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Can fat-busting send The Huckster to the White House?

The rising number of fat people in America isn’t necessarily a big plus for him.

Fat people know why we are fat. We eat and drink too much and exercise too little.

Fat people generally respect people like the governor, who’s taken weight off and, so far, kept it off. But they’re less appreciative of preaching. A little sanctimony about self-control is enough to send me to the Oreos.

Think about it. Who, really, would choose to be fat, given society’s disapproval and the width of airline seats? I still remember with admittedly malicious glee the doctor who gave me a pre-employment physical back in 1973. He lectured me about my weight, told me I’d likely die young. He said he was sure he could take me, a former high school basketball player, in a game of one-on-one. Not long after the lecture, he died of a heart attack.

Huckabee’s personal witness to better health is an admirable thing. If he can modulate the preaching, it might translate to votes, even among fat people. Too bad his official record isn’t so inspiring.

Of late, he’s been complaining about the special masters’ clear and convincing finding that the legislature had retreated from meeting the mandates of the Lake View school funding decision. Huckabee insists, in one relevant instance, that it’s unfair to say that his call for more physical activity for kids in school was an “unfunded mandate.”

Of course it was. And a good one. The problem is that the state doesn’t mandate enough and Huckabee advocates preaching over action. The state should require a daily physical education class for students. The classes could teach lifelong activities. Students need not be tortured by squat thrusts and rope climbing. It would be enough to have them walk around the track for 30 minutes. The cost of PE teachers to oversee students would be recouped many times over in lower health care costs.

And then there’s the matter of school vending machines. Huckabee has made a lot of noise about how the state has moved to discourage them in schools. Big deal. Soda pop contracts run most of the coming decade in many school districts. Most school districts still sell soft drinks on campus and have no intention of stopping. Adding juice drinks to the vending mix is only the barest of fig leafs. A 12-ounce can of orange juice has the same number of calories as a Coke or a Budweiser.

Why should high schools be convenience stores anyway? There were NO vending machines in the high school I attended in the dark ages of the 1960s. We had water fountains when we were thirsty. Cokes were a treat, not a surgical attachment to our hands. (In high school days, perhaps as a partial consequence, I was relatively lean. But when the band was selling World’s Finest Chocolate bars, watch out!)

Vending machines have nothing to do with serving students. Schools are addicted to the money they raise from students’ sugar addiction. Huckabee, in turn, is addicted to special interest money. So he refuses to crack down on school vending machines or, to name another area where his talk isn’t backed up by action, smoking in public places. Voters should judge him by official deeds, not his waistline.






Fat people generally respect people like the governor, who’s taken weight off and, so far, kept it off. But they’re less appreciative of preaching. A little sanctimony about self-control is enough to send me to the Oreos.

Think about it. Who, really, would choose to be fat, given society’s disapproval and the width of airline seats? I still remember with admittedly malicious glee the doctor who gave me a pre-employment physical back in 1973. He lectured me about my weight, told me I’d likely die young. He said he was sure he could take me, a former high school basketball player, in a game of one-on-one. Not long after the lecture, he died of a heart attack.

Huckabee’s personal witness to better health is an admirable thing. If he can modulate the preaching, it might translate to votes, even among fat people. Too bad his official record isn’t so inspiring.

Of late, he’s been complaining about the special masters’ clear and convincing finding that the legislature had retreated from meeting the mandates of the Lake View school funding decision. Huckabee insists, in one relevant instance, that it’s unfair to say that his call for more physical activity for kids in school was an “unfunded mandate.”

Of course it was. And a good one. The problem is that the state doesn’t mandate enough and Huckabee advocates preaching over action. The state should require a daily physical education class for students. The classes could teach lifelong activities. Students need not be tortured by squat thrusts and rope climbing. It would be enough to have them walk around the track for 30 minutes. The cost of PE teachers to oversee students would be recouped many times over in lower health care costs.

And then there’s the matter of school vending machines. Huckabee has made a lot of noise about how the state has moved to discourage them in schools. Big deal. Soda pop contracts run most of the coming decade in many school districts. Most school districts still sell soft drinks on campus and have no intention of stopping. Adding juice drinks to the vending mix is only the barest of fig leafs. A 12-ounce can of orange juice has the same number of calories as a Coke or a Budweiser.

Why should high schools be convenience stores anyway? There were NO vending machines in the high school I attended in the dark ages of the 1960s. We had water fountains when we were thirsty. Cokes were a treat, not a surgical attachment to our hands. (In high school days, perhaps as a partial consequence, I was relatively lean. But when the band was selling World’s Finest Chocolate bars, watch out!)

Vending machines have nothing to do with serving students. Schools are addicted to the money they raise from students’ sugar addiction. Huckabee, in turn, is addicted to special interest money. So he refuses to crack down on school vending machines or, to name another area where his talk isn’t backed up by action, smoking in public places. Voters should judge him by official deeds, not his waistline.




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