Selections:The Obama Administration Chews the Fat, By Matt Purple
In 120 pages of Michelle's report, there's almost no mention of personal responsibility.
When the president announced that Michelle Obama would be heading up an anti-obesity task force last summer, most of us shrugged. Most presidents like to send their wives off on a health-related mission of some sort. . .
In retrospect, we probably should have been a little more concerned. In October, Mrs. Obama confessed that, as recently as two years ago, Sasha's and Malia's meals had been chock full of fast food and pizza. When the Obama family pediatrician told Michelle that this wasn't doing her daughters' health any favors, the First Lady's jaw hit the table. "I was shocked," she said.
The same woman who was floored by the news that Wendy's Baconators are unhealthy was assigned to spearhead the government's anti-obesity policies. That probably should have set off a few alarm bells.
Now we have the fruits of Michelle Obama's labor, so to speak. On May 11 the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity released its official report, and it's a treasure trove of technocratic, finger-wagging nanny statism. The report purports to "solve" the child obesity crisis within a generation, and it's not kidding around. If the government acts on the task force's advice, we're about to be force-fed a five-course meal of do-gooder collectivism.
The anti-obesity plan would begin to federalize the entire food division of the nanny state. The task force recommends that the government look into slapping national taxes on junk food and subsidizing fruits and vegetables. The states' initiatives, in the First Lady's view, haven't succeeded in socially engineering the people enough . . .
Then there's the problem of food deserts -- not "desserts" but "deserts" -- and perhaps the crowning jewel of the ridiculousness of the whole anti-obesity initiative. Food deserts are defined as areas of the country that don't have access to a grocery store. The feds consider you stranded in a food desert if you live -- quoting from the report -- "more than a mile from a supermarket." . . .
I live about three-quarters of a mile from a grocery store, according to a quick odometer test. But my apartment complex is literally surrounded by the forces of darkness -- 7-Eleven, Chili's, Legal Seafoods, McDonald's, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Potbelly's, Hamburger Hamlet, Sbarro's, Cosi's, Chipotle, a liquor store, and several bars. Forget deserts,