Phi Beta Cons

Waste and Financial Chaos in LaLa Land

The L.A. Community College District provides a shining example of epic wastefulness — direct from the front lines of the higher-ed bubble:

Officials at West Los Angeles College spent $39 million to design and begin construction on four major buildings, only to abandon the projects when they realized there was too little money to finish them.

An additional $10 million was lost to mistakes in the management of a solar power initiative led by Eisenberg, who tried to brand the district as a world leader in environmentally friendly construction.

And there’s more to this profligate story, much more.

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Film & TV

A Right-Wing Halloween

‘The world is not a dark and evil place,” insists an exasperated woman played by Judy Greer in Halloween. “It’s full of love and understanding!” I put the question to the class: Is she right? In the new film (not a reboot but a sequel that occurs 40 years after the events in the 1978 original and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Blackface Party

I must have missed something: Was there some kind of all-hands white-people meeting at which we voted to kick the Democrats out? Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Beto O’Rourke — what’s up with all the ethnic play-acting? Isn’t cultural appropriation supposed to be a bad thing among progressives? Isn’t ... Read More

The State of the Race for the House

Way back in January, I went through the then-34 seats where a Republican incumbent was retiring and concluded that most were in deeply red districts and not likely to flip to Democrats. Pollsters and media organizations are less inclined to conduct surveys of House races, both because there’s less public ... Read More