What a great cartoon, huge kudos to cartoonist Rob Tornoe. Hope he has more coming. Read all about this broohaha over at MM.
Kevin Drum applies some common sense and checks the paperwork that spawned the "$16 Muffin" meme. Surprise!! It's bullhockey.
So did DOJ really pay $16 for muffins? Of course not. In fact, it's obvious that someone quite carefully calculated the amount they were allowed to spend and then gave the hotel a budget. The hotel agreed, but for some reason decided to divide up the charges into just a few categories instead of writing a detailed invoice for every single piece of food they provided. This is unremarkable. In fact, I'm here to tell you that this happens All. The. Time. I've been involved in what feels like a thousand conferences of this kind, and I'd be shocked if it happened any other way. Hell, I'm surprised DOJ even got that much of a breakdown. Far more commonly, your event person negotiates what kind of refreshments you'll get, and the invoice ends up looking something like this:
Refreshment table (bev/morn/aft) — 5 days....................$39,500
None of this is to say that DOJ didn't overspend on its conferences. In fact, it sounds like they did — though in some cases this was just an artifact of applying overhead costs to the food instead of accounting for it separately. But the $16 muffin? That's a myth. It'll never die now that it's been delivered to posterity thanks to some enthusiast in the OIG who broke out a calculator and mistakenly assumed they could calculate actual costs this way, but it's still a myth.
Dave Weigel has an excellent post up about CNN's consistent top notch reporting (sarcasm), starting with their chyron, "W.H.: PRESIDENT OBAMA ISN'T MUSLIM". I'll give you a tiny sample, but to post more wouldn't be fair. Just hop over and read:
W.H.: PRES. OBAMA ISN'T GIVING NUCLEAR LAUNCH CODES TO KENYA
My earlier post on the topic here. Dave's is funnier.
Earlier, Paddy posted about a poll which showed, once again, America isn't listening, doesn't care to listen, is gullible, and/or gets their so-called "news" (if at all) from ClusterFox or their equally ill informed friends. In that post was the following quote:
Americans increasingly are convinced — incorrectly — that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, and a growing number are thoroughly confused about his religion.
What does it take, people? And why is that message not being stifled by the factual one?
The Rushpublics are making every effort to push lies to energize their base. They cater to the worst in people by fear-mongering. "He" is one of "them", not us! He's "different"! He's bad and evil and a Kenyan terrorist! Be afraid. Vote Republican!
And so, once again, President Obama has to state the obvious:
Jen Psaki, White House deputy communications director:
President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an important part of his daily life. He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily devotional that he uses each morning. The President's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday.
The poll's findings are not surprising given the scope of the issues we are focused on-a recovering economy, bringing troops home from Iraq, putting healthcare and financial reform implementation in place. The President's strong Christian faith is what guides him through these challenges but he doesn't wear it on his sleeve.
And he shouldn't have to wear it on his sleeve, or anywhere else for that matter. His religious beliefs are irrelevant and they should be private.
Of course, should President Obama ever display the frustration I'm feeling at the moment, he'd be labeled, again, an "angry black man." Therefore, the "I am a committed Christian" statements will be repeated and repeated.
But so will the "Obama is not one of us" baiting.
Here's an idea, media: Emphasize the truth, over and over and over. Dispense with the sensationalism. Hammer away at the propaganda, calling it out regularly. Stick with the facts. Wouldn't that be refreshing?
WASHINGTON — Americans increasingly are convinced -- incorrectly -- that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, and a growing number are thoroughly confused about his religion.
Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly say he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent.
The largest share of people, 43 percent, said they don't know his religion, an increase from the 34 percent who said that in early 2009.
The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is based on interviews conducted before the controversy over whether Muslims should be permitted to construct a mosque near the World Trade Center site. Obama has said he believes Muslims have the right to build an Islamic center there, though he's also said he won't take a position on whether they should actually build it.
In a separate poll by Time magazine/ABT SRBI conducted Monday and Tuesday -- after Obama's comments about the mosque -- 24 percent said they think he is Muslim, 47 percent said they think he is Christian and 24 percent didn't know or didn't respond.
In addition, 61 percent opposed building the Muslim center near the Trade Center site and 26 percent said they favor it.
The Pew poll found that about three in 10 of Obama's fiercest political rivals, Republicans and conservatives, say he is a Muslim. That is up significantly from last year and far higher than the share of Democrats and liberals who say so. But even among his supporters, the number saying he is a Christian has fallen since 2009, with just 43 percent of blacks and 46 percent of Democrats saying he is Christian.
Once again, Halfy McNotVP is mangling the truth to make Elected by a Wide Margin President Obama look like a weak, America-hating doody head (that's a political term I picked up on the street).
It's also rather contradictory to suggest Obama is reluctant to accept superpower status when one remembers how Halfy's crowd revels in accusations that he is an evil dictator who wants to control us, our pets, and the entire world:
Asked this week about his faltering efforts to advance the Middle East peace process, President Obama did something remarkable. In front of some 47 foreign leaders and hundreds of reporters from all over the world, President Obama said that “whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.”
Whether we like it or not? Most Americans do like it.
Here’s what the President actually said:
But what we can make sure of is, is that we are constantly present, constantly engaged, and setting out very clearly to both sides our belief that not only is it in the interests of each party to resolve these conflicts but it’s also in the interest of the United States. It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.
The corporate media has already picked up her side of the story, which means the punditiots will be pushing this misleading meme instead of, you know, the truth.
Which is exactly how Halfy takes control of the message and stirs up her wacky groupies.
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