The Sequestration Boogeyman

First deny ownership .... second ... scare the bejesus out of people!

The Facts: Obama owns the sequester! It was his idea. He can't blame Bush or the Republicans.

Bob Woodward: Sequester: It was Obama's deal


Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.

... At the Feb. 13 Senate Finance Committee hearing on Lew's nomination to become Treasury secretary, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., asked Lew about the account in my book: "Woodward credits you with originating the plan for sequestration. Was he right or wrong?"

"It's a little more complicated than that," Lew responded, "and even in his account, it was a little more complicated than that. We were in a negotiation where the failure would have meant the default of the government of the United States."

"Did you make the suggestion?" Burr asked.

"Well, what I did was said that with all other options closed, we needed to look for an option where we could agree on how to resolve our differences. And we went back to the 1984 plan that Senator (Phil) Gramm and Senator (Warren) Rudman worked on and said that that would be a basis for having a consequence that would be so unacceptable to everyone that we would be able to get action."

In other words, yes.
Second scare people! So much more could be cited about this: borders opened to illegals, prisoners released, air craft carriers unable to operate, National parks closed, 3 hour lines at the TSA. But I cite just one:

Maxine Waters: 'Over 170 Million Jobs Could Be Lost' Due To Sequestration

Yesterday we did have Mr. Bernanke in our committee and he came to tell us what he’s doing with quantitative easing and that is trying to stimulate the economy with the bond purchases that he’s been doing because he’s trying to keep the interest rates low and jobs – and he said that if sequestration takes place, that’s going to be a great setback. We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these jobs losses, over 170 million jobs that could be lost

And now Karl Rove (read the entire article)

The $85 billion in spending that will eventually be cut after the sequester kicks in amounts to around two cents on the dollar in the overall federal budget.


On Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he'd have to furlough 5,000 air-traffic controllers. On Saturday, the president warned in his weekly radio address that thousands of teachers "will be laid off," and "tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care."

On Sunday, the White House released a report for each state detailing how many unsafe bridges would be left unrepaired. On Monday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar threatened to close all National Park campgrounds. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she'd have to sideline 5,000 border agents. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it would release from detention several hundred illegal immigrants.

This is all hogwash. After the sequester, this fiscal year's federal budget ($3.553 trillion) will still be larger than last year's ($3.538 trillion). Last year, the border was patrolled, emergency responders arrived when called, and airplanes left on time and landed safely. The federal budget is now $446 billion, 14% bigger than the last annual budget of Mr. Obama's predecessor. Washington surely can survive a modest retrenchment of 2.3%.

Virtually every family, business, state and local government has made deeper cuts than that in recent years.

On the Bogeyman (and the image source):

A bogeyman (also spelled bogieman, boogeyman or boogieman) is an amorphous imaginary being used by adults to terrorize children into submissive behaviour. The monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he has no set appearance in the mind of an adult or child, but is simply a non-specific embodiment of terror. Parents may tell their children that if they misbehave, the bogeyman will get them. Bogeymen may target a specific mischief — for instance, a bogeyman that punishes children who suck their thumbs — or general misbehavior, depending on what purpose needs serving.

Account Take Over

Comment: Viking Image Source
4 hours ago someone(s) changed the address on our credit card to 8709 Fusilier Rd, Maurice, LA (select bottom image for larger)


Florida Sun and Fun

We returned last night from our Florida trip. We had a relaxing time and it was good to get away from the cold for almost a week.
  • Thursday February 21st.
    • We flew to Orlando Thursday morning. Sun Country.
    • We rented a car (a brand new 2013 Toyota Highlander - only had 4000 m on odometer)
    • and drove to Inverness, Florida to spend the evening with Kathee's Brother Dan.
    • Along the way we stopped for lunch in Zellwood, Florida
    • We spent the night at a Holiday Inn in Lecanto, Florida.
  • Friday February 22nd:
  • Saturday February 23rd:
    • We stayed 4 nights at the Bear's Paw country club community. Kathee's Brother Dave is a resident of Edina but he and his wife spend 4-5 months at their 2 bedroom condo in Naples.
    • Saturday afternoon cousins from the Fort Meyers area visited. Good to connect with them after so many years.
    • We all had lunch in the Bear's Paw clubhouse
  • Sunday February 24th:
  • Monday February 25th:
    • We explored old Naples via auto (Dave's Cadillac)
    • And then drove across the Tamiami Trail from Naples ¾ to Miami
    • To Shark Valley in the Everglades. We did the 2 hour tram tour
    • We had lunch in Everglades City, Florida. I had mystery (???) fried fish. The waitress said it was grouper but I'm sure it was not.  We were about to have lunch at the Rod and Gun Club but all of our cash was in Kathee's purse and she left it back at the condo. And the club was cash only. But we toured around the lobby and main floor and that was interesting. Everglades City seems to me to be analogous in remoteness Southern-style to a place like Boy River MN Northern-style.

    • We drove back to Naples and had dinner at the Dock at Crayton Cove. We dined along side majestic yachts and dreamed! I had the grouper ... confirming that the mystery fish from lunch was definitely NOT grouper.
  • Tuesday February 26th:
    • Dave and Colleen served us bacon and eggs for breakfast
    • Dave toured me around Bear's Paw on his golf cart. Bear's Paw is home to the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Course Community in Florida. A golfer's delight
    • After lunch we were driven to the Fort Meyer's airport. We flew home on discount airline Spirit Air. (Greyhound of the skies!)
    • Our flight was delayed by almost 2 hours. We left at approximately 4:45 p.m. Eastern. We were in our car at Park N Fly at 8:00 p.m. Central and to our home at 8:30.
It really felt good to be home. My king-sized bed beats any mattress I slept in on the trip. And the cool Minnesota air was a nice break from the humid heat of South Florida! Today I returned to the office! But I was glad to get away for six days!

Frugal Habits of the Rich

Take Note of These 5 Frugal Habits of the Rich

The List:

  1. Drive a modest car.
  2. Buy a modest house.
  3. Don't carry wads of cash
  4. Don't pay full price
  5. Have an action mentality
Comments: The persons in the image above are all mentioned in the article. My "score" from the list:

  • Drive a modest car. I'm not sure if a 2007 Buick Lucerne would be considered modest. To me it is a luxury car. I did get a super deal on it and it is no longer a late model car. And it is not likely to be replaced anytime soon.
  • Buy a modest house. I don't think our home would be considered a modest home. It is paid for and is well-enough insulated that the utility bills are reasonable. Our next home will likely be a condo that is no more than 60% of the size of our current home.
  • Don't carry wads of cash. Check. I went to Florida with $ 5 in my wallet. (and I returned with $ 2.)
  • Don't pay full price. Check
  • Have an action mentality. Check


The Midget Moniker

Big objection to small pickle's name leads to change

Chelley Martinka, a Rhode Island mom, found a pickle of a problem recently while shopping for, well, pickles. She noticed that Cains, a popular pickle brand in New England made by Minnesota’s own M.A. Gedney Co., had an offering called “midgets.” It’s a term that’s offensive to people born with dwarfism, as well as their families. And Martinka’s daughter, now 10 months old, had been diagnosed with the condition soon after birth. So, she blogged about the issue, made a YouTube video and contacted Gedney, the 132-year-old pickle maker with a national presence and a brand particularly well-known in the Twin Cities. Gedney’s CEO, Barry Spector, called her earlier this month and said the company would indeed junk the midget moniker.
Comment: Dictionary: "something (as an animal) much smaller than usual", Top image source, Isn't "Midge" a woman's name?. Other Midgets below:


Short sleaves

"The Grizz" mauls "the French way"

US Exec to France: "Keep Your So-Called Workers"

"I have visited that factory a couple of times. The French workforce gets paid high wages, but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three hours," he wrote.

"I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!" Taylor, who is nicknamed "the Grizz" by Wall Street analysts because of his tough negotiating style, said he had other expansion plans in mind for Titan.

"Titan is going to buy a Chinese tire company or an Indian one, pay less than one Euro per hour wage and ship all the tires France needs," he wrote. "You can keep the so-called workers. Titan has no interest in the Amiens North factory."
Comment: Titan Tire website

Full document of letter

Comments: The Grizz website, Image source of Morry Taylor, US boss berates French for 'three-hour' working day

This is the kind of company that would be a good investment! TWI.

My "toothpick" sized share of Wells Fargo

Who Owns Wells Fargo?


... the majority of Wells Fargo's 5.3 billion shares are held by institutional investors. Company insiders, including board members and corporate executives, own a further 0.07% of the outstanding common stock. And the public at large owns the remaining 21%.
Comment: Images from the article:

Comment: My own "toothpick" sized share of Wells Fargo:




Comment: Not the biggest, most important issue in the world ... but I'm on board!

Somersaulting Mini Makes an Epic Backflip

Somersaulting Mini Makes an Epic Backflip

Comment: I literally LOL'd

Spontaneous Human Combustion - Another Thing to Worry About

Sheriff: Man Who Died In Fire May Have Spontaneously Combusted


Sequoyah County authorities say a man who died in a fire at his home may have spontaneously combusted. Danny Vanzandt, 66, died in the blaze on Monday. Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart says several neighbors entered the home when they saw smoke and assumed trash had caught fire. Then they realized a person was burning. Lockhart said the remains were in the kitchen and there was no other damage in the home. The sheriff says there was no apparent source of the fire.
Comment: Wiki article .

In the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, Spontaneous Human Combustion is included as the cause of death of one of the band’s numerous former drummers, leaving only “a little green globule on his drum seat”. The band’s current drummer later dies in the same way, in an on-stage explosion that leaves no remains. By way of explanation, lead singer David St. Hubbins claims that “dozens of people spontaneously combust each year, it’s just not really widely reported.”
Comment: I can always get a laugh out of my brother by telling him "by the way [your former very fat boss] died suddenly ... she spontaneously combusted."

Will Fundy leaders ever apologize to John MacArthur?

Comment: Interesting Discussion on Sharper Iron re John MacArthur

Background: here and here

The discussion:

Kevin Bauder:


If you wonder what kind of things I’m talking about, just Google “John MacArthur Blood.” That’s an episode that combines both of the above features: picking away (in this case, dishonestly) at conservative evangelicals while ignoring the public transgressions of Fundamentalists.
Don Johnson


How many years ago was that???

The example you give, however... when did it happen? The offending statement was in a MacArthur newsletter in 1976, the issue erupted in 1989, it was clarified by MacArthur in a later restatement, published by Phil Johnson on the internet in 2000. (See the Soteriology section of the Wikipedia article on MacArthur - I know, I know, it's Wikipedia, take it for what it's worth.)

Interestingly, the Wikipedia article mentions BBN, not fundamentalists as a major player in this conflict. I don't know if that is an accurate picture or not. But I do know that many fundamentalists "piled on" once the controversy came to light. I don't excuse the pack mentality with which we went after MacA at that point. But you will note that we are talking about something that is almost twenty-five years ago. I remember all the discussion about it during the early days of Sharper Iron. Phil Johnson was involved in some of it, if I recall correctly. During some of that discussion, it was mentioned that Dr. Bob III made some contact with MacArthur to make amends in some way for his part in the issue. I don't recall if it was a phone call or a letter, or what it was. The issue was an issue between the two of them, apparently it has been settled between them for some time. MacArthur isn't calling for further action on it, is he? He probably hardly ever thinks about it.

But whenever a list of the egregious fundamentalist lapses is trotted out, this one is often one of the first ones cited.
Kevin Bauder


Don, Evidently I touched a nerve by referencing the “blood” controversy.

You make it sound as if this controversy is something that occurred in a corner in the distant past, that was dealt with adequately at the time, and that could be resolved by a merely private exchange (though I don’t believe that anything approaching an apology was ever offered to MacArthur). Perhaps the reason that the blood controversy still comes up is because none of these things is true. It has never been dealt with, and it has not gone away.

If you take the trouble to Google® “John MacArthur Blood,” you’ll find that the accusations are still being repeated. You may search all you wish for any public retraction of the accusations: you’ll never find it because it was never done. In fact, the original accuser kept repeating his charges, at least in private. The last word that he said on the subject was, “I believe that the position [MacArthur] has taken in this matter is an heretical position, and all of the correspondence in the world is not going to affect my convictions on that point.” Furthermore, if you look at your old copies of the FBF News Bulletin, you’ll find that the FBF participated in advancing the accusations. Let me quote from the FBF News Bulletin of March, 1989.

The watershed of Fundamentalism is the doctrine of the Blood of Christ. The current imbroglio hinges on whether Christ’s blood was human or divine. A popular radio preacher initiated this recent controversy by stating expressions such as “Nothing in His human blood saves” [footnote to MacArthur]. This concept reflects the coeval thinking of New Evangelicalism. Liberalism has influenced New Evangelicalism in many doctrinal areas, even in the doctrine of the Blood of Christ. . . . If Christ’s blood was mere human blood it could not save sinners; however, it is unique and it does save sinners and cleanse Christians because it is Divine Blood. [page 4]

Here are more quotations from the FBF News Bulletin of May, 1990.

MacArthur creates an issue that doesn’t exist by seeking to separate the death of Christ from the blood of Christ. On page 237 of his commentary on Hebrews, MacArthur states that is [sic] is “not Jesus’ physical blood that saves us, but His dying on our behalf.” In a letter to Mr. Tim Weidlich, dated April 4, 1986, MacArthur writes, “Obviously, it was not the blood of Jesus that saves or He could have bled for us without dying . . . . Yes, the blood of Christ is precious—but as precious as it is—it could not save.” [page 7]

MacArthur reduces the blood of Christ to a mere symbol of death. In this same letter of Mr. Weidlich he writes, “I admit that because of some traditional hymns there is an emotional attachment to the blood—but that should not pose a problem when one is dealing with theological or textual specificity. I can sing hymns about the blood and rejoice in them—but I understand that reference to be a metonym for His death.” [page 7]

The Scriptures speak again and again about our salvation being accomplished through the shed blood of Christ. Verses such as Romans 5:9 could scarcely be more clear, “. . . being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” MacArthur is equally clear if we can take his words at face value: “Nothing in His human blood saves. His shed blood represents His sacrificial, physical and spiritual death for us.” (“Grace to You,” 1976) . . . The Scriptures and MacArthur cannot both be right. [page 7]

Do Fundamentalists need another reminder that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? The cost of compromise is the loss of God’s blessing on our ministries and the eventual removal of our candlesticks from their places of service in God’s work. Why toy with disaster by becoming enamored with a compromiser regardless of how charming he might be? We must fight with tenacity our tendencies to follow gifted and charismatic personalities. [page 8]

Let’s not play games with the precious doctrines of God’s Word. There are no good reasons to tamper with truth. I was saved by the blood of the Crucified One. We need no other message. [page 8]

This edition of the FBF News Bulletin was issued in the summer of 1990. That is fourteen years after MacArthur’s church bulletin printed his original comments about the blood. It is also four years after Bob Jones III told MacArthur, “John, let me assure you that neither I nor anyone else has any desire to misrepresent you or anyone else. We would shudder to think of participating in an effort to malign, gossip, or slander. That is just not the way we do things. I am sure Dad will be happy to print excerpts of your letter in order to let your statements speak for themselves. . . . We never want to shoot someone who is fighting in faithfulness on the same side we are.” (June 20, 1986)

About a year after the publication of the article in the FBF New Bulletin, Jones III wrote again to MacArthur, “We felt that yours was an extremely dangerous and liberal position; but once you published in your own paper an article stating that the blood was “efficacious and meritorious,” we have never said another word about it. The issue was resolved at that point; and it has been our joy to tell people who continue to be concerned that they can be at ease, and refer them to your own published statements as evidence.” (July3, 1991)

Evidently the FBF didn’t get the memo. It jumped on the bandwagon of those who were assaulting MacArthur over the blood of Christ. At the time, more than a few people were accusing MacArthur of being heretical and liberal. Not only did the FBF fail to defend MacArthur from those false accusations, it actually piled on and repeated them.

So let me ask you several questions.

Did the leadership of the FBF sin when it joined in the attack instead of defending MacArthur against false accusations?

When a member of your church transgresses in a very public way, how do you counsel that person? Does public transgression require public acknowledgement, or is private confession sufficient?

Has the FBF ever issued any public statement acknowledging that its attack upon MacArthur was sinful? Has it ever even publicly expressed regret that the attack took place?

Are any of the people who were board members or other leaders of the FBF in 1990 still in positions of respect and leadership within the FBFI?

Do you think that a statement from the FBFI would help to put to rest the continuing rumors and accusations that MacArthur takes a heretical view of the blood?

You’re right that John is not asking for an apology or even a retraction or clarification. He quit asking after 1987, because it had become embarrassingly clear that he was not going to get one. The last word on the subject was, “I believe that the position [MacArthur] has taken in this matter is an heretical position, and all of the correspondence in the world is not going to affect my convictions on that point.”

You’re right—you didn’t do these things. But you are now in a position of responsibility in at least one of the organizations that did. I agree that you can’t apologize for a sin you didn’t commit, but you can (1) distance yourself from the accusations by publicly acknowledging them to be false, (2) publicly acknowledge that it was a sin for the FBF to level these accusations in the first place, and (3) express regret to John MacArthur that the accusations were ever made.

If this has ever been done by the FBFI, I would love to hear about it. My respect would skyrocket.

If the FBFI leadership, acting in concert, would do these things, what would happen?

First, the episode would be taken off the table. While it would still be a matter of historical record, the FBFI could no longer be accused of covering up the sin.

Second, while MacArthur is not asking for an apology, I think that he would receive such an expression of acknowledgement and regret as a sweet breeze out of paradise. It would finally lay to rest an unnecessary and sinful cause of division.

Third, the FBFI would be more believable when it discussed the differences that still remain between it and MacArthur. People would have greater assurance that we weren’t just making it up, eh?

Fourth, this kind of humility would go far toward removing one of the perceived impediments that dampen the enthusiasm of young men for organizations like the FBFI.

Fifth, if my reading of the New Testament is anywhere near correct, then the Lord would be pleased.

So how about it?

Comments: Hurrah Kevin Bauder!

Argumentum a silentio

The above image could be considered offensive 1. But all it really is, is the juxtaposition of a very cute picture of a puppy (source) with a meat grinder (source). You can quote me on this: "my wife has a meat grinder".

Does Jim Peet grind puppies in a meat grinder? I've never denied that!

Argument from silence


An argument from silence (also called argumentum a silentio in Latin) is generally a conclusion drawn based on the absence of statements in historical documents
Comment: My friend Monty inspired me to do this. The Westboro Baptist Church Sign Generator

1Below are the two images again ... with some nice separation between them. Suppose the blog post was about raising puppies ... and how my wife lovingly labored to make home-made puppy food!


Walmart: "the retailer people love to hate"

Brief introductory comments:
  • To my relative who hates Walmart. It's OK ... I still love you. By the way you have company. Google "I hate Walmart" and one will find these results:
  • For Facebook users, there are multiple "I Hate Walmart" pages. For anyone who cares to "like" this page, go for it!
  • Reminder: No one is forced to work at Walmart. Over 2,000,000 do work there and I support their right to work where they want. For any worker who does not want to work there - work somewhere else! (It's called freedom of choice!) 
  • No one is forced to sell to Walmart. I understand that they drive a hard bargain. That's what capitalism is all about! The last time I did buy something, I bought at the best price (all other things being equal). Most shoppers are like this. I can't think of a time when someone said, I bought X at Y because the price was higher than at Z. Walmart is simply doing the very same thing that you and I do every day! My daughter works for a company that sells to Walmart. I happen to invest in that company. I would be disappointed, as I'm sure other stockholders would be, if that company limited its options and did not sell to Walmart. My son-in-law also works for a company for whom Walmart is probably their # 1 retail distribution channel. The same could be said of my recently retired brother-in-law.
  • No one is forced to shop at Walmart. This article is dated by 10 years but it cites that "Every week, 138 million shoppers visit Wal-Mart's 4,750 stores; last year, 82% of American households made at least one purchase at Wal-Mart." I actually don't shop at Walmart but I actually don't shop! I do have a good Walmart experience. I needed a battery for my truck. The weather was bitterly cold. And Walmart was open (in Maple Grove). It met my expectations for price, availability and service.
  • No one is forced to invest in Walmart. I have. It's not my favorite stock, nor is is my most successful investment. But it manages to pay a 2.3% dividend. The very trendy Abercrombie & Fitch Co pays 1.4%. So as an investor, I'm going for the stodgy Walmart.

  • Here's the sum of my view: I like capitalism and I like free markets. I don't actually get overly passionate about corporations although I have a special fondness for IBM (my first employer) and Wells Fargo (my current employer). I actually think it strange that people would hate (or love) a company. Why not hate evil like abortion (I suspect that many who support "a woman's right to choose" to kill the innocent unborn hypocritically do not support the right of individuals to work at, shop at, sell to or invest in Walmart!) , terrorism, child abuse, drunk driving, world hunger, or pornography (which debases women!). There are hundreds or thousands of other evils to hate and causes to remediate the evil. I mean the Walmart "haters" really need to embrace a cause that is significant. Take a little step and give to the non-profit of your choice. Here's one that does good - the American Heart Association!
There are a plethora of anti-Walmart sites, blog posts, and articles. Here I highlight several reasoned pro-Walmart articles:
  • In Cities That Battle Wal-Mart, Target Gets a Welcome
    "We've complained to national folks, 'Why is Wal-Mart the bad guy?'" said Bernie Hesse, a UFCW official in Minneapolis who has tried to organize Target workers. "But in places like Chicago, the union has zeroed in on Wal-Mart, because it's the retailer people love to hate," he said. By most objective standards, Wal-Mart's compensation is quite similar to its publicly traded retail competitors, and sometimes better. It now offers a more generous health care plan than the retail average; nearly 80% of Wal-Mart's U.S. workers are eligible for health coverage, compared to just 58% for the retail sector as a whole according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Until recently, Target's heath benefits were in some ways worse. It made part-timers wait two years before being eligible for coverage, compared to six months for Wal-Mart. Target now makes part timers eligible after three months. Target declines to disclose its pay, but workers in Chicago said wages for entry level jobs, such as cashiers and inventory stockers, start at the state's minimum of $8.25 an hour. That is lower than the $8.75 hourly wage that Wal-Mart has pledged to pay to start in the city, according to local politicians.
  • Democrats Vs. Wal-Mart (article is 9 years old!)
    The median household income of Wal-Mart shoppers is under $40,000. Wal-Mart, the most prodigious job-creator in the history of the private sector in this galaxy, has almost as many employees (1.3 million) as the U.S. military has uniformed personnel. A McKinsey company study concluded that Wal-Mart accounted for 13 percent of the nation's productivity gains in the second half of the 1990s, which probably made Wal-Mart about as important as the Federal Reserve in holding down inflation. By lowering consumer prices, Wal-Mart costs about 50 retail jobs among competitors for every 100 jobs Wal-Mart creates . Wal-Mart and its effects save shoppers more than $200 billion a year, dwarfing such government programs as food stamps ($28.6 billion) and the earned-income tax credit ($34.6 billion). People who buy their groceries from Wal-Mart -- it has one-fifth of the nation's grocery business -- save at least 17 percent. But because unions are strong in many grocery stores trying to compete with Wal-Mart, unions are yanking on the Democratic Party's leash, demanding laws to force Wal-Mart to pay wages and benefits higher than those that already are high enough to attract 77 times as many applicants than there were jobs at this store. The big-hearted progressives on Chicago's City Council, evidently unconcerned that the city gets zero sales tax revenue from a half-billion dollars that Chicago residents spend in the 42 suburban Wal-Marts, have passed a bill that, by dictating wages and benefits, would keep Wal-Marts from locating in the city. Richard Daley, a bread-and-butter Democrat, used his first veto in 17 years as mayor to swat it away. Liberals think their campaign against Wal-Mart is a way of introducing the subject of class into America's political argument, and they are more correct than they understand. Their campaign is liberalism as condescension. It is a philosophic repugnance toward markets, because consumer sovereignty results in the masses making messes. Liberals, aghast, see the choices Americans make with their dollars and their ballots and announce -- yes, announce -- that Americans are sorely in need of more supervision by . . . liberals. Before they went on their bender of indignation about Wal-Mart (customers per week: 127 million), liberals had drummed McDonald's (customers per week: 175 million) out of civilized society because it is making us fat, or something. So, what next? Which preferences of ordinary Americans will liberals, in their role as national scolds, next disapprove? Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?