Thursday, October 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Clock is ticking on White House mice

By
May 31, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — “OMG!,” said the White House mice recently. “Our time is running out!”

(“Mice” is among the nicest terms used to refer to the aides who scurry around to think up ways the president and first lady might promote their agendas. Think HBO’s VEEP without the laugh track.)

The mice calculated that with only two and a half more years in office, President Obama and Michelle Obama should get cracking on restarting their to-do lists.

Thus, Michelle Obama came out swinging at congressional Republicans for daring to try to block her efforts to promote more healthful food in school lunches. You know, broccoli and granola bars and salads instead of fried chicken, sodas and brownies. “The last thing we can afford to do right now is play politics with our kids’ health,” she warned.

Now, this is a huge debate, every bit as heated as the Reagan administration’s attempt to have ketchup count as a vegetable in school lunches.

Michelle’s supporters argue that the nation has too many obese children who will grow up to be unhealthy, unproductive, costly adults, and that training children to eat good, nourishing food instead of junk will pay off in the future.

Her opponents claim she has messed up the school lunch program by making it more costly (fresh costs more than processed) and by causing a million fewer children to eat sugarless, soda-less, fried-less lunch at school. They say too much food is being wasted because children are throwing away their vegetables.

Instead of wisely keeping their heads down on this one and suggesting schools buy more ketchup (children eat anything with ketchup on it), Republicans in Congress, ever eager to get in a fight with an Obama, are backing the misnamed School Nutrition Association. The SNA is lobbying to scale back the more-fruits-and-vegetables, fewer-calories regulations still being phased in and the law signed by the president in 2010. The SNA lobby wants the regulations to be more flexible and permit waivers to schools struggling to buy more healthful food.

Obama supporters counter that without alternatives such as junk-food vending machines, children will learn to eat better and insist this is already happening. But there are powerful interests, as usual, aligned on this, and the East Wing of the White House may well lose.

Meanwhile, over in the West Wing, the mice are worried about Obama’s foreign policy legacy. As he boasts of ending the war in Iraq and promising to bring combat troops home from Afghanistan by year’s end, Obama is being pummeled daily by Republicans complaining he’s not forceful enough. Although the costs of the wars and caring for the injured are nearing the trillion dollar mark (not yet paid for), some lawmakers are clamoring for troops to stay in Afghanistan and be sent to Syria, Ukraine, Libya and Iran, among other places even though the Pentagon is supposedly scaling down.

For heaven’s sakes, complains Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., leading hawk, the U.S. kept troops in Korea for decades after the war ended (28,500 are still there and the U.S. just sent 800 more plus 40 tanks). McCain says the Taliban will just keep hiding in Pakistan until American combat troops are gone from Afghanistan; Obama says the Afghans need to be on notice they’re responsible for their own security by 2015.

At West Point’s commencement, Obama said the U.S. will engage militarily to protect this country and its allies but that protecting the peace is a multilateral job. “Just because we have the best hammer doesn’t mean every problem is a nail,” he said, waxing unusually poetic.

Nonetheless, added the president who ordered the surge in Afghanistan, the United States “must always lead on the world stage,” and the military is the “backbone” of that leadership.

In other words, if and when it’s time to go to war again, Obama will know it even if nobody else does. Meanwhile, the hawks can go sit on their branches and be quiet.

Clearly, the mice have more work to do.

Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune. Readers may send her email at amcfeatters@nationalpress.com.

Ann McFeatters

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Teach5thJune 03, 2014 - 7:17 am

    Hey, Michelle - I suggest you visit a school lunchroom and look in the garbage cans because, unfortunately, that's where the fruits and vegetables end up. It's such a waste of parents' and taxpayers' money, but you can't force the kids to eat what they don't want to eat!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagJune 03, 2014 - 10:59 am

    I agree with you on the school lunch thing Ann I was raised on school pizza and chocolate milk and I turned out just fine, but also I was not in my house for 5 hours after school with my Sony play station because there was no such thing it was all outside time plying and running, As for the war thing not so much, American are tired of paying to protect people outside of our country and they are tired of being the world’s protector the mood is clearly becoming let someone else do it so it really is not fair to say we want to pull back and turn around at the same time and say the president is weak and is sitting on the fence, Make up your mind do you want to spend trillions of dollars and protect the world (I don’t) or do you want to pull back secure our own country and pay past bills.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickJune 03, 2014 - 11:39 am

    the king and queen have no clothes and the mice fear to tell them.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Home: Some things never change

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

Council continues hearing on liquor sales request

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Victim of Tuesday traffic incident dies

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

Holiday boutique set for weekend

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Live Your Dream award applications due Nov. 15

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Transportation Info Depot opens Monday in Suisun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Salvation Army set to host Kroc Fest

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Deadline looms for vote-by-mail ballots

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

California orders risk-based Ebola quarantine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Maine can’t hold Ebola nurse without judge’s order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Pentagon orders 21-day Ebola quarantine for troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US health care unprepared for Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Suge Knight, Katt Williams charged with robbery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Military jet crashes in California, killing pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Army blows up houses, Egyptians evacuate near Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Peshmerga troops cheered by fellow Kurds in Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

New York, New Jersey look back 2 years after Sandy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Russian rocket engines suspected in launch blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Al-Qaida: IS should rejoin group and fight West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Bill Clinton says voting is cure for polarization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Lava 100 feet from Hawaii home, nearing main road

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Man decapitates mother, is killed by train

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Opinion

We’ve got to stop meeting like this

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

 
Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Davenport, Pal, Spering best choices for vote

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Measure A helps students

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

Jane Day for council: She cares

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Do you trust Spering?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

Support for Spering, Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Measure A a simple choice

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

Mraz is desperate

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

 
Vote for Moy; Vote for Fairfield

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Time for something new: Integrity

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Supports Timm for Fairfield council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Measure A a wise investment

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Spering record not set straight

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
In support of Brian Thiemer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Debate was eye-opening

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Vote for Catherine Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Tonnesen right choice for City Council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Vote for Tonnesen

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Learn to say no

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Support for Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Proposition 47 fails to advance state

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Mraz not best officer for council post

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Moy is the leader we need

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A10

 
My sister won’t talk to any of us, I’m worried about my nephew

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A10

.

Entertainment

‘House of Cards’ actress Norment dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Orson Welles’ last film may finally be released

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Taylor Swift talks books and music with kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Royals’ dream season falls short in World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Bumgarner, Giants beat KC to win World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Bumgarner, Giants beat KC 3-2 in Series Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Selig’s imprint seen in Game 7 of World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants fans revel in victory

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Giants ace Bumgarner wins World Series MVP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors whip Kings 95-77 in season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jose Canseco resting at home after shooting hand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sacramento breaks ground on new Kings arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

It’s Thursday Night Lights for SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B2

 
49ers rookie center Marcus Martin to make NFL debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford men looking to build on NCAA tournament run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Carr prepares for tough test vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Vanden’s McDaniel repeats as SCAC singles champion

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Gov’t pushes air bag maker on replacement parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Fed ends bond buying and cites brighter job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Obituaries

Hardie Lee Doshier

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Howard Lenowsky

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert Louis Wright

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10