Times Higher Education UK During the past eight years, university tuition fees were introduced into most west German federal states. Yet in a few months, every single state will have abolished them. These facts raise a series of topical questions that cast current English higher education policy in a fresh and revealing light.
Proportion of GDP invested in tertiary education in 2010 – public and private
Proportion of GDP invested in tertiary education in 2010 – public only
Tuition fees at publicly funded universities (£ per year, home students, latest available data)†
*No data. † Year may vary. Source: OECD, Education at a Glance, published June 2013, and other sources. Note: Figures from Education at a Glance given in $. Other figures calculated in £ and obtained from universities and other sources. Figures on GDP predate England’s 2012 fee rise.
Fees of up to £9,000 in England, covered by student loan repaid on graduation
A student contribution of £2,080. Tuition fees are levied but the cost is generally met by the exchequer
Fees of around £1,600. Average fee $1,966 in 2010-11
Fees average around £1,000. Average fee $1,407 in 2010-11
Between £400 and £2,700 a year depending on university attended. Average fee $863 in 2010-11
Start at around £160, with higher fees for engineering (around £500) and medicine (varies). Fees ranged from $200 to $1,402 in 2010-11
Cooper, from Somerset, was a liberal Republican who voted for landmark federal civil rights laws in the 1960s. He supported Medicare and was generally friendly toward unions.
A World War II veteran, Cooper became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War.
Barkley, whose hometown was Paducah, was senate majority leader under President Franklin D. Roosevelt before he was elected President Harry Truman’s vice president in 1948. He was a pro-union, New Deal-Fair Deal Democrat who didn’t duck the liberal label.
Both Cooper and Barkley believed that the federal government should play an active role in promoting economic, racial and social justice.
Neither Cooper nor Barkley were given to demonizing the other party. They didn’t believe that compromise necessarily meant craven surrender.
Young Addison Mitchell McConnell was a Cooper intern.
“John Sherman Cooper would be appalled at Mitch McConnell,” said Dr. Duane Bolin, a Murray State University historian and author.
Cooper wouldn’t have dreamed of bragging that his top political priority was making John F. Kennedy a one-term president. Bolin recalled seeing a photo of Cooper that mirrored the senator’s politics.
This time, Sen. McConnell is letting a fan club borrow it. The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a group linked to Karl Rove, has put out a TV ad claiming that President Obama and Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat who wants McConnell’s job, aim to give “amnesty” to “illegal immigrants.”
By tooting “amnesty” together with “illegal immigrants,” the KOC ad crafters knew a lot of Kentucky white folks would think Mexicans, not the 50,000 undocumented Irish and other white Europeans in the country.
Of course, the GOP’s pandering to anti-immigrant prejudice is also rooted in bare-knucks politics. Most Hispanic Americans vote Democratic. A lot of them are pro-union, too. Hence, the last thing the screw-the-unions Republicans want is a clear path to citizenship for immigrants who will likely swell Democratic and union ranks.
At the same time, most African Americans also vote for Democrats, and many are in unions. Thus, Republican nativism dovetails with the GOP’s neo-Jim Crow voter ID laws, which are calculated to diminish minority voting.
Anyway, nativism is almost as old as the republic. Only the targeted immigrants have changed. In Kentucky of the 1850s, nativists singled out Irish and German Catholics, many of whom settled in Louisville, the state’s largest city.
George D. Prentice, editor of the Louisville Daily Journal, embraced the anti-foreign and anti-Catholic Know-Nothing Party, which became popular in the Falls City and many other parts of Kentucky. He editorialized against "foreign hordes” and warned of a Catholic takeover of the country.
On Aug. 6, 1855, election day, Know-Nothing mobs rampaged through German and Irish neighborhoods in Louisville, killing at least 22 people and injuring many more. The rioters burned down houses and stores and threatened to torch Catholic churches. Prentice’s editorials were blamed for helping incite the rioters.
The Know-Nothings are long gone. But their bigotry thumps in the chests of white Kentuckians of the send-’em-all-back-to-Mexico persuasion. Accordingly, Team Mitch and its buddies have shined up the dog whistle.
Long gone, too, is the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln. The Great Emancipator won the presidency in 1860 standing on a platform with a plank that declared, “…The Republican party is opposed to any change in our naturalization laws or any state legislation by which the rights of citizens hitherto accorded to immigrants from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired; and in favor of giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad.”
Five years before, Lincoln had roundly denounced the Know-Nothings in a powerful speech: “I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can anyone who abhors the oppression of Negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’
"We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except Negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except Negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
House Speaker Greg Stumbo will join state senator and former governor Julian Carroll in firing up the crowd at Paducah’s Oct. 11 “Battleground Kentucky: Stand up and Fight Back in the 2014 War on Labor” rally.
“Who better than Speaker Stumbo to warn us what will happen to organized labor if the Republicans take the house?” asked Sanderson, a retired UA international representative.
The Republicans control the state senate. They have made passage of a right to work law a top priority should they win the house.
Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, would almost certainly veto a right to work bill. But in Kentucky, a governor’s veto can be overridden by a simple majority of both houses.
The rally is set for noon to 2 p.m. at the Carson Park grandstands. Bob’s Drive In will sell hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips and soft drinks. “But people can come earlier and visit with their union brothers and sisters,” Sanderson said.
The little Graves County community is headquarters for Bluegrass Rural – http://bluegrass-rural.com – a new 527committee headed by a pair of Kentucky women and a guy from Massachusetts. None of them are millionaires, or even close to it.
“Our mission is focused on voter education in rural Kentucky, specifically exposing Mitch McConnell’s record,” said treasurer Jeanie Embry of Paducah, up the road from Melber.
Embry’s partners are Gail Hardy of Cadiz and Matt L. Barron, owner of MLB Associates of Chesterfield, Mass.
“Matt is the brains behind this project,” Embry said.
Bluegrass Rural is just out with a radio ad spotlighting McConnell’s 2005 opposition to funding for better armoring Humvee military vehicles that were extensively used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The commercials are being broadcast on radio stations in Lebanon Junction, Vine Grove, Hopkinsville and Cadiz. They can be heard on the website.
“If we can raise $2,500 before end of September we've got a donor who'll match that amount,” Embry said. “We welcome suggestions about additional ad topics and where to run them.”
Barron has spent more than 32 years in electoral politics at the federal, state and local levels. He is a veteran researcher for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and for several Democratic members of congress.
More information about Bluegrass Rural is available by phone from Barron at 413-296-0118 or by email from Embry at Jeanie.email@example.com or Hardy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cross-posted from The Sunday Train ~ apologies for the jet-lag induced cross-posting delays
Your intrepid sustainable energy and transport reporter was recently required to engage in some official business with an overseas consulate located in New York city, and in order to be able to afford to sit and wait as the wheels of bureaucracy as long as might have been required, obtained lodgings in a relatively cheap motel in New Brunswick and took the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor train back and forth. This week's Sunday Train is a collection of scattered observations made along the way.
“Do you repudiate Richard Fink’s remarks at the Koch retreat this summer?” a reporter asked Mitch McConnell the other day.
His chattiness was caught on tape at the now famous Father’s Day fund-raising conclave hosted by Charles and David Koch. But when the scribe aimed a mike at McConnell, mum was the word from the senate majority leader-wannabe.
McConnell had heaped high praise on the Koch sibs. He promised the billionaire Republican donors present that hogs would fly before a GOP senate under his reign would hike the minimum wage. Fink, a Koch political guru, compared any such pay boost to fascism.
“This is not just in Germany,” Laura Clawson of the Daily Kos quoted Fink. “It's in Russia, in Lenin, and Stalin Russia, and then Mao. This is the recruitment ground for fascism."
Fink’s bizzaro blather reminded me of a Kentucky senator who, in a 1962 speech at Yale, said that members of the far right-wing John Birch Society, the Tea Party of his day, “don’t know anything about history” and they “apparently have never read anything at all.”
The solon would become Addison Mitchell McConnell’s boss. He was Sen. John Sherman Cooper, a Bluegrass State mountain Republican who didn’t duck the liberal label.
So what does this have to do with Kentucky? A lot. Jesse Benton has served as Ron Paul’s campaign manager, Rand Paul’s campaign manager and Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager. Jesse Benton is also married Ron Paul’s granddaughter. Dimitri Kesari served as Ron Paul’s deputy campaign manager and has performed work for Senator Mitch McConnell’s campaign.
Many Kentucky political pundits were surprised by Senator Rand Paul’s rise in 2010. In 2010 Senator Mitch McConnell endorsed Trey Grayson in the Republican senatorial primary. Rand Paul was pretty much unknown at the time and Trey Grayson was Senator Mitch McConnell’s man. We all know what happened after that. Rand Paul won the primary and went on to defeat Jack Conway in the general election and left Senator Mitch McConnell scratching his head and impressed, all at the same time.
So how did Rand Paul defeat, Senator Mitch McConnell’s man, Trey Grayson? With a little help from his friends and daddy Paul, that’s how. Guess who showed up at the Young Americans for Liberty March 2010 spring break seminar, during the 2010 Kentucky senatorial primary. Dimitri Kesari. Now you can guess who the the Young Americans for Liberty supported after the seminar. Rand Paul that’s who.
Freedom Works An overwhelming majority of these students support Rand Paul for Kentucky’s next Senator. This should come as no surprise.
If the new NBC/Marist poll is right, most Kentuckians evidently don’t care how cozy Sen. Mitch McConnell is with the Koch brothers or that his ex-campaign manager quit because it looks like he might be involved in a seamy political bribery scandal in Iowa.
Among likely voters, the survey has the senate majority leader wannabe up 47-39 over Alison Lundergan Grimes, his Democratic challenger. Libertarian David Patterson is at 8 percent in the poll.
Okay, this is where candidates trailing in the polls – and their supporters – say the polls are wrong and that the only poll that counts is the one on election day.
Of course, voters have proved polls wrong. They might do it again on Nov. 4.
However, the NBC/Marist poll comes after two other recent surveys that showed McConnell with leads among likely voters – 47-45 in a Survey USA Bluegrass Poll and 50-46 in a CNN/ORC International poll. Both spreads were within the surveys’ margin of error.
The Bluegrass poll was taken before The Nation magazine released an audiotape of McConnell fawning over big bucks Republican donors at a secret strategy meeting in California hosted by the Koch sibs. The CNN poll came after the cash fest and post Jesse Benton resigning.
More than a few Bluegrass State Democrats expected – or at least hoped – that subsequent surveys would break Grimes’ way over the Koch conclave and Benton’s retreat.
The NBC/Marist poll showed that Kentuckians still view McConnell unfavorably by a 48-45 margin. They see Grimes pretty much the same way – 43 percent unfavorable, 41 percent favorable.
But in the polls, McConnell is winning where it counts, in the head-to-head matchup. That’s more proof that Team Mitch is succeeding in making the election a referendum on President Obama.
Obama lost Kentucky, big-time in 2008 and 2012. Today, Kentuckians disapprove of his job as president by 64-29 in the CNN/ORC poll.
Grimes is trying to get Kentuckians see the election as between McConnell and her. She has distanced herself from the president, especially on coal.
“I don’t think that’s working,” said a veteran western Kentucky Democrat who is for Grimes. “McConnell keeps saying ‘Grimes-Obama, Grimes-Obama, Grimes-Obama.’ That’s what people are listening to.”
He didn’t say what “people.” He meant white people, who make up almost 92 percent of Kentucky’s population.
I’m not for a minute saying everybody who is against the president and for McConnell is a racist. Neither would Obama or Grimes.
But a lot of white people don’t like Obama because he’s not white. Racism is the elephant in the room in homes from Paducah to Pikeville.
A lot of reporters choose to ignore the pachyderm. “The president's high disapproval rating is fueled in part by his policy on coal -- a major employer in parts of Kentucky,” wrote CNN’s Mark Preston in crunching the CNN/ORC numbers.
David Hawpe sees the elephant if Preston doesn’t or doesn’t want to. “It’s not just a coal thing,” Hawpe, the former Louisville Courier-Journal editorial page editor, wrote in The Lexington Herald-Leader after Mitt Romney blew out Obama in the Bluegrass State going on two years ago. “Nor is it just about Kentucky's religious, conservative, rural values.”
Hawpe concluded, “Nobody wants to say it out loud, but race is part of the political equation, in Kentucky and elsewhere. We're not post-racial, yet.”
To be sure, few white people will admit to reporters that they hate Obama because he’s black. Even so, GOP bigwigs are clued in.
“We are still a racist state, I hate to admit,” an unnamed Republican strategist confessed to Politico’s Jason Zingerle a few months ago when the McConnell campaign was cranking up. “Anything you can connect to Barack Obama is a winning thing for us.”
Hawpe, an eastern Kentucky native, zeroed in on the Bluegrass State neck of the woods where I was born, reared and still live: “McConnell used the GOP Southern strategy handed to him by Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, took Western Kentucky away from the Democrats, and changed the state's political personality.”
Hawpe quoted GOP operative Kevin Phillips’ famous explanation of the Southern Strategy that The New York Times published in 1970: “From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that .... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.’”
Democrat Obama’s moderate politics is pretty close to Democrat Bill Clinton’s. But Kentuckians are favorably impressed with the white guy from Arkansas by a margin of 61-35, according to the NBC/Marist Poll.
Meanwhile, the poll also showed that anything that just has Obama’s name on it is poison in Kentucky. Kentuckians don’t like “Obamacare” – McConnell’s slam term for the Affordable Care Act -- by a 62-31 margin, according to the NBC/Marist poll.
But they favor Kynect, -- the name of the Bluegrass State’s health exchange under the ACA -- by 34-18, with 18 percent unsure. Thirty percent had never heard of Kynect.
Meanwhile Team Mitch rolls on, with the captain pandering to the social issues and practicing dog whistle politics with the white folks. He doesn’t have to say anything about the president’s skin color.
Tooting his whistle by calling the president’s “war on coal” a “jihad,” the Muslim word for “holy war,” is working just fine for him, if the polls are correct.
And he’s not about to dispute Kentucky white folks who think Obama is a Kenyan-born, Islamo-Socialist who wants to replace the constitution with Sharia Law. He’s also way cool with Kentuckians who don’t know that “Obamacare” and “Kynect” are the same thing.
Washington Post Kentucky: Crossroads GPS is dropping into the race between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) beginning Oct. 6. The group, led by former McConnell chief of staff Steven Law, will spend $1.2 million on ads that week. Read more.