October 20, 2005
Do You Want Subpoenas With That?
Today is a very good day for litigation reform.
Responding to a swarm of bizarre and offensive lawsuits "on behalf of" fat kids -- lawsuits that seek damages from fast-food restaurants for daring to sell food other than carrot sticks and tossed chard salads -- the House of Representatives has (once again) passed a bill that would throw these outlandish suits out of court.
The legal theory appears to be that when kids and their parents are faced with the trauma of a hamburger, their brains literally shut down, and resistance is futile. They're assimilated into the McBorg. Toss in a bag of fries, and it may as well be a crime against humanity.
It has nothing to do with kids; these suits are being pushed by two groups: greedy parents who want simultaneously to get rich via life's lottery (as Rush Limbaugh called tort litigation) and find somebody to blame other than themselves for their kids being obese -- and professional pleasure haters, such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the group which brought you the shocking news that popcorn, pizza, chow mein, and burritos are fattening if indulged to excess.
Oh, and trial lawyers steaming off of their success at blaming "Big Tobacco" for smoking; all right, three groups.
"But of course this silly legislative effort has nothing to do with encouraging personal responsibility and everything to do with pleasing a powerful and politically connected industry," said Michael Jacobson, director of the Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest.
I reckon Mr. Jacobson believes the best way to "encourag[e] personal responsibility" is to blame Big Food for your stupid eating choices.
Alas, it's not a given that the Senate will follow suit. The House passed essentially the same bill last year, but the Senate failed to act. Maybe they just ran out of time, or maybe they just ran out of courage: I'll believe it when I believe it, when the McFood Protection Act of 2005 lands on President Bush's desk.
Then he can sign it with an ink-stained french fry.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 20, 2005, at the time of 4:12 PM
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Tracked on October 21, 2005 6:02 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dana Pico
Dear Mr. ab Hugh:
The problem is that, as government assumes more and more responsibility for health care costs, it becomes more and more of a compelling government interest to reduce costs, and if obesity increases health care costs, then it becomes a compelling government interest to take whatever actions it can to reduce obesity.
How the Left Thinks is a great article (written by me, natch, and printed by Intellectual Conservative) which details how the increasing reach of government, in its attempts to provide health care coverage, requires, by simple logic, that government curtail freedom.
The above hissed in response by: Dana Pico at October 20, 2005 5:12 PM
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