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A Dash of Pepper

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News alert: They're coming for your cupcakes!
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
To anyone who follows politics closely and has more than a nodding acquaintance with left versus right ideologies, the actions taken by Obama and his people over the past two years were not surprising. For those who lean right, they may have been disquieting, even appalling, but not a surprise.
But Mrs. Obama has surprised this onlooker. During the election campaign, she seemed to view herself as a serious Progressive. So her choice of childhood obesity as her cause did surprise me.
It's traditional that First ladies generally select causes that are non-controversial with Hilary Clinton being the exception although she retreated somewhat after the HillaryCare debacle. Nancy Reagan chose the war on drugs, Barbara Bush chose literacy. Her daughter-in-law seemed to follow that course, then surprised me when she became passionately involved in women's rights.
Notably, she went out to plead for the imprisoned former head of Myanmar, and the plight of women in Afghanistan especially in the area of education rights, a cause she works on to this day.
So I thought Mrs. Obama might choose something more edgy than childhood obesity.
The so-called "lame duck" Congress quietly passed a nutrition bill, formally labeled the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The bill gives the federal government the power to limit school bakes and other fundraisers because health zealots say that these sometimes replace wholesome meals in the lunchroom.
The legislation also provides more meals at school for needy kids including dinner, enhancing Nanny State influence over the children at their parent's expense.
Mrs. Obama has said that when it comes to eating, "We can't just leave it to the parents." The legislation directs the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to write guidelines to make school meals healthier. The legislation will apply to all food sold in schools, including the cafeteria line, vending machines as well as fundraisers.
It states that the secretary of agriculture could allow bake sales only if they are "infrequent." The USDA has one year to write a rule that decides how frequent is infrequent. The National Association of School Boards says the bill will cost districts as much as 30 cents added to current school taxes. For example, a district now at $1.25 in tax per $100 of property valuation would see that possibly go as high as $1.55. (Washington ALWAYS passes on the cost of its bright ideas.)
You might think that, considering our terrible debt, a situation near war on the southern border, a constant threat of terrorism and a looming state of chaos in healthcare, lawmakers might have concerns other than bake sales.
But on further thought, this effort on Mrs. Obama's part fits nicely into the Progressive agenda. It goes directly into our lives, our homes, and our kitchens. It promotes the belief that we do not know how to properly feed ourselves and our families. Therefore we must rely on guidance from those who know better than we do when it comes to nutrition.
Personally, I'd like to take the food bill, put it in a 500 degree oven and turn it to powder.
The new battle cry for bakers everywhere should be "Hands off my cupcakes!"