What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 16, 2009

Speaker Pelosi's Mouse

Yesterday, I told you about how Jack Kelly (inadvertantly or not) spread the "Pelosi's mouse" story in his weekly column.

Here's more about the story (though not, to be fair, about Jack) from the Mercury News. This was published, by the way, on the 12th of February (which would be last Thursday):

The tale began Wednesday, when Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, sent an e-mail to reporters and political leaders that noted Republican staff members have been asking federal agencies how they would spend the stimulus money.

"One response? Thirty million dollars for wetland restoration in the San Francisco Bay Area — including work to protect the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse," wrote Steel.

The Washington Times then wrote a story citing Steel and claiming that $30 million for the mouse project is contained in the bill. The paper suggested the money was put there by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. Blogger Matt Drudge, whose Web site receives 26 million hits a day, posted a link to that story.

And by midday Thursday, the tiny salt marsh harvest mouse — and Democratic supporters of the stimulus bill — had been ridiculed by hosts Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer on Fox News; Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, on CNN; MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and by bloggers from coast to coast.

Steel, however, said The Washington Times story is incorrect.

Really? Tell us more!
"There is no language in the bill that says this money will go to this project," Steel told the Mercury News. "There are large pots of money in the bill that go to various agencies. One of those agencies said the salt marsh harvest mouse project is something we'd do if you gave us the money."

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hamill agreed that funding for the mouse is not in the bill, and said she did not lobby for it to be on any list.

Remember this was published on Thursday February 12. And yet it made it into Jack's column on Sunday.

Better yet, it's in today's editorial at Ronald Reagan's favorite newspaper, The Washington Times. Take a look:
Many economists are aghast at the hodgepodge spending and warn of dangers ranging from hyperinflation to stagflation (but it is true that with 100 economists in a room, you may get 200 opinions). The most insulting piece of it was a modest $30 million House Speaker Nancy Pelosi inserted to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse, a tiny rodent indigenous to the San Francisco coast - an obvious earmark in a bill that Mr. Obama said with a straight face would be "earmark free."
As I said before - ah, the right wing noise machine. Amazing, isn't it?

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