The nice thing about Morning Joe is that I no longer need to change the channel for oppo research: Joe's always there with it Monday through Friday...and yesterday was no exception. It was one of those "friendly" conversations that Joe has with whomever is around the table as they're filling in a little time before going to commercial. The table which always has large drink cups with something in them, and sometimes has pastries in the middle.
Joe was ranting about what a good idea Mike Bloomberg has in wanting to restrict the size of some beverages sold in NYC, talking about how bad it is to be fat. Joe was also a previous fan of Bloomberg's work to restrict smoking in public parks, and to take transfats out of restaurant food, and to post calorie counts before it was popular elsewhere. Yesterday, he was upping the ante to say that Bloomberg (and others) should also make sure that school lunches were healthy, and that there should be a special code on the cards people use to buy food with SNAP cards prohibiting the purchase of unhealthy food, and just before the commercial..."and bring back rigorous physical activity at schools."
A small chunk of my brain virtually exploded.
Here's a guy who rails day after day about how government needs to spend less money, and how government needs to get out of the way of business so business will create more jobs and how we need to tax less. And yet....
Let's forget about the questionable logic of whether a thirsty person would buy two sodas at the ball park getting his 32 ounces instead of just stopping at 16 ounces and staying thirsty. Let's just look at the business impact of the 16 ounce sizes. Whoever manufacturers the larger cups will now either need to retool, or shut several of the cup lines. In those fast food joints where they give the customer a cup and he fills his own cup, the likelihood is that he'll refill his cup instead of buying another, costing revenue to the restaurant. And above all: here is government telling manufacturers what they can and cannot make. HHMMNN.
Then there's the issue of the Republican battle cry of "free choice" - one can still buy a giant milkshake (not covered by Mayor Mike's plan) which will have all the sugar PLUS the fat that is non-existent in soda. Or a large chemical-tainted soda which still has the bone-density decreasing, osteoporosis-causing phosphorous in carbonated beverages, all the cancer-causing caramel colour, AND now the ill effects of aspartame. Not a great trade off.
And those school lunches? Hey Joe - that's tax money that pays for many of those lunches, not to mention the people who prepare and serve them. Hard to do when money to schools keeps getting cuts.
Joe is a poster child for the cognitive dissonance of the moderate wing of the GOP. On the one hand that branch wants government to leave business alone, as if "business" is some sort of sequestered thing, instead of the "people" we know corporations to be courtesy of Mitt Romney. Sorry, I digress. Seriously, they want business to be left alone to do anything its masters want, UNLESS it involves taking away rights from individual human beings. Are transfats bad? Absolutely, I wouldn't eat them. But that's a personal choice I made years ago. I don't care if restaurants want to serve them. It's my choice to not eat there. A 32 ounce soda? I personally have never consumed that amount of soda, but it's a personal choice, and shouldn't be dictated.
It was the physical fitness line, though, that honestly hurt. I expect the rest. But as idiots look for more and more ways to cut taxes, the schools keep suffering massive losses, and gym has been one of the big losers as there is nothing in gym class that fits directly into the teach-to-the-test mentality that's about all that's left of "education" in a lot of school districts. A shout-out to the 78% of voters in yesterday's North Dakota ballot initiative who chose NOT to eliminate all property taxes in yesterday's election. Finally, a group that realized that taxes are necessary. Unlike the Scarborough contingent who obviously believe teachers, firemen, police, the military, and the lunch ladies are all free....