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December 28, 2010



Take Sarah Palin's mockery of Michelle Obama's childhood antiobesity campaign.

The first lady has emphasized more nutritious school lunches but mostly encourages parents to make sure their kids eat healthy and exercise. Mrs. Palin sees a big government plot. "What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat," Mrs. Palin recently said

Michelle Obama:
we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well,” Mrs. Obama said. “We can’t just leave it up to the parents.

OK, so she said we can't trust parents to make decisions. It's still just a typical First Lady do-gooder campaign, right?
The Senate approved the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act legislation in August and the House approved it earlier this month by a vote of 264-157 (with 153 Republicans and 4 Democrats voting no, and 247 Democrats and 17 Republicans voting yes). The law will be administered by the Department of Agriculture, which will craft new school nutrition standards under the law.

Oh. Well, Democrats pass stuff like that all the time. Who's to say Michelle had anything to do with it?
Obama said that if the bill had not reached his desk for his signature, “I would be sleeping on the couch.”

A little joke. There's still no reason to think Michelle was trying to get laws passed.
The law has been championed by the first lady as part of her campaign to end childhood obesity.


You know, TM, getting on the other side of this issue is so stupid, I have to wonder about the trouble you had shoveling snow yesterday.

Are you sure you were using the right end?


Yes, well bgates, but that has nothing to do with it, now will they make food more edible, wasn't she on the board of a company that supplied foodstuffs to cafeteria, as I recall.

Jack is Back!

Hey, we're on a bus (Hampton Luxury Liner), and it has wifi and we are on actual pavement. Good job by the Suffolk County and Southampton Town highway departments. Lots of traffic finally moving into the City.

Okay, so Michelle is trying to do something but do any of us really believe this will work? For every carrot they eat at lunch they will upsize after school at Mickey D's. My son goes to a parochial school where the lunch program is paid by the parents and uses a caterer (one of the parents) and they have both a "normal" menu and a "veggie" menu plus Pizza Day every friday. All hot meals and all nutricious. Its about $3.50 a day but well worth it. No federal edict but rather parents and the school coming together and deciding what kind of food they wanted to serve at lunch for the kids.

That doesn't stop obesity as we have some kids who look like they only eat whoppers for dinner. But its still up to the parents. What Michelle should do if she really wants to help childhood obesity is start to educate the parents and guardians and school officials in the benefits of healthy nutrition, exercise and family life (which I believe contributes more than its fair share to childhood diabetes and obesity).

Ada @ Israel

But I wonder if she doesn't trust parents and she thinks they can't cope with eating habits of their own children, how is she going to control what they eat herself??? Will she cook for all children of the United States?

Rob Crawford

wasn't she on the board of a company that supplied foodstuffs to cafeteria

If that job was like the one she had with the hospital, where she was running a program to convince the lower-income sick and wounded to go to other hospitals....


Siding with an overweight, bossy, little Marxist narcissist like Ms. Obama, eh?

Why am I not surprised? Perhaps you can contribute some recipes...

It really shows how what idiots we have become.

This creature has no business being near children for any reason whatsoever. This is obvious on the face of it. All one need do is look at her. Her "obesity project" is the sort of thing one expected out of bored upper middle middle class housewives out Princeton way some 45 years ago. All she lacks are the white gloves and the pillbox hat. It hardly the sort of thing a FLOTUS should in involve themselves in nor should she be involved in legislation.

Liberal presidents are so p-whipped that they cannot contain their wives.

Vermont Guy

They told me if I voted for McCain, we'd have an unqualified, inexperienced woman dictating public policy. And they were right.

matt foley

yeah, i don't think i agree with the take on this. of course, all this hype was a pretext to pass the food bill, extending the regulation of the food industry and a pile of handouts. and just because a bunch of softy republicans couldn't find the stomach to oppose something so overtly positioned "for the kids" on ideological grounds, doesn't make it a good idea either. so, no, i don't side with michelle on this bs, and the funny thing is that sarah palin seems to be the only one smart enough (or brave enough) to call out the first lady's grandstanding for the ruse that it is.


Do any of us really believe that Michelle will be content to give "advice," particularly if her drive to get legislative initiatives passed gains any traction?


Besides, any campaign to avoid sweets and eat healthier stuff is a campaign based on the virtues of restraint and discipline. Is the First Lady any exemplar of those things, given her trip to Spain?


The First Lady always is going to have an issue. This is Michelle's. The federal government, through the school lunch program, is always going to have a role in determining appropriate diet for children.

I don't want my taxpayer dollars going for smores or foods that just make kids fat. By the same token, while Ms. Obama has every right to lead by example and exhortation, she has no right to legislate what folks choose to eat.

Somewhere in the middle of this is what food producers should be required to disclose about the food we eat. I don't want to be handed a booklet with my chocolate milkshake on the horrible things I am doing to my arteries. But food production is full of fattening shortcuts that aren't always easy to discover or intuitive.

The issue is really harder than Michele "bad" because her tush is not as toned as her arms, and Sarah good because she's snarky at the right people.

Captain Hate

Is TM doing his year end irony schtick on this? Because I thought the WSJ ed board either lost their minds or had turned it over to the J-school commies while the intelligent people were on vacation to side with some fat-assed harridan with post-menopausal flab arms hectoring people on nutrition.


I am spamming the threads today before I head to work!

Okay, everybody - Robin of Berkeley is cheating big time and we have to remember to vote, vote, vote. A few others are picking up steam too.

MOTUS Mirror read my comment and has a front page post on her blog! Woo Hoo! Unfortunately, she is playing fair and square and lists 2 other contributor commenters besides just Clarice.

Get out and vote everyone.


I like the WSJ for the personal journal and Mary Anastasia O'Grady. I don't know how many books I've bought after reading reviews there. And Daniel Henninger.

I struggle with the rest of it.


What do I know?


"The issue is really harder than Michele "bad" because her tush is not as toned as her arms, and Sarah good because she's snarky at the right people"

IMO the issue is whether to side with nannyism when you happen to agree there is a valid underlying point.

As a matter of principle I never ever side with nannyism.


These people with the drilling moratorium, with EPA rules on carbon, with more mandates
for 'clean energy' hokum, with the ridiculous
QE 2, are making everything more expensive,
this was part of his promise; 'not everybody
can keep their thermostat at 72 degrees, because 'electricity prices would naturally


I thought the point she made about not being able to trust parents to manage what their kids eat in the cafeteria was valid. I also think the whole thing should have been voted down and that the bill isn't mainly about school lunches at all, but on that one point, I think the criticism was unfair, and MO was taken out of context. Her point was that parents don't manage the public school cafeteria menu, and if all that's on it is grilled cheese, soda, fried chicken, cheese burgers, ice cream and pizza, there's little parents can do to keep their kids from getting fat at lunch.

Er, uh, sorry, I meant 'It takes a Community'

It takes a village to feed a child.

Rob Crawford

Her point was that parents don't manage the public school cafeteria menu...


There's nothing parents can do? Not even, say, taking over the school board and running things from there? Or home-schooling and feeding their kids themselves?

Absolutely nothing you say? Huh.


You know, in some ways I can agree that eating "bad" food contributes to the obesity problem in children. I seem to remember a few years back some folks in NYC suing McDonalds because their kids got fat eating lunch there every day - which kind of supports MO's point - I mean the parents gave the kids the money to eat there...

But - I think the bigger cause of childhood obesity is the lack of exercise. And that problem rests with both the parents and the schools. When we were kids, not only did we have gym class several times a week, but we had recess twice a day, and when we got home we went outside and played until dinnertime.

Today, schools (to be fair - probably through legislated mandates - not the fault of the teachers) have cut back on the Phys. Ed. and recreation in an effort to cram more and more "learning" into each day. When the kids get home, they have tons of homework (stuff they couldn't get to during the day). And then they "slug" out in front of their favorite electronic device ('puter, phone, TV, MP3 player, whatever...). Except for the kids actively involved in sports, there is almost no exercise each day - hence no burning off the excess caloric intake caused by our poor eating habits...

Jim Ryan

I feed my kids beans, kale, meat, milk and fruit. Most nights there is no dessert and they always have to do their curls, pushups, and pullups. We'll stick with Sarah and s'mores. We don't need the kleptobureaucracy's leadership. This is the point.

If you need the kleptobureaucracy to get unfat because you eat very poorly and exercise too little, just throw in the towel and accept you're going to be fat forever.

Like Aristotle said, you have to be trained to prefer the right things. Otherwise, it's over.

Defund it. If it isn't in the enumerated powers, defund it.

If that's not locavore, some kid in Africa is starving.  Oh, wait.

What kids don't need is guilt about what they put or don't put in their mouths and now we are supplying government issue guilt.


Actually, I said there's "little" they can do. Home schooling is of course one thing they can do, or bag lunches might be easier.


and when we got home we went outside and played until dinnertime.

I think this is the key. Even if the schools were to triple the amount of recess and gym time, it couldn't make up for the general lack of outdoor activity in most kids' lives. No activity plus high-calorie diet = chubby kids.

Kids who are exercising a lot aren't going to get fat by eating five fried chicken nuggets a day at school. That's why this didn't use to be such a problem. It's the level of exercise that has changed most over the years, not the quality/calorie count of the food. Making the school food 20% leaner won't do a thing.

Cecil Turner
The first lady has emphasized more nutritious school lunches but mostly encourages parents to make sure their kids eat healthy and exercise.
When faced with a logical branching (i.e., 1, empower parents to control lunch menus themselves; or, 2, have a bunch of DC bureaucrats rejigger lunch menus on a national level), she chose the one that increases federal power, provides a lucrative source of potential payola, and inures the sheeple to a more personal level of interference from their betters. Yeah, who could possibly be against any of that?

If anyone happened to see the episode of Palin's show where she was joking about Michelle and s'mores, there was some crucial context, which was that the Palins were camping. If you are as active as they are, dessert isn't a problem. I think Sarah's point was that the Palins don't need the nannified ministrations of Michelle to be active and healthy - they already are.

I'd also bet that Sarah has exercised more in her 46 years than Michelle will in her entire lifetime.


C S Lewis "tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive"


What's that from boris?

hit and run

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,”
--stuff Barack Obama said


I think from "Undeceptions - Essays on Theology and Ethics".

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."


I'm with the exercise crowd. Calory intake - calories burned = weight gained.

There's actually a reason that our ancestors developed all those delicious, high-calory recipes - they needed them to survive in a physically demanding world. If they survived childhood illnesses and high-mortality, high-risk young adulthood, they actually tended to live a very long time, without the miracles of modern medicene.

Is it any wonder that about the time that "couch potato" became a universally understood expression, when entertainment became our #1 activity, and when schools started cutting back on recesses and any physical activity (can't expose the kiddies to any potential harm, or make them feel inferior; competition is bad, etc.) - that obesity started becoming a problem?

Nah, let's not blame the real culprit...


can't expose the kiddies to any potential harm, or make them feel inferior; competition is bad, etc.

LOL - I remember that some schools banned the game "tag" at recesses because it might make some kids feel inferior. Geez....


--I'm with the exercise crowd.--

I'm with the what the hell business is it of the federal government what anyone, anywhere, eats at any time crowd.
Is there a state in the union incapable of supplying arugula to some waif who may or may not need it?
Is there an enumerated power in the constitution giving the feds the power to do so?

Captain Hate

O/T My youngest Hatette just called me about having gotten back to NYC safe and sound but how paralyzed the city still is under the great leadership of Bloomberg (which coincidentally Tammy Bruce is talking about on the Laura Ingraham show). Cars are just abandoned in the middle of the streets; some of them look like they've been torched. Some streets are completely unplowed. But don't worry; I'm sure he's giving all his attention to the Ground Zero Mosque.

Rob Crawford

But don't worry; I'm sure he's giving all his attention to the Ground Zero Mosque.

That's not fair! He's also making sure there aren't any transfats in NYC restaurants, checking to see that no one uses too much salt, and arranging for straw purchases at gun shops in other states.

Captain Hate

Thanks Rob; I sometimes forget about the asshole's ability to multitask on all the most important issues.

Thomas Collins

You're both unfair, Captain Hate and Rob Crawford. He's also trying to figure out a way to ensure that no New Yorker even THINKS about lighting up a Lucky or biting into a Snickers bar. Being a nanny stater is a 24/7 job. Who has time to make sure essential city services are functioning during a snow emergency (or for that matter, during a regular day)?

Rob Crawford

(Amazing, innit, how the more a nanny-stater tries to run your life, the less competent they are at the essential elements of governance?)

Melinda Romanoff

Seeing as I'm at 39,000 feet and heading into LaGuardia right now, I'll report on the progress personally. Good thing I reserved a 4WD out of habit, we'll see just where those plows have been, unless they were safely parked in the Mayor Ray Nagin Memorial Parking lot, next to the school buses.

(This is pretty cool, BTW.)


A bit on unintentional irony as Ruth Marcus,
has a column, saying "Biden getting the job
done' or words to that effect. Which, watching
over the stimulus, getting the Iraqis to agree
on coalition in under nine months, proclaiming
'recovery summer'; maybe she's been taking some of those mushrooms the reindeer have?

hit and run

And the feds are really excited about giving more people more http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2010/12/transcript-video-remarks-by-president.html>in the way of lunch subsidies:

But by improving the quality of school meals -- and making sure that more children have access to them -- that is precisely what the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is going to do. Because while it might seem counterintuitive, child hunger and child obesity are really just two sides of the same coin.
--stuff Michelle Obama said

Two sides of the same coin indeed. Forget nutrition. First and foremost it is about inserting the government into every aspect of our lives,creating dependency on an ever increasing scale at the expense of local control and individual freedom.


That can only mean one thing,right?

Sarah Palin is mean and dumb.

Captain Hate

narc, maybe she meant "Bite-me jobbing the country".


"...how paralyzed the city still is under the great leadership of Bloomberg..."

I just want to know what Obama is doing about it. Shades of Katrina...

Soylent Red

No let me see... the Article in the Constitution where government is empowered to tell me what to eat...ah, here it is. In the Constitution of Venezuela.

Let's not forget that these are the same people who like for the government to control your health care;

thus, giving them a philosophical right to tell you what to eat (so as not to burden the system)
or whether to use tobacco
or what and how to drive
or any of the other things you do that at some point in time intersect with the public domain.

And if there is the philosophical right to tell you what is right and wrong, there is the political right (after all, YOU elected them) to demand you do what they consider right through the passage of law. And because we are talking about restrictive law, eventually to coerce you to do what they think is right(via fines or incarceration). And let's not forget, it's your government so you get the privilege of funding all of this with your tax dollar.

If a person can't see this progression with a trifling matter like food, it's no wonder we have government intrusion in all aspects of our lives. School lunch program, you say? There shouldn't even be a Department of Education. That's how far down the path to pure nanny-statism we have progressed. We're all just arguing about the degree of statism we'll accept.


And that is why the shelves are bare in Venezuela, and you have power outages in a country floating on a pool of oil. OT, we find proof (or poof as Barney Frank might put it, that the Syrians were behind the cartoon riots, in the LUN


hit and Soylent,

It isn't even just about creating more dependency by expansion of the school lunch program. They want as many kids as possible enrolled because in government-speak, # of kids receiving subsidized lunches = # of kids "living in poverty."

They inflate those numbers as big as they can and then they use them as baseline "proof" that other programs need to be created/expanded, too. It's the same shell game used with S-CHIP.


I would really like to see an investigation of these school food contracts. These contracts are all sweetheart deals for the friends of the school administrators and bribery from those who are not otherwise connected. Kids are forced to drink warm milk... so they don't drink it.. The food is terrible. It's a big scam courtesy of Barack and friends. I always brought my lunch to school. The public schools are a cesspool of rip offs. Obesity is a code word for business as usual.


Her point was that parents don't manage the public school cafeteria menu

So the lesson is that we can't leave it to parents? Or that we can't leave it to government bureaucracies? Schools are managed by government officials, so the response to government messing something up is more goverment?


Wow--when even the WSJ editorialists can't take a freakin' joke, we have a real problem. Sarah, once again, gets it--she (and most of the rest of us) know a nanny-stater when she sees one, and calls it as she sees it.
By the way, all Nancy Reagan proposed was that young people should "Just Say No" to illegal drugs--i.e., stand up to peer pressure--not that we should have federally funded programs to teach them how to entertain themselves. If all Michelle was saying is that fat kids should lay off the twinkies neither I nor (I presume) Sarah Palin would object.
The squishies are trying so goddam hard to find something they can approve of in the Obamas--so they won't be perceived as biased or racist--so they come up with this. All they do is cheapen their own brand.


I think Big Fur Hat, says it best, in the LUN


Even if we allow, for sake of argument, that you can't just leave it up to the parents, does it follow that government will do a better job than the parents?

By and large, I'd say parents do a better job at their duties than government does at its duties.


The government always knows best. Take the last day of WW I for example.


The squishies are trying so goddam hard to find something they can approve of in the Obamas--so they won't be perceived as biased or racist--so they come up with this.

I'm not sure that's true. I think they're more interested in distancing themselves from Sarah Palin.


Maybe, Porch, but The WSJ Editorial staff has said mostly good things about Sarah.


God bless Sarah Palin and all she has done to make the United States a better place. Remember Sarah Palin has always been proud of America. Michelle Obama said she only became proud of the US on 18 Feb 2008. Amazing .

As a American who would you rather hear from?


An anti-obesity campaign is one thing. Deigning parents incompetent, and legislating diet, is quite another. So, I wonder, is there anything the citizens of this great nation are competent to do in the world of Obama and Maguire here?


True, Boatbuilder - I was thinking of right-leaning squishes in general, but you are correct to point that out.


Boris, thank you. That's a fantastic C.S. Lewis quote.

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