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What did they get for that chunk of change? In the VIP mingle room, the generous donors could choose from pear and brie with almond, jumbo shrimp or chicken satay with ginger apricot glaze. The lunch featured Boston bibb and romaine hearts salad with strawberries, a boneless breast of chicken with lemon butter, orzo and asparagus spears and ultimate chocolate cake with whipped cream and berry garnish.

DOG-EARED ARGUMENT

Did Bo Obama arrive at the first family’s weekend vacation spot in Maine, as the lone passenger aboard his own aircraft? The thought that Bo left a fat carbon paw print rankled Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, who placed the canine extravagance under the “Obamateurism of the Day” category, while Holly Robichard of the Boston Herald growled, “I guess no one in the White House heard of a kennel or a dog sitter.”

But President Obama’s defenders were at the ready, most notably at Snopes.com. The online rumor repository has declared the Bo rumor officially “false,” noting that President Franklin D. Roosevelt blamed “Republican fiction writers” for a rumor that the president once sent a Navy destroyer to pick up his dog Fala in 1944.

Sixty-six years later, Snopes blames a lone account in the Waterville Morning Sentinel, a small Maine newspaper, for the dog confusion, and added a baroque explanation:

“Bo flew to Maine in a different plane than the rest of the first family not because he was part of a special canine-only flight, but because the local airport (Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton, Maine) was too small to accommodate the Boeing 747-200B in which the president usually travels. Therefore, the Obamas flew to Maine in a Gulfstream jet (which seats six to 19 passengers) while Bo was loaded onto an earlier flight which carried a contingent of presidential aides and staff members.”

Moral for the White House: Next time, take the Winnebago.

POLL DU JOUR

*62 percent of U.S. voters expect health care reform legislation to increase the federal deficit.

*61 percent now expect the cost of health care to go up under the new law.

*56 percent favor a repeal of health care law.

*54 percent say the law will be “bad for the country.”

*53 percent say the quality of health care will become worse under the law.

Source: Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted July 16-17.

*Small asides and big announcements to jharper@washington times.com.