Another ObamaCare mandate we had to discover after its passage

posted at 12:00 pm on March 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Nancy Pelosi told the public that we’d have to pass ObamaCare to find out all of the surprises Democrats had loaded into it.  Since its passage, we’ve discovered a number of them, including the elimination of a tax credit that kept seniors on private medication coverage that has forced publicly-held corporations like AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere, and Verizon to take massive charges against this year’s earnings.  Earlier this week, the Associated Press discovered a new mandate, this time on chain restaurants, that is at once petty, paternalistic, and anti-growth:

A requirement tucked into the nation’s massive health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs.

The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, superseding a growing number of state and city laws. President Barack Obama was expected to sign the health care legislation Tuesday.

The idea is to make sure that customers process the calorie information as they are ordering. Many restaurants currently post nutritional information in a hallway, on a hamburger wrapper or on their Web site. The new law will make calories immediately available for most items.

“The nutrition information is right on the menu or menu board next to the name of the menu item, rather than in a pamphlet or in tiny print on a poster, so that consumers can see it when they are making ordering decisions,” says Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who wrote the provision.

What’s wrong with getting calorie counts?  Nothing, really.  As a Type II diabetic myself, it helps to know calories and carbs when planning meals or medication responses.  A friend of mine, Col. Joe Repya, gave me a handy wallet-sized card shortly after my diagnosis that allows me to estimate carbs and calories while at home or away, and plenty of other resources exist for the same purpose, many of them on the Internet.

In fact, many chain restaurants already provide this information to consumers on the Internet.  Just to take one example: Chili’s.  Their website features a prominent link to the nutritional information for their standard menu items.  That’s how I know that their Oldtimer burger is 1260 calories, including the fries, the lowest-calorie burger dinner they offer.  The Jalapeno Smokehouse Burger w/ Jalapeno Ranch dinner comes in at a whopping 2,130 calories.

But let’s be serious.  No one who’s seriously concerned about caloric intake is going to order the gigantic Jalapeno Smokehouse Burger w/ Jalapeno Ranch dinner.  Most people have the common sense to know that big burgers and whopping mounds of fries will total a huge number of calories, no matter where one buys or makes dinner.  Responsible adults can navigate a menu on their own to choose the healthier options, if they want to do so, without forcing restauranteurs to conduct the kind of lab analyses necessary to give accurate calorie counts for menus.

The impact on businesses will be disproportionate to their size.  Large restaurant chains with standardized menus can handle this mandate less expensively per dinner sold, thanks to the economies of scale, which is why Chili’s has the information on their national website.  Chains under 20 locations will get exempt.  But what about those chains with just over 20 locations?

Davanni’s, a local pizzeria-sandwich restaurant with 22 locations around the Twin Cities, will now have to comply with this mandate.  A caller to my Saturday show (who wished to remain anonymous) told my radio partner Mitch Berg during a commercial break that it will cost Davanni’s approximately $200,000 to comply with the new mandate — just to start.  Every menu change will require Davanni’s to have the new or modified items re-analyzed, which means that Davanni’s will probably resist adding new options for their customers.  Meanwhile, larger chains with more economy of scale for such efforts such as Pizza Hut can do the tests once for all of their locations, keeping their prices lower for their customers — which they already do, thanks to consumer demand for the information.

Under those circumstances, will Davanni’s feel compelled to keep the extra three locations open, or to scale back to 19 to avoid the mandate?  Even if they do keep all of their locations, that $200,000 will now get spent on something other than new jobs for teenagers and adults, and customers will pay higher prices for their food.  Local and regional chains with 15-19 locations have a big economic disincentive to expand any further. I don’t know much about Davanni’s bottom line, but I’m pretty sure that even though they make some of the best pizza and hoagies in the area, they don’t have $200,000 lying around the pizza sauce to blow on lab analyses this year, or any other.

This is a fundamentally anti-growth policy — and in service of what?  A federal mandate to treat adults like children, as though someone buying a pizza might be under the delusion that they’re ordering health food.  That’s not even considering the question of jurisdiction on chains like Davanni’s which don’t cross state lines, and therefore shouldn’t have to answer to federal regulators at all.     This is a textbook case of elitist snobbery trumping common sense, where the governing elite just assumes that Americans can’t decide for themselves what foods to eat.

When considering this, it reminded me of the classic Monty Python sketch “Crunchy Frog.”  Here’s the clean version:


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You will all sing the Obama song.

BobMbx on March 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

I am not sure how many of these “unintended consequences” are actually unintended.

VaGal on March 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Sigh.

uknowmorethanme on March 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Mock frog?

Scott P on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Most people have the common sense to know that big burgers and whopping mounds of fries will total a huge number of calories, no matter where one buys or makes dinner.

See, this is where you assume too much Ed. Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are. Is the way to fix that mandating every establishment in the whole country list calorie counts for everything? No. But in the interest of preventing that, there’s no need to give more credit than is due.

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Who in the heck can afford to even go out and eat anymore?

Knucklehead on March 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Even if they do keep all of their locations, that $200,000 will now get spent on something other than new jobs for teenagers and adults, and customers will pay higher prices for their food.

More money out of the pocket of everyday Americans who aren’t seeing more money in their wallets due to Obama and the Democratic Congress.

jimmy2shoes on March 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Responsible adults can navigate a menu on their own to choose the healthier options, if they want to do so, without forcing restauranteurs to conduct the kind of lab analyses necessary to give accurate calorie counts for menus.

“Responsible adults” would not have voted for the jug-eared turd in the first place. It doesn’t matter who wrote this freedom-killing sh*tpile, Obama owns every disgusting word of it.

Extrafishy on March 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

People who “have no idea what a calorie is”? If so, they get what they deserve. I’m with the whole “culling the herd” thing on this point. Darwin, anyone?

fivefeetoffury on March 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Wouldn’t it be somewhat easier to create a new holding corporation and make three of the Davanni’s into Divinna’s?

cthulhu on March 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

A caller to my Saturday show (who wished to remain anonymous) told my radio partner Mitch Berg during a commercial break that it will cost Davanni’s approximately $200,000 to comply with the new mandate — just to start.

Economic stimulus!

Behold the nanny state has taken over.

I wonder how this is going to work. There’s not enough space on the drive through boards to begin with. Were there regulations on font sizes? Do the nutritional labels need to be bilingual? What about braille listings for those unable to see (Yeah yeah, why would the blind be driving? Then tell me why they have them on drive up ATM machines!!!)

What’s the accuracy rating for the calorie count? Restaurants (I worked at one for a time) where the food is *prepared in house* substitute ALL THE TIME for differences in supply. Does a pizza always have exactly 560 calories if Pete gets a little liberal with the pepperoni.

This isn’t my country anymore. This isn’t a place where people have self-determination and self-responsibility and are mostly left alone by government.

What does it take to get this yoke off my neck from the self-proclaimed heroes who are out to save me from myself?!

Skywise on March 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Must be nice to have a job where you can be ignorant, arrogant, have absolutely no idea what it is you’re doing, yet get to keep your job.

I can see why Democrats are in Congress and their sympathy for the homeless – if Democrats had to actually work in the private sector, they would be fired from every job down to grocery sacker.

Worthless, corrupt and incompetent scum Democrats. Should be bounties out on ‘em.

NoDonkey on March 28, 2010 at 12:12 PM

See, this is where you assume too much Ed. Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are. Is the way to fix that mandating every establishment in the whole country list calorie counts for everything? No. But in the interest of preventing that, there’s no need to give more credit than is due.

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

The tax payer has already paid for the public to learn this information in their public school required health class. If they failed to learn it, too bad for them. Most people are aware; some are just too lazy to bother to apply the knowledge.

Disturb the Universe on March 28, 2010 at 12:12 PM

A requirement tucked into the nation’s massive health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs.

All I want is my Big Mac…I will still have my Big Mac…Twoallbeefpattiesspeicalsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonaseasmeseedbun! (1000 calorie word, thought I would disclose to be compliant!).

Oh and this calorie listing requirment is not ‘unintended’. The Dems should not get a break because of ‘unintended’ consequences. It is all completely intentional!

Rndguy on March 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

“Responsible adults” would not have voted for the jug-eared turd in the first place. It doesn’t matter who wrote this freedom-killing sh*tpile, Obama owns every disgusting word of it.

Extrafishy on March 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Don’t sugar-coat it dude. Tell us how you really feel.

Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are.

Or, like most of us, they simply have a hankering for a big greasy burger and fries and go to the drive thru to get our fix. They could tell me the damn thing will cause hallucinations and impotence, but when I want a greasy burger, I want one.

BacaDog on March 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM

These law makers simply do not have enough to do. With so much time on their hands they sit around thinking of ways to make everybody miserable. We could probably get by easily with about half of them gone. They are very, very good at that with the Won as Miserere in Chief. question: How did this spoiled adolescent ever get into the WH?

jeanie on March 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM

What’s the penalty for refusing to follow this mandate? Pay it, and tell them to stuff it.

Mr. Pickles on March 28, 2010 at 12:18 PM

You vill eat zee Arugula! Und you vill like it!!

trubble on March 28, 2010 at 12:18 PM

How in the hell are fast food joints gonna fit the calorie info on the drive-thru display? They can barely fit the menu items on there.

And yes, Ed, you would think common sense would prompt people to just go online and look up the calorie content. Every major chain posts that info on their websites. Shoot, many even go into heavy detail like how many calories a burger has with or without mayo.

If the federal government can cost businesses hundreds of thousands if not millions on something as seemingly minor as this, imagine how badly the major parts of this legislation will tank our economy.

Doughboy on March 28, 2010 at 12:18 PM

See, this is where you assume too much Ed. Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are. Is the way to fix that mandating every establishment in the whole country list calorie counts for everything? No. But in the interest of preventing that, there’s no need to give more credit than is due.

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Ernesto, it is up to adults to be responsible for themselves. It is up to parents to be responsible for their children. Just because some aren’t is no reason to intrude upon the liberty of those of us who are.

rbj on March 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

See, this is where you assume too much Ed. Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are. Is the way to fix that mandating every establishment in the whole country list calorie counts for everything? No. But in the interest of preventing that, there’s no need to give more credit than is due.

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

This isn’t about informing the public. This is about dictating what people eat.

We already see where this leads us… Banning salt in New York. Next decade they’ll ban any meal over 1000 calories per individual serving. It’s for your own good citizen.

Skywise on March 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

I laughed when they mandated credit card companies must increase the font on their policies. This one takes the cake for me.

I wonder what else will be revealed to make sure Ms. Obama’s war on obesity is a complete and utter success. After all, it is too big to fail.

sherry on March 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Restaurants are constantly changing their menus to try to offer new and exciting meals, how can they afford to keep up with a changing menu and ever expanding demands?

fourdeucer on March 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Disturb the Universe on March 28, 2010 at 12:12 PM

+100 Good job pointing out another state/federal education mandate that didn’t work!

Rndguy on March 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM

I think another motive was to embaress the fast food chains with the high calorie count of some of their food items so they’d drop those items.

Like the trans-fat laws, the government will not let you eat what you want. Your fat-related health problems cost the state money, especially if they get to their single-payer goal.

Is there any labelling law as to booze? How many calories in a bottle of beer, bottle of wine or Scotch? How does one calculate “serving size” with a bottle of wine,anyway?

Wethal on March 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, superseding a growing number of state and city laws. President Barack Obama was expected to sign the health care legislation Tuesday.

They have no authority, tell them to kiss off.

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Common sense was never the hallmark of the Obama voter.

1921 C DRUM on March 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Like people are going to read the calorie content the same way they read the nutrition information at grocery stores.

If I want a package of Oreos, I’m going to take my purchase off the shelf and go pay for it, information unread. I’m pushing 52 years old. I know what I’m getting myself into at McDonalds and BK.

Are these Democrats nuts? (rhetorical question there)

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

The mandate is depicted in the picture: All patients have to tap dance and sing “Mr. Bojango” while they are wait for their appointments.

bayview on March 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

I’m sure crr5 will soon show up to preach the wonders and absolute authority of the commerce clause.

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

This isn’t about informing the public. This is about dictating what people eat.

We already see where this leads us… Banning salt in New York. Next decade they’ll ban any meal over 1000 calories per individual serving. It’s for your own good citizen.

Skywise on March 28, 2010

Ernesto won’t believe you, Skywise, and when it comes to pass and he’s sitting in front of his government-mandated soyburger, he will wonder what happened and assume it must be Bush’s fault.

Extrafishy on March 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Restaurants are constantly changing their menus to try to offer new and exciting meals, how can they afford to keep up with a changing menu and ever expanding demands?

fourdeucer on March 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

There’s a waiver in there for any food item that’s “temporary”. (I think it was less than 2 months)

Skywise on March 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Davanni’s approximately $200,000 to comply with the new mandate — just to start.
===============================

One of many creative tax generators to pay for Hopeys
Healthcare!!

canopfor on March 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I remember Red Robin doing this on their own several years ago. They put the calories of every single item on the menu. Suprise, suprise, it hurt business. I believe their solution was to take off the calorie count for there normal items and introduce a “diet” section that listed calories.

Vera on March 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

This reminds me of one of Hillary Clinton’s greatest hits from the 90′s. When asked about the possible negative impact of HillaryCare on small businesses, she scoffed, saying that she couldn’t be responsible for every under-capitalized business in the country.

These people are job killers, dream killers, prosperity killers, country killers.

Kensington on March 28, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Soyburger is…..PEOPLE.

1921 C DRUM on March 28, 2010 at 12:26 PM

See, the thing is they’re mandating listing requirements for a science that’s about as settled as global warming…

When nutritional doctors can’t figure out that switching to carbs was MORE damaging to heart disease than cutting fat out of the diet, you can’t just mandate dietary requirements like this.

Check this out-
http://www.slate.com/id/2248754/pagenum/all/

End the War on Fat
It could be making us sicker.

Thirty years ago, America declared war against fat. The inaugural edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published in 1980 and subsequently updated every five years, advised people to steer clear of “too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol,” because of purported ties between fat intake and heart disease. The message has remained essentially the same ever since, with current guidelines recommending that Americans consume less than 10 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat.

But heart disease continues to devastate the country, and, as you may have noticed, we certainly haven’t gotten any thinner. Ultimately, that’s because fat should never have been our enemy. The big question is whether the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, due out at the end of the year, will finally announce retreat.

Skywise on March 28, 2010 at 12:26 PM

So restaurants have to post calorie contents for patrons to see before they order, but Congress doesn’t have to know what’s in a bill before it passes it. Just want to get clear on how things work now.

Bill Ramey on March 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

This government sure expects a lot of disclosure by private companies in the legislation they put together and keep undercover until it’s crammed down our throats.

How many calories in this Health Control Plan, anyway?

snickelfritz on March 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Now and again on Yahoo! you can read a feature of the ‘worst’ meals to be found in malls or other fast food outlets. I take a peek, just out of curiosity. But I gotta y’all, some of those ‘bad’ foods sure sound soooo tasty!

I also have an edge. I’m convinced that if my ex couldn’t kill me–and she tried–nothing will! LOL

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Keep ‘em coming. America is pissed and it’s not going to go away before November. They can scream and cry about “hyper-partisan attitudes” all they want but in the end there are more of us than there are of them.

Mord on March 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Most people have the common sense

No they don’t. They’re idiots who only manage to survive because of the paternal instincts of the Democratic Party.

GarandFan on March 28, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Minor technical correction: There is a technical difference between the lower case “calorie” and its upper case partner “Calorie” as they are both units of measurement. The latter being a unit of a thousand calories.

I don’t know if most people even know the distinction. I’m willing to bet the Oldtimer is 1,260 Calories or 1,260,000 calories.

Mmmmmm bacon.

Weebork on March 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Wouldn’t it be somewhat easier to create a new holding corporation and make three of the Davanni’s into Divinna’s?

Quite possible if complying with this rubbish is that onerous. But it points out the Democrats’ constant view of the world as some static system to be manipulated by fiat. They never seem to recognize that there will always be a market response that may not be favorable to their agenda. It may not be favorable to anyone’s agenda.

For a group of people who are always trumpeting change, they have a very poor understanding of it.

The unintended consequences of their health care plan will be enormous.

SlaveDog on March 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Very OT:

Fox news has the Coffee Party babe on.

*groan*

IrishEi on March 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Mmmmmm bacon.

Weebork on March 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

+3 extra slices

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

I think this has two important ramifications for our out of control government.

1) I think it is possible that someday tax laws will be modified to favor restaurants that have a lower average calorie count (…for the good of the people…)

2) And two at some point we will be required to track our caloric intake for auditing puposes. Can’t prove you didn’t consume less than 2500/day? Sorry, you aren’t eligible for that bypass operation under single payer…

When you have a government that wants to play nanny, that also gives them license to spank you…

SPCOlympics on March 28, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Skywise on March 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Thanks.

fourdeucer on March 28, 2010 at 12:33 PM

This will expand until each person has to carry a “food comsumption card” with them when they go out to eat. The restaurant will stamp your card with the number of calories you ingested. If your calorie intake exceeds HHS guidelines, you can and will be denied ObamaCare.

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:33 PM

“Davanni’s, a local pizzeria-sandwich restaurant with 22 locations around the Twin Cities, will now have to

CLOSE THREE LOCATIONS AND FIRE THE STAFF

to comply with this mandate.”

Posted March 28, 1 SE

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on March 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

How about all democrat politicians put a disclosure on their election campaign posters indicating wither they are a socialist or a Marxist.

Aviator on March 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Ed:

I just came across another provision I didn’t know about.

LONG TERM CARE

Beginning next year, workers will have a new tax deducted on that “FICA” line of their paycheck. It’s for long term care and is estimated at about $180/month.

Enrollment is automatic…unless the employee specifically declines in writing. I have no idea whether there’s a minimum number of years one must “contribute” in order to get the benefits in their old age.

I suspect a majority will decline. But I bet a lot of them won’t do so until after a few paycheks show the deduction. Then they’ll opt out…and the gov’t will have another little gusher of revenue.

jeanneb on March 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

In principle I agree with you but the SCOTUS Wheat decision in the 40′s will come back to haunt us now as a precedent.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 12:36 PM

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

We can only hope.

Aviator on March 28, 2010 at 12:36 PM

When you have a government that wants to play nanny, that also gives them license to spank you…

SPCOlympics on March 28, 2010 at 12:33 PM

I agree. That’s the logical outcome of government-controlled health care. Libs say I’m crazy for thinking that, but limits on restaurants are happening and more are already in the works. It ‘costs’ too much, government says.

Too bad for government! If I want two dirty-water hot dogs followed by a big soft salt-laden pretzel, that’s my choice. And if it costs too much to send an ambulance for me, no problem. I’ll die right there with a full belly and a happy tongue. Maybe I can vote although dead, but at least I won’t be paying taxes any more. So they might really want to send that ambulance…

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Very OT:

Fox news has the Coffee Party babe on.

*groan*

IrishEi on March 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

No surprise there. The drive-by media effort to smear and intimidate the Tea Party ain’t working, so they’ll need to prop up the disaster known as the Coffee Party to try and counter them.

Doughboy on March 28, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I don’t count calories; however, I am counting the days to November 2010.

SouthernGent on March 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Beginning next year, workers will have a new tax deducted on that “FICA” line of their paycheck. It’s for long term care and is estimated at about $180/month.

Enrollment is automatic…

jeanneb on March 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Do you know if that includes people who already have their own long term care ins?

This law is Pandora’s Box X 10,000

IrishEi on March 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Well,there goes my idea,of bacon stuffed
amd maple syrup injected,Canadian Beaver
tails!!

canopfor on March 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Amazingly, the left supports this kind of ridiculous crap.

Well, I say, Bring it on! Two can play at this game.

I want to see legislation that forces all restaurants to display how much Plutonium 241 is in every morsel of food that they serve to the public. I mean, we ALL know it’s a dangerous substance. In the interest of public health, it should be mandatory that restaurants should test every menu item and prominently display the Pu 241 content. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

UltimateBob on March 28, 2010 at 12:42 PM

It’s time for all those businesses to join the movement to just say, “No, I will not comply.”

JDPerren on March 28, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Regardless of the assumption of whether people have sense or not is irrelevant. This is nanny-statism, pure and simple.

The government has no business – well, HAD no business before Obamacare – telling me how many calories food has in it.

I go out to eat specifically so I don’t have to worry about counting calories. I don’t care how many calories a slab of cheesecake or a cheeseburger or anything else has in it and the government has no business making me care.

catmman on March 28, 2010 at 12:43 PM

This will expand until each person has to carry a “food comsumption card” with them when they go out to eat. The restaurant will stamp your card with the number of calories you ingested. If your calorie intake exceeds HHS guidelines, you can and will be denied ObamaCare.

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Maybe the sponsers of the bill have invented a Food Calorie Calculator and every person will be expected to carry one and when they get Obama-care they will have to present it to the doctor to see if they are in compliance with mandated limits.

fourdeucer on March 28, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on March 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

I love Davanni’s meatball sandwich. If they close the one in my area, there will be trouble.

*Disclaimer: No malice intended by use of the word “trouble”*

Bishop on March 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

I am not sure how many of these “unintended consequences” are actually unintended.

VaGal on March 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

I’m looking forward to one very large unintended consequence this November.

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 12:45 PM

In principle I agree with you but the SCOTUS Wheat decision in the 40’s will come back to haunt us now as a precedent.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 12:36 PM

You’re saying they’ll use the commerce clause? That should draw crr5 out.

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Soyburger is…..PEOPLE.

1921 C DRUM on March 28, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Yeah, but if it ins’t nutritious enough, they won’t even let us eat that…

catmman on March 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:33 PM

They can dust off the old food rationing cards from World War II. No doubt there will soon be a black market for fattening foods.

Maybe speakeasys like during Prohibition, where you knock on an unmarked door, give the password, and are allowed in where everyone, instead of drinking gin from teacups, is eating a big Mac hidden inside an arugula wrap.

Wethal on March 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Does not surprise me that Harkin wrote this language. He is a far left stooge, who is only in office because the eastern half of Iowa is populated by dimocrats, and that’s where most of the population of Iowa resides.

Here in Western Iowa, we still cling to our guns and Bibles.

kam582 on March 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Fox news has the Coffee Party babe on.

IrishEi on March 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Missed it. Was she hot? I’m sure she was stupid, I’m just wondering if she had any redeeming qualities at all that would make me want to tune in.

UltimateBob on March 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Davanni’s, a local pizzeria-sandwich restaurant with 22 locations around the Twin Cities, will now have to comply with this mandate.

Alternatively, they could just close three locations, and donate the extra workers to funemployment. If I owned them, I would certainly be considering it.

Vashta.Nerada on March 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

More nanny-state nonsense from our federal “elites.” Calorie information is already easily available to anyone who wants or needs it. Most chains have it on their websites, or will give it to you in the restaurants, if you just ask. And almost every diet book has an appendix that contains the info.

When McDonald’s started offering their iced mocha coffee drink, I heard it tasted pretty good. But I wanted to know how many calories were in one before I tried it, so I went online and found the answer in a few seconds. (But poor people can’t go online! BS — all they have to do is go to a public library. They can get on an internet-connected computer for free).

This is a stupid, unnecessary law that’s going to burden businesses (and consumers) at a time when they can least afford it.

Our government is full of friggin’ morons.

AZCoyote on March 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM

“when they are making ordering decisions”

This is how these people talk. Who, in the real world, would talk about “making ordering decisions” when they’re freaking going through a McDonald’s drive-through?

“Children, please. Could we have some quiet? We should all be making our ordering decisions right now. Tommy, have you adequately considered the caloric consequences of your proposed ordering decisions?”

And they wonder why we’re suspicious of letting them take over another 18% of the economy….

notropis on March 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Fox news has the Coffee Party babe on.
*groan*
IrishEi on March 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

It’s not as if she has anything else to do; meeting with the ten other pot heads to discuss Niebuhr and complain about Dubya gets old.

Bishop on March 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

fourdeucer on March 28, 2010 at 12:43 PM

I’m so screwed. As a long distance runner I require more than the basal metabolic level of calories. Any bets the government limits won’t take that into account. Another unintended consequence of the nanny state.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

I will believe that this law works when Big Bertha of ACORN only needs to buy one airline seat.

Electrongod on March 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

They can dust off the old food rationing cards from World War II. No doubt there will soon be a black market for fattening foods.

Maybe speakeasys like during Prohibition, where you knock on an unmarked door, give the password, and are allowed in where everyone, instead of drinking gin from teacups, is eating a big Mac hidden inside an arugula wrap.

Wethal on March 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Hahahaha … no kidding. Bootleg cheesburgers.

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Most people are aware; some are just too lazy to bother to apply the knowledge.

Disturb the Universe on March 28, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Some people, like me, just pop into Mickey D’s for a cheeseburger and not a health lesson. If I was concerned about what’s in it I’d make it myself.

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Good grief these posts are more than hilarious…who needs a comedy club when we have “truuble” “bayview” “darwin” and all the rest. I have laughed off at least 10 calories and will continue to read until my panera cheese danish is worked off..

justonevictory on March 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

See, this is where you assume too much Ed. Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are. Is the way to fix that mandating every establishment in the whole country list calorie counts for everything? No. But in the interest of preventing that, there’s no need to give more credit than is due.

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Everybody knows what a calorie is, Ernesto.

So you can quit with the “people (other than myself and other liberals) are stupid and need taking care of” meme at least on this particular point.

Because it is absurd. The only people who don’t know what a calorie is are children under ten and the extremely mentally challenged.

Alana on March 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM

If I was concerned about what’s in it I’d make it myself.

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Amen.

notropis on March 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Easy way for small companies to avoid this law. On the 20th store just slightly change the name of the restruant Like instead of Davanni’s the 20th store can be called DDavanni’s. Of course this would require a entire set of second books etc for the company yet it will give the company a fixed cost and allow the company the flexibility to change menues, grow etc.

unseen on March 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM

and the extremely mentally challenged.

Alana on March 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM

like ernesto?

catmman on March 28, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Man, I don’t even have time to read the menu when I go through those drive-thrus.
They need to have a government employee there to explain this stuff.
And a sign language person also.
Just in case.

justltl on March 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Yet another barriet to entry to threaten the established chains… amazing how much Congress hates small business and adores big business by writing regulations that the large can absorb for a pittance and the small cannot absorb due to their much smaller scale of activities. When Big Business is in bed with Big Government, the people lose.

ajacksonian on March 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Because it is absurd. The only people who don’t know what a calorie is are children under ten and the extremely mentally challenged.

Alana on March 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM

What makes you so sure? And why is everyone acting like I support this proposal?

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

All I want is my Big Mac…I will still have my Big Mac…Twoallbeefpattiesspeicalsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonaseasmeseedbun! (1000 calorie word, thought I would disclose to be compliant!).

Rndguy on March 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Where we once sang that jingle jubilantly as we jockeyed with that giant burger, Mickie D’s is now teaching us another jingle, one that would make us feel guilty for eating the flesh of another living being…

Give me back that Filet-o-fish
Give me that fish
(aaahhh!)
Give me back that Filet-o-fish
Give me that fish

What if it were you hanging up on this wall
If it were you in that sandwich
You wouldn’t be laughing at all!
(aaahhh!)

turfmann on March 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

So enlighten us ernesto what is a calorie and how is it accurately measured. And be sure to distinguish between a physical science calorie and a biological science calorie.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM

justltl on March 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

With the menu written in 47 different languages, English somewhere in the middle just to show America isn’t ‘biased’ against anyone. Sanskrit, of course, should be at the top.

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM

See, this is where you assume too much Ed. Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are.

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

So if they don’t know what it is what good does it do to write it on the label?

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM

I feel the need to ReWrite™ the tease…

Law of unintended consequences.

steveegg on March 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM

When Big Business is in bed with Big Government, the people lose we have fascism.

To be fair, you’re right. The people definitely lose…

Vera on March 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

See, this is where you assume too much Ed. Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are. Is the way to fix that mandating every establishment in the whole country list calorie counts for everything? No. But in the interest of preventing that, there’s no need to give more credit than is due.

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

see this is your problem. You have bought the BIG LIE of liberals that the American people are stupid, uneducated hicks. Where the truth is that the American population is one if best educated populations in the wrold. where almo0st 35-40% of the adult population have a college degree and 80-85% have a high school degree.

for any of these rules and regulation to have meaning and gain passage the person passing them must believe that the american people are too stupid for their own good and thus they need to protect them.

The liberals/marxist think we are all misbehaving children in need of adult supervision. they need to shut up and sit down and leave me and my family the hell alone.

unseen on March 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Fox news has the Coffee Party babe on.
*groan*
IrishEi on March 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

It’s not as if she has anything else to do; meeting with the ten other pot heads to discuss Niebuhr and complain about Dubya gets old.

Bishop on March 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Maybe she has nothing better to do, but FOX News sure has more relevant things to talk about.

They probably just had her on for our amusement. Personally I’d rather watch dancing monkeys or something.

UltimateBob on March 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

You know, I would like to see if there has been any decrease at all in obesity rates following the mandate that pre-packaged food come with nutritional information. Everything I’ve heard is that we just keep getting fatter and fatter. What makes them think this will be any different?

Vera on March 28, 2010 at 12:57 PM

When single payer rolls around, the government will keep track of everything that you purchase.
And charge penalties for excess or inappropriate consumption.
It’s for the common good, comrades.

justltl on March 28, 2010 at 12:57 PM

I will believe that this law works when Big Bertha of ACORN only needs to buy one airline seat.

Electrongod on March 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Bertha? Heck, check out Obama’s Surgeon General, who is what my father would have called a “hefty gal.”

There was even some criticism of Obama’s nominating such a porker for Surgeon General, since she was supposed to be an example of good health.

Wethal on March 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

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