A cornucopia of stupid

Lots of good D.C. stories in the papers today.

School voucher debate

Mayor Anthony A. Williams yesterday gave his clearest explanation yet of why he is now supporting school vouchers, saying that he "got up one morning and decided there are a lot of kids getting a crappy education and we could do better."
Amusing tidbits:
  • A school spokeswoman said, "The majority of our students are receiving a very good education in D.C. public schools."
  • Four of the nine school board members are appointed by the mayor; two of his appointees resigned earlier this year. One of the board members said he quit after he could not get the mayor to return his calls. Williams has not replaced either of them.
  • Supporters of vouchers say they would force competition that would result in better performance in the public schools. Wouldn't improvement require both a) competent administration, and b) money? Of which the D.C. school system has neither?
  • The mayor said "crappy." I wish I had been there.
  • Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), sponsor of the voucher measure in Congress, said, "Not even a flake would seek to impose vouchers on anybody." That should be grounds for dismissal.

    DMV Fires Clerk, Says He Pilfered Cash Fees

    The clerk ... allegedly would ask customers to place cash in a nearby cardboard box in exchange for printouts of their records.

    The cost for a three- or five-year driving record is $7. The man allegedly charged $8...
    In a cardbox box. Priceless; a scheme totally worthy of the D.C. DMV.

    Reluctance over police chief raise

    "I'm not a miracle worker. There's been a lot of progress in this department, and we're moving it in the right direction."
    Judge for yourself here.

    Cover-up claimed in police shooting

    [Attorneys] said they have three witnesses who contradict police accounts that Charquisa Johnson was holding a 9mm pistol when she was shot.
    We already know how hard it is to get murder witnesses to come forward in D.C., so this is not a good sign for the cops.

    D.C. leaders unhappy about salary probe

    "Any congressman who wants to get involved in a local matter should go back and read their Constitution," said D.C. Council member Adrian Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat. "It's completely wrong for a federal lawmaker to look into a local matter."
    Huh? Doesn't the home rule charter pretty much give Congress the right to do anything it wants to D.C.? At any rate...

    Council member Harold Brazil, at-large Democrat, questioned the priorities of congressional leaders who would want to get involved "in the minutiae" of D.C. affairs.
    Minutiae? Just compared to Baltimore, which has a slightly higher population, D.C. employs more than twice as many people, and has 17 times as many workers earning $100K and up. The local government is basically a scam, and it's inept at just about everything. I'd consider them lucky if the Republican-led Congress doesn't try to take back all control of D.C.
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