Ethics in the Biden Administration

Justin Cates

As has become tradition, the Biden administration began its tenure in the White House with a multitude of executive orders. The actions have primarily addressed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and immigration. One order that has gone largely unnoticed to this point however deals with ethics.

This is not a new effort. In fact, President Trump signed a similar order in 2017 that placed a five-year ban on lobbying activities related to the agency in which administration appointees served. That order was of course undermined when he revoked it on the final day of his presidency, thus allowing those appointees to serve as lobbyists immediately. 

President Biden sought to restore limits on lobbying activities with his executive order which includes an ethics pledge and two-year restriction on those serving as registered lobbyists prior to and following being appointed to an administration position. 

This appears to be a good rule on the surface and goes further than the rule enacted by Mr. Trump. In some ways, it even expands on a similar order signed by President Obama in 2009. As such the new EO received considerable praise upon its signing. 

Norman Eisen, who served as Obama’s “ethics czar” and later as his ambassador to the Czech Republic wrote an Op-Ed for Politico in which he says in part:

“Biden’s ethics plan is the strongest, most ambitious swamp-draining plan ever. All of us will be watching to make sure it is scrupulously followed. If it is, cleaner government lies ahead—finally.”

Walter Schaub ran the Office of Government Ethics during the Obama administration and for a short time at the start of the Trump administration. 

“I’d say it’s a very good executive order,” he said in part. “I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s great.”

He urged for increased transparency in order to hold officials accountable. 

“People comply with rules if they know somebody’s going to come and check on whether they’ve complied,” Shaub said.

That brings us to this recent tweet from Shaub performing the role of watch dog. 

Former and now current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack got around these ethics rules with a simple albeit obvious and effective loophole. He didn’t register as a lobbyist because he didn’t directly lobby anyone, he was just in charge of the lobby. 

A generous reading of the situation says that this violates the spirit of the rules. I would argue it’s a complete violation and the loophole should be closed immediately. It doesn’t seem terribly ethical for someone with close corporate ties to be able to skate into the lead role at the USDA. It seems further disappointing —though unsurprising— that his nomination gained unanimous consent by the Senate agriculture committee and finished with a resounding 92-7 confirmation vote in the Senate.

But on the bright side, at least he didn’t send out any mean tweets right? 

Justin is a guest contributor to AltRaged and a longtime sports writer. His work has appeared in numerous online publications including Sports Illustrated, Vox, Inside The ACC, and Sons of Saturday. He currently lives in a fortified compound in upstate New York with his wife and numerous animals.

Let’s Fix This Fraud With More Fraud. WTF?

Alan J. Yeck

Tossing out any dollar amount in student debt relief with no other action is just another form of fraud committed by our government against its people – again! It’s a fraud sandwich and we’re the protein.

$10,000 – 50,000 paid by the government, to the dirty government collection contractors (Navient, et al), will then be directed back to the political PACs, Super PACs, and student loan industry lobbying firms. Everybody in on the con, wins! But that’s not us, my friend. “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son.”

There is a reason the politicians, including the attorneys general, are not listening about implementing the foundational reforms that must happen in the student loan industry to remove the corruption, provide relief to existing victims, and prevent this crisis from happening again.

The elected elite are either: 1) listening only to the lobbyists who work for the student loan industry to keep their money train scam rolling along; 2) are part of the corruption/kickbacks themselves; 3) have their heads up their asses.

While I can understand the skill of misinformation of number 1, and can personally relate to number 3, I have a feeling their lack of addressing the real issues that caused this crisis comes down to number 2. It’s gone on too long, over both blue and red administrations, for them to claim ignorance. 

We the people, are the least of their concerns. 

To end this problem today – 

  1. Recalculate loan balances at zero interest (the government should not profit off of educating its people). With this formula we’ll save millions who have already paid back their original principal and are being held hostage by interest (10 times the original loan amount. I know you don’t understand how that can happen but it does).
  2. Restoration of unconditional, full bankruptcy rights for student loans. Bankruptcy isn’t a free pass at all, is it? Millions of borrowers, through the racketeering of collections agencies are in true, lifelong, debtors’ prison today. When Congress began to tamper with this right in the early 1970s the loan default rate was less than 1%. Today it’s over 20% and growing. Removing bankruptcy protection is the foundation of today’s crisis which all the student loan industry corruption was built upon. 
  3. Hold higher education accountable for the costs of their programs. Until this is done, they will just continue to raise their costs. Higher education is a financial black hole that will suck in every penny and then start going through your couch cushions to find more. Degree costs have risen 400%, above inflation, in the last generation. Policies have to be put in place that restrict loans going to any institution that cannot demonstrate fiscal responsibility and the return on investment for completing their programs.
  4. Immediately end the practice of the loan servicers from garnishing wages, tax returns, and social security. 
  5. Restructure the loan payback formulas to reflect the cost of life. Currently calculations from the loan servicers do not consider that you have to pay rent/mortgage. Car payments, insurance, healthcare, food, electricity, maintenance, emergency funds…they let the government get their taxes then they swoop in to steal the rest. The current formulas almost guarantee to force defaults, which in turn interest builds, added to the principal and interest applied on that new amount. 
  6. Increase Pell and Perkins Grants including for the trades and apprentice programs, again holding the educational institutions accountable. 

The current system and the currently discussed solutions are all just part of the con, the scam. It’s Three Card Monty with Uncle Sam not only dealing but telling you how much you have to bet, knowing you’ll lose every hand. Fixing fraud with more fraud. WTF?

The Killing of American Higher Education (Part 1)

The Dirty, Rotten, Crooked, Broken Student Loan System and the Immoral Bankers, Brokers, Collectors and Corrupt Politicians Who Make Billions Off of it While the Courts Garnish Wages and Destroy Lives

Alan J. Yeck


The U.S. spends almost double that of anywhere else in the world on higher education and that’s before the interest charges are shackled upon the students. Nine million Americans are either in default, deferment or forbearance on their student loans with a million more each year. These students are Democrats, Republicans, African American, Caucasians, Latinx, Asian, Native American, young, old, married, divorced, LGBTQ, fathers, mothers—every single demographic that exists. It’s not a political party issue; it’s blatant criminal activity by our elected officials, their collection agencies and the Department of Education. For their own profit, they have created a life-long debt sentence for these students at the cost of our country’s future.

The student loan debt crisis didn’t just appear. The warning sirens have been blaring for over a decade with the causes going further back than that. The subprime mortgage crisis was also seen years before but again, the people who could have changed it, the politicians, chose to do nothing until it was too late and then they bailed out the firms to the tune of $30 trillion. That same year Goldman Sachs paid out record bonuses to the very people who caused it. Why was this allowed and why is the student loan debt allowed? Because nasty, rotten bankers, brokers, collection agencies, politicians and billionaires are making a great deal of money off of the dreams and misfortunes of students and the mismanagement of higher education (again allowed). Shame on them all. A pox on them all. There are solutions beyond the news bites and campaign rhetoric but solutions don’t pay as well.

The student debt crisis is not new. It wasn’t like a tornado that pops up with the warning sirens giving only minutes of notice before it destroys everything in its path. It has been in the making since the 1970s and touched down on land over a decade ago. It was seen then—sirens blaring, projected to get worse. The narrative never changed: Do not ignore this or very bad things will happen—and it has. Our elected officials didn’t just ignore it but instead they have actively, albeit quietly, ensured the system remained broken and has supported the loan “servicing” agencies in pushing their boots harder on the necks of borrowers for their own profits.

These numbers, including our $1.7 trillion student loan debt figures are always increasing so this is a snapshot of the first quarter of 2019:

  • Federal loan borrowers in repayment: 18.6 million.
  • Federal loan borrowers with loans in deferment: 3.4 million.
  • Federal loan borrowers with loans in forbearance: 2.7 million.
  • Federal loan borrowers with loans in default: 5.2 million.

11.3 million American citizens cannot make their payments. Twenty-five percent of all borrowers will go into default and that’s where the true ugly begins. At this point interest begins to quickly pile on and can double, triple, quadruple the original loan amount.

Once in default, the loan is sent to collections. This is also the point where the power finance players make their money. With the blessing of congress and the courts, wages are garnished, social security payments are garnished, tax refunds are taken in full, you are no longer eligible for deferments or forbearance, and your credit is ruined. This can also cost you your job, or prevent you from future employment. This will last until the loan is paid back or until death (except for private student loans where creditors can come after the estate).

How we reached this point can be very confusing (intentionally designed) so I’m going to attempt to deconstruct the main areas that facilitated the fraud and the areas that keep it going and growing. All of these issues have been previously reported by numerous journalists but have not always tied the relationships together of higher education, politicians (all branches of the federal government), collection/servicing agencies, financial institutions, billionaires and how they worked and continue to work together to commit such a monumental deception on the American public.

Beware phony advocates for reform that appear to speak on your behalf with partial fixes but do so just to ensure there are no real changes to the system that would result in any financial losses for themselves and the masters they serve. The predatory student loan industry exists because our elected officials are either corrupt themselves, don’t take the time to truly understand all the complex aspects of the abuse and fraud in the system (they choose to listen to the industry’s own lobbyists instead of their own constituents), or are just plain morons. Regardless, all kill American higher education.

The American student loan system—government loansharking enforced with judicial muscle. The mafia never had it so good.

No Good Deed Goes Unexploited

It is important to understand the history of how we arrived at our current crisis, because as I said it’s not new, it didn’t just happen last year. It was not only allowed but designed, fed and encouraged to be the devious monster that exists today. This is not the complete history but what is needed to bring us to today.

1944. The GI Bill was established to reward veterans who served their country during World War II to catch up with those Americans who remained in college during this time. Prior to this, many of these people would never have been able to afford to go to college before or after their service. This is really the first involvement we see of the federal government assisting citizens who didn’t have the wealth to attend college on their own. There were advocates who wanted this extended beyond veterans to allow more Americans to benefit from higher education, but the majority members of congress felt that since they never received that, no one else should either. No free rides was the mantra.

1958. The “Red Menace” swept the country and with Russia’s launch of Sputnik. Congress sponsored low-interest loans under national security. It’s of interest to also note that the National Defense Education Act also included debt cancellation for those students who became teachers. There was still no support for need- or academic-based undergraduate funding.

1965. President Johnson and the 89th Congress enacted the Higher Education Act (HEA). Title IV was the first true federal government commitment to providing college opportunity to students in need. This included the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL) and College Work-Study Programs which also applied to middle-income families. Because the cost of education was somewhat affordable then, any loans to the middle class would have been a small percentage of the program. Enrollments increased and student aid appropriations took the lion’s share compared to other domestic social programs.

1972. This was a big year in higher education. The reauthorization of the HEA laid the foundation for today’s student loan system including establishing the term “postsecondary” to recognize that not everyone needed a four-year bachelor’s degree but did need further education of some sort. This would allow financial aid for those students attending community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and students attending part-time. The reauthorization also included:

  • Pell Grants began as a way students could directly receive federal aid beyond the campus-based programs.
  • Private schools were now allowed to participate fully in receiving these monies.
  • State Incentive Grants, which provided matching dollars to help states expand their need-based grants.
  • Hidden quietly in the darkest corners of Title IV where mold feeds and vermin defecate, they established the Student Loan Marketing Association, AKA Sallie Mae, as a publicly chartered corporation to increase funding to guaranteed student loans (GSL).

The Old Sons of Bitches

In the early 1970s, while the protests of the Vietnam War were still in full swing on college campuses throughout the country, legislators became paranoid that these long-haired, lazy, hippie pinkos would use the bankruptcy system to get out of paying the federal government back for their student loans. (This was the early 70s and our government was completely controlled by wealthy, white men who did think like this.) This fear had nothing to do with reality and there was no evidence to support this position. At that time their main target was those pursuing medical and law degrees that were higher priced. Keep in mind that the degree costs were a small fraction compared to today’s tuition.

In 1973 the Congressional Commission on the Bankruptcy Laws of the United States issued a report which included that student loan debt cannot be discharged for five years after graduation. Three years later the Education Amendments of 1976, Section 439A, was adopted even though the Government Accounting Office reported less than one percent of student loans had gone to bankruptcy. Now, no student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy until five years after graduation, or unless the borrower could prove repayment imposed “undue hardship” (which was never defined by the law makers). While this passed it did have more than a few critics. Michigan Congressman James O’Hara stated that establishing this “treats educational loans precisely as the law now treats loans incurred by fraud, felony, and alimony-dodging. No other legitimately contracted consumer loan … is subjected to the assumption of criminality which this provision applies to every educational loan.”

In 1978, with the passage of the Bankruptcy Reform Act, the exception to bankruptcy discharge of student loans was moved from the Higher Education Act to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code at 11 USC 523(a)(8). While Congress sought to reverse the earlier exception, the Senate’s version prevailed maintaining the inability to discharge student loans for five years and adding that it applied to loans backed by the government and nonprofit institutions of higher education.

In 1979, Congress wanted to address the problem of lack of participation by lenders (although this wasn’t known to be a problem by anyone) so they quietly passed an amendment giving banks a higher rate of return on student loan by linking them with changes in Treasury bill rates. Prior to this the government set a cap on what lenders would make. With banks making more money, the student loan industry was born.

Just because the corrupt say it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s still not corrupt.

The Noose Tightens

1986-92. Loan volume shot up again after the 1986 and 1992 Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorizations. In 1990, the Crime Control Act extended the period before student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy from five years to seven years and then a year later the statute of limitations on defaulted loans, six years, was totally eliminated by the Higher Education Technical Amendments. There was a failed push to increase Pell Grants to reduce the reliance on loans and instead Congress raised the borrowing limits of students and created a new unsubsidized loan for the middle-class that was no longer based on financial need. This meant anyone could now take on a student loan regardless of their income or parents’ income. Smelling more money could be made off of the well-meaning, caring, loving parents, they also uncapped the Parent Loan (PLUS) program. Now parents could borrow, on behalf of their children, the full amount of their children’s’ educational costs. Because of these changes, enrollment took off and in a two-year period the amount borrowed increased over $10 billion.

The Student Loan Reform Act of 1993 revised how loans are serviced and financed, allowing for more students to take out more loans. This also established an income-based repayment plan stretching out to a home mortgage length of 25 years. The Department of Education responded by creating more than 70 complex rule-making packages, further complicating the regulatory process for students, schools and the government itself.

By 1998 the Higher Education Amendments, Section 971 eliminated the seven year period required before a student loan could be discharged in bankruptcy. There had been no debates or hearings on this prior to President Clinton signing the bill into law. This meant there was no longer a statute of limitations nor could student loans even be considered for bankruptcy – ever, unless the ambiguous, indeterminate, undefined “undue hardship” provision could be proven.

In 2005 the final nail was hammered into the hands of student borrowers by Congress with the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. This meant all federal and private educational loans were excepted from bankruptcy discharge unless the undefined “undue hardship” could be proven (note: you have a better chance of being hit by lighting, which would probably be a welcome relief to my student loan borrowers, than having a judge dismiss a student loan in bankruptcy).

The politicians, with help from their financial keepers, knew by now that money, lots and lots of money, could be made off of student borrowers. By increasing funding to everyone, by ensuring every kind of nonprofit and private educational institution was eligible to receive federal and private loans, by supporting the skyrocketing costs of higher education, by removing the only tool that could provide some kind of market correction (bankruptcy), and by placing student loan debt in the financial markets (SLABS) which allowed those on the inside to make billions of dollars, they had successfully created the most devious, destructive system ever in the history of the United States.

This is the first article in a five-part series by Alan J. Yeck reflecting on the student loan system, its challenges and the far-reaching effects it can have. Check back each Thursday for the latest installment. For a full works cited list, please view the last installment in the series.

We have the power to change the business of education back to a right for all. Contact your representatives and ask them to listen to these facts and national narratives.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

By Alan J. Yeck

Just when I thought the political fruit cake couldn’t get any nuttier, I woke to the news that Hillary Clinton, in a discussion with Nancy Pelosi, shared her own conspiracy theory that President Trump called Vladimir Putin on the day of the riot at the Capital. I find myself going back and forth between being entertained by the moron platform (well used by both parties) to really pissed off that this is even in the news. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not? That’s why we wait for facts before holding public hearings. I don’t like Trump but I don’t like Biden either. I don’t like any of them and this is just another example of ‘why.’ Their intense, personal hatred of Trump comes first and foremost, well before issues that are affecting and destroying the American people on a daily basis. Vengeance is mine, says the Lord…and Hillary and Nancy. Don’t you wish they were that consumed with the fraudulent, student loan industry? Don’t you wish they spent their energy on campaign finance reform, or healthcare, or a distribution plan for the COVID vaccine? Don’t you wish all of them had their heads out of their asses and actually worked for the welfare of the American people? I do.

The next WTF moment came with two commercials on the networks; one was about TV news personality, Katie Couric, being interviewed by the news, about Trump. The other promo was about the news, interviewing CBS News White House correspondent, Major Garrett, on Trump. This is what we do now – the news interviews the news and makes it news when it’s not news at all. Again, I’m not defending nor supporting any of the politicians including Trump, but is it a surprise, to anyone in the country, how the mainstream news networks loathe Trump? I’m not saying they don’t have good reason – I’m saying they are news networks and not gossip tabloids (or shouldn’t be gossip tabloids). If you also loathe Trump do you need more loathing ammo? If you support Trump, does this ease your fears as we transition to a new Biden administration? Maybe try reporting on how much money from Super PACs go to which politicians? How about where the thousands upon thousands of lobbyists spend their time, and money, in Washington? How about using the power of the press to bring real, lasting change to a country desperately needing it, by real reporting and not a vendetta agenda. Do you understand that as you also seek your pound of old, white, flabby, flesh that you only create more mistrust in what you report on?  The only difference between you and The National Enquirer is…nothing. Except I did see Elvis in an Asheville head shop so the Enquirer’s reporting on that was true. 

Please follow us at AltRaged and like our Facebook page (although they continue to censor our ads).

“Here, take it. Take it, Georgie.”

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi addressing the American people.

The latest federal stimulus package, or how Congress gives more to the ultra-wealthy while trying to appear that they actually give a shit about the American people. 

By Alan J. Yeck

As I write this, the discussions are taking place in Washington as whether to give a $600 stimulus check or a $2,000 stimulus check. To me, as a citizen, at this point the dollar amount is the least of our concerns. We have a government that has spent the last nine months doing absolutely nothing other than campaign rhetoric and arguing with each other as many Americans continue to suffer. It doesn’t matter what political side you may fall on because there is no victory for the people.

The latest 5,593 page federal relief stimulus package was delivered to Congress just before they voted on it. This gave lawmakers a very, very short amount of time to read the equivalent of Stephen King’s “IT” five times over (which at least in his story evil is defeated), which means it is unlikely they read it at all. This $2.3 trillion package, of which only $900 billion is in response to the pandemic is shameful. SHAMEFUL. It  includes a whole treasure chest for those with the most treasure already. 

Senator Mitch McConnell leads Senate in checking with their boss on stimulus plan.

Some citizens are on the edge of ruin and $600, or $2,000 will do absolutely nothing to save them. Others do not need the money but they’re sending it anyway. This is their brilliant plan? Nine months to come up with this – ready, shoot, aim. The government has the capability to dig deeper into the data and target the aid to make the biggest impact. To identify our fellow citizens that need the most help is certainly possible, unless you’re our government today. Good job, Nancy. Good job, Mitch. Now let’s celebrate the holidays.

There has always been dysfunction with our political leaders but it was never a job requirement until the last few decades. My late uncle, John Malloy, told me about growing up in Chicago in the 1930s. Politicians were corrupt then – kickbacks for contracts, payoffs for votes…but the people had public parks, and swimming pools and  libraries… everyone knew the politicians were taking a little extra on the side but they took care of the people. Today, they take it all and the people are abandoned. That was 30 years ago when he told me that and it’s only gotten worse.

We have been conditioned to believe that ‘the lesser of two evils,’ and/or ‘better than nothing,’ are legitimate, acceptable positions. We have been told these lies for so long that we’ve started to believe them but the ‘lesser of two evils’ is still evil and less, and something that is ‘better than nothing’ is not actually better.

We, me and you, pay around $4 billion a year for congress operating expenses and this is what we get in return. Zero leadership, zero ethics, zero compassion, zero understanding. Nine months to put together a real plan using real data and this is the best they could do for us? Shame on them all. 


MacMillan, Douglas, Peter Whoriskey, and Jonathan O’Connell. 2020. America’s biggest companies are flourishing during the pandemic and putting thousands of people out of work. December 16. Accessed December 28, 2020.

Drug Use at the Department of Education: The Discretionary Income Formula

By Alan J. Yeck

The formula used to determine how much of your monthly income the student loan “servicers” will steal is based on a model where Department of Education, in cooperation with Congress, fed rats LSD over a 15 week period and then observed their movements in a standard 20-point maze. What occurred was nothing short of remarkable on a global scale. After the results were reviewed by no less than seven times by outside scientists it was determined that the Department of Education, in cooperation with Congress, were the ones actually ingesting the LSD and not the rats. This explains why the payback formula used by student loan “servicers”, aka Sallie Mae, Navient, Fedloan, Nelnet, et al is so fucking insane.  

This is directly from the Navient website –

Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)

“Your payments will be 15% (10% if you are a new borrower*) of your monthly discretionary income, the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence (other conditions apply) divided by 12.”

Clear? Maybe if you’re on acid.

Here is what the federal government considers as ‘discretionary’ income, meaning they will take 10-15% from your monthly income before these bills are paid:

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Clothes
  • Trash pick-up
  • Phone
  • Internet
  • Car payment
  • Car insurance
  • Car fuel and maintenance
  • Dental/vision (deductibles if you’re lucky enough to have insurance)
  • Health insurance (deductibles if you’re lucky enough to have insurance)
  • Emergency savings (emergency trip for family emergency…transmission breaks…etc.)
  • Any kind of retirement savings
  • Pets (food, litter, veterinary – or do we just put the down?)
  • Children (costs associated with children and or child support)
    • Trying to help them with their college costs so they don’t get sucked in this black hole of despair.
  • Misc (expenses I just can’t think of now or that might be unique to your life

The student loan “servicers” will take all they want, after their big brother has taken their taxes, and whatever is left you have to figure out how to pay these normal bills of life. When the transmission goes, and you need your car to get to work, so you can get your pay, so you can pay the loan “servicers,” you have to fix it, right? Right. Since you have no savings you have to default on your student loans to get your car fixed…or to travel to a family funeral on the other side of the country…and another 1,000 unseen events that you need emergency savings for. Then begins the interest game, and capitalization of that interest on to the principal…months later when you’ve been “rehabilitated” (what a great word – so fitting of the debtors prison they have created) you will owe more than ever before with the same formula used to steal your life. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This is the LSD influenced system they built and what our politicians protect. In turn for their feigned ignorance and silence to the plight of student loan borrowers, they are given campaign kickbacks through Super PACs to ensure the status quo remains the status quo and we go on paying. Forever. This story is told by millions of Americans and is the biggest scam ever inflicted by the U.S. Government on it’s own people.

At 59, with my 29 year plan ($35k loan will then be $310k), there’s a good chance I’ll be dead before it’s paid off. At least that’s one thing to look forward to.

#corruption #studentloandebt #dirtypolitics #bidenharris #joebidden #trump #kami #highered #students #business #innovation #blm #womensrights #elizabethwarren

Supreme Court Endorsed Corruption – Citizens United v. FEC

From the “If No One is Around When Democracy Dies, Does it Make a Sound?” Part 4

Super PACs empower the wealthiest donors, and the expansion of dark money through shadowy nonprofits that don’t disclose their donors. On the other hand, we know those being elected are well aware of who is making their donations and what they expect in return. They don’t sell their souls – they sell ours.

“Citizens United.” Doesn’t that sound like a great group to be part of? Doesn’t it sound so American? Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Citizens United. Their logo, an eagle head with the red and white flag stripes behind it. Americans united together, working together to the benefit of the people. But it was the exact opposite – the name, intentionally chosen to sound all-American, to keep your defenses down, to let it slide by while it’s intent was nefarious and to the control and destruction of the very people who were fooled by it.

In 2010 there were two landmark decisions that paved the way for the corporate control of our political system; one by the federal appeals court in Washington, v. Federal Election Commission, and the other, the U.S. Supreme Court ,Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission. Both ruled that the government cannot disallow corporations and unions from making “independent expenditures” for political uses. The Citizens United ruling also struck down FECA’s complete ban on corporate and union independent spending, originally passed as part of the Taft-Hartley law in 1947.

Their insane reasoning? Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that it would violate their First Amendment right of free speech to limit political spending from corporations. Their decision was based on a complete lack of any type of understanding of human nature, and specifically politicians and the dirty systems they work in. The majority of justices assumed (and you know what happens when we ass-u-me) that independent spending would be transparent and could not be corrupted. They said that by corporations and unions raising and using money for to support campaigns, that it “did not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

(Uh, are you shitting me?) This essentially means that Pfizer Pharmaceutical is no different than you for campaign financing (except of course they have $50 billion more cash flow than you). Wait, wait, it gets better – Super PACs have no limit on donations so they can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from individuals, corporations and unions to advocate for, or against candidates of their choice. Their goal is to influence the outcome of state and federal elections (to put their person in office, the person that will do what they tell them to do, the person that will vote how they tell them to vote).  Wait a minute…isn’t that the people’s job? It used to be but we’re only for appearance now…like the Queen (have you been practicing your wave?).  The dissenting opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens stated, “At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt.” You don’t have to have a law degree or be a judge to understand that truth, and apparently even when you have those things it doesn’t give you anymore wisdom than the thug on the street.  

This is part 4 of the “Democracy Dies” series, covering the corruption surrounding PACS, SuperPACs, and how candidates pay for votes.

To read part 1, go to

For part 2, go to

For part 3, go to


Alan J. Yeck

The Strong Retirement Act of 2020 is a bipartisan bill proposed by Congressmen Kevin Brady, R-Texas and Richard Neal, D-Mass.  I want you to focus on the student debt part, they so kindly included. The bill would allow businesses to pay a 401(k) match to workers paying off student loans, even if those borrowers aren’t saving in the company retirement plan. In a summary of the bill, they state “The idea is that employees who are overwhelmed with student debt may not realistically be able to save for retirement, and thus are missing out on available matching contributions.”

What the WTF? So instead of addressing the multiple issues and corruption in the student loan industry, the source of the problem, they’re going to concentrate on the symptom of being “overwhelmed by student debt,” and let the company contribute to a 401(k) that I’m sure the government, via Navient, et al, will garnish later (if you weren’t aware our cowardly judicial system will enforce garnishments on wages, tax returns, social security payments to collect on student loans that were fraudulent to begin with).

Congressmen – listen to your own bill! “…employees who are overwhelmed with student debt may not realistically be able to save for retirement.” Why are they overwhelmed with student debt? Because of bogus efforts like this that do nothing to fix the student loan scam you (i.e. Congress) created for the American people. Holy shit. How crooked can our politicians be?

Two different people, two different parties, two different states. You know politicians don’t drink public water there so it has to be the air in those old buildings. They’re probably breathing in a mixture of their own hot rhetoric combined with skin microparticles from hundreds of years of old white men.  Their brains, and their souls, are gone.

#corruption #altraged #dirtypolitics #business #studentloandebt #highereducation #highereducationleadership #innovation #blm #womensrights

Tell Me Joe…

By Alan J. Yeck, Founder, AltRaged

This is not about who you are voting for or who you should vote for – vote for whoever you want. This is about the irreputable, verifiable, criminal student loan scam our government continues to operate like a shell game on 42nd and Broadway. Tell me Joe. Tell me what you’re going to do for the 40 million Americans with student loan debt?

Joe says he’s going to eliminate student debt if I come from a family making less than $125,000 (but only if I went to a public university).

Joe says he’s going to wipe out my loans if I went to a historically black college/university or private institutions that are minority-serving.

Joe says he’s going to make sure everyone gets $10,000 knocked off of their student (because of economic hardships the pandemic has caused).

Joe says he supports Liz Warren’s bill to reinstate bankruptcy rights for student loan borrowers. Joe says a lot of things, doesn’t he? Let’s talk a bit about what he’s not saying, shall we?

Joe doesn’t mention what he’s going to do to help the 10 million Americans that are currently late or in default because of a criminal, rigged system. The system is structured to facilitate defaults because there is more money to be made.

Joe doesn’t mention what he’s going to do to address the tremendously inflated costs of higher education. The cost of a degree has gone up 400% in one generation without any valid reasoning.

Joe doesn’t mention that in 2005, he was one of the many politicians who voted for a bankruptcy bill that stripped student loan borrowers of their rights, which in turn has become one of the primary causes for the $1.7 trillion student debt crisis we have today. They removed a safety valve that would have helped correct the market but in doing so has made billions of dollars for a small group of greedy FFs (Fuck Faces).

Joe doesn’t mention how much money both political parties have received from Super PACs (Navient, Telnet, et al…) to keep the broken, corrupt student loan system status quo. His changes at best, are superficial, proposed to an uninformed public for votes. He’s not helping you, or me, or students or the country. Of course no one else is either. Oh, and the shell game…doesn’t matter which walnut you pick, you lose.

Vote. Vote for the corporation of your choice but vote.

If No One is Around, Does Democracy Make a Sound When it Dies? Part 1

(Part 1 of the Democracy Dies Series)

By Alan J. Yeck, Founder of AltRaged

Show me the money!

For many years I took American democracy completely for granted like the sun rising every morning. I viewed it as impenetrable from outside influence, unbreakable from internal conflicts and impervious to the passage of time. I believed, unwavering, that we were a system of government by the whole population. That my voice, your voice, their voice, all mattered in how we would govern, be governed, and the future of our country. That the words Abraham Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg, “…that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” explained and justified how so many could sacrifice their lives for this idea of democracy. I love my country and the ideals of justice, and equality and freedom that I believed we were about. All of this is so tightly woven through my very existence as veteran, father, son, and American that to try and separate it from the rest of myself would cause me to break into a thousand pieces. Well, more like a thousand shingles falling from my eyes – and they did.

Communism, fascism, terrorist, extremists, racists, war, depression…none of these can destroy our democracy. The greater the threats the stronger we become – when we see them, when we understand them, we fight them and have never, ever lost. Only democracy, specifically when its citizens are manipulated by its government, can destroy democracy and that’s exactly what is happening. Those we elect to represent us have not only failed to uphold their vows to our Constitution but they have perverted it against us.

Let’s start with the individual – you, me, aunt Fran. There’s an issue that you feel strongly about; immigration, firearm ownership, racial justice, planned parenthood, the arts, taxes, veterans, student loans, healthcare, affordable housing…(insert issue here). We take our thoughts, values, concerns, and needs to the people that we voted to represent us. We receive the automated response to our email, thanking us for contacting them. Sometimes we even receive a letter thanking us for contacting them and that they are working on our behalf for (insert issue here). Thank God we have Senator Shayla and Congressman Cal working hard on our behalf. But  it’s all a lie, a TV show, a bad game that we can never win. After we vote, we fall to the back of the line. There are only three things that matter in Congress; 1) money, 2) time in front of the TV cameras, and 3) money. If you’re not coming with a bag of cash, don’t waste your time. Unless it’s something that will embarrass them; if it’s something that would risk losing their power or money. Otherwise, we don’t matter.

Today’s Congress is probably the most corrupt in U.S. history with all those we elected, red and blue, actively participating in one way or the other (not fighting against corruption is participating in the corruption). This didn’t just happen, or happen with the last administration or the one before that, or the one before that…This series is a brief summary of campaign reform attempts and political action committees. There is much more, both depth and breadth, to be known about these but for our purposes now we will only be focusing on how they have facilitated, and accelerated bribery and corruption while hiding behind our current laws. I do urge you to do more research yourself. They are numerous, and sometimes complicated with plentiful law suits, court cases including the Supreme Court (questionable rulings).

Looking forward to sharing with all of you in the coming days and weeks. As always, should you want to share, please click on the “Submissions” page above and learn how you can contribute to AltRaged.