Apparently I was the only one not stunned by the hometown paper’s exposé of a cheese scandal: An unspecified amount of tax money is spent helping the USDA work with Big Food to use more cheese when more cheese makes Americans fat. My only surprise was that it was the lead story. Really, the most important news of the entire Sunday? With a lede based on a promotion “early last year”? (No credit was given to the first report of this, of course.) And of course my contrarian side was on high alert as I slogged through the acres of type. Question 1: Did the high-fructose guys plant it to distract attention from their contribution to obesity? (This is a paper that got played with Spitzer, not to mention with WMD.) Tax dollars pay farmers to grow the pound-packing corn to excess while the same department warns about fat. Question 2: Didn’t most of the evildoing happen during those lovely eight years when the whole government was for sale? It takes time to root out rot in bureaucracies, especially of the Christian College variety. And we’re supposed to be shocked, shocked that government agencies exist to enrich private business? Question 3: Isn’t the fact that farmers are fucking with nature to produce a glut of milk worth more than an aside? Also, too, would it be better if they just handed out cheese to the poor, as Ireland has started doing? (Neighbors in Arizona who qualified for government commodities always got cheese in a can back in the Fifties and Sixties, when the teabaggers of the time were skinny.) Still, the most serious question is this: Is the American cheese on a Wendy’s burger really even cheese? It has more in common with the plastic encasing each individual slice.