Happy Meals to become Unhappy Meals in Santa Clara County, CA

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Via the LAT:

Happy Meal toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children’s meals will soon be banned in parts of Santa Clara County unless the restaurants meet nutritional guidelines approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.

“This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children’s’ love of toys” to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. “This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.”

[…]

The board, whose jurisdiction extends only to the unincorporated parts of the county, including much of Silicon Valley, voted 3 to 2 in favor of the ban after a contentious meeting that included more than an hour of testimony on both sides.

[…]

Dr. Dan Delgado, director of a county program that targets childhood obesity, said the toys are a powerful lure for children, encouraging them to eat unhealthy food, which then helps cause obesity.

Delgado told the supervisors that parents who come into his clinic say they often buy Happy Meals and other fast food for their children because of the toys that are included. Delgado said that the obese children coming into his clinic include a 5-year-old with Type-2 diabetes.

Um – what are the key words in Delgado’s testimony? “Parents buy.” Need I say more?

But Steve Peat, who owns seven McDonald’s franchises in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, said he and his wife work hard to promote healthy lifestyles for children through their restaurants. Peat said that they have donated funds for children’s sports and other activities, and recently won an award for community service from the McDonald’s Corp.

The toys won’t disappear right away.

As a compromise to win majority support, the five-member board agreed to put off implementing the measure for 90 days, to give the fast-food industry time to come up with a voluntary program for improving the nutritional value of children’s meals.

As I wrote last night, instead of the ban why not offer tax break incentives for the eating establishments that voluntarily come up with “healthy alternatives” to traditional kids meals? Oh hell – why do I even bother? Liberal politicos – and their enablers and supporters in the MSM – rarely ever say or do anything that makes a lick of sense anymore.

And guess what California city is next on the list to target the evil Happy Meal toys? Why, of course it’s San Francisco. Considering their other pressing issues, like their recycling of dog poo and their war on plastic bags, did you really expect them to be left behind on this “issue”?

Unhappy Meal

Yes, the ban on Happy Meal toys includes a ban on the ones come with apple slices and milk as an alternative to fries and a soda.

(Photo hat tip: Eat, Drink, and Be)

Fanatical left wing immigration bill opponents call for a ‘boycott’ of AZ Iced Tea, but …

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Sigh:

In the wake of the passage of a controversial immigration law in Arizona, there have been calls for a boycott of the state and its businesses. Among those calling for a boycott are Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), lawmakers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and La Opinion, the nation’s biggest Spanish-language newspaper.

Some of the boycott calls are directed not just at the state but businesses based there, among them Cold Stone Creamery, Circle K and U-Haul. And as the New York Daily News reports, also under fire in some quarters is Arizona Iced Tea. Its label says is brewed by the Arizona Beverage Co.

“Dear Arizona: If you don’t change your immigration policy, I will have to stop drinking your enjoyable brand of iced tea,” one person wrote on Twitter, according to the Daily News; another called Arizona Iced Tea “the drink of fascists.”

There is (at least) one problem with all that, however: Arizona Iced Tea is based in New York. It was founded in 1992 in Brooklyn by former New York City beer distributors; the company says the founders borrowed “the motif from their south-western inspired house in Queens.”

Apparently these clueless wonders know about as much about Arizona Iced Tea as they do the immigration bill itself. 8-|

You know what would be kind of funny? For people all across the country to start shipping Arizona Iced Tea items to Baca’s offices in either CA or DC. Like maybe their Sweet Tea Liquid Concentrate 4-Pack ($3.99). Better still, if you’ve got some money to blow, sending one of their “I Love AZ” hats ($19.99) would rock, because not only does it read “I Love AZ” on the front, but there’s also an American flag stitched on the side ;) **==

Breaking: St. Pete Times reports that Crist will announce indy bid

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Their Buzz blog reports:

So the word is out: Crist is telling key financial backers that he’s running for senate with no party affiliation. The announcement is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Straub Park in downtown St Petersburg. They’re expecting a small army of media, and it looks like Crist may have no Republican press staffers with him, and will rely on folks like local supporter Greg Truax and finance director Dane Eagle to deal with press inquiries.

We’ll find out one way or another shortly. As they say, stay tuned.

Are the MSM souring a bit on the Obama WH?

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MediaA few weeks ago, I discussed and linked up to an intriguing piece that talked about the cushy, inappropriate ‘professional’ relationships certain mainstream media journalists had/have with the WH – specifically, those MSMers who are in line to write books (not very hard hitting ones, I presume) on the life and times of the Obama administration at a future date, suck-up writers who admittedly hold on to certain information to use it in their respective books rather than report it in real time.

However, on the flip end of that equation are an increasing number MSM journalists who are growing more and more frustrated at the lack of any significant degree of access to key figures in the administration, including of course Obama himself, but also Robert Gibbs and other senior officials who speak on behalf of the admin, as detailed today by Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Patrick Gavin write:

Obama and the media actually have a surprisingly hostile relationship — as contentious on a day-to-day basis as any between press and president in the past decade, reporters who cover the White House say.

Reporters say the White House is thin-skinned, controlling, eager to go over their heads and stingy with even basic information. All White Houses try to control the message. But this White House has pledged to be more open than its predecessors, and reporters feel it doesn’t live up to that pledge in several key areas:

— Day-to-day interaction with Obama is almost nonexistent, and he talks to the press corps far less often than Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush did. Clinton took questions nearly every weekday, on average. Obama barely does it once a week.

— The ferocity of pushback is intense. A routine press query can draw a string of vitriolic e-mails. A negative story can draw a profane high-decibel phone call or worse. Some reporters feel like they’ve been frozen out after crossing the White House.

— Except toward a few reporters, press secretary Robert Gibbs can be distant and difficult to reach — even though his job is to be one of the main conduits from president to press. “It’s an odd White House where it’s easier to get the White House chief of staff on the phone than the White House press secretary,” one top reporter said.

— And at the very moment many reporters feel shut out, one paper — The New York Times — enjoys a favoritism from Obama and his staff that makes competitors fume, with gift-wrapped scoops and loads of presidential face time.

“They seem to want to close the book on the highly secretive years of the Bush administration. However, in their relationship with the press, I think they’re doing what they think succeeded in helping Obama get elected,” said The New Yorker’s George Packer.

“I don’t think they need to be nice to reporters, but the White House seems to imagine that releasing information is like a tap that can be turned on and off at their whim,” Packer said.

Much of the criticism is off the record, both out of fear of retaliation and from worry about appearing whiny. But those views were voiced by a cross section of the television, newspaper and magazine journalists who cover the White House.

“These are people who came in with every reporter giving them the benefit of the doubt,” said another reporter who regularly covers the White House. “They’ve lost all that goodwill.”

And this attitude, many believe, starts with the man at the top. Obama rarely lets a chance go by to make a critical or sarcastic comment about the press, its superficiality or its short-term mentality. He also hasn’t done a full-blown news conference for 10 months.

It’s a lengthy article, but well worth the read if you are keen on reading “inside baseball” accounts about just how far that O admin has sunk when it comes to the hollow “transparency” and “openness” promises made during the campaign specifically relating to press access.

I also find interesting the quote about Obama being given “the benefit of the doubt” by members of the mainstream press at the start of his admin, something we all know is never given to a GOP President. This crowd gave him the “benefit of the doubt” way before the start of his administration by greatly aiding in getting him elected in the first place via puff piece after puff piece. Yet they’re complaining now because the admin is reluctant to engage with them because they fear they might write something remotely critical? Hmm.

Well, there are a couple of solutions to this. One, all the reporters complaining about access can try to get a contract to write a book on the admin. Or they can officially become admin-friendly columnists a la David Brooks and pundits so they can get invites to “off-the-record” lunches with various officials – including Obama himself. But I suspect neither idea is very appealing to the average journalists who just want to get the big scoop of the day and who want to get a few straight answers from this President and White House on issues of concern to the American people.

The only other suggestion I have would be to do what they typically do to Republican Presidents, and that’s dig until you can find a number of sources who are willing to reveal “on background” the stuff that FibbsCo want to keep under wraps and/or controlled. Some already have and I suspect more probably will in the coming months as getting face time with the key players will get tougher and tougher, but it won’t last long. As soon as the 2012 campaign kicks into high gear, they’ll fall back in line for that much-desired access in order to be able to write about Obama’s second “historic” run for re-election. Not just because they believe in his message, but also because the prospect of more $$ rolling in on the photo and article collections alone will just be too tempting to resist.

The latest on the Arizona immigration bill controversy

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In the newz today (via Memeorandum):

—- While Karl Rove sympathizes with the rationale behind the bill, he said yesterday, “I think there is going to be some constitutional problems with the bill … I wished they hadn’t passed it, in a way.”

—- Jeb Bush thinks handling illegal immigration should remain a federal issue to tackle: “I think it creates unintended consequences,” he said in a telephone interview with POLITICO Tuesday. “It’s difficult for me to imagine how you’re going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well …I don’t think this is the proper approach.”

—- Senator Lindsey Graham:

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) said Tuesday he thinks Arizona’s new immigration law is unconstitutional and that “it doesn’t represent the best way forward” when it comes to addressing illegal immigration.

He added, however, that the law reflects “what good people will do” when they are left with no other options.

Speaking at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Graham said Congress eventually needs to tackle immigration reform but that it will be “impossible” to achieve reform until citizens in states like Arizona feel that the borders are secure.

“In this environment there is no hope of it passing,” he said.

Graham’s steadfast opposition to tackling immigration “reform” during an election year due to valid concerns that Democrats are trying to use the issue for political gain appears to have influenced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to “amend” his Senate priorities, with immigration “reform” no longer standing front and center on the immediate radar – for the time being, anyway.

—- The most measured statement from a prominent GOP public official comes from GOP candidate for Senate Marco Rubio – no fan of “amnesty,” who expressed concerns about the bill both from a law enforcement angle as well as a Hispanic angle in a statement yesterday but stopped short of saying he opposed it, contra to Ben Smith’s assertions that Rubio’s statement equated to him “opposing” the bill.

—- Reuters has published a sympathetic piece towards illegal immigrants in AZ but unintentionally notes that the law is already having the desired effect of making illegals weigh their options as to whether or not to stay here or go back to Mexico.

—- With President Obama onboard as a full-blown critic of the bill, AG Eric Holder is hinting around that the US could issue a court challenge to the Arizona law, while Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano is complaining about already “stretched” ICE resources. Of course the Obama administration doesn’t want any individual state to handle what he believes los federales should (as is the case with, well, every issue in this administration) …

And speaking of President Obama, does a bigger liar not exist in the Democrat party?

OTTUMWA, IA — Asked about his plan for undocumented workers at a town hall this evening in Ottumwa, IA, President Obama referred to “this law that just passed in Arizona which I think is a poorly conceived law.”

The president said, “you can try to make it really tough on people who look like they, quote, unquote look like illegal immigrants. One of the things that the law says is that local officials are allow to ask somebody who they have a suspicion might be an illegal immigrant for their papers — but you can imagine if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona, your great, great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed, that’s something that could potentially happen.”

“That’s not the right way to go,” the president said to the crowd at Indian Hills Community College.

What absolutely shameful (and unsurprising) racial demagoguery, demagoguery for which he should be called out on. The MSM, of course, won’t, but conservative pundits will. Which leads me to:

—- National Review’s Rich Lowry decries the “hysteria” – and tries to clear up some of the questions – surrounding some of the more rabid critiques of the bill, most of them coming from The Usual Suspects on the left. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York is on a similar path with his defense of the bill here. Please consider both pieces must-reads.

—- Last but not least, how does Mexico treat its illegals? Michelle Malkin has the lowdown here.