Thursday, September 18, 2003

Brit Terror: The Mars Bars Attack

The U.S. “obesity epidemic,” about which so many words have been written in the last few years is, amazingly enough, not confined to the United States. It turns out lots of people are getting fatter in the UK as well. The storied “special relationship” between the U.S. and the UK goes beyond transatlantic military cooperation and has now expanded to a shared interest in oversize packets of crisps. Instead of choosing to be fat and jolly together, however, Maxine Frith of the Independent is suggesting that supersize Britons sue their local saturated fat dealers for “aggressive marketing of extra-large food portions.” Marketing of unhealthy foods should assumably be unobtrusive and ineffective, confined perhaps to public restroom stall doors and billboards facing away from roadways.

Thanks to Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner for the link.


Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Chief Taking Cash

See John Fund's Political Diary from Monday for how Cruz Bustamante has become a wholly-owned political subsidiary of the California state Indian casinos:

A growing number of complaints about Indian casinos prompted Gov. Davis to hold each tribe to a maximum of 2,000 slot machines. He also slowed down the applications of 35 tribes who want new gambling licenses. By backing Mr. Bustamante, the San Jose Mercury News reports, "Indian tribes have anted up for a man who has pledged to loosen the reins that Governor Gray Davis has held since he signed gambling compacts with 61 tribes." Contributions to Mr. Bustamante are "a cheap bet" for the tribes, observes Nelson Rose, a Whittier College law professor who tracks gambling issues. "In return they get a monopoly on a casino industry that this year alone is going to make $4 billion or $5 billion." Indian gambling interests already represent the biggest political contributor in California, having plowed $122 million into state political races in the past five years. If their clout leads to a further expansion of their profits under a Bustamante governorship, they could become a force that no one in California would want to--or could--challenge.


Thursday, September 04, 2003

The Fake Hispanic

The Democrats' stonewall campaign against Miguel Estrada, a display of Senate politics so rank and brazen it made Robert Bork's confirmation hearings look like an award ceremony, has finally paid off. Estrada has withdrawn himself from consideration for the slot on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for which he was ogirinally nominated two years ago. The minority party decided to make Estrada's nomination a heels-dug fight to the death, meaning that his qualifications never seriously came into consideration. Despite being a former Clinton administration Justice Department official and a Hispanic, the usual gang of Democratic Senators gave him no deference at all. The Congessional Hispanic Caucus (most members of which are Representatives and thus have no role in judicial confirmations) went to far as to publicly oppose his nomination despite the claim that their Hispanic Judiciary Initiative "promotes and encourages Hispanic representation at all levels and in every branch of government." Except when nominated by a Republican president, that is. The thumbs-down from the CHC is especially galling when one realizes that people born in Texas, like the current and immediate past chairmen of the Caucus are essentially saying that Estrada, who was born in Honduras, isn't Hispanic enough for them.


Monday, September 01, 2003

Twilight of the Drug War?

Jacob Sullum has good news from the front – more former drug warriors are re-assessing their support of prohibition. This includes people like Dr. Forrest Tennant, who at one time claimed that the Reagan administration wasn’t hard core enough.