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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Editorial: Monday Morning Quarterbacking

    John McCain’s state shakeup

    John McCain’s lock on the Republican presidential nomination has cleared up the capricious race for the GOP’s national nod, but it could complicate Arizona politics. According to the Arizona Daily Star, if McCain – one of Arizona’s two Republican senators – resigns his seat to focus on the race for the White House, he could set off a complicated game of musical chairs in Maricopa County. First, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano will have to find a Republican replacement to finish McCain’s partially completed Congressional term. But Napolitano herself may be interested in a Senate seat in 2010, so her choice of a substitute could be a strategic political move. Finally, if the governor chooses to resign her own position to campaign for the Senate, Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer would take over the governor’s office. That’s a bad deal for Arizona voters, who will be ignored if two of the most important offices in the state are filled by appointment rather than election. Both Sen. McCain and Governor Napolitano should honor their commitment to voters to serve until the end of their terms in office.

    Lean times for student loans

    So far, the problems plaguing America’s credit markets haven’t had a huge effect on college students. They’ve mainly been limited to the mortgage industry, leaving college students, most of whom are renters rather than owners, more or less exempt. Unfortunately, the credit crunch has started to spread, and the next market it could affect is student loans. Friday, 21 Democratic legislators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson urging Washington’s financial policymakers to forestall a crisis in the student-loan market. They offered little specific advice, besides encouraging cooperation with the Federal Reserve, but the wake-up call is worthwhile: Warning signs in the student loan market are troubling. Last week, the state of Michigan eliminated a program offering private student loans “”due to the current and unprecedented capital-markets disruption,”” and according to the Wall Street Journal, student lenders in several other states are cutting back their programs, too. If you rely on student loans to help pay for college, get your finances in order – there could be lean times ahead.

    Leaky satellite, leaky reasoning

    Military officials devise a plan to destroy a covert satellite filled with deadly nerve gas threatening humanity. Sounds like the plot of the latest terrible Michael Bay movie, but it’s just another day at the Pentagon. U.S. military officials announced Thursday their intention to shoot down a malfunctioning spy satellite with a modified SM-3 interceptor missile. The satellite, currently spiraling toward Earth’s atmosphere, contains more than 1,000 pounds of hydrazine fuel, potentially deadly if the fuel tank ruptures on re-entry. Sounds like a valid reason to blow up the erroneous orbiter – but it’s also a convenient excuse to test anti-satellite technology, especially after China’s surprise shot at an obsolete weather satellite last year. Both tests have a huge downside: The debris created by exploding a satellite can damage other objects in space, like the satellites that watch the weather, route telecommunications traffic and send GPS data to devices on Earth. Militarizing space has the potential to do far more harm to humanity than any leaky satellite. This mission should be a one-time shot, not the beginning of another great power competition to dominate space.

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