Strategy Behind Bush’s Stem Cell Veto

President Bush’s first-ever veto of stem cell research legislation is a supposed letdown for several pro-life conservatives as well as about 2/3 of Americans, according to recent polls. But in fact, this questionable use of veto power may prove to benefit Republican candidates in 2006 and ’08 and their strategists.

Bush’s veto statement on legislation meant to enable scientists to access new lines of stem-cells from unused embryos that are essentially wasted by fertility clinics, verifies the foolish nonsense behind his (what-in-most-humans-you-might-call) logic.

More importantly, the stubborn-ass president stays true to his concrete opinions and positions (and lies) immune to any barometers of public opinion as well as scientific advances and studies that have rendered his five-year-old reasoning irrelevant, if not totally off-the mark.

It is no surprise that Bush would use all means possible (and what isn’t possible for this president) to shoot down a bill because, according to WH press secretary Tony Snow, “he thinks murder is wrong.” Certainly, GOP candidates and all the Karl Rove lackeys are prepared to take full advantage of this unpopular view from an already unpopular, lame duck president.

Undoubtedly, GOP congressional candidates will flip the tables in advance of the November election and reveal the *truth* behind stem-cell research, and come off as potential saviors when they commit passing a bill, even if it takes a veto override, in 2007 — thereby affecting the lives of up to 100 million Americans.

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Will to Power

Condi Goddess of War by Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland, GermanyA scathing, no-holds-barred reprobation of neoconservativism and the State Department’s so-called “transformational diplomacy” approach to proliferating democracy in the Middle East erupted from the pen of George Will this morning:

[Condoleezza Rice] seems to consider today’s turmoil preferable to the Middle East’s “false stability” of the past 60 years, during which U.S. policy “turned a blind eye to the absence of the democratic forces.”

It would be overreaching, according to Will for the U.S. to even consider becoming involved in a broader Mideast conflict — assuming that can be avoided — and the generally conservative columnist appears to be outraged at the likes of William Kristol and his scribes at the Neocon Weekly Standard:

One envies that publication’s powers of prophecy but wishes it had exercised them on the nation’s behalf before all of the surprises — all of them unpleasant — that Iraq has inflicted.

Steve Clemons of The Washington Note foreshadowed today’s George Will entry by documenting attacks on Bill Kristol’s Standard in recent days by both Will and Juan Williams, and acknowledges Will with a Conservative With a Conscience award in a post today.

Leave it to conservative blogger Hugh Hewitt to label Will a GOP “drop out” and call for Senate hearings on U.S. action against mouthy Iran.

The irrational disconnect doesn’t stop there, and in fact, WH Spokesman Tony Snow completely disgraced himself and the white house in an exchange with Helen Thomas this morning. After incorrectly claiming the U.S. didn’t “veto” a statement regarding “Gaza” at the Middle East at the U.N. or as Snow called it: “…the V.N. — the U.N., whatever it is,” he went ahead and belittled the reknown Bush-critic Thomas by adding, “Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view.”

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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