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?