Patterico's Pontifications

12/14/2010

Michelle Obama on Feds Controlling What Kids Eat in School: “We Can’t Just Leave It Up to the Parents”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:08 am

The nanny state marches on:

Speaking at Monday’s signing ceremony for the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act”– a law that will subsidize and regulate what children eat before school, at lunch, after school, and during summer vacations in federally funded school-based feeding programs — First Lady Michelle Obama said of deciding what American children should eat: “We can’t just leave it up to the parents.”

The law for the first time gives the federal government the authority to regulate the food sold at local schools, including in vending machines.

Here is the full quote so you can’t accuse me of taking it out of context:

“But when our kids spend so much of their time each day in school, and when many children get up to half their daily calories from school meals, it’s clear that we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well,” Mrs. Obama said. “We can’t just leave it up to the parents. I think that parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won’t be undone each day in the school cafeteria or in the vending machine in the hallway. I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards.”

In other words, we can’t just leave it to the parents to teach their children how to behave when the parents aren’t around. Nor (and this is really the issue) can we leave such issues to the control of the benighted locals. At such times, it is necessary for the benevolent federal government to step in. “I’m from the [federal] government and I’m here to help.” That’s ten terrifying words, Ron; I added one.

The story leaves you wondering who is in charge:

Obama said that if the bill had not reached his desk for his signature, “I would be sleeping on the couch.”

Now if you’ll excuse him, he has a party to get to. He has been keeping the First Lady waiting.

The law has been championed by the first lady as part of her campaign to end childhood obesity. Michelle Obama said that while it may seem ironic to be addressing childhood hunger and obesity at the same time, “it’s really just two sides of the same coin.”

Obama said that if he called that quote ridiculous he’d be sleeping on the couch.

Thanks to a loyal reader.

89 Responses to “Michelle Obama on Feds Controlling What Kids Eat in School: “We Can’t Just Leave It Up to the Parents””

  1. Patterico

    > That’s ten terrifying words, Ron; I added one.

    I will point out that the state government can be every bit as terrifying as the feds.

    As for the point of the main post, I believe all of this is in tandem with health care. They believe that the passage of obamacare then gives you the right to tell you what to eat, because now your health is a matter of public finance.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  2. It takes a village, Patterico. Our betters know what is best for us.

    Seriously, there is something authoritarian in most politicians. It’s kind of creepy when you recall no one has elected MO to anything. And I seriously doubt she knows even high school level biology.

    But she does know what other people ought to do, and wants to use the power of the State to enforce her ideas. Breed.

    Eric Blair (2651c0)

  3. It takes a village, Patterico. Our betters know what is best for us.

    Seriously, there is something authoritarian in most politicians. It’s kind of creepy when you recall no one has elected MO to anything. And I seriously doubt she knows even high school level biology.

    But she does know what other people ought to do, and wants to use the power of the State to enforce her ideas. Brrrrrr..

    Eric Blair (2651c0)

  4. Most ironic typo ever. Government control does breed like crazy….

    Eric Blair (2651c0)

  5. I am quickly coming to the realization that this administration is approaching the classical definition of hubris, and the classical result will surely follow. I wonder how much of our life has to end up controlled by state/federal rules before we can call the administration a Politburo?

    MunDane68 (54a83b)

  6. Does anyone know what the Government is using as its indicator of “obese”? Is it that absolutely moronic BMI scale?

    I’m a Rugby player, about 6’4″, 230 lbs, and I’m consistently coming in as “Obese” on the BMI scale. I’m also in the best shape of my life.

    When are we going to remove this stupid “one size fits all” BMI scale? So if your kid doesn’t fit in this little “healthy” height/weight ratio, they must be obese? Maybe this “crisis” isn’t as bad as we think it is if we just get rid of the stupid BMI scale.

    ConservativeintheCity (801a51)

  7. Our school district has a no junk/fast food policy, whether the kids pack their lunch or not. But it’s not a hard and fast rule — I have sent my daughter to school with pizza, hot dogs and potato chips, and classrooms have school-sponsored pizza parties as rewards for various school activities.

    I did, however, need the teacher’s and principal’s permission to pass out candy on St. Nicholas Day, and in the end it was the teacher who passed them out. I found that sensible enough — there are children with allergies including one in my daughter’s class who is allergic to almost everything.

    nk (db4a41)

  8. Normally, I would not comment on a person’s appearance, but this just takes the cake (pun intended. From the First Lady’s appearance, she must be loading up on something other than healthy food, but again, in the Obama Whitehouse, it’s cake for me, but not for thee.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  9. Comment by ConservativeintheCity — 12/14/2010 @ 7:34 am

    I agree with you 100% about the BMI. I am having that fight now with my wife and our vegan pediatrician. My little girl is 75 %ile for height and 89 %ile for weight. She has bones and muscle, not fat. She does not walk, she runs. PE five days a week plus martial arts and swimming.

    The problem with the BMI is that it’s a generalization. It works both ways. I’m 6’3 and I don’t feel healthy over 160 lbs. That’s my nature.

    nk (db4a41)

  10. Since many have a problem, they must control all.

    But my physician recommends that my daughter have a high fat diet with lots of dairy products! She is 25 percentile for weight. Would I need special permission from the US Government to send her with a brown bag lunch that contains proscribed products such as whole milk and mayonnaise?

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  11. You know that the Obama Opera will end soon after the Fat Lady sings. And Moochelle is just starting her aria.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  12. Here’s the real problem:

    Kids need to learn moderation. They do not learn that if they are forced to eat from the government’s menu every day. They learn it from having choices and being taught to make those choices wisely.

    What we’re creating is dependency on the government, from a very young age on, for even the most basic things. Even to the extent that kids are taught that their parents are inferior sources of guidance to the government (which any smart kid will realize is BS, but many will be fooled).

    The BMI complaints above are just one of the many consequences. BMI works for large populations, but for evaluating a patient, when you have fat calipers and the ability to see their body composition, BMI is laziness. We’ll see the same laziness in school cafeterias.

    And Michelle Obama and her subordinate will be the first to scream if parents ask for private school vouchers. They do not care about your kid. They care about their power.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  13. Amphipolis,

    Your child is your business but if you will permit me …

    Don’t let the food Nazis push you around. If your your little girl is otherwise healthy…. Maybe she will never do the 300 pound jerk weight-lift, but she could rappel from a helicopter and run two miles under eleven minutes?

    nk (db4a41)

  14. My father agonized that I was too thin. (He could bring down a horse with one hand.) My mother just put the food on the table. “Eat what you want, as much as you want.” I follow that rule with my daughter.

    nk (db4a41)

  15. Gross.
    Gross gross gross.

    The idea that the US Government needs to pass an intrusive law to micromanage our childrens’ lives so the president doesn’t get kicked out of bed is just gross.

    You will have no more bakesales, America, because the president wants to sleep with the first lady. Gross. It isn’t about what is best for your family. It is about what is best for the president.

    MayBee (081489)

  16. God almighty when will these people leave. No training, no expertise, just constant relentless power grabs. Someone at hot air called her Michelle Antoinette.

    Please, Darrell Issa, do the paperwork. And make it pretty.

    Vermont Neighbor (3bd141)

  17. Two comments.

    there are children with allergies including one in my daughter’s class who is allergic to almost everything.

    I wonder if that kid’s mother has ever heard of the Hygiene Theory of allergy. These mothers who wipe everything with antiseptic and never let the kid play in the dirt, end up with kids that have asthma and are allergic to everything. Maybe if she fed the kid some worms…

    Two: My middle daughter had ear infections constantly when she was 2. My wife was taking her to one of these pediatricians who never recommended surgery. I finally took over when the kid looked like a failure to thrive with constant diarrhea from antibiotics. I had a friend operate on her and put tubes in her ears to drain the middle ear. That’s the operation that has replaced tonsillectomy.

    She grew six inches in a year and by kindergarten she was in the top 1% in height. She is six feet tall now and in graduate school. Watch out for people who think they know everything.

    Mike K (568408)

  18. One other thought: There is a theory that Edward VIII abdicated and married Wallis Simpson because he had a very tiny peeper and she was the only woman who could successfully make things work. I wonder what power Michelle holds over Barry?

    Mike K (568408)

  19. Does the First Lady realize that, by acting as a black nanny for the entire nation, she is stereotyping herself worse than any enemy of hers could ever do?

    Icy Texan (e6275d)

  20. The federal govt. already subsidizes school lunch programs in public schools. All this bill does is attach certain nutrition-based conditions to those subsidies.

    Not seeing the power-grab here. I guess anything is impeachable when you think “policies I don’t like” == “crimes against the Constitution.”

    AJB (d64738)

  21. Not seeing the power-grab here

    They are banning bake sales and you don’t see the power grab?

    The President of the United States is telling kids not to sell cookies.

    What’s interesting about Obama shills is that they generally have to be like AJB here. They can’t articulate a justification… they instead do what he did and say this isn’t an impeachable offense and he denies the issue even exists.

    Bush’s shills had an argument, but then Bush wasn’t banning bake sales.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  22. With all of the problems facing this country, I want my President to work on something other than banning bake sales; or worrying about what people are feeding people. I want my President to answer to the voters on policy, not his wife.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  23. The federal government is NOT banning bake sales.

    Icy Texan (e6275d)

  24. I’d really like to see that coin, of which hunger and obesity are opposite sides. I’ve got a very strange picture in my mind.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  25. There is a theory that Edward VIII abdicated and married Wallis Simpson because he had a very tiny peeper and she was the only woman who could successfully make things work. I wonder what power Michelle holds over Barry?

    Comment by Mike K — 12/14/2010 @ 9:01 am

    What I heard on BBC radio is that her former husband had her trained in exotic erotic arts in a Chinese brothel.

    nk (db4a41)

  26. One just never knows where school lunches are going to lead.

    Machinist (74634b)

  27. Icy,

    OK, they are just regulating them away. I’m sure Queen Michelle Obama will allow my kids to sell and buy celery and vegan sandwiches, but cookies? I doubt it.

    ‘The law for the first time gives the federal government the authority to regulate the food sold at local schools, including in vending machines.’

    They have better things to do than worry about this. It’s honestly none of the government’s business if someone is fat, anyway. They do not have a legitimate interest in ensuring everyone is pretty or meets their concept of health.

    This is part of the problem with government run healthcare. It’s going to lead to them regulating everything we touch, since everything we touch affects our health in some way.

    But what if you prefer to be eat x,y,z, and accept that this means you won’t make it to 90? Who the hell wants to be 90, anyway? I’d rather have a juicy steak. And yeah, I realize people actually manage to live a long time while eating junk, depending on genetics, but I’m talking about my choice.

    Why can’t a parent choose to have their kids eat brownies? They can choose to have their kids sucked from their womb, but not what they can eat at school?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  28. So will the Rulers tell people in Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, New York, and New Mexico to all eat the same things or will they issue many pages of specifications that will force local schools to pull money from teachers to hire consultants to reconcile government specs to local foods and get them approved.
    –Will we have lobbyists scrambling to get their products on the governments approved list at twice the price?
    –Will legislators ban foods who’s producers show poor public consciousness by not supporting their campaigns?
    –Who will be watching against these things?

    Machinist (74634b)

  29. So, if the feds say that corn syrup is just as good as sugar, and allow it in all school lunches (as they do), Omama will allow her kids to eat it (as she currently does not)?

    I mean, if these decisions are too important for other parents, why is she exempt?

    Kevin M (298030)

  30. Another argument for home schooling.

    mojo (8096f2)

  31. Maybe the feds aren’t banning bake sales altogether, but they are putting limits on them–I think the schools have to apply for permission or permits, or something. Again, this coupled with Ray Lahood’s strange obsession with cell phones is why people rapidly lose respect for the federal government.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  32. Not seeing the power-grab here.

    Since when is what food can be sold on a school campus an issue for the federal government?

    Do you really not see a power grab here?

    All this bill does is attach certain nutrition-based conditions to those subsidies.

    No, that’s not ALL this bill does. It allows the federal government to control things it does not subsidize.

    And the comment, “We can’t just leave it up to the parents” doesn’t scare you? Scares the crap out of me.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  33. The Government has to protect the kids from those bitter clinging parents or the next thing you know they will have them handling snakes or something.

    Machinist (74634b)

  34. Whoever pays has control. If the school and kids are dependent on fed money, they have to take what comes with it. If the school and parents want to demonstrate responsibility for their children they can say no to the feds.

    There are many children who suffer consequences of bad parenting, but the federal government is not capable of intervening in any helpful way, other than making acts of gross negligence and abuse over state lines criminal offenses.

    I agree that if any regulations get passed on physical health, it should be based on something more stringent, like body fat/muscle content.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  35. So is the next step to decide we can’t let the school’s efforts “be undone each day” by the ignorant parents so we send the kids to state health camps where they get fed and drilled each day according to government approved standards and don’t get taught crazy ideas like questioning the authority of the State?

    Did the founders just let the parents keep their kids to get the Constitution passed so they would really have approved of this takeover by the State?

    Machinist (74634b)

  36. I am not a parent but I am more than a little unhappy about this.

    Machinist (74634b)

  37. Whoever pays has control

    That really sums it up.

    This is why I don’t like the feds paying for clunker cars, my neighbor’s down payment on their home, my schools, etc.

    We don’t get that for free… we get that in exchange for some degree of freedom. Sometimes it’s not as blatant as this case, but it’s still a real tradeoff, and it’s not worth it.

    And that’s the obvious reason the left (and much of the GOP) fights against spending cuts. They want our freedom (another way of saying ‘their power’). They want to be able to ensnare states and individuals with dependency.

    And that provides us with an obvious way to cut off all these power grabs. Reduce government spending, and we not only have a more sustainable society, but it’s also more free.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  38. The legislation specifically states that the Federal government can regulate bake sales … but Vilsack assures us he is not going to actually use that power.

    This clowns are serious. That’s the frightening part really.

    SPQR (8d021c)

  39. Dustin,
    Well said. I suspect it will be a double battle as well. They will resist reduced spending but when forced to cut they will still want the same money. We will have to force reduced spending, direct where the remaining spending goes, and force reduced taxes. Unfortunately I don’t think the will or the power remains to achieve all those and a partial win will only be temporary. As long as the bloated bureaucracy remains with it’s culture of entitlement, we will only trim it back for a bit.

    Machinist (74634b)

  40. When you understand that this woman resides in the White House and has the ear of 1/3 of the branches of government and that she believes the federal government should dictate what your child eats at school you will get understandably scared of her.
    These folks must be stopped and then turned out.

    Buck (2f4203)

  41. Two drones trying to make themselves relevant.

    nk (db4a41)

  42. drones = parasites

    nk (db4a41)

  43. HOnestly, the President is talking about sleeping on the couch if he calls a statement by Michelle ridiculous and then wonders why North Korea, and the rest of us, don’t take him seriously.

    Try thinking and acting like a President, Mr. President, and not like some tinpot, albeit whipped, dictator.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  44. If Obama weren’t already seen as this guy who bows at the drop of a hat, and lets Bill Clinton handle the press for him, … if Obama were some kind of manly leader with a lot of gravitas, maybe his joke about his wife bossing him around would be funny.

    It would be funny coming from John Wayne, for example.

    But coming from Obama, it has a ring of truth. Barack Obama doesn’t even have control over what bed he sleeps in. He’s the opposite of President ‘Because I Could’ Clinton, whose wife had absolutely no control over him.

    I miss Bush.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  45. “We can’t just leave it up to the parents.”

    Good God.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (e09322)

  46. I wonder what will happen if enough of a school district’s students fail to meet federal standards. Will a federal agency step in and monitor or oversee what foods are available at schools? After that, is the next step federal court oversight, as happened with integration?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  47. “I wonder what will happen if enough of a school district’s students fail to meet federal standards.”

    DRJ – Are they going to take calipers to the kids or do the BMI calcs?

    Schools would just hide the fat kids or fake the measurements on the appointed days if anything serious were at risk. You would really need goon squads for serious compliance.

    Heh!

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  48. I vaguely remember something in “It Takes a Village” that sorta proposed that informational videos on breast-feeding being shown at the DMV. Hillary! didn’t want to waste an opportunity for the government to educate moms.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Skip mom entirely and go right to the kids.

    $100 says we don’t ever hear about “Big Food” lobbying for the standards.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  49. DRJ’s question links nicely to ‘necessary and proper’ as a Constitutional issue, because enforcement will be extremely intrusive.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  50. carlitos – Remembering Hillary, I think we would have been better off if Michelle had stayed home and baked brownies.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  51. Who takes these golf-playing, jaunt-at-taxpayer-expense-traveling, bowing jackasses seriously?

    The tragedy is that no black man will be elected President for another 200 years.

    nk (db4a41)

  52. I don’t think it will be 200 years, but I do think think the next black President will be a Republican.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  53. The tragedy is that no black man will be elected President for another 200 years.

    Oh, sure there will – for starters, you could take a look at the newly – elected GOP rep. Colonel Allen West:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkGQmCZjJ0k

    The days of racial one – party hegemony are fast disappearing, and we can thank the current occupant of the WH for speeding that development.

    Dmac (498ece)

  54. I could also add Rubio as our possible first hispanic POTUS, he certainly scared the sh-t out of the top Dems during his last campaign. Even Clinton made an appearance – no dice.

    Dmac (498ece)

  55. ___________________________________________

    The tragedy is that no black man will be elected President for another 200 years.

    The real tragedy is that a majority of the American electorate nonchalantly accepted the idea in 2008 that one of the flakiest, most uber-leftist politicians in US history should run the nation. IOW, America inched that much closer to being a version of a decadent Euro-socialistic society combined with a sloppy Banana-Republic/Third-World armpit.

    Whatever infinitesimal bit of idealism and innocence the nation may have had prior to 2008 (and, for that matter, the years of the super dumbed-down Clinton Oval Office) has since been ripped and shredded apart, and there is no turning back. After all, these past few decades have thoroughly desensitized just about everyone to the reality of a smaller-than-real-life, “do-your-own-thang” White House.

    I can easily see equally or far worse versions of Barack Obama occupying the presidency in the future.

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  56. This law is just another example of unconstitutional touchy feely liberal tyranny.

    And to add insult to injury, we also have to listen to a mini-lecture from some stupid tart whose only claim to fame is that she’s married to one of the biggest clowns who ever held the office of POTUS.

    How much lower can we sink?

    Dave Surls (e03429)

  57. Kids need to learn moderation. They do not learn that if they are forced to eat from the government’s menu every day. They learn it from having choices and being taught to make those choices wisely.

    I agree with this, and I believe it the sole responsibility of the parent to teach them how to be moderate in their choices and to know which foods are best for them. They may make the less than stellar choices but that does not mean that it is not my responsibility to teach them.

    Basically, the parent who lovingly and painfully brought the kid into this world is privileged with being their primary teacher. Everyone else, including Mrs. Obama, needs to remember their place. And that place is not usurping my authority. If other parents choose to abdicate, that’s on them but everyone else should not be penalized.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  58. I don’t see Obama as ‘black’, even though obviously he is. It just doesn’t matter that much to me. I think a lot of Americans will give the next black candidate all the credit he deserves, and those comparing him to Obama simply because they are both black won’t be taken very seriously.

    Sure, it’s easy to believe the comments that America is too judgmental about such things, but I don’t think it is. They elected Obama, despite people saying a man with such an unusual name could never be a contender.

    I also think a woman has plenty of potential these days.

    It’s a shame Obama got less scrutiny than he deserved, but I think we sell our country a bit short when we worry it will shamefully associate all blacks with Obama. Frankly, I don’t know a single black person who is very much like Obama.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  59. Comment by Dave Surls — 12/14/2010 @ 4:38 pm

    There is lower to go, and its clear we are going there.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  60. Basically, the parent who lovingly and painfully brought the kid into this world is privileged with being their primary teacher. Everyone else, including Mrs. Obama, needs to remember their place. And that place is not usurping my authority

    That is extremely well put.

    It’s just indecent to insist you can’t leave parenting to a parent. Michelle Obama has a hell of a lot of nerve to tell us how to raise our kids. I suspect Michelle Obama’s kids were raised not to be proud of their country unless it helps their family, and that they learned even crazier crap from their church, but it’s not my place to raise them right. Why does Michelle Obama consider her parenting to be off-limits, when it’s actually quite radical, and the parenting of everyone else to be generalized down to the lowest comment denominator?

    One critical American lesson is to be an individual. The TSA is teaching kids to accept even abusive authority, and Michelle Obama is teaching them to ask permission before they eat a freaking cookie. I say “no”.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  61. “… but Vilsack assures us he is not going to actually use that power.”

    I remember Nixon saying even though the bill he was signing allowed him to impose wage and price controls, he had no intention of doing so (because that would be wrong).

    Then he did just that within months.

    Kevin M (298030)

  62. When will they start inspecting lunches being brought from home?

    JD (d8bee7)

  63. …or perhaps more to the point, JD, when will they stop allowing lunches to be brought from home?

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  64. Dustin: ” Why does Michelle Obama consider her parenting to be off-limits, when it’s actually quite radical, and the parenting of everyone else to be generalized down to the lowest comment denominator?”

    Good question.

    MayBee (081489)

  65. Kevin M., I hope you are not implying that Vilsack is no more trustworthy than Nixon … ;-)

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. Next time I pack my daughter’s lunch, I am going to send Mountain Dew, pork rinds, a pound of bacon, and the rest of the Halloween candy with her. These nanny statist f@ckers drive me nuts. We cannot trust parents? F@ck you.

    JD (d8bee7)

  67. / end rant

    JD (d8bee7)

  68. The tragedy is that no black man will be elected President for another 200 years.

    A leftist black individual, probably not…

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (e09322)

  69. The root problem of the current nanny-abuse of the American parent can be summed up in the false premise of pillar one of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign:

    (1) empowering parents and caregivers; (2) providing healthy food in schools; (3) improving access to healthy, affordable foods; and (4) increasing physical activity.

    What inherently is ours (parents) cannot be given to us from an outside agency because that outside agency does not have it to give. We as parents are by default, completely and fully empowered.

    The government predicates their entire mission of managing our lifestyle choices and that of our children on a false assumption. And because so many parents abdicate, the federal government is more than ready and able to take up the slack. It’s an effective way to grow government.

    Eventually, all we will need to do is just give birth and our work will be done and the role of parent will increasingly diminish as others more qualified take over. Some will rejoice in that day because they will not have to push the big rock uphill for 18 years; others will mourn the loss of the privilege of being responsible for one’s own child.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  70. _____________________________________________

    Frankly, I don’t know a single black person who is very much like Obama.

    In terms of his ideology — and echoed in surveys in which huge percentages, of around 90 percent, of black respondents in previous years have said they favored candidates like Al Gore or John Kerry—and Bill Clinton, of course, was America’s “first black president” — around 80-plus to 90 percent of the African-American populace is either very much like him or not all that different from him.

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  71. around 80-plus to 90 percent of the African-American populace is either very much like him or not all that different from him.

    Maybe so. But I’ve worked with a lot of black people over the years, and I just don’t think they can be generalized as the same as Obama.

    Partly because I don’t think people should be categorized solely based on their politics.

    I have to admit, a lot of the Rev Wright ideology permeates, as does paranoia about racism and resentment towards our country, and obviously they vote largely for democrats, especially for Obama.

    but I think Obama’s peculiar, anyway. Those blacks who share his politics should be lumped in with him (as should all whites who share his politics). But I honestly think this country will give them a color blind analysis, for the most part.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  72. _________________________________________________

    “I’m from the [federal] government and I’m here to help.” That’s ten terrifying words, Ron; I added one.

    As the US becomes more and more dumbed down, the phrase you mention becomes less and less “terrifying.”

    BTW, there was a segment last Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes” about Brazil. The program noted the current ascendancy — certainly economic — of that nation. However, it also noted that part of South America has a long history of going through noticeably disruptive boom-and-bust cycles.

    I was interested when the reporter apparently attributed some of that to Brazilians’ great tolerance for high taxes and corruption. Hmm, I thought. That sure sounds like a land dominated by people who embrace a stereotypically flaky-sloppy, half-assed liberal mindset. (Speaking of California and New York….)

    Closer to home, I see things like the following and I don’t believe I’m being too cynical when I characterize the US as moving in the direction of societies not all that different from Brazil (or Greece/France/Mexico/Spain/Venezuela).

    Washington Post, December 14, 2010:

    Republicans may have made major gains in the November elections, but they have yet to win the hearts and minds of the American people, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    The midterm elections – in which Republicans gained 63 seats to take control of the House and added six seats to their Senate minority – were widely seen as a rebuke to President Obama. Still, the public trusts Obama marginally more than they do congressional Republicans to deal with the country’s main problems in the coming years, 43 percent to 38 percent.

    The public is also divided down the middle when it comes to the top issue: About 45 percent say they trust the GOP when it comes to the economy; 44 percent side with Obama. In the wake of the 1994 elections, Republicans held a sizable, 23-point advantage over Clinton on the economy. The new poll also has even splits between Obama and the GOP on taxes and dealing with the threat of terrorism.

    Obama maintains double-digit leads over Republicans in two big areas – helping the middle class and health-care reform. The GOP has a significant edge on only one issue tested in the poll: When it comes to dealing with the federal budget deficit, Republicans in Congress are up eight points.

    But while Republicans are more trusted on the issue, Americans believe that the president is more genuine in wanting to reduce the deficit. More than two in three say Obama is sincere in his commitment to deficit reduction, while only a bare majority say the same for congressional Republicans.

    Independents, who played a major role in delivering the House to the Republicans…split about evenly on the president’s performance, and they give Obama a narrow edge over the GOP when it comes to dealing with major issues.

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  73. ___________________________________________

    I have to admit, a lot of the Rev Wright ideology permeates, as does paranoia about racism and resentment towards our country, and obviously they vote largely for democrats, especially for Obama.

    Dustin, that comments makes me want to say, “and other than THAT, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play!”

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  74. Like I said, I don’t think it’s fair to say all blacks are similar to Obama, simply because they are mostly all democrats.

    There’s so much more to a man than his politics.

    In fact, I don’t know many blacks who would attend Rev Wright’s church for 20 years. I know several who are a bit paranoid about racism, and most of the blacks I know who talk about politics are democrats, but like I said, Obama’s pretty peculiar anyway.

    So yes, other than THAT.

    And the larger point is that I don’t think the country will associate the next black nominee with Obama unless he is like Obama. An Allen West does not have to worry about the comparison.

    I sure hope that America learned not to elect someone as liberal and inexperienced and thin skinned as Obama again, or someone with the sort of personal history he’s got. I think the worry that we learned not to elect blacks is similar to a lot of the conventional wisdom I heard before Obama was nominated (a lot from the Hillary camp) about the electability of a ‘Hussein’ or a black man, and similar to much of what I hear about women today. The one good thing to come from Obama’s election is that it proved, once and for all, that America is not nearly as racist as we are said to be.

    If the next black nominee is thought to be like Obama, it won’t be because he’s black. That’s all I’m saying.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  75. ___________________________________________

    I sure hope that America learned not to elect someone as liberal and inexperienced and thin skinned as Obama again,

    Trends over the past 20 years — and longer — suggest otherwise. After all, even though a good number of people in America were fully aware of the sleaziness of the Clinton White House, many of them threw caution to the wind and fell for an even more disreputable or even more oddly controversial and volatile version of “Bubba.”

    BTW, my earlier comment of “that makes me want to say, ‘and other than THAT, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play!’” could be misinterpreted. It should have been “that calls to mind the phrase…” or something like that. Otherwise, it sounds like I’m the one who is shrugging off the political rigidity (or extremism) found in a good number of people throughout black America.

    As for the race of a president, either in the context of today or in the context of years or decades ago: I’ll always favor a person who is black and conservative (or even truly centrist) over a person who is white and liberal.

    .

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  76. “The law increases spending on school nutrition programs by $4.5 billion over ten years…”

    Unbelievable. They’re going to INCREASE spending by $450,000,000 a year (probably about 10% of which will actually be spent on food…if that) and this huge amount of money is being spent so parents will be relieved of having the onerous duty of packing a lunch for their kids!!! Which is something you had to do when I was a kid, because there was no such thing as any kind of school lunch program. You either brought lunch or you didn’t eat. Yet, somehow we managed to survive without the feds taking control of EVERYTHING under the sun.

    And why are the Democrats levying taxes for this crap? To provide for the general welfare of the United States like they’re supposed to? No, they’re simply stealing money from people like me and giving it to their deadbeat constituents (with a healthy portion of the money winding up in the pockets of pols and bureaucrats…as per usual) so said constituents don’t have to pay for their kids’ lunches out of their own pockets, with the deadbeats in turn voting for the Democrats come election time.

    This is theft and corruption pure and simple, and we should have put a stop to it long ago.

    Christ, we’re becoming like the Roman Empire with hordes of poverty-stricken plebs utterly dependent on the Imperial government for bread rations (with the plebs, of course, eventually winding up as serfs which is the price they finally paid for their “free” bread…poor bastards).

    The whole thing is sickening. This country and the people in it are becoming more degraded by the day.

    Dave Surls (e03429)

  77. Anyone want to post the section of this act that regulates bake sales?

    ‘Cause — ya know — otherwise it’s time 2 ess . . . tee . . . eff . . . yu

    Icy Texan (d9d345)

  78. Goodly and sweet Auntie Michelle. Just like good ol’ Uncle Joe. Caring people both.

    Yeah right.

    RickZ (882387)

  79. well…..
    Not saying anything…

    The Emperor (e0e3b2)

  80. It’s entirely possible, Mark that in 10 years or so, if Obama is vanquished, and Republicans do rule
    the roost, that they will clamor for another vain
    demagogue like Obama, this time maybe of another ethnicity, but don’t take the Post’s biased poll
    as the key indicator.

    narciso (6075d0)

  81. Obama’s election does not necessarily prove America has got the all clear on racism. He was elected because he was the only viable option to more of what was seen as more Bushism years. A dog could have won that election! Obama is simply America rejecting Bush. America is still racist. Some parts. Don’t fool yourselves. If anything, his election has brought out the issue of racism more than anytime in American history. Obama is an opportunity for America to confront and overcome racism.

    The Emperor (e0e3b2)

  82. Too bad the mandate to keep kids “healthy” won’t include marching, obstacle courses and weapons training. more likely it will be sitting around talking about how America is a racist, sexist, homophobic country that a certain First Lady was only recently proud of…..and the kids will get fatter, and fatter, and….

    Californio (ce0726)

  83. It’s too bad that Obama has been more fixated on race than 99.9% of his detractors have been. Politeness is the only reason I don’t point out to my family that they are all racists, because the biggest reason they voted for him was based on the color of his skin. And his supporters actually admire themselves for this, which is baffling to me.

    no one you know (325a59)

  84. Mark, you’re right… just the fact Obama was elected in the first place is very disturbing. His popularity has waned because of the economy, but you’re right that a lot of Americans really do want this kind of general statist direction.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  85. And NOYK is right too. The racism isn’t in the people who didn’t vote for Obama (for the most part… I’m sure there was a very rare bigot here and there who actually wanted a statist president, but not a black one).

    The racists are the ones who gave Obama the White House, despite his resume, because it was historical for a black man. From GOP staff who wouldn’t criticize him to his most ardent media supporters, Obama’s race mattered way too much.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  86. We’re now feeding kids breakfast, lunch and in some cases dinner. What are the parents doing, other than having them and dumping the responsibility on the government? I don’t want to see anyone go hungry, but this is getting to be ridiculous, particularly since the healthy food that Michelle talks about is the very food that ends up in the garbage at most schools.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  87. Rochf,

    for such kids who eat 2-3 meals from the government, I have to wonder what their parents are feeding them on weekends and summers. Some liberals are never satisfied, and I wonder if Michelle would like to raise our kids 365 days a year, and perhaps even has this dependency in mind.

    Dependency doesn’t help anyone but Alinskites who want a constant flow of every matter into the hands of the state.

    Are the teachers eating these government meals? Are they really healthier than what I’d feed a child? Hell no. It’s not really about health, and this dependency leads to parents who feed their kids McDonalds and have no clue about nutrition.

    Just as Nixon’s and Butz’s agriculture measures led to corn syrup in everything. Control leads to a lot of problems.

    It’s like Michelle said. This is about ensuring kids aren’t left to their parents.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  88. Do the Obamas, or one or more of their cronies, own a school-lunch provider service? Chicago way? Don’t take anything at face value from these jerks.

    nk (db4a41)

  89. No responses to the challenge? SHOCKA!

    Icy Texan (d9d345)


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