So here's some of the content from an article the Times calls, Study Finds Record Education Earmarks:

Published: March 24, 2008

Congress set aside a record $2.3 billion in pet projects for colleges and universities last year for research on subjects like berries and reducing odors from swine and poultry...

This isn't education, it's pork, and the so-called "education lotteries" running in many states could just as easily undergo the same moniker swap. Poor people pay for pork!

At the very least, the Times should know to say "higher education," as they do later in the piece. The adjective is non-trivial in this case, both for specificity and to ensure your paper doesn't contribute to the political spin that's now couched behind the term.

Luckily, the Times is trying to shed some light on the porky nature of higher education. I enjoyed reading the rationalizations given for the earmarks.

But many lawmakers defend the practice, saying it enables them to support important local institutions and to encourage research that stimulates economic development or to addresses other public needs in their states.


An aide, Elbert Garcia, said Mr. Rangel was not available for comment late last week because he was recovering from an illness. Mr. Garcia pointed to a recent statement by Mr. Rangel about the center [named for Rangel and 'which will house Mr. Rangel’s papers']: "No matter how one feels about the role of government, it is clear that the future of our democracy lies in having the most talented people across all classes and racial groups to participate in public life."

Great. Now the future of our democracy requires the foxes get their hands so deep into the academia that no undergrad can escape without having been pimped. This irks me.

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