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marmar

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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 70,252

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Colleges Withhold Transcripts From Grads in Loan Default


Published on Saturday, March 31, 2012 by The Nation
Colleges Withhold Transcripts From Grads in Loan Default

by Dave Lindorff


More than ten years ago, Pedro Rodriguez, a talented keyboard musician, came from his colonial homeland of Puerto Rico to go to Temple University. From a low-income family, he depended heavily on student loans to finance his four-year undergraduate study. Graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s of music, he went on to earn a master’s degree in music from Temple and then was hired for three years to teach there as an adjunct. By the end of college, he was $62,000 in debt but was making payments regularly until Temple laid him off, allegedly because of budget cuts. That’s when his problems began. (Pedro Rodriguez is a pseudonym to protect his identity.)

Unable to find a job as a music teacher in the current economic crisis, he eventually went into default on his loans, which included Stafford, Perkins and private bank loans. Then this year, he decided to go on to earn a PhD, which would make it possible for him to get hired in his field. He applied to a top-rated university in the Northeast, but when it was time to send his school transcripts, Temple froze him out. “They said as long as I was in default on my loans, they would not issue a transcript!” says Rodriguez.

A spokesman from Temple confirms that it is school policy to withhold official transcripts from graduates who are in default on their student loans. As it turns out, the school is not alone; this is the position taken by most colleges and universities, though there is no law requiring such an extortionate position. They do this despite the fact the colleges themselves are not out the money. They have received the students’ tuition payments in full and are in effect simply acting as collection agencies for the federal government.

The US Department of Education says only that it “encourages” colleges to withhold transcripts, a tactic which the department, in a letter to colleges, claims coldly “has resulted in numerous loan repayments.” But particularly in a time when the real unemployment rate is stuck at over 15 percent, or, if long term unemployed who have given up looking for work are included, at 22 percent, it seems not just heartless, but counter-productive for schools to block their own graduates from obtaining a document they need to move on to a higher degree or to get hired in their chosen field. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/31



David Korten: When Bankers Rule the World


from YES! Magazine:



When Bankers Rule the World
How we can call out the myths, restructure the banking system, shut down the con game, and take back America.

by David Korten
posted Mar 29, 2012


The tell-all defection of Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs executive, provided an insider’s view of the moral corruption of the Wall Street banks that control of much of America’s economy and politics. Smith confirms what insightful observers have known for years: the business purpose of Wall Street bankers is to maximize their personal financial take without regard to the consequences for others.

Wall Street’s World of Illusion

Why has the public for so long tolerated Wall Street’s reckless abuses of power and accepted the resulting devastation? The answer lies in a cultural trance induced by deceptive language and misleading indicators backed by flawed economic theory and accounting sleight-of hand. To shatter the trance we need to recognize that the deception that Wall Street promotes through its well-funded PR machine rests on three false premises.

1. We best fulfill our individual moral obligation to society by maximizing our personal financial gain.
2. Money is wealth and making money increases the wealth of the society.
3. Making money is the proper purpose of the individual enterprise and is the proper measure of prosperity and economic performance.


Wall Street aggressively promotes these fallacies as guiding moral principles. Their embrace by Wall Street insiders helps to explain how they are able to reward themselves with obscene bonuses for their successful use of deception, fraud, speculation, and usury to steal wealth they have had no part in creating and yet still believe, as Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein famously proclaimed, that they are “doing God’s work.” .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/david-korten/when-bankers-rule-the-world



Robert Reich: Whose Recovery?


Whose Recovery?
Friday, March 30, 2012


Luxury retailers are smiling. So are the owners of high-end restaurants, sellers of upscale cars, vacation planners, financial advisors, and personal coaches. For them and their customers and clients the recession is over. The recovery is now full speed.

But the rest of America isn’t enjoying an economic recovery. It’s still sick. Many Americans remain in critical condition.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the economy grew at a 3 percent annual rate last quarter (far better than the measly 1.8 percent third quarter growth). Personal income also jumped. Americans raked in over $13 trillion, $3.3 billion more than previously thought.

Yet it’s almost a certainly that all the gains went to the top 10 percent, and the lion’s share to the top 1 percent. Over a third of the gains went to 15,600 super-rich households in the top one-tenth of one percent. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://robertreich.org/post/20171217334



The conservative grip on power


from Salon.com:



The conservative grip on power
Don't let the Democratic president fool you: Conservatives are fully entrenched in D.C., especially on the Court

By Linda Hirshman


Writing in Salon, Natasha Lennard proposes that with the warm weather we can again expect the Occupy movement to shoot up. Arab Spring, American Spring. She’s right about one thing: Like in the decades before the Arab Spring, it has been a long, cold, American winter. In the 30 years since coming to power here, Republicans have used their initial ascent to power to seal themselves into office as tightly as the pharaohs. Smart commentators have noted how lawless the conservatives are in making substantive decisions, but that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is how they use their tenure to make it increasingly impossible to oust them.

With this week’s Supreme Court hearings — which will end, liberals worry, with the justices overturning healthcare reform — we are nearing the apotheosis of conservative power. Let us recount how we got here: In 2000, a mob of conservative thugs stopped the vote recount in Florida. And that was before the court got involved, the five conservative justices seizing the election and handing the White House to George W. Bush. Secure in the tenure of their undemocratically selected president, the two older conservative justices, William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor, retired from the bench. Bush replaced them with two young conservatives, destined, by constitutional design and the miracles of modern medicine, to dominate the court into the foreseeable future. At the Supreme Court, it’s always winter (and never Christmas).

The stunningly inept performance by the Bush administration unforeseeably produced the first Democratic federal government since 1994. Immediately thereafter, the conservative Supreme Court majority ruled that the GOP’s wealthy sponsors could spend an unlimited amount of the money putting conservatives in office. Now, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, appointed, in part, by the conservative president they put in the White House, is preparing to wipe from the statute books the only piece of meaningful progressive legislation in the last half century, passed during the brief Indian summer of a two-year Democratic majority. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.salon.com/2012/03/31/the_conservative_grip_on_power/singleton/



Point Break: 'Spain last nail in Euro-coffin'





Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to boost the EU's rescue fund to 800 billion euros, to help countries like Spain recover from their crippling debt woes. Spain's financial crisis has prompted the government to announce its biggest austerity measures in over three decades. The country's vowed to cut 27 billion euros from its budget this year. It comes after tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets on Thursday, to fight against labor reforms.

Michael Mross, economic analyst says that while the country struggles to rise out of its debt crisis, it will never be able to implement the new cuts.


More Airline Trickeration


from the Detroit Free Press:


Thanks to reader Ronald Horwitz of Farmington Hills who rang the alarm on a new fare scheme from Delta Air Lines.

"Have you noticed the latest sneaky way Delta has increased their fares? On certain itineraries from Detroit to Florida, Delta is now offering a 'basic economy' fare, which is what the plain economy fare used to be. It is generally about $10-$15 cheaper than the 'economy' fare, but you cannot select your seats. So, what it boils down to, is Delta is now charging on certain flights for the privilege of selecting your seats in advance," he wrote.

Sure enough, it turns out that Delta has quietly changed its fare structure from Detroit to Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers. If you are taking one of these flights, read on.

The new "Basic Economy" fare is a few dollars cheaper than other economy fares. However, it has restrictions. No selecting your seat in advance. No changing the ticket. No refunds. And you must combine it only with other "E" class (basic economy) fares. .........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20120330/COL21/120330051/Delta-Airlines-basic-economy-fare?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE



Robert Parry: When Is a Hack a Hack?


from Consortium News:



When Is a Hack a Hack?
March 30, 2012

Exclusive: Ronald Reagan’s Solicitor General Charles Fried sees “politics, politics, politics” at play in the apparent move by the Supreme Court’s Republican majority to kill health-care reform, but the Washington Post’s neocon editors say it’s unfair to call any of those five GOP justices a “hack,” reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry


So what has happened to many of those conservative “strict constructionists” who insist that only a literal reading of the Constitution is acceptable and that “activist” justices can’t simply “create rights” for Americans that the Framers didn’t write down?

Apparently, because these “conservatives” hate “Obamacare” – almost as much as they detest President Barack Obama – they’re celebrating the hypocritical spectacle of five Republican justices on the Supreme Court demanding that new limitations be placed on Congress’ constitutionally unlimited power to regulate interstate commerce.

These self-proclaimed “strict constructionists” can’t find limitations in the actual Constitution, since none are there, so the GOP Five apparently intend to insert some new words into the founding document to post-facto (or perhaps ipso facto) disqualify the Affordable Care Act as “unconstitutional.”

Maybe, the GOP Five should just drive down to the National Archives, pry open the case holding the Constitution and pencil in some new words. After the relevant section about Congress having the power to regulate interstate commerce, the GOP Five can scribble in “except for things like purchases of broccoli, gym memberships, cell phones and health insurance.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/03/30/when-is-a-hack-a-hack/



I'm just a drunk boy, nobody loves me.......





David Korten: When Bankers Rule the World


from YES! Magazine:



When Bankers Rule the World
How we can call out the myths, restructure the banking system, shut down the con game, and take back America.

by David Korten
posted Mar 29, 2012


The tell-all defection of Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs executive, provided an insider’s view of the moral corruption of the Wall Street banks that control of much of America’s economy and politics. Smith confirms what insightful observers have known for years: the business purpose of Wall Street bankers is to maximize their personal financial take without regard to the consequences for others.

Wall Street’s World of Illusion

Why has the public for so long tolerated Wall Street’s reckless abuses of power and accepted the resulting devastation? The answer lies in a cultural trance induced by deceptive language and misleading indicators backed by flawed economic theory and accounting sleight-of hand. To shatter the trance we need to recognize that the deception that Wall Street promotes through its well-funded PR machine rests on three false premises.

1. We best fulfill our individual moral obligation to society by maximizing our personal financial gain.
2. Money is wealth and making money increases the wealth of the society.
3. Making money is the proper purpose of the individual enterprise and is the proper measure of prosperity and economic performance.


Wall Street aggressively promotes these fallacies as guiding moral principles. Their embrace by Wall Street insiders helps to explain how they are able to reward themselves with obscene bonuses for their successful use of deception, fraud, speculation, and usury to steal wealth they have had no part in creating and yet still believe, as Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein famously proclaimed, that they are “doing God’s work.” .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/david-korten/when-bankers-rule-the-world



Unbiased Supreme Court (cartoon)





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