Back in 2015, the University of Phoenix was hit with an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. At the time, the University of Phoenix was considered one of the largest and most high-profile for-profit colleges in the country.
The initial investigation was centered around the school’s parent company – Apollo Education Group, looking into the company’s advertising uses for potential deceptive practices with the intent to lure new prospective students. Through the course of the probe, Apollo was required to turn over a large swath of documents dealing with their marketing, tuition, and military recruitment practices going back to January 2011.
These sort of complaints regarding deceptive marketing by for-profit schools are not new, as many schools of all sizes have repeatedly received such accusations including misrepresenting graduation rates, job prospects, and other information in the effort to recruit new students and continue to see profitability. This initial inquiry was part of a series of regulations implemented by the previous administration under former President Obama.
The Obama administration implemented a program through the Department of Education as of July 1, 2015, known as the “gainful employment rule.” This rule cut off federal student loans to for-profit programs that have too many graduates fail to get “good” jobs after graduation and was expected to cut funds to a significant amount of higher education and job training programs.
As part of this series of investigations, major for-profit chain ITT Educational Services was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission among other prominent for-profit schools.
More than two years into the initial investigation, the University of Pheonix is still undergoing a federal investigation. This comes even after a private equity firm with close ties to Obama made a deal to purchase the for-profit college.
The Daily Caller reports –
“The Vistria Group is run by Martin Nesbitt, who’s been described as Obama’s best friend and is also chairman of the Obama Foundation. The Apollo Education Group, which owns the University of Phoenix, agreed to be bought in February 2016, and Vistria completed the $1.1 billion purchase a year later.”
Nesbitt and Obama were close friends dating back to 1980 when he played basketball for Princeton University, playing for the same team as Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama’s brother. According to the Chicago Tribune, Nesbitt is known to play basketball and golf with Obama even still today. He also acted as the treasurer for the Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and he currently heads the Obama Foundation. The Obama Foundation is currently tasked with planning Obama’s presidential library in Chicago. Nesbitt’s wife, Anita Blanchard, is the obstetrician who assisted Michelle in delivering Malia and Sasha Obama at birth.
The Daily Caller explains that “the deal included an agreement that Vistria Chief Operating Officer Tony Miller would serve as chairman of Apollo Education board of directors. Miller had previously served as the deputy secretary of education for the Obama administration, which was cracking down against for-profit universities through his tenure and beyond.
But despite the Trump administration’s sharp rollback of Obama-era regulations, the Federal Trade Commission has continued its investigation into the University of Phoenix.
Miller pledged Vistria would operate Apollo Education “with the highest ethical standards” when his firm purchased the company. At the time, the company faced multiple federal and state investigations for deceptive or unfair marketing practices.”
The University of Phoenix has seen its enrollment drop from nearly a half million to about 140,000 in 2016 in wake of Obama investigations and regulations against the university. The Obama administration’s regulations also forced Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute — two major for-profit universities — to close their doors in 2014 and 2016, respectively.Vistria’s purchase took Apollo Education private following 22 years as a publicly-traded company. The move meant Apollo Education no longer had to file regular public reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission about the university’s activities, including the status of the federal and state investigations it faced.“How opaque this all is now,” said higher education authority Dahn Shaulis, who publishes College Meltdown, a data and research driven site that monitors universities. Shaulis, who is critical of for-profit universities, told TheDCNF that all meaningful information has dried up after Nesbitt took the company private.
“Previously, you really had a good idea of what their enrollment was, looking at their balance sheet and their extensive SEC reports,” Shaulis told The DCNF. “Now, that information has just disappeared.”
Apollo described the detailed and ongoing investigation it was facing in its 2016 10-K annual report. This is the last report filed by Apollo as a publically traded company. In the report, Apollo disclosed their receipt of an “civil investigative demand” from the FTC in July 2015, explaining the commission wanted “to determine if certain unnamed persons, partnerships, corporations or others have engaged or are engaging in deceptive or unfair acts or practices in or affecting commerce in the advertising, marketing or sale of secondary or postsecondary educational products or services or educational accreditation products or services.”
Apollo further elaborated explaining the FTC inquiry was looking for information on a “broad spectrum of the business and practices of University of Phoenix,” detailing how the commission was reviewing its “marketing, recruiting, enrollment, financial aid, tuition and fees, academic programs, academic advising, student retention, billing and debt collection, complaints, accreditation, training, military recruitment and other compliance matters.”
Apollo also stated emphatically they were making every effort to comply and cooperate with the FTC probe, but it had no intention of complying with the commission’s demand for documents dating back to January 2011. This, in turn, prompted the FTC to file a Motion to Compel in the District of Arizona. U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton agreed and issued an order to comply with the FTC’s demands in January 2016.
Apollo then informed its investors in the 2016 10-K report to the SEC that it “cannot predict the eventual scope, duration or outcome of the [FTC] investigation at this time.”
The Daily Caller reports of how the state of California also joined in the investigation into Apollo when “then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, began California’s probe into Apollo Education in August 2015 with an “investigative subpoena” issued against the company, which focused on “its recruitment of military personnel and veterans.” Harris is now a U.S. senator and is reportedly preparing a presidential bid for the 2020 election.
The California subpoena required the university “to produce documents and information regarding the business and practices of University of Phoenix relating to members and former members of the U.S. military and California National Guard, including marketing, recruiting, billing, financial aid, accommodation and other services for military personnel,” according to the 10-K.
There were revolving door and conflict-of-interest problems with Vistria and Apollo Education’s leadership, Politico reported in 2016. The outlet noted that “several key players are either close to top [Obama] administration officials, including the president himself, or are former administration insiders — especially Miller, who was part of the effort to more tightly regulate for-profit colleges at the very agency now charged with approving the ownership change.”
Nesbitt and Miller also turned to a number of prominent Democrats to lend it lobbying and legal influence when it faced a number of problems stemming from the Obama administration.
The Department of Education substantially weakened the student aid Title IV capital requirements from 25 percent to 10 percent, according to news reports. The 25 percent requirement imperiled the $1.1 buyout billion deal.
“I think every way you look at this transaction is questionable and suspicious,” Bush administration-era Department of Education Assistant Secretary Diane Jones, told the New York Post when the new capital terms were announced.
To help him with his relations with Congress, Nesbitt hired Jonathan Samuels — a former Obama White House aide who focused on lobbying Congress. He also hired Amy Brundage, Obama’s White House deputy communications director to head Vistria’s communications through her role with public affairs firm SKDKnickerbocker, according to USA Today.
David Halperin, an outspoken critic of what he calls “predatory” for-profit universities, disclosed in a June 2016 report that a number of other prominent Democratic operatives also work for Apollo Education. He identified two Hillary Clinton bundlers, Steve Elmendorf and Alfred Mottur, who served as lobbyists for the company as well as former Sen. Harry Reid senior advisor Jake Perry, who also served as a lobbyist.
Apollo further enlisted Jaime Gorelick, Bill Clinton’s deputy attorney general, to fight a 2015 Department of Defense ban on recruitment and enrollment of active duty military personnel after the Pentagon charged that the university violated a 2012 Obama executive order banning deceptive and aggressive recruitment practices by for-profit universities.
Gorelick was hired as a partner and chair of the regulatory and government affairs department at the Washington law firm of WilmerHale.
In the acquisition, Nesbitt partnered with Apollo Global Management (which has no relation to Apollo Education) — an aggressive private equity firm to buy the university. The company describes itself as an “opportunistic investor” dedicated to “opportunistic buyouts and build-ups, corporate carve-outs and distressed investments,” according to the company’s website.
The Apollo Global’s strategy commonly includes massive employee layoffs and the closure of operations, according to the company’s website, which has occurred since the acquisition.”
USA Today ranks the University of Phoenix as one of “America’s Top 20 most-hated companies,” as of a February 2018 report. This stems from the many investigations, the layoffs, and campus closures causing significant hardship for a great many people. This dubious “honor” is shared with other scandalous companies with less than savory reputations for misconduct and impropriety such as Weinstein Company, Equifax, and Wells Fargo.
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Dem Candidate Pushing ‘Irresponsible Breeder’ Tax On Certain Parents Because Of ‘Privilege’
Scott Wallace is a multimillionaire running in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District against current incumbent Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-R). Considered an elite, even amongst the wealthy, he boasts a net worth of between $127 million and $309 million, according to his financial disclosure statement. This would make him the third-richest member of Congress if he were elected to the House today.
From a hardline leftist pedigree, his grandfather was Henry Wallace, the “New Deal visionary” and one-time vice president under former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His wealth is inherited, stemming from a seed company his grandfather founded that was purchased by DuPont for $10 billion in the 1990s, along with a large number of stocks with the largest being DowDuPont.
His campaign is largely self funded with Wallace claiming he is “putting a significant amount of my own assets into this because this is the most important thing I can imagine doing for America at this point in my life — this is a very expensive district to run in, but it is crucial in the Democrats’ efforts to retake the House.”
But just why this is so incredibly important to Wallace goes beyond the typical party lines of Republican and Democrat. Receiving endorsements from both Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women (NOW), Wallace is a population control zealot who believes families who choose to have more than two children are “irresponsible breeders” and should be taxed. Wallace has donated nearly $7 million dollars to various population control groups over the past 20 years, with the majority going through his own Wallace Global Fund. In addition to its efforts towards population control, the foundation has also reportedly donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-Israel groups that support a boycott of the Jewish State.
Fox News reports:
“Zero Population Growth (ZPG) was among the organizations that received the money from the fund. According to public records, it received $420,000 between 1997 and 2003.
The group, shortly after being founded in 1968, released a brochure advocating abortion to stabilize population growth and claimed that “no responsible family should have more than two children.” To deal with larger families, it also called for families to be “taxed to the hilt” for “irresponsible breeding.”
It also blamed the overpopulation on the ‘white middle-class’ that ‘use up more than their share of resources and do more than their share of polluting‘ and urged them to ‘voluntarily limit their families to two children.’
Paul Ehrlich, who co-founded the ZPG, once called abortion “a highly effective weapon in the armory of population control.” The goal of the organization, which changed its name to Population Connection in 2002, has remained the same since its inception, arguing that the world needs to contain population growth with particular emphasis on American families.
The organization’s political arm, Population Connection Action Fund, publicly endorsed Wallace for Congress, saying his support for their cause is “exactly the kind of dedication we need in Congress.”
Wallace’s fund also gave $20,000 in 2010 to the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), a group that sees the economic growth as undesirable and instead supports an economy with ‘stable or mildly fluctuating levels’ and a society where birth rates equal death rates.
The organization openly supports zero population growth and its executive board member, Herman Daly, advocated issuing reproduction licenses, allowing women to have only two children unless they buy the license for more children from other women. Daly called it the ‘best plan yet offered’ to limit population growth.”
The group advocates strongly for abortion and along with taxing families “to the hilt” for having more than two children, as noted in a Yale Law School publication about the “voices that shaped the abortion debate before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court’s ruling.”
The group advocates that –
- That no responsible family should have more than two children. Any family wanting to care for more than two children should adopt further children. Adopting children does not increase the population.
- All methods of birth control, including legalized abortion, should be freely available—and at no cost in poverty cases.
- Irresponsible people who have more than two children should be taxed to the hilt for the privilege of irresponsible breeding.
Fox News continued:
Zoe Wilson-Meyer, communications director for Wallace’s campaign, didn’t answer Fox News’ questions on whether Wallace still supports the ideas expressed by the groups.
“The Wallace Global Fund has for decades been a leader in helping women gain access to family planning. Former Co-Chair Scott Wallace is proud of the work of grantees like Planned Parenthood in empowering women and protecting reproductive rights and will stand up for Pennsylvania women,” she said in an email.
“In Washington, Brian Fitzpatrick voted to defund Planned Parenthood and supports Donald Trump’s effort to take away a woman’s right to choose,” she added.
Largely reminiscent of Nazi Germany who exercised eugenics to its full and most horrific potential, this policy of so-called “irresponsible breeders” also resembles the one-child policy from China that saw forced abortions or other forced invasive birth control procedures. Yet eugenics practices had their roots in America as well. American newspapers frequently offered praise for eugenics just prior to WWII and The Holocaust …. that is until Adolf Hitler revealed the true horrors of what eugenics really looked like. They avoided the subject for decades thereafter.
Nine out of ten eugenicists in the 20th Century were also Progressives or Socialists, and the most central component to the eugenic creed is the desire to engineer and centrally plan human reproduction, weeding out the unwanted or undesirable, according to a report on eugenics by PBS.
Yet where does that end? Who determines who is undesirable? Is it the unborn child conceived at an inconvenient time? The elderly mother? The child with cerebral palsy? Those with PTSD? Autism? Blue eyes? White skin? You cannot get to genocide without first visiting identity politics and they say the propagandist’s job is to effectively make the people forget his “enemy” is, in fact, a human being just as he is. It seems we never really do learn from history, do we?
Trump Issued Major Warning: ‘We Will Look Into Discriminatory and Illegal Practice’ – It’s On!
Huge problems and everyone needs to know!
President Donald Trump voiced his concerns over “discriminatory and illegal practice” when he posted about the alleged controversy going on with Republicans being censored on Twitter. The tactic is sometimes referred to as “shadow banning” and it seems to be a strategy that social media platforms use to limit the visibility of some people. For example, ever wonder why someone who is genuinely popular might have tons of followers but their posts don’t seem to get many responses? It could be one of several reasons. Either they have fake followers, the post is no good, or they are being censored. In many cases, it’s a form of censorship that’s the obvious result. When a social media user goes from getting a lot of replies and views on their posts, then all of a sudden there’s very little replies and it seems like no one has seen the post – then they were hit with that form of censorship or suppression.
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been called out for suppressing the content of certain Republican voices or those who support President Donald Trump. Well-known stars like Diamond and Silk have made it very public that they feel targeted for the views and opinions on their pages. That’s just the tip of the iceberg because the problem spans from targeting well-known mainstream people all the way down to the independent publishers. Censorship like this is affecting people’s careers and causing an unbalanced platform in which people with certain views are being limited. It might not be listed as a “ban” but it’s certainly limiting the viewership of certain people. The content that would once appear in people’s feed or timeline now requires a fine-tooth comb to find and it seems like people are realizing this more often and being upset with it.
Trump spoke about it on Twitter and Vice News completed a report on it.
Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
Vice News reported: “Twitter is limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans in search results — a technique known as “shadow banning” — in what it says is a side effect of its attempts to improve the quality of discourse on the platform.
The Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, several conservative Republican congressmen, and Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesman no longer appear in the auto-populated drop-down search box on Twitter, VICE News has learned. It’s a shift that diminishes their reach on the platform — and it’s the same one being deployed against prominent racists to limit their visibility. The profiles continue to appear when conducting a full search, but not in the more convenient and visible drop-down bar. (The accounts appear to also populate if you already follow the person.)
Democrats are not being “shadow banned” in the same way, according to a VICE News review. McDaniel’s counterpart, Democratic Party chair Tom Perez, and liberal members of Congress — including Reps. Maxine Waters, Joe Kennedy III, Keith Ellison, and Mark Pocan — all continue to appear in drop-down search results. Not a single member of the 78-person Progressive Caucus faces the same situation in Twitter’s search.
“The notion that social media companies would suppress certain political points of view should concern every American,” McDaniel told VICE News in a statement. “Twitter owes the public answers to what’s really going on.”
Presented with screenshots of the searches, a Twitter spokesperson told VICE News: “We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box and shipping a change to address this.” Asked why only conservative Republicans appear to be affected and not liberal Democrats, the spokesperson wrote: “I’d emphasize that our technology is based on account *behavior* not the content of Tweets.”
Twitter directed VICE News to a May 15 blog post that explained the company’s new approach to combating “troll-like behaviors.” After making changes to its platform, the company said that “[t]he result is that people contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search.”
Twitter did not respond to a follow-up question.
Twitter’s troll hunt, however, has ensnared some of the most prominent Republicans in the country. Type in the names of McDaniel, conservative members of Congress like Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz, and Trump Jr.’s spokesman Andrew Surabian, for example, and Twitter’s drop-down search bar does not show their profiles. The search menu also does not display the verified profile of Rep. Devin Nunes of California, only his unverified one that he seldom uses to post.
That limits their visibility and the ease of finding their profiles compared to their liberal counterparts.
UPDATE: July 26, 10:00 AM: Twitter appears to have adjusted its platform overnight to no longer limit the visibility of some prominent Republicans in its search results.”
At what point do social media platforms give the control back to the people? Users should not have to worry about their views being censored by the machine.
Censoring any content that is not illegal should not be tolerated by the users.
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