H.R. 3892, the Student Loan Borrowers' Bill of Rights Act, would force our laws to treat student loan debt like any other kind of debt. Our laws allow most other kinds of debt to have a statute of limitations, to enjoy bankruptcy protections, and to be safe from wage garnishment and license suspension, so why not student debt? People can discharge their gambling debts through bankruptcy, but the debt citizens accumulates because they're trying to better themselves and contribute more to society is certainly more worthwhile, is it not? Folks who find themselves generally unsympathetic to the idea of free universities or student loan forgiveness should note that this bill provides for neither of these -- but the bill would allow for partial discharge of a student debt after five years of public service. We still value public service, right? We're not convinced it's somehow uncool? MoveOn helps you tell your Congressfolk to support parity for student loan debt.
Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is taking comments about Communications Management Units (or CMUs). CMUs are areas of prisons where prisoners have almost no access to calls or visits. Get it, "communications management"? Right up there with "enhanced interrogation techniques" or the "Healthy Skies Initiative," and like these two rhetorical dung pellets, the CMU is a Bush Mobb invention, presumably intending to house terrorists, yet they mainly wind up housing a) Muslims who may or may not be in prison for terrorism and b) a few non-Muslims for "balance." CMU prisoners get one hour of visitation a month; Supermax inmates get 35. You begin to see the problem, right? Now consider that Tha Bush Mobb started the CMUs without even waiting for the BOP to issue final rules governing their operation, and also that the vast majority of the prisoners there have clean prison records. So the Center for Constitutional Rights helps you tell the FOB to reject the CMU.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the FCC and the Justice Department to reject the proposed Comcast/Time-Warner merger, Consumers Union provides one more. Do big corporations still argue that mergers create jobs, which is the precise opposite of the truth? Do they argue that mergers lower prices for everyone, which is also the precise opposite of the truth? What incentive will Comcast have to lower prices or offer better service if they're the only game in town? Who will stop them from blocking internet sites or slowing them down as they're loading? Who will stop them from shedding jobs? Who will make them offer cable channels a la carte? Now, I hear some Time-Warner customers might be praying for Comcast to take over, so legendarily awful is Time-Warner's customer service. But surely there's more here at stake than just our self-interest -- if we don't oppose concentrated power everywhere, we'll have freedom nowhere.