The Intercept: Increase In Defense Budget Would Pay for Free College Tuition

According to the organization the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016–2017 school year was $33,480 at private colleges, and it was $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

According to CNBC, more than 44 million Americans have taken out student loans to pay for school, and their debt totals $1.4 trillion. The average debt for 20-year-olds is $22,135, and for 30-year-olds, it’s $34,033, and will increase.

This is a disaster.

Sources state that there are several countries where college tuition is free or virtually free.  The writer of this blog post was able to study in Germany, and tuition was indeed almost free. (At the time, there was a fee of around 70 Deutschmarks a semester.)

Tuition costs in France are not free, but they are very inexpensive.  Studyineurope.eu reports that bachelor’s programs cost 189.10 EUR per year (roughly $224), and engineering degrees have a tuition fee of 615.10 EUR per academic year (or about $729).

CNBC writes that the total cost of tuition for a degree at a public university in the U.S. could be $250,000 eighteen years from now.

America is no stranger to the concept of free tuition, because public high schools are free.

Where would the money come from?

As it so happens, the website The Intercept reports that the recent increase in the military budget alone is enough to pay for free college.

On September 18th, the U.S. Senate approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending, to $700 billion for the year 2018.  However, USA Today estimates that the tuition costs at all 4-year colleges and universities is roughly $70 billion a year, which is less than the increase in defense spending.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/17/in-18-years-a-college-degree-could-cost-about-500000.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/10/29/7-countries-where-americans-can-study-at-universities-in-english-for-free-or-almost-free/?utm_term=.f4fc9e6d4bbb

https://www.salon.com/2014/11/02/7_countries_where_college_is_free_partner/

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/18/senate-passes-700-billion-defense-policy-bill-backing-trump-call-for-steep-increase-in-military-spending.html

Bernie Sanders issues bill to make 4-year colleges tuition-free

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/18/the-senates-military-spending-increase-alone-is-enough-to-make-public-college-free/

https://www.marketplace.org/2015/03/31/education/learning-curve/how-german-higher-education-controls-costs

http://againstausterity.org/wsst

Bernie Sanders Discusses Free College Education


Sam Seder

High School is free. Could college also be free? Is college free in some European countries? How would you pay for it?

Recently, Vermont Senator and presidential contender Bernie Sanders talked to CNN about free, universal college education and how he would fund it.

What is the Wall Street Sales Tax?

According to againstausterity.org:

“…Wall Street speculators pay no tax on their share of a yearly turnover of over $5 quadrillion (5,000 trillion dollars) in stocks, bonds and derivatives.  A 1% tax on this turnover, equally divided between the federal and state governments, largely solves the budget deficit at all levels of government.  It also discourages the most dangerous forms of speculation, especially derivatives speculation, and helps to level the playing field between financial services – which are now in effect subsidized because they are not taxed – and the tangible, physical production of manufactured goods on which our economic survival depends.”

In the video, they say the word “troglodytic.”  What does troglodytic mean?

Troglodytic means of, about, or relating to a troglodyte.   A troglodyte was a prehistoric cave-dweller, or “a person of degraded, primitive, or brutal character,” according to dictionary.com.

(Updated article)

http://againstausterity.org/wsst

Commentary On The Nevada College Student / Jeb Bush Exchange

Sam Seder

Recently, college student Ivy Ziedrich talked to Jeb Bush about the Iraq war at a town hall event in Reno, Nevada, about the Iraq war, writes the British newspaper The Guardian. Ziedrich is a 19-year-old student at the University of Nevada.

She questioned Bush amid a group of reporters about his belief that the jihadist group developed because Barack Obama had overseen the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

By the way, what does “pedantic” mean?  Wiktionary:

  1. Being showy of one’s knowledge, often in a boring manner.
  2. Being finicky or fastidious, especially with language.

Majority Report discusses it.

(Updated article)

Nevada College Student Tells Jeb Bush ‘Your Brother Created ISIS’

Secular Talk

When people say George W. Bush “created ISIS,” they do not mean that he “created” them on a secret military base somewhere and brought them together – Alex Jones conspiracy style – in order wreak havoc.  Generally, people mean that Bush “created the conditions” that allowed ISIS to happen.

In a “collapsed” dystopian post-war society with few employment opportunities and many left-over weapons, radical Islam seemed to offer a “way out” for some.

Many joined the group, and were able to gain power and influence in the chaotic situation of post-Saddam Iraq.

Recently, college student Ivy Ziedrich confronted Jeb Bush at a town hall event in Reno, Nevada, about the Iraq war, writes the British newspaper The Guardian.  Ziedrich is a 19-year-old student at the University of Nevada, according to The Guardian.

She questioned Bush amid a group of reporters about his belief that the jihadist group developed because Barack Obama had overseen the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

“You stated that ISIS was created because we don’t have enough presence and we’ve been pulling out of the Middle East,” Ziedrich said, shifting blame instead on to the consequences of George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq. “The threat of ISIS was created by the Iraqi coalition authority, which ousted the entire government of Iraq.

“It was when 30,000 individuals who are part of the Iraqi military – they were forced out. They had no employment, they had no income, yet they were left with access to all the same arms and weapons. Your brother created ISIS!”

(Updated article)

Could There Be Debt-Free College Under President Hillary Clinton?

According to MarketWatch, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager alluded to the idea of students going debt-free if Hillary becomes U.S. President.

Making college more affordable is part of Clinton’s plan to boost quality of life for ordinary Americans, Robby Mook, “Hillary for America” campaign manager, told CNBC.

He was responding to a question about which age demographic will be the toughest for Clinton to lure.

“What voters are looking for in this election is someone who is going to be a champion for everyday people,” Mook said Wednesday. “For young people, that’s debt-free college, that is finding that job after you graduate.”

Though the Clinton campaign has yet to officially endorse a plan that would let students graduate from school without loans, the fact that the words “debt-free college” came out of Mook’s mouth is seen as a victory for progressives. Over the past few months, a collective of liberals has been working to push the idea into mainstream Democratic circles, according to Bloomberg.

Mook’s comments come just weeks after a group of congressional Democrats introduced a resolution calling for a way for students to attend public colleges and universities debt-free.

That proposal could be made possible through a combination of increasing federal aid to states and students as well as reducing the cost of college, according to a white paper co-authored by left-leaning think tank Demos and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.  That group has spearheaded the debt-free college campaign, writes MarketWatch.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/debt-free-college-under-president-hillary-clinton-2015-05-08

UNT Women’s Basketball Player Death Ruled A Suicide

University of North Texas basketball player Eboniey Jeter committed suicide in her dorm room, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office report released yesterday, May 8th.

She was a forward on the UNT women’s team.

The Denton Record-Chronicle newspaper states the report by Dr. Nizam Peerwani, chief medical examiner, revealed how Ms. Jeter took her own life.

The Record-Chronicle decided not to include the details of the suicide out of respect to her grieving family.

The newspaper was unable to reach family members Friday afternoon for comment.

(Updated article)

http://www.swishappeal.com/2015/5/8/8574125/north-texas-forward-eboniey-jeters-ruled-a-suicide

Clinton May End Paid Speeches

One of the more controversial aspects of Hillary Clinton’s pre-campaign situation is coming to an end.

Her appearance at the New York and New Jersey chapter of the American Camp Association in Atlantic City on Thursday is the last paid speech on Clinton’s known calendar.

The paid speech was a staple of Clinton’s last two years, both a way of staying in the public eye but also a target for critics. Commanding an average fee between $200,000 and $300,000, Clinton spoke to a varying mix of groups.

Clinton headlined events at colleges and universities as well, including Simmons College in Boston, the University of Miami in Florida, and the University at Buffalo in New York.  She went abroad, delivering paid speeches in Canada and Mexico, according to CNN.

Both Democrats and Republicans questioned why she would give paid speeches ahead of ahead of (or during) a presidential bid.

Clinton aides argued that the speaking fees from universities and some nonprofits went to the The Clinton Foundation, not directly to Clinton’s pocket, but the explanation failed to halt concerns, says CNN.

When Clinton spoke at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in October, students protested the fact that the college was paying Clinton a $225,000 speaking fee at the same time that they were raising tuition.

While controversial, the speeches served a purpose for Clinton in addition to collecting a paycheck: They provided the former secretary of state with opportunities to comment on the biggest news story of the moment in a controlled environment where media were kept hundreds of feet away, states CNN.

Ted Cruz Tells Little Girl ‘The World’s On Fire’


Video by ‘Lord Rothschild’

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was interrupted during a speech in New Hampshire over the weekend by an unlikely heckler: a 3-year-old girl.

“The Obama economy is a disaster, Obamacare is a train wreck and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind — the whole world is on fire,” Cruz said.

“The world is on fire?” the girl, later identified as Julia, asked the Texas Republican, according to the Concord (N.H.) Monitor.

“The world is on fire, yes,” Cruz said, turning to the girl. “Your world is on fire.”

Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who now heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and religious conservative, said in a recent Blog Talk Radio interview that he believes Cruz is ineligible for the presidency. Mack is known as a prominent “birther.”

In response to a caller who argued that the Constitution bars the Canadian-born Cruz from being president, Mack said, “That is correct, I try to say that to a lot of people. Ted Cruz cannot run for president of the United States.”

Earlier this year, Cruz praised the efforts of Mack and his fellow anti-government protesters in their armed standoff against the federal government at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Colorado.

Lindsey Graham: I Would Deploy The Military Against Congress As President

According to Vox.com, Republican senator and presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham went to the “politics and pies” forum in Concord, New Hampshire recently, where he announced that if he is elected president in 2016, his first act would be to deploy the military in Washington to force Congress to reverse cuts to the defense and intelligence budgets.

That may go over well with the “folksy” crowd, but according to Vox.com, it doesn’t sound legal.

Here are Graham’s words:

“And here’s the first thing I would do if I were president of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.”

Graham would use the military to force members of Congress to not just vote on the bill, but to pass it – in other words, until the defense and intel cuts are restored.

Graham didn’t say “until I get an up-or-down vote on restoring defense cuts.” He said “until we restore these defense cuts.”

So Graham is proposing that his first act as president would be to use the military to force the legislative branch to pass his agenda.

If taken literally, Graham is basically announcing his plan to stage some sort of coup.  He is saying that if he gains control of the executive branch, he will use his authority as commander in chief to overcome the separation of powers and force the legislative branch to do his bidding, instead of allowing it to act as an independent branch of the government.

Vox.com states that political scientists often refer to that type of action as a “self-coup,” a situation in which a legitimate leader uses the military or other armed force to unlawfully sieze more power than is permitted under the constitution of the country in question.

Usually that’s a seizure of power and a shutdown of the legislature, according to Vox.com.  What Graham is proposing is a milder version.

Vox states that he may have been joking, but the recording sounded serious.

If he was being serious, the proposal is different than what is actually legal — such as, say, the Senate leadership using the Capitol police or sergeant-at-arms to ensure that the Senate has a quorum.

That happened in 1988, when Democratic leadership had the Capitol police carry Republican Senator from Oregon Bob Packwood into the Senate chamber to ensure a quorum.

Harry Reid threatened to use similar methods more recently when he was Senate majority leader.

But what the Senate did in 1988 was compel senators’ presence, not compel them to vote a certain way.  Graham is talking about forcing legislators to vote a certain way.

What happened to Packwood was permitted by the Senate rules, which say that “a majority of the Senators present may direct the Sergeant at Arms to request, and, when necessary, to compel the attendance of the absent Senators” to reach a quorum.

And it was the Senate policing itself, and thus did not violate the separation of powers.

What Lindsey Graham is proposing is to physically force members of Congress to vote how he commands.

His plan violates constitutional separation of powers in just about the most extreme way imaginable, according to Vox.com.  He would be forcing the executive branch’s will on the legislature.

“And it is a pretty safe bet that Senate rules do not grant the president authority to have the 101st Airborne Division occupy the Capitol until Congress votes the way he wants,” states Vox.com.

Graham’s proposal is so astonishing that it’s pretty much impossible to believe that’s what he really meant. It is hard to believe he is a mainstream politician and an attorney who once served as an Air Force JAG.

You can listen to the recording here:

http://benswann.com/graham-military-force-congress/

More:

http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/16012590-95/at-first-politics-and-pies-south-carolina-sen-graham-stresses-national-security

Ronald Reagan Supposedly To Get Own Coin For 2016

Since 2007, deceased presidents have been commemorated on $1 coins in the order of their service, according to CoinNews.net.

“Next year marks an end to the series with the commemoration of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. They were the 37th, 38th and 40th Presidents of the United States,” states CoinNews.net.

The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-145) states that former or current Presidents who are still alive cannot appear on the dollar coins.

Rules about breaking the sequential order of service were less clear.

A legal interpretation was made, and it was decided that the Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, would get passed over to honor Reagan.  (Carter is still alive.)