New Frontier in Student Debt: It Stifles the Housing Recovery

Stephan:  This is the latest in the trend on student debt. This is one of the clearest examples I see showing how the middle class is being milked, like aphids are milked by ants, in order to enrich corporate financial institutions. This is exactly the wrong way for the country to be going, and now we can begin to see how this wealth transfer policy is infecting other aspects in our culture.

With the start of another school year, the air is once again filled with angst over the high cost of college. But the discussion is shifting. It’s not just about runaway tuition inflation anymore, or even the individual hardship that excessive college loans create for graduates. Now we’re talking about how student debt is everyone’s problem because it is crushing the economy.

Total student debt recently crossed the $1 trillion mark, more than Americans collectively owe on credit cards. New findings conclude that this debt is shutting young people out of the housing market, further depressing what is already the economy’s most troubled sector. According to Denied: The Impact of Student Debt on the Ability to Buy a House, a report from the youth advocacy group Young Invincibles:

‘As monthly student debt payments increase for college graduates, so does their struggle to qualify for a mortgage. Looking at a key factor in qualifying for a mortgage-the debt-to-income ratio-we find some disturbing results.

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Bill Moyers On The United States Of ALEC

Stephan:  Here is some home truth about ALEC. If you are like me it will infuriate you. This is how our government is being taken over by corrupt agents of the Virtual Corporate States. I will be in Budapest (see making a presentation, and will be unable to see this live, but I urge you to watch this documentary

AMY GOODMAN: We begin our show today with a look at the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council. The organization, often known as just ALEC, brings together major corporations and state legislators to craft and vote on ‘model’ bills behind closed doors. It’s come under increasing scrutiny for its role in promoting ‘stand your ground’ gun laws, voter suppression bills, union-busting policies and other controversial legislation. The organization’s agenda has sparked so much controversy that 40 major U.S. companies, including Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Kraft and General Motors, have recently severed ties with ALEC.

ALEC is the focus of a new documentary by the legendary journalist Bill Moyers titled The United States of ALEC. It will air this weekend on Moyers & Company but is premiering today here on Democracy Now!

STATE REP. STEVE FARLEY: I’ve often told people that I talk to out on the campaign trail, when they say, ‘State what?’ when I say I’m running for state legislature, I tell them that the decisions that are made here in the legislature are often more important for your everyday life than the decisions the president makes.

JOHN NICHOLS: If you really want to influence the politics of this country, you don’t just give money […]

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Retired Generals Call for Healthier School Lunches Because ‘Junk Food In School Is A National Security Issue’

Stephan:  What kind of country are we becoming when large numbers of our youth are too weak and obese to pass a simple fitness test? And consider the views of the Rightists nitwits covered here, and what they are proposing. What does it say about our democracy and the citizens of America, when they elect corrupt racist incompetents such as these?

Retired generals and admirals of the advocacy group Mission: Readiness document the impact that the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic has on military service in a new report entitled ‘Still Too Fat to Fight.

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For Veterans, a Surge of New Treatments for Trauma

Stephan:  I am appalled at the number of suicides occurring in the military. Thanks to the Neocons a significant portion of an entire generation of young men and women had their lives, and the lives of their families and loved ones destroyed -- for no good reason. It is an obscenity that will forever blot American history. Tina Rosenberg won a Pulitzer Prize for her book 'The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism.

Suicide is now the leading cause of death in the army. More soldiers die by suicide than in combat or vehicle accidents, and rates are rising: July, with 38 suicides among active duty and reserve soldiers, was the worst month since the Army began counting. General Lloyd Austin III, the army’s second in command, called suicide ‘the worst enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the army.

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Extreme Weather: Arctic Ice at Lowest Point in a Million Years

Stephan:  More bad news about what is happening in the Arctic. Barely a word of this enters our public conversation; it is almost entirely absent in the Presidential contest. But its impact will be far greater than anything being discussed, even the jobs data. This is not a short term crisis but a long term disaster for the earth and all the beings on it.

Noted sea ice geophysicist and climatologist Professor John Yackel from the University of Calgary has delivered a bombshell: He recently declared after the latest Arctic ice melt that, ‘This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years.’

Although satellite records only go back to 1979, there has been a disturbing trend in the Arctic region: Satellite imagery is showing that the Arctic ice region is melting at an alarming rate, far faster than even climatologists expected.

This is further bad news for the planet as extreme weather events have already caused over 55 billion dollars of damage in the U.S. alone this year. Record drought conditions, record wildfires and storms along with hurricanes are not only making an impact in the U.S., but around the world.

The depleting Arctic ice cover will have serious ramifications for the planet. Arctic ice acts as a reflector of sunlight, helping regulate the Earth’s temperature, cooling the climate. Further ice melting in the Arctic will only exacerbate the warming process and cause even more severe weather around the world.

‘When there’s no longer that sea ice below the air mass and it’s just […]

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