Jon Kyl Does Not Understand The Internet

Jon Kyl, he of the infamous "not intended to be a factual statement" retraction after claiming 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion, has scrubbed the Congressional record of his 90% claim.  Instead of reading "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does," it now reads, "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that is what Planned Parenthood does."

All this proves is the man has no idea how the internet works, or how the world's memory works in the age of the internet.

Dear Senator Kyl: When your misstatement and hilariously bungled attempt at retracting it have spawned a whole internet meme, complete with Twitter hashtag (#notintendedtobeafactualstatement, still going strong days after the incident) egged on by Stephen Colbert, no amount of scrubbing the official record is going to make people forget.  It's like taking down a really dumb or offensive post.  Google Cache will remember, and all you end up doing is looking like an ass who's trying to cover your tracks.

Which, of course, you are, but you don't want to draw attention to it by trying to hide it.  Is it really so hard to admit you were exaggerating wildly for the sake of scoring rhetorical points in your ideological war on reproductive-care services for low-income Americans?

Too much honesty for you?

Want A Student Loan? Show Us Your Finances First.

But of course, because low-income students really need more hoops to jump through before they can get government assistance to get an education.  Tidewater Community College in Virginia is planning to implement a system whereby students seeking government loans for schooling will have to fill out and turn in two "budget worksheets" - one assuming their current income and financial situation "in case they leave school unexpectedly", and the other a projected budget for after graduation based on the starting salary for a job they can expect to get with the degree they're working on - before the financial aid office will disburse their federal student loans to them.

The plan itself sounds pretty fucked up, to me.  I personally don't think the college's budget office - who is not providing the loan money themselves, mind you, just taking federal money and disbursing it to students who have already applied and been approved for it - has any goddamn business seeing my budget.  Offering budget counseling or workshops for students who want it?  A good idea.  Making it mandatory to fill out worksheets and disclose the details of your finances to the loan office before they'll give you the money you've already been approved for?  Not cool.  Especially since "the college also plans to identify high-risk borrowers who are still enrolled and summon them for financial counseling."  So if your budget doesn't meet with approval, you're going to be "summoned" to talk to someone about it, whether you really want to discuss the details of your financial situation with a total stranger at your college or not.

Further, the second budget worksheet assumes the student will have a job after graduation.  Lolwut?  Unemployment is still at nearly 10% nationwide, people.  It's not like jobs are thick on the ground.  I'm not sure I like the idea of having students work up a projected budget based on a job that may or may not be there when they've anticipated having it.

But the real fun part of this is the display of privilege in the comments thread.  Right in the first few comments, someone pointed out the problematic nature of assuming immediate employment upon graduation, and the response was basically "Well, then maybe they shouldn't be taking out money to go to school."  Effectively implying that the only people who deserve an education, which is pretty much necessary at this point to get ahead, are those who can already afford to pay for it out of pocket.

And when someone else pointed out that adding more work and required disclosure like this is putting further barriers in front of those people who need the help most, the answer from a few other commenters was basically "Good!"  ...what?

Education is already a privilege in this country far more than it should be.  Low-income students are already struggling, and to put further barriers between them and the help they need is reprehensible.  It smacks of deliberately replicating and perpetuating the already-widening class divide by reserving all the bootstraps for people who own the bootstraps factory.


Related Posts with Thumbnails