Saturday, June 9, 2007

Support Stem Cell Research

I received an e-mail from Senator Chuck Schumer that I thought was worth sharing here (because I agree with him). Here is the content of the message:

George Bush is about to stubbornly deny the will of the American people once again. This week, the House will pass a bill to lift the arbitrary and damaging restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research that President Bush put in place in 2001. Two months ago, the Senate passed a similar bill.

But George Bush is threatening a veto in defiance of almost every congressional Democrat, many Republicans and the overwhelming majority of the American people. It's not science or facts driving Bush's decision. It is pure pandering to his radical right-wing base. The upshot is that millions who suffer from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes will once again have their hopes dashed. We can't stand by and let this happen. George Bush is preventing the development of treatments and cures for some of the worst diseases for no other reason than politics. That is unconscionable.

With the veto coming as early as Monday, we must hurry and send our message to George Bush right now.Click here to tell Bush to stop obstructing the will of the American people and Congress. Tell him to sign the lifesaving Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. It'll come as no surprise that Bush and the small band of Republicans in Congress who are providing enough votes to prevent a veto-proof majority are relying on pseudoscience and outright lies to defend their position.They tell us that other types of stem cells have just as much potential as embryonic stem cells. They claim that embryonic stem cell therapies are dangerous and always cause tumors in mice. None of it is true.The country's top scientists believe embryonic stem cells have the most potential to find safe, effective cures. And the American people are right there with them. Surveys consistently find that two-third to three quarters of people support expanding this research.

Even the scientists working on the most recent stem cell breakthrough support passage of the current bill. As one of the scientist involved in the recent development said: "A human is not a mouse, so a lot more work has to be done."

It is time to change the policy.Click here to tell Bush to stop obstructing the will of the American people and Congress. Tell him to sign the lifesaving Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.

There is no excuse for the president to veto this bill.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Immigration Shmimmigration

Yahoo News reports: A White House-backed bill to revamp immigration laws stalled in the Senate on Thursday, handing President George W. Bush a major legislative setback.

The sharply divided Senate refused to limit debate on the fragile compromise hammered out by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House. The vote was 45-50, 15 short of the 60 votes needed to advance significant legislation in the 100-member body toward a final vote.

As a result, the bill was set aside and the Democratic-led Senate moved on to other legislation.
Any delay diminishes chances that an immigration overhaul, already an issue in advance of the November 2008 presidential election, can be enacted before Bush leaves office.

I am curious about what folks think about this issue. I have a right-wing leaning friend who is fond of stating that 90% of the US public is against illegal immigration, but when stated that way, of course, who isn't against illegal immigration. But I think that is simplistic and when you dive into all of the nooks and crannies of the issue that things are not nearly as black and white as he imagines.

I do know that I think the current bill is a big piece of horse shit. Expecting folks already in this country to return home and pay $5000 to get citizenship is ridiculous. First of all, it is logistically stupid (no one wants to return to their origin country for fear of never getting back in) and secondly, it seems to be fiscally unsound (how many immigrants actually have a spare $5000 laying around?)... what say you?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Especially for Bev

This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone May 29-June 1, 2007, among a random national sample of 1,205 adults, including an oversample of African Americans, for a total of 284 black respondents. The results from the full survey have an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points.

Basically, for those who don't want to click over and digest the poll, here is what I took from it. Things are looking quite stable at this point, but it could change. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton leads with 35% support, followed by Barack Obama at 23%, Al Gore at 17% and John Edwards at 8%. Al Gore is third and he isn't even running.

What about the Republicans? Over there, Rudy Giuliani leads with 32%, followed by John McCain at 19%, Fred Thompson at 11%, Newt Gingrich at 9% and Mitt Romney also at 9%. Again, we find candidates polling well who are not (yet) running: Thompson in third and Gingrich in fourth.

Another interesting thing (to me at least) is that 50% of Republicans are less likely to vote for Giuliani after being told he "has been a supporter of legal abortion and gay civil unions." (it is question #43 for those who don't trust me)

Horrible News

Yahoo news reports: The personal faith of candidates has become a very public part of the 2008 presidential campaign. Seven years after George W. Bush won the presidency in part with a direct appeal to conservative religious voters — he cited Jesus Christ as his favorite philosopher during one debate — it seems all the leading presidential candidates are discussing their religious and moral beliefs, even when they'd rather not.

It is a damn shame that candidates feel like they have to publicly proclaim their religious beliefs in order to get elected. I wonder if it is true or if it is just an on-going myth? Now I don't mean that a candidate should necessarily declare his or her atheism (even though that would probably make me more interested in them). What I am thinking is that it probably wouldn't hurt a strong candidate to say "My religious beliefs are irrelevant to my ability to hold a public, secular office such as the presidency of the United States of America." And continued to repeat that as a mantra every time they were asked.

Oh, the jackals in the press would probably follow him/her every weekend to see whether they went to a church and what denomination it was. But even then, wouldn't it be a pleasure to hear that candidate just repeat "My religious beliefs are irrelevant to my ability to hold a public, secular office such as the presidency of the United States of America" ?