I was in a cab just now and the driver was listening to some of the old-fashioned conservative talk radio. The host’s subject was a bill in (I believe) New York State that was going to have public schools tracking body mass index information for schoolchildren. This sounded like a reasonable enough idea to me, but the host kept repeating it over and over again in an outraged tone of voice as if it was an obviously absurd idea. Finally, he started to explain — correctly, I thought — that once this data started coming in, people were going to start citing it as showing that there were problematic levels of childhood obesity and arguing for some new policy initiatives to combat it. And, again, he kept repeating this like it was clear that childhood obesity prevention programs were the worst idea imaginable. The trump card to his argument, basically, was that these new programs would cost money and some of that money would go to salaries for implementation, so really the “only” reason people were agitating for this BMI tracking was to fatten up the bureaucracy. This was allegedly comparable to the greed-based reasons behind the anti-smoking campaigns of the past several decades.
Not un-comparable to some paranoid ideas you hear on the left, but interesting to hear it nonetheless. Then the driver corked off a doozy. Like cab drivers across the country, he explains that MSP area cab drivers have been hurting due to gas prices. Thus, he said, they’d been agitating for about a hear for approval of a fare hike by the relevant regulatory authority. Finally, one got approved and it took effect five days before the GOP convention. This he explained as part of a “liberal agenda” to somehow stick it to the Republicans.
Next up — ads for gun shops.