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A Bush Administration Scandal, And Its Antecedent

The more right-wing cronyism changes, it seems, the more it stays the same. Last night's episode of Nightline revealed that the DOJ's juvenile justice office has been awarding massive federal grants--meant to help seriously at-risk children--to a circus of right-wing groups with the "right" connections, abstinence campaigns, and the like. (Video here.)

Shocking? Kinda. Everyone knows that the Bush administration rewards political hacks with federal patronage. What's more interesting is that nearly the exact same scandal happened in the Reagan Justice Department's juvenile justice office in 1986, when a racy New Republic article revealed that it was distributing six- and seven-figure grants to places like Jerry Falwell's Liberty College, Ed Meese's close friend George Nicholson, and an ongoing attempt to debunk Alfred Kinsey. (The office was then headed by Al Regnery, heir to the conservative Regnery Press that is now pumping out anti-Obama tracts.)

Both stories, oddly enough, were broken by then-high school student, now-Nightline reporter Murray Waas. The only difference is that, today, the sums are much larger--a quarter billion dollars, by one estimate. (My how you've grown, right-wing cronyism!)

At minimum, this case of d