Daily Check-In 03/12/2019

Tuesday, March 12, 2019.  The best story of the day is down in the Student Issues section.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Flynn

Flynn’s testifying against Bijan Kian, his former partner at Flynn Intel Group.  He’s asking for another delay of 90 days.  His last court appearance went poorly for him (Daily Check-In 12/18/2018).

 

Manafort

Manafort is due in DC court Wednesday for his sentencing for violating his guilty plea, and Mueller is also seeking civil asset forfeiture as well.

Let’s see if this goes better than last week’s sentencing (Daily Check-In 03/07/2019).

Stone

 

Congress

 

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Double Jeopardy

This is a game changer.  New York is looking to modify their double jeopardy statute to include an exception in the case of presidential pardons.  This would let the state bring criminal charges for which someone received a presidential pardon and there is overlap between a state law and federal law.  For example, if this change goes through and Paul Manafort gets pardoned for witness tampering, New York could charge him with their version of witness tampering if it occurred in New York.  This opens the door to Enterprise Corruption charges, New York’s version of RICO.

 

NYAG Investigations into Trump’s Businesses

 

Stormy Daniels

 

CONGRESS

 

 

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

737 Max 8 Crash

 

 

Budget

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RACISM, RIGHT WING TERRORISM, & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

Aunt Becky from Full House got busted?  Have Mercy… I guess I’ll have to cut it out…  Wake Up San Francisco! This is a major scandal.

Ok, that’s enough.  The Pun Jar now holds $307.

I spent a couple hours reading the criminal complaint, and it is amazing.  And depressing.  CW stands for Cooperating Witness.

Here’s the short version: CW-1, a guy out of Florida running Key Worldwide Foundation, ran a scheme to help rich people get their undeserving children into prestigious schools.  Now, this isn’t exactly new, rich people have paid to put their dimwitted children in fancy colleges ever since colleges were created.  But the way this scheme was executed was blatantly illegal.

CW-1 would have the parents pay him $15,000 to have someone, CW-2, help their children cheat on the SAT and ACT college board tests.  These are standardized tests that most colleges use to determine if a student is smart enough to enter and have caused stress and nightmares in generations of high school students.  They would do this by getting the parents to register their kids at a friendly location where CW-2 would either take the test for them or give them the answers.  If that wasn’t good enough to get these dumbass kids into school, CW-1 would use what he called the “Side Door” option.

CW-1 told these parents that there were three ways to get their kids into school.  The first was through the front door, on their own merits.  The second was the back door, either by knowing someone or donating a large amount of money to the school.  The third was through the side door, by exploiting a loophole reserved for student athletes.

Schools have different admissions guidelines for different groups.  That includes athletes.  For example, University of Southern California might reject most students with less than a 1400 out of 1600 on their SAT’s or a 34 out of 36 on the ACT, but they’ll let athletes in if they scored above 1200 or 30.  That’s what CW-1 took advantage of.

CW-1 worked with the parents and the schools to scheme the kids into school by saying they were student athletes in sports that were at the schools, even if they never played a sport.  CW-1 would work out a deal with someone like a coach or a person in the athletic director’s office to strike a deal.  The school would officially recruit the kid on one of the sports teams, and in exchange the parents would pay a hefty bribe to the person.  CW-3, the Yale Women’s Soccer Coach, accepted a $400,000 bribe for one kid.

My guess is that’s how they got caught.  A college soccer coach for an Ivy League school makes a decent amount of money, but they don’t make nearly half a million dollars.  They almost certainly don’t make that much money regularly enough to not draw suspicion from the bank.  Almost certainly the bank filed a Suspicious Activity Report on the transaction.  Per standard bank procedure, both the person receiving the check and writing the check will get some scrutiny.  This got reported to the Treasury.  At the same time CW-2 listed his income as gifts and not income, so the IRS went up his ass with a magnifying glass.  These two things likely led to the FBI getting involved.

So far 50 people have been charged with fraud, and all of the CW’s are looking at lot more than that.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  CW-1 ran this scheme sine 2011, and got caught in the last year.  He also bragged about how he did this hundreds of times.

 

I really hate defending anything related to Jared Kushner, but this is a different situation than what came down.

The criminal complaint uncovered a scheme in which dozens if not hundreds of rich people paid a company to cheat on the ACT’s and SAT’s on behalf of their kids, and when that still wasn’t enough to get their kids into the schools of their choice, they bribed individuals and committed fraud by pretending that their kids were student athletes.

Kushner’s situation was a straight-up pay-for-play bribe.  Charlie Kushner donates $2.5 million to build a library for the school, and in exchange his kids get in the door.  Is it corrupt and immoral?  Yes.  But at the same time, that money went on to help every student who has since gone to school and used that library.

Go to any college in America and there are buildings that have someone’s name on them.  They’re an influential alumni, a big pocket donor, or some legacy.  A lot of times that person cut a check to the school as part of a quid pro quo.  They wanted their kids to go to this school, but the kids themselves weren’t deserving.  So, Mommy and Daddy paid for a new law library or business college or athletic practice field, and now their kids are enrolled.

The dividing line is on how the money is used, how much cheating is done, and how often this happens.  There’s a world of difference between the occasional large endowment and institutionalized cheating and fraud.

 

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Damn, it’s a busy one.  But there’s one thing I’m torn about and the kids involved in this scheme.

On one hand, they cheated to get in.  How fucking stupid does one have to be to not think that it’s weird as hell that they’re taking the SAT’s by themselves and the proctor is giving them the answers or taking the test for them, and not be in on the scam?  Surely, they had to know that something was up when their parents told them they were taking the test at a separate location away from their classmates.  Their classmates who, like them, grew up a privileged life.  They cheated to get in and lied on their college applications.  You know damn well if they were poor, black kids they’d have been expelled from school before the end of the day.

On the other hand, what have they done since they got to school?  If they’ve been upstanding students, stayed out of trouble, and done everything they should then maybe they can be redeemed.  After all, it’s not completely their fault that their parents are lying, cheating, felonious assholes.  If they’re a waste of space however, kick their asses out.

Wednesday brings new sentences and new charges for Paul Manafort.  I’ll definitely talk about that later.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

One thought on “Daily Check-In 03/12/2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s