-- The city of San Francisco. The city board of supervisors recently took the "Happy" out of McDonald's Happy Meals by banning all restaurants from serving toys with children's meals that exceed arbitrary limits on calories, fat, salt and sugar. Even the mayor of the People's Republic of San Francisco opposes the latest food-control scheme. But the bossy City by the Bay continues to assault consumer freedom with bans on everything from plastic bags to pet sales and soda pop. By executive order this summer, Mayor Gavin Newsom outlawed Coke, Pepsi and Fanta Orange drinks from vending machines on city property. The decree dictates that "ample choices" of water, "soy milk, rice milk and other similar dairy or non dairy milk" must instead be offered. It's not clear how vendors will be able to circumvent the city's hostility toward plastic bottles. Maybe beverages will be served straight out of those noxiously trendy reusable cloth bags?
-- The architects of Obamacare. After ramming a trillion-dollar package of unconstitutional federal health mandates down our throats, they said children and seniors would be saved, we could keep our doctors, costs would go down, and the economy would be boosted. Reality: Premiums have continued to skyrocket. Insurers nationwide have dropped child-only plans in the individual market. Obamacare taxes forced the AARP to raise its members' rates. Hospitals have stepped up layoffs and shutdowns. And millions of Americans have only been able to keep their doctors and coverage after their employers, unions or health providers begged the feds for special waivers. Heckuva job, health bureaucrats.
-- First lady Michelle Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee. Mrs. Obama first played the anti-childhood obesity card in September 2009, as a rationale for using her office to crusade for taxpayer subsidies supporting her hometown Chicago's failed Olympics bid. Her argument: Kids would stay fat, lazy and uninspired if the Daley machine didn't get its share of massive sports corporate welfare.
Next came Mrs. O's push for the $5 billion expansion of federal child nutrition programs. As I first reported in February 2010, the legislation was a pet project of the Service Employees International Union, which seeks to swell the ranks of dawn-to-dusk year-round public school food service workers who organize under the progressive activist slogan "serving justice, and serving lunch." In addition to school breakfast and lunch, the kiddie food patrol is now pushing subsidized dinner plans and summer food service to create a "stronger nutrition safety net."
Nanny State Republican Mike Huckabee, who used his bully pulpit position as Arkansas governor to campaign for Big Government-endorsed "healthier living" in public schools and private life, naturally sided with Mrs. Obama -- and took a swipe at Sarah Palin last week for criticizing the White House usurpation of parental responsibility and rights. Huckabee scoffed at the idea that the feds are "trying to force the government's desires on people." But school bake sales are already under siege, and Mrs. Obama's childhood obesity task force has already called for new and dramatic controls on the marketing of unhealthy foods. Did Huckabee miss (or does he agree with) Mrs. Obama's officious rallying cry on child nutrition: "We can't just leave it up to parents"?
God save us from more busybody bipartisanship in 2011.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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