Are Any Of Us Really Surprised?

Grind for March 15th, 2019
“Elimination of illiteracy is as serious an issue to our history as the abolition of slavery.”

– Maya Angelou

Not Fair

The Headline

Dozens indicted in college admissions scam

The Grind

Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 50 parents, coaches, and administrators indicted this week after participating in a nationwide scheme to get students accepted into elite universities without the required credentials.
“This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady applications of wealth combined with fraud,” explains US Attorney Andrew Lelling. “There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add that there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.”

The Details

The scheme was orchestrated by William “Rick” Singer and his fake non-profit “Edge College and Career Network.”

According to prosecutors, Singer was paid millions of dollars to guarantee children admission into prestigious universities like Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, and UCLA.

Singer’s tactics included:

— Hiring proctors to take exams or correct false answers

— Convincing psychologists that children required more time on tests due to learning disabilities

— Bribing coaches to give children undeserved athletic scholarships

In describing his business to a client, Singer said, “What we do is help the wealthiest families in the US get their kids into school…my families want a guarantee.”

Singer has been charged with racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. He is expected to plead guilty to all charges.

According to court documents, Loughlin paid Singer $500,000 to guarantee her two daughters’ acceptance to USC and Huffman paid $15,000 to have her daughter’s answers to a college entrance exam corrected.

Both women were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.

The Takeaway

Rather than prepare their children for college and follow the rules, Loughlin and others decided to use their wealth to give their children an unfair advantage.

Unfortunately, if these kids weren’t smart enough to get into an elite university, then they probably don’t have the brains to make it to graduation. In most cases, the students didn’t even know their parents were cheating for them.

Its About Time

The Headline

British Parliament will soon vote on Brexit details

The Grind

In June 2016, citizens in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Despite more than two years of fierce negotiating, both sides were ultimately unhappy with Prime Minister Theresa May’s final proposal.

With the official exit date set for March 29th (this month), lawmakers have little time left to determine crucial details including a possible delay of the exit date.

The Details

On March 12th, Parliament will hold a final vote on May’s withdrawal proposal. If the deal is approved, the UK would follow its planned exit on the 29th and start negotiating a new free-trade agreement with the EU.

If her proposal is defeated (as expected), lawmakers will vote on whether to exit the bloc with no deal. This is unlikely to occur, as even the most hardcore “Brexiteers” understand that no deal would lead to massive economic damage.

Prime Minister May does not want to postpone Brexit and has said any delay would last until the end of June at the latest.

If Parliament votes to delay Brexit, it is unclear whether the extra time will help solve the issue.

Did you know… The Canary Islands were not named after a bird called the canary. They were named after a breed of dogs!