[Just posted: My story on Connecticut’s “gun valley” and the firearms industry in the wake of Newtown.]
Reluctantly I’ll post a thought, a mere mental notation, about the sequester, but first let’s look at this new poll about America’s polarized food habits (via Memeorandum). It tells us that Democrats prefer KFC and Republicans prefer Chic Fil A, which is pretty obvious. But I’m a bit surprised that Democrats like regular soda and Republicans like diet soda. Beyond the politics, though, is Burger King really America’s most popular burger chain, as this poll claims? And McDonald’s is third, behind Wendy’s? I could see Wendy’s coming out on top, because it has the better menu, and I agree that BK has better hamburgers than McDonald’s, but I’d have thought that marginal edge would be canceled out by the superior McDonald’s french fries (the glory of which was the subject of an old Why Things Are column that I wish I could link to). Okay, I admit it, I’ve just never been a BK guy. Or a Hardee’s guy. And don’t get me started on Jack-in-the-Box.
This poll tells me I need to get out more. Never mind seeing more movies and going to live-music events, what I really need to do is go to Papa John’s so that, when someone asks me how I’d compare it to Pizza Hut, I don’t stand there like an idiot with no opinion whatsoever. (Do many Americans actually have a strong opinion about Little Caesar’s? Discuss.)
The sequester. Well, I guess I should say something about it. The sequester was supposed to be so onerous that it would ensure action to reach a long-term budget deal. But it wasn’t really designed for maximum onerousness, because it spared the entitlement programs, other than a small cut in Medicare reimbursements to health care providers. If the politicians had wanted to make sure the sequester wouldn’t happen, they would have put seniors into the sequestration mix. I promise you, we’d have a deal if the alternative was granny selling pencils in the snow in order to buy cat food (a cliche threefer!). Here’s the fact: Most people want government spending cut (though some of us would say later, not now, and would argue for a completely different set of cuts, more rationally done — as I’ve said before and as Ezra noted in a recent column). The politicians know they will pay no penalty at the polls for letting the sequester go through. And so inaction rules the day, again.