January 23, 2013

Brad Wenstrup (R, OH-02) Votes to Increase the Debt Ceiling

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:17 pm

I’m not going to be instantly unfair to the guy and say that Brad Wenstrup’s vote to raise the debt ceiling today was a wrong vote.

I AM going to say that freshman congressman just did what he criticized his predecessor for doing.

Wenstrup today voted to increase the country’s debt ceiling after acting during last winter’s GOP primary as if EVER-EVER-EVER voting to do so is an automatically and unconditionally bad thing.

The roll call vote was 285-144, with Republicans supporting by a 199-33 margin and Dems opposing 86-111.

That breakout seems comforting until you see some of the truly conservative GOP names in opposition:

  • Bachmann (MN) — to be clear, I criticized her for her opposition to any form of debt ceiling increase in 2011 (see Update 3 here), but the issue is whether the conditions imposed in the House bill, primarily the pretense that congresspersons’ salaries won’t get paid if there’s no deal, are sufficient to meaningfully rein in the government. If she thinks not, that’s worthy of note. If she won’t vote to raise it for any reason under any circumstance, that’s just unrealistically foolish.
  • Gohmert (TX)
  • Huelskamp (KS)
  • King (IA)
  • McClintock (CA)
  • Massie (KY, i.e., Northern Kentucky Tea Party favorite who replaced the retiring Geoff Davis)
  • Rohrbacher (CA)

One would have expected based on Wenstrup’s huffing and puffing last year that if these seven voted against John Boehner’s latest gambit, he would have voted “no” as well. But he didn’t.

I would suggest that Mr. Wenstrup’s constituents (of which I am not one) deserve an explanation so they can evaluate his thought process, if any (so does Steve Chabot in OH-01, as I am now one of his constituents). “John Boehner said it was a good idea” is not a thought process, and silence is not acceptable.

The big story, though, is that Wenstrup has done something he clearly indicated he would never do a year ago as he was dishonestly tarring his opponent.

AFP Report on ‘Potential Breakthrough’ Flags Embryonic Stem Cell Research As Unnecessary

An unbylined Agence France-Presse report Wednesday opens by telling readers that Japanese researchers “have succeeded in growing human kidney tissue from stem cells for the first time, in a potential first step towards helping millions who depend on dialysis.” Another version of the report at another website identifies the reporter as Harumi Ozawa; an accompanying picture caption describes the achievement as a “potential breakthrough.”

I perused Ozawa’s dispatch to see what kind of stem cells were involved, and in the process came across a confirmation of what those of us who have been following these matters for several years have suspected for some time, namely that the supposed scientific justification for harvesting stem cells from human embryos — supposedly because there is no other path towards combating many diseases and maladies — no longer exists. The paragraph containing that confirmation, as well as an odd and likely nonscientific term Ozawa used in the previous paragraph, are in bold in the excerpt following the jump:


Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012313)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Mother saves son’s life by Googling symptoms after initial misdiagnosis

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Shrewsbury, UK:

Published January 22, 2013

A quick-thinking mother saved her son’s life when she Googled his ailments, the Shropshire Star reported.

Kian Jones, 12, of Shrewsbury, U.K., had persistent headaches, poor vision and vomiting, which his mother, Sabina, typed into Google after the child was initially misdiagnosed.

Sabina took him to the another doctor because what she read online suggested he may have a brain tumor.

Sure enough, Kian had a 2.5 centimeter tumor on his brain – and doctors told Kian’s parents he could have died within a week if it hadn’t been detected when it was.

Kian underwent an emergency surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Go here for the rest of the story.