Inside the Beltway: Meet the meat police

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Behold, it’s “climate smart” beef, sure to heighten the hubbub from global warming alarmists over cow flatulence, industrial agriculture and the collective impact of meat-eaters upon the Earth’s atmosphere. Meat with a special climate-friendly rating will go on sale soon in Sweden, courtesy of the nation’s Ministry of Agriculture, which has financed a research project to produce meat that does not contribute to nasty greenhouse gases in some way, shape or form.

Ah, but the fun is just beginning here. To qualify for the virtuous new climate label, meat suppliers must adhere to 15 new production regulations, the ministry says. Al Gore, — already fretting over mankind’s “meat-intensive diet” — will be happy to know that at least one major Swedish meat producer has signed on to mend its ways, according to Swedish Radio News. Meanwhile, other European meat producers are pushing “green beef,” which advises consumers to buy locally, and therefore save on fuel and production costs.

But the overseas meat police are not quite done. A research team the University of Twente in the Netherlands has now quantified the effects of meat production on the global water supply, what with thirsty cows and all. That future steak potentially could carry a “water footprint” rating — or “water per unit of meat consumed,” the food scientists advise.

WEST‘S COUNSEL

Thanks to chaotic media coverage and nonstop input from Democratic and Republican strategists, the campaign trail can be a confusing place for candidate and voter alike. Rep. Allen B. West offers some straightforward advice to the Grand Old Party, shared with Inside the Beltway during a recent stroll from one Capitol Hill building to another.

“How will the GOP win the White House? We must show the nation that Republicans have the capacity to lead and to govern,” the Florida Republican says. “And we must say it clearly. And we must outlast, and outrun any messages sent to voters by liberals and progressives.”

THIRD PARTY REPORT

After declaring her candidacy nine months ago, comedienne Roseanne Barr is still running for U.S. president as a Green Party hopeful. She also seeks a running mate, and so far publicly queried Mike Tyson, Woody Harrelson and Jello Biafra to be her vice presidential candidate.

And Willie Nelson. The two, united in their call to legalize marijuana, came close, yes, very close, to a ticket called BARR/NELSON 2012.

“I would be happy to run w u After thinking about it awhile it kept sounding better Are u still interested? Love, Willie”, Mr. Nelson tweeted to Ms. Barr during an exchange that went on for a few hours on Saturday night.

But alas. It was not to be. The country music legend’s interest waned, though Ms. Barr begged him to at least talk by phone.

“I’m not ready 2 get n2 politics I have stayed away this long I am content 2 sit on the sidelines & criticize every1 else,” Mr. Nelson replied, adding in a later tweet, “Good luck with your campaign.”

HISTORIC MUDSLINGING

“He slept more than any other president, whether by day or night. Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored.”

(Journalist H.L. Mencken on President Calvin Coolidge), 1933.

GEORGE ALLEN MOMENT

Upon receiving a significant endorsement, political candidates often haul out their standard thank-you speech, and that’s that. Not so George Allen, the former Virginia governor now running for U.S. Senate in the commonwealth. He went into immediate statesman mode upon winning the nod from the 70,000-member National Rifle Association.

“I will remain committed to defending our rights enshrined in our Constitution,” Mr. Allen said. “My friends in the sportsmen community who enjoy the natural beauty of Virginia’s fields, forests, streams and lakes can count on me to be a strong and steadfast advocate for their freedom to hunt and fish. And all Virginians have my commitment to stand up for their God-given rights. The way to reduce crime is to crack down on criminals, not disarm our law-abiding citizens.”

POLITICAL ANIMALS

“We are political animals and it all starts in our brains,” proclaim organizers from the Association for Psychological Science’s upcoming annual convention later this month, where some 3,500 international researchers will ponder esoterica related to voters, among other things.

Among the highlights: Liberals and conservatives have “different brain structures altogether” according to Geraint Rees, deputy head of the University College London Faculty of Brain Sciences. He will, uh, bring along a nice assortment of MRIs showcasing ideologically diverse brains.

“What alchemy of influences is at play in determining whether someone’s political orientation veers to the left or to the right? Opinions and beliefs are one thing, but as it turns out, genetics and environmental forces can play an even more significant role in shaping those opinions and beliefs,” explains Christian Kandler, a presenter from Germany’s Bielefeld University.

POLL DU JOUR

• 90 percent of black voters favor President Obama, 5 percent favor Mitt Romney.

• 68 percent of Hispanic voters favor Mr. Obama, 23 percent Mr. Romney.

• 62 percent of “highly or moderately religious” white voters favor Mr. Romney, 29 percent Mr. Obama.

• 57 percent of white married voters favor Mr. Romney, 34 percent Mr. Obama.

• 57 percent of Asian voters favor Mr. Obama, 30 percent Mr. Romney.

• 54 percent of “nonreligious whites” favor Mr. Obama, 38 percent Mr. Romney.

• 54 percent of “non-Hispanic whites” favor Mr. Romney, 37 percent Mr. Obama.

• 49 percent of white single voters favor Mr. Obama, 41 percent Mr. Romney.

• 46 percent of U.S. voters overall favor Mr. Obama, 46 percent Mr. Romney.

Source: A Gallup daily tracking poll of 11,000 registered U.S. voters conducted April 11-May 6.

Blather, finicky talking points, brainy observations to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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