Friday, September 22, 2006

That "One Punch" Bush Administration

Just after the news revealed Richard Armitage’s threat to knock Pakistan back to the Stone Ages with one punch, the Education Department OIG revealed the vaunted Bush reading program employed the same tactics. A key part of No Child Left Behind entails all elementary school children gaining reading comprehension skills by the 3rd grade. The OIG found the usual Bush mismanagement to be widespread in the Reading First program. The report stated:

These actions demonstrate that the program officials failed to maintain a control environment that exemplifies management integrity and accountability. (page 2)

In addition, the staff played favorites with vendors causing some states to switch programs. Two out of favor vendors earned the ire of program administrators to the point the chief bureaucrat said “additional firepower…may help us make this a one punch fight.” In later e-mail that same person wrote “I think this program bashing is best done off or under the major radar screens”. (page 24 & 25)

How Karlish! Who were they fighting for? They served as the staunch defenders of a reading program by SRA/McGraw Hill. Guess who serves on the McGraw Hill Board? Mr. Edward B Rust, Jr. also served as a member of President George W. Bush’s Transition Advisory Team Committee on Education. Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg not only directs McGraw-Hill but also serves on the board of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund. Harold McGraw is a director of United Technologies, the huge defense contractor and chairs the Emergency Committee for American Trade. Yet another McGraw Hill Board member, Sidney Taurel, was appointed by Bush to the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. The company’s Chairman Emeritus was honored by President George H.W. Bush so even the parents have ties.
The world up on the Hill is “keep the President happy”. Did ensuring SRA/McGraw-Hill kept or grew their business make George Jr. smile? Only the Education department insiders know for sure!

Yes, the one punch Bush administration will face a punching of a different sort soon as people head to the polls this November. While the Presidential spot is not up for election, his cronies in Congress are. What will the people do?

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