And then there were 10: recapping the September Democratic Debate

Last night we saw the third Democratic presidential debate and, as the field narrows, it is time to take a look at how the ten candidates faired. Let’s break it down in reverse order of popularity (just to be different) according to the opinion of one not-so-humble Democrat. Former Housing Secretary Julian Casto Castro probably raised the most eyebrows when he openly attacked the current front runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, asking if he had “forgotten what [he] said two minutes ago” in relation to Biden’s health care plan…

#worsethanstelter

Brian Stelter

“I must have killed more men than Cecil B. De MIlle.” — The Waco Kid, aka Jim, from the film, “Blazing Saddles”. When I look back at many of the polemics I entered for submission to cachevalleydaily.com and Utah Politico Hub regarding Donald Trump over the past four years, I must admit that I have allowed hyperbole to run amok.  So intense was my disdain for Trump as a man and as a politician that I relegated my weekly column to become nothing more than an amalgam of frothy magniloquence.…

Donald Trump vs the Squad

Donald Trump saw “The Squad” getting all of the attention and wanted to involve himself somehow. Or maybe he saw too much attention being paid to his former friend Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex abuse case, or to the deplorable conditions in detention centers by the border, and he wanted a distraction. Whatever the motivation, it was a good political strategy to enter the fray with the “Dems in Disarray.” Unfortunately, he did it in a racist way. The Squad are to Nancy Pelosi what the Tea Party was to John…

A Summary and Analysis of the USWNT Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

As I write this post, the United States Women’s National Team (UWSNT) is preparing to play in the final game of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with an opportunity to win a second consecutive and unprecedented fourth overall world title.  It’s hard to think of a more successful United States international competition team. While it’s always fun to watch and support a winner, the USWNT is a joy to watch for reasons outside of on-the-field dominance.  It’s full of strong personalities and hard workers, who, in my estimation, represent…

Kamala Harris Rises, Joe Biden Falls in Night 2 of Democratic Debate

I skipped Night 1 of the debate. I went back and watched highlights but wasn’t really that enthused. Night 2 had more of the bigger guns (Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg), and they didn’t disappoint, at least as far as drama goes. My impressions of how they did, in order of how well they did. 1. KAMALA HARRIS – She has presence, which is very important in debate performances. She had commanding use of her time and had the best one-liners. She looked like she belonged. But…

Review: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff

Coddling of the American Mind

One of my favorite aspects of my job is the opportunity to work with interns during the Utah legislative session. We usually hire several interns from the colleges and universities across the state, and they help us during the state legislative session as we track legislation and communicate with staff and legislators. They are all bright, capable, and intelligent. I don’t necessarily think college is for everyone, but for me, getting accepted and then going off to college was akin to receiving my letter to Hogwarts and boarding the train…

Race and Diversity at Utah Colleges

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune of 18 May conveys some good news and a dire warning of future mischief. The article asks “how many women and minorities are faculty at Utah’s universities.” The good news is (tho that is not at all the conclusion of the reporter, or of her sources), again in the words of the article, “no one really knows.” I regard it as profoundly encouraging that, though the Utah Board of Regents, the supervisory body over the state’s eight public institutions of higher learning, has…

Even politicians need sleep

At a public meeting, a state legislator appeared almost drunk. His speech was slightly slurred and you could tell he was just giving automatic responses. He hadn’t been drinking but was exhausted from a lack of sleep. Utah has a part-time legislature with a 45-day legislative session. During that time, the legislature is extremely busy with committee meetings, general sessions, and reading through bills. Curious as to how big of an issue this was, I asked a group of legislators at another public meeting if they were getting enough sleep…

The real scandal

The real scandal is, or at least ought to be, that grade inflation and credentialing are alive and well in our world. A thinking observer should say “OK, so Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin could buy their kids into Stanford or Harvard, but how could unqualified kids survive there?” Sadly, admission IS the game when it comes to top schools. The rest is, in two words from Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, “grade inflation.” For decades the top schools give students grades they don’t earn so as to guarantee their…

Reimagining Welfare (Part 2 of 2)

In Part I, I explained, “Caring for our neighbors in need is the only way we’ll achieve a higher sense of self, community, and democracy – a transcendent political culture.” Let me try to explain how to accomplish this great vision. Sixty years of a failed War on Poverty suggests we tie the welfare of one another to community, not government. Tying the welfare of one another to government has failed. Yes, wealth per se – some $22 trillion over the past 50 years – has been redistributed. Many people…