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Bob Geiger Donating Member (505 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 06:52 AM
Original message
Democratic Voices on Bush Stem Cell Veto
As everyone expected, George W. Bush yesterday took the path even more toward the Religious Right and away from science and enlightenment when he vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which had just passed the Senate on Tuesday after passage in the House of Representatives in 2005.

The bill, H.R. 810, went immediately back to the House, where a vote of 235 to 193, fell 51 short of the two-thirds majority required to override Bush's rejection of the bill that would have expanded embryonic stem-cell research and given hope to millions of Americans suffering life-threatening and crippling illnesses.

"If this bill were to become law, American taxpayers for the first time in our history would be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos," said Bush. "Crossing this line would be a grave mistake and would needlessly encourage a conflict between science and ethics that can only do damage to both and harm our nation as a whole."

I guess to this president, stem cell research is bad for our society, but it's just fine to have taxpayers fund the killing of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens for no reason whatsoever.

Here's some reactions from Congressional Democrats:

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

I am extremely disappointed in the presidents veto and will do everything I can to make sure this groundbreaking research proposal still becomes law. Only one of the bills we passed Tuesday delivers real promise for a cure to millions of Americans. Yet this is the bill the president vetoed. The federal government should not stand in the way of a cure for some of the most debilitating diseases faced by Americans today.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

President Bush may have vetoed the stem cell bill today, but he has not vetoed the hopes of millions of Americans. Those families who wake up every morning to face another day with a deadly disease or a disability will not forget this decision by the President to stand in the way of sound science and medical research.

President Bushs first veto makes him the first president in the history of the United States to restrict medical research and the efforts of science to reduce suffering from disease and disability. Many of us in Congress, along with the vast majority of American families, will continue to fight until the promise of stem cell research is fully realized.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

I will mince no words about the Presidents action. This veto is a shameful display of cruelty and hypocrisy. It is cruel, because it denies hope to millions of Americans who suffer from Parkinsons, Alzheimers, ALS, juvenile diabetes, cancer, spinal-cord injuries, and many other diseases and debilitating conditions. Most of all, though, it is simply sad.

HR 810 would have expanded federal funding to pursue this research. But with a stroke of his pen today, the President vetoed this bill and vetoed the hopes of millions of suffering Americans.

There is an election in November, and we need to know where every candidate stands on embryonic stem cell research. Because we intend to reintroduce this bill in the next Congress. And we intend to prevail.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"Imagine: the first veto of this President is for a bill that has the miraculous power to cure. The Latin translation of veto means, 'I forbid.' President Bush has said today: 'I forbid allowing the best and brightest minds to pursue the science that they believe has the most promise and potential to cure. I forbid bringing embryonic stem cell research under NIH, ensuring the strict controls and stringent ethical guidelines that only NIH can impose. I forbid giving our scientists the opportunities they need to ensure our nation remains pre-eminent in science.'

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

"Mr. President, we are here to say that as long as there is a need for the hope and help that stem cell research can bring, it will never be forgotten. As long as restrictions based on a narrow ideology block progress to new cures, this issue will never be closed.

"Mr. President, you can veto a bill, but you can't veto hope. We will be back again and again and again until we end the cruel restrictions on lifesaving research that are denying hope to millions of American patients and their families.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

"With his veto, President Bush chose politics over people.

"The Scopes trial took place in 1925. Sadly, President Bushs veto today shows that we havent progressed much since then. The United States cannot enter the 21st Century believing the Earth is flat. We need to celebrate science in this nation not reject it.

"With a stroke of a pen today, President Bush undermined common sense. The President proved he is captive to ideologues and extremists in his political party. What the President did today was not compassionate, nor even conservative. It was an extreme action and history will hold him accountable.

Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO)

I am extremely disappointed that President Bush has issued his first veto on H.R. 810. With his veto, the President has destroyed the hope of millions of Americans who are suffering from diseases like Parkinsons and diabetes that could be cured by stem cell research.

H.R. 810 would have corrected the Presidents short-sighted policy by allowing this important research to move forward under ethical constraints. This research holds so much promise to solving diseases that affect more than 110 million Americans. Vetoing this bill is one of the greatest mistakes of his Presidency.

This research has the support of more than 70% of Americans and the President will suffer the political consequences for vetoing H.R. 810. I promise to keep fighting to expand stem cell research. This important legislation will become law; its only a matter of when.

You can reach Bob Geiger at .
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globalvillage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. John Kerry on Bush Stem Cell Veto
This wasnt a pro-life veto. This was a political veto, and I believe Americans will veto this Presidents narrow political agenda in November.
Honoring the sanctity of human life means giving hope to the 100 million Americans suffering today from illnesses that stem-cell research may one day help cure, not vetoing hope. Instead, because of politics, more than 3,000 Americans will continue to die every day from diseases that might one day be treatable because of stem-cell therapy. We can support our scientists, help the sick, and ensure that our legal and ethical boundaries continue to reflect our unshakable sense of human dignity and the value of human life. Today President Bush failed that test. This was not a simple decision, but it shouldnt have been a close call, let alone the wrong call.
Instead of vetoing runaway spending or cuts in medical services for the poorest Americans, the president has chosen to veto the promise of groundbreaking research. On this issue President Bush has said one thing and done another. Thats not leadership, its playing politics with peoples lives, and its unacceptable.

Thanks for posting this. I was looking for our responses.
Harkin's floor speech was touching, and he ripped bush* pretty good.

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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. They should show the country disabled people.
Bush did one of his predictably Rovian things by having adopted frozen zygotes in the background when he celebrated his veto. The Dems should have people with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases in back of them and hold a press conference. I don't think the American people will stand for this. (Sorry if the "adopted frozen zygote" thing was harsh, but that's what they were celebrating and using for political purposes).
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globalvillage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. There should be a Dem press conference.
I have seen them individually, but they need to come together on this. I don't have a problem with the 'snowflake' babies. I think it's great to use the embryos for that purpose, but there are so many more that could be used for research. I do have a problem with bush*'s disingenuous use of these children to push his agenda.
I don't understand how it is more justified to throw these embryos in the trash than to use them to save lives. And, as Sen Harkin said, how could it have been moral to use them before 9pm one day, then immoral at 9:01? Tony Snow actually called it 'murder'.
I know Sen Kerry brought one of his interns (disabled) with him when he gave his floor speech. Sen Harkin has a nephew with a spinal cord injury that he spoke of.
There are so many personal stories of tragedy. So sad that millions had their hopes dashed yesterday.
The bush* administration Culture of Death continues...

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kirlak Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
23. Bush Stem Cell Veto
Clearly it was a really poor judgment on Dubya part. He showed once again to the entire USA and the World his mental shortcoming. His veto is actually not STOP the research but to Stop Federal Funding. The research itself will go on,for example in CA and NJ it is relatively well funded ( on State Level). Plus we have now Gates Foundation which will surely donate good money to it. Dubya will simply go into history book as an uneducated moron.
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peaches2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 07:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. Override Defeated in the House
Is there a site posted where the votes are listed for the House of Reps defeat of the veto override attempt?
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Here's the House voting record.
#388 is the one you are looking for. /

Let me also toss the Senate URL at ya:
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blue state liberal Donating Member (28 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. The Sign in your Post
Hi Unhappy Camper ---- thanks for the websites of the votes by the members of congress. Also I noticed the photo of the billboard sign beneath your message that said "Be Patriotic IMPEACH BUSH" I saw this billboard while riding in a car on Rt 95S in the heart of our most democratic state, Rhode Island (in the capital, Providence).
I was delighted to see it. Any other DUers see this wonderful sign in other states?
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brentblack Donating Member (127 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. Evolution and stem cells
I fear many things when it comes to science simply because evolution is such a fickle bitch. When we modify genetic material on a large scale, we set our selves up for unintended consequences. I greatly fear for our race due to the constant influx of chemicals such as prozac, xanax, ritalin, etc. This will eventually cause changes in the DNA makeup of large swaths of our race. This is not a small matter or something to be taken lightly.

It is what it cannot stop, but there will be ramifications for adding all these chemicals (especially when we drug our children because they act too much like children) into the system. The body will take this into account when it passes on genetic material to offspring and may make changes as it sees necessary.

I know stem cells are different from the aforementioned drugs, but modifying anyone's genetic makeup (especially people that are young enough to procreate) is a risk that gains momentum over several generations.

Oh...and the punchline....I AM paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal cord injury (don't drink and mountain bike, kids) and I am still uncertain about messing around with the genetic code. We cannot be short sighted on issues such as this.

That said....I would like to walk again.
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WeRQ4U Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. I'm not sure I follow.
As far as I'm aware, stem cell research has to do with the creation of specific tissue and organs. I'm pretty sure it does not alter one's genetic code. FOr instance, I have Type I diabetes. Stem Cell research would help scientists CREATE the beta cells necessary for the production of insulin (which my body lacks). My genetic code is not altered at all.
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brentblack Donating Member (127 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Evolution
My worries are more for people that will procreate after having genetic modifications. If you are not giving birth, then there is no worry. You can change your DNA to the level of a salamander, but unless you create offspring, there is no harm except to you.

Since we know that Evolution occurs (at least people with thier eyes open), but do not know how evolution works as far as when the markers are set in utero, there is risk in modifying anything with chemicals.

Again, my main worries are not with stem cells ( I know this is the main topic, but drugs and evolution are one of my main concerns these days - could focus on cotton candy output by tomorrow as I am rather flighty) but with the overmedication of the kids while in growing stages and into childbearing years.

We worry about PCB's and other toxins that we ingest via water and air, but no one seems to worry that we are altering the genetic makeup of an entire (mostly American and well-off) generation of children whose bodies will become accustomed to these mind altering drugs and may have unintended consequences in thier lifetime or thier children.

That's my tinfoil hat rant for the day.
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Felinity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
6. Good for Bush! Here's what should be next.
Immediate legislation needs to be passed that plans for and funds the adoption of all 400,000+ frozen embryos. Through the faith-based initiative and fundamentalist "Christian" organizations, all women of child-bearing age who enjoy the benefits of such religious persuasion should refrain from sexual activity in favor of in vitro fertilization, whether they want to become pregnant or not, until such time as every last 8-celled organism has been given the opportunity to be implanted and birthed. It is unconscionable that such high-minded, moral(istic), super-Christy people would behave in any other manner.

It would be a strong show of commitment if the Bush twins would step up first.
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Bob Geiger Donating Member (505 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I thought that too!
As I was writing my wrap-up of the House vote, I said exactly the same thing to my wife. About how the Religious Right and the Bush Crime Family should step up and adopt all 400,000 of those little guys. Brilliant minds think alike!
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jayctravis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. Deliver them all to him in a shot glass.
Then he'd mutate, and we'd never be rid of him, with his super powers.
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Sonicmedusa Donating Member (613 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Certainly you do mean the unmarried ones, too....
To the Fundies that would be as unacceptable as (gasp).... Gays adopting them!
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. You forgot - ban all fertility treatments that result in "unwanted"

This is the hypocrisy that just astounds me - they want to stop a woman from choosing abortion of a (typically) single fetus, yet turn around and equate embryo = fetus = baby, and where is the outrage against the fertility clinics, who are thus "killing babies" - several at a shot - daily?

But otherwise your post is excellent!

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Felinity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. What makes you think they don't want to outlaw that too?
I believe that, having this intrusion into science and medicine, we are on a slippery slope to banning in vitro fertilization and any other form of contraception that interferes with implantation of the embryo in the uterus. That would include IUDs and the morning after pill.

Ironically enough, I find the practice of implanting a bunch of embryos at once peculiarly distasteful, because it so often results in multiple birth "litters" or the need to abort one or more to limit the number of potential births. On the other hand, I'm not asking to have it be illegal. I just don't understand how having a baby is so important that you would want to put yourself in that "devil's bargain" position. Seems somewhat egotistically motivated to me, rather that motivated by true compassion. True compassion would have you adopting a baby from Sudan.

The point is, whether you are rabidly progressive (C'est moi!), or a christofacist, you draw a line in the sand . . . FOR YOURSELF. Not a legislative issue.

Oh, and thanks for the compliment! :hi:
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. What makes me think it: where's the outrage?
Hypocrisy seems the only explanation for the fact that their first target is abortion, and not fertility clinics.

I personally don't support fertility clinics..there are far too many orphans or unwanted kids who need to be adopted...but I probably agree with you that they shouldn't be banned. However I don't think there is the slightest chance of any real movement to ban them. (if I'm missing some hue and cry from the radical forced-birth movement on this, maybe it's because I don't watch M$M much anymore...)
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Felinity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. I think they are hanging fire.
They are more politically astute than say, the Progessives, raising the gay marriage issue right before a Presidential election. Ill timed, wasn't it? Perhaps the same astute stategist that is holding back the UBER_CHRISTIANS from pushing their luck was involved in putting the gay commmunity up to that one; or the gay community misestimated their political capital.

Either way, timing is everything.
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Harry Monroe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'm the decider!!
"And I decide that enlightened research must not continue, despite 70% of Americans in favor of research!! Fuck 'em, I know what's best for them!!" :sarcasm: :argh: :mad:
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
9. this is about keeping this technology in the hands of big pharma
got nothing to do with stopping this research. just about keeping it in private hands. if the fed fund research, the knowledge becomes widely available. if big pill does it, they patent, and get richer. period.
tony snowjob says it's murder. but if corporations do it, it's ok. follow the money.

and the dems would do well to figure out how to reject the premise here.
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station agent Donating Member (290 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. I just wrote essentially the same thing--it's not about religion
Bush would never hurt himself politically for the Chirstian Right. He only uses them to help or for cover.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. randi was ranting about this yesterday, also
when the first bill limiting research to established lines came out, i immediately thought, how nice for the owners of those 17 lines. but no one seems to see that elephant in the room.
it isn't murder if you there is money to be made. not murder in iraq, not murder in lebanon, not murder for big pill. just murder when it will be public knowledge. how convenient
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neojohnr Donating Member (7 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
18. Why ethics now?
I agree, why didn't Bush think about ethics before he went into Iraq?
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-20-06 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Hi neojohnr!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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