Bribery And Fraud: Affirmative Action For Rich, White People

American Colleges and Universities have often struggled with the issue of race. Primary White Institutions (PWI’s) initially in almost every instance, failed to admit most minorities at all. When they did, it was often as a result of legislation requiring minority admissions and/or affirmative action programs establishing goals for minority students. There has been a long term backlash to affirmative action students, most suggesting that deserving white students were denied admission in lieu of less qualified minorities.

Some have disingenuously taken up the cause of highly qualified Asian students who have suffered because of limits imposed by Affirmative Action programs. They place blame, typically on black students that were admitted rather than recognizing that these programs have made all minorities, crabs in a barrel, fighting for a limited number of spaces while white students enjoy the rest.

A still-developing scandal has revealed that rich people, almost all rich, white people, have been using other tools to ensure their children got into good colleges and universities and buy their way in. These schemes included having other people take their ACT and SAT tests, faking medical disabilities to allow extra time on standardized tests, and “earning” athletic scholarships in sports their children didn’t play. They faked honors earned in high school and staged photo’s of the children on rowing machines or playing water polo. One example had the parents paying from $15–75K to get a rigged test score with $10K going to the person who actually took the test. Money was routed through a mostly fake charity, apparently aspiring to keep up with the Trump family.

Among the schools known to be involved are; Georgetown, Stanford, Yale, the University of Texas, and the University of Southern Califonia. People have been quick to suggest the schools had no idea this was going on and the students were unaware the fix was in. People at the schools getting paid include athletic coaches and administrators. One would think a student might notice if someone else took their SAT and got an excellent score?

Thus far, 33 parents have been charged by the FBI as part of, Operation Varsity Blues. Several executives of firms have been charged as well with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. A couple of the parents arrested were Hollywood celebrities. I omit their names because it would distract from my main points:

1 When it’s all said and done, what will be the penalty for these crimes? Depriving better-qualified students of getting into the best schools. What are the odds one of those rich parents will go to jail? Or will they pay a small fine or see the cases dropped? Maybe the actors involved can play themselves in the movie?

2. Will we see the outrage about rich, white people, cheating the system in ways different than usual like legacy students, making huge donations, or adding a wing to a building?

The problem is not now nor has it ever been affirmative action. The existing programs have served more like a cap on minorities, significantly less than their percentage of the population. Some people have condemned the admission of minority students while readily accepting that the advantaged often take advantage. Let’s see if they even make the effort to get upset?

Why Some People Aren’t Shocked About Manafort’s Light Sentence

Paul Manafort was finally sentenced in a Washington D.C. Federal Court after being found guilty on eight counts of tax fraud, banking fraud and failing to register as a foreign agent. He was originally tried on 18 separate counts, but there was a mistrial on ten of those counts where one juror held out on those charges. Manafort later admitted guilt on those charges in another courtroom. Manafort showed no remorse at his sentencing, which the judge remarked on, yet Judge T.S. Ellis still saw fit to ignore the sentencing guidelines which recommended a sentence of 19–24 years, instead, giving him 47 months, before being credited for time served and the equivalent of good behavior.

When his sentence was announced, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth by people, particularly the media, who expected a much harsher sentence. They were shocked, that a rich white man, who stole tens of millions of dollars from the public in terms of unpaid taxes. Who lied to prosecutors while pretending to cooperate, who tampered with witnesses, gave confidential polling data to a Russian oligarch, and aided dictators and murderers for the last twenty years of his life. Shocked that he got away with what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

For all the dismay of the newscasters across the media. Black people who just watched the police officers that shot an unarmed man in his grandmother’s back yard and never went to trial were not surprised. The rape victims that discovered their rapists were given a sweetheart deal by a U.S. Attorney, illegally without their knowledge while labeling the underage victims as prostitutes were not surprised. Crystal Mason, a black woman who just started serving a five-year sentence for voting, not realizing her voting rights had not been restored after serving time for a felony charge, she’s not surprised. The Ohio State wrestlers who were molested while one of their former coaches knew and said nothing, watch as their story blew over and that coach is a prominent member of Congress; not surprised.

Justice is a wonderful notion, however flexible in its application. The best way to avoid it is to be rich, white and powerful. In the Manafort case, Judge Ellis claimed Manafort had led, “an otherwise blameless life.” This while Manafort was awaiting sentencing for other crimes in a different jurisdiction. Judge Ellis has a reputation for being notoriously soft on “white-collar crime.” Why not be clear, there are whole categories of crime generally associated with rich white people, for whom justice is rarely meted out fairly. The Manafort case was no exception.

Manafort appeared in court in a wheelchair, green jumpsuit, claiming a litany of medical ailments. Were it not for his remaining sentencing next week, he might have hopped out of his chair and thanked his lawyers. He acknowledged being, “embarrassed and sad,” which apparently was penalty enough when you’re white, male, and rich.

Trump Won’t Be The 2020 Republican Nominee

It’s time for Democrats and Republicans alike to prepare for the possibility, no, the probability that Donald Trump won’t be the Republican nominee in 2020. Trump has attempted to brush aside all the investigations into how he got elected, ties to Russia financial and otherwise, and the illegal ways he operated his business and alleged charity. Ironically, the thing that will do him in, is the thing that helped him win in the first place, television.

We’ve reached the stage where Michael Cohen’s public appearance before the House Oversight Committee signals the beginning of Trump’s end. Although we did learn a few new things, like seeing a few years of Trump’s financial records and proof he committed crimes while in the White House. Most of what we witnessed was already known. The important thing was the widespread coverage on television, and it’s only the beginning.

In addition to reaching millions of voters that previously weren’t paying close attention. Each new televised hearing will spawn more investigations by the Justice Department and Attorneys General from the states, and of course, the media will continue investigating him relentlessly. Already, Rachel Maddow’s team has reviewed his financial statements and found evidence of bank fraud by overvaluing one of his properties by approximately 1,000% in order to secure a loan from Deutsche Bank.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez skilled questioning produced a trail of witnesses to Trump’s crimes and established the need to acquire the entirety of his financial records which Trump has kept us from seeing against existing protocol. Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of The Trump Organization has already been subpoenaed by the House of Representatives as a result of Cohen’s testimony. Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has promised to follow the trail of witnesses established in the Cohen hearing. All the hearings won’t be televised, but enough will, and they will continue to put pressure on the President.

Along with the continuous coverage of the Presidents crimes, conspiracies, and lies. His polling will go down as the ratings go up. You’ll know the Republican Party has given up on Trump when you see a sudden rush of Primary challengers for the Republican nomination. When the fear of Trump’s base gives way to the widespread recognition, not that he’s a criminal which is more or less a given. But that he can’t win, and he’s bringing the whole party down with him. There’s always the possibility that resignation will be part of a deal to avoid his prosecution and/or members of his family?

Rest assured, potential Republican challengers are making secret plans to be the literal white knight to rescue the Party from the chaos that is Trump. Presenting themselves as the rational alternative to the man circling the political drain. It’s the Democrats who must have a strategy besides running against Donald J. Trump. What if the only message they have is, “Trump is bad,” and it turns out he isn’t on the ballot?

At the moment, enough Republicans have tied themselves to the Trump anchor that it’s hard to see a Republican victory. But it’s a long time between now and the election in November of 2020. Democrats need to have a plan for a different Nominee, I think it’s what we’re likely to get.