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Friday, April 13, 2007

Amy Klobuchar Votes for Norm Coleman's Dead Embryo Only Stem Cell Bill

From the Star Tribune:

'Middle Ground Solution' Bill by Coleman Approved
Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 8:25 AM
WASHINGTON - With Sen. Amy Klobuchar's support, Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., marked a victory Wednesday when his embryonic stem cell legislation passed the Senate just after senators approved another stem cell measure President Bush promises to veto.

The bill Coleman co-sponsored limits federally funded embryonic stem cell research to stem cells those derived from "naturally dead" embryos, and it was approved 70 to 28.

Coleman called his bill a "middle ground solution" and said it moves scientific research forward without destroying embryos.

Read the whole article Here.

Norm Coleman's bill is NOT a middle ground solution. Norm was taking his marching orders from the extremists at the FRC. People should call Amy Klobuchar and Norm Coleman and let them know what you think. The FRC claims of successful adult stem cell research have been rebutted in Science Magazine:

Originally published in Science Express on 13 July 2006
Science 28 July 2006:
Vol. 313. no. 5786, p. 439
DOI: 10.1126/science.1129987

Prev | Table of Contents | Next
Adult Stem Cell Treatments for Diseases?
Opponents of research with embryonic stem (ES) cells often claim that adult stem cells provide treatments for 65 human illnesses. The apparent origin of those claims is a list created by David A. Prentice, an employee of the Family Research Council who advises U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and other opponents of ES cell research (1).

Prentice has said, "Adult stem cells have now helped patients with at least 65 different human diseases. It's real help for real patients" (2). On 4 May, Senator Brownback stated, "I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the listing of 69 different human illnesses being treated by adult and cord blood stem cells" (3).

In fact, adult stem cell treatments fully tested in all required phases of clinical trials and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are available to treat only nine of the conditions on the Prentice list, not 65 [or 72 (4)]. In particular, allogeneic stem cell therapy has proven useful in treating hematological malignancies and in ameliorating the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Contrary to what Prentice implies, however, most of his cited treatments remain unproven and await clinical validation. Other claims, such as those for Parkinson's or spinal cord injury, are simply untenable.

The references Prentice cites as the basis for his list include various case reports, a meeting abstract, a newspaper article, and anecdotal testimony before a Congressional committee. A review of those references reveals that Prentice not only misrepresents existing adult stem cell treatments, but also frequently distorts the nature and content of the references he cites (5).

Good Summary of Don Imus Conflama

Chris Stewart - Quite a Piece of Work

I watched Thursday's four hour Minneapolis School Board meeting, where Supt. Green's recommendations for the next round of school closings were approved by 6-1 votes. Freshman member Chris Stewart was the lone dissenting vote on both resolutions.

It's becoming clear to me that he's a show-boater, and enjoys playing to the angry crowd. Last fall, using an alias, he maintained a tasteless, racist, sexist website attacking 5th CD IP candidate Tammy Lee. On this blog I was one of many people who called for his resignation, and my post was quoted in the 'Bloghouse' section of the Star Tribune.

When Supt. Green's options for a 'North Side Initiative' were first presented to the board a few weeks ago, Director Stewart declared the plan to be 'brilliant'.

Since then, the board has held a number of public meetings/forums to gather public input, and have no doubt been on the receiving end of many calls, e-mails and letters.

I think it's a mark of a responsible, thoughtful elected official to actually listen to and consider public input, but during last night's debate and votes he continually threw out red meat to the audience (and smirked while he did it), gathering applause and cheers while he stuck knives in his colleague's backs.

During last night's debate on the school closing resolutions, Stewart suggested racist motivations behind the board's assumed support for the recommendations. To paraphrase what he said, it's a lot easier to support the school closings when they're in another part of the district (board member Peggy Flanagan is a north side resident).

He made a motion to delay a decision for an unspecified amount of time, to allow for more study/research. He cited a lack of transparency in developing and communicating the plan. The board had a lively debate, but the motion failed.

Other amendments were offered to exclude Lincoln from the closings, as supporters of that school had organized a passionate protest to the plan. Another amendment asked the staff to salvage some sort of K-8 option for the southern portion of the north side. Both amendments failed.

Board chair Pam Costain withheld comment until everybody else had their say, at which time she expressed support for the administration's plan without amendment. She also called out Chris Stewart, scolding him for 'impugning the motives of fellow board members'.

Stewart spoke again, denying that he had ever questioned another board members motive (which was remarkable double-talk), and later said, 'of course the board chair supports the plan - it's her plan'.

If that isn't impugning somebody's motive, then I don't know.

To be fair, I was happy to see the school board actually having a spirited debate on a very important topic in front of a live camera, something that doesn't happen very often. It was unfortunate that Chris Stewart had less to say about the merits of the plan (or lack thereof), than complaints about the process and skeevy suggestions about how other board members made their decisions.

The other thing missing from this four-hour circus was any type of serious alternatives to the proposed resolutions - it was all complaints, with no solutions.

Life will go on, but Mr. Stewart did not gain any political points with his fellow board members last night, which could help him in the future when he wants to gather support for his own initiatives. Like Michele Bachmann, he might be more content to be a loud show-off than actually develop serious policy initiatives.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Norm Coleman Gets on Conference Call with FRC

Minnesota Monitor has the scoop.

Coleman's bill, which passed the Senate by a wide margin, provides for funding of stem cell lines derived from "clinically dead" embryos. Coleman criticized those who say that this method will not work to create usable cell lines, saying, "Researchers who have alternate ways of getting to the same place are often very protective of their way."

Coleman was nevertheless circumspect, warning that there was "broad support" for stem cell research in general.

"For those who don't consider a human embryo life that merits protection--this is not me speaking, but this is what they think--why shouldn't we have access to these embryos?" Coleman said.

Coleman finished the meeting with a call to support his bill.

"This is our moment. If we can move this research with a moral base, we can show the world that we can do research in a moral way," he said. "This bill offers the opportunity."

How did Amy Klobuchar vote on Coleman's bill?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Norm Coleman on Stem Cells

I wrote both Senators on this topic. Amy Klobuchar has not responded.

Dear Ms. Young:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your views on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

In my opinion, the President's current policy does not provide enough federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. I believe we can and must do more to advance this life-saving research. However, I do not support the use of federal dollars to destroy an embryo, and I will continue to oppose any stem cell research bill that crosses this important ethical line.

Thankfully, scientific advances today allow us to move forward on embryonic stem research without harming the human embryo. Some of these methods include Altered Nuclear Transfer which programs an unfertilized egg to produce embryonic stem cells. Another method uses embryos that have naturally died, but from which stem cells may still be derived and used. Both of these methods, and potentially others down the road, create the valuable pluripotent stem cells that have made embryonic stem cell research so desirable. But they do so without destroying embryos.

In addition, I am greatly encouraged that non-embryonic stem cell research has already progressed to the point where patients are benefiting from the results. Diabetic children are receiving transplants of stem cells from umbilical cords and seeing a decrease in blood glucose levels. Studies have also shown that Parkinson's symptoms can be tremendously improved using treatments derived from Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial cells. The list of successes is a long one.

Currently Congress faces a couple of dead end choices. Members could pass legislation that allows federal funding for stem cell research that involves the destruction of human embryos, knowing full well the President will once again veto it. Members could also vote against federal funding for any type of embryonic stem cell research and miss the opportunity to move this important science forward. However, my hope is to move beyond these roadblocks and provide significant funding for stem cell research that is not being federally funded today, but does not cross the ethical line of destroying a human embryo.

Earlier this year I introduced legislation called the Hope Offered through Principled, Ethically-Sound Stem Cell Research Act or the "HOPE" Act (S. 363). The bill provides $5 billion in federal funding for both embryonic and non-embryonic stem cell research which does not harm or destroy a human embryo. My bill also creates a National Stem Cell Research Review Board that will provide ethical oversight, define research practices and interpret legal guidelines with regard to federally funded stem cell research. Additionally, the bill defines ethical guidelines for informed consent and for commerce involving human eggs, embryos and embryonic stem cell lines.

I believe that my legislation achieves the goals of advancing life-saving research without being vulnerable to a veto. I am optimistic that my HOPE Act offers a bipartisan solution to our nation and Congress who are split over this emotional and divisive issue.

Thank you once again for contacting me. I value your advice. I hope you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you and your family.

Norm Coleman
United States Senate

I sent a response:

Dear Senator Coleman:

Then why not just introduce legislation to ban in vitro fertilization? Excess embryos produced from the procedures are destroyed all the time. Your stand is not "saving human life", it is merely preventing embryos which are slated for destruction from being used in research.

Eva Young

Liveblogging Franken on CNN

I got the idea from Fecke and Brodkorb....

8:15 - Plug for Franken on the show.

8:20 - It's starting out... Franken says Imus was totally inappropriate and wrong.

8:22 - Mentions Glenn Beck and his asking Keith Ellison about being a terrorist.

8:26 - Takes the 5th about whether Imus should get fired. Mentions Lenny Bruce - and satire. Says he doesn't see anything funny about what Imus said.

8:36 - The Drama Queen notes that Franken seems uncomfortable talking about Imus. I'll concur with that observation.

8:42 - End of appearance. Horse rates comments. Franken says Coleman gets contributions from Big Insurance and Big Pharma and he gets contributions from Big Minnesota and Big Comedy.

Go check out Fecke's and Brodkorb's live blogs.

When Even the Young Mormons Turn On You....

Things are looking increasingly bleak for the Bush administration.

From the Chicago Sun-Times

Cheney is target of rare protest at Brigham Young

April 3, 2007

PROVO, Utah -- Some students and faculty on one of the nation's most conservative campuses want Brigham Young University to withdraw an invitation for Vice President Dick Cheney to speak at commencement this month.

Critics at the school question whether Cheney sets a good example for graduates, citing his promotion of faulty intelligence before the Iraq war and his role in the CIA leak scandal.

The university, which is owned by the Mormon church, has "a heavy emphasis on personal honesty and integrity in all we do," said Professor Warner Woodworth.

"Cheney just doesn't measure up," he said.

The display of dissent is rare for the university. Students at BYU adhere to a strict honor code that forbids everything from drinking coffee to wearing shorts or short skirts. Students seldom even stray from campus sidewalks, leaving its lawns pristine.

"Cougars don't cut corners," is how one saying describes students.

Did Rachel Paulose's Mismanagement of the MN US Attorney's Office Allow a Convicted Felon to Keep Property Worth $794,500?

Gary Dean Zimmermann had a court-appointed lawyer. Zimmermann claimed he was broke.

According to the City of Minneapolis website, Zimmermann still owns 3 properties worth $794,500. How is that possible?

2200 Clinton Av. S. $226,500

2012 Grand Av. S. $389,500 

2416 - 17th Av. S. $178,500

During the trial, Zimmermann admitted he spent most of the bribe money.

He also has fines to pay.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

One Mean Bad Octopus

Bloghouse Attacks He Should Not Be Named

I suppose to Tim OBrien, Michael Brodkorb is Lord Voldemort.

Blog house: Conservatives now blogging in defense of ... gays?

Published: April 07, 2007

Geez, you go on vacation for a couple of weeks, and when you get back, there's been a sea change in where the parties stand. Conservative bloggers are now the defenders of gays and lesbians. Several right-wing bloggers are attacking Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken for some skits and comments he made more than 30 years ago that they, with their finely tuned sensitivities, construe as possibly antigay.

That's quite a change from when the Republican Party was trying to use same-sex marriage and gay adoption as wedge issues. It seems like just yesterday that the GOP caucus in St. Paul was trying to put the gay marriage issue on the ballot to gin up voter turnout and that ├╝berconservative pinup girl Ann Coulter was calling a Democratic presidential candidate a "faggot."

If Ann Coulter's mouth is an issue, Al Franken's mouth should be also. Norm Coleman should be answering for his anti-gay flyer in 1998.

Since these bloggers are now courageous champions for civil rights for gays and lesbians, it won't be long before they call on Sen. Norm Coleman to repudiate his vote for a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and hate-crimes legislation.

They've seen the progressive light. I mean, that has to be it. The only other explanation would be craven hypocrisy, and that certainly couldn't be the case.

There are many conservatives who opposed the federal marriage amendment. One of those was DOMA author Bob Barr.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dump Bachmann Has a Site Redesign

I've been spending alot of time working on that. I'll probably eventually do a 3 column layout at Lloydletta's Nooz also.

The Drama Queen announces that he will soon be a father of twin girls. He is very concerned about poopy diapers. That makes sense. Recall he was quite concerned about the Freedom to Poop act.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

OReilly vs Geraldo on Immigration

Quite the cat fight.

New York Times on Federal Attorney Scandal Fallout in Wisconsin and Minnesota

As Congress investigates the politicization of the United States attorney offices by the Bush administration, it should review the extraordinary events the other day in a federal courtroom in Wisconsin. The case involved Georgia Thompson, a state employee sent to prison on the flimsiest of corruption charges just as her boss, a Democrat, was fighting off a Republican challenger. It just might shed some light on a question that lurks behind the firing of eight top federal prosecutors: what did the surviving attorneys do to escape the axe?

Ms. Thompson, a purchasing official in the state’s Department of Administration, was accused by the United States attorney in Milwaukee, Steven Biskupic, of awarding a travel contract to a company whose chief executive contributed to the campaign of Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. Ms. Thompson said the decision was made on the merits, but she was convicted and sent to prison before she could appeal.

The prosecution was a boon to Mr. Doyle's opponent. Republicans ran a barrage of attack ads that purported to tie Ms. Thompson’s “corruption” to Mr. Doyle. Ms. Thompson was sentenced shortly before the election, which Governor Doyle won.

The Chicago-based United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit seemed shocked by the injustice of her conviction. It took the extraordinary step of releasing Ms. Thompson from prison immediately after hearing arguments, without waiting to issue a ruling. One of the judges hinted that Ms. Thompson may have been railroaded. “It strikes me that your evidence is beyond thin,” Judge Diane Wood told the lawyer from Mr. Biskupic’s office.

There is also trouble in the Minnesota United States attorney’s office, where the administration recently installed Rachel Paulose, a 34-year-old with scant management experience. Three of her top assistants have resigned their management positions, and The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that they did so out of dissatisfaction with her. Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, said the resignations were more evidence of the attorneys’ offices being “deprofessionalized.”

Paulose doesn't appear to be a natural at management.

The Flood

Highly Allochthonous wishes there had been a global flood:

*Which is why, all you biblical literalists out there, we'd love for there to have been a global flood - the sediments laid down by such an event would be the ultimate correlatable horizon, because they would exist in every stratigraphic column in the entire world. Sadly for us (and you), it's just not there, so we have to do things the hard way.

Disney Allows Gays to Celebrate Weddings

The bigots at Americans for Truth are having a cow, and suggesting this alternative:

TAKE ACTION – Walt Disney executives may lack discernment, but we encourage readers to exercise their own. Why not skip “It’s a Small World” and instead plan a family vacation or Bible school field trip to the “Creation Museum,” scheduled to open June 2007 just outside Cincinnati, Ohio — where, among the other “Answers in Genesis,” your kids will learn the Truth about God’s design for human sexuality and marriage.