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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
generic Darts and Laurels
generic Darts and Laurels

You’ve just started your car. Your gas tank is full, and your mind is refreshed. Spring Break is officially over, and it’s time to head back to reality. You mentally prepare yourself for the drive back to Gainesville. You’ve spent the past week relaxing, without a care in the world. Deadlines were pushed to the back of your mind, and anything that remotely reminded you of school was quickly brushed aside.

Now, however, you have a few hours of just you, the road and a few hundred billboards to keep you company. You decided to wait until Sunday to make your way back to school, having already grappled with the pros and cons of a ridiculous amount of traffic. Ultimately, the possibility to squeeze as much vacation out of Spring Break was too good to pass up, so a leisurely Sunday drive was the move. Except there is no such thing as a leisurely drive on I-75. It’s more like an “Oh, my god, I can’t believe these people have a license. I may die today,” kind of drive.

While gripping your steering wheel for dear life, you make your way onto the highway. To keep yourself entertained, you notice some new billboards on the way back to Gainesville. There’s the usual crop of billboards promising beautiful beach vacations and advertisements for the best oranges of your life, but there’s one that sticks in your mind. It’s simple, yet so important. It marks the true return to Gainesville:

Darts & Laurels

To start out with some spicy college news, a scandal involving 50 people has resulted in federal charges of fraud for allegedly bribing officials to get their kids into certain colleges. Those accused of involvement include more than 30 wealthy parents, some of the most notable actresses being Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, a few coaches and the scandal’s ringleader, businessman William Singer. A dart goes out to all of the parents and college officials involved in the unfair college admittance of these students. It’s a clear reminder of the educational divide between classes, where those without proper qualifications can buy their way into college, while others who are qualified are denied admittance.

In Florida news, a bill was passed on Wednesday, with the support of Gov. Ron DeSantis, which calls for the repeal of the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana. A laurel goes to Florida’s government for easily passing the bill, 101-11. This essentially enforces the will of Florida’s residents who had previously voted to allow for the legalization of smokable medical marijuana. However, there are stipulations to the bill, such as the statement that only terminally ill minors can smoke and will need to have prescriptions from their physician and pediatrician.

In an arguably surprising decision by the Republican-run Senate, President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency was rejected. A laurel goes to Congress for vetoing a declaration that overstepped its bounds because the money Trump is asking for was already rejected by both the Senate and the House. Congress serves as a check on the president and for good reason. If Congress were to approve the declaration of a national emergency, it would have allowed for the redirection of $3.6 billion. However, this rejection by Congress makes it possible for Trump to use the first veto of his presidency, which is very likely. If Trump were to veto Congress, it would be the first time in history a president would spend money Congress had previously refused the allocation of.

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