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13 февраля, 17:09

ITT Inc. (ITT) Q4 Earnings: What's in Store for the Stock?

ITT Inc. (ITT) is slated to report fourth-quarter 2016 results before the opening bell on Feb 14.

09 февраля, 15:02

Самые крупные выкупы за похищенных людей в мировой истории

Да, да, это в фильмах только все разговоры о выкупе заканчиваются гениальной спецоперацией, власти принципиально утверждают, что  «не пойдут на переговоры с похитителями», но в действительности выкупы за похищенных людей платятся достаточно часто.Богатые наследники, состоятельные бизнесмены, нефтяные танкеры – все они время от времени становятся мишенями похитителей. Большое количество таких историй имело место в ранних семидесятых, особенно – в Аргентине.Перед вами список утаенных случаев, когда факт выкупа не предавался публичной огласке. В него также не включены случаи, имевшие место до современной эпохи – например самые настоящие выкупы за королей, в силу недостаточности достоверной информации.Это так же подходит для нашей рубрики САМЫЕ САМЫЕ, вот смотрите ..18. Бобби Гринлис МладшийВыкуплен за 600 тысяч долларов в 1953 году.Эквивалент 5.1 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Шестилетний сын одного из богатейших людей Канзас-Сити, Гринлис был похищен из своей школы человеком, подруга которого притворилась тётей Бобби. Мальчик был быстро убит и похоронен на заднем дворе её дома, но парочка всё же сумела ускользнуть с выкупом в шестьсот тысяч долларов десятками и двадцатками.Похитители Карл Остин Холл и Бонни Браун Хеди были пойманы некоторое время спустя, поскольку привлекли к себе внимание необузданными тратами. Они признались в содеянном преступлении и были казнены.Большая часть денег была потрачена или исчезла.17. Рональд ГроувВыкуплен за один миллион долларов в 1972 году.Эквивалент 5.48 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Гроув, один из ведущих управляющих мясоупаковочной компании Vesty, был одним из многих людей, похищенных аргентинской повстанческой организацией ERP в 1970х годах. Он оказался первым человеком в истории страны, за которого была назначен семизначный выкуп.16. Винченцо РуссоАргентинаВыкуплен за один миллион долларов в 1972 году.Эквивалент 5.48 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Аргентинская террористическая группа Montoneros похитила Руссо, исполнительного директора компании ITT, спустя несколько дней после похищения Рональда Гроува, и потребовала за него такой же выкуп.15. Вирджиния ПайперВыкуплена за один миллион долларов в 1972 году.Эквивалент 5.5 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Вирджиния Пайпер, жена ушедшего на покой инвестиционного банкира Гарри С. Пайпера, была похищена людьми в масках из своего дома в округе Ороно, Миннесота. После того как Пайпер заплатил потребованный выкуп, она была найдена прикованной к дереву в Дулуте.Позднее двое мужчин были арестованы и обвинены в этом похищении, но приговор суда был отменён.14. Команда нефтяного танкера Maran CentaurusВыкуплены за семь миллионов долларов в 2010 году.Эквивалент 7.3 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Нефтяной танкер Maran Centaurus, перевозивший сырую нефть на сумму около ста пятидесяти миллионов долларов, был захвачен сомалийскими пиратами в ноябре 2009 года. Его команда из двадцати восьми человек была освобождена два месяца спустя, когда на танкер был сброшен выкуп в размере семи миллионов долларов.13. Энтони Да КрузВыкуплен за полтора миллиона долларов в 1973 году.Эквивалент 7.7 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Да Круз, сорокадвухлетний исполнительный директор компании Kodak в Буэнос-Айресе, был захвачен подпольными террористами во время волны похищений, захлестнувшей эту страну в семидесятые годы. С ним хорошо обращались, и он был отпущен на свободу после того, как компания заплатила потребованный выкуп.12. Фрэнсис БримикомбВыкуплен за 1.7 миллиона долларов в 1973 году.Эквивалент 8.7 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Бримикомб, пятидесятисемилетний исполнительный директор компании British American Tobacco, прожил в Аргентине около тридцати лет до того, как был похищен местной террористической группой перед своим домом, когда он возвращался с игры в гольф. Как сообщалось, группа похитила его, чтобы «получить средства для своей подпольной деятельности».11. Команда Samho DreamВыкуплены за девять миллионов долларов в 2010 году.Эквивалент 9.4 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Спустя год после побившего все рекорды выкупа за команду танкера Maran Centaurus сомалийские пираты захватили корейский супертанкер в Индийском океане. Пираты удерживали команду судна из двадцати четырёх человек в течение двухсот семнадцати дней, прежде чем получили свой выкуп в девять миллионов долларов.10. Сэмюел Бронфман ВторойСэм Бронфман (слева) со своим отцом и его новой женойВыкуплен за 2.3 миллиона долларов в 1975 году.Эквивалент 11.2 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Двадцатиоднолетний наследник ликероводочной компании Seagram был похищен и удерживался более недели, прежде чем его отец заплатил выкуп в 2.3 миллиона долларов.А день спустя ФБР и полиция Нью-Йорка провели штурм квартиры в Бруклине с целью освобождения молодого человека. В результате его похитители – бывший водитель лимузина и бывший пожарный – были арестованы, а деньги возвращены их владельцу.9. Джон Р. ТомпсонВыкуплен за три миллиона долларов в 1974 году.Эквивалент 13.9 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Томпсон, пятидесятилетний президент компании Firestone, был похищен аргентинской подпольной организацией ERP. Он был похищен 18 июня и освобождён спустя две с половиной недели.8. Джон Пол Гетти IIIВыкуплен за три миллиона долларов в 1973 году.Эквивалент 15.9 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Будучи шестнадцатилетним внуком крупного нефтяного магната, Гетти жил роскошной жизнью в Италии, где и был похищен итальянскими гангстерами. Они потребовали за мальчика семнадцать миллионов долларов выкупа. Когда переговоры о цене зашли в тупик, похитители Гетти отрезали одно из его ушей и отправили его итальянской прессе.Когда похитители снизили цену до трёх миллионов долларов, семья Гетти согласилась заплатить выкуп. Патриарх семейства Джон Пол Гетти, по слухам, заплатил только 2.2 миллиона долларов, что являлось максимальной суммой, подлежавшей налоговым вычетам, а его сын заплатил оставшуюся сумму.7. Энрике МетцВыкуплен за пять миллионов долларов в 1975 году.Эквивалент 21.2 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Аргентинская террористическая группа Montoneros получила гораздо более крупную сумму за братьев Борн (смотрите ниже), но и исполнительный директор компании Mercedes Benz принёс им немалое состояние.6. Пэтти ХерстВыкуплена за шесть миллионов долларов в 1974 году.Эквивалент 29.3 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Второкурсница университета Беркли в Калифорнии, девятнадцатилетняя наследница медиа конгломерата Херста, и её бойфренд были похищены леворадикальными боевиками, известными как Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA).SLA потребовали, чтобы семья Херста раздала еды на сумму в семьдесят долларов на каждого нуждающегося калифорнийца, что составило бы приблизительно четыреста миллионов долларов. Отец Пэтти Херст раздал еды на сумму в шесть миллионов долларов, но похитители остались не удовлетворены, заявив что еда была низкого качества, и отказались освободить его дочь.Впоследствии Пэтти присоединится к SLA, став каноническим примером проявления Стокгольмского синдрома (защитная психологическая связь, возникающая между похитителем и его жертвой в процессе похищения; прим. Mixednews.ru) А затем и будет арестована.5. Чарльз ЛоквудВыкуплен за два миллиона долларов в 1973 году и за десять миллионов долларов в 1975 году.Эквивалент 52.9 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Локвуд, исполнительный директор компании Roberts, был похищен аргентинской группировкой ERP ДВАЖДЫ на протяжении двадцати шести месяцев, что принесло его похитителям более пятидесяти миллионов долларов по современному курсу. Вы можете себе представить, что почувствовала его компания, когда его похитили во второй раз?4. Виктор СэмюельсенФотография, распространённая похитителями СэмюельсонаВыкуплен за 14.2 миллиона долларов в 1974 году.Эквивалент 69.4 миллиона долларов на сегодняшний день.Esso Argentina (дочерняя компания Exxon) заплатила 14.2 миллиона долларов, чтобы спасти управляющего нефтеперерабатывающего завода Виктора Сэмюельсона из рук марксистских повстанцев спустя 98 дней после его похищения. В случае отказа, повстанцы, называвшие себя People’s Revolutionary Army, угрожали казнить его за «преступления» мультинациональных корпораций.3. Уолтер КвокВыкуплен за семьдесят семь миллионов долларов в 1997 году.Эквивалент ста десяти миллионов долларов на сегодняшний день.Сын одного из богатейших бизнесменов Китая, Квок был похищен знаменитым гангстером, известным как «Большой Транжира». После того как выкуп был заплачен, Квок был найден живым в деревянном ящике в деревенском доме.Ходили слухи, что младшие братья Квок не хотели платить выкуп. А годы спустя семья раскололась в результате сражений за контроль над компанией Sun Hung Kai Properties.2. Виктор ЛиВыкуплен за сто тридцать четыре миллиона долларов в 1996 году.Эквивалент ста девяноста семи миллионов долларов на сегодняшний день.Виктор Ли, сын гонконгского магната Ли Ка Шина, был похищен – попробуйте угадать – «Большим Транжирой» Ченгом Чи Конгом. Он был освобождён после получения рекордно большого выкупа в сто тридцать четыре миллиона долларов.Похитивший его гангстер был арестован и казнён в 2000 году.1. Жорж и Хуан БорнВыкуплены за шестьдесят миллионов долларов в 1974 году.Эквивалент двухсот девяноста трёх миллионов долларов на сегодняшний день.Богатые аргентинские торговцы зерном, братья Жорж и Хуан Борн были похищены леворадикальной террористической группировкой Montoneros. Девять месяцев спустя они были освобождены после получения фантастического выкупа в шестьдесят миллионов долларов.Их компания Bunge y Born вскоре после этого была перемещена в Сан Паоло, Бразилия для избежания внутренних беспорядков.© Сева Бардинисточникиhttp://mixstuff.ru/archives/7675

16 января, 13:21

Немного интересных фактов о США

Население США составляет менее 5 % от мирового, при этом 25% всех заключенных в мире — это американцы.

05 января, 17:38

Evoke Diabetic Gastroparesis Drug Gimoti Positive in Phase III

Pharma, Inc. (EVOK) announced additional data from a phase III trial on Gimoti (nasal delivery), a novel formulation of its marketed drug, metoclopramide, for diabetic gastroparesis in adult women.

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04 января, 16:36

ITT Inc.'s BIW Connector Systems Rolls Out Tri-Lok Ultra

Global manufacturing company, ITT Inc.'s (ITT) brand, BIW Connector Systems, recently unveiled 'packer penetrator' solution, Tri-Lok Ultra.

03 января, 11:56

Клюевы продадут активы «Укрподшипника»

Недвижимость ЧАО «Укрподшипник» – холдинговой компании Андрея и Сергея Клюевых – должна отойти по договору купли-продажи сторонней фирме. БизнесЦензор выяснял, означает ли это смену собственников предприятия или его ликвидацию в будущем? С февраля 2014 года […]

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15 декабря 2016, 15:35

ITT's Enidine Brand Secures Contracts Worth $15 Million

ITT Inc.'s (ITT) Enidine brand recently clinched contracts from major aircraft manufacturers to roll out its proprietary rate controls, isolators and rotary hinge dampers

07 декабря 2016, 14:54

McCain Slams Pentagon For Protecting Troops From For-Profit College Abuses

Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain (R-AZ) held a hearing last week for the express purpose of attacking the Defense Department's 2015 decision to temporarily ban the for-profit University of Phoenix from recruiting U.S. military service members. Even though the Pentagon's action was based on significant evidence that the University of Phoenix had engaged in serious recruiting violations on military bases, McCain indignantly slammed the Obama administration and the Defense Department for penalizing his home state company -- a company that, by the way, has provided McCain with campaign contributions and other support over the years. With three Pentagon officials pinned into chairs as witnesses, McCain opened the hearing by thundering from the dais that "this hearing is about how the Department of Defense, consistent with the Obama administration's ideological hostility to for-profit universities, under pressure from at least one member of Congress, and having performed very little due diligence of its own, placed on probation a reputable and fully accredited for-profit university." McCain called the Pentagon's action "a gross abuse of power" that "resulted from a process that was fundamentally unfair." McCain later added that such a "grave injustice" had "done horrific and unacceptable damage" to the University of Phoenix, which is owned by the publicly-traded Apollo Education Group. He blamed Apollo's falling stock price on the Pentagon decision, even though the stock has been in decline for five years. McCain also blamed the Obama administration for the shut down of predatory, self-destructive for-profit ITT Tech. He concluded, "This kind of abuse of power I hope in the new administration will be totally unacceptable." McCain's use of his committee platform to crusade for the University of Phoenix and other for-profit colleges was not surprising, because he has repeatedly gone to bat for the company and the industry, and also because of the post-election Trump triumphalism that has infected even those GOP lawmakers, such as McCain, who exchanged barbs with, and distanced themselves from, Donald Trump during the campaign. Now that the president of Trump University is on the verge of becoming president of the United States, Republicans on Capitol Hill, many of them pilloried during the campaign for taking campaign cash from predatory colleges, appear ready to fall in love with these wealthy bad actors all over again. The company on whose behalf McCain bullied his Pentagon witnesses is hardly a model citizen. Apollo in recent years has been under investigation, for fraud and deceptive business practices, by a range of agencies: the Department of Education, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the attorneys general of California, Delaware, Florida, and Massachusetts. The professional law enforcement officers advancing these probes have an "ideological hostility" only to lawbreaking.  Apollo's record of performance is just as disturbing. Department of Education data has shown that the University of Phoenix's graduation rate for first-time, full-time students is about 16 percent, and that graduation rate for the school's online programs is about 4 percent. A 2012 comprehensive investigative report on for-profit colleges by then-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) found that the University of Phoenix spent $892 per student on instruction in 2009, compared to $2,225 per student on marketing, and $2,535 per student on profit. "This," the report found "is one of the lowest amounts spent on instruction per student of any company analyzed." Around 25 percent of University of Phoenix students default on their loans within three years of leaving school. Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said in October 2015 that the University of Phoenix has been the "worst by far" for-profit college in terms of taking advantage of the veterans who are members of his organization. A letter sent that same month to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter by more than 30 veterans, civil rights, and consumer organizations supported the Pentagon's suspension of Phoenix and cited, as support, the complaints of hundreds of service members and veterans "who experienced deceptive recruiting" by the school.  Phoenix's owner Apollo received $1.99 billion in Department of Education student loans and grants last year, an enormous amount but actually down, in part due to troubling revelations of abuses, from a staggering $3.7 billion just a few years ago. In recent years, the company also has been the top recipient of GI Bill student aid from the VA, getting as much as $272 million in a single year, and as much as $27 million a year in Pentagon tuition assistance for U.S. troops. McCain has sought to protect those revenue streams, at a time when law enforcement has been focused on over-aggressive recruiting by for-profits, by pushing for ill-advised legislation to allow colleges to pay sales commissions to their recruiters. Phoenix ran into trouble after the Obama Administration got serious about protecting U.S. troops and veterans from deceptive and abusive for-profit colleges practices, practices that led to high-dropout rates, overwhelming debt, and ruined financial futures. In a powerful speech at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in 2012, President Obama highlighted these abuses, such as the recruitment by for-profit Ashford University of a Marine with a brain injury. Obama called the conduct of some for-profits "appalling" and "disgraceful," and he signed an executive order requiring greater accountability for schools enrolling service members and veterans. The Pentagon suspension of Apollo was triggered by a 2015 investigative report in Reveal that exposed that the University of Phoenix paid the U.S. military for exclusive access to bases through sponsoring concerts and other events, sidestepping the Obama executive order. The school also held "résumé workshops" that seemed to be recruiting sessions, and it handed out "challenge coins" that included Phoenix logos on one side and, without the required permission, military branch insignias on the other side.  On October 7, 2015, a Pentagon official, Dawn Bilodeau, sent a letter to the University of Phoenix placing the school in probationary status while it considered whether to terminate its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the school. Bilodeau cited the Reveal report, which was backed up by undercover footage and internal Phoenix documents, and wrote that a Department review "revealed several violations" of the MOU including "transgression of Defense Department policies regarding use of its official seals or other trademark insignia and failure to go through the responsible education advisor for each business related activity requiring access to the DoD installations" at Fort Worth, TX, Fort Bragg, NC, Fort Carson, CO, Fort Hood, TX, and Fort Campbell, KY. Bilodeau wrote that the school had "responded to these infractions with appropriate corrective action at this time," but she concluded, "the frequency and scope of these previous violations of the DoD MOU is disconcerting." She also noted that the company was being investigated for deceptive practices by both the FTC and California's Attorney General. But in January 2016, following an aggressive public push to lift this ban by McCain, along with Senate education and labor committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) -- a push McCain bragged about at last week's hearing -- the Pentagon on January 15 reversed course, ending the probation, and simply put the school on "heightened compliance review" for a year. The Pentagon, in a brief statement explaining its reversal, cited "the active engagement and cooperation by representatives of the University of Phoenix, and other relevant materials." But for John McCain, despite the documented abuses and failings at the University of Phoenix, a three-month Pentagon suspension of his favorite college was unforgivable. Slightly more surprising than McCain's predictable public tantrum was the testimony at the Armed Services hearing of Under Secretary of Defense Peter Levine, a former Democratic staff director of the committee whom McCain introduced as "an old friend." At points Levine sought to justify administration policies aimed at channeling troops and Pentagon dollars into quality education programs, rather than predatory ones. But at other times, Levine threw the Obama administration and Pentagon policies under the bus, along with, it seemed, Bilodeau, who was seated beside him and another Pentagon official, Stephanie Barna. Levine, who took pains to stress that he was not in charge of the relevant office when DoD suspended Phoenix, contended that the company did indeed violate recruiting rules, and a written statement submitted by all three Pentagon officials recounted numerous complaints against Phoenix in the year leading up to the Reveal article -- the most against any school participating in the Pentagon tuition assistance program -- and noted Phoenix's failure to admit any mistakes. But Levine told McCain that he thought the Pentagon's process was "crappy," because it failed to expressly warn the company in advance that it was considering suspension. And, he said, the Pentagon has now fixed its process so such a decision would never again be made be made by a lowly GS-15 level employee such as Bilodeau, but rather would be reviewed by a higher-up. McCain himself notably sneered the phrase "GS-15," sending bouquets of disrespect to hard-working but lower status federal employees who might not have been fortunate to have been born an admiral's or senator's son. Levine also offered McCain the striking opinion that the administration's interagency task force on for-profit colleges -- created after the collapse of the awful Corinthian Colleges chain and amid mounting law enforcement probes of for-profit college abuses -- should not "be targeting for-profits." And Levine said the Pentagon took no position on reforming the federal 90/10 rule -- which today allows for-profit colleges to get more than 90 percent of their revenue from federal dollars if they aggressively target veterans and service members -- even though the White House and Department of Education actively support such a reform. McCain was left unsatisfied by Levine's mixed support for protecting troops from predatory colleges. He wanted more protections eliminated.  He said he hoped that Trump might weaken Obama's executive order. Following McCain's lead, other Republican Senators on the committee pressed the Pentagon witnesses for proof they were harassing non-profit schools as much a for-profits. The staffers noted that DoD had punished not just Phoenix but also for-profit Heald College, which was owned by the now-shuttered Corinthian, another company McCain has defended, and in addition Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business. The staffers weren't sure if those schools are for-profit and promised to find out. In fact, they are for-profit, they have the same owner, and they both were cut off from federal aid by the Department of Education this week because of their blatant misconduct. I hope the GOP Senators aren't disappointed: Treating all schools equally should mean punishing bad behavior regardless of the type of school, rather than having punishment quotas for each higher ed sector. But some of the GOP senators were all too happy to echo their chairman McCain, seeing no problem with the conduct of the University of Phoenix and a mess of problems with the conduct of Pentagon officials charged with protecting troops for predatory abuses. "This heavy-handed sort of interaction with these universities, as the University of Phoenix is just one example," offered Senator Tom Tillis (R-NC), "has actually taken us further away from providing more resources for students to get those certificates and to get those diplomas." Thankfully, most Senate Democrats are now strong defenders of students and taxpayers on this issue, and one of the leaders in that effort spoke up at the Armed Services Committee hearing. "We have a responsibility I think," said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), "to ensure that servicemen and women are not targeted and not recruited as a result of abuses and other kinds of practices that exploit them." While McCain derided the Reveal report that led to the DoD probe, one of the strongest Senate advocates for students, Dick Durbin (D-IL), who is Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, offered a written statement to McCain's committee recounting the serious allegations in the article and praising the Pentagon for taking action. For-profit college companies like Apollo are apparently looking to Trump to reverse efforts by Obama to hold colleges accountable for waste, fraud, and abuse -- because their schools are the ones that keep running afoul of the rules. But despite his own troubling interlude running the unaccredited Trump University (which did not take taxpayer money), a President Trump who is truly committed to fighting against waste, fraud, and abuse with taxpayer dollars would continue the efforts to hold predatory for-profit colleges accountable for misleading, overcharging, and under-educating students. Through the early 1990's, Republicans favored such protections, before a toxic mix of campaign contributions, revolving door lobbying, and anti-Obama fervor made the for-profit college industry the GOP's best rich boyfriend. Even if Trump abandons the valuable work of the Obama administration to protect our troops, veterans, and other students from predatory colleges, the truth about these institutions will still matter, will still be exposed by investigative reporters, will still infuse the numerous investigations of for-profit colleges by law enforcement agencies, and still reach students, investors, and voters. And paid apologists like Senator McCain, who stand up for predatory companies over our hard-working troops and veterans, will have to keep facing these truths. This article also appears on Republic Report. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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25 ноября 2016, 15:34

Strayer Education (STRA) at 52-Week High on Trump Victory

Shares of Strayer Education Inc. (STRA) reached a new 52-week high of $74.21 on Nov 23. The stock pulled back to end the trading session at $73.38.

23 ноября 2016, 17:00

Network at 40: the flawed satire that predicted Trump and cable 'news porn'

Prescient and powerful, the film foreshadowed the likes of Bill O’Reilly with its ‘mad as hell’ protagonists and the climate of American anger that birthed TrumpDoes this sound familiar? “The American people are turning us off. They’ve been clobbered by Vietnam, Watergate, the inflation, the depression. They’ve turned off, shot up … the American people want someone to articulate their rage.” And how about this? “There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT, and ATT and DuPont, Dow, Union-Carbide and Exxon. The world is a business … it has been ever since man crawled up out of the slime.” Related: Four films that predicted the rise of Donald Trump Continue reading...

17 ноября 2016, 21:09

Rumored Trump Education Pick Michelle Rhee Praised Predatory College Group

Former District of Columbia public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is on the rumor list for Donald Trump's Secretary of Education. (Fellow insistent public school "reformer" Eva Moscowitz apparently doesn't want the job.) Rhee's record as chancellor, pushing public charter schools and private school vouchers, and aggressively fighting against the D.C. teachers' union, brought her to national attention, and won her fervent admirers and detractors, as well as an infamous Time magazine cover. Little known, however, is Rhee's interaction with the controversial for-profit college industry. This industry's record, and efforts to hold it accountable for abuses, have been at the forefront of education policy debates in the Obama years. The next Secretary of Education will be faced with the fundamental question of whether to continue efforts to improve protections for students and taxpayers, or instead to accede to demands to reverse course -- demands from big for-profit colleges and from some Republicans on Capitol Hill like incoming House education committee chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC), a long-time recipient of industry campaign contributions. In June 2012, Michelle Rhee addressed the Las Vegas annual convention of APSCU (now called CECU), the largest for-profit college trade association. In advance of her speech, Republic Report expressed concern that, unless Rhee used the opportunity to sharply criticize her hosts, her appearance would look like an endorsement of an industry where many schools offered a toxic mix of deceptive recruiting, high prices, and weak programs, leaving many students -- veterans, single parents, and others -- jobless and deep in debt. At the time, the industry was getting $32 billion a year in federal taxpayer aid but was being investigated for fraudulent practices by a bipartisan group of more than 20 state attorneys general. Rhee responded with an article in The Huffington Post asserting that she indeed was "willing to tell [the APSCU attendees] the hard truths they need to hear" -- that "many" for-profit schools have "poor records." That the "problem" with the for-profit college sector "is that too many of its schools are failing students, and no one is being held accountable." She said he would "tell the for-profit colleges that they need to do a better job of making sure their students are getting a good education, are graduating with meaningful degrees, and are able to do so without being saddled with unreasonable debt." And if a school is "failing," then "it should be shut down." Rhee wrote that "Some of these schools seem to be engaged in downright malicious behavior, cravenly taking advantage of students." She cited an investigation by the Government Accountability Office that documented repeated cases of deceptive recruiting by for-profit colleges. And she praised the "gainful employment" rule issued by the Obama Administration to hold schools accountable for consistently leaving students deep in debt -- a rule that APSCU and its member schools have waged a ferocious lobbying campaign against. Republic Report praised that response, but we wanted to make clear to Rhee that the bad actors she was describing were not some fly-by-night schools in a strip mall someplace -- they were (and still are) many of the major enterprises that make up APSCU. We urged Rhee to look attendees in the eye when she told those hard truths. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation's largest coalition of civil rights organizations, sent Rhee a letter in advance of the speech expressing disappointment that she had agreed to speak at APSCU. (The letter quoted one of my articles for Republic Report.) APSCU refused to allow Republic Report to cover its Las Vegas meeting,  but we were able to obtain an audio recording of Michelle Rhee's remarks. You can listen for yourself, but we didn't hear the kind of frank criticism she had promised. (The first 25 minutes are mostly about her experiences with public K-12 schools, but after that she addresses the for-profits.) Instead, in her prepared remarks, and in a Q&A with APSCU bosses Art Keiser, CEO of Keiser University, and David Pauldine, then the president of DeVry University, Rhee soft-pedaled any concerns she might have had. Rhee said that there were for-profit colleges in the room "doing incredible work." She said that such schools should seek to ensure that lower-performing schools do better. She asked the schools who "aren't where they need to be" in terms of performance to "work harder, knowing what's at stake." Rhee did say that "we all lose when we allow people who are not doing right by our students to continue to operate." But she said that colleges should set high goals for graduation rates but seek "apples to apples" comparisons for accountability -- which echoed APSCU's own talking point that the low graduation rate of many of its members is acceptable given the many low-income students who enroll. Although she claimed in her article to support the Obama Administration's gainful employment rule, Rhee did not urge APSCU to drop its opposition to that rule -- or its pending lawsuit against it. Nor did she ask APSCU to drop its objections to President Obama's executive order aimed at protecting U.S. troops and veterans from predatory recruiting practices by for-profit schools. Nor did she tell them that some for-profits are engaged in "downright malicious behavior." The APSCU group that Rhee addressed has included many of the industry's most troubled companies, such as the now-shuttered Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech, as well as Education Management Corporation, Kaplan, Career Education Corporation, DeVry and Bridgepoint Education, all of which have since faced law enforcement investigations for deceptive business practices and other misconduct. APSCU also included ATI, which was shut down by the Justice Department in 2013 for systematic fraud, and FastTrain College, whose CEO was sentenced to eight years in prison in May 2016 for defrauding the government. Four years after Rhee's APSCU appearance, APSCU, and indeed much of the for-profit college industry, are in freefall.  The industry has seen its enrollments plummet, and its companies now collectively face investigations from 37 state attorneys general and multiple federal law enforcement agencies.  It is still, however, getting some $20 million a year in taxpayer money, and the many predatory companies remaining in the sector continue to enroll students and ruin their lives. Notwithstanding his own troubling interlude running the unaccredited Trump University (which did not take taxpayer money), a President Trump who is truly committed to fighting against waste, fraud, and abuse with taxpayer dollars needs an Education Secretary who will continue the efforts to hold predatory for-profit colleges accountable for misleading, overcharging, and under-educating students. Michelle Rhee seems to be in that vein in terms of K-12 education: She has built her career on the concept of shutting down underperforming, bad schools. Yet when it came to the for-profit college industry, she went to Las Vegas, got paid to address a room full of operators of such schools, soft-pedaled her concerns, and instead offered praise. As Secretary, faced with relentless lobbying by for-profit colleges and their paid allies on Capitol Hill, which course would Rhee take? This article also appears on Huffington Post. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 ноября 2016, 22:40

The Trump Swamp: Government By The Lobbyists

As we walked down my Washington DC block on election eve, before the returns starting coming in, a stranger in a darkened doorway suddenly addressed me and my friends. "Are you ready," he asked tauntingly, "to drain the swamp?" A few hours later, the remark seemed ominous. But of course, just days after, it has proved to be ridiculous. Because Donald J. Trump, who promised his working class supporters he would fight for them, seems to be building an administration dominated by the same revolving door corporate lobbyists who have made our nation's capital a corrupt cesspool. Politicians from both parties have used the phrase "drain the swamp" to express their contempt for a system controlled by special interests. Running an outsider campaign, Trump embraced the metaphor, tweeting in October: "I will Make Our Government Honest Again -- believe me. But first, I'm going to have to #DrainTheSwamp in DC." The pledge to clean up Washington likely solidified Trump's support, especially among white working class voters. Like Bernie Sanders, Trump appealed to many Americans who believe the economic system is rigged, that policy is dictated by the wealthy. I believe Hillary Clinton has been committed to economic justice. But some voters saw her as a symbol of the insiders who have gotten richer in an America that has left many people behind. It didn't help that many of Clinton's campaign advisors, bundlers, and vocal supporters were revolving-door influence-peddlers for oil and gas companies, Wall Street banks, predatory for-profit colleges, multi-level marketing scams, sugary drinks, and other special interests -- people like Tom Nides, Heather Podesta, Steve Elmendorf, Anita Dunn, Ed Rendell, Lanny Davis, etc. But by Thursday, Trump's working class / outsider facade had been torn down, and it was clear that his transition operation was stacked with Binders Full of Lobbyists. The list of potential Trump cabinet members had been revealed to include lobbyists and executives of  big corporations, such as former senator and coal industry lobbyist Jim Talent and oil and gas CEO Harold Hamm. Meanwhile, his transition team, as recounted by the New York Times, includes: Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the "energy independence" portfolio. Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture. Michael McKenna, another lobbyist helping to pick key administration officials who will oversee energy policy, has a client list that this year has included the Southern Company, one of the most vocal critics of efforts to prevent climate change by putting limits on emissions from coal-burning power plants. Martin Whitmer, who is overseeing "transportation and infrastructure" for the Trump transition.... He is the chairman of a Washington law firm whose lobbying clients include the Association of American Railroads and the National Asphalt Pavement Association. David Malpass, the former chief economist at Bear Stearns, the Wall Street investment bank that collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis, is overseeing the "economic issues" portfolio of the transition, as well as operations at the Treasury Department. Mr. Malpass now runs a firm called Encima Global, which sells economic research to institutional investors and corporate clients. [Jeffrey] Eisenach, as a telecom industry consultant, has worked to help major cellular companies fight back against regulations proposed by the F.C.C.that would mandate so-called net neutrality -- requiring providers to give equal access to their networks to outside companies. He is now helping to oversee the rebuilding of the staff at the F.C.C. The triumvirate of politicians most associated with Trump have also been in the game. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani presides over a law firm that lobbies on behalf of fossil fuel industries -- oil, gas, and coal -- and that has been at the forefront of efforts to strike down in court President Obama's climate change regulations. Ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich has worked for, among others, the mortgage giant Freddie Mac, advising its lobbying team, although he preferred to call himself the company's "historian," and he has shilled for the disgraced predatory for-profit college industry. Chris Christie, meanwhile, while still the governor of New Jersey, has held a series of meetings with Washington trade groups and lobbyists on behalf of Trump, in one meeting reportedly reassuring banking lobbyists that while Trump had endorsed reinstating the Glass-Steagall law, according to CNN "Trump is often open to changing his mind when he gets input from people with expertise." Most striking was this analysis, offered to the Times, from the always folksy and always ridiculous Trent Lott, the former Senate Republican Leader and now a lobbyist for a wide range of corporations: "Trump has pledged to change things in Washington -- about draining the swamp. He is going to need some people to help guide him through the swamp -- how do you get in and how you get out? We are prepared to help do that." Blatant lies and deception have always been powerful currencies in Washington, but Lott's statement is hard to top: one of the highest paid revolving door lobbyists in the city -- who resigned from the Senate a few weeks early in order to avoid new government ethics legislation -- offering to guide Trump in cleaning up Washington. Lott and his firm, Squire Patton Boggs, received $1.44 million over four years, ending in late 2015, to lobby for the for-profit college trade group APSCU, which has included in recent years many of the industry's most troubled companies, such as Corinthian, Education Management Corp. (EDMC), ITT Tech, Kaplan, Career Education Corporation (CEC), DeVry, and Bridgepoint Education. APSCU also included ATI, which was shut down by the Justice Department in 2013 for systematic fraud, and FastTrain College, whose CEO was sentenced to eight years in prison in May 2016 for defrauding the government. The head of that now heavily-discredited trade group, former congressman Steve Gunderson, who has thundered against the alleged "ideological bias" of the Obama Administration (actually bias against the deceptive practices in his industry that have ruined the economic futures of veterans, single mothers, and others seeking a better life through education), seems to be over the moon about the Trump victory. Trump's campaign was one long con, directed by a candidate experienced in pitching non-existent condo resorts, a multi-level marketing company selling "video phones," and the fraudulent Trump University. Now it should be clear to all that the one redeeming aspect of Trump's platform -- the commitment to fight against the special interest dominance of Washington -- was just one more lie. So we're left with an unfit president who is ready to instead accelerate the corruption of policy by big money. Since the GOP leaders in Congress also are under the thumb of the business interests that fund their campaigns, the outlook for federal laws, regulations, and enforcement is bleak -- in terms of slowing climate change, fighting pollution, protecting against financial, consumer, and education scams, and much more. What we will have left -- in addition to the authorities of some public-minded state attorneys general -- is something pure and simple: the truth. Our media outlets -- from the Times and Wall Street Journal, to bloggers like The Intercept's Lee Fang and the team at DeSmog, to the brilliant John Oliver and Samantha Bee programs -- will be essential.  Investigative reporting about corporate abuses -- scam lenders, scam colleges, scam marketers, defective products, toxic spills -- can educate consumers, investors, and voters, and make it harder for Washington to behave so badly. Activism can carry those truths forward, along with truths about racial injustice, abuse of immigrants and LGBT communities, sexual assault, and all the other stark concerns raised by the rise of Trump. This article also appears on Republic Report.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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