US News & World Report has killed the goose that laid its golden egg. Did the magazine really think it was doing Columbia University a favor by including it in the annual college rankings list that was released Sept. 12.
It demoted the Morningside Heights-based Ivy League school from No. 2 to the No. 18 position, alongside Notre Dame University.
The inclusion in the latest rankings was news to Columbia, which didn’t submit the required data this year, after one of its professors in February questioned the numbers that the school submitted last year.
Following that revelation, Columbia promised a review and said it wouldn’t participate in this year’s rankings.
The magazine, in turn, removed the No. 2 ranking from Columbia in July and put it in the “unranked” category
Perhaps in a fit of pique, USN&WR came up with its own numbers from various sources and the Department of Education and ranked Columbia No. 18, the lowest of the Ivies for this year’s list.
That begs the question: How many other colleges would fall in the rankings if USN&WR used the same yardstick that it used to rank Columbia?
Had USN&WNR left Columbia unranked, there would be no current controversy about the integrity of the rankings.
The college’s dramatic 16 position plunge from No. 2 to 18 discredits USN&WR’s rankings.
It also casts a pall over the entire USN&WR’s rankings racket which includes listings for best countries, states, high schools, healthiest communities, hospitals, nursing homes, diets, vacation destinations, etc.
Glory to Ukraine and to its social media heroes. The country’s intelligence forces recovered a letter from the body of a 26-year-old Russian soldier who was killed during the Ukrainian offensive in Kharkiv province. It was posted on Facebook.
The soldier wrote in the good-bye letter to his wife: “Tell our son what kind of dad I was, that we were sent as cannon fodder to Zaliman village without armor, without ammunition, without normal weapons. This is about our situation.”
Alexander Motyl, a Rutgers University political science professor who specializes in Russia, Ukraine and nationalism, said the soldier's letter may also foretell Putin’s rapidly approaching end.
Using his own soldiers as cannon fodder mocks the notion that Vladimir Putin was concerned about saving the Russian-speakers of eastern Ukraine from some Nazi threat.
“Putin has evinced a profoundly cavalier attitude toward lives—not just of innocent Ukrainians, who’ve been the targets of genocide, but also of Russian soldiers and residents of the self-styled Luhansk and Donetsk 'people’s republics' that were recognized by Russia,” Motyl wrote in a Sept. 13 op-ed piece for The Hill.
“His war—as should be evident by now even to the Kremlin’s propagandists, German left-wingers and American neorealists—is proving to be one of history’s enormous strategic blunders.
"Like Napoleon and Hitler, Putin surely faces removal and possible exile on some distant isle or in his bunker.”
Tucker’s last hurrah on Russian TV? Fox News blowhard Tucker Carlson has been the toast of Moscow’s propaganda channels, singing the praises of Putin and the Russian Army, which when last seen looked more like an Olympic sprinting team racing home.
He has ridiculed president Joe Biden as a weak and out-of-touch leader.
His Fox News segments have been translated into Russian to run on Channel One and Russia-1 TV.
One sees the propaganda value for the Russians in having Carlson shilling for Putin, but what’s in it for Tuck?
And how much longer will Rupert/Lachlan Murdoch and Fox TV viewers put up with his nonsense?