News Quiz #2

Degree of difficulty: Not too bad, but pay attention.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

May 10th 2010

A number of the contestants in News Quiz #1 (here) complained that it was insultingly easy. News Quiz #2 attempts to address that concern.

Contestants are invited to pick the bogus provision or provisions out of the following paragraphs which have been lifted (with some of the excess verbiage excised) from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), more colloquially known as ObamaCare. The provisions have been separated into discrete numbered paragraphs for ease of reading and identifying.

Time allotted: two hours. This is not an open-book, Internet-research test, but you may discuss with other contestants.

1 In the case of food that is a standard menu item that is offered for sale in a restaurant or similar retail food establishment that is part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items, the restaurant or similar retail food establishment shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner, in a nutrient content disclosure statement adjacent to the name of the standard menu item, so as to be clearly associated with the standard menu item, on the menu listing the item for sale,

2 • the number of calories contained in the standard menu item, as usually prepared and offered for sale;

3 • and a succinct statement concerning suggested daily caloric intake, as specified by the Secretary by regulation and posted prominently on the menu and designed to enable the public to understand, in the context of a total daily diet, the significance of the caloric information that is provided on the menu;

4 For the purposes of this clause, a restaurant or similar retail food establishment shall have a reasonable basis for its nutrient content disclosures, including nutrient databases, cookbooks, laboratory analyses, and other reasonable means.

5 The Secretary shall establish by regulation standards for determining and disclosing the nutrient content for standard menu items that come in different flavors, varieties, or combinations, but which are listed as a single menu item, such as soft drinks, ice cream, pizza, doughnuts, or children’s combination meals, through means determined by the Secretary, including ranges, averages, or other methods.

6 This regulation shall not apply to items that are not listed on a menu such as condiments and other items placed on the table or counter for general use, or daily specials, temporary menu items appearing on the menu for less than 60 days per calendar year, or custom orders.

7 This regulation shall not apply to items that are not served in the restaurants or similar retail food establishments that are the subject of this regulation, except as the Secretary may by subsequent regulation determine.

8 This regulation shall not apply to any religious organization that provides any kind of nutrient substance as part of its religious observances, whether described in any written or spoken material of said organization as any kind of food or meal or otherwise.

9 In promulgating regulations, the Secretary shall consider

10 • standardization of recipes and methods of preparation,

11 • including but not limited to those listed in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs, The Joy of Cooking, The Single Quaker Mother’s Cookbook, and Low Calorie Cooking the Islamofascist Way,

12 • reasonable variation in serving size and formulation of menu items,

13 • space on menus,

14 • inadvertent human error,

15 • training of food service workers,

16 • variations in ingredients,

17 • sunspots,

18 • and other factors, as the Secretary determines.
News Quiz for Discerning American Spectator Readers
The American Spectator, May 5, 2010

In this contest, readers are asked to identify the bogus news item. All three items are “reported” in similar style, from The American Spectator News Service. Two of them record actual events reported by other news outlets. (Certain telltale aspects of the real stories have been altered in order to prevent sneaky contestants from finding the items on the web.)

Item 1

TAS NEWS SERVICE, MADRID (APR. 15, 2010): Antonio Tajani, the European Union Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, has announced a new human right: taxpayer-subsidized vacations. “Traveling for tourism today is a right,” Tajani said. “The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life.”

The pilot project, which is to begin in 2013, could cost up to half a billion dollars a year. Tajani said he believes that subsidizing holidays for seniors, the disabled, young adults, and poor families will build pride in European culture, prop up resorts in the off-season, and bring north and south closer.

A Tajani spokesman said, “Why should someone from the Mediterranean not be able to travel to Edinburgh in summer for a breath of cool, fresh air? Why should someone from Edinburgh not be able to travel to Greece in winter?”

In a related development, Greece reached an agreement with other euro-zone countries and the International Monetary Fund for a three-year, €110-billion ($146.5-billion) bailout. “We have no other choices and no time, so accessing the bailout is inevitable,” Prime Minister George Papandreou said, vowing that his government won’t “allow the country to become bankrupt.”

Item 2

TAS NEWS SERVICE, NEW YORK (APR. 20, 2010): The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today announced the election of the Islamic Republic of Iran to a four-year term on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The Commission is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. The election of Iran to CSW came one week after the country withdrew its bid to join the UN Human Rights Council.

In related news, a respected Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, speaking on the record, said that “Many women who do not dress modestly…lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity, and spread adultery in society, which consequently increases earthquakes.” The U.S. Geological Survey, an unbiased, multidisciplinary U.S.-government organization that focuses on geography, geology, and geospatial information, has offered no comment on the accuracy of Cleric Sedighi’s statement.

Item 3

TAS NEWS SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D.C. (APR. 30, 2010): The Democratic-controlled Congress today reauthorized the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides vouchers to poor students in the District of Columbia. The popular program, which was enacted by Republicans in 2004, provides scholarships of up to $7,500 a year to enable students to attend the school of their parents’ choice. The per-pupil cost in the D.C. public schools is $14,400 on average, among the highest in the country.

Democratic Party Whip Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., D.C.) worked tirelessly to reauthorize the program. Congress is thought to have been influenced by a recent U.S. Department of Education study that found that Opportunity Scholarship Program students are performing at higher academic levels than their peers who are not in the program, and are better off by virtually every important measure in their chosen schools. Teachers’ unions concurred in the study’s findings.

In a related development, President Obama has announced that he and Mrs. Obama are considering sending their two children to a yet-undisclosed Washington, D.C., public school next year. The two children currently attend the exclusive Sidwell Friends School in Washington, where the tuition is $29,000 a year.