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Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says he has no plans to ban cookies and cakes at public schools.

No matter what Sarah Palin says.

Palin last month brought cookies to a talk at a Christian school in suburban Philly, saying the state board of education was about ready to enact guidelines that would limit sweets in schools. That would have been in response to the Health, hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a federal act.

It is true that the act would “indeed limit bake sales and would apply to all foods sold in schools during regular class hours, including in the cafeteria line, vending machines, and at fundraisers. It doesn’t apply to after-school events hosted by schools,” according to the National Journal

Vilsack said he recently had a black bean browning at a school in Colorado. Yum!

• The next chair of the House Appropriations Committee comes from the most rural district in the country.

The Louisville Courier-Journal has a profile this morning of Rep. Hal Rogers, who represents Eastern Kentucky. Rogers has been good at attracting federal money to his district. Rogers’ two most prominent initiatives have been to clean up area waterways (with plenty of water and sewer projects) and to deal with the regions prescription drug abuse problem. Rogers has concentrated on the local, saying in 1992, “We just can’t afford luxuries like ideology.”

Rogers has not been overly ambitious politically. CJ reporter James Carroll tells this story about Rogers and ambition: 

Rogers says he’s a bit like a colorful Eastern Kentucky politician, Fess Whitaker, who ran for Letcher County jailer in 1917.

Whitaker, a Spanish-American War veteran, began embellishing his war stories during his campaign to the point that he placed himself at the side of Theodore Roosevelt in the Rough Riders’ charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba.

“Fess, this will make one of us president of the United States,” Whitaker said Roosevelt told him.

“Teddy,” Whitaker said he answered, “you go ahead and be president. All I want to be is jailer of Letcher County.”

“So I’ll go ahead and let them be speaker,” Rogers said. “All I want is to be chairman of appropriations.”

• The former general manager of the largest rural electric cooperative in the nation was found guilty Friday of theft, money laundering and fiduciary mismanagement. Benny Fuelberg ran the Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative for thirty years.

This is a good reminder that rural coops do a lot of good, but they need to be watched. 

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