Note to Orszag: You're Still Digging

A mostly political weblog.
Aug. 30 2009 2:38 PM

Note to Orszag: You're Still Digging

From OMB director Donald Rumsfeld Peter Orszag's recent blog post explaining the deficit estimate increase:

... the Administration is insistent that health care reform not only be deficit neutral over the next ten years, but also incorporate changes that will help reduce the deficit thereafter.


a) Isn't it pretty clear that these "changes that will help reduce the deficit" after ten years are the very changes that have scared seniors and others out of supporting Obama's health reform? I thought the plan was not to talk about them any more. ... b) Please tell me you're not going to veto a health care reform that is "deficit neutral over the next ten years" just because it doesn't also include those longer term defcit-cutting "game changers." You're not going to veto it--everyone knows this--but mightn't this be a good time to reassure us that you are not insane? ... 12:03 P.M.


From Resilience to Delusion: Is Christopher Hitchens really offering up the most ancient,  cliched rationalization of infidelity in defense of his friends, Elizabeth and John Edwards?

In the unequal battle between life and death (as she understood in her father's case), Eros has its part in warding off Thanatos, and if this really was--as I believe--her husband's first lapse, it might have been partly because of the death-haunted context in which, for all his money and charm, he found himself.

'Thanatos made me do it.' This was also Warren Beatty's rationalization in Shampoo , if I remember right. ... P.S.: I think there is actually a significant possibility that Hitchens really believes Rielle Hunter was John Edwards' "first lapse"-- that he's not just trying to be kind to his friends. He should stop being a fool. ... Update:  Alert reader E emails--

John Edwards had never strayed before. I guess he'd been waiting 30 years for someone to say the magic words, "You're so hot!" ....

12:26 P.M.


Test Your Tomato IQ: Lots of delicious U.S.-grown tomatoes in L.A. supermarkets last week. Weren't they supposed to be rotting in the fields due to lack of low-wage illegal immigrant labor? ... 10:22 P.M.


Do we really need angry outsider Pat Caddell to tell us that Edward Kennedy's absence left a "vacuum of leadership" in the Senate? (He "knew how to get things done" and "worked across aisles"!) How is David Broder supposed to earn a living? ... P.S.: Caddell also says that health care "probably would have been a done deal if [Kennedy] was around," which seems like pretty much 100% BS, unless Kennedy would have cajoled Obama into pursuing a different strategy. ... 10:51 P.M.




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