Federal Watchdog Issues Scathing Report On Ed Department’s Handling Of Student Loans

Federal Watchdog Issues Scathing Report On Ed Department’s Handling Of Student Loans

Hi high school teachers. I just distributed a 10-lesson investigative journalism curriculum to 23 interested teachers from 16 different states and Puerto Rico! If you didn’t sign up the first time, you still can. Send me an email: jessica.huseman@propublica.org.

Ed Dept failed to protect borrowers from companies that manage federal student loans, watchdog says in scathing report

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/14/694477547/federal-watchdog-issues-scathing-report-on-ed-departments-handling-of-student-lo

BLAME

BETSY DEVOS

Navient and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, better known as FedLoan.

The audit documents several common failures by the servicers, among them, not telling borrowers about all of their repayment options, or miscalculating what borrowers should have to pay through an income-driven repayment plan. According to the review, two loan servicing companies, Navient and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, better known as FedLoan, repeatedly placed borrowers into costly forbearance without offering them other, more beneficial options.

A critical new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General finds the department’s student loan unit failed to adequately supervise the companies it pays to manage the nation’s trillion-dollar portfolio of federal student loans. The report also rebukes the department’s office of Federal Student Aid for rarely penalizing companies that failed to follow the rules.

Instead of safeguarding borrowers’ interests, the report says, FSA’s inconsistent oversight allowed these companies, known as loan servicers, to potentially hurt borrowers and pocket government dollars that should have been refunded because servicers weren’t meeting federal requirements.

“By not holding servicers accountable,” the report says, “FSA could give its servicers the impression that it is not concerned with servicer noncompliance with Federal loan servicing requirements, including protecting borrowers’ rights.”

“It’s hard to look at this as anything other than completely damning,” says Seth Frotman, a consumer advocate and former government, student loan watchdog who is now executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center. “This is the most damaging in a long line of investigations, audits, and reports that show the Department of Education is asleep at the switch when it is responsible for over a trillion dollars of student loan debt.”

K12 Department of Education #BetsyDevos Brother Founder Of Blackwater, Is Setting Up A Private Army For China

The controversial Blackwater founder says he is setting up two bases in China, but his company says “this does not involve armed personnel.”

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aramroston/betsy-devoss-brother-is-setting-up-a-private-army-for-china

Erik Prince — founder of the private military company Blackwater, financial backer of President Donald Trump, brother to the new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and frequent Breitbart radio guest of White House power broker Stephen Bannon — has been offering his military expertise to support Chinese government objectives and setting up two Blackwater-style training camps in China, according to sources and his own company statements.

The move could put him at odds with Trump, who has often taken a hard line against China, and could also risk violating US law, which prohibits the export of military services or equipment to China.

Erik Prince.

Former associates of the 47-year-old Prince told BuzzFeed News that the controversial businessman envisions using the bases to train and deploy an army of Chinese retired soldiers who can protect Chinese corporate and government strategic interests around the world, without having to involve the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

The American mercenary behind Blackwater is helping China establish the new Silk Road

For years, China has groomed landlocked Yunnan province in its southwest to be the country’s strategic bridgehead into Southeast Asia, building highways and rail lines to its borders with Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar to one day weave them into a regional, and eventually, transcontinental transport network.

As China pushes ahead with president Xi Jinping’s ambitious $1 trillion One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative—which reimagines a historic trade network as an overland Silk Road Economic “Belt” and a Maritime Silk “Road”—protecting Chinese business executives and other personnel and their rapidly growing investments in the region is more important than ever.

Mueller evidence shows Blackwater founder held meeting to create Trump-Russia back channel: report

Special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence showing that a meeting in the Seychelles last year between the founder of a private security company and a Russian official was intended to set up a back channel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that a witness cooperating with Mueller has told investigators that the meeting was set up in advance, apparently contradicting what Erik Prince, the founder of the security contractor formerly known as Blackwater, has told lawmakers about the meeting.

Prince had previously told lawmakers and the press that his meeting with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian official close with Russian President Vladimir Putin, happened by chance and was not set up ahead of time.

But the witness, a Lebanese-American businessman named George Nader, has testified before a grand jury that the meeting, which took place shortly before President Trump’s inauguration, was, in fact, a planned effort.

‘Here’s the system; it sucks’: Meet the Hill staffers hired by Ocasio-Cortez to upend Washington

They will help shape how Ocasio-Cortez works as an activist hoping to refashion the Democratic Party, while she also tries to serve as a more typical member building coalitions and moving legislation.

“It needs to be pointed out how insanely greedy” it is to be a billionaire, Riffle said. “We have to comprehend the scale of $1 billion — just the amount of money we’re talking about. Five million dollars is a lifetime’s fortune; you can live off the interest of that and still be in the top 1 percent. Five million dollars, times 100, is still only halfway to $1 billion.
“It’s a systemic failure on society’s part. On one part of the city, we have people with helipads and yachts that they park inside of yachts, and on the other side we have thousands of people who are homeless and children without health care or food. Those things should not exist simultaneously in a society.”

MIT scientists created an AI-powered ‘psychopath’ named Norman

MIT scientists created an AI-powered ‘psychopath’ named Norman

This is Norman, an AI-powered “psychopath” developed by MIT researchers to make a point — AI is only as good as the data that it learns from.

Norman is an algorithm meant to show how the data behind AI matters deeply.

MIT researchers say they trained Norman using the written captions describing graphic images and video about death posted on the “darkest corners of Reddit,” a popular message board platform.

The team then examined Norman’s responses to inkblots used in a Rorschach psychological test. Norman’s responses were compared to the reaction of another algorithm that had standard training. That algorithm saw flowers and wedding cakes in the inkblots. Norman saw images of a man being fatally shot and a man killed by a speeding driver.

“Norman only observed horrifying image captions, so it sees death in whatever image it looks at,” the MIT researchers behind Norman told CNNMoney.

Real with fake profiles:

generate fake faces in one click – endless possibilities https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/ #Fake #MachineLearning A new A.I. generated photo on every refresh.

“The richest 1% of Americans currently own a whopping 40% of total household wealth.” #TaxTheRich

Wealth Inequality Is Way Worse Than You Think, And Tax Havens Play A Big Role

In the United States, wealth has become more concentrated since at any time since the “Roaring” 1920s, Zucman says. The richest 1% of Americans currently own a whopping 40% of total household wealth.

“At the global level, wealth is highly concentrated: the top 10% owns more than 70% of the total wealth in China, Europe, and the United States combined; the bottom 50% owns less than 2%; and the middle 40% owns less than 30%,” the paper says.

In the United States, wealth has become more concentrated since at any time since the “Roaring” 1920s, Zucman says. The richest 1% of Americans currently own a whopping 40% of total household wealth.

Zucman identifies another dubious honor for the United States: “No country (apart from Russia) for which estimates of wealth inequality are available has similarly high recorded levels of wealth inequality.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/pedrodacosta/2019/02/12/wealth-inequality-is-way-worse-than-you-think-and-tax-havens-play-a-big-role/#10c2e9f0eac8

Why should Amazon the Welfare Queen Corporation that contributes nothing get tax break welfare from the state.

New Yorkers defeat Bezos richest man in the world, Amazon’s corporate greed, and worker exploitation.

Jeff Bezos  DOES NOT NEED the $3 billion tax break proposed by the city of NY.

Amazon’s chief Jeff Bezos’ net worth surpassed $150 billion.

Jeff Bezos  DOES NOT NEED to generate another $10 billion in revenue over 20 years.

New York  needs  their 3 billion to repair their own infrastructure,  improving the city’s crumbling subway system and investing in local communities.

Having Amazon in NY would displace folks from being able to afford living in the neighborhoods they are in now.

SHUT UP ABOUT PHILANTHROPY

Bezos Day One Fund, a $2 billion pledge to help homeless families and create Montessori-inspired preschools in the U.S.

Bezos whose company would be responsible for homelessness gets to have 504c3 tax write off on the very problem he causes !!!

Rent hikes and local displacement – as seen around the tech firm’s headquarters in Seattle – as grounds for why the NY city should reject the proposal.

Amazon would pay $0 in taxes on $11+ billion in profit.
$0 for schools
$0 for firefighters
$0 for infrastructure
$0 for research and healthcare

$0 in federal income taxes yet made a whopping $11 billion in profit

Bravo NY get rid of the  Amazon Welfare Queen Corporation that contributes nothing get tax break welfare from the state.

K12PlayGround.com tm combats propaganda spread by social platforms like Facebook.

Born digital the K12PlayGround.com relaunched in 2018 and is now 20 years old.

The Power of the K12PlayGround platform is to support the commons, for the  public good, and has  the power over the currency of democracy:  information.

Facebook, Twitter, and many other social platforms have sold out America’s national interests, and our own national common wealth.

Propaganda is any “information” that gets spread around through print, radio, TV, magazines, and digital social platforms that confuse the public, the purpose is to make people feel insecure about what is true.

These social monopolies made their money from stoking racial prejudice, and dividing society, with no antitrust oversight.

The Library of Congress, Folklorists, Teachers, and Students across America can combat digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter that spread propaganda.

We ask our Folklorists and the Library of Congress to lead civic projects in K12 schools and with the general public. Folklorists and invited to Submit and Share their own achievements and concerns with the nation.

To Legit To Quit

Russia will act like China and have censored firewall

Russia plans to ‘unplug’ from internet


https://informationbuzzer.com/2019/02/11/russia-plans-to-unplug-from-internet/ and
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47198426

Russia is planning to briefly disconnect from the internet as part of planning for a future cyber-war.

The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally.

A law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to Russia’s parliament last year.

The test is due to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set.

Major disruption

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russia’s ISPs to ensure that it can operate in the event of foreign powers acting to isolate the country online.

Nato and its allies have threatened to sanction Russia over the cyber-attacks and other online interference which it is regularly accused of instigating.

The measures outlined in the law include Russia building its own version of the net’s address system, known as DNS, so it can operate if links to these internationally-located servers are cut.

Currently, 12 organisations oversee the root servers for DNS and none of them are in Russia. However many copies of the net’s core address book do already exist inside Russia suggesting its net systems could keep working even if punitive action was taken to cut it off.

The test is also expected to involve ISPs demonstrating that they can direct data to government-controlled routing points. These will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians reaches its destination, but any destined for foreign computers is discarded.

Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these routing points. This is believed to be part of an effort to set up a mass censorship system akin to that seen in China, which tries to scrub out prohibited traffic.

Russian news organisations reported that the nation’s ISPs are broadly backing the aims of the draft law but are divided on how to do it. They believe the test will cause “major disruption” to Russian internet traffic, reports tech news website ZDNet.

The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly

Google Removes website pages that Europeans wanted about how the Google search engine works.

Notice of European data protection removal from Google Search

February 5, 2019

To: Webmaster of <your domain>

Due to a request under the data protection law in Europe, Google can no longer show one or more pages from your site in Google Search results. This only affects responses to some search queries for names or other personal identifiers that might appear on your pages. Only results on European versions of Google are affected. No action is required from you.

What you should know:

1. These pages haven’t been blocked entirely from our search results. They’ve only been blocked on certain searches for names on European versions of Google Search. These pages will continue to appear for other searches.


2. We aren’t disclosing which queries have been affected.

In many cases, affected queries don’t relate to the name of any person mentioned prominently on the page.For example, the name might only appear in a comment section.


3. You can notify us of concerns. you believe warrants a reversal, you can notify Google. Please note that while we read all requests, we do not always respond. Only the registered site owner can access this form.

EU Privacy Removal

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/eu-privacy-webmaster