New Tax Plan Contains Even More Bad News for Student Borrowers

The headline in the New York Times seemed sympathetic: “The House Just Voted To Bankrupt Graduate Students”.

The piece by Erin Rousseau, a graduate student at M.I.T., detailed an insidious little virus buried in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, just passed by Republicans

This article originally appeared on New Tax Plan Contains Even More Bad News for Student Borrowers

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Source:: Rolling Stone – Latest Politics News

The Inconvenience of Being a Woman Veteran

I happen to be a woman. This is often inconvenient. It was inconvenient for the military and, now that I’m out of the military, it’s still inconvenient. In multiple surveys and anecdotes, both women who are serving and women who have served repeatedly list gender bias as an issue, though the way it manifests itself differs during and after their time in the military.

The military doesn’t just urge women, it requires them—especially if they want to succeed—to view themselves on the same playing field as their male counterparts. They are also expected to behave and perform in traditionally masculine ways—demonstrating strength, displaying confidence in their abilities, expecting to be judged on their merits and performance, and taking on levels of authority and responsibility that few women get to experience. The uniform and grooming standards work to downplay their physical female characteristics. Additionally, the expectation—explicit or implicit—is that they also downplay other attributes that are traditionally considered feminine, such as open displays of emotion. That’s not to say that gender isn’t going to be noticed or that others aren’t going to make it an issue—they will. But highlighting female characteristics is undesirable. As General Lori J. Robinson, the U.S. military’s first female combatant commander, put it: “I’m a general, a commander, an airman. And I happen to be a woman.”

When women leave the service, they often expect that being a woman in the civilian community will be easier, but that isn’t always the case. They have to prove their abilities all over again, earn their place at the table again. As veterans, they’re not afraid to prove it. They proved it in boot camp. They proved it at tech training. They proved it every time they arrived at a new duty station. They have plenty of practice proving …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

Go Ahead, Talk About Politics at Thanksgiving

Of all the Thanksgiving anxieties—bad traffic, overcooked turkey, undercooked turkey, the aunt who tries to get creative with some gourmet cranberry relish when all you want is the familiar canned variety, dammit, her increasingly intoxicated and querulous husband, and so on—no fear seems to equal that of getting sucked into a political conversation.

Six in 10 Americans in a new NPR/PBS NewsHour poll said they dread political talk at the Thanksgiving table. Four in 10 say Trump is the most likely spark for a dinner-time fight, six times the nearest rival, according to SurveyMonkey. Journalists churn out piping hot “how to avoid political arguments with your family” takes this time of year like so many pumpkin pies. In 2012, Jon Lovett wrote a handy guide in these pages. (TL;DR change the subject shamelessly.) A year later, my colleague Conor Friedersdorf wrote a guide to how to argue if you must (TL;DR don’t be a jerk) but cautioned, “On Thanksgiving, it’s usually best if you don’t talk politics. The subject tends to aggravate people, and it’s very unlikely that anyone’s mind will be changed. So don’t do it.”

This hasn’t stopped some people from urging others to do it—most notably Barack Obama, who encouraged people to talk about health insurance at Thanksgiving 2013. No wonder Obamacare was so unpopular for so long.

This year, however, here’s my (probably bad) advice: Go ahead, argue about politics.

There are two primary reasons to just dive in. First, President Trump’s ability to grab the spotlight and inject himself into so many facets of life makes trying to avoid politics practically futile these days. I’m a political journalist and spend all my time talking, reporting, and writing about politics, so I am not especially representative, but I also live far outside the Beltway …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

Can Republicans Stem the Tide of Women Abandoning Their Party?

It turns out those pink kitty-cat hats weren’t just for show after all.

Among its many electrifying aspects, the early Trump era has had a politically galvanizing effect on women. They are organizing in the streets and on social media, running for office in record numbers, training to enter future races, and volunteering on campaigns. And on November 7, they flocked to the polls to officially have their voices heard.

What they had to say more or less boiled down to: Things around here have got to change. Now. Which has many folks in the Republican Party reaching for the Xanax.

By now, you’ve likely heard some of the Election Day stats and stories. In Virginia, women went from holding 17 seats in the House of Delegates to holding 27. Winners include Danica Roem, who became the state’s first transgender delegate-elect by beating an incumbent who bragged of being the state’s “chief homophobe.” In the gubernatorial contest, women favored Democrat Ralph Northram by 22 points—5 points more than Hillary Clinton’s margin among them last fall. Particularly concerning for Republicans: Fifty-eight percent of white college-educated women went for Northram vs. only 50 percent for Hillary.

Among other spotlighted wins, Seattle chose its first woman mayor since 1926. Manchester, New Hampshire, and Provo, Utah, elected their first female mayors ever, as did tiny Milledgeville, Georgia. In New Jersey, Ashley Bennett, a first-time candidate, won a spot on the Atlantic County legislative board by unseating a guy who had irked her with his sexist Facebook posting about the January Women’s March. (Mock the pink hats at your peril, gentlemen.) The hot storyline out of this first election of the Trump administration: “Revenge of the Fired-Up Woman.”

Although, to be more precise, it was “Revenge of the Fired-Up Democratic Woman.”

Whether you’re talking candidates, activists, or voters, the …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics