Michael Bloomberg

Jacob Sullum on Nanny Bloomberg's Soda Setback in the Daily News

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In a New York Daily News piece that just went up, I explain why Michael Bloomberg's response to the ruling against his big beverage ban misses the point:

Since last May, when Mayor Bloomberg unveiled his improbable plan to shrink New Yorkers' waistlines by shrinking their drink sizes, he has argued that his big beverage ban would not meaningfully interfere with people's choices but nevertheless would have a substantial impact on calorie consumption. That contradiction, along with the busybody billionaire's sweeping view of what regulators may do in the name of promoting public health, proved to be his undoing.

This week Justice Milton Tingling Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, responding to a lawsuit by soda makers and sellers, ruled that Bloomberg's drink diktat, which would have imposed a 16-ounce limit on servings of sugar-sweetened beverages, was so riddled with loopholes that it qualified as "arbitrary and capricious" under state law. Tingling also concluded that the Bloomberg-appointed Board of Health exceeded its legal authority by enacting the mayor's proposal, which he should have brought to the City Council instead. Bloomberg's response, which boils down to asserting that his regulations are legal because "people are dying" from obesity-related diseases, dodges both of these issues.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. Gotten himmel, who vil save us from zees vile juice?!

    1. Herr Bloomberg!

      1. Ze supreme lawgivva!

  2. One may get a heart attack by increasing one’s heart rate. Therefore I would like to ban exercise, for the sake of the dying, of course.

  3. Unfortunately, based on what I’ve read, Bloomberg’s eventual successor will be every bit as much an America-hating, liberal facist nanny-state dirtbag as he is. Expect more of this crap for years to come.

    1. Being mayor of NYC has been a position of power for a long time, but NYC’s size, financial importance, and just all around impact on things like international travel, trade, and the surrounding region have made it a huge fucking deal. The more powerful the position, the shittier the candidates for it. Absolutely expect more of this crap for years to come.

    2. What do you mean by “America-hating”?

      Is such hate characterized by a love of the free market?

      Is such hate characterized by a love of the right to travel unmolested by cops and other costumed goons?

      Is such hate characterized by contempt for the warfare state and its attendant spectacular distortions of the free market?

    3. The mayor of NYC reflects the philosophy of the voters of NYC. NYC is a liberal fascist nanny-state.

  4. “The next day, he clarified that Tingling’s decision “was not a setback for me.” Rather, “This is a setback for the people who are dying,…”

    If they are dying, they are doing so because they value whatever pleasure they derive from drinking these drinks over longer life. Who are you, Bloomberg, to prevent them from making that choice?

    “The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.” – Chesterton

  5. Seems like an appropriate Bloomberg protest would not be to throw a pie or a shoe at him but giant slurpies

    1. How about rocks? Large rocks…with sharp pointed edges….I’d be okay with that.

  6. I guess you guys hate the childrenz?
    Here’s what he said on Monday night:

    I think that it’s incumbent on government to tell people what they’re doing on themselves and then let people make their own decisions. So our job is to educate people and the ban on bigger cup sizes was a way to remind you that if you wanted 32 ounces you’d have to take two cups and maybe you’d only take one.

    1. “I think that it’s incumbent on government to tell people what they’re doing on themselves…”

      From what principle does Nanny Bloomberg derive that notion?

  7. Justice Milton Tingling Jr.

    TingLing…isn’t that the bastard who keeps anobotting the board?

  8. One thing to learn from this may be the Progressive magic is either wearing out its welcome or maybe that it doesn’t extend much beyond Obama’s personal aura.

    I know these cases are supposed to be decided on the merits, but Obama’s won tougher fights than this. Once Obama’s off center stage, maybe the Progressives will become a whole lot less formidable.

    We can only hope.

    1. Progressivism comes out in hard times, because, at it’s heart, it’s nothing more than a populist movement.

      When government finally gets the fuck out of the way and allows the economy to recover, most of our modern day progressives will die a political death as well.

      1. Problem is that the government will never get out of the way. It will only get worse. Regulation is exponential in its nature. Every shitty rule creates several shitty consequences, each of which is “fixed” with another shitty rule. Each of these begets more shitty consequences which beget more rules. And it’s all cumulative. Shitty rules do not go away. That is an insult to the pure intentions of the people who created the shitty rule.

        The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      2. “Progressivism comes out in hard times, because, at it’s heart, it’s nothing more than a populist movement.

        “When government finally gets the fuck out of the way…”

        I’m hopin’ for maybe the Bull Moose Party after Roosevelt was gone. Yeah, a lot of their ideas eventually made it through over the years, but after Theodore Roosevelt was out, who really cared about the Progressive Party anymore?

        Losing Barack Obama isn’t about to help the Progressive cause any–that’s for sure.

        1. End italics Shazam!

  9. “I’m outraged that Bloomburg thinks he can control what we put into our bodies! What gives him the right to… Is that guy smoking a joint? He is? Get him! Lock the fucker up! Throw away the key!”

    /typical conservatard

  10. Gasp! People are being killed by sodie pop! Save us!!!!!!!!

    Christ on a crutch, what a pathetic fucking country this is becoming. The Free and the Brave shitting their pants over pop-tart guns, tiny pocket knives, and sodie pop.

    1. Amen to that. People should be ashamed when they sing the national anthem.

      BTW, it’s not even really true that people are being killed by soda or by obesity in general – life expectancy continues to go up and premature mortality continues to go down even as the percentage of overweight and obese Americans goes up.

    2. +100 fourlokos for you

      a nation of bedwetters indeed

  11. I am as aghast by Bloomie’s ban as any good libertarian. But I think he did this because a high-profile education campaign against corn-syrup soft drinks would have cost money and no one would have cared; he certainly wouldn’t have gotten headlines out of it. And perhaps his message of cutting down on the sweets will at least come across.

    Around where I work and on my way home I pass through a lot of neighborhoods that are predominantly minority, mostly black and latino. If you pull into a 7-11 or gas station it is stunning how different the soft drink selection is from, say, the tony white suburbs. In the white suburbs, half the refrigerated section is sugar-free sodas and different kinds of water. In the minority store, there is no low-cal drinks except a few diet cokes — and the display case is filled with odd-colored sodas with even higher-sugar/calorie content. They have something called “Blue Extra Sweet” that looks like pure sucrose.

    If you ask for a diet 7-up they look at you and laugh, like you are some kind of nutjob.

    So perhaps some sort of shakeup was needed. And maybe he knew this would get overturned, so he got his big publicity and now can move on.

    1. “So perhaps some sort of shakeup was needed.”

      Sorry, that warrants no more than a “fuck off, slaver”.

    2. “But I think he did this because a high-profile education campaign against corn-syrup soft drinks would have cost money and no one would have cared”

      Then I guess you didn’t notice that the city was already running exactly such campaigns before the proposed size limits:
      http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/ht…..7-09.shtml

    3. translation = we need government to make black people drink like white people?

      shakeup my ass. drinks dont cause obesity. behaviors do. wtf shakeup do we need for that? a nationally enforced stalinesqe martial-arts program? (endorsed by steven segal, naturally)

      http://www.salon.com/2013/03/1…..in_russia/

  12. In the minority store, there is no low-cal drinks except a few diet cokes — and the display case is filled with odd-colored sodas with even higher-sugar/calorie content. They have something called “Blue Extra Sweet” that looks like pure sucrose.

    For starters, the major minority areas are low income areas. Do you notice how damn expensive the stuff is that you are speaking of that is available in yuppie crackerland? So how do you fix that, assuming that if you did, that the minority audience will suddenly develop a taste for it? There’s a reason why there isn’t Whole Food and Fresh Market in those areas.

    There is more than education at play here. Market forces for one thing. Just sayin, how do you propose to address that?

    1. Whole Foods…

    2. “how do you propose to address that?”

      What, scarcity? Sorry I have no Utopian balm for that. I suggest effort, work, improvement, innovation, passion and…well, reason. Those should suffice. Or were you expecting perhaps a deus ex machina?

  13. people should start throwing 32 oz sodas at Bloomberg like PETA or the Iraqi shoe guy.

  14. from the NYT coverage of the court arguments :

    “the industry’s lawyers, from the high-powered corporate firm Latham & Watkins, presented their argument in high dudgeon…
    …Lawyers for the administration offered a more subdued, highly technical rebuttal…”

    gosh, they *are* so subtle.

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