Reading the news coverage of President Obama’s first prime-time press conference, in which he argued forcefully for his massive economic stimulus bill, I was reminded of a conversation I had with either David Frum or Robert Samuelson or possibly Sebastian Mallaby (I don’t recall exactly, but it was a major columnist, I’m sure), who was telling me an anecdote about Henry Kissinger — or was it James Galbraith? — who was at this party, and Kennedy was there too, the Senator, I think, along with like three or four Supreme Court justices, including either O’Connor or Scalia, who was in the news at the time, and there was a commotion, glasses breaking and all that, and everyone at the party looked over to see two gentlemen fighting over the citations in some Brookings white paper, and it turned out that one of them had written the paper, the other had written the item in which it cited, which I guess was the key citation, and the writer of the cited paper was trying to claim credit for the paper’s idea while also arguing that the writer (of the paper) got the citation wrong, or at least misunderstood his intent, and Kissinger — or God, was it Milton Friedman maybe? No, couldn’t be — anyway, he pulled out a copy of The Origin of the Species (Yes! Darwin! I’m not making this up, I swear!) from his pocket, which apparently he’d been carrying around, and was about to read a passage the he’d apparently bookmarked, but started by saying… saying… what did he say? I seem to have forgotten entirely, but I’m sure it will come to me later, and I do recall that it seemed relevant to, you know, all this. But anyway, my point is that this stimulus package sure is expensive, and shouldn’t we take care with legislation like this to be a little more fiscally responsible?
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