Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Mashup (10/27/11)

Interesting poll results from the Bucks County Courier Times here, which tells me any or all of the following: 1) Most of that paper’s readership is not currently in college, 2) Most of that paper’s readership is not currently paying off a student loan, and 3) Most of that paper’s readership would reflexively hate anything this president did regardless of what it was.

Meanwhile, this tells us the following…
DENVER, Colorado — US President Barack Obama Wednesday dwelt upon his own struggles with student debt, as he laid out a plan to ease the burden of college loans and reached out to young voters in key swing state.

The president, on his second visit to the Rocky Mountain electoral battleground of Colorado in a month, said he and his wife Michelle spent years paying off a combined student debt load of $120,000.

“This is something Michelle and I know about first hand. I’ve been in your shoes. We did not come from a wealthy family,” Obama told students at the University of Colorado.

“Our folks didn’t have a lot of money. We didn’t even own our own home. We rented most of the time that we were growing up.

“We were able to land good jobs with a steady income. But it still took us almost 10 years to finally pay off all our student debt,” Obama said.

“We want you in school. But we shouldn’t saddle you with debt when you’re starting off,” Obama said, referring to the high fees, in the tens of thousands of dollars a year, many US students face on the way to a degree.

Obama’s plan, to be enacted by executive order, will mean payments would go down for 1.6 million Americans who are stuck with student loan debt, officials said.
As positive a development as this is, however, there is the following to consider (here)…
"It's a step in the right direction, but a lot of people who need the relief right now won't be the ones who benefit," said Mark Kantrowitz, who publishes the financial aid websites and "This plan doesn't do anything for a majority of distressed borrowers. It only helps those still in school."
And by the way, what of Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History on this subject? I give you this…
Making matters worse was a 2005 President George W. Bush decree that student loan debt is the one thing you can’t wriggle away from by declaring personal bankruptcy, says (Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal). “It’s actually worse than a bad mortgage,” he says. “You have to get rid of the future you wanted to pay off all the debt from the fancy school that was supposed to give you that future.”
Also, for comparison purposes, I thought it was a good idea to include this response from the WaPo on the very same subject…

Oh, and as long as I’m commenting on the Courier Times, allow me to compliment the paper on its wonderful new layout with its oversized photos and reduced amount of type. If I wanted to subscribe to a third-grader reader trying to pass itself off as a mass circulation almost-daily newspaper, I would do so.

Update 10/28/11: And for further evidence that Obama is doing the right thing here, I give you this.

  • Next, I give you the latest propaganda from Fix Noise (here)…
    The famous magician Harry Houdini would be proud of President Obama’s efforts to fool Americans into believing that immigration enforcement has increased. His trick is getting the public to focus on the total number of deportations while he hides the details of what those total numbers really reveal.

    Mr. Obama claims that his nearly 400,000 annual deportations of illegal aliens are higher than yearly deportations under President Bush. The claim is true – sort of, but so what? The previous president never adequately addressed the escalating cost and impact of illegal immigration so using his deportation numbers as a benchmark sets the bar very low.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! Oh my freaking God, that is way too damn funny!

    So just because Former Commander Codpiece pretty much chose to ignore ended up not getting anything accomplished on illegal immigration, his numbers are exempt from comparison purposes? Gee, can President Obama use that excuse the next time some wingnut complains about something he may not have paid a lot of attention to for some reason, such as the cost of our military involvement in Libya?

    Meanwhile, from the world of reality, I give you this…
    The eight years of President George W. Bush’s administration saw a marked increase in illegal immigration and a drop in immigration enforcement throughout much of his tenure. For example, the number of illegal aliens arrested in workplace cases fell from nearly 3,000 in 1999 to 445 in 2003, with the number of criminal cases against employers during this period falling from 182 to four. Not surprisingly, by 2005, there were an estimated 10-20 million illegal aliens living in the United States. Even at the end of 2007 after the Bush administration’s enforcement crackdown had been underway; only 92 criminal arrests of employers had taken place, in an economy that, according to the Washington Post, includes 6 million businesses that employ more than 7 million illegal foreign workers.

    Despite the failure of past amnesties and the fact that these increase illegal immigration, Bush repeatedly pushed mass legalization (amnesty) schemes for illegal immigrants using the well-worn line that they “are doing jobs Americans will not” or “are not” doing. One scheme was the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act 2007 which was defeated by widespread popular opposition.
    We have needed comprehensive immigration reform in this country for way too damn long, including the DREAM Act and a path to citizenship for the illegal/undocumented/whatever the #$@! you want to call them workers if they do the right thing (“pay the fine and get in line,” people – I know I’ve said this before, but why the hell can’t the Dems come up with catchy slogans for their good ideas the way the Repugs can come up with catchy slogans for their bad ones?).

  • Finally, The formerly Moonie Times haz a sad over the WaPo supposedly going after the Teahadists and Republicans in general (by the way, try hyperlinking to the actual stuff you’re supposedly criticizing instead of your own lame content)...
    The fury with which America’s left-leaning establishment has chronicled the country’s fiscal challenges is indeed fascinating to those of us who follow such activities.

    The Washington Post’s editorial and op-ed pages are full of grand indictments against all things Tea Party, GOP Congress and the leading Republican presidential contenders.

    The headlines of many recent opinion pieces reflect the unbridled vitriol: “Those reckless Republicans,” “The Tea Party, united only by anger and the Internet,” “Conservative zealotry vs. economic reality,” “Racism and the Tea Party movement,” and “The GOP’s carjacking on Capitol Hill” - is but a sampling of recent reviews produced by the establishment’s opinion makers.
    In response, I give you this…
    In an October 18 editorial titled, "The Wall Street Whiners: The 'Occupy' movement is made up of lots of losers," The Washington Times called the Occupy Wall Street protesters "crybabies" and "complainers" who "are desperate to blame others for their poor life choices."
    As usual, conservatives look into a mirror and see the reflection of everyone but themselves (oh, and here is another conspiracy theory on OWS making the rounds that I'm happy to help destroy).
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