Zombie lies never die

No one could have predicted that former Bushies would use a discredited Charles Krauthammer piece to bolster their anti-stem cell arguments:

A few days before Obama announced he was abolishing Bush-era limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, Bush supporters who frequently appear on TV received an e-mail from an adviser saying: “I wanted to send you the following two documents on President Bush’s record on stem cell research: 1. a Bush White House fact sheet on President Bush’s record of advancing stem cell research in ethical, responsible ways and 2. a November 2007 Washington Post column by Charles Krauthammer, ‘Stem Cell Vindication.’”

Here’s what two scientists wrote a few days after Krauthammer’s column appeared:

Since 1998, many strategies for addressing sanctity-of-life concerns have been pursued. While commendable, these efforts remain preliminary, and none so far has suggested a magic bullet. In the same way, the recent tandem advances in the United States and by Shinya Yamanaka’s team in Japan are far from being a Holy Grail, as Charles Krauthammer inaccurately described them. Though potential landmarks, these studies are only a first step on the long road toward eventual therapies.

Krauthammer’s central argument — that the president’s misgivings about embryonic stem cell research inspired innovative alternatives — is fundamentally flawed, too.






42 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    It should be pointed out that the general form of this

    Krauthammer’s central argument—that the president’s misgivings about embryonic stem cell research inspired innovative alternatives—is fundamentally flawed, too.

    i.e.

    Krauthammer’s central argument is fundamentally flawed, too.

    has long been recognized as a fundamental axiom of pundit analysis.

    -dms

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    The Craphammer writes a column containing errors? I am dissapointed and terrified.

  3. 3
    Napoleon says:

    Speaking of zombie lies, did anyone catch Ari Fleischer claiming on Hardball last night that we had to take Saddam out after 9/11 so that "he wouldn’t strike again"

    There is no lie to big for the right in this country to tell.

  4. 4
    RSA says:

    Here’s what two scientists wrote a few days after Krauthammer’s column appeared

    Oh, that’s just another he-said-she-said argument: a conservative non-scientist opinion columnist versus the head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a pioneering stem cell researcher. How could any reasonable person judge who was right, between the two parties?

  5. 5
    edmund dantes says:

    I can never understand the stemcell arguments. These are embryos that are going in the incinerator.

    I have no problem with using the extra embryos from IVF that were going to "die in a fire". The only thing accomplished by the stem cell ban was the ultimate method of destruction of these embryos. Talk about a pyrrhic victory (unless the fundie right to lifers are getting ready to bust down the IVF door too on right to life issues)

  6. 6

    I have no problem with using the extra embryos from IVF that were going to "die in a fire".

    Snicker.
    Great. Now I am going to hell, Thanks!

  7. 7
    John S. says:

    @Napoleon:

    FDR caused the Great Depression, and his New Deal made it worse, dontcha know! Also.

  8. 8
    robertdsc says:

    Stupid shit like this is one reason why I have such a visceral dislike of conservatism.

  9. 9
    donnah says:

    Krauthammer is a source, alright. A source of embarrassment.

  10. 10
    Napoleon says:

    By the way, on the general subject of Krauthammer, a few weeks ago I read Rick Hertzberg’s (sp?) bit about him on Rick’s blog over at the New Yorker site and it was interesting in that when both of them were at The New Republic at the start of their careers, Krauthammer was more or less a standard issue liberal but for his hardline foreign policy ideas.

  11. 11
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Does it never occur to those who repeat lies for the GOP with such ease and facility that they won’t be believed if they did happen to stumble upon an important truth?

  12. 12
    Zifnab says:

    If at first you don’t succeed, lie lie again.

  13. 13
    vishnu schizt says:

    Science, WTF?! What does stem cell research have to do with science? You see to the hard core republitard its all just kabuki, posturing, marketing. Don’t all of you watch Trinity Broadcasting??? The gold paint, the hair, the fake tits? Science, what a pain in the ass that shit is. Those scientists just don’t fucking listen. The people aren’t governed by science, they are governed by advertisements. "I can’t believe its butter" has more power than science. Don’t all you fucking hippies see that? The ‘tards had it all if it wasn’t for the fucking MSM, sysiphus nearly had that goddamn rock on top of the hill!!!

  14. 14
    Punchy says:

    I can never understand the stemcell arguments. These are embryos that are going in the incinerator.

    I had this argument with my sister last T-giving. She’s a PhD in science, so she should be able to see the bennys of SCR. Yet as a die-hard Catholic, she was vociferous in her disdain and disgust for using these embryos, but simply couldn’t explain what should thus happen to the millions of embryos in the IVF clinics. She couldn’t answer as to why they would be tossed in a dumpster but not onto a Petri dish.

    Dishonest hacks, my family can be.

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: That’s only true for Democrats. One misstatement will haunt you for the rest of your days. By contrast, a GOoPer pundit that states something ignorantly and is proved right later on has the entire history of his works revisited as god’s honest truth.

    That’s ultimately what this whole stem cell debate is about. Bush bans embryonic research and declares, "You figure out how to work around it, that’s not my problem." And when – millions of extra dollars and thousands of man hours later – someone finally finds a work around, Bush is lauded as a moral leader and a prescient head of state.

  16. 16

    Just tell the religious nutz that the only way to that Jesus Christ is going to return is through stem cell research.

  17. 17
    Brian J says:

    Stupid shit like this is one reason why I have such a visceral dislike of conservatism.

    I know that when things don’t go well, each side has a tendency to say, "Oh, well, that’s not really an example of conservatism/liberalism." I don’t know know if this qualifies, but it looks like so many bastardize what’s really a legitimate school of thought, even if one that I’d probably disagree with, that I’m tempted to give people the benefit of the doubt. What we may be seeing isn’t necessarily conservatism, but some sort of cancerous offshoot that clowns like Malkin and Krauthammer represent.

  18. 18
    Michael D. says:

    Charles Krauthammer probably would never have a column at WaPo or anywhere if he didn’t have a last name like Krauthammer.

    I mean really. Would he be a columnist if he was Charles Jones?

  19. 19
    bootlegger says:

    @edmund dantes: You’re comparing snowflake to frostburn babies methinks.

  20. 20
    bootlegger says:

    There’s a museum just north of my position where dinosaurs walk with humans, just like in those movies. It must be true amiright?

  21. 21
    vishnu schizt says:

    @bootlegger: damn straight they did! I mean Sarah Palin was hot wasn’t she? I mean hell dude, wouldn’t you rather a 9 year old die in child birth rather than abort a fetus?

  22. 22
    NonyNony says:

    @Punchy:

    I had this argument with my sister last T-giving. She’s a PhD in science, so she should be able to see the bennys of SCR. Yet as a die-hard Catholic, she was vociferous in her disdain and disgust for using these embryos, but simply couldn’t explain what should thus happen to the millions of embryos in the IVF clinics.

    What’s funny is that I have similar "discussions" with my Catholic family members. And not once do I get the answer that I should get if they’re really concerned about following Catholic teachings on life: we should outlaw IVF. That’s what the Catholic Church insists is the only morally correct course of action – IVF should be banned because the process involves creating hundreds of embryos, and killing all but a few of them.

    And yet, they never bring that option up. They waffle. They compare using embryos for stem cell research to Nazis doing experiments in concentration camps (fun times at my family gatherings – eh?), but they don’t give the actual Church teaching on IVF. Because they know, in their hearts, that it’s bullshit. We have family friends who had no chance of having children except for IVF – and they’ve been wonderful parents and their kids are great. Making the Church’s argument against IVF makes those friends into murderers and says that their children should never have been born. And none of my family is willing to go there.

    (Of course my family is already shaky about this whole "Catholic teaching" thing. When I was practicing, I was often accused by my more conservative family members of being a "cafeteria Catholic". But they’re just as bad as I ever was – the death penalty, unjust wars, lack of a living wage – those are all things that the Catholic Church has condemned and exhorted its members to work against, yet my conservative family members have no problem with bucking the Church on those things. But abortion? Oh hell no – you can’t deviate from the Church one iota on that one. Sigh.)

  23. 23
    pattonbt says:

    Modern day conservatism / republicanism has simply become a religious doctrine. It has nothing to do with facts and everything to do with faith. Hence why their numbers are going down, just like those in organized religion.

    Once the ‘right’ answer has been decided (No Taxes!!!! Free Wars!!!!, etc.) as dogma nothing (facts, real world events, human nature, empty pockets) can disprove its ‘rightness’. Dems may have some aspects of this but they are much easier to be brought around by facts and evidence.

    The R’s can always find someone who (is either paid well enough or believes hard enough) can twist words and facts enough to keep the true faithful in line. Add tribalism and politics as sport into the mix and its easy to see why facts will always have a hard time in the party of ‘faith’ only. ‘Clap louder’ is just so appropriate for this party.

  24. 24
    Comrade Stuck says:

    One frozen embryo says to another frozen embryo

    Frozen embryo 1 – I’m freezin’ my ass off over here.

    Frozen embryo 2 – Dream on motherfucker.

  25. 25
    thomas says:

    vishnu (at13) has the lead in snark points

    punchy (at 14) needs to go into revocering RC mode and remind his sister that the reason the church – yeh, that one – preaches against invitro is because of the leftovers. The question to a practicing RC becomes, "How can you rant against destroying(?) something the misogynist clerics insist should have never been created in the first place."

  26. 26
    thomas says:

    i see nony beat me to it

  27. 27

    Did I miss the discussion on Cheney’s assassination squads?

  28. 28
    bootlegger says:

    @vishnu schizt: Was the 9 year old a snowflake or frostburn baby?

  29. 29
    bootlegger says:

    @NonyNony: Women expell an egg every month and some of those are fertilized. No wonder the church hates women.

  30. 30
    Shibby says:

    Holy hell the stem cell "debate" is one of my hot button issues. Nothing pisses me off more than ignorant dipshits dictating science. What really gets me is people don’t think about 8 damn years of potentially life saving research that could have been performed. Instead we got the ban on federal funding of the research and a large cutback in the NIH budget. People are dying today of diseases that could potentially benefit from stem cell therapies. I guess the actual dying of an existing human being is less meaningful than the loss of an embryo that has no future, potential or otherwise.

  31. 31
    Evinfuilt says:

    and these people doing obvious repetitive blatant lying is unusual how?

    Might as well be surprised that George Will reprints a previously discredited column and call it news.

  32. 32
    Punchy says:

    @NonyNony: My sis, too, wont take that "ban IVF" position, at least not out loud, b/c my brother’s two kids are both IVF. If she dared to say this, my sis-in-law would verbally assault her. It’d be ugly. What fun (sigh) family gatherings can be.

  33. 33
    Andrew says:

    I have never heard a pro-lifer give an honest or satisfactory answer to the simple question:
    You’re in an IVF room with a baby and the building is on fire. Do you save the baby or do you carry out a crate of fertilized embryos?

  34. 34
    gwangung says:

    Holy hell the stem cell "debate" is one of my hot button issues. Nothing pisses me off more than ignorant dipshits dictating science. What really gets me is people don’t think about 8 damn years of potentially life saving research that could have been performed. Instead we got the ban on federal funding of the research and a large cutback in the NIH budget. People are dying today of diseases that could potentially benefit from stem cell therapies. I guess the actual dying of an existing human being is less meaningful than the loss of an embryo that has no future, potential or otherwise.

    Yeah, well, what gets me is some of them have the gall to argue, "Well, it isn’t proven that embryonic stem cells can do anything."

    Well, no shit, Sherlock. That’s why they do the research….

  35. 35
  36. 36
    BDeevDad says:

    Yeah, well, what gets me is some of them have the gall to argue, "Well, it isn’t proven that embryonic stem cells can do anything."

    I really hate the argument that adult stem cells are already curing problems and embryonic are just causing cancer. WTF do they expect with an 8 year head start. I actually asked someone to show me a researcher in Adult stem cells who thinks research in embryonic stem cells is worthless. Stone cold silence after that.

  37. 37
    Xanthippas says:

    Well, I suppose that helps to explain why in the NY Times article about Obama’s decision we get people like Karl Rove arguing that it twern’t the way we thought it was.

  38. 38
    jenmcb says:

    If stem cell research can cure diseases and help people who are suffering, then the people who oppose it are ANTI-LIFE.

  39. 39
    Interrobang says:

    I really hate the argument that adult stem cells are already curing problems and embryonic are just causing cancer.

    Well, that’s largely because the people who are using the embryonic cells to try to cure things at this point are quacks… The benefit to doing the research on the embryonic cells is that scientists have learnt where all kinds of developmental "switches" are. If they hadn’t done embryonic stem cell research in the first place, there would be no adult stem cell research, because they learnt everything they know about adult stem cells from studying the embryonic ones.

    Fortunately, other places in the world aren’t so backwards. It’s all the same to me if Americans don’t do a certain kind of scientific research, because every discovery an American doesn’t make, probably a Canadian, a Korean, a Brit, or an Israeli will instead (just to pick four places off the top that have really good biotech R&D).

  40. 40
    BDeevDad says:

    Speaking of research, I saw this today and was wondering what scientists here thought. There seem to be a few commenters here with bio backgrounds. I have PD and am really intrigued.

  41. 41
    Ella in NM says:

    @NonyNony:

    What’s funny is that I have similar "discussions" with my Catholic family members. And not once do I get the answer that I should get if they’re really concerned about following Catholic teachings on life: we should outlaw IVF.

    Exactly.

    I think that one of the biggest problems we have in our society is most people’s lack of education and understanding about logic, as in they kind they taught me in Philosophy 101. Aren’t we supposed to make at least BASIC rational sense in our principles? These folks make statements that they think are obviously logical, yet if you follow the statement forward to it’s consequences, or backwards to it’s origins, they find it’s based on completely false premises. Starting with "stem cell research on embryos is immoral because it causes the death of a human being", going forward get’s you to the point that we’re effectively not allowing a human life to proceed if they are destroyed or left in the limbo of a freezer. Going backward gets you to the fact that we are defying the laws of nature in the first place by creating the embryos through IVF. How can the pre-and post arguments be morally sound, if the argument’s they lead to are not? And they accuse pro-choicers of being "moral relativists"!

    Look, I have had the blessing of bringing four healthy and wonderful children into the world. On many occasions I watch how much better the world is going to be because of the sacrifices I made to have them, and it feels like this task, parenting, is my destiny, my contribution to the fabric of the universe. I would never mock anyone who wanted to be able to do the same.

    But personally, I often wonder if maybe it’s actually important that people who can’t have children naturally are NOT able to build one from scratch in a petri dish. I really wonder if for some reason it’s the way things were supposed to be, and their IVF just mucked up the space-time continuum or something. Maybe they were supposed to adopt (especially a special needs child) or foster children. Maybe they were supposed to have a special place in a niece or nephew or friend’s child’s life, or a kid they mentored or taught. Maybe they were supposed to have careers that solved a human problem that only a childless person could dedicate the time, money and focus to. Could the condition of being unable to create a child from their own physiology actually be their destiny on earth? Maybe then we’d be spared the "embryo in the trash vs. stem cell research" argument altogether.

    Which would be nice, cause it’s really suckin’ to have to listen to these wankers every 15 minutes.

  42. 42

    Charles Krauthammer is a worthless physical and moral cripple. I’d love to pretend I was Richard Widmark in "Touch of Evil" and push his crippled ass down a flight of stairs. That POS column on stem cells was as bad as his column on Bush Derangement Syndrome. Which was a POS reminiscent of the smears against Barry Goldwater in 1964 that Fact magazine published.

    I think that Krauthammer became such a right wing dipshit because of his whole Israel ueber alles schtick. The right-wingers believe that Israel is important because of some nonsense on the Book of Revelations and Krauthammer was happy to kiss their asses in order to get their support.

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