CHRISTIE GETS HIS STORY STRAIGHT…. Like most states, New Jersey sought Race to the Top education grants from the federal government, but much to Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) dismay, his state just missed qualifying for $400 million in funding. That, however, isn’t the interesting part.

As it turns out, New Jersey Education Commissioner Bret Schundler submitted mistaken data to federal officials, which appears to have cost the state its grant. Christie this week condemned the Obama administration, saying it was the president’s bureaucracy that prevented New Jersey from qualifying.

We later learned that the governor didn’t know what he was talking about. The Christie administration claimed that Schundler caught the error, and tried to correct it during a presentation to the U.S. Department of Education, but those mean ol’ Obama administration officials wouldn’t let him fix it. In reality, as a videotape proved, that was backwards — the Obama administration caught Schundler’s error and asked him to fix it. He didn’t, so New Jersey lost out on the funding.

Christie, now having been caught misleading the entire state about what transpired, got rid of his education commissioner today.

And then there’s the interesting part.

[Schundler] said he was asked to resign, but he requested to be fired instead so he could collect unemployment insurance.

“I have a mortgage to pay and a daughter about to start college,” he said.

So, to summarize, Schundler, a far-right Republican, screwed up and cost New Jersey $400 million in education grants. But his top concern, upon being shown the door, is qualifying for unemployment benefits — which his far-right brethren don’t think should exist.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.