Chuck Grassley To End Child Obesity By Ending Labor Laws For Fat Kids

  talk about heavy farm equipment!
2 large (or 3 medium) obese children = 1 horseOh, goody! Senator Chuck Grassley has become the latest Republican non-healing ulcer to air his word salad “ideas” on child labor. With the help of palletfuls of billion dollar bills from unwitting taxpayers, Grassley’s state of Iowa and its high-fructose corn syrup fields have been enfluffening America’s children for the past thirty years. But times have changed (recession, increasingly senile lawmakers, the end of decency, et cetera), and now Grassley wants these morbidly obese youths to shed weight by allowing them to work our nation’s farms without the feds whining and bitching about deadly pesticides and crippling machinery! CHILDHOOD OBESITY EPIDEMIC SOLVED!!!

Grassley proposed this highly awesome solution to America’s fat baby problem at one of those terrible town hall things people apparently still attend:

Concern was raised about the proposed Department of Labor’s intent to greatly limit child labor on family farms.

“This farm bill will greatly affect our FFA and 4-H programs,” said Grassley. “Kids won’t be able to help on farms not owned by their parents.

“It’s interesting that this child labor bill goes against Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity initiative,” said Grassley. “How can kids be active if they are limited by this law?”

Yeah, Michelle Obama! There is literally no other way for children to be active, if not at the business end of a spike harrow. And why should only very, very urban children be allowed to maintain our nation’s crumbling infrastructure? Janitorialism for some, draft animalhood for the rest! [Think Progress]

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119 comments

    1. tessiee

      Oh, great.
      Now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

      "Da-dum ba-da-dum,
      The chores!
      Da-dum ba-da-dum,
      The stores!"

    1. not that Dewey

      Won't help with the obesity, though. But I do get a chuckle out of the image of K Street lobbyists holding back their displeasure at the idea of Chuck-E-Cheeze wine-and-dine sessions.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Making kids eat their broccoli is un-a-merkin. Having them pick it for 10 hours a day, on the other hand (for less than minimum wage), is OK. The younger you train 'em, the sooner they learn their place, at the bottom of the heap with the Messicans and blah people.

    1. Dr_Zoidberg

      Plus they're so big, they get stuck in the chimneys and you have to light fires to get them out.

      Now, those young'uns… they slide down real nice.

  1. Barb

    That's so cute how he says "help" “Kids won’t be able to help on farms not owned by their parents."

    Grassley is no better than those mothers who tart up their little "Prostitots" on those Tiara TV shows and make them shake their little butts for a trophy. Stop trying to exploit children!

    1. SorosBot

      That Toddlers & Tiaras shit is just one step away from child porn; that crap is truly disgusting and it's existence drains one's faith in humanity.

      1. Barb

        I started to tear up just writing my post. Why can't those mothers see that they are creating a pedophile's dream by doing that to their daughters?

        1. SorosBot

          Those mothers have got to be truly sick individuals; I'm no psychiatrist but someone's got to be really fucked up to do that to their daughter.

        2. tessiee

          It makes me think of that poor little beauty queen girl in Colorado. Even if her parents hadn't murdered her, she would have been pedophile bait for sure (maybe she was, who knows?). Those damn pageants are a disgrace.

    2. Callyson

      I had to stop watching "What Not to Wear," a guilty pleasure, because I simply could not stomach the ads for that Toddlers & Tiaras show. Poor kids look so miserable, and I can't stand to think what "work skills" they are "learning" for later in life…

  2. Dr_Zoidberg

    Sure, put children to work on farms, but when I want to use them to clean up radioactive waste, there's all kinds of hell to pay.

  3. prommie

    Newt Gingrich poops out nuggets of idiocy, and the rest of the GOP pols eagerly gobble them up and re-excrete them. Its the GOP version of Human Centipede, with Sarah Palin as tail-end Charlie, by the time she poops out her chopped word salad version it has been eaten and shit back out so many times its no longer recognizable.

  4. MissTaken

    “How can kids be active if they are limited by this law?”

    I think we can all agree that the rise in childhood obesity is a direct result from not having them drive tractors, and nothing to do with that pesky HFCS I keep hearing about.

      1. SorosBot

        But hey, their masters will be sure to provide them health care and keep them healthy so that they will be better workers!

        (Not kidding; I've read some slavery apologists actually claim that no slaves were ever beaten or killed, because that would make them worse workers and less valuable. Ugh.)

        1. bureaucrap

          It frightens me that there are active "slavery apologists" out there. Hopefully if they think it's so great they'll try being one themselves.

    1. tessiee

      What are you, some kind of commie pinko socialist?
      *points and screeches a la "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"*

    1. tessiee

      The gal who cuts my hair uses "product" on it to make it extra glossy and curly, so "Enfluffening" has a double meaning.

      Oh, no, wait; actually, a *triple* meaning.

  5. jus_wonderin

    This posting does bring back fond memories of growing up rurally. Cutting, raking, bailing hay. Hauling hay. Feeding, said hay to the livestock.

    Finding livestock that is forever determined to break the fence in early, early mornings on the coldest, fucking day of the year.

    Having done this from age 5 on up…I have to say…it was fun to grow up that way.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Oh yeah. And walking beans in 90+ degree heat, detasseling corn the morning after a torrential rainstorm. Good times. Good times, indeed.

      I'm sure that Chuck Grassley has already received a STFU phone call from John Deere, Case, and other agricultural equipment manufacturers in the state of Iowa.

  6. bureaucrap

    How can we solve the problem of starvation and malnutrition in africa if we don't allow African children to eat American children??? Ehhhh? Answer me that.

  7. Mumblety██

    “How can kids be active if they are limited by this law?”

    Not sure but I think that sounded like a Republican trying, and failing as is typical, to spin irony out of something he found absurd. Honestly, Chuck: How can kids be "limited by *any* law <<–>>when they can be active," by playing [offline] or helping on their own family's farm or engaging, as the adults & other children in their lives encourage them, in recreation or sport or chore?
    There is no "law" holding back one's potential for taking opportunities to offset baser trends like sedentary-induced atrophy, but the lengths you numbnuts reach, seizing and bungling opportunities to twist adversaries' words, would be borderline criminal if it weren't so laughable.


    1. Post author
      Kaia Mursi

      Those poor kids. From the article: “With proper precautions, virtually all accidents are preventable, but sometimes time-pressed managers or workers ignore safeguards…. Recommended precautions are outlined in grain-handling standards issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.”

    1. Ruhe

      The corollary to the assumption that there are kids who do want to work on farms other than their parents' farm is that their must be farmers who want kids , kids other than their own, working on their farms. Regardless of the value of the first assumption, is the second assumption supportable? In other words, is the constituency Grassley is speaking to the farm-working kids and the farmer-employers or is his constituency just the usual rabble of crabby wing-nuts who delight in assuming that all of our national ills are the result of government sponsored laziness. It's the idiotic voters in Grassley's state who are being "fed".

      1. GOPCrusher

        More likely, its the corporate farms that are looking for a replacement work force in the off hand chance that the illegal immigration flow gets stopped.

  8. fartknocker

    Chuck, I have a much better solution. Feed the children pizza because it's a vegetable and use Federal education dollars to support healthy school lunches.

    Your welcome,

    Herman Cain

  9. DaRooster

    Enslave kids
    Shoot the environment
    No to healthcare
    Fuck over Vets and Olds
    Pander to corporations

    Wow, was a time that elected people at least tried to do what is right.

  10. MinAgain

    And the mountain bike, skate board, and snow board manufacturers shook their heads sadly and said, "Dude."

  11. Chet Kincaid

    “This farm bill will greatly affect our FFA and 4-H programs,” said Grassley. “Kids won’t be able to help on farms not owned by their parents.

    Yes! Homosexuals can adopt children, so why can't corporations, who are people, adopt or foster kids and teach them a work ethic?!

    Sincerely,
    Adam, Little Joe & Hoss Archer-Daniels-Midland

    1. JohnyEdge

      Better yet, why can't homosexuals adopt corporations?

      Or, even better, why can't I adopt a corporation? Exxon looks to be like it needs a loving, but stern, father.

  12. DaRooster

    Hey Chuck… maybe we could bring some kids from other countries to do the work… maybe poorer countries like in Africa… and they would probably do it for cheap… maybe even room and board… you know… out back of course… maybe in the barn?

    1. Chichikovovich

      DaRooster, that's a primo idea. We could rent a bunch of huge boats to bring them over, with a big space in the cargo hold. And establish employment exchanges in Southern port cities – Richmond, say, and maybe Charlotte SC and New Orleans, where farm owners could pay a small fee to be matched up with the young workers.

      1. tessiee

        The slave market in Charleston (which is actually an impressive building; I've been there on a visit) is still standing, and is a really wonderful, noble part of Sacralonna's humane and enlightened history:

        "Exhibit elements explain how the trade became a force for modernizing South Carolina; how it strengthened Charleston’s financial, social, and political networks within the state; and how it extended the city’s influence throughout the upper South, the lower South, and the emerging West."

        See that? It wasn't like they were selling human beings; it was a *force for modernization* that *strengthened the financial, social, and political networks*. It's a great day in Sacralonna!

  13. freakishlywrong

    “It’s interesting that this child labor bill goes against Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity initiative,” said Grassley. “How can kids be active if they are limited by this law?”

    Really Chuck, and all shameless wingnuts? Awful asstards. Every one.

  14. donner_froh

    The new regs prohibit kids younger than 16 from working in timber operations or handling “power-driven equipment. Clearly if an overweight child has an arm or (even better) a leg ripped off in an agro-industrial accident he will weigh a lot less.

    A win/win situation.

    1. Chichikovovich

      How are you going to keep the Combine-Harvester blades sharp if they're just cutting wheat all the time?

  15. MissTaken

    “How can kids be active if they are limited by this law?”

    He has a point. The only way I stayed active as a kid was when I worked my 18 hour shifts down at the sawmill. And who says you need more than 7 fingers, anyway?

  16. slowhansolo

    Yes, we really ought to do something about our national epidemic in the form of these disgusting balls of pan drippings. And overweight children are a problem, too.

  17. spends2much

    I would personally like to see Grassley and Head Fluffernutter Gingrich put in a day's labour on a farm. Newt, especially, would be happy for his health care if he ever moved anything but his lips.

  18. UnholyMoses

    Why does the GOP hate children?*

    (* Those who aren't white, upper class, trust-fund brats who deserve the riches their parents made off of someone else's work because those kid have a strong work ethic, like, built in, totally unlike those urban kids who have no such thing because they're niggers urban.)

    1. real_dc_native

      *Also unborn children of all races and economic classes are OK until they draw their first breath.

  19. Chichikovovich

    Quick point to note here – Grassley is, as I understand him, not urging that current rules be weakened to allow more child labor, but rather he is unhappy that existing regulations should be toughened up, preventing certain types of labor currently allowed. The exceptions and loopholes carved out of the child labor laws for farming labor are simply enormous, and have been for some time.

    (Correct me if I'm wrong on any point, I've not researched this recently and my knowledge of these matters is about 20 years out of date.)

    EDIT: Note, for example, the story linked in elvislyqueer's post above. A 14 year old kid, killed by drowning in grain while working at a grain elevator.

    1. tessiee

      "OK, Li'l Tessie, which do you want: This big, shiny, nickel… or this dirty little dime?" — Uncle Garlic

  20. DetectiveGrey

    Okay, let's be reasonable and ask a moderate question about this for a moment: Is there a legitimate concern that children participating in educationally-oriented programs like 4-H will be disallowed? I think getting kids involved in agricultural education is a great idea — Grassley's statement about anti-obesity is an obvious gaffe, but shouldn't kids be allowed to join their school's 4-H clubs voluntarily? Or will such organizations be protected still?

    1. actor212

      The objective of Grasseley's comment is that kids get *paid* to work. 4H, as far as I understand it, does not pay kids to get involved in agriculture.

    2. real_dc_native

      Child labor laws do not apply to recreational/volunteer activities. The laws do not keep Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts from performing all kinds of service projects.

      1. DetectiveGrey

        Sounds like Grassley is a bit of an Assley, then. Threatening volunteer clubs sounds like a strawman argument if the law doesn't protect them. Does it?

    1. real_dc_native

      Hey, those fingers and hands that get mangled in farm machinery could be used for cattle feed. Win-win.

  21. real_dc_native

    I guess losing a hand or an arm or even a leg in one of those farm machineries things would certainly lower a child's BMI.

    1. Buckminster

      Take a look at Montana Senator Jon Tester's hand if you think children should work with farm machinery.

  22. Groupshrug

    Kids working on their families farm is a tradition as old as farming. I understand that the Department of Labor wants to keep children from working for their safety, because farm work can be dangerous.

    However, family farms can not operate without the help of their kids. Also, it would be cruel to tell farmer's children to tell them they can't help on the family farm. Obviously kids love their parents and want to be like them and help with what their parents do.

    I actually grew up on a farm and did do a lot of farm work, even thought I did not like it at all. My Son spends a lot of time on my family farm and LOVES IT. He's probably had more experience driving and operating heavy machinery than just about anyone on this site (including me). He's also had lots of experience with animal care, mechanics and a lot more. All of this has made him a very smart and well rounded person. Also, he's very in shape.

    In short, you can't keep kids from working on their family farm.

  23. boobookitteh

    It doesn't go far enough. Farm work is mostly anaerobic exercise, which is good for building muscle and burning some calories, but they need some cardio to really get the heart healthy effects of exercise.

    Therefore, they should also make the kids run around the farm. Maybe chase them with pitchforks and shotguns? That'll get the little fuckers in shape.

  24. owhatever

    Then we should chain them together so they won't run away from the farm or have a failure to communicate.

  25. mavenmaven

    And of course, in port cities, think of how useful it would be to use poor kids as galley slaves. So many fun things rich old men one can do with poor children!

  26. Gainsbourg69

    Why that sounds just like Soviet style agrarian reform, except dickish and mean to little kids.

  27. Buckminster

    “How can kids be active if they are limited by this law?”

    Oh, I dunno. Like Republicans? By jumping to conclusions and rushing to judgement?

  28. Eve8Apples

    I don't think it is a good idea to have chubby kids working on the farm. Won't they just eat all the pork and drink all the corn syrup?

  29. natoslug

    Can't believe I worked away my day today. At least it means I have children watching me peruse wonkette, giving me helpful hints like "replace the ch with an f and waddya have? Fuck Asslely! HEEHEEHEEHEEHEE!!!!" Eleven-year-old humour is so awesome.

Comments are closed.