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No joke. Not only has John McCain endorsed a huge, semi-militarized, FIVE-FOLD expansion of AmeriCorps, as Jen pointed out, but the President has already initiated an expansion of the program into the hands of the new Office of Homeland Security. This may have been made independently of McCain’s bill, or not; I asked the press flack at the White House in the course of a whole bunch of other questions, and he didn’t answer that one. From personal experience, I can tell you that AmeriCorps has a hard enough time making good use of the volunteers it already has. Expansion could be disastrous. I can’t imagine that the volunteers of its early days, many of whom chose VISTA because they detested the Vietnam War but still wanted to serve their country, are happy about this. AmeriCorps, by contrast, seems perfectly peppy about the arrangement. Further news as I learn more; I’m trying to write an article about it for City Limits. For now, I’m keeping my VERY DISAPPROVING opinions to myself. (oops, did I slip?)

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