Garlic has allies in health care fight

WASHINGTON — To the congressman who represents Gilroy, Calif. —the United States' self-proclaimed garlic capital — Rep. John Boehner's declaration earlier this week that a government-run health insurance program would be about as popular as a garlic milkshake, well, stinks.

Democratic Rep. Mike Honda on Friday delivered a basket of the stinking rose to the Ohio Republican's Capitol office, while praising the health benefits of garlic and citing public support for a public alternative to private insurance.

"Two things make for a strong, healthy heart. Gilroy garlic, for one, a good start," Honda wrote Boehner in a ditty. "Public option? Also high, in the America eye, 65 percent n'er want it to part."

Called for comment, Brian Bowe, executive director of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association, added, "I don't know that you can get a garlic milkshake here in Gilroy, but I'd be happy to invite John Boehner to next year's Gilroy Garlic Festival and serve him some garlic ice cream. It's delicious, and I have no doubt that a little extra garlic would do wonders for his health."