It’s not often that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi camps under the GOP tent, but that’s just what happened recently when she broke ranks with Bay Area Democrats and the Obama administration and voted to keep billions of dollars in federal student aid flowing into the coffers of for-profit colleges.

She had her reasons. Some of the biggest recipients of the $32 billion in federal student loans and Pell Grants each year paid to for-profits are in her district – including major Democratic donor John Sperling, founder of the online University of Phoenix, the nation’s largest for-profit college.

You’d never believe it, but some of these fake-college fat cats donate to Nancy Pelosi!

Campaign finance records show that the 90-year-old Sperling, along with his son Peter and their Apollo Group Inc., have poured about $600,000 into Democratic and Republican campaigns since 2008, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where Pelosi has been a major fundraiser. […]

An Apollo Group spokesman said in a written statement they were concerned that the impacts of the proposed restrictions weren’t fully understood and that they could limit student options and potentially “unfairly disadvantage hundreds of thousands of historically underserved students.”


concerned—want to keep gouging the government and bankrupting poor people for useless “degrees”

proposed restrictions weren’t fully understood—realized they hadn’t shut up other members of Congress with enough campaign contributions

limit student options—disallowing “education” that only exists to exploit poor people for cash

historically underserved students—people who only go to college when they see a slick commercial on teevee and are lured into a fake college with a series of lies

[San Francisco Chronicle via Wonkette operative “Alanhw”]

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  • SexySmurf

    Democrats and Republicans are giving away $32 billion for only $600,000? Did they get a math degree from the University of Phoenix?

    • nounverb911

      Beck University

    • harry_palmer

      It's probably about average for the ratio of political donations to corporate profits. Sometimes they'll throw in a lobbyist to fuck, but if they're not making at least 100 times their money, they're doing it wrong.

  • Hmmph. Downfist Troll's alma mater might also benefit…

    • nounverb911

      I think there is more than one troll out there today.

      • BaldarTFlagass

        Is there a full moon or something?

  • SorosBot

    This is good news for the Washington Post.

    • horsedreamer_1

      Sally Quinn: [comes]

      No, not over this vote… Just the idea of a ninety-years-old multimillionaire.

  • OC_LEVEL 7_Serf

    Hey, you can't just print money, but you can just print diplomas…

  • Mumbletypeg

    Hello, Sperling: what part of *douchebaggery* don't you understand?

    Oh… so Nancy's helping polish this turd's whistle.

    It's like our leaders really do want to outsource their fellow citizens' impoverished welfare to the highest bidder. All evidence contrary to their ass-smoked plea-bargaining, yet Pelosi exhibits a brain suddenly two sizes too small.

    • zhubajie

      Did you *really* think that Demons were less greedy that Reptiles?

  • Sophist [غني عن ذلك]

    Dammit, just once it'd be nice to find a politician I can say I like without having to add a bunch of qualifiers about how I don't care for their orphan kicking or puppy eating or their proposal to sell our grandmothers to Monsanto as fertilizer.

    • Goonemeritus

      Vaclav Havel?

    • GOPCrusher

      Angela Merkel?

    • Nothingisamiss

      Al Franken?

  • OC_LEVEL 7_Serf

    Is the GOP tent just a huge diaper?

    • nounverb911

      What brand does David Vitter use?

  • Lettuce not forget Donald Graham of the Washington Post – Stanley Kaplan Test Prep Edumacational Facility.

    Shirley we would not want to see Fred Hiatt and company out in the streets looking for food money, would we?

  • An Amerikan politicians choices being influenced by money –

    How shocking!

    Do the Republicans know this kind of behavior goes on?

  • Can I still get a loan for Hamburger University? I need that sheepskin.

    • Sparky_McGruff

      I'm pretty sure that ain't a skin, and it ain't from a sheep. Just sayin'

  • KathrynSane

    How about they give more money to Pell Grants for students who go to real colleges so they don't graduate $100,000 in debt? For-profit colleges prey on the poors, but private universities prey on stupid high school kids who don't know how money works.

    I got Pell Grants for one year of college and it covered maybe 10% of tuition that year at my horrendously overpriced university of choice. I didn't get any more despite the fact that both of my parents ended up on disability and then one of them died. I'm lucky because I had scholarships and got some life insurance money that all went to loans, but I know people just out of school who are paying $1400 a month in loan payments.

    I guess my point is that real education is too fucking expensive to give money for fake education instead.

    Also, it appears the downfisters are out in force today. Upfists for all!

    • SorosBot

      Because they're cutting Pell Grants, because slashing the deficit during the recession is just soooo important even though the exact opposite is true, you want deficit spending to end the recession.

      • GOPCrusher

        I can only imagine that cutting Pell Grants is only the first step in completely eliminating the Department of Education and any form of public education.

        • Nothingisamiss

          ding, ding, ding!

    • Jerri

      I wish I could upfist your comment 100 more times.

  • horsedreamer_1

    All colleges are for-profit. Ergo, Harvard.

  • __kth__

    Hey, some of my best friends are non-college-bound Judge Joe Brown viewers. If you know someone like that, be sure to tell them that their local community college has everything that the strip mall college has, no matter what the scumbag recruiter at the strip mall college tells them.

  • Barbara_i

    All of DC can go and get an honorary degree from Screw U for all I care anymore.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Getting one of Nancy's buddy's diplomas qualifies you to refinance your mortgage through those companies Fred Thompson, Robert Wagner (aka proto-Boehner), and The Fonz shill for.

  • metamarcisf

    If the University of Phoenix is some kind of bullshit, online diploma mill, then how come their athletic programs consistently rank with schools like Duke, Notre Dame, and the University of Michigan? A quick survey of NFL rosters shows UP with the third highest total among active players. And academically, only MIT and Cornell have more Nobel Prize winning scientists.

    • I doubt they could win any aspect of a bake sale, let alone anything to do with academia or athleticism. One of the perks of U o' P is that all of their desks are super-sized for a 40"+ waist, my fat ass friend would go on and on about how comfortable they were compared to the ones at Humboldt State. At Portland State we still have old desks in 2 buildings from the 70's that people with 36" waists have problems getting into.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Talk about leeches on the government teat — these places suck in students with promises of lifetime medical careers, charge them out the wazoo, and leave them with qualifications to maybe be a dental assistant's assistant and they don't give a shit after that because the student loans are guaranteed by — the government. Go to community college, kids — you can be hopelessly unemployable for a lot less, plus not everyone there is a complete rube who's being taken for a ride.

    • V572..whatever

      And at community college, you can learn something actually useful, like welding or auto repair. If I were at work today, instead of being at La Casa Que Canta in Zihuateñejo, instead of working I'd be looking out my window at the vanity-building-top sign of something called "Bridgepoint," another diploma mill which has lavished campaign $ on our local hacks to grease their way into their greasy hearts.

      And by the way, "Greasy Heart" is a wonderful song by Grace Slick on the "Crown of Creation" album.

      ♪♫♪Don't ever change people, even if you can.
      Don't change before the empire falls.
      You'll laugh so hard you crack the walls.♪♫♪

    • That is if the program does not have a 2 year waiting list itself. I know Mesa Community College has something like an 18 month waiting list for all of their pre-med nursing programs.

  • MistaEko

    Now seems an opportune time to sing "Everyone has AIDS"

  • OurHoboSenator

    When I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University!

  • harry_palmer

    And it's win-win – if we ensured the rubes got a good public education, they'd understand how and why their government and media have become so fucked up and maybe try to take them back from corporate control.

  • ThundercatHo

    Yeah and Sallie Mae is a fucking bitch who will not get off my back. I cosigned for my son to go to one of the fake colleges to be a "medical assistant" and $14K later he works at 5Guys. Oh well, live and learn.

    • SorosBot

      At least he gets free, good burgers! 5 Guys has quickly become my favorite burger chain – and hey, West Coasters who like to brag about how great some of their local burger chains allegedly are, this one's better and is only on the East Coast.

      • Beg pardon – 5Guys is one of the (few) cultural assets of the Sunflower State. Don't let Governor Snowflake know, though.

      • HalluxValgus

        Reporting from the front lines, I assure you that 5 Guys has invaded California

      • ChapterUndVerse

        Also in Oregon and Washington. Yep, good eatin'.

    • "I think my mouth can handle Five Guys, but I don't think my ass can."

      –Mitch McConnell, burger conoisseur and problem digester

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    What, are you saying my law degree from the University of Phoenix is worthless? Next you are going to tell me that I needed to pass the bar.

    • I love it when life imitates avatar.

      "Hey! It's full of shredded newspaper"

    • poncho_pilot

      and what about my PhD in tv/vcr repair?

  • Steverino247

    First, that's LEADER Pelosi, you scum! (Just don't translate that L-word into German, though, ok?)

    Second, being so obviously involved in a scam like this should tarnish Leader P's reputation pretty severely.


  • Mmmm, this CrackerJack-U poop will make it hard to take her seriously when she hops on her libtard high-horse to give Hopey shit about this or that. Does this mean she's going to take MoDo's place on tour with Dylan?

  • V572..whatever

    No! We're showing that the private sector, when awash in federal money, can do a better job of educating people to have useful careers, if by "educating" you mean burdening with long-term debt and teaching nothing.

  • Gopherit

    Look who is shooting for an honorary doctorate?

  • AJW@[redacted]
  • WinterOuthouse

    Trader! The tea party is gonna explode cause out Nancy is a trader. . .

  • MinAgain

    She won't stay in the GOP tent for long. It smells too much like a hog trough.

  • BerkeleyBear

    Kaplan and Phoenix are crap, but not every for-profit educational institute is crap. I just spent some time at Florida Coastal School of Law, which is one of 3 for profit law schools run by this corporation. Its facilities and staff support kicked the shit out of the last two schools I taught at (and the law school I attended), and the faculty seemed on par with most I know.

    Not a defense of Pelosi, but the debate should be more nuanced than whether you claim not to turn a profi or admit you are trying.

  • LetUsBray

    I guess oversight for fake colleges is off the table, too. And Sperling, like Commander Codpiece, is a lovely man.

  • hagajim

    I believe there is more to this than meets DeVry.

  • Jerri

    Yes! Hollywood Upstairs Medical College, here I come!

  • I think the University of Phoenix Marching Band and Cheer Squad ought to play a special show just for Pelosi, who must also have season tickets to all Kaplan U. home games. Wait…wut?

  • Nothingisamiss

    We're so near the bottom, it'd be a shame not to race there.

  • ttommyunger

    She and her old man are both loaded; it can't be the money, can it? What the fuck drives these people?

  • unclejeems

    Sorry colleagues–no snark here. Hits too close.

    I remember (I'm old) when it cost next to nothin' to go to Cal–if you could get in. The real problems of higher education funding don't begin or end with these fake-U's. They're bad enough. The real problems are about why the hell don't Americans support the kind of low-cost higher education we need and can afford–and used to have.

    My state now underwrites less than half of what it costs to run my little state U here in the midwest, and in some states, it's less than a third. We're in danger of privatizing public education, and letting a bunch of cold-eyed "financial institutions" hold up a whole generation. In the meantime, the assholes that run Kaplan, Phoenix and other jerkwad U's suck up huge chunks of federal funding that could otherwise go to state universities whose revenues are being cut, cut, cut by the Republitards now in power in state capitols.

    If this keeps up, we're screwed and will continue to be screwed–and there's no relief in sight.

    FYI, here's how this bunch spent in the last cycle. You can find their $$$ for earlier cycles using the drop-down box… .

  • crybabyboehner

    I especially love the commercials these student loan mills are running: "The gubmint got no bidness tellin' me where to go to school … just gimme the money!"

  • U of P on any resume gets instantly tossed at my job, it is a sign of two things, either desperation or more likely, a good old-fashioned case of the dum-dums.

  • My friend is two classes away from an "Educational Development" Masters at U o' P and he has discovered that he can't xfer his credits anywhere. The debt is so overwhelming him that when he lost his job and came to live at my place for a month, I did not realize that he was paying more for his dubious master's than I am for my PhD and Master's combined at a state college. So I told him to move back in with his parents as I'm not going to help anyone that dumb that isn't blood.

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