And I know that as I get older it’s inevitable that many of my friends and family (and possibly myself as well) will be diagnosed with a variety of ailments. If this technology could lead to effective treatments and/or cures for some of these common diseases, I want them available sooner rather than later. And I don’t want a corporation to own it, I want to own it.

Posted by: Jeff at July 18, 2006 12:11 PM
Comment #168528

John Back (and those buying into the same argument):

The stem cells aren’t “fetuses.” They are fertilized egg cells that will literally be thrown away if not used in stem cell research. Perhaps the “fetus argument” is proposed as you might believe it’s an emotional argument, but it doesn’t hold water. These aren’t fetuses, and these aren’t little babies on which gruesome Mengele-like experiments are being conducted.

Perhaps other than ignorance on the topic, those opposed see this as a slippery slope in the abortion issue and are fighting it on those grounds.

Posted by: Boomer at July 18, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #168545

Public opinion polls have shown that the vast majority of Americans support embryonic stem cell (ESC) research. In a recent poll of Americans nationwide, the Genetics and Public Policy Center (GPPC), a non-partisan research institution, found that 67% of Americans approve of ESC research. This level of support was largely consistent regardless of sex, race, age, political affiliation and religion – the only exceptions were fundamentalist and evangelical Christians, yet 50% of them also supported the research. Yet again, Bush is proving that he doesn’t care what the majority of Americans think. God, after all, speaks through him.

Posted by: Mister Magoo at July 18, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #168550

This sounds like the evolution debate, most of the people who are against it don’t even know the details. God some Americans are too stupid to even debate. We need more science and less religion. Why would any intelligent person not want to advance medicine? I hope those that are against this get sick with the diseases that stem cell science would solve if given the opportunity to expand, test and explore.

Posted by: dee at July 18, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #168591

Jeff said: “The results of this research will be public and able to be used by all humanity to save human lives.”

Wow, I must have been asleep the day Congress voted to do away with the patent office and establish socialized medicine for one and all from this point forward. Thanks for bringing me up to date, there, Jeff. We will have a better system than Canada from the sounds of your statement above. Bravo!

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #168593

dee, stem cell research is going on today at Geron without federal subsidy. It won’t stop even if this bill fails. Geron developed their own stem cell lines to continue research without government conditions and coercion based on federal funds.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #168594

Mister Magoo, the great hoax being perpetrated on the public is that stem cell research will halt without this bill. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 3:21 PM
Comment #168595

I didn’t say it would stop if the bill doesn’t pass. It needs federal funding because let’s face it they have the most money. Maybe if they spent a little bit less on war and more on this I would be satisfied. I wish I could divert my tax money to what I would like to support.

Posted by: dee at July 18, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #168597

dee said: “I didn’t say it would stop if the bill doesn’t pass. It needs federal funding because let’s face it they have the most money.”

Let’s introduce a little fact into this hyperbole, shall we. We have added 3 trillion dollars to our national debt, 45% of which is owed to fat cat Middle Eastern Sheiks and other foreign investors. Congress is now trying to raise our debt ceiling to 9.6 trillion to continue this insanity.

NO, DEE! We don’t have the most money, unless you consider debt a license to keep spending as if there is no tomorrow. In which case, there won’t be; not one without rampant poverty and deprivation and human agony, anyway.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #168598

dee, but, thank you for reminding me that tax and spend Democrats have not changed their views on fiscal responsibility.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #168600
Let’s introduce a little fact into this hyperbole, shall we.

David,

Unfortunately, you did the opposite of that.

As others have pointed out, allowing for funding for stem cell research will not push us more into debt - it just means that stem cell research can be funded through financing that has already been budgeted. It would not mean that more money will be spent, simply that money would be spent differently.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 18, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #168602

David

I think that dee meant that the federal government has the most spending power and I for one would certainly rather see it spent on stem cell research than on some of the neocon pet projects such as the occupation of Iraq.

Posted by: mark at July 18, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #168608

David:
“thank you for reminding me that tax and spend Democrats have not changed their views on fiscal responsibility.”

This is kind of a low blow — and an out of date comment. The vast majority of Democrats aren’t like this now at all, and haven’t been for years. We now talk about Pay-As-We-Go, having learned our lessons about fiscal responsibility. Meanwhile, the Republicans during that same time period began forgetting they ever believed in such a thing.
And now look at where our economy is, since their “cut taxes and spend-like-crazy” policy went into effect.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 18, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #168613

Let’s see we are in debt why? Because this president is a complete moron. Because he decided that rich people need more money and decided to give them tax breaks. Let’s do away with that and then we can start chipping away at the enormous debt that has been created by the current king. Check your paycheck (if you have a job) and the feds get by far the most money in taxes, that’s what I was referring to when I said they have the most money. The feds just spend it on the wrong sh*t. Jackazz, there is already “rampant poverty and human agony” in a myriad of places in the world. Take the blinders off and stop thinking of only yourself. You are a republican spin doctor, trying to blame the current debt on democrats, avoiding the real problem, and forgeting that its the republicans who have put American in this shit*y position financially and morally and in the eyes of a lot of the rest of the world. Conservatives should die.

Posted by: dee at July 18, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #168614

“thank you for reminding me that tax and spend Democrats have not changed their views on fiscal responsibility.”

What a load… come on - you know that the DEMs are the only party to successfully balance the budget and actually create a budget surplus. Now, the REPs had some control in Congress - so the kudos are for everyone… but it was on the DEMs watch that it happened. REPs and INDs can call us any name they want, but it will not change history.

Posted by: tony at July 18, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #168621

tony, once again the ignorance contained within your comment is overwhelming. It was a Republican majority in Congress that balanced the budget. It was a Democratic President that helped by threatening and exercising the veto over some wasteful spending. The 5.65 Trillion national debt Clinton left office with, was almost all run up under Democratic controlled Congress prior to 1994.

History is not a word you should be bantering about given the dearth of it in your comments.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #168623

dee said: “Let’s see we are in debt why? Because this president is a complete moron. Because he decided that rich people need more money and decided to give them tax breaks.”

Only half true. Democrats ran up the majority of our current national debt level when they controlled the purse strings. The President and the Republican Congress are out to beat the Democrat’s record by doubling the national debt in less than half the time it took Democrats to get it to 5.65 Trillion.

And yes, you are quite right that the tax cuts, 51% of which went to the wealthiest 1% of the population is a major contributor. But, it takes both spending and revenue cuts to make this kind of deficit record and debt. And trust me, Democrats in Congress have made sure they got their pork spending for votes right along with the Republicans. Well, Feingold may be an exception and one or two others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #168624

Dang… David,

You’re in a foul mood today. Sheeeshh.

I did mention REPs in Congress… and the debt you speak of was under Reagan and the excelleration of the cold war. Yes… there is collaboration on both sides of this issue, good financial decisions and bad. But I do not see you calling the The Tax & Spend REPs and DEMs… only the DEMs. YOUR history seems to be a bit one sided with this.

Or did I miss something… (you understand, I have serious dearth issues.)

Try debating without getting so testy… and try not to attack the messenger, OK?

Posted by: tony at July 18, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #168626

Adrienne said: “We now talk about Pay-As-We-Go, having learned our lessons about fiscal responsibility.”

We, doesn’t include dee or millions of other democrat supporters either, who can’t wait to get at the trough for their pet project spending agenda items.

As for Pay As We Go ! Commendable, all for it! But wholly insufficient. If you think we can meet the baby boom retirement years challenge with the current level of interest payments on our debt and maintain a growing economy, you are flat out wrong. $370 billion a year for interest payments on our national debt is more than a 1/3 of a trillion dollars unavailable to save Medicare or Soc. Sec. benefits when the boomers retire. Not to mention combat declines in competitive advantage in the globalizing marketplace.

Pay As We Go is not sufficent. Democrats, if they truly believe in saving S.S. and reforming Medicare so that it can still provide dignity for the poor and aged as they approach the end of their lives, will have to become a whole lot more fiscally restrictive than to Pay as We Go leaving the debt and interest on it at current levels.

By current levels I mean 11+ trillion, because that is what legislation already passed is going to equal in 2 to 4 years. Any new spending from this point forward only adds to that amount.

I hope Democrat challengers win a majority in one of the Houses of Congress. At the very least it will result in a halt to any further tax cuts for the wealthy which our nation absolutely cannot afford.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #168628

BTW, Democrats, to let you know what you are in store for with S.S. and Medicare if your party takes control of one or both houses of Congress, this is a must read. Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs

A SUMMARY OF THE 2006 ANNUAL REPORTS
Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees

Read and try to tell me we can afford new NIH projects instead of cutting NIH spending at this very point in time.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #168629

Tony said: “Or did I miss something… (you understand, I have serious dearth issues.)”

Yeah, you missed over 200 of my articles in the center column over the last 3 years of lambasting Republicans for bringing us to this place we find ourselves. You missed a lot. Catch up!

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #168630

David,

LawnBoy gets it right. This bill is not a spending bill, but rather an adjustment to the filter through which already appropriated funds must pass. If you want to address federal funding and overspending, it makes no sense to do so by such a mechanism. In your nearly simultaneously published article over in the center column you concede that the moralistic reasoning for vetoing this is wrong.

I’d like to see a curbing of profligate spending myself, but still believe some public money in medical research is appropriate and a wise use of our collective resources. Having %100 of medical research done by the companies profiting from the sale of their products risks underusing University researchers for science which may not be deemed profitable enough, but may produce huge benefits.

Those who are using moral arguments to justify this anticipated veto, please stop sidestepping the inconvenient truth that this bill STILL CONSTRAINS ESCR to using fertilized eggs created by another process and slated for destruction.

And please everyone, including those who agree with me, remember our Rules For Participation, and our tagline - Critique the Message, Not the Messenger.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at July 18, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #168632

tony, Reagan did not control the nation’s purse strings. Read the Constitution. That is the Congress’ province and it was Democrats in Congress when Reagan was President.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #168635

David Reamer,

Nice sarcasm. Your series of posts has demonstrated your ignorance.

First of all, the patent office still exists, but you cannot apply for a patent for inventions that were financed with federal money. What you do get to do is publish your findings in peer-reviewed journals. Thus the discoveries become public and can be verified and built-upon by others, thus advancing the science.

You mentioned that stem cell research will continue without Fed funds. True. You mentioned Geron. Here are some quotes from their website:

“[We] intend to commercialize first-in-class therapeutic products for treatment of cancer and degenerative diseases…”

“We have developed proprietary methods to grow, maintain and scale up undifferentiated hESCs…”

“We own or have licenses to intellectual property covering core inventions and critical enabling technology in this field.”

Now, when you have a spinal cord injury, how much is it going to cost you to use Geron’s product? Answer: as much as they want to charge!

So, the choice is, fund some research now or have Medicare go broke paying Geron’s monopoly prices to get your sorry ass walking again.

And regarding the money the federal governement does or does not have…the Republican controlled legislature seems to have enough money for multi-million dollar bridges to nowhere in Alaska, so I don’t think that’s the problem. And to call the democrats “tax and spend” is completely disingenuous in light of republicans’ “spend and spend” behavior the last several years.

Posted by: Jeff at July 18, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #168636

Walker, you want to put that NIH to better use? Increase spending on the bird flu virus. It is only a matter of time, and we don’t have an effective method for dealing with an epidemic. Stem cell research will continue without federal spending because the risk / profit ratio for end product patent and trademarks is a huge incentive. But, there is insufficient risk / profit incentive for rapidly developing flu vaccine of this kind which would divert research dollars from far more lucrative areas of private industry research.

Priorities. That is how one charts a future course of fiscal responsibility.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #168637

Jeff said: “First of all, the patent office still exists, but you cannot apply for a patent for inventions that were financed with federal money.”

Not even when private industry invested huge sums of private money in the research with partial federal funding and matching dollars which is the bulk of federal research dollars to pharmaceuticals and chemical companies?

Sorry, the ignorance is all in your comments. Not mine. Nice try though!

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #168643

David,

I have to apologize for my “ignorance” reference to you. Your later posts - which I didn’t read until after my last post - actually make some sense. I’m with you on the spending issue and agree the tax cuts (at least the timing of them: during an expensive and extended war) is a bit unwise.

One thing to keep in mind…yes, the congress controls the purse strings, but it’s the president who proposes the budget in the first place. Yea, there are some negotiations along the way, but the starting point of a budget is the biggest factor in what the final budget looks like.

Posted by: Jeff at July 18, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #168644

Jeff said: “Now, when you have a spinal cord injury, how much is it going to cost you to use Geron’s product? “

So, tell me Jeff, when did Congress pass a nationalized health care delivery system funded and operated for non-profit health care delivery in this country? Regardless of who invents it, the producers will get their profit. We don’t have a nationalized health care delivery system in this country.

Penicillin I believe was a federal funded discovery. I still pay a pharaceutical company a profit for making it. The Doctor a profit for the script. The Nurse a profit for administering it. The Administrative clerks for updating the my record. And the billing clerks a profit for billing me or my insurance company.

So, tell me again how federal research dollars for stem cells is going to provide free cures for all when discoveries are made?

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #168645

Jeff, apology accepted. I am just trying to get folks to look at the big picture here. We cannot continue to add new legislation and projects without a serious sit down and prioritizing what we can afford and what we can afford to do without or let private industry carry the ball. Our economic future is riding on the decisions we make today.

It’s a tough sell. But, a worth the effort if successful.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #168647
you want to put that NIH to better use? Increase spending on the bird flu virus.
Priorities. That is how one charts a future course of fiscal responsibility.

All I’m getting from this is that you support one type of medical research and you oppose another type of medical research. You define the priorities the way you want, and other people define theirs differently.

Other people value foundational reasearch that has the potential to provides cures for dozens of diseases instead of (actually, in parallel with) research into one specific disease which might never affect humans on a large scale.

You know what? I can’t really say that those other people are wrong. So, let’s let the experts in charge of NIH grants fight it out instead of supporting only individual pet projects.

And again, Bush’s veto will have exactly zero effect on the debt and deficit.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 18, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #168648
I am just trying to get folks to look at the big picture here.

No, you’re trying to distract us with an unrelated picture. The fight over the budget and the sub-allocation of NIH grants are completely separate issues. Please stop clouding the issue and patting yourself on the back for it.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 18, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #168650

David -

Get over yourself… it’s getting obnoxious. “Catch up?” That was weak… Why do you automatically assume anyone who disagrees with you is stupid? Seriously… what’s up?

You’re attacking left and right today, and tossing out insult after insult…

btw - Congress controls the purse strings… just like they do today - right? Or, maybe Congress doesn’t always do what they are suppose to do. When you have a power/popular President, he controls the political flow, and THAT decides how Congress reacts. THAT controls the purse strings. Don’t read the Constitution ( that was also weak…) look at the real world.

Your original statement “tax and spend democrats” was what I have issue with… and you did not have anything to say about republicans… yet, they had as much to do with the debt we now face, if not more.

I’ll even say that the one issue I agreed with REPs on was being financially responsible… but they have abandoned that - and you know it as well as I do. If the REPs are so good at controlling spending, then why is it that when they control everything (including the purse strings) they wrack up 5 record setting deficits in a row…?

Posted by: tony at July 18, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #168664

tony, like I said. I have been one of the most vocal critics of Republicans spending on this web site for years. Just because you don’t want to do your research before making wild accusations and assumptions about people, does not entitle you to make erroneous statements and have them go unchallenged in a public forum.

You said:

But I do not see you calling the The Tax & Spend REPs and DEMs… only the DEMs. YOUR history seems to be a bit one sided with this.

Or did I miss something… (you understand, I have serious dearth issues.)

I corrected you, because your not seeing what I have written over the years here does not mean I have not written scathing reviews of Republicans. I coined the term, ‘Spend and Borrow’ for Republicans to match the cliche’ Tax and Spend Democrats. I had hoped Democrats would run with it. Oh, well.

I am not in a foul mood. I have really enjoyed this debate this afternoon. It is rare that I have this kind of leisure time to devote hours to it.

Debate is about highlighting the logical or factual errors in another’s arguments, statements or conclusions. You made a few errors. I corrected them. That is debate. Nothing personal.

I speak of things I am ignorant about, just not usually in a public forum. My 15 year old daugther constantly reminds me that I don’t know what I am talking about, when it suits her point. I usually just smile. She doesn’t consider that I was 15 once and remember what it was to be there. “I was so much older then, I am younger than that now…” —B. Dylan

:-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #168668

Daivd -

OK, cool… guess this gets to a major issue when communicating via text. You can easily read into things what is not there at all.

I also had a slow day - waiting for a repair guy most of the morning and then rendering on the computer most of this afternoon… glad there was an interesting topic on the blog.

Posted by: tony at July 18, 2006 6:45 PM
Comment #168672

If embrionic stem cells achieve what some researchs say I might possibly be in favor of their research. Right mow though adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood seems very promissing. In Cleveland, Doctors found a way to coax nerve cells to bridge over a damaged portion of a lab rat’s damaged spinal cord. The rat walked with minimal difficulty but did walk and act reasonably normal. There are other alternatives medical science just needs to explore other options before focusing on just one thing.

Posted by: KAP at July 18, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #168673

If GB does veto this, I for one, won’t be at all pleased. However, I won’t set out to destroy him or his reputation like the democrats did with Lieberman simply because of one disagreement.

Posted by: G.K. at July 18, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #168675

G.K.

The voters of connecticut are unhappy with Lieberman because of more than one issue. Besides his support of GWB on the Iraqi occupation he also supported federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo fiasco and he has also taken an unpopular stand(in the minds of most Democrats) in the matter of Guantanamo Bay, among other issues. Face it, Joe is out of touch with his constituents.

Posted by: mark at July 18, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #168689

KAP

There are other alternatives medical science just needs to explore other options before focusing on just one thing.

Don’t you see - you’ve got it exactly backwards. It is by excluding (or attempting to exclude via federal funding) ESCR that medical science is being limited to focus on fewer options. No one is stopping research on use of adult or umbilical stem cells because advocacy groups (not scientists necessarily) are fighting to remove an illogical restriction. Of the three types of stem cells ESC show the most promise because the undifferentiated cells are the most versatile.

Bioethical concerns are legitimate on many fronts, but the current restrictions are political maneuvering, not true ethical concerns. Like it or not the bioethical edge is not about the development of embryonic stem cell lines, but elsewhere. And I return to the salient point here - WE’RE TALKING ABOUT EGGS WHICH WILL OTHERWISE BE DISCARDED!

Posted by: Walker Willingham at July 18, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #168699

Walker
I realize these eggs will be discarded but I feel that the private secter should do their research and prove that there is promise to embryonic stem cell research before federal money is allocated. So far I haven’t read anything that convinces me that embryonic stem cells are the miracle that people are looking for. From what I read Adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells are showing the real promise. Use the eggs that are going to be discarded but let the private sector foot the bill through private donations or pharmacutical companys. Then if it shows real promise then federal subcidies.

Posted by: KAP at July 18, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #168709

KAP- You are out of step with the modern world. In a market driven society what you say would be going on: privately funded research until promising results then apply for a grant. Today, it’s the opposite: Grant money first until promising results then get private money involved. This way, the private organizations can save lots of R&D funds and still come out with a profitable product. And yes, if a product is developed using 100% federal money, it cannot be patented. But if private funding is also involved, then it can be. Neat,isn’t it?

Posted by: John Back at July 18, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #168745

coonyjay

Your sarcasm doesn’t impress me.

Your equations are false.

Consciousness matters - it matters a whole lot.

It’s understandable that some people think these procedures are wrong - a fertilized egg is a /potential/ human life. But it is not a living, caring, breathing person, and equating someone who doesn’t ascribe to it the full status of a human person deserving equal protection under the law to a sadistic Mengele is quite simply bunk. Go protest at an IVF clinic. You will find its patrons to be Republicans as well as Democrats.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at July 19, 2006 1:27 AM
Comment #168748

-coonyjay- A trick question for you
Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Posted by: DAVID at July 19, 2006 1:48 AM
Comment #168751

KAP,

So far I haven’t read anything that convinces me that embryonic stem cells are the miracle that people are looking for. From what I read Adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells are showing the real promise.

I’m relatively certain you’re reading the wishful thinking of those who already have qualms about using embryonic stem cells. I doubt you would be convinced by anything that doesn’t support your wishes at this point in the scientific discovery process, but read this. It includes the opinion of a Roman Catholic researcher who objects to ESCR on moral grounds but refutes the assertion that other stem cell research is more promising.

Karl Rove is cited as one administration official putting out the misinformation that other stem cell research is MORE promising. I don’t believe anything this administration emphasizes when it comes to science. It’s just more cherry picking.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at July 19, 2006 2:02 AM
Comment #168755

Walker Willingham—With out all the frills, what exactly are you seeking, an what do you know
about Embryonic cells ?

Posted by: DAVID at July 19, 2006 2:29 AM
Comment #168766

coonjay said: “Kill this one to save that one. It makes perfect sense.”

Precisely what Republicans are doing Iraq, yes? The hypocrisy of right to lifers is incredible as so many support war, deny Christ’s teachings on the matter, but, invoke the unspoken word of GOD like a telegram about when a soul is imparted to a cell or two and converts that cell or two into a human being entitled to all the rights under the Constitution which also did not address legal rights of a fetus.

They make this stuff up as they go along like divining ones future and inner being from tarot cards or astrology.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 19, 2006 7:04 AM
Comment #168769

Here is a profound truth if one needs one which most people in the world could agree on. All life is precious to the living entity containing it. All life feeds on other life. Humans have the capacity to empathize with other life which it feeds on, and make rules about which types of life and circumstances it will not feed on. Time feeds on all of us which makes life precious and worth respecting.

Cruelty toward life is wrong because it violates our sensibilities based on empathy for other life. Cruelty is the deliberate act of inflicting pain and suffering without any other redeeming justification.

Up to this point most reasonable people of most religions would agree. Where everything breaks down is when one introduces some inviolate soul into human protoplasm. If the soul should be inviolate, one cannot support the death penalty or war which produces collateral damage as a consequence of self-defense, and war NOT in self-defense must be abhorred.

Destroying an embryo is no different than scratching some living skin cells off one’s forearm. UNLESS one imparts a soul and its religious context into the embryo. But that is an argument that has not a shred of objective nor empirical evidence to support it.

Governance according to the feelings, passions, and desires of an individual or minority over a majority of persons is a type of governance our democratic republic was founded to forever put an end to. Yet, here we are. With a group of folks trying to govern the affairs of all in our society as to when, where, and how, they may choose to, or choose not to, bear children. This is the kind of passionate emotional governance our founding fathers sought to protect us against.

Ultimately, it comes down to anti-abortion Christians establishing the U.S. as a their brand of Christian nation according to their religious interpretations in order to have their way on the abortion issue, (which is what this Embyonic Stem Cell debate is REALLY about,) or, America remains a nation based on secular law that preserves individual liberty for all of its citizens against encroachment and dictates by other’s passions, beliefs, and heated emotions of the moment. A child born in the U.S. becomes at birth a U.S. citizen, entitled to all of the rights and protections of citizens. An embryo in secular review, remains the property of its host to be treated by the host in whatever fashion the host determines.

This secular view of the issue preserves the greatest liberty for our citizenry. Anti-abortion Christians may observe their zygotes, sperm, and/or embryos as sould bearing and deserving of being brought to birth and citizen status. Pro-choice Christians may also exercise the liberty of choosing when, where, and how, they will become parents of children.

If liberty is valued, this secular view promotes the greatest liberty for the greatest number of citizens. It cannot be logically construed any other way.

And those who would seek to restrict the liberty of all others not of their faith on this issue, do not respect individual liberty or personal freedom to explore, develop, and live according to one’s own belief system if it contradicts the anti-abortion Christian’s views. Instead they seek dictatorial and authoritarian control over what others may learn, ascribe to, and adopt as matters of faith and religious values.

Our founding fathers deliberately adopted the anti-establishment clause in the Constitution to defend against just such persons as these anti-abortion Christians who would force by capricious law, all others to observe the anti-abortion Christian’s religious preferences and beliefs on this issue.


Posted by: David R. Remer at July 19, 2006 7:38 AM
Comment #168800

Seems to me If I were part of a couple seeking fertilization treatment that produced excess embriyos I would value the right to donate them to medical science to potentially help others just as I would the ability to donate organs in the event of a tradegy to my children,god forbid. What is wrong with that? Seems the moral choice to me.

Posted by: BillS at July 19, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #168858

Follow the money, people! If ESCR held any potential for medical treatment, the big pharmas would be all over it. ALL the money is currently going into adult stem cell research (and actual treatment), and cord blood. Check out what private funds are going into ESCR—not too much.

Did you ever wonder why? Embryonic stem cells cause nasty cancers. The pluripotent aspect of these cells cause them to atempt to “grow a whole body” in the afflicted area. Nasty business, that.

Posted by: nikkolai at July 19, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #168860

nikkolai,

What the? Please provide a citation for this claim.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 19, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #168864

I know because I’m in the business. There may be some use for ESCR, but for RESEARCH only. But treatment using these cells will not happen in our lifetime, if ever.

It’s almost like the Creator is not going to let us go down that slippery slope of HUMAN CLONING.

Posted by: nikkolai at July 19, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #168866

Okk, nikkolai. You’re in the business.

Sure.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 19, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #168885

Lawnboy: See Regenetech.com

And don’t forget to edge the backyard.

Posted by: nikkolai at July 19, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #168887

Link Here: “Most scientists say it will be years before therapies from embryonic stem cells will be widely used, though some clinical trials could start within a few years. Some therapies derived from adult stem cells are already in use.”

“Still, it is difficult to quantify how much the president’s policy has actually retarded research. Private donations worth tens of millions of dollars have filled the gap to some extent, though scientists say the federal government would be a larger and steadier source of money.”

So much for niloalai’s misleading comment. Some people talk like they know how to follow money. They are usually quite poor and wishful wannabes. The money blogs are full of such commenters, some only 15 years old and probably flunking math I would suspect. Impersonating maturity, intelligence, and wisdom on the internet is getting so easy to spot these days.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 19, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #168889

nikkolai,

Wow. You showed me a link on the internet that in no way validated either of your claims.

Am I supposed to be impressed?

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 19, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #168910

David —

No, the real great hoax was the faith-based spin Bush put on this issue: that he supports a culture of life and couldn’t justify the “murder” of embryos. Hypocritical drivel. As you well know, this bill limited stem cells to those being harvested for in-vitro fertilization, which usually produces dozens more embryos than can ever be used. As such, these embryos are discarded, and will now continue to be discarded. Our President obviously thinks it’s okay to throw away embryos, but not to harvest those same embryos for stem cell research. And he cloaks it all in a false sense or morality to satisfy those on the far right. That’s the real hoax — and the real shame.

Posted by: Mister Magoo at July 19, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #168915

You doubted that I was in the business—I gave you our website. Watch for upcoming press releases—I think some are going to be amazing. Can’t say for certain, though—we are in uncharted waters.

Can any of you oh-so-much wiser posters please answer one simple question: why is little private money going into ESCR?

Posted by: nikkolai at July 19, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #168923
You doubted that I was in the business—I gave you our website
Oh, you work for that company? How was I supposed to know that’s what you meant? In what capacity (I wouldn’t trust the word of a janitor on this? Can you prove that you work there (instead of just posting a random URL in “the business”)?

Why am I so hard on you? Because you’re making grand claims that are contrary to the advice of a group of 80 Nobel laureates say. So, when you make your claim, I’d like something to back it (like a simple citation). Instead, you present a website that doesn’t back your point and expect us to defer to authority that you haven’t established.

why is little private money going into ESCR?

I question your premise; define little. As David cited, “private donations worth tens of millions of dollars have filled the gap to some extent.” Are you saying tens of millions of dollars is little? What would impress you, and could you establish that your standard is reasonable in the industry?

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 19, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #168934

I am a businessman, not a scientist. And most of what our SAB (scientific advisory board) says—goes over my head. But I pick things up. The consensus is that mankind is many, many years away from doing anything productive with esc—except maybe in research. Again, follow the money. Do you think that Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson or Amgen would not be pouring mega bucks into esc if they saw potential? You bet they would. But they are not. We are much closer than the public knows in amazing breakthroughs using adult stem cells. Without the nasty side effects. Or ethical concerns.

Posted by: nikkolai at July 19, 2006 6:01 PM
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