Thursday, June 07, 2007

Free Market Republicans?

Does anybody remember when Republicans stood for smaller, less intrusive government? Does anybody remember when they were thought to be the defenders of small business and free market capitalism?

Creekstone Farms is a beef producer. Creekstone wants to test each of its cattle so that it can sell them in Asia. It wants to bear the cost of that testing, because it is confident it can sell its beef at enough of a premium to make it worthwhile. Creekstone trusts the free market to reward it for the risk and expense it will be undertaking.

Not so fast, says the Bush regime. The Bush regime says that if Creekstone is allowed to sell tested beef, everyone would choose to purchase tested beef rather than playing Rump Roast Roulette with untested beef That might mean other beef producers would feel pressured to test their beef, too.

Big beef gives big money to politicians - Bush himself has sucked in over a million dollars from the industry.

So now the Bush administration is tying up the courts trying to prevent Creekstone from satisfying consumer demand. The Bush Regime filed an appeal of an order allowing Creekstone to conduct the tests, thus preventing us from having the option of paying a premium and buying tested beef.

Again I ask, does anybody remember when Republicans stood for smaller, less intrusive government? Does anybody remember when they were thought to be the defenders of small business and free market capitalism?

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Blogger emawkc said...

I'm totally with you on this one Dan. I also remember the good old days (a few months ago) when Democrats stood for "the most ethical Congress in history."

Ahh. The more things change...

6/07/2007 7:25 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Creekstone has been stonewalled for at least several years on this issue.

It's really a shame. What it will take is a consumer uprising to get the Bush admin to allow it. I would certainly support that.

Only problem is, most people don't think longer term. It takes years for mad cow and other problems to surface, and alot of people don't care.

And most people won't pay a few pennies more for safer beef, or inconvenience themselves by speaking out for the right to do so.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but there's a reason why Walmart is the #1 retailer in the nation/world.

6/07/2007 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

At first glance, this policy seems indefensible; if the facts are as they appear, I certainly wouldn't defend it. And I'll freely admit I know next to nothing about BSE ("Mad Cow" disease).

But - this is an interesting take on the issue. It seems the USDA's position may be entirely defensible from both a scientific and legal standpoint. I'll just post the link and let those who may have an interest check it out . . . .

I've done some searching on the net, and been unable to come up with more info on this position. I don't have the time to spend hours tracking this down, however. Perhaps someone with more expertise than I on BSE can tell us if there is a leg to stand on here?

6/07/2007 8:35 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Surprise, surprise, I'm also with you on this one. The company spent the time and money to develop the method and presumably validate it. If they didn't validate it, however, according to scientifically accepted principles that have been approved by the government, (either FDA or USDA) I would withdraw my support. Methods are worthless from a scientific standpoint unless they are validated.

6/07/2007 8:43 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Anonymous me - I was apparently writing my comment at the same time you were and so I didn't see your comment until after I posted. I tried the link, but couldn't get it to work. Could you give a brief overview, please?

6/07/2007 8:48 AM  
Blogger emawkc said...

Here you go travelingal.

6/07/2007 9:44 AM  
Blogger les said...

Seems like it's still a market issue. Creekstone wants to sell in Asia; if their procedure meets the standards for the market they are after, then it works. If it also gives them an advantage in domestic markets, good for them; if that advantage is illusory or inaccurate, their competitors get to put that word out. If the process is actively dangerous, well, that's what we used to have the FDA for. Of course, we used to have government that wasn't totally for sale for political advantage.

6/07/2007 9:47 AM  
Blogger les said...

Thanks for the link, emaw. It seems like the gov't position is that the proposed tests--testing 2 year old animals after slaughter--might lead to negative results in animals that might have shown positive in a few years. But if the animals are that young, the test appears to be worthless, if I read the brief right; it can't tell anything on animals less than about 5 years. So, we're back to why shouldn't Creekstone do it, if it satisfies a prospective market?

6/07/2007 9:56 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I directly interacted with the FDA for 26 years through both republican and democratic administrations. Most employees of government agencies are career employees. They work through republican and democratic adminstrations and most of them are damn stubbon and for that matter, most of them are democrats. But, throughout my career, except for top level decisions, most of the career federal employees in the health care agencies are scientists first and foremost irrespective of their politics. The politicians are found in the congressional representatives who write the broad laws that the government agencies interpret into regulations and guidelines. Sure, industry plays a role here, but the government agency has the right to accept or reject any recommendations by industry or anybody else. In other words, they have the last word.

I'm not going to make judgment on the adequacy or not of the testing that has been proposed. I'm certainly not going to do it on the basis of what bloggers say. One would have to study the science and make a judgment from that. It is, however, wrong to assume that a decision like this is purely political because in my experience (and this is one area I am intimately familiar with)when you get down to details like scientific methods, politics takes a secondary seat to science.

6/07/2007 10:51 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Travelingual - science does not take a front seat in the Bush administration, no matter how well-meaning some of the career workers may be.

Bush has a solid record of installing party hacks and zealots into what were previously roles meant for serious policy-wonks, scientists and others who put their white lab caots on before they go to work.

I seem to remember a Frontline piece that ran some time ago (?) on this, and also recall that their science was credible...

6/07/2007 1:01 PM  
Blogger emawkc said...

mainstream's questionable memory is good enough for me.


6/07/2007 1:43 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

This has been a remarkably civil and informative discussion. Whodathunk?

6/07/2007 1:46 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Frankly, I have no problem with letting these folks test and market their beef, if the test is properly validated by scientific means.

6/07/2007 2:04 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Greg, I agree with you.

You're right this is way to civil, Dan. I'll fix that right now.

Travelingual, why do you always err on the side of what you small-mindedly preceive to be your eff'ing, bullsh*t conservatism? Why not speak to the truth, admit that MAYBE, just MAYBE, large business interests may be trying to protect their profits by preventing additional testing costs - testing that may just be the right thing to do?

But noooooooo. You're going to try and tell us that big business always has people's best interests at heart, and it's just those left wingers "at it again".

And O'Reilly really has a "no spin zone" too, eh? What amazing bullsh*t you want us to believe.

- Exxon, who is making tens of billions of dollars in annual profits still has not paid damages to the town that was ruined by the Exxon Valdez

- 10 CEO's stood up under oath in Congress and told us that "smoking is not addictive"

Shall I go on?

Your closemindedness makes me sick, Tavelingual, so next time you want to throw out another cowpie on this blog, I'll put up my umbrella.

6/07/2007 3:30 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Mainstream, You're a total jackass. You just can't wait to attack someone and I'm apparently your target. I said I had no problem with this if the testing was properly validated.

By the way, my name is TravelinGAL, not GUAL. I've had it with your attack machine on me. Go FUCK YOURSELF.

6/07/2007 3:48 PM  
Blogger les said...

Yikes. Shall emaw and I now throw stones at one another? Lemme see...YOUR SPIDER POSTS REALLY SUCKED?!!! Nah, I kinda liked 'em. Hmm...I'll be back when I've had time to think about it. Incivility rules!

6/07/2007 4:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream - wow! Costco have a special on Red Bull?

Travelingal - I defer to your experience with the lineworkers of the federal government, and my experience is pretty similar, though none of it has been with the USDA. However, because this is in litigation, I am a bit more suspicious that higher level political types may be involved.

Now, to be honest, I doubt that the million dollars that Bush got from the beef industry directly influenced the decision here - I tend to view it as more of a general mindset within the Bush Regime to value clout over principle, and a marked bias in favor of big business of all types, from Halliburton to Exxon. I'll even be so even-handed as to acknowledge that bureaucrats tend that way even during a Democratic administration - after all, who is most likely to find room to hire a bureaucrat when s/he leaves the government.

6/07/2007 4:15 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

For the record Dan, I wish Bush would have never been elected. I can't wait till we have a new President. I'm also not naive enough to think the industry, any industry or activist group, doesn't lobby the President and Congress, every damn one of them, Republicans and Democrats. I'm so sick of most of them, I find it hard to describe. Almost as sick as I am of Mainstream.

My focus was on the scientific method related to this subject, who developed it,who validated it and who approved it. Yes, I have experience in that area and I'll stick by it. Wouldn't it be great if we had a method(s) to assure all of our food is safe. As far as I'm concerned, assuring food safety is probably one of the most important issues of our time.

6/07/2007 4:42 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Hey Travelingal - Shall I assume I'm off your Christmas card list?

6/07/2007 5:00 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

mainstream - travel is actually a pretty level headed and centrist conservative, in my humble opinion.

If you want to go on a feeding frenzy, go here:

Better make your first post a doozy though. He loves to ban people and censor comments to make it appear that there are no dissenting opinions. Go nuts! Have fun!

But lighten up on travel.

6/07/2007 6:50 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Travel, I must apologize the extreme adversarial tone in my last two comments. I took an extreme adversarial tone primarily because Dan commented on the civility of the thread, so I was then obligated (in some twisted way of mine) to break the civility on purpose. I was being purposefully overthetop just to be overthetop. I'm glad you told me to eff off, I certainly deserved it.

It's was a childish move, and I was a jerk.

Note to XO - I guess chivalry isn't dead. Anyways I was going to apologize regardless of your comment.

But it was noble gesture on your part nonetheless.

BUT BOTH OF YOU NOTE: see my previous exchanges, especially with ryhmes with right (RWR) - he's as far right as anybody on here, and we're practically kissing cousins.

I (most of the time) try to maintain, and value a civil dialogue. Unfortunately sometimes its too tempting just to let loose.

1,000 apologies.

OK, I'm done apologizing for now.

6/07/2007 7:41 PM  
Blogger emawkc said...

Okay les, that does it. Time to open up a can or whip-rant. So brace yourself...

At times I find you a bit abrasive.

6/07/2007 8:14 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Mainstream - apology accepted.
XO - Thanks for support

I'm in a better mood. If I told you why, you'd all probably throw rotten eggs at me so I won'

Nite all.

6/07/2007 8:49 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

So Travel, why are you in a better mood? Promise I won't throw anything....

6/08/2007 9:42 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I'm betting it's because the immigration bill died . . .

6/08/2007 9:58 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

That's a good guess Dan.

Personally, I'm not that disappointed the bill didn't go through. It was very complicated with a lot to like and not like.

There's a fairly good argument to be made for doing nothing. Things work today, and where's the crisis everybody seems to be making of it?

I think much of the immigration "crisis" is being made for other political reasons. I don't think things are substantially different than they were 5 maybe even ten years ago. Maybe even longer.

Obviously there are social justice issues and I recognize them. But doing nothing at this particular point in time is ok, unless your going to use the issue to achieve the presidency or a majority in Congress.

6/08/2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Well, damn, you know me too well.

This was in interesting bill. What did the Grand Compromisers expect when they brought a bill to the floor that included giving gang members a Z visa if they only renounced their gangship (new word). They came to the floor expecting illegal immigrants to go home before applying for a green card. Yah, right, it's one thing to cross the border, another to cross the ocean. They came to the floor giving illegals ss and the earned income credit before they were citizens. And worst of all, they came to the floor saying if background checks weren't completed within 24 hours after green card application, illegals would get a get out of jail free card. Do they think we are nuts? We can't even keep up with the new passport regulations. And, they came to the floor with a temporary worker program that practically assured illegal workers would drive down the wages of American workers. Senator Byron Dorgan D-ND gave such a good speech in support of the American worker, I called his office this morning and congratulated him (his staff). And you all think I'm a dyed in the wool Republican. Your own Claire McCaskill gave a speech saying there is no excuse for enforcing the law against employers who knowingly hire illegals. The Congressional Budget Office even said the best this bill would do is decrease current illegal immigration by 25!

I could support a comprehensive bill but I'm glad this one died. It needs fixing badly.

6/08/2007 11:40 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

correction, reduce illegal immigration by 25 PERCENT.

6/08/2007 11:42 AM  
Blogger les said...

"At times I find you a bit abrasive."

Just frickin' great. Emaw goes for the lowest blow yet again. Out of my respect for Dan and my general high-mindedness, I will not reply in kind. I do, however, fart in your general direction.

6/08/2007 11:56 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Travel - there's nothing wrong and no dishonor with being a Republican.

I long for the days where Kassebaum, Dole and Todd-Whitman politics ran the party.

Just like the Kansas Republican party, the National Republican party has been hijacked by the evangelical social conservatives.

About 3 years ago (I don't remember exactly) the evangelical social conservatives in Johnson County overthrew the existing Republican leadership there. The new Republican leader has this to say to the outgoing Republican chairman on their future relatiunship - "I don't negotiate with murderers". This was told to me by the ousted Republican chair.

The Republican Party and traditional conservatism is being distorted by the Bush Admin et al. I think you would agree with tyhat given your previous comments.

6/08/2007 1:43 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Mainstream...Was that Andy?

6/08/2007 4:32 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

If I recall correctly, yes. It had to be in 2004 - It was just after the Joco Republican Party internal votevote, and there were apparently some very hard feelings.

I saw him and talked to him briefly at a panel discussion (along with the chair of the joco dem party) at Joco Community College hosted by the Mainstream Coalition (org started by Rev. Bob Meneilly at Village Presbyterian Church).

I really feel sorry for the Joco Republican moderates....

6/11/2007 9:56 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

I think he spoke in early 2005 - didn't the evangelical right take over Joco Rep Party in 4Q04?

6/11/2007 10:27 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I know his family well. Worked with his dad for many years. Good people.

Honestly, I think both the Republican and Democratic parties are in a strange place these days and Kansas is a good example. I totally agree with the Democrats on some issues and the Republicans on others. Had dinner with friends over the weekend who feel the same way. There doesn't seem to be a place for moderates in either party.

6/11/2007 10:28 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

No there really isn't. Both far left progressives and evangelical conservatives have their litmus tests and lack of tolerance.

6/11/2007 1:51 PM  

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