Donate

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.

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

Yr Wonkette is supported ONLY by reader donations, and it's the end of the year! If you've got spare scratch lying around, why not send it our way?

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

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 is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

$
Donate with CC
Video screenshot

The pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences, Inc. -- heck of a name for these times -- recently announced US sales of a generic version of its HIV prevention drug Truvada would begin a year earlier than originally planned. The stepped-up schedule for the generic was at least in part the result of pressure from activists, who have made a lot of noise about the fact that Gilead's huge revenues from Truvada -- about $3 billion annually -- came only after the basic research for the drug was done at taxpayer expense, largely through grants from the Centers for Disease Control, which holds the patent on the drug.

At a House Oversight Committee hearing last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez let one of the witnesses, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day, know she wasn't personally blaming him or his greed for the high cost of the drug, which prevents the spread of HIV through "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP). No, that's all a result of the terrible incentives that come from the fact that the US, alone among developed countries, treats healthcare as a commodity, not a right for all. Which is why a monthly supply of Truvada costs nearly $1800 here, and roughly eight dollars in Australia.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Giphy

Rudy Giuliani, a man who runs his business out of a Manhattan cigar bar, has #Thoughts about WHO TALKS FUNNY. The stuttering fool who can barely keep his dentures in his face as he wanders from studio to studio babbling incoherently -- the sun's over the yard arm somewhere, right? -- thinks the Speaker of the House has a "halting speech pattern." The guy hasn't held elected office in almost 20 years, and he wants to tell Nancy Pelosi, a 31-term congresswoman who has already been kicking ass for several hours while Rudy is still farting in his PJs, to pull her shit together?

THIS GUY HERE?

BITCH PLEASE.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc