• AdLib : Night Khirad. Seems like a good time to bring tonight’s edition of Vox Populi to a close. Thanks Sally and Khirad and all of our fantastic members for making it another enjoyable and enlightening evening. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next Friday at 7!

  • AdLib : Sally – I don’t know of any legislation that Reid and the Dems in the Senate are trying to push forward. It all seems like a passive defense, waiting out the clock until 2012. Have you heard of anything major they’ve brought to the floor?

  • SallyT : Well, AdLib, that would be a start. Even if we can’t get it passed, we should atleast show we are trying to do something and the Repubs are blocking it again and again.

  • AdLib : Sally, yes, I saw that cutting Pell grants is a big item on the Nihlist Party’s shopping list. They really do want to throw the future of America under the bus of corporate profits. It’s so anti-American, just bewilders me how they get away with wanting to do such things and aren’t seen as the radical enemies of the people that they are.

  • Khirad : Well, talking financials is like a glass of warm milk for me. I’m gonna have to call it a night here. ;-)

  • AdLib : Khirad – And with the bankruptcy laws changed under Bush, it’s pretty hard to get out from under debts now. What would be more populist right now than changing bankruptcy laws back to how they were?

  • SallyT : According to AlterNet: Pell Grants for students have shrunk drastically in relation to the ballooning cost of a four-year college, and Paul Ryan wants to cut them even more, pushing some 1.4 million students into loans, more of which come each year from private lenders with little to no accountability. They say it is the next bubble.

  • AdLib : Sally, they tried to get provisions like that and “cram-downs” passed when the Dems controlled all of Congress but the banks own enough of Congress to kill such bills. Now, with a GOP House, it’s impossible. We did lose a number of bank-owned Dems in 2010, maybe if we could replace the Repubs who beat them with real Progressives, we could get such legislation passed.

  • Khirad : Yup, that’s sorta what I was driving at. I never understood why the people weren’t bailed out. I guess I get the solvency issue, and saving GM, but the whole too big to fail thing really bewildered me. I’m no financial genius, but tie it to regulations, quotas on loans, or restructuring the banks (omg, that would not have gone down)… So, what I see is just a cash handout to them, and businesses not hiring, while students and grads saddled with debt aren’t being hired…. brilliant…

  • SallyT : Well, when they are working on the Bankruptcy Law they can include Home Mortages so the court and force the banks to refinance and banks can lower the rates.

  • AdLib : “Since July 1, 2010, all new federal education loans have been made through the Direct Loan program. The loans are made through the college’s financial aid office with funds provided by the US Department of Education. This includes the Federal Parent PLUS loan in addition to student loans. The terms of the Federal Stafford, PLUS and Consolidation loans are similar to the terms of the federal education loans previously available through the federally-guaran teed student loan programs. However, the interest rate on the Federal Direct PLUS loan is lower (7.9% vs. 8.5%) and the approval rate is higher. “

  • AdLib : Khirad, this goes to my big issue with the way Obama dealt with the economic crisis. No bailouts or taking on the debts of the people, only banks and insurance companies. That was a huge mistake. If Tarp payments were restructured to require debt buyouts from home owner’s mortgages and students’ loans, etc., there would be a much more vibrant economy now and a better home market because many people would still be in their homes.

  • Khirad : Yeah, I remember that. A few other moves, too. Need to sell those and contrast them with what the GOP would do.

  • AdLib : Obama got rid of the gov giving banks money for student loans, by borrowing from the government directly, the cost to students was immediately lowered.

  • Khirad : Ooh, I just figured out how to bring the kids to the polls…

  • Khirad : Where’s the student bailout, AL?

  • Khirad : Actually, that’s not true. Obama has talked about several solutions for students, and he hits campuses. I also like the initiative to take any of the “stigma” away from community colleges. I mean, now you can take university courses from the community college, from home, what does it matter? It’s all about expanding educational opportunities, not about snootiness.

  • SallyT : Khirad, I am with you. I only went to a business college but I worry about my granddaughter who is in her final year of college. She just got accepted to the best college for design and we are excited but scared.

  • AdLib : Just saw an article, in 2009, the average student debt was $24,000. Yeow! And with high paying jobs evaporating and cost of living rising, how do you retire that debt?

  • Khirad : It’s friggin’ ridiculous, Sally. It’s a huge problem not really addressed by politicians. When I hear what my parents spent on their degree, adjusted for inflation, my mouth hits the floor and I get really, really, really angry.

  • AdLib : Though I really dislike Edwards and all that he’s done (I saw him as a phony throughout the campaign) my concern is that once the government decides that anything a politician does that could be seen as helping him politically could be criminal if not declared, no matter how ancillary, who’s going to run for office?

  • SallyT : Edwards? Yes, he needs to explain and answer if he mis- used his election funds.

  • SallyT : AdLib, I read that The cost of a college degree is up some 3,400 percent since 1972.

  • Khirad : I’m undecided on Edwards. Legally I hear it’s kinda extraordinary. Emotionally, I don’t care.

  • AdLib : Night Patsy! Take care!!!

  • AdLib : Good point Sally, the amount of debt grads carry when they leave college is hugely more than just a handful of years before. This concept of keeping Americans in debt from school age until death is a serious concern. There is an element of indentured servitude.

  • PatsyT : Opps gotta go and pick up kids… Nighty Night All …

  • AdLib : On a different topic, what do folks here think about the indictment of John Edwards? Is it warranted or not?

  • SallyT : Yes, and they better work on changing the Bankruptcy Laws to allow those students to get out from under that debt they are saddled with and they can’t get a job for years.

  • AdLib : Yep. Though, as you say, spreading the word amng college students that with a Repub pres, their loans and grants will go away and there won’t be Medicare for them when they get old are some solid arguments.

  • Khirad : That’s what I’m hoping for AL. If anyone can do it, that team can. I just don’t want them to get lazy. They need to start generating their viral material now.

  • AdLib : Khirad – I think you’ll see a real strong social media outreach to the youth vote from the Obama campaign. They did an incredible job on that in 2008 and they know how big of an advantage they have with younger voters. Bet on it!

  • PatsyT : Nighty night Cher….

  • SallyT : Cher, you misread. I didn’t say Dems I said those registering as Independents.

  • AdLib : Sleep well, Cher! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Khirad : They better, in addition to pounding away at Medicare, not forget to tell students (and their parents) and much more Repubs would gut education funding and loans opportunities. Fer chrissakes, don’t just expect the youth vote again. It’s a very fickle constituency. Or no, that’s not fair. It really just needs to be ASKED to vote. Apart from last cycle it’s usually just written off. Well, we saw what galvanizing the youth can do, and we ARE NOT Republican in large part. Whether they make nontroversies over a rapper or bash gays, etc, they just couldn’t be further away from anyone younger than 40.

  • Chernynkaya : Folks, I’m folding and picking up my chips. See you tomorrow I hope!

  • AdLib : I think the Baggers will have their chains pulled by the Kochs et al if they try to run a 3rd party candidate. They’ll be bought off one way or another, they have the money to get their way.

  • SallyT : AdLib, right now we look like the lesser of evils and we may get votes for that alone. To get more we have to look like we got some balls and we will not try to compromise on everything but take a stand and stick to it.

  • PatsyT : Interesting thought Khirad, but isn’t he the one the Koch bros are betting on?

  • Chernynkaya : AL– OMG if only they woukd do that! I KNOW it’s a winner. They need to listen to real Dems like Pelosi–she so gets it.

  • AdLib : Khirad, actually, Willard “Mitt” Romney’s not a mole, he’s more like another kind of rodent. Have you seen his new campaign ad? «link»

  • Chernynkaya : Sally then those Dems are foolish, IMO. Protecting what we got is imperative now. Not the time for new. HCR anyone? We lost a ton of center Dems and the Left, yet is was a huge accomplishment.

  • Chernynkaya : I think Romney knows he lost the baggers over Mass. HCR and other things. He can;t completely give them the finger, but he has written hem off.

  • AdLib : I would like to see the Democratic Party to run on a specific and publicized platform. Elect us and give us the House back and we will limit filibusters, pass the Dream Act, end taxcuts for the rich, stimulate the economy and add jobs while lowering the deficit through tax code fixes on corporations and the wealthy and put in place a public option that forces insurance companies to compete at lower premiums.

  • SallyT : Right, Cher, it may not get passed but that is not the Dems fault. They have to keep showing that they are trying. Those registering as Indepentants are those thinking we don’t do anything unless it is to protect something that we have already got years ago but we aren’t trying to better that or get going anything new.

  • PatsyT : Wow Cannibals are over taking the T baggers

  • Chernynkaya : AL the Bagger orgs have already declared they will run a 3rd Party candidate instead of Willard. They hate him He knows he has no support form them he;s going for the Indies–smart.

  • Khirad : AL, you ever wonder if Romney is really a mole?

  • Chernynkaya : Sally, every jobs bill the Dems have put up was defeated. Then union bosses know that, but yes another symbolic vote should be scheduled. Same with Hispanics–they need to keep trying but the Dream Act was just defeated.