The great respect being offered on the death of West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd conveniently overlooks that he began as a committed Klu Klux Klan member and staunch segregationist and became over time the high priest of congressional “earmarks.” Staying in the Senate until one is senile should not, in my view, obscure others from remembering one’s past. In Byrd’s case, that past is hardly one worth honoring.
It is completely beyond my why the Obama Administration and congressional Democrats could be this obtuse. No one should want — and I doubt any American really does support — the government standardizing serving sizes and recipe compositions, even on health grounds.
Remarkably, Section 4205 of the new health reform law, which requires chain restaurants and vending machines to provide nutrition notices, instructs the HHS Secretary to:
Consider standardization of recipes and methods of preparation, in reasonable variation in serving size and formula of menu items, space on menus and menu boards, inadvertent human error, training of food service workers, variations in ingredients…
HHS Secretary to Regulate Serving Sizes and Recipes for Cheeseburgers and Fries | John Goodman. Who could have known? That’s in part because the provision literally was buried:
You’ve heard the phrase “buried in the bill,” of course. Section 4205 of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” the health care reform bill President Obama signed on March 23, 2010, is contained on pages 1206-1214 of a 2407 page bill. It could hardly be more buried than that.
And so, America has gone from “Cheeseburger in Paradise” to “I Can Has Cheeseburger” to self-proclaimed “reformer” rants against Five Guys burgers as Xtreme Eating. What a country! It’s all well and good that Ms. Obama’s pet issue is childhood obesity, but outlawing fatty and big meals will, like illegal drugs, just make them more desirable. So this proposal for more government will inevitably backfire, as well as being totally repulsive from a civil liberties standpoint.
Reid Looking to Remove Lieberman as Committee Head [AP.com]. Seems perfectly appropriate to me, indeed long overdue, because he ain’t no Democrat anymore!
“Completing a dramatic political transformation over the last eight years,” according to the Washington Post, Sen. Joe Lieberman is now scheduled to speak at the Repbublican convention.
What a turnabout of convenience. Eight years ago I supported John McCain as a “straight shooter,” but he’s long ago bailed on talking straight. Lieberman, with his holier-than-thou backing of Bill Clinton’s impeachment — even though he eventually voted “no” — has long been something other than a Democrat, and now he reveals himself as something other than the self-proclaimed independent he pretends to have become. What he is, in my humble view, is a pontificating opportunist. But that is, perhaps sadly, one of the preconditions to American politics in this day and age. Cynical, for sure, but true.
Kerry Scores Comeback Iowa Victory | washingtonpost.com. More of the same in American presidential politics. The bland, establishment figures come out ahead over those who want to revolutionize the system. This stuff has just became very boring. That’s the opposite of conventional wisdom — with pundits and talking heads rejoicing over Howard Dean’s weak third-place finish and looking forward to a “realdog fight” — but the fact is that the “new” Democratic front-runners have little or nothing new or interesting to say.
Readers of these pages know I am not a fan of former Vice President Al Gore. Yesterday’s endorsement by Gore of presidential contender Howard Dean shows precisely why Gore is entitled to no respect. Dean’s Internet Dynamism Among Attractions for Gore [Mercury News]. In 2000, Gore ran as a centrist, embracing populist rehetoric (rather than the Clinton Administration record) only in desperation in the campaign’s final weeks. Now he has foresaken his one-time running mate Joe Lieberman — who held up his own campaign launch out of deference to Gore — without even a phone call. This is the same Joe Lieberman who in 2000 “sold his soul by reversing his lifelong positions on several key issues in order to align himself with the more liberal Al Gore.” [AmericanDaily.com].
Seems that now Gore’s suddently gotten religion and believes the Democrats must move even more to the left. Well, he may be right, but that switch repudiates all the political values Gore professed to hold dear while in office. As Dan Gilmore notes:
Gore is no longer an establishment Democrat. His speeches make that clear. . . . No, Gore is siding with the people who are fed up with the foulness of politics-as-usual — some of which Gore, to his discredit, helped foster during his stints in high public office. They’ve created Dean’s powerful surge as much anything he’s done.
This is a classic, unprincipled move by someone who lacks any conviction. As Todd Purdum wrote in the New York Times, “The sudden marriage of such a seeming odd couple could wind up being seen as so politically expedient as to seem almost unprincipled, playing into the public’s worst perceptions that campaigns are about power and winning, not big ideas.” No shit, Sherlock. It’s an illustration of why the Democrats are so weak that the media, and many Dean supporters, view the Gore endorsement as a “king-making” final act in the campaign.
In my view, it’s the beginning of the end. Al Gore is a political kiss of death — what Gore brings “is not his endorsement but his baggage” — and Howard Dean should run as far and as fast as he can in the other direction.