🇺🇸 Debt-Backed Degrees

Plus, artificial intelligence has a crystal ball.

The Flag

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Good morning, and happy Wednesday! After an ambush-style shooting killed two police officers and wounded another, this family stepped up…

Plus, we’re just happy this AI machine didn’t predict a zombie apocalypse…

Also, this Flag Find is fresh out of the oven in our “cool socks” series…


FLAG POLLS

🟰 Georgia Senate - Walker vs. Warnock: Warnock 46, Walker 46 (Landmark Communications)

🐘 Georgia Governor - Kemp vs. Abrams: Kemp 51, Abrams 45 (Landmark Communications)

🐎 Georgia Senate - Walker vs. Warnock: Warnock 46, Walker 44 (InsiderAdvantage)

🐘 Georgia Governor - Kemp vs. Abrams: Kemp 50, Abrams 43 (InsiderAdvantage)


TRENDING

Left: Oakland Cops Hope to Arm Robots With Lethal Shotguns (The Intercept)

Left: 'You're On Tape': J.D. Vance Caught In A Lie During Ohio Senate Debate (Huffington Post)

Left: The defense Democrats aren’t using against Republicans’ soft-on-crime attacks (Vox)

Right: Smug Jon Stewart is latest reminder of how so-called experts aren’t always right (Fox News)

Right: You Have To Be A Wealthy, Partially-Deaf, Green Energy Fanatic To Save Money In Biden’s America (Daily Wire)

Right: Some Democratic candidates wary of facing GOP opponents on debate stage (Washington Examiner)


POWERED BY HOMESICK

Break Out the Brats and Lederhosen!

Let this candle take you to Oktoberfest this year! Enjoy delightful, warm scents including pumpkin, fall spices, and cedar. With hints of golden hops, clove, warm pretzel, and vanilla – you’ll almost hear the laughter of family and friends while gathering around a fire.

These candles are hand-poured in the USA in small batches. Each is made using a natural soy wax blend and burns for around 60 to 80 hours on average. Makes a great gift idea or place it in your home/office.

🕯️ Bring back those memories through nostalgic scents by ordering here →


QUICK CLICKS

Cal-Poly Conviction, Delivering Drones, Mainstream Marijuana

US: Kristin Smart: Paul Flores found guilty of student’s 1996 murder (Independent)

Economy: US housing market in ‘free fall’ as builder confidence suffers ‘disastrous’ drop: economist (NY Post)

World: Ukraine's power, water supplies under Russian attack again (AP) + Iran agrees to ship missiles, more drones to Russia (Reuters)

US: Primary source for Trump-Russia dossier acquitted, handing special counsel Durham another trial loss (CNN)

US: Air Force warplanes intercept a pair of Russian bombers near Alaska (Fox News)

Health: Cancer vaccine could become available by 2030, scientists behind COVID jab say (Sky News)

World: The UK's Liz Truss hangs on by a thread, as party members call for her ouster (NPR)

US: Marijuana use is becoming a new normal among young adults (The Hill)

US: Democrats' midterm hopes fade: 'We peaked a little early' (POLITICO)


POLITICS

Debt-Backed Degrees

The student loan forgiveness plan moved forward this week when the Department of Education launched an application website. The one-time program offers up to $20,000 in debt relief depending on the borrower’s income level and if they received Pell grants.

Reporting from the Right: Student loan relief application now officially available through online portal (Fox Business)

Reporting from the Left: Student loan forgiveness application is now open: Here's what to know (CBS News)

From The Flag: Applications must be received by November 5 of this year, while the student loan repayment pause is set to expire in January 2023. Meanwhile, the program faces an uncertain future over questions involving legality and constitutionality. In August we covered the Biden administration’s initial announcement. Here’s more from both sides.


LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Student Loan Plan May Not Be Perfect, But It Is Necessary

  • There are definite issues with Biden’s plan, notably because it does not incentivize people to pursue high-paying jobs.
  • Typical arguments opposing student loan forgiveness mention "useless high-priced degrees," all while ignoring teachers.
  • The student loan debt battle between the White House and Congressional Republicans is set up to be epic, and highly consequential.

“Biden’s Student Loan Plan Has Issues” Peter Coy, New York Times Opinion: “There’s a conundrum in President Biden’s relief plan for student loan debt. … People will be more likely to borrow unwisely if they expect the government to forgive their unpayable loans. … Worse is that Biden’s plan will indirectly subsidize the schools and majors that do the worst job of preparing their students for remunerative careers. If you major in mechanical engineering and get a job in the field, you will probably make too much money to qualify for a break under income-driven repayment. If you major in cosmetology, you will probably qualify for a break. … I understand that the United States needs all kinds of occupations, not just those that make the most money. Health care industry occupations, for example, might need a subsidy. … (But) China isn’t catching up to the United States because it has better-trained cosmetologists.”

“Who would truly benefit from student loan forgiveness? Teachers.” Ayindé Rudolph, Washington Post Op-ed: “Opponents of President Biden’s proposal for student loan forgiveness paint a grim picture. … When we forgive student loans, they argue, society pays the penalty for these individuals’ shortsightedness. Financial responsibility plummets. Universities keep pumping out low-value degrees. But pundits might want to consider debtholders who don’t match this narrative: teachers. In the education field, debt is often the price of entry. Nearly half of all teachers in pre-K-12 and higher education take on debt to finance their education. … Education degrees don’t lead students to the middle of nowhere. They direct young people into a field that desperately needs them. Right now, schools across the country can’t find enough teachers to meet demand, leaving leaders to scramble for solutions. Yet every year, superintendents like me say goodbye to teachers who have excelled in the classroom but are exhausted by financial struggles.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Is A Great Idea. Let's Hope It Actually Happens. Michael Arceneaux, Huffington Post Op-ed


RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Short Term Thinking and Political Bribes Outweigh Reason

  • It’s ridiculous to force taxpayers to pay for debt cancellation when universities are to blame for the crisis – and have the money to foot the bill.
  • The CBO completely shredded the Biden administration’s argument that the program wouldn’t raise the federal deficit.
  • Even people who benefited financially from this know it’s a political bribe that will hurt taxpayers in the long run.

“Lawsuit To Block Student Loan Bailout Can Set Stage for Solving Debt Crisis” Elaine Parker, Real Clear Politics Op-ed: “To hold the Biden administration accountable for this illegal executive overreach, Job Creators Network Foundation’s Legal Action Fund filed a lawsuit… to block the counterproductive, inflationary, and unfair student loan bailout from taking effect. … By striking down this debt forgiveness, JCN's lawsuit can lay the groundwork to actually solve the student debt crisis and hold its college perpetrators accountable. Bailing out student debt bails colleges out of their culpability in this crisis. … Between 2008-09 and 2020-21, greedy and unaccountable colleges raised tuition by 54% (26%, adjusted for inflation). College tuition has increased even faster than healthcare costs. Colleges have used outrageous tuition to fund worthless degree programs, administrative bloat, five-star amenities, seven-figure president compensation packages, and eight-figure athletic coach salaries, and to preserve their $700 billion collective endowment. Taxpayers shouldn't pay for this. College endowments should.”

“The Student Loan Forgiveness Bill Comes Due” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “Remember when the White House suggested, only weeks ago, that President Biden’s student-loan cancellation wouldn’t add much to the federal budget deficit this year? That turns out to be false. The Congressional Budget Office made that clear… reporting that the write-off would cost some $426 billion and push the federal deficit to $1.4 trillion for all of fiscal 2022 that ended on Sept. 30. As recently as May CBO said the deficit would come in at $1 trillion or so. Tax receipts have since come in $60 billion more than estimated. But outlays soared by $401 billion more. … We were amused this week to read the assertion in a prominent progressive newspaper that, while Mr. Biden often says things that are false, they usually concern small matters. Does nearly half a trillion dollars in misstated deficit math qualify as small? Asking for a taxpayer friend.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: President Biden forgave my student loans — I wish he hadn’t Brad Barber, Unherd Op-ed


FLAG THIS

How Americans Feel About the Program, and Who Stands To Benefit

Polling results released last month show Americans are split over student loan forgiveness, with 43% saying it’s a good idea and 44% who say it’s not. While 78% of Democrats consider it a good move, just 11% of Republicans agree (NBC News).

In a separate survey, 76% said they oppose the program if it drives up the price of education. Over 6 in 10 agreed with that sentiment if it raised taxes (Cato Institute).

Among registered voters, 15% would have their debt forgiven under the plan and 43% have family members or close friends who would be impacted (Brookings Institution).


FLAG FINDS

Move in Mozzarella, Critical Camping Tool, Business Boost Book

🍕 A personal pizza that’s got something for any pair of shoes. Wait, what? Oh, that’s right – this is next up in our cool socks series. This set includes three pairs – a pepperoni pie, a veggie pie, and the sweet/savory Hawaiian. Pick out your own pie or send it as a gift here.

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WATERCOOLER

First Blockbuster, The Afterlife, Post-Big Bang Cooling

On October 19, 1985, the first Blockbuster video-rental store opened, in Dallas, Texas. At a time when most video stores were small-scale operations featuring a limited selection of titles, Blockbuster opened with some 8,000 tapes displayed on shelves around the store and a computerized check-out process.

Nautilus: The Afterlife Is in Our Heads

Life Hacker: How to Tell If Your Child Is Gifted (and What to Do If They Are)

Smithsonian Magazine: This Artist Spent Two Years Covering His Mansion in Doodles

Today I Learned it took approximately 400,000 years following the Big Bang for the universe to cool down enough to allow atoms to form.