Posted by Curt on 29 October, 2006 at 1:19 pm. 2 comments already!


ABC News had an interview with Michael J. Fox this morning, with the usual questions. But there is one small segment of the video that is interesting. It’s at the point that Michael admits he never read the initiative that he campaigned for, in a secondhand way.

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Transcript of the whole interview here.

Now this initiative has come into focus because of the recent dustup over Rush Limbaugh’s remarks on Michael’s ad where Rush said he may have been acting or off his meds when he sat down for the political ad.

It’s sad that Michael’s disease has progressed to this point, but he admits that he was overmedicated for the spot. This, to me, sounds like he wanted to shock people into voting for a candidate who has made Amendment 2 a cornerstone of her campaign.

Democrat Claire McCaskill has made support for Amendment 2 a key part of her campaign to unseat U.S Senator Jim Talent. The Republican incumbent opposes Amendment 2.

Here it is reported he supports McCaskill largely due to her support of the Amendment he never read:

The new ad comes days after the airing of a controversial commercial featuring actor Michael J. Fox in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race. In the commercial, Fox endorses Democrat Claire McCaskill, largely because of her support for Amendment 2.

And Amendment 2 is all about human cloning:

The official summary’s next item, and by far its most deceptive, only complicates things further. It tells voters the initiative would “ban human cloning or attempted cloning.” But in fact, the ballot initiative would create a new state constitutional right to human cloning.

Human cloning, sometimes known by its technical name “somatic-cell nuclear transfer” or SCNT, involves creating a new human being that is genetically identical to an existing human being. It could be done by removing the contents of a woman’s egg cell, and filling it with the contents of an adult cell (for instance, a skin cell) taken from the body of a donor. The result would be a developing human embryo with the genetic identity of the donor of the adult cell — an embryo like any other, but with only one genetic parent rather than two. This is how Dolly the sheep was created, and many other mammals since, though no one seems to have mastered the technique in humans just yet.

Once created, this cloned human embryo would be in the same situation as any other embryo produced in the lab, and one of two things could be done with it: It could be implanted in a woman to grow to term and be born, or it could be destroyed so that its stem cells could be removed for research. SCNT therefore means either bringing a cloned child into the world, or creating human embryos solely to destroy them for science. Huge majorities of the public agree that cloned children should not be produced, and even the ballot initiative itself seems to disapprove of creating a human life solely to destroy it for research. Therefore, since creating a cloned embryo by SCNT would allow only for two unethical options, the ethical option is to prohibit the practice altogether, and avoid that impossible choice. President Bush has called for such a ban, and the House of Representatives (though not the Senate) has voted for it. Even the U.N. General Assembly last year adopted a declaration calling on member states to “prohibit all forms of human cloning.”

On their face, the Missouri initiative and the campaign supporting it imply that is what the proposed constitutional amendment would do. But further down, tucked away in its definition section, we find that when it speaks of human cloning the initiative refers only to efforts “to implant in a uterus” the embryo produced by SCNT in an attempt to initiate a pregnancy.

The act of implanting an embryo in a woman’s womb, performed with IVF embryos many times every day, is not what makes human cloning different. What is different is the act of cloning — somatic-cell nuclear transfer — by which the embryo is originally created. Cloning to produce an embryo to be developed to birth and cloning to produce an embryo to be destroyed for research are both human cloning, carried out identically. As James Battey, chair of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force, told a congressional committee in March, “The first step, the cloning step, is the same, but the intended result is different” (emphasis added). But the initiative, by redefining cloning, protects the practice while pretending to prohibit it.

Moreover, the combination of the first and second sections of the initiative would mean that the Missouri constitution would first privilege and protect the creation of cloned human embryos for research (as long as federal law did not prohibit it) and then would mandate the destruction of these embryos.

So basically Michael made an ad, in which he was purposely overmedicated, to support McCaskill because of her stand on this initiative. An initiative he never read nor understood.

Now my question is, in this interview he states:

Stephanopoulos: You mentioned the Steele campaign. Both the Steele campaign and the Talent campaign have said you’re not being fair to them, because they want to expand stem cell research, too, they say, but it’s adult stem cell research.

Fox: Right, and I agree with them on adult stem cell research. I mean, let’s talk about what we agree on. I agree that stem cell research is fantastic; we should pursue it. I agree that we should have no human cloning. We’re against that. We’re against egg farming, that notion. We agree on all of that.

So if he became better informed about what this initiative REALLY does…will he now film an ad for Talent?


Take a look at this other quote from Michael:

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Fox: But, yeah, no, I’m not a shill for the Democratic Party. I approached them. I sat down to find out what candidates are pro-stem cell in races where they’re opposed by anti-stem cell candidates. And I had no predisposition toward Democrats or Republicans. It’d be fine with me either way.

In fact, a Republican candidate who’s pro-stem cell would be someone I’d really like to talk to.

Oh really? Then how do you explain filming this ad for Ben Cardin:

Who opposed a Stem Cell research bill:

Michael Steele said, “There is only one candidate in this race who voted against stem cell research and it’s Congressman Ben Cardin. Ben Cardin had a chance to support stem cell research that would not destroy human embryos, and he voted against it – not because of his beliefs on the issue, but as a transparent political stunt. Both Senators Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes voted for this legislation. Ben Cardin wanted to politicize the issue instead of getting something done, so he voted against it. Marylanders deserve better than Congressman Cardin’s continued Washington double-talk, mistruths and sheer political gamesmanship on an issue as important as stem cell research.”

On September 6, 2006, the Frederick News Post reported: “[Cardin] opposes suggestions that stem cell research is acceptable if the embryo isn’t destroyed. (Liam Farrell, “Pursuing Change,” Frederick News Post, September 2, 2006)

Michael Steele added, “I am an enthusiastic supporter of cord blood, adult stem cell and embryonic stem cell research that does not destroy the embryo, and I fully support expanding innovations in technology that make it possible to treat and prevent disease without the willful destruction of human embryos.”

Cardin Voted AGAINST Expanded Research On Stem Cells That Do Not Destroy Embryos.

* Alternate Stem Cell Research Methods – Passage. “Barton, R-Texas, motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill that would require the National Institutes of Health to conduct and support research on the isolation, derivation and production of pluripotent stem cells that do not destroy human embryos. It would require the Health and Human Services secretary to issue final guidelines for additional stem cell research, with priority for research with the greatest potential to yield benefits in the near future, within 90 days of the bill’s enactment.” (S. 2754, CQ Vote #380: Motion rejected. July 18, 2006, Cardin voted Nay)

The Senate Voted Unanimously To Pass the Same Bill that Cardin voted AGAINST. Both Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes Voted In Favor Of The Bill.

* Alternate Stem Cell Research Methods – Passage. Passage of the bill that would require the National Institutes of Health to conduct and support research to develop techniques for the isolation, derivation and production of pluripotent stem cells that do not destroy human embryos. It would require the Health and Human Services secretary to issue final guidelines for additional stem cell research, including a prioritization of research with the greatest potential to yield benefits in the near future, within 90 days of the bill’s enactment.” (S. 2754, CQ Vote #205: July 18, 2006, Sarbanes voted Yea; Mikulski voted Yea)

When he could have supported a REPUBLICAN candidate who did support this research?

Me thinks I smell a Democratic shill.

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