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Was this a bad day for Debbie Schultz? I had trouble following what she was saying.

On topic, I am thrilled by this, and find myself wondering what I can do to get the 22nd Amendment repealed.

Such homicide!

Watching this really made me squirm.

First came the hype on all the ways that stem-cell research will cure everything from cancer to acne. This overselling only undermines support for science in the long run.

Then comes Schultz saying, "What President Bush did ... was inserted his own views and the views of people who are in a minority of opinion in America into the personal lives of millions of Americans...". Then she repeats this in discussing Boehner. This focus on the minority "personal views" just makes Bush and Boehner look like principled holders of a minority viewpoint, when they are really nothing more than cynical opportunists (as the Schiavo circus also revealed.)

The ethical vacuity of Bush's ban on stem cell research and the continued line of bullshit being pushed by the GOP today is best revealed by stressing the fact that very few of these posers are willing to advocate a ban on in vitro fertilization. That is where the embryos they claim to treasure come from and as long as in vitro fertilization continues, a very large number of embryos will be thrown away - or used for stem cell research. There is no ethical case the ban and THAT is what Obama and Schultz should stress.

You know, I was gonna say something similar. PZ Myers also made a commentary about this, but he focused on how this is not a magic pill, based on some comments by famed GW denialist kook Steven Milloy.

Facts didn't matter during the campaign, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that facts don't matter during The One's presidency.

The fact is that Bush did not "ban stem-cell research". He didn't even ban embryonic stem-cell research. Bush banned federal funding for human embryonic stem-cell research on new embryonic stem-cell strains. The ban was specifically intended to stop federal funding for the further destruction of human embryos.

This actually posed no hindrance to stem-cell research which boomed using its many other forms of funding (we are, after all, largely a private-investment, market-driven country). A quote from Scientific American:

As states and private foundations moved ahead with the research using other sources of funding, thousands of cell lines were developed that reflect the country's genetic diversity and may reveal previously unknown insights into human cell development.

For example, last week scientists announced another breakthrough in using "induced pluripotent stem-cells".

Given the general Bush Derangement Syndrome that permeates every left-winger's existence, your claims that this was 'cynical opportunism' doesn't surprise me. You probably can't accept that there are people (the vast majority of Americans, and many stem-cell scientists) who believe that embryos are human life that should be protected, or at the very least not fed to the scientific research mill.

This event was all pomp and no circumstance, which is pretty much par for the course with Obama. The economy continues to fall apart even though we're spending a few trillion on Democrat pet projects (who knew?) and all he has to do is wave his hands, give you a little token distraction, and everyone falls in love all over again.

The ridiculous way this was presented by his administration and his lapdog media is particularly laughable. It's as if we are emerging from an American Dark Age in which scientific progress was actively thwarted by a mean-spirited modern-day Torquemada; a Dark Age from which we can only now emerge with the firm pen-stroke of the Glorious Leader. That rich, stentorian tone! The way he reads those words off a teleprompter with almost no effort! Finally, a return to the Age of Reason!

But in reality stem-cell research is a sticky issue, going back to the Clinton administration, an issue about which even scientists have passionate disagreements. In reality this decision will have little if any effect on stem-cell research (or other fields of research) which long ago moved on, as science is wont to do.

But again reality doesn't seem to matter in this bizarre mirror-world where questioning the President, or even logically analyzing his words and decisions, is now considered verboten.

Go back to Tim's comments above, or just read:

The ethical vacuity of Bush's ban on stem cell research and the continued line of bullshit being pushed by the GOP today is best revealed by stressing the fact that very few of these posers are willing to advocate a ban on in vitro fertilization. That is where the embryos they claim to treasure come from and as long as in vitro fertilization continues, a very large number of embryos will be thrown away - or used for stem cell research. There is no ethical case the ban and THAT is what Obama and Schultz should stress.

Sorry jjj, you really can't have it both ways. Bush was "pro-life" in the sense that all those who use that moniker are: they are all for it as long as you aren't really alive.

If you happen to be some poor schmoe born in a ghetto, however, that's your own damn fault.

jjj-

As gypsy sister understood, and you apparently did not, the Bush administration's ban on Federal funding of stem-cell research saved not a single embryo, since it did nothing to prevent such embryos from being created.

When Bush's ban went into effect, there were 400,000 frozen embryos created by doctors using in vitro fertilization techniques that come from women who wanted to give birth to their biological children. The vast majority of those embryos will never be implanted and only 128 had been “adopted” by other couples. Thus, for every 3000 of these frozen embryos, 2999 will be thrown away if the women from whom their unfertilized precursors were taken do not use them. President Bush had to know this – when he endorsed “embryo adoptions” as an alternative to embryo disposal, he was presenting a cynical red herring to divert attention from the true purpose of his policy: catering to his right-wing base.

Like you, other defenders of the Bush's position point out that he did not ban stem cell research – only its access to federal funding. In defending his stem-cell decision, Bush spoke of stem-cell research as crossing a moral boundary. Why is such research morally reprehensible when federally funded, but acceptable when conducted by private companies? Why did Bush not campaign for laws banning private stem-cell research? Why did Bush not campaign for a ban on in vitro fertilization, since it is that practice that actually gives rise to the embryos Bush pretended to care about?

This situation calls to mind the immoral hypocrisy Bush exhibited during the Terri Schiavo circus. As governor, Mr. Bush signed the Texasfutile care law, which specifically lists "artificial nutrition and hydration" as among the services that can be discontinued if a patient is deemed to be certain to die. A health-care provider can refuse to care for a patient if the prognosis is deemed to be hopeless – even if the patient has normal brain activity and, presumably, even if the patient expresses a desire to continue treatment. There is no provision in the law for any "care provider" of last resort. A committee of physicians (who could be doctors affiliated with the same HMO that wants to discontinue treatment) merely has to decide the patient’s prognosis is hopeless.

George Bush’s moral boundaries dissolved when there was a buck to be made or a political base to be appeased.

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