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Jobs Speech, Piracy, and Food Nannyism

Daily Update


Jobs Speech, Piracy, and Food Nannyism

Today in the News

Jobs Speech

President Obama is giving his much-anticipated speech on creating jobs and stimulating the economy this evening.

For comments from CEI policy analysts, contact Nicole Ciandella at or 202.331.2773 or call CEI's main line at 202.331.1010.



The Department of Transportation is expending resources to teach mariners how to deal with pirates.

Policy Analyst Marc Scribner comments.

"Why on Earth is the U.S. Department of Transportation, a department of dubious value even before LoBiondo’s bill, being instructed to teach mariners about piracy risks? DOT’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) already issues advisories to the maritime community. In fact, if you go to MARAD’s most recent advisory, they tell you to go to the EU’s Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) website for the latest information. Presumably, the Department of Transportation will hire a team of experts who will instruct ship captains to bookmark this PDF’s URL (full disclosure: I have no formal DOT anti-piracy training). Granted, MSCHOA only tracks acts of piracy around the Horn of Africa, and there is other piracy around the world. But that advice could pretty much be summed up as: exercise caution in the Strait of Malacca and don’t go yachting off the coast of Venezuela."


Food Nannyism

The federal government has rejected a New York proposal to ban soda purchases with food stamps.

Senior Counsel Hans Bader asks whether the government is being inconsistent.

"The government earlier banned white potatoes from the federal WIC Program, under the theory that they aren’t healthy enough. Is a baked potato, which has a lot of vitamin C, really less healthy than sugary sodas? (Potatoes also have more Vitamin C than a banana or an apple, and contain all 8 amino acids, unlike most other staple foods like corn.) The government does not seem to know how to distinguish between 'good' and 'bad' foods."