Inside the Beltway

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WANT FRIES WITH THAT?

Uh-oh. First lady Michelle Obama is not going to like this.New research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that the 30 million kids who eat school lunches served in the federal government’s National School Lunch Program are more likely to become overweight.

Mrs. Obama is acutely interested in slimming down the nation’s youngsters.

“The fact that federally funded school lunches contribute to the childhood-obesity epidemic is disconcerting, although not altogether surprising,” says Southern Methodist University economist Daniel L. Millimet, who led the study of 13,500 elementary school students, who were followed for several years.

It revealed that the prevalence of chubby children in the program had jumped by 19 percent, because the challenge to create healthy but “inviting” lunches is daunting, while cash-strapped schools sell goodies to children who’d much rather lunch on chips than carrots.

AN OILY BUSINESS

Yes, just imagine the media coverage if President George W. Bush had been the main player here.

“A president with close ties to an oil company helping hide the magnitude and damage of an oil spill would be big news, if he were a conservative. But it seems even when the environmentalists and the left are upset over President Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill, the national news media barely notice,” says Business and Media Institute analyst Julia Seymour.

She tracked the coverage to find that ABC and CBS parroted back Obama administration energy adviser Carol Browner’s claim that the “vast majority of the oil” was gone, with NBC offering just a modicum of dispute. Meanwhile, all three networks skimmed over outrage. Since Aug. 4, the broadcasters aired 61 oil- spill stories mentioning the oil spill, Ms. Seymour says. But only six included skeptics like Gulf fishermen or scientists wondering about all those underwater oil plumes.

POLL DU JOUR

  • 92 percent of “tea party” members plan to vote on Nov. 2.
  • 88 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats plan to vote.
  • 86 percent of Americans overall are familiar with the tea party.
  • 23 percent of tea partiers would vote Republican, 56 percent for a tea party candidate, 15 percent are unsure.
  • 57 percent of Republicans will vote Republican, 20 percent for a tea party candidate, 20 percent are unsure.
  • 77 percent of Democrats will vote Democratic, 2 percent for a tea party candidate, 20 percent are unsure.
  • Source: A Harris Poll of 2,775 adults conducted Aug. 9 to 16.

Telegraphs, passenger pigeons, press releases to jharper@washingtontimes .com.

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