Afghanistan – and ten years later...

In 2001 we started a war in Afghanistan – and ten years later we’ve achieved just barely 50% of our military goals in that nation. So says the former top commander in Afghanistan – Retired General Stanley McChrystal. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations – McChrystal blasted the planning and effort that went into the Afghanistan war – now the longest war in American history – saying, "We didn't know enough and we still don't know enough. Most of us – me included – had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years." McChrystal also said the decision to start a war in Iraq clearly made this situation in Afghanistan more difficult. That’s yet another condemnation of the Bush-Cheney War Crime presidency that our nation is still reeling from. It’s time to cut our losses – end the wars and bring our men and women back home.


grandmalinda's picture
grandmalinda 11 years 33 weeks ago

i am 62 years old and i have owned my own business for 25 years. this economy has all but wiped me out. i have never had debt, i have worked hard, saved my money, did not buy a big fancy house and did all the right things. as a senior citizen,i am at a serious disadvantage for a job... as a small business owner there is NO safety net for me of any kind... no unemployment, nothing. now i am losing my house.

i have no where to go... the cops say they do not have enough people to investigate crimes, but they have enough people to force seniors out of their homes? what is the priority here?

Occupy Wall Street needs to list the following demands in my opinion:

1. voting by paper ballots counted by hand in every county in every state to stop the voter fraud and machine hacking of elections.

2. only publicly funded elections. every voter donate $1.00 per year and divide equally among qualified candidates so qualifed people can serve and we can do away with professional politicians.

3. stop foreclosures and evictions immediately... stabilize families and give people a chance to get on their feet. the people who CAUSED this economy are profiting from their crimes by stealing our homes.

4. eliminate school debt for our young people so they can get a start in life without these horrible burdens... it is ONLY the students of middle income or poor families that had to take these loans... the rich kids had their schooling paid so once again, an attack on the middle class.

how do we get this started / finished and NOW. before the next elections!

grandmalinda's picture
grandmalinda 11 years 33 weeks ago

is there a government agency where i can report the fraud committed by GMAC in my housing situation? i have proof they have no right to foreclose on my house but an attorney is too expensive for me to hire. is there a government agency where i can get help fighting these people (who are using our tax $$ to steal our houses... how is that for irony?) or who will investigate these frauds?

Drew Peacock's picture
Drew Peacock 11 years 33 weeks ago

After three years in office Obama has done what with Afghanistan?

scarrino's picture
scarrino 11 years 33 weeks ago

I am a 64 year old Vietnam Veteran in remission from cancer caused by Agent Orange. During the last four years I too have seen my financial lifetime wiped out while I went through the chemo. I am truly sorry for what is happening to you. Your writing is clear and I completely agree with each of the four points you have listed. As individuals we can do very little, but collectively we can begin to change our very corrupt government. President Obama and Congress are not going to help you or anyone else with the problems you listed until enough people force change upon them.

I believe we as individuals have to join with the current demonstrations and keep them going. We can show up at demonstrations and/or donate a little money to help keep the protesters fed while they camp out in parks on our behalf. Our government will not listen to us and does not seem to care about us. For the first time in my life I am attending protests on behalf of us all. I also have changed my banking from Chase to a local credit union. They are small steps, but each step counts.

Did you know that the children of members of Congress are exempt from paying back their student loans? Our current government is so slanted against us, we have no alternative but to join the protests. Best wishes and good luck.

scarrino's picture
scarrino 11 years 33 weeks ago

It is way past time to cut our losses and bring the troops home. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen in our lifetimes. The United States is building new and expanding current bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our government has no intention of ending the war or leaving at all and has a 50-year plan for maintaining a military presence in those and other countries, such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Calling our troops advisers is just another in a long list of government lies. In reality we have occupying armies in both countries. The only way the United States will leave either country is when we are driven out by the Afghans and Iraqis themselves, just as we were driven out of Vietnam.

I served in Vietnam and know what it feels like to fight in an unwinnable war. There is nothing to win in Afghanistan and oil is the only prize in Iraq. These endless, unwinnable wars do not make the country safer, despite all the rhetoric from our Presidents, Congress and a media that feeds self-serving lies to the nation. Our national security is not at risk from the Afghans or Iraqis. Our national security is at risk from continuing these wars and spending trillions of borrowed dollars while doing so. Even as we continue to bomb Libya, western nations and their oil companies are signing billion dollar contracts to get their hands on that oil. Ghaddafi has been bombed from power for oil, not to protect the people of Libya.

Our nation has no option but to wake up and protest against our own government. We are seeing blatant fascist tactics being used against the current demonstrators. As a people we must be willing to join the protests. There is no change coming from our government. It is up to us to rise in protest one by one.

HenryB's picture
HenryB 11 years 33 weeks ago


You are on target. Leave now. It won't get any better. There is no winning scenario. I'm a Vietnam War vet. What a waste of lives and money on both sides. Now we're trading with Vietnam. Doesn't that make a whole lot more sense? The best we can do is offer sanctuary to Afgans who supported us in the misguided understanding that we were truly in there for the long haul. But realistically - looking how we've treated the Iraqis in the same situation - how many will be allowed to come here? They won't survive the transition back to the Taliban. But folks there who stold our money will be welcomed with open arms. Bring the troops home now.


dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 11 years 33 weeks ago

just to add to that? as I proposed back in 2009, the government instead of giving the money to the banks should have initiated a plan to allow "responsible" folks the opertunity A. to either tap thier retirement accounts without penalty with the stipulation that they then be allowed to pre pay off thier mortgages. Or B. offer "responsible" home owners a government funded loan at a fixed rate 30 of 1%. either of these simple no brain solutions would've not only save "responsible" home owners but would have also stimulated the economy far more then giving all the money to the banksters. Me? I sit around and writhe at the thought that the bank is going to make 220k off of me over the term of my loan and then has the gawl to stick me with yet another stupid service charge. we're screwed sorry dude!

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 11 years 33 weeks ago

on the war? Yank them all out, bring them all home and then build a military base that stretches all the way across the mexican border. hint hint.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 11 years 33 weeks ago

...well maybe not much...buuuuuut...he did get a couple of the bad guys that someone else let go!lol

mwalkerco's picture
mwalkerco 11 years 33 weeks ago

I find it incredibly hard to believe that today's current leaders learned nothing from Vietnam. It really is true that those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it. This is what happens when the US takes over an unwinable war from another country- again! Afghanistan is the new Vietnam.

Get out NOW. Bring home the troops. And pass the AJA so there are jobs for the troops in the US. If American oil barrons want Iraq's oil, let them buy it from Iraq - or continue the mercenary wars there on their own tab!

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 11 years 33 weeks ago

i agree!

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 11 years 33 weeks ago

...I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT! my mortage would be paid off! thats an extra $1700 a month i'd be able to squander on stuff like ipads(made in china0, a harley (parts made in china, a tv in every room (made in china), I could remodel my kitchen put a couple of construction workers back to work putting stuff in my house made in china. I could by some new china madin? CHINA!!!I could dope out my 1977 VW bus with after market part made in gee golly the list goes on. I would be stimmin' big time! keeping the retail folks employed and being a "job creator!" As stupid as this sounds think about it with just my $1700 a month quantified by the number of others who could be in this position we as a co-op or collective would be doing more for the economy then trickle down has don! Oh it 'tis to laugh. hey maybe I could just take my $1700 hundred and bury it cans in the back yard not put any of it back int othe economy! OW my head hurts...lololol

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 11 years 33 weeks ago

When diplomacy fails, war ensues. This is not a war. If this were a war, then we won the war long ago. In warfare, one nation fights another until one of the sides gives up. The Afghanistan military gave up years ago. America and her allies easily defeated the Afghanistan army. Today we are allied with the Afghanistan Army in an attempt to make the nation of Afghanistan a stable society. We are not at war with Afghanistan.

Maybe we are at war with Pakistan, since many of the people killing and maiming our military forces are from Pakistan. Maybe we are helping Afghanistan to win a civilian war. However, we don't even feel good about the Afghanistan government. We believe the president was elected in a rigged and unfair election. We do not like the president of Afghanistan; he appears to be very corrupt. So, who are we at war with in the nation of Afghanistan?

The best case for us would be for us to kill all the hostile people living in caves and sneaking over the border from Pakistan AND hold new elections where an honest person we can trust is elected as president. Part one is easier than part two and part one is hard. Killing the Taliban and others, hiding in caves is nearly an impossible job for our military. Nonetheless, electing an honest democratic government in Afghanistan has to be even more difficult. The country has no history of being democratic; they do not understand the meaning of the word. They are used to ruling warlords. They are used to constant war over the last five decades.

They also do not have a national sense of identity. They do not think of themselves as Afghans, we do. Instead, they view themselves as members of an ancient tribe . . . they obey the tribal leaders instead of the central government. It is as if in the United States each state was more important than the federal government. They understand the world differently. Killing their neighbors is not going to make them want to become a democracy like the United States of America. We must withdraw from this land as soon as we can. Tomorrow sounds good to me.

Philip Henderson, Ethical Magician

KassandraTroy's picture
KassandraTroy 11 years 33 weeks ago

I read an article in Scientific American:

Afghanistan Holds Enormous Bounty of Rare Earths, Minerals

Geologists actually mapping the country's mineral bounty suspect its prime cache of coveted rare earth elements is considerably larger than the latest estimate lets on

We are, of course, using taxpayer money to conduct geological teams investigating, under military protection, the enormous untapped resources fo Afghanistan.

I read this article with mounting horror and dismay. Along with the TAPI pipeline to lead Iraqi oil and gas to Europe, this is the real reason we're over there. Our government is even tasking satelliteswith deep radar capibilties to find the depth of these veins of minerals...with OUR money FOR the giant mulitnational corporations. The bidding war is already on among countries like India and China for the minerals they want.

Once again, America will not benefit, we're just the strongarm for the world now.

It's really like the way we conquered this country from the Indians. Now, we've used up America, it's time to go stealing from other "primitve peoples" and trun America into a trash heap. I guess it ain't going so well, it's bankrupted US so they're turning over all the American people's assets to the effort.

You can extrpolate just about everything our corporate govenment has stolen from us into THIS; including our houses, retirements, pensions, schools, the Tar Sands pipeline and the reluctance to help American when the corporate climate change induced disasters strike.

And now, after Citizens United, other countries can influence our elections as well.

Support and join the Occupy Movements. It may work......something better or we'll all be slaves before we know it.

KassandraTroy's picture
KassandraTroy 11 years 33 weeks ago

So, just kill anyone who opposes us, huh? Great solution. We're all becoming barbarians, I see. If someone's got something we want....kill 'em!

DJ Pullstart 11 years 33 weeks ago

Yes Thom we should leave. We have the ability to pinpoint nuke strike any threat around the globe. Why then must we place our troops in harms way ? Bring 'em home, take care of their heartache and wounds. Deduct their expenses from the pension funds of the politicians who sent them to an unnecessary hell in the first place. The cost of making the world safe for multinational corporations is more than we can bear. Occupy Wall Street !

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 11 years 33 weeks ago

Should we leave Afghanistan? Well, let me answer that by asking a few other questions, with the understanding that the answers to my questions are the same as the answer to whether we should leave Afghanistan:

Should we declare corporations to be corporations instead of pretending that they are people?

Should we remove several members of our Supreme Court, who have proven themselves to be traitors to the human race?

Should we re-take both the democrat and republican parties from the corporate sociopaths who have bought and paid for them?

Should we refuse to give the corporate sociopaths a refund on the bribe money they have paid to the Supreme Court, Congress, and the White House?

Should we make it illegal for corporations to buy, acquire, or merge with other corporations or to buy or otherwise acquire each others' stock or other interests in each others' companies?

Should we nationalize all airlines and rail lines?

Should we tell almost every member of congress that because they do not work for America but rather work for corporations, they won't get any pay, benefits, perks, retirement, or any other compensation from our government?

Should we make it illegal for any corporation to do business in America unless they pay taxes at the same rate as the middle class?

Should we revoke all of the oil drilling permits- including the ones that the oil companies are just sitting on without drilling- and nationalize our oil so that our government gets most of the profit from all oil that is drilled out of our coastlines and land?

Should we prosecute corporations for murder when they carelessly, negligently, or intentionally do things that result in people dying, with the result that at least one corporate officer goes to prison for the same amount of time that an average middle-class murderer would, and then sell off all of the corporation's assets and put the money into the General Fund?

Should we refuse to allow China to import anything into America until they quit stacking the playing field against us in terms of devaluing their currency and enforcing no environmental and workers' rights and workers' pay laws?

Should we tell China that if they want us to honor our financial debt to them, they're going to have to be accountable to us in the same way that they insist we be accountable to them in business dealings and that otherwise they can go holler into the wind for their money?

Should we refuse to allow China to do any business in America until they exhibit the same transparency in business and government dealings that we have shown them?

Should we never give any foreign government or other business entity any American government contracts and never allow anyt foreign government to sell anything or any service to our government?

Should we impose tariffs on all imported goods?

Should we refuse to honor or even consider any pharmaceutical trials done in China until China becomes transparent and forthcoming about how those trials are performed and allows third parties to review every aspect of the trials while the trials are going on?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 33 weeks ago

No more war.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 33 weeks ago

You might be able to do something on your own if GMAC cannot prove they own your loan. Some people seem to be ending up with free houses because of mortgage assignments- the courts are contending that the original note containing the buyer's signature is proof to be provided by the foreclosing party. It appears a number of the Complaints to Foreclose cannot provide the proof.

If your original lender was not GMAC then you can go to court and demand strict proof that they own your loan.

Try your state Attorney General. Attorney Generals around the country have banded together to place moratoriums on foreclosures under certain conditions.

Drew Peacock's picture
Drew Peacock 11 years 33 weeks ago

It is worse than that. We kill them, and then we protect the winning bidders on the natural resources they buy from the country we invaded. China owns the rights to Iraqi oil while we station troops there to protect the oil fields. China and Japan has bought and owns all the manufacturing capabilities for converting rare-earth metals into things like batteries, computer chips, and light bulbs. Do you think when we slap a import tax on goods from China they will lie still and keep the prices low?

Chubbell 11 years 33 weeks ago

bin laden is dead... done. leave. He has accomplished what he set out to do... take down the USA. Thank you G. Bush and your gang of con men. adios america as we know it. everything that is happening in our country today is a direct off shoot of waging war on credit... and the Right morons continue to thrive... eating the slop of their idol of the week...

JTM65's picture
JTM65 11 years 33 weeks ago

You have it right on the mortgage idea, but it was never about the economy, just protecting the banks. And since they are scared they might have trouble getting bailed out again they have decided it is to risky to let anything "trickle down". Until we reinvent the financial system in the US there is no chance of recovery for the common citizen.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 11 years 33 weeks ago

Actually, yes, I do think they will sit still for it. As things are now, they have approximately zero respect for us because they cheat and lie with total abandon, and when Americans complain about the cheating and lying they get the blank stare, the blanket denial, and the zenophobic refusal to allow anyone to verify what they are saying. But as soon as they realize that their bull____ is not going to fly and that business is NOT going to happen without a level playing field, their attitude changes significantly. Especially when they consider how many hundreds of billions of dollars they will lose if they refuse to play fair.

If China doesn't like playing on a level field, they can forget about every penny of the profit they were planning to make over the next 100 years selling consumer goods to us. As it is now, the Chinese have to conform to the conditions set by the European Union, or they can't sell goods in Europe, so they do conform, and they allow European companies and governments to verify that they are conforming. But unlike European leaders, American leaders are absolutely and totally for sale and will readily, even instantly abandon all consideration of American interests in return for bribes. Both republicans and democrats, with VERY few exceptions. And that is the ONLY reason China has been able to get away with playing us for fools and taking unfair advantage, cheating on the agreements we have signed with them and complaining when we cheat on those same agreements, and lying about what they are doing.

There is a difference between playing fair, and saying, "Why don't you cheat me some more, I'm enjoying it."

RealFed's picture
RealFed 11 years 33 weeks ago

Scarrino has offered false information in the last paragraph he shared with us....Children of members of Congress ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM HAVING TO PAY BACK THEIR STUDENT LOANS. Who says otherwise? Lets see what your source/reference is for the information. ITS NOT TRUE NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES IT IS SEEN IN PRINT. A LIE IS A LIE NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES ITS TOLD.

I am a Vietnam Vet, retired Federal Employee and receiving Social Security as well. I am ready and willing to fight for progressive ideas and values. I was a union member in and out of government from 1969 until I retired in 2007. Lets kick the PARTY OF NO out of Congress, put the President back in the White House for a second term and watch as McConnell and Company filibuster us further into the financial toilet. The Senate is broken, and if not fixed on the first day of the next term our Democracy is ruined, The GOP is obstructionist, racist and completely controlled by corporate money. The word that seems to fit most of them is TRAITOR. What is going on is not a matter of a difference of political opinion/perspective. They are at war with working people and women. This is obvious. Lets end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that the Bush Administration "LIED US INTO." Lets end the tax breaks for the richest of us and move ahead into the 21st Century.

None of the 9 GOP clowns that have been pretending to debate on television is close to being qualified to be President. If the GOP had a thread of decency....honesty....integrity....then Charles and David Koch would be on the GOP ticket in 2012.

I will again be knocking on doors, making phone calls, registering voters and raising money right up to Election Day in November 2012. RE-ELECT THE PRESIDENT IN 2012. Lets all do our part to save the future for our children and grandchildren. God Bless America.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 33 weeks ago

Why do you want to re-elect a traitor? Obama is a traitor to his base and has sold us out to Wall Street. He has worked, from the very beginning of his election, to destroy the social programs and has done nothing but give in to the Republicans. He is an embarrassment and a disgrace! I will not be voting for him again..that's for sure! We cannot believe anything he says now....because he said things before that got us all hopeful and then he just pi$$ed it all away by selling us out. He deserves to lose...even if a Republican least there will be no illusion about who our real enemy is...and the honest Democrats that are still in Congress would have no conflict over non-support of the President...if the President is a Republican.

Whatever Obama says now is just more campaign rhetoric and lies like he told before. The system is so criminally broken that, whether you vote for a Republican or a Democrat, we will just be voting for the liar that will screw us even more. The only thing that will shake up the system out of "business as usual" is to either take to the streets en masse (as people are now doing) and/or vote in a third party candidate to break the smug and corrupt two party "you have no other choice" mentality.

The other possibility is to Primary Obama...kick him out...and put someone else in to run for the Democratic candidate. If we put the pressure on the Democrats to wise up and play straight, for a change, and pressure them to run someone who has a better chance than Obama to win then we will have made progress. But if we vote for Obama will only prove to the crooked turn-coat Democrats (not all are turn-coat or crooked..there are still some who are not totally bought off by the corporations) that they can no longer rely on "no other choice" mentality.

Obama is not much better than Bush...and worse in some ways. Yes, Bush lied us into the illegal and immoral war in the Middle East but Obama did nothing to reverse that and even continued Bush's murderous policies. He did nothing about the special rendition and torture policies of Bush. And he even increased the secrecy and increased the clamp down on whistleblowers. He did nothing to denounce Bush for his criminal behavior. Obama's actions has been to aid the criminals who are stealing from hard working Americans and has worked for destroying social security and other social programs. And ObamaCare is just a giveaway to the healthScare insurance companies and the pharmaceuticals and will force many to hand over what little money we have left to these criminals. And many states are now taking it to court on the grounds that it is unconstitutional to force people to pay private insurance companies and act as enforcers and collection agents. It is a big scam and Obama is part of the gangland style, criminally corrupt, government which has been bought off by the ruling elite gangsters. That government is composed of the higher-up politicians and powerful bureaucratic elite who lords over the masses of their powerless minions in the lower echelons of government.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 33 weeks ago

My answer is ...should have already left!

I just got back from our local "Occupy Wall Street", peaceful gathering in beautiful Ithaca, NY and feel the need to report it was indeed a well-informed group of "We The People". Sorry Mr Cantor, no clueless MOB in Ithaca, but you still should be worried, your Govt. job is nearing its end.

Saw a great bumper snicker during my visit to Ithaca....WHY DO PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE TO SHOW PEOPLE WHO KILL PEOPLE KILLING PEOPLE IS WRONG.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 33 weeks ago

Obama’s Good Cop/ Bad Cop deal with the Republicans
October 7, 2011
By Michael Hudson
Don’t Let Him Get Away With It: Occupy Wall St

"The seeds for President Obama’s demagogic press conference on Thursday were planted last summer when he assigned his right-wing Committee of 13 the role of resolving the obvious and inevitable Congressional budget standoff by forging an anti-labor policy that cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and uses the savings to bail out banks from even more loans that will go bad as a result of the IMF-style austerity program that Democrats and Republicans alike have agreed to back."

"So here’s the deal the Democratic leadership has made with the Republicans. The Republicans will run someone from their present gamut of guaranteed losers, enabling Mr. Obama to run as the “voice of reason,” as if this somehow is Middle America. This will throw the 2012 election his way for a second term if he adopts their program – a set of rules paid for by the leading campaign contributors to both parties."

"President Obama’s policies have not been the voice of reason. They are even further to the right than George W. Bush could have achieved. At least a Republican president would have confronted a Democratic Congress blocking the kind of program that Mr. Obama has rammed through. But the Democrats seem stymied when it comes to standing up to a president who ran as a Democrat rather than the Tea Partier he seems to be so close to in his ideology."

"So here’s where the Committee of 13 comes into play. Given (1) the agreement that if the Republicans and Democrats do NOT agree on Mr. Obama’s dead-on-arrival “job-creation” ploy, and (2) Republican House Leader Boehner’s statement that his party will reject the populist rhetoric that President Obama is voicing these days, then (3) the Committee will get its chance to wield its ax and cut federal social spending in keeping with its professed ideology."

"President Obama’s policies have not been the voice of reason. They are even further to the right than George W. Bush could have achieved. At least a Republican president would have confronted a Democratic Congress blocking the kind of program that Mr. Obama has rammed through. But the Democrats seem stymied when it comes to standing up to a president who ran as a Democrat rather than the Tea Partier he seems to be so close to in his ideology."

"...on Wednesday, October 4, the president tried to represent the OccupyWallStreet movement as supportive for his efforts. He pretended to endorse a pro-consumer regulator to limit bank fraud, as if he had not dumped Elizabeth Warren on the advice of Mr. Geithner – who seems to be settling into the role of bagman for campaign contributors from Wall Street."

"Can President Obama get away with it? Can he jump in front of the parade and represent himself as a friend of labor and consumers while his appointees support Wall Street and his Committee of 13 is waiting in the wings to perform its designated function of guillotining Social Security?"

--read the whole article here:

scarrino's picture
scarrino 11 years 33 weeks ago

Thank you for reading my blog. I am a 64 year old Vietnam combat veteran. I was awarded a purple heart, a bronze star w/V Device and Army Commendation Medal w/V Device. The V Device is only earned for heroism in ground combat. I was also hospitalized 2 times with falciparum malaria in Vietnam and once more after returning to the world. I served with Alpha Co., 2/1, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division in I Corp in 1968, the deadliest year of that war. My infantry company suffered more than 200% killed and wounded during my tour. That doesn't count those men who were evacuated because of dysentery, hepatitis, jungle rot and many other diseases. I carried many friends to medevac choppers. I am currently in remission from a cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange, and am recovering from a very painful fight for my life.

I did read that children of our Congressmen and women were exempt from paying back their student loans. If that is wrong, then it is an error. There is a difference between an error or mistake and a lie. I'm sorry you had to call me a liar, rather than just say I made a mistake and correct it. I'll research that comment further. I am not a liar, but I do make mistakes, just like all of us. However, calling me a liar is really uncalled for and at best is a very mean-spirited choice of a word intended to hurt not help. I deserve better from anyone, especially a fellow veteran.

scarrino's picture
scarrino 11 years 33 weeks ago

The following was taken from

We have received dozens of e-mails asking us if members of Congress and their family members or staffers are exempt from repaying their student loans. Many of those questions include the viral e-mail above or make reference to it or Fox News.

Some of the different questions we have received:

  • Are members of Congress exempt from repaying student loans?
  • Are members’ families exempt from having to pay back student loans?
  • Are children of members of Congress exempted from repaying their student loans?
  • Do congressional staffers have to pay back their student loans?

The answers are: no, no, no and yes — although some full-time congressional staffers participate in a student loan repayment program that helps pay back a portion of student loans. No more than $60,000 in the House and $40,000 in the Senate can be forgiven and only if the employee stays on the job for several years.

The confusion appears to stem from remarks Fox News political contributor Dick Morris made Aug. 23, 2010, (a Monday) on "The Sean Hannity Show." Morris misrepresented the student loan repayment program, and then his comment was further distorted by the viral e-mail and those who passed it along as fact.

Hope this satisfies you.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy