Dan Glickman

The latest threat to national security? Salty school lunches
Increasing numbers of young Americans are unfit for military service. So why is the Trump administration rolling back nutrition standards?

OPINION — The Department of Agriculture’s decision to weaken school nutrition standards turns back the clock on the progress already made to provide our nation’s children with healthier meals and healthier diets. As former agriculture secretaries, we are disappointed that the 30 million kids who depend on these meals every day will continue to be served foods with higher salt content, fewer whole grains, and milk with higher amounts of sugar.

This decision not only puts their health at risk, but could have ripple effects on national security, with increasing numbers of young Americans unfit for military service due to weight and other health issues. The irony of this decision today is that the national school lunch program was the result of military leaders convincing President Truman in 1946 of the need for healthier recruits.

Keep Nutrition Science in the WIC Program | Commentary

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, opened its first office in 1974 to help combat malnutrition among low-income mothers and children. Forty years later, the program remains an important means of ensuring proper nutrition for over 8 million pregnant and breast-feeding women and children. Participants receive checks or electronic benefit card funds each month to purchase specific nutritional foods to supplement their diets, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk, eggs, beans, breakfast cereals and 100 percent fruit juice. The list is based on science; nutrition experts from organizations such as the Institute of Medicine help the Department of Agriculture determine which foods essential for a healthy pregnancy and child development are typically lacking in the diets of the target population. This science-based process has served our low-income mothers and children well for four decades and should continue to determine what is appropriate for the WIC food packages.

A Better Way Forward for Food and Agriculture | Commentary

Passage of the 2014 farm bill ends a frustrating two-year legislative journey, largely driven by a search for significant budget reductions, and often fueled by polarizing rhetoric on how to make those cuts a reality.

There are several important achievements in the bill for which committee members deserve credit, among them: ending direct payments; compliance with existing conservation requirements to qualify for crop insurance; the inclusion of a pilot project in the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables; and enhanced flexibility for the international food assistance program.

Edwards and Glickman: A Call for Civility in American Politics

Just a little more than a year ago, a gunman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) at a meeting she was holding with constituents in Tucson, Ariz. Even though the shooter did not appear to be motivated by a political agenda, the intimate portrait of Giffords that emerged prompted many who engage in what now passes for political “conversation” to reassess the increasing tendency toward demonization of those whose beliefs or experiences have led them to hold positions different from our own.

When we routinely deride the intelligence and character of those with whom we disagree, the people at the receiving end of our vitriol are people like Giffords, who is a fellow in a program of the Aspen Institute and who, for all her own special talents and goodness, embodies a commitment to public service shared by thousands of other American political leaders of different parties and varying viewpoints.

Glickman and Green: Cuts in Foreign Assistance Are Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Washington is waiting with bated breath for the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to find $1.5 trillion or more in spending reductions. At the same time, our former colleagues on Capitol Hill are wrangling with the appropriations process for fiscal 2012. We know all too well the critical imperative of getting our deficit under control, while also being strategic and protecting essential American investments.

We need rigorous cost-benefit analysis across the board to ensure American taxpayers are getting the most bang for each buck in these tough financial times. We know one of the best bargains anywhere, with the return far exceeding the investment, is funding that supports our leadership in the world, protects our national security and creates jobs here at home. And that is what we get in the international affairs budget.

Glickman: Humble Pie a Healthy Diet for the Hill’s VIPs

There’s a ritual of comeuppance prized in American culture. In Hollywood, you can find it in Us Weekly’s “Stars — they’re just like us,— which chronicles celebrities cleaning up after their dogs, receiving parking tickets or otherwise suffering the mundane plights of human existence. In this town, many a Washingtonian ego has felt the deflationary influence of Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill.

[IMGCAP(1)]While I’m fortunate (or willfully forgetful) not to have an HOH write-up that’s stuck with me, I’ve consumed my share of humble pie. As a freshman, I was known for stunts that some on the Hill thought flaky but I felt demonstrated that I was a “man of the people.— My first major amendment sought to get rid of operators in automatic elevators. It seemed reasonable to a young Congressman from Kansas out to change the world. Then I stepped into the elevator in Longworth and dear Katherine asked me why I was trying to get rid of her job. It was a powerful reminder that actions have consequences.

Jack Valenti: An Honorable Mentor

Like many in this town, Jack Valenti meant a great deal to me personally — as a mentor, friend, patriot and industry leader. He will be remembered for many things, chief among them the way he viewed politics and government.

Jack believed that politics was a noble and compelling profession where problems could actually be solved. He truly believed that we are in this business to make the world a better place. With this unifying goal in mind, differences of opinion always were healthy in his book. But conflict resolution in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation was the name of the game. “If you can’t produce results, why bother being in this business?” he’d ask.