Touched By An Angle

If you listen closely, you can actually hear the conversation that went on in the White House.

“Jobs saved or created? What on earth does that mean?”

“Well, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s simply a meaningless phrase that will allow us to claim that the stimulus is working when anyone with a pair of eyes can see it isn’t true.”

“But it’s not working. We thought those gullible fools who swallowed all that ‘hope and change’ snake oil would believe it. Let’s face it, if they believed what the President said during the campaign, we figured they’ll believe anything. But they’re not believing this. Damn you, Glenn Beck! A pox on Fox!”

“We need a new angle. Some new phrase that will touch the lives of the rubes in the same way that ‘hope and change’ did. Something that will allow us to make even more grandiose claims about our stunningly successful stimulus.”

“Touch their lives? Joe Biden, you’re a genius!”

And so now there is a new metric to determine the success of the stimulus. “Lives Touched.”

No. Really.

From Mental Recession:

A spokesperson from the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company explains:

“Lives Touched” is a figure that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) uses to track the amount of people who have been positively affected by the Recovery Act funds. This total would include people who have been provided full time employment (i.e. saved and created jobs) through the Recovery Act and people who at some point have supported a project funded by the Recovery Act.

The reporting instructions indicate what constitutes a life that has been touched by the stimulus:

Reporting Data
1. Report the “Lives touched” headcount for all ARRA-funded contracts or releases
1. Total number of workers who have directly charged 1 or more hours of work time to a CHPRC contract.
2. A worker who charges time to more than one contract or contract release is counted as one life touched.
3. The “lives touched” headcount will remain the same or increase over time as new workers become involved with ARRA contracts. The total headcount will never decrease.
4. Administrative/Overhead personnel included in indirect rate pools should not be counted unless they are working full time on the ARRA funded contract.
5. Separate the headcount into labor categories on the reporting spreadsheet—but DO NOT separate the headcount by contract release.

Translating the bureaucratese into English: any person who worked for one hour or more on a project that received any stimulus money is counted as a “life touched.” Even if the person in question worked only one hour, the headcount is added to the list and never removed even though the person is no longer working.

The result of this is that instead of using made up numbers and claiming them as job created or saved, they can now make up even bigger numbers and claim that these lives were “touched” by the stimulus.

At the most comical element of this farce, this is a warp speed spin. At it’s core, this is all too emblematic of the contempt in which this administration and Washington D.C. in general holds the American people. It all boils down to this: If they’re not buying the lie, change the wording. It’s a new angle on the same old withering disdain that these people have for you and me. They believe that we are so stupid that if we don’t believe one lie, we might believe a bigger lie.

Well, we’re not going to fall for this one, either.

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