Education

"Did you ever study writing in the English language?"

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Lippy

I'm normally not in the business of reprinting hate mail, but this reaction, by Kip Durocher, to my CNN.com government-waste column of this morning, was too delicious not to share:

The last thing we need is incessant prattle from a ?pundit? like you. Did you finish middle  school? When I taught grade 7 decades ago I would have given your CNN piece an F. Did you ever study writing in the English language?
We do not need foaming mouth do nothing know all fools like you. Do the world a favor and eliminate your carbon foot print today.

In other reaction, a tipster named Clint sends this along:

You might want to amend your opinion piece on CNN.com about the muffin outrage. It did not happen.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/09/22/325810/grassley-heads-roll-muffin-scandal/

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  1. As Kevin Drum at Mother Jones explained yesterday, the $16 muffin charge is a myth. After plowing through the invoice for the event 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.

    As a refutation of the claim that the government is wasteful and spends carelessly, this doesn’t, erm, cut the mustard.

    And I wonder how many of the people saying that the “$16 muffin” is a canard and clear evidence of bad faith like to spout on about $800 toilet seats, which arise from pretty much the same kind of cost allocation.

    1. Im thinking hotels will learn to invoice properly in the future.

      1. Exactly what I was thinking. That’s not how invoices are supposed to be written. An auditor would have a field day with that.

      2. I propose a Hotel Czar to ensure proper invoicing regulations.

    2. 1. Kevin Drum says “hotels commonly don’t break down food invoices into accurate line items”. This gives a reason to doubt the muffins were actually $16 apiece, but proves nothing.
      2. Kevin Drum points out DOJ spent $14.74 per person attending conference on food. Again, evidence in support of muffins not actually being $16 apiece, but does not prove it
      3. Every liberal blogger in the verse links Kevin’s article as conclusive proof $16 muffin didn’t happen.

      Fucking confirmation bias, how does it work?

      1. it’s as though the lack of an actual $16 muffin, and who doesn’t enjoy one of those, justifies the entire expense of this junket.

      2. Indeed. I wonder how many invoices he audited, to set the record straight, during the Bush years?

      3. When I worked at a hotel as a kid, one of the ways to make a little side cash was to convert bar tabs (we were a full service hotel) into “laundry” or “phone” charges.

        Businessmen who traveled a lot would slip you $5 to ring up the real charges as legitimate expenses, which I was only too happy to do.

        All of which goes to say, that I’d be happier if they were actually overspending on $16 muffins. I’m sure the actual items were booze, booze and more booze.

        But maybe I’ll try this tactic myself next time I’m audited. After all what’s good enough for the DOJ should be good enough for the rest of us.

        1. Travel writers occasionally do the same — or so I’m told.

        2. Are you saying that booze ain’t food? I’d rather chop off my ding-dong than admit that!

      4. “Fucking confirmation bias, how does it work?”

        It’s slightly more complicated than the scenario where you’d like to persist with an assertion you can’t support, but not by much.

  2. What is your native tongue?

  3. Nice guys take the $16 muffin last.

    1. Actually, I thought it went whoever paid for the muffins gets the last one.

      1. Meh donuts taste better and generally have fewer calories.

        1. The muffin to people ratio is too low

  4. What is all of this “We” talk?

  5. Why the hell are taxpayers paying for snacks at a DOJ conference anyway? Let the bastards bring Twinkies in their briefcases or wander out to find the Tom’s and Lance machines.

    1. DOJ lawyers believe they are true public servants because they are “scarificing” for their country by prosecuting drug crimes when they would be making millions defending companies from securities fraud suits. So they would scoff at the notion that they should pay for anything “else” out of pocket. Now of course, they all plan to cash in on their DOJ credentials, but they’d prefer that you just ignore that.

      1. they are “scarificing”

        Well, they’re definitely scarfing.

    2. I work for DoD. When I helped set up conferences, we were told specifically that it was illegal to use government funds for food since this was a TDY conference. The people attending were supposed to use their own Per Diem to fund snacks and such.

      1. I work for the DoD right now, dealing with a lot of this crap… it’s nearly impossible to break the culture of waste that exists in government agencies. I actually have to answer questions when I come in under budget, as if I had done something wrong. However, if I were to ever go OVER budget (which I NEVER do), I can just ask for some more money and get it with very few questions asked.

        The fact taht an individual muffin did not cost $16 is not the point- the point is that government agencies spend taxpayer money without thinking about where it comes from. Sure, the food was carefully budgeted, but what was the total conference fee, how much were the hotel rooms per person, per night, etc- how much taxpayer money was wasted OVERALL on this boondoggle?

        1. “The fact taht an individual muffin did not cost $16 is not the point…”

          Since it appears the catering cost per attendee was under $15, there wouldn’t appear to be any point at all.

      2. This is exactly what I was thinking. I recently completed my fiscal law class and one of the things they drove home repeatedly was that meals couldn’t be provided when the attendees were getting reimbursed for their meals (on per diem or attending a conference in their home station). Also, you can’t do a contract for a conference that includes food. They need to be separate contracts.

        At least that is what I took from my fiscal law class. Maybe the DOJ teaches something different from JAG.

  6. Do Americans say “grade 7”? That is the more common phrasing in most parts of Canada AFAIK, but I always hear Americans say “7th grade.”

    1. I’ve seldom/never heard an American say ‘Grade 7’ before. Seriously.

      1. It is easier to type grade 7, than to write seventh grade, or 7th grade.

        1. :::narrows eyes::: That’s Canadian Talk.

    2. Yes, that is a Canadianism.

      1. Busted:

        If you’re not from the United States, please let us know which country you are from.
        Canada

        How do I know this is the right guy? “There is 1 person named “Kip Durocher” in the United States.”

        1. Florida is flooded with Canadians.

        2. I can’t be bothered to click. Is that first link to a site called “Do Peace” or one called “Dope Ace”? Politically, this Mr. Durocher sounds like he’d have a page on the former; intellectually, I’d think he’d have a page on the latter.

        3. If it is that guy, the goal of his site is: “Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.”

          And he told Matt to off himself.

          Wow.

          Fuck you, Kip.

          1. It’s only uncivil when the “other side” does it.

    3. Well, I was in “seventh grade” but you kidz like to mix numbers in these days.

      1. Maybe he’s actually saying he taught something called “grade” 70 years ago.

        1. That’s our Kip. So many ways to interpret that enigmatic and possibly Canadian motherfucker.

          1. Build Le Fence now.

          2. He probably learned that form of speech at university.

          3. *Google-fu*

            He’s…CANADIAN!

            1. Oh, marvelous.

              “I have always wondered this question myself.”

              1. Mere moments after that photo was taken, Kip was arrested by Florida Fish and Wildlife officials. They finally caught the The Fish-Fucking Bandit in the act.

                1. Police still refuse to comment as to whether or not he is involved in the recent outbreak of sheep rapes that have terrorized the community.

                  1. No sheep were harmed in the filming of this episode.

                    1. But they will be once the cameras stop rolling.

                  2. nah, just can’t do it

  7. ENGLISH MUTHAFUCKA DO YOU SPEAK IT!!??!

      1. Pulp Fiction reference.

        1. Ceci n’est pas un Pulp Fiction reference.

        2. Yeah, remember the name of the character who kept saying “what”?

          1. Flock of something, right?

          2. Say “what” one more time mother fucker. I dare you.

            1. It was Brad. Flock of Seagulls was on the couch.

              And BTW, the same guy who played Brad played Archie Graham in “Field of Dreams.”. I’ve got no idea what else Flock of Seagulls has done.

        3. Fuck me, I should never get involved

      2. Check out the big brain on Brett.

        1. Hmm, well it has to be better than Kip’s.

  8. Jeepers, Matt; why are you such a bomb-thrower? Listen to the grownups, whydontcha?

    Republicans want to close the entire budget gap by slashing government spending. The president’s balanced approach protects vital services and growth.

    There are vital services to protect. And every responsible American realizes the pitiful inadequacy of government protections for the social fabric.

    1. vital services and growth

      Fuck. That. Shit.

      1. Good catch. Growth of what? I think we know. Government.

    2. They’re “vital” because the dependency agenda has been all too successful. Tens of millions of Americans have no idea how to earn a living and have no incentive to even try thanks to their government checks. This is what the liberals have always wanted and the notion that the cycle of dependency might break, even in part, scares the shit out of them.

    3. If only the Republicans wanted to close the gap entirely through spending increases. God I wish we had the Republican Party that lives in the NYT’s dreams.

  9. You ain’t wrote nothin till you down on a Federal muffin. Walk this way…

  10. Why are you such a child? Grown-ups know not to question their betters.

  11. We do not need foaming mouth do nothing know all fools like you.

    Pulitzer-worthy prose. Jay Carney, is that you?

    1. Shoot, I think Welch has almost as much fun with incoherent hate-mail as Seanbaby does.

      1. This is what comes of not wearing a leather coat.

        1. Nick Gillespie is just life support for the sentient symbiotic parasite known as The Jacket.

          1. The Jacket can be symbiotic or parasitic, but not both. I vote the former, inasmuch as Nick does seem to gets something out of the relationship.

          2. OBJECTION! A life form cannot be both symbiotic and parasitic.

            You need to go back to grade 7, eh?

            1. The Jacket is capable of anything. Burn the heretic!

              1. I repent my heresies against The Jacket, whose wisdom and power guide us all on the path to glory.

            2. I wonder if I sound this pedantic when I object to people describing agreement with a single other person as concurrence, because the geometric origin of the term concurrence described the intersection of 3 lines into a point.

              It appears I have used a biology term incorrectly in a poor attempt to be descriptive. My sincerest apologies.

            3. Last I checked, “symbiosis” covered mutualism, commensalism and parasitism.

              1. Depends on who you ask. Some biologists think it should only apply to mutualism, some think it should cover all persistent biological interactions.

          3. I’ve explained this many times. Nick is a Kwittheshitz Hadenough (one who can be offended many ways at once) and, through a spice-induced metamorphosis, took the
            sandcows as his skin.

  12. How badly do your parents have to hate you to name you “Kip?”

    1. It’s not a poor play on Leo the Lip Durocher?

    2. You have to admit that “Kip the Lip” is really catchy.

      Better than Leo the Lip, I think.

    3. Well….

      Speaking of parental hate (or the lack of parental love), TCM had the three James Dean films on last night. East of Eden (4 stars), Rebel without a Cause (4 stars) and Giant (4 stars).

      Now I have no complaints with the first and last film getting 4 stars, but Rebel? Are you kidding me? Dean was basically an overacting whiny ass bitch in that film. In fact, I think it’s possible that this was when actors stopped being men and started feminizing. What a whiny little bitch that character was. Pathetic.

      1. At least it was realistic.

      2. The first time I saw Rebel Without a Cause, Dean’s “You’re tearing me apart!” line reminded me of George Costanza’s mother.

        1. Oh, shit, that’s where Tommy Wiseau got it from. I really should revisit the classics.

        2. I watched it when I was in my early twenties, and I liked the movie overall, but I just DID NOT GET that scene. I was like, WTF is this guy’s problem? Except we didn’t have WTF back in those days, and we wore parachutes as pants, which was the style of the time, but I digress.

          The three main characters all died of unnatural causes – car accident, stabbed to death, and drowned.

          1. Natalie Wood was so fucking hot.

    4. You know I’ve been training to become a cage fighter.

      1. This is a very sly and adroit reference. You almost got it past me. Sweet.

  13. I only eat the top of the muffin.

  14. A quick google search of our hate emailer reveals a facebook page indicating under interestes “World Anarchy” and in the other section a hyperlink to Barack Obama’s facebook page.

    This guy is just on fire with irony… oh man.

    1. Yet another fucking ‘anarchist’ who supports big government.

      In other words, another tween in a man’s body: “don’t tell me what to do, just give me free shit taken from the bourgeois rich”

      1. I think this quote by Benjamin Tucker. Does a pretty good job of describing this kind of person.

        “A Communist sailing under the flag of Anarchism is as false a figure as could be invented.”

  15. Umm, in the catering system I’m familiar with the invoice is driven directly from the order. Shockingly, what you order not only produces the invoice it also produces the work-order for the kitchen crew and the delivery order.

    Is the DOJ using post-it notes for their requisitions?

    1. I’d bet they bought a conference room package that included breakfast service per attendee. I doubt that they placed an order enumerating the muffins, etc.

      1. Entirely possible, but I’d wager someone somewhere in the chain entered 250 (or whatever) muffins and that’s what was cooked, delivered and invoiced. The argument that they didn’t cost $16 each because of ‘generalized’ invoicing sounds like bullshit to me.

      2. I really do hope that the DOJ contracted a conference room with an inclusive meal. I’ve taken the damned fiscal law classes as it pertains to contracting for conferences and gov’t agencies aren’t allowed to contract for a conference which includes a meal. They are separate sources of funding and need to be contracted separately. You could use the same vendor for both, but they have to be separatly done (and bid if required).

        This is even assuming they went through the hoops to actually get permission for a meal to be contracted. Paying for meals usually isn’t allowed as the attendees are probably on per diem and being reimbursed for their meals.

      3. … enumerating the muffins….

        Are enumerated muffins anything like enumerated powers?

  16. Wow, the Kevin Drum piece that the Thinkprogress piece links to (It links to the same piece 3 different times to make it look like they have more than the 1 source) comes to the conclusion that the muffins weren’t quite $16 apiece, it was closer to $15 for a muffin or a cookie, a piece of fruit AND coffee, so even though it’s still obscenely expensive it’s not that big a deal since it happens all the time. Partisanship really does make you stupid.

    1. Considering the EOIR reported that at least 534 people received refreshments at its 2009 Legal Training Conference in Washington, D.C., it spent an average of $14.74 per attendee per day on food and beverages?just above the $14.72 JMD limit for refreshments. We credit the EOIR for implementing the following controls to reduce food and beverage costs: (1) it provided just refreshments and not full meals, (2) it ordered fewer refreshments than the total number of reported attendees, and (3) it received 15 gallons of coffee, 30 gallons of iced tea, and 200 pieces of fruit for free. However, many individual food and beverage items listed on conference invoices and paid by the EOIR were very costly. The EOIR spent $4,200 on 250 muffins and $2,880 on 300 cookies and brownies. By itemizing these costs, we determined that, with service and gratuity, muffins cost over $16 each and cookies and brownies cost almost $10 each.

      What am I missing here? The report DOES claim that the muffins were roughly $16.80 a piece and the cookies/brownies were rougly $9.60. Because they bought less than the number of attendees does not mean that the costs PER muffin wasn’t $16 a piece.

      1. When you are paying $7,080 for 400 muffins and 300 cookies the 15g of coffee, 30g of tea, and 200 pieces of fruit were most certainly NOT “free”.

        1. Too many people forget about TANSTAAFL.

  17. Some people prefer cupcakes. I myself care less for them.

  18. “eliminate your carbon footprint”
    _
    cap n trade meets ayn rand

    1. I don’t know how it’s possible, but OO says something dumber every day. What’s more, the marginal increases in idiocy are more or less constant. I would have expected diminishing returns at some point.

      1. I was going to say that the headline to this here blog entry is something I could ask OO every day.

  19. I was at the shopping mall this weekend.

    Young ladies in bare midriffs galore.

    The guy who called them “muffin tops” had it right.

    I guess situps are just not as popular as they once were.

    1. Wait, situps were popular?

      1. Nah they just wore pants that went up and over the muffin.

        1. exactly – mock 80s fashions, but at least they kept muffin-tops to a minimum.

    2. Yeah and it’s not uncommon these days for a curvy, or downright fat chick to be with a skinny or normal-sized guy. That used to be unheard of.

      1. I generally prefer women who don’t fit mainstream beauty standards for the same reason some women like short guys: They’re better in bed, because they have to be.

        1. Amen brother!

      2. It’s always been common in KY. As well as guys being married to women that are the same age as they are, but are routinely mistaken for their mothers.

        1. Is your State the exporter of KY jelly?

          1. Nope, just its biggest customer base. Oregon is a close second.

            1. The Subaru-driving lesbians of Oregon are just fooling themselves with the KY purchases.

              1. Are their hands and forearms so dainty that no lubrication is required?

                1. Google still returns H&R for the top 3 search results of “lesbian wrinkle death.”

                  1. It’s not taking off like I hoped. 🙁

                    1. The world ain’t ready. It’s like the internet in the ’70s.

    3. Spot training is a myth! You can only lose the fat midsection by cutting body fat percentage for your entire body.

  20. When I taught grade 7 decades ago…

    when muffins, or as we called them back than, paper wrapped bakery product, or “Acapolco gold” for short, and 12 hours of mule shoeing could get you an eighth of said such “muffin” – or you could earn half of one by wingwalking on the mail delivery plane from Fresno to Madera, which was a 5 hour flight back in them thar days…. except when it was foggy, than is was 2 minutes – one minute for flying and 1 minute for scraping the bodies off of the orange trees….
    Anyways, back than 12 hours of good hard work got you the love of a good woman, or a reasonable facsimalie, and a sourberry muffin every other Sunday….Ahh…those were the days.

    1. Ha ha, I think we have a winner…

    2. Reminds me of the Jack Keefe shtick from Baseball Think Factory.

      A+ on this one.

  21. When I turn in an invoice to a client, the charges stand as stated. Services and products delivered as promised in the agreed amounts.
    The I’s dotted, the T’s crossed, and those little line items taxed at various amounts as per state and local tax laws.

    I’ve been doing everything wrong…

    I’m thinking of opening up a DOJ’e City muffin stand here in Kansas. Staff it with little girls equiped with Tazers. And with the slogan “Every Dime to Fight Crime!”

    But they don’t actually sell muffin’s. I’d have them sell”Muffin Future Certificates” redemmable in 20 years for Jiffy Mix Muffin Fixin’s. You can get up to 12 muffins per box!

    At $16 per certificate just imagine your return on investment! Thats 12 muffin’s per box! For the cost of a single muffin!

  22. Does Clint understand you weren’t criticizing the $16 muffins (THAT idiocy seems obvious), but that you were criticizing the numbskulls who pooh-poohed the idea that government might waste money on $16 muffins?

    1. no, the likes of Clint only understand the approved talking points as issued by high minded pubs like Mother Jones and Obama dogwashers like Kevin Drum. They are the same people who peddle the BS about millionaires paying not just lower taxes, but at lower rates, than their secretaries. To the looter class, the distinction between income tax rates and cap gains tax rates is lost.

      1. Auburn sucks

    2. You see, the technical accuracy of the criticism is all that matters.

      It’s why we spent two weeks on the platonic definition of a Ponzi Scheme and why liberals were so satisfied with their response that “SS is not a ponzi scheme because it’s robbery, not fraud”.

      1. +1

        Social Security is definitely not a Ponzi scheme. There was only one Ponzi scheme, and it was run by Charles Ponzi. SS isn’t run my Charles Ponzi, so it can’t be a Ponzi Scheme. It’s more of a Roosevelt scheme really.

  23. Nice moron reprint private correspondence. Looks like you need manners lessons to.

    1. Bwah ha ha ha, were you raised in some sort of irony-proof room, Kip?

      1. I think he occupies an irony-free universe, population 1.

        1. I was just going to go with Saskatchawan.

        2. No, just a grammar-free universe.

      2. Yes, to protect him from the magnets. They’re everywhere!

    2. You require a lesson on where to place a comma.

    3. The Big Lebowski: Did I urinate on your rug?
      The Dude: You mean, did you personally come and pee on my rug?
      The Big Lebowski: Do you speak English sir? Parla usted Inglese?

    4. Also, you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition. Oh, wait, that was supposed to be ‘too.’

    5. This guy gets the same vote as us. Plato was right about democracy.

      1. You mean “as we”.

        I mean, while we’re on about grammar, and all.

    6. HAS to be a spoof.

  24. A good liberal like K Drum should be applauding Ben Bernanke for driving the price of muffins and coffee to those lofty heights.

    “What this country needs is a $25.- muffin!” should totally be the President’s campaign theme.

    Or, perhaps, “Let them eat bran muffins!”

  25. We’re a bunch of human beings on a piece of land. Some of the humans like to point weapons at others and make them provide stuff, like expensive muffins. The other humans protest that they don’t like that. The first group, now vaguely threatened, angrily attacks the second one, including mocking its communication skills.

    It’s so primitive and predictable and pathetic.

    1. whew, I first thought White Indian was back to tell us about primitive muffins.

        1. Oh, damn, you must’ve missed White Indian, TomD. You had to be there. Anybody got any links?

          1. I seem to miss all the good stuff around these parts.

          2. What happened to him? Was he finally banned, or did he just get bored?

  26. The last thing we need is incessant prattle from a ?pundit? like you. Did you finish middle school? When I taught grade 7 decades ago I would have given your CNN piece an F. Did you ever study writing in the English language?
    We do not need foaming mouth do nothing know all fools like you. Do the world a favor and eliminate your carbon foot print today.

    So you would give him an F and criticize his grammar? Mmmm the sweet Joe’z Law irony abounds.

    1. I’m kind of wondering what the “F” would be for? This was an opinion piece. So, his opinion is only worthy of an “F” from this teacher? Good thing this person is no longer a teacher.

      1. He runs around with a red sharpie putting Fs on everything, cackling madly in French-Canadian.

        1. “cackling madly in French-Canadian.”

          I get a Pepe LePeu vibe from this. Does he also have a penchant for cross species sexual assault.

      2. Matt starts a sentence with the word, “and.” You’re not supposed to do that in “grade 7.” But, it’s quite common for professional writers to start a sentence with a conjunction. My interpretation is that the period before the conjunction acts as a dramatic pause.

        1. Certain rules are meant to be boken. Not egregiously broken, but broken nevertheless.

        2. So one little mistake in grammar and the whole paper is given an “F”? I would have been screwed in college… well, I mean not the good kind.

        3. Beginning a sentence with “and” is perfectly acceptable, in my experience and opinion. I have done it before. And I will continue to do so.

  27. Threadjack: http://www.rlc.org/2011/09/21/…..al-debate/

    Gary Johnson is making big news right before the debate, because after being excluded from the last two debates, he battled his way back in with a 1% oor higher showing in five recent polls, plus he’s still outpolling Rick Santorum and John Huntsman. In fact, in a current FoxNews online poll Johnson has surged ahead and is now tied for third with Rick Perry and ahead of Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney. Interestingly, Johnson’s inclusion in the debate is over the objections of the Republican Party of Florida which has had a troubled history in dealing with the libertarian-leaning wing of the party which Johnson represents. If Johnson can bring the kind of dynamism to this debate which he has shown in recent television appearances he could become a major contender again.

    1. Well, Gary Johnson oughta outpoll Santorum. Thank heavens for small favors.

      1. Especially among the LCR.

  28. Wow. If I understand Drum correctly, his DEFENSE of the muffin thing is that the DOJ solicts and hotels provide fraudulent invoices that are then audit proof because you have no idea what was paid for what.

    1. Are we going to apply this rule to defense contracting? (“Oh, you paid $500 for a hammer? Well, I’m sure you got something else of value.”)

    2. Is there any for-profit operation that applies similar rules? (“We require you to submit a line item invoice, but we won’t ask any questions about the items because we don’t expect them to be accurate.”)

  29. I guess Kip never got around to teaching compound adjectives.

    No wonder our children are illiterate.

    1. I used to think “footprint” was a compound word, too. Good think Kip set me straight.

  30. I like that Matt has thrown his hate mail out as fresh meat for us. Crowd-sourcing insults is our greatest strength.

    1. Well it is nice to be as nasty to an outsider as we are to each other. Poor bastard.

    2. None of us is a cruel as all of us.

      1. “It takes a village.”

    3. This has to be a pretty tame piece of hate mail. Would love to see the good stuff.

      1. You’ll have to wait for the next book: Dear Libertardian, Hurr Durr: The Hate Mail of Reason Magazine.

        1. I just pre-ordered it from Amazon.

          1. I would actually read this book.

        2. Ya know, that really is not a bad idea for a book. A collection of hate mail would be a pretty entertaining read.

          1. Try this one by John Scalzi

            1. Why did anybody ever consider Scalzi a libertarian? He’s a pretty good writer & pretty solid for civil liberties, but economically he’s solidly progressive.

    4. Ya, screw Friday Funnies. There should be a “Friday hate-mail-guy who needs insulting .. of the week”.

      1. I would post in such threads.

  31. Are their hands and forearms so dainty that no lubrication is required?

    Egad!

  32. One of the first e-mails I ever received as a city columnist contained this gem:
    “You are a complete and total IDIOT, with no more intelligence than a radish, and perhaps the foresightedness of a cucumber. So up yours, moron.”

    1. I thought cucumbers were well know for their foreightedness.

      1. Indeed. Cucumbers are renowned for their discretion.

        1. The guy certainly knew a lot about produce, I’ll give him that.

        2. I would have preferred to close with “Sew up yours, Mormon.”

    2. He’s right about the radishes. What he fails to mention is their inherent sluttiness, as well. Bar skanks of the vegiverse.

      1. French Breakfast Radishes like it in the tap-root.

    3. I like that one! Creative and to the point, with a simple message delivered at the close.

  33. These are not the muffins you are looking for.

    My questions are:
    What was the, now famous, conference for or about?
    Which of our constitutional or natural rights were they strategizing to undermine?
    How many hookers did they kill after the so-called “Conference”?
    Was there any sheep fucking?
    What did the President know and when did he know it?
    Did DOJ lawyers handout free guns to organized crime participants?
    Was it a “Green” conference?

  34. This is better.

    BLKMan
    and just WHAT on earth if anything are the repuks/KKKers/teabaggers doing about these issues? Not a darn thing as usually but they want to cut benefits to people who need them, and NOT pay for educating American’s for the future……………..the political system in this country really needs to be dumped and made completely over and NO the Libertians WILL not help because trust they will be just as corrupt as the current basturds are in a very short period of time. less
    10 minutes ago | Like | Report abuse/blockquote>

    1. —“future……………..the”—

      So as long as we are being all grammary and all, an ellipsis only has three dots.

      1. Non seqitur, I know.

        1. When applied in Polish language syntax, the ellipsis is called wielokropek, which means “multidot”.

      2. Actually, he included just the periods from three intervening sentences.
        …(.)…(.)…(.)…

        1. That’s not a dramatic pause, that’s a nap.

          1. It actually kind of works. The profusion of ellipsis points serves to better illustrate the significant progression of time alluded to by the use of the word ‘future’. I see it as a post-punctuation paean to the hypothetical cryosleep of tomorrow’s Rip Van Winkles.

              1. Well, CN, I do kinda like the phrase “post-punctuation paean”. Thanks, and I might have to keep that one.

            1. Sounds like you’re reviewing Vogon poetry.

    2. Now who can argue with that?

  35. http://www.cnbc.com/id/44626413

    Meanwhile back at the ranch. Is this as bad as it looks?

    1. From the comments:

      This market is so fixed by the 70% of trades going back and forth between the high frequency computers and triple short etfs’ that fundamentals and reality no longer matter. All it takes is the perception that there’s a problem, the computers and triple short programs can wipe out the small guy’s life savings in a matter of hours . Watch, the market will rally today because of the “perception” that things aren’t that bad, but the rally will only be a maneuver to make the computers more money. The markets will end at the lows of the day because in a math model, shorting any rally makes the most money for a computer program.


      OMG! Robots! Die you steel-hearted BASTARDS!

      1. There is just a perception that things are wrong. It is not like the US just had its credit rating lowered, the US economy is flat lining, and the EU is about to break apart or anything. Just a perception.

      2. When does Real Steel open?

        1. The question is… Will the computers even let us watch it when it does? OMG THE CURSOR JUST MOVED ON ITS OWN! DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT? DID YOU SEE THAT?

          Ghost Hunters In The Machine, next on SyFY.

          1. When did computers become obsessed with making money? I missed that frightening leap in AI.

            1. Obviously programmed by some Ferengi.

    2. It’s probably worse than it looks.
      Let’s go back to talking about muffins – I like muffins.
      I’m going to sing the Doom Song now.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

  36. This gem, too.

    gmorgan4
    I’ll bet you $16 that those $16 muffins were not manufactured by the government, nor transported by the government, nor sold by the government. I agree that the government should never have allowed itself to be cheated by the private sector companies who benefitted from this scam. But doesn’t a substantial part of the blame go to the people and companies who perpetrated the scam? Why do you imply that waste, graft and corruption is built into the government and not into the private sector as well? less
    1 hour ago | Like (2) | Report abuse

  37. The last thing we need is incessant prattle from a ?pundit? like you. Did you finish middle school? When I taught grade 7 decades ago I would have given your CNN piece an F. Did you ever study writing in the English language?
    We do not need foaming mouth do nothing know all fools like you. Do the world a favor and eliminate your carbon foot print today.

    The last thing we need is incessant prattle from a pundit such as yourself. Did you even finish middle-school? Decades ago, when I taught 7th grade, I would have given your CNN article an F grade. Did you ever study English in school?
    We do not need foaming-mouth, do- nothing, know-all fools like you. Do the world a favor and eliminate your carbon footprint today.

    okay, I’m no English genius, but is that any better?

    1. Dear Jackanape,

      Your incessent prattle belies the souless pundit at your core. Did you even recieve a rudimentary education in logic, argumentation, and the writing skills to make yourself understand beyond your ideological monad? Even when I was teaching middle school, this essay would not have received a passing grade.

      The world does not need a rabid lackwit like you sniping from the sidelines. Please commit suicide forthwith, preferably in a painful and eco-friendly manner. But first please return those glasses to the lesbian you stole them from.

      Yours in inchoate rage,
      Kip

      1. Well. Done.

      2. Now that is how you close correspondence.

      3. I bow to the master… nah, I’ll hide instead.

        1. Well, you were only fixing the grammar, whereas I tried to convey the tone behind the letter as the writer seemed to want it express it. They are really two different things.

          1. Damn, it’s like watching Rembrandt go to work.

      4. This is why I come to Hit & Run.

        1. Second. H&R is good for an embarrassing moment where I have to explain to coworkers why I am laughing on the floor about once every 3 business days.

      5. :::slowly claps:::

      6. Tiny tweak, SF:

        Did you even recieve a rudimentary education in logic, argumentation, rhetoric and the writing skills composition . . .

        Just trying to buff the Oxbridge tone a bit. Old chap.

      7. um… “understand” s/b “understood” Kip.

  38. $16 trillion debt. $16 muffin. Someone please do the math for me. Please tell me that the revolution is near.

    1. It might be starting as of yesterday.

  39. Shorter Mother Jones:

    “It wasn’t really $16 muffins because they got 200 pieces of FREE fruit of some unspecified size, and coffee. And because no one really knows what got actually eaten versus what was charged for. No need for outrage, because we only know that a buttload of money got spent for a smallish amount of food, and thus can’t compare that to what, say, Starbucks would have charged for the same food.”

    1. I’m confused about why the MoJo crowd seems to have jumped on this. I guess their thinking is “Conservatives don’t like this, therefore it must be good.”

      Clearly, there is no muffin crisis, and the answer is to make the rich pay their fair share in taxes…

      1. Can we pay in muffins?

  40. Did you ever study writing in the English language?
    We do not need foaming mouth do nothing know all fools like you. Do the world a favor and eliminate your carbon foot print today

    Uhm. Matt wrote a thoughtful and measured piece pointing out that partisan outrage over “muffingate” (whether the issue is real or not) is but a head-fake that distracts constituents away from the much more obvious and real ENORMOUS waste inherent in the system.. things which requires no parsing of conference-spending invoices: they’re line items in the budget.

    And this is taken as “foaming mouth”-rhetoric?

    The ‘critic’ calls the editor in chief an illiterate hack… characterizes him as ‘foaming’ – then proceeds to tell him to go *kill himself*.

    Over the suggestion that maybe Muffins arent as big a spending problem as, say, Medicare.

    Partisanship and irony apparently do not mix.

    I still dont get it though. The progressives find the aragument that Government is ‘often wasteful’ to be both, a) factually untrue(?) despite the blaringly obvious examples…? and b) an uncivil, irrational, and *mean* thing to say!? HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST THEY DONT SPEND MONEY WISELY?!?

    Fucking loony toons.

  41. So the evidence there were no $16 muffins is that Think Progress quoted Mother Jones publishing Kevin Drum, who just says “of course” it didn’t happen?

    It seems equally plausible that the DOJ said to the vendor “this our budget and these are our food needs” and didn’t expect any real correlation between the two.

  42. Do the world a favor and eliminate your carbon foot print today.

    I do believe the mild mannered middle school teacher, and presumably a former teachers union member just asked you to kill yourself.

    Is this eliminationist rhetoric?

    1. Clearly, he intends for Matt to by buy a Nissan Leaf.

  43. Hotels charge amazing amounts for coffee breaks. Our annual conference has cancelled coffee breaks because they couldn’t afford them.

    1. Yeah, we’ve just started booking at conference hotels that set up the food service in the hallways outside the meeting rooms, and poaching off the other attendees.

  44. We do not need foaming mouth do nothing know all fools like you. Do the world a favor and eliminate your carbon foot print today.

    If the bitch taught seventh-graders, then the poor fucks didn’t learn the necessity for hyphenating compound modifiers. Or learn that “footprint” is one fucking word.

  45. We need hyphens, stat!

  46. Isn’t shit like “grade 7” a Canuck-ism, like “going to university?”

  47. You know who else didn’t purchase $16 dollar muffins?

  48. I want to go on record suggesting you post more hate mail. The proper way to treat “foaming mouth” retards is to first expose and then ridicule.

  49. As long as we believe that opinion writers, bloggers and anal-retentives as a whole (or perhaps a hole) are good at solving anything or stimulating anything but their overweeing sense of self, we’re going to be stuffed by much more than just artfully insipid, $16-a-muffin, pseudo-journalistic pulp along with boundless, vapid, inane commentary. It happens… Just saying.

    1. You know what else happens?

  50. Does this mean the cake is real and the muffins are a lie? Or are they not mutually exclusive and both are a lie?

  51. Learn here a descriptive essay . This is an academic writing!

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