I was in an office waiting room today, and they had CNN on, though with no sound. So there was a Closed Captioning text scrawl at the bottom of the screen, translating the words. The news story, as you might imagine, was about Ukraine. And what I read on the scrawl really surprised me. It said that the United States was going to offer Ukraine a support package of $18.
Geez, I thought, that's not very much. Eighteen measly dollars? What are they doing, buying the entire country one cheese pizza? Even Ellen got three for the Oscar audience.
I figured I had to be reading something wrong. (No, it didn't take a genius to reach that conclusion.) So, I took a closer look before everything scrolled off the screen. I realized that it wasn't an "8" at all, but rather a capital "B." The United States was offering $1B. A billion dollars. Okay, that's better. A billion dollars buys a whole lot of pizza.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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