The law of unintended consequences: rise in infectious disease tied to plastic bag ban

Husband and I have debated this one, though I admit we never thought the rise in infectious disease would be measurable. Via HotAir, a fascinating look at the dirty problem associated with reusable grocery bags:

Liberals will have no problem arguing a bird or turtle’s life is worth more than a human’s because they do it all the time (Wesley J. Smith’s “A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy” exposes the grotesque reality of the PETA position). But when children start dying en masse from cross-contamination that could have been so easily avoided by a cheap disposable bag, will some folks wake up? I wonder.

In full disclosure, I have plenty of cloth bags, though I never (ok, rarely) use them for groceries. I color-code our laundry by bag and shuffle it up and down narrow staircases to the laundry room and back to hanging on bedroom doors. Another functions as a great swim-class bag. But none carry raw meat or poultry, and it’ll likely stay that way.

Cross-posted at Pundit & Pundette.


Idiocy: Nutella “victims” incapable of reading a label

Apparently we’re all exempt from reading government-mandated nutrition labels on our own.

Two moms sued Ferrero USA because they claimed the advertising of the popular European spread led them to believe the product was healthy as it contains hazlenuts, skim milk powder, and cocoa powder.

Apparently they never noticed it was sweet.

Really sweet.

Seriously, who fails to understand that even though something contains healthy ingredients, it might not be the best choice?  From American Thinker:

The  origins of the suits (one for California, the other for the rest of the country)  started with an epiphany that plaintiff Athena Hohenberg of San Diego  experienced last year. The mother of a 4-year-old said she was “shocked” to  learn Nutella chocolate spread was in fact loaded with calories and sugar, even  though its advertising noted that it contained some wholesome products —  hazelnuts, skim milk and such. It’s unclear how this epiphany occurred.  Could it be that Hohenberg finally bothered to look on the ingredients that  Nutella always had on the back of its labels?

As the mother of a four year-old, I’m shocked that another mother could be so stupid as to argue in a court of law that she’s completely incompetent to feed her children without being supposedly swayed by false advertising. Read. The. Label.

Who gets fattest (metaphorically speaking, of course) off the $3.5 million settlement? 25% goes to the lawyers. The rest of the idiots incapable of reading and making a decision can apply for $20 bucks, enough to buy 5 more jars of Nutella. What’s next? The total ban of food advertising? Or a section of the grocery stores of all the “bad” stuff?

By the way: I don’t bother with bread for Nutella. I just lick the spoon. With glee.


Taxing motherhood

I’ve highlighted Ann Althouse’s explanation of the tax benefit of having a stay-at-home parent before. A refresher:

Why don’t more couples do the math and figure out that they should not do all that extra work for the government? Life is so much simpler with the 1-earner family, and the spouse who doesn’t bring in the dollars can provide great economic benefits by directly performing work that would otherwise have to be paid for, most notably child care. Since this economic benefit isn’t taxed, it’s a double benefit. Instead of buying inferior childcare (or other services) with after-tax dollars, you perform the work that is worth that much money, and you’re not paid, so you don’t pay taxes on the value it represents.

The flip side is that the services you provide do not qualify for a tax break per se, though I’d argue the economic benefit still works out to help the one-income family. Nevertheless, it can needle some. Phil Lawler fumes:

Do you realize that you can deduct child-care expenses–unless you care for your own children. And you can deduct education expenses–unlessyou educate your children at home? If you drop you toddler off at the day-care center, the cost is a deductible expense. But you can’t pay yourself, and you can’t deduct the expenses you run up keeping your child out of that day-care center. If you’re a schoolteacher, you can deduct miscellaneous expenses incurred on the job. But if you’re a home-schooler, you can’t. In other words, Moms can’t be paid, and can’t even deduct out-of-pocket spending, for doing the work that other people are paid to do.

And you wonder why a liberal Democrat might think that a Mom “never worked a day in her life.”

(H/t: Pundette)

I prefer to stay under the radar. Let the liberals and the government think I don’t work, and as such, provide a continuing threat to liberalism. As I told a friend this week, you take care of your own. Who knew I’d be such a counter-cultural radical who must be demeaned and destroyed!


“It won’t cause the government to have a complete cardiac arrest”

So says Tom Golstein in regards to the government’s “bad day” at the SCOTUS. Please someone, issue a DNR; that’s our best hope for salvaging the country and eliminating debt. More:

“‘The government had in my view as bad a day as it reasonably could have,’ said Tom Goldstein, founder of SCOTUSblog and a regular litigator at the high court. ‘It won’t cause the government to have a complete cardiac arrest — they’ll just be nauseous for months. … The only people coming out of that building optimistic today were the plaintiffs.’…

What, pray tell, could cause such a bad case of heartburn for the federal government? Oh, Justice Anthony Kennedy eviscerating the Solicitor General Donald Verilli in charge of presenting the government’s case as to why Obamacare should survive. But I’m getting ahead of myself. More from Politico:

“In the orgy of panel discussions, interviews and feature articles previewing this week’s arguments, law professors, Supreme Court litigators and journalists confidently predicted that the justices would uphold the individual mandate as a logical extension of the federal government’s well-established ability to regulate the health insurance market…

“Within the first few minutes of Tuesday’s arguments, that bravado seemed to go out the window.

Chief Justice John Roberts brought up the cellphone mandate: if the government can force you to buy health insurance because it’s “good for you,” then what else can you be forced to purchase that’s also “good for you.” Vegetables in every cart? A cellphone for emergencies?

“I thought that was an important part of your argument,” Roberts told Verrilli. “That when you need health care, the government will make sure you get it. Well, when you need police assistance or fire assistance or ambulance assistance, the government is going to make sure to the best extent it can that you get it — get it.”

But Roberts asked whether the same assurance that the government will provide emergency services could lead to a requirement that everyone buy a cellphone to help facilitate communication in an emergency.

Where does it stop? Gym memberships? Newer, safer Government Motors vehicles?

It doesn’t.

Verelli caused much angst and anguish on the left for his “trainwreck” performance. Brian Bolduc at NRO writes:

CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called the arguments “a train wreck for the Obama administration.” “This law looks like it’s going to be struck down,” Toobin said. “I’m telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong.”

Jamie Dupree, reporter for Cox Radio, tweeted, “One thing was clear, the Solicitor General [Donald B. Verrilli Jr.] (arguing for the Obama Administration) had a bad day in court.” Justice Kennedy asked him the seemingly skeptical question, “Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?”

“Essentially, the Solicitor General’s performance was so abysmal that it fell to the [Democratic] appointees to make his argument for him,” says Adam Serwer, reporter for Mother Jones.

Of course they did. At one point Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg apparently interrupted Verelli to try to clarify his argument for him. Heh.

Scalia unleashed:

I shouldn’t get too excited. Ed Whelan makes a valid point:

I’m always leery of inferring much from oral argument. Now that I’ve listened to the audio and reviewed the transcript (both available here) of today’s argument, I don’t claim to have any meaningful read on which side has the advantage.

I will, though, repeat what I’ve been saying all along: Opponents of Obamacare will be making a terrible blunder if they count on the Supreme Court to deliver the death blow to Obamacare. We need to work to elect this November a Congress that will repeal and replace the monstrosity and a president who will sign that legislation

True enough.

H/t to Allahpundit here and here. He’s on fire. Read the rest of both and this one, where he confronts the notion that the SCOTUS striking down Obamacare could help Obama win reelection. (Perish the thought).

Why I still don’t believe anything that escapes ol’ Etch-a-Sketch’s lips

From yesterday’s USA Today, Mitt claims to have found the logic behind the full repeal of Obamacare [emphasis my own]:

Friday is the second anniversary of ObamaCare. It is past time to abolish the program, root and branch. The Supreme Court will soon have a crack at this; arguments about the program’s constitutionality open before it next week. But whatever the justices decide in what is certain to be a landmark decision, the case against ObamaCare extends far beyond questions about its constitutionality. President Obama’s program is an unfolding disaster for the American economy, a budget-busting entitlement, and a dramatic new federal intrusion into our lives.

It is precisely for those reasons that I’ve opposed a one-size-fits-all health care plan for the entire nation. What we need is a free market, federalist approach to making quality, affordable health insurance available to every American. Each state should be allowed to pursue its own solution in this regard, instead of being dictated to by Washington.

Even if that state pursues something decidedly against the free market as in your own Massachusetts plan?

Just askin’.

There’s a distinction between making quality, affordable insurance available to everyone, Mitt, and forcing everyone to purchase a state-approved plan. Ya know, like in Massachusetts.

Just sayin’.

And talk about spinning reality:

When I was governor of Massachusetts, we instituted a plan that got our citizens insured without raising taxes and without a government takeover. Other states will choose to go in different directions. It is the genius of federalism that it encourages experimentation, with each state pursuing what works best for them.

I’m sure it works best for Massachusetts residents who now pay the highest insurance premiums in the country. Smarter residents, much like those in blue-state heaven California, vote with their feet. Massachusetts loses a congressional seat this year. What are the odds that quality, affordable, state-mandated health coverage provided by a bustling free market has something to do with it?

Mitt discusses top reasons not to trust Mitt

Go figure. (And no, Mitt, I won’t.)

Video available at Hot Air, but Allahpundit spares you from having to watch:

Via RCP, the key bit comes at around 3:40. This is his whole strategy in a nutshell and I still can’t decide whether to admire him or loathe him for it. He doesn’t care if you trust him. He doesn’t care if his rallies leave you flat. He doesn’t care if pulling the lever for him reduces you to dry heaves in the voting booth. He cares about two things: 1,144 and 270, and he’s likely to achieve at least the first thanks to hard work, careful planning, and the great good luck of having extraordinarily weak competition. Those qualities — high energy, fortitude, diligence, not needing to be liked — could be huge assets in a president if he applied them to enacting a worthy policy agenda, starting with entitlement reform. But I don’t think he’d use them to policy ends; he’d use them to position himself for re-election by pandering to centrists, which means no meaningful entitlement reform or anything else. He’s telling you right here why he’d be such a risk in office to the right. When push comes to shove, you’ll always hold your nose and vote against the Democrat, no matter how annoyed at him you might be. And he knows it — and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t need his base to like him. That’s a recipe for squishiness.

Unbelievable. I still can’t fathom pulling the lever for the man. I think I’d still show up at the polls to vote in down-ticket races (or, I guess on my absentee ballot since we’re moving). But vote for Romney? Why? He’s indistinguishable from Obama on the issues that, quite frankly, matter the most. I don’t believe he will lead the charge to eliminate Obamacare. He won’t have HHS reverse mandates. He won’t do any of it because he designed it all in Massachusetts. Add to that Romney’s core belief in the social net, and as Allah points out, we won’t have any meaningful entitlement reform. We’ll end up with amnesty. And we’ll damage the idea of conservatism byond the pale. If we ended up with Obama after 8 years of W and big-government Republicans, what would we end up with after a term of Romney, eh? Stalin himself?

How disengenous can you get, NYT? This isn’t a battle for *access* to birth control.

From today’s paper, with the ominous headline, Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment with Republicans (emphasis my own):

As baby showers go, the party Mary Russell attended to celebrate her niece’s first child was sweet, with about a dozen women offering congratulations over ice cream and cake.

But somewhere between the baby name game and the gifts, what had been light conversation took a sharp turn toward the personal and political — specifically, the battle over access to birth control and other women’s health issues that have sprung to life on the Republican campaign trail in recent weeks.

“We all agreed that this seemed like a throwback to 40 years ago,” said Ms. Russell, 57, a retired teacher from Iowa City who describes herself as an evangelical Christian and “old school” Republican of the moderate mold.

Until the baby shower, just two weeks ago, she had favored Mitt Romney for president.

Not anymore. She said she might vote for President Obama now. “I didn’t realize I had a strong viewpoint on this until these conversations,” Ms. Russell said. As for the Republican presidential candidates, she added: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.”

Dear Mary Russell,

This isn’t a battle over access to birth control. You can head on over to Target and pay $5 for the prescription. No one’s stopping ya, honey. Go buy it for all your friends, too, and then you won’t even have to go to any more baby showers.

But please don’t tell me that you now fear Republican candidates because they want to “decide on women’s reproductive issues.”

I don’t care what you do. But don’t force me to pay for it. Don’t force the Church to pay for it. Pay for it out of your own damn purse at the Target check out line rather than looking to Big Brother Government to take care of you (and how patriarchal is that?!)

This isn’t a battle for access.

This is a war over who will pay. And if you’re not willing to fund your own sex life, then you have no business telling me that I have to.

H/t: Althouse, who adds:

Man, I loathe this pandering to women! Don’t treat us like we’re stupid. Don’t act like we need your special protection. Don’t buy us things.

UPDATE: a “Recommended Read” at Pundit & Pundette. Thanks!

Maybe he didn’t know his free Obama birth control was headed his way soon

Oopsie. I guess that’s just for the ladies. Maybe he needed the iPhone app for free condom locations instead. Via Drudge:

A man was shot and killed Friday night after an apparent dispute over the price of condoms at a Detroit gas station.

WWJ’s Beth Fisher spoke to an employee at the BP gas station on Fenkell and Meyers, where the shooting took place on the city’s westside overnight. The employee said the argument was apparently over the price of a box of condoms.

He said the customer bought a box of condoms, but made a comment that he was overcharged and could have bought them somewhere else for a cheaper price. After being told he couldn’t get a refund, the customer allegedly began tossing items off the shelves. That’s when, according to the employee, the overnight clerk came out with a gun and fired a warning shot, which struck the customer in the shoulder.

Police say the customer was taken to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Alas, that app is only good in NYC. Who would’ve thought a liberal-run-(into-the-ground)-for-generations city like Detroit would be left out in the lurch?

Waiting for a Democ$%t to use this as an example of how many more free condoms are needed.

Heck, why have stores for anything?

Campaign slogan: Make it all free! (And ban those pesky guns). For no citizen should die trying to have safe sex!

A little Friday night fun, Fluke edition

I’ve long been a fan of Remy, and though I prefer his singing voice to the rapping variety, this is fun:

A little Mark Steyn to reinforce the idiocy of Sandra Fluke’s demands:

All of us are born with the unalienable right to life, liberty and a lifetime supply of premium ribbed silky-smooth, ultrasensitive, spermicidal, lubricant condoms. No taxation without rubberization, as the Minutemen said. The shot heard round the world and all that.


Ask the Greeks how easy it is for insolvent nations to wean the populace off unaffordable nanny-state lollipops: When even casual sex requires a state welfare program, you’re pretty much done for.

No, the most basic issue here is not religious morality, individual liberty or fiscal responsibility. It’s that a society in which middle-age children of privilege testify before the most powerful figures in the land to demand state-enforced funding for their sex lives at a time when their government owes more money than anyone has ever owed in the history of the planet is quite simply nuts.

At least Remy’s just asking for cough drops. And I do hope Mr. Steyn doesn’t mind the pairing with a rapper.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read,” (with a much better title, btw). Thanks!

The Food police dish up tasty delights in a public school cafeteria near you

Remember this last month? Food police bust 4 year-old in NC. The government brown bag-checkers deemed a kid’s healthy lunch unacceptable and forced her to buy the school lunch:

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.


When the girl came home with her lunch untouched, her mother wanted to know what she ate instead. Three chicken nuggets, the girl answered. Everything else on her cafeteria tray went to waste.

In lieu of her healthy homemade lunch, she was given good ‘ol chicken nuggets made from this:

Pink slime coming to a school cafeteria near you! Photo via Twitchy

Yum! Mechanically separated pink slime, which, by the way, the government just purchased 7 million pounds of the good stuff for school lunches.

This is the stuff McDonald’s is vilified for using, yet it’s somehow kosher for the government to buy up Mickey D’s slack and schlep it off to those institutionalized school kids in the name of health.

Pictured above is chicken pink slime. According to Howard Portnoy, Uncle Sam actually purchased the beef version:

The term pink slime was coined by microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein. It refers to a ground-up blend of beef scraps, connective tissue, and other trimmings that has been treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill foodborne pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. The resulting product has a shocking pink appearance and a mouth feel described as more like Jell-O than hamburger. (For a more in-depth look at how pink slime is made, check out this segment from celebrity-chef-turned-buddinsky Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, though suffice it to say the stuff is so gross that McDonald’s and Burger King swore off using it in January.)

Marketed under the name ”Lean Beef Trimmings” by its manufacturer, Beef Products Inc., pink slime has raised health concerns as well as aesthetic ones. Carl Custer, a microbiologist who worked for the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, is on record as saying:

We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.

And that’s only the half of it. Custer warns that ingesting ammonium hydroxide, an ingredient in household cleaners and fertilizers, can be harmful. To make matters worse, the chemical doesn’t invariably do the job it’s intended to do. The New York Times reported in 2009 that since 2005, E. coli was found three times and salmonella 48 in industrial-size batches of the product.

Lean Beef Trimmings. It sounds like something from a Simpsons episode, except it’s not: Big government nannies force parents to purchase less nutritious–no, absolutely disgusting–pseudo-meals under the guise of health. The joke’s on us for continuing to fund this garbage let alone the broken education system in which it’s served.