Mark Bittman of the Times wants the goverment to regulate sugar, but he apparently doesn't want Michelle Obama to get involved; he concludes with an archetypal liberal-statist plea for help from Mommy and Daddy:
But as obesity and its consequences ravage our health care system, we struggle not only with our own diets but also with preventing our children from falling into the same traps. Last year a brigade of parents stood watch outside a corner store in North Philadelphia in an attempt to prevent their kids from buying junk food.
They’ve been called foot soldiers, but you might call them vigilantes. Vigilantism occurs when people believe the government isn’t doing its job. We need the government on our side. It must acknowledge the dangers caused by the most unhealthy aspects of our diet and figure out how to help us cope with them, because this is the biggest public health challenge facing the developed world.
We need government on our side! But wait - isn't childhood obesity the signature issue of Michelle Obama and her "Let's Move" campaign? So when a prominent Times columnist asked for a reaction and/or a position from Ms. Obama's office, what did they say?
Sorry, I have been hiding the ball - the regulation in question is whether Florida can bar food stampe recipients from buying unhealthy foods such as sweet or salty snacks. Obviously, libs are mostly outraged, as are plenty of 'Live free or die' conservatives.
But does anybody think Michelle Obama would support a bill like this? Of course she wouldn't. Does anyone think that she will be criticized by Mr. Bittman or anyone else at the Times for standing in the way of what he would seem to consider progress? Of course not.
The bill was a on-starter anyway, since it would rely on Federal waivers that have never been forthcoming:
In 2004, Gov. Tim Pawlenty tried to make Minnesota's welfare program the first in the country to ban recipients from buying candy with food stamps, but feds didn't go for it. Last year, New York City applied for a waiver to restrict the sale of soda and sugary drinks, but that was also denied.
Well - there was a time when one could argue that most of the costs of obesity are internalized, i.e., borne by the obese person himself. Obviously, that is no longer the case with Medicare and health insurance that cannot discriminate based on lifestyle choices or pre-existing conditions.
WHILE BITTMAN WAITS FOR BIG GOVERNMENT RICK WARREN TURNS TO A HIGHER POWER: