I dislike first ladies — as a concept, I mean, not as dinner dates. I think of the first lady as an individual who happens to be married to the guy with the job, rather than as a job in its own right with a huge staff and bloated budget. But I seem to be in a minority, and most Americans appear to be comfortable with the neo-monarchical inflating of the president’s wife into a full-blown Queen Consort. So, to give all those staffers the pretense of something to do, it’s necessary to identify a “cause” for the first lady to “champion.” The Arab Spring? Whoa, steady on. By “cause,” we mean something kinda non-political, more like good works, but with the force of federal power behind it.
So it was decided that Michelle Obama would go to war on childhood obesity. Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree that there’s a lot of it about, and it doesn’t say anything good about where we’re headed. And so it was that the president signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Like I said, all very bipartisan: It passed in the Senate by unanimous voice vote — because who’s against healthy, hunger-free kids? And thus, in order to lend credibility to a make-work project for the Queen Consort, America is now a land in which a government bureaucrat at the Department of Agriculture sets the maximum permitted calories for school lunches across the fruited plain and all the way to Guam. “I’m confident we have a core healthy set of proposed diets for children,” said Kevin Concannon, the U.S. undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services. At the European Commission, the chef de cabinet, despite his title, does not actually determine the national menu. But in Washington, Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture, is literally the chef de cabinet. He sets the set menu — and there’s no ordering à la carte, not when the carte stretches from Maine to Hawaii.
Okay, that’s enough lame francophone punning. This year some guy working in some office someplace some ways down the chain from the chef de cabinet decided to reduce the permitted lunchtime calorie intake of American middle-schoolers from 785 calories to 700 calories. I chanced to read this news while sitting in my doctor’s office staring at a Body Mass Index chart on the wall. If you’ve ever attended a middle-school choir concert and watched a 4?10? boy warbling along with a 5?6? girl from the grade below, you’ll know that things can get really wacky developmentally round about Grade Six. But a bureaucrat in Washington has decided that, food-wise, one size fits all. The World Health Organization considers BMI 25 to be overweight for Caucasians but BMI 23 for Asians. Yet a bureaucrat in Washington can breezily impose a uniform calorific intake on the school cafeterias of Honolulu and Buffalo.
The first lady was on hand for the launch of the new federally mandated lunch limits. The stench of failure and risibility has not yet attached to this initiative as it has to so many other Obama-era bureaucratic excesses. But, through September, returning schoolchildren complained about their new, insufficient lunches. Teachers and parents who took up their cause did so in statist terms, beseeching the commissars to raise the mandated calorie limits. Very few did so on first-principle grounds — which is to say the argument that a system in which a centralized bureaucracy attempts to impose a uniform menu on a nation of 300 million people is nuts, and cannot survive. In theory, education is the responsibility of local school districts in sovereign states. Yet somehow a bureaucrat in the Department of Agriculture wound up with a monopoly on what your kids eat.
Where do you go to vote out the Commissar of School Lunches? Even if Romney wins in November, I doubt this will be anybody’s big priority. Statists well understand that you don’t need a president-for-life if you’ve got a bureaucracy-for-life. Sometimes your team has to take a time-out for a couple of years, but, even when they do, all the departments and agencies and bureaus are still in place, hyper-regulating away. I mean, how often does the party of small government actually abolish anything?
And if Obama wins, you’ll get the National Calorie Limits approach to government supersized: A vast regulatory octopus entwining itself around every aspect of the citizen’s life. America is already hideously over-bureaucratized and pushing against the limits. It’s not a small, homogeneous Scandinavian nation of a few million. It’s a vast sprawling broke behemoth for which the concentration of power at the center will prove fatal.
In my latest book (now out in paperback!), I mention the famous image that closes Planet of the Apes: a loinclothed Charlton Heston falling to his knees as he comes face to face with a shattered Statue of Liberty poking out of the desolate sands. And I write that liberty is not a statue, and that is not how liberty falls. The more likely dystopia is a land where the Statue still stands, yet liberty itself withers away remorselessly, often under cover of bright shiny novel “liberties” and “freedoms” — “free” health care, “free” college education with “free” contraceptives for 30-year-old students. Until eventually you reach a point where a man in an office thousands of miles away is determining how much your child can eat — and nobody finds that unusual.
Didn’t Oliver Twist have something to say about this?
“Please, sir, I want some more.”
Dickensian London: “Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?”
Obamafied America: “Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the luncheon allotted by the National Dietary Commissar?”
From: Steyn Online
A man’s man sandwich! Grilled. Cheese. Sandwich. Done. Right!
In my Monday post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog)about the “Million Muppet March,” the astroturfing Obama-supportive operation being managed by Michael Bellavia — a gentleman whose animation firm “just so happens” to have Sesame Workshop as a major client — I questioned how he and the rest of the group can be so sure that they “can just use the Muppet characters … at a brazenly political event without worrying about consequences.”
My take on this morning’s “march”-related news is that “march” organizers have quietly been prevented from doing so. That’s because they’re not calling it the “Million Muppet March” any more.
It’s now the “Million Puppet March.” The remarkably incurious Associated Press, in a brief report this morning (produced in full for fair use and discussion purposes), unskeptically relayed the group’s pathetic name-change excuse:
‘PUPPET MARCH’ PLANNED IN DC TO DEFEND PBS FUNDING
More than 1,000 puppeteers and public broadcasting supporters have signed on for a march on the National Mall in Washington three days before the election.
The so-called Million Puppet March being planned online is scheduled for Nov. 3. By Wednesday morning, more than 1,000 participants had responded on Facebook, saying they would attend.
It comes after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s remarks during a presidential debate calling for the elimination of funding for PBS, which airs the popular children’s show Sesame Street.
Organizers originally called the event a Million Muppet March. But they note that they’ve changed the name to include sock puppets, hand puppets, marionettes, shadow puppets and mascots.
The unbylined AP report’s headline and content have several errors.
First, Romney wants to eliminate government funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, not “funding for PBS.”
Second, one might get the impression from the writeup that Mitt the Meanie wants to eliminate all “funding for PBS” from all sources, even though “53% to 60% of public television’s revenues come from private membership donations and grants.”
Third, the item’s discussion of the Facebook sign-ups ignores the thousands more who signed up on the group’s original Million Muppet March Facebook page during the past two weeks (link is to Google cache from Monday, which may not be up for long; the actual Facebook page has been cleaned out). Why? Probably because it would make it look — as really appears to be the case — that these people are picking up the pieces after getting a privately communicated piece of Disney’s corporate mind about the attempted hijacking of characters they own.
As to the excuse for the name change: Give me a freakin’ break. The new logo’s background has even changed from “Muppet” green to red. At the new Facebook page, the attempts at humor to make an excuse for the name change are exceptionally lame:
We’ve changed our name to Million Puppet March to be more inclusive of all puppetkind.
We made the name change at the request of:
- Sock puppets who felt they were getting lost
- Hand puppets who wanted to lend a hand
- Marionettes who wanted to pull the strings for a change
- Mascots who wanted to join the team
- Shadow puppets who felt left in the dark
- And finger puppets who… well, you know what they were giving us
What Bellavia and his collection of Obama administration puppets didn’t mention is the likely truth: “We thought we could use someone else’s intellectual property with impunity, and got read the riot act.”
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.
From: Bizzy Blog
A deliberate effort is underway to rebrand Planned Parenthood as an integral provider of healthcare services, without which untold millions of women would lack basic medical care, or so the story goes. Thus, whenever any effort is made to cut off funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider and stalwart financier of leftist politicians, we’re told there is a “war on women.”
But it’s not a “war on women” when a state simply places a higher priority on funds for true health services that Planned Parenthood doesn’t perform Take, for example, mammograms.
Yes, mammograms. Perhaps there is no greater falsehood than the deceitful, and largely successful, attempt to persuade Americans that Planned Parenthood performs mammograms. It doesn’t.
When the Komen Foundation announced in February that it would no longer provide grants to Planned Parenthood—partly due to the fact that Planned Parenthood does not directly provide mammograms – its ideological and political supporters sprang into action. They decried Komen’s decision to eliminate funding for this imagined provider of mammograms. Planned Parenthood’s Executive Director, Cecile Richards, , made the claim. So did President Obama. And an unsuspecting public was led to believe that such bold claims, by people who should know, must be true.
I love this show!
She became the biggest star on TV at just 18 months old, but today, ‘Baby’ Jessica McClure is a stay-at-home mom of two.
Now Jessica Morales, the 26-year-old is married and still lives near the site of her dramatic rescue on October 16, 1987 – 25 years ago today.
Millions around the world were glued to their televisions and praying for her safety as dozens of rescuers worked night and day to save Jessica McClure from inside an abandoned well.
During her 58-hour ordeal, kind-hearted viewers even donated money to help the little girl recover, which was placed into a trust fund.
She collected the fund’s $800,000 on her 25th birthday last year.
Jessica intended to put the money towards a college fund for her two children – Simon and Sheyenne.
Read it all HERE.
I’m not really sure what I witnessed last night. It certainly wasn’t the “championship bout” many of the next day pundits would leave us to believe. And, it certainly wasn’t the “best debate in recent memory” as described immediately after the debate.
Yes, President Obama came out swinging as predicted, and appeared “on his game” last night. But, the bar wasn’t really that high considering his performance in the first debate.
The President was engaged, feisty, and certainly didn’t come across as rude as Biden was last week (who could?). He courted scared the ladies as expected. But, in the end, had nothing new to offer when it came to a plan for the next term.
One could argue his vision for the next four years is nothing but more of the same. Better stated, “But wait, there’s more!” as this piece is entitled.
What I witnessed last night was nothing more than an infomercial for a product like the “Slap-Chop”.
Late night TV viewers will remember the “Slap-Chop”, the darn thing’s been around forever! Ron Popeil had one, so did Billy Mays. The products looked the same, operated the same, and even cost the same (what a coincidence). The only difference was in the name.
In this case we have “Forward” vs. “Hope and Change.”
It makes you wonder if the President’s debate coaches included Vince Shlomi. It sure seems like Romney was debating “Barry O the Chop n Go Guy” instead of an incumbent President.
Read it all HERE.
HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH OF BARACK OBAMA’S EXCUSES? ARE YOU JUST PLAIN SICK AND TIRED OF SEEING THIS WINDBAG ON TV. READY FOR A REAL LEADER. VOTE ROMNEY AND SEND BARACK AND MICHELLE PACKING! REAL LEADERS DON’T HIDE BEHIND WOMEN—CANDY AND HILLARY!