The New "Puff"? -- Richard Cortez, a former DARE officer, decided to try to educate kids about marijuana without using fear or hysterics, so he published a children's book called, It's Just a Plant. The book takes readers along as an 8-year-old and her mother converse with a doctor, a gardener and a few police officers, learning about the medical, agricultural and legal aspects of pot. Harmless enough, right? Not these days. The overly rational approach is causing hysterical reactions among book retailers, librarians and even some politicians. Rep. Mark Souder (R-Indiana) called the book a "pro-marijuana children's book," while reading several parts during a House Drug Policy Subcommittee meeting. Ah, story time in Congress -- now if they could just get some munchies, they could draw a real crowd.
Poisoned Pyramid -- The criticisms just keep coming for the USDA's new food pyramid, which ditches the old flat triangle for a series of multi-colored 3D pyramids being climbed by athletic-looking stick figures. The new (and somewhat confusing) approach is supposed to take into account things like age, gender and activity level when formulating a healthy personal diet. But some have pointed out that the new design ignores EPA health warnings by recommending -- in its Meat and Beans section -- swordfish, mackerel and tuna, some of the most mercury-laden fish in the sea. That young children and pregnant women should never eat those particular fish (mercury, a neurotoxin, is known to create learning disorders and behavioral problems in kids) goes unmentioned. Here's to your health!
Conservative? -- "One night, after George went to bed, Lynne Cheney, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and I went to Chippendales. I wouldn't even mention it except Ruth Ginsberg and Sandra Day O'Connor saw us there. I won't tell you what happened, but Lynne's Secret Service code name is now 'Dollar Bill' ... [George has] learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse."
-- First Lady Laura Bush, at last week's annual White House Correspondents' Association
"[Her jokes were] very risqu & eacute;. I was wondering what the social conservatives and James Dobson had to say about all these jokes that were laced with sexual innuendo. Not a very family-values-type speech. I'm not sure I want to explain a lot of those jokes to my 4-year-old."
-- The Nation's David Corn on Mrs. Bush's speech, to Fox News
Publication date: 05/05/05