With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in Beijing today and President Obama planning to meet with Chinese Premier Hu Jintao in Washington next week, Members of Congress have been voicing their frustration over trade and economic policies that many believe are contributing to America's large balance-of-trade deficit and a loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

In March of this year, the Senate Agriculture Committee marked up legislation that calls for healthier choices on school cafeteria menus. Now New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is asking the Senate Agriculture Committee to write legislation that will ban artificial trans fats from school foods, citing examples of New York City schools that have already done so.

Buried in Title X — Strengthening Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans, Subtitle H — Provisions Relating to Title IX, Section 10907 — Excise Tax on Indoor Tanning Services in Lieu of Elective Cosmetic Medical Procedures, of the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a new tax on tanning salon services. Dubbed “the Caucasian tax,” it imposes a 10-percent tax on the amount paid for indoor tanning services.

ObamaIt's getting harder and harder these days for a President of the United States to be hawkish enough to please the proponents of perpetual, worldwide military interventions. President Barack Obama winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize, is currently waging war in five countries (Iraq Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia) and has at least hinted at a possible nuclear first strike on Iran if that country attempts to produce nuclear weapons of its own. Yet former New York Mayor Ed Koch worries about Obama's "appeasement" and detects "a foul whiff of appeasement" in the air.

As reported previously, Starbucks has found itself enmeshed in the struggle between activists who are attempting to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment liberties, and those who are trying to uphold those constitutionally guaranteed rights.