The High Cost of Low Minimum Sentences   Leave a comment

By: Maya Kushner

United States has the highest rate of incarceration than any other country, and so the topic is often debated anywhere from the Senate floor to the dinner table at home. It is a multi-faceted topic and one of its aspects has been of interest recently: statutory minimum sentences for drug offenses. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder caused quite a stir in August of 2013, when he called on U.S. prosecutors who draft indictments “to omit any mention of the quantity of illegal substance involved, so as to avoid triggering a mandatory minimum sentence.” But most recently, the U.S. Sentencing Commission proposed an amendment to the sentencing guidelines that would reduce penalties for most drug-related crimes, on average reducing the prison term by11 months. The public comment period for the proposed amendment has closed and a vote is expected later this month. If the amendment passes, the impact on our legal and penal system will be immense and immediate. While federal judges are not bound by the sentencing guidelines promulgated by the Commission, they are required to consult them, pursuant to United States v. Booker. This requirement, and the vocal support for the new guidelines by the Attorney General, will certainly create a strong impact.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ryan’s Path to Prosperity   Leave a comment

By: Andrew Strauss

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled the newest Republican budget proposal on April 1st.  This budget proposal would cut $5 trillion over the next decade.  Representative Ryan, the current chairman of the House Budget Committee and possible 2016 contender, explained that the budget would slash programs like Medicaid and food stamps, but would increase defense spending.  Ryan’s budget would also cut college aid funding, subsides for the National Endowments for the Arts, and subsides for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  Ryan explained that government funding for these programs, “can no longer be justified.”  Should Ryan’s budget be put into effect, domestic spending levels would mirror those in 2005.  The United States would spend roughly 29% less in 2015 than it does now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 9, 2014 by lpb.articles2 in Congress, Current Events, President

Tagged with ,

My Sanctions are Bigger than Your Sanctions: Failed Diplomacy in the Face of Putin’s 21st Century Anschluss   Leave a comment

By: Jake Christensen

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Yet the past month’s events are not new to the eyes of the world.  Albeit in a different country and propagated by a different aggressor, Russia’s rapid annexation of Crimea echoes painfully similar parallels to Germany’s 1938 Anschluss (annexation) of Austria.  Both annexations occurred shortly after the annexing country’s hosting of an Olympic games; a calculated attempt at establishing each country’s place on the world stage.  Both Germany and Russia cited concern for their citizens residing in the sought territory as justification for their actions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 7, 2014 by lpb.articles2 in Current Events, Policy

Tagged with ,

DC Council Votes to “Just Say Yes”?   Leave a comment

By: Sonia Torrico

“Just say yes” or at least “just say ‘why not?’” may be the new campaign for the District of Columbia when it comes to marijuana after the D.C. Council voted on March 4th, to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and smoking it in one’s home.

Read the rest of this entry »

The CIA and the Senate: President Obama’s Latest Conundrum   Leave a comment

By: Andrew Strauss

It seems that you can never truly understand a situation until you can understand both sides of the argument. This is what Senator Dianne Feinstein (D – CA) is discovering this week. Senator Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of illegally searching Senate computers. The computers were used by staffers for the Senate Intelligence Committee to prepare a report detailing the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Prior to the CIA’s alleged intrusion into the Senate computers, however, Senator Feinstein was an avid supporter of the national security policy of the United States; especially since Edward Snowden released information about secret U.S. surveillance programs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Marijuana: Why Conservatives Must Legalize   Leave a comment

By: Philip Stevens

American conservatives; we are not the most vocal proponents of marijuana.  We are proud to be in good company too, as most of the country hasn’t tried it either.  Whether it’s to preserve America’s sense of morality, traditional values, or faith; we believe our country is better off without it.  Increasingly though, we are losing the popular vote over legalization.  Possession is no longer a crime in Washington D.C., and its national news that Washington and Colorado are the first states to legalize recreational use.  As of 2013, the majority of Americans now support its full legalization.  Nearly two-thirds of the still-young Millennials support its legalization, and Baby Boomers’ support has grown to its highest since the 1970s.  Fellow conservatives, we need not abandon our values to find our place in a modern pro-pot era.  The following three reasons are why all conservatives should support the recreational use of marijuana.

Read the rest of this entry »