“A California judge who ruled in favor of the plaintiffs compared Trump University to infamous con man Bernie Madoff, writing ‘victims of con artists often sing the praises of their victimizers until the moment they realize they have been fleeced.’”

Could Republican voters be the next awakened fleecees?

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In other Trump/university news: A foreign university has already revoked a Trump honorary degree. Now an American university – Lehigh – has begun talking about the whole honoring Trump thing.

The professor initiating discussion about the Trump degree at Lehigh University specializes in draining away gunk in order to stabilize environments.

Outsider Art at Dortmund University

Fascinating ongoing performance art installation at Dortmund University, where a non-denominational “silent” room has been transformed by a group of students into a Muslim prayer room, with extensive directives mandating the segregation and veiling of women.

Note, in this image, how students have turned on its side a mural depicting trees in sunlight, and re-purposed it into a woman-hiding partition.

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SILENCE = HADITH (UD‘s title) isn’t really installation art. It began as an “experiment,” in the words of a university spokeswoman, in providing a neutral quiet space for students who might want to sit in peace a bit amid the “stresses of university life.”

The experiment has gone poorly. Since the room’s inauguration in 2012 there’s been a running battle between the university and a group of Muslim students who persistently dress it up as their own. Then when female students go there for a little down time and are ordered to put on a veil and hide behind a wall – and this is just UD talking but those sound more like stressors than de-stressors – the students complain to the administration and things get more stressful still.

So Tranquillity Base has been abandoned.

VP Pick, President Trump.

Pussy-free zone.

When the filter method fails…

… you get a lot of milling.

Really well-written article about President Trump. And who knew that …

About half of Republicans favor higher taxes on the rich

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Many pithy sentences, such as this one:

Running for office as an exercise in ego gratification may not be as good a thing as running as a serious candidate with good ideas, but it’s much better than running as a serious candidate with bad ideas.

And plenty of low-key humor (read the whole thing). Scathing Online Schoolmarm loves writing like this.

The $55,000 Anecdote

These speeches, I bet, are largely just a string of anecdotes by Clinton.

Figure around fifteen minutes at the beginning for greetings, jokes, thank yous. That leaves forty-five minutes worth of speech. Which (if my math is correct, which it never is) means Hillary Clinton told four to five anecdotes at roughly $55,000 apiece.

Bartleby 2016

Hillary: A Story of Wall Street

Will you share the transcripts of the speeches you gave to Goldman Sachs?

I would prefer not to.

No I wouldn’t. And ol’ Bern wouldn’t either.

What point does this Washington Post writer think he’s making when – in the voice of Hillary Clinton saying what she should have said about the now-notorious Goldman Sachs speeches – he has her say this?

And the money? Yeah, it’s hard to turn down that kind of money [$675,000 for three speeches]. So I go, I talk for an hour about the complex challenges America faces in an ever-changing world, blah blah blah, do the grip-and-grin and get a six-figure check. You would too, if you could.

I know it’s an article of faith on Wall Street that everyone is gnawingly infinitely grotesquely life-destroyingly greedy. Another word for people who are gnawingly infinitely grotesquely life-destroyingly greedy is psychopaths, and indeed large numbers of Wall Street people are psychopaths or almost-psychopaths. “[Goldman Sachs wants to hire] people who think ‘I’m greedy, I want to be a billionaire.’ That was viewed as a really good thing.”

If a deeply disreputable bank offered to fly you first class to some location where you were wined and dined and then asked to mouth cynical bullshit about a country whose problems are actually worth taking seriously… And then if that bank pressed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars into your hands for doing that, for mouthing that bullshit … And then if the bank flew you back first class to the destination of your choice… Would you do it?

Franchement, you couldn’t pay me to swim with vampire squids. Their destructive greed and arrogance disgusts me (and inspires Andy Borowitz), and, as the current presidential campaign suggests, I’m not alone.

You will never catch Bernie Sanders standing in a room as a paid guest of a bank under investigation for ripping billions off pensioners and investors, addressing the audience in the first-person plural.

When mainstream political pundits, like this Washington Post guy, assume we’re all as psychopathically greedy as – well, as he is… And as this observer is… When he makes the same claim that all apologists for America’s culture of wealth inequality make (The rest of us have no considered moral position on this behavior and in fact are simply jealous; every one of us would behave the way psychopathically greedy people behave if we had the opportunity.), he might as well be giving money to the Sanders campaign. Because all he does is make decent Americans angrier.

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There is something disgusting about the spectacle of someone who was already wealthy far beyond the imagining of ordinary Americans continuing to accept what she claims were unsuccessful attempts to bribe her, even as she was on the eve of launching a presidential campaign supposedly dedicated to protecting the interests of those ordinary Americans against the depredations of the very masters of the universe funneling millions of dollars into her personal bank account.

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Notes on greed.

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A bargain at twice the price!

Clinton actually undercharged Goldman Sachs, since she was paid $9,000 less than her average fee.

Friends & Family rate.

Final Nail in Bush’s Coffin.

The notorious John Thrasher, head of one of America’s most corrupt universities, has endorsed him.

Smoothing Bernie’s Way to the Nomination

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton struggled Wednesday night to answer a question about why she took more than $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year.

“Well, I don’t know. That’s what they offered,” she said…

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In the olden days (2008), Harvard president Larry Summers made do with $135,000 for his speech in front of Goldman Sachs.

When questions were raised, during his subsequent government service, about some of his many hugely paid financial sector stand-ups, Summers donated a sliver of the money to charity.

Well, the founder of Trump University certainly knows all about …

fraud.

So UD is sure he’ll make a compelling case against Cruz.

UD Sends Love and Kisses to Fellow Members …

… of her “fringe and vociferous group,” Women of the Wall. Recall UD, featured here in the Forward (scroll down to her smiling and her holding her prayer shawl), at a rally outside the Israeli embassy on behalf of religious freedom in Israel.

And, well, WOW. We won.

udwow

(Your blogueuse.)

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Chelsea Clinton: J’ACCUSE!

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin sharply attacked the American Jewish Reform movement during Sunday’s government hearing on the compromise regarding a non-Orthodox prayer space at the Western Wall, saying that Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to her Jewish partner, officiated by a Reform rabbi and a priest, shows the extent of assimilation among Reform Jews in the United States.

“… [A] man who calls himself a reform rabbi is standing there with a priest and weds Hillary Clinton’s daughter, and no one condemns it, thereby legitimizing it.”  

Want a Window into Why Bernie Sanders is Doing So Well?

Consider one of Bernie’s fellow University of Chicago grads, John Martin, who has been honored by that university: He sits on the board of trustees. Martin heads the price-gouging drug firm, Gilead. Here’s a summary of his 2014 compensation.

Gilead — whose hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi, can cost patients up to $84,000 for a 12-week treatment — said Martin received compensation valued at $18.9 million last year and gained $187.4 million from previously awarded stock options and restricted shares.

Martin’s 2014 pay included a $1.6 million salary, stock award valued at $8.4 million, stock options worth $5.2 million and $3.7 million incentive award. Excluding gains from exercised stock options and vested shares, Martin’s compensation rose 22% from $15.5 million in 2013, Gilead said Friday in an annual proxy filing.

Martin, CEO since 1996, has scored eye-popping equity gains before.

He exercised stock options for a $158.9 million gain and received $4.8 million from vested shares in 2013. And in 2012, his compensation was valued at $95.8 million after receiving about $54.5 million in 2011 and $53.2 million in 2010, according to company filings.

What’s he making this year? You have to figure he’s pulling in around two hundred million. Just this one guy.

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Who cares? Not shareholders. Not one of America’s best universities, which has put one of the country’s great icons of greed and cruelty in charge of its students’ educations. No one who matters cares. On the contrary. They’re thrilled.

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Gilead and Martin play a very small part in a very large story that Americans are having trouble ignoring. 2015 was the year in which everyone loved to hate Martin Shkreli – in the world of vicious rapacity, he got the spotlight. For a few months, Shkreli stood for all the CEOs holding hundreds of millions of dollars while watching people who could benefit from their medications die, or ruin their lives trying to survive.

But Shkreli is the lowlife, the lurid loudmouth easy to see and easy to hate. John Martin is the quiet, dressed for success, face of income inequality. To focus on John Martin is to understand that income inequality and wealth inequality aren’t mere phrases, mere abstractions. To listen to Bernie Sanders is to hear the only politician willing to bring clarity and outrage to what he calls “the great moral issue of our time.”

As one country after another adopts sensible restrictions on the burqa…

UD finds amusing the doublespeak the new policies generate. England has not only given schools the right to ban the burqa, it has given school inspectors the right to “mark down” schools where the burqa seems to hinder learning and interaction.

Outrageous! After all…

‘The veil doesn’t make pupils intelligent or not. It gives them their identity…’

The identity of fully veiled women is that of no identity. Your very mouth is covered. The identity is that of hushed invisibility.

And note the language: It gives them their identity. These are very young girls to whom an identity has been given long before they are even able to formulate the concept ‘identity’ for themselves.

But that’s just the point. The younger you veil them, the better.

Fetal Inversion…

… or Unplanned Warranthood.

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