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Friday, July 22, 2011

Is Joe Barton Megamind?

Just yesterday as I drove along listening to the jibber-jabber about our government hurtling towards default, and what it would mean, I breathed a sigh of relief that the Universal Service Fund is not part of the budget. So I think even a complete government shutdown wouldn't stop the E-Rate. At least not for a while.

I've described before the plot to kill the E-Rate by bringing it into the US budget, then bleeding it dry. That plan died when the Republicans lost control of the government. Well, they're back. At first it looked like they would join the movement to expand the E-Rate, which I'm afraid may be the E-Rate's undoing. But I was feeling quite safe.

Then this morning I read this: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has floated the idea of taking $1 billion from the USF to help pay down the debt. But wait, other Republicans are riding to the USF's defense, led by Rep. Joe Barton. Could you hear my jaw dropping? I've been dissing Joe "Bleed It Dry" Barton ever since he said that he wanted to kill the E-Rate by underfunding it. Now Barton is saying, "...while I think the fund needs to be reduced, I am against using the money collected for anything other than its intended purpose."

It's like the plot of Megamind come to life. Suddenly, the villain is a hero. Well, except for that "the fund needs to be reduced" part.

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