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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Chatter: Excerpts from other college editorials

They didn’t ask, but they got told about “”Don’t ask, don’t tell””

Obama announced during his State of the Union address on Jan. 27 that he plans to work to end “”don’t ask, don’t tell,”” the 1993 law that prohib­its openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military. Unfortunately, Obama’s statement was met with backlash from a few Conservatives, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who called the law “”suc­cessful.”” House Minority Leader John Boehner echoed the sentiment, saying, “”I think (‘don’t ask, don’t tell’) has worked very well. And we just ought to leave it alone.”” Worked very well? Seriously? Worked well for whom, exactly? We highly doubt “”don’t ask, don’t tell”” is working just fine for the more than 13,000 troops dishonorably discharged because of it, according to the U.S. Department of Defense … Privileged straight white men were doing just fine and dandy before abolition, integration, women’s suffrage and more — that doesn’t mean there was never a problem … why should the military pander to bigotry? Some people don’t like women, Catholics or blacks, but there’s no one making concessions to that kind of prejudice. Any GLBT person who wants to risk his or her life to serve a country that doesn’t give him or her full civil rights is to be admired. We are thankful for all soldiers, including gay and lesbian soldiers who should and hopefully will be allowed to serve with honor and without secrets.

— “”‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ presents another roadblock to equality,”” The Indiana University of Pennsylvania Penn editorial, Feb. 5

Leaning on the Senate about student loan changes

We had high hopes when the House passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act in September. Right now, there are two ways to secure federal student loans. Most loans are distributed through private loan companies and are guaranteed and subsidized by the federal government. About 2,000 colleges … participate in direct lending, in which the Department of Education makes loans without an intermediary. SAFRA calls for an end to bank-based student lending and requires all institutions to move to direct lending. Simply by eliminating banks as middlemen, the bill would save $87 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office … Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like SAFRA is going to move forward anytime soon … the bill is stuck in the Senate’s procedural funk. Because legislators do not have the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster, they are hoping to pass SAFRA through the reconciliation process, which allows senators to change existing laws to reduce federal spending with a simple majority vote. The problem? The health care bill may also move through reconciliation, and under Senate rules only one bill at a time may be considered under this process. That means the student loan bill will either have to wait or become intertwined with the already imperiled health reform bill … Come on, Senators. It’s inexcusable enough that millions of Americans do not have access to an affordable college education, but it’s even more inexcusable that you are keeping it that way.

— “”Senate slowpokes,”” The Brown Daily Herald, Feb. 6

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