Barack Obama has flip-flopped on yet another campaign promise, according to Politico. The President-Elect campaigned against the Bush executive order barring federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells and said he would reverse it once elected. Now he has backed away from that pledge and is pulling a CYA — shifting the burden to Congress to change the policy.
In August 2001,George Bush stopped the NIH from funding embryonic stem cell research but allowed research to continue on several dozen cell lines already in existence .
Politico quotes a recent CNN interview where Obama said the following:
Well, if we can do something legislative then I usually prefer a legislative process because those are the people’s representatives. And I think that on embryonic stem cell research, the fact that you have a bipartisan support around that issue, the fact that you have Republicans like Orrin Hatch who are fierce opponents of abortion and yet recognize that there is a moral and ethical mechanism to ensure that people with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s can actually find potentially some hope out there, you know, I think that sends a powerful message…So we’re still examining what things we’ll do through executive order…But I like the idea of the American people’s representatives expressing their views on an issue like this.
I’m very disappointed but not surprised by Obama’s latest remarks. The pace of discovery of future cures for the most devastating diseases relies on policy change and investment in research. Hopefully Obama will reconsider and restore the faith in all of us.
Stating that Israel had crippled Hamas, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just announced an end to the 3-week Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. He said the army would remain in Gaza while Egypt mediates a long-term truce with Hamas.
According to DEBKAfile Israeli forces will hold to their positions in the Gaza Strip for a trial period to test Hamas’ response. Meanwhile, Hamas promises to keep on fighting and shooting rockets, while neither Washington nor Cairo guarantee action to end the flow of weapons to Gaza. As the Israeli security cabinet voted on the unilateral cease fire, Hamas blasted rockets against Ashdod and Ashkelon.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office reiterated that the IDF began Operation Cast Lead following an extended period of restraint as Hamas continued to terrorize the residents of southern Israel with daily rocket barrages. According to the IDF “Hamas alone is responsible for creating the situation in Gaza and is accountable for its consequences.”
The IDF will redeploy forces within the Gaza Strip in accordance with security assessments. Air, naval, ground and intelligence forces will remain on alert .