USDA - The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs - including in-home day care centers - to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home. A girl’s lunch which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice was deemed not acceptable according to the lunch police, but chicken nuggets made by the cafeteria were deemed as acceptable.
Diversity – The Supreme Court is deciding whether to hear a case about a lawsuit brought by Abigail Fisher, a white student, who said she was denied admission to the University of Texas because of the color of her skin. If the justices vote to hear the case, it could mean a majority of the court is willing to curtail or further restrict race-conscious admissions policies at public universities.
Iran - Iran hailed its advanced nuclear capabilities this past week by unveiling what it says are a new generation of centrifuges to speed up uranium enrichment and its first domestically produced fuel rods.
Manufacturing – Manufacturing jobs have increased the past two years after declining every year since 1998. Obama thinks it’s his policies, but it’s solely because recession manufacturing jobs are increasing due to weakened unions, falling wages, high unemployment, and growth in lower paying manufacturing jobs.
Daily Kos – Founder Markos Moulitsas had this to say about Occupy Wall Street “They [Occupiers] can be as filthy and they can rape people — if you want to make stuff up — but the fact is nobody really cares about it ….”
Economy – Jobless claims continue to decline, but consumer price indices are slowly increasing raising fears of growing inflation. GM posted record profits in 2011 and Chrysler also posted a sizable profit – both due to restructuring from bankruptcy, not bailouts. Also, the Congressional Budget Office reports the United States has now seen the longest period of unemployment since the Great Depression. Unemployment has remained about eight percent the last three years.
Obama Energy Program - Overall, the Washington Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 ‘green’ companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers.
Alcohol Abuse – Health experts and the World Health Organization may look into new global regulations for alcohol use.
CFPB - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking to bring debt collectors and credit bureaus under its purview, marking the first time the often controversial industries would be subject to federal supervision. Any such change should be considered a Constitutional breach under the “Contracts Clause”.
Student Loan Rule Change - Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, all federal student loans are forgiven if one works in "public service" for ten years after graduation. Until recently, working in any capacity for any nonprofit was enough for one to quality.
Underwear Bomber - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who tried to bring down a U.S. commercial flight on Christmas Day 2009 by detonating a bomb hidden in his underwear, was sentenced to life in prison this past week in federal court in Detroit.
Tim Geithner – Commenting about the federal debt to Paul Ryan in front of the Budget Committee while representing the White House: "You are right to say we're not coming before you today to say 'we have a definitive solution to that long term problem.' What we do know is, we don't like yours."
Occupy Wall Street - Occupy is officially starting a PAC, which will enable them to raise money for or against candidates and to provide information about legislation and ballot initiatives. Isn’t this no different from Wall Street funneling millions into political campaigns?
2012 Election - President Obama raised $29 million in January for his campaign and the Democratic Party. His total combined fundraising for his re-election bid now tops $250 million.
Fast and Furious - Obama is proposing to remove a provision from the 2013 spending bill that would make it illegal for the federal government to sell firearms with suspected criminals.
My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)