While the Grambling football team is back practicing, from Dwight comes news that Grambling fired David Lankster, online editor ofThe Gramblinite student newspaper, supposedly over posts made on the official Twitter feed. Lankster played a key role in exposing the deplorable facilities football players were complaining about. (Fox News has pictures of the facilities.) Lanskster’s firing was overturned, but he plans to resign.
I do wonder if I had some small hand in Lankster’s firing, since he used his personal Twitter account to retweet my suspicion that someone in the Administration was embezzling funds:
RT @BattleSwarmBlog: As an outsider, the football program reports are inexplicable unless someone in the Administration is embezzling funds.
Just budget cuts and the higher education bubble bursting? Maybe, but that doesn’t seem to explain everything. If I were Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal or Treasurer John Kennedy, I’d seriously consider auditing Grambling…
Government spending on bailouts, subsidies, grants, salaries and entitlements commands a much larger share of these economies than it did just a few years ago. European austerity has been focused on the private sector — namely, taxpayers with high incomes.
That is the second thing the PIIGGS have in common. The highest income tax rate was recently increased in every one of the troubled PIIGGS except Italy (where it was already too high at 43%). The top tax rate was hiked from 40 to 46.5% in Portugal, from 41 to 48% in Ireland, from 40 to 45% in Greece, from 40 to 50% in Great Britain, and from 48 to 52% in Spain.
Dwight brings up another case of journalistic malpractice. “Meet the Sniper Who Killed 2,200 People in Iraq.” As Dwight notes, anyone with even passing knowledge of snipers should know that this claim is ludicrous from the git go. In sports terms, it’s like someone claiming they threw 20 Major League no hitters, or ran a two minute mile. It reminds me of Scott Thomas Beauchamp’s smears about troops in Iraq in The New Republic. (If you remember the Beauchampo affair, it turns out that he was engaged to Elspeeth reeve, who just happened to be a TNR fact-checker. Somebody should make them read Stolen Valor.
Grad student sues over university giving her a C+ in a class. Oh, and she also attend the university for free. Why not just hang a sign around your neck saying “No employer should ever hire me, I’m a lawsuit waiting to happen”?
I sat in a Texas Public Policy Foundation teleconference on the current state legislative session, the main topic of which was Texas efforts to fight Democrats gun control agenda at the national level. On hand were Arlene Wohlgemuth, Mario Loyola and James Golsan, though I believe all the gun control points were from Loyola. Here are a few very brief notes on the call:
There are three main legislative to avoid federal gun control laws being enacted in Texas:
Nullification: Refuse Cooperation. “We don’t think this approach is constitutional or can prevail.”
Keep state employees from becoming agents of the federal government. “Printz vs. United States struck down part of the Brady Act that forced state officials to enforce federal law.” Make it illegal to cooperate.
Gun control version of TSA Groping bill, Rep. Otto sponsored (HR 553). “Arrest those trying to enforce unconstitutional laws, sort it out in court. High risk, high reward.”
Some Republicans losing their nerve against fighting ObamaCare.
Loyola: There’s a difference between setting up exchanges and Medicaid expansion. Later is holding a gun to our heads and will bankrupt our country. It’s important for Texas to hold the line rather than giving into blackmail with their own money. Republican governors need to hold the line to prevent Texas from going it alone.
Once again a federal judge wants Texas to spend more money on education ($2,000 more per student). Smart play is to appeal and take no legislative action while the issue works its way through the court.
Well, there’s been another law school dean stepping down because of a slush fund. Only this time it’s St. Louis University School of Law Dean Annette Clark and she’s stepping down not because of her own slush fund, but because University President Father Lawrence Biondi transferred more than $1 million in law school funds into his own slush fund. Without asking her. Or consulting her on the new law school building. And refusing to meet with a law school reaccreditation team.
I am very far indeed from intimate knowledge of St. Louis University, but if even half of what Clark alleges is true, something stinks to high heaven.
After much back and forth with his campaign trying to find a date, I was finally able to interview Texas Senate candidate Craig James on March 21 at the Rudy’s on South 360 here in Austin. This was, alas, not an ideal atmosphere for an interview (it got better when one of his staffers asked Rudy’s to turn off their piped in music for the area, which is something I should have thought of asking for), and the first part of the interview makes it hard to hear. After the first question, I stopped the camera and moved it closer to James so you can hear his answers, so the audio gets much better about 1:35 in, though I seem to have cut off the top of his head in the process. So let me apologize in advance for the less-than-sterling sound and video quality for various parts of the interview, but the vast majority of the interview is intelligible. I filmed this with my Mino Flip camera and did a light edit in iMovie, so the crappiness is 100% my fault (or that of the environment it was filmed in).
James is a very confident, well-spoken and personable speaker with a lot of natural charisma. He seems to get the big picture of the conservative agenda (a constitutionally limited government, and a commitment to free markets) and obviously comes from a social conservative background.
I like that he would eliminate the Department of Education, but it’s a bit hard to square with his emphasis on vocational training in the second part of the answer. It’s not that I disagree that it’s a good idea, it’s just that after the elimination of the Department of Education, I don’t see any viable (or proper) role for such fine-grained educational policy control at the federal level.
I’m not particularly interested in the Texas Tech question that starts part 2, but since it’s the most famous controversy he’s been involved in, the interview would have felt incomplete without it.
There are a couple of interesting admissions I give him credit for: admitting that Texans for a Better Tomorrow was created as a vehicle for him to explore a role in politics, and admitting that he would root for the New England Patriots (for whom he played in the NFL) were they to meet the Cowboys in the Superbowl, a brave position that’s obviously not pandering to his constituents.
I didn’t like the vagueness of his positions beyond a few policy specifics, and the fact he tried to straddle both sides of some issues (such as PIPA/SOPA in the second half of the interview). Both Ted Cruz and Tom Leppert were occasionally vague on some points, but James is already sounding awfully vague for someone who hasn’t ever held elective office.
The low-point of the interview (about 3:15 into the second part) was finding out that James has never heard of the Posse Comitatus Act. This is not an obscure statute, it’s one of the fundamental laws governing the limitations of using federal troops. I would expect not only anyone with an interest in politics to at least have heard of the Posse Comitatus act, I would actually expect the same of anyone with a basic college education.
I’d like to thank Craig James for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with me, and his staff for their assistance in setting up the interview.
Now I’ve interviewed all the major Republican Senate candidates but David Dewhurst. If his campaign would get in touch with me to set a convenient date in the next few weeks, I’d like to correct that oversight…
Keep in mind that’s not what the headline says, which is a more neutral “UT law dean forced to step down.” But what else do you call “a $500,000 forgivable loan” to UT Dean Larry Sager “at a time when deans, vice presidents and other top university officials were under a salary freeze”? When you give people money they don’t have to pay back, that’s not a loan, that’s a gift. (I also wonder whether Dean Sager declared this money on his taxes. Or did he not have to, because it was a “loan”?) And slush fund seems to be the proper term for a fund from which sums can be doled out without administrative accountability.
Or, to put it another way: If it were revealed that University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown had such a fund, to receive funds from or to dole out at his discretion, not only would we be calling it a slush fund, he would be fired, National Championship notwithstanding. Should the UT Law School be held to a lesser standard than the UT Athletics Department?