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To The Moon!


This week’s eWeek column is about stem cells and some tactics that proponents might use to pick up enough votes in the House of Representatives to over-ride President Bush’s threatened veto.
I’m stealing a page from Tom Friedman, here. In his rush to get the U.S. jazzed about foreign competition in this new flat world, Friedman has suggested that someone – the government, maybe — set the search for energy independence as a program to revive interest in the sciences. But that’s kind of dull, compared with oh, I dunno, being able to cure cancer or Alzheimer’s or Parkinsons disease. I say make stem cell research the new space race.
Senators are saying today that they have the votes to over-ride Bush’s veto. That’s not too surprising given the new-found political muscle of the Senate’s moderates. Over in the House, it’s still going to be a tough fight. Majority Leader Tom Delay keeps a tighter rein on his troops and Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), who sponsored the stem cell bill in the House, was really moaning yesterday after the bill passed that he didn’t think he’d find any more votes than what he had.
That’s a bit of a contrast to what’s going on here in California where it looks like we’ll get yet another chance to vote on the merits of stem cells this fall. If there’s a special election – and 10,000 state employees probably aren’t going to stop that, I don’t care what Warren Beatty says – voters are going to be asked to place new limits on the committees for the state’s newly created Center for Regenerative Medicine.
This isn’t good for the center. Not because it’s an interruption in what they do or how they’re doing it. It’s bad because it keeps the organization in permanent campaign mode and it needs – it badly needs – to set itself up as an agency, not a ballot initiative effort. This is a transition that’s tough to make. Plenty of political candidates have stumbled in transitions like this. This new campaign isn’t going to help things.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 7:36 PM | Permalink

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