Wednesday, August 31, 2022

QOTD -- On Gorbachev


"... Gorbachev became a sort of hero in the west. But he became that hero precisely because he was a massive failure. 

"We have to see his legacy in the light of how he is perceived in Russia, not just that he helped the US win the Cold War. The bitterness toward him in Russia is very real and I’m not sure the world is better off for his failures. It’s not that the American evaluation of Gorbachev has no value. But we have to remember that the world is not made up of Americans and the contempt for him at home probably should mean more than what we Americans think. 

"Of course, the world probably is a better place for Gorbachev’s life. His actions in 1989-1991 could have been so much worse and resulted in the killing of many people. But again, we can’t just look at him as a hero because his life also ended up serving American interests. 

"He’s not an American after all. He’s a Russian. If we don’t consider how people see him in his beloved home, we are myopically seeing the world through American lenses. Let’s try not to do that today." -- history professor Erik Loomis at LGM on the legacy of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, who died yesterday at the age of 91. 


Tweets Of The Day

Big picture on DOJ filing --



Keep talking --



Get serious --


Take them down --




Get the picture? --



Eek! --




Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Robert Ariail, Spartanburg Herald- Journal, SC)

(R.J. Matson, CQ/ Roll Call)

(Ed Hall,

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Tim Campbell, Counterpoint)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Andy Marlette, Pensacola News-Journal, FL)

(Rob Rogers, Counterpoint)

(Ellis Rosen, @EllisRosen)

Mid-Week Songs: Van Morrison


Rock icon Van Morrison, whose career spans nearly six decades, celebrates his 77th birthday today, and we are noting it with two songs of his from different points in his career. The first is from his days as the lead singer with his Northern Ireland band Them, and the often-covered "Gloria." The second is as a solo artist in the late '60s, his hit "Brown Eyed Girl." 

Herschel Walker's Mental Health Still An Issue


Here's a new ad by Georgia Honor on the ex-football flake running for Rafael Warnock's Senate seat in Georgia:


Judging from these comments in an interview yesterday with the Malignant Loser's favorite cable channel, Newsmax, Walker still may be having mental health issues:

I’ve always been very transparent. I’ve been very transparent. And I will be a champion for mental health because I’ve helped so many people that had a mental health problem. I think a lot of families have a lot of struggles with mental health, and I will be a champion for that.

And they can continue to bring all this, what they want to do against me, because people know what I stand for, Herschel Walker is still standing.

My bike is not bent so anyone can ride my bike like [Warnock] seems to have Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden riding his bike because he seems to be voting for whatever they say. 
(our emphasis)

Of course, we empathize with anyone with a history of mental health issues.  But, Walker can't be anything but transparent at this point, because his struggles have been well known for some time.  Really, though, is this Trump- loving, argle- bargling, violence- prone, habitual liar in any way shape or form a match for Sen. Warnock?  People of Georgia, please!

DOJ: Secret Documents Moved, Concealed At Trump Home

Late last night, the Justice Department filed a response to the Malignant Loser's request for a special master to review the documents he illegally took from the White House in January, 2021. The Justice Department provided more details of the efforts to get him to release all of the highly classified documents until they were forced to execute a search warrant at his Florida home earlier this month. Read the filing here.

The motion to deny the request revealed more evidence that the Malignant Loser deliberately withheld and concealed documents that were requested by the National Archives, and a grand jury subpoena:

"Among the new disclosures in the 36-page filing were that the search yielded three classified documents in desks inside Mr. Trump’s office, with more than 100 documents in 13 boxes or containers with classification markings in the residence, including some at the most restrictive levels.

That was twice the number of classified documents the former president’s lawyers turned over voluntarily while swearing an oath that they had returned all the material demanded by the government."

The documents in question were moved from place to place during the year that the Malignant Loser had custody of them, according to the Justice Department's filing, and demonstrate deliberate obstruction of their lawful request:
"Investigators developed evidence that 'government records were likely concealed and removed' from the storage room at Mar-a-Lago after the Justice Department sent Mr. Trump’s office a subpoena for any remaining documents with classified markings. That led prosecutors to conclude that 'efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation,' the government filing said.

The filing included one striking visual aid — a photograph of at least five yellow folders recovered from Mr. Trump’s resort and residence marked “Top Secret” and another red one labeled “Secret.'”  (our emphasis)

The filing goes into detail about the actions of the Malignant Loser's "legal" team's role, and whether they intentionally misled government officials. 

The Malignant Loser-appointed Federal judge overseeing this matter will rule on the need for a special master tomorrow, but the Justice Department filing provides clear evidence of obstruction and mishandling of highly classified documents for all to see.

BONUS:  The Malignant Loser's lawyers "asked for the Justice Department to punch them in the face, and that's what the Justice Department did in this brief" --



More commentary here.

(photo: Floor of Trump's office at Mar a Lago/ Justice Department via NY Times)


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Weasel Blake "Flake" Masters' Shifting Positions

White supremacist and enemy of Social Security, Blake "Flake" Masters, the Trumpist candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona, has been checking the wind direction, and decided he's toast if general election voters know how extreme he is. So what does a dishonest wingnut running for office do? He scrubs his website of some of the most egregious crap that won't play well in the general election:

"Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters removed language from his website following his primary win that included the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, along with a section arguing the country would be better off if Trump was still the president.

A review of Masters' website by CNN's KFile showed he also removed controversial language saying Democrats were trying to "import" a new electorate -- language that has drawn fire for mirroring far-right conspiracies that Democrats are trying to weaken the power of native-born Americans of European descent through mass immigration of non-White immigrants. [snip]

NBC News first reported last week that Masters attempted to tone down his position on abortion by removing from his website his support of a "federal personhood law" and a several other strict anti-abortion positions while releasing a video in which the Republican nominee took a softer stance on the issue."  (our emphasis)

Masters' backing away from the Malignant Loser's Big Lie may get some unwanted blowback from his cult leader, who wants to make his grievances and his defeat in 2020 the major issue in this year's elections, to the dismay of Sen. "Moscow" Mitch McConnell and others. 

Masters, a protege of far-right plutocrat and Trump BFF Peter Thiel, has been running behind incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, and is hoping persuadable Arizona voters are too dense to notice his deceit. Let's remind them of it, and consider donating to Sen. Kelly's campaign.

(photo: Put that thumb where the sun don't shine. CNN)

Tweets of the Day


Unhinged, unpatriotic and demagogic as always --

Blackmail is part of why Trump wanted classified docs -- 

Simply substitute "Trump" for "they" and you have it --  

Herschel "How Many Kids?" Walker, the cosplay cop and nut case -- 

"Reseal the deal" with Iran (and ignore Bibi's bombast) --  


Take note media and others --


Fashion influencer for the portly set --  



Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Guy Parsons,

(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Chris Britt,

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Examiner, KY)

(Jen Sorensen,

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)

(Randall Enos,

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Paul Noth, @PaulNoth)

Republicans: Give Us The House And We'll ... Impeach Biden!1!

Here's what you can expect (in addition to multiple "Hunter Biden's laptop!" hearings) should the *semi-fascist* Republican/Seditionist Party get control of the House in November:

Republicans hoping to seize control of the House in November are already setting their sights on what is, for many of them, a top priority next year: impeaching President Biden. 

A number of rank-and-file conservatives have already introduced impeachment articles in the current Congress against the president. They accuse Biden of committing “high crimes” in his approach to a range of issues touching on border enforcement, the coronavirus pandemic and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  [snip]

“I have consistently said President Biden should be impeached for intentionally opening our border and making Americans less safe,” said Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.). “Congress has a duty to hold the President accountable for this and any other failures of his Constitutional responsibilities, so a new Republican majority must be prepared to aggressively conduct oversight on day one.”

It's especially galling that traitors like Bob "Not" Good and fellow crank Andy Biggs (Fascist-AZ) were among the 147 House members who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election (i.e., a "coup").  Now they want to waste everyone's time by promising to impeach the legitimately elected President on asinine "charges" simply for the purpose of revenge and to please their drooling, insurrectionist base and their cult leader.  These dim fascists wouldn't know "Constitutional responsibilities" if it bit them in their treasonous asses. 

Well, they've put us on notice how they plan to proceed.  They have no plan to govern, beyond passing a nationwide abortion ban, slashing Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security, and perhaps proposing more tax cuts for the wealthy.  But a frivolous run at impeaching the President (81 million votes, 306 electoral votes), of course they're into it!

Need we say more?

(Photo:  Completely sane ammosexual Constitutional scholar Rep. Marjorie Taylor Traitor Greene (Fascist-GA)/ Erik S. Lesser, ETA-EFE)

Bad Apple Leaves Secret Service

One less bad apple in the barrel:

Ex-Secret Service official Tony Ornato is defending the timing of his retirement after becoming a central figure in this summer's public hearings of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Ornato, who also served as Former President Donald Trump's White House chief of operations from December 2019 until he left office in January 2021, announced on Monday that he was retiring from the Secret Service after a 25-year career. The announcement came two months after Ornato was prominently mentioned during a House panel hearing in which former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Ornato told her the former president had attempted to "lunge" at the steering wheel of the presidential SUV on January 6 while enraged over the denial of a request to join his supporters outside the Capitol.

Trump has denied that the incident took place, while Ornato and the driver of the SUV, Secret Service agent Bobby Engel, were also both reportedly willing to testify that Hutchinson's account of the alleged incident was false. However, neither of the men have testified to the committee since then and Ornato retained legal council while becoming a private citizen, according to CBS News. [snip]

Olivia Troye, an ex-adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, said during a Monday night interview on CNN that she found the timing of Ornato's departure to be "suspect." She also said that Ornato had brought "shame" to the agency and expressed concerns that his retirement could hinder efforts for him to testify before the House Committee investigating January 6th.

"I think the timing is suspect and interesting," Troye said. "I wonder what this means? He'll be a private citizen, what does this mean going forward as the committee hearings start up again? I actually think it's probably best for the Secret Service that Tony Ornato is leaving, he certainly brought a lot of disgrace and shame to the people who work there."  (our emphasis)

The Secret Service's reputation for professionalism was another victim of the Malignant Loser's disastrous 4 years (ETTD), thanks to people like Ornato and his recently- retired boss James Murray.  There are other corruptible people who served the Malignant Loser rather than the Constitution and their country who are still employed by the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security (incompetent/malicious DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari being but one egregious example).  They, too, need to be weeded out.  

(Photo:  "I got your back, Don Donald")

Monday, August 29, 2022

QOTD -- Salvation


"...The overturning of Roe v. Wade was monumental and is still stuck in voters’ minds. Many feel they are stuck in a nightmare and Democrats hold the only possibility of salvation.

"This decision, this victory by the forced-birth zealots, wiped out the progress Republicans were making by pushing the anti-wokeness canard — this idea that they had to fight back against racial indoctrination, against people who would redefine what a woman is and against health regulation.

"The War Against Woke now looks silly in light of the escalated War Against Women.

"Also, Trump has resurfaced as a foil." -- Charles Blow, yesterday in the New York Times ($ -- no link). Democrats have one of the most powerful messages going into the mid-terms and beyond:  We're Fighting for Your Freedoms and Democracy.  That umbrella concept covers the fight to defend a woman's reproductive freedom;  the rule of law and free and fair elections; common sense gun laws that keep us safer;  environmental laws that protect our country and planet;  a "stronger, fairer" economy that includes fair wages and affordable health care, etc.  We're faced with an increasingly fascist Trumpist Republican Party that must be defeated at every level if there's to be "salvation."  There's nothing more important than that this year, and likely in 2024.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


The good:

Republicans have held a narrow lead over Democrats this year in polls asking which party voters would support in a congressional election. But FiveThirtyEight, which aggregates top public-opinion surveys, reported that Democrats grabbed a half-percentage point advantage this month.

FiveThirtyEight attributes the gain and surprise wins for Democrats in two New York special elections earlier this month to anger about the Republican-hailed death of Roe v. Wade. “If the midterms were tomorrow, the Republicans might be in trouble,” one of FiveThirtyEight’s recent podcasts noted.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s approval rating has also ticked up. A recent Gallup survey put Biden’s job approval rating at 44%, the highest in a year.

In terms of House seats, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report lowered its projection for GOP pickups to between 10 to 20 seats — down from its previous 15 to 30 seats.

Cook also didn’t rule out the possibility that Democrats could hold on to the majority with an increased voter turnout, which is widely expected this year from an agitated electorate.

The bad:

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is now 74 days into its longest and most intense heatwave in more than 60 years, with about 4.5 million sq. km or nearly half of its total land area under the grips of extremely high temperatures, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. This is compounded by a severe drought that has shrunk several rivers including Asia’s longest and the world’s third largest river, the Yangtze, leading to the closing of shipment ways in sizable tranches of the crucial trade waterway. 

On Tuesday, August 23, four government departments issued a joint warning that China’s autumn harvest, which constitutes 75 per cent of the country’s annual grain produce, was under “severe threat” from the heatwave and drought.  [snip]

The scathing regional heatwave which started on June 13 has now spread across Sichuan in the South and Henan in the central region to the Jiangsu province on the East Coast. More than 200 national weather observatories have registered record high temperatures, with the heat having touched 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in the Beibei district in Southwest China’s Chongqing last week. The heatwave has affected more than 900 million of China’s 1.4 billion population and led to a power crunch as people use more air conditioning to battle the heat.

The ugly

The Duke volleyball player who was subjected to racial slurs during a match at BYU said Sunday that officials onsite didn’t react quickly enough when they were made aware of the behavior during play.

Nor did they adequately address the situation immediately after the match, Rachel Richardson said in a statement posted to her Twitter account.

“No athlete, regardless of their race should ever be subject to such hostile conditions,” said Richardson, the only Black starter on the Blue Devils team.

BYU banned a fan from all athletic venues on campus Saturday, a day after the match. The fan was not a student but was sitting in the student section.

Richardson, a 19-year-old sophomore from Ellicott City, Maryland, wrote that she didn’t believe the fan’s actions were a reflection of BYU athletes, saying her opponents showed respect and sportsmanship, adding that BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe had reacted quickly once he was notified.

The poise and grace of Ms. Richardson stands in sharp contrast to the racist goober and the apathetic (to be generous) officials overseeing the game.  Good for her and for those who were in solidarity with her.

Tweets Of The Day

Aww, too late, Trump-appointed hack judge! --


Insurrectionist Huckleberry Graham, permanent resident of Trump's grundle --





Bernie FTW --


Artemis launch delay: "You don't want to light the candle unless it's ready to go" --


Everybody must get stoned --





Trump: DeSantis Is Stealing From Me


There's nothing like the anger of a mentally disturbed narcissistic grifter when he thinks someone else is stealing his act. The Malignant Loser is reportedly upset over what he sees as disgraceful Florida Gov. Ron "One Glove" DeSantis' "stealing" of everything from his gestures and body language to his speaking style:

"According to three people who’ve spoken to the former president about the Florida governor last year and in more recent months, Trump has repeatedly ridiculed DeSantis for ripping off the ex-president’s style. 'There was this time, maybe a year ago that I remember him making fun of [DeSantis] for doing similar hand gestures and motions,' one of these individuals tells Rolling Stone. 'He called it ‘stealing’ from him and [to paraphrase] described it as a lame impression of Trump.'  [snip]

The eerie similarities — not just in MAGA ideology, but in Trumpian body language and physicality — isn’t just something laughed about in the halls of Mar-a-Lago or Bedminister, though. The case that impersonating Trump has gotten so strong that it’s become impossible to miss on social media, in the press, and among Republican Party bigwigs and its loyal donor class."  (our emphasis)

There's more in the article about slights -- real and imagined -- that the Malignant Loser thinks DeSantis has been guilty of as the 2024 elections near. To send a message to the Florida Governor about their 2024 rivalry, the Malignant Loser reportedly has a trademark move in mind:

".....Trump — who behind closed doors trashes DeSantis as charisma-free — has even toyed with launching a 2024 presidential campaign near the governor’s mansion in Florida, which would double as an obvious effort to troll DeSantis."

MAGAts in disarray!

We conclude by saying to Florida Trump MAGAts, "Derail DeSantis, Vote for Crist!"

(photo: "Don't take that seal off the podium, Ronny." Brynn Anderson/AP Images)


Today's Tomorrow Cartoon: Child Labor, Seat Belts and PPP


(click to enlarge)

The faux outrage from the right-wing greed heads who have used the system to fill their pockets over the years is classic, in the "help for me, but not for thee" vein.

The student loan money that won't have to be paid back will go back into the economy, and benefit far more than just the lenders.

Please consider supporting Tom Tomorrow's work by going here.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Galactic Marvel And The Artemis I Mission


(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ESA, August 22, 2022: The galaxy featured in this Picture of the Week has a shape unlike many of the galaxies familiar to Hubble. Its thousands of bright stars evoke a spiral galaxy, but it lacks the characteristic ‘winding’ structure. The shining red blossoms stand out as well, twisted by clouds of dust — these are the locations of intense star formation. Yet it also radiates a diffuse glow, much like an elliptical galaxy and its core of older, redder stars. This galactic marvel is known to astronomers as NGC 1156.

NGC 1156 is located around 25 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation Aries. It has a variety of different features that are of interest to astronomers. A dwarf irregular galaxy, it’s also classified as isolated, meaning no other galaxies are nearby enough to influence its odd shape and continuing star formation. The extreme energy of freshly formed young stars gives colour to the galaxy, against the red glow of ionised hydrogen gas, while its centre is densely-packed with older generations of stars.

Hubble has captured NGC 1156 before — this new image features data from a galactic gap-filling programme simply titled “Every Known Nearby Galaxy”. Astronomers noticed that only three quarters of the galaxies within just over 30 million light-years of Earth had been observed by Hubble in sufficient detail to study the makeup of the stars within them. They proposed that in between larger projects, Hubble could take snapshots of the remaining quarter — including NGC 1156. Gap-filling programmes like this one ensure that the best use is made of Hubble’s valuable observing time.

Credit:  ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. B. Tully, R. Jansen, R. Windhorst


ALERT:  NASA is scheduled to launch the Artemis I mission to the Moon on Monday morning:

Artemis I, formerly Exploration Mission-1, will be the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. It will travel 280,000 miles from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a four to six-week mission. Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before...

Launch is scheduled during a window between 8:33 a.m. and 10:33 a.m. ET, barring delays.

RonJohn: People Believe I'm Putin's Tool

In a brief moment of self-awareness, Wisconsin's atrocious MAGA Sen. Ron Johnson appeared on the Fux Business Channel and declared that people in his state think he's a Russian tool, which is very perceptive of them. Johnson accused Dems of leaking a briefing from intel officials on his connections to Moscow, which the Wisconsin press naturally picked up on. Remember that on the Fourth of July in 2018, Johnson was in Moscow getting disinformation from the Kremlin that he later took back to his job in the Senate, and into his "investigations" into Ukraine's alleged corruption -- a major Kremlin talking point which he spewed during the hearings.

So yes, RonJohn, Wisconsinites are rightly concerned about your affinity for Moscow and its brutal invasion of neighboring Ukraine, and its imperialist, fascist plans for expansion, which would have included the dismantlement of NATO if you and your cult leader had had their way. That's why every patriotic Wisconsinite need to register and vote, and organize and knock on doors for his Dem opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, in November, to ensure we're not sold out to the Russian war criminals.

Please support the Barnes campaign by going here and giving what you can.

(photo: Johnson, center facing camera, in Moscow with fellow Republicans in 2018. AP)


Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Jimmy Margulies,

(David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star)

(Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News)

 (Dave Granlund,

(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post)

QOTD: On Trump's "Criminal Exposure"

Speaking on this morning's "Inside Politics" on CNN, legal analyst Carrie Cordero was asked about the potential criminal penalties the Malignant Loser faces in the classified records scandal. Her partial response:

"I think there's a substantial likelihood that him and people around him have criminal exposure, both on the obstruction case, and on the mishandling of classified information. That does not mean that we are going to see the former president go to jail. There is a wide range of potential charges, pleas on misdemeanors that could end up, if it turns out that the information simply sat in the boxes, was never seen by outside people, was never seen by media, foreign governments, other people not having access to it, those facts we still don't know. And on the obstruction piece, what really matters is, who was involved in potentially misleading or making false statements to the Justice Department and we don't know on the outside at this stage whether that was the former president, or whether that was his advisors or legal counsel."

As far as the false statements are concerned, there's an array of the Malignant Loser's inner circle who likely lied to NARA and the Justice Department, up to an including himself. We'll see if any crack under the threat of imprisonment and roll over on Trump as having given the orders to withhold documents.

While both crimes can bring lengthy prison terms, obstruction of justice -- the Malignant Loser's repeated concealment and withholding of classified records despite requests from NARA, and a subpoena -- an obstruction conviction could carry a 20 year prison sentence. As Cordero notes, there are a variety of legal dodges, pleas and so forth that could be used by the Malignant Loser in the interim to minimize consequences. Let's hope that this time, his tricks won't help him.

(photo: Hope springs eternal)


Sunday Reflection: "I Have A Dream"

Today marks the 59th anniversary of one of the most important events and addresses in our nation's history: the 1963 March on Washington led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Assembling on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial were a quarter of a million marchers demanding their civil rights, equal job opportunity, fair housing and non-discrimination. Such civil rights leaders as Whitney Young, John Lewis, A. Phillip Randolph and others accompanied Dr. King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Entertainers and celebrities like Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis and wife Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary spoke or performed.

Dr. King's speech that day is best known for his repeated statement "I have a dream," as he described a nation where all would be judged not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character. He spoke of the nation's "promissory note" that was still due to its African-American citizens who were disenfranchised by Jim Crow laws, and the need to act in the "fierce urgency of now," a phrase that would be memorialized by the first black President many years later. The notion that we've come a long way is correct, but is in danger of being undermined by the far-right movement and their Supreme Court, which has crippled voting rights and presided over racially-motivated gerrymandering. Voting, even when Republicans are making it hard to, has to be the weapon to fight them with and one that Dr. King would vigorously endorse.

(photo: Getty Images)


Saturday, August 27, 2022

Student Debt Relief Helps Working And Middle Class; Republicans Mad


Contrary to much of the disinformation being spread out there, a new analysis shows that it's primarily working and middle class borrowers who will benefit from President Biden's student loan debt relief plan:

President Joe Biden's student loan debt relief plan is expected to help mainly working and middle class borrowers, an updated report from an influential research group found. That's a shift from its earlier projection that more higher-income borrowers would benefit from basic loan forgiveness.

About 75% of the benefit will go to households making $88,000 or less per year, according to the Penn Wharton Budget Model analysis released Friday.
The three-part relief package could cost up to $605 billion over 10 years, though the price tag could exceed $1 trillion depending on how the proposed income-driven repayment program is actually set up and how many people participate, Penn Wharton found. That's substantially higher than its initial estimate of a less comprehensive debt relief plan.
The revised report takes into account the plan's provision that would forgive up to $20,000 of debt held by those who qualified for Pell grants as undergraduates, as well as the measure to forgive up to $10,000 for those who did not receive such grants.

It was the added provision of the Pell grants, which are directed more toward lower income borrowers, that shifted the potential benefits toward working and middle class students.  This isn't full debt cancellation by any means, but it's going to help a lot of people who desperately need some relief -- not the upper crusty Ivy League alums working at Goldman Sachs, as Republicans would have you believe.

The pause on loan repayments, initiated to ease financial burdens brought on by the covid pandemic, was extended to December 31.
We've seen the strong pushback from various folks, including the White House Twitter account, pointing to the blatant hypocrisy of Republican office holders and right- wing bloviators who received loan forgiveness for their PPP loans.  Now, Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times puts some more of the "I got mine, too bad about you" philosophy of the 1%er Republican Party on display:

They’ve been assailing the plan as an undue burden on American taxpayers.

There isn’t much to say about this argument, aside from this: They have some nerve.

We can say so because some of the loudest voices attacking the proposal are those of GOP senators and representatives who got their own university degrees courtesy of huge subsidies from taxpayers

They’re graduates of public state universities, generally in the era when in-state tuition at those institutions was far, far lower than it is today, even accounting for inflation. Who picked up the tab back then? Taxpayers, that’s who.  [snip]

The bottom 50% of households, who report $41,000 or less in taxable income, pay only 3.1% of federal income taxes (but a much larger share of payroll taxes, which aren’t affected by student loan forgiveness).

That helps explain why Republicans are so exercised about Biden’s plan, which would concentrate financial relief on middle- and working-class families.

The Republicans don’t care about them, except as pawns in a political battle; they care about their patrons, the rich. It’s the latter who will pay for the student loan relief. Should they have our sympathy? Not after they received an enormous handout via the Republican tax cuts of 2017.

What gets overlooked in all the discussion of the student debt crisis is the value of higher education, access to which is ostensibly the goal of America’s clumsy financing system. Republicans obviously understand that value, since so many of them sought support from their home state taxpayers to acquire it. 

They just want today’s generation of students and their families to pay full-price, unlike themselves.  (our emphasis)

Forever lying, dividing and punching down:  your *semi-fascist* Republican Party, folks.

BONUS:  As Gene notes in comments, the oleaginous weasel and representative of the "working man's party" Sen. Ted "Cancun" Cruz had his revealing comments about who would benefit from the loan relief

Tweets of the Day


Prediction time --

Trump may have put intelligence sources in mortal danger --



More unsurprising far-right hypocrisy over student loan forgiveness --  

We'd suggest he trademark "Lies Antisocial" --  


Onward and upward! -- 

Russian propensity for lying on full display in Crimea --  


🎡 Pigeon are you OK, are you OK pigeon πŸŽ΅ --