Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — Nov. 19, 2015

ThursdayWhere the hell to start? Syrian refugees? UTA? National monuments? Oh hey, pot!

It was interim yesterday, though to be honest, if you are reading this and didn’t know that, you really need to find another line of work.

• An interim committee approved a bill that makes medicinal cannabidiol available to certain Utah patients with certain conditions. It leaves out THC, which is the, shall we say, mind melting part of marijuana. While perhaps a step forward, Sen. Mark Madsen is less than pleased.Cat

“[I]t’s folly to pull out separate parts of the plant and expect to get the benefit,” he said. (Trib)

Madsen openly acknowledges first-hand experience at getting all of the benefits of the plant. If you know what I mean. Pot. He’s smoked pot.

• After Gov. Herbert said he was fine taking in Syrian refugees, the Utah House chimed in that, well, terrorists are scary. (Trib) This is on the heels of the Paris terrorist attacks that show most of them were Syrians who … what’s that? Just a moment. I’m being informed that, in fact, the terrorists were not so much immigrants as radicalized locals.

Then again, if we know anything in Utah, it’s how to radicalize the locals.

“Making sure” that we’ve adequately done due diligence on anyone coming in the country is next to impossible. The only way to guarantee it is to never let anyone else in. Which I suppose could be the case that’s being made. UPDATE: The governor agreed with Congress’ new bill to something something safety and security. Because that’ll work.

• UTA is really, really having a hard time figuring out the whole public image thing. Salt Lake and Utah counties shut down their tax increase, and they’re STILL going on trips to Switzerland to, I don’t know, something something transit.

But it’s OK, this time it was paid for by a PAC set up to pay for things like this. Funded by businesses who do contract work for UTA. And we won’t tell the UTA if board members are going. That should fix everything up real nice, no?

Look, I don’t care if they use other people’s money to travel. As long as things are out in the open. But it feels like some members of the board or other stakeholders were trying to make it not out in the open. And that’s when we should all get a little itchy.

As an aside, it’s nice to see that the Dnews has got a teeny tiny bit of news gathering acumen left.

• The governor is doing what the governor always does, which is take a position slightly outside the norm, then quickly pull it back once someone turns the temperature from mild to tepid.

Two issues:

1. National monuments. After saying he’d be OK with one if it was included in a larger land swap deal with the feds, he’s throwing the decision to someone else. Namely county commissioners. To the spokesman!

“I think when someone sees in the headlines that Governor Herbert supports national monuments, that’s obviously concerning, but Governor Herbert’s take is, ‘Look, I’m not going to support anything that you as county commissioners don’t want,’ ” [Jon] Cox said. “I don’t view that as a reversal. I think it’s more of a clarification.” (Trib)

2. A special session. The governor recently killed the idea of a special session, even though lawmakers were grownupworking on solutions to the School Board question, as well as scheduling problems related to SB54. Apparently the session is back on the table. Not that it has anything to do with an angry email from Speaker Hughes to representatives about the governor’s previous position on a special session, I’m sure. (Dnews)

And if none of that interests you, perhaps it’s because you’re rushing out to purchase your TV-B-Gone before it’s too late!tv-b-gone

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