Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Don't Think You're Getting It...

WaPo says:

The Justice Department is conducting a probe of a $6 billion reading initiative at the center of President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, another blow to a program besieged by allegations of financial conflicts of interest and cronyism, people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

The disclosure came as a congressional hearing revealed how people implementing the $1 billion-a-year Reading First program made at least $1 million off textbooks and tests toward which the federal government steered states.

"That sounds like a criminal enterprise to me," said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House education committee, which held a five-hour investigative hearing.

My favorite quote is a beauty because it's oh-so typical of the arrogance of these guys who have been investigated or indicted for underhanded dealings with the administration:
"I regret the perception of conflicts of interest," said Kame'enui, former chairman of the committee[.]"But there was no real conflict of interest being engaged in."

Well you see, my you-couldn't-possibly-be-as-stupid-as-you-are-pretending-to-be friend, if it is illegal to take government money from government programs that you helped initiate (which 1. it is and 2. you did), then you would hardly be a good judge of whether or not your interests were conflicted, don't you think? Because to say so would be calling yourself a criminal, and that would be bad for you. To judge objectively in such a predicament, one in which you have much to gain or lose from the outcome, can be difficult; it's what we call a conflict of interest. They can be mighty tricky, and sometimes they cause people to make decisions that really aren't sound, which is why we try to avoid them when deciding how to spend $6 billion of taxpayer money.