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Bernie & Jane Sanders Get Grand Jury Empaneled $10 Million College Fraud Probe

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(Via Zerohedge)

An FBI probe into a 2010 property deal orchestrated by Jane Sanders, wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has escalated after a report by VTDIGGER reveals that a grand jury has been empaneled, and at least one witness has given sworn testimony in the case.

According to VTDigger, “Former Burlington College board member Robin Lloyd says she testified for about an hour on Oct. 26 before a grand jury at the federal courthouse in Burlington.”

Paul Van de Graaf, chief of the criminal division for the U.S. attorneys office in Vermont, questioned Lloyd about her role as the development chair of the colleges board of trustees during a period when Sanders was collecting donations and pledges for the purchase of a $10 million city lakefront property. -VTDigger

The Grand Jury will decide whether or not indictments should be handed down over a $10 million loan orchestrated by Jane Sanders purchase a 33 acre property for the now defunct Burlington College – allegedly obtained through a ‘fraudulent scheme.’ Mrs. Sanders is accused of having lied about funding for transaction, while the FBI has also been looking into claims that Bernie Sanders’ office pressured the bank to approve the loan.

In June 2017, Politico confirmed that Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane had retained high powered DC lawyers amidst the investigation.

The original request for an investigation into Federal bank fraud was sent in a January 2016 letter to the Vermont District Attorney as well as the FDIC by Brady Toensing – an attorney and chair of Donald Trump’s Vermont campaign. The letter detailed the mechanics of the alleged fraud, which is what reportedly launched official investigations. Toensing told Politico on in June; “The investigation was started more than a year ago under President Obama, his Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and his United States Attorney, all of whom are Democrats.”

A brief history of Jane Sanders and Burlington College

In 2004, Jane Sanders left her position as her husband’s congressional chief of staff to become president of the unaccredited and struggling Burlington College – founded in 1972 and operated out of a former grocery store. When Sanders took over as a “turnaround” president, she set out to rapidly grow the college – announcing a $6 million plan to expand the campus in 2006 which never came to fruition.

Meanwhile, Sanders was rapidly earning a reputation for her “toxic and disruptive” leadership style, and in late 2008, according to a 2016 essay on the college written by a former teacher Greg Guma, “Nearly half of the students and faculty members signed a petition demanding a meeting about the “Crisis in leadership,” while Jane Sanders’ salary rose to $150,000 in 2009 amidst a tuition hike from $5,000 to $22,407 in 2011. Meanwhile, enrollment dropped by almost 25%.

In 2008, literature professor Genese Grill wrote to the school’s academic affairs committee, describing Sanders’ “harassment and unethical treatment of other faculty and staff members, many of whom have since left the college disgruntled and angry.”

And in 2010, Jane Sanders announced a plan to move the tiny underfunded Burlington college onto a 33 acre parcel of valuable lakefront real estate in Northern Burlington. “It was the last piece of undeveloped, prime property on the lake shore,” according to Guma.

The property was owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese, which was strapped for cash after recently settling over two dozen sexual abuse lawsuits for $17.76 million. The 33 acre property hit the market for $12.5 million, and the church agreed to take Jane Sanders’ offer of $10 million.

Scheming for loans

When Jane Sanders made the offer to the Roman Catholic Diocese, Burlington College was nearly broke – with an annual budget just below $4 million. In order to finance the property, Sanders secured a $6.5 million loan from People’s United Bank in the form of a tax exempt bond purchase, and the Catholic Church agreed to carry a $3.65 million second mortgage on the property. Sanders told both institutions that Burlington college had $5 million in likely donor pledges and $2.4 million in confirmed pledges to be used to pay off the debt.

Unfortunately, that was just for the land. Sanders apparently didn’t plan for the $6 million or so required to actually build out the campus on the property to include green space, athletic fields, lecture halls, and walkways.

Compounding an already dire situation, Sanders’ original claim of $2.4 million in confirmed donor pledges was quickly reduced to $1.2 million according to documents filed in the first fiscal year after the purchase – yet in records obtained by VTDigger, Burlington College received only $279,000. Despite hopes by Sanders and college trustees that they could boost enrollment and expand the student body, nothing changed – and the school failed at raising the money to satisfy it’s loans.

And then Jane Sanders was fired, with a $200,000 severance package.

In order to try and avoid bankruptcy, Burlington college sold off pieces of the 33 acre property to a local developer – which allowed the institution to pay off some of the debt Jane Sanders had accumulated, however in April 2016 the bank called it’s loan – and on May 28th, the college closed it’s doors after 44 years in operation.

As part of its bankruptcy, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington lost at least $1.5 million and perhaps as much as $2 million on the $3.65 million loan.

Enter the FBI

Politico revealed in their June report that [F]ederal investigators and FBI agents started to pull apart the $10 million financial arrangement. They showed up at Burlington College to sift through hard drives, audit reports and spreadsheets. They began to interview donors, board members and past president Carol Moore. I was contacted and spoke with an FBI agent numerous times last spring, again last summer, Moore told Vermont Public Radio in May 2017, and recently, maybe a month ago.

With a Grand Jury now empaneled and interviewing witnesses in the Burlington College saga, one can imagine the outcome of their investigation will largely determine whether Bernie Sanders is a viable candidate in 2020, should he wish to challenge Oprah Winfrey of course.

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Opinion

News flash! Women’s Lives Now More Than Bearable

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This is a contentious time for feminism. In the age of #MeToo, Time’s Up, and the Weinstein effect, just a few of the many products of the fourth-wave feminist movement, women are continuing to push forward a certain narrative about men and the Western culture’s effect on women in general. It seems as if the conversation surrounding women and gender equality has seeped into virtually every realm of life: politics, culture, religion, and even medicine and technology. Fourth-wave feminists are expressing their distrust in men in many ways…celebrities are calling out sexual predators in front of public audiences, politicians are using sexual assault as a political tool, and students are marching and demonstrating. Corporations, eager to jump on the “let’s make a political statement” bandwagon, are even using sexual assault as a marketing tool, spouting controversial messages about toxic masculinity and the like. A prime example is the recent Gillette ad, which garnered more than 19 million views on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Many women are also writing about feminism. One example of this is an article, written last year in celebration of International Women’s Day, that has been circulating on social media for the past few months. The article, entitled “100 Easy Ways to Make Women’s Lives More Bearable” and authored by Dani Beckett, has been shared more than 300,000 times since its publication in March 2018. While we would not exactly call it “viral,” it is no secret that the article’s contents are becoming increasingly normalized, currently believed by a meaningful number of female millenials. Beckett’s article was published in Broadly, a subset of Vice Media, a digital media and broadcasting company that launched Vice, the Canadian-American print magazine that gave rise to Broadly. Broadly, a heavily leftist channel catering to women and designed to “provide a space for us to understand, express, and navigate our identities as we define who we are and where we’re headed next,” has quite a solid readership.

After I kept encountering the article on Facebook for several months, I figured it was probably worth a read, but before reading it, I could not help but linger on the title. How to make women’s lives more…bearable? Bearable means tolerable, able to be endured, not even touching the realm of pleasurable or happy. The title implies that women in this country are struggling so much that someone desperately needs to make their lives “more bearable.” In a country where the vast majority of workplace fatalities befall men, the chief victims of non-fatal violence are men, men make up three quarters of all murder victims, women are outperforming men at all levels of education (they even outnumber men at most medical schools), women win custody battles, and women legally win half the earnings and belongings in a household, apparently women’s lives are not yet bearable enough. I was confused, but intrigued, and proceeded to make my way down the long list of male-targeted demands, some of which are too good not to highlight.

The article is written in an incredibly patronizing tone, as if men in America need to be taught that forcing sex upon a woman is probably not a good idea, as if they apparently grew up in a society that conditioned them to rape. The first item on Beckett’s list is, “Before explaining something to a woman, ask yourself if she might already understand. She may know more about it than you do.” Well, is that not general logical advice for anyone? I know the point is to call men out for supposedly always trying to explain things to a woman, but if you are versed in the basic tenets of communication, then it must be the case that you know not to prematurely lecture someone on a topic you suspect they are already well-versed in, regardless of their gender. And let us suppose this is not the case and you have a habit of being didactical when not needed. Well, then this advice should certainly go for everyone, not just men. The point is, gender has nothing to do with it. There is no evidence that men are somehow more likely than women to try to explain something to women, simply because they are women, before considering whether those women might actually understand the topic. Fourth-wave feminists are pushing the narrative that men inherently feel entitled and better than women, so they feel it necessary to always explain things to a woman without thinking if she might already understand. It is a dangerous and baseless narrative to push forward. While it was certainly true fifty years ago when male professors would not even call on their female students in lecture, today, men DO listen to women, whether they like it or not. By virtue of the professional empowerment of women, which has become normalized in Western society, men listen to women explain things to them every single day. Consider this: women now hold 49% of total faculty positions in American colleges and universities. Women lecture, and men listen.

Beckett then states, “Related: Never, ever try to explain feminism to a woman.” Well, what if she’s wrong? Beckett would tell you, “Trust women. When they teach you something, do not feel the need to go and check for yourself. And especially do not Google it in front of them.” So, if she’s wrong, it doesn’t matter. No one cares about facts anyway. Women are so privileged that they now also have the right to be wrong and to lie without getting called out. This is an important reminder of “Believe all women,” the Left’s mantra during the infamous Kavanaugh controversy. If you feel the need to check something JUST because the person who explained it to you is a woman, then maybe you need to treat your misogyny and perhaps Beckett’s list is actually for you. But we live in a society where women are leaders in every sphere – politics, business, medicine, science, the law. At this point, men get it. The need to overpower women, of which remnants will perhaps always exist, has largely dissipated through the years as evidenced by the fact that women now control 60% of the wealth in the United States, for example. If men are such misogynists, why are they collectively not fighting tooth and nail to tear down successful women? Certainly some are, but it’s virtually impossible to prove patriarchy-enforcing men outnumber matriarchy-enforcing women. Instead of acknowledging that, fourth-wave feminists are resorting to feelings, as opposed to facts, to craft their man-hating narrative. What’s more, they are lowering their standards for women.

Clearly, men and women are different, no matter what radical feminists want you to believe. But even though they are different, every society is founded upon a standard set of basic principles and values that every human, regardless of identity, should be obligated to follow in order to preserve civility. Lying does not all of a sudden become okay for a woman if it’s not okay for a man because women should not get special privileges. That is why Dani Beckett is also mistaken in suggesting “Be kind to women in customer service positions. Tip them extra.” Because they are a woman? This sentiment points directly to the pinnacle of feminists’ hypocrisy. Feminists want women to be treated equally, which naturally entails holding them to the same standards as men. Regardless of whether you are a woman or a man, if you don’t do your job well, then you should not be tipped extra. Regardless of whether you are a woman or a man, your customers should be nice to you if you do your job well because that’s the right thing to do.

Next on Beckett’s list is a whole compilation of demands centered around how to describe women. She states, “Examine your language when talking about women. Get rid of ‘irrational, dramatic, bossy, and badgering immediately.” This implies that women cannot be any of these things, which they most certainly can. Or perhaps it implies that they can be some or all of these things but they should not be called out for it, which once again, means that according to Beckett, we should hold women to a lower standard. Let’s be clear, women should not get free passes just because they are women and their ancestors have suffered through years of misogyny and oppression. If feminists want true equality, then they should not be cutting women slack and lowering their standards for women out of pity. Women are perfectly capable of meeting those standards. Pushing forward women’s rights legislation should not be done out of a need to prop up identity politics. Women deserve equal rights not because they are women, but because they are humans.

If that was not enough, Beckett certainly has more! “Never comment on a woman’s body,” she says. When describing women positively, men should say she is “talented,” “clever” or “funny,” but not “gorgeous” “sweet” or “cute.” Men also cannot call her unique, and “unlike other girls” because all girls are awesome. Long gone are the days when it was flattering for a woman to be told she has a nice physical appearance. And long gone are the days when men were allowed to make their physical attraction, the very basis of biological reproduction, known to women. I am assuming Beckett wants men to assign more value to women than their physical appearance, which is understandable, but assigning more value to personality and assigning some value to physical appearance are not mutually exclusive acts. A 2017 study published in Evolutionary Psychological Science found that most women are likely to choose physical attractiveness over personality and intelligence in potential partners. For a group of people who supposedly hate double standards, fourth-wave feminists sure do love double standards.

And now we arrive at the scariest portion of Beckett’s list: the postgenderism demands. Beckett states, “If you read stories to a child, swap the genders. Cast women in parts written for men. We know how to rule kingdoms, go to war, be, not be, and wait for Godot.” Right, and that is exactly why the parts of Katniss Everdeen, Hermione Granger, Wonder Woman, Lara Croft, Daenerys Targaryen, Mulan, and many, many more have been written. To show that women can indeed rule kingdoms, go to war, and do pretty much anything. Fourth-wave feminists are called “fourth-wave” because they are not the first. The women of the past have already proven that women are powerful and can rule kingdoms. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel by going to extreme measures (i.e. swapping genders) to show something that everyone, barring exceptions, already knows. Perhaps, then, the point of swapping genders is not so much to normalize powerful, masculine women. It is, in fact, to get rid of gender roles altogether. My prediction is that postgenderism will pave the way for fifth-wave feminism.

So why is one article like this one so important? It’s maybe just the opinion of one woman. Except it’s not. Between 70 and 80 percent of college women currently identify as feminists. The contents of Beckett’s article are at least somewhat representative of the mentality of young women in America today, even if some shy away from the label “feminist.” I fear that this association we have started to develop between feminism and fourth-wave values, some of which are exemplified in this article, will only become stronger until, eventually, first and second-wave feminists are shut out entirely. Women who are pro-life are shut out entirely. Women who want other women to be held accountable are shunned and considered anti-feminist. Criticizing obesity, pointing to false allegations of sexual assault, challenging the misconceptions surrounding the pay gap, holding conservative views about female sexuality, and acknowledging core differences between men and women will become wholly incompatible with any definition of feminism. Women should be encouraged to be strong, not feed their victimization complexes. Women should be encouraged to listen to other women, even if they disagree. Fourth-wave feminist indoctrination should not be something we stand for if we want to actually help gender equality.

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Politics

Trump to Enact Massive Change to Prescription Drug Pricing, Sources Say

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President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar before announcing a plan to overhaul how Medicare pays for certain drugs during a speech at HHS headquarters October 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration late Thursday afternoon proposed an effort to increase transparency  when it comes to prescription drug pricing by cutting the widely used practice of middlemen — one of the major cost-drivers of drug prices.

President Donald Trump is strongly considering signing an executive order to do just that, according to four people inside the administration who asked for their identities to be withheld for various reasons.

The executive order which has already been drafted by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, would allow manufacturers of drugs to offer discounted pricing to customers, but would legally, stop them from giving rebates to pharmacy benefit managers.

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Politics

“If you can’t manage a campaign, how do you manage the country?”: Chuck Todd schools Bernie Sanders

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YouTube Screengrab

In a segment Thursday on MSNBC, network host Chuck Todd slammed Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders for allowing sexual misconduct to occur inside his 2016 presidential campaign.

“Could this derail his chances of another presidential bid,” host Chuck Todd wondered before playing a video clip.

“Boy, that is a tough answer to defend of course,” Todd said referring to Sanders telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that he didn’t know about ongoing sexual misconduct because he was “a little busy running around the country trying to…make the case.”

“Because if you’re running to be president of the United States…if you can’t manage your campaign, how do you manage the country,” Todd continued. “No potential 2020 candidates had a worse start to 2019 than Bernie Sanders”

WATCH:

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