Friday, June 17, 2016

be patient Bernie, the sulfurous stench wafting out of Granny's pantsuit is becoming unbearable...,


antimedia |  As the mainstream largely directed attention to the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s strategy to oppose Donald Trump, this collusion to steer the narrative in Hillary’s favor appears to have gone unnoticed, as US Uncut reported. But this series of leaked emails show a meticulously plotted coordination between DNC narratives touting Clinton, rather than Sanders, as if she had been the presumptive nominee from the outset — precisely as activists and fair elections advocates had suspected.

Under the heading “Tactics,” the document states, “Working with the DNC and allied groups, we will use several different methods to land these attacks” — including, under the subheading, “Reporter Outreach”:

“Working through the DNC and others, we should use background briefings, prep with reporters for interviews with GOP candidates, off-the-record conversations and oppo pitches to help pitch stories with no fingerprints and utilize reporters to drive a message.” And under “Bracketing Events,” the email states: “Both the DNC and outside groups are looking to do events and press surrounding Republican events to insert our messaging into their press and to force them to answer questions around key issues.”

Most revealing in this particular document is its conclusion, which reads, in part, “Our goal is to use this conversation to answer the questions who do we want to run against and how best to leverage other candidates to maneuver them into the right place.

Guccifer 2.0 also leaked a two-page list titled “HRC election plans,” which, as US Uncut noted, includes a talking point that later appeared word for word in Clinton’s video announcement of her bid to run for president:

“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times but the deck is still stacked for those at the top.”

Not only does this show a carefully-orchestrated spoonfeeding of vapid Clinton-isms to the ostensibly unsuspecting public, the irony of the former First Lady pontificating on ‘stacked decks’ for the elite bears a startling degree of hypocrisy in this context.

Prior to the release of these hacked documents, an analysis of election coverage by Neal Gabler, published in Truthout, evidenced startling favoritism for Clinton by the mainstream media throughout the 2016 election season thus far. While not entirely overt, the media’s fondness for Hillary often comprised propagandic semantic gymnastics to avoid showing Sanders in a rosy light.
 

next leak will be enough to indict her, but...,



truthdig |  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says his organization’s upcoming leak of more Hillary Clinton emails should be enough to indict her—but doubts the FBI will do so.

As the presidential race heats up, there has been increased attention on the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has begun to use the scandal as an offensive strategy against his Democratic opponent. Clinton is under investigation by the FBI because of her reliance on a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, breaking multiple department rules on cybersecurity.

WikiLeaks, an organization created to publish classified information, made major waves in March when it published a searchable archive of Clinton’s emails. Now, Assange is promising another leak of emails that he believes could serve as sufficient evidence for the FBI to indict her. Speaking via video in an interview on Britain’s ITV network, he noted that WikiLeaks “had a very big year ahead.”

“We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton,” he said. “We’ve accumulated a lot of material about Hillary Clinton. We could proceed to an indictment.”

Assange said, however, that in his opinion, the FBI would choose not to indict her in hopes of gaining favor with a Clinton administration. “The FBI could push for concessions from the new Clinton government,” he said. But, he added, “there’s very strong material, both in the emails and in relation to the Clinton Foundation.”

As The Guardian notes, Assange has long been a critic of Clinton’s politics. He once said that “she has a long history of being a liberal war hawk,” and last week he evenaccused Google of manipulating search suggestions to help her campaign.

Two Clintons 41 Years $3 Billion Dollars...,


WaPo |  Over four decades of public life, Bill and Hillary Clinton have built an unrivaled global network of donors while pioneering fundraising techniques that have transformed modern politics and paved the way for them to potentially become the first husband and wife to win the White House.
The grand total raised for all of their political campaigns and their family’s charitable foundation reaches at least $3 billion, according to a Washington Post investigation.

Their fundraising haul, which began with $178,000 that Bill Clinton raised for his long-shot 1974 congressional bid, is on track to expand substantially with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 White House run, which has already drawn $110 million in support.

The Post identified donations from roughly 336,000 individuals, corporations, unions and foreign governments in support of their political or philanthropic endeavors — a list that includes top patrons such as Steven Spielberg and George Soros, as well as lesser-known backers who have given smaller amounts dozens of times. Not included in the count are an untold number of small donors whose names are not identified in campaign finance reports but together have given millions to the Clintons over the years.

The majority of the money — $2 billion — has gone to the Clinton Foundation, one of the world’s fastest-growing charities, which supports health, education and economic development initiatives around the globe. A handful of elite givers have contributed more than $25 million to the foundation, including Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra, who is among the wealthy foreign donors who have given tens of millions.

Separately, donors have given $1 billion to support the Clintons’ political races and legal defense fund, making capped contributions to their campaigns and writing six-figure checks to the Democratic National Committee and allied super PACs.

The Post investigation found that many top Clinton patrons supported them in multiple ways, helping finance their political causes, their legal needs, their philanthropy and their personal bank accounts. In some cases, companies connected to their donors hired the Clintons as paid speakers, helping them collect more than $150 million on the lecture circuit in the past 15 years.

The couple’s biggest individual political benefactors are Univision chairman Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, who have made 39 contributions totaling $2.4 million to support the Clintons’ races since 1992. The Sabans have also donated at least $10 million to the foundation.

The Clintons kept big contributors in their orbit for decades by methodically wooing competing interest groups — toggling between their liberal base and powerful constituencies, according to donors, friends and aides who have known the couple since their Arkansas days.

They made historic inroads on Wall Street, pulling in at least $69 million in political contributions from the employees and PACs of banks, insurance companies, and securities and investment firms. Wealthy hedge fund managers S. Donald Sussman and David E. Shaw are among their top campaign supporters, having given more than $1 million each.

The Clintons’ ties to the financial sector strained their bonds with the left, particularly organized labor. But unions repeatedly shook off their disappointment, giving at least $21 million to support their races. The public employees union AFSCME has been their top labor backer, giving nearly $1.7 million for their campaigns.

The Clintons’ fundraising operation — $3 billion amassed by one couple, working in tandem for more than four decades — has no equal. Fist tap Democratic Underground

the clinton years: mass incarceration and the aristocracy of prison profits


narconews |  The Clinton Administration took the groundwork laid by Nixon, Reagan and Bush and embraced and blossomed the expansion and promotion of federal support for police, enforcement and the War on Drugs with a passion that was hard to understand unless and until you realized that the American financial system was deeply dependent on attracting an estimated $500 billion-$1 trillion of annual money laundering. Globalizing corporations and deepening deficits and housing bubbles required attracting vast amounts of capital.

Attracting capital also required making the world safe for the reinvestment of the profits of organized crime and the war machine. Without growing organized crime and military activities through government budgets and contracts, the economy would stop centralizing. The Clinton Administration was to govern a doubling of the federal prison population.[1]
 
Whether through subsidy, credit and asset forfeiture kickbacks to state and local government or increased laws, regulations and federal sentencing and imprisonment, the supremacy of the federal enforcement infrastructure and the industry it feeds was to be a Clinton legacy.

One of the first major initiatives by President Bill Clinton was the Omnibus Crime Bill, signed into law in September 1994. This legislation implemented mandatory sentencing, authorized $10.5 billion to fund prison construction that mandatory sentencing would help require, loosened the rules on allowing federal asset forfeiture teams to keep and spend the money their operations made from seizing assets, and provided federal monies for local police. The legislation also provided a variety of pork for a Clinton Administration vogue constituency — Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The CDCs and CDFIs became instrumental during this period in putting a socially acceptable face on increasing central control of local finance and shutting off equity capital to small business.

The potential impact on the private prison industry was significant. With the bill only through the house, former Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti joined the board of Wackenhut Corrections, which went public in July 1994 with an initial public offering of 2.2 million shares. By the end of 1998, Wackenhut’s stock market value had increased almost ten times. When I visited their website at that time it offered a feature that flashed the number of beds they owned and managed. The number increased as I was watching it — the prison business was growing that fast.

However, the Clinton Administration did not wait for the Omnibus Crime Bill to build the federal enforcement infrastructure. Government-wide, agencies were encouraged to cash in on support in both Executive Branch and Congress for authorizations and programs — many justified under the umbrella of the War on Drugs — that allowed agency personnel to carry weapons, make arrests and generate revenues from money makers such as civil money penalties and asset forfeitures and seizures. Indeed, federal enforcement was moving towards a model that some would call “for profit” faster than one could say “Sheriff of Nottingham.”

On February 4, 1994, U.S. Vice President Al Gore announced Operation Safe Home, a new enforcement program at HUD. Gore was a former Senator from Tennessee. His hometown of Nashville was home of the largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). He was joined at the press conference by Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen, Attorney General Janet Reno, Director of Drug Policy Lee Brown and Secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros who said that the Operation Safe Home initiative would claim $800 million of HUD’s resources. Operation Safe Home was to receive significant support from the Senate and House appropriations committees. It turned the HUD Inspector General’s office from an auditor of program areas to a developer of programs competing for funding with the offices they were supposed to be auditing — a serious conflict of interest and built-in failure of government internal controls.

According to the announcement, Operation Safe Home was expected to “combat violent crime in public and assisted housing.” As part of this program, the HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) coordinated with various federal, state and local enforcement task forces. Federal agencies that partnered with HUD included the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Secret Service, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The primary performance measures reported in the HUD OIG Semi-Annual Performance Report to Congress for this program are the total number of asset forfeitures/seizures, equity skimming collections and arrests. Subsequent intra-agency efforts such as the “ACE” program sponsored by DOJ and initiated by U.S. Attorney’s Offices, working with the DOJ Asset Forfeiture Fund, HUD OIG and HUD Office of General Counsel promoted revenue generating activities as well.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

the war on stupid people



theatlantic |  As recently as the 1950s, possessing only middling intelligence was not likely to severely limit your life’s trajectory. IQ wasn’t a big factor in whom you married, where you lived, or what others thought of you. The qualifications for a good job, whether on an assembly line or behind a desk, mostly revolved around integrity, work ethic, and a knack for getting along—bosses didn’t routinely expect college degrees, much less ask to see SAT scores. As one account of the era put it, hiring decisions were “based on a candidate having a critical skill or two and on soft factors such as eagerness, appearance, family background, and physical characteristics.”

The 2010s, in contrast, are a terrible time to not be brainy. Those who consider themselves bright openly mock others for being less so. Even in this age of rampant concern over microaggressions and victimization, we maintain open season on the nonsmart. People who’d swerve off a cliff rather than use a pejorative for race, religion, physical appearance, or disability are all too happy to drop the s‑bomb: Indeed, degrading others for being “stupid” has become nearly automatic in all forms of disagreement.

It’s popular entertainment, too. The so-called Darwin Awards celebrate incidents in which poor judgment and comprehension, among other supposedly genetic mental limitations, have led to gruesome and more or less self-inflicted fatalities. An evening of otherwise hate-speech-free TV-watching typically features at least one of a long list of humorous slurs on the unintelligent (“not the sharpest tool in the shed”; “a few fries short of a Happy Meal”; “dumber than a bag of hammers”; and so forth). Reddit regularly has threads on favorite ways to insult the stupid, and fun-stuff-to-do.com dedicates a page to the topic amid its party-decor ideas and drink recipes.

This gleeful derision seems especially cruel in view of the more serious abuse that modern life has heaped upon the less intellectually gifted. Few will be surprised to hear that, according to the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a long-running federal study, IQ correlates with chances of landing a financially rewarding job. Other analyses suggest that each IQ point is worth hundreds of dollars in annual income—surely a painful formula for the 80 million Americans with an IQ of 90 or below. When the less smart are identified by lack of educational achievement (which in contemporary America is closely correlated with lower IQ), the contrast only sharpens. From 1979 to 2012, the median-income gap between a family headed by two earners with college degrees and two earners with high-school degrees grew by $30,000, in constant dollars. Studies have furthermore found that, compared with the intelligent, less intelligent people are more likely to suffer from some types of mental illness, become obese, develop heart disease, experience permanent brain damage from a traumatic injury, and end up in prison, where they are more likely than other inmates to be drawn to violence. They’re also likely to die sooner.

Britsh Corporatist THOTing and Plotting Is Called Reluctant Remaining


Guardian |  Britain has become a powerbase for a legalised financial mafia, which strips the assets of healthy companies, turns the nation’s housing into a roulette table, launders money for drug cartels and terrorists, then stashes its gains beyond the reach of police and tax inspectors. Through privatisation, outsourcing and the private finance initiative, the public sector has been repurposed as a get-rich-quick scheme for friends in the City, licensed to erect tollbooths in front of essential services. The media, largely owned by members of the same class, directs our attention elsewhere: blaming immigrants for the ills it has inflicted.

It was British lobbying that sank Europe’s soil framework directive and the financial transactions tax. Without a mandate from either Parliament or people, the British trade minister wrote secretly to the European Commission, insisting that investor-state dispute settlement should remain in the TTIP. Wherever barriers to the power of money are being kicked over, there you will find Mr Cameron’s bootprint.

Since the first states were established, they have sought power by making alliances. The splendid autonomy we are told a Britain out of Europe would enjoy is an illusion: we would swap one transnational system for another. The demand to leave Europe in the name of independence has long been accompanied by a desire to surrender our sovereignty to the United States. If judged by their own standards, the Brexit campaigners who foresee a stronger alliance with the US are traitors, ceding the national interest to a foreign hegemon.

Sixteen years ago, the Conservative party published a draft manifesto in which it proposed that we should join the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This remains a plausible outcome of leaving the EU: it is hard to imagine the business class permitting the UK to stand outside a formal trading bloc. What this means is swapping a treaty over which we have had some influence for one in which we have had none.

How do we know that TTIP would tear down public protections? Because the same clauses in NAFTA have already started doing so, across Canada, the US and Mexico. A closer alliance with the United States means surrendering to a system which has been signed, sealed and delivered to the power of money. The US campaign finance system, a Congress bound and gagged with dollars, a police and military machine pressed into the service of plutocracy; a media that scarcely bothers to disguise its own corruption: the political power of money there is naked, unashamed, even proud.
I suspect that Trump, or at least Trumpery of some kind, represents the future of US politics, especially if the Democrats fail to connect with those who are catastrophically alienated from politics. Exciting as it will be to have a woman in the White House, Hillary Clinton is embedded in corporate power and corporate dollars, strategically unable to connect.

We do not release ourselves from the power of money by leaving the EU. We just exchange one version for another: another that is even worse. This is not an inspiring position from which to vote Remain. But it is a coherent one.

DNC THOTing and Plotting Put Out on Front Street


guccifer2 |  Worldwide known cyber security company CrowdStrike announced that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers had been hacked by “sophisticated” hacker groups.

I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly))) But in fact, it was easy, very easy.

Guccifer may have been the first one who penetrated Hillary Clinton’s and other Democrats’ mail servers. But he certainly wasn’t the last. No wonder any other hacker could easily get access to the DNC’s servers.

Shame on CrowdStrike: Do you think I’ve been in the DNC’s networks for almost a year and saved only 2 documents? Do you really believe it?

Here are just a few docs from many thousands I extracted when hacking into DNC’s network.

They mentioned a leaked database on Donald Trump. Did they mean this one?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

interracial friendships decrease over time with teachers playing a hidden role...,


nyu |  “Friendships provide opportunities to build empathy and practice social skills,” said Cappella. “Being friends with racially or ethnically diverse peers can create opportunities for academic and social learning different from the opportunities afforded by same-race friendships.”

The current study looked at student and classroom factors that affect the likelihood of children forming friendships across race. Cappella and her colleagues used data from the Early Adolescent Development Study, a longitudinal study of elementary and middle school children in a racially diverse middle-class suburban school district. Surveys were collected in the fall and spring of the 1996-7 school year in 53 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade classrooms, with a total of 553 African American and white students participating in the study.

On an individual or student level, the researchers looked at age, race, and psychosocial factors, including sociability, internalizing behavior (such as worrying or feeling sad) and externalizing behavior (such as acting out or getting in trouble). They also examined factors related to classroom context, including teacher support, whether teachers treat students with varying levels of academic achievement differently, and competition among students.

Results suggest that same-race friendships increase over the school year, with greater increases among white and older children. Externalizing behavior predicted a greater increase in same-race friendships, particularly among white students.

Teachers and classroom context influenced student friendships in two different ways. Classroom support – measured by student perceptions of teachers’ warmth, respect, and trust – predicted less of an increase in same-race friendships from fall to spring. In addition, African American students who perceived that their teachers treated students differently were more likely to have friendships with white peers over time.

“Teachers’ differential treatment sends messages regarding the value of different groups. We don’t know if the teachers in this study favored white students over African American students, as other studies have shown. But if this is the case, it’s not surprising that African American students formed more friendships with white peers as they began to internalize the higher value their teachers placed on white students,” said Cappella.

The researchers said their study points to the need not just for diverse schools, but also for teachers to foster classrooms where students and teachers support one another, and social and academic hierarchies are not dominant, which could increase the likelihood of students developing and maintaining interracial friendships.

going to college and being left behind...,



visualcapitalist |  SIMPLE ARITHMETIC SHOWS ONE OF THESE LOANS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER 

What do you get when you combine skyrocketing tuition costs, a lack of growth in high-paying jobs, moral hazard, and America’s largest-ever generation of students?

It’s a recipe for a mountain of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt – much of which is not being paid for.


VERY DELINQUENT STUDENTS
With many students graduating with high debt loads, a growing number of students are becoming delinquent on their loans. The most recent estimate by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates the percent of 90+ day delinquent loans to now be at 11.0%.

This puts student loans at a higher delinquency rate than credit cards (7.6%), auto loans (3.5%), and mortgages (2.2%). It’s also particularly interesting because historically credit cards have had the highest rates among all types of consumer credit. Despite this, student loans “passed” credit cards in delinquency frequency at the end of 2012.

Why are student loans the most troubled form of consumer debt right now? It’s the result of a clear mismatch between supply and demand for college-educated workers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

if people under fbi investigation should lose constitutional rights, how you running for preznit?!?!


thefederalist |  If something horrifying happens, we must ignore due process and deny Americans their rights. To be safe. This was basically the argument many conservatives (and Democrats) made post-9/11 to help pass the Patriot Act, and it’s exactly the argument most liberals are making when they push gun bans to people on terror watch lists.

“If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links,” Hillary Clinton said today in her supposedly apolitical speech, “you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun.”
If we’re going to do this, let’s be consistent.
If the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of your suspected illegal use of a home email server to transmit classified intelligence, you shouldn’t be allowed to just go and run for president. Obviously. The idea that we would allow a person who can’t be trusted with our most vital secrets to hold the most powerful office in the nation is absurd. It’s just not safe.
It’s worse than that, actually. Being on a watch list would probably be best described—using Hillary’s own euphemism—as having a “security inquiry.” The Democratic Party nominee is under criminal investigation by the nation’s prime federal law enforcement agency. She’s practically guilty. Fist Tap Big Don.

Hitlery Clinton's Project For a New American Century...,



shadowproof |  Here we go again. Earlier this year, some were surprised to see Project For The New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and longtime DC fixture Robert Kagan endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president.

They shouldn’t have been. As is now clear from a policy paper [PDF] published last month, the neoconservatives are going all-in on Hillary Clinton being the best vessel for American power in the years ahead.

The paper, titled “Expanding American Power,” was published by the Center for a New American Security, a Democratic Party-friendly think tank co-founded and led by former Undersecretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy. Flournoy served in the Obama Administration under Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the next secretary of defense, should Hillary Clinton become president.

The introduction to Expanding American Power is written by the aforementioned Robert Kagan and former Clinton Administration State Department official James Rubin. The paper itself was prepared in consultation with various defense and national security intellectuals over the course of six dinners. Among the officials includes those who signed on to PNAC letters calling for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, such as Elliot Abrams, Robert Zoellick, Craig Kennedy, Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross, and Flournoy herself, who signed on to a PNAC letter in 2005 calling for more ground troops in Iraq.

The substance of the document is about what one would expect from an iteration of PNAC. The paper cites a highly revisionist history of post-World War II American policymaking, complete with a celebration of America’s selfless motives for every action. Left out is any mention of overthrowing democratically elected and popular governments for US business, or the subsequent blowback for such actions in Latin America, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

For the neocons and liberal interventionists at the Center for a New American Security, the United States has always acted for the benefit of all.

The paper primarily focuses on the economy and defense budget, and American security interests in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Supporting the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are considered the highest priority, as they will bind the main drivers of the US-led “liberal world order”—the US and Europe—closer together.

According to the paper, “Even in a world of shifting economic and political power, the transatlantic community remains both the foundation and the core of the liberal world order.” In other words, the West must maintain control of the planet, for the good of all, of course. 

how much $$$ has saudi funneled into hitlery clinton's campaign?



zerohedge |  In what may be the pinnacle of hypocrisy, moments ago Hillary Clinton, while speaking live on national security and addressing the Orlando shooting took some time from her constant bashing of the Second Amendment and calling for a ban on assault rifles, to say some less than kind words about Saudi Arabia whom it accused of supporting radical organizations. This is what she said:
The third area that demands attention is preventing radicalization and countering efforts by ISIS and other international terrorist networks to recruit in the United States and Europe. For starters, it is long past time for the Saudis, the Qataris and the Kuwaitis and others to stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations.And they should stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism. We also have to use all our capabilities to counter jihadist propaganda online. This is something that I spend a lot of time on at the State Department.
There is nothing wrong with that statement, as it is the whole truth - Saudi Arabia's involvement in supporting terrorism stretches from Sept 11 all the way through to ISIS - however, where there  is a big, and potentially law-breaking,  problem is what Jordan's official news agency, Petra News Agency, reported on Sunday citing the Saudi crown price, namely that Saudi Arabia is a major funder of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to become the next president of the United States.

As MEE notes, the Petra News Agency published on Sunday what it described as exclusive comments from Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman which included a claim that Riyadh has provided 20 percent of the total funding to the prospective Democratic candidate's campaign.

Tulsi Gabbard launches petition to end Democratic Party superdelegate process



politico |  The Democratic presidential primary process may be ending next Tuesday, but the fight among Bernie Sanders supporters to rid the party of superdelegates and install new leadership at the Democratic National Committee is not.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard encouraged her followers on Saturday to sign a petition ending the Democratic Party’s use of superdelegates.

“Whether you are a Bernie Sanders supporter or a Hillary Clinton supporter, we should all agree that unelected party officials and lobbyists should not have a say in who the presidential nominee of our party is,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “That should be left up to the voters.”

Gabbard resigned as a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to publicly endorse the Vermont senator’s campaign.

Gabbard isn’t alone in the fight: The West Virginia Democratic Party at its state convention Saturday passed a resolution calling for the elimination of superdelegates, or that superdelegates be required “in each state to vote in the same relative proportion as the elected delegates of the state they represent.”

Monday, June 13, 2016

the clinton university problem...,


jonathanturley |  While largely ignored by the media, the Clintons have their own university scandal. Donald Trump has been rightfully criticized and sued over his defunct Trump University. There is ample support for claiming that the Trump University was fraudulent in its advertisements and operations. However, the national media has been accused of again sidestepping a scandal involving the Clintons that involves the same type of fraud allegations. The scandal involves a dubious Laureate Education for-profit online college (Walden) and entails many of the common elements with other Clinton scandals: huge sums given to the Clintons and questions of conflicts with Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State. There are distinctions to draw between the two stories, but the virtual radio silence on the Clinton/Laureate story is surprising. [I have updated the original column with some additional thoughts, links, and clarifications for readers).

I have long been a critic of many online courses, though I am increasingly in the minority even on my faculty. However, the rise of online courses has allowed for an increase in dubious pitches and practices that prey upon people who cannot afford or attend a traditional academic institution.  I should also reveal a general opposition to for-profit universities, a view shared by many teachers and experts.  While there are some good for-profit programs from student camps to specialized training courses, Laureate is a massive, mega-corporation that is often criticized for its impact on education.  As companies maximize profits, students often become a mere cost of doing business.  The rate of default has been higher at such for-profit universities and less than half of students at for-profit schools actually finish such programs accordingly to Brookings.  Laureate is often cited as the leader in reducing education to a commodity in a mass for-profit enterprise.  The company has made huge profits and is worth over $4 billion.

Laureate Education was sued over its Walden University Online offering, which some alleged worked like a scam designed to bilk students of tens of thousands of dollars for degrees. Students alleged that they were repeatedly delayed and given added costs as they tried to secure degrees, leaving them deeply in debt.  Laureate itself has been criticized for “turbocharging” admissions while allowing standards to fall and shortchanging education.

The respected Inside Higher Education reported that Laureate Education paid Bill Clinton an obscene $16.5 million between 2010 and 2014 to serve as an honorary chancellor for Laureate International Universities.  Various news outlets said that neither Clinton nor Laureate were forthcoming on how much he was paid for the controversial association.

Bill Clinton worked as the “honorary chancellor” which sounds a bit like the group’s pitchman. He gave speeches in various countries and was heavily touted by the for-profit company to attract students.  The size of this payment (which has been widely reported) raises obvious concerns as to what the company was seeking to achieve and whether Laureate received any benefit from the association with the State Department given its massive international operations.

isn't "word of mouth" one of the most important elements of a "free market"?



NYTimes |  American corporations are under new scrutiny from federal lawmakers after well-publicized episodes in which the companies laid off American workers and gave the jobs to foreigners on temporary visas.

But while corporate executives have been outspoken in defending their labor practices before Congress and the public, the American workers who lost jobs to global outsourcing companies have been largely silent.

Until recently. Now some of the workers who were displaced are starting to speak out, despite severance agreements prohibiting them from criticizing their former employers.

Marco Peña was among about 150 technology workers who were laid off in April by Abbott Laboratories, a global health care conglomerate with headquarters here. They handed in their badges and computer passwords, and turned over their work to a company based in India. But Mr. Peña, who had worked at Abbott for 12 years, said he had decided not to sign the agreement that was given to all departing employees, which included a nondisparagement clause.

Mr. Peña said his choice cost him at least $10,000 in severance pay. But on an April evening after he walked out of Abbott’s tree-lined campus here for the last time, he spent a few hours in a local bar at a gathering organized by technology worker advocates, speaking his mind about a job he had loved and lost.

“I just didn’t feel right about signing,” Mr. Peña said. “The clauses were pretty blanket. I felt like they were eroding my rights.”

Leading members of Congress from both major parties have questioned the nondisparagement agreements, which are commonly used by corporations but can prohibit ousted workers from raising complaints about what they see as a misuse of temporary visas. Lawmakers, including Richard Durbin of Illinois, the second-highest-ranking Senate Democrat, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the Republican chairman of the Senate JudiciarySubcommittee on Immigration, have proposed revisions to visa laws to include measures allowing former employees to contest their layoffs.

“I have heard from workers who are fearful of retaliation,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut. “They are told they can say whatever they want, except they can’t say anything negative about being fired.”

Capitalism will collapse because banks & political elite ‘allow poor to rot’


RT |  The banks behind politicians in the western world “have allowed the poor to rot,” and now the elites in those countries, especially the US, are facing a revolt, journalist and author Tariq Ali told RT America’s Chris Hedges in an exclusive interview. 

“The elites who have run the United States and western Europe have proven incapable of offering even the smallest palliatives to their populations. They have allowed the poor to rot ‒ regardless of skin color ‒ and grow,” Ali said. “And so what we have is a protest against this center elite, which I call the extreme center because whether it’s social democratic or conservative, they unite to crush.”

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has become a perfect example of this protest against the extreme center, he tells Hedges.

“They’ve found in Trump someone who airs their most crazed fantasies at the same time who attacks the banks, at the same time attacks these new treaties which are being carried through and promises some palliatives to the poorest section of the white working class,” Ali said.

The right and the far right are growing around the world, while the left has been weak. That is part of the reason that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wasn’t able to succeed, even though he also offers an independent voice to the working class.

“I don’t think that there’s anything on the radical left at the moment ‒ of course, these things are volatile, things can happen,” he said.



Sunday, June 12, 2016

thought leadership


cbc |  Pat Kelly vividly remembers when he first knew he was a "thought leader":

"In 2005, I met another 'thought leader' and I asked him how he became a 'thought leader' and he said 'I don't know.' It was then that I knew I could be one too."

Kelly proved his skill at leading thoughts on the This Is That Talks stage this past April in Whistler, BC. As you can see in the video of his talk, Kelly confidently made grand statements, spoke with his hands, and had slides - all hallmarks of a true "thought leader" or "influencer."

"My talk was a big success: I said things and the audience nodded their heads."

Based on the success of his talk, Kelly hopes to appear on a number of podcasts about "big ideas."

are humans the only animals that mock one another?


telegraph |  Our animal ancestors, and most of their descendants, laughed simply because they were enjoying themselves, according to a new study. 

But over millions of years humans have perfected how to use the sound to wound as well.
Great apes which roamed the earth 16 million years ago are thought to be the first who developed the ability to laugh.
Modern-day Orangutans, the only species of Asian great ape, laugh when they are having fun, while African great apes, which include gorillas and chimpanzees, have learned that the sound can be used to influence others, but still only use laughter while playing.
However, human have gone much further, using laughter for a range of negative emotions, including to ridicule or sneer.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

ruthless conflation and exploitation of personal as political - hillBilly is the GOAT!!!


Haaretz |  "Religion ain’t bad; it’s people who are bad," he said. "You know the entire power structure is Zionist. They control America; they control the world. They are really against the Islam religion. So whenever a Muslim does something wrong, they blame the religion.”

Despite his frequent jabs at the Jewish community and Israel, Ali couldn't seem to alienate some of his most fervent Jewish admirers, among them Hollywood star Billy Crystal.

Crystal's 1977 impression of the boxing legend deciding to convert to Judaism and change his name to Izzy Yiskowitz became legendary on its own right. Fifteen years later, Ali had the pleasure of having Crystal perform at his 50th birthday party.

Sportscaster Howard Cosell, born Howard Cohen, was perhaps Ali's biggest defender. Unlike many others, Cosell immediately called Ali by his new, Islamic name after he changed it from Cassius Clay, and also stood up for his right to resist the draft. The Jewish journalist and the Muslim champion had a rapport that was evident in post-fight interviews, where they exchanged barbs and bantered, drawing in enchanted viewers.

triple-down on the faux identity-politics of Granny Goodness' faux populist VP...,



WaPo | The furor over Trump’s assaults on the impartiality of a Latino judge had just begun to subside when he lobbed two tweets Friday morning responding to Warren, who had lambasted him as a “thin-skinned, racist bully” in a speech the previous evening.

“Pocahontas is at it again!” Trump wrote in one. “Goofy Elizabeth Warren, one of the least productive U.S. Senators, has a nasty mouth.”

“No, seriously — Delete your account,” Warren tweeted back. One of the senator’s supporters secured Pocahontas.com and redirected it to Warren’s campaign site.

The real estate developer has repeatedly invoked the ­17th-century Native American figure to refer to Warren, an allusion to controversy about her heritage. The senator has said she grew up amid family stories about her Cherokee lineage, but that account has not been proved.

Trump began going after Warren’s claimed ancestry earlier this year, responding to the senator’s repeated slams of him as a “loser” and a bully. “Who’s that, the Indian?” he said at a March news conference when asked about Warren. “You mean the Indian?”