Obama OMB nominee forced to admit the obvious

posted at 10:12 am on March 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I feel a little bad for Heather Higginbottom in this clip — no, seriously, I do. The new nominee for Deputy Director of OMB went to the Senate yesterday for her confirmation hearing and ended up feeling the sting of Jeff Sessions’ expert cross-examination. Unfortunately for Higginbottom, she had to defend the indefensible, a series of statements about Barack Obama’s budget that were flat-out lies about its supposed fiscal responsibility. Sessions rips Obama, Tim Geithner, and OMB Director Jacob Lew and in the end gets her to concede that their claims on the budget were entirely wrong, if not deliberately false.

If you want to grow up to be a prosecutor or a Senator, or both, then consider this a practical lab on how it’s done. The same is true if you aspire to shoot fish in a barrel:

Here’s my money quote from the clip, at the 4:25 mark:

HH: Senator, I think if we’re trying to lay a responsible fiscal path coming out of this severe economic downturn, then one of the first things we have to do is to stop digging into the hole with the programs we’re proposing and funding.

JS: Does this budget do that?

HH: The budget provides a path to ensure –

JS: Does the budget do that? I don’t know what a path means. In ten years, does it do what you said?

HH: Does it not add to the debt?

Actually, it does add to the debt, so that hole just keeps getting bigger. Higginbottom doesn’t seem to understand the hole she dug herself in her testimony. Sessions makes it clear at the 5:09 mark:

JS: Let’s take the last three years of the President’s ten year budget. Do the deficits go down those years eight, nine, and ten, or does it go up in eight, nine, and ten?

HH: I don’t have the deficit table in front of me –

JS: Well, that’s an important matter. I know what they basically say.

HH: The President’s budget reduces the deficit, takes it to about $600 billion and stabilizes it, but as I –

JS: No, it doesn’t stabilize it. In years 8, 9, and 10, it goes up every year and reaches approximately nine hundred billion from six hundred billion.

Come on, Senator Sessions. Everyone in the White House thinks that only increasing the deficit by 50% over three years is “stabilization”!  At least Higginbottom had enough honesty to admit that debt service is still part of the budget, and that borrowing to pay for debt service is still spending.

I think they’re going to need a new nominee soon.


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I’m just disagreeing with Ed’s point that this is a good example of being a prosecutor. Maybe it’s a great way to hold a Senate hearing, but it’s just a good way to get yelled at if you do it in court, especially if you’re a prosecutor because judges tend to give you a little less leeway in my experience, although that could just be because they didn’t like me. But why would someone not like me? I mean, figure that one out.

Proud Rino on March 18, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Immaterial gobblydegook.

rrpjr on March 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Heather Higginbottom = Lex Luthor’s assistant Miss Teschmacher

Rovin on March 18, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I’m just disagreeing with Ed’s point that this is a good example of being a prosecutor.
Proud Rino on March 18, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Immaterial gobblydegook.
rrpjr on March 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Whenever a self-proclaimed “retard” throws a hissy fit, it’s safe to say the result will always be immaterial gobblydegook.

But in a REAL court, what Senator Sessions did would have laid the grounds for an airtight perjury prosecution.

logis on March 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Let’s dissect her Wiki entry, shall we? I know who this person is – I was one of them before I went straight and joined the private sector.

Early life and education
Higginbottom attended Chenango Valley High School in Binghamton, NY. Higginbottom received her Master of Public Policy degree at what is now called the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester.

She went from high school to college, from college to MA without joining the private sector. She was probably in high school and college politics, and at University helped organize some progressive cause activities and went from school right into politics.

Career
From 1999 to 2007, Higginbottom served as legislative director for Senator John Kerry. She also served as the Deputy National Policy Director for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential Campaign for the primary and general elections.
After the 2004 election, Higginbottom founded and served as Executive Director of the American Security Project, a national security think tank. She began her career as an advocate with the national non-profit organization Communities In Schools.
On November 24, 2008, it was announced that Higginbottom has been appointed the Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council in the administration of President Barack Obama.[1]
On January 7, 2011, President Obama nominated Higginbottom to the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

• Ok, let’s follow the standard political path to power here that she is following.

o Communities in Schools: This is a progressive-Left group dedicated to education, aka, to more funding and tied at the hip to the NEA an ATF, etc. She was a gopher there and networked her way into her next step.

o John Kerry: She transferred from “advocacy group” to Sen Kerry’s office as a Legislative Assistant, a glorified word for gopher sent out to track and cover various bills and issues. With time served she networked her way up to being a Legislative Director and would have helped shape Kerry’s policy proposals. So if you love Kerry, you’ll like her work. Then she went to work on Kerry’s presidential campaign, and after he lost she got another “hat” with another progressive group in addition to still being on Kerry’s staff.

o At the American Security Project, founded by Progressives and some RINOS (their top issues have been Climate Change and Non-Proliferation) she worked her way up to being an Executive Director which gave her some “national security” credentials and more exposure to the next rung of the ladder. Note that she stayed in Kerry’s staff this whole time as an LD.

o Then she went to work on the Obama campaign in 2008 and as a reward for good work was appointed the Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council for the President, and left Kerry’s staff.

o After time served and networking she is now a Deputy at the OMB!

She’s a smart, cunning power climber who has spent her entire adult life within the world of politics. She has NO experience in the real world and is the consummate example of the Beltway Insider, and what’s wrong with our system.

EasyEight on March 18, 2011 at 12:10 PM

My reaction on watching her response: Well Guten Morgen, Fraulein Bibliotecharinnen!

SD on March 18, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Sessions should have asked the following question;
“Ms. Higginbottom, if you can’t give me a concise straight honest answer on this now during your confirmation hearing, should I expect you to be more concise and honest after you are confirmed? If you cannot give me a less than 3 word answer to this question, then that is how I will vote.”

barnone on March 18, 2011 at 12:15 PM

More on here from that link:

Low Friends in High Places:
Axelrod, Bill Clinton, Kerry

Great Ideas that we all love:
Obamacare!! Yes, she’s one of the Deep Thinkers in Team Obama who helped bring us Obamacare: “Campaigns and Elections magazine listed her as one of the “big thinkers” behind Obama’s health-care plan.In that role, she helped the campaign draft its proposal to ensure universal coverage by allowing those who were happy with their health-care plan to keep it while providing those who weren’t with low-cost government health insurance. A version of this plan was enacted by the Democratic Congress in March 2010.”

Oh…and her parents were lefty university professors…what’s not to like about her background and policies that are now impacting all of us??

EasyEight on March 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Thank you, Senator Sessions…

Khun Joe on March 18, 2011 at 12:31 PM

This video would be comedy gold

…except that it illustrates what kind of idiots are actually engaged in the serious business of running this country.

landlines on March 18, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I’m having a hard time getting the image of Ms. Higginbottom letting her hair down, slowly undoing her top…

… and lying her a%s off to the American people.

Seven Percent Solution on March 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

So, taking the lead from the smartest people in the room, I no longer am obligated to report the amount of interest I pay as “spending”.

That means that my monthly housing expense (mortgage) is only the principal amount, not the interest portion. Wow. My cash flow nearly tripled just by watching this video. And now my debt payment to income ratio is f’ing golden!

Thanks!

BobMbx on March 18, 2011 at 12:52 PM

But Senator, I wore my smart glasses!

BacaDog on March 18, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I’m just disagreeing with Ed’s point that this is a good example of being a prosecutor. Maybe it’s a great way to hold a Senate hearing, but it’s just a good way to get yelled at if you do it in court, especially if you’re a prosecutor because judges tend to give you a little less leeway in my experience, although that could just be because they didn’t like me. But why would someone not like me? I mean, figure that one out.

Proud Rino on March 18, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Shorter PR:

“That hearing really makes Obama look like a liar, so I’ll talk about how Sessions wouldn’t make a good prosecutor or something instead of addressing the content of the hearing.”

BobMbx on March 18, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I’m having a hard time getting the image of Ms. Higginbottom letting her hair down, slowly undoing her top…

… and lying her a%s off to the American people.

Seven Percent Solution on March 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Use this as eyewash:

Did Kerry hit it?

BobMbx on March 18, 2011 at 12:57 PM

So, taking the lead from the smartest people in the room, I no longer am obligated to report the amount of interest I pay as “spending”. That means that my monthly housing expense (mortgage) is only the principal amount, not the interest portion. Wow. My cash flow nearly tripled just by watching this video. And now my debt payment to income ratio is f’ing golden!
BobMbx on March 18, 2011 at 12:52 PM

There is one tiny difference: You would end up in prison for doing the exact same thing that makes liberal politicians incredibly rich and powerful.

logis on March 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

She’s kinda hot.

(Sorry, had to.)

nickj116 on March 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Seven Percent Solution on March 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Use this as eyewash:

Did Kerry hit it?

BobMbx on March 18, 2011 at 12:57 PM

If that doesn’t help, here’s the industrial-strength version.

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I’m just disagreeing with Ed’s
Proud Rino on March 18, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Dog bites man story.

chemman on March 18, 2011 at 1:04 PM

She’s kinda hot.

(Sorry, had to.)

nickj116 on March 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

MEh….She does have some really important glasses though….

BigWyo on March 18, 2011 at 1:06 PM

lorien1973 on March 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Rofl. Wow.

nickj116 on March 18, 2011 at 1:13 PM

The “library look” always worked before, what happened?

right2bright on March 18, 2011 at 1:13 PM

BigWyo on March 18, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Ok, cute compared to the people we normally see on C-SPAN being nominated for a position…

nickj116 on March 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Man, I’ll bet she wished she stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

If I didn’t know how badly she was going to help this administration vacuum out my wallet I’d almost feel bad for her.

DrAllecon on March 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM

The “library look” always worked before, what happened?
right2bright on March 18, 2011 at 1:13 PM

It’s like wearing Spandex. Some women can pull off the look; but if they can’t, it backfires horribly.

logis on March 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

But in a REAL court, what Senator Sessions did would have laid the grounds for an airtight perjury prosecution.

logis on March 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

[[ applause from me ]]

Senator Sessions maintains my highest regard as among our most valuable Republican Senators.

I do wish he’d applied this same steely tactic, however, to the Sotomayor nomination hearing, in which he began strongly but quickly just let Sotomayor *whatever* in responses, if they could be called that.

Sessions is one of the Senate’s (and certainly the GOP’s) finest, no doubt about it. I greatly admire him.

Lourdes on March 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM

So, taking the lead from the smartest people in the room, I no longer am obligated to report the amount of interest I pay as “spending”. That means that my monthly housing expense (mortgage) is only the principal amount, not the interest portion. Wow. My cash flow nearly tripled just by watching this video. And now my debt payment to income ratio is f’ing golden!
BobMbx on March 18, 2011 at 12:52 PM

There is one tiny difference: You would end up in prison for doing the exact same thing that makes liberal politicians incredibly rich and powerful.

logis on March 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

With every one of these nominees from Obama, they have — each and every one of them — sounded like, well, like College Juniors who *are of the mind that* they’re going to be CEO’s in nineteen months. Their knowledge level, to the contrary, sounds mostly like Cliff Notes’ summaries or what I’d call Far Flung Generalizations.

Lourdes on March 18, 2011 at 1:32 PM

This Washington mess is run by mentally unhealthy people executing financially dangerous behaviors.

seven on March 18, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Yes, right you are.

Lourdes on March 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Jeff Sessions is hot.

sandspur on March 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

She’s kinda hot.

(Sorry, had to.)

nickj116 on March 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Only if judged compared to little Bammie’s other appointments.

slickwillie2001 on March 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Heather Higginbottom’s socialist/Marxist connections:

http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2011/03/heather-higginbottoms-socialist.html

How did I guess?

technopeasant on March 18, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Thanks for posting that. Has Obama got ANYone into government who ISN’T keyed into Marxism? And that she worked for Kerry, arghh.

Lourdes on March 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Wise Hipster??

BigWyo on March 18, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Best and the brightest, eh?

Looks like a frustrated Marxist. Didn’t even wear the required beret.

coldwarrior on March 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Low Friends in High Places:
Axelrod, Bill Clinton, Kerry

Great Ideas that we all love:
Obamacare!! Yes, she’s one of the Deep Thinkers in Team Obama who helped bring us Obamacare: “Campaigns and Elections magazine listed her as one of the “big thinkers” behind Obama’s health-care plan.In that role, she helped the campaign draft its proposal to ensure universal coverage by allowing those who were happy with their health-care plan to keep it while providing those who weren’t with low-cost government health insurance. A version of this plan was enacted by the Democratic Congress in March 2010.”

Oh…and her parents were lefty university professors…what’s not to like about her background and policies that are now impacting all of us??

EasyEight on March 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Best and the brightest, eh?

Looks like a frustrated Marxist. Didn’t even wear the required beret.

coldwarrior on March 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

= Marxist-Cultism.

Communists now well-fed and socked into academics in the U.S. and into our nation’s government.

Lourdes on March 18, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I feel a little bad for Heather Higginbottom in this clip — no, seriously, I do.

C’mon, Allah – Let’s admit you only feel bad because she is marginally cute to the eyes of a Northeastern intellectual beta-male type. I don’t think you got misty-eyed over Geithner getting raked over the coals by sessions….

I’d Higgen that Bottom!

And now I denounce myself.

kjl291 on March 18, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Best and the brightest, eh? Looks like a frustrated Marxist. Didn’t even wear the required beret.
coldwarrior on March 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I like referring to liberals as neo-hippies. That really pisses them off: “Hey, we’re wearing suits now. So all you corporatist zombies are supposed to think we have real jobs!”

I’ve never actually met one of these in person. But I’m guessing they still smell the same as they always did.

logis on March 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM

kjl291 on March 18, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Mr. Morrissey.

Cindy Munford on March 18, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I hate to point out the obvious (well, actually, no I don’t), but:

If you’re in a plane descending at 600 feet per minute (or $600 billion per year) that’s not stabilized just because the rate of crashing isn’t changing. You’re still crashing!!

Adding to the debt each year isn’t stabilizing. Nor is it a “path to stabilization” or a “first step” or anything of the kind. It’s crashing.

Now, being a pilot, I must say there are good (or less bad) crashes and bad crashes. But, how ’bout we try not crashing?!?!?!?

Pablo Snooze on March 18, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Cindy Munford on March 18, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I’m sorry Ms. Hall Monitor…you honestly want me censored and/or banned for a silly joke? What is this, LGF?

kjl291 on March 18, 2011 at 3:21 PM

She has two key things in common with Commie Soetoro:
They both have big ears and yet they’re both deaf.

Western_Civ on March 18, 2011 at 3:22 PM

I’m sorry Ms. Hall Monitor…you honestly want me censored and/or banned for a silly joke? What is this, LGF?

kjl291 on March 18, 2011 at 3:21 PM

No, no, — Cindy was correcting your misattribution. This article wasn’t posted by AllahP, but by Cap’n Ed.

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Mind you, it is certainly snarky enough for AllahP — someone in another thread opined that Ed must have been taking snark lessons from his co-blogger. ;-)

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Now, being a pilot, I must say there are good (or less bad) crashes and bad crashes. But, how ’bout we try not crashing?!?!?!?

Pablo Snooze on March 18, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Isn’t there an old joke about the pilot stating they lost an engine in a four engine plane, and that it will take 4 hours instead of three to get there, then they lost another and is stated it will now take 6 hours instead of three, they lost the third and it will now take 9 hours instead of 3, then they lost the last one and a passenger says “Great now it will take forever to get their”…

right2bright on March 18, 2011 at 3:44 PM

their—-there

right2bright on March 18, 2011 at 3:44 PM

kjl291 on March 18, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Oh, dear, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Thank you so much, I guess it is safe to say I was unclear.

Cindy Munford on March 18, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Oh, well, if that is the case then my face is red.

I appreciate the correction, and i sincerly apologize to Ms. Munford.

kjl291 on March 18, 2011 at 4:17 PM

kjl291 on March 18, 2011 at 4:17 PM

No, I am sorry I was unclear.

Cindy Munford on March 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I believe withering is the word used to describe Senator Session’s line of questioning.

Just wish it could be Barry Zero feeling some of the heat. Naw…hell…ALL of the heat.

Mr. Grump on March 18, 2011 at 4:37 PM

I appreciate the correction, and i sincerly apologize to Ms. Munford.

kjl291 on March 18, 2011 at 4:17 PM

No, I am sorry I was unclear.

Cindy Munford on March 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM

All’s well that ends well! :-) Glad I could help.

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Proud Rino, I’m shocked you failed to mention that she didn’t go to a top-10 school. She’s obviously unqualified, no?

DrSteve on March 18, 2011 at 7:03 PM

She accepted the nomination. No pity deserved.

When you represent liars and you wanna keep your job you gotta lie as well.

Glasses can only make you look intelligent.

Open your mouth and words and glasses may not jibe.

Sherman1864 on March 18, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Bully/fake concern

RalphyBoy on March 19, 2011 at 1:20 PM

“Ms. Higginbottom on what planet would increasing the deficit be considered a path towards reducing it?”

blink on March 18, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Earth.

unclesmrgol on March 19, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Apparatchick.

mr.blacksheep on March 19, 2011 at 11:02 PM

But in a REAL court, what Senator Sessions did would have laid the grounds for an airtight perjury prosecution.

logis on March 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

All the President’s Henchmen

WHERE ARE THOSE HOUSE SUBPOENAS?

Roy Rogers on March 19, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Hey! That looks like Tina Fey!

Roy Rogers on March 19, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Let’s see…monster slicked down comb-over hair-do and dark rimmed smart glasses. That right there is your prototypical Beltway/Northeastern lefty female.

starman on March 20, 2011 at 12:51 AM

At least this woman nominee doesn’t look like she ate the entire mess hall at a Navy Base before being nominated. Guess those sweathogs are reserved for the Supreme Court nominations.

kens on March 21, 2011 at 8:37 AM

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