The jubilantly hypocritical fight over control of the Supreme Court

Mitch McConnell made a mistake by announcing that the Senate would not allow a vote on any nominee that President Obama is going to make for the Supreme Court. It instantly gave Democrats ammunition. “How dare they!” cried Chuck Schumer, right before footage emerged of him planning to obstruct any SCOTUS nominee George W. Bush might make in 2007. Obama bristles now about the behavior of the Republicans suggesting they’d deny him a nominee, even though he tried to filibuster a vote on Samuel Alito. Let’s not pretend this is…

The Utah Republican Party has a communication problem

While I may agree with Sir Winston Churchill when he said that “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter,” in my experience this is not the public perception a candidate or party should strive for. Many books, articles and papers have been written about the “art of politics.”  In any of these you will frequently find two items mentioned:  1. Don’t tell the voter you are smarter or better informed than they are; and 2. (very closely associated with the first point) Have a clear,…

Iowa, the irrelevant

“Is this heaven?” “It’s Iowa.” “Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.” —from the film “Field of Dreams” I thought about how many people I have personally known that have hailed from the state of Iowa. Six. As best as I can recollect I have known six people from Iowa. Having previously worked in the hospitality business, I might have met a few hundred more people from the Hawkeye state. Unless my memory is failing me as I scribe this column, I have nary a bad word to say about…

Get off the sidelines and get in the game!

When Abraham Lincoln said that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” he was not making a pronouncement of fact. He was issuing a call to action.  If we want to see a government of the people, by the people and for the people, then WE must “highly resolve” to “take increased devotion to that cause” – the cause of freedom. Frankly, politics is a team sport and we need you. We need you to be in the game and…

Kim Burningham: Living peacefully in a world where people disagree

Recently, I was asked to identify my political affiliation.   The question caused me to pause.  I have always been a Republican; for 15 years I represented my area in the Utah House of Representatives as a Republican.  Still, I paused. Finally, I answered:  “I am still a member of the Republican Party, but I would be less than honest if I did not say I was hanging on by a thread.”  The reason for my vacillation has a great deal to do with the rigid dogmatism I find among some…

Rep. Chris Stewart Questions US Negotiations with Iran

Backbenchers from small states like Utah rarely get an opportunity to shine on the national stage. With the seniority he has, Senator Orrin Hatch gets attention, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz has shown some ability to garner attention with his energy on the House’s primary oversight committee. Mia Love is noticed for the obvious reasons, but has yet to say anything particularly memorable. Monday, Rep. Chris Stewart, from Utah’s Second Congressional District, hit the big time with a well-reasoned and timely editorial in the Wall Street Journal, commenting knowledgeably on U.S.…

Gov. Herbert signs letter to encourage federalism [UPH Wire]

For Immediate Release Contact: Aimee Edwards Public Information Officer 801.538.1509 desk 801.755.3085 cell edwards@utah.gov Gov. Herbert signs letter to encourage federalism SALT LAKE CITY (Jan. 30, 2015) – This week, Gov. Gary R. Herbert joined 24 of his fellow Republican governors in signing a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging the 114th Congress to actively restore balance between the states and federal government during the session. The governors of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine,…

Executive Overreach is Nothing New, But Still Concerning [Hub Debate]

Will the President take executive action on immigration or other policies in his remaining two years in office? But more importantly, should he and what will be the effect if he does? Almost since the beginning of the nation, Presidents have been testing what they can and cannot get away with. Jefferson had the Louisiana Purchase. Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. Franklin D. Roosevelt sent anyone of Japanese ancestry to prison camps without a trial. It would be impossible to list all of the times where Presidents have created new…

Presidential Culture Building

I have posted on this subject before.  I shall repeat myself. The President of the United States is not an administrator!  He is the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”  Further, “he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices.” Those are his duties in a nutshell.  Anything more is too much more.  Anything less is dereliction of duty. The President of the United States…

Utah beware! A list of ‘extremists’ and potentially ‘very dangerous’ people at the World Congress of Families

You may have heard a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) spokesman claim on Utah radio that Sutherland Institute will be bringing 3,000 “extremists” and “very dangerous” people to Utah to attend the ninth World Congress of Families (WCF) next year. That struck us as an odd and rather irrational claim, given who has attended and spoken at WCF: presidents of nations, religious leaders and people of faith from most major religious denominations, widely published scholars and researchers, high-level government officials, and extraordinary people engaged in helping the less fortunate around the…