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Monday, November 22, 2010

Griper Blade: Bad News in Pretty Packages

Wrapped giftThere are some columnists I like to read just because their prose is so damned good. Frank Rich comes to mind, then media critic Tom Shales, followed in no particular order by E.J. Dionne, Cynthia Tucker, and my own hometown guy John Nichols. This isn't a comprehensive list, just a few examples. Writing -- even opinion columns -- is art and these people get that. As for myself, I tend to think of my writing as more vocal than literary -- English as it's spoken, not as it's written -- so I don't really emulate these writers. I just read them and admire them. We spend so much time thinking and talking about their arguments that we often overlook their talents. That's a little bit of a shame, but not much of one. The arguments are the whole damned point. The prose is just the pretty package the arguments come in. But a lot of work goes into that packaging, so take moment to appreciate it the next time you tear it open to get to the point.

I bring all this up because sometimes those pretty packages contain some pretty ugly truths. So thank God for the pretty packaging -- it's the bright side to some pretty awful stuff. Paul Krugman is another writer I like and his approach to truth can be pretty stark and brutal.

Former Senator Alan Simpson is a Very Serious Person. He must be -- after all, President Obama appointed him as co-chairman of a special commission on deficit reduction.

So here's what the very serious Mr. Simpson said on Friday: "I can't wait for the blood bath in April. ... When debt limit time comes, they're going to look around and say, 'What in the hell do we do now? We've got guys who will not approve the debt limit extension unless we give 'em a piece of meat, real meat,'" meaning spending cuts. "And boy, the blood bath will be extraordinary," he continued...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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