Sunday, August 31, 2014

America’s real ice bucket challenge

By Dana Milbank Opinion writer August 29 WashPost

I’m just back from vacation in Europe, where, to judge from the political headlines coming out of the United States, this country had no greater care than which of its leaders would next be soaked in cold water.

George W. Bush was doused by his wife, Laura, and then nominated Bill Clinton to take the ice-bucket challenge for charity. Mitt Romney got a bucket poured on him by his former running mate, Paul Ryan, who joined other possible 2016 presidential aspirants Scott Walker and Chris Christie in performing the ritual. Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, dumped a bucket on his wife, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who then tapped Hillary Clinton for the treatment.

In my unplugged state, the occasional ice-bucket updates provided a sense of well-being: If this is going on, things must not be too bad in Ferguson, Mo., or with the Islamic State, or with Ebola. And so I pursued my own ice-bucket challenge, which involved a bottle of wine and a view of the sea.

But on my first day back in Washington, the Congressional Budget Office threw cold water on my tranquility. Its semiannual report on the federal government’s fiscal health, released Wednesday, was downright bone-chilling.

(More here.)

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