Patterico's Pontifications

5/1/2012

Frivolous Lawsuit of the Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

From the Foundry blog at Heritage.org:

Parents, be forewarned: there’s a terrible danger out there. Delicious, sweet, spreadable chocolate is available for purchase in your supermarkets, but it’s NOT healthy for your kids! Who would have thought?!? But ignorance is bliss — very bliss — and in the case of Uninformed Moms vs. Nutella, it was worth $3.5 million in a class action lawsuit settlement.

This latest example of the U.S. legal system run wild comes to us from California where two mothers filed suit against Ferrero USA, Inc., the maker of Nutella — a spreadable, chocolate-flavored hazelnut product. ABC News reports that one of the plaintiffs — Athena Hohenberg of San Diego — sued the company because she was confused into thinking that Nutella is a health food, and she was “was shocked to learn” that Nutella “was the next best thing to a candy bar.”

The root of their claim is that the company is guilty of false advertising. The TV ad for Nutella highlights how the product is made from “simple, quality ingredients like hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of coco.”

According to one of the plaintiffs, “I thought it was at least as nutritious as peanut butter if not more and that’s the impression I got from the advertisement. I thought it had health benefits and it clearly doesn’t.”

Now, the company is settling for $3.5 million — or anywhere from $4 to $20 per person in the class.

The ability of people to file frivolous lawsuits is one of the country’s biggest problems. Stories like this make for a good laugh but the underlying issue is not funny at all.

Smartest President Ever diminishing his one bipartisan success

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 6:59 am

[Posted by Karl]

It would take a lot of effort to turn the killing of Osama bin Laden into a political liability.  But Team Obama is working on it:

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

***

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it.

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot.

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’

But wait, there’s more… from BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings:

Most active duty SEALs were reluctant to go on the record venting or praising their boss, but one of the most interesting responses I received from an operator was to direct me to Leif Babin, a SEAL who left active duty last year.

Babin, who runs the consulting firm Echelon Front, wrote a little noticed op-ed in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal four months ago. The headline: OBAMA EXPLOITS THE NAVY SEALS. Babin took aim at “the president and his advisors, writing: “It is infuriating to see political gain put above the safety and security of our brave warriors and our long-term strategic goals.”

***

[As] the stagey outrage over the politicization of foreign policy from Mitt Romney and his Republican allies gained momentum over this past weekend, White House officials started to have their doubts. Was spiking the football, again, and again, and again, in a public such a good idea? Was it necessary? Was the campaign in Chicago, White House officials wondered, going too far?

This sentiment is likely why former chair of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen fired a warning shot about it on national television.  But does Team Obama, which rolled out an attack ad against Romney and had Obama comment on the subject in a presser really harbor doubts about this tactic?  As the WSJ noted in an op-ed titled “Obama’s Ron Burgundy Campaign:

It’s easy to imagine Robert Gibbs, David Plouffe and the boys yucking it up as they put that one together, just like Ron Burgundy and his news team in the Will Ferrell satire. Stay classy, Chicago.

But the better Anchorman comparison might be: “For the last time, anything you put on that prompter, Burgundy will read!”  And that trait — along with an unhealthy dose of arrogance — was the basis for his comeuppance.

–Karl


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