published Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

And another thing ... Student debt, religious persecution and vanishing numbers

Future shock

The following words should scare you to death: "We actually don't know the costs yet. We'll figure that out on the back end."

So uttered United States Education Secretary Arne Duncan, referring to a memorandum signed by President Obama on Monday that would allow students who borrowed through the federal government before 2007 to pay no more than 10 percent of their incomes in monthly payments for their student loans.

Worse, if a student still owes money after paying on a government loan -- albeit on time -- for 20 years, the remaining amount would be wiped off the books.

The White House projected the program will cost taxpayers $7.6 billion in its first year but supposedly less in subsequent years. But how many government programs actually get less expensive as they go along?

What if the entire federal government ran like this? Oh, wait. It already seems to.

Recall, for instance, the sub-prime mortgage crisis that triggered the Great Recession, which continues to dog the economy today.

Among the contributors to that were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored agencies which were pressured first by the Clinton administration and to a lesser extent by the George W. Bush administration to increase lending -- and therefore lower lending standards -- to riskier home buyers. In 2007, home prices declined, mortgage delinquencies soared, mortgage-backed securities lost value, and mortgage-backed purchases declined. The crisis was afoot.

And then there were then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi's infamous words -- "we have to pass the [Obamacare] bill so that you can find out what is in it." Those words proved to be prescient to all the problems and obfuscations that have accompanied the Affordable Care Act's rollout (and its constantly increasing price tag).

Nobody wants to deny a truly interested student a college education, but Obama's memorandum only decreases personal responsibility on the front and back ends, does nothing to reduce the cost of higher education itself and has no bearing on the need to create a better job market for students once they get out.

What religious freedom?

From the you-never-thought-you'd-see-this-in-America department is the story of the Colorado baker, who is being forced along with his staff to undergo comprehensive training -- some call it sensitivity training -- on the state's anti-discrimination laws after the state's Civil Rights Commission determined the Christian baker broke the law by turning down the opportunity to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his faith.

He'll also have to submit quarterly reports to the commission vowing he did not turn away customers based on their sexual orientation.

Baker Jack Phillips had offered to make the couple any other bakery item when they came to him in 2012, but they refused and filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Commission.

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Colorado, but a civil court nevertheless ruled against the baker before the Civil Rights Commission weighed in.

Nicolle Martin, the Alliance Defending Freedom attorney for Phillips, said an appeal is being considered and correctly called the ruling Orwellian.

"They are turning people of faith into religious refugees," she said. "There will be some reporting requirements so that Jack can demonstrate that he doesn't exercise his belief system anymore -- that he has divested himself of his beliefs."

The silence is deafening

In case you missed it, the Obama administration quietly announced recently it would no longer release Affordable Care Act monthly enrollment reports and provided no information on when future reports would be available.

That came, of course, after the administration said in March it had garnered 8 million enrollees in the government-directed health care plan.

So, it will be impossible to know how many who signed up in the open enrollment period simply disenrolled themselves or who were dropped after three months of non-payment.

What has been reported, though, is that 2.1 million enrollees have data inconsistencies -- income, citizenship or immigration status, for instance -- in their records.

So if the Affordable Care Act is such a necessary, affordable and magnanimous program that the president proclaimed "the most transparent in history" why does the administration not want to provide status updates for what it believes is its most stunning achievement?

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Will baker Jack Phillips refuse my order for Biblical Stories cakes?

Let's see.

"Mr.Phillips, I want a cake with figures of Lot's daughters getting him drunk and then having sex with him for my Sunday School class. Make sure it has double-fudge frosting."

"Mr. Phillips, will you make a two-layer cake depicting male dead babies with Moses standing over them as Jehovah commanded? You can use Peeps for the dead babies if they're blue. And use pink Peeps to show the young girls being lead off to become sex slaves of Jehovah's people. We're having a "God Is Love" prayer meeting party Wednesday night."

"Mr. Phillips, will you please make a King David foreskin cake? Remember David paid Saul in foreskins for Saul's daughter? Figures of David and his many concubines would be nice in coitus and if you use carved pink marzipan for the pile of foreskins on top the kids could take some home with them for "show and tell" at school. Nothing better than frosting and foreskins to show their class God's great mercy for all."

"Mr. Phillips, one last request. Please don't sell any cakes to heathen gay people. They don't understand the peaceful, moral, and loving ways of Jehovah."

June 11, 2014 at 10:59 a.m.
GaussianInteger said...

Unless he refuses to also sell cake to couples that have been previously divorced, the baker is just a hypocrite.

June 11, 2014 at 11:35 a.m.
conservative said...

GaussianInteger

Can you explain that one?

June 11, 2014 at 12:29 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

Does the bible condemn divorce? It's not difficult to understand, unless you believe the Bible is just a book used to condemn people you disagree with, as is the case with you.

June 11, 2014 at 12:40 p.m.
conservative said...

The Bible condemns all sin not just divorce.

Divorce like all sin is forgivable.

June 11, 2014 at 12:45 p.m.

conservative said... "The Bible condemns all sin not just divorce.Divorce like all sin is forgivable."

"Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life."

"Humanity's first sin was faith; the first virtue was doubt." ..........Author Unknown

June 11, 2014 at 1:09 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

Even worse for the baker's hypocrisy then, Conman; NO?

June 11, 2014 at 4:40 p.m.
Ki said...

Conserv said: "divorce, like all sin is forgivable."

Then why does a local "christian" private school refuse to accept students of divorced parents?

" compassionate 'Christians'?". I think NOT

June 11, 2014 at 6:07 p.m.
conservative said...

GaussianInteger

An active Homosexual/sodomite is obviously not seeking forgiveness. He is unrepentant.

June 11, 2014 at 6:17 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Divorce is not a "sin," it is a healthy adjustment.

June 11, 2014 at 6:49 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

Yeah ConMan, some homo's just have to have the devil pounded out of them (if you know what I mean...).

June 11, 2014 at 9:48 p.m.
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