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Thursday, the Trump administration decided out of the goodness of its court-ordered heart to follow Obama-era policy and cancel thousands of borrowers' federal student loans. This was a bummer for so-called Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who had fought against protections for student loan borrowers because she (allegedly) gets off on watching people go bankrupt like some Disney villain. A federal judge ruled in September that her efforts to stop the "borrower defense" regulations from taking effect were illegal. DeVos will have to take comfort now in one of her 17 yachts and her Tim Burton-designed summer house.

These borrowers aren't, as Fox News might lead you to believe, avoiding repayment of the loans they took out to study advanced pottery and women's "herstory." Most of these borrowers were affected by school closures or outright defrauded by a lousy for-profit "college." The Education Department today will start notifying around 15,000 borrowers that they qualify for loan discharges. The debt totals approximately $150 million, or about four of DeVos's best yachts.


Half of the affected borrowers attended campuses owned by Corinthian Colleges, the shady chain of for-profit colleges that went under in 2015. Washington Senator Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee, said this is all a "good first step," but DeVos should stop letting for-profit colleges off the hook and try looking out for the folks who were "cheated out of their education and savings." Elizabeth Warren, who has long fought to defend student loan borrowers from the likes of DeVos, was also pleased with the judge's ruling.

DeVos has said that the Obama-era regulations are unfair to colleges and taxpayers (always throw in a reference to taxpayers to make it seem like you care about more than just rich people). The Obama administration, she argued, made it too "easy" for students to walk away from their crippling debt and enjoy carefree lives working minimum-wage jobs. She reportedly called the "borrower defense" program a "free money" giveaway, perhaps confusing it with the massive inheritance she likely received when her father-in-law recently passed away.

DeVos claimed her top priority in the job she bought was to "act on behalf of individual students." Presumably, this means she will try to learn the name of every student she helps send into bankruptcy. She tried (and fortunately temporarily failed) to eliminate Obama-era rules for holding colleges accountable for the services they provide. For instance, they should be able to find "gainful employment" when they graduate. That's usually a win-win. Graduates can afford to pay off their loans and eat every once in a while. The alumni department can then bug them with donation requests for the rest of their natural lives.

DeVos also plans to restore the authority of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, after the Obama administration withdrew federal recognition of it. This means educational crapsack colleges that failed to find recognition elsewhere, like Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech, will still have access to federal student aid. This lady loves quality education so much she's going to hug and and squeeze it to death.

During DeVos's sham confirmation hearing, it came out that the billionaire had numerous financial ties to student loan debt collectors. She was also invested in for-profit institution Laureate Education. She divested these holdings but she can always, you know, un-divest once she's left the education sector a smoking crater. She's also hired officials with ties to for -profit institutions.

It's not really a mystery where her loyalties lie.

But this one time, the good guys have won and Betsy DeVos has been ordered by the court to stop being an asshole, at least about this one thing. She is still free to be an asshole in all the other ways she is an asshole.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins runs from March through May at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo.

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An unhinged wannabe fascist who tweets about golden showers did a news conference in the Rose Garden this afternoon. Also, Donald Trump was there.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is in town, and everything about today's public appearance with Trump and Bolsonaro has been real stupid, just like how it was real stupid when Bolsonaro's stupid son was the stupid guest of honor the other night at a stupid Steve Bannon event at the stupid Trump trash palace hotel in DC.

During their pool spray, Trump excitedly told reporters that he was making plans to give NATO privileges to Brazil, because of how Brazil elected a big gross dipshit just like America did. Of course, considering how Trump treats actual NATO countries, Bolsonaro might want to reconsider whether he wants that.

Then a reporter asked him about his blubbering whiny-ass attacks on John McCain, who is still dead.

That's right, Donald Trump didn't even avoid the question about his very embarrassing behavior. He spoke about McCain as if McCain were still alive, whined about McCain killing Obamacare repeal, and concluded by saying, "I was never a fan of John McCain, and I never will be." As for McCain, he will continue living rent-free in the president's nightmares and his face will be the face of Trump's insecurities, because we guess that's what happens to John McCains when they die.

But enough about the pool spray! After they met in the Oval Office and did whatever fascists who should be prohibited entry to the White House via an electric doggie fence do (sniffed each other's butts, probably), they entered the Rose Garden and proceeded to hike their legs on democracy some more.

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Yep, we're breaking out the Wikimedia kitten image for this one.

CNN is out today with a story on members of the anti-vaccination/pro-disease movement who have found a delightful new way to win converts to their side in the war on science: find parents (mothers, generally) who have recently lost a child to a preventable disease, and then harass them on social media, because after all, good people refuse vaccines and anyone who advocates for vaccines must be burned to the ground. As your lawyer (we are not a lawyer), we advise you to secure any hurlable heavy objects near you before reading.

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