Soda jerks: NYC health inspectors to deploy with 17-ounce measuring cups tomorrow; Update: NY judge invalidates soda ban

posted at 3:46 pm on March 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

In a sane world, the moment Bloomberg found himself special-ordering custom-sized government-issued drinking glasses for city bureaucrats would have been the moment the fever broke and he realized that his stunningly successful career in finance and politics had ended in ruin and insanity. But no, apparently this is happening. Tomorrow.

Coming next: Size regulations on cup manufacturers?

The Health Department will begin implementing routine inspections to make sure eateries, including sit down restaurants and fast food chains, are not selling sugary beverages in servings larger than 16 ounces.

Those inspectors will have specially ordered measuring cups to help them enforce the new rule, Deputy Health Commissioner Daniel Kass said in an affidavit recently filed as part of the legal challenge to Bloomberg’s anti-big-soda policy…

‘The measuring cups that we will be issuing … will be able to contain 17 fluid ounces,’ Kass said. Inspectors will issue violations when a cup is found to ‘clearly exceed’ 16 ounces ‘when measured in the inspector’s measuring cup,’ he added.

There’s a profitable comedy to be made, probably starring Ben Stiller or Seth Rogen, about the life of an overzealous New York City soft-drink inspector and his mission to clean up the mean streets one fluid ounce at a time. And if you live in the city and you’re thinking about voting with your feet, bad news — the nanny-in-chief’s hoping to take this thing global:

“Everybody across this country should do it,” said Bloomberg, who has already called for the state to bar sugary soda over 16 ounces in stores.

And, he suggested, the crusade might not even stop there.

“In fact, obesity is a problem around the world,” he said. “It’s getting to be as serious if not more so than smoking.”

He said tough moves are necessary because the obesity epidemic will “bankrupt” the healthcare system – and, he suggested, because fat people can’t do their jobs as well as those in better shape.

Here’s the city’s fact sheet (in PDF form) to help restaurants, coffee shops, and convenient stores figure out if they’re bound by the new regulations or not. As was clear from the very beginning, the most arresting thing about Bloomberg’s ban is how haphazard it is. Jacob Sullum at Reason has a nice short dissection of that. Case in point: A 20-ounce black coffee is okay unless it has more than “about as much as three teaspoons” of sugar in it, although if half or more of the coffee is composed of milk (i.e. a latte) then the restaurant can add as much sugar as it likes because the nutritional value of milk somehow magically neutralizes the sugar and makes that concoction healthy-ish. (Sullum notes that a 60-calorie black coffee at Starbucks with four spoonfuls of sugar is banned while a milky 640-calorie large hot chocolate with whipped cream is fine.) But mind you, these restrictions apply only to the restaurant. If you like your coffee black and want a pound of sugar in there, no problem; just add the sugar yourself instead of asking Starbucks to do it behind the counter and you’re golden.

Another example? Okay: Bowling alleys, which you might visit once or twice a year if you’re an average New Yorker, are strictly bound by the city’s new regulations because they serve prepared food. Not bound: The neighborhood 7-11, which isn’t similarly regulated by the health department. That means that the fabled Big Gulp, the scourge of Bloomberg’s dream of shrinking waist sizes by shrinking sugary drinks, is still A-OK. But then, that’s likely by design. This scheme, like so many other liberal regulatory schemes these days, needs to fail in its objective so that more aggressive regulation can be undertaken. It’s win/win for Bloomberg. If there’s a very minor bit of weight loss among New Yorkers, that’s proof that this is “working” but could work better if he clamped down a bit more. If it doesn’t lead to weight loss, that’s proof that he needs to clamp down a lot more to make a dent. The fact that the ban is arbitrary isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.

Update: Apparently there is still such a thing as “too arbitrary.” Wow:

The city is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling decided Monday.

The regulations are “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences,” the judge wrote. “The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole….the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule.”

Looks like Bloomberg will have to move immediately to Plan B: More comprehensive regulation.


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red_herring hardest hit.

jawkneemusic on March 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

NY is the neo-Fatherland.

FloatingRock on March 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

This is a riot. I mean, come on. Stores and restaurants should be able to sell whatever size sodas they want. Let people decide whatever they want to buy.

Can’t do that, people might make the wrong choice. Since government is there to protect the people, it has to protect them from themselves.

Socratease on March 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Bloomers now guzzling an 18 oz mocha with extra sugar and whipped creme in the light of day.

LetsBfrank on March 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

When the ruling was announced, there were Big Gulps in the gallery.

In several different flavors.

IndieDogg on March 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM

From RWMs link:

Mayor Bloomberg has demanded that hospitals stop handing out baby formula to persuade more new mothers to breastfeed their babies.

Will inspectors check to make sure breast milk isn’t being served from containers larger than 16 ozs?

Where can I apply for that job?

BobMbx on March 11, 2013 at 5:00 PM

“Ha ha ha. Women have b00bs. Women make milk for their babies in those. I can out myself as a sexual pervert by fantasizing about women breastfeeding their children.”
- BobMbx

cptacek on March 11, 2013 at 5:17 PM

cptacek on March 11, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Hhahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

BobMbx on March 11, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Geez, I hope these people stay in these crazy states. We’re having our own problems with transplanted people from California and Nevada in Colorado. Michelle Malkin said that the State Rep who introduced the bill in Colorado on limiting the rounds of ammo withdrew the bill today.

lea on March 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Napolianic complex?

bw222 on March 11, 2013 at 5:35 PM

“I can’t tell you what I said on David Letterman…”

What a putz.

Kensington on March 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

“…to save each other…”

God save us.

Kensington on March 11, 2013 at 5:55 PM

No comment on the number of subway deaths, nor any action by the Board of Health to ban subways.

BobMbx on March 11, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Geez, I hope these people stay in these crazy states. We’re having our own problems with transplanted people from California and Nevada in Colorado. Michelle Malkin said that the State Rep who introduced the bill in Colorado on limiting the rounds of ammo withdrew the bill today.

lea on March 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Really? I hadn’t seen/heard that yet.

dentarthurdent on March 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM

“Nanny Bloomberg’s Gulpstapo is defeated.” – @SooperMexican

Resist We Much on March 11, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Isn’t it just so “bloomberg”. Anyone who spends any time in New York can attest to the fact that under Bloomberg the city is heading back toward the Dinken Days – dirty streets, more crime and no leadership.
Dinkens will be sending Inspectors around to harass legitimate business owners over the size of a soda instead of focusing on the real problems in New York.

IlonaE on March 11, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Let people decide whateverwhoever they want to buy vote for without having to read my bullcrap..

bluegill on March 11, 2013 at 3:51 PM

katy the mean old lady on March 11, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Geez, I hope these people stay in these crazy states. We’re having our own problems with transplanted people from California and Nevada in Colorado. Michelle Malkin said that the State Rep who introduced the bill in Colorado on limiting the rounds of ammo withdrew the bill today.

lea on March 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I’ve looked everywhere I can and see nothing about this.
The only 2 withdrawn or killed so far have been the manufacturer liability and concealed carry on campuses.

dentarthurdent on March 11, 2013 at 6:13 PM

In his ruling, Judge Tingling found the Board of Health’s mission is to protect New Yorkers by providing regulations that protect against diseases. Those powers, he argued, don’t include the authority to “limit or ban a legal item under the guise of ‘controlling chronic disease.’ ”

Actually, this is a pretty good rebuke of the Nanny statist. Mr.Tingling has my leg tingling.

fatlibertarianinokc on March 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

WTF is wrong with the likes of Bloomberg? These types have no problem with a child’s choice to terminate the life of an unborn child for goodness’ sakes. We’re talking about adults choosing to drink soda? This world’s insane.

CW on March 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”

- Frederick Douglass

“In questions of power . . . let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

- Thomas Jefferson

“Republicans are going to put y’all back in chains.’

- Vice-President Joe Biden

No, Joe, the American people are gonna put y’all (politicians like you and Bloomie) back in chains…the chains of the Constitution!

Resist We Much on March 11, 2013 at 6:19 PM

In the eyes of the cultural elite aristocracy, a civilized person may buy an extra large bottle of soda at a supermarket to serve at a dinner party where there’s a separate table for screaming dirty little brats. But only a gluttonous, uncultured peasant would buy such a big drink from a fast food place or street cart vendor.

Like everything that Liberals do, this was all about working towards turning America into a country where all power resides in the hands of the government, who serve as the standard bearers of cultural elitism. And the citizens have to choose whether they want to go along with the government and be considered one of the smart and sophisticated people, or if they want to go against the government and be pegged as stupid, ignorant, and not worthy of being taken seriously.

The goal of Socialism: 1. Destroy the entrepreneurial middle class (otherwise known as the nouveau riche or bourgeoisie) so that…. 2. The government can then control all of the people by buying off the poor with handouts and buying off the rich by cutting deals with them. 3. Get the people to go along with having the government tell them what to do by convincing them (with lots of help from the MSM, Hollywood and academia) that if they agree with the government’s policies they can feel good about themselves for being so enlightened.

ardenenoch on March 11, 2013 at 6:34 PM

End result: more government jobs?

Don L on March 11, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Now we know why Bloomberg wants to ban guns. Showing up at some places with a 17-ounce measuring cup would not end well unless you’ve already disarmed the lucky — uhh — measurees.

tom on March 11, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Mika (Morning Schmoe) will be most displeased tomorrow…

Decoski on March 11, 2013 at 6:46 PM

This is the essence of the control freak “don’t impose your values on us” hypocrite leftists.
.
They are all about making society conform to their ‘progressive’ Utopian vision of the way individuals should behave “for their own good”.
.
They are the ultimate tyrants and liberty destroyers. It’s a time old story.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 11, 2013 at 6:50 PM

This is the essence of the control freak “don’t impose your values on us” hypocrite leftists.
,,,,

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 11, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Abortions for all. 20 ounce Cokes for none.

CW on March 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Liberals cry *raaaaciiiist* any minute now as Bloomberg voices disagreement with ALL-BLACK judge…

Humph, I could have sworn…

Nutstuyu on March 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Mel Gibson’s patriot celebrates this newfound freedom with another kiss to his super hot ex-sister-in-law.

Now if only we could change those bigoted colonial marriage laws.

Nutstuyu on March 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM

*in his best braveheart voice* freeeddoommmmmmmm

sadsushi on March 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Oh no!! Will the libs decry Tingly to be an “activist” judge”? Or does the left just use the word activist when they mean they disagree with the decision? Answer – yes

VengeanceIsMine on March 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

NYC = one nanny + 8,000,000 babies.

VorDaj on March 11, 2013 at 9:34 PM

I’d be thinking, as a restaurateur, that maybe I could name a 32 oz drink the “Doomberg” or “Bloomers” or something.

ProfShadow on March 11, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Here’s the problem – When all of the fat is between one’s ears, how do we convince the good Mayor to diet it away.

EdmundBurke247 on March 11, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it:

I am seriously addicted to Coca-cola. Have been for years. I can drink 3-4 Super Big Gulps a day. Absolutely. Now, they’ll have a lot of ice in them, but think about this for a second. 3 SBGs a day, at a minimum. They hold 44 ounces. Cut that by 1/2, to be generous. So, I can drink, at a minimum, 66 oz. of Coke a day.

At a minimum.

I’m a serious addict.

No sh*t.

I’ve got a real problem, don’t I? Something needs to stop this. Or I’m going to see some significant, and permanent, repercussions in the near future. I’m 47 years old, and I’ve been supporting this habit for years.

Wait. No I haven’t.

I stopped cold-turkey at the beginning of September, last year.

I haven’t had a Coke in six months.

At all.

Guess what. Nanny Bloomberg had nothing to do with this.

I decided, of my own free will, that I’d done enough damage to my body. I quit. On my own.

Have I had an occasional soda (like a root beer or birch beer)? Yep. Maybe one a week, max. But that’s it. Am I still completely “addicted” to Coke? And the caffeine rush it provides? Yep. Think about it every day.

But I’ve lost 20+ pounds since then. My back problems, while still extant, are significantly reduced, due to the weight loss. I’m feeling waaaay better about myself. I sleep better, I eat better, I look better. (if I do say so myself…)

It’s not up to some BS nanny-statist to tell me how to take care of myself. I’m completely capable of doing that myself, thankyouverymuch. I made a decision that the costs of the short-term rush from feeding the addiction far outweighed the costs of the damage to my body.

I made that decision. Nobody else.

And the same is true of every single person on this planet. Circumstances be damned. You got a problem? Deal with it. Don’t rely on Nanny Bloomberg, or whoever, to make that decision for you.

You may breath a sigh of relief that he’s removed the temptation of the Super Big Gulp from you this time. But what about next time? How about that steak that you really want, because a high-protein diet is just what the doctor ordered to reduce your weight and cholesterol levels? What if beef is banned? Because your betters know that eating meat is “bad” for you? What about gasoline? Because of “global warming”? What about any type of alcohol?

And the list goes on.

The way you live your life is up to you. Nobody else.

Period.

This libertarian rant brought to you by the letters N-U-K-E-M-H-I-L-L.

nukemhill on March 11, 2013 at 11:15 PM

The regulations are “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences,” ……the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule.”

And that there pretty much sums up any liberal policy. See Obamacare.

BacaDog on March 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM

No humiliation would too great to make me grin like Vir at the pike-puss of Mr Morden, should it befall this witless, importunate gelding of a “man.”

What a thoroughgoing dictator (and hold the ‘tater, please).

Noocyte on March 12, 2013 at 12:09 AM

Ya know what is really sad and scary? There is more outrage at a proposed ban on large soft drinks than there is over a possible ban on the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution.

The Notorious G.O.P on March 12, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Bloomberg should be water-boarded with Coke for his stupidity.

Apparently New York City has so few problems that The Nanny is left with restricting the use of soda. It that’s the case, furlough his entire administration, since everything is running so well.

When will New Yorkers man up and get this idiot off the front page and out of City Hall?

virgo on March 12, 2013 at 3:54 AM

The city is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling decided Monday.

DAMN! And TruTV was getting ready to premiere their new reality show “NYC Pop Cop”!

Guess they’ll have to settle for reruns of Hardcore Pawn instead!

pilamaye on March 12, 2013 at 5:44 AM

I believe I heard the mayor was on Letterman last night saying something to the effect that obese kids will outnumber underfed kids in the US for the first time ever, which leads me to think it is not sugary drinks that is leading to obesity but those dang federal food stamps that are the root cause of obesity. So, Mayor Nanny, are you going to propose we cut drastically food stamps?

stop2think on March 12, 2013 at 6:56 AM

I believe I heard the mayor was on Letterman last night saying something to the effect that obese kids will outnumber underfed kids in the US for the first time ever, which leads me to think it is not sugary drinks that is leading to obesity but those dang federal food stamps that are the root cause of obesity. So, Mayor Nanny, are you going to propose we cut drastically food stamps?

stop2think on March 12, 2013 at 6:56 AM

Sean Hannity played a clip yesterday of Michelle Obama dreaming of a world where children are pleading for and throwing temper tantrums if they don’t get whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Since clearly the problem is feeding children I’ve got to ask why Michelle Obama hates children. ;0

Seriously, Unless and until Bloomberg can show a direct connection between sugary drinks and obesity, he can go Fluke himself to reference yet another area where government has no business issuing mandates.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2013 at 7:21 AM

DAMN! And TruTV was getting ready to premiere their new reality show “NYC Pop Cop”!

Guess they’ll have to settle for reruns of Hardcore Pawn instead!

pilamaye on March 12, 2013 at 5:44 AM

I hope that was only a working title because nobody outside the midwest calls soda “pop.” In NYC, a Pop Cop would be the guys that round up deadbeat dads. ;0

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Well now that he cant ban it outright time for a sin tax. I think a 2 dollar tax will do. So your big gulp now cost 5 bucks. Enjoy NYers

watertown on March 12, 2013 at 7:31 AM

The city is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling decided Monday.

The regulations are “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences,” the judge wrote. “The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole….the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule.”

Amazing. There is still some shred of sanity in New York.

Bitter Clinger on March 12, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Sean Hannity played a clip yesterday of Michelle Obama dreaming of a world where children are pleading for and throwing temper tantrums if they don’t get whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2013 at 7:21 AM

I would challenge Obama show one example, just one, in human history past/present/future, where children are having temper tantrums over not getting whole grains!

The woman is a complete imbecilic idiot living in her own hermetically sealed universe!

pilamaye on March 12, 2013 at 8:24 AM

When I started working at Wendy’s 25 years ago, a Small Drink was 12 oz., a Medium was 16 oz. and Large was 20 oz. What was Large then is a Small Drink today.

That said, I always thought the soda size regulations were ridiculous. And to hear Nanny Bloomberg sound so sanctimonious with his “we have a responsibility” talk, and the fact that he had his Pop Police ready to roll with their measuring cups, makes me glad that I don’t live anywhere near there. (My cousin, on the other hand… her family’s in Union City, NJ. Lord have mercy on her.)

TMOverbeck on March 12, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Sean Hannity played a clip yesterday of Michelle Obama dreaming of a world where children are pleading for and throwing temper tantrums if they don’t get whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Reminds me of those Hidden Valley Ranch commercials, where the carnivals serve only veggies to happy kids. I bet Michelle wishes she lived there.

TMOverbeck on March 12, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Careful there, that seemed like 17 ounces of sugary sweet snark! Delicious.

scalleywag on March 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Sean Hannity played a clip yesterday of Michelle Obama dreaming of a world where children are pleading for and throwing temper tantrums if they don’t get whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Happy Nomad on March 12, 2013 at 7:21 AM

I would challenge Obama show one example, just one, in human history past/present/future, where children are having temper tantrums over not getting whole grains!
pilamaye on March 12, 2013 at 8:24 AM

The closest you could get are the countries run by tyrannical dictators like Obumble where kids regularly plead and beg for FOOD – ANY FOOD.

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Tell the damn companies and leave us citizens alone. If it wernt available we wouldnt gorge ourselves on it. Marijuana included. Thats the next disaster in the making.

johnnyU on March 12, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Mike, the pint-sized tyrant of Gracie Mansion, has 27 billion dollars and must be totally bored being the biggest stiff in NYC.

He has been a democrat, republican and an independent, so he has a form of political Attention Deficit Disorder.

He must have more serious things in mind than soda, right?. Apparently not! It seems his philanthropic health projects have overtaken any municipal agenda he may have once had. He’s not governing, just being a particularly tedious benefactor.

He should travel, see the world, play some shuffleboard, get a hobby.

virgo on March 14, 2013 at 1:35 AM

Still a judge in NY that isn’t owned by the LEFT?

That’s hard to believe.

Axion on March 14, 2013 at 9:14 AM

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