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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stem Winders

Congress is debating competing bills on expanding funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but British researchers aren't waiting. Using patients' own stem cells, they've weaned them off insulin injections.

Despite the fact that George W. Bush is the only president to have spent federal funds on embryonic stem-cell research (Clinton spent zero), and that private embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) is not restricted, the myth persists that the only thing standing between us and a bevy of miracle cures is a cabal of right-wing Bible thumpers led by Dubya himself.

Thanks in part to deceptive campaign ads that politicized the issue, such as those featuring Parkinson's sufferer Michael J. Fox and run in key Senate races, Democrats gained control of the Senate. Now Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing a bill expanding federal ESCR funding beyond existing stem-cell lines, including the use of embryos created specifically for research purposes.

Regardless of how one feels about the morality and ethical issues, the bigger issue, in my opinion, is being ignored. Funding this research is not a proper function of government and as such, it is immoral to force everyone, including those viscerally opposed, to pay for it.


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