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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "million"

University of Alabama renames law school, returns $21.5 million donation after donor calls for it to be boycotted over abortion law

Westlake Legal Group h University of Alabama renames law school, returns $21.5 million donation after donor calls for it to be boycotted over abortion law The Blog million Law School law Kellee Reinhart Finis St. John donation culverhouse Alabama Abortion

They couldn’t wait to get cracking on it, either. Dude:

Out of curiosity, I googled the law school. The name has already been scrubbed from the website.

They have my admiration. Political principle is hard enough to stick to when there’s not an eight-figure payday on the table. Imagine how hard it is when there is. The number in the headline actually undersells U of A’s sacrifice here, in fact: The $21.5 million was part of a larger $26.5 million pledge that’ll now go unfulfilled. And it came from the school’s single largest donor, Hugh Culverhouse Jr., which means the university has likely lost a substantial future donor stream as well.

The tiff appears — I stress, appears — to stem from Culverhouse’s call last week for a boycott of the state and its institutions, including the law school that bore his name, over its new abortion law. “I don’t want anybody to go to that law school, especially women, until the state gets its act together,” he said on May 29, adding “When you say sweet home Alabama, you can kiss my ass. There isn’t anything sweet about it until this absolute abomination is done with.” The wrinkle is that at no point has the university itself claimed that the abortion law or his boycott call is the source of its dispute with him. They insist that it’s due to him meddling with its operations. “Donors may not dictate University administration,” said U of A in a statement also published on May 29. They’ve been vague on what Culverhouse did to meddle, but he admitted to the AP that he told administrators his donation should be used to admit more students and award more scholarships — although he says he thought that dispute had been resolved.

Either way, we’re in a strange situation this afternoon in which the university has made an exceedingly dramatic financial gesture to demonstrate that it doesn’t want Culverhouse’s patronage any longer while … refusing to say why, specifically. It’s Culverhouse, not U of A, who claims this is about abortion, abortion, and nothing but abortion. He whined in a statement about the school somehow trying to “silence” him by refunding his money:

“I expected this response from UA. I will not allow my family’s name to be associated with an educational system that advocates a state law which discriminates against women, disregards established Federal law and violates our Constitution. I want to make clear that I never demanded that $21.5 million be refunded and wonder if the University is attempting to silence my opinions by their quick response. I will not be silenced. Once again, I call on students to protest and reconsider their educational options in Alabama. I also appeal to out-of-state and international businesses to consider the consequences of conducting business in a state that discriminates against women and defies constitutional law. These boycotts and acts of resistance should remain in effect until the State of Alabama reverses the illegal anti-abortion statute.”

He was more colorful in an interview with the AP:

After the trustees’ vote, the younger Culverhouse said that he and father had donated to the university over the years in part to rid Alabama of a certain stereotype: “We are the land of the backward, we are hicks, we lack the sophistication to see two sides to an argument.”

“What have you done Alabama? You have effectively put a 12-gauge in your mouth and pulled the trigger,” Culverhouse said. “You have reinforced that horrible stereotype that my father and I have tried so hard to eliminate.”

Why won’t the school acknowledge that they’re punishing him for the boycott call, at least? Obviously they’re not opposed to taking money from someone who’s pro-choice. Culverhouse’s views can’t have been a secret when he made that $26.5 million pledge. The university was probably understandably peeved that he was giving them bad press by encouraging students to boycott despite the fact that they had nothing to do with the new abortion law’s passage, so they told him to hit the bricks. Culverhouse is eager to tie this dispute to abortion politics, I assume, because it makes him a sort of pro-choice martyr among his likeminded friends. But why is the school so reluctant to admit its motives?

Is it, as one expert told the AP, because it fears the dispute “could pressure more politically liberal donors to cut off support to the university”? Rejecting Culverhouse’s money over the boycott call might lead other pro-choice donors to withhold they money in a sort of sympathy strike. As painful as it was for U of A to part with $26.5 million, it could get worse if they’re viewed as hostile to abortion supporters. There may be some sort of legal issue too if the school is seen as picking sides in an abortion debate given that U of A is a state actor and operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, although I’ll leave it to legal eagles to hash that out, if so. Presumably it’s not actionable discrimination for a state institution to decline to accept a gift from you because of your political viewpoint. Imagine that — a First Amendment right to make the state take your money.

The post University of Alabama renames law school, returns $21.5 million donation after donor calls for it to be boycotted over abortion law appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group h-300x159 University of Alabama renames law school, returns $21.5 million donation after donor calls for it to be boycotted over abortion law The Blog million Law School law Kellee Reinhart Finis St. John donation culverhouse Alabama Abortion   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Bolton: Yes, we promised to pay North Korea $2 million for Otto Warmbier — but we didn’t pay it

Westlake Legal Group jb-1 Bolton: Yes, we promised to pay North Korea $2 million for Otto Warmbier — but we didn’t pay it yun Trump The Blog Taliban random otto warmbier North Korea million Kim Jong-un john bolton hostage

Via the Free Beacon. Says David Frum, “the North Koreans are the only people on earth so isolated from reality that they would accept an IOU from Donald Trump.”

That’s one possibility. Another possibility until this morning was that WaPo’s reporting about the $2 million pledge was simply incorrect. But that’s now been ruled out by Bolton himself, who admits that the U.S. agreed to pay North Korea for Warmbier — a decision made before he became NSA, he’s quick to add. There’s a third possibility, though: Not only did we agree to compensate the most degenerate government on Earth for horribly abusing an American citizen, we actually did pay them. WaPo’s sources claimed that the IOU went unpaid through 2017 but its fate since then is unclear. It’s conceivable that we forked over $2 million at some point since then and that Trump and Bolton are now engaged in a cover up, knowing that if news of the payment leaked Trump’s strongman image would be shattered. No doubt the media’s sniffing around for evidence of that as I write this. Better hope they don’t find anything, warns Matthew Walther:

This would be a lie concerning a subject about which most Americans have strong views — i.e., the lives of their fellow citizens in the hands of our enemies. I cannot imagine even Mitch McConnell defending Trump’s attempt to cover up something as sordid as a ransom paid secretly in order to secure an outcome that was later passed off as the work of a heroic and skilled diplomat. It would be the opening that Republican critics of the president such as Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse and others who have long been on the fence — Lindsey Graham comes to mind — have been waiting for to declare open war.

It would be hell in an election year. Nothing would play more into, say, Joe Biden’s hand than a real example of Trump cowering in front of America’s enemies and then lying about it. It would not even matter if Trump responded that his predecessors had done similar things in the past. It would become almost impossible for the president to pose as a tough, shrewd negotiator who defends the lives and liberties of Americans at home and abroad.

Trump’s base would invent whatever reason it needed to excuse the humiliating decision to pay a ransom (“Obama paid Iran more!”) but not everyone who voted for him in 2016 is part of his base. Democrats would club him with it every day from now until next November. He’d have to defend not only the decision to make the payment but overtly lying about it afterwards when questioned. Bolton would also be forced to explain why he was under the impression this morning that no money had changed hands. Did he lie to the country’s face on “Fox News Sunday” or is the National Security Advisor being kept in the dark about U.S. diplomacy with Pyongyang? Whatever the answer ends up being, it’d amount to a scandal. It’s a political disaster in the making.

But it’s already a scandal, really. Consider the two possibilities before us, that the U.S. did pay the $2 million to Kim or that it didn’t. If we did pay it, it’s blood money. Warmbier’s father told WaPo that it sounds like a “ransom” but it’s worse than that. A ransom payment ideally results in the hostage being returned to safety. Given Warmbier’s condition when he was handed over, the payment in this case would practically amount to murder for hire. (North Korea reportedly framed its demand as reimbursement for Warmbier’s hospital bills, which is like running someone down with your car and then billing their family for the damage to your fender.) If, on the other hand, Trump and Bolton are telling the truth and we pledged to pay the $2 million without ever having done so, how can nuclear negotiations advance? The NorKs would have firsthand evidence, replete with an instrument signed by a U.S. diplomat, that the Trump administration has no intention of keeping its diplomatic promises. Why would they ever agree to destroy their nuclear program knowing that Trump’s not only willing to break his commitments to them but has already done so?

It’s hard to believe Kim would have agreed to two separate summits despite the U.S. having welched on its Warmbier obligations. And it’s surprising that neither Trump nor Bolton nor anyone else has suggested that the issue has been resolved somehow since the Warmbier negotiations ended, e.g., “they agreed to forgive the debt in the spirit of compromise when the first summit was scheduled.” Either the unpaid $2 million bill is still hanging out there, capable of becoming an issue between the two sides at any time, or it was paid at some point and we’re being deceived. Which is it?

The post Bolton: Yes, we promised to pay North Korea $2 million for Otto Warmbier — but we didn’t pay it appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group jb-1-300x159 Bolton: Yes, we promised to pay North Korea $2 million for Otto Warmbier — but we didn’t pay it yun Trump The Blog Taliban random otto warmbier North Korea million Kim Jong-un john bolton hostage   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Elizabeth Warren: Elect me and I’ll cancel (most) student loan debt

Westlake Legal Group elizabeth-warren-elect-me-and-ill-cancel-most-student-loan-debt-1 Elizabeth Warren: Elect me and I’ll cancel (most) student loan debt The Blog student million loan Elizabeth Warren debt cancellation cancel Bernie Sanders

Westlake Legal Group w Elizabeth Warren: Elect me and I’ll cancel (most) student loan debt The Blog student million loan Elizabeth Warren debt cancellation cancel Bernie Sanders

A mega-pander aimed at siphoning off some of Bernie’s support among young adults. And nothing short of a mega-pander is what it’ll take: According to Axios, in a survey of college students’ 2020 preferences, she currently ranks behind, ah, John Kasich.

She’s still ahead of Howard Schultz, though! By three points.

Debt forgiveness is one half of her plan. The other half is free two-year or four-year college education at public schools for anyone who wants it. How will we pay for it, you ask? Via her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” she insists, a two-percent charge on households with a net worth of $50 million or more that’ll allegedly provide $2.75 trillion in revenue over 10 years. I have a hunch that by the end of the campaign the money to be raised by the Ultra-Millionaire Tax will have been appropriated to cover something like $20 trillion in spending on different programs.

The first step in addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been required in the first place. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational — the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans.

My plan for broad student debt cancellation will:

Cancel debt for more than 95% of the nearly 45 million Americans with student loan debt;

Wipe out student loan debt entirely for more than 75% of the Americans with that debt;

Substantially increase wealth for Black and Latinx families and reduce both the Black-White and Latinx-White wealth gaps; and

Provide an enormous middle-class stimulus that will boost economic growth, increase home purchases, and fuel a new wave of small business formation.

I managed to pay off my own student loans about a decade ago, sacrificing the proceeds of a modest business success to finally get free and clear of further interest obligations. I could have used it as a downpayment on a house or as seed money for a small business but I prioritized. And so I have the same question for Warren as Dan Foster does: When do I get my reimbursement check?

Note the point about resentment. “The Wall Street bailouts created Elizabeth Warren,” asks Foster ominously. “What will Warren’s student loan bailouts create?” A progressive wiseguy responded to that by saying, “A generation of homeowners, heaven forfend,” but that’s Foster’s point. He would have been a homeowner much sooner himself if not for his loan obligations. On what moral basis should someone who made the same economic decision he did be absolved from its consequences when he wasn’t? It’s the higher-ed equivalent of Democrats’ immigration preferences: There’s no moral logic at all to amnestizing someone who entered the U.S. illegally when immigrants who insist on following the law wait years for citizenship. But it solves a messy social problem in one fell swoop and it flatters certain key constituencies whose votes Democrats desperately need.

Philip Klein wrote his own post today about the moral hazard in rewarding profligacy. The less responsible you were in incurring debt you couldn’t afford and the less willing you’ve been to sacrifice in order to repay it, the more your government will reward you. For making that obvious point he was slammed on social media with various poor analogies:

An example is: Saying student loan forgiveness would be unfair to those who struggled to pay off their loans would be like saying, we can’t cure cancer, because it would be unfair to those who already died from the disease…

Curing cancer would not have negative impacts on those who already suffered from cancer, whereas if the government were to take on the cost of student loans, it would be a burden that would be placed on other citizens either in the form of higher taxes or more debt…

Furthermore, there is no moral hazard issue involved with curing cancer. That is, paying off student loans would be another signal from the federal government that those who may be engaging in less responsible behavior will eventually be bailed out by government while those who make responsible decisions will receive no benefit. As we contemplate what to do about the long-term entitlement crisis, this sends a horrible signal — that there’s no reason to be a sucker and manage money wisely now, because at the end of the day, the government will always be there to step in.

Another problem with the cancer analogy is that suckers like me and Foster who foolishly repaid our loans aren’t “dead” for purposes of it. We could be reimbursed. Double the “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” or whatever and get the money from there. What Warren’s proposing is more like the government devising a cure for cancer, deciding for no apparent reason that it’ll be administered only to a fraction of people with the disease, and prioritizing for treatment those who knowingly engaged in high-risk behavior like smoking. I’m not clear either on whether Warren’s plan would apply prospectively to future students who have their hearts set on expensive private schools instead of the free public schools that she’s proposing. Do they get $50,000 in debt forgiveness right off the top, before the debt is even incurred? (Imagine what national college tuition would suddenly look like if they did.) If not, if Warren’s plan applies only to loans that currently exist, what happens in 10 years when the next generation declares that they have too much debt to pursue their life goals? By what logic should they be denied the sort of bailout that their elders received? Surely we’re not going to deny them the chance to be a generation of homeowners, heaven forfend.

At the very least, Warren’s messaging about this proposal should focus acutely on what supposedly makes the current generation of student debtors especially deserving of a massive federal bailout. If I were her I’d reference the Great Recession in every third sentence. It’s not the fact that the feds have incentivized higher tuitions that makes twentysomethings worthy of debt forgiveness (although it’s certainly true that they’ve incentivized it), since that doesn’t answer the “Why them and not me?” objection from Foster, Klein, and me. It’s the fact that young adults had greater difficulty than most generations getting hired and building careers thanks to the financial crisis. They were set back by it to an unusual degree and now, for the sake of ensuring their passage into the middle class, they need an unusual remedy. The wrinkle in that argument, though, is that the people who suffered most from the recession aren’t recent graduates, they’re the graduates of, say, 2005-2013, people who’d only recently entered the work force or were about to when the crisis struck. Why would someone who graduated last year with $50,000 in debt and entered a booming economy deserve a bailout? Answer: Because Elizabeth Warren needs votes, that’s why.

The post Elizabeth Warren: Elect me and I’ll cancel (most) student loan debt appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group w-300x153 Elizabeth Warren: Elect me and I’ll cancel (most) student loan debt The Blog student million loan Elizabeth Warren debt cancellation cancel Bernie Sanders   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com