October 30, 2014
empty classroom

New gainful employment rule is weak, but predatory for-profit colleges remain on the ropes

The Obama Administration is releasing its “gainful employment” rule, aimed at curbing abuses by federally-funded career colleges, at 7 am Thursday.  I can’t fully evaluate the rule without seeing its details. But I have obtained a press release and fact sheet provided by the Administration to the media and also spoken to Administration and other sources, and I have this to report: UPDATE [Oct. 30 11:00 am]: I’ve read the rule, and my views remain the same]

1. The rule is far too weak to address the grave misconduct of predatory for-profit colleges.  The Administration missed an opportunity to issue …

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October 28, 2014

VIDEO: Leading Politicians Dodge and Deny Climate Change Threat During Midterm Elections

We took a look at the ways in which leading politicians answered simple questions about climate change during the midterms this year and compiled a video. As coal, oil and gas interests have appeared as the primary sponsors of Republican candidates this election cycle, Republic Report has watched as an increasing number of candidates this year have expressed doubt that pollution from their benefactors causes climate change. The influence of fossil fuel money is sure to have a policy impact as well. As we noted recently, climate change deniers will have the opportunity to seize control of key committee chairs if the GOP …

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July 24, 2014
Comcast chief executive Neil Smit (left) and LULAC executive director Brent Wilkes (center). Smit has been tapped to lead the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Comcast chief executive Neil Smit (left) and LULAC executive director Brent Wilkes (center).

Leading Civil Rights Groups Just Sold Out on Net Neutrality

Last Friday, just before the Federal Communication Commission closed its comment period for its upcoming rule on “network neutrality,” a massive coalition of Asian, Latino and Black civil rights group filed letters arguing that regulators should lay off of Internet Service Providers regarding Title II reclassification and accept FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s original plan. In other words, something close to half of the entire civil rights establishment just sold out the Internet.

The civil rights group letters argue that Title II reclassification of broadband services as a public utility — the only path forward for real net neutrality after a federal court ruling in January — …

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July 21, 2014
miked2

This veteran says: Obama rule would help students and taxpayers

I am a veteran who served in the US Army and the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Last week the Boston Globe published an editorial entitled, “Obama chooses wrong path to reform for-profit colleges,” and I am furious. As a former student who was misled by not one but two of the country’s biggest for-profit colleges, I must say the gainful employment rule that the Globe editorial attacks is only wrong in that it doesn’t go far enough to hold accountable companies that are abusing the poor, vulnerable, and veterans. It gives the for-profit college industry an easy stay-of-execution for …

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July 14, 2014
Greenpeace USA protest in rubber boats against test navigation of the 189,000 DWT Supertanker San Diego at Puget Sound, defying the Coast Guard ban for spectators.

Greenpeace ‘Founder’ Patrick Moore Not a Founder at All

For more than 20 years now, industry lobbyist Patrick Moore has touted himself a “co-founder” and sometimes even a “founder” of the global environment group Greenpeace.

But a document making the rounds shows that Moore’s claim to be a founder or a co-founder of Greenpeace is simply not true.

A letter from 1971 shows Patrick Moore applying to take part in a Greenpeace trip and protest against nuclear testing in the Arctic ocean. A response from one of the actual co-founders of Greenpeace, Paul Cotes, on Greenpeace letterhead no less, acknowledges receipt of Moore’s interest in …Continue Reading »

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June 20, 2014
everest

For-Profit Corinthian Colleges On the Brink: Who’s Responsible?

Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit company that operates career training schools, is in deep trouble. Last week, the U.S. Department of Education, which has been providing Corinthian with about $1.4 billion dollars annually in student grants and loans, sent Corinthian a letter saying the company had failed to provide the Department with requested information about its operations and placing a 21-day waiting period on new federal aid after submitting student enrollment data. Yesterday, Corinthian filed a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing the education department letter and stating that if the Department does not change course, and if Corinthian cannot obtain …

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June 11, 2014
brat

Eric Cantor’s Opponent Beat Him By Calling Out GOP Corruption

“All of the investment banks, up in New York and D.C., they should have gone to jail.”

That isn’t a quote from an Occupy Wall Street protester or Senator Elizabeth Warren. That’s a common campaign slogan repeated by Dave Brat, the Virginia college professor who scored one of the biggest political upsets in over a century by defeating Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary last night.

The national media is buzzing about Brat’s victory, but for all of the wrong reasons.

Did the Tea Party swoop in and help Brat, as many in the Democratic Party are suggesting? Actually, the …

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June 2, 2014
ontario-metro

For-Profit College Enrolls, “Exploits” Student Who Reads At Third Grade Level

A librarian at a southern California campus of Everest College abruptly resigned last week, deeply upset that the for-profit school had admitted into its criminal justice program a 37-year-old man who appears to read at a third grade level.  The man, who shakes, speaks haltingly, and may suffer from a developmental disability, told the librarian he expected to be a police officer after completing the program. But the librarian, Laurie McConnell, is certain he can never obtain such a job.

McConnell, who had been devoting much of her time at work to helping the student with his reading assignments, wrote to …

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