December 14, 2010

Michelle Obama's secret political agenda on food

"What's your name, fat-body?"
Normally, it's an unwritten rule that keeping families out of politicians out of the spotlight is a fair thing to do.  Indeed it's noble to not cover them, particularly in the case of children.   While the mainstream media was good with Laura Bush in terms of her efforts as First Lady, one has to question whether it was out of that sense of nobility or simply that broadcasting anything that showed any Bush in a good light was not advancing the cause of liberal Democrats.  After all, Laura Bush focused her efforts as First Lady on education and literacy.  That it was done without much fanfare is not surprising. Yes, she did receive coverage, but not like Michelle Obama and her war on obesity.

Now consider the drubbing the Palins take in the media as if somehow that family deserves everything it gets. Does that mean the gloves are now off because it suits the media's bias?  All is fair now? I don't think so.  I have tried to not comment on Michelle Obama much.  But in light of the additional coverage she's getting, and the fact that her statements have impacted the national discourse, it seems fair that commenting on her comments that have become political is not out of bounds.

Indeed, Michelle Obama has charged right into the political side of a seemingly non-political issue, and her comments therefore merit a rebuttal. Politico has an article talking about Michelle Obama's new warning on obesity, and the comments clearly are into the political arena.
“Military leaders … tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight,” the first lady says in the prepared remarks, “childhood obesity isn’t just a public health threat, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well."
Why is that political? Two reasons - she claims the issue has both economic and military consequences. Because she is saying that childhood obesity is not just about health, it's about the economy and it's about national security, she's gone beyond doing something for the public good, to campaigning for her agenda. She's done it in a way that lays out a platform to help Nationalized health care. Obesity certainly could be an economic issue. Making the case should not be her role however. To do so crosses a demarcation point. The Obama's are a political couple, and this is a political move. I'll show you why later on.

She's done it in a way that compares it to terror threats. National security is impacted by childhood obesity? Really? With a volunteer military and all that training leading up to service, is childhood obesity in a country of over 74 million children currently under the age of 18, and with a military of 2.3 million active and reserve personnel, that the military won't be able to find the 3.1% of children today who apparently aren't obese? To say that the armed forces will be impacted by an obesity rate among children of even 40% is a stretch (mark). Sure there will be impacts, but justifying healthy eating by making it a national security issue is ludicrous.

It gets worse.

As I mentioned before, this is political and tied to the health care agenda.  Michelle goes on to say this;

“From educators working to provide healthier school meals, because they know the connection between proper nutrition and academic performance. From doctors and nurses who know that unhealthy kids grow into unhealthy adults — at risk for obesity-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. From business and labor leaders who know that we spend nearly $150 billion a year to treat these diseases and worry about the impact on our economy. From advocates and faith leaders who know that school meals are vital for combating child hunger, feeding more than 31 million children a day.

Why does this take a turn from eating healthy to suddenly talking about school meals? Because it's something the government can control. They don't trust you to feed your children something other than a steady diet of Cheetos and Pepsi, so they are going to have to start making that decision for you. Especially if you are poor.
The first lady and President Barack Obama are making a rare joint speaking appearance on Monday, at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Northwest D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood, as he signs into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
What is that bill? In another Politico article it's described by some Democrats and Republicans in pretty unflattering terms;
Republicans blasted the first lady’s crusade as “nanny-state” government overreach, while conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh called the nutrition bill a new “entitlement program” that regulates how parents raise their children.

At the same time, some Democrats grumbled that the bill was a White House-backed vanity project that borrowed from one low-income food program to pay for another. While the $4.5 billion bill is the first upgrade for low-income food programs in 30 years, it was paid for in part with $2.2 billion in cuts to the SNAP food-stamp program — a provision that sparked a revolt among House Democrats who threatened to derail the legislation.

To get Democrats on board, Obama agreed to promise that he would make SNAP whole again. “I’m committed to working with them [Democrats] to restore these funds in the future,” he said Monday.
So it amounts to yet another expansion of entitlements, period.

It still gets worse.

I said earlier that this relates to health care. In the original Politico article I mentioned, there's a few interesting footnotes. This one in particular caught my eye;
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: “By increasing the number of students eligible to enroll in school meal programs and improving the quality of food served, this legislation simultaneously tackles both hunger and the obesity levels.”
It reminds me of this from Sebelius;
We're putting prevention to work by supporting initiatives that target tobacco control, obesity prevention, better nutrition, and physical activity. The Affordable Care Act creates a new Prevention and Public Health Fund to increase access to resources that promote prevention and public health and enhance healthcare quality in communities across the nation. And we're helping communities coordinate primary care services in mental health settings, supporting the First Lady's "Let's Move!" initiative and implementing recommendations of the President's Childhood Obesity Task Force.
If you don't think these discreet, seemingly disparate initiatives aren't inter-related, you simply aren't seeing the big picture. They've tied the two issues together themselves and done so in such a way that they discreetly are taking more control and liberty from individuals and putting it in the hands of a wiser all-knowing government. Not only that, they want you to buy into the idea that this is better for the country.

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