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Trump offers Obama $5 million for his college, passport records


Trump offers Obama $5 million for his college, passport records

By Alicia M. Cohn

After playing up a election-shaking announcement for several days, businessman Donald Trump on Wednesday offered President Obama $5 million to release his college and passport records.

“All he has to do for $5 million to the charity or charities of his choice is get his colleges to immediately give his applications and records and also to release his passport records,” Trump said in the announcement. “When he does this to my satisfaction, if it’s complete, this check will be sent immediately.”

In a video posted to his YouTube channel and distributed through social media, Trump spoke directly to the camera, criticizing the president for a lack of transparency.

Trump added that the records must be released before the election, setting the deadline as Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. Trump had framed Wednesday’s announcement as a possible “October surprise” that deserved extensive media coverage and could change the trajectory of the election season.
Although Trump publicized his announcement Monday morning on Fox News, he announced his offer online. Trump prompted plenty of conversation online Wednesday, accumulating thousands of Twitter followers. His name was trending on Twitter all morning.

“If Barack Obama opens up and gives his colleges records and applications, and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give to the charity of his choice — inner city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants — a check immediately for $5 million,” he said. “The check will be given within one hour after he releases all of the records so stated. He will be doing a great service for the country if he does this.”

Obama aides mocked the announcement by tying Trump to Mitt Romney. Trump, who toyed with the idea of a presidential run of his own, has endorsed the GOP nominee.

Asked about Trump’s offer, White House senior adviser David Plouffe told reporters their questions should be directed to Romney’s campaign headquarters.

“Direct your questions to Boston; he’s Romney’s biggest supporter,” Plouffe said, according to reports.

“The company you keep speaks volumes,” tweeted Lis Smith, the Obama campaign’s director of rapid response.

Teddy Goff, digital director for Obama’s campaign, retweeted an old tweet from Tagg Romney that said it was “so cool” to meet Trump and his wife, Melania. SOURCE

Transcript Wars

Colleges Withhold Transcripts From Grads in Loan Default

Dave Lindorff

More than ten years ago, Pedro Rodriguez, a talented keyboard musician, came from his colonial homeland of Puerto Rico to go to Temple University. From a low-income family, he depended heavily on student loans to finance his four-year undergraduate study. Graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s of music, he went on to earn a master’s degree in music from Temple and then was hired for three years to teach there as an adjunct. By the end of college, he was $62,000 in debt but was making payments regularly until Temple laid him off, allegedly because of budget cuts. That’s when his problems began. (Pedro Rodriguez is a pseudonym to protect his identity.)

Unable to find a job as a music teacher in the current economic crisis, he eventually went into default on his loans, which included Stafford, Perkins and private bank loans. Then this year, he decided to go on to earn a PhD, which would make it possible for him to get hired in his field. He applied to a top-rated university in the Northeast, but when it was time to send his school transcripts, Temple froze him out. “They said as long as I was in default on my loans, they would not issue a transcript!” says Rodriguez.

A spokesman from Temple confirms that it is school policy to withhold official transcripts from graduates who are in default on their student loans. As it turns out, the school is not alone; this is the position taken by most colleges and universities, though there is no law requiring such an extortionate position. They do this despite the fact the colleges themselves are not out the money. They have received the students’ tuition payments in full and are in effect simply acting as collection agencies for the federal government.

The US Department of Education says only that it “encourages” colleges to withhold transcripts, a tactic which the department, in a letter to colleges, claims coldly “has resulted in numerous loan repayments.” But particularly in a time when the real unemployment rate is stuck at over 15 percent, or, if long term unemployed who have given up looking for work are included, at 22 percent, it seems not just heartless, but counter-productive for schools to block their own graduates from obtaining a document they need to move on to a higher degree or to get hired in their chosen field.

“It’s worse than indentured servitude,” says NYU Professor Andrew Ross, who helped organize the Occupy Student Debt movement last fall. “With indentured servitude, you had to pay in order to work, but then at least you got to work. When universities withhold these transcripts, students who have been indentured by loans are being denied even the ability to work or to finish their education so they can repay their indenture.”

The growing tsunami of student loan defaults is more than a series of personal tragedies. It is killing the dream of many low-income students who saw college as the best chance to rise out of poverty, only to find that after borrowing heavily to pay for school, they cannot get the paper needed to document their accomplishments, cannot get a job and cannot even declare bankruptcy to escape their plight. Congress, after pocketing wads of bank lobbying cash, made it all but impossible to use bankruptcy to escape student loans, requiring a court finding of “undue hardship”—an almost impossibly high legal hurdle.

As Rodriguez says, “Temple likes to boast that they are the most diverse campus in the country, but the reason is that they have a lot of poor students from Philadelphia and from other parts of Pennsylvania. But with these policies, they aren’t really helping these students. They are helping to crush them, because they will graduate and then end up with debt that they can never repay.”

Student loans pose a crisis for the economy too. Outstanding student loan debt last October topped the $1 trillion mark, easily surpassing total credit card debt. Last year alone, as tuitions have soared and scholarship aid has plunged, college students borrowed a record $100 billion for tuition and expenses. The default rate on that all that student debt is just under 9 percent, meaning nearly one in eleven student borrowers has fallen more than nine months behind on monthly payments. Many more students are chronically months behind in their payments but haven’t hit the default point yet. (Some schools, like Hunter College in New York City, which is part of the City University of New York, withhold transcripts even from students who are four months late in their payments on certain loans and not in default yet.)

Students who are struggling with their debt payments or who are in default are not spending money on houses, cars or consumer goods. “If the federal government wanted to stimulate this economy,” suggests Rodriguez, “an easy way to do it would be to cancel some or all of the student debt.”

He’s right, and it’s a demand being made by students in the Occupy Movement. Last October, activists with Occupy Wall Street proposed a mass refusal by former and current students to make their loan payments.

Student debt has long been a racket. With the government guaranteeing 80 percent of the outstanding loans (and 90 percent of the loans taken out in 2011), the interest rate on these risk-free loans should be 1 percent or even 0 percent, but instead the rates are set at 3.4-6.8 percent and in the case of bank loans, as high as 12.75 percent. Forgiving some or all of those loans would immediately inject hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy and would increase tax revenues as students unable to get good jobs suddenly get their transcripts released and are able to apply for the jobs they trained for.

Most students have no idea when they take out loans to attend college that they will be held hostage by their own schools if they fall behind later in their repayments. Loan documents typically say nothing about a policy of withholding transcripts, which after all is a policy set by the school, not by the federal government that issues and guarantees the loan.

Meanwhile colleges across the country continue to extort their own graduates. A spokesman from Temple explained that it receives a certain allocation of funds each year to lend to its students and that if it doesn’t aggressively pursue repayment by graduates and students who withdraw from school, it could lose some of that money for lending to new students. But whether that is a real or imagined threat, it leaves unanswered the question of how denying transcripts to students during an unprecedented economic crisis is going to help encourage loan repayment.

“If I cannot get my transcript, how can I get a job and pay back my loans?” asks Rodrguez. “If I cannot obtain an official transcript, how can I apply for and earn a PhD so I can eventually get a job and earn enough to repay my student debt? The answer is I cannot. I will have to spend my life working for minimum wage and I’ll never get out of debt.”

“It’s a vicious cycle,” says Stephen Dunne, an attorney in Philadelphia who handles a lot of student loan default cases for former students being hounded by their alma maters. “They get wages garnished, get bank accounts attached, and have their credit records ruined so that they cannot get hired anywhere, cannot buy a car, and if they wanted to start a company, cannot even do that. And they can never escape because the banks have lobbied to have all these loans exempted from the bankruptcy laws!”

As Dunne points out, the consequence of this bank-funded corruption of the bankruptcy laws is perverse. “If you have a deadbeat who runs up $100,000 in credit card debt buying expensive cars, fancy clothes and vacation trips, he can just declare bankruptcy and discharge all that debt. But if a diligent student borrows $100,000 to get an education, and then can’t get a job because there are no jobs, that debt cannot be forgiven or reduced.”

Dunne says students and indebted graduates need to band together to let elected officials know that what is being done is unfair. “If we don’t go back to the way it was, so students can escape these crushing loans, we’re on the way to developing a caste system in America,” he warns.

At least someone in Congress is listening. Informed about the Department of Education’s ongoing encouragement of a policy of transcript extortion, Representative Hansen Clarke of Michigan, told the Nation, “The practice of withholding transcripts because of a graduate’s default on student loans is yet another example of a system that is rigged against student borrowers. It is time for Congress to take action in their defense. I am investigating this practice of withholding transcripts and will take action.”

On March 12 Clarke introduced a student loan forgiveness bill that, if passed, would declare that if a student makes loan payments of 10 percent of discretionary income each year for ten years, all remaining debt would be cancelled. The bill would also cap interest rates on student loans at 3.4 percent. The congressman also plans to introduce soon a companion student loan borrower bill of rights that would restore students’ ability to escape student debt through bankruptcy and prohibits colleges from withholding transcripts to students who fall behind in their payments.

While the fate of those bills is uncertain, Rodriguez, at least, may have dodged Temple’s draconian policy and escaped his own debtor’s hell. The graduate school he applied to relied upon his unofficial transcript and recently admitted him to its music PhD program with full funding.

Hundreds of thousands of other students are not so lucky. Public universities, faced with cutbacks in support from state legislatures, are particularly aggressive in extorting graduates over defaulted loans and are also more bureaucratic about only accepting official transcripts from applicants to their programs.

SOURCE

The Betrayal: Executive Order 13489


The Betrayal: Executive Order 13489. Obama bans access to his records the first day in office with this executive order


THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

Custom Search

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2009

EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489

– – – – – – –

PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Definitions. For purposes of this order:

(a) “Archivist” refers to the Archivist of the United States or his designee.

(b) “NARA” refers to the National Archives and Records Administration.

(c) “Presidential Records Act” refers to the Presidential Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 2201-2207.

(d) “NARA regulations” refers to the NARA regulations implementing the Presidential Records Act, 36 C.F.R. Part 1270.

(e) “Presidential records” refers to those documentary materials maintained by NARA pursuant to the Presidential Records Act, including Vice Presidential records.

(f) “Former President” refers to the former President during whose term or terms of office particular Presidential records were created.

(g) A “substantial question of executive privilege” exists if NARA’s disclosure of Presidential records might impair national security (including the conduct of foreign relations), law enforcement, or the deliberative processes of the executive branch.

(h) A “final court order” is a court order from which no appeal may be taken.

Sec. 2. Notice of Intent to Disclose Presidential Records. (a) When the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist, using any guidelines provided by the incumbent and former Presidents, shall identify any specific materials, the disclosure of which he believes may raise a substantial question of executive privilege. However, nothing in this order is intended to affect the right of the incumbent or former Presidents to invoke executive privilege with respect to materials not identified by the Archivist. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

(b) Upon the passage of 30 days after receipt by the incumbent and former Presidents of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Archivist may disclose the records covered by the notice, unless during that time period the Archivist has received a claim of executive privilege by the incumbent or former President or the Archivist has been instructed by the incumbent President or his designee to extend the time period for a time certain and with reason for the extension of time provided in the notice. If a shorter period of time is required under the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist shall so indicate in the notice.

Sec. 3. Claim of Executive Privilege by Incumbent President. (a) Upon receipt of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Attorney General (directly or through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel) and the Counsel to the President shall review as they deem appropriate the records covered by the notice and consult with each other, the Archivist, and such other executive agencies as they deem appropriate concerning whether invocation of executive privilege is justified.

(b) The Attorney General and the Counsel to the President, in the exercise of their discretion and after appropriate review and consultation under subsection (a) of this section, may jointly determine that invocation of executive privilege is not justified. The Archivist shall be notified promptly of any such determination.

(c) If either the Attorney General or the Counsel to the President believes that the circumstances justify invocation of executive privilege, the issue shall be presented to the President by the Counsel to the President and the Attorney General.

(d) If the President decides to invoke executive privilege, the Counsel to the President shall notify the former President, the Archivist, and the Attorney General in writing of the claim of privilege and the specific Presidential records to which it relates. After receiving such notice, the Archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent President or by a final court order.

Sec. 4. Claim of Executive Privilege by Former President. (a) Upon receipt of a claim of executive privilege by a living former President, the Archivist shall consult with the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel), the Counsel to the President, and such other executive agencies as the Archivist deems appropriate concerning the Archivist’s determination as to whether to honor the former President’s claim of privilege or instead to disclose the Presidential records notwithstanding the claim of privilege. Any determination under section 3 of this order that executive privilege shall not be invoked by the incumbent President shall not prejudice the Archivist’s determination with respect to the former President’s claim of privilege.

(b) In making the determination referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the Archivist shall abide by any instructions given him by the incumbent President or his designee unless otherwise directed by a final court order. The Archivist shall notify the incumbent and former Presidents of his determination at least 30 days prior to disclosure of the Presidential records, unless a shorter time period is required in the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 6. Revocation. Executive Order 13233 of November 1, 2001, is revoked.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,

January 21, 2009.

***********Related story/video

Ann Coulter’s Take On The Birthers: A Few Cranks

http://logisticsmonster.com/tag/obamas-sealed-records/

Anne Coulter, proving the phoney left/right paradigm, covers for Obama
Ann needs to do the research. I am guessing she does not know about all of the records that are sealed or the executive order signed by Bambi on his first day in office protecting those sealed records.

Ann Coulter: “Obama Birthers” Are Wrong
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYQr2a4vqqg

OBAMA SEALS HIS RECORDS: EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489

Barky seals his records as soon as he gets into the White House–

http://fas.org/sgp/obama/presidential.html

or

Obama’s first act as President EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489 banning release of any of his records
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2304500/posts

or
The Betrayal: Executive Order 13489. Obama bans access to his records the first day in office with this executive order
http://www.oilforimmigration.org/facts/?p=1629

PDF Version download:
http://fas.org/sgp/obama/eo-13489.pdf