Vote, but do not be fooled by voting

I’m all about voting. Everyone should do it. It’s an important part of how we do democracy around here. We’re a republic, and we vote for representatives who pass laws, execute laws, etc. And they are selected by voting. But don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that voting in the next election is going to be a panacea for all the problems that Politician X is not solving the way you would like them to (or, even making them worse…or creating them…). Candidate Y is not going to be…

The Mero Moment: The politics of self-righteousness – May 12, 2016

LDS Living magazine had an interesting article about overzealous Mormons who basically compete to be more righteous than the other. This phenomenon elevates Mormon culture ahead of actual commandments. We see it all of the time. Everyone knows someone who is hypersensitive and overzealous about some feature of the Gospel – like food storage or church service or cola drinks. You can see these dysfunctions most clearly in settings where Mormons are clustered and dominate a population. For instance, take a look inside the LDS Church office building. The first…

Gov. Herbert calls special session of Utah State Legislature [UPH Wire]

*attached contains the following: For Immediate Release Contact: Caroline Slater cslater@utah.gov mobile: (385) 312-0202 Gov. Herbert calls special session of Utah State Legislature SALT LAKE CITY (April 20, 2016) – Gov. Gary R. Herbert has issued a call for a special session of the Utah State Legislature to address two separate items: A concurrent resolution opposing the unilateral designation of a national monument in the state of Utah The restoration of funds for several items in S.B. 2, including $4.775 million for education initiatives “It is absolutely irresponsible for the…

Rep. Mia Love bill passes House of Representatives [UPH Wire]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/14/2016 Contact: Richard Piatt 202 225-3011 (office) Rep. Mia Love bill passes the House of Representatives H.R. 3791 creates lending opportunities for middle class Americans WASHINGTON D.C. – *Congresswoman Mia Love* fulfilled an important promise to her constituents, when the *U.S. House of Representatives* *passed her bill by a margin of 247-171. * It will expand opportunities for middle and low income Utahns to receive loans in order to pursue their version of the American dream. Charles Knadler, President and CEO of Utah-based EnerBank reacted to the…

Senator Lee’s Statement on the Passing of Justice Scalia [UPH Wire]

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE* Saturday, February 13, 2016 *Senator Lee’s Statement on the Passing of Justice Scalia* WASHINGTON—Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement today in response to the passing of Justice Scalia. “Our deepest condolences to the Scalia family. The Justice and his family are in our prayers,” said Senator Lee. “Justice Scalia was one of the greatest Supreme Court justices of all time. His intellect was admired by Americans of all political persuasions and his consistent fidelity to the text and original meaning of the Constitution have transformed…

Ted Cruz: Who needs enemies when you have friends like this?

I am a fan of Senator Mike Lee’s justice reform efforts in Congress. They’re solid ideas, and they will make a difference. I appreciate his efforts to find ways to create conservative and pragmatic solutions to big problems. He’s a serious-minded policy maker, and his efforts to reform the justice system could be significant. Senator Ted Cruz, however, was not a fan of Lee’s justice reform bill. Despite  writing that no one stood by him “more courageously or indispensably” than Lee during his 21-hour anti-Obamacare speech that preceded the 2013 government shutdown,…

Book Review | This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — plus plenty of valet parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital by Mark Leibovich

If you needed any reason to be cynical about American politics, then Mark Leibovich’s This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — plus plenty of valet parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital is the book for you. I guarantee that you will not put it down with a single breath of hope and optimism  about the future of our country remaining in you. Unless, of course, you’re one of the few wealthy or connected enough to be one of the elites. On the other hand, maybe some healthy skepticism about government is…

Holly Richardson enters race for Senate 14, calls for leaders “who look for solutions”

Former state legislator Holly Richardson has joined the race for Utah Senate District 14. The seat is currently held by Al Jackson, who will not seek reelection. “Over the course of this campaign, we will have many opportunities to talk about policy, but today, I want to share the type of leader I believe we need,” said Richardson. “We need leaders who look for solutions, not just the next soundbite. We need leaders who understand that diversity and differences make for a richer, more robust conversation and are to be…

Utah GOP Chair James Evans letter spells out legal basis for SB 54 dispute: Certification to Utah Supreme Court next?

In a letter Friday (embedded below), Utah GOP Chair James Evans responded to two previous letters from Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox relating to issues of disagreement between the Utah Republican Party and the Utah Elections Office over SB 54. In the letter, Evans highlights areas of disagreement with the LG and spells out the Republican Party’s analysis of the dispute, request possible certification to the Utah Supreme Court for final resolution of the issue. With filing period opening in early January for candidates to begin collecting signatures, all parties to…

Mark Twain on the statistics of indiscriminate mass shootings in 2015

As the debate over how public policy should respond to mass shootings whips into a heated fury of facts, figures, statistics and memes, I can’t help but remember Mark Twain’s insight on the media: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” The last few days have seen a proliferation of examples of this. You’ve heard, repeated ad nauseam, that we’ve had more mass shootings this year than ever, more even than there are days in the year! If your internal BS radar doesn’t go off, then…