Student loan rates set to double

Here’s some bullshit:

The defeat of a student loan bill in the Senate on Wednesday clears the way for fresh negotiations to restore lower rates, but lawmakers are racing the clock before millions of students return to campus next month to find borrowing terms twice as high as when school let out.

Republicans and a few Democrats blocked a White House-backed proposal that would have restored 3.4 percent interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans for one more year. The failed stopgap measure was designed to give lawmakers time to take up comprehensive college affordability legislation and dodge 6.8 percent interest rates on new loans.

I’m one of the lucky few college graduates who will probably be able to very quickly get out from under some significant debt, but most students will simply be burdened with their loans for decades. That the interest rate is so high only adds to the problem.

Of course, the first real problem is that there’s interest on student loans at all. The government has a compelling interest in higher education graduation rates, so it really should be directly subsidizing student costs, but whereas we apparently need to spend money on an unnecessary military and a largely illegal domestic spy agency, we should at least give out student loans sans interest. This isn’t suppose to be a money-making endeavor, for fuck’s sake.


Thought of the day

Faith is the exact opposite of knowledge.

Black people should move out of the south

In light of the recent and awful decision by the Supreme Court to strike down an essential component of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, racially callous southern states have begun to de facto target black and other minority voters:

The GOP majority in North Carolina is moving to pass a series of laws in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling striking down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, sparking outrage from civil rights activists.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that North Carolina Republicans plan to adopt stricter voter identification laws. The report also said the GOP is pushing to end the state’s early voting laws, Sunday voting and same-day voter registration.

This is more about getting votes than about disenfranchising black people for the NC GOP, but it would be a mistake to ignore the volumes this speaks of their mindset. They may not have an overt desire to harm the voting rights of black people, but they are entirely unaware of the ramifications of their actions; they’re looking at the short term wins they can get (which, incidentally, they will then use to change abortion laws, failing to do anything about the economy – ever), completely glossing over what this will mean for a group of people both now and far into the future, simply because of the color of their skin.

On the decision itself:

The Supreme Court ruled a week ago that states no longer can be judged by voting discrimination that went on decades ago.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices said the Voting Rights Act’s requirement that mainly Southern states undergo special scrutiny before changing their voting laws is based on a 40-year-old formula that is no longer relevant to changing racial circumstances.

“Congress — if it is to divide the states — must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions. It cannot rely simply on the past,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority, which was composed of the court’s conservative-leaning justices.

I wasn’t aware 5 ‘justices’ believing a law to not make sense also made said law unconstitutional. Color me surprised (but don’t use black – I like to vote).

It’s worth noting that the rationale behind the majority’s vote is that the constitution is a living, breathing document that changes with the times and must take present day conditions into consideration. This is wildly in contract to Political Figure Antonin Scalia’s entire judicial/political philosophy. (I presume Lapdog Thomas holds the same position. No need to double check, really.)