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Friday, August 27, 2010

And These People Want To Run Your Health Care / Update - And Your Kids' Education

Via Daniel Foster, writing at National Review Online, How Vindictive Is This Administration?:
I’m not usually the conspiratorial type, but watch Gov. Chris Christie explain how the Obama administration disqualified the state of New Jersey from hundreds of millions in education funds because some clerk in Trenton turned in the wrong excel spreadsheet:

What possibly could go wrong?

Update:  Apparently everything. Thanks to a commenter and someone who e-mailed me, it appears that the NJ Education Dept. was not fully forthright:
The U.S. Education Department on Thursday released a videotape that appeared to contradict Mr. Christie's claim that federal officials refused to allow New Jersey to fix a mistake on its application. In a statement, Mr. Christie faulted Mr. Schundler for providing false information about the presentation.

"I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey," Mr. Christie said in a statement. "As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler's service as New Jersey's Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration.
So I have updated the post title.

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  1. I wonder if this mistake was made by a clerk of the previous Governor Corzine (D), would the outcome have been the same. I have no evidence that this is a political play by the Fed Gov., but given all that has transpired with this administration, I find myself questioning virtually everything these days.

  2. Vindictive ...what the Obama administration...the administration that set up special tax reviews for real pro-Israel organizations, you know the ones that don't tow the Obama anit-Israel line?

  3. Yes, I read about that on Debbie Schlussel's web site this morning. She makes the point:

    "The U.S. has several tax-exempt Muslim charities which raise money for HAMAS, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda, including for attacks on American soldiers. Those charities had no problem getting the exemption. But, with Z Street, well, it’s another story, and the group has been forced to file suit. It’s blatant discrimination and a clear double standard."

  4. Funny how such a big penalty comes to the state with a very popular and outspoken right wing governor. With the explanation that he gives about 1 erroneous page with a 400 million dollar denial, it seems crystal clear to me this would have never been a problem for Corzine's office. What's more, with such a HUGE denial, you would think someone would have called the Gov's office and simply had the secretary fax over the information in question. Maybe a 20 minute ordeal. This administration is disgusting, and is no longer trying to hide it.

  5. Did you see the update at The Weekly Standard? Apparently the director Christie describes in the video is now fired because he lied about giving the government the information at the meeting. The Dept. of Education released a video where he didn't come up with the info when made aware of the error.

  6. Look at this via www.nj.com

    Schundler requested firing instead of resignation so he can collect unemployment

    TRENTON — Ousted state Education Commissioner Bret Schundler today said he asked Gov. Chris Christie to be fired from the work he considered his “life’s dream,” rather than resign, so he could receive unemployment benefits to pay his bills.

    “I asked if they would mind writing a termination letter, instead of a resignation letter, because I do have a mortgage to pay, and I do have a daughter who’s just started college,” he said in an interview this morning. “And I, frankly, will need the unemployment insurance benefits until I find another job. ... And they said fine. They said sure.”

    Schundler said he made the request this morning when he arrived at his office in Trenton and offered to be involved in the transition to the next commissioner.

    Schundler's financial disclosure form, released Thursday by the State Ethics Commission, show he and his wife had less than $5,000 in the bank. Over the last 12 months, Schundler reported making between $50,000 and $100,000 on each of his previous jobs as education commissioner and chief operating office of The King's College, a Christian liberal arts school in New York City. His wife, attorney Lynn Schundler, listed between $25,000 and $50,000 in income from that job.The only liability listed is a mortgage on their Jersey City home, listed as more than $500,000.

    Early last year, Schundler dropped a fledgling bid for mayor of Jersey City, saying the 2008 stock market crash damaged his investment portfolio and made it necessary for him to work full-time in order to pay his mortgage and children's tuition bills.

    Schundler was fired after Christie said his department misled the administration on the attempt to correct a mistake on a grant application for up to $400 million in federal aid through the Race to the Top fund. The mistake cost the state 4.8 points, and it lost the chance for money through the competitive program by 3 points.

    Schundler declined to comment immediately on the mistake or the lead-up to the fateful press conference.

  7. My experience with our government is just as bad. An audit disclosed that an error had occured in my billing of Medicare. A clerk had billed for dates that she should not have and as a result I did not have a note on the chart to confirm that I had provided the service. Rather than clear up the error, I was fired for Medicare fraud. Now you might say, well you are a bad doctor and that was the reason they gave, but the opposite is true. The only problem is that once something like this occurs, that is the end of your career. Filling suit does not resolve the situation. This is a small glimpse of what we can expect in the future.

  8. Try getting anything done in a military or government office. This is absolutely normal, and anyone who works around it knows how utterly broken it is. I remember at my old troop the various sagas of trying to plant two trees and keep them growing, get grass to grow, refurbish some old barracks, repave a parking lot, all of these trivial projects were long, drawn out failures. It was ridiculous to see them crowing about a new two-story, ugly government building that had taken years and years to build.

    Perversely, though, that's the reason liberals love it so much. Liberalism is about the movement, they need to be part of a vast struggle, and government makes everything into precisely that. I live across just west of the Wilson bridge, and I remember reading about when the bike lane on the bridge was finally completed. If it had been private sector, they just would have raised some money and built it in 6 months and it wouldn't even be news. But because it took 7 years, it transformed something utterly trivial into a monumental victory for enlightened people everywhere.

  9. At the end of the day, one page, one small error, should be punished IF no reasonable effort was made when a request to fix it.

    Government is so brain dead, they can't get out of the way of themselves.

    Schundler SHOULD have been fired. Seriously, he made a monumental error and then lied about it.

    But the federal government sucks.

  10. And then there's THIS taxpayer-funded employee, who never showed up for work but was paid a salary... for 12 years!


  11. Hmmm...New Jersey was denied Race to Top funds. Republican governor. Louisiana was denied Race to Top funds. Republican governor. Does anyone know the breakdown of states who got funds and the party of the governor.