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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Obama’

Obesity Policy Expert: Sarah Palin Is Right, Michelle Obama And Mike Huckabee Are Wrong

Posted by Gary P Jackson on December 30, 2010

By Gary P Jackson

We’ve said this before, but get used to seeing “Sarah Palin was right and [fill in the blank] was wrong” a lot in the many years to come.

Though he comes at it from a different angle, the editors of National Review Online highlight prominent New York University obesity-policy scholar Rogan Kersh’s take on the obesity issue. Our take is the First Lady and Huckabee are Big Government, Nanny State progressives who are a direct threat to personal Liberty and Freedom. Kersh comes at it from the medical angle and scientific angle.

From NRO:

One key ingredient in Sarah Palin’s political dynamite is the cheerful scorn with which she regards Washington, a small but zesty serving of which she recently dished up for First Lady Michelle Obama and her anti-obesity crusade. During an episode of her reality show, the once (and future?) candidate cooked up a mess of hot s’mores and a side of even hotter politics, declaring: “This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.

Palin was being over-generous in her paraphrase. What Mrs. Obama in fact said was considerably more worrisome: “We can’t just leave it up the parents.” Her particular target was unhealthful school lunches, which parents presumably require help from distant federal authorities to improve; it is clear from this and much else that the first lady envisions a very broad role for the federal government in menu planning. If her vision leaves any room for limitation on government interference in family affairs, it is impossible to detect it. Palin, responding specifically to this boundless license for federal meddling, later expanded on her views: “Instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us, according to some politician’s — or politician’s wife’s — priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back, and allow us, as individuals, to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions.” (There is something particularly delicious in Palin’s tone when she pronounces the words “politician’s wife” — if there should be such a thing as a Palin administration, we are confident that the apparently easygoing Mr. Palin will not evolve into the first scold.)

As is the case with practically all things Palin, this latest statement has led to a predictable chorus of harrumphing nanny-staters, not every one of whom is obviously qualified to lecture the body politic on healthful eating. CNN’s fulsome Roland Martin declared Palin’s observation “so stupid that it defies logic,” and added that the former governor is too ignorant to “understand how devastating obesity is to the future of the United States.” Defying logic, Mr. Martin, along with practically all of Mrs. Palin’s critics on the issue, is missing a piece in his argument: specifically, even a smattering of evidence that busybody campaigns of the sort in which Mrs. Obama is engaged are likely to do more good than harm when it comes to extraordinarily complex issues such as obesity — which is indeed positioned to impose significant costs, both financial and human, on the American people.

The evidence is, in fact, to the contrary, suggesting that well-intentioned government policies will make the problem worse: To the extent that political action has thus far affected American obesity, it has been a thumb on the wrong side of the scales, subsidizing the worst kinds of foods through the farm-subsidy and school-lunch programs, and often giving out precisely the wrong kind of dietary advice.

Obesity is, in truth, among our least tractable public-health problems. It is an absolute Gordian knot of nutrition, behavior, genetics, child-rearing environments, hormonal biology, economics, and other factors too numerous and too subtle to catalog. As New York University obesity-policy scholar Rogan Kersh has noted, the problem “has proved impervious to clinical treatment or public-health exhortation,” and it is by no means clear what, if anything, public policy can accomplish, or what the best avenue for reform is, if indeed there is one. For an administration prone to smug castigation of its predecessors for their allegedly insufficient deference to scientific expertise, the Obama team is here shockingly cavalier about a scientific question of substantial depth and complexity. If Mrs. Obama, between her undergraduate major in sociology, her minor in African-American studies, and her law degree somehow managed also to acquire a great deal of expertise regarding a medical issue that has proved remarkably difficult for actual scholars and learned authorities, she has not seen fit to share how and where she acquired it.

Mrs. Obama’s “eat your veggies” crusade is at once a remarkably shallow response and a remarkably ambitious one: She may know next to nothing about the deeper issues, but she has adamant faith that the transformative quality of political power will allow even the most ignorant politician — or politician’s wife — to ameliorate any problem, even one that has thus far proved “impervious to clinical treatment.” By the same token, Mrs. Palin’s dismissal of that conceit contains more wisdom than is understood by political entrepreneurs of the Obama variety or by their factota in the media. Advantage: Palin.

First ladies have their causes, the general rule of which is that they do less damage the farther away from public policy they stay. If the Obama administration should happen to win the wars (and keep the won wars won) and balance the budget, head off the looming fiscal crisis, and present the American people with the head of Osama bin Laden, perhaps at that time it can get back to us about the broccoli. Until then, we have more of an appetite for Mrs. Palin’s healthy skepticism of governmental ambition than for Mrs. Obama’s overegged federal pudding: Washington has enough on its plate.

Dr Kersh is right, of course. Now granted there are lazy people who just eat too much and won’t exercise, but for every one of those there are dozens who have real problems maintaining “approved weight.” These issues are indeed complex. One can simply lose the genetic lottery, or there can be a combination of problems. Since science and medicine haven’t found cures, it’s reasonable to think no government intrusion in our lives can.

In the end, it all boils down to Freedom and Liberty. Of course, with Freedom and Liberty comes personal responsibility. This is something progressives can’t tolerate. A free people, left to make their own decisions, good or bad, doesn’t NEED government’s help. That puts the progressives out of business, since their entire reason for living is telling others how to live their life. [No matter how poor of a job they have done living their own!]

The government already has problems fulfilling it constitutional requirements, only a fool would think having government take even MORE control of our lives will turn out well.

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Nanny State Alert! Mike Huckabee: “On ‘Child Nutrition’ I Must Side With Michelle Obama Over Sarah Palin”

Posted by Gary P Jackson on December 22, 2010

By Gary P Jackson

I saw this little nugget over at Hot Air. At first I was going to let it go, but thought it merited some actual commentary, rather than Allahpundit’s inane musings about potential web hits.

For those unfamiliar with this little back and forth, Michelle Obama has been out there shilling for a “food safety bill” that would all but destroy independent farmers, and even has the ability to restrict [or eliminate] home gardens. In other words it’s another Big Government power grab that destroys a significant amount of Freedom and Liberty. It limits choices, and in a pinch, could even prohibit one from growing their own food for their own consumption.

As part of this Freedom and Liberty destroying package, there is an initiative that would try and force “children” to eat so-called healthy food, while banning everything else. I put “children” in quotations because depending on what democrats are selling, “children” can mean anyone up to 30 years old!

This program of oppression, for those keeping score, has a price tag of around $4.5 billion, to start. [just for Michelle’s little pet project] By the way, thanks to Republicans from states where Big Agriculture makes generous campaign donations, this monstrosity, the “food safety bill,” is now the law of the land.

Here’s the deal. This is one more situation where Big Daddy government, [or should I say Big Nanny] is going to tell you how you MUST live your life.

Rather than allowing parents to educate their own kids, and control what they eat, some little elite in Washington is going to control yet one more part of your life, and there will be nothing you can do about it [unless you are wealthy and send the kids to a private school or home school them]

This is where Sarah Palin comes in. While Michelle Obama has been out there preaching her nonsense, Sarah has been having fun with her. There was talk of banning school bake sales, so Sarah shows up at a school where she was giving a speech, cookies in hand! She’s been tweeting about this stuff for some time, just wearing MO out.

This really got going though after this past Sunday’s airing of Sarah Palin’s Alaska. While getting ready to do a bit of camping, after some white water rafting, Sarah is looking for the goodies to make s’mores, and dedicates them to MO because the First Lady “says we aren’t supposed to have desert

It was hilarious!

Bear in mind now, SP’sAK was filmed in the summer, months ago, when the debate was in full swing.

Of course, there was some buzz around the “cookie incident” at the time, but it seems Sunday’s episode turned into an international story. All one has to do is search Bing to find stories from around the world, mostly progressives losing their minds.How DARE Sarah Palin be against totalitarian rule!

That’s what makes Huckabee’s little “me too” so sad.. This isn’t exactly fresh ground.

Look, childhood obesity is a real problem. But it’s not because we have stupid or lazy parents who can’t teach their kids to eat right, and don’t control what they eat at home. The school cafeteria food is no worse than it was when I was in school over 40 years ago. It was crappy then too.

The problem isn’t calorie intake, or “self control.” At least not for most of these kids. The problem is the schools. When I was in school we had exercise every single day. In grade school we had “recess” but that went from kinda hanging out and running around, to playing organized games like baseball and daily calisthenics. By the time we got to Jr High, we were running our butts off, and sweating in gym class every day, lifting weights, playing baseball, basketball and so on. This was everyone, not just those on the organized school teams. Where I grew up, the many Jr High’s were basically a farm system for the city’s one high school, and it’s football team, which was a powerhouse.

In most schools, this is gone. With progressives in control of education …. recess, PE, whatever you care to call it … is a thing of the past. They are much too busy with social engineering and indoctrination to have even the most rudimentary forms of exercise available.

Now I also know video games and other “sit on your ass” activities are an issue as well, but parents are the ones to kick Jr out of the house and tell them to do something physical, not Big Daddy Government.

Probably wouldn’t hurt the parents to get out there as well.

What Sarah Palin was mocking Michelle Obama for was not about wanting to do something about fat kids. Sarah was wearing Michelle out for daring to suggest the federal government take control, stealing Liberty and Freedom, [and spending billions of our dollars] to achieve her goals.

As someone who values Freedom and Liberty as much as life itself, Sarah, like most of us, simply cannot fathom anyone allowing government to continually encroach on our basic, God-given right of self-determination. We have the God-given right to live our lives as we please, as long as we aren’t interfering with someone else’s God-right to do the same.

Now as parents, we are responsible for our children. We do have the right [and responsibility] to control what they do, as we teach them right from wrong, and impart life’s wisdom on them. This is the right of parents, not the federal government. In fact, reaching into someone’s home, and taking over these most basic rights, by force, is as big of a usurpation of the Constitution as it gets.

Will parents screw up and feed their kids junk food instead of whatever is deemed healthy this week? Sure they will. But it’s their right to.

Now if MO and Big Nanny Huckabee were talking about spending money on an eduction initiative to teach parents and children about healthy choices, that would be a whole ‘nuther ball game. Same is true if they were going to double down and require all schools to have a serious physical exercise program available to anyone who wanted to participate. I’m talking requiring schools to offer, not students to participate. Parents could opt their children out at their discretion. I could get on board with that.

But that’s not what MO and Big Mike support. No, these two, and many more progressives like them, think you are too stupid to live your life without the government telling you every move to make. What to eat. What to wear. What to drive. What kind of light bulbs to use. The list of government intrusion into our lives is endless.

Of course, this is not new territory for Mike Huckabee. He’s been trying to sell himself off as a “conservative” for some time now, both on the 2008 campaign trail, and on his lame Fox News talk show.But it’s all an act.

He talks the talk, at times, and has a lot of people fooled, but his record as Governor of Arkansas is one of a Big Government Statist. A Nanny Stater who makes New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg,  look like a piker.

Michael D Tanner, of the CATO Institute. wrote a scathing assessment of Huckabee called “The Biggest Big Government Conservative.” Besides pointing out his poor record, scoring a “F” on fiscal issues, Tanner delves into Huckabee’s progressive tendencies. What Karl Rove would call “Compassionate Conservatism” …. but on steroids.

This needs to be a warning to anyone thinking Mike Huckabee should be anything but a talk show host with a talent for so-so base playing.

One of the wonderful things about Sarah Palin is she has a knack for exposing phonies like Mike Huckabee.

I don’t think she actually tries to do this, BTW. Sarah is just someone who walks the walk. She’s also someone who says what she thinks. It’s just her nature as she goes about doing her thing.

It’s the reactions that Sarah causes, to her just living life, that are telling. People constantly expose themselves as less than desirable when they react to her. I can’t explain why this happens so often, but it’s fun to watch, and someday it will be interesting to write an essay cataloging all of the folks who were exposed by Sarah just being Sarah. The piece would be quite long.

The bottom line is this: The federal government has absolutely no right to reach so deeply into one’s life, and control so much of it. Every time they do, a big old chunk of Freedom and Liberty are gone. Gone forever. Liberty lost never returns. [at least not without drastic action]

Sarah Palin, in her own wonderful style, is out there advocating for maximum human Freedom and Liberty. The Freedom and Liberty to enjoy life to it’s fullest, without Big Daddy Government looking over your shoulders and questioning your every move, and sometimes outlawing moves altogether.

When government gets so deeply involved in the minutia of our lives, we loose our Freedom to choose how we live our lives. We lose all of our personal Liberties.

Sarah knows this well, and cautions against runaway government on a daily basis. She advocates daily for personal Freedom and Liberty.

On the other hand, here is Mike Huckabee not being able to help himself. He is a life long Big Government progressive, a Statist, and has the record tom prove it. He, along with most progressives, think the average person is too stupid to care for themselves, and Big Daddy Government must step in and do everything for you, lest you make “bad” choices. [as determined by them] It’s an insult to our Founding Fathers, and the American people.

On a personal note, when it comes time to take advice on fitness and healthy eating, I’d listen to Sarah Palin, a superb athlete whose running prowess landed her a cover story in Runners World [a story so popular it crashed their website] and someone who eats healthy, organic food most of the time, rather than a couple of con artists who, when told to “haul ass”, need to take two loads!

One last thing. In case you are wondering, the dog in the Huckabee family photo is NOT the one who received the “Michael Vick” treatment.

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Richard Cohen’s Race Baiting Attack on Governor Palin

Posted by Adrienne Ross on November 24, 2010

By Adrienne Ross – http://www.motivationtruth.com

Governor Palin’s new book, America By Heart, hit bookstores yesterday, and already the far-Left crap has hit the fan. Richard Cohen of the The Washington Post, who himself has been accused of inappropriate, anti-semitic, and sexist behavior, has chosen to point his finger at Governor Palin in what surely appears to be an accusation of racism. He who shows little regard for the United States Constitution seems to lack a basic understanding of the country he calls home as he seeks to attack her because she would dare criticize Michelle Obama for saying, during the 2008 campaign, that for the first time in her adult life she was proud of her country. Somehow that criticism makes her a racist in the eyes of race baiters like Cohen. In his article, “Palin needs a history lesson,” he writes:

Sarah Palin teases that she might run for president. But she is unqualified – not just in the (let me count the) usual ways, but because she does not know the country. She could not be the president of black America nor of Hispanic America. She knows more about grizzlies than she does about African Americans – and she clearly has more interest in the former than the latter.

His ridiculously asinine and ill-informed assessment of Governor Palin’s qualifications aside, Mr. Cohen’s failure to understand America is both embarrassing and insulting. Granted, I’m no history expert, but the last time I checked there wasn’t one America for Blacks, one for Hispanics, one for Whites, and so on. There is, however, the United States of America, a place that is the envy of the world, where those who are blessed to live here have the opportunity to work, prosper, and thrive. That’s the America I see and the America Governor Palin sees. Clearly, it is not the America Richard Cohen sees. From his perspective, America is divided into sections of people based on race, and because he sees the world in this way, he expects others, namely Governor Palin, to see it as such and to walk around with a negative view of this country. Not going to happen.

Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters backs me up in this. He offers the following:

And therein really lies the problem in the liberal media. Folks like Cohen and his ilk still see many Americas all divided by race and ethnicity.

This divide will only disappear when the Cohens of this world see America as one and stop using race as a political tool.

Sadly, I don’t expect that will happen in my lifetime. How about you?

No, I don’t expect such a change in my lifetime, either. Too much is at stake–for the Left, that is. If they actually stop race baiting and working the victimhood approach, they might actually have to deal with the issues and face the facts. That would totally isolate them from the vast majority of Americans who love their country and are tired of hearing people apologize for it.

As America By Heart just came out yesterday, I am not yet able to speak on the entire book; however, my understanding is that Governor Palin does discuss the Founders, slavery, and racism. Also, Jedediah Bila’s review states that Governor Palin includes inspirational words from such people as Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King. Nonetheless, she gets criticized for using so-called racially charged language because, as we saw during the campaign, questioning the Obamas’ association with Reverend Wright or Mrs. Obama’s suspect comments about America are off-limits. The lyrics, “Can’t Touch This” come to mind.

I’ll be the first to state that America is not perfect. We have made huge mistakes in the past; my ancestors could attest to that truth. However, who can deny that America has indeed been a shining city on a hill, a land of opportunity, and a force for good in this world? Just two years ago America voted for the first half-Black president, this in spite of his gross lack of experience, radical associations, and relative anonymity. I’d like to ask Cohen which America he believes voted for Obama. Was it Black America? Was it Hispanic America? Could it have been White America? Which America is President Obama presiding over? Since he imagines more than one, I reckon he has answers to such questions.

See, people like Cohen habitually zero in on race and the mistakes of the past and exploit them. He enjoys and cultivates the culture of victimhood that is the brand of the Left. Anyone who deviates from that mindset, who dares to believe the best in America, who dares to even live in the present where race is concerned, is somehow racist, unaware, or both.

While Michelle Obama’s words should be mind-boggling to anyone who lives in this country or has benefitted from the benevolence of this country, they surely have no place coming from someone who is a part of a campaign to lead this country. Nonetheless, he chooses to defend her because–imagine this–she is the descendant of slaves. Huh?

He writes:

It’s appalling that Palin and too many others fail to understand that fact – indeed so many facts of American history. They don’t offer the slightest hint that they can appreciate the history of the Obama family and that in Michelle’s case, her ancestors were slaves – Jim Robinson of South Carolina, her paternal great-great grandfather, being one. Even after they were freed they were consigned to peonage, second-class citizens, forbidden to vote in much of the South, dissuaded from doing so in some of the North, relegated to separate schools, restaurants, churches, hotels, waiting rooms of train stations, the back of the bus, the other side of the tracks, the mortuary, the cemetery and, if whites could manage it, heaven itself.

It was the government that oppressed blacks, enforcing the laws that imprisoned them and hanged them for crimes grave and trivial, whipped them if they bolted for freedom and, in the Civil War, massacred them if they were captured fighting for the North. And yet if African Americans hesitate in embracing the mythical wonderfulness of America, they are accused of racism – of having the gall to know more about their own experience and history than Palin and others think they should.

I could honestly puke at what Cohen attempts to do here. My ancestors also were slaves. I descend from the family of Harriet (Ross) Tubman, a fact that I hold in high regard. Believe me, I am not one to forget where we came from, but the awareness that I carry involves as much a pride of how far we’ve come as it does where we’ve been. Michelle Obama received Princeton and Harvard educations and was living the good life, even before her husband was nominated to run for the presidency. Would Cohen have us believe that America was not good to her?

Cohen’s comments truly speak to where he stands in his view of this country. He mentions the “mythical wonderfulness of America.” Mythical, really? He makes the accusation that Blacks are deemed racist if they don’t subscribe to that mythicism. Interesting, because I don’t hear that. I didn’t hear Governor Palin call Michelle Obama a racist at all. Actually, what I hear is Cohen calling someone racist for refusing to deny the wonderfulness of America. So Governor Palin is supposed to apologize for being proud of her country? In Cohen’s warped mind, such patriotic pride disqualifies her for the presidency.

Even more interesting, he comes to Michelle Obama’s defense at the start of his article by stating she wasn’t really saying what Governor Palin criticized her for saying, but then he goes on to agree with what most of us heard her say–that America has not been a very good place. If Mrs. Obama didn’t mean to say that, why then does Cohen defend that position?

Richard Cohen ends his article this way:

Did she [Governor Palin] ask about her [Michelle Obama] background? What it was like at Princeton? What it was like for her parents or her grandparents? I can offer a hint. If they were driving to Washington, they slowed down and stopped where the sign said “colored” – and the irritated Palins of the time angrily hit the horn and went on their way.

I read this to say: the nerve of Governor Palin not checking up on poor Michelle Obama to ask how bad things were at her Ivy League institution in this horrible country. And the nerve of her not asking about her ancestors. Even more, the nerve of Governor Palin not being born “colored.” How dare she be born White. Apology required, lady, or no presidency for you, at least no presidency of Black or Hispanic America. Now, where those two places are located, I don’t know, but apparently Richard Cohen does.

Here’s the end of the matter: Governor Palin is an American and proud of it. She does not believe in apologizing to our enemies or to ourselves. She believes in American exceptionalism and that here, in the greatest country on the face of the Earth, the same principles and policies benefit all Americans regardless of race or gender. She does not embrace different sets of beliefs for different sections and categories of Americans. Whereas the Left always sees things in terms of black and white, Governor Palin truly doesn’t. They deem this a problem because they want the division, they rely on it, and they promote it.

On the contrary, the Governor believes that we can progress as we elect leaders who are committed to moving America forward by embracing common sense conservative policies that benefit all. And those who put themselves in position to represent this country ought to unapologetically believe the same. If they appear not to, they risk getting called out, and they should be. Governor Palin is not afraid to do just that. This ought to go without saying, but I’ll say it once again anyway: this fearlessness doesn’t make Governor Palin a racist. It makes her an American, and a proud one at that.

(Thanks to numerous C4P editors and contributors for assistance)

Update by Doug: Lori Ziganto further “refudiates” Cohen’s nonsense here.

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