June 22, 2016

Give the Obama Student Loan Servicing Plan a Chance

Guest Post by Deanne Loonin (attorney and advocate for low-income student loan borrowers)

Programs to help struggling student loan borrowers will only succeed if servicers effectively do their jobs and provide high quality information and assistance.

Servicers are a borrower’s primary point of contact.  Ideally, they should provide borrowers with accurate and comprehensive information about their options and help them get relief.  The reality of the current servicing system, unfortunately, is far from this ideal.

Quality, borrower-centric servicing is essential, but often overlooked in policy debates.  The Obama Administration has started to pay attention, recognizing the flaws in the …

Continue Reading »

November 13, 2015
Global Warming Image

Climate Hustle, Latest Global Warming Denial Documentary, Set For World Premiere In Paris During COP21

Starting on November 30 and lasting until December 11, the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), i.e. the annual meeting of all countries that want to take action for the climate, will meet in Le Bourget, France. They are meeting to try and agree to a global legally binding climate treaty to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, which is the agreed upon target that scientists say the world cannot exceed if we are to avoid catastrophic runaway climate change.

Arriving at the end of the meeting are climate deniers from Heartland Institute, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

Continue Reading »

November 9, 2015
Roy Spencer Speaking at the Heartland Institute International Conference on Climate Change
Roy Spencer Speaking at the Heartland Institute International Conference on Climate Change

Roy Spencer, Climate Skeptic, wants RICO Investigation of Environmentalists

At a recent Cato Institute event titled, “Preparing for Paris: What to Expect from the U.N.’s 2015 Climate Change Conference,” climate skeptic Roy Spencer raised eyebrows when he said that environmentalists should be investigated under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) because of the energy policies they push.

Thomas Wysmuller, owner of Colderside.com, questioned the panelists about the recent revelation that ExxonMobil incorporated climate research into its operations while publicly casting doubt on that very same science. After Judith Curry and Ryan Maue provided answers, Spencer made his statement:

Wysmuller: Quick question. There has been …Continue Reading »

June 10, 2015
Nick Akins

Edison Electric Institute Elects New Leaders But Policymakers Are Unlikely To See Innovative Ideas

Nick Akins, president and CEO of American Electric Power, was announced as the elected chairman of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) yesterday at the association’s annual meeting in New Orleans.  EEI is the national trade association representing investor-owned electric utility companies.

Joining Akins on EEI’s leadership team as vice chairmen will be these four industry executives: Tom Fanning of Southern Company; Chris Crane of Exelon Corporation; Pat Vincent-Collawn of PNM Resources; Greg Abel of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

The investor-owned electric utility industry is faced with difficult questions of how to change its outdated business model because of “disruptive challenges” and …

Continue Reading »

November 5, 2014
The drafting of the Constitution. The House of Representatives was designed to be a voice of the people.
The drafting of the Constitution. The House of Representatives was designed to be a voice of the people.

Gerrymandering Rigged the 2014 Elections for Republican Advantage

In the midterm elections, Republicans appear to have won their largest House majority since the Hoover administration. Republicans won on the weakness of Democratic candidates, a poor resource allocation strategy by Democratic party leaders, particularly DCCC chair Steve Israel, and an election narrative that did little to inspire base Democratic voters. That being said, in many ways, the game was rigged from the start. The GOP benefitted from the most egregious gerrymandering in American history.

As Rolling Stone reported, GOP donors plowed cash into state legislative efforts in 2010 for the very purpose of redrawing congressional lines. In the following …

Continue Reading »

September 3, 2014
Many for-profit colleges get about 90 percent of their revenue from federal financial aid. For-profit schools have 13% of U.S. students by nearly half of all student loan defaults.

“Back to the Future” for career colleges: What we have to do to regain credibility

In this guest post, Raul Valdes Pages addresses his colleagues in the for-profit college industry. Raul Valdes Pages was the founder and CEO of Denver Technical College, a for-profit school offering associate, bachelor and master’s programs. He also has served as CEO of Sextant Education and marketing manager and vice president at DeVry. He is currently CEO of Quantum Integrations, a publishing and competency-based curriculum company. He has been a commissioner of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and testified in Congress regarding skills standards legislation. You can contact him at [email protected]

Our colleges have taken a pounding in the …

Continue Reading »

July 28, 2014
Don Blankenship receives a shoe shine at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Don Blankenship receives a shoe shine at the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Disgraced Coal Baron Don Blankenship Rebrands As A Libertarian Activist

Among visitors to Freedom Fest, a libertarian convention in Las Vegas, you might miss the aging Don Blankenship amid other middle aged attendees and a swarm of college students in three piece suits. Blankenship, wearing a bowling shirt and tan slacks, moves from panel to panel carrying a tote bag filled with free schwag — of which there was a lot to choose from, including this “water bottle” from the Charles Koch Institute — like anyone else. The former CEO of Massey Energy became the most feared man in West Virginia for his ruthless control over his mines and for …

Continue Reading »

June 16, 2014

Senator Tim Scott Attempts to Build Support for Offshore Oil Drilling Legislation With Pictures of Windmills

How do you sell offshore oil drilling to a public that has grown skeptical after years of spills and deadly disasters?

U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has a website promoting the four pillars of his policy agenda. On energy, the Scott site features the Southern Energy Access Jobs Act (SEA Jobs Act), which would reverse “the Obama administration’s moratorium on offshore Atlantic energy production and create one single ‘South Atlantic’ offshore energy planning area, comprised of South Carolina, North Carolina Georgia, and Virginia.” Offshore drilling lobbyists, including National Ocean Industries Association president Randall B. Luthi, have called Scott’s effort …

Continue Reading »