Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has just introduced the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act, legislation which would allow students to refinance their college debt at a much lower fixed rate of interest. These reforms are especially needed, because in July US student loan rates are set to double to nearly 7%. Strangely, this is also happening at a time when our government continues to allow billionaire Wall Street bankers to borrow money for a small fraction of that cost.
Senator Elizabeth Warren has introduced her first bill, which allows for college students to borrow money at the same low rate of interest which Wall Street banks enjoy. Why would billionaire bankers be given a much more favorable loan rate than poor, struggling students? That is a very good question that the senior senator from Massachusetts has been asking.
Last month we returned to our beloved Latona Community Garden in San Francisco’s Bayview District for a spring party, which was attended by scores of local families. Years ago my spouse and I helped to transform this former dump, and create this shared neighborhood space, so it was especially gratifying to see that the urban garden is continuing to thrive.
President Barack Obama did not give his regular public address to the nation this week; in his place was Francine Wheeler, whose six-year-old child was brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School four months ago. The grieving parent used the national broadcast to express why she believes that the United States must implement common sense gun safety reforms.
Rachel Maddow highlighted a satirical commercial featuring Exxon that is especially funny, because the bizarre scenario that it depicts is actually strangely close to reality. Comedian Andy Cobb is presented as a spokesperson for the corporate oil giant’s newest method of petroleum delivery, flooding your neighborhood streets and lawns directly with their viscous toxic crude.
Rachel Maddow’s jaw-dropping documentary, Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, will air again on MSNBC this Friday night, March 22nd. The documentary clearly illuminates the intricate web of deceit and fictional weapons of mass destruction constructed by Bush and his cronies to justify invading Iraq a decade ago. This is a must see film, that deftly explains how the United States was intentionally lied into an entirely unnecessary, deadly, and incredibly expensive war.
Muckleshoot Tribe member and author, Valerie Segrest, was the keynote speaker at an educational event hosted by the Chehalis Tribe and Oakville High School this week. Segrest has been working to promote food sovereignty, the use of traditional foods, plant medicines and better nutrition, to help create a more sustainable and culturally appropriate local food system. She explained that what we eat is not just a commodity, but that we must value where our food comes from, and that plants can become our greatest teachers.