You’ve heard academia referred to as a snake pit. You’ve heard tales of academic infighting, and maybe even read about the time earlier this year when one liberal-arts-school professor, who was accused of plotting to kill a colleague, sued the accuser for defamation. More often, faculty members’ political battles revolve around more mundanely nefarious things, such is how to oust their own dean.
Now imagine that two professors at one of said colleges are actually running for Congress against one another. It sounds like the plot of a bad reality show, but at Randolph-Macon College, a small liberal-arts college in Ashland, Va., that’s precisely the situation.
David Brat, who just ousted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in what has been widely reviewed on the Internet as a shocking and historic Republican primary loss, is a tea-party-loving professor of economics who already has Washington talking fearfully about the coming populist revolution. On Rate My Professor, he has a 3.5 out of 5.0 rating for overall quality and a glowing chili pepper to signal a high level of physical attractiveness.
Particularly notable, however, is that even the students who gave him poor ratings seemed to be in awe of him. “Brat changes assignments all the time, but he’s so charming you forget to be mad at him,” said one student, after rating him “poor quality” with a frowny face. Another who rated him poorly seemed to be criticizing teaching as a profession: “Great guy, but almost too smart to teach.” Said another who gave him bad ratings, “He’s an amazing teacher, his classes are very interesting and he knows how to catch students’ attention.” Too bad no one taught that latter student how to use the website.
Brat’s Democratic opponent, Jack Trammell, is a professor of sociology who until Tuesday had been rated only twice on Rate My Professor since 2008 (fortunately he’s been rated three more times in the last 12 hours). Like Brat, he has a glowing chili pepper to signal physical attractiveness and earned a 4.2 for overall quality.
The campus is likely crawling with reporters already, but until they file their dispatches, we bloggers will have to make due with social media. Take for instance, Trammell’s colorful personal Twitter page and Brat’s recent musings on how Hitler’s rise could happen again. No word yet on how this will affect their syllabi, but it’s going to be a colorful semester at Randolph-Macon College.
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A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.