A quick note on Donald Rumsfeld

Before he was a war criminal, Donald Rumsfeld was a common chauvinist, of the variety easily found in government today. My friend DBS sends this observation from Nick Kotz’ Let Them Eat Promises:

Donald Rumsfeld, director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the agency with legal responsibility to promote “maximum feasible participation of the poor,” opposed inviting representatives of the poor to the conference, because he feared an embarrassing militant protest. In Rumsfeld’s view, the black poor in America could be represented by Negro doctors or nurses. The battle over who would participate soon shifted from partisan and poverty politics to the politics of food. Rival interest groups in every phase of nutrition, education, and industry competed to dominate the program. The loudest objections to the conference makeup came from representatives of the cattle feeding industry. Industry representatives and their congressmen demanded control over a panel on degenerative diseases. The cattle fatteners feared that this panel would come out with a strong warning that a diet high in cholesterol from saturated fats (like those in the prime steaks which come from fattened cattle) can contribute to heart and circulatory diseases. To insure “safe discussions,” several panel leaders chose not to invite advocates for poor people or consumers.

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