2012swingstates:

How screwed are you? A college debt calculator

While visiting North Carolina in May, President Obama disclosed that he just finished paying off his student loans eight years ago. According to a 2011 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, outstanding student debt in the United States stands just shy of $1 trillion. Meanwhile, the average college student attending a public university racked up $22,000 in student debt in 2010. Those are big numbers — and if even the president struggled to pay off his student debt, what chances do today’s college students have?  

Do you know how many cold beers you could buy with $22,000? WhichWayNC thought it might be a little less depressing to think of  loan debt in terms of toilet paper, cold beers and ramen noodles, so we made a calculator that does just that. (But really, what we’re calculating is how many beers you  won’t be able to buy, so maybe this is still pretty depressing.) Try it here

(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)

2012swingstates:

While swing states as a whole have risen to national attention during this election, a recent National Urban League report says that the presidential election in key states like North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana and Florida may rest on African American voter turnout. 

(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)

2012swingstates:

Video by Kathryn Carlson, Mika Chance and Carter McCall for WhichWayNC.com

The morning after Amendment One passed in North Carolina and placed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, Randy Gillis went for a walk to clear his head.

“It felt like North Carolina had changed overnight,” said Gillis, who is gay. “I felt like I was an alien.” To symbolize his opposition to the passage of this amendment, Gillis decided to walk 96 miles from his front door in Sophia, N.C. to the General Assembly in Raleigh.

His journey began June 9 and he arrived in Raleigh five days later, bringing with him 23 letters from people whose lives were impacted negatively by Amendment One. The letters were written by residents from around the state, both gay and straight, and were given to Gillis for delivery. All the letters were addressed to Sen. Peter Brunstetter, one of the architects of Amendment One.

Gillis mapped a route along the backroads of North Carolina to avoid having to walk along major highways, but he still faced three dog attacks, turtles in distress, rain storms and bulging blisters.

When Gillis arrived at the General Assembly, wearing a T-shirt with “GAY” painted on it along with a handmade “GAY” banner covering his backpack, he was met by two police officers. Once inside, Lt. Martin Brock of the General Assembly police informed Gillis that Sen. Brunstetter would be in budget discussions for the rest of the day and would not be able to meet with him.

(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)
He’s being true to the principles he said he’d be true to. It may take a while but I think those of us in politics understand that you can’t wave a wand and change things because we have a political system that is designed to be obstructionist. That’s what it means not to have a tyrant, you have to work with people and he’s shown that he can do it.
Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, North Carolina’s fifth openly gay elected official, discusses President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. Here’s our Q&A on Obama and Amendment One, North Carolina’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.  (via 2012swingstates)
(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)
The country in which I could have had the chance to get ahead is the United States. I did everything I had to do to get that and I don’t understand why they wouldn’t let me … I feel more American than Honduran.
Marlon Roberto Cortes, a 20-year-old Honduran who was deported to his native country from Boston in March without being able to say goodbye to his family. (via 2012swingstates)
(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)

2012swingstates:

The Obama campaign launched two new television ads in North Carolina and eight other states on Wednesday that portray his Republican opponent Mitt Romney as targeting the middle class with fee hikes and job outsourcing.

“Mosaic,” above, and “Come and Go” both run for 30 seconds and continue the campaign’s attempts at poking holes in Romney’s economic record.

(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)

2012swingstates:

Photo Credit: Shawn Rocco/Raleigh News & Observer

Jose Rico, center, and Alicia Torres-Don, left, listen to Alicia’s brother Jose Torres-Don, right, during a planning meeting of the N.C. Dream Team in Raleigh on Friday. The organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and their allies was drafting a response to President Barack Obama’s announcement that the U.S. would stop deporting some young illegal immigrants who were brought into the country as children. Rico and his fellow team members were skeptical. “We’re not going to believe the president until we see it happen,” he said. “We’ve been down this road before.”

(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)

2012swingstates:

Although North Carolina voters passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage 60-40 in the state’s May 8 primary, opponents of Amendment One are still making their voices heard. 

Randy Gillis, a gay medical coder from Sofia, walked almost 100 miles from his hometown to the state’s capital Thursday to deliver a bundle of letters expressing residents’ opposition to the ban. After leaving the letters at the office of Sen. Peter Brunstetter (R-Forsyth), one of the amendment’s key sponsors, Gillis celebrated his accomplishment on a Raleigh street outside the legislature.

With President Barack Obama’s May 9 announcement of his support of gay marriage, the issue will likely impact the way many North Carolinians vote in November’s election.

Check out the images below to see how backlash against Amendment One has appeared on Tumblr:

negativethoughtsandmore


jordanleev

voteagainstamendmentone

bankruptsymphony.tumblr.com

(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)

2012swingstates:

The smile that spread across North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory’s face Tuesday as he met Andy Griffith look-alike Art Fettig, left, has officially spread from ear to ear.

According to a June 13 Public Policy Polling report, McCrory still holds a strong lead over Democratic opponent Walter Dalton. 

But gaining his 47-40 lead has not left McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte, unscathed. Attack ads run by the Republican Governor’s Association and the Democratic Governor’s Association have embroiled the two campaigns in a legal battle.

Read More

(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)
At the end of the day, I don’t think any of the major players in the health insurance industry or the provider community really wants to see the whole thing overturned.

Christine Ferguson, a health policy expert who was commissioner of public health in Massachusetts when Mitt Romney was governor.

A Monday announcement by United Healthcare, the country’s largest insurance provider, affirmed Ferguson’s comment. The company will continue to offer certain healthcare provisions no matter how the Supreme Court rules on President Obama’s 2010 healthcare law, including: 

— preventive healthcare services without co-payments or other out-of-pocket charges

— allowing parents to keep children up to age 26 on their plans

— maintaining the more streamlined appeals process required by law

— prohibiting lifetime limits on insurance payouts and rescinding coverage after a member becomes ill

(Reblogged from 2012swingstates)