Judge On Embryonic Stem Cell Research: “Parade Of Horribles” UntrueSep. 09, 2010
Today, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia lifted a ban on federal taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research pending further review (FoxNews.com). The ban was in effect from an injunction issued a couple of weeks ago by a federal district court judge in advance of his final (official) ruling in the case. However, the Appeals Court prohibited the injunction, saying it must accompany an official ruling. When he issues his ruling, expected in the very near future, and if he decides that funding embryonic stem cell research violates federal law, he then can re-issue the injunction. Supporters of this failed research, which destroys human embryos, have been up in arms since the injunction — which blocks the new federal funding approved by the Obama administration — was issued by the judge, U.S. Chief District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District of Columbia (Washington Post). Because of the injunction, the National Institutes of Health suspended consideration of new grants for the research.
opinion noted that "ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo," and the plain language of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, passed by Congress every year since 1996, says that no federal funds shall be used for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed."
Separately, when ruling on an appeal to stay his injunction (before the appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals), Judge Lamberth correctly noted that his decision was pretty simple to come by, especially since Congress was explicit in passing the law:
In this Court's view, a stay [of the injunction] would flout the will of Congress, as this Court understands what Congress has enacted in the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. Congress remains perfectly free to amend or revise the statute. This Court is not free to do so. ... defendants are incorrect about much of their "parade of horribles" that will supposedly result from this Court's preliminary injunction.
This new legal battle has ripped open the debate over taxpayer funding of research that is unethical, illegal and a complete failure. Rhetoric from researchers who benefit financially from the grants, as well as the politicians and organizations bent on making sure human embryos are not recognized as having any intrinsic value, continues unchanged. They again claim that the use of embryonic stem cells is the only hope for those who suffer from disease and paint those opposed to embryonic stem cell research as "anti-science."
The truth is, as usual, much different (see StemCellResearchFacts.org). Those who oppose continued funding of failed ESC research instead point to the multitude of successful treatments and cures from adult stem cell research. Dozens of effective and lifesaving treatments are not simply a pipe dream but a reality with adult stem cells which can be manipulated to act in much the same way as embryonic stem cells. If we want to be pro-science and pro-hope for sufferers of disease, shouldn't we instead fund and support the science that actually is working and actually produces cures? (Even Dr. Oz agrees!)
That's the message The Family Foundation takes to the General Assembly every year. If Virginia's taxpayers are going to be forced to pay for research, it should be research that is not only ethical but also successful. While much of the rest of the world has rejected embryonic stem cell research as a hopeless waste of money, in the United States our politicians continue to try to raid ever diminishing public coffers to prop up failure. It's another bailout that simply must stop.
Chairman Oberstar, Meet Chairman Kaine; Chairman Kaine, Meet Chairman Oberstar.Oct. 06, 2009
Governor Tim Kaine, who doubles as the chairman of the Democrat National Committee, got a dressing down from a senior Congressional Dem the other day. U.S. Rep. James Oberstar (D - Minn.), a chairman himself — of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, one of the most important in Congress because of the mammoth amount of money it spends each year — sent Chairman Governor Kaine a harsh letter for Virginia's 51st place ranking among the states and D.C. in spending of "federal" money for transportation projects. You remember those projects, the ones that were "shovel ready" and supposedly would lift us out of the recession. You know, the same Governor Kaine (contact here) who is so concerned about Virginia's transportation problems that he's tried to raise our taxes ever year in office, including the first week of his tenure, even after campaigning that he would not raise taxes; the same governor who wanted to tax gas when it was $4.00 a gallon? The same governor Creigh Deeds says he'll model himself after?
Here's an excerpt from Rep. Oberstar's letter (read the entire volley here):
Based on the State progress reports submitted to the Committee in September 2009, Virginia has fallen far behind other States in putting to work its Recovery Act Highway formula funds. According to submissions received from all States and the District of Columbia, your State ranks last among all States (51 out of 51) based on an analysis of percentage of Recovery Act Highway formula funds put out to bid, under contract and underway.
As of August 31, Virginia had begun construction of projects totaling only 17 percent of the State's funding.
I strongly urge you to refocus your efforts to implement the Recovery Act and use the available funds to create and sustain family-wage jobs. These jobs are critical to Virginia's and the nation's long-term economic growth.
In August 2009, almost six months after enactment of the Recovery Act, I sent letters to the best and worst performers in putting to work Recovery Act highway funds. Since then, we have watched many states move aggressively. ...
Regrettably, Virginia is not among these States.
Anita Kumar of the Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog has the complete story in two parts: Her initial post (here) and a follow-up (here). We're sure Governor Kaine will have a private response to Rep. Oberstar, who should know this is no way to address the chairman, especially when it validates the governor's critics — the same critics he's tried to ostracize, demagogue and steamroll the last four years — and undercuts his gubernatorial nominee.
VEA: Choice Supporters Are BigotsAug. 26, 2009
Our friends at the VEA must know in their hearts that the end is near. For ages they've been sticking to their deceptive yet effective message that school choice will "drain money from public schools," but as choice proponents have been proving the opposite is true (see Thomas Jefferson Institute), anti-choicers are starting to become unhinged. Enter VEA President Kitty Boitnott. Always good for an off the wall remark, Ms. Boitnott was recently quoted as saying concerning the school choice movement, "I really believe there is an underlying bigotry at the bottom of it all" (see Richmond Times-Dispatch).
Here we go again. If you support anything, anything that isn't government owned and operated, you must be a bigot, a racist, a "fill in the blank." So, if you favor allowing children to attend the school of their parent's choice, the one that fits their needs best, the one that provides the best opportunity for their success, well of course your a bigot. I mean come on, its sooooo obvious.
Note to Ms. Boitnott: The children that are benefiting from every school choice program in existence in the nation are from minority neighborhoods!!! The scholarship programs, the tax credits, the, dare I say, vouchers, that are available in other states and the District of Columbia are helping minority kids!!!
I guess in Ms Boitnott's convoluted world, providing an opportunity for a child in an urban area that is not government owned and operated is bigotry. Of course, in a post-modern world where words have no absolute meaning, such a proclamation is widely accepted. Bigotry is now defined as providing opportunity.
No wonder the VEA can't seem to read. They simply don't know the real meaning of words.