Archives for July 2013

Good news for students…for now? Not so fast…

Awaiting President Obama’s signature is a bill that will reduce the costs of borrowing for millions of students.

Don’t get completely happy about it; the bipartisan legislation links student loan interest rates to the financial markets. This means that at current market rates, students obtain lower rates now but, once the economy improves, rates will tick upwards and in synch with market conditions.… [Read more]

Things that don’t mix

Many things don’t mix well, such as:

  • Drinking and driving
  • Tea and Pepsi
  • Negligent actions and guns
  • My mother and a garden hose (don’t get in range, you’ll get wet, very wet)
  • Republicans and common sense
  • Mental health issues and guns

It’s the last item that I’m going to write about today.

Several weeks ago I wrote in a post or comment about a young man with whom my wife has conversations.… [Read more]

Another stop on the state of the economy road trip

“How about a ‘grand bargain’ for middle-class jobs?” Indeed, that is the question. While Congress spends its time on the time-wasting activity of yet another ‘down with Obamacare‘ vote (does this latest vote make 40 attempts to snatch healthcare coverage from the country’s previously uninsured citizens?), President Obama spoke at a another stop on his ‘state of the economy’ road trip.… [Read more]

Manning not guilty of ‘aiding the enemy’, guilty of illegal leaking of documents

Three years after Army Pfc.Bradley Manning’s arrest for leaks of U.S. government and military secrets, the WikiLeaks trial that began in early June has come to an end: a military judge found Manning not guilty of “aiding the enemy.” Manning, however was found guilty of illegally leaking documents which carries 20 other legal specifications And a potential sentence of up to 154 years in prison when all charges are aggregated.… [Read more]

Banks *still* behaving badly

Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — the independent agency responsible for  assisting consumers in “obtaining reliable, efficient and sustainable energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means” — released a notice on the allegations against a J.P. Morgan Chase affiliate. JPMC has been accused by  federal energy regulators, after a investigation that began approximately one year ago, of using “eight manipulative bidding strategies” to garner what the regulators deem to be “excessive payments” from electricity markets.… [Read more]

The Emperor’s New [Farming] Clothes

For decades, the needs of agricultural rural states and more urban areas have been balanced by the once every five years Farm Bill. Farming states seek maintenance of the patchwork of subsidies and crop insurance programs in place for eighty years, and urban states answer the needs of constituents receiving nutritional assistance.  Never mind that rural states have SNAP/food stamp recipients in significant numbers, as well.… [Read more]

The Way it Is

“Standing in line marking time, waiting for the welfare dime ‘Cause they can’t buy a job The man in the silk suit hurries by As he catches the poor old ladies’ eyes just for fun he says, “Get a job”[Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Should Weiner withdraw?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Should Wiener withdraw?

Sincerely, Lorena Bobbitt, Manassas, Virginia… [Read more]

Rep. King, Empathy and the ‘Others’

“Deep in my heart, I do believe, that we shall overcome someday…” As I stood in the pouring rain Saturday in Atlanta for the Trayvon Martin rally, my mind wandered to another time, another place. I could have been standing in the rain for a rally during the 1960s. I could have been in any city in America.… [Read more]

“Washington has taken its eye off the ball…”

Speaking at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama delivered a speech yesterday on the state of the US economy. Providing context he discussed how far the nation has come, fiscally speaking, since the beginning of his first term. For those short on memory, lest we forget, the nation has fought its way back from a financial meltdown and a housing bubble; Wall Street had run amok, the financial services sector was in danger, homeowners saw their housing values decline and, with it, the net worth of many Americans experienced a sharp devaluation.… [Read more]