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I’m sorry, but Fetterman seems more battle-ready than his progressive challenger. I’m for Fetterman. We know he is the genuine article.



Love this line: “Speaking as a Harvard grad, Biden can bite me.”


As a matter of policy, there’s no credible reason to be in favor of canceling $10,000 but not $50,000. Biden seemed to suggest that he might not have the “authority” to cancel $50,000, but it’s the exact same authority as the one under which he proposes to cancel $10,000.

The difference between $10,000 and $50,000 is not about law or policy but about politics. Biden and his team don’t like the optics of canceling a figure they’ve arbitrarily determined to be “a lot.” At the town hall, Biden explained it this way: He didn’t want to cancel debt from people who went to “Harvard, Yale, and Penn.”

I know it sounds good. Bashing Ivy League schools is always a cheap way to drum up anti-elitist energy, but here the laugh line is devoid of intellectual rigor.

Speaking as a Harvard grad, Biden can bite me. The man evidently has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to student debt. The reality is that schools like Harvard, Yale, and Penn graduate students with some of the least federal college debt in the country. The latest U.S. News ranking of lightest debt loads saw Princeton University come in third. Stanford was fifth. MIT was 11th. Yale and Harvard were 14th and 16th respectively. The average federal debt of a Harvard graduate is just under $14,000, and only 2 percent of Harvard students take out federal loans. Counterintuitively perhaps, $10,000 of federal loan forgiveness would be a windfall for Harvard grads and other graduates of elite institutions, and not be much good for a lot of other people. Biden needs to keep Harvard’s name out his mouth.

The reason elite universities tend to do better with debt are various and complicated. One obvious reason is that many students admitted to those schools come from families with the ability to pay. But it’s not the only reason. At Harvard, for instance, one in five students are from families making less than $65,000. Harvard has made college free for those kids. Elite private universities have enormous endowments (Harvard’s is $40 billion) and can offer generous financial aid packages far beyond a piddling government Pell Grant.

Moreover, to the extent that student debt forgiveness helps the Ivy League grads Biden apparently thinks are undeserving, that help will go disproportionately to graduates of color. That’s because student debt, like everything else in this country, hits Black and brown people harder. A 2016 Brookings Institute study found that Black students owe $7,400 more in debt than their white counterparts upon graduation, but that figure balloons to Black graduates owing $25,000 more debt than white graduates, tripling the gap between them, just four years after graduation.

It’s called interest. Nearly half of Black graduates owe more money on their federal loans four years after graduation than they did at graduation. Only 17 percent of white graduates are in that situation.

When Biden kicks dirt on Harvard and Yale and Penn, he’s trying to evoke the image of privileged kids with rich daddies getting a payout that they’ll use to buy more Gamestop stock. But his argument is either based in ignorance or extreme bad faith. Biden could have just looked at the list of colleges with the most indebted graduates, which U.S. News updated this week. Number one is Drexel University (which, not for nothing, is located in the heart of Philadelphia, a city Biden might want to remember delivered Pennsylvania to him in the last election). Maine Maritime Academy, Detroit Mercy, and Alabama State University round out the top four.

Does Biden have any snarky asides he’d like to make about canceling the student debt for merchant marines, who only have one of the most dangerous and toughest jobs in the country and graduated from the Maine academy with an average of $56,897 of debt? Is there some principled reason students graduating from an HBCU like Alabama State with $54,177 of debt are undeserving of $50,000 of student loan forgiveness?

Schumer (Harvard ’71) and Warren (Harvard Law professor, 1995–2011) know. Instead of a false dichotomy between elites and whichever hardscrabble Scrantonites Biden thinks he’s talking to, Schumer and Warren understand that debt relief helps everybody… helps everybody. Debt relief, even for Ivy grads, is economic stimulus: People with less student debt are able to, you know, buy things on credit. Like houses. Debt relief also closes the racial wealth gap and is a boon to small business generation.

If Biden and his team have a principled reason for why it’s better to cancel $10,000 than $50,000, I’d be eager to listen to it. But as of now, his argument is not principled—it’s crap. It’s based on a fundamental mischaracterization of the problem, designed to actively mislead the people who will be most helped by relieving more money.



The latest annual student debt report from the social science research group Jain Family Institute, published Thursday, belies claims by President Joe Biden—who earlier this week said he would not cancel $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower—that such a move would disproportionately benefit people who attend elite private universities.

The 2021 Student Debt and Young America report, authored by JFI’s Laura Beamer and Eduard Nilaj, begins by noting that young people are “overrun with student debt.”

“This crisis is the culmination of waning government funding for higher education, wage stagnation, wealth inequality, and a misleading emphasis on obtaining high credentials—all leading to the financial gap between college prices and later earnings,” they write.

“In 2020, aggregate balances reached $1.66 trillion in 2019 dollars, 122% higher in real dollars than in 2010,” the authors continue. “Not surprisingly, the number of borrowers, the amount they owe, and the number of loans each borrower acquires, have all increased over the time period. In 2019, 18-35 year-olds with student loan debt owed nearly $35,000 on average compared to just over $28,000… in 2009. Back in 2009 there were only 32 million federal borrowers; in 2019, that number swelled to 43 million.”

The study notes marked racial disparities in student debt, with Black people suffering both the largest increase over time and the highest median amount owed in 2019, at $20,236. Asian students experienced the worst debt inequality in 2019. Although their median debt was $18,548 that year, their average debt balance was $38,860.

Critically, the study finds:

Because low- and lower-middle income communities see the worst debt-to-income ratios, they would see the largest portion of their income freed up through student debt forgiveness. Young adult borrowers in low- and lower-middle income communities would receive an outsized share of forgiveness in aggregate dollars compared to middle- and upper-income communities.

This flies in the face of the implications of Biden’s remarks at a CNN town hall Tuesday evening in Milwaukee, where the president said he doesn’t want to forgive “billions of dollars of debt for people who have gone to Harvard and Yale and Penn” instead of using “that money to provide money for early education for young children who… come from disadvantaged circumstances.”


i owe $5,000 less after 14 years

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

The interest. The interest. The interest. I went thru this with my daughter and can empathize with you. Whenever she had a few extra hundred dollars to send in, they would apply it to reduce the next month’s payment instead of reducing the principle. We had to come up with a plan to pay additional payments the day after the regular payment was due and to insist that it be applied to the principle.


I’m not an expert, but I think the thing to do when making ‘extra’ payments is to notate (and make sure they know) that the extra payment needs to be applied to the principal.

It’s all ridiculous!


That’s crazy polarbear!

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Well said, Elie Mystal. Thank you. And as we used to say in the black independent school movement back in the 80’s, TEACH HARD!


Do people actually look at Byedone’s record? It is several decades long, and hasn’t changed ‘cept he is getting more mentally feeble.


Poor Snowflake


😂 Cry us a mai tai


“Not this time,” editors said. “He plopped himself down on a direct flight to paradise and left us to fend for ourselves in this frozen hell,” noting the junior senator’s well-documented “deficits in compassion.”

Cruz was further disparaged in the editorial for pinning the blame for his getaway on his young daughters — framing his decision to flee the state under a guise of good parenting.

“Cry us a Mai Tai,” editors wrote, questioning the claim, which was later blown up after texts from the senator’s wife leaked to The New York Times revealed his wife’s own desire to escape the state’s winter wreckage.

“Take our advice, senator, and resign,” editors wrote. “Seems like you could use a break and we could, too, from an ineffective politician who, even in crisis, puts his personal itinerary before the needs of Texans.”


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omg, “Cry us a Mai Tai”!

I’m thinking that he’s in some trouble..



Apparently thier was a hired hand around to take care of the dog. The wolves (twitterverse ) can take care of cancun cruz


Yes but no heat. I certainly wouldn’t be going on vacation and leaving my dogs to freeze.


Me neither!🤎🐶🤎 Now, humans? Hmmmmmm….


i would hope that that caretaker would take proper care of the dog, other wise orl’s comment below about Cruz is to kind


omg—-never. How big a shit are the lot of them


Just further confirmation that Cruz is a snowflake azzhole.🤮💩



The US has agreed to take part in multilateral talks with Iran hosted by the EU, with the aim of negotiating both countries’ return to the 2015 nuclear deal that is close to falling apart in the wake of the Trump administration.

The state department spokesperson, Ned Price, said the US would accept the EU high representative’s invitation for discussions with Iran and the five other countries that agreed the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), by which Iran accepted strict constraints on its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

“Until we sit down and talk nothing’s going to happen, but that doesn’t mean that when we sit down and talk we’re going to succeed,” a senior state department official said. “We do know that if you don’t take that step, the situation is just going to go from bad to worse.”


T and R, Ms. Benny!!☮️😊👍



Scientists have cloned the first U.S. endangered species, a black-footed ferret duplicated from the genes of an animal that died over 30 years ago.

The slinky predator named Elizabeth Ann, born Dec. 10 and announced Thursday, is cute as a button. But watch out — unlike the domestic ferret foster mom who carried her into the world, she’s wild at heart.

“You might have been handling a black-footed ferret kit and then they try to take your finger off the next day,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service black-footed ferret recovery coordinator Pete Gober said Thursday. “She’s holding her own.”

Elizabeth Ann was born and is being raised at a Fish and Wildlife Service black-footed ferret breeding facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. She’s a genetic copy of a ferret named Willa who died in 1988 and whose remains were frozen in the early days of DNA technology.

Cloning eventually could bring back extinct species such as the passenger pigeon. For now, the technique holds promise for helping endangered species including a Mongolian wild horse that was cloned and last summer born at a Texas facility.

“Biotechnology and genomic data can really make a difference on the ground with conservation efforts,” said Ben Novak, lead scientist with Revive & Restore, a biotechnology-focused conservation nonprofit that coordinated the ferret and horse clonings.


There are already a lot of pros and cons over the ethics and morality of this sort of genetic activity. Is mankind playing god, etc.? Very interesting and very deeply thought provoking.


true. for now, i can’t help it, i’m glad to see the critters are coming back any way they can. hopefully it will be done extremely conscientiously.


Bezos and Musk have the assets to do this for thier own gain, Thier money can buy anything. Certain countries would have no scruples to do this with humans with the financial backing


That didn’t even occur to me, reading the story yesterday, but I wouldn’t put it past those guys, especially Bezos, to try having themselves cloned. Could turn into the Battle of the Bezos as the clones all fight for control of the world (or something crazy like that).


I had mixed feelings about this news. Of course the species conservation aspect is probably good, but..



McGhee’s book is about the many ways racism has defeated efforts to create a more economically just America. Once the civil rights movement expanded America’s conception of “the public,” white America’s support for public goods collapsed. People of color have suffered the most from the resulting austerity, but it’s made life a lot worse for most white people, too. McGhee’s central metaphor is that of towns and cities that closed their public pools rather than share them with Black people, leaving everyone who couldn’t afford a private pool materially worse off.

One of the most fascinating things about “The Sum of Us” is how it challenges the assumptions of both white antiracism activists and progressives who just want to talk about class. McGhee argues that it’s futile to try to address decades of disinvestment in schools, infrastructure, health care and more without talking about racial resentment.

So McGhee is trying to shift the focus from how racism benefits white people to how it costs them. Why is student debt so crushing in a country that once had excellent universities that were cheap or even free? Why is American health care such a disaster? Why is our democracy being strangled by minority rule? As the first line of McGhee’s book asks, “Why can’t we have nice things?” Racism is a huge part of the answer.

McGhee describes a “solidarity dividend” gained when people are able to transcend racism. Look at what just happened in Georgia, where the billionaire Kelly Loeffler, in an attempt to keep her Senate seat, waged a nakedly racist campaign against Raphael Warnock, who ran on sending voters $2,000 stimulus checks. He still lost most white people, but won enough to prevail. He did it by appealing to idealism, but also to self-interest. In the fight for true multiracial democracy, counting on altruism will only get you so far.


Very interesting way to see things. Personally, if I was a GA voter I would’ve had little problem voting for Warnock over the awful Loeffler, the fact that he’s a minister was the only real thing that bothered me (religion out of politics please!), and I probably would have voted for Ossoff, but only because = Bernie becoming Budget Committee Chairman.

But I don’t think McGhee is talking about white people like me, as far as winning them over. I certainly wouldn’t close a public pool just because it was forced to allow POC in. It never fails to amaze me that so many people equate white skin with superiority.

(I don’t mean to imply that I am perfect – over the years I’ve identified some prejudices of my own, something I try to work on, it’s ongoing)


Every person has some prejudices myself included, anyone that says differently is kidding themselves. As Mags said its If you work on them is the key and making yourself a better person.


James has been better than I thought she would be. A possible successor to Cuomo?


Donald Trump isn’t Letitia “Tish” James’s only big legal target. Neither is the notorious radical right-wing U.S. gun lobby. Now she’s taking on Amazon.

James, New York state’s Attorney General, is probing Trump’s financial crimes committed through his private foundation. Last year, she sued the National Rifle Association and its top officers for outright fraud. The NRA tried unsuccessfully to get the case moved or thrown out. It also filed for bankruptcy.

And on Feb. 17, the section of James’s office that handles labor rights issues sued the monster retailer for failing to protect workers against the spread of the coronavirus and for firing whistleblower Christian Smalls last March and disciplining fellow whistleblower Derrick Palmer. Both are Black.

All of this had a motive—higher profits for Amazon, AG James’s suit declares.

Amazon’s lack of protections violates state health and safety laws, the suit says. The firing and the discipline all violate New York state labor law, her court papers told the judges in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Lack of protection continues at Amazon’s warehouse in Staten Island, where Smalls worked, and another facility in Woodside, Queens, James adds.

Her case demands damages, that Amazon give up illegally gained profits, reinstatement of Smalls with backpay, removing Palmer’s discipline from his records—and that Amazon clean up its act, literally, now.

“We won’t let corporate bullies put New York workers in harm’s way,” James tweeted.


More NY stuff


New York City’s largest union endorsed Maya Wiley, the former MSNBC analyst and legal counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, in the race for mayor on Friday, giving a lift to her campaign as she tries to prove that she is a leading candidate in the crowded Democratic field.

The powerful union, Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, provided one of the first big labor endorsements in the wide-open mayor’s race and hoped to use its political weight to help elect a Black woman as mayor for the first time.

The endorsement was a major win for Ms. Wiley, who is running as a progressive who wants to lead New Yorkers out of the pandemic in a city that has elected only one Black mayor and no women.


maybe she is one of those that you were talking about. needing some high profile good guys succeeding before really wading in. good luck to her!


Her being a former MSNBC analyst has me a bit concerned.🤔


As it should.

I am not a fan of Maya. Corporate ID politics shtick. Insincere.




I am paying attention to your comments, NYCVG. I really appreciate your work in posting them on here.


Thanks, orlbucfan.

I read your stuff, too and I thought of you when my Missouri family told me this week they are moving to Florida. I know you’ve had enough of these refugees from other states.

I’m happy, though. I’ll be visiting in sunny South Florida next winter. YaY!


Wonder if Barfo Borg Bezos will bring this to the attention of SCOTUS? We know how FRightwingnut and pro craporate that bunch is.


t&r, benny!

Bernie’s agenda “breaks with the Budget Committee’s traditional focus on the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook.” nice try, bud.

Bernie’s agenda also looks at the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook, just not in neolibcon terms. this will just slide into most people’s brains, tho, as a given. grrrrrrrr.

btw, watched Succession. great acting, good show, except that you end up not really caring about any of them all that much.

They portrayed a Bernie looking and acting “socialist” in the senate as someone who was willing to trade not pursuing a huge sex and possibly murder scandal on a cruise line owned by the mega media guy for not going after him on his news shows (patterned after Fox). really portrayed him as pretty slimy and very much “like” Bernie. remarks on how ineffective, etc. Very, very disappointing, and hope to wean myself off these streaming stations one day.

the propaganda is everywhere, it’s mostly woven into an accepted fabric of “reality” and until we get some dynamic true progressives in the market, including who writes the popular streaming shows, idk.

Do the roaming panels, Bernie!!!!!! yes!


pb4, you talking about watching the streaming video shows reminds me of my binging on fiction novelists. 📚😊👍


better for you. i used to and somewhere i lost the focus. just starting to read more…

these shows influence a lot of people tho. especially with good writing and actors. it’s a shame that so much talent is so neoliberal.


I saw a farmer on BBC last night talking about his method of growing rice with less water and I exclaimed to mr. mags, he looks like Bernie! He had the same hair, the same glasses, Bernie with a tan. Plus, the energetic way that he spoke.

Not sure if it’s a coincidence that people who are passionate about making things better share similar way of expressing themselves.




AOC can not quit next year. She has to run for re-election for her Bronx constituents and the rest of us who just envy them!