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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Devry University under fire by Dick Durbin

Illinois Democrat Sen. Richard Durbin warned Wednesday that the world of higher education could experience its own version of the subprime mortgage crisis if Congress does not take steps to regulate federal loans given to students at for-profit universities.
“The goal seems to be to bring in as many students as possible — regardless of their ability to succeed or graduate — load them up with loans, and leave taxpayers on the hook if students default,” Durbin said.
Durbin, the majority whip, told an audience at the National Press Club that he wants to partner with Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, to craft regulatory legislation to introduce late this year or early next year.
When asked whether he thinks he can win support among his colleagues, Durbin said, “We’ll see.”
“It’s not going to be easy,” Durbin said. “There’s a lot of federal money involved here, and they have bought all the lobbyists in town, which is their constitutional right.”
“Just as with the subprime mortgage crisis, private companies rake in the profits, and taxpayers bear nearly all the risks,” Durbin said. “What makes this doubly frustrating is that we’ve been through this before.”
According to the Department of Education, students at for-profit colleges make up only 7 percent of the people receiving higher education, but 44 percent of those defaulting on federal student loans, Durbin said.
Tuition at for-profit schools is about five times the price of community colleges, and about twice as much as public four-year colleges, according to a report from the College Board.
For-profit universities such as the University of Phoenix and DeVry University received $4.3 billion in Pell grants and $19.6 billion in Stafford loans, according to a Senate report that came out last week.
Durbin and Harkin have asked the Government Accountability Office to assess how effective for-profit schools are.
The Department of Education is pursuing regulations that would require for-profit schools to disclose graduates’ success rates.
“There are many good trade schools and for-profit colleges, and they serve a vital purpose,” Durbin said. “But there are also a lot of bad for-profit schools that are raking in huge amounts of federal dollars while leaving students poorly trained and over their heads in debt.”

From The White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States President Barack Obama will take the oath of office twice – once on Sunday and once on Monday – to satisfy both the US constitution as well as the public need to witness it.
He will be formally sworn into office on Sunday in keeping with the dictates of the constitution, which mandates the previous presidential term ends at noon on January 20. That ceremony will take place at a small gathering at the White House.
But by tradition, if January 20 falls on a Sunday, the public swearing in on the steps of the Capitol is delayed to another day of the week – in this case, until Monday.
It will be the seventh time in history that the public inauguration has been delayed due to a Sunday end-of-term.
And for Obama, it will be the second time he will have been sworn in twice, the first time owing to a glitch in the public event on January 20, 2009 when Chief Justice John Roberts switched around some of the words and used a ''to'' instead of an ''of'' at one point. To ensure there would be no question that the swearing in was done correctly, Obama was sworn in a second time the following day.
The tradition of no public ceremony on a Sunday dates back to 1821, the first time the inauguration fell on a Sunday.
Then-president James Monroe decided after consulting with the Supreme Court to postpone the public ceremony until the next day because ''courts and other public institutions were not open on Sunday.''
Technically, that meant the country had no legal president for a day - as happened again in 1849, when president Zachary Taylor delayed the public affair for a day. That case gave rise to a myth about the top-ranked senator, David Rice Atchison, who was declared by many - including a recently opened museum in his home state of Kansas and his own tombstone - to have been president for a day by default.
Atchison himself never made that claim, telling a St Louis, Missouri, newspaper that he was never sworn as president and in fact had slept away the day, March 4, 1849, on which the previous president's term had expired.
''There had been three or four busy nights finishing up the work of the Senate, and I slept most of that Sunday,'' Atchison is quoted as having said.
Since then, four other presidents - Rutherford B Hayes (1877); Woodrow Wilson (1917); Dwight D Eisenhower (1957); and Ronald Reagan (1985) - have delayed the public ceremony to a Monday.
But all four took the precautionary measure of a private swearing in on the actual date their terms ended, as will Obama on Sunday.
US presidents also have a tradition of swearing in on a Bible.
On Sunday, Obama will lay his hand on the family Bible of his wife Michelle's grandmother, the inaugural committee said.
On Monday, he will use two Bibles stacked together: a black King James Bible that slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr carried on his travels and a burgundy velvet Bible used by president Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration.
The choices reflect not only the historic significance of the country's first black president beginning his second term, but also the fact that January 21 is a national holiday commemorating King.
The January 20 inaugural date was established by the 20th Amendment to the constitution, which until 1933 specified March 4 as the end of term. The move shortened the lame-duck nature of the government after November elections.

Facebook Losses Federal Law Suite

You are receiving this e-mail because you may have been featured in a "Sponsored Story" on Facebook prior to December 3, 2012.
A federal court authorized this Notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
Why did I get this notice? This Notice relates to a proposed settlement ("Settlement") of a class action lawsuit ("Action") filed against Facebook relating to a particular Facebook feature called "Sponsored Stories." According to available records, you may be a "Class Member."
What is the Action about? The Action claims that Facebook unlawfully used the names, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, and identities of Facebook users in the United States to advertise or sell products and services through Sponsored Stories without obtaining those users' consent. Facebook denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever. No court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability.
What is a Sponsored Story? Sponsored Stories are a form of advertising that typically contains posts which appeared on about or from a Facebook user or entity that a business, organization, or individual has paid to promote so there is a better chance that the posts will be seen by the user or entity's chosen audience. Sponsored Stories may be displayed, for example, when a Facebook user interacts with the Facebook service (including sub-domains, international versions, widgets, plug-ins, platform applications or games, and mobile applications) in certain ways, such as by clicking on the Facebook "Like" button on a business's, organization's, or individual's Facebook page. Sponsored Stories typically include a display of a Facebook user's Facebook name (i.e., the name the user has associated with his or her Facebook account) and/or profile picture (if the user has uploaded one) with a statement describing the user's interaction with the Facebook service, such as "John Smith likes UNICEF," "John Smith played Farmville," or "John Smith shared a link."
What relief does the Settlement provide? Facebook will pay $20 million into a fund that can be used, in part, to pay claims of Class Members (including Minor Class Members) who appeared in a Sponsored Story. Each participating Class Member who submits a valid and timely claim form may be eligible to receive up to $10. The amount, if any, paid to each claimant depends upon the number of claims made and other factors detailed in the Settlement. No one knows in advance how much each claimant will receive, or whether any money will be paid directly to claimants. If the number of claims made renders it economically infeasible to pay money to persons who make a timely and valid claim, payment will be made to the not-for-profit organizations identified on the Settlement website at (if clicking on the link does not work, copy and paste the website address into a web browser). These organizations are involved in educational outreach that teaches adults and children how to use social media technologies safely, or are involved in research of social media, with a focus on critical thinking around advertising and commercialization, and particularly with protecting the interests of children.
In addition to monetary relief, Facebook will (a) revise its terms of service (known as the "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" or "SRR") to more fully explain the instances in which users agree to the display of their names and profile pictures in connection with Sponsored Stories; (b) create an easily accessible mechanism that enables users to view, on a going-forward basis, the subset of their interactions and other content on Facebook that have been displayed in Sponsored Stories (if any); (c) develop settings that will allow users to prevent particular items or categories of content or information related to them from being displayed in future Sponsored Stories; (d) revise its SRR to confirm that minors represent that their parent or legal guardian consents to the use of the minor's name and profile picture in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content; (e) provide parents and legal guardians with additional information about how advertising works on Facebook in its Family Safety Center and provide parents and legal guardians with additional tools to control whether their children's names and profile pictures are displayed in connection with Sponsored Stories; and (f) add a control in minor users' profiles that enables each minor user to indicate that his or her parents are not Facebook users and, where a minor user indicates that his or her parents are not on Facebook, Facebook will make the minor ineligible to appear in Sponsored Stories until he or she reaches the age of 18, until the minor changes his or her setting to indicate that his or her parents are on Facebook, or until a confirmed parental relationship with the minor user is established.
SUBMIT A CLAIM FORMThis is the only way to be eligible to receive a payment, if the Court orders payment to Class Members.Deadline: May 2, 2013
EXCLUDE YOURSELFThis is the only option that allows you to retain the ability to file your own lawsuit about the legal claims in this case.Deadline: May 2, 2013
OBJECTWrite to the Court about why you object to (i.e., don't like) the Settlement and think it shouldn't be approved.Deadline: May 2, 2013
The Court will hold a "Fairness Hearing" to consider the Settlement, the request for attorneys' fees and expenses of the lawyers who brought the Action ("Class Counsel"), and the class representatives' request for service awards for bringing the Action.
You may, but are not required to, speak at the Fairness Hearing about any Objection you filed. If you intend to speak at the Fairness Hearing, you must follow the procedures stated on the Settlement website to notify the Court and parties of your intent when you serve your Objection.
Hearing Date: June 28, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
DO NOTHINGYou will not receive a payment, even if the Court orders payment to Class Members. You will also be giving up your right to bring your own lawsuit related to the claims in the Action. You may be eligible to receive the non-monetary benefits of the Settlement, if the Settlement is finally approved.No deadline
Your Class Member Number: 454098110
To Parents and Guardians of Children on Facebook: The Settlement also involves the claims of minors featured in Sponsored Stories on Facebook. Please see the Settlement website for more information.
More information? For more information about the Settlement and how to take the actions described above, please visit (if clicking on the link does not work, copy and paste the website address into a web browser) or write to the Settlement Administrator at Fraley v. Facebook, Inc., Settlement, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 35009, Seattle, WA 98124-1009, or You may also contact Class Counsel, Robert S. Arns of the Arns Law Firm, by calling 1-888-214-5125 or by emailing