A White House Personnel Security Office employee is alleging that senior Trump administration officials often rebuffed national security concerns to grant high-level security clearances to people who were initially denied access to top-secret information, a pattern she described as troubling and one she said continued for months.
A Reuters investigation in January revealed Project Raven’s existence and inner workings, including the fact that it surveilled a British activist and several unnamed U.S. journalists.
The Raven operatives — who included at least nine former employees of the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.S. military — found themselves thrust into the thick of a high-stakes dispute among America’s Gulf allies. The Americans’ role in the UAE-Qatar imbroglio highlights how former U.S. intelligence officials have become key players in the cyber wars of other nations, with little oversight from Washington.
The crisis erupted in the spring of 2017, when the UAE and allies — including Saudi Arabia and Egypt — accused Qatar of sowing unrest in the Middle East through its support of media outlets and political groups.
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Report: The Department Of Education Has Spent $1 Billion On Charter School Waste And Fraud Peter Greene
@palan57 education ranter, retired teacher, writer, quasi-musician, Forbes
FOR PROFIT Charter schools RIPS OFF AND BANKRUPTS PUBLIC EDUCATION IN EVERY STATE
In 1994, the Charter School Fund was added to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA); in 1995 it began dispersing federal funds to states so that states could use the money to pilot charter schools. Since then, the CSP has handed over about $4 billion to support charter schools, and there are supposed to be some federal guidelines attached to the process. But a new report from the Network for Public Education charges that roughly $1 billion of that has been lost to fraud and waste in the charter school sector. Findings of the report were brought to the attention of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during this week’s hearings; her responses were not encouraging.
NPE is a group co-founded by Diane Ravitch, the Bush-era Assistant Secretary of Education who has since become an outspoken critic of education reform. The organization’s executive director is Carol Burris, a former award-winning New York principal. The report was written by Burris and journalist Jeff Bryant.
The report, “Asleep at the Wheel,” focuses on seven areas that are wasting taxpayer money.
Charters that never opened, or closed quickly.
In many cases, CSP awarded grants to schools that never even opened, or closed soon after opening. In 2015, Innovative Schools Development Corporation pulled in a three-year federal grant for $609,000 to open a STEM school. The school promised to enroll 250 students, but it wanted to open in a county that already had twenty charter schools, and enrollment never topped thirty students, nor did it secure the rest of its needed funding. Its charter was revoked before it even opened.
CSP had previously awarded over half a million dollars to the same company, despite internal review noting that “there is no explanation on how the curriculum will be implemented and aligned with the standards for the state.” The school opened in the fall of 2015 and closed five months later. Among other problems, the school was found to be out of compliance on all 59 of its Individualized Education Plans.
In California, the state with the highest number of charter schools, between 2004 and 2014, 306 schools that received direct or indirect federal funding closed or never opened. One hundred and eleven closed within a year. Seventy-five never opened at all. The cost to taxpayers– over $108 million.
CSP’s grant process does not involve verification of application contents.
Charters have filed application touting their intention to serve poor urban students, and while a quick look at their student demographics would show that their intention is not being followed in the real world (for example, the MaST Community Charter School of Philadelphia, with a 41% low-income enrollment compared to the city’s 91% low-income student population). Repeatedly application reviewers express misgivings about the reality of an application, but those reservations are not considered during the awarding of grants.
Universal prekindergarten is essential to developing America’s human capital. True, preschool isn’t enough — it’s not a silver bullet for inequality, and we need to start earlier, with better care of infants and toddlers. Still, it’s a critical piece of the enterprise, especially when you consider that the United States stands in the lower half of the Economist Intelligence Unit index for provision of preschool across 45 countries.
Grants have been given to schools with barriers to enrollment.
Even though they are private schools, charter schools are expected to be open to all students. The report finds that many charters funded by CPS use “policies and practices that discourage or deny enrollment by certain types of students.” These barriers can be as simple as the advertising copy for some schools; Idaho’s American Heritage Charter School emphasizes “patriotism” with a dress code that forbids denim and head coverings. Some charters don’t provide transportation and require parents to make financial contributions to the school, thereby boxing out low-income families. Some charters strongly discourage or even turn away students with special needs. A 2016 report by the ACLU of Southern California found illegal or exclusionary practices used by over 200 California charter schools.
Think charters & vouchers don’t defund public schools? Read this report from Wisconsin Ignoring the Office of the Inspector General.
Report: Voucher, charter schools consume $193m in state aid
Many of the issues raised by the report have been previously raised by the #OIG. While charging and convicting many charter fraudsters over the years, the #OIG has frequently made recommendations that oversight be increased and controls be tightened. A 2016 audit, while looking at the problems between charter schools and charter management organizations, the OIG found “The department’s internal controls were insufficient to mitigate the significant financial, lack of accountability and performance risks that charter school relationships with charter management organizations pose to department program objectives.” The department noted in response that it doesn’t have the resources to monitor how every charter behaves, an admission that CPS is sending taxpayer dollars out into the charter world and simply hoping for the best.
U.S. wasted $1 billion on charter schools. Grants went to schools that never opened, or opened then closed due to mismanagement, other reasons
The Evolution of Betsy DeVos the biggest Trump Donor. The education secretary came in as a federal private school choice champion. What happened?
The department does not exercise sufficient oversight.
The OIG had noted that sub-grants–where state ed departments hand off money to individual charters–is the point of the worst abuse of the system. The NPE report determined that things are even worse than the OIG suggested.
Michigan is one example of a state that is wide open to abuse. For instance, ProPublica’s “Miseducation” project found that at Hope Academy in Grand Rapids, with a $550,000 sub-grant, non-white students were seven times more likely to receive harsh punishment than white students. Arizona’s application for CSP grants includes the objective of “improving the academic outcomes of educationally disadvantaged students,” yet an ACLU study found a wide pattern or “illegal and exclusionary” practices to keep those students out of charter schools. Multiple states have been found at various times to be doing a lousy job of handling the federal funds, and yet CPS does not call for additional oversight or assurances that the state will do better.
New Jersey Expose, Part 3: How Charter Operators Collected Hundreds of Millions from a Federal Fund for Building Public Schools
CSP grants to charter management organizations are “beset with problems.”
It has become one of the most commonly-noted problems of the charter world, and the means by which a so-called non-profit charter still enriches its owners. An entrepreneur sets up a charter school, then hires his own company or family members to provide the critical services for the school while leasing the school building from himself. This type of “sweeps contract” has plagued charters for the last two decades. Charter schools getting grants from CSP are no different–and CSP has taken no steps to make sure that they are different.
As the money level rises, the awardee quality level drops.
$$$$ billionaire Beto O’Rourke’s Wife Works for an Organization that Brings Charter Schools to El Paso
NY Times: By The Way, Beto Married Into A Billionaire Family And Once Sided With The ‘Moneyed Elite’ Beto O’Rourke Once Supported an El Paso Real Estate Deal. Barrio Residents Remember. O’Rourke’s wife is Amy Hoover Sanders is the only daughter of billionaire property magnate William D. Sanders, whose wealth is an estimated $20 billion billionaire heiress. Her Father Sold a Real Estate Business to GE for at Least $2 Billion.
In 1999 Beto co-founded Stanton Street Technology, an Internet services company that develops websites and software. Amy took over as president and owner in 2013 and was still running the business in March 2017.
Beto O’Rourke’s secret membership in America’s oldest hacking group Cult of the Dead Cow. Beto O’Rourke was in the Cult of the Dead Cow and his t-files are still online.
BETO O’ROURKE’S FREE RIDE ON CHARTER SCHOOLS WON’T LAST FOR LONG A recently commissioned TSTA poll found 73 percent of respondents statewide said there should be a halt on charter expansion until there’s more evidence of success. The two state teachers unions also filed a lawsuit last summer against a Texas law that encourages school districts to turn struggling schools over to charters or outside operators. That case is pending. Public support for unions, meanwhile, continued to climb — climbing from 56 percent in 2016 to 61 percent in 2017, and reaching 62 percent — a 15-year high — in 2018.
The amount of taxpayer money spent by CSP has increased steadily over the past twenty-five years, regardless of the party in power. The NPE report finds that the past few years have seen an increase in funding–and a decrease in the quality of the schools that apply for and receive grants. The department’s own reviewers are giving applications scores in a low range (71.6 out of 108 in one case), and yet the applicants still successfully receive taxpayer dollars for their charter school.
What to do about it.
These are the broad strokes of the report; the full report is thick with details and specifics. A huge pile of taxpayer money is going to waste. NPE recommends, essentially, a hold on the CSP grant process while the history and current state of grantees is more carefully examined, with an eye to putting more safeguards in place. That seems like the least the feds could do provide better oversight of the money involved.
Whether you support the idea of charter schools or not, there is no reason for this level of waste. Charter schools can exist without having federal funding infused with little oversight or accountability. None of the abuses covered by this report (and other reports like it) are committed in the name of better education for students or more freedom for families. This is about the federal government handing money to people who have are not competent to put it to good use. This is about the federal government leaving huge loopholes in a program and a bunch of folks hoping to drive an armored car through those loopholes, load it up with cash, and stuff it all in their own pockets. We are long past the point of charter schools being an experiment that needs boundless freedom to try anything. We can see now what some of the effects of the experiment are–waste and fraud.
Confronted during hearings this week with this report’s findings that one in three of the charters that CSP helped fund have shut down or never opened, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said she thought there should be more charters, not fewer. Even if you agree with that assertion, surely the price of having a few good charters cannot be hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars simply paid into the void, never to be recovered and never to be used to provide for the service for which they were intended.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stealing from the public the common good for private business profit.
K12 end of the school year activities, #CootieCatcher #Games and the history of those folded paper finger manipulated toys.
Make Cootie Catchers, Games, Music Games, Memory Certificates, Saying Goodbye to Teacher, Memory Video Project, Collect Children’s songs games chants, Preschool graduation Party, (BEFORE CHATBOTs) produce a chatterbox, fortune teller, You May Also Connect Autograph Books to the National Standards: FINE ARTS: Visual Arts GRADES K – 12 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures.
The Cootie Catcher Game
cite: Educational CyberPlayGround, Inc.
Title: K12 END-OF-YEAR ACTIVITIES K12 end of the year activities that combine fun and learning. Find great ideas for the LAST DAYS OF SCHOOL AND THROUGH THE SUMMER
#LICE CATCHERS #LOUSE CATCHERS #COOTIE CATCHERS FORTUNE TELLERS OR COOTIE CATCHERS The history of those folded paper finger manipulated toys.
“Sue Samuelson traces the origin of cooties to the earliest use of cootie,” meaning body louse, as 1917.
Fortune tellers: Opies’ Lore and Language of School children
We all know “no more pencils no more books no more students dirty looks” but do you know when they first appeared?
HOW TO MAKE A COOTIE CATCHER!
HOW TO PLAY WITH A COOTIE CATHER FORTUNE TELLER
MAKING AN AUTOGRAPH BOOK
Autograph books are a significant piece of Americana, recollecting the times, but they have been given little attention in the body of folklore.
25 JUMBO INDEX CARD, RIBBON, HOLE PUNCHER
You May Also Connect Autograph Books to the Core Standards:
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts GRADES K – 12
Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
LANGUAGE ARTS: English GRADES K – 12 Reading for Perspective Communication Skills Applying Knowledge
Autograph books are a significant piece of Americana, recollecting the times, but they have been given little attention in the body of folklore. Such books have a history, possibly continuing the German tradition of writing sentiments of affection in family keepsake albums and of friendship in school notebooks.
Try this on in a yearbook or someone’s autograph book:
If you think you are in love,
And there is still some question,
Don’t worry much about it.
It may be indigestion.
End of the School Year ACTIVITIES
LINK TO YOUR SCHOOL CLASSROOM STEM COOTIE CATCHER VIDEO
Register – login
find or update your school information
Add your school
or Update your School information page,
then link to your video project
CAN I TELL YOUR FORTUNE? GET “FLEXED”
HEXAFLEXAGON Richard Feynman
NEVER FLEXAGATE WITHOUT SCISSORS
BUILD YOUR HEXAFLEXAGON SKILLS
A Philosophical Dialogue Between Father and Son
by Paul Weiss and Jonathan Weiss Esq
Published by Basic Books, New York, NY, 1967
2019 Jonathan Weiss: There is enough public evidence both of conspiracy and obstruction. If and when the Mulled report is public we will need to see much more such as did you say “indictment of President” wasn’t present; was it a matter of “beyond a reasonable doubt”, what about Steele dossier, why did Trump take 5th over obstruction, what do other legal activities supply, etc.
2002 Paul Weiss, an indefatigable philosopher who kept teaching despite the efforts of some of the best American universities to stop him because of his advancing age, died on July 5 at his home in Washington. He was 101.
Dr. Weiss published more than 30 books. His most recent, ”Emphatics,” about the use of language, was published in 2000 by Vanderbilt University Press. A new book, ”Surrogates,” is to be published next year by Indiana University Press.
”The Philosophy of Paul Weiss,” edited by Lewis Edwin Hahn, was published in 1995 as part of the Library of Living Philosophers. It is unusual in the series because it includes examples of Dr. Weiss’s drawings, which he did when he was developing a philosophy of art.
The living philosophy series, established in 1938, has published critical analyses of philosophers like John Dewey, Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead, who was one of Dr. Weiss’s teachers at Harvard.
An iOS playground to learn the ASL alphabet, with Machine Learning!
Linh “didn’t really know how to use a computer” before starting Lambda School a few months ago. She just submitted a WWDC scholarship video that shows her software, which uses machine learning and a camera to detect the English Sign Language alphabet. And yes, she built and trained the model and classifier herself over the weekend.
Before Lambda, my knowledge of computer went as far as web surfing and Microsoft Word. So basically I really went from knowing nothing to knowing so much about how computers work. I’m now so curious about everything relating to computers!
— Linh Bouniol (@linhbouniol) March 26, 2019
Teach Rep. Stephanie Borowicz “Separation of church and state.”
Rep. Stephanie Borowicz a pastor’s wife “unashamedly pro-gun” and “unapologetically pro-life” said “Jesus” 13 times, “God” six times, and “Lord” four times Before PA’s first Muslim woman lawmaker was sworn in, Republican rep opened with a prayer: “the powerful, mighty name of Jesus, the one who, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord, in Jesus’ name”
House committees: Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Health, Human Services, State Government and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness.
The 76th Legislative District includes all of Clinton County and the Centre County communities
A WALL OF SEPARATION
Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802
In Pennsylvania a federal judge ruled last year that agnostics, atheists, humanists, and other non-believers should be able to deliver invocations, the House stopped inviting guest chaplains to deliver prayers, relying instead on lawmakers.
Trump has normalized disgusting behavior in the commons.
Bender ~ “triumphalist” tropes that implied the supremacy of Christianity over other religions.
By saying that Jesus is “our only hope” and by willing “every knee” to bow to a Christian god, Borowicz delivered a message that excluded not only Muslims but also Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, and Native Americans who follow indigenous traditions.”
REFUSE TO LINK TO THE VIDEO
Johnson-Harrell said the prayer was “highly offensive to me, my guests, and other members of the House.”
“It blatantly represented the Islamophobia that exists among some leaders — leaders that are supposed to represent the people,” Johnson-Harrell said in a statement sent via text message.
“I came to the Capitol to help build bipartisanship and collaborations regardless of race or religion to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the Commonwealth.”
Johnson-Harrell said she had 55 guests in attendance, 32 of whom are Muslim.
The prayer drew immediate outrage from House Democrats and was denounced as Islamophobic by the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group.
Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, yelled “objection” near the end of Borowicz’s prayer. House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, did not acknowledge the objection but touched Borowicz on the arm. She hastily concluded the prayer.
State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harelle
Today we’re swearing in the 1st Black Muslim woman (@movitajh), to the PA General Assembly. To honor the occasion cinvites the most inappropriate, racist, islamophobe to ramble a “prayer” thanking Trump, Jesus, and Israel. Most inappropriate thing ive witnessed in my 4 months
— Summer Lee (@SummerForPA) March 25, 2019
SDUSD ordered to reveal covert dealings w/terror-tied CAIR
The article focused on board members of the CAIR-CA chapter who donated $17,300 in their capacity as private citizens to congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar, who has been attacked by his opponent – Rep. Duncan Hunter – as being part of a conspiracy of “radical Muslims” who “are trying to infiltrate the U.S. government.” The article goes on to claim “CAIR was found to have ties to Hamas, the Palestinian-Islamic resistance organization, during a long-running criminal trial against former leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.”
PHILADELPHIA – March 20, 2019 – The Council on American-Islamic Relation’s (CAIR) ubiquitous presence in the San Diego Unified School District is over, thanks in part to the Middle East Forum. A settlement in the federal lawsuit against the District, substantially funded by MEF, ends the District’s “anti-Islamophobia initiative,” which: (i) singled out Muslim students for special protections; and (ii) empowered Islamist CAIR to change the District’s curriculum to portray Islam more favorably. The District enacted its initiative in 2017 at the behest of CAIR, which claimed that “Islamophobia” was sweeping through schools after the November 2016 elections. According to the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund – which brought the lawsuit on behalf of five San Diego families – CAIR activists were teaching schoolchildren “how to become allies to Muslim students” and conducting Islamic education workshops for teachers, among other inequities.
The District enacted its initiative in 2017 at the behest of CAIR, which claimed that “Islamophobia” was sweeping through schools after the November 2016 elections. According to the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund – which brought the lawsuit on behalf of five San Diego families – CAIR activists were teaching schoolchildren “how to become allies to Muslim students” and conducting Islamic education workshops for teachers, among other inequities.
2016 Reclusive Cleric in the Poconos Suddenly in World Spotlight Turkey formally requests the US extradite Fethullah Gulen
Secessionists, fundamentalists, the NRA, and the far-left all played their role, but they didn’t make it into Barr’s summary report.
Secessionists, Jill Stein and her campaign, and members of groups organized around gun rights and far-right Christian movements have spent the past few years cultivating ties with those close to the Kremlin and using their platforms to promote Russia-friendly ideas.
Special counsel Robert Mueller may not have found the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, but plenty of Americans — wittingly or otherwise — have helped Moscow’s election meddling efforts in recent years.
None of these groups were mentioned by Attorney General William Barr, who issued a letter on Sunday confirming that Russia conducted coordinated campaigns to interfere in America’s elections.
#Chutzpa #OxyContin Maker Explored Expansion Into “Attractive” Anti-Addiction Market
Eight Sackler family members, company directors and current and former executives, created the opioid epidemic through illegal deceit. the Sacklers pushed for higher doses of OxyContin, guided efforts to mislead doctors and the public about the drug’s addictive capacity, and blamed misuse on patients. Purdue paid two executives convicted of fraudulently marketing OxyContin millions of dollars to assure their loyalty, concealed information about doctors suspected of inappropriately prescribing the opioid, and was advised by global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. on strategies to boost the drug’s sales and burnish its image, including how to “counter the emotional messages” of mothers whose children overdosed.
Prescription OxyContinpainkiller first launched in 1996 now kills more than 100 a day.
2007 Purdue admitted it misbranded the drug.
None of the Sacklers are personally being sued over it.
After Arthur Sackler died in 1987, Mortimer and his younger brother Raymond bought his option of Purdue Pharma for $22.4 million
Oxycontin grandson heir David Sackler spends $22.5 million in Bel Air paid entirely in cash.
Sackler is the grandson of Raymond Sackler, one of the three brothers who together launched and ran Purdue Pharma. (By 1996, when the company introduced OxyContin, only two brothers and their families were still involved in the business.) According to The New Yorker, David runs an investment firm for the family and “is the only member of the third generation who sits on Purdue’s board.”
Secret portions of a lawsuit allege that Purdue Pharma, controlled by the Sackler family, considered capitalizing on the addiction treatment boom — while going to extreme lengths to boost sales of its controversial opioid.
Purdue Pharma, is controlled by the Sackler family.
An internal correspondence beginning in 2014, Purdue Pharma executives discussed how the sale of opioids and the treatment of opioid addiction are “naturally linked” and that the company should expand across “the pain and addiction spectrum,” according to redacted sections of the lawsuit by the Massachusetts attorney general.
In 1998, two years after OxyContin was launched, Dr. Richard Sackler, a son of Purdue co-founder Raymond Sackler, instructed executives in an email that its tablets were not merely “therapeutic” but also “enhance personal performance,” like Viagra.
The five Purdue directors who are not Sacklers always voted with the family, according to the complaint. The family-controlled board approves everything from the number of sales staff to be hired to details of their bonus incentives, which have been tied to sales volume. CEO Michael Friedman and then-legal counsel Howard Udell each pleaded guilty in 2007 in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, to a misdemeanor charge of misbranding OxyContin.
The Secretive Family Making Billions From the Opioid Crisis
You’re aware America is under siege, fighting an opioid crisis that has exploded into a public-health emergency. You’ve heard of OxyContin, the pain medication to which countless patients have become addicted. But do you know that the company that makes Oxy and reaps the billions of dollars in profits it generates is owned by one family?
Sackler family behind OxyContin made $4bn amid opioid crisis, filings claim. Purdue Pharma and leading Sacklers accused of deceiving public and doctors about dangers of opioid painkiller OxyContin
Tell the Smithsonian: Rename the Sackler Gallery. Take the blood money out of our museums.
Guggenheim Museum Says It Won’t Accept Gifts From Sackler Family
Opioid Protest at Met Museum Targets Donors Connected to OxyContin
London Museum Will Forgo Donation From Purdue Pharma’s Sackler Family