Will Bush Really Veto the Stem-Cell Bill?

As Senate pushes to pass a bill that has already made it through the House — allocating federal funds to enable and expand stem-cell research — the White House has released a “Setting the Record Straight” memorandum titled “President Bush’s Stem Cell Policy is Working” to reaffirm his committment to using his first-ever veto should the bill pass as expected.

But the president’s information is not only inaccurate, it’s ridiculous, and republicans from Senate Majority leader Frist to former First Lady Nancy Reagan have rallied behind the bill, which would essentially expand the potential for stem-cell research, which was curtailed by Bush in 2001, who compared the culling of cells from a five-day-old embryo — a glob of cells barely visible under a microscope — to abortion.

AP Medical writer Lauran Neergaard writes,

“Embryonic stem cells are essentially master cells, able to morph into all the cell types found in the body…. [T]hey potentially could grow replacements for damaged tissue ? new insulin-producing cells for Type 1 diabetics or new nerve connections to restore movement after spinal injury, for example.

As Think Progress illustrates, “while the facts have changed, Bush’s mind has not.”

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D Heimpel is ‘The Boxer’

The next post in a series from contributor-at-large “Diesel” D. Heimpel finds the author getting his ass kicked in a boxing gym in an Icelandic fishing village but living to write about it. This was originally published in the Iceland Review. UPDATE: Soon after publishing this article, our star got his ass kicked again! ed. note: Heimpel didn’t really get his ass kicked, per se, but would like to thank the anonymous reader that sent flowers.

He’s out there in a lonely Icelandic fishing village, running up treeless hills with a bag of stones slung over his shoulder. His nickname is Lalli and he’s the blonde man with arms like jackhammers in the poster on the boxing gym wall. He’s Iceland’s heavyweight champion, and if Fabio, head coach at the Reykjav?k boxing gym can finalize arrangements, those jackhammers will be on me in less than two weeks.

“He hasn’t lost yet, and he will not let you win. He will beat you,” Fabio said as I panted after a couple rounds with Iceland’s second best junior heavy weight. “Let’s just say that I don’t like holding a bag for him.”

But, that’s the better story right? I’m a month and a half into training and I still may look like Frankenstein, stiff and all arms. But every once in a while I manage to swing my hips and unleash some power.

As I rode my bike home I got to thinking about why I’m even doing this. I tell myself it’ll be a great clip, a journalist who went to Iceland and decided to fight the country’s best. A story I can peddle at journalism job fairs. But then I got to thinking about what really makes me want to do it – beyond the vanity, the fake bravado, and the half-pathetic attempt at hyper-masculinity.
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Would we Tolerate Rockets Fired from Culver City?

venice beach, hezbollah protestersIts true — Lebanon was growing into a jewel of the Mediterranean — apparently hundreds of tourists were airlifted out today by Italian airlines.

But Haifa and Tiberias in Israel hadn’t seen attacks of this sort in over 30 years, probably not since the Yom Kippur war of 1973 when Israel was a wee 25 years young.

This sign was spotted amid several others protesting Hezbollah and questioning global response to this conflict. A group of men who said they were Black Hebrews bandied about Venice Beach boardwalk for about an hour this afternoon, signs raised high.

Miss the news of the past 5 days? BBC News has this comprehensive timeline of the recent conflict.

Ha’aretz has a solid breaking news ticker (Israel time is PDT +10).