Service of While We Were Distracted by Stormy, Omarosa, a $15K Jacket & Michael Cohen…

August 23rd, 2018

Categories: Climate Change, Greenhouse Gasses, Jobs, News, Politicians, Politics, Pollution, Scams, School

Cable and social media are obsessed with Stormy, Omarosa, the $15K Paul Manafort jacket, the Cohen admissions and other almost daily forehead-slapping bits that distract from and mask crucial changes by the current administration none of which are topics around the water cooler.

Daniel Nelson wrote in that the administration cut out the yearly budget for NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System which measures greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and “will likely stymie efforts to combat global climate change.” The savings was $10 million/year. [By comparison, the Mexico wall is estimated to cost $70 billion to build and $150 million/year to maintain.]

According to Nelson, “Kelly Sims Gallagher, the director of the International Environment and Resource Policy Center at Tufts University says that the decision was ‘a grave mistake.’”

The program supported research big and small. It:

  • ensured that countries adhered to the Paris climate accord because it measured reductions in emissions
  • provided data for 65 projects to understand how forests keep carbon out of the air
  • prevented deforestation of tropical forest in developing nations
  • tracked dissolving carbon flowing from the mouth of the Mississippi River into the Pacific Ocean
  • helped Providence I. reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Meanwhile Betsy DeVos was busy unraveling consumer protections in another sector—for-profit colleges. [Examples: chains which train automotive mechanics, cosmetologists, cyber security techs and, like the now defunct Trump University, real estate investment specialists.]

According to Erica L. Green, DeVos “formally moved to scrap a regulation that would have forced for-profit colleges to prove that the students they enroll are able to attain decent-paying jobs.” In her New York Times article, Green described the sector as “scandal-scarred” noting that the now rescinded gainful employment safeguard was made during the previous administration.

The rule under Obama “revoked federal funding and access to financial aid for poor-performing schools” where graduates were left drowning in debt with poor job prospects. Green reported that since 2010, when the Obama administration began to tighten the rules, almost half the career programs and schools have closed and the student population shrank by more than 1.6 million. The president of Career Education Colleges and Universities, the industry’s trade group, admitted “The sector today is so much better.”

Who will be left holding the bag to pay defaulted loans under the DeVos change? Taxpayers.

“‘The Trump administration is once again choosing the interests of executives and shareholders of predatory for-profit higher education institutions over protecting students and taxpayers,’ said John King, the Obama-era education secretary charged with enforcing the rule, who called the move ‘outrageous and irresponsible.’”

Attorney generals of 18 states have sued to delay enforcement of the DeVos reversal.

Here are the reasons her department gives for rescinding the gainful employment rule:

  • Research ignored by the Obama administration “undermined the ‘validity of using the debt and earnings comparisons.’”
  • They found that “‘a troubling degree of inconsistency and potential error exists in job placement rates’ that ‘could mislead students in making an enrollment decision.’”
  • It was “burdensome” for schools to disclose their data.
  • “the Obama regulations ‘reinforce an inaccurate and outdated belief that career and vocational programs are less valuable to students and less valued by society, and that these programs should be held to a higher degree of accountability than traditional two- and four-year degree programs that may have less market value.’”

Maybe someone can explain these arguments to me.

Is there a chance that these reversals—and their negative impact–will be part of voter decisions at the November midterm elections? Do you think that they are widely known? Are the extraneous headline-grabbing distractions deliberate to keep our eyes off the many far bigger birdies? They sure are working, don’t you think?

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4 Responses to “Service of While We Were Distracted by Stormy, Omarosa, a $15K Jacket & Michael Cohen…”

  1. Protius Said:

    A little over 50 years ago President Kennedy made a decision to refocus education from liberal arts to the sciences. As a consequence, the average citizen here now has little grasp of history, ethics, and the like intangibles of mankind’s life experience on this planet. This has led to an over preoccupation with the immediate and the tangible. Little thought is given to future or bettering anything but one’s own circumstances.

    Net, net, we all are losing as a consequence.

  2. David Reich Said:

    The distractions are working for the Trump supporters, who seem to rely solely on FOX and the crazy talk radio shows. But thanks to the real media, we are hearing about these steps backwards that he and the Republicans are making. I’m sure there are plenty of thinking Repubs who care about the climate, science, education, our public lands, etc., and hopefully enough will vote their conscience in November to put some controls on this craziness.

    We will not let ourselves be distracted by tweets and other stupidity.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    How right you are. In comments to a friend’s similar post one of the responses was something about “Under DJT my business is doing well…so I can overlook the rest.” Good for that person and I hope she has a country in which to celebrate her success and that she’s not tripping over bodies on her way to work.

    Those I don’t understand are suffering–or are about to–but won’t admit it and bobble-head like wobble to his defense as he and his colleagues rake in big $ with the savings they make. Like lemmings they trot happily down a silo to their eventual destruction as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, health insurance and other essentials–such as the air they breath–shrink like a well sucked peppermint. In the latter instance the air will become so clogged with poison they will feel as though they have a bad sinus infection and question why they are no longer able to play tennis, jog, mountain climb, ski, swim or walk far because they remain chronically short of breath.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    There are RINOs who never voted for DJT who are the Repubs you refer to but the some 30 to 40 percent besotted with the man won’t change. Yesterday on NPR I heard Jon Meacham say they could watch the man walk out of the WH in handcuffs and they’d continue to applaud him and declare he was victim to a witch hunt. The visual of so many of his personal or administration advisors and major political supporters who are being caught almost weekly with both fists in cookie jars brings to mind “we’re known by the company we keep.” Some might wonder, “Hmmmmm, what’s with so-and-so that he/she is surrounded by crooks?” His supporters don’t see it and when confronted default to “Hillary did this,” or “Obama did that.” We are in a very scary place. While I look forward to the November midterms I worry that like-thinking people won’t make it to the polls because they did not get the message about how crucial their votes will be.

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