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Sunday, January 09, 2005

It's All in the Family

By now everyone in America who hasn't been high for the past two days must have heard about conservative African American pundit Armstrong Williams taking taxpayer money from BushCo. to push the "No Child Left Behind" agenda (you know, the one where they reduce a school's funding if the kids don't perform well on standardized tests, effectively forcing schools to increase their success ratios by kicking poor students out and shuffling them into GED programs? Yeah, that's the one.)

Well, it looks like Williams is not the first to profiteer from the NCLB legislation. Seems Bush's brother Neil runs a company called Ignite! that markets software to schools that helps prepare kids to take standardized tests so his Big Brother won't slash their budgets. Their website declares that they are happy to make their software "customized to state and local priorities." Florida Democrats found this particularly troubling, since Florida's test -- the FCAT -- is the pet project of Other Brother Jeb. "We think there's an appearance of impropriety here," said a Democratic spokesperson.

Forget, if you can, for a moment that teaching kids to parrot back a bunch of mindless propaganda hardly qualifies as "education," and focus on the fact that in this glorified shake-down scam, Neil Bush was asking $30 per child -- or $60 million per year -- from the State of Florida alone. It's corrupt and unconscionable and exactly what we've come to expect from Neil, who is sort of the "Fredo" of the Bush family. But his face always seems to reflect the true nature of the clan --  from his coke snorting third-world hooker tourism to his S&L bankrupting, his general all-around amorality is not only everywhere aparent but also consistently tied to that of his brothers.

(thanks to pamindurum on DKos)