Kinsley is also wrong about federal funding of embryo research. It is against federal law to fund any destructive embryo research. This is known as the Dickey Amendment and it has passed each and every year for quite a while now.
The Dickey Amendment is what prohibits federal funding of destructive embryo research. Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Council recommended that Congress pass an exception to permit federal funding of ESCR. Knowing he would probably loose, Clinton decided upon a Clintonesque solution: Still require private money to destroy the embryos and derive ES cell lines. THEREAFTER, permit open funding. Thus, Clinton was willing to violate the spirit, and even, perhaps the letter of the law. There would have been lawsuits but the policy was suspended by Bush.
Bush, as you all know, permitted federal funding only on existing stem cell lines as of 8/9/01. This too might violate the spirit of the Dickey Amendment, but no one has challenged it.
So, Kinsley’s main grip should be with Congress that prohibits fed. funding of destructive fed. research. But he probably doesn’ know it. Much easier to be a demogogue when you are ignorant.
By the way, did you see the sly way the NY Times’ editorial Sunday called for fed funding of therapeutic cloning? Remember when ALL they wanted was access to IVF embryos that were due to be destroyed? That lasted as long as it took Bush to make his compromise. Then, and thereafter, they have been after cloning.
Good news in the Field Poll yesterday: Prop 71 (Cloning bond measure and constititutional amendment in CA) only has 45% to 42%. It is beatable!