Greenland Not as Green as Advertised?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Cold Hard Facts

Scientists are dismissing a map printed in the newest edition of the Times Atlas of the World that indicates Greenland has lost 15 percent of its ice cover over the past 12 years.

One glaciologist called that "incorrect" and "misleading," saying -- quote -- "we concluded that a sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the atlas is clearly still ice-covered."

The Times Atlas suggests the ice sheet melted at a rate of one-and-a-half percent per year. But another scientist says that measurement could be anywhere between 10 to 50 times faster than reality.

The atlas is published by Harper Collins -- owned by the parent company of this network.

Food for Thought

If you think $16 for a muffin is hard to swallow in these tough economic times, you are not alone.

An internal Justice Department audit found excessive spending on food and beverages at 10 department conferences. Some of the other alleged waste included $10 apiece for cookies, $8 per cup of coffee and over $7 dollars each for beef Wellington appetizers.

During one conference, DOJ spent $65 per person for lunch and $32 per person for snacks.

Not-so-Free Advice

And speaking of spending, our neighbors to the north are raising eyebrows over their government's decision to pay a management consulting firm almost $90,000 a day for advice on how to save money.

The Canadian press reports Deloitte Incorporated was awarded a $20 million contract to advise the federal cabinet and senior officials in Canada how to balance the books by 2014.

The treasury board is defending the expense, saying Ottawa needs the best advice available for reducing costs.