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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Cong. John Kline - The MVP for For-Profit School Exploiters

Category: John Kline
Posted: 07/25/14 18:25

by Dave Mindeman

The brazenness of John Kline is incredible.

Earlier this month. legislation which would close an exploitative loophole in Federal student aid died without a hearing. Its intention was to block For-Profit colleges from violating the 90-10 rule. And what is that you ask?

At issue was the so-called 90/10 rule, which bans for-profit schools from receiving government funding if they draw more than 90% of their revenue from federal student aid programs. The rule excludes tuition assistance from the GI Bill for veterans and from the Department of Defense, which funds education for active-duty military.

The legislation proposed to include the exempted Veterans student aid in the GI bill....which has been a large amount of exploited funding in these For-Profit colleges.

One man shut it all down and allowed the For-Profit debacle to continue.

Congressman John Kline.

As Chairman of the Committee he quashed the bill by ruling it non-germane to the topic of financial aid being discussed at his July 10 hearing.

GI Bill for Student Loans -Not germane?

Here is an example of what is happening....

Critics say the loophole leads for-profit schools to aggressively target veterans to draw additional federal funding. Many analysts believe closing it would push some for-profit college chains over the 90% cap, gutting their support system. The University of Phoenix, for instance, receives 83% of its funds from federal programs, according its most recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That figure doesn't include the nearly $1 billion the company received from the post-9/11 GI Bill over the last five years.

And why is this a problem?

The (Univ. of Phoenix) San Diego campus' overall graduation rate is under 15%, according to the federal Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students there default on their loans within three years of leaving school. No one from any state or federal government agency knows how many veterans who go to school on the GI Bill graduate or find jobs.

These students and veterans are "recruited" to these campuses with promises they do not deliver. The loans are guaranteed by all of us-the US taxpayer. With those kind of default rates, we are losing huge sums of money.

And we have one person to thank for this debacle.,,,

Congressman John Kline.

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RE:Bachmann - I Think Dogcatcher Is Out Of Reach Now

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 07/25/14 17:49, Edited: 07/25/14 17:50

by Dave Mindeman

Remember a few days ago when Michele Bachmann wondered why the press didn't ask her about another run for President?

Well here's a clue...

In an interview this week with the host of a conservative radio show, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said the gay community wants to "do away with statutory rape laws so that adults will be able to freely prey on little children sexually."

I have heard Bachmann say some pretty off the wall things, but the absolute hate coming out right now is beyond belief.

She didn't stop there...

She then slammed the LGBT community, saying their ultimate goal was "not to allow for diversity of opinion on this issue" but rather to "force everyone to not only agree with them, but also to finance their agenda."

Bachmann, who has the most intolerant ideas of her own, has the audacity to thinky that the LGBT community is somehow dictating the terms on all the discriminatory practices foisted upon them.

How ridiculous. How stupid.

If Republicans have any sense of decency, they will isolate Bachmann into the intolerant cubicle she seems destined to occupy.

Presidential aspirations? I have the feeling Bachmann couldn't win an election for dogcatcher now.
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McFadden Chances Improve? Maybe In The Wishful Thinking Category

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 07/24/14 22:34, Edited: 07/24/14 22:35

by Dave Mindeman

There seems to be an almost quiet desperation to make Mike McFadden a serious challenger to Al Franken for the Minnesota Senate. The investment banker has no experience - has stumbled badly on the issues , but has money to burn and has shown a willingness to spend it liberally (pardon the expression).

He is a familiar mixture of Norm Coleman and Mitt Romney, but without the political expertise. What has given him the opportunity to gain some notoriety was the inexplicable endorsement at the GOP convention. Whether it was good strategy or incredible luck, McFadden has emerged with the endorsement and has only token opposition for the GOP primary from grossly underfunded challengers.

Because of all that, it looks like the political handicappers have given him a second look and recent "experts" like Stu Rothenberg and Larry Sabato have upgraded McFadden's chances against Franken.

Even Sabato made the change almost apologetically....

One final rating shift that will leave many shaking their heads is in Minnesota, where we're changing the rating from Likely Democratic to just Leans Democratic. But hear us out: While polling doesn't really support such a move, history suggests this race won't be a cakewalk for Sen. Al Franken (D).

In other words, no data - just a hunch.

The reason that Franken's race is still on the radar is that most political followers who haven't been familiar with Franken's Senate career cannot believe that the guy who won by 312 votes could be anything other than vulnerable. And normally that would be a pretty safe bet.

But Franken has assimilated into the Senate very well. He is respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He has eliminated the bawdy humor for which his entertainment career was famous....and replaced it with a dry sense of humor which he flashes only to make a political point.

Franken has been a prolific fundraiser and even with McFadden pouring his own money into the race, Franken continues to have the monetary edge. The junior MN Senator always seems to be one step ahead of McFadden on every front....organization, fundraising, commercials, and ground game.

In general, Franken's political strategy (and it is a good one) has not given McFadden a real opportunity to put the incumbent Senator on the defensive. McFadden's opportunistic endorsement gives him the ability to utilize what little the State GOP has to offer for ground help and not have to build it all himself, which I am sure he expected he would have to do. But Franken negates that opportunity with a superior organization of his own.

Another thing working in Franken's favor is that the Republican Senate Caucus has to concentrate on other races. Minnesota's seat is low on the priority list. The RSCC is having a fight in Georgia and Kentucky to hold onto incumbent seats and North Carolina and Arkansas are proving to be stubborn takeaways. Sending money to Minnesota may be a luxury they cannot afford. Meaning McFadden is probably on his own.

Al Franken's narrow win in 2008 has not been taken for granted by his campaign. They have prepared for battle and are looking for a somewhat better margin of victory this time around. The MN GOP has never quite gotten over that narrow and frustrating loss. They have been willing to give McFadden some leeway in conservative "principles" as long as he has shown a willingness to match Franken's bank account.

The GOP keeps looking for any semblance of silver linings in their quest to take back Norm Coleman's seat. But hard evidence of a McFadden upset is in short supply.

And Al Franken is taking nothing for granted.
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