Links for April 13th

  • iWatch News: White House visitor logs riddled with holes
    The Center for Public Integrity compared a list of publicly known visitors to the White House to the visitor logs that the Obama administration released. Funny—basically none of them are listed. Rahm Emanuel is listed as having hardly any visitors. Less than 1% of visit in the first eight months are recorded. Two-thirds of the names listed are just people who took public group tours.
  • New York Times: Death Penalty Drug Search Raises Legal Questions
    A California prison employee, thanking an Arizona prison employee for sending a supply of sodium thiopental for an execution: "You guys in AZ are life savers."
  • Poynter: Federal aid story prompted Falwell to block Lynchburg paper
    Liberty University blocked all campus access to the Lynchburg News & Advance’s website after the paper pointed out that the school got nearly half a billion dollars in federal dollars last year—more money than NPR. They've just discovered the Streisand Effect.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

8 replies on “Links for April 13th”

  1. Love your blog, Waldo (read it daily)…but this “story” is a bit of a reach to say the least. Every private university (including my alma mater, Pepperdine) allows for its students to receive federal financial aid. To compare that completely common practice somehow with getting government money just isn’t accurate or fair.

  2. To me, Matt, it’s not a matter of students getting federal aid. That’s common enough, and not exactly noteworthy. However, blocking access to the N&A site because(?) they wrote about it is another matter entirely.

    It might be a nonsensical article (that students at LU receive aid), but LU blocking standard news websites is a bit interesting, to say the least.

  3. It’s not true that every private university allows its students to receive federal financial aid. Hillsdale College and Grove City College don’t allow students to accept federal financial aid. And, as Michael rightly points out, the story here is that LU bizarrely decided to block their students from seeing the story or anything else published by the newspaper.

  4. You’re right, Claire (and Waldo): it’s always the cover-up, never the crime. That is the real story here. And while you’re also correct about those two private colleges (Grove City being an actual emblem-bearer against all things federal, in a court case named for them), they are the glaring exceptions to the rule.

  5. It’s the normalcy of such funding that makes Liberty’s response so bizarre. (Hey, Falwell—your epidermis is showing!) Their reaction betrays their real feelings—that their own students will find it hypocritical that a deeply conservative school is reliant on federal dollars.

  6. But once again, and as someone who works in conservative politics, I’ll just say that nobody on the right would really expect Liberty (or any other private school) NOT to accept federal financial aid (packaged differently for each student, either loans or grants or some combination according to individual need) for their students. Liberty really is only a pass-through at that point. Hillsdale and Grove City are the only hard-core adherents to that “not one dime for tribute” philosophy as far as I know.

    Although I agree with you–I don’t get why the University would even bother with the now-impossible notion of keeping anything from anyone who wants to know. Weird.

  7. I remember watching a segment of 60 minutes or some such program a while back that delved into the issue of newly minted online universities buying up struggling small private schools simply for their accreditation, which allowed their students to fund their worthless degrees through federal loans. The result was that previously unheard of schools were raking in big chunks of student loan dollars. Perhaps Falwell isn’t just concerned that people, including his own students, might find it hypocritical that big government is financing the educations of the next generation of conservative evangelical christians… maybe there’s more to it?
    Anyone know if Liberty’s online educational programs are in-house? Or if they instead partnered with, and lent their accreditation to, an existing provider?
    Is it just me or do the phrases ‘rapid online growth’ and ‘conservative christian college’ seem like they don’t belong in the same sentence without there being more to it?
    Oh, and:
    “The rapid growth of Liberty’s online program has fueled the increased reliance on federal aid dollars, said Robert Ritz, LU’s executive director of financial aid.”
    I think he’s got that backwards.

  8. Reminds me of a journalism seminar I attended as high school student (way back in 74) when I asked a NA writer why the NA never reported on Falwell’s conviction for selling false bonds. The reporter responded that the Carter/Glass family put the kibosh on the story. So now evidently the Falwells no longer have veto authority on the NA, they just block it from their “university” website.

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