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Category: General

How the Graspingly Ambitious Hillary Clinton CLEARED THE FIELD Because it was HER TURN

[ 529 ] March 26, 2017 |

Joe-Biden

When people say that Clinton and/or the DNC “cleared the field,” I’ve never been entirely sure what this means, if it doesn’t just mean “Clinton, like everyone trying to win a presidential nomination, tried to receive endorsements and raise money, and did this very well.” One obvious problem with the narrative is that if there was another candidate who didn’t run and had a serious chance of winning, it was Joe Biden. And…how do you muscle a sitting vice president out of the race, exactly?

The answer is that nobody did:

“At the end of the day, I just couldn’t do it,” former Vice President Joe Biden said about running a campaign to be president. “So I don’t regret not running. Do I regret not being president? Yes.”

In Colgate University’s Sanford Field House, University President Brian W. Casey opened the Kerschner Family Global Leaders series lecture question-and-answer panel with Biden by asking if Biden regrets not running to be president

“On a college campus I will never, never do anything other than answer the question completely unvarnished and straightforward,” Biden said. “The answer is that I had planned on running for president. And although it would have been a very difficult primary, I think I could have won.”

Biden said he had a lot of data collected and was fairly confident that as a Democratic party’s nominee, he could have won.

Emotions grew as Biden detailed his son Beau Biden’s battle with brain cancer and Beau’s wishes that his illness remain secret. Beau, among other people close to Joe Biden, wanted the former vice president to try to become the next commander in chief.

“I didn’t run because no man or woman should announce they’re running for president of the United States unless they can look the public in the eye and promise you they can give you 100 percent,” Biden said.

I don’t know about you, but I find “I didn’t run because my son was dying” a rather more plausible explanation for why Biden didn’t run than “Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz conspired to prevent his candidacy through [unspecified mechanism.]”

The other interesting, although unanswerable, question is whether Biden would have won had tragedy not struck and he had entered the race. I do think that, given the Republican candidate and how the Electoral Map played out, that there’s a strong argument that he would have been a better candidate in the general. Do I think he would have beaten Clinton? I don’t have access to his data, but I don’t see it. The path to beating Clinton was from the left, like Sanders, but with more longstanding connections to crucial party constituencies. Biden is a dead ringer for Clinton ideologically, and if anything he’s closer to financial industry. The most crucial Democratic primary voters didn’t know that Trump would be the nominee and none knew that the election would come down to 100,000 votes in the rust belt. He also has some real weaknesses as a candidate that have manifested themselves in two primary runs that went very badly.

He wasn’t the VP in 1988 or 2008, of course, and I’m not saying it’s impossible that he would have won the nomination, but…it’s not an obvious path. And if there was anybody else out there with a more viable one, I don’t see him or her, and AFICT neither do the people strongly committed to the THE FIELD WAS CLEARED narrative.

…one additional point: I am also struck by how many people think that it is simply self-evident that the larger a primary field, the better. I would say that this is an…interesting year to be making this assumption. Particularly since the people most inclined to complain about how Clinton CLEARED THE FIELD also tend to be the most strongly committed to the proposition that the Republican candidate was so world-historically awful any other Democrat would have beaten him easily.

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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 76

[ 175 ] March 26, 2017 |

This is the grave of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody

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Born in 1846 in frontier Iowa, the family moved to Kansas in 1853, where Cody’s father became involved in the Bleeding Kansas conflict, on the side of the abolitionists. He gave a speech and then was stabbed twice by a slavery advocate. In 1857, he traveled to Cleveland to gather anti-slavery advocates to come to Kansas, but ill and not recovered from his stabbing, he died on the trip. This forced young Bill to go to work, at first on wagon trains and then as a scout helping guide the Army to Utah where a Mormon revolt was feared. He claimed to kill his first Indian on this trip, but who really knows. Forgive me if I’m not trusting Buffalo Bill’s autobiography as the purest distillation of truth.

In 1860, Cody, still only 14, moved to Colorado to mine gold. But on the way, he joined the Pony Express and found work with it. He wanted to join the Union Army in 1861, but was too young. He worked with a freight caravan delivering supplies to Fort Laramie until 1863, when he was old enough to volunteer. He served as a teamster with the 7th Kansas Calvary. He was discharged at the end of the war but then reenlisted in 1868 after working for the Kansas Pacific Railroad. By this time, he western experience was becoming extremely valuable and he as named chief of scouts. He was a scout both in the U.S. military’s genocidal campaigns against Native Americans and for hunting parties of rich men. He also shot bison to feed the military and then the Kansas Pacific workers. He killed about 4200 bison in 1867 and 1868 and earned his name “Buffalo Bill.”

In 1869, Cody is just this guy. He’s 23 years old and has worked his whole life. He isn’t really exceptional in any way. But eastern readers and Europeans were increasingly fascinated by the American West. The romance around western conquest was just getting under way. And those readers needed heroes. That year, a writer named Ned Buntline met Cody and then made up a bunch of stories about him to feed the eastern dime novel market. This made Cody famous. Cody himself was happy to take advantage. In 1872, he started taking to the stage to capitalize on his fame, ridiculous as said fame was. Other western “heroes’ joined him over the next few years, such as Wild Bill Hickok. There they reenacted supposed events such as Cody killing Indians. By most accounts, the quality of the acting was atrocious, but the American public didn’t care and the shows sold out everywhere. In 1882, this evolved into Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, his classic act. For decades he toured the U.S. and Europe. Show performers like Annie Oakley became famous on his tours. After the subjugation of the Lakota, Sitting Bull joined briefly as well, reenacting the conquest of his people and his way of life for a little money and food. This is almost the most depressing thing imaginable. Anyway, Cody became famous and he became rich. In 1895, he founded the town of Cody, Wyoming and bought a huge ranch nearby. He hoped to take advantage of the growing tourist traffic into Yellowstone and the town indeed became prosperous for that reason, as it remains today. It wasn’t until the 1900s that the show’s popularity began to wane; finally Cody could no longer pay the bills and the show was foreclosed upon in 1908.

By this time, Cody had a pretty severe drinking problem but he was useful to others. He moved to Denver, where he was kept by local elites to trot out for various events in exchange for booze. He wasn’t poor yet, but his fortune had dwindled to about $100,000, which is about 1.8 million today. But it was a fraction of what he had twenty years earlier. He died in Denver in 1917.

Buffalo Bill wanted to be buried in Cody, Wyoming, which he founded. But Colorado wasn’t about that have that. There was more money to be made of the corpse. He was buried on top of Lookout Mountain, near Golden, overlooking the Plains. Stories were made up that he wanted to this. Then to make sure Wyoming didn’t steal the corpse, they parked a tank next to the grave.

buffalo-bill-grave_tank

Then in 1948, after the American Legion in Cody offered $10,000 to anyone who brought his body back to Wyoming, the Colorado National Guard stood armed watch over the grave. There are people in Wyoming who believe to this day that he was secretly buried there.

Of course Buffalo Bill has been portrayed in film and television only about a zillion times. He’s been played by Paul Newman, Roy Rogers, Charlton Heston, Joel McCrea, Peter Coyote, Stephen Baldwin, and J.K. Simmons, among many others. And naturally enough, he appeared in at least 22 early silent films.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Buffalo Bills is the stupidest name in the history of professional sports, as Cody had no connection with the city except for performing a few times there.

Buffalo Bill Cody is buried at Lookout Mountain, Golden, Colorado.

“Don’t take my word for it, don’t believe me. Do your own work, your own thinking.”

[ 228 ] March 26, 2017 |

pizzagate

What a country:

Several dozen people assembled outside the White House Saturday to demand an investigation into the unfounded Internet rumor known as “Pizzagate.”

Wearing T-shirts and holding banners defending the conspiracy theory — which falsely linked Hillary Clinton to an alleged child-sex-trafficking ring operating out of a D.C. pizza parlor — protesters took turns climbing onto an elevated stage in Lafayette Square to demand politicians and mainstream news media take their claims seriously.

“I don’t have any doubt that Pizzagate is real,” said Kori Hayes, a corrections officer who drove with his wife and three kids to Washington from Middleburg, Fla., on Friday night for the event. “But nothing is being said about it.”

The demonstration came a day after the widely debunked conspiracy theory suffered two further blows.

On Friday, a North Carolina man pleaded guilty to weapons and assault charges in connection to an ill-fated attempt to expose the alleged sex-trafficking operation.

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, admitted traveling to Comet Ping Pong in Northwest Washington on Dec. 4, anticipating a violent confrontation over his personal investigation of Pizzagate. He entered the restaurant holding an assault rifle, prompting a panicked evacuation by workers and customers. Welch fired the rifle at least once while searching for evidence of child sex abuse. After finding none, he surrendered to police.

Also on Friday, Alex Jones, a conspiracy-loving media personality who pushed the Pizzagate narrative, apologized for his role in spreading the viral story.

Alex Jones is a cuck!

Meanwhile, if like me you were curious what the “code words” in the Podesta EMAILS! that revealed a secret pedophile ring were, here you go:

My question: by troofer standards of evidence, what pizza menu doesn’t reveal a secret pedophile ring?

People who are not Steve Bannon less impressed by Steve Bannon than people who are

[ 119 ] March 25, 2017 |

Hairy-nosed half ogre Steve Bannon to the “Freedom” Caucus:

Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.

Freedom Caucus to Bannon: Pppfffbt:

One of the members replied: “You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn’t listen to him, either.”

Sending skeevemeister Steve to do anything except frighten small children or lick coke off the mirror goes on the rapidly growing list of tRumpian rake steps.

The Freedom to Die if You Can’t Buy Caucus wasn’t moved – or amused – by Tangerine Nightmare’s attempt to get them to Yes. What Bannon is supposed to have got that the tRump ain’t got is beyond the ability of a mind of at least moderate intelligence to fathom.

As an aside, do take a second to read this concise deflation of the Trump as Deal Meister myth.

Back to the article

Bannon’s point was: This is the Republican platform. You’re the conservative wing of the Republican Party. But people in the room were put off by the dictatorial mindset.

Why go with a complex explanation when the simple one will do? You gotta do it is all Bannon had. He and his boss lacked the intelligence to realize that was not going to do the trick.

What’s next: White House officials plan to plunge ahead with ambitious tax reform, but they know it’ll be harder now. As one of the lessons learned, look for the White House to drive the truck on tax reform

ISWYDT

– to set the policy and work the members from the beginning, undercutting Ryan. So the border adjustment tax, a favorite of Ryan but viewed skeptically at best by the White House, is less likely to be part of Trump’s tax reform bid.

I do hope so. I can think of few things more likely to cause dyspepsia and tension headaches in the Republican House and Senate than a tax reform bill with tiny spray-tan fingerprints all over it. Perhaps that’s what he was working on during the meetings he had at out his golf course in Virginia today. Perhaps he’ll learn from yesterday’s clusterfuck. And perhaps my unicorn will come in the mail today.

Elite 8 Open Thread

[ 27 ] March 25, 2017 |

hi-res-5e1d6423cd21dd093fac0eff956c5bf9_crop_north

Pretty entertaining weekend of basketball here. No one is going to complain about a Gonzaga-Xavier matchup in the West unless you are an Arizona fan and who likes those people anyway. South Carolina-Florida is a random matchup in the East featuring the rare game between two conference teams. I am rooting for South Carolina primarily because they beat Duke. What better reason do you need? Kentucky-North Carolina will of course be excellent. And then there is Oregon-Kansas. No one is giving Oregon a chance here. And it’s a very tough game. Kansas is playing great ball and the game is in Kansas City. This is the kind of game where Oregon losing Chris Boucher could really hurt them. Kansas is favored by 7 and that seems about right to me. That said, don’t read too much into Kansas slaughtering Purdue on Thursday. It’s not that often that teams play that perfect in consecutive games. And Oregon actually hasn’t had a real great game in the tournament. If they can get hot from the outside, they do have a real chance. I’m not saying it’s going to happen because I don’t think it will happen. But it wouldn’t be a huge shocker if it did.

Also, congrats to the 10th seeded Oregon women’s basketball team for making their first ever Elite 8, with the right to be massacred by UConn on Monday. Beating Duke along the way makes it even more sweet.

……..DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Triangle Day!

[ 29 ] March 25, 2017 |

TriangleFire_25March1911_BodiesOnSidewalk

Triangle Fire Day is such a happy time. Good thing we have learned so much and we treat our workers with respect, allow them to work in safe workplaces, give them a voice on the job, and generally allow them to live a dignified life, unlike those savage times of the past.

“The supply chain isn’t going just to Bangladesh. It’s going to Alabama and Georgia,” says David Michaels, who ran OSHA for the last seven years of the Obama administration. Safety at the Southern car factories themselves is generally good, he says. The situation is much worse at parts suppliers, where workers earn about 70¢ for every dollar earned by auto parts workers in Michigan, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Many plants in the North are unionized; only a few are in the South.)

Cordney Crutcher has known both environments. In 2013 he lost his left pinkie while operating a metal press at Matsu Alabama, a parts maker in Huntsville owned by Matcor-Matsu Group Inc. of Brampton, Ont. Crutcher was leaving work for the day when a supervisor summoned him to replace a slower worker on the line, because the plant had fallen 40 parts behind schedule for a shipment to Honda Motor Co. He’d already worked 12 hours, Crutcher says, and wanted to go home, “but he said they really needed me.” He was put on a press that had been acting up all day. It worked fine until he was 10 parts away from finishing, and then a cast-iron hole puncher failed to deploy. Crutcher didn’t realize it. Suddenly the puncher fired and snapped on his finger. “I saw my meat sticking out of the bottom of my glove,” he says.

Now Crutcher, 42, commutes an hour to the General Motors Co. assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., where he’s a member of United Auto Workers. “They teach you the right way,” he says. “They don’t throw you to the wolves.” His pay rose from $12 an hour at Matsu to $18.21 at GM.

In 2014, OSHA’s Atlanta office, after detecting a high number of safety violations at the region’s parts suppliers, launched a crackdown. The agency cited one year, 2010, when workers in Alabama parts plants had a 50 percent higher rate of illness and injury than the U.S. auto parts industry as a whole. That gap has narrowed, but the incidence of traumatic injuries in Alabama’s auto parts plants remains 9 percent higher than in Michigan’s and 8 percent higher than in Ohio’s. In 2015 the chances of losing a finger or limb in an Alabama parts factory was double the amputation risk nationally for the industry, 65 percent higher than in Michigan and 33 percent above the rate in Ohio.

Korean-owned plants, which make up roughly a quarter of parts suppliers in Alabama, have the most safety violations in the state, accounting for 36 percent of all infractions and 52 percent of total fines, from 2012 to 2016. The U.S. is second, with 23 percent of violations and 17 percent of fines, and Germany is third, with 15 percent and 11 percent. But serious accidents occur in plants from all over, according to more than 3,000 pages of court documents and OSHA investigative files obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Feel the Freedom!

The Official Presidency of Domestic Abusers and Rapists

[ 23 ] March 25, 2017 |

trumptweet-small_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqWTE8URzJVEortt55St7h5H0SgpsEyBBKQGTSmQdos-M

I too am shocked that President Pussy Grabbing Fascist would create fascist policies that facilitate the crimes of domestic abusers and rapists.

Latinos in Los Angeles are making dramatically fewer reports of rape and domestic violence amid a climate of fear over increased immigration enforcement, according to the city’s Police Chief Charlie Beck.

Since the beginning of 2017, reports of rape among the city’s Latino population have declined by 25 percent, compared to the same period last year. Domestic violence reports have dropped nearly 10 percent. According to statistics provided by the Los Angeles Police Department, no other ethnic group experienced a comparable decrease.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Beck said there was a “strong correlation” between the Trump administration’s new immigration rules, which empower federal agents to more aggressively deport those without documentation regardless of whether they’ve committed a serious crime, and the deflated numbers.

“Imagine a young woman—imagine your daughter, sister, mother, your friend—not reporting a sexual assault because they are afraid that their family will be torn apart,” he said during an appearance with Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The Pew Research Center estimates that the Los Angeles metro area has one million undocumented immigrants, more than any other area in the country except New York. In a press release, the LAPD cautioned that while “there is no direct evidence that the decline is related to concerns within the Hispanic community regarding immigration, the department believes deportation fears may be preventing Hispanic members of the community from reporting when they are victimized.”

And hey, when the fascist shock force known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement starts arresting women at their domestic violence hearings, turns out it will stop women from protecting themselves through the legal system. I wonder how many women Trump will kill because of this. A feature, not a bug, no doubt.

The Next Step in the Health Care Debates

[ 57 ] March 25, 2017 |

Cartoon-Socialized-Medicine

Above: Hells yeah!

Yesterday was a great day. But let’s be clear–Trump and Ryan will treat the ACA as well as they treat any other part of the government, which means trying to undermine its effectiveness. And given how insurance companies are dropping out of the exchanges, there are real problems that need to be fixed. It’s not really on Democrats to defend the ACA as a static program because they originally passed it. What they should be saying is that the ACA was the best that could be in 2010 and yes it does have problems that need fixing. And they should be saying that the way to fix those problems is universal Medicare. And while I get that single-payer has been simplified on the left as the only possible solution for health care when in reality there are many possible roles, expanding Medicare into a single-payer type system does have certain advantages.

It also makes an excellent organizing signpost. Medicare for all is simple, easy to understand, and hard to argue against or distort. Most people know someone on Medicare who can testify to the generally good care, or who is counting the days until they can enroll and have the peace of mind that comes with quality coverage. Fabricated agitprop like the mythical ObamaCare “death panels” will be a much harder sell.

As Republicans do their level best to make sure as many poor people as possible go bankrupt from medical debt or die of preventable diseases, a single-payer counter-offer makes perfect policy and political sense. Even if you think it’s a bit hasty on the merits, it’s still a splendid way for the Democrats to demonstrate, loudly and clearly, that they are for quality health care for all.

That makes plenty of sense to me.

Also, organizing works. Keep doing it. If you flooded congressional phone lines for everything like for this bill, or even 10% of like this bill, we would have a far better nation.

B.F.D.

[ 153 ] March 25, 2017 |

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On Christmas eve 2009, the Senate voted to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in what would be its final form, although nobody expected that at the time. Let me highlight some names on the yea side for you:

Max Baucus D Mont.
Evan Bayh D Ind.
Robert C. Byrd D W.Va
Kent Conrad D N.D.
Byron L. Dorgan D N.D.
Kay Hagan D N.C.
Tim Johnson D S.D.
Mary L. Landrieu D La.
Joseph I. Lieberman ID Conn.
Blanche Lincoln D Ark.
Claire McCaskill D Mo.
Ben Nelson D Neb.
Mark Pryor D Ark.
John D. Rockefeller IV D W.Va.
Jon Tester D Mont.
Jim Webb D Va.

It is ever more remarkable, in retrospect, that much of the discussion on the left following the passage of the ACA consisted of complaints about how Obama/Pelosi/Reid could “only” pass the ACA. This is, on one level, understandable, given that the ACA is unmistakably inferior to the baseline established by other liberal democracies. But this collection names should make clear than when evaluating the work of the Democratic leadership this baseline is irrelevant. The question is not why Obama/Pelosi/Reid couldn’t nationalize the American health insurance industry. The question is how they were able to get this rogue’s gallery — each and every one of whom had a veto — to agree to the most important progressive social welfare legislation passed since the Johnson administration. And note too that the only senator who is clearly more conservative than necessary to win election in the state is Holy Joe, who wasn’t the Democratic candidate but won because while the Democratic candidate would have been a better senator as a campaigner he made Martha Coakley look like FDR. (Webb is more conservative than you need to be elected statewide in Virginia now, but this was much less true in 2008.) The coalition that passed the ACA included three senators from the Dakotas, one each from Indiana and Arkansas, and two each from Montana and West Virginia. Glib “BE MORE LIBERAL!” exhortations don’t really help you to get liberal governing majorities in an institution that heavily favors conservative rural interests.

Comprehensive health care reform is brutally hard, as Truman and Johnson and Clinton can tell you. In addition getting the list of legislators above, the Democrats also needed to keep in the fold every liberal who was well aware that the ACA was substantially suboptimal. Senators like Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown deserve enormous credit for working to make the bill as it could be and then supporting it. The Republicans just completely failed with a more homogeneous coalition in the more top-down chamber. What the Democratic leadership pulled off in 2009 is remarkable, and we now know that it is an enduring accomplishment.

How Trump BULLY PULPITED the OVERTON WINDOW and CHANGED THE GAME

[ 200 ] March 24, 2017 |

23-donald-trump-trucks.w710.h473

He charmed. He threatened. He cajoled. It didn’t matter:

Trump fashioned himself as the master dealmaker. His senior aides described him as “an extremely good listener” and said his negotiating skills were the product of “total natural talent,” saying he could turn up the heat or the charm as needed.

But the negotiations over the bill’s substance took place mostly at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump had amicable meetings with members of all stripes but found himself caught in the middle of factional House GOP dramas that have been simmering for years. As one member of the House Freedom Caucus described it: “We’re competing with Ryan. We like Trump.”

[…]

As the odds for success fluttered, Trump increasingly came to relish the fight, seeing the sprint for passage as a test of whether he could translate abilities from the boardroom to the Oval Office.

Among the lawmakers he courted most intensely was Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. Trump brought him to the Oval Office, called him regularly and directed White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon to call or text him daily. Last weekend, Meadows even journeyed to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private Florida club, to huddle with Bannon and other aides about the bill.

Meadows said his mantra in negotiating with Trump had been, “If this was about personalities, we’d already be at ‘yes.’ He’s charming, and anyone who spends time with him knows that. But this is about policy, and we’re not going to make it about anything else.”

For Meadows, a sticking point was essential health-benefit requirements under the current law for insurance companies, such as maternity and newborn care, and substance-abuse treatment, which he wanted removed and replaced with narrower rules.

Meadows and other Freedom Caucus members met with Trump and Pence at the White House on Thursday, but they left without a deal, even after Trump had worked with them for weeks — leaving Trump’s advisers exasperated with the ornery bloc.

It was not only the Freedom Caucus creating problems for Trump. A group of more moderate Republicans, known as the Tuesday Group, stood opposed to the bill, despite the president’s pleadings.

One such member, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), attended meetings at the White House and praised Trump’s style, saying the president clearly “knows Jersey.” But, he added, the bill would harm his constituents who rely on Medicaid and there was nothing Trump could say to persuade him otherwise.

“He’s got this wit about him that I enjoy,” Lance said, “but I’m a ‘no’ vote.”

While there’s no reason to think that Trump is good at presidenting (or Ryan as good at legislating), and I’m as happy to make jokes about them as anyone, I see no reason to believe that this would have been any different with Rubio or Cruz or Jeb! in the White House. Both Republican factions have their own interests, the marginal votes weren’t there, that dat’s dat. Both sides liked Trump, and in the districts on the right margin Trump is popular. It just doesn’t matter. At bottom, presidents can’t get legislators to vote for stuff they really don’t want to vote for.

Since I’ve been often been critical of heighten-the-contradictions and all-or-nothing tactics, let me be clear that I strongly endorse such tactics when used by the right. I hope they’ll endorse more onanistic vanity voting too!

2016 Nostalgia

[ 32 ] March 24, 2017 |

In case you were wondering what Ha Ha Goodman was up to these days.

Why was Jennifer Bard fired from the University of Cincinnati’s law school deanship?

[ 36 ] March 24, 2017 |

Jennifer Bard was hired in July of 2015 to stop the bleeding at the University of Cincinnati’s law school. The school was running a multi-million dollar operating deficit: a consequence of a decline in effective tuition from JD students from approximately $9.3 million in 2011 to $4.5 million in 2015 (both figures are in 2015 dollars, and are based on my calculations drawn from 509 disclosure forms).

The law school’s situation in this regard was hardly unique.  I’ve just completed a study which concludes that between 2011 and 2015, effective tuition per student at non-elite (non T-14, though I guess it’s now T-13) law schools fell by about 12.5% in real terms, which, when combined with a 25% enrollment drop, adds up to something like a 35% decline in tuition revenue.  (This drop is disguised by sticker tuition prices, which rose 16% over this time frame, but which are increasingly irrelevant.  Discounts on sticker increased by 60% over the course of those four years).  Since most non-elite schools get 75% to 95% of their operating revenue from tuition, a lot of law schools are in the same straits as Cincinnati, i.e., dire.

The central administration brought Bard in to fix this, but last fall, little more than a year after she took over, a number of UC faculty were already plotting a vote of no confidence.  Apparently Bard’s offenses included trying to merge the law library into the university-wide system, requiring pre-approval for faculty travel, and requiring submission of travel receipts.  A few weeks later the interim provost set up some sort of mediation process, but just a couple of months into that process he decided to fire Bard instead.  (Firing a dean who isn’t even two years into a five-year contract is extremely unusual, at least in the law school world, and usually only happens in the wake of some sort genuine scandal).

Who knows what the whole story is here, but it’s worth mentioning that this wouldn’t be the first time that a woman was elevated to this type of leadership position and then fired shortly thereafter because of what, on their surface at least, seem like complaints that are as petty as they are predictable. (Travel receipts???).

Anyway, a lot of law school faculty seem to have trouble grasping that if you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, you leave yourself dependent on the kindness of strangers, aka, the forbearance of the central administration. And more than a few central administrators would under these circumstances give the faculty an offer they couldn’t refuse, rather than firing the person who had just been brought in to clean up somebody else’s mess.

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