Here's one obvious demonstration of what happens when liberals gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco: prominent, gruesome warnings of death on boxes of cigarettes. Apparently, mere text saying smoking can be fatal isn't enough “telling truth to power.” New York Times reporter Gardiner Harris celebrated this development on the front page of the Times Thursday. The headline was “U.S. Wants Smoking's Costs to Stare You in the Face.”

Left out of this nanny-state story: the sinking feeling that the FDA could follow San Francisco's war-on-McDonald's example and start putting toe-tag photos (or maybe just obese-kid photos) on Happy Meal boxes. Anthony Hemsley of Commonwealth Brands tobacco gets a brief chance to suggest the graphic warnings add nothing and only serve “to stigmatize smokers and denormalize smoking.” (In other words, "smokers: the new alternative-lifestyle practitioners it's safe to hate.") But Harris and the Times offer a parade of Obama government officials and public-health experts to explain their gruesome graphics campaign: