I Hide My Chocolate

Midlife observations

Month: March, 2017

Today’s Postcard

Say NO to Eliminating Federal Funding for Public Education and Nutritious School Lunches

Are you tired and annoyed by everyone posting political rants? Yeah, that’s what I was afraid of. So, I hesitate to post. You know me, I’m very non-confrontational. God forbid I should post something provocative or polarizing. Here’s the thing. I’m just a fair-minded, run-of-the-mill feminist and democrat who has never been politically active.

Until now.

Not a day goes by without some news item causing me to exclaim WTF in anger or disgust or cry in despair. I mean, really, what kind of world is it going to be in 10 years for our children and grandchildren?

Let’s be real, I work full time, I have a husband and children, I teach yoga. I am busy. I am not saving the world. What can I do? Does it even make a difference? After the initial shock, where we all shared outraged articles and felt overwhelmed, I took a bit of a deep breath and a bit of a break. I am not someone who jumps into the fray. No no. I need to research every issue and understand all points of view. Then pause and reflect. Then articulate my point of view, in writing. Then assess how I want to move forward. It’s exhausting and overwhelming, especially when every day presents you with a dozen new outrageous items to consider.

I’ve joined my local Indivisible group. I participate in some closed facebook groups. I read a lot and listen to a lot of political podcasts. I didn’t need a new activity, but there you have it. Our country is too important. Our democracy is too important. Our children are too important. Hell, the Earth is too important. I think we have no choice. To put your head in the sand and pretend that everything is going to be okay is immoral. There. I said it. I.M.M.O.R.A.L.

So, I’ve been sending postcards to my congresspeople. I try for one a day, but have not been successful. I get nervous on the phone, so the postcard thing works better for me. I am skeptical of petitions, so I tend not to sign them. So as not to annoy my friends, (I told you I was non-confrontational), I limit myself to no more than one post a day. I imagine that when I post a political pov, a contingent of my friends rolls their eyes and moves on. But, I don’t know, maybe not. Maybe there’s a quiet group out there that appreciates that I put myself out there.

Yesterday, one of those quiet friends quietly asked me what I knew about HR 610. Nothing. I knew nothing. So, I researched it. Yowza. Here goes my limited interpretation of this brief, but devastating bill:

HR 610, the “Choices in Education Act of 2017,” is a bill under consideration in the House of Representatives that proposes “to distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools.”

  • HR 610 will repeal the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which is the most far-reaching piece of federal legislation affecting education. It is responsible for ensuring that our public school system is fair, providing funding for low-income students, special education, English as a second language, and much more.
  • HR 610 limits the authority of the Department of Education, such that federal funding would be in the form of block grants to qualifying states. In other words, federal funding of public schools will now be transferred to the states. So, if you’re lucky to live in a progressive and affluent state, all good, probably. But if not, your education system will suffer. So will your children. So will your property value.
  • States, theoretically, will use these funds to create a voucher system for eligible families and schools. In other words, a family could use the voucher to buy a place in a private school.
  • But, more likely, the effect of vouchers could result in a middle class student migrating from a public school to a private school. It does not typically benefit a low-income student.
  • HR 610 repeals the No Kids Hungry Act, the requirement that school lunches meet specific nutrition standards.
  • Say what?! Let that sink in a moment. This bill says school lunches don’t need to be healthy. Um, that might be the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard, at least today. What does anyone have against nutrition for children? For some kids, school lunch is the most healthy food they eat all day. A well-fed child is better able to learn. A well-fed child is healthier and less likely to need medical care, which low-income families will be less able to afford under the new American Health Care Act, if approved.

See what I mean? It’s exhausting. Just a tiny little bill is fraught with complexity. But this one…well, it seems awful to me. So I am sending my congressman a postcard. I hope it helps.

Food Matters

usda-myplate

A Leader Is What A Leader Eats

You know, I think it DOES matter what the president eats.

You’ve probably heard by now about his preference for over-priced well-done steak smothered with ketchup. It’s been all over the news and twitter. And the reaction has been intense and varied, ranging from “What a classless rube!” to “Let him eat steak. We have more important things to worry about!”

Indeed we do.

But…

Imagine, for a moment, how much leadership he could provide – just by what he eats. Imagine the week of dinners he could choose, if he were inviting, authentic, adventurous, a role model, a proper host, humble, inspirational, a leader.

Sunday

Tonight I’m having a supper club dinner with a group of immigrants who have invited me to try their traditional dishes. I can’t wait to welcome these families who are new to our country and to taste new foods!

Monday

Meatless Monday! Scott Pruitt and I have decided to set a good example and go meatless one day a week. Eating less meat has a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

Tuesday

Working late. Exhausted. I know I’m in a food rut, but the meatloaf here is wonderful. I wouldn’t want to force it on you, but I highly recommend it. Comfort food at its best. Reminds me of my mom.

Wednesday

Dinner with Ivanka. She’s been on me to lose some weight and eat more healthy. Damn it’s hard. All those dinners out! But, I need to eat more healthy for my kids and my grandkids, not to mention my country! I don’t want to die of a heart attack. Ivanka tells me the Mediterranean diet is healthiest and the Sardinians live to be 100. I’m going to have some grilled fish with a little pasta and vegetables. No dessert! Sugar is evil. But I am going to have one glass of red wine and an espresso so I can send some late night tweets.

Thursday

I’m having a bi-partisan dinner for all the new members of congress from both sides. You know, reaching across the aisle so we can get some legislation passed! I’ve been trying out new chefs for the White House. Tonight’s chef will be preparing an all-American meal made with all-American ingredients from our all-American farmers. American food is great!

Friday

New restaurant night! I like to try new restaurants instead of the same old same old. There are so many wonderful restaurants with creative and adventurous menus. I find it inspiring to try something new at least once a week. Plus, I get to support small businesses and help create jobs.

Saturday

Ah, happy to be in Mar-A-Lago, my favorite retreat. I am so lucky and grateful to be able to travel back and forth every weekend and catch up with Melania. A long-distance relationship can be tough! We’ll have dinner here and I’ll have the well-done steak smothered with ketchup. I know it’s not the healthiest nor the most gourmet, but it’s my favorite. I’ve cut way back – haven’t we all? My dad and I used to eat steak together and this is how we ate it. Thanks Dad for giving me my start.

Imagine! What leadership he could provide, just by what he eats.

Image Source: The USDA’s http://www.foodpyramid.com/myplate/

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