I was wondering why my post on Armstrong Williams’ somewhat incoherent column on the Supreme Court was generating so much interest today — frankly, I had never heard of the guy before I read his column and decided to blog about it.
Then I read this article in USA Today (hat tip: Atrios), which reports that the Bush administration paid Williams $240,000 of taxpayer money to promote the outrageously-named "No Child Left Behind" Act. In exchange for the payment (via a contract between Williams and the Education Department), Williams was to "regularly comment" on the Act, and was expected to interview ex-Education Secretary Rod Paige, on his nationally-syndicated TV show.
Well, that explains why people are Googling Williams today. As to whether the contract was a good idea … wow. A government agency using taxpayer dollars to get a commentator to promote a piece of legislation. Just describing what happened tells you how outrageous it is. It’s like a game of high-stakes limbo with this administration: how low can they go?