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Redneck, you are the one ignoring the obvious consequences of these predatory loans. You have not seen the devastating effects these loans have on the people desperate enough to use them. I have. I bet less than 1% of the borrowers only carry the loan for 2 weeks. Most borrow the money repeatedly, two weeks at a time, for months and months. Then they get another payday loan to cover the first. Then a third payday loan. My wife is a bankruptcy attorney, and she sees this every day. Some people come in carrying 8 or more of these loans. One poor couple had 14 of these loans. They are backbreaking. They almost never help the desperate folks who use them. They lead to bankruptcy FAR more times than not. I'm all for freedom of contract, but these loans are absolutely devastating to the people they are supposed to "help." They actually had to change the banking law in my state to make them legal. I'm sure some legislator's brother-in-law wanted to start such a business. I'm usually for freedom of contract. I'm a HUGE libertarian in most regards. Generally speaking, if someone want to make a bad deal, then he can get burned, and learn his lesson. These "contracts," however, are written in an intentionally misleading manner, and they disguise the effective APR by characterizing what is, by any rational measure, interest -- as a "fee." When you add up these fees, the effective interest rate is over 1000%. These companies prey on people with very little education -- and who are in desperate situations (medical bills, house in foreclosure, utilities about to be turned off, etc.) Again, I lean strongly toward libertarian, but I am for keeping some drugs (like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine) on a forbidden list. I consider these loans similar to the powerfully addictive drugs in their harmful effects. Clearly, they are not as destructive, but they are destructive enough to prohibit by law -- as they were, originally, in my state. These loans, almost without fail, simply delay the inevitable bankruptcy -- and leave the borrowers in far worse shape than they were before.
In response to:

Why Matt Bevin is Challenging Mitch McConnell

GTA Wrote: Mar 10, 2014 2:44 PM
The voters can't do that without amending the Constitution through the State legislatures. I'm all for that -- including reducing a single Senate term to 4 years. And repealing the Income Tax. And setting term limits for federal judges. And for permitting Congress to overturn the US Supreme Court with a 2/3 vote -- like a veto. Also, having a lifetime limit of 8 or 10 years of being in an elected or appointed federal office. And changing the 2nd Amendment to ensure that all citizens may bear arms -- and greatly limit Federal or State ability to interfere with that. There are a ton of other amendments I'd love to see, including taking away Federal commerce power (or completely redefining) what constitutes "interstate commerce." That's the primary way Congress regulates everything in our lives. Under current law, Congress has no meaningful limit to what they can regulate. This has to stop.
In response to:

A New Assault on Freedom of the Press

GTA Wrote: Feb 13, 2014 2:58 PM
Agreed, though the difference between substantive and procedural can be very difficult to tease apart at times.
In response to:

A New Assault on Freedom of the Press

GTA Wrote: Feb 13, 2014 2:57 PM
Insighting, Unfortunately, the Framers did not anticipate how powerful the federal courts would become. For this reason, there is no check on the power of the Supreme Court, unless the Executive branch simply refuses to enforce the Supreme Court's rulings. Supreme Court justices ARE the final arbiter, whether we like that or not.
In response to:

Rubio proposes higher education overhaul

GTA Wrote: Feb 10, 2014 5:44 PM
Libby, you know it's ridiculous to say that conservative parents are against educating children. We've come to believe that schools are teaching little useful knowledge and, instead, indoctrinating our children with values we abhor. Mere attendance at a building containing students and teachers is not education. The content of the material -- and its useful presentation -- are key, and THAT'S what is lacking at many public schools. And students are trapped at whatever school happens to be nearby. If their parents are not wealthy, or simply don't care, then they start out far behind students who attend better schools. Our poor education system is a multifaceted problem with no single solution. Here are some of the facets, though: (1) There has been a countrywide abandonment of the traditional family, particularly in minority communities. You've read about it many times, I'm sure. Committed parents are involved parents, and as you noted above, the number of parents committed to each other and their kids is astonishingly low. Anecdotal evidence aside, the correlation between single-parent households, poverty, and lack of opportunity is clear. As you mentioned, parental apathy is a huge part of the problem. (2) The injection of government money into education, secondary and college-level, is inflating the costs. There are good and bad aspects of government-funded education, but if you're going to have it, then let the money go in the form of vouchers to the parents -- who then choose the school their children will attend, public or private. Then, everyone could give their children the chance you've given your daughter at a good private or public school. Good schools would thrive; bad schools would founder. Competition for students would do nothing but help students. (3) We've got to get past the notion that everyone needs a college education. Put bluntly, not everyone is smart enough for college, and some of the smart ones absolutely hate the academic environment. They'd rather start their own businesses, become a plumber, or something else. Trade schools are an excellent way to attend the needs of these people. There is honor in every job. There are more ideas for sure, but we have to come to some agreement about the problems.
In response to:

Free Edward Snowden -- Really?

GTA Wrote: Jan 06, 2014 4:34 PM
Well said.
It's actually your comment that is dishonest. 4% of the male population has sex with men, but they represent 78% of HIV infections. If being a male homosexual had nothing to do with HIV infection, then only 4% of those with HIV infections would be men who have sex with men. Put into perspective, homosexual males are 1950% (78/4) more likely than others to contract HIV. Some type of behavior is driving that astronomical infection rate. If unprotected sex is the true cause, as you posit, then homosexual males must engage in unprotected sex WAY more (19.5 x more) than the general population. That means, using these numbers (which don't appear to be in dispute) it's WAY more dangerous to have unprotected sex with a homosexual male than pretty much anyone else -- "anatomical issues" or not. Did the school mention that? No. Until you find a way to counter THAT, then Rachel's point is well taken.
In response to:

Looking for a Different Sort of President

GTA Wrote: Nov 07, 2013 11:58 AM
The public would have to amend the Constitution through the states. Workable, but VERY risky. There is no way to limit the scope of a Constitutional Convention, so there is no telling what kind of Constitution would emerge. We might gain some good and important things, but we might well lose some, too. Gun rights, for example. At some point, though, when the government has taken away nearly all liberties, there is little left to lose.
usmcpgw, I agree with everything you said, with one caveat -- they wanted the demise of Obamacare to be slow -- like the proverbial frog in the simmering pot of water. I cannot believe they would intentionally display their own staggering incompetence so quickly, so devastatingly, so publicly, and right before a critical election cycle. Since the government ROYALLY botched both the law and the rollout, people by the tens of millions are trusting government LESS, not more. I think this kills government-controlled health care in the short to medium term -- especially when 1/3 of the American population loses their current health insurance (which 85% of them like) -- and are forced to buy insurance they don't want and can't afford. The death spiral for the insurance companies has already begun. That's why Obama had a closed-door meeting with insurance execs. The numbers aren't adding up at all, and most companies will abandon the ridiculous exchanges. That's my prediction.
In response to:

We Know What's in It Now and It's Bizarre

GTA Wrote: Nov 01, 2013 10:23 AM
Romney is a HUGE RINO, but far better than the current occupant of the White House. One word: RomneyCare.
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