I planned on a very different article today. Then a couple of news items motivated me. (That might be the first time I ever used the word “motivated” in place of a dirty expression. Ah, the benefits of an education.)
This scandal was unearthed a few days ago but it just seems to get worse with every passing day. I’m taking about the Brett Farve volleyball facility scandal. The nickel version is that a volleyball facility – a really nice one – was built at Farve’s alma mater and the school where his daughter played – you guessed it, volleyball – using state funds purloined from a help the needy program.
This is why I’m so suspect of federal block grants to states. Most of the money originally came from federal dollars granted to the state to help people in desperate need. (What in the old days we called welfare.) Oh, I forgot this is Republican run Mississippi and most of those people are Black. No wonder the “creative use of funding”.
Farve certainly didn’t do this on his own; he got a lot of help from his friends in high places, particularly Republican Phil Bryant who was Mississippi State Auditor or Governor during the time period in question. When funds get “diverted” to “special pet projects” and the trail is, at least to some degree, covered up that doesn’t happen without the involvement of people in powerful positions. However, I’m willing to bet that in the final analysis, ala Chris Christie and Bridgegate, underlings will take the fall. Cowards at the top anyone?
It appears Bryant, and I’m sure we will discover others as the investigation unfolds, used these funds as a slush fund for pet projects and gaining favor with celebrities. Farve, a two time NFL MVP, (once drunk and once sober – a truly incredible feat), certainly qualifies as a celebrity.
Maybe it’s just the liberal in me but perhaps working toward feeding hungry poor people and/or providing drinking water to the people of Jackson, Mississippi would have been a better use of the funds.
As this scandal unfolds, we will find that there were millions of dollars misused above and beyond the few million that went to Farve’s pet project of building the volleyball facility. Is this what is meant by waste, fraud and abuse in government spending?
Over in Texas we recently saw Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton display his courage. Well, perhaps lack thereof. Paxton is today’s version of a real Republican; in other words, he is the subject of multiple simultaneous civil and/or criminal probes. A subpoena server recently knocked on his front door. Mrs. Paxton answered. The sever identified himself and stated his business. Mrs. Paxton said the AG was busy at that moment. After waiting for about an hour outside in his vehicle in respect to Paxton and his position the server was greeted by a fleeing Paxton. Could the rough, tough Texas Attorney General who has no fear of suing the federal government – when the president is a Democrat anyway – have been running away from a piece of paper? It appears so. Am I the only one mentally envisioning the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz?
I’ll stay relatively brief today but is the title making more sense now?
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