Monday, July 17, 2006

Veto risk threatens stem-cell funding

So, out of all the crap to come out of Congress in the last 6 years or so, this is what our President might use his first veto on? Instead of building a wall at the border, why don't we just put up a big sign that says, "Now entering Stupidland."

At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars and the opportunity to take the lead in cutting-edge scientific research that could lead to cures for Parkinson's disease, spinal-cord injuries, heart disease and other conditions.

But, on the other hand, we may offend some people who don't understand (or worse, just disregard) science.

As with the abortion debate, where the "pro-life" crowd shows that they really don't have any interest in actually reducing abortions (since they're pretty well opposed to all the things that might do that, like birth control, sex education, etc.), but rather in forcing their beliefs on everyone else, they miss the boat here again. If they're really so concerned about the "human life" that is being wasted with stem cell research, where is their program to find wombs for all these embryos? Surely if they are too precious to be used for research, they are also too precious to be sitting around in a freezer forever, or even worse being discarded. And shouldn't they be looking for laws against IVF as well, since that's where these embryos come from. And shouldn't a President who feels so stongly about the issue that he would veto this bill be leading the charge in trying to free these poor embryos from their frozen prison?

Seriously, though, I get so annoyed when people take some supposed moral high ground to oppose something that could help people, and hurts no one. I realize they claim that the embryos are the ones being hurt, however, they take no action outside of opposing the research that indicates that they truly believe the embryos are so important. It's frustrating to have to argue against a position that doesn't rely on any sort of logic.

I'd really hate to see Bush break his no veto record though. I suggest instead that he have his cabinet declare Congress 'quaint' then attach a signing statement to the bill that says people with diseases can fuck off and die, then he can stage a photo-op where he pisses on Christopher Reeve's grave.

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Blue Gal said...

excellent rant. Came here from Shake's.

Storm said...

great rant and all

but and forgive me here but I guess I am trying to find where Bush and any other Rep wants to ban stem cell research? Is there a law being proposed to ban this research or are we just talking about research dollars?

One more thing can you tell me what government research in medicine yielded what discoveries?

For example the Jarvix heart?

Anyway you and I will never even come close on this one. I have read the Constitution and you know what I did not find any mention of funding for medical research.

The only way it might fit it under some sort of military application.

Oh wait Hitler used government funds for medical research. Ok then I guess that makes it all right.

Holly said...

Here's something interesting about the pro life movement and the rhythm method (currently the only birth control method "allowed" by the Catholic church)

According to this medical journal report, there are more embryonic deaths from they rhythm method than there are from other forms of bc.

I guess if you "accidentally" kill an embryo that doesn't count.

Storm said...

Holly your comment is thought provoking and interesting but it misses the point. Here you are confusing the actions of a woman and man in trying to control their on sex and their own natural functions of their bodies to inhibit procreation with efforts sponsored by a government.

I can not sit here and tell people to not use the rythm method but I can decry the use of government funds to pursue medical research both on Constitutional grounds and on the grounds that most successful research was done by private companies and/or universities using private donations. If you can show me a the list of successful funding of medical advancements by government perhaps I will change my mind.

And again is Bush suggesting a ban on this research? My understanding is no therefore companies that see this as profitable are free to invest just as companies have for decades.

John Howard said...

The government does fund research, storm. If they didn't, perhaps I could see your point. But they do, and they should fund this research because it is important, and people want it.

John Howard said...

Storm, you miss the point. Holly's linkis irrelevant to your personal objection to the funding of stem cell research on grounds that it isn't the government's place to do this research. However, that is not the argument that most of the opponents are making, they are making the argument that it is wrong because it destroys human life. And if you think they're not in favor of banning the research altogether than you're not paying attention. The only reason they're not actively working for that is that they don't have the support for it. However, I can see them taking that step if their efforts are successful to limit government funding of the research.

Your argument is disengenuous because it assumes that everyone's objection to the funding of research is the same as yours, which you know is not true. And also because you know that the government does fund research, whether you support it or not.

Storm said...


There is no discussion of limiting research dollars on the table in fact the reverse is true. The bill would increase funding.

I do not doubt government funds research. I question 2 things first the success of that research and secondly the Constitutional grounds of that research.

And yes there will always be governmental spending that violates the original tenets of the Constitution.

JRH since there was no Republican support to stop an increase in funding how in the heck did you jump to the conclusion that Rep want to ban the practice. I am the ardent opponent on your website and a fairly staunch Conservative (I have been here for some time under other names including Always Sourced Never Disputed) and yet I have never even suggested a ban some again I am confused on your assumption that I wish to ban the practice. I am not even arguing a moral point.

JRH let me ask you a different question and it is one that you have asked of this President but from a different angle--Where does the spending stop? I mean to say we as a Nation need to begin to stop looking for each spending bill to satisfy our dictates and look at the big picture. This government spends too much money. So why in the heck are we discussing an increase in something that can be and sholud be handled by the private sector?

Surely you can not argue that this government spends too much money.

John Howard said...

I do not doubt government funds research. I question 2 things first the success of that research and secondly the Constitutional grounds of that research.

And that's a completely different argument than the one the vocal opponents of this bill (who my post addresses) are making.

I never said you want to ban the practice, I said that you can bet the people opposing it on moral grounds most certainly do. Believe it or not, I do not form all my opinions of consevatives based only on the two conservative commentors on my blog.

I agree the government spends way too much of our money. Where we disagree is what to get rid of. I say funding stem cell research is far more important than many, many things the government wastes money on, most notably a pointless war. I'd much rather money be spent that could possibly save people than spending it killing people, even if we occasionally kill some bad people.

I don't think it necessarily can or should be handled by the private sector. You could make that argument for anything. Maybe you're one of those people that thinks the government should do almost nothing, but I'm not.

Of course the government spends too much money, but have you been objecting to all the other incredible wastes of money supported by your conservative brethern? Or is it just this one you have a problem with? Because it honestly seems like an odd time to suddenly close up the checkbook.

Gary said...


Nice Job John!

Can we impeach him now?

If for no other reason than he is a stupid fuck that is an embarassment to every thinking human on the planet.

Why can't this retard value the living instead of potential living? MORON!

It's been awhile since I have stopped in on you. I am glad that I popped in today. Nice to see you haven't lost your touch. Keep it up!

Storm said...


I have to concur that to oppose this spending increase when he has approved every spending increase every dreamed off but just because I have voted Republican in the past does not imply that I necessarily agreed. I always disagree with any spending proposal that violates the original duties of the Government as enumerated in the Constitution. The prosecution of War while objectionable to some is an enumerated power spending for medical research is not.

Why can the private sector not fund this? The private funds literally thousands of new products and services every year. JUst consider the number of drugs available the FDA does not create those drugs private companies do.

Maybe this is the place to start and say enough spending already.

I know you do not form your opinion on 2 bloggers comments but as I said I drew on the lack of support in the entire Republican Congress to tell you the concept that most Republicans seek legislation to stop stem cell research is ridiculous just based on the voting results.

Sure there are those that oppose stem cell research on moral grounds but obviously they must be in the minority given the COngressional voting results. I guess my point was simply this I am just one but I am not that different than many in the Republican patry and I assure you we do not want to ban this--it is a classic Chicken Little strategy by those that want government funding.

Gary You sound silly talking about
Impeachment. It will never happen.
1) even if the case was just there are only 914 days left (according to the JRH meter) Congress can not convene a meeting about a coffee break in 914 days
2) In November Demos would have to win a majority of seats in the Senate to even get the process on the table and current predictions show Reps having 52 seats after November

John Howard said...

Storm, as for why the private sector can't fund this, I've seen it explained much better than I could do it in many other places in the last couple of days. Look around and I'm sure you'll be able to find plenty of good reasons.

As for the drugs you mention, I don't know a lot about the details of drug research, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if you looked back deeply into the research that led to the drugs you're talking about to find a lot of public money, especially in early stages. Why do you think the government doesn't contribute to things like this?

There are plenty of places where it would be a good idea to say enough already regarding government spending, but this is most certainly not that place.