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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: Ohio
Member since: Thu Nov 17, 2011, 06:31 AM
Number of posts: 8,244

Journal Archives

Should Student Loans be Dischargeable in Bankruptcy ?

One of the most cited grievances to come out of Occupy Wall Street is the crushing burden of student loans. I have had a couple of guest posts on the topic including one from Tim Smith who blogs on the Echo Boom. Here, now, is a piece by Alan Collings, who has been devoting himself to the issue.
Some perspective is needed here. If there is an infectious disease outbreak, the CDC is pretty snappy about warning the public. Similarly for the USGS and earthquakes, NOAA and tsunamis, etc. Should we not expect the same type of response from the Education Department in the face of exponentially increasing student loan debt and astonishingly high default rates? When we were looking at a Trillion dollars in national student loan indebtedness, and the default rate was north of 1 in 4, why wasn’t the Department of Education sounding the alarm? These questions have yet to be posed to those in charge at the Department, but need to be. By Congress. Department staff who should have warned congress and the public but didn’t should be held accountable. This isn’t a question of good government. Rather it would seem that is a question about minimally adequate government.

So the question now is how to “fix what is broken”, to borrow a phrase from President Obama, Secretary Geithner, and others following the most recent State of the Union Address. Gainful employment rules, dickering around with the Pell Grant, and similar activities do nothing here. Neither do the various repayment programs that are being marketed by the higher ed crowd as viable substitutes for the consumer protections that were stripped from the system. Some policy “thought leaders”, in fact, are pointing to these untested, unproven programs as a basis for dramatically increasing the federal loan limits! This is not the direction we want to go. We cannot afford it, and to claim otherwise is hugely irresponsible.

Don’t be distracted by the sophisticated, confusing rhetoric being forced into this debate by those who would maintain the status quo no matter what the cost, or those who would end public support for higher education altogether. Neither extreme has the interests of the citizens at heart. Remember only that reall, this is not a difficult problem. Congress created it by removing fundamental, free-market consumer protections from student loans. Congress can and must fix it by essentially undoing what they did. Quite simply, it begins by returning, at a minimum, the bankruptcy protections that were removed without rational basis (when bankruptcy was the same for student loans as all other loans, far less than 1% of federal loans were discharged this way). With this fundamental, free market mechanism returned, the Department of Education will have a vested interest in compelling the schools to provide a high quality product at a low cost, and at reasonable debt levels.

read article->

george washington smoked weed

Posted by limpyhobbler | Wed Jan 4, 2012, 08:17 PM (0 replies)

racist undertone to many of the Republican attacks leveled against President Obama

January 3, 2012, 5:36 pm
Nobody Likes to Talk About It, but It’s There

DES MOINES — Talking about race in American politics is uncomfortable and awkward. But it has to be said: There has been a racist undertone to many of the Republican attacks leveled against President Obama for the last three years, and in this dawning presidential campaign.

You can detect this undertone in the level of disrespect for this president that would be unthinkable were he not an African-American. Some earlier examples include: Rep. Joe Wilson shouting “you lie” at one of Mr. Obama’s first appearances before Congress, and House Speaker John Boehner rejecting Mr. Obama’s request to speak to a joint session of Congress—the first such denial in the history of our republic.

More recently, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, in a conversation overheard at Reagan National Airport in Washington, said of Michelle Obama: “She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.” He offered a lame apology, but as Mary C. Curtis put it on the Washington Post’s new blog She the People: “Can you imagine how the incident would play out if an African American congressman made a crude remark about First Lady Laura Bush’s body? It certainly would have taken more than an insincere apology to wash that sin away.”

This ugly strain was crudely evident in the “birthers” and their ridiculous demands that Mr. Obama produce his birth certificate to prove that he was American, and not secretly an African Muslim.

continue reading ->

Arlen Specter's stand-up comedy routine

Posted by limpyhobbler | Mon Jan 2, 2012, 06:04 PM (1 replies)

Yes and no...good idea, worth looking at, but mostly no.

Ron Paul's policies are racist.

But as to the point in the OP...

Ron Paul is pretty popular among a certain group of mostly younger white males.
But most of them are not racist, at least they don't think they are.
Some of them support him because of his positions on issues.

If the Democratic party were to take clear positions defending civil liberties, reforming drug policy, preventing the police state, standing up to the military industrial prison industries, etc, etc., then we might be able to peel off some of Ron Paul's people to vote Democrat instead.

But mostly I think they won't go for a Democrat anyway.
Their basic principles are
1)State's rights and
2)An fetish for smaller government.

The areas where liberals/progressives/Dems/lefties might agree with Ron Paul people, as important as those areas are, they are just coincidences.
On issues of equal or even greater importance, we on the left would never be able to agree on a candidate for major office that the Ron Paul people would also find acceptable.

Unfortunately some people don't know the difference between talking about issues and talking about personalities, so it can make getting at the issues a little tough sometimes.

I still think Democrats should lead on many of those issues though, and some Democrats do indeed do so.
But I don't think we'll be snatching away many Ron Paul supporters. They "don't like us".

Posted by limpyhobbler | Mon Jan 2, 2012, 03:38 AM (0 replies)

flashback 2006 y'all

I like this song.
Posted by limpyhobbler | Mon Jan 2, 2012, 01:29 AM (0 replies)

flashback 1989 y'all

Posted by limpyhobbler | Mon Jan 2, 2012, 01:23 AM (0 replies)

not just you, foxnews is just a propaganda arm of the republican party

They can't criticize him for being too far to the left, so instead they just make stuff up.
I got to watch quite a bit of it over the holidays staying with relatives for a week. There was like a 30 minute segment talking about how much time President Obama spends playing golf. They seriously made out like he wasn't paying attention to running the country and he was just on vacation all the time, with hundreds of hours spent playing golf, with no clue what was going on. The ironic part: that was their guy Bush.
Posted by limpyhobbler | Mon Jan 2, 2012, 12:57 AM (1 replies)

a guy was planning to murder jews and blacks but got arrested

Racist ‘plot’ vs. NY Jews

A racist, pistol-packing ex-con was gunning for the head of the Anti-Defamation League in New York when cops caught him in Arizona last week, police said.

They said Danny Lee Warner, nicknamed “Tombstone” and a leader of the Silent Aryan Warriors during his 10 years in prison in Utah, had been plotting against ADL national director Abraham Foxman.

The suspect told his wife he was “going to New York to kill some people,” one source said.

He sent her a letter while on the lam in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, saying he was “headed down South to kill some n---ers and Jews until the government gets me — hopefully, I’ll get enough to make it all worth it before I go.”

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/racist_plot_vs_ny_jews_bG1BGGaz2KkLoOPA8YIz4K#ixzz1iGAmcioK

you're 100% right. Obama knows there is a problem [with the NDAA] or he wouldn't have to clarify.

Similarly Feinstein knows there is a problem or she wouldn't have introduced that Due Process Guarantee Act.

Of course it may just be that the problem they actually perceive is that so many people in the progressive wing of the party will just not shut up and stop whining about it.

I think it's fair to say that most activists who associate with the democratic party have already made their minds up about NDAA. Some people see a serious civil liberties issue and others don't. Not too many people are going to be changing their minds on the subject. Nobody is convincing anybody.

Democrats who supported NDAA 2012 should expect primary challenges and/or just a less enthusiastic base. There's no way around that. The elected national Democrats have knowingly chosen to sacrifice a certain amount of support on the left, in exchange for ____? for what?

Posted by limpyhobbler | Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:29 PM (0 replies)
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