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Congress, Obama Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

By: David Cote

As one of the most controversial federal laws in American history, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy employed by the U.S. military has been the subject of intense debate since its inception, becoming a maelstrom during the term of President Barack Obama following his campaign promise to repeal the legislation.

    In two landmark votes on December 15 and 18, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, voted in support of a statute which would repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. On Dec. 22, President Barack Obama signed the statute into law, ending the 17-year ban on openly homosexual servicemembers.

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Pardon Strengthens Judiciary

By: David Cote

The distribution of the power of the government has been a significant issue throughout the history of the United States. Experience with the tyrannical (or perhaps just colonial) British Empire in the 1700s has left an everlasting stain on the American psyche in regards to concentration of power.

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Republicans, Democrats Forced to Work Together

By: David Cote

In the wake of last week’s midterm elections, the future of the nation remains uncertain. The large Republican gains in the House of Representatives have produced a split Congress, and the legislative effectiveness of the government hangs in the balance. With a Democrat in the White House and Republicans in Congress, will cooperation or disagreement result?

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Tea Party Candidates find Success

By: David Cote

The Tea Party, a populist movement that has made bedfellows of Libertarians and Republicans, has garnered national interest over the past year. The movement’s numerous goals include an overall lowering of taxes, the limiting of government spending, and the requirement of a balanced federal budget. Proponents often cite constitutional adherence and smaller federal government as effective ways of achieving those goals, policies supported by the majority of the movement’s political candidates.

In the words of Tea Party activist and now Kentucky Senator-elect Rand Paul, son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, “We have come to take our government back.”

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Interference Unconstitutional

By: David Cote

Last March, Congress passed health care legislation that requires American citizens to purchase a health care plan if they can afford it, or face up to $900 in fines. The bill also stipulated numerous government interventions in the health care market, such as the ability to regulate rates and premiums. The health care bill is blatantly unconstitutional in its regulation of private business, and unnecessarily increases government interference in areas of the private sector.

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Freedoms Must Come First

By: David Cote

Freedom of speech is a fundamental value of our society and one of the greatest rights of its citizens – a right that sets our nation apart from most nations around the world. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech … ” In its picketing of military funerals, the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) exercises its right of free speech as set forth in the Constitution.

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Only Homicide Warrants Death

By: David Cote

The death penalty is a much-debated punishment, constantly being opposed and promoted various in different areas of the country. In the South, capital punishment receives general support, while, in the North (especially the Northeast), it receives much less support and is thus relatively limited. Depending on the region, capital offenses vary greatly. Applications of the death penalty in America span a wide range of crimes, from offenses as common as kidnapping all the way up to mass murder and serial killing. Homicide is a capital offense in many states and truly the only crime that deserves such a severe punishment. In order to organize the various applications into a cohesive policy, as well as ensure justice for its citizens, it is necessary for the United States to enact a policy that allows the application of the death penalty only as punishment for homicides.

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Option is Thought-Provoking

By: David Cote

 Last year’s wildly popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was met with intense criticism for the inclusion of the “No Russian” level, in which the player joined a group of Russian terrorists to massacre civilians at an airport. During the opening scene of the level, the player is told to “follow Makarov’s [the head of the terrorist organization] lead.”

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Limits Would Create Efficiency

By: David Cote

If a sample of Americans was asked, “Will Barack Obama be president in 20 years?” most would be able to respond with an unequivocal no. What is questioned far less often is the status of our legislative body. Why should representatives not be similarly limited to eight years? Why should senators be able to serve for decades? Imposing term limits on congressmen is a necessary step for the United States in order to eliminate petty careerist objectives and put an end to the “same old, same old” politics our country is forced to deal with, year in and year out.

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