For-profit accreditation scammers scamming

For-profit schools

The following two statements, both attributed to the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and quoted directly from the article, very likely contradict each other:

“To the contrary, we [the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools] believe strongly that the information the agency submitted with its recognition application – both narrative and evidence – satisfies any reasonable interpretation of [the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s] standards,” the accrediting agency said in its letter to CHEA.

ACICS said it had significant concerns about CHEA’s recognition process and about “its ongoing implementation of several new policies.” The agency said it plans to reapply at a later date.[1]

Unfortunately,

Recognition by CHEA isn’t necessary for an accreditor to oversee federal aid eligibility. But approval by the association can affect decisions by state authorizers, specialized accrediting agencies, licensing boards and some institutional authorities in other countries.[2]

Financial aid is, of course, what keeps for-profit schools in business. And that’s precisely what makes them a scam. And it’s awfully fishy that Betsy DeVos loves them so.

Paul Fain, “For-Profit Accreditor Drops Recognition Bid,” Inside Higher Ed, January 20, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/01/20/profit-accreditor-drops-recognition-bid


Pittsburgh

Ryan Deto, “The displacement of Anthony Hardison from his Lawrenceville apartment is a microcosm of a neighborhood epidemic,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 15, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/the-displacement-of-anthony-hardison-from-his-lawrenceville-apartment-is-a-microcosm-of-a-neighborhood-epidemic/Content?oid=16556108

Ollie Gratzinger, “Allegheny County issues another fine to US Steel for air pollution violation,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 17, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/allegheny-county-issues-another-fine-to-us-steel-for-air-pollution-violation/Content?oid=16576925


  1. [1]Paul Fain, “For-Profit Accreditor Drops Recognition Bid,” Inside Higher Ed, January 20, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/01/20/profit-accreditor-drops-recognition-bid
  2. [2]Paul Fain, “For-Profit Accreditor Drops Recognition Bid,” Inside Higher Ed, January 20, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/01/20/profit-accreditor-drops-recognition-bid

Abort, abort!

I do not believe I will be able to find a place in western Massachusetts. The blog entry is entitled, “If you don’t like homelessness, here’s an idea: Make it possible to rent an apartment.” I had briefly published a Longmeadow address in my contact information page; that address has now been removed—I got my money back.

The motel is more difficult: The manager does not return until Sunday and I probably won’t leave until Monday or Tuesday anyway. I need to catch up, including on email, which I’ve been doing very poorly so far.

Plan B is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Plan C is Portland, Oregon. Plan D is back to my mother’s. But I really like the trees back east. I’m hoping Pittsburgh will work.

I still have a lot of catching up to do.



Guantanamo

Missy Ryan, “In a setback for Guantanamo, court throws out years of rulings in USS Cole case,” Washington Post, April 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-a-setback-for-guantanamo-court-throws-out-years-of-rulings-in-uss-cole-case/2019/04/16/6c63e052-606b-11e9-bfad-36a7eb36cb60_story.html


Assessment

One of the questions I kept asking throughout my doctoral program was why we, who were being educated in the deficiencies of a quantitative approach, were evaluating our classes at the end of each semester using—of course—a quantitative approach: to be precise, Likert scales. Every syllabus included a very similar, if not identical, rubric which was supposed to tell us how our work would be evaluated—quantitatively. (I doubt that any of my professors actually used that rubric.)

So guess what happened at “the annual gathering of the WASC Senior College and University Commission, which accredits institutions in California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands?” People piled on about quantitative assessments of “learning outcomes” (more absolute fucking bullshit).[1] The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is, one way or another, the accreditor for all of my post-secondary education, including at California Institute of Integral Studies (where I studied in what was the wrong program for me) and Saybrook (where I earned my Ph.D.).

Doug Lederman, “Harsh Take on Assessment … From Assessment Pros,” Inside Higher Ed, April 17, 2019, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/04/17/advocates-student-learning-assessment-say-its-time-different-approach


  1. [1]Doug Lederman, “Harsh Take on Assessment … From Assessment Pros,” Inside Higher Ed, April 17, 2019, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/04/17/advocates-student-learning-assessment-say-its-time-different-approach

What is ‘necessary’ force?

This has been a difficult issue for me to publish and there is more that should be here. Sometimes, the weight of it all—I refer not only to wanton cruelty but pointless stupidity and sheer animus—is more than I can bear.


Updates

  1. Originally published, April 4, 11:28 am.
  2. April 4, 9:37 pm:
    • Donald Trump’s Twitter rant about a ‘caravan’ of Central American refugees is, well, just unhinged.[1] (Unauthorized migration)
  3. April 6, 10:18 am:
    • Kate Morrissey covers the difficulties of implementing Donald Trump’s request—this is an order he can’t give on his own—to deploy the National Guard to the Mexican border.[2] Approval for the plan from California’s Governor Jerry Brown should not, ahem, be taken for granted.[3] (Unauthorized migration)
    • I am not caught up.
  4. April 6, 12:02 pm:
    • The story that has been one more than I could take is of the Israeli shooting of Palestinian protesters in a March of Return to the boundary between Israel and Gaza. Seventeen are dead, hundreds wounded.[4] (Gaza)
  5. April 6, 1:43 pm:
    • There have apparently been more deaths on the second Friday of the March of Return to the Gaza-Israel boundary. (Gaza)
  6. April 6, 5:59 pm:
    • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed federal prosecutors in states along the U.S.-Mexico border to prioritize criminal prosecutions of unauthorized migrants.[5] (Unauthorized migration)

Stephon Clark

This story, which I have excluded previously, now seems like it might—only might—actually develop in a substantive direction.

Sasha Abramsky, “The increasingly authoritarian big picture around Stephon Clark’s death,” Sacramento Bee, April 1 , 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article207637364.html

Alexei Koseff, “Police could only use deadly force when ‘necessary’ under new California proposal,” Sacramento Bee, April 3, 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/capitol-alert-newsletter/article207741689.html


Russian sanctions

The question of what is up with Donald Trump and Russia remains open.

John Bowden, “State Department: Expelled diplomats can be replaced,” Hill, April 3, 2018, http://thehill.com/policy/international/381432-state-department-expelled-diplomats-can-be-replaced


For-profit schools

That for-profit schools continue to be accredited, even by accreditors not set up to coddle them,[6] exposes accreditation as a lie.

Andrew Kreighbaum, “DeVos Restores Recognition of For-Profit Accreditor Terminated by Obama Administration,” Inside Higher Ed, April 4, 2018, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/04/04/devos-restores-recognition-profit-accreditor-terminated-obama-administration


Unauthorized migration

Emily Cadei and Anita Kumar, “Send National Guard to border? California is undecided,” Sacramento Bee, April 4, 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article207982484.html

Kate Morrissey, “Can Trump install troops on the California border? He faces obstacles, experts say,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-border-troops-explainer-20180404-story.html

Joshua Partlow, “The migrant caravan denounced by Trump will end in Mexico City, but some people vow to go on alone,” Washington Post, April 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the-migrant-caravan-denounced-by-trump-will-end-in-mexico-city-but-some-people-vow-to-go-on-alone/2018/04/04/e0a8fa96-378c-11e8-af3c-2123715f78df_story.html

Lydia Wheeler and Rafael Bernal, “Sessions orders ‘zero tolerance’ policy at Southwest border,” Hill, April 6, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/administration/381991-sessions-orders-zero-tolerance-policy-at-southwest-border


Gaza

I will say it again: A state funded in response to genocide cannot itself engage in ethnic cleansing of any sort. When it does so, it forfeits its legitimacy, its right to exist. Further, the Israeli shooting of hundreds of unarmed protesters demonstrates again how nonviolence advocates risk complicity with the oppressor.[7]
An update, Friday (April 6), on Twitter:

Neve Gordon, “Gaza’s Passover massacre,” Al Jazeera, April 1, 2018, https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/gaza-passover-massacre-180401075721153.html


  1. [1]Joshua Partlow, “The migrant caravan denounced by Trump will end in Mexico City, but some people vow to go on alone,” Washington Post, April 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the-migrant-caravan-denounced-by-trump-will-end-in-mexico-city-but-some-people-vow-to-go-on-alone/2018/04/04/e0a8fa96-378c-11e8-af3c-2123715f78df_story.html
  2. [2]Kate Morrissey, “Can Trump install troops on the California border? He faces obstacles, experts say,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-border-troops-explainer-20180404-story.html
  3. [3]Emily Cadei and Anita Kumar, “Send National Guard to border? California is undecided,” Sacramento Bee, April 4, 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article207982484.html
  4. [4]Neve Gordon, “Gaza’s Passover massacre,” Al Jazeera, April 1, 2018, https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/gaza-passover-massacre-180401075721153.html; Michael Lerner to Tikkun mailing list, “Mourning for the 17 Palestinians killed & hundreds wounded,” April 3, 2018, http://org.salsalabs.com/o/525/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=376
  5. [5]Lydia Wheeler and Rafael Bernal, “Sessions orders ‘zero tolerance’ policy at Southwest border,” Hill, April 6, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/administration/381991-sessions-orders-zero-tolerance-policy-at-southwest-border
  6. [6]Andrew Kreighbaum, “DeVos Restores Recognition of For-Profit Accreditor Terminated by Obama Administration,” Inside Higher Ed, April 4, 2018, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/04/04/devos-restores-recognition-profit-accreditor-terminated-obama-administration
  7. [7]Neve Gordon, “Gaza’s Passover massacre,” Al Jazeera, April 1, 2018, https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/gaza-passover-massacre-180401075721153.html

Rocket man–no, not the North Korean one–comes to earth

Updates

  1. Originally published, March 27, 10:50 am.
  2. March 27, 3:22 pm:
    • Uber will allow its permit to operate self-driving cars in California to expire.[1]

Donald Trump

I have been saying for a while that Donald Trump will fall. Others have been ahead of me in suggesting that it might be Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, who brings him down. Indeed, this is a story I suspected was more about a quest for confirmation of Trump’s dick size than anything else.

That all changed when Daniels appeared on CBS News “60 Minutes.”[2] As Michael Gerson put it,

Yet who in their right mind would trust Trump’s word over hers? In this case, the porn star has more credibility than the president of the United States. It is not even close.[3]

Trump has repeatedly weathered political storms that would be lethal for any other politician, prompting me to post Gerson’s article to Twitter, saying

Rosemary Sword and Gail Sheehy, “How Close Is Trump to a Psychiatric Breakdown?” Daily Beast, March 23, 2018, https://amp.thedailybeast.com/how-close-is-donald-trump-to-a-psychiatric-breakdown

Anderson Cooper, “Stormy Daniels describes her alleged affair with Donald Trump,” CBS News, March 26, 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/stormy-daniels-describes-her-alleged-affair-with-donald-trump-60-minutes-interview/

David Frum, “Trump’s Legal Threats Backfire,” Atlantic, March 26, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/trumps-legal-threats-backfire/556505/

Michael Gerson, “The strange, unexpected public contribution of Stormy Daniels,” Washington Post, March 26, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-strange-unexpected-public-contribution-of-stormy-daniels/2018/03/26/2c2bce4e-312a-11e8-8abc-22a366b72f2d_story.html


James Comey

Jonathan Turley, “John Dowd’s resignation sets Trump up for trouble in Mueller probe,” Hill, March 22, 2018, http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/379802-john-dowds-resignation-sets-trump-up-for-trouble-in-mueller-probe


Uber

Megan Rose Dickey, “Uber will not reapply for self-driving car permit in California,”TechCrunch, March 27, 2018, https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/27/uber-will-not-reapply-for-self-driving-car-permit-in-california/amp/

Alejandro Lazo and Greg Bensinger, “Arizona Governor Suspends Uber’s Self-Driving Cars From Roads,” Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/arizona-governor-suspends-ubers-self-driving-cars-from-roads-1522113198


Russian sanctions

Notably, however, [Donald] Trump did not immediately make a statement in his own voice. He has so far refused to personally condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for the attack, instead calling him recently to congratulate him for his victory in a dubious election. Trump was also slow to publicly acknowledge Russian complicity in the poisoning, which critically injured Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4 in the British city of Salisbury.[4]

Tracy Wilkinson, “U.S. to expel 60 Russian diplomats as punishment for poison attack in Britain,” Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-fg-us-russian-20180326-story.html


For-profit schools

Adam Harris, “Federal Judge Hands a Victory to Embattled Accreditor,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 25, 2018, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Federal-Judge-Hands-a-Victory/242918


  1. [1]Megan Rose Dickey, “Uber will not reapply for self-driving car permit in California,”TechCrunch, March 27, 2018, https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/27/uber-will-not-reapply-for-self-driving-car-permit-in-california/amp/
  2. [2]Anderson Cooper, “Stormy Daniels describes her alleged affair with Donald Trump,” CBS News, March 26, 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/stormy-daniels-describes-her-alleged-affair-with-donald-trump-60-minutes-interview/
  3. [3]Michael Gerson, “The strange, unexpected public contribution of Stormy Daniels,” Washington Post, March 26, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-strange-unexpected-public-contribution-of-stormy-daniels/2018/03/26/2c2bce4e-312a-11e8-8abc-22a366b72f2d_story.html
  4. [4]Tracy Wilkinson, “U.S. to expel 60 Russian diplomats as punishment for poison attack in Britain,” Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-fg-us-russian-20180326-story.html

Sioux already wrong to evict protesters: Daily Bullshit, January 24-25, 2017 (updated)

I hit ‘publish’ too soon. I’ve added a story on Donald Trump’s orders on authorized migrants.[1]


Brexit

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Brexit: Supreme Court says Parliament must give Article 50 go-ahead,” January 24, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38720320


TransPacific Partnership

William Mauldin, “Donald Trump Withdraws U.S. From Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Wall Street Journal, January 23, 2017, http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-withdraws-u-s-from-trans-pacific-partnership-1485191020


Calexit

Sharon Bernstein, “More Californians dreaming of a country without Trump: poll,” Yahoo!, January 23, 2017, https://www.yahoo.com/news/more-californians-dreaming-country-without-trump-poll-192311764.html


Dakota Access Pipeline

That didn’t take long. Remember what I said, just in the last issue, about the Sioux trusting elites?[2] Donald Trump is already pushing forward not just on the Dakota Access Pipeline but on the Keystone XL Pipeline.[3]

Timothy Cama, “Trump advances Keystone, Dakota Access pipelines,” Hill, January 24, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/315819-trump-to-advance-keystone-dakota-access-pipelines-report


For-profit colleges

The Obama administration’s record of cracking down on for-profit scams[4] was one of the few bright spots I saw in that presidency. That makes that administration’s connections in this deal[5] seem rather unseemly.

Michael Stratford, “Accreditor approves $1.1 billion sale of University of Phoenix’s parent company,” Politico, January 24, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/university-of-phoenix-sale-234101


Unauthorized Migration

I pretty much said all I have to say on this in my dissertation.

Rafael Bernal, “Trump signs orders on border wall, immigration enforcement,” Hill, January 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/316101-trump-orders-work-to-begin-on-border-wall


  1. [1]Rafael Bernal, “Trump signs orders on border wall, immigration enforcement,” Hill, January 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/316101-trump-orders-work-to-begin-on-border-wall
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Sioux now have faith in elites, tell Standing Rock protesters to go home,” (Almost) Daily Bullshit, January 22, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/01/22/sioux-now-have-faith-in-elites-tell-standing-rock-protesters-to-go-home-daily-bullshit-january-22-2017/
  3. [3]Timothy Cama, “Trump advances Keystone, Dakota Access pipelines,” Hill, January 24, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/315819-trump-to-advance-keystone-dakota-access-pipelines-report
  4. [4]Samantha Allen, “Death of a Diploma Mill: University of Phoenix Going Down in Flames?” Daily Beast, July 31, 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/31/death-of-a-diploma-mill-university-of-phoenix-going-down-in-flames.html; Arunima Banerjee, “ITT Educational to shut institutes, lay off over 8,000 employees,” Reuters, September 6, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-itt-education-layoffs-idUSKCN11C15W; Goldie Blumenstyk, “Little for Students in ‘Historic’ Settlement of Education Management Case,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 17, 2015, http://chronicle.com/article/Little-for-Students-in/234229; Goldie Blumenstyk, “After ITT’s Demise, More Trouble Is Likely for For-Profit Colleges,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 13, 2016, http://www.chronicle.com/article/After-ITT-s-Demise-More/237765; Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, “Is this the beginning of the end for ITT?” Washington Post, October 19, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/10/19/is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-itt/; Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, “DeVry voluntarily dials back revenue from federal student aid,” Washington Post, September 20, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/09/20/devry-voluntarily-dials-back-revenue-from-federal-student-aid/; Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, “Education Department places hefty conditions on University of Phoenix sale,” Washington Post, December 7, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/12/07/education-department-places-hefty-conditions-on-university-of-phoenix-sale/; Charles Huckabee, “Corinthian Colleges Inc. to Close Its Remaining Campuses,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2015, http://chronicle.com/article/Corinthian-Colleges-Inc-to/229685/; Molly Jackson, “Why is the University of Phoenix being sold?” Christian Science Monitor, February 8, 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2016/0208/Why-is-the-University-of-Phoenix-being-sold; Ben Kesling and Douglas Belkin, “University of Phoenix Barred From Recruiting on Military Bases,” Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/university-of-phoenix-barred-from-military-bases-1444369975; Ben Miller, “The Decision Threatening The Future Of For-Profit Colleges,” Talking Points Memo, July 2, 2015, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/university-of-phoenix-future-of-for-profit-colleges; Jim Miller and Jeremy B. White, “Sacramento-area Corinthian colleges sometimes doubled job claims, report says,” Sacramento Bee, November 17, 2015, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article45236754.html; Michael Nunez, “ITT Tech Is Officially Closing,” Gizmodo, September 6, 2016, http://gizmodo.com/itt-is-officially-closing-1786243058; Ashley A. Smith, “GI Bill Benefits on the Brink,” Inside Higher Ed, June 10, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/06/10/ashford-university-brink-losing-gi-bill-benefits; Ashley A. Smith, “Options for ITT Tech students if the for-profit chain collapses,” Inside Higher Ed, September 1, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/01/options-itt-tech-students-if-profit-chain-collapses; Ashley A. Smith, “The End for ITT Tech,” Inside Higher Ed, September 7, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/07/itt-tech-shuts-down-all-campuses; Michael Stratford, “Corinthian Closes for Good,” Inside Higher Ed, April 27, 2015, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/27/corinthian-ends-operations-remaining-campuses-affecting-16000-students; Michael Stratford, “Fallout From Corinthian Collapse,” Inside Higher Ed, April 28, 2015, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/28/education-department-defends-corinthian-collapse-democrats-turn-pressure; Michael Stratford, “Getting Ready for Another Corinthian,” Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/18/federal-loan-forgiveness-jumps-education-department-may-require-more-risky-colleges; Andy Thomason, “U. of Phoenix Faces Another Federal Investigation,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 22, 2015, http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/giant-for-profit-u-of-phoenix-faces-another-federal-investigation/105960; Andy Thomason, “Apollo Education, U. of Phoenix’s Parent, Is Sold for $1.1 Billion,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 8, 2016, http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/for-profit-apollo-education-u-of-phoenixs-parent-is-sold-for-1-1-billion/108473; Jill Tucker, “Corinthian, Heald colleges shut down abruptly,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 26, 2015, http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Corinthian-Colleges-shuts-down-in-S-F-and-6225068.php; Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz, “Education Dept. Denies Student-Aid Funds to For-Profit Law School,” Chronicle of Higher Education, December 19, 2016, http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/education-dept-denies-student-aid-funds-to-for-profit-law-school/116201; Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz, “2 For-Profit Colleges Will Close Their Doors,” Chronicle of Higher Education, December 22, 2016, http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/two-for-profit-colleges-will-close-their-doors/116247; Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz, “Over 800 Programs Fail Education Dept.’s Gainful-Employment Rule,” Chronicle of Higher Education, January 9, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/over-800-programs-fail-education-dept-s-gainful-employment-rule/116378
  5. [5]Michael Stratford, “Accreditor approves $1.1 billion sale of University of Phoenix’s parent company,” Politico, January 24, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/university-of-phoenix-sale-234101

Democrats’ stupid blame game, Russia edition: Daily Bullshit, December 10-14, 2016 (updated 6x)

Updated for:

  1. Andrew Cockburn’s article in Harper’s[1] and for the Department of Education’s final decision on an accreditor used by for-profits[2]
  2. an open letter by six former intelligence agency employees casting further doubt on accusations against Russia[3]
  3. another desperate Democratic tactic, attempting to flip the electoral college, this time based on the dubious allegations against Russia[4]
  4. Jill Stein’s flavor of this stupidity: recounts.[5]
  5. more on efforts to overturn the election in the electoral college.[6]
  6. more of the allegations against Russia,[7] yet more on electoral college machinations,[8] and on the whole Hillary Clinton fiasco.[9]

If only the Democrats had put so much effort into nominating someone who was electable. Unfortunately, it appears I may have spoken too soon[10] when I wrote earlier that this nonsense will be over on Monday when the electors vote.[11]


Horse race

I comment on this in a new blog post, Blaming the Russians. Andrew Cockburn’s article is a long read but absolutely worth it. Between Cockburn’s article[12] and the open letter from former intelligence agency employees,[13] I now believe it is more likely than not that the accusations against Russia are substantively false and have updated the blog post accordingly.

It is a measure of just how bizarrely topsy-turvy this year has been that neoconservatives have been among the more sensible voices on the entire mainstream political spectrum. Rich Lowry, who objects to the maneuvers to overturn the election through the electoral college,[14] doesn’t even begin to address the chaos that would ensue should such an attempt succeed. Lowry is editor of the National Review which is mostly, but not entirely, neoconservative, so I tend to assume he is neoconservative. His argument is consistent with neoconservatism but is not, in my view, necessarily inconsistent with other tendencies of conservatism.

More clearly, Noah Rothman writes for Commentary, which is unmistakably neoconservative. His article is useful for detailing all the attempts Hillary Clinton’s supporters have made to shift blame for her defeat. You know, the attempts I’ve been striving valiantly to not keep track of, until I just couldn’t anymore. He concludes, perhaps a bit too generously:

Clinton’s loss can be attributed to many factors. No one explanation for her failure is sufficient. But Democrats engaged in a self-serving exercise to transfer blame from their own failures cannot escape criticism for long. Eventually, Democrats will tire of blaming everyone but Clinton and her team for losing to someone even more unpopular than she. The anecdotes of betrayal and foreign intervention will fade into history, and all that will be left in the minds of most Americans will be a bad candidate and her bad campaign.[15]

I would accuse Rothman of unwarranted speculation in claiming that “Democrats will tire” of all this or that those “engaged in a self-serving exercise to transfer blame from their own failures cannot escape criticism for long.”[16] We simply don’t know that yet. And in this year, it’s probably folly to rule anything out.

Andrew Cockburn, “The New Red Scare: Reviving the art of threat inflation,” Harper’s, December, 2016, http://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/

Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller, “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House,” Washington Post, December 9, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html

Juan Cole, “No, America, It Wasn’t Russia: You Did This to Yourself,” Truthdig, December 10, 2016, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/no_america_it_wasnt_russia_you_did_this_to_yourself_20161210

William Binney, et al., “US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Consortium News, December 12, 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/

Marc Levy and Scott Bauer, “Recount efforts end: Donald Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania,” Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, December 12, 2016, http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6426779-181/recount-efforts-end-donald-trump

Agence France-Presse, “Vladimir Putin ‘personally involved’ in US hack, report claims,” Guardian, December 14, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/15/vladimir-putin-personally-involved-in-us-hack-report-claims

Kyle Cheney, “Almost 1 in 4 Electoral College Dems demanding intel briefing,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/electoral-college-democrats-intelligence-232612

Kyle Cheney, “Trump lawyer cites 1876 crisis to rebuke Electoral College suit,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/donald-trump-electoral-college-232665

Rich Lowry, “Against an Electoral Coup,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/against-electoral-coup-trump-lowry-214528

Noah Rothman, “Hillary Runs Out of Excuses,” Commentary, December 14, 2016, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/hillary-clinton-runs-out-of-excuses/

Valerie Richardson, “Harvard prof advising electors says 20+ Republicans may vote against Trump,” Washington Times, December 14, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/14/professor-20-gop-electors-may-vote-against-trump/


For-profit education

It appears to me that Donald Trump will be able to reverse this action. All the accreditor has to do is follow through on its claim that it will appeal in the courts. Then Trump’s administration can decline to defend against the suit.

Jeff Horwitz, “Accreditor of for-profit colleges loses appeal to stay alive,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, December 12, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges-loses-appeal-to-stay-alive/406085536/


  1. [1]Andrew Cockburn, “The New Red Scare: Reviving the art of threat inflation,” Harper’s, December, 2016, http://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/
  2. [2]Jeff Horwitz, “Accreditor of for-profit colleges loses appeal to stay alive,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, December 12, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges-loses-appeal-to-stay-alive/406085536/
  3. [3]William Binney, et al., “US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Consortium News, December 12, 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/
  4. [4]Kyle Cheney, “Almost 1 in 4 Electoral College Dems demanding intel briefing,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/electoral-college-democrats-intelligence-232612
  5. [5]Marc Levy and Scott Bauer, “Recount efforts end: Donald Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania,” Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, December 12, 2016, http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6426779-181/recount-efforts-end-donald-trump
  6. [6]Valerie Richardson, “Harvard prof advising electors says 20+ Republicans may vote against Trump,” Washington Times, December 14, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/14/professor-20-gop-electors-may-vote-against-trump/
  7. [7]Agence France-Presse, “Vladimir Putin ‘personally involved’ in US hack, report claims,” Guardian, December 14, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/15/vladimir-putin-personally-involved-in-us-hack-report-claims
  8. [8]Rich Lowry, “Against an Electoral Coup,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/against-electoral-coup-trump-lowry-214528
  9. [9]Noah Rothman, “Hillary Runs Out of Excuses,” Commentary, December 14, 2016, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/hillary-clinton-runs-out-of-excuses/
  10. [10]Valerie Richardson, “Harvard prof advising electors says 20+ Republicans may vote against Trump,” Washington Times, December 14, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/14/professor-20-gop-electors-may-vote-against-trump/
  11. [11]Kyle Cheney, “Almost 1 in 4 Electoral College Dems demanding intel briefing,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/electoral-college-democrats-intelligence-232612
  12. [12]Andrew Cockburn, “The New Red Scare: Reviving the art of threat inflation,” Harper’s, December, 2016, http://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/
  13. [13]William Binney, et al., “US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Consortium News, December 12, 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/
  14. [14]Rich Lowry, “Against an Electoral Coup,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/against-electoral-coup-trump-lowry-214528
  15. [15]Noah Rothman, “Hillary Runs Out of Excuses,” Commentary, December 14, 2016, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/hillary-clinton-runs-out-of-excuses/
  16. [16]Noah Rothman, “Hillary Runs Out of Excuses,” Commentary, December 14, 2016, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/hillary-clinton-runs-out-of-excuses/

Horses can communicate symbolically: Daily Bullshit, September 22, 2016

Horses

Horses “join a short list of other species, including some primates, dolphins, and pigeons, with this talent,” that is, meaningfully “pointing to symbols.” In the experiment, horses demonstrated an ability to indicate a desire to have a blanket put on or left on in cold weather and to have it taken off in warmer weather.[1] Setting aside that this may be an example of humans using their own (self-serving) criteria to judge the worth of other species,[2] the ability to use symbols indicates a layer of abstract reasoning: When, for example, we use a finger to point to the moon, we distinguish between the finger as a sign and the moon as a referent, and the capacity to understand that distinction indicates that our cognitive capacities are not strictly concrete. Such capacities are a necessary component for intelligence as we understand it and their demonstration further erodes the sharp Cartesian distinctions between non-human and human animals.

Virginia Morell, “Horses can use symbols to talk to us,” Science, September 21, 2016, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/horses-can-use-symbols-talk-us


City College of San Francisco

At least City College of San Francisco is not a for-profit and at least its accreditor is not the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (see next section).

Eric Kelderman, “In San Francisco, the Fates of a College and Its Accreditor Are on the Line,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 22, 2016, http://www.chronicle.com/article/In-San-Francisco-the-Fates-of/237870


For-profit colleges

“The Obama administration on Thursday terminated the federal recognition of the nation’s largest accreditor of for-profit colleges — a rare move that could ultimately jeopardize the ability of hundreds of schools to access federal student aid.”[3] If the decision is upheld, “the colleges accredited by the [Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)] would have 18 months to find a new accreditor.”[4] “Last year, [ACICS] allowed 243 colleges to tap into $4.76 billion worth of Pell Grants and federal student loans.”[5] Allegedly, “[a]bout 600,000 students currently attend ACICS-accredited institutions.”[6]

The process to remove an accreditor’s authority is lengthy, and could take nearly two years to complete even if there are no delays or legal challenges. But if the department’s recommendation regarding Acics is carried out, nearly 250 institutions, mostly for-profit, that together represent about 900 campuses will have to find a new accrediting agency if they want to continue to be eligible for federal student aid, such as Pell Grants and federally backed student loans.[7]

“ACICS will now have 30 days to file an appeal directly to Education Secretary John B. King Jr., who on Wednesday pledged to resolve such an appeal ‘quickly,’”[8] although “the education secretary has no deadline for deciding the appeal,” and the accreditor can also sue,[9] presumably dragging out the process further.

In retrospect, I find it curious that for-profit institutions were ever allowed to have their own accreditor in the first place. How could this not lead to regulatory capture and abuses like those that the for-profits are notorious for?

Jennifer C. Kerr, “Government severs ties with for-profit colleges accreditor,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, September 22, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/gov-t-severs-ties-with-accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges/394492031/

Michael Stratford, “Education Department issues death penalty to for-profit college accreditor,” Politico, September 22, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/education-department-federal-recognition-for-profit-college-accreditor-228555

Michael Stratford, “Education Department terminates federal recognition of for-profit college accreditor,” Politico, September 22, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/for-profit-colleges-accreditor-terminated-recognition-228541


  1. [1]Virginia Morell, “Horses can use symbols to talk to us,” Science, September 21, 2016, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/horses-can-use-symbols-talk-us
  2. [2]Louis Pojman, “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” Public Affairs Quarterly 7, no. 2. (1993): 165-185.
  3. [3]Michael Stratford, “Education Department terminates federal recognition of for-profit college accreditor,” Politico, September 22, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/for-profit-colleges-accreditor-terminated-recognition-228541
  4. [4]Eric Kelderman, “Call to Shut Down a Controversial Accreditor Could Shake For-Profit Higher Ed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/Call-to-Shut-Down-a/236829
  5. [5]Michael Stratford, “Education Department issues death penalty to for-profit college accreditor,” Politico, September 22, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/education-department-federal-recognition-for-profit-college-accreditor-228555
  6. [6]Jennifer C. Kerr, “Government severs ties with for-profit colleges accreditor,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, September 22, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/gov-t-severs-ties-with-accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges/394492031/
  7. [7]Eric Kelderman, “Call to Shut Down a Controversial Accreditor Could Shake For-Profit Higher Ed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/Call-to-Shut-Down-a/236829
  8. [8]Michael Stratford, “Education Department terminates federal recognition of for-profit college accreditor,” Politico, September 22, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/for-profit-colleges-accreditor-terminated-recognition-228541
  9. [9]Eric Kelderman, “Call to Shut Down a Controversial Accreditor Could Shake For-Profit Higher Ed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/Call-to-Shut-Down-a/236829

‘Brexit’ wins: Daily Bullshit, June 24, 2016 (5th update)

It appears the ‘Brexit’ news rush has now subsided. This is probably the final update for today and there are no new ‘Brexit’ stories included.


Brexit

If you ever want to understand how the neoliberal world order is enforced, consider the following paragraph:

Many analysts predicted Britain would soon fall into recession as businesses withhold investment and wary households rein in spending until a new fiscal order is established. S&P warned that it could downgrade Britain’s credit rating “by more than one notch” in the wake of the vote.[1]

Paul J. Davies, “The Real Reason ‘Brexit’ Has World on Edge,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-real-reason-brexit-has-world-on-edge-1466659805

Ylan Q. Mui, Brian Murphy, and Emily Rauhala, “Pound takes a beating, markets in tailspin after British vote to exit E.U.,” Washington Post, June 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pound-plummets-on-brexit-fears-asia-opens-up/2016/06/23/820cd642-397d-11e6-af02-1df55f0c77ff_story.html

Anne Applebaum, “Britain’s decision to leave the E.U. is a warning to America, Washington Post, June 24, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/after-brexit-what-will-and-wont-happen/2016/06/24/c9f7a2f6-39f1-11e6-8f7c-d4c723a2becb_story.html

John T. Bennett, “Brexit Decision Deals Another Blow to Obama,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, June 24, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/brexit-decision-deals-another-blow-obama

Mike Bird, Georgi Kantchev, and Riva Gold, “Pound Plunges on U.K. Vote to Leave EU,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/pound-plunges-on-u-k-vote-to-leave-eu-1466753711

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Brexit: David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave EU,” June 24, 2016, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36615028

Chris Cottrell, “Merkel calls Brexit ‘a watershed for Europe,'” Deutschewelle, June 24, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/merkel-calls-brexit-a-watershed-for-europe/a-19351720

Josie Cox and Giles Turner, “Traders React to Brexit Vote,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2016, https://city.wsj.com/stories/53cb4b01-3826-4bc6-9451-332d9a4efda6.redirect

Economist, “How to minimise the damage of Britain’s senseless, self-inflicted blow,” June 24, 2016, http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21701265-how-minimise-damage-britains-senseless-self-inflicted-blow-tragic-split

Riva Gold and Mike Bird, “Dow Industrials Tumble After ‘Brexit’ Vote,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/pound-plunges-on-u-k-vote-to-leave-eu-1466753711

Ivana Kottasova, “The pound is crashing on U.K. vote for Brexit,” CNN, June 24, 2016, http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/24/investing/pound-crash-eu-referendum/index.html

Timothy B. Lee, “Brexit: Britain just voted to leave the EU,” Vox, June 24, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/6/24/12012930/brexit-britain-votes-leave

James McAuley, “Scottish leader vows to seek second independence referendum,” Washington Post, June 24, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/after-brexit-the-uk-could-disintegrate/2016/06/24/5e7d2b03-81b4-4149-a138-8bd11953281c_story.html

Simone McCarthy, “Morning after Brexit, Scotland and N. Ireland reconsider ties to Britain,” Christian Science Monitor, June 24, 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2016/0624/Morning-after-Brexit-Scotland-and-N.-Ireland-reconsider-ties-to-Britain

Jethro Mullen, Ivana Kottasova, and Patrick Gillespie, “Dow plunges over 600 points as U.K. ‘earthquake’ crushes global markets,” CNN, June 24, 2016, http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/23/investing/eu-referendum-markets/index.html

Jim Puzzanghera and Don Lee, “Stock market plunges but ‘Brexit’ unlikely to spark a U.S. recession,” Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-brexit-economic-impact-20160624-snap-story.html

Joseph J. Schatz and Ben White, “British voters just unleashed an economic and political tsunami,” Politico, June 24, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/british-voters-just-unleashed-an-economic-and-political-tsunami-224755

Ian Talley, “‘Brexit’ Expected to Rattle U.S. Economy, Shake Its Influence,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/brexit-expected-to-rattle-u-s-economy-shake-its-influence-1466741275

Jonathan Turley, “BREXIT: Cameron Announces Resignation As Brits Reject Obama’s Dire Warnings,” June 24, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/06/24/brexit-cameron-announces-resignation-as-brits-reject-obamas-dire-warnings/

Volker Wagener, “‘Berlin’s austerity policies have lost a big supporter,'” Deutschewelle, June 24, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/berlins-austerity-policies-have-lost-a-big-supporter/a-19352037

Wall Street Journal, “Investors Look for Potential Bargains Following Brexit Vote,” June 24, 2016, https://city.wsj.com/stories/1f4f8c07-2338-489c-affc-fd9da1f4d176.redirect

Griff Witte, Karla Adam, and Dan Balz, “Britain shocks world, breaks with European Union; British leader steps down,” Washington Post, June 24, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/britain-shocks-the-world-by-voting-to-leave-the-european-union/2016/06/24/3d100f4e-3998-11e6-af02-1df55f0c77ff_story.html


Ride-sharing

Caroline O’Donovan and Jeremy Singer-Vine, “Uber Data And Leaked Docs Provide A Look At How Much Uber Drivers Make,” Buzzfeed, June 22, 2016, https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolineodonovan/internal-uber-driver-pay-numbers


Hillary Clinton

Michael Biesecker, “Clinton failed to hand over key email to State Department,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 24, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/clinton-failed-to-hand-over-key-email-to-state-department/384235951/

Jonathan Turley, “New Evidence Indicates Multiple Hacking Attempts and the Disabling Of Security Protections For Clinton Server,” June 24, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/06/24/new-evidence-indicates-multiple-hacking-attempts-and-the-disabling-of-security-protections-for-clinton-server/


For-profit schools

Jennifer C. Kerr and Collin Binkley, “Panel votes against accreditor of for-profit colleges,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 24, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/panel-votes-against-accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges/384237391/


Donald Trump

Kyle Cheney, “Politico delegate survey: Dump Trump lacks the votes,” Politico, June 24, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/politico-delegate-survey-dump-trump-unwelcome-in-cleveland-224796


Star Trek: Axanar

Jonathan Lane, “Fan Film Friday – Want to send a loud message to CBS?” Axanar Productions, June 24, 2016, http://www.axanarproductions.com/fan-film-friday-want-to-send-a-loud-message-to-cbs/

  1. [1]Ylan Q. Mui, Brian Murphy, and Emily Rauhala, “Pound takes a beating, markets in tailspin after British vote to exit E.U.,” Washington Post, June 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pound-plummets-on-brexit-fears-asia-opens-up/2016/06/23/820cd642-397d-11e6-af02-1df55f0c77ff_story.html

The case against Brexit: Daily Bullshit, June 16, 2016

Brexit

George Monbiot argues for Britain remaining in the European Union.[1] Like Ambrose Evans-Pritchard the other day,[2] he compares governments. And like me, he thinks the British government would be worse than the EU bureaucracy. But in addition to actually making the case, he thinks Britain would jump from the EU to NAFTA (egads!).[3] Something to notice about both arguments, however, is that they are intensely reluctant arguments.

George Monbiot, “Money’s Reach,” June 15, 2016, http://www.monbiot.com/2016/06/15/moneys-reach/


For-Profit Education

Eric Kelderman, “Call to Shut Down a Controversial Accreditor Could Shake For-Profit Higher Ed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/Call-to-Shut-Down-a/236829


  1. [1]George Monbiot, “Money’s Reach,” June 15, 2016, http://www.monbiot.com/2016/06/15/moneys-reach/
  2. [2]Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, “Brexit: It is with a heavy heart that I will be voting Leave,” Sydney Morning-Herald, June 14, 2016, http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/brexit-it-is-with-a-heavy-heart-that-i-will-be-voting-leave-20160613-gpic20
  3. [3]George Monbiot, “Money’s Reach,” June 15, 2016, http://www.monbiot.com/2016/06/15/moneys-reach/

Zombie ideas in education: Daily Bullshit, May 4, 2016

I do see all the pundits, who were all so wrong for so long about Donald Trump’s prospects of winning the Republican nomination, all now rushing to explain how he did it. They’re all fucking idiots, covering fucking idiots. Every last one of them.


For-Profit Schools

It’s as clear as day that for-profit colleges are a terrible idea. But no one will challenge the ideology that enables their existence.

Paul Fain, “Watchdog Barks — and Gets Slapped Down,” Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/05/04/controversial-accreditor-acics-tried-shut-down-profit-was-blocked-judge


The Horse Race

Phil Mattingly, David Mark, and Tom LoBianco, “Sources: John Kasich to drop out,” CNN, May 4, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/04/politics/john-kasich-drops-out/index.html