Archive for February 3, 2012
SOPA and PIPA are dead for now but there has been some activity from a site called buythevote that seems to have little interest in updating info. They erroneously claim that certain congressmen in the Iowa delegation have not stated public positions on these bills. NOT TRUE.
Area lawmakers oppose Internet piracy bills
Ed Tibbets reporting about eastern Iowa reps. and senators in the QC Times 1/20/12:
Sen. Chuck Grassley [after co-sponsoring PIPA in the Senate], along with Reps. Bruce Braley…and Dave Loebsack, all said they’re opposed to the bills known by their acronyms, SOPA and PIPA.
Senator Harkin’s office said he wanted to take time to review it.
Read the article here: qctimes.com/news/local/area-lawmakers-oppose-internet-piracy-bills/article
Boswell: Opposed – “I do not believe SOPA strikes the appropriate balance” Bleedingheartland
King’s position is unknown according to propublica.org but I have seen other postings indicating he is opposed.
Latham: Opposed according to propublica.org/
There is a bill in the Iowa legislature that would carve out special protections for factory farms by criminalizing whistleblowers who document practices on factory farms, making it harder to regulate the pollution they create.
This a blatant overreach by the factory farm industry to get legislation passed that would keep their practices secret and make it harder to hold them accountable.
Will you take action to ask your state Senator to block the “Ag Gag” bill from being passed?
We deserve to know how our food is raised.
Thirty-two million kids — 10 percent of the American population, and the future of the country — are about to start eating better. That’s the bottom line of the new Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) guidelines for government-subsidized school meals, announced last week. The new rules are the first changes to the program in 15 years, and come as part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.
This is the single most significant improvement the Obama administration has made in the realm of food. The rules will double the amount of fruits and vegetables served in schools, set limits on damaging trans fats and salt, increase the amount of whole grains served, make low-fat milk the norm and establish suitable ranges for daily caloric intake.
And, incredibly, the U.S.D.A. moves will cost less than half of the agency’s original proposal. Even more stunning is that it’s doing this by scaling back on meat.
Yes, the Obama administration has disappointed many of its enthusiastic supporters by reneging on campaign promises, a number of them food-related. But these particular changes deserve praise.
But let’s remember that a Republican administration likely would have moved school lunches even more in the direction they were headed: inferior versions of bad fast food. Read this article from 2003 about the desperate state of school lunches and you’ll appreciate how much progress is being made. (In short, the story is that the U.S.D.A. long purchased “surplus” beef and dairy and loaded school lunch menus with it. This was considered a win-win situation, because it gave farmers a safety net while schools got free food. But left out of the equation was what this actually meant for kids’ lunches, which became beefier and cheesier.)
Of course, the U.S.D.A. still supports (and makes unacceptable concessions to) industry, but these current guidelines are a major step away from that.
So their importance can barely be overstated: this is movement in the right direction.
The fact that industry lobbyists are griping demonstrates that; compromise, by its nature, can leave everyone dissatisfied. But after taking a beating for generations, advocates of good food should see the new guidelines as a real victory.