Thursday, May 31, 2007

Science vs. the Shitheads '07

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--Congress intends to send President Bush legislation next week to ease crippling restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, which is of no use whatever to the petroleum industry and will therefore be vetoed.

As was the case when Enlightenment forces tried to accomplish something last year, Bush appears likely to make his veto stick. Several Democratic officials said Wednesday that supporters of the bill appear to lack the two-thirds majority needed to override him, suggesting that over a third of the Congress is still in the thrall of pro-disease Jesus freaks and suburban hillbillies who love their president no matter who it hurts.

Both houses passed legislation on the subject earlier in the year. The final vote is expected Thursday in the House. The president is expected to talk big for a few news cycles about life and God and balancing the rights of blastocysts with those of us who breathe air, then get out the veto crayon.

Public opinion polls show strong support for the research, and it could return as an issue in the 2008 elections. Public opinion polls also show strong support for universal health coverage, public financing of elections, securing America's ports and nuclear installations against terrorism, reducing greenhouse gases and getting the fuck out of Iraq. But public opinion polls don't have a briefcase full of cash for the RNC.

Critics counter that the research is immoral because it involves the destruction of tiny, insensible clumps of cells that might otherwise grow up to serve their angry white god by voting Republican. Bush said it "crossed a moral line that I and many others find troubling," an apparent reference to his advisors' insistence on sucking up to the party's reactionary Christianist base at all costs.

There was no federal money for the work until Bush announced in 2001 that his administration would make it available for the completely inadequate number of stem-cell lines already in existence at that time. Appointed president by abortion foes and other conservatives on the Supreme Court, he said that his decision was designed to balance concerns about "protecting life and improving life." He has never explained how life in a petri dish is the moral equivalent to life in a wheelchair, and no one really expects him to.

He also limited the funds to cell lines derived from surplus embryos at fertility clinics and donated from adults who had given informed consent, in a rebuke to Democrats who favor ripping them out of kidnapped teenagers in the back of some rave club.

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