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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Frist Merely Playing Politics

Here we go yet again.

WASHINGTON — Breaking with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Friday threw his support behind legislation to expand federal funding forhuman embryonic stem cell research so long as it stays "within ethical bounds."

"It's not just a matter of faith, it's a matter of science," Frist, R-Tenn., said on the floor of the Senate.

Frist's announcement of support for the House-passed legislation immediately dented his support among Christian conservatives but won praise from Democrats, as well as from former first lady Nancy Reagan, whose husband, the late former President Ronald Reagan, had Alzheimer's disease for years before his death.

Bush supports only limited federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and has argued that life should not be created for the purpose of being destroyed during research. Private funding on these cells, however, is not restricted by federal law.

Opponents of expanding research on embryos say there is not enough medical proof to show that embryonic cells may yield more medical miracles than adult stem cells. But proponents of expanding embryonic stem cell funding say the more research done on the widest variety of cells, the better the chances of finding potential cures for crippling diseases.

At the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan said Frist had given Bush advance notice of his announcement. Frist also notified Mrs. Reagan and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., of his pending announcement in telephone calls late Thursday, one Republican congressional source told The Associated Press.


McClellan said Bush still stands by his threat to veto a pending bill that would liberalize federal support for stem cell research. "There is a principle involved here from the president's standpoint when it comes to issues of life," McClellan said.

"I made my position very clear on embryonic stem cells. I'm a strong supporter of adult stem cell research, of course," the president said on May 20. "But I made it very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers' money to promote science which destroys life in order to save life is — I'm against that. And therefore, if the bill does that, I will veto it."


This is all about politics. A few key things announce that's all this is about.

but won praise from Democrats, as well as from former first lady Nancy Reagan

Frist had given Bush advance notice of his announcement

Frist also notified Mrs. Reagan and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., of his pending announcement in telephone calls

Frist's announcement will put pressure on the White House, predicted Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., a cancer patient and the bill's sponsor.

But his decision brought quick praise from leading Democrats.

"Senator Frist cannot have it both ways. He cannot be pro-life and pro-embryonic stem cell funding," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the group. "Nor can he turn around and expect widespread endorsement from the pro-life community if he should decide to run for president in 2008."

"It is a decision that will bring hope to millions of Americans," said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.: "As a physician, Sen. Frist has a moral calling to save lives and alleviate suffering. He honors his Hippocratic Oath today by recognizing the unique healing power of embryonic stem cells."

A likely presidential candidate in 2008, Frist has been courting religious conservatives who helped make Bush a twice-elected president and generally consider embryonic stem cell research a moral equivalent to abortion. But the announcement, coming just a month after Frist said he did not support expanded financing "at this juncture," could help him with centrist voters.

And so on ... all about politics and a possible run in 2008.

And once again, as I have said before ...

Truth is that all successes have come from ADULT stem cells.

Anyways, to clear up the issue ... President Bush has NOT said no to the research, but to the government funding of the research.

Bottom line is ... if this research is so promising ... where the bleep are all the private investors to fund this private research ???

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Update:

Mac has more here and here.

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