Bush rushes to the defense of his supporters over consumers

Court: US can block mad cow testing

"The Bush administration can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease, a federal appeals court said Friday. ... The dispute pits the Agriculture Department, which tests about 1 percent of cows for the potentially deadly disease, against a Kansas meat packer that wants to test all its animals."

"Larger meat packers opposed such testing. If Creekstone Farms Premium Beef began advertising that its cows have all been tested, other companies fear they too will have to conduct the expensive tests."

Those poor other companies - having to compete in a free market against others with better ideas. Fortunately for agri-business, the Bush Administration and Republican appointee Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson are ready to rush to the defense of the big trade monolith against "attacks" by ... the little guy. What's a Republican administration for, after all, if not to protect the monied interests over the desires and health of consumers.


A few words from BHO

John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but, really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time?

. . .

... what is that American promise? It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect. It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road. Ours -- ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves: protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools, and new roads, and science, and technology. Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work. That's the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now.

. . .

If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgment to serve as the next commander-in-chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have. For -- for while -- while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face.

When John McCain said we could just muddle through in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.

You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.

And today, today, as my call for a timeframe to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficit, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need; that won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.
You don't defeat -- you don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances.

If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice, but that is not the change that America needs. We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As commander-in-chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home. I will end this war in Iraq responsibly and finish the fight against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts, but I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.

I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation, poverty and genocide, climate change and disease.

And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These -- these are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

. . .

[W]hat I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes, because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism. The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together, and bled together, and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a red America or a blue America; they have served the United States of America. So I've got news for you, John McCain: We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices. And Democrats, as well as Republicans, will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past, for part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose, and that's what we have to restore.

. . .

You have shown what history teaches us, that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens -- change happens because the American people demand it, because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time. America, this is one of those moments. I believe that, as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming, because I've seen it, because I've lived it. Because I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, where we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans, and keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists. And I've seen it in this campaign, in the young people who voted for the first time and the young at heart, those who got involved again after a very long time; in the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it -- I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day, even though they can't afford it, than see their friends lose their jobs; in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb; in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores. Instead, it is that American spirit, that American promise, that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend. That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night and a promise that you make to yours, a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west, a promise that led workers to picket lines and women to reach for the ballot.

[we'll offer some words from John McCain when he provides them]


Dems winning culture war - culture of life ...

Catholics Have New Reasons to Rethink Abortion Politics

Both John McCain and the Democrats are giving Catholics reasons to reconsider which party can and will do more to reduce the number of abortions in America.

When on August 11, McCain told the Weekly Standard that he welcomed pro-choice Republicans, he articulated openly what has been obvious for some time: the GOP uses the issue to get votes, but will not outlaw abortion. In other words, it is foolish to think that voting for Republicans is the "Catholic" thing to do.

On the other hand, no less an expert than Prof. Douglas Kmiec, once professor of law at Catholic University, and a former Reagan Administration lawyer who wrote briefs for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, now says the Democrats have a stronger approach to reducing abortions.

Kmiec is a veteran of the pro-life cause and his reasoning is best explained in his own words, not in the shortened space of this column. Nonetheless, coming as it does so close to McCain's embrace of pro-choice Republicans, Kmiec's redefined position represents a significant shift in the abortion aspect of the "culture wars."

As I understand him, Kmiec recognizes that as long as Roe v. Wade stands, there can be no legislation or executive orders outlawing all abortions. But even putting together a majority of Supreme Court justices willing to overturn Roe v. Wade will not end abortion, said this legal scholar on August 12. "We've been trying to find the elusive fifth vote on the Supreme Court for over 30 years. We have not found it and even if we did find it, overturning Roe will not save a single life but instead merely return the question to the states."

Kmiec has contributed to the drafting of a Democratic Party platform that includes pro-life positions just as McCain welcomes pro-choice Republicans, tempting one to suggest the proverbial skepticism that "There is not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties." However, Prof. Kmiec has not lapsed into a silent cone of neutrality on the abortion issue. He now suggests that the approach of the Democrats to abortion is better than the Republican one. By emphasizing pro-life programs like guaranteed health insurance, programs in pre-natal care and government support to families, says this pro-life warrior of many years, the Democrats have become the more effective political force against abortion. In his thinking, Roe v. Wade is already being "killed by a thousand cuts" with efforts at the state and local level that impose regulations and simultaneously improve the quality of social services. The overall result is to reduce the appeal of abortion.

read the rest ...

Fun Quotes from Denver

Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel: "George Bush has put the middle class in a hole and John McCain has a plan to keep digging that hole with George Bush's shovel. Mr. President, we will be forever in your debt. . . . You would think the one thing President Bush was good at was inheriting things."

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.: McCain "calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush 90 percent of the time. That's not a maverick, that's a sidekick."

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland: Bush "came into office on third base, and then he stole second, [...] and John McCain cheered him every step of the way.".

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: "It makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart."


Dubya Vindicates His Critics

The Financial Times editorial board notes that "only a month ago the Bush administration was furiously opposed to a time-table [for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq], insisting it would reflect an admission of defeat and play into the hands of its enemies.

"Faced with a surge of Iraqi nationalism, however, it has agreed to a plan that looks embarrassingly closer to the position of Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, than to the 2013 withdrawal date supported by John McCain, his Republican rival."

The Boston Globe editorial board writes: "If Bush continues refusing to accept the timetable that Iraqis want, he will make a mockery of his claim to have invaded and occupied Iraq in order to spread democracy there. Iraqis have pretty well crushed Al Qaeda with American help, and they are beginning to sort out their factional power struggles. If they want a sure date for US withdrawal, they should get it. Otherwise, Bush will only vindicate those critics of the war who said he invaded Iraq to establish permanent military bases and gain control of the country's enormous oil reserves."

The USA Today editorial board writes: "Obscured by the Olympics and U.S. presidential politics, the situation in Iraq could be reaching another turning point. The United States needs to disengage in a way that preserves American security interests and hard-won gains. But if the Iraqi people want a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, and the American people want U.S. forces out, it will be increasingly awkward for Bush or his successor to argue that they should stay a day longer than they're welcome."


Bush's gold medal

Shameless Hypocrite of the Day

Wayne Slater blogged for the Dallas Morning News on Saturday: "Karl Rove weighed in this morning on Democratic vice presidential pick Joe Biden, saying his long experience in the Senate only reminds voters that Barack Obama doesn't have much. It was classic Rove: Attack an opponent's strength, make it a weakness.

"But Karl found himself in deep water when a FoxNews interviewer asked: Wasn't Dick Cheney picked to be George W. Bush's veep to balance the Texas governor's lack of experience? Did Cheney boost the ticket or just remind people of Bush's inexperience? Totally different, said Rove. Totally different."


Money's list of America's best small cities

Money magazine's list of America's best small cities

And the winners are...

Plentiful jobs, excellent schools, affordable housing - America's best small cities have all that and more. See the top 100 best places to live - including detailed city profiles, homes for sale and million-dollar homes.

1. Plymouth, MN
2. Fort Collins, CO
3. Naperville, IL
4. Irvine, CA
5. Franklin Township, NJ
6. Norman, OK
7. Round Rock, TX
8. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
9. Overland Park, KS
10. Fishers, IN


If Rove Were a Democrat

This is the sort of ad we'd be likely to see:

Report: Troops donate overwhelmingly to Obama

Today's WaPo carries this item:

Obama Tops in Donations from Troops
By Matthew Mosk

An analysis of political contributions from soldiers on the battlefield has produced some unexpected results.

The Center for Responsive Politics has found that the presidential candidate with a record as a bona fide war hero is garnering far less financial support from the troops than the Harvard-trained lawyer.

"Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain's haul," the report said.

The report also included this surprise: "Members of the armed services overall -- whether stationed overseas or at home -- are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008.... Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel have gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama."

The analysis of campaign records found Obama has raised more than $60,000 from 134 military service men and women who are deployed overseas. McCain has raised $10,665 from 26 donors.

I'm guessing that one reason for this trend is that military personnel currently deployed are overwhelmingly younger than not, and that they think it is time for a change.