Repeating falsehoods does not make them come true 2

[Another rescued post, thanks to Facebook Notes. Yay, redundancy!] JISHOU, HUNAN — I spent a couple of hours tonight trying to catch up on the post-election aftermath. It seems President Obama is going to visit India. According to the right wing echo chamber, the trip will cost somewhere around $200 million a day! Such intellectual heavyweights as Sean Hannity of Faux News, Rush Limbaugh of the AM (blowhard) airwaves, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) of the Crazy People have been repeating this dubious figure like it was the gospel truth. Don’t people fact-check anymore? My editors years ago would have put a big CQ in a red circle if I reported such a ridiculous amount of money. According to the mother of all fact-checkers, snopes.com, the estimate came from provincial official in India who clearly doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the wall. Our entire military presence in Afghanistan costs the USA less money each day than this fictionalized mega-junket to India! (Actually, traveling in India is pretty cheap, I hear, but of course the people I know don’t fly in their own personal jetliner with an entourage of aides and Secret Service agents in tow. Still, $200 ...

India joins the (space) race

India launched its first unmanned space craft today, joining China in an Asian space race. The Chandrayaan-1 is heading for the Moon, which China’s own Chang’e probe visited just last year. The Indian mission will orbit the Moon for two years, creating a three-dimensional atlas of the surface and prospecting for valuable minerals. Two NASA experiments are also on board. More details are here.
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