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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Well, obviously President Obama needs to appoint a food Tsar and an exercise Tsar……

Skandia Recluse on March 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Oh because I’m too stupid to know I’m ordering a wad of artery clogging nastiness when i get that Western Burger from Carl’s Jr. Thanks Nanny President and Congress for looking out!

jawkneemusic on March 28, 2010 at 12:59 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

Your screen name just jumped out at me on this one. I’ll bet if I mentioned an adiabatic calorimeter you’d know what it was.

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Who knew that the 111th adolescents placed in charge would start a food fight?

Americannodash on March 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM

There is no way to stop these control freaks.
Why?
Because they’re…uh…control freaks?

justltl on March 28, 2010 at 1:00 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

Cap and trade for calories around the corner. What is your calorie footprint?

Electrongod on March 28, 2010 at 1:00 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

Hey, that is the right kind of blubber. Calories to the right people!

Aviator on March 28, 2010 at 1:01 PM

So will chains with 20 or more locations be force to create a dummy corporation for 19 locations? How will this apply to wholely owned franchises?

docdave on March 28, 2010 at 1:01 PM

What makes you so sure?

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Dude, anybody over the age of about 15 who is, or has been fat, has been on a diet. And that means counting calories.

Most of my fat-a$$ed neighbors (and I include myself among the fat-a$$es) never attended college, and most are old enough to never have taken a health class. But they can probably tell you more about the caloric content of different foods than you can tell them.

My late (and “uneducated”) grandmother’s favorite joke: “There’s 15 calories in a potato chip [or whatever.] Take a big one.”

Whatever the complex causes of obesity, more posted information won’t address them.

notropis on March 28, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Cap and trade for calories around the corner. What is your calorie footprint?

Electrongod on March 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM

:-) Don’t know about my footprint buy my A$$print is pretty hefty :-) I luv Double Quarter Pounders with cheese!

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 1:03 PM

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

–Ayn Rand

anuts on March 28, 2010 at 1:03 PM

O/T
====
On CBC Radio,Cross Country Checkup,a Canadian call in show
across Canada,

will be discussing Ann Coulter at 1:05PM today!
===============================================
http://www.cbc.ca/checkup/

canopfor on March 28, 2010 at 1:04 PM

So when does the rebellion start?

No no! Not an effective and satisfyingly violent rebellion, you understand. Just a nice peaceful rebellion of the type that discussion of which would not result in my banning.
Yeah, that’s right, when does the nice calm peaceful rebellion start in earnest?

justltl on March 28, 2010 at 1:07 PM

O/T
===
On Cross Country Checkup: free speech

Wrong time,sorry,4:00 o`clock eastern time!!
——————————————–

canopfor on March 28, 2010 at 1:08 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

Okay, am I the only one who reaad this differently. To me it sounds like Ernesto is saying that people don’t know anything about their calorie needs anyway so why bother posting it. And that Ed was giving people too much credit. Not that he supported the idea. But maybe I’m wrong.

Deanna on March 28, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Maybe one where we all stand together and say, “Nee!” really forcefully, in keeping with the Monty Python spirit of things, eh?

justltl on March 28, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM

I would indeed.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Prohibition is a great analogy. People just won’t comply. There will be all sorts of “speakeasies” and bootlegging. Not just food. Docs will rent veterinary clinics and do procedures at night, off the books.

If we get past the coat hangers in back alleys propaganda, if you talk to women who were adults before Roe v. Wade, they’ll tell you that abortions may not have been legal, but they were easily available (if you had the money), and the doctors who performed them usually did so in safe, clinical settings.

The same will happen under ObamaCare and all the other efforts to make this a permanently leftist society. Every perceived intrusion into your own liberty will be resisted in the form of a black market.

It doesn’t matter if it’s toilets that can actually flush or illegal drugs, Americans generally ignore intrusive laws. Forcing compliance with stupid laws almost insures resistance.

rokemronnie on March 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

This sets up liability. Running a business in this industry already has a significant bulk of its time set aside for comliance. At some point, 50.1% or greater will be dedicated for this. The window for time and resources dedicated to making/saving money keeps getting smaller. Outrageous.

anuts on March 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

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

Okay, am I the only one who reaad this differently. To me it sounds like Ernesto is saying that people don’t know anything about their calorie needs anyway so why bother posting it. And that Ed was giving people too much credit. Not that he supported the idea. But maybe I’m wrong.

Deanna on March 28, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Ernie’s too smart for the rest of us./

His strange grammar and the use of the word “that“has left more than one wondering what he meant.

CWforFreedom on March 28, 2010 at 1:12 PM

There is nothing unintended in this bill…even leaving out the children was purposely done…so they can do another “fix”…

ladyingray on March 28, 2010 at 1:12 PM

I would indeed.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Thought so, I ran a water and coal analysis lab for about six years.

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 1:13 PM

An obvious strategy for the just-over-20-locations businessman is to simply estimate the nutritional information instead of getting a lab analysis. Who’s to say the Deluxe Pepperoni Calzoni has 1240 calories vs. 925? I haven’t read the enforcement clause of these regulations, but I doubt the Feds will have the resources to audit the likes of Davanni’s. (At least until the FDA gets its windfall from the inevitable VAT tax.)

KS Rex on March 28, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I coached a very good high school runner who saved his pennies so that when we went to the Mt. Sac Relays he could buy an IN-And-OUT Quadruple Double burger.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 1:14 PM

The camel is now fully inside of the tent…and he’s invited his buddies to join him.
Some of us saw this coming years ago with seatbelt legislation, PFD requirements, no smoking laws…on and on. We were scoffed at that this would lead to true nannystatism.

Chewy the Lab on March 28, 2010 at 1:16 PM

“One of the top priorities of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will be to ensure that the law is implemented effectively and does not have unintended consequences.”
(from Waxman’s letter to AT&T)

Quisp on March 28, 2010 at 1:16 PM

KS Rex on March 28, 2010 at 1:13 PM

I’m sure the wheat farmer thought the same until the feds hammered him. That “miscue” helped extend the commerce clause into areas no one believed possible.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Anyone know of a site that has all these little hidden goodies in the bill?

BallisticBob on March 28, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Quisp on March 28, 2010 at 1:16 PM

That just shows the ignorance of our kongress kritters. They don’t know that the SEC requires publicly held companies to disclose the effect of tax changes in the quarter they learn of them.

chemman on March 28, 2010 at 1:19 PM

His strange grammar and the use of the word “that“has left more than one wondering what he meant.

CWforFreedom on March 28, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Yeah, sort of like the meaning of “is.”
It’s always bothered me that fast food places are singled out when most restaurants have always had extremely high calorie and sodium menus.

Deanna on March 28, 2010 at 1:19 PM

We all know who is going to pay for these added costs, now, don’t we?

d1carter on March 28, 2010 at 1:19 PM

People just won’t comply. There will be all sorts of “speakeasies” and bootlegging. Not just food. Docs will rent veterinary clinics and do procedures at night, off the books.

[...]

Forcing compliance with stupid laws almost insures resistance.

rokemronnie on March 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Liability issues. I have a business in this industry. It is not wise to scuttle compliance. Especially in areas of health. If something, God forbid, happens to a patron and it can be shown that you were non compliant with anything (related or not) they will shut and lock your doors. Quickly. Who can afford that?

anuts on March 28, 2010 at 1:19 PM

10th Amendment? Anyone? 10th Amendment?

Akzed on March 28, 2010 at 1:21 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

A good lawyer should argue that the SCOTUS 40′s decsion was in effect a decision entered under the threat of FDR’s packing the court and is no different from a guy with a gun to his head siging the deed of his house over. and thus the “precedent” is null and void.

unseen on March 28, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Don’t most restaurants have a calorie, nutrition index for their customers in the restaurant? I know places like Panera, Starbucks, and Jamba Juice have all this information in the store as well as online. btw-did you know the whip cream on your espresso drink is an extra 100 calories?!?

So, rather than making individuals exert some initiative and energy to look at the nutritional index already available, the nanny state will force restaurants to comply with their dictate. Smart power strikes again.

conservative pilgrim on March 28, 2010 at 1:23 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

On the contrary, what makes you so sure plenty of people don’t know what a calorie is?

Alana on March 28, 2010 at 1:24 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

Naw, I practiced in Marion for 20 years and Harkin’s main support was the unions and university long hairs in Iowa City. The rest of eastern Iowa is reasonably conservative. He’s just got his foot in the incumbency door and leverages it. Plus, he’s good to the farmers and pork knows no party loyalty.

a capella on March 28, 2010 at 1:26 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

A rather exquisite point.

Alana on March 28, 2010 at 1:26 PM

How will this effect franchise owners? How much of the cost will they be forced to absorb?

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 28, 2010 at 1:28 PM

An obvious strategy for the just-over-20-locations businessman is to simply estimate the nutritional information instead of getting a lab analysis. Who’s to say the Deluxe Pepperoni Calzoni has 1240 calories vs. 925? I haven’t read the enforcement clause of these regulations, but I doubt the Feds will have the resources to audit the likes of Davanni’s. (At least until the FDA gets its windfall from the inevitable VAT tax.)

KS Rex on March 28, 2010 at 1:13 PM

The FDA has a year to write the rules. They may not allow estimating. They may be MORE likley to audit a smaller chain. The IRS thinking on audits is if they audit a high income earner they will get what ever monies they find in the audit, but if they audit a middle income earner they get that money plus scare a number of others into compliance. Why? The high income person sees the audit as a fact of life and does not discuss it much. The middle income person is terrified by the audit and talks to everyone they know about it.
News story on McDs being audited – Ho hum. Small chain whacked gets the notice of all the other small chains to a greater degree.

Aviator on March 28, 2010 at 1:29 PM

LOL, I’m reading this at work so I can’t play the video, but Ed, you’ve got me giggling just thinking about that sketch. “It wouldn’t be crunchy frog if we took the bones out!!!!!” I swear, that was one of the two biggest laughs you could hear from the studio audience in a Monty Python sketch. The other massive audience crackup? “Can you move ANY part of your body, Mr. Njorl?”

radjah shelduck on March 28, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Senator Harkin,

Which testing laboratory got the government contract to measure caloric content of all restaurant food items?
Is it an existing federal lab?
Is it located in Iowa?

lacerta on March 28, 2010 at 1:33 PM

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

Yep, my first thought was that Michelle had her fingers in this.

suzeecue on March 28, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Sounds like a overweight person could sue a restaurant by stating the calorie count could not be correct because of weight gain issues and then settle out of court – that would probably be cheaper for the restaurant . just saying

wheels on March 28, 2010 at 1:37 PM

It would just be easier and cheaper to require fast food place to put up a Surgeon General’s warning like on packs of cigarettes. That’ll take out all the guesswork about calories.

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM

This one takes the cake for me.

sherry on March 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Mmm. Cake!

Mr_Magoo on March 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM

It would just be easier and cheaper to require fast food place to put up a Surgeon General’s warning like on packs of cigarettes. That’ll take out all the guesswork about calories.

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM

It could say something like “Keep eating our greasy burgers and you will look like the Surgeon General.”

Aviator on March 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM

I’m surprised that Obamacare doesn’t require them to post the range of healthy caloric daily intakes for different age and sex categories. Seriously, if they want this to have any meaningful impact, in addition to spoonfeeding people the info about calories in what they order, they have to also be sure that they are provided with enough info to know whether it’s a lot.

But hey, the Dems are just getting started. I’m sure a future step will be to ban any meal that has more than 800 calories.

ProfessorMiao on March 28, 2010 at 1:48 PM

10th Amendment. Keep your stinking commerce clause rules out of my pocket. State governments MUST stand up to the federal tiger.

Dandapani on March 28, 2010 at 1:48 PM

I was sick of meddling neighbors long ago. A meddling government is overkill. Heaven save us from nosy federal bureaucrats. No one else will.

hachiban on March 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

So which of our Dem Senators and Reps is connected to the “meal in a box” industry? And how much have they donated to their campaigns?

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM

A huge burger with bacon and a whole mess of fires contains a whole bunch of calories?

Damn! Those damn burger joints! Why didn’t they tell us!?

I’m getting a lawyer!

Opposite Day on March 28, 2010 at 1:53 PM

A huge burger with bacon and a whole mess of fires contains a whole bunch of calories?

Opposite Day on March 28, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Sounds like supper has been chosen!

ladyingray on March 28, 2010 at 1:56 PM

This is just a feel-good rule, nothing with any bite to it (no pun intended this time, I promise!).

This MedCare thing was written long before it even came before Congress. Everybody who had anything to say got to weigh in. After months–maybe years–of tweaking and modifying, the bills were presented to each house of Congress.

Like tyranny, stupidity knows no bounds.

No one not suffering an ailment or on a diet cares about calories. Those with diabetes, for example, and those trying to lose weight won’t be going to a fast-food restaurant.

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Actually, dear Ed Morrissey, I’d be more interested in your analysis of another Section of the Bill:

SEE:
http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/

Small excerpt:

SEC. 430. ESTABLISHING A READY RESERVE CORPS.

Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204) is amended to read as follows:

SEC. 203. COMMISSIONED CORPS AND READY RESERVE CORPS.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT.­

(1) IN GENERAL.­ There shall be in the Service a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of national emergency.

(2) REQUIREMENT.­ All commissioned officers shall be citizens of the United States and shall be appointed without regard to the civil-service laws and compensated without regard to the Classification Act of 1923, as amended.

Lockstein13 on March 28, 2010 at 2:02 PM

A huge burger with bacon and a whole mess of fires contains a whole bunch of calories?

Damn! Those damn burger joints! Why didn’t they tell us!?

I’m getting a lawyer!

Opposite Day on March 28, 2010 at 1:53 PM

You do that, then call me. In the meantime, I’m getting that burger with bacon and fries. Want me to order you the same? I’m buying, of course! LOL

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Lockstein13 on March 28, 2010 at 2:02 PM

He already addressed that issue yesterday.

conservative pilgrim on March 28, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Lockstein13 on March 28, 2010 at 2:02 PM

There was a post yesterday.

Aviator on March 28, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Someone please photoshop a synthesizer below O’s hands in that picture.

carbon_footprint on March 28, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Excellent analysis Ed. We know what must be done… Repeal ObamaCare.

El_Terrible on March 28, 2010 at 2:15 PM

carbon_footprint on March 28, 2010 at 2:14 PM

I thought he was imitating a zombie Obama voter heading to the voting booth.

Aviator on March 28, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Anyone know of a site that has all these little hidden goodies in the bill?

BallisticBob on March 28, 2010 at 1:19 PM

What, you did not read the bill posted online 72 hours, or was it 5 days, in advance?

AnotherOpinion on March 28, 2010 at 2:17 PM

This sets up liability. Running a business in this industry already has a significant bulk of its time set aside for comliance. At some point, 50.1% or greater will be dedicated for this. The window for time and resources dedicated to making/saving money keeps getting smaller. Outrageous.

anuts on March 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

I can concur with this huge cost to comply with “good intentioned” laws. My company went from a business plan on paper 3 years ago, all the way through the “going public” and getting our trading symbol phase. To comply with all of the onerous regulations between SOX, SEC, etc etc, we probably spent 80% of our operating capital on CPAs, auditors and attorneys. It is ridiculous.

karenhasfreedom on March 28, 2010 at 2:18 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

That’s not a very nice thing to say about Ernesto. True, but not nice. :P

jimmy2shoes on March 28, 2010 at 2:18 PM

To comply with all of the onerous regulations between SOX, SEC, etc etc, we probably spent 80% of our operating capital on CPAs, auditors and attorneys. It is ridiculous.

karenhasfreedom on March 28, 2010 at 2:18 PM

No doubt many of those regulations are there specifically to fatten attorney’s wallets.

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Government, get the hell out of our lives!

carbon_footprint on March 28, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Aviator on March 28, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Haha!

carbon_footprint on March 28, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Heh. Since “healthy” entrees and sides have to be analyzed the same as “bad” ones, there’s now an additional cost to introducing new menu items. Incentive for restaurants to keep the Artery-Clogger Burger with Megaton Fries on the menu instead of offering a new “Small slab of dry white chicken on bed of weeds” in its place.

Radish on March 28, 2010 at 2:32 PM

This one takes the cake for me.

sherry on March 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Mmm. Cake!

Mr_Magoo on March 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM

The cake is a lie!

Dark-Star on March 28, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Then there are the ‘specials’ of things not permanent but only served for a few days… the return of the blackboard to the diner! The burger with plain bun for a few days then the one with the sesame seed bun for a few days then the one with the poppyseed but for a few days…

I miss those days at the diner with the blackboard. They are returning.

ajacksonian on March 28, 2010 at 2:34 PM

People with special dietary concerns of any kind can just eat at home, yes?

Newsflash for moron Obama voters – Big Macs, Whoppers, Pizza, donuts and KFC have a lot of calroies.

Maybe some rich moonbats can get together and open a McSprouts or Tofu King.

reaganaut on March 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

From the article:

It was added to the health bill with the support of the restaurant industry, which is facing different laws from cities and states.

What they don’t tell you is the big chains like these types of regulations because they can easily absorb the costs while it puts the squeeze on their smaller competitors.

Where do the Feds get the authority to mandate this? Maybe for big chains, but if all of the restaurants are in one state, how do the Feds have jurisdiction?

Heywood U. Reedmore on March 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Maybe some rich moonbats can get together and open a McSprouts or Tofu King.

reaganaut on March 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

LOL That’ll go the way of Air America.

I’m waiting to see the test results that soy also causes cancer. Give it time. It’ll happen.

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Politicians are so very stupid…

To believe this will help people eat better one must believe that people that eat at McDonalds have no idea it is fattening. LOL

jeffn21 on March 28, 2010 at 2:41 PM

What they don’t tell you is the big chains like these types of regulations because they can easily absorb the costs while it puts the squeeze on their smaller competitors.

Yep, that’s why GE has been positioning itself for certain regulations.

I imagine it also lowers their liability. I remember seeing stories of fat, stupid people with lawsuits. Not sure how those all turned out.

reaganaut on March 28, 2010 at 2:42 PM

How’d you like to be the most underperforming store in a 20 store chain now?

I’m sure more and more things will be coming out, in this bill and others. What is amazing to me, is that the Dems are doing things that are pro-big business and anti small-medium business.

In general everything is against private business, but the small ones are really getting nailed.

reaganaut on March 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Look for lab technicians to be unionized soon.

neobadger on March 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Somebody had to do it just for this thread.

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

What they don’t tell you is the big chains like these types of regulations because they can easily absorb the costs while it puts the squeeze on their smaller competitors.

Yeah, it’s too bad this law says specifies chains. When the places Rich Liberal Snobs Brag About Going Instead of Chilis–four-stars, mom-and-pops, vegan cafes, etc–started closing, they might start to realize their freedoms are being eroded.

Well, maybe.

Radish on March 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Forcing compliance with stupid laws almost insures resistance.

rokemronnie on March 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Yep. Remember the 55 MPH national speed limit? It was so stupid even the highway patrol wouldn’t enforce it.

BacaDog on March 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Obongocare burger = 3 trillion calories, pure saturated fat.

Western_Civ on March 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

totally OT, but my son posted this article to his FB page! I must have done something right that he found HA on his own and is reading the postings. There is hope for the next generation!

Willie on March 28, 2010 at 3:02 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

Revelation 13:16 – 17

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

I DO NOT believe that The One is the anti-christ.

But I sure do see things being set up for his arrival.

Can’t happen here though.

Talon on March 28, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Senator Harkin,

Which testing laboratory got the government contract to measure caloric content of all restaurant food items?
Is it an existing federal lab?
Is it located in Iowa?

lacerta on March 28, 2010 at 1:33 PM

You ought to drive by it. It is on I-35 and is on the extreme east side of town. It looks ominous. The funny thing is there is tons of open space not being utilized. Many pens with no animals.

Rndguy on March 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

I remember when we used to have underground radio and newspapers, even comics,,, now can we look forward to underground hamburgers?

tinkerthinker on March 28, 2010 at 3:07 PM

“No soup Big Mac for you!”

You’re going to be healthy — – and like it, or BamBam will throw a tantrum on your ass.

hillbillyjim on March 28, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Can’t happen here though.

Talon on March 28, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Ummm … nay, of course not, not here.

darwin on March 28, 2010 at 3:22 PM

So will chains with 20 or more locations be force to create a dummy corporation for 19 locations? How will this apply to wholely owned franchises?

docdave on March 28, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Incorporate blocks of 19 locations in Dubai, and apply for foreign aid while you are at it. The reach of these control freaks knows no bounds.

Mini-14 on March 28, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Well I guess this is the end of specials at restaurants. I used to enjoy those, sometimes.

Joe Caps on March 28, 2010 at 3:38 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

Control.

As ‘healthcare reform’ isn’t about improving healthcare, as ‘cap & trade’ isn’t about sound energy policy or improving AGW, as ‘the stimulus bill’ wasn’t about stimulating the private sector or improving private sector employment, etc – this isn’t about improving health of restaurant customers either.

Midas on March 28, 2010 at 3:40 PM

How come Big, Fat, Bloated, Obese Government never goes on a diet?

Noel on March 28, 2010 at 3:47 PM

By the way, like the incentives Ed mentions to close restaurants, I saw a businessman on the news who had thirty employees. Some had insurance, some didn’t. But if he insured them all, he would get big tax breaks…IF he got the number of employees down to 25.

It’s hard to believe this is an accident anymore. In fact, I don’t.

They must think that the only way to transform a capitalist economy into a socialist economy is to wreck it first. Nothing else explains it.

Noel on March 28, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Me: I’ll have a big mac and large fries please

Mrs: Hold on take a look at the calorie count firrs

Me: WHHHHHHAHAAAAA? A Big Mac is more than 60 calories. Never mind, I’ll go home and have a salad.

Yeah that’s likely to happen. /s

angryed on March 28, 2010 at 3:54 PM

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

You should encourage Davani’s to sue the federal government over this regulation. Since they have all of their locations within Minnesota, they are not participating in interstate commerce. As such it is probably unconstitutional for the federal government to regulate them in this manner.

Hawthorne on March 28, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Arrgh. This reminds me of when I was president of our neighborhood swim team and the board was debating what to offer in our concession stand. Two of the members were Michelle Obama/Jamie Oliver types who insisted that we offer only healthy snacks but the rest of us wanted to make a profit. The nannies were appalled that some parents let their kids buy “too much” candy. I said we were not in the business of policing parents but making a profit. The nannies took that with unhappy, pressed-lip silence but I was president (my own personal “I won” moment) and we made a good profit that season. The next year the nannies were in charge and they closed the season with a fire sale of all that wonderful, healthy food that no one had bought. These food do-gooders have lead-lined craniums that are just impenetrable to any common sense ideas.

inmypajamas on March 28, 2010 at 4:32 PM

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