UMass be Kidding: Campus Minister Offers College Credit to Students Volunteering for Obama

It appears that working for Obama will not only put you in good stead with God but gain you some badly needed credits at the University of Massachusetts. School officials have moved to rescind an offer of two college credits for students who volunteer for Democrat Barack Obama. This follows a Denver professor who assigned students an essay to write critical things about GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Chaplain Ken Higgins sent an email to students on Sept. 18 e-mail that stated: “If you’re scared about the prospects for this election, you’re not alone. The most important way to make a difference in the outcome is to activate yourself. It would be just fine with McCain if Obama supporters just think about helping, then sleep in and stay home between now and Election Day.” He then said that an unnamed sponsor in the History Department would give them two credits for the work, even noting “It is relatively (easy) to do late add-ons.”

The school has nixed the idea but declined to name the history professor.

In the meantime, Professor Andrew Hallam, apart-time English teacher at Metropolitan State College in Denver, wanted to see such work himself. He ordered students to write essays critical of Sarah Palin as a formal assignment. He tells the students to address “her body language, facial expressions, the way she dressed, what she said and who she pointed out or talked about in her speech. How do these elements form a ‘fairy tale’ image about Sarah Palin as a person and as a politician that the Republican Party may wish its members and the American public to believe?”

For the Denver article, click here.

For the full story from UMass, click here.

50 thoughts on “UMass be Kidding: Campus Minister Offers College Credit to Students Volunteering for Obama”

  1. By the way, I wrote extensively about this happening back in 2003 in ThinkProgress. I predicted issues when Bush handed out the 1.7 Trillion dollar surplus Clinton handed him.

    Remember that?

    Clinton hands Bush 1.7 trillion dollars (just under a Tril in actual capital) and Bush says, “Gee, I got all this money, what should I do with it?.

    Clinton tries to get him to invest it in wealth and job creation programs but Bush says “oh no, I’m gonna give it away”.

    So Bush takes the money, divides it up into tiny insignificant amounts, and then hands it out. Everyone gets 300 or 600 bucks.

    300, or 600 bucks.


    This was supposed to, according to the simpleminded Bush, “drive the economy”.

    And it did.

    In fact, it drove it right into the ground.

  2. Make no mistake about it. This is not just a “repubs trying to stay in power”. This is democrats trying to retake power.

    None of this would be happening if the Dems hadn’t launched investigations and locked down the mortgage lending industry last October.

    The republicans and the democrats are both involved here and the only way out is to drop the partisan bs (which the republicans nor the democrats seem to want to do) and put up enough money to back our own Securities.

    If we don’t back the securities, foriegn investors will continue to pull their funds out, which will force more bank collapses.

    This isn’t these banks “mismanaging our money”.

    Its the Securities that they invest our money in, that are being devalued that is causing the collapse.

    The only solution is to back the securities ourselves thus calming the market and stabilizing the economy. When the world likes our Securities again, we’ll be fine.

  3. Given the events of this morning it looks like alls well that ends well, from the standpoint of those opposed to McCain. I think he’s made a fool of himself and that most peole will think the same. This market thing seems like a ploy to me, by the Republican’s trying to remain in power.
    This is not to say that the economic picture isn’t bleak, it is, but I think there is manipulation in how this has all gone down. The problem is that McCain and his campaign staff have played it badly. They’re incompetence is beyond belief, but they’re willingness to lie is limitless and has kept them in the game.

  4. US Treasury Secretary Paulsen worked for Goldman Sachs (from 1999-2006) prior to his current appointment .

    Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway could buy parts of AIG
    Business Courier of Cincinnati

    Related News

    * Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway express interest in buying parts of AIG
    * Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway express interest in buying parts of AIG
    * Regulators shut down WaMu, sell it to Chase
    * Dow closes down after volatile day Wednesday

    Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. holding company may be in the market for parts of American International Group, the insurance and financial services giant that was rescued with an $85 billion federal bailout last week, according to a Reuters report Wednesday.

    Buffett said on CNN that he’d expressed interest at mid-month in possibly buying pieces of AIG (NYSE: AIG) during emergency discussions involving regulators and insurance and financial services executives, talks that then centered on the fate of Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that has since filed for bankruptcy protection.

    Berkshire, based in Omaha, Neb., has stakes in dozens of companies, but many of them are centered in the insurance and reinsurance realms. Reuters noted that Berkshire Hathaway had $44 billion in cash at the end of 2007, and is in the mood to spend some of it on the right transactions.

    The company has already bought a $5 billion, roughly 9 percent stake in Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), positioning itself as the potential savior of Wall Street.

    Edward Liddy, AIG’s newly appointed CEO, is expected to announce next week how the company plans to proceed and give some indication of what units may be up for sale to help pay back the Federal Reserve’s $85 billion loan, payable over two years with a steep 12 percent interest rate. Indications are that AIG’s personal lines, aircraft leasing and its American General life insurance and annuity unit could be among the subsidiaries it plans to sell.


    If This Too Fails, Bring Out The ‘Mega-Bank”

    More News related to AIG

    * If This Too Fails, Bring Out The ‘Mega-Bank”
    * S&P: FAQ Looks at What the Fed’s Action Could Mean for AIG
    * AIG (AIG) Drew Down $44.6B of Fed Credit Line – Bloomberg
    * ARGUS Maintains ‘Hold’ Rating on Chubb Corp (CB)
    * Unusual 11 Mid-Day Movers 9/25: TOPS, FRE, FNM, PCOP Higher; AMN, CRAI, PPC, MTN Lower

    September 25, 2008 5:56 PM EDT

    On the eve of a possible deal for the financial bailout, let’s take a look at Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s past plans to deal with the massive credit contraction and how they worked out. All the plans have failed so far and now we have the very aggressive $700 billion plan. What if this fails too? I propose the “Mega-Bank!”

    Plan A (Mid-2006-Thru Mid-2007): Do Nothing. The first sign of major trouble started with problem sub-prime loans and the collapse of two Bear Stearns hedge funds. The Fed took a do nothing approach, saying the market can take care of itself. FAILED

    Plan B (August 2007): Cut Interest Rates. The Fed started cutting the fed funds rate in August 2007, eventually bringing the rates down to 2%. FAILED

    Plan C (December 2007): Term Auction Facility (TAF). The Fed started the TAFs in December 2007 to increase liquidity. FAILED

    Plan D (March 2008) : Bear Stearns. The fed brokered a deal for JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) to buy failing investment bank Bear Stearn. The fed gave a guarantee for $29B in Bear debt. They figured a bankruptcy of Bear would create systemic risk. The Fed also open the Fed discount window to investment banks. FAILED

    Plan E (July 2008): Back-up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Treasury announced an increase in the line of credit to the GSEs (NYSE: FNM) (NYSE: FRE), give temporary authority for Treasury to purchase equity in either of the two GSEs “if needed”, and give the Federal Reserve a consultative role in the new GSE regulator’s process for setting capital requirements and other prudential standards. FAILED

    Plan F (September 7th) : Place Fannie and Freddie into conservatorship. FAILED

    Plan G (September 15th): Lehman Bankrupt. The Fed tried to broker a sale of troubled investment bank Lehman Brothers, but would not provide loan guarantees. No deal could be reached and Lehman filed bankruptcy. The Fed and Treasury said the markets had enough time to adjust to the possibility of a failure. During the same weekend, Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) agreed to a fire sale with BofA (NYSE: BA). The remaining two large investment banks, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), are forced to become bank holdings companies due to the credit market dislocation. In addition, a money market funds that held Lehman debt ‘broke the buck’. FAILED

    Plan H (September 16th): AIG Bailout. The Fed agreed to give AIG (NYSE: AIG) an $85 billion loan, taking 80% ownership. They said an AIG failure posed too much systemic risk. FAILED

    Plan I (September 18th) : $700 Billion Bailout Plan. The Fed announced a plan to buy the mortgage backed securities on bank’s books. The fed will pay a price near ‘paid-to-maturity’ for the assets, versus the market ‘fire-sale’ price. They belive this will free the banks up to loan again. UKNOWN

    What if Plan I fails? Where do they go? Do they have a back-up plan in place?

    What if Plan J is the ‘Mega-Bank’? Because debt markets will mostly be frozen, there could be one or two ‘Mega-Banks’ with relatively clean balance sheets that can handle everything; all car loans, all business loans, all credit cards, etc. One of the ‘Mega-Banks’ could be Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), which recently became a bank holding company, raised $10 billion in fresh capital, has the backing of Warren Buffett and of course has ties to Hank Paulson. The other could be Banc of America (NYSE: BAC), which is already a mini-Mega Bank. This may sound like a crazy idea I know, but these are crazy times.

  5. How original-that’s just what Democrats Barney Frank and Chris Dodd said, last night, about Republican McCain suddenly injecting himself into the proceedings after being ‘MIA’ for ten days – just like McBush! Whereas Obama had been in touch almost everyday.

    That’s also why the American public, as of yesterday, were still
    1/3 pro, 1/3 against, and 1/3 no opinion. Because our fearful leader was ‘speechless’…

    Who would be the so called “investors in Asia ” referref to below
    – I wonder….?Hank on behalf of C.V. Starr? Or Hank on behalf of AIG – which he wants to buy?

    “…Banks and traders also braced themselves for another tumultuous week in the markets. But early signs indicate that investors in Asia were reacting positively to the developments in Washington. Meanwhile, top Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill said on Sunday that they would act swiftly on the administration’s request, but not without setting their own conditions.

    “We will not simply hand over a $700 billion blank check to Wall Street and hope for a better outcome,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

    Top administration officials and senior lawmakers said that the markets could be devastated if Congress and the administration failed to reach agreement on the plan.

    Mr. Paulson said he hoped that the government would recoup much of the cost of buying distressed mortgage-related assets. But he did not rule out that the initial cost of the bailout could rise beyond $700 billion, the limit set in the terse proposal sent by the Treasury to Congress on Saturday.

    “That doesn’t mean we’ll go all the way there, or it doesn’t mean it will stop there and we won’t ask for more,” Mr. Paulson said Sunday on the CBS program, “Face the Nation.” “What we need is something that is big enough to get the job done. We’ll ask for what we think is a right amount to give us plenty of flexibility.”
    From: nysun. com /business/hank-greenberg-from-china-to-spitzer-to-cuomo/50041/

    Hank Greenberg: From China to Spitzer to Cuomo
    By JAY AKASIE, Special to the Sun | March 8, 2007

    Ron Shelp recalls the day Maurice “Hank” Greenberg called him into his office at American International Group’s Pine Street headquarters shortly after President Nixon went to China. “Ron, I want to go back to China,” the company ‘s chairman and CEO, Mr. Greenberg, said to his trusted public affairs officer. “And we damn well better be first.”

    AIG’s special relationship with China, which began the day Cornelius Vander Starr walked down the gangplank of a steamer in Shanghai in 1919, was destined to continue under Mr. Greenberg. He was a devoted protégé of Mr. Starr and was determined in the early 1970s to reclaim the lucrative market in China that AIG lost in 1949 when Chairman Mao forced capitalists to leave the country.

    In “Fallen Giant: The Amazing Story of Hank Greenberg and the History of AIG,” Mr. Shelp gives readers the only definitive insider’s account of the company that Mr. Greenberg grew into a world powerhouse, and his fall from power as the result of a “hyperactive” attorney general’s gubernatorial ambitions.

    New York’s current attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, faces an interesting dilemma, according to Mr. Shelp. On the one hand, he has essentially inherited Governor Spitzer’s vendetta against Mr. Greenberg. But Mr. Cuomo’s father, Governor Mario Cuomo, is a longtime supporter of Mr. Greenberg, one of the city’s most generous philanthropists.

    On Monday an independent committee cleared Mr. Greenberg of allegations made by Mr. Spitzer that he liquidated assets of the Starr Foundation for less than their market values in 1969 and 1970. Even though the charitable foundation’s current assets are about $4 billion, Mr. Spitzer claimed Mr. Greenberg and other executors cheated the Starr estate out of assets that would today be worth $6 billion.

    “It’s just a guess, but I find it hard to believe that [Andrew Cuomo] will try to seize $6 billion,” Mr. Shelp said. “Then again, it would certainly be a good way to get a lot of press. He sees how it got Eliot Spitzer elected governor.”

    Judging by one account in the book, Mr. Cuomo might do well to side with Mr. Spitzer instead of his father: When former Goldman Sachs chairman, John Whitehead, wrote a newspaper opinion column questioning Mr. Spitzer’s harsh treatment of the embattled AIG chief, he experienced Mr. Spitzer’s wrath and wrote about it in a subsequent column.

    “After reading my op-ed piece, Mr. Spitzer tried to phone me. I was traveling in Texas but he reached me early in the afternoon.” Then Mr. Spitzer said, ‘Mr. Whitehead, it’s now a war between us and you’ve fired the first shot. I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done. You will wish you had never written the letter.'”

    According to Mr. Whitehead: “He went on in the same vein for several more sentences and then abruptly hung up. I was astounded. No one had ever talked to me like that before. It was a little scary.”

    For AIG, going back to China in the 1970s was a little scary, too. Mr. Shelp said that among the attorneys AIG hired to help them with their entrees to the Chinese government, one was particularly experienced with doing the same for Chase Manhattan Bank and its then chairman, David Rockefeller.

    “The lawyer called me and said that if we sent one of our proposals to the Chinese, we’d be dead in the water. It turns out we were using a translator in America, and the Mandarin of 1973 was a lot different than when he left China in 1949: The cover of our proposal translated into ‘American International Clique.'”

    Not only did they hire a professional translator in China, but AIG employees began to re-connect with old colleagues that they hadn’t seen in three decades. Even though Mr. Starr had been forced to leave, he insisted that all the claims be paid in full.

    “The Chinese never forgot that,” Mr. Shelp said. “Hank Greenberg would eventually make 35 trips to China and made sure AIG was the first to come back. And Hank keeps going back to China even today.”

  6. The real funny thing here Jill is this BS from the McCain camp, about him “rushing back to DC to help”.

    McCain not only doesn’t chair the Banking Committee, but he’s not even ON the committee.

    In fact, from what we’re hearing today they don’t even want him there.

    He by his own admission doesn’t know anything about the problem so all he’ll do is get in the way while people try to bring him up to speed on a problem he has absolutely no authority to assist with.

  7. If dick cheney sets it up, it’s sinister! I’d be taking my best talisman and sacrificing chickens all day before I went in there! I’d even consider a donation to brother Muthmee.

  8. I think the idea of the meeting was to cover McCain’s butt Jill. McCains people freaked because he is slipping into senility, and cannot remember what they tell him to say.

    He made more gaffs last week than correct statements, so they’re pulling him back onto the bench for a few innings to see if they can get a handle on things.

    The problem was, he announced he was going to suspend his campaign to “hurry back to Washington to help with the crisis”.

    Problem is, he’s not even on the Banking Committee, which is Chris Dodds baby. So he has NO ROLE. Whats he planning on doing once he gets to DC, making them sandwiches?

    He has no role here and so Bush called a meeting to give him something to do. The meeting is merely a token, but it may send a positive signal to the markets. Bush had to invite Obama since its an election year and McCains the RNC candidate, so he invited them both. I think its fine they’re doing it. I also think its good that McCain suspended his campaign because it shows the people hes too old and cannot handle the pressure.

    Theres obviously the “devil in the details” here Jill, and hopefully Dodd will be on his game, which he usually is.

    But I don’t sense anything overtly sinister about this meeting. Its just a face saving opportunity for McCain, who announced he was going back to DC to help with a crisis being handled by a committee that he’s not even on.

  9. I have a great fear. cheneybush inviting obama and mccain for high tea on the bailout is a disaster. This is another FISA moment for Obama. There is something cheney wants very badly– no or meaningless oversight and I’m betting he’s going to get that.

    The financial lobby is right up there with the telecoms in presidential giving. They should get nothing for ruining our economy. More importantly, the last thing cheney needs is more power. Obama should not give cheney, and by extension himself, this unfettered power. This is a chance for Obama to honor the Constitution. I hope he takes it.

Comments are closed.