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● U.S. Representative David Wu (D/Oregon) today announced that he will resign. Sexual misconduct had been alleged against the Portland-area politician, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1999. Aside from the distinction of being the first Chinese-American to serve in the House, I think Mr. Wu’s lasting mark on the institution will be so faint as to be imperceptible.

● McDonald’s made a positive announcement today about nutrition. Gaining the immediate approval of First Lady Michelle Obama and our apple growers, this huge fast food chain pledged to do many things to improve its delivery of healthy food. One highlight: “The new Happy Meal” will automatically include both produce (apple slices, a quarter cup or half serving) and a new smaller size French fries. For those customers who prefer a side choice of apples only, two bags of apple slices will be available upon request.” These changes are due to start this September, with eventual coverage in early 2012 at all 14,000 of the chain’s restaurants.

● The tortured negotiations in Washington, D.C., over raising the federal debt ceiling are absorbing the entire attention of the country’s political leadership. As a result, almost all other federal legislative issues are on side railings, until such time as this now-stalled express train moves down the track. Once a deal is struck, there will be fevered activity by lobbyists to determine how anticipated spending cuts will effect the full range of interests, including, for example, agriculture and its main priority, the next Farm Bill.

POLITICAL FRUIT: “Remember now, what we are talking about here is to enact something that keeps government [paying its bills] for a while, and there are going to be plenty of more bites at this apple.” Brit Hume on “Fox News Sunday”, July 24, 2011.