Maybe the Justice Department Wasn’t Actually Paying $16 Per Muffin

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At what price pastry? Photo: iStockphoto

Yesterday, we brought you the shocking news that the Justice Department has been known to overpay for pastries. Today, from Mother Jones's Kevin Drum, comes an important new theory on Muffingate. He consulted the internal report on the Justice Department's overexpenditure on conferences, and concluded that the media was reporting an average cost as the cost of an individual item:

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. This is unremarkable. In fact, I'm here to tell you that this happens All. The. Time.

So basically, whoever was in charge of the pastries was the person who ordered the cheap thing on the menu, and got screwed by someone else's profligacy when it came to splitting the check. I, too, am here to tell you this happens all the time.


The Great $16 Muffin Myth
[Mother Jones]