Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Robocalls, nuggets, Romney 'shoots' Santorum?

Hello. Welcome to O-Pinion, the editorial board's online center for discussion and conversation. I'm associate editor Fannie Flono, your host today.

Before we get to politics, let's talk robo-calls and chicken nuggets. Wait these are political too.

Robocalls first. The Federal Communications Commission is set to bring the hammer down today on those annoying telemarketing calls - again, according to USA Today. Remember when Congress passed legislation in 2008 to prevent unwanted autodialed or prerecorded calls to your home if you signed up to say you didn't want them? Well, some telemarketers completely ignored the law (okay, there were loopholes) and kept calling anyway. If you haven't gotten any calls, you've been lucky.

Now, the FCC is getting tough-er. It plans to approve new rules requiring those robo-callers to get written permission to make such calls to home phones. That's already required of cell phones. And even those who didn't sign up for the Do Not Call registry will get protected, and have to give permission for such calls. The new rule will also prevent businesses who've previously done business with the consumer from being able to robo-call without permission. And telemarketers will have to give consumers a quick way to end the call and automatically add them to a Do Not Call list.

Thank you, FCC.

School Food Police?
Chicken nuggets, you say? This story is all over the blogosphere. The Carolina Journal's Sara Burrows reports that a preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School in Raeford, N.C., "ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious. "
"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," the Journal said.
To add insult to injury, the school sent a note to the child's parent noting that the cafeteria could charge $1.25 for making the meal allegedly "more nutritious," the Journal reported.
The weird thing, well one of the weird things, is that the child only ate the nuggets and left the rest of her lunch untouched. That was "healthy"? The school allowed that? It would have been much better to let her eat her own lunch, which a state official later said did indeed seem to meet all the "healthy" guidelines.
“With a turkey sandwich, that covers your protein, your grain, and if it had cheese on it, that’s the dairy,” said Jani Kozlowski, the fiscal and statutory policy manager for the division. “It sounds like the lunch itself would’ve met all of the standard.” The lunch has to include a fruit or vegetable, but not both, she said.
Here's Rush Limbaugh's take - ahem, the food Nazis, he says. Conservative John Hayward links incident to Obamacare. The Natural News likens it to TSA patdowns to smoke out terrorists.
Sounds like there's enough insanity to go around. Still, this lunch police move, if true, was truly wacky.

'Mud' Warfare in Michigan
Now, back to politics. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are in a shootout in Michigan, according to Michael Falcone and Amy Walter of ABC News. In their blog, they say "the state has suddenly become ground zero in the Republican nominating contest and both campaigns as well as a pro-Romney super PAC are spending big to try to win there." And speaking of shooting, the blog takes note of a new Santorum TV ad that they call "startling" featuring a Mitt Romney look-alike shooting at a life-sized cardboard cutout of Santorum with mud pellets.
“Mitt Romney’s negative attack machine is back — on full throttle,” the ad’s narrator says. (The ad is appropriately titled, “Rombo.”)

A Quinnipiac University poll released today shows, Santorum at the top of the heap among Ohio likely Republican primary voters with 36 percent, followed by 29 percent for Romney. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich runs third with 20 percent, while Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul gets 9 percent. The Washington Post blog, The Fix, talks more about that and Santorum's positioning elsewhere.
With Santorum's rise in the polls, senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod took aim at him today, accusing him of holding social views that are “quite divisive and not widely shared.” Politico reports on the charges Axelrod made on CBS's "This Morning."

Fortunes Rising for Obama?
As for President Obama, his fortunes are rising - make that his popularity - as the economy shows signs of resuscitation. PBS reported on his improving poll numbers this morning. It's up to 50 percent. Time magazine has a piece on why Obama's election chances are up.


Ghoul said...

Although I am against specious litigation, the parents of that child need to sue the "inspector" for violating the child's 4th Amendment rights. Did said "inspector" have a search warrant to look in the child's personal belongings?

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the bureaucrats of the town for confirming why I have always thought it would be very dangerous to ever come within 10 nautical miles of Raeford.

As for the FCC, color me extremely skeptical. The Do Not Call list is an absolute joke. It does zero to stop those calls. And since this is a government agency claiming it's going to get tough, I'm not buying it. And of course, politicians write these regulations exempting themselves so every candidate that appears on my ballot can call me 25 times a day from day one of filing to election day. Whatever...

RKrause said...

The Do Not Call registry still exempts politicians. In March I received countless calls from Romney for President. When I emailed them to take me off their automated list, they didn't even have the courtesy to reply moreless to cease and desist. I finally got so fed up with their harassment, I started billing them $50 for each call by following the Illinois Pay-Per-Call service guidelines. Then, they paid attention. Of course, they didn't apologize for the nuisance nor did they admit to any wrongdoing, instead they informed me that their attorneys would be investigating my claims. That's American politicians for you. Working for themselves, not for the people. And certainly never admitting to doing any wrong.

You can view the brochure, letters, and invoice I sent to Romney here: