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Profile Information

Name: Steve
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: US
Current location: US
Member since: Sat Oct 16, 2004, 01:04 PM
Number of posts: 27,692

Journal Archives

Consumer agency opens review of student loan services


WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened a public inquiry Thursday into student loan servicing practices that it says can make paying back loans “stressful or harmful.”

Private and federal student loan debt totals more than $1.2 trillion. Loans often are not serviced by lenders but by a company that processes monthly payments, assists borrowers with repayment options if they lose their jobs, and performs a variety of other tasks. Such service companies — among them Navient, Nelnet, American Education Services, and Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. — typically get a flat monthly fee per account.

Eight million student loan borrowers are in default, and the agency is concerned they weren’t told of available options that could have kept them out of the situation.

“Student loan servicers often make more money when they spend as little time as possible on each account, and they typically get paid more when a borrower is in repayment longer,” Richard Cordray, the director of the agency, said at a hearing in Milwaukee focused on student loan servicing. “So we are evaluating whether the typical methods of servicer compensation can jeopardize the interests of borrowers.”

Hackers stealing money from bank accounts of Starbucks customers through mobile app


Thieves are stealing money from people's credit cards, bank and PayPal accounts by first tapping into their Starbucks mobile app. Starbucks on Wednesday acknowledged that criminals have been breaking into individual customer rewards accounts.

video at link

The GOP Senator In Charge of Homeland Security Disagrees With The Pentagon On Climate Change


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says he disagrees with the Pentagon's assessment that climate change is a national security concern.

The Pentagon released a report in October that assessed the national security implications of climate change. "Politics or ideology must not get in the way of sound planning," wrote former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the forward to the report. "Our armed forces must prepare for a future with a wide spectrum of possible threats, weighing risks and probabilities to ensure that we will continue to keep our country secure."

But Johnson said at an event in Sherwood, Wisconsin, on Saturday that he did not concur with the Pentagon's analysis.

"I disagree with that assessment," Johnson tells a questioner at the event, which the Democrat-aligned political group American Bridge 21st Century captured on video. "We're sitting here in Wisconsin. Twenty-some thousand years ago this was covered by about 5,000 feet of glaciers."

I used to agree with you

I think Limbaugh et al certainly do.

DU is much more representative of the left than the Democratic Party, to me. It always has been. Before 2009, we had common cause against the evil Republican Party. Now, we differ on many things, even within the ranks of the party. The left and the party do overlap, but as you can see, many are not in the party and many have no desire to be in the party. Which is totally cool. As long as we keep R's out of office, I'm happy.

I always did want my very own shitting robot

Thanks Obama!

in case I must

SF demands McDonald’s clean up drug activity at Haight location


San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera Tuesday sent a letter to McDonald’s Corp. complaining about its restaurant at the corner of Haight and Stanyan streets. Herrera told the multinational fast-food chain that it is “legally on the hook” for drug dealing and other illegal activity at its Haight-Ashbury store.

According to the letter, the police have received 1,100 calls since Jan. 2012 for everything from drug sales, fights, assaults and auto burglaries at the store. That’s more calls than for any other business in the area, Herrera said.

The drugs confiscated by police at the property include LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, hashish and marijuana. Drug use near the Haight Street McDonald’s and in the east end of Golden Gate Park across Stanyan Street has long been a problem.

Herrera publicized the demand letter to McDonald’s via a tweet with the line “San Francisco is not lovin’ it” — a play on the chain’s “I’m lovin’ it” slogan.

Scott Stapp says alcohol and drugs abuse, bipolar disorder led to ‘psychotic break’


Scott Stapp says he's finally on the road to recovery after a troubling bout with alcoholism, drug abuse and bipolar disorder.

Late last year, the Creed singer suffered a paranoid breakdown during which he threatened to kill President Obama, claimed he was a CIA agent and said the terrorist organization ISIS had infiltrated his family.

In an interview with People, the 41-year-old rock star admitted the dark period was "a psychotic break that was brought on by alcohol and drug abuse."

"I was hallucinating. I drove around the United States for a month, following an angel that I saw on the hood of my car," Stapp said.

more at link

North Korea executes defence chief for 'dozing off' at a military event


North Korea has executed its defence chief on treason charges, Seoul's National Intelligence Service was quoted as telling lawmakers, in the latest of a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong Un took power after his father's death in 2011.

Hyon Yong-Chol, who heads the isolated country's military, was purged and then executed by firing squad with an antiaircraft gun, watched by hundreds of people, South Korean media reported on Wednesday, citing the NIS's comments to a parliamentary panel.

Hyon, who spoke at a security conference in Moscow in April, was said to have shown disrespect to Kim by dozing off at a military event, media said, citing the agency briefing. The execution comes after South Korea's spy agency said late last month that Kim ordered the execution of 15 senior officials this year as punishment for challenging his authority.

Ouch, kinda harsh. eta: added extra text, had trouble copy pasting earlier.

Asteroid defense: any feasible ideas or we are just doomed theoretically ?


That thread made me think about this. Note I said theoretically. I'm not losing any sleep over this.

Multimillionaire Carly Fiorina Took 4 Years to Pay Staffers From Her Last Campaign


Carly Fiorina, the Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO, is marketing herself as a pragmatic, fiscally responsible businesswoman—the only GOP candidate who knows, as she says, "how the economy actually works." Yet during her unsuccessful US Senate bid in 2010, her opponents slammed her record at HP. When she led the firm, it laid off 18,000 workers, and its stock declined by 41 percent. Eventually, she was forced out of the company but departed with a $21 million golden parachute. Now she may need to answer for another managerial blunder. For more than four years, she was a deadbeat and didn't pay the bills she owed for her Senate campaign. She only settled these outstanding debts just before she jumped into the 2016 race.

Until late last year, Fiorina was close to $500,000 in debt from her 2010 run, nearly all of it in unpaid compensation to campaign staffers and outside consultants, according to Federal Election Commission filings. In 2013, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Fiorina owed serious cash to former campaign operatives, several of whom were unsure about when they would be paid for their work. And they complained they were not getting clear information from Fiorina about when she would get them their money. At that time, she owed $60,000 to her 2010 campaign manager, Marty Wilson; $20,500 to Beth Miller, a consultant and former aide to California Gov. Pete Wilson; and $30,000 to the firm of veteran GOP political consultant Joe Shumate.

Shumate, who also worked for former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, died suddenly during Fiorina's Senate race. John Allan Peschong, another adviser whom the campaign owed money, told the Chronicle, "I would hope that Carly Fiorina would pay his widow the money that was owed him at the time of his death." Wilson, Fiorina's campaign manager, said in 2013 that he didn't recall if he "got that granular" with Fiorina regarding the campaign's mounting debt near the finish line. Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that the compensation delay had left her former staffers bitter.

Postcampaign debt is not uncommon, particularly in close and expensive contests. Carly for America press secretary Leslie Shedd, in a statement to Mother Jones, points out that Hillary Clinton owed a substantial amount of money after her 2008 defeat. "There was some leftover debt with Carly Fiorina's Senate campaign in 2010," Shedd notes. "However, this issue has been resolved and the campaign debt has been paid off in full."
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