• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Serious Issues

Jonathan Alter wrote a book about Barack Obama’s first year in office called “The Promise.”  That’s a great title because it works on so many levels. For example, over the past four years, Obama’s career has been marked by a constant promise: He has continually said he is on the verge of doing something serious abut the national debt.

David Brooks, Tomorrow Never Comes, NYT Feb 18, 2011


David, here's an example of a good topical sentence for an opinion piece:


— Dude, David Brooks said “abut” in the New York Times, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh...


Every reader gets it, unlike your reference to a book that Beavis didn’t read.  It’s vivid, and you can go just about anywhere with it, for example,...


— Calm down Butthead.  You're gonna soil your drawers!

— Brooks said, “The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calculates that $780 billion of the proposed deficit cuts are politically dubious.”

— “Dubious” is cool.

— He said that we have deficit issues.

— He said, "issues” in the New York Times, heh, heh, heh

— And our deficit issues require a new way to think about how the government pays for social insurance.

— Like “with money”…

— He said our budget has issues too… it fails to touch the big programs.

— If the budget touched its big program, maybe its deficit would issue.

— He said, "the budget has some fine features.  But it is laughably inadequate compared with the fiscal problems before us."

— Heh, heh... Mr. Budget’s "program" is smaller than Mr. Fiscal’s "problem."

— That’s the issue, dumbass.

— He wants to rewrite our social contract too.

— Yeah, to pay for social insurance with poor people’s money.

— Poor people’s money is an oxymoron.

— Heh, heh... rich people's money must be a deoxymoron.

— He said the president’s debt commission produced a series of great conversations…

— Like the one we’re having?

— Yes, ass-wipe.

— Here’s one more before commercial break:  "Tomorrow never comes, it just promises to."

— That’s your issue, not mine, Butthead.