Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
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Number of posts: 34,575
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Like the buying and selling of venerable newspapers like so many baseball cards by the investor class, usually followed by changes based on the new owner's whims, this firing of David Sirota, a major lefty investigative reporter and Ted Rall, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist, makes me wonder if the for-profit sector can be trusted as the home of real journalists.
A lot of these arbitrary actions could be avoided if journalists worked at non-profits or cooperatives, instead of relying on the favor of corporations and spoiled trust fund babies.
Over the weekend, Pando fired two of its hardest-hitting editorial staffers, David Sirota and Ted Rall, both nationally syndicated veteran journalists. Sirota recently broke a big story about Chris Christie's administration awarding pension contracts to hedge funds, private equity groups, and venture capital firms whose employees donated to the governor's reelection.
In February, Pando raised $1.2 million in financing from some powerful venture capitalists, including Accel Partners and Founders Fund, both of which invested in prior funding rounds.
Sirota's scoop about Chris Christie breaking anti-corruption laws was shared and liked 10,000 times on Facebook. According to Quantcast, Pando is only pulling in 859,000 monthly uniques globally and 579,000 uniques in the U.S.
An anonymous source alerted Valleywag to the firings. Neither Rall nor Sirota would comment on why they were fired. But there was a consensus among sources that the decision was not related to budgetary concerns. "It was completely from Sarah Lacy. Paul was the executioner. Apparently it came from complaints from investors in Pando," according to one Valleywag source. "Sarah basically said there was not enough tech and too much politics."
Posted by yurbud | Sat Jun 28, 2014, 03:20 PM (11 replies)
I found this on Reddit. I wish I made it.
Posted by yurbud | Fri Jun 27, 2014, 02:42 AM (2 replies)
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki spoke for his parliament and cabinet today when he urged the United States to form a more inclusive government that was responsive to more than just the minority of extremely wealthy individuals.
"Polls show less than half of Americans approve of President Obama's performance, record public distrust of the US Congress, and little change economic, trade, budget, tax, and foreign policy regardless of which of the two major parties is in control of the White House or Congress," said Maliki.
"Further, recent studies have shown that American politicians are far more responsive to wealthy donors and past and future employers or business cronies than they are to their constituents even when what the wealthy want conflicts with the wishes of their constituents or actually harms them," he added.
"Therefore, for the stability of the United States and because of the effect their large economy and military presence has on the rest of the world, we ask that they dissolve their government and reconstitute a "salvation government" that is more inclusive of the vast majority and their economic interests and diminishes the influence of money in policy-making, whether through the inclusion of smaller parties or establishing means of direct democracy at the national level or whatever it takes," he concluded....
THE REST OF THE STORY
Posted by yurbud | Thu Jun 26, 2014, 03:13 PM (4 replies)
This makes me wonder if the Obama administration cares about the party winning anymore elections or offering voters a choice at all.
This is the kind of blatant crony-care I would have expected from the Bush administration.
These guys get a bailout--how about the students who took out massive loans to go to these scam colleges, or even bailouts for students who took out massive loans to go to regular private and public colleges?
Washington seems to have taken Grover Norquist's words to heart and put their own spin on it. They want the MIDDLE CLASS to be weak enough that they can drown it in the bathtub.
But no misdeed of the wealthy can go unrewarded. If they are too incompetent to make more money from us directly, then they can get a bailout until the figure out how to steal properly.
Peter Greene comments here on the U. S. Department of Education's decision to bail out Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a for-profit chain.
Not so long ago, the U.S. DOE pledged to monitor predatory for-profit colleges. Not so, it seems. Not now.
The announcement was made by Ted Mitchell, Undersecretary of Education, who served previously on the boards of for-profit education institutions and was CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, which is a major supporter of privatization efforts.
dianeravitch | June 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Categories: Education Industry, For-Profit, Higher Education | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-89G
Posted by yurbud | Tue Jun 24, 2014, 02:10 PM (9 replies)
One of the writers of the Common Core doesn't like how those standards have been translated into standardized tests, and predicts half of students will never pass those tests.
Maybe that's the point.
If the bar is raised so high half the kids fail, the corporate "reformers" can point at that "failure" as a reason to continue privatization--even though privatized, for profit charter schools are usually less accountable, have less experienced teachers, and produce no better results than traditional public schools.
Isn't it time to stop letting the wealthy dictate public education policy in ways that make them wealthier at the expense of our kids?
Why don't we try smaller class size, more social services on campus in high risk communities, and ways to attract more teachers to the job instead of driving them away.
Dr. Louisa Moats was part of the team that wrote the foundational reading standards for the Common Core. In "Psychology Today," she strongly criticized the standards.
Among other things, she said:
"I never imagined when we were drafting standards in 2010 that major financial support would be funneled immediately into the development of standards-related tests. How naïve I was. The CCSS represent lofty aspirational goals for students aiming for four year, highly selective colleges. Realistically, at least half, if not the majority, of students are not going to meet those standards as written, although the students deserve to be well prepared for career and work through meaningful and rigorous education.
dianeravitch | June 24, 2014 at 7:00 am | Categories: Common Core, Teachers and Teaching | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-87w
Posted by yurbud | Tue Jun 24, 2014, 01:45 PM (8 replies)
So many of my college students have said that it was their favorite movie over the years, that I finally got around to watching it.
It was kind of fun and watchable but had a couple of glaring plot holes about character motivation in some key points, but even more weird was Willem Dafoe cross-dressing, pretending to be a hooker a mob boss sent some of his henchmen as a perk, and ANY guy saying yes (unless he had a Willem Dafoe fetish).
His character in drag looked a little worse than Wendy the prostitute in BREAKING BAD.
If you've seen it, let me know what you thought.
Posted by yurbud | Mon Jun 23, 2014, 12:58 PM (4 replies)
I just saw a story where Harry Reid said he was "misled" and "mistaken" in his vote for the Iraq War, which has more or less been the mantra of those Democrats who voted for it.
Likewise, the Bush administration at most claim they were "mistaken" about the intelligence on Iraq--not that they pressured analysts to change their reports and even used some pure lies.
However, even if most or all of what the Bush administration said about Iraq had been true, Iraq would still have been no threat to us or even to Israel.
Everyone in Congress in 2002 was old enough to remember the Cold War, when both the United States and Soviet Union had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the other (and the rest of the world) several times over, but neither fired the first shot for fear of being wiped out by the retaliation.
Why then would some country with a SMALLER nuclear arsenal launch a nuke at us or even give a nuke to terrorists to detonate here, knowing that at best, they might take out a city or two here, but our retaliation would wipe their country off the map?
Likewise, Israel has hundreds of nukes, and could easily burn any of her neighbors off the map if they were nuked.
To believe otherwise is to believe you live in an action movie or cartoon, and few politicians are that stupid.
Some in Congress actually laid this out before the war, but most of the media wouldn't give them the time of day.
Do you think that Democrats who voted for the Iraq War really believed Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States?
Posted by yurbud | Wed Jun 18, 2014, 07:35 PM (34 replies)
Source: DIANE RAVITCH
Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal held a press conference today to announce that the state is dropping its participation in PARCC and Common Core. He directed the state board to develop its own standards and assessments.
dianeravitch | June 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Categories: Common Core, Jindal, Bobby, Louisiana | URL:http://wp.me/p2odLa-87y
Read more: http://wp.me/p2odLa-87y
A REPUBLICAN governor has dropped the corrupt and deeply flawed Common Core--when will corporate Democrats admit that handing public education over to Wall Street is a failed policy that the public DOESN'T WANT?
Posted by yurbud | Wed Jun 18, 2014, 03:38 PM (57 replies)
Someone posted a poll that said only 11% of Democrats want a candidate more "liberal" than Hillary Clinton and 83% were fine with Hillary or wanted someone more conservative.
I don't mean this as a criticism of Hillary in particular. She would have done roughly the same job Obama or any number of DLCers would have done.
However, I wonder if the results of that poll would be the same if you asked some specific questions:
Should corporations be held accountable for criminal actions, pay closer to full restitution and their executives sent to prison?
If you asked questions like this, not only would most Democrats be progressives, but so would a lot of Republicans.
Taken in this light, do you want someone more progressive than Hillary, about like Hillary, or more conservative?
Posted by yurbud | Wed Jun 18, 2014, 02:22 PM (68 replies)
So a bunch of billionaires including real estate mogul Eli Broad funded the group that paid for the lawsuit that struck down teacher tenure in California.
And one of the big funders was Arne Duncan's Assistant Secretary of Education for civil rights.
How does it help kids civil rights if teachers are further demonized and driven out of the profession?
Who is going to want to teach in a tough neighborhood if they know they could lose their jobs because their students don't get the same test scores as suburban kids whose parents hover over them and make sure they do their homework every night?
The Obama administration is doing real, lasting harm to education by pursuing these mean-spirited, corrupt education "reforms."
Obama still has time to change course here.
But not much.
Mother Crusader, written by New Jersey parent Darcie Cimarusti, determined to find out who was putting up the millions to beat teacher tenure and seniority in California. She examined the 990 tax forms for "Students Matter, the organization that led the battle against the California Teachers Union.
Students Matter spent more than $3 million from 2010-2012; the amount spent in 2013-14 has not yet been reported.
"The 990's also reveal that the money behind the suit wasn't Welch's alone. The two largest contributions did indeed come from Welch; $550,000 from "The Welch Trust" and $568,357 from "LRFA, LLC" which is some sort of business entity that links directly back to Welch's Infinera.
So that's well over $1M from Welch.
The next biggest dollar amount came from none other than Eli Broad, who kicked in $200,000 to buy the Vergara ruling."
"The next biggest dollar amount, $100,000, came from "Tammy and Bill Crown." It took some digging around to figure out that William H. Crown, who seems to split his time between Chicago and Portola Valley, CA, is one of the heirs to Chicago billionaire Lester Crown's fortune.
"Lester Crown, 80, chairman of Henry Crown & Co., the privately held company that is the vehicle for much of the family's investments
"William H. Crown, 41, general partner in Henry Crown & Co.; president and CEO of another family-run investment company, CC Industries Inc. (son) Bucks: Regulars on Forbes' billionaires list, Lester Crown and clan ranked 52nd this year with an estimated net worth of $4 billion."
And then there is this: "A $30,000 donation from the Emerson Education Fund may be one of the most interesting, however. The Managing Director of the Emerson Education Fund is Russlynn Ali, who also just happens to be on the Students Matter Advisory Board." Ali was at Education Trust before she became Arne Duncan's Assistant Secretary of Education for civil rights. Recall that school segregation has been soaring in the past decade. Could it be because the U.S. Department of Education believes that tenure is a greater threat to civil rights than segregation?
Darcie likens Vergara to the Parent Trigger, which brings disruption to communities, not much else, and she concludes:
"It's my greatest hope the Vergara decision does not spread to other states, and is overturned in California on appeal due to pressure from the actual parents, teachers and students who would be affected but this reckless ruling. I don't know about you, but personally I'm pretty sick and tired of monied interests buying legislation, and now a court decision, that could potentially impact my (and your) kids and their teachers."
dianeravitch | June 17, 2014 at 9:00 am | Categories: California, Corporate Reformers, Teacher Tenure | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-86t
Posted by yurbud | Tue Jun 17, 2014, 12:09 PM (8 replies)