I Do Not Like Green Regs and Scams...
It was a lot of hot air about a lot of hot air. That's how the AP explained the Senate's 20-hour global warming pajama party. While the rest of the country was sleeping, liberals tried to put other doubts to rest -- specifically, the skepticism over climate change. Even one of the most brutal winters on record didn't stop two dozen liberals from taking turns in an all-night "talkathon" aimed at getting Americans to "wake up" on the issue.
But the reality is, Americans have woken up -- to cold temperatures, school closures, and snow plows. Last week, if you'd have asked anyone in D.C. about global warming, they'd have laughed out loud. And after Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) used his turn to read directly from Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, they probably were.
In most of the country, all you need to do is look outside to realize how ridiculous the Left's campaign is. Just last month, even Greenpeace's co-founder admitted that there's no proof humans cause climate change. So why now? Why stage a Senate stand-in when so many urgent issues face America? According to the Washington Examiner, the answer is simple: money. With $100 million up for grabs from NextGen Climate Action and tough elections ahead, Democrats are desperate to "show their big-money donors that they're doing something" -- even if that "something" has nothing to do with actual legislation or proven science.
USA Today was just one of the outlets "confused" by the stunt, because, "these senators are calling for action in a chamber they control but without any specific legislation to offer up for a vote, or any timetable for action this year." Even with majorities in both chambers, the Senate didn't act on the cap-and-trade bill passed by the House in 2009. Liberals understand that while a climate-fest might grease the wheels for more gifts, it hurts them where it counts: at the ballot box. That's why so many vulnerable Democrats sat last night's chat out. Senators like Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Begich (Alaska), and Mark Warner (Va.), who are already in tight races, decided not to take any chances with voters and got some shut-eye instead.
"The American people are listening," California Senator Barbara Boxer (D) insisted. "They care." But you wouldn't know it from the latest polling. According to Pew Research Center's January survey, climate change ranked in the basement of national priorities for most people. Despite all the Capitol Hill hype, global warming came in second-to-last of all 20 issues tested at 29%. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the only Republican to crash the Democrats' party, saw through the Left's sky-is-falling routine. "It's probably necessary to do something all night, to get the attention of the American people," Inhofe said. "You keep saying, 'Climate change is real. Global warming is real. It's real, it's real, it's real.' If you say it enough times, people are going to think it's real." At least, Boxer fired back, Inhofe didn't use the word "hoax." "The reason I didn't..." Senator Inhofe replied, "is that I'd be guilty of advertising my book -- and I certainly didn't want to do that."
Even the mainstream media, a reliable trumpeter of the Left's issues, barely covered the event. In the end, it was a big risk for Senator Reid (D-Nev.) to put such an emphasis on such a manufactured crisis. So when he called climate change "a question of our own survival," he must have meant Democrats'.
Stem Cells the 'Center' of Attention in Kansas
Seven months after the ribbon-cutting at Kansas's Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, the patients are enrolling faster than you can say "ethical treatments!" FRC's Dr. David Prentice, who was instrumental in getting the project off the ground, was one of the many experts excited by the medical advancements the facility will make possible. This week, the Director of the Center, Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn, and members of the Advisory Board (including Dr. Prentice, whose testimony is available here), and Dr. Doug Girod, Executive Vice Chancellor at The University of Kansas Medical School, gave an update on the progress of the Center to the Kansas Senate Ways & Means Committee and Joint House & Senate Health Committee meeting.
After a half-year, the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center has gotten its cell-processing laboratory up and running (to FDA-approved specs), and processed the first cells for treatment of the first patients -- which were to re-grow blood vessels in legs, preventing amputation, and restoring the limb! The Center has also started several other clinical trials to treat patients with adult stem cells for heart damage. Earlier this year, it opened its inaugural stem cell conference with more than 150 participants and renowned speakers from all over the nation to great reviews. And when compared against all the other "stem cell centers" in the country, the Kansas center is a unique, comprehensive center, patient-focused not only for treatments but also training physicians in adult stem cell therapies, educating the public, and researching new therapies. We look forward to its years of exciting breakthroughs!
** LECTURE UPDATE: Due to last-minute changes in the legislative calendar, FRC is sorry to announce the cancellation of our Thursday discussion with Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), "Health Care and Conscience Rights."
*** The President's new youth program, My Brother's Keeper, is getting plenty of attention from both sides of the debate. Don't miss what FRC's Ken Blackwell and Dr. Pat Fagan had to say about the idea in their new Washington Times column, "Obama Fumbles the Key to Saving Minority Youth."
**** How should Americans respond to the culture wars? Check out my interview with the Christian Post in the video below.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.