Lighting a fire under the president

George W Bush hasn’t vetoed a single bill in all these long, long years of his presidency. Guess what issue might finally convince him to move?

He’s willing to veto any expansion of stem cell research.

That’s our George. Science isn’t part of his base, so he’ll willingly throw that away to make the church-based ignoramuses happy. Zygotes must be spared! It’s the ones that have been born that can be used as cannon fodder.


  1. says

    He actually called discarded embryos “the most vulnerable members of society”. Can anyone explain how 4 or 5 day old embryos are members of society? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I would be willing to bet it doesn’t make sense to most people.

  2. MYOB says

    I’m certain the states could continue to do so regardless of what Bush does. What are they going to do? Arrest the governor? The state legislature members?

    At this point in the Bush administration there is very little credit can be given them in regards to enforcing the laws over the states when Bush feals free to do whatever the hell he wants whenever he wants.


  3. Diego says

    It makes sense. It actually makes sense! I followed the links to an article on the topic and there was a picure of Karl Rove’s giant fetus-like head. Of course with someone who looks like the space fetus from 2001: A Space Odyssey as an inner-circle adviser. . . ;)

  4. Andy Groves says

    Rove couldn’t resist promoting the “adult stem cells are better” lie:

    Recent research, [Rove] said, shows that researchers “have far more promise from adult stem cells than from embryonic stem cells.”

    It’s a particularly nasty lie, as it implies that despite clear evidence otherwise, libruls are just obsessed with killing little babies.

  5. frank schmidt says

    As Rep. Pat Schroeder said during the Reagan administration: these people believe the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth.

  6. says

    Some states already are pursuing their own research into ES cells, including Maryland and California, some other blue states as well. The issue is that this ties up all those NIH dollars, the major source for scientific funding in the country.

  7. Marc Buhler says

    What gets me are those “signing statements” that his legal advisors have adapted to suit Bush’s imperial white house, so that any bill he signs means not what the bill said but what King W. *thought* it said when he signed it. (After all the big words were removed, of course.) Of course, embryos are special.

    (signed) marc


  8. says

    No, wait–Bush just gave a talk wherein he said how important science is for the competitive future of our nation. So obviously he is a Champion of Science. Or was that a Chump of Ideology?

  9. says

    He’s willing to veto any expansion of stem cell research

    Well – he’s willing to say he’ll veto it. He’s threatened to use the veto before. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  10. Rheinhard says

    PZ (or anyone) – I remember a recent article here debunking the whole “adult stem cells are just as good” BS, but can’t seem to find it with a basic search. Can anyone point it (or other science links debunking this) out? I’d like to post it in the comments on another blog in response to a wingnut’s comment on this issue:

    I’m not getting into the “It must be embryo stem cells, or I’m taking my bat and ball and going home” argument again.

  11. JamesR says

    Rove said “We all started out as embryos”.

    The law means that research money will be available for stem cell research that includes new sell lines. As it is this law is to replace the limits placed on stem cell research by the Bush admin. in 2001.

    Laura Bush is opposed to it because as she has stated previously ” We don’t even know if this research will provide any cures.” I guess they forgot to tell her that that is the reason for reasearch.

  12. Millimeter Wave says

    As Rep. Pat Schroeder said during the Reagan administration: these people believe the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth.

    you forgot: “and begins again at brain death”

  13. bernarda says

    Maybe here is some research Dubya might want to finance.

    “A universal mystical experience with life-changing effects can be produced by the hallucinogen contained in magic mushrooms, scientists claim today.

    Forty years after Timothy Leary, the apostle of drug-induced mysticism, urged his hippie followers to “tune in, turn on, and drop out”, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, have for the first time demonstrated that mystical experiences can be produced safely in the laboratory. They say that there is no difference between drug-induced mystical experiences and the spontaneous religious ones that believers have reported for centuries. They are “descriptively identical”.”

    Or maybe not. Bush may have already had drug-induced mystical experiences.

  14. ConcernedJoe says

    The worst part (at least as far as I’ve seen yet) is that the mainstream media is not all over their lies and clouding of truth.

    PZ, I believe you have mentioned that real scientists are in the wings waiting to respond to crap like this. Well, if you all are really “waiting to called” so to speak, may I suggest a much more pro-active approach. Be assertive and aggressive; insist on “front page.”

    Reality will not change one of the faithful BUT many people are fence-sitters just leaning toward the current poor excuses for the “right.” They need to know they lean towards the side of dishonesty. And hopefully as a consequence realize that they are being played as fools by the Roves.

    Hopefully even if many aspects escape them, they will digest enough to say “I am not supporting people who cannot respect the truth and who actually treat me like I’m a fool!”

    Message to all pundits: Play the dishonesty card whenever you can. And play it hard. And then be honest and willing to play honesty to its natural conclusions yourselves (don’t waffle on issues). People do respect honesty over cons. They just have to recognize it.

    Please help them.

  15. Fernando Magyar says

    Re: Ssome research Dubya might want to finance.

    Bush is right we don’t need to study human stem cells. All we have to do is sprinkle some psilocybin in our sacaromyces fermented brew and be happy with that.

    Maybe we could just substitute fungal stem cells for the human cells?

    The yeast genome has a lot of similarities with the human genes. Discovering the precise function of each of these genes, which will be the next task for scientists, should help us understand the origin and the evolution of more than forty diseases, including colon, breast and ovarian cancers, adrenoleukodystrophy, cystic fibrosis, ataxia telangiectasia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, achondroplasia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Moreover, since yeast is very largely used in food industry, important repercussions can be expected in this area as well.

    Stems cells, magical fungi, rapture, mushroom clouds, it all kinda makes sense doesn’t it?

    Oh my gosh, could it be that the intelligent designer is not the FSM but really a giant hallucinogenic mushroom? Make room for Sugo ai Funghi, yum!

  16. says

    JamesR: Remember that to many of these people technology is all they want, no science. (Which, of course, is impossible, but never mind that). So, since no technology to speak of now, no support. Narrow pragmatism combined with fanatic religousity equals …

    ConcernedJoe: Got any seed money? I think a useful (but utopian) charity/NGO would be something like the Science Dissemination Center or the like – an NGO that keeps up in the scientific literature for findings that the public, politicians and the like should know and abstracts them in press releases that they preemptively send out.

  17. Kausik says

    More on the right-to-life argument… Just last night, a woman was in the news for asking her doctors to implant 3 frozen embryos in her uterus, despite clinical advice against it, because she “wanted to give a home to the babies” (!!) – erm, embryos made from her husband’s sperm and her eggs, before she separated from him. The matter is now sub-judice, because the husband does not want this, and the courts have to establish ownership (!) of the embryos. The woman wants to have the embryos implanted and “let mother nature take its course”, forgetting, of course, that her participation in the IVF treatment was contrary to what “mother nature” intended in the first place.

  18. says

    I’m with Carl on this one. I’ve seen plenty of veto threats in the past 5 and a half years. The typical result is that Congress changes the wording a bit and GWB adds a signing statement that, if legally enforced, would have the effect of a veto of the original bill.

    What I’m waiting to see is a legal challenge to the signing statements. From what I’ve read, it is unlikely that these would stand up to a court challenge. Of course, that could all change if GWB gets to appoint another Scalia/Thomas/Alito/Roberts reactionary to the SCotUS.

  19. says

    So Jason, you’ve gone from “dozens and dozens” of cures to one. That’s a step. More honest than not allowing comments that disagree with you on your site, anyway.