Something about which I’ve been harping for awhile is how the GOP talks constantly about security, but how our domestic security—not securing the homeland, but the kind of security that comes from knowing your job is safe, you’ve got good health insurance, your kids are getting the kind of education that will make them competitive and open doors of opportunity in their future, the air you breathe and water you drink isn’t poisoning you, you’ve got enough well-equipped cops and firemen to protect you, and your elected representatives take things like the sexual exploitation of children seriously—has been totally ignored (and undermined) by the Party of All Security All the Time.

Perhaps, then, we can expect the administration that loves to talk about security, but doesn’t actually give a shit about doing anything to protect domestic security since it’s not sexed-up with war-related terminology, to pay attention now that the USDA has decided that Americans no longer go hungry—they just have "very low food security."

Every year, the Agriculture Department issues a report that measures Americans' access to food, and it has consistently used the word "hunger" to describe those who can least afford to put food on the table. But not this year.

…The USDA said that 12 percent of Americans -- 35 million people -- could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Eleven million of them reported going hungry at times. Beginning this year, the USDA has determined "very low food security" to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group.

The United States has set a goal of reducing the proportion of food-insecure households to 6 percent or less by 2010, or half the 1995 level, but it is proving difficult. The number of hungriest Americans has risen over the past five years. Last year, the total share of food-insecure households stood at 11 percent.
So while the Party of All Security All the Time has been overseeing the country, gravely intoning over and over ad infinitum that they’re the only ones who can "protect America," the levels of "very low food security" have been steadily rising, until more than one out of every ten households has experienced food-insecurity. Forget a great move toward centrism; perhaps Americans voted the Party of All Security All the Time out on their fat, gluttonous arses because they’re hungry.

Oh, pardon me. Because they’re suffering from very low food security.

Then again, perhaps we can’t expect President Bush to jump into action on the basis of this report, even in spite of its use of his party’s favorite word in the world.

That 35 million people in this wealthy nation feel insecure about their next meal can be hard to believe, even in the highest circles. In 1999, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, then running for president, said he thought the annual USDA report -- which consistently finds his home state one of the hungriest in the nation -- was fabricated.

"I'm sure there are some people in my state who are hungry," Bush said. "I don't believe 5 percent are hungry."

Bush said he believed that the statistics were aimed at his candidacy. "Yeah, I'm surprised a report floats out of Washington when I'm running a presidential campaign," he said.
Yeah, who can argue with that? If there’s anyone who plays politics with their issue, it’s the nation’s hungry sufferers of very low food security.

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