Sunday, July 23, 2006

SERIOUSNESS WATCH Another reminder of a sad truth with tragic implications: It's impossible to have a serious conversation with these people.
MR. RUSSERT: Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, said that adult stem cells show far more promise than embryonic stem cells, and the White House could not identify any scientist who could confirm that. Is--does the president agree with Mr. Rove?

MR. BOLTEN: I'm, I'm no scientist, not, not quantified to speak on it, but I think the point that Karl was getting at is that there are alternative means to achieve some of the promise of the--of the embryonic stem cells that, that scientists...

MR. RUSSERT: No, he said "far more promise."

MR. BOLTEN: Well...

MR. RUSSERT: Can you--can you cite any scientist who believes that adult stem cells have far more promise than embryonic stem cells?

MR. BOLTEN: Well I can't cite scientists on either side of it, but what I can tell you is that adult, adult human stem cells have already shown enormous utility in, in the amelioration of disease in this country. Embryonic stem cells have, have yet to fulfill the promise that many see, but, but there--but there is a legitimate promise there, and that’s why the president has struggled so much with that difficult balance...[unintelligible].

MR. RUSSERT: But is there any ev--is there any evidence that you're aware of, or the president's aware of, that says that adult stem cells show far more promise than embryonic?

MR. BOLTEN: Adult stem cells have already demonstrated for--in the amelioration of disease...

MR. RUSSERT: So you agree with Mr. Rove.

MR. BOLTEN: I--like I said I’m not--I’m not a scientist and I don’t...

MR. RUSSERT: Well, I don’t think Karl Rove is, either.

MR. BOLTEN: Well, he knows a lot of stuff.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.