I complain a lot about wellness. And I use the verb “complain,”because it remains one of those weird social-political issueseveryone seems to support in principle. But then everything goes tohell in the details.

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While I woke up this morning with a bleary eye toward writingabout Medicare – and how the Democrats are unfairly demonizing theGOP plan – that sexy new food plate from the USDA looked so good onmy iPad I couldn’t help but switch gears once I got to the office.So the feds slaved away for two years, to the tune of $2 million,to rub out the old food pyramid and sketch in a new food plate,dubbed MyPlate.

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Now I know a couple million taxpayer dollars is barely a drop inthe deficit bucket, but it’s this kind of tone-deaf spending thatmakes me skeptical of both parties when it comes to federalspending and waste. On a related note, New Jersey Gov.

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Chris Christie, something of a media darling budget hawk and GOPrising star, stepped into it just this week for taking a statepatrol helicopter to – and from – his son’s baseball game. Whilethis only adds up to a couple thousand bucks – chump change for thetax-loving Garden State – it’s the principle driving the wholedebacle that’s so frustrating. Not to mention the unnecessary mediabacklash it sparked.

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Are our elected officials hopelessly stupid or just willfullyself-absorbed? Because it’s really simple: Act like you’re beingwatched. Because you are. (Of course, as we put this issue topress, the entire Rep. Anthony Weiner scandal blows up,illustrating my point so “graphically.”) But I’ve wandered offcourse.

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No sooner did the new government plate hit the kitchen tablethan it already drew objections to the cute little blue dairycircle in the top right corner. At least there wasn’t a cancerouscell phone sitting next to it (like there are most kitchen tablesin real life). This stuff might be science, but it’s not rocketscience. Why can’t we agree on something so simple?

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Whether it’s through public policy or private initiative, let’sencourage and/or reward good behavior. Get off the couch once in awhile, stay away from the vending machines, quit smoking and atleast cut back on the drinking. And let’s punish and/or discouragethe bad. I give the state of Arizona a hard time, but I think theywere on to something when they floated higher Medicaid fees forsmokers and the obese.

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It sounds harsh, but this is exactly the kind of policy we need.I tell my kids they need to take responsibility for their actions.They do stupid stuff? It’ll come back to bite them. They act likethey’ve got some home training, and they are usually rewarded. So,why treat grown folks any different?

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