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Now: “Whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, whole wheat roll, cooked green beans, broccoli and cauliflower, raw kiwi halves, low-fat milk, low-fat ranch dressing, soft margarine.”

Comparison of the old and new elementary school lunch menu, according to the $3.2 billion, five-year “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” newly unveiled by first lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack, destined for 32 million school-age kids.


“Shameless infomercials.” That’s how the Libertarian Party describes both the State of the Union address and the Republican response to it on Tuesday night.

“Unlike Ginsu knives, hair spray for men, and ripped abs in 30 days, the Republican and Democratic infomercials have no redeeming social value,” observes Mark Hinkle, the party’s chairman. “More voters than ever realize that Democratic and Republican politicians are players in the same game of big government. They differ only in the color of their red and blue jerseys.”


• 61 percent of U.S. voters agree that until alternative energy becomes more available, the nation should support fossil fuel sources; 88 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats agree.

• 57 percent overall support the construction of the Keystone pipeline from Canada to Texas; 90 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

• 31 percent overall oppose the project; 5 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

• 51 percent overall say the Keystone pipeline would reduce U.S. dependence on oil from the Middle East; 90 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Democrats agree.

• 32 percent overall say the environmental impact of the Keystone project has not been studied enough; 4 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An IBOPE/Zogby poll of 1,997 likely U.S. voters conducted Jan. 20 to 24.

Murmurs and asides, crabby observations, menu hints to