Student Loans, National Debt & Congress- An Infographic

 

 

banking-on-education-OPTIMIZED

 

Here are just a couple key points:

– Since 2002, student debt in America has quintupled from $200 billion to $1.1 trillion
– 62% of workers aged 30-39 have insufficient resources for retirement – meaning less money on critical necessities like housing, food, and medicine
– If Congress doesn’t act by July 1st, the average student will owe an extra $2,564 – but if  Congress passes Sen. Warren’s plan, they’ll save $6,552

 

Truth In The Face Of Ignorance

peace love joy

peace love joy (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)

Back in March, I wrote a piece about the Pope speaking to American bishops about the need for a culture war about marriage equality- and we got one. The Catholic Church was the largest single contributor (through the Bishop’s Conference, the Knights of Columbus and the National Organization For Marriage) against marriage equality initiatives in four states.

They lost.

Kind of makes you wonder what kind of help those millions of dollars would have given the poor if they hadn’t been so horribly directed against love.

Anyway, I ended that essay with with an open letter to LGBTIQ persons who live every day in the face of moral attack, physical violence and angry, ignorant, powerful people. We may have come a long way this year, but we’re not there yet.

So- if I may be so bold- I’d like to reprint the letter as a reminder that we need to find inspiration in ourselves. We need to remember that in the face of ignorance, we must continually speak the quiet, powerful truth of purpose and experience.

And I need to be reminded just as much as anybody else.

To my LGBTIQ family,

Love toward yourself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is important and necessary to insist on respect for your own right to life. I believe you were created to fill a very important place in this world- a place often dramatically misunderstood and opposed by people out of ignorance and fear.

It is crucial that you understand that you are not alone- there are millions of people who want to understand you and accept you and who will love you. You have the right to be understood- and you have the right to love and be loved in the ways you feel are most faithful to your created nature.

You have the right to live free from fear of attack and violence. You have the right to defend yourself against ignorant attacks on your dignity, happiness and self-respect. You have the right to fulfill your potential and to follow your heart and mind and soul and dreams to the best of your ability. Despite ignorance, despite persecution, despite fear and power and hate.

I believe that we are all beloved by the God of our understanding. I believe that we are valuable in being beloved. And that value is not diminished, even in the face of anger, fear and ignorance. Even in the face of religious belief which would deny us that value.

We are a courageous, wonderful people, with visions of love and acceptance and equality and happiness that I believe are deeply important to the future of the world.

I beg you, don’t let go of these visions- no matter how strongly others try to pull them away from you. They are your birthright.

They are the key hope to a world filled with peace.

Amen.

Infographic: Extending Tax Cuts

The White House makes the case:

(click to enlarge)

Marijuana- An Infographic

I’m not a marijuana user- I’m allergic. But I found this interesting:

Going Green
Created by: Online Paralegal Programs

Rehberg: Local Governments Richer Than The Feds

Rep. Denny Rehberg (MT)

Image by republicanconference via Flickr

After earning the title of the Tea Party Caucus’s top earmarker, and after giving himself five pay raises in Congress, Montana’s millionaire Congressman is now telling Montanans that they should turn to their local governments if they need any help.

“I always find it a little bit ironic when somebody comes to me and says we need money at the local level from the federal government,” Rehberg recently told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (onlineHERE).  “I say, well, why don’t you ask the local level, because, you’ve got more money than we do.”

What Rehberg forgot to mention was that the last time Congress approved earmarks, he earned the title of “tea partier with his name on the most earmarks” — requesting more than $100 million for Montana.

Rehberg, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, also failed to mention that while he was spending millions in taxpayer money, he gave himself five pay raises during his 12 years in Congress–at a time when hardworking Montanans were nation was struggling.  Hmmm.

“Congressman Dennis Rehberg is desperately wants Montanans to forget his long, irresponsible record of giving himself pay raises while spending their money in Congress,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party.  “Now his message to Montanans is ‘tough luck.’  We join all Montanans in demanding more responsible decisions from Congress than Dennis Rehberg’s.”

Rehberg’s Pay Raise Votes:
Votes to RAISE his own pay in 2006200520042003, and 2002 (NOTE: The 2006 pay raise was later blocked by the Democratic Congress in 2007).