Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just remember, she said that to me

(The Zombies-Tell Her No)

More zombie lies, spread by both the lazy Librul Media™ and the mendacious wingnut media
Did you hear that "some are saying" Barack Obama's inauguration will cost "$160 million," which is $100 million more than George W. Bush's last swearing-in? That's the tale the crew at Fox & Friends was telling on January 15. "Why does the thing have to cost so much?" demanded co-host Gretchen Carlson. "I don't get it. George Bush spent $42.3 million and that was just four years ago." She wondered why Obama needed "another $100 million" for his celebration.

The Fox News crew wasn't alone. The Internet and cable news were filled with chatter about the jaw-dropping (and unsubstantiated) number suddenly attached to Obama's swearing-in. But the sloppy reporting and online gossip about the price tag illustrated what happens when journalists don't do their job and online partisans take advantage of that kind of work.

Crap, just crap. Historically, and for good reason, inaugural expenses were published without documenting security costs. After all, as all good wingnuts know, we don't want to let "them" know what our defense strategy and tools might be.

But this year that's no longer a problem. Might as well let "them" know exactly how many bullets each Secret Service agent has in their coat pockets:
The question for the press then becomes: How much did the government spend on security for Bush's 2005 inauguration? How much did it cost for the wartime administration's unprecedented move to turn the nation's capital into something akin to an armed fortress, with snipers on rooftops, planes flying overhead, Humvee-mounted anti-aircraft missiles dotting the city, and manholes cemented shut?

Back in January 2005, that figure was impossible to come by. "U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said last week that he was unable to estimate security costs for the inauguration," The Washington Times reported. The cross-town Washington Post also had no luck in 2005 finding out the cost of security: "[Government] spokesmen said they could not provide an estimate of what the inauguration will cost the federal government."

However, buried in a recent New York Times article published one week before the controversy erupted over the cost of Obama's inauguration, the newspaper reported that in 2005, "the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, cleanup and for a holiday for federal workers" [emphasis added].

You read that correctly. The federal government spent $115 million dollars for the 2005 inauguration. Keep in mind, that $115 million price tag was separate from the money Bush backers bundled to put on the inauguration festivities. For that, they raised $42 million. So the bottom line for Bush's 2005 inauguration, including the cost of security? That's right, $157 million.