half-assed policy changes

Obama Carefully Begs Angry Young People To Vote For Him Again

How about a series of minor changes, will that do the trick?OH, THAT’S KIND OF WEIRD: President Obama will make a fancy announcement about some sort of Official Plan to help the college edjumucated young’uns shed a few less tears when they receive their mammoth monthly student loan bill statements, just now, today, for some reason! Oh right, the kids are angry these days. Obama’s mollification program for the Occupy Wall Street protesters concerned about crushing student loan debt includes a timid handful of tweaks to the current federal student loan relief plan that will probably only help 16% or so of over 36 million borrowers, but here’s “hoping” their love comes cheaper than Wall Street bankers’!

The main thing is that these tweaks will take effect in 2012 instead of boring old 2014, so that Barack Obama can toss out some bland statistics on these Important Changes when campaign trail reporters pitch him a few questions about how he plans to win back the Pissy Youth Vote, on principle, since one major aspect of the program will not change anything whatsoever for current loan holders.

From ABC News:

The administration’s Pay as You Earn plan, to be announced today, has the potential to cut hundreds of dollars from a borrower’s loan payment, the administration says, and it will help about 1.6 million students and alumni. But there are caveats, the biggest being that current borrowers will not be eligible to participate. Only those who are in college or university and who take out a student loan next year will be eligible.

“The students who signed the petition [to the president] and the students in ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ most of them are students who have already graduated. Most of them are unemployed and need help,” said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid and a student aid expert. “They are the ones who brought attention to this issue and most of them are not going to benefit from this.”

So probably none of those protester people will be very happy about much of this, which is why the police are busy tear-gassing and trucking them off to prison. [AP/ABC News]

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  1. nounverb911

    This is so unfair, no one helped me with my $3000 (not a typo) college loan, and that paid for a year of grad school.

      1. RedneckMuslin

        Me,too. But I lived on campus and classes were just a couple of blocks away. Don't know why I did that.

    1. hagajim

      Same here….but I have $60K….lots of fun. However, if they forgive the debt after 20 years I may actually be able to retire someday…otherwise I might just die and fuck them that way.

    2. JustPixelz

      When I went to college, we paid in shiny stones. The Greek System was run by actual Greeks. Everyone got an "A" because the existence of other letters was just a theory. The only degree was in shepherding, hence we all got a sheepskin was made from an actual sheep.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        Haha! My dad got his Master's through Wayne State when we were stationed in Turkey, and he actually did get a real sheepskin!!

    3. SorosBot

      Gah, spoiled old people! I still owe about $45,000 for grad school (and that was going to a state school) and only paid off my undergrad a year ago, after twelve years.

        1. SorosBot

          Your oldest may be lucky, as by the time he or she graduates college there may actually be jobs for new grads out there.

      1. BerkeleyBear

        I had nothing coming out of undergrad (barely squeaked out of Cal before the hikes got truly vicious). Managed to make up for it though, but racking up over 50 k in law school (also a branch of the UC system) and my wife's 2 years of out of state tuition in grad school didn't help (another 30k). Did the stubborn 10 year thing on my loans for 6 years when my parents, flush off of cashing out their California pill box, decided to pay mine off (they had already given a similar amount as a straight gift for my brother's loans, first several moves and business capital, so in the end I still got screwed). I was on pace to repay them because I got lucky with a good job, but it sucked ass paying more on those loans than I was paying for my mortgage.

        Now I'm going to be going back for my PhD, but only if I get a teaching tuition waiver. No way in hell am I racking up another debt like that.

    4. Maman

      I remember when I had an interview for a college scholarship and presented what my year's expenses were estimated to be and they said, "No dear, not for all four years, just the first year. It doesn't cost that much to go to the University of Chicago. It's a state school."

  2. Crank_Tango

    Has it been 3 years of sucking up to wall street already, and time for a little lip service to the peasants? Time flies when yer counting your hobo beans.

    1. Papa_Uniform

      Roger that Crank. I am so looking forward to Barry's pretty speeches telling us how much better things are going to be in his second term. It'll give me a warm fuzzy feeling when I'm trying to figure out how to pay my heating bill.

      1. Occupy V572

        No! That is unpatriotic! However, making jackets, bandannas and adult diapers out of Old Glory® is fine if you're a C&W whiner who parleys cheap patriotism into a "career."

  3. Barb

    Barry, the "hope and change" has become "we hope you will change back" to the person we thought we elected.

    1. JustPixelz

      When Barry was elected, the Dems got about 260 seats in the House and 57 (plus two independents) in the Senate. And they couldn't pass anything except bastardized health insurance reform. Two years later the Republicans have 240 seats in the House and 49 in the Senate and they're all "the American people have spoken".

      We spoke in 2008. I certainly hope we speak again in 2012. More importantly, I hope someone is listening this time.

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Tell someone to speak to Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Max Baucus, Claire McCaskill, John Tester, Joe Manchin, etc. if you ever want to see anything progressive come out of the Senate. Throw in the departed Blue Dog shit stains like Bayh and Blanche Lincoln, the deaths of Kennedy and Rockefeller, the delay in getting Franken seated and it is amazing to me Dems got as much of their agenda passed as they did.

    2. GOPCrusher

      I have his victory speech he gave, the night he was elected, bookmarked on my home computer. I get drunk on rye whiskey, click on the link, and cry.

      1. widestanceshakedown

        When I'm really down about Obama, I just repeat two words until I feel better: President Palin.

  4. FlownOver

    The fine print:

    If you remain current on student loan payments for twelve months you receive a premium: your choice of a copy of Tranny Hunters – The College Years or a remote-controlled pink dildo emblazoned with your school mascot.

    Yes We Can!

  5. weejee

    Today we are all unemployed philosophy grads with student loan payments 10 infinities times our discretionary income that a short gnat's ass above zero.

      1. weejee

        Although my olde and yellowed parchment says physical chemistry & I'm pres of a licensed engineering firm my sense is that socially and technically the world is becoming far more granular, and as it does tech will require a sense of humanity. If that is true, perhaps successful firms will be those recognize that inclusion of those from the humanities side of the house may seriously improve the product from their droids with degrees from Techno U.

      2. zappadoo76

        Or a degree in history? Or physics? Or biology? Is there any major that will get you a job? Business administration? Well, fuck that.

      3. NeonTrotsky

        I'm sure the hostility towards the humanities has nothing to do with the current dumbfuckery of American society…

        1. hagajim

          I'm actually pretty sure it does. One thing the humanities does teach you is something about empathy….something most of the fucks on the right side of the aisle have forgotten.

  6. Chillwaver

    (Snark Off)
    I'm sure I'm not alone here when I say that while I'm not happy with Barry right now, I would never opt for the other choices. If you look at the "Economic Plans" from the GOP clowns, what they all have in common is chopping taxes for corporations and the rich while raising them on the poor. Dubya looks like a socialist compared to these idiots.

    1. freakishlywrong

      The awful Republicans are certainly not an option, but I sure as fuck would like to be able to vote for a damn cold progressive librul every once in a while.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        That may or may not be an option in the near to mid term. I always tell the kiddies, you don't get to choose between a good candidate and bad candidate. You get to choose between an unsatisfactory candidate and really, truly, horribly awful one.

        And yes, its worthwhile to actually do this. (E.g. 2000 Presidential Election.)

        1. pdiddycornchips

          No it's not. The evidence is in and let's face it, Barry and the Dems are just as ugly as Republicans. The packaging is a little more appealing but what's inside is identical. Geithner and Bernanke are the real tells. They're loved by their masters on Wall Street and loathed by the working stiffs and cube dwellers across the country. Hopey has a made his choice. Let's not pretend it makes any difference at all, at least economically, who wins.

          1. Biel_ze_Bubba

            No difference between Obama and the current crop of nutjob GOP contenders? Really? What we need is to re-elect him, AND toss the teabagging assholes out of Congress, so the Bush tax cuts can finally be put out of our misery. Elect a Republican, who will sign every piece of regressive legislation the ''baggers can think of, and we're in for a very nasty decade or two.

          2. pdiddycornchips

            Hopey is toast. He's not going to win in the current economic climate. Look at the map from the last election and tell me you really expect him to carry Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Indiana? Without those states, he'd have to run the table everywhere else.That's just not going to happen in Nevada and Michigan, Florida and Ohio. Lose any of them, and there's no way to get to 270.

          3. SorosBot

            Yes, just like Al Gore and George Bush were almost exactly the same, so the liberals who put Bush into office by voting for Nader for perfectly justified and not actually dicks who were directly responsible for giant tax cuts for the wealthy, Justices Alito and Roberts, the invasion of Iraq and destruction of civil liberties just so they could act smug and holier-than-thou by not compromising and voting for the better candidate who could actually win.

        2. Mumbly_Occupado

          Very much so. Strategic voting isn't really all that difficult a concept, frankly; I don't understand why it gives so many people trouble.

          Unless you actually do hold that both major candidates are not only bad, but equally bad, the partisan nature of our elections means that elections are actually about voting against the least palatable of the two. This means that a protest vote is effectively a vote for the guy you like least, period. In effective terms, a protest vote for a Green candidate is a vote for Romney. It ultimately has the same effect. And if you think Obama is LITERALLY as bad as Romney, that's fine. If you don't, because you don't hold harmless between the the stances where they differ, even if those aren't the issues you really care about, or you think Obama hasn't done enough, then it's clearly in your interest to vote for him anyway.

          1. pdiddycornchips

            Honestly, Romney wouldn't be so bad. He's positions change constantly but he's at least competent. His time as governor is an albatross around his neck for wingnuts simply because he was a competent governor. Putting aside team loyalty, knowing what we know about Obama after four years, I'd have to choose Romney.

          2. pdiddycornchips

            If we've learned anything over the last few years it should be this. Rhetoric says a lot less about a candidate than their record does. Romney has a record that includes innovation in health care, a balanced approach to governing, fiscal responsibility, infrastructure improvements and a decent environmental record to boot.

          3. Limeylizzie

            That was when he was in charge of a liberal state, he has swung fairly to the right since then.

          4. Mumbly_Occupado

            Romney panders though, so you can't take him at his word! And clearly when the Senate flips thanks to the coattails effect, and he thus has Republican majorities in both houses, he'll spend all his time on positions designed to pander to… Democrats. It's so obvious!

          5. pdiddycornchips

            No, he'll probs do exactly what Obama has done for the last four years. Focus on whatever shit the wingnuts decide is critically important. Fortunately for us, wingnuts don't really care about the deficit and they will want to start growing the economy again.

          6. Mumbly_Occupado

            Wingnuts care about appointing fairly liberal supreme court justices and ending government-workplace discrimination against sexual minorities?

          7. Mumbly_Occupado

            P. Diddy: "Vote or die."

            pdiddycornflakes: "Well, Obama hasn't cured cancer yet, so you're going to die anyway. Might as well vote for nuclear war with Iran, secret torture prisons, and a complete repeal of all public health care law, including Medicare/aid, in that case."

            Hope that clears things up for you.

          8. Mumbly_Occupado

            If you honestly believe that, you're either an idiot or a Republican. I could list a whole host of reasons Romney would be objectively worse, starting with adding another partisan right-winger to the Supreme Court or at least guaranteeing more decisions in the tradition of Citizens United for another generation.

            And as you mention, Romney panders, so clearly we shouldn't take his wingnutty positions (*cough* personhood amendments *cough*) at face value, right? Only, OH WAIT, a Romney win means a whole fuckton of downtickets riding his coattails to congress, probably flipping the Senate, and suddenly the only people he needs to pander to are wingnuts– pretty much the opposite of the situation he was in as the governor of Massachusetts

          9. sezme

            I keep seeing Charlie Brown thinking that this time, Lucy really won't pull away that football, because at least Lucy is on his team!

          10. pdiddycornchips

            Wingnuts aren't very good at governing, Romney at least has shown he's capable. Dems had a chance to choose competence over the bright, shiny object in the last election. We chose poorly. Now you may want me to believe Obama will suddenly change into a competent leader and we'll be awash in sparkle ponies and rainbows but I'll stick with the reality of what we have learned over the last four years. Obama is what his record indicated he was. A back bencher who never put his neck on the line and who gave no indications he would be a competent leader. He's spent his presidency voting "present". Now I know, the other side is worse and all that but the last time Obama ran, he was an enigma. This time his record will speak for itself.

            'sides, I live in NYC. He'll win here no problem. Virginia? Indiana? Florida? North Carolina? Iowa? I doubt it.

          11. Mumbly_Occupado

            Right, but we actually dodged a bullet by not nominating John Edwards. That's who you meant, right?

          12. pdiddycornchips

            So the teatards who hate Romney will ride his coattails? Oh no!!! Whatever shall we do?? We have no choice but to continue to elect ineffective and weak Democrats who will fold like lawn chairs at the first sight of opposition. Hooray for our team!! That we're fast becoming a nation of serfs and overlords is secondary. Our job as liberals is to clap as loudly as we can no matter what.

          13. Mumbly_Occupado

            Yes, they will. See, some of us, after careful and thoughtful consideration of each individual candidate in each individual race in a given election, end up flipping one of the big levers. Most of the rest? They flip one of the big levers after considerably less consideration. Coattail effects happen because people tend to be reliably partisan and low-information, and consequentially, the main point of the campaign is to get bodies into the voting booth (or, if you're a Republican, to keep some of them out of it).

            P.S, You've been saying that Democrats are too much like Republicans so let's cut out the middle-man and vote Republican. I've been saying, repeatedly, that voting Nader got us Bush, so for fuck's sake, vote strategically and donate liberally- namely, to advocacy groups that will carrot-and-stick Dems into remembering what their party platform is. I'm saying incompetant and benign sucks, but it's still better than competantly evil. You're saying the opposite. As I said, idiot or Republican. Still not sure which.

  7. Mumbletypeg

    Can't decipher the illustration on that guy's handmade sign: a cyclone, an ice cream cone, or an upside-down-hat for Xtine O.D. to wear when she drunkenly flies to the witches' ball?

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        A screw, as drawn by a graduate of the University of Phoenix art program, who wants to know why he can't get a jerb.

  8. tihond

    Nice try Obama, but I'm voting for the chain -smoking pedophile. He seems really interested in my opinions.

  9. PuckStopsHere

    Oh, for fucks sake. Won't affect current borrowers. ABC News says that's "a caveat"? No, as anybody in Journalism 100 would be able to tell you, that's the fucking lead. It's like announcing a program designed to help homeowners facing foreclosure by making changes that won't help anybody already in, you know, foreclosure. No wonder people (and when I say "people" I mean "me") are disenchanted.

  10. hollywooddood

    My student loans were about $100k. I've got them down to 40k, but the payments are $1000 a month.

    Is there any help for me? What about me?

    1. Chichikovovich

      There's a Wall Street CEO named David Moore, who might give you $1. Though he'll take it back if you're not really expressive about your overwhelming gratitude.

      1. Oblios_Cap

        I'm within 2 years of paying my $800/month in loan payments off! Hooray!

        Of course, now I'm only paying principal and don't generate the tax write-off for the interest anymore. I had about $60,000 in loans for my 3 degrees.

  11. Terry

    "most of them are students who have already graduated."

    Then they aren't students anymore. They're former students or alumni.

    1. BarryOPotter

      Then they aren't students anymore. They're former students or alumni.

      Terry, there's no need to rub their noses in the shit they call 'journalism'…, 'cept when it makes me bust out laughing! Carry on!

    1. BlueStateLibel

      True story: A friend of mine was hunted down at the airport where she was fleeing to Europe.

  12. EatsBabyDingos

    I am setting up the Acme Student Loan Bank. I will lend a dollar to any graduate that needs a "qualifying loan" next year so they can qualify for this important govenrment program. I will also enclose a coupon for a dollar off at the Pho King, because I am insane for Pho King. You could call me Pho King crazy!

    Love, Barcode Obama.

  13. hagajim

    Well I can say it beats the shit out of either alternative (doing nothing) or waiting until 2014. However, the pissy youth probably need to be reminded that if one of the mouth breathers from the GOP side wins the Presidency they they (and we) will all be royally fucked by giant jackhammer dildoes with sanded shafts and zero lube…just sayin'.

        1. hagajim

          I will keep my remote dildo to myself actually….fuck no I don't want Rick Perry or any of the other nimrods in the GOP race anywhere near my dildo.

  14. JoshuaNorton

    Barry should be the one handing out pink dildos (dildi?) so they can really go screw themselves, instead of just being told to do it.

  15. zappadoo76

    Would you like nice bribe with your pepper spray? Some flash-bangs on the side?

    (I'm glad you got on this, Kirsten.)

    1. Limeylizzie

      Don't leave the Wonkette again, baby! It drives me crazy as well, sometimes it has a Firedogwonkette feel in here, but then I remember that Ken is much cuter than Jane Hamster.

    2. pdiddycornchips

      Chet, Wonketter's are a lot more liberal and forgiving than the average voter. 9+ unemployment is a proverbial stake through the heart for his re-election chances.
      Now, if Republicans choose a candidate from the insane wing of their party, he could potentially pull it off. If they choose Romney or someone equally establishment, he's a goner.

  16. BaldarTFlagass

    I really feel guilty that my college degree at a fairly good school (Univ Texas) cost me less than 5 grand (since the state of TX gave me a bunch of exemptions because I was a veteran with no federal education benefits, all I had to pay for was textbooks and fees and beer and dope). I feel even guiltier that I got one of the jobs, and therefore they can't have it until I retire or die.

        1. Oblios_Cap

          That guilt load certainly must drive you to drink heavily. Otherwise, you would never be able to sleep.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      As a vet, you earned it … that's what the deal was, so why feel guilty?
      I got a really good education at a top school, for cheap, because my parents had no dough. I give every year to add to their scholarship fund, which is now at the point where they can afford "need-blind" admissions. (If you're good enough, you're in, and they try to charge only what you can afford.) Give to UT, or to the school of your choice, and you'll feel better.

  17. Fauxhemian

    Oh, how I wish Obama wasn't a moderate Republican. So annoyed with him and his lack of vision and courage. Still, will vote for him because Mittens is completely out of the question. In the meantime, here's my contribution to OWS and the Middle Class. I'm too poor to do anything else.

    1. MonsterAGoGo

      Moderate? No. Won't vote for him.

      I am done with the 'lesser of two evils' shit. Perhaps by letting the Mittens win the Dems will notice that they can't run as Republicans and win. What was that Harry S Truman quote?

      1. Dok-cupy Everything

        Yeah, I think the flaw in your plan is that once we've enjoyed the gentle caresses of a Republican administration and Congress for a few (more) years, we'll gladly take anyone who offers something less horrible.

        Oh, hey, how did we end up with GWB, and then with the moderate in the White House now?

      2. Fauxhemian

        That sucks. You sound like a Ralph Nader voter. A lot of my friends said they'd rather vote for Nader than Gore to teach the Dems a lesson. So we got 8 YEARS of George Bush. I know it sucks to vote for the lesser of two evils but the worse evil is always worse. God knows what kind of destruction Mittens could cause in 4-8 years. Plus, I couldn't handle the crowing the GOP would subject us to. I have just decided not to give Obama money and continue to write letters and respond to every one of his emails with a lengthy complaint letter. I don't want Republicans running the country, just to teach Dems a lesson. Maybe one day OWS will take their movement to the front door of the White House because honestly, it sickens me that Obama is trying to co-opt their cause after sitting on his ass for three years. Or rather, bending over for Wall Street and the Republicans. OWS should push back any time he tries to act like he understands their problems.

      3. BarryOPotter

        Moderate? No. Won't vote for him. I am done with the 'lesser of two evils' shit. Perhaps by letting the Mittens win…

        Listen to yourself. Mittens? Really? We tried something similar not too long ago: Bush. How fucked do things have to get before people get a clue about how this shit works. One step forward, 8 years back…

      4. SorosBot

        Remember 2000? Sorry, but unlike you I don't want a President Romney or (shudder) Perry and a teatarded congress. Not voting or voting for Nader or someone similar is the exact same thing as voting for the Republican, and that exact attitude is the reason we got George W. Bush in 2000. Thanks for causing the invasion of Iraq and torture!

        And on a practical level, a Republican win tells the Democratic Party it should act MORE like Republicans, not turn back to the left.

  18. proudgrampa


    Look, I sympathize with the young people trying to pay off their student loans: they were sold a bill of goods that made them think they would have jobs when they got out of school.

    But, HELLO! The base problem continues to be an economy that does not have enough jobs for the 14.6 million (probably a low figure) out of work. Create the jobs, all the rest will be solved.

    Now, back to my regularly scheduled Sapphire martini.

    1. GOPCrusher

      What's worse is the ones that are getting cock blocked at the HR door by the "UNEMPLOYED NEED NOT APPLY" stipulation.

    2. NeonTrotsky

      Creating jobs won't change the fact that our system of Higher Education By Way of Debt Trap is appalling.

    3. pdiddycornchips

      That's the truth. With zero percent interest and Europe in crisis, it's the best time in the last two centuries to be borrowing in dollars. Businesses, especially banks know this which is why they continue to earn billions every quarter even as loan activity grounds to a halt and their investment banking and underwriting businesses are earning less money. They borrow at zero and buy treasuries and pass thru's that earn between 1.5 and 2.5%. It ain't rocket science. Their Republican robots whine about deficits and the Dems follow along like cattle to the slaughter. What's missing from this conversation is growth. If we don't grow our economy we're screwed but our idiot overlords are hellbent making growth nearly impossible. But hey, at least you can still afford top shelf liquor.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Our idiot overlords are hell-bent on piling up more and more millions in their personal accounts, period. The problem is that they've managed to decouple what makes them rich from what's good for the economy, thanks to their "creative financing". Used to be you'd build a business, hire people to work in it, and get reasonably rich on the fruits of their labor. Today, a hedge fund manager, currency speculator, or money manager does nothing to benefit anybody, other than himself and his already-rich clients, and makes fifty times what a poor schmuck who starts a business can expect.

        Check out the poster boy for how fucked-up the system is: John Paulsen, the hedgie who made $4 billion in one year betting against the mortgage market (with the help of Goldman Suchs' designed-to-fail derivatives), has managed to lose about 40% of his clients' money in the past year. For this, he is paid $600 million. No joke: he could be dead drunk and comatose for the whole year, and he'd still suck $600MM out of the economy.

        The Feds didn't just print up the billions in his bank accounts; follow the money and you'll find that it came, ultimately, out of our pockets. Our pension funds, our banks, our state and municipal reserves … our money, siphoned off for NO FUCKING USEFUL PURPOSE WHATSOEVER. And the fucks on Wall St. are proud of their "creative" work, and wonder what OWS is all about.

  19. SayItWithWookies

    I'd like to see some intensive regulation of the for-profit college scams that "educate" students who think they're on some pre-med track until they graduate with $60,000 in debt and the qualifications to become a phlebotomist's assistant. That shit has just exploded over the past decade and government loan guarantees that don't differentiate between actual education and snake oil haven't been helping.

    1. proudgrampa

      Yup. That's a real scandal. The whole for-profit college thing is a Ponzi Scheme just waiting to fail.

    2. hagajim

      Can't regulate them because Nancy Pelosi would lose one of her big buck donors….but I agree – they are a farce. Almost as bad as payday loan shops.

    3. bureaucrap

      Not so much a ponzi scheme (which must rely on a constant supply of new "investors" to work) as just a gigantic fraud. "You can't even spell your own *&% name but we'll give you a PhD in quantum physics that'll get you a job blowing up stuff at NASA!"

    4. Biel_ze_Bubba

      You'd need some sort of oversight over the loan program, but the GOP doesn't want to regulate ANYTHING. No FDA inspectors at food or pharma plants, no staff for the SEC, no nothing for the EPA, etc. etc. We've built up a very complex system over the years, with a lot of checks and balances built into it. It worked pretty well, until Bush appointed an army of clueless ideologues whose goal was to cripple it rather than run it, and now we've elected some even more ignorant morons who are out to wreck it. What really smokes me is that these jagoffs wave the flag and claim to be patriots, even as they trash the whole system.

  20. donner_froh

    I received a grant from some federally funded State of Illinois run operation simply by stating that I planned to quit my relative well paid job and go to grad school full time.

  21. mormos

    what happened to Obama's Volunteer work for scholarships program? Anyone remember this? Back in '08 Obama said he was going to create a program where anyone could receive a college scholarship if they performed 100 hours of volunteer work a year. The idea was to help students and get people involved in bettering their community.

    God I am disappointed in this man. What little optimism I had as a youth this man has personally destroyed. I realize he is FAR better than the alternative, but that isn't saying much.

    Cynicism forever and always i guess…

    1. freakishlywrong

      what happened to Obama's Volunteer work for scholarships program?
      You are aware of things called Republicans and you've heard the the word "filibuster", right? They've sorta jack-assed a majority of his agenda.
      I'm disappointed he kept up the bi-partisan bullshit for as long as he did, but I can't blame only him.

    2. SayItWithWookies

      Well you can either keep fighting to change things, even if the results are too far down the road to benefit you personally, or you can resign yourself to the shitty status quo. I'm not saying your disappointment isn't valid, but this isn't a football game with a definite end, after which things stay a particular way — it's a damned infernal dialectic with the right playing a spoiled child having a tantrum on the assumption that if they're awful enough for long enough eventually they'll get their way.

      Unfortunately the only way to win is to have the patience of a practiced nanny and not change or give in and to keep pushing for what's right over and over and over again. Which is why so many people hate politics, say everything is screwed and give up — and then the spoiled children get what they want and shit gets worse.

      1. mormos

        you are of course right and I apologize for my foolishness. Reasoned though I try to be, I can only take so much disappointment before suffering an emotional outburst.

        I will put my shoulder back to the wheel now.

        1. SayItWithWookies

          Don't let the short-term crap get you down (and I say this as I'm girding to live on potatoes and cheap beer until payday) — it's an endurance race, unfortunately.

    3. chicken_thief

      In his defence, I think that was before agreeing to hack $1.5 trillion out of the economy and before he knew that Congress would pass nothing.

    4. proudgrampa

      Well, as screwed up as everything is, and in spite of what I write here on Wonkette (VERY cynical, in case you haven't noticed), do NOT lose your optimism.

      Optimism is our greatest asset. Without it, we might as well jump off the cliff: I am not ready to do that, yet.

  22. paris biltong

    Meanwhile, "Wall Street Giants Seek a Piece of Nigeria" according to the NYTimes. Don't even want to read the article. Tomorrow the world? Keep on dreaming, fuckers.

    1. poorgradstudent

      To be fair, they probably just want firsthand experience of dealing with a Third World country, given what they turned the US into.

  23. Guppy

    What the fuck does he care? The abused spouses that are Democratic voters aren't going to go anywhere else. It's not like he's going to have a primary challenger or have someone usurp the convention.

  24. NorthStarSpanx

    Fight Club was a cover to recruit corporate terrorists right? Blow up the credit keepers servers and wipe out all debt?

    I'm not advocating for destruction of property, don't even like to see it simulated in movies, but I hope Nov. 5 is a lot more successful in bringing down the Fox News Website. Same difference right?

    Like David Kernell hacking Sarah Palin's super State secret email account sarah.gov@yahoo.com, the punishment should be minimal. At least in jail you get three squares and live rent-free.

  25. Billmatic

    It's going to be funny when the student loan bubble pops and everyone's stuck with their dick in their hands going "How could this have happened?"

    I'll tell you how: by shelling out thousands to unqualified and poorly performing students at State McUniversities across the country so they can build elaborate buildings on their shithole campuses.

  26. Mumbletypeg

    From the same story in WaPo:

    "Since 2007, borrowers have been allowed to cap federal student loan repayments at 15 percent of discretionary income"

    So it's gone from 15% to 10%. I can't decide how many folks that will really help either; my school repayments currently amount to about 10% — sure seems like another 5% would render me "0% discretionary" tallying all living expenses..
    But for the White House to make it out like such a grand, benificent adjustment to the final amount lenders can hatch out of penniless grad's? It’s half-hearted in the same sort of way as when I found out my locality's new "stormwater" fee of $45 would be incurred yearly, non-negotiable – then, they offered a waiver if you'd put up a rain barrel as a gesture of good faith toward curbing costs of drainwater runoff issues — then after I put the bloody heavy cumbersome rain barrel up on its riser and take required photos for their documentation, and hose the thing out of pond scum regularly, I receive this year's amended stormwater statement that the fee "has been reduced to $25" which is now my paltry savings' amount reaped by the quasi-belabored effort I'd put into, naively thinking I'd found a fabled discount, finally again, like you used to could find during less lean years.

    Note to today's students: scrutinize any gladhanded offers or be screwed.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Your local mosquito population thanks you for the subsidized housing. Seriously, though: what % of your property's area is covered by your roof? And whose brother-in-law or cousin runs the local barrel-peddling franchise?

      1. Mumbletypeg

        Haha – – yeah, well, I just hope there aren't a bunch of new hoops for this crop of grad's to somersault through to earn what ends up becoming a "discount on a discount."

  27. x111e7thst

    Interesting but I won't know how to vote until I see how Mittens intends to tweak the student loan program..

    1. El Pinche

      Of course , break out excel because you will need to find the average his responses. Afterall ,it is Flip Flopmney.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        The average might be distorted by his years as a Taxachussetts governor … those yankee elitists are pretty fussy about having their kids actually know stuff, about science and math and facts and things. What you have to do is poll the teabaggers: whatever they think, that will be Mitt's policy. Chances are good that you'll know what his policy is, before he does.
        Perry's policy, I assume, is that students should stop being lazy and get a job, and/or get together in a stadium and pray for money. Someone really ought to ask him.

  28. ThundercatHo

    My 24 yo son's birthday gift from me was paying $483 on his student loan so we (I am the co-signer) wouldn't default. I enclosed the statement in his card and with a modicum of restraint did not make a snotty comment. He did not appreciate the gift but said he really liked the card. I hope he really likes his winter holiday card too.

  29. BaldarTFlagass

    My guess is that the person that drew the "screw" on the poster in the photograph was not an art major.

  30. Oblios_Cap

    What strange and wonderful plan will Herman Cain create to challenge Obama's half-assed relief plan?

    I'm going with the 6-6-6 plan.

  31. Chet Kincaid

    Hey, everybody loves a black man with a catchy-numbers slogan, so here's mine.

    Re-elect Obama in 2012.
    Flip 12 Congressional state delegations to Democrat in 2012.
    Send the worst 12 Tea Party senators and representatives home.

    Who is going to start the Occupy Congress PAC, too, also?

          1. Mumbletypeg

            For a long time I thought freakishlywrong was a 3-year-old wearing a party hat being terrorized by a pop-out cake ghoul. And in the olden wonkette times, that freakishlystrong was a 'he' not a she.

    1. pdiddycornchips

      I am calling my plan the fucked/fucked/fucked platform. Elect any of the current crop of vapid overlords and we're fucked/fucked/fucked. Dem or Republican.

  32. MonsterAGoGo


    Wow, Barry, thanks, that leaves us only, let's see, 99% of our debt! HOW IRONICAL!

    Fuckin' DINO turd. My wife's job covers her student loan payments each month and that's about it. She went back to school in her mid 20s to try to get a leg up in life, and then the 1%ers shat the economy out the tubes so her degree means nothing. I told her that's what it felt to be Gen X, like when me and my peers went to college like good little suburban idiots, told we would be able to make something of ourselves, and then when we graduated, the Clinton recession got us McJobs at best. And after that, of course, the Olds didn't want to hire us because they felt their jobs were threatened. No more passing the torch to the next generation, we were just slackers to be derided.

    Barry, I hate to tell you, but the penny you just flicked off your thumb at the debt-choked graduates isn't going to win you their votes. You spent the last few years pissing all over the grassroots that got you elected and sucking every last drop out of the wrinkled old cocks of the bankers. You don't get our votes. Just quit even trying and retire.

    1. freakishlywrong

      You've seen what 2 short years of teatarded governance has done to State and congressional leadership. Fine, sit this one out, or vote for a wingnut, but after you do, please go bitch and moan elsewhere.

    2. Limeylizzie

      I apologise for that comment, now deleted, but Jesus Christ what good does that kind of spittle-flecked post do?

  33. LiveToServeYa

    President Mittens? President Peepee? These are the other options. So, hey, I'll have to go with the guy who helps 16% instead of screwing everybody.

    1. SorosBot

      Not to mention that he can't do much more without help from Congress, and that's not going to happen under Speaker Boehner.

  34. NowTheyTellMe

    sop [sɒp]
    1. (Cookery) (often plural) food soaked in a liquid before being eaten
    2. a concession, bribe, etc., given to placate or mollify; a sop to one's feelings
    3. Informal: a stupid or weak person

  35. neiltheblaze

    I read stuff like this and I lose all hope. Obama is just another flim-flam political opportunist – but one who snookered me last time.

    I know he's still a better choice than any possible Republican – because he's not bugfuck insane – but he's nothing but a docile servant for the elite class.

    Really, truly – we are so fucked in this temporarily first-world shithole.

  36. BlueStateLibel

    I used to think Obama was a shoo-in, but not anymore. Mittens will most likely get the nomination, then he'll tack quickly to the center. He knows most of his base just wants the black scary man out of the White House, so they'll hold their noses and vote for him. Obama's making the serious mistake of not supporting his base. Little half measures like this aren't going to do it.

  37. © Extemporanus

    As Chet Kincaid and a depressing few (any?!) others noted, there is very little President Obama can do in terms of domestic economic relief without the consent of Congress. For some reason, such salient little points always seem to go un-noted in our Wonkette's increasingly frequent, self-defeating, funny bone-drowning forays into Firedog Lake.

    I hope all of you high minded, myopic motherfuckers are able to stand up and cheer your protest vote-enabled Republican run, anti-intelligent, global war-fomenting, Christianist police state after shooting yourselves in the goddamn foot, again.

    I'll catch y'all in 2012, maybe…if I even last that fucking long.

    1. Millennial Malaise

      I'm not speaking for everyone, but the existence of Congress, or the obstructing ReThugs that constantly shit on what's left of the American Dream, is not going unnoticed. Obama's penchant for siding with big business over the needs of his base (from day one) isn't going unnoticed either.

      If I voted for Mitt Romney I would probably self-combust (also, Supreme Court nods) and I've been a political junkie my entire life, so I refuse to sit out an election, but Campaign Obama is neither inspiring nor, more importantly, real. Can't the cynics just let the idealists vent every once and awhile?

      1. Chet Kincaid

        You guys vent all the time, so take a breather and listen sometime.

        The difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is that Obama can be influenced by people getting out in the streets AND by people understanding how the system (i.e. Congress) works, and voting. The reason Obama didn't give you what you want in 2010-11 is because you couldn't be bothered to keep the Tea Party candidates out of Congress in 2010. A Liberal Congress would make it possible for him to govern as a Liberal.

    2. imissopus

      I've mentioned this before and I'll mention it here again: during the health care kerfuffle I read an article in which a congressional aide was quoted thus: "Obama can promise whatever he wants, shit doesn't pass the Senate if Ben Nelson doesn't like it." In other words, you want more liberal domestic policies, you need a more liberal Congress. Unfortunately between the Senate being set up the way it is, liberals being geographically clustered together, and the GOP being so goddamn ideologically rigid, I just don't see how this happens.

      1. Chet Kincaid

        We should ask Grover Norquist how this happens. Judging by results, he has a higher IQ than anybody who makes a living acquiring power for the Left.

        Jesus Christ, I am tired of the "woe is us Liberals." What has happened to the fucking party of Howard Dean – you know, the 50 state strategy?

        1. imissopus

          Who needs a 50-state strategy? We elected Obama! Isn't he a Magical Negro like Will Smith in that golf movie?

          Meh, I've been argumentative around here for a few days and I'm pretty burnt. The only thing I can think to say right now, and I don't even know if it makes sense, is that we need a new understanding of what it means to be a liberal within our current political alignment. Because I'm pretty sure that the old '60s model of "Fuck the Man!" isn't going to work.

          1. Chet Kincaid

            Well, I have my suggestion of a beginning of a solution, which I have been humping like a hobgoblin of foolish consistency for about a year now, and I'll keep humping it until somebody convinces me the Democrats shouldn't at least be trying it.

      2. Chet Kincaid

        The Democrats had a window to court Theo Epstein as General Manager after the Red Sox collapsed and Francona quit – you know, somebody who has a clue about WINNING. Instead, the fucking Cubs got him!

        1. not that Dewey

          That's like putting Jack Welch in charge of selling used dildos from a blanket on the sidewalk. He may be Jack Welch, but it's still a blanket full of used dildos on the sidewalk.

          [proud Cubs fan]

    3. CapnFatback

      Extemporanus, my bear, like for everything important in life, I believe '80s music has prepared me best for moments like these, when an otherwise knowledgeable commentariat go on a feeding frenzy upon their own. I look to the band who sang "Can U Dig It" for an explanation. The answer comes back, always, "Snark will eat itself."

  38. Antispandex

    Why does this have to come down to an election (again) where we just pick the least odious prick of the bunch? Oh, yeah, never mind. I get it. We could wind up with a Teapublican if we don't vote for Barry. Shit! Oh well, I guess that's what makes democracy so great.

  39. Mumbly_Occupado

    So, umm. Wonkette seems to be recently inundated with idiotic (and more importantly, unfunny!) Naderniks and PUMAs, for some reason over the past day, who seem intent on getting people to vote for either Republicans outright, or Republicans-by-proxy.

    It's not a problem if I decide to semi-arbitrarily blame Ken for this, is it?

  40. Negropolis

    Snark off, for a minute. So, this is the liberal version of "I didn't get mine, so I really couldn't care less if you get your's"?

  41. Terry

    I spent the 80's in college at three Enormous State Universities and got three degrees. I worked 1-2 jobs all the way through and carried a full load of credits appropriate for each degree. Yes, uphill and in the snow both ways. It's not easy but it can still be done.

    the below is copied and pasted from http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/add-it-up

    – Public four-year colleges charge, on average, $7,605 per year in tuition and fees for in-state students. The average surcharge for full-time out-of-state students at these institutions is $11,990.

    – Private nonprofit four-year colleges charge, on average, $27,293 per year in tuition and fees.

    – Public two-year colleges charge, on average, $2,713 per year in tuition and fees.

  42. Lascauxcaveman

    Yeah, I remember my $1700/year (University of Washington) tuition as being a tough nut to make, but being able to pay a quarter at time, I always managed to scrape it together somehow. But the real killer was paying for textbooks, some of which could cost as much as $25!

    Of course, the onion for my belt could could be had for as little as two bees…

  43. Occupy V572

    But chemistry was a much easier course to pass in those days, as the only elements in the Periodic Table were earth, air, fire and water.

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