Presentation about the past, present and future of Kosovo by Burim Myftiu and Col. Joel Hagy (Ret.).
Hancock County Commissioner Forum brought to you by The Courier, WFIN, WLFC and UFTV.
By: Cory William Berlekamp
On Thursday, Feb. 8, Congress will vote again on the 2018 budget plan that was supposed to be agreed on by Oct. 1, 2017. If this does not happen, the government will experience another shutdown.
During this time, the government cannot spend discretionary funds and services deemed non-essential will also stop. According to Director of Financial Aid at the University of Findlay Joe Spencer, the Department of Education is one of those services that will be affected.
“I believe they said up to about 90% of the Department of Education during the shutdown would not be able to work during that time,” said Spencer. “That sounds kind of scary but when you look at how the funding works; grants, scholarships and loans from the federal government are considered mandatory.”
A large number of the students at the University rely on aid from the institution and federal government.
“We’ll say it’s about 90% that get some sort of funding from the institution but when we are talking about federal student aid, it drops down to 70%,” stated Spencer. “When we are talking about students that receive grant funding, then you are in the ball park of 30 to 35%.”
A government shutdown is not out of the ordinary according to an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Firelands campus of BGSU Stephanie Walls.
“Unfortunately, using budgets and the need for one as leverage to get cooperation is not new,” said Walls. “It’s a lot more common than people realize.”
Although health care and DACA seem to be the big bargaining chips, Walls says defense spending and the border wall are both big projects that affect the Department of Education funding.
“I think given that the millennial generation has now exceeded the number of baby boomers to be the largest generation in our country, I don’t know that cutting federal student loan funding or Pell grant funding is politically smart,” said Walls.
Katie Koomer, a junior in the occupational therapy program at the University, would not be able to continue the program without help from federal aid.
“I would probably have to go to my parents but if they couldn’t help me, I would probably have to transfer out of this school,” said Koomer. “If we couldn’t get those loans, there’s no way we could work it off while taking classes at a minimum wage job to get through school, especially here.”
According to Professor Walls, though, it is not uncommon for Congress to follow the president’s initial budget plan.
“I know sometimes people think ‘well the president starts with this proposal, that’s the starting point’ but really very few people in Congress see it that way,” stated Walls. “They are probably not going to begin with the president’s recommendations.”
Although a congressional budget plan is something that students might not think about on a day to day basis, Walls states that students should keep it in mind for their future.
“I would encourage students to contact their representatives in the house, their senators, make sure they know that funding for higher education is important to them and that when considering a budget, please don’t cut those funds because they are so necessary,” explained Walls.
“Representatives need to hear from their constituents and particularly college students who are actively being affected by those policies should definitely make their positions known,” she concluded.
By: Jacob Sarver
President Donald J. Trump is no stranger to controversial comments. The one he made recently, however, has received more backlash than usual.
JAN 15 2018, 3:03 AM ET
In a recent meeting in the Oval Office, Trump was quoted referring to some countries as “sh**holes” and that he does not understand why the United States welcomes so many people from these countries.
According to the NBC News article, “In Norway, Trump’s comments on immigration rejected as backhanded praise,” the president used profanity while referring to immigration specifically from African nations. He even went as far to say that he believes the United States need more people from places like Norway. The article reports the president also told lawmakers that America should have more people coming from Scandinavian nations as stated by a Democratic aid.
His supporters are saying that at least he is speaking it like it is, that these countries are in bad shape, and that President Trump is just addressing the facts at hand. However, speaking in these terms about the countries that many people who reside in the United States are from can be seen as extremely un-presidential.
Understandably, this is not the only thing that Trump has done to make people believe he is an unfit leader, however the fact that our president is speaking of other countries in this way makes us feel divided as a world and shows we are more divided than ever as a nation. The fact of the matter is not whether or not the countries are in bad shape, it is the ideal that we shouldn’t make people from these countries feel inferior because of their origin.
Although Jon Dager, a senior at the University of Findlay and Trump supporter, believes there is relevance behind the presidents’ words, he does not agree with how he went about it.
“I believe that there is truth behind what he said, but I believe that Trump could have been more sensitive in his approach and it could have been said more eloquently,” said Dager.
The main issue is that this is just not something a president can say. Whether or not the countries are in the soundest economic state or not, is beyond the point. The fact that our president addressed a country in this manner coming from the highest office in the world is the issue at hand.
By: Jacob Sarver
The upcoming 2018 election is one that could shift the tide of the senate. With a majority of the government republican, this upcoming election is crucial if democrats want the ability to enact policy changes and if they want to work to stop what the opposition is doing under the current executive power.
The races for the senate will be held in the following states: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
Here in Ohio, Sherrod Brown is up for reelection and his opposition was Josh Mandel. Mandel was the best contender when it came to beating out Brown because of Brown’s extreme likeability and his powerhouse voice that has been favored in the last presidential campaign and in recent senate meetings. Back in 2012, Mandel only lost to Brown by six points.
However, on Jan. 5th, Mandel sent out an email to all his supporters announcing his withdraw from the upcoming senatorial race this year. He announced his wife is fighting a health battle and that his time will be spent caring and looking after her, leaving no time to focus on the campaign. Mandel says he looks forward to a future campaign.
Ohio is a crucial state for republicans to keep their spot. With these elections, democrats could either win out in another state, making the senate dead split, or, if they win out Ohio, the divide would grow allowing more policy changes to be brought forth by the GOP.
Considering the breaking news about Mandel, conservatives are struggling to find a top replacement because campaigning is already underway. With little name recognition for the group compared to that of Brown, they’ll need to work quickly and swiftly to find someone to reach the broad group that Mandel was able to.
Senate races may not seem as significant because they aren’t as flashy as the presidential elections, but the impact brought forth by the senate is as strong in comparison to the president.
The election will be held on Nov. 8, 2018. To find your polling location you can go to the Ohio Secretary of States website. Voting early is always an option as well once the race gets closer.
By: Olivia Wile
It has been quite a controversial year for politics. From the election of President Donald J. Trump to the recent election in Alabama, the race for office remains interesting.
Last month, Doug Jones was elected senator of Alabama. This is the first time in over 20 years the state has named a Democratic senator.
In addition to the transition in power of political parties, the election also accumulated quite the controversy as sexual assault allegations emerged against Republican Candidate Roy Moore. However, University of Findlay Professor of History Mark Polelle, Ph.D explains that such claims were not the only influence on the election.
“I think the controversy definitely had to do with the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore,” Polelle said. “Even if these did not come up, Moore was already a controversial figure in Alabama.”
According to the Fox News article, “Roy Moore’s sexual assault allegations cloud Alabama special Senate election,” the initial allegations against Moore accused him of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl while in his 30s. This lead to additional women coming forward with their own sexual misconduct allegations against Moore.
Though being asked by multiple leading Republicans to step down from his campaign, President Trump and Former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon stood by him. Moore denied all claims and continued with the race.
“It seems that in the political arena, to say that something is not true is simply not good enough. So let me be clear. I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct,” Moore remarked.
Along with Dr. Polelle, Fox states that Moore has been a controversial figure long before the allegations. In 2005, he stated that homosexual conducts should be illegal while also stating Muslims shouldn’t be able to serve in Congress. Moore also supported the claims that former President Barack Obama was not born in America.
As Jones went on to defeat Moore by about 20,000 votes, the question lies what will be next for the state of Alabama with this change in senate.
“The long-term significance is that the Bannon wing of the party is weakened while the McConnell establishment wing of the GOP is strengthened when it comes to picking GOP candidates to run,” Polelle explained. “Jones will be in office two years before he is up for re-election.”
Christ’s Earliest Images: Understanding the Imagery and Interpretation in Time of Change. Adam Levine, Toledo Museum of Art. 2017 Guest Speaker. The UF DeBow and Catherine Freed Contemporary Christian Lecture Series. Sept 29, 2017.