Listening to the bright lights of America's nominal right and putative left argue about the budget and the deficit and long-term fiscal whosahwhatsit has everything in common with that strand of Latin-American fiction that the dour taxonomists of academic-anglophonic lit'ruh-chur like to call magical realism--a term, by the way, that Borges himself would've been thrilled to invent, combining, as it does, the redundant and the oxymoronic, at least when applied to fiction. But I digress. The "budget debate" is like a fantastical story in which an imaginery academy of unreal scientists argue over the classification and disposition of made-up animals. Professor Bunkus holds that the Violet Squoo is a species of Unicorn, whereas Doctor Freno-Loji, bosoms heaving, declares it a Mermaid. Outside of the Dream University, by the way, the real junta is throwing nuns out of airplanes, lending the whole story a undertone of grave horror.