Wednesday, May 25, 2005

King on Stem Cells: Opening one door and trying to slam shut another

The Testaverde Fund for Spinal Cord Injury held thier annual Spinal Victory Golf Challenge on Monday. Before the event a media advisory was sent out that Rep. Peter King would "Introduce Major Federal Stem Cell Research Legislation in Congress" that day.
The legislation is H.R.2541: To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the expansion, intensification, and coordination of the activities of the National Institutes of Health regarding qualifying adult stem cell research, and for other purposes.
It is co-sponsered by two other Long Island reps Steve Israel and Tim Bishop. This is a commendable effort. But it targets ONLY adult stem cells. Dr. Wise Young M.D. Ph.D, a Testverde Fund advisory board member, world-renound leader in Spinal Cord Injury research and stem cell research and also a close friend of actor Christopher Reeve was honored at the event for his work.
In an panel discussion on Stem Cell research interview, Dr. Young said "I do share his [Christopher Reeve] belief that embryonic stem cells will play a major role in the cure of many neurological diseases. I do want to point out that this does not change the balance between adult or embryonic stem cells. What we need to do is to explore both and we need to get away from the future of harvesting these cells from different sources such as embryos or foetuses. The future is going to be very different. We're going to learn enough stem cell biology to be able to make stem cells out of any cell. But we have to be allowed to do the science to reach this stage and holding back science will only mire us in yesterday's science of harvesting cells. We need to go on ahead."
"... Embryonic stem cells are at the very, very earliest stages of an egg developing. It's during the first two weeks after an egg has been fertilised, it is before the egg has shown any shape or form as an embryo, it is just a clump of cells at that point. Now, the issue of whether or not this is life, I think is irrelevant to the discussion here because most of the cells that will be studied will be thrown away anyway. This is the equivalent to taking an organ from an embryo or a baby that will be dead anyway. Adult stem cells are very different in that they are part of adults, they're part of you and me. Adult stem cells will be very useful for certain types of conditions and in fact, as pointed out by several others, adult stem cells are now being used to treat haematapoietic disorders, these are blood problems. But as of yet, these cells - bone marrow or umbilical cord - have not been shown to benefit anybody with neurological conditions such as Joanna's. It's very important that we leave the way open for all the different kinds of cells so we can find out how to benefit these people."
"... I certainly agree that embryonic stem cells is currently not a cure for Alzheimer's disease, but I really take umbrage at the use of the word 'never'. I don't think we have a crystal ball. I certainly don't have a crystal ball. I think that's one of the reasons why we must actually leave this avenue open for research. I think that we must not forget that there are two driving forces behind this debate. One of the driving forces is a fear of the future and the other one is hope for the future, hope for the cure, and we must balance these two. And there have not been many other situations where government has interfered in science in this same way that it has done so for embryonic stem cells. It's very important that the government really try not to step in the way of science. Let science progress, and I believe in 5 or 10 years, we will get beyond having to harvest cells from embryos or foetuses. Let science do its work."
"... we need to be putting all - everything that we can into investing and developing a scalable source of cells that can treat humans."
On Tuesday, the house held a vote on H.R.810: To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research. The bill passed with a vote of 238-194. How did King vote? In Roll Call Vote 204, King voted NO.
Just like Tom Delay.
All other Long Island representatives voted YES.
Bush is threatening to veto the bill.
Will King vote to sustain the veto? Yes he will.
The fact is we cannot have half-measures when it comes to searching for cures that can help millions of people.
More info at the Stem Cell Research Foundation.

Bush put on a little show yesterday with families with children from adopted embryos. This was a "protest" against the embryonic stem cell bill. Too bad they are so naive and just don't get what is at stake. They assume that every frozen embryo not used in IVF (in-vitro fertilization) will be adopted. That doesn't happen. They are either destroyed or stored for future use by the parents. Some parents opt to donate the embryos for research. That research needs federal funding so that we can cure diseases that affect the living.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

King raking in Union money

For some odd reason Unions think King is on their side. This is a guy who voted for the Homeland Security Department bill that stripped workers of collective bargaining. King voted for the tax cuts for the wealthy and Bush budgets that have sent us into historic deficits that will cost the working person. King voted for the bankruptcy bill that makes it harder for a regular person but easier for corporations.
Here's a listing of Union contributions to King. If you see your Union here, let them know King isn't their friend.

Union Contributions for 2004 election cycle - 2003-2004

National Assn of Home Builders - $5,000

10/9/2003 - $2,500
10/15/2004 - $2,500

Carpenters & Joiners Union - $10,000

6/25/2003 - $5,000
12/30/2003 - $5,000

Ironworkers Union - $2,000
4/3/2003 - $2,000

Laborers Union - $8,000

4/28/2003 - $3,000
9/28/2004 - $5,000

Operating Engineers Local 138 - $4,000

3/21/2003 - $500
6/6/2003 - $500
10/7/2003 - $1,000
4/15/2004 - $500
6/11/2004 - $500
9/14/2004 - $1,000

Operating Engineers Union - $3,500

6/2/2003 - $1,000
9/24/2003 - $1,000
5/28/2004 - $500
9/24/2004 - $1,000

Sheet Metal Workers Union - $1,000

10/8/2003 - $1,000

AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Dept - $1,500
4/1/2003 - $500
10/7/2003 - $500
9/7/2004 - $500

Amalgamated Transit Union - $1,000
4/1/2003 - $1,000

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers - $50

10/26/2004 -$50

International Longshoremens Assn - $2,500

10/16/2003 -$2,500

Teamsters Union - $5,000
9/9/2004 - $5,000

Transport Workers Union - $1,000
3/4/2003 ($2,000)

6/17/2003 - $1,000

11/7/2003 - $1,000

8/31/2004 - $1,000

Transportation Communications Union - $1,000
10/16/2003 - $1,000

American Federation of Govt Employees - $1,000
4/2/2003 - $500
10/10/2003 - $500

American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees - $6,000
7/14/2003 - $2,500
8/13/2003 - $2,500
10/5/2004 - $1,000

International Assn of Fire Fighters - $4,500
12/10/2003 - $1,000
4/27/2004 - $1,000
9/17/2004 - $2,500

National Assn of Postmasters - $850
10/30/2003 - $350
5/7/2004 - $500

National Assn Retired Federal Employees - $1,000
9/28/2004 - $1,000

AFL-CIO - $2,500
10/22/2003 - $2,500

Bakery, Confectionary & Tobacco Workers - $500
7/7/2004 - $500

Service Employees International Union - $10,000
6/11/2003 - $5,000
6/17/2003 - $5,000

United Food & Commercial Workers Union - $2,500
9/29/2003 - $1,500
4/14/2004 - $1,000

TOTAL: $74,400

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Merry Month of May

Updates and news coming faster now that we have some more time here at KingWatch Central. Bookmark us and keep coming back for more.
If you 've read all the posts on this front page and want more, check out our archives listed on the right-hand side under the links. There's much more reading there.

Two sides on the environment

So in 2001, King introduces H.R.2230 Title: To amend section 211 of the Clean Air Act to prohibit the use of the fuel additive MTBE in gasoline. This went nowhere with the republican congress. So on Thursday, April 21st an energy bill that would shield companies from lawsuits stemming from injuries from MTBE. Who voted for the energy bill? Why Peter King of course. He said of his 2001 bill "This substance can no longer endanger the health of our nation's residents. Please be assured I will continue to do all that I can to protect our groundwater from MTBE contamination." So what changed?
According to Newsday, King explained he "based his vote on pledges by GOP energy committee officials to consider an MTBE trust fund. He said such a fund could make immediate payments for MTBE pollution rather than forcing water suppliers to sue." Yup. Because that always works. "Pledge" to "consider" a trust fund doesn't sound like it's gonna happen. Back in 2002 Bush was trying to increase taxpayer liability for the Superfund trust. On the Hudson River, GE is fighting tooth and nail to avoid clean-up of PCB contaminants. And now the Town of Oyster Bay is suing defense contractor Northrop Grumman and the Navy to recover costs of environmental clean-up in Bethpage Community Park which was once part of the contractors property. When will the energy committee create a trust fund and where will the money come from. We shouldn't hold our breath that that will ever happen.
King tells Newsday "Being in the majority party requires judgment calls.... My judgment was to let the process go forward and see if we can come up with a trust fund that works."
And if they don't? Oops, too late.
Paul Granger, Superintendent of the Plainview Water Distict said "This really is disappointing, it's not helping New York, and I hope that our representatives rethink the picture here."
King in his usually prickly attitude replies to his critics "It's unfortunate when people shoot their mouths off and they don't know what they're talking about."
Suffolk County Legislator David Bishop says it best "I don't trust the trust fund... I guarantee you it will be pennies on the dollar as to what we can get in the court."
King vows to vote against the final bill if it does not include an MTBE trust fund, "If the final package is not satisfactory, I will vote against it as I have in the past."
So he voted for it before he's going to vote against it?

We'll see.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Some audio for a chuckle

Here is a post from last year of King on BBC Radio.
Have fun.. he says some funny things.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

King doesn't like to be questioned Part 2: Update

We covered this letter back in April 2004... See "Arrogance of the King"

King doen't like to be questioned Part 2

Some background..... back in 2003 thanks to some whistle-blowers we found out that WHOOPS! the WMD intel might not have been so good. Actually, it was all BS. We learn from a British paper that there was a 2002 memo that says Bush was manipulating evidence. The Memo charges that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
Anyway, a constituent called King's office to suggest he vote to censure Bush over the WMD fabrications. The letter King sent is below:

"Dear Mr. *********,

I understand that you recently contacted my office requesting that I vote to censure President Bush. I disagree with you in every respect. You are morally, intellectually and politically wrong. President Bush is an outstanding leader of outstanding integrity. Like Ed Koch I thank God every night that he is our President. You should do the same.

Very truly yours, Pete T King"

So the constituent is "morally wrong?" "Intellectually wrong?" How is he morally wrong? King never says. What does he know about the constituents morals? Absolutley nothing. How is the constituent "intellectually wrong?" Again, King doesn't really say. It's a sure bet the constituent's intellectual abilities far out-strip King's. We've shown that already. King just disagrees with his constituent and punctuates his disagreement with insults. Now, we can see King's choice of "politically wrong" (at least in his head) because King thanks god every night that Bush is president. Every night. And so does Ed Koch. Why Ed Koch? Because Koch is allegedly a Democrat and King likes to invoke Democrats to say "Hey! Look! One of your side said it too!" And for us in the world of adults, that doesn't work.
Koch loves GWBush.
Big deal.

More fun with with King and his constituents coming up.

Friday, May 06, 2005

King doesn't like to be questioned Part 1

Here is one of many back and forths between King and a constituent.
The constituent in question recieved one of King's "Special Report's" and it included the incredible statement "The most important unreported fact is that 95% of Iraq is stable and secure." Unreported because it's untrue.

Rep. King-

re: Special Report from Washington, Fall 2003

Think, if you were still in Mosul when the wreakage of those two Black Hawks dropped from of sky.

Think about it.

Think about the reported fact that at the time the war resolution was overwhelmingly passed by Congress last fall, all but of 2 of 535 in that august body had a child serving in the military.

Perhaps, then, if you do some hard thinking, you won't return stateside shooting the messengers.

If the media and those of you in Congress had not abdicated your watchdog role prior to war, and examined Administration representations, this headlong rush to Iraq might have been slowed sufficiently until we were better prepared to consolidate and secure post-conflict.

The issue you should be raising now was how we allowed Iraqi munitions depots, most of which we knew about from inspections, to stand unguarded.

That's the question I would want answered if I were Jake Fletcher's dad.

I would have no patience for your Pollyanna finger-pointing.

Very sincerely,

response from 11/21/03 4:47pm
Your e-mail is the ultimate non sequitur. It also reeks of self-righteous ignorance.
Unlike you I am capable of hard- thinking and am proud that I voted to authorize the war against Iraq and am proud to support the President and our troops today. No right-thinking person could claim that twelve years is a rush to war; nor could it be disputed that the pre-war intelligence and data were identical to what the Clinton Administration concluded.
As to rocket attacks against helicopters I often thought about that very real possibility during the many hours I was in Black Hawk helicopters flying over Mosul and Baghdad during daylight and at night. What was your point?
As to the munitions sites every effort is being made to secure them and destroy the weapons as quickly as possible. Considering that there are hundreds of these "depots" as you call them and some of them are larger than Manhattan, we are making extraordinary progress.
I think about our troops and our survival as our nation and that's why I will continue to support this President and his policies.

Peter King

Rep. King-

Setting aside your use of "ultimate" hyperbole, refamiliarizing yourself with the content of your own Special Report from Washington might inform the confusion which led you to cry "non sequitar".

"Their[every soldier I met] concern is that distorted media coverage will encourage the terrorists to fight amd cause America to lose its will and withdraw."

That's a resounding consensus, even for a man given to absolutes. The last time there was such universal agreement was Saddam's final 'plebiscite'. What do you make of uncertain military figures cited by other sources? Further examples of "distorted media coverage"?

You questioned what my "point" was, invoking the mid-air collision of those two Black Hawks over Mosul. Again, allow me to defer to your Special Report. In text alongside the photo of your meeting "with troops in Mosul", you declare that, "The most important unreported fact is that 95% of Iraq is stable and secure." Factoring out recent lethal attacks to the south and north, a geographic measure of the Sunni triangle where, as you state, "virtually all the violence occurs," seemingly constitutes more than 5% of the country. Certainly Bagdad, with its estimated 3.8M people[StateDept'86] plus surrounding area comprise well over 20% of Iraq's population. Doubtless, you, and the National Review which, coincidently, also cited that 95%, are able to call upon some variation of Enron-style accounting to explain your figure.

But lest we nitpick over your penchant for quadrupling numbers, why not simply return to you own words:
"As to rocket attacks against helicopters I often thought about that very real possiblity
during the many hours I was in Black Hawk helicopters flying over Mosul and Bagdad."
You should have "very real" concerns flying over Bagdad, by why the same concern over Mosul, in that area north of the Sunni Triangle you describe as "safe and secure"?

Get the point, now, Congressman?

Relative to the point about unsecured weapons depots, which you goosestepped over with "twelve years is" no "rush to war", be good enough to clarify. How long after the President declared "mission accomplished" last May was "every effort to secure and destroy the weapons as quickly as possible" initiated? Would you insist on characterizing the post-conflict plan as 95% effective? And do you hold to the position that the timing of "Iraqi Freedom" was based on imminent threat and could not possibly have benefitted from more preparation?

Clearly, as you declare, you remain "proud"; your chest-thumping is almost palpable between every stroke of your keyboard. Perhaps our nation, our troops and your district would be better served by less "right thinking" and more objective thought.

Oh, and excuse the odor if I continue to "reek of self-righteous ignorance."