This just over the wire:
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama says he won't just be a president for the American people, but the animals too.
"What about animal rights?" a woman shouted out during the candidate's town hall meeting outside Las Vegas Wednesday after he discussed issues that relate more to humans, like war, health care and the economy.
Obama responded that he cares about animal rights very much, "not only because I have a 9-year-old and 6-year-old who want a dog." He said he sponsored a bill to prevent horse slaughter in the Illinois state Senate and has been repeatedly endorsed by the Humane Society.
"I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other," he said. "And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals."
Contrast those words with Obama's comments about the Supreme Court's 2007 opinion upholding the federal partial-birth abortion ban:
Speaking at the Planned Parenthood conference in DC this afternoon, Barack Obama leveled harsh words at conservative Supreme Court justices, and he offered his own intention to appoint justices with "empathy." Obama hinted that the court's recent decision in Gonzales v. Carhart -- which upheld a ban on partial-birth abortion -- was part of "a concerted effort to steadily roll back" access to abortions. And he ridiculed Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote that case's majority opinion. "Justice Kennedy knows many things," he declared, "but my understanding is that he does not know how to be a doctor."
Obama also won a laugh at the expense of Chief Justice John Roberts, saying that judgments of Roberts' character during his confirmation hearings were largely superficial. "He loves his wife. He's good to his dog," he joked.....
If only pregnant women were carrying canines (or horsies) in their wombs rather than human beings perhaps Obama would include them as members of the community deserving of our affection and respect.
Here's Justice Anthony Kennedy's description of the partial-birth abortion procedure from his dissenting opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000):
The D&X can be used, as a general matter, after 19 weeks gestation because the fetus has become so developed that it may survive intact partial delivery from the uterus into the vagina.... In the D&X, the abortionist initiates the woman’s natural delivery process by causing the cervix of the woman to be dilated, sometimes over a sequence of days. .... The fetus’ arms and legs are delivered outside the uterus while the fetus is alive; witnesses to the procedure report seeing the body of the fetus moving outside the woman’s body.... At this point, the abortion procedure has the appearance of a live birth. As stated by one group of physicians, “[a]s the physician manually performs breech extraction of the body of a live fetus, excepting the head, she continues in the apparent role of an obstetrician delivering a child.”... With only the head of the fetus remaining in utero, the abortionist tears open the skull. According to Dr. Martin Haskell, a leading proponent of the procedure, the appropriate instrument to be used at this stage of the abortion is a pair of scissors..... Witnesses report observing the portion of the fetus outside the woman react to the skull penetration.... The abortionist then inserts a suction tube and vacuums out the developing brain and other matter found within the skull. The process of making the size of the fetus’ head smaller is given the clinically neutral term “reduction procedure.”... Brain death does not occur until after the skull invasion, and, according to Dr. Carhart, the heart of the fetus may continue to beat for minutes after the contents of the skull are vacuumed out....The abortionist next completes the delivery of a dead fetus, intact except for the damage to the head and the missing contents of the skull. [citations omitted]
Apparently, for Obama, if this procedure were performed on a dog or a horse, it would be beyond the pale.