Burns-Tester Debate in Hamilton, Part 3

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Burns on Stem Cell Research

Burns says: “I support it, too, stem cell research…I really support adult stem cell, because we’re finding results there. Embryo stem cell has its limitations…we’ve gotten almost nowhere with that. Umbilical blood offers a great future and adult stem cells. We continue to see results there. We should committ our federal dollars to the place that we’re finding the most results.”

  • If Burns really believed in the most promising research, he would support federal research into embryonic stem cell research. Despite his repeated assertions that adult stems cells offer better results is completely false, as the Chicago Tribune explains, after contacting 12 top researchers.
  • 80 Nobel Laureates wrote the White House, explaining that “impeding human pluripotent stem cell research risks unnecessary delay for millions of patients who may die or endure needless suffering while the effectiveness of adult stem cells is evaluated.”
  • The White House could not name one stem cell research who believes that adult stem cells share the same promise as embryonic stem cells.

Burns on Veterans’ Cuts

Burns makes a lot of claims, about “my bill” and “my hospital” and that veterans are being protected with the largest increase in history.

  • American Veterans, an advocacy group for veterans since 1944, says that “many veterans will find that these programs, which were initially conceived following World War II, are not only underfunded and saddled with unnecessary bureaucracy, but sorely lacking in relevancy to the needs of 21st century families.”
  • The 2007 Defense Appropriation Bill slashes $7 million for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts
  • The Veterans of Foreign Wars describe the cut: “Jim Mueller, the VFW’s commander in chief, said a proposal before Congress for a 50 percent cut in funding “clearly indicates that the Congress is out of touch with the realities and consequences of war. “You either take care of the troops or you do not,” said Mueller, a Vietnam War veteran.“For our nation’s lawmakers to deny advanced research that our military has earned with their blood, and for those same lawmakers to espouse patriotism and ‘Support the Troops’ rhetoric from the podium this election year, is shameful, hypocritical, and ignorant,” he said. “This research center is an investment in the future potential of traumatically disabled soldiers. It is not an expense.”
  • Senator Burns has repeatedly voted against American veterans, including bills to provide counseling, rehabilitation and increased funding.
  • Senator Burns has received negative evaluations from the Disabled American Veterans each of the last two sessions of Congress.

Update: The Republican spin at the Gazette is that the Tester supporters were “hired hecklers.” Funny how so many ‘different’ people would come that same, false conclusion. Jason Klindt must have had a busy day posted under all those different names.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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