As our friend Seton Motley often observes “College IS for Dummies.”
As our friend Seton Motley often observes “College IS for Dummies.”
A secretive three-day conference where big money liberal donors are plotting the next steps of the “resistance” was held over the weekend in California, with speeches by billionaire George Soros and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Democracy Alliance, a donor club of deep-pocketed liberal donors that each pledge to direct hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to approved left-wing groups, descended on California’s posh La Costa Resort on Wednesday morning for its fall donor summit. The group continued its tradition of secrecy, promising all members and guests of the summit their participation would “remain confidential.”
The first page of the conference agenda, which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and can be viewed in its entirety below, lays out “participation guidelines,” explaining that the Democracy Alliance is a “safe place” for donors and activists to meet. Guests are instructed not to share members’ names with the press and not to post to any social media sites, to contact Democracy Alliance if “the media or a blogger” contacts them, and to “refrain from leaving sensitive materials out where others may find them.”
Check this out! Read the Agenda here.
Not all events and prominent guests are listed in the conference agenda.
Not listed, for example, was a Thursday night happy hour hosted by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, who was spotted in attendance.
Also not listed as a special guest at the conference was David Brock, who checked in early Wednesday afternoon and has made himself highly visible at La Costa—slowly strolling around the sprawling property and staying up at the hotel bar till past midnight.
Brock is not a “partner” of Democracy Alliance—in fact, he has worked to create his own liberal donor network—but groups he controls, such as Media Matters for America, are among the many groups Democracy Alliance directs funding to.
Much more over on the Free Beacon. Great work guys!
Sending young children to school at the age of three or four is increasingly becoming the norm for American parents. The fact is, everyone wants to see their child succeed, and conventional wisdom suggests that the earlier a child is exposed to school, the better off they will be in later life.
But over the last few years, several cracks have been appearing in that theory. The first was discovered when a Quebec childcare program (similar to preschool) found that participating students experienced increased anxiety, aggression, and crime in later life. The second crack showed up through a study of Tennessee’s state-funded preschool program. The program appeared to help students adjust to kindergarten, but by third grade, students who had skipped preschool were performing better academically than those who participated.
A similar finding has now been discovered in a survey of Florida’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program (VPK). Conducted by the University of Virginia, the survey examined one small element which preschool is supposed to improve, namely, grade retention. Researchers expected that those who participated in the Florida preschool program would have less of a chance of being held back a grade in future years.
To their surprise, the results were not as clear cut expected, particularly over the long term. As with the Tennessee study, preschool attendees were less likely to be held back in kindergarten than their non-preschool counterparts. That changed, however, the older children grew. By the time they reached second grade, those who participated in Florida’s VPK program were more likely to be held back a grade than those who had not.
Interestingly, this occurrence was especially true for black students and those on free-reduced lunch programs, a finding which runs contrary to many preschool studies showing that minorities and disadvantaged students are the ones for whom preschool is more helpful.
These findings are concerning, particularly since grade retention is believed to foster greater delinquency and lower educational attainment for students in later years.
It’s undeniable that the push for preschool is growing. In early 2017 it was reported that 43 states had publicly-funded programs which averaged a cost of around $5,000 per student. Many would likely consider such spending worth it if preschool programs demonstrated a positive and consistent impact on student achievement. But the fact is, research is increasingly calling this assumption into question.
Let’s face it. Preschool education seems quite attractive for busy parents who are working fulltime and need to find a caregiver for their child. But is it really beneficial to the child?
The ancient Greeks forestalled formal schooling until a child reached the equivalent of modern-day second grade. Could it be that children simply are not ready to be cooped up in an institutional, academic setting until they are a bit older? And by placing them in such a setting at an ever earlier age, are we actually wearing them out and diminishing their future creative and academic potential?
[Image Credit: Flickr-Tom Woodward (CC BY-SA 2.0)]
This post Another Study Reveals Pre-K May Hurt Kids Over Time was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Annie Holmquist.
According to a study conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics, financial disclosure forms reveal that out of the ten richest members of Congress, a whopping total of seven are Democrats.
Collectively, the total wealth of the seven richest Democrats in Congress amounts to $1.1 billion.
The richest member of Congress is a Republican: Rep. Darrell Issa, whose wealth totals $330,050,015. The other two Republicans, Rep. Dave Trott of Michigan and Rep. Vernon Buchanan, rank at number 5 and 6.
Four of the 10 richest members (Issa, Pelosi, Peters, Feinstein) hail from California.
The majority of Congress are still millionaires, but Senators increased their net worth in 2015 at a far greater rate than Congress as a whole.
In 2015, the median net worth of Senate Republicans rose 13 percent from $2.9 million to $3.3 million, according to personal financial disclosure data filed by congressional members and reviewed by CRP researchers.
Over the same period, the median net worth of the Senate Democratic Caucus, on the other hand, rose 9 percent – still far greater than the 4.5 percent increase in combined net worth of U.S. households and nonprofits in 2015, according to a report this year from the Federal Reserve.
In 2015, more than 70 percent of Senators were millionaires, meaning most never needed to worry about the pressures that most middle-class American face – from securing gainful employment to saving for unforeseen financial shocks. At at a time when Congress is considering changes to the tax code and healthcare legislation, this disparity calls into question their ability to adequately represent their constituents.
In the House, median net worth of members increased only about 1 percent, from $860,000 in 2014 to $875,000 in 2015.
In 2015, three Senate Republicans at least doubled their wealth in a single calendar year.
The list includes Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota (up 490 percent); Roger Wicker of Mississippi (326 percent); and Thad Cochran of Mississippi (124 percent); according the personal financial disclosures filed with the Senate.
Rounds was worth an estimated $2.7 million in 2014 and $16.2 million a year later, mostly due to his wife selling her real estate and insurance company. Wicker sold his stake in his timber company. Cochran remarried into wealth.
When members of Congress file their annual personal financial reports, they’re allowed to list the value of their assets and liabilities in broad ranges. In practical terms, that obscures exactly how much each member of Congress is worth. And the larger the value of the asset, the broader the allowable range.
To account for those ranges, CRP’s researchers establish a minimum and maximum net worth, and then use the average as an estimated net worth for each member of Congress.
In 2014 and 2015, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was again the wealthiest member of Congress. Issa, who made his fortune in the car alarm business, had an estimated net worth of about $330 million in 2015.
At least six other lawmakers had an estimated net worth in excess of $100 million as well. That included House Democrats Jared Polis of Colorado ($314 million), John Delaney of Maryland ($233 million) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California ($101 million) as well as House Republicans Dave Trott of Michigan ($177 million) and Vernon Buchanan of Florida ($116 million).
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D), whose estimated net worth of $238 million in 2015 was roughly one-quarter of the combined wealth of his 99 colleagues, was both the wealthiest senator and third wealthiest member of Congress in 2015. Democrats Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut ($81.7 million) and Dianne Feinstein of California ($79 million) were the year’s next wealthiest senators.
The least wealthy member of Congress in 2015 was again Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.), who reported an estimated net worth of negative $24 million, “up” from $25 million in net liabilities in 2014. Valadao’s disclosures and previous interviews with CRP indicate his debt is tied to loans for his family’s dairy farm.
The second “poorest” member of Congress was Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), a United Methodist pastor and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Despite the growth in the number of congressional millionaires, total net worth of members — the value of all their assets minus liabilities — declined from $4.5 billion in 2014 to $4.2 billion in 2015.
Expect More Data to Come
While the scope of this report is limited to 2015, CRP is continuing to update the personal finances section with the more current 2016 data that was filed by members of Congress this summer. We currently have some 2016 data and are working to process the remaining filings for those members who filed for extensions and submitted later in the year. Follow us on Twitter to be the first to hear about future updates.
Researcher Alex Baumgart contributed to this story.
(See more here at OpenSecrets.org) Republished under a Creative Commons license.
The double standard is strong when it comes to sexual harassment when it’s politically convenient for Democrats. See the latest Branco Cartoon and pass it along.