Burnt Toast to Go with Your Joe (8/31/06)

Platter of burnt toast

• BURNT TOAST to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings for getting on her soapbox yesterday to tout the controversial No Child Left Behind Act, which she—brace yourself, now—compared to Ivory Soap because the law is “99.9 percent pure or something.â€? However, as reported by AP writer Ben Feller, “her view that the law needs little change is notable because it differs so sharply from others with a stake, including many teachers, school administrators and lawmakers….More than 80 organizations have signed a statement urging fundamental changes…[a]nd the National Conference of State Legislatures has given the law a scathing rebuke.â€? more…

• BURNT TOAST to Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, who was outed yesterday for having recently placed an anonymous hold on a bipartisan “bill that would require the government to publish online a database of federal spending.â€? The Senator is renowned for earmarking pet projects, including last year’s “proposed $223 million for a ‘bridge to nowhere’ connecting Alaska’s Gravina Island—population 50—to the mainland.â€? more…

• BURNT TOAST to unnamed U.S. military leaders in Baghdad who, as reported in today’s Washington Post, “have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.â€? That’s $20 million of the taxpayers’ money for, in essence, better spin. (I thought that was what Fox News was for.) more…

• BURNT TOAST to Congresswoman Katherine Harris of Florida for running a Senate campaign that more closely resembles the operation of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Thanks to a host of incidents that have showcased her eccentric, mercurial, and entitled ways, she has about as much chance of gaining a Senate seat as does Billy the Marlin (the mascot for the Florida Marlins). But at least, as reported in USA Today, she is “blaming much of her troubles on the liberal media and party elite who oppose her.â€? more…

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