Seventy Three Billion

On this morn­ing’s Face The Nation, Sen­a­tor Har­ry Reid says that a num­ber has been reached for the amount of cuts to make in nego­ti­a­tions to pre­vent a gov­ern­ment shut­down. The num­ber he gives is $73 bil­lion. This is the first time I’ve heard that num­ber. I’ve been read­ing all week that the num­ber is $33 bil­lion. This num­ber would make the Repub­li­cans very hap­py since they’ve been want­i­ng $61 bil­lion. Of course, they would still want the cuts to be where they want them to be!

My guess is that Reid mis­spoke. I am dis­ap­point­ed that Bob Schi­ef­fer let that num­ber pass with­out ask­ing about it. In the blogs I read I do not see any imme­di­ate reac­tions to that number.

Reid comes up with the num­ber at the 5:55 mark of the video.


A com­menter, Joe Fri­day, at Steve Benen’s blog at The Wash­ing­ton Month­ly explains that Reid was sim­ply using a dif­fer­ent base­line and the $78 bil­lion and $38 bil­lion dol­lars are the same.

Assum­ing this is cor­rect, this then is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the seem­ing­ly eter­nal prob­lem the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has with mes­sag­ing. I pay a rea­son­able amount of atten­tion and Rei­d’s num­ber con­fused me. I guess I could be the only one who was (is?) confused…but if the same base­line was used con­sis­tent­ly, maybe more peo­ple would understand.….




Some­how it already feels like ancient his­to­ry, but the read­er per­haps remem­bers the hub­bub sur­round­ing the book Game Change when it was pub­lished eight days ago. Har­ry Reid was quot­ed talk­ing about Oba­ma’s lack of a Negro dialect. Sarah Palin is also depict­ed neg­a­tive­ly in the book.

Rei­d’s response was to stand up and admit he said what he said. And he apologized.

Pal­in’s response was to sim­ply state that the book was full of lies.

One might look at the two respons­es and draw con­clu­sions about who is lead­er­ship material.

On the oth­er hand, both of them respond­ed in the way that their pol­i­tics required of them. Pol­i­tics required Reid to man up and apol­o­gize. Pol­i­tics requires Palin to just declare the book to be lies. (Maybe they are lies. I don’t know).

With 63% of precincts report­ing, the Repub­li­can Brown is defeat­ing the Demo­c­rat Coak­ley in the Mass­a­chu­setts sen­ate race 53% to 46%. It is not look­ing good.

Now the Democ­rats are faced with the ques­tion of what to do with health care reform. Are they lead­ers or are they craven cow­ards to the polit­i­cal breeze.

TPM alerts us to the ear­ly leap by Indi­ana’s Bayh to cowardice.

The irony is that if the Dems lis­ten to the les­son of Mass­a­chu­setts and fail to pass health care, they will lose a lot more this fall then they will if they stand tall and pass the bill. They already vot­ed for it.

If Coak­ley does indeed lose, it prob­a­bly means the end of Cap and Trade. With luck the glob­al warm­ing deniers are correct.

Will we get lead­er­ship or politicians?