Explaining Southern California's economy

Visual Aid: The comical student loan default rates of for-profit California colleges

Holly Petraeus, wife of CIA Director and former U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, has intensified the debate about for-profit colleges, their astronomical student-load default rates, and accusations that they're looking to market hard to members of the military. NPR covered the issue this morning with her, and referenced an opinion piece she wrote on the subject for the New York Times.

I've been thinking a lot lately about for-profit educational models, given that the way forward for California's economy clearly lies with a better-educated workforce. But the state's public school system is under a lot of strain. Can private companies, operating charter schools, technical schools, and other types of institutions be a solution? If you look at the ability of many for-profit Southern California colleges to graduate people who can actually pay for their education, the answer is no.

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All Solyndra, all the time: A DeBord Report roundup

I've been going big on Solyndragate here at DeBord Report. It's a good story. It has everything: ideas about the future, money, politics, success, failure, Silicon Valley, Washington — and it's sucked in the Obama administration. It's also generated a lot of discussion and debate in the blog-o-sphere about both the specifics of the solar startup's abrupt bankruptcy and the role of government in financing green energy projects. Here's a rundown of what I've written so far:

Solyndra: Not about jobs, not about paybacks, but about…power

Think the Department of Energy is bunch of meek bureaucrats? Think again. It's a den of super-venture-capitalists who have been building up the thin-solar industry in America.

• Solyndragate: Picking winners will always be risky business

When you invest in new industries, you sometimes have to swing for the fences in order to capture major returns.

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Reportings: Kindling the Fire; Solyndra; Fox fights Dodgers; credit checks and gettin' a job

Meet the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire: “What we are doing is offering premium products at non-premium prices,” [Amazon CEO Jeff] Bezos says. Other tablet contenders “have not been competitive on price” and “have just sold a piece of hardware. We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service.” (Bloomberg)

 

Megan McArdle on the investment structure of Solyndra: "…I am distinctly prejudiced against plowing half a billion dollars worth of government funds into a company to see whether they can finally get their manufacturing process to work." (The Atlantic)

 

Fox goes to court to prevent the Dodgers from selling TV rights: "The suit asks that the court reject any such sale except in accordance with the current contract, under which Fox retains exclusive negotiating rights through November 2012 as well as the right to match any other offer." (LAT)

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Visual Aid: Andy Rooney calls its quits, may have to steal more bread now

He's been doing it since 1978. He's 92. And now he's finally quitting. Andy Rooney will no longer contribute his endearingly grumpy broadcast-ending segments to CBS's "60 Minutes." I assuming Andy will be OK, even though he says he invests in the stock market without really knowing what he's doing and steals bread from restaurants to save money. I'd embed these videos, but CBS won't allow it! 

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.

Photo: Stephenson Brown/Flickr

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Solyndra: Not about jobs, not about paybacks, but about…power

The Solyndragate feeding frenzy continues. There's blood in the water. The companies two top executives have taken the fifth in Congressional testimony. The Washington Post has done an expose. The New York Times has done an expose. The LA Times has done an expose after the Post and the New York Times did their exposes. Republicans are making plenty of noise about how Solyndra was somehow a corrupt undertaking designed to funnel taxpayer money to Obama supporters. It was also a stimulus boondoggle. And in California, it was a risky bet on precious few jobs.

My KPCC colleague and Pacific Swell blogger Molly Peterson and I have been talking about Solyndra for weeks. She provided a nice shout-out to several of the posts I've written on the topic at DeBord Report — and provided me with an opportunity to zero in on what's really going on with green energy funding.

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