Friday, May 1, 2015

Republicans try to take “Cheddar” off Dairy State Tables!

Republican Rep. Rob Brooks has apparently never shopped for cheddar cheese. I have, and it's clear he's clueless. He would know that “sharp” cheddar cheese IS the real thing, and the most flavorful authentic choice for the smart shopper. He would also know that many times, “sharp” isn't always that sharp, despite its label. But it beats out the buttery mild and medium cheddar options. 

So Brooks is really gutting the true flavor and essence of our state symbol for a 20 to 30 cents per pound savings in FoodShare.

Brooks' bill is as bad as Republican State Rep. Dale Kooyenga’s brilliant bill to repeal the law that guarantees butter on every restaurant table in the dairy state. Yes, he really did attack Wisconsin butter. 

Farmers and dairy industry supporters of the GOP were also appalled at this nanny state madness from our Big Government Republicans. Let’s face it, the tired old “stop abuse” “restore integrity” and “get back to the original purpose” excuses just don't cut it anymore.

Just as bad, Brooks is basing his bill on hearsay and anecdotal tales from the checkout line. Those tired old mythical stories where the extravagant poor buy “crab, lobster, shrimp or any other variety of shellfish.” Cap Times:
Rep. Rob Brooks, R-Saukville, cited "anecdotal and perceived abuses," adding that his bill is designed to target abuse, not fraud. "My intent is not to stigmatize, not to shame anyone."
Not fooling anyone, Democrats pointed out the absurdity of this bill:
Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, held a platter of four Wisconsin cheeses. All four were cheddar. One was shredded and three were in block form. Three displayed flags that said "GOP Prohibited." One flag said "GOP Approved." The approved cheese was a block of mild cheddar. Two sharp cheddars — one shredded and one block — were not approved. One mild cheddar was not approved because it was too large, Goyke said.
Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, couldn't help but point out the obvious:
"When you look at something like this cheese plate, there's no evidence of sharp cheddar fraud. People are not buying sharp cheddar in order to defraud FoodShare, and there's no nutritional difference. So if those are the stated goals, the bill is not accomplishing either."
Republicans were also quick to turn on their deep pocketed business supporters to stoke fear and envy in low information conservative votes:
A memo to lawmakers from groups including the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association, Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Kwik Trip, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers and Wisconsin State Cranberry Association says the bill would harm their businesses, "dramatically increase government power" and place checkout clerks in a difficult position.
Job killing legislation? No, really?
"Though well-intentioned, Assembly Bill 177 is a threat to both job creation in our state and our right to decide for ourselves what to put in our grocery carts," the memo reads. "…the unintended consequences of the proposal will do far more harm than good."
Republicans had no explanation for their lunacy:
"Why in the world would you bar someone from buying shredded cheese vs. a block of cheese?" Goyke asked. "Don't blame the federal government. You wrote a bill that makes a difference between shredded and non-shredded cheese, and then you come to Madison and say, 'Let's let common sense prevail.' How in the world does that make sense?"
This is all symbolic clap trap anyway, but it is a reminder why "block grants," with no federal strings, is on the republican agenda. This is what they want to do on state-by-state level:
No state has received such a waiver … to impose restrictions on food purchases.
I thought this post summed it up well at the Political Environment:
About new WI GOP rules for food stamp recipients: Let's have legislators be drug-tested before they can receive their $44-$88 tax-free daily meal, lodging and housing payments and make sure they are only buying healthy meals with public, entitlement payments.
I put together just a few pages of the complicated upside down nanny state regulations no one in their right mind could keep track of. I mean really, no ketchup?


  1. Why don't we as taxpayers put restrictions on what the politicians can eat!!! After all they are on our payroll.

  2. As taxpayers why don't we put restrictions on what politicians eat!!! After all they are on our payroll.

  3. They're even banning low sodium, low cholesterol foods? How stupid!!
    Thanks by the way for the block grant statement. I never even thought of that being the reason republicans salivate over that issue.

  4. On the surface, limiting junk food for food care recipients sounds okay. That idea has some merit and an underlying moral principle to it. However, that's not what this bill is accomplishing. Who's to classify what is "junk" and what is not? Are we going to let any government official or agency dictate to citizens what is "healthy", whether it's the FDA, State of Wisconsin, or anyone??? The This bill eliminates dried beans, spices, staple condiments, and many other things that are definitely not "junk".

    The author of this bill hasn't used common sense to think things through.For example:
    1) What will happen to people who have special medical diets? Even if it's not doctor prescribed but a diet the person chose as healthy for themselves such as a high carb diet (just throwing one out there). What's going to happen to someone who has Celiac's or a wheat intolerance when the only buns they allow are wheat buns?
    2) It's cheaper to buy in bulk and/or on sale to stretch those dollars further. Are we going to restrict their resourcefullness further??? Can a family not make multiple lasagnas or a large batch of soup for later in the month without breaking the quota? Can they not make their own homemade spices in bulk such as ranch or taco seasoning? It's way healthier than the packets and it is much cheaper to do it yourself also. This bill is a definite deterrent for that.
    3) Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I don't see any breakfast foods covered other than cereal.

    The answers to these and many other questions are pure hypotheses at this time. The author of this bill originated it with recklessness and haphazardness. The people of Wisconsin are not this authors of this bills tests subjects while he learns his new trade. I will say I am quite familiar with the person who authored this bill. Honestly, it sounds like one of the ideas he used to generate out of his town bar which he discussed with his inner circle of patrons over many, many rounds of drinks and shots. I was told many short sighted political agendas there. The idea might have sounded brilliant at the end of all those drinks, but we need more concrete facts and answers before passing a bill like this. Get rid of the extremes like soda, chips, and lobster and be done with it.

    There sure could be a better spokesperson for what is "healthy" than the author of this bill (Tavern owner by trade). There sure could be a better spokesperson for any fraud in the food share system as well. View the link below for more information on the author of this bill and you will see what I mean.

  5. Couldn't have said it better. Thanks for the detailed analysis.