Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where stupid found a home

There is a broken link that is preventing me from linking directly to the post in question but if you read the Washington Monthly Blog you will find an October 21, 2008 entry titled, "NewsMax: Not Aware Of All Internet Traditions". The post references an article in Newsmax (a publication which I can only imagine is best used for wiping ass) that explains that an "analysis" of Obama's contributions turns up a lot of odd donations - donations like $20.01 or $50.22, etc, and then goes on to suggest that these are donations in foreign currency and as such are illegal.

Unfortunately for the braintrust that published this article, Washington Monthly points out that when one makes (or made) contributions via websites like Dailykos, Talking Points Memo, and many others, those websites added a certain number of cents to identify where the donation came from. So Dailykos would add .01, Talking Points Memo 0.22, Eschaton 0.18, etc, thus explaining the odd looking donations. A simple internet search could have revealed the great big secret but apparently Kenneth Timmerman was too busy preparing his next hit piece or his next fictional book about WMDs.

Had Timmerman been rather more dedicated to his trade he would have realized an even more basic flaw in his "analysis". Donations accepted via Barak Obama's website or any other website HAVE TO BE IN DOLLARS. I know this because I have made two small contributions in the last 9 months. I didn't pay them in pesos, I paid in dollars, meaning that the fundamental premise of Timmerman's screed is baseless, idiotic, and so 1980s (you know, pre-internet donations). I'll state this again to be as clear as possible: There was no option to charge donations in foreign currency. Foreign currency is not accepted by the Obama campaign. There is no way that any odd looking donation with pennies attached on the end is a donation that originated in foreign currency. In fact, had I used my Colombian credit card, the US Dollar amount would not have changed. What would have changed would have been the amount debited to my card based on the exchange rate at the moment of transaction.

Further, 2 weeks ago I got a call from the Obama campaign. They explained that they needed to confirm my citizenship or they would have to refund my money. To confirm my citizenship, they sent me an email which required me to put my relevant data in and my passport number. The campaign apparently has a huge database with this information and are working hard to make sure every dollar received is legitimate. I was called on a Sunday morning and could hear tons of other people making calls in the background. The campaign is serious about this.

But hey, why do a little reporting (or even critical thinking) when you can just publish smut and get away with it. It's been working for Timmerman all his life, so no need to start worrying about little things like facts, common sense, or you know, journalism.



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