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Hits & Misses

Dumb Masses

Also: Tax Breaks, Science Rules

By Katharine Biele
Posted // April 17,2013 -

Miss_1.jpgDumb Masses
Well, it is the end of the world as we know it, if you are to believe Fair Elections Utah. The group wants to stop left-leaning, socialist types like former Gov. Mike Leavitt, Kirk Jowers of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, and the state GOP. It’s not because they want to change the caucus system, but because they want to involve more people—or, as Karl Marx put it, the masses. Worst yet, they’ve threatened to do that through a citizen initiative, which the Legislature hates because of “the people” factor. Dan Jones says that only one-third of Utahns participate or know about caucuses. Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute isn’t entirely opposed to a change, but sums up the opposition: “Democracy is overrated … lasting freedom requires a modicum of intelligence from the citizenry. … Not all voters fit that description.”

Miss_1.jpgTax Breaks
While Congress struggles with how to balance the budget and spark the economy, we get questionable cost-saving ideas that must be part of the trickle up & down theory of economics. Enter Rep. Jason Chaffetz with his second try at legislation to fire federal employees who have “seriously delinquent tax debt.” In 2009, federal employees owed about $1 billion in unpaid taxes. “Federal employees, contractors and grantees have an obvious obligation to pay their taxes,” Chaffetz says. “They owe it to the taxpayers themselves to be compliant. Those that do not, should be fired or lose funding.” The problem is not so much that it’s unnecessary, as the National Federal Employees Union says, but that it’s unfair, since Congress always exempts itself from the pain it inflicts on others.

Hit_1.jpgScience Rules
Try as they might, legislators have yet to require public schools to teach creationism. Climate change could be another matter. In the last session, legislators defeated a Republican-run bill that called climate change human-caused. Now, the state is reviewing Next Generation Science Standards, which include a discussion about human-caused climate change. A West High School senior is a co-founder of iMatter, a national student group that wants policymakers to address climate change. Conservative groups have opposed and will continue to oppose any changes to science curriculum, even though it would emphasize scientific inquiry from all sides of the question. Evidence be damned.

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Posted // April 21,2013 at 15:50

Having voted Republican in all elections up to G. W. Busch (I wasn't stupid enough to help vote into office), I've been sorry to see the GOP disappear.  My fondest hope is that one of the few true Republicans left, Jon Huntsman, might be able to resurrect the party into a coherent group of individuals who are both rational and pragmatic.  Heck, I even wrote his name into the blank space on my election ballot.

Long live pragmatism!


Posted // April 17,2013 at 08:50

Jim Dabakis said this to the Democratic Party: "This proposed ballot initiative was really created by the traditional Utah Republican powerbrokers who are simply afraid to confront their own party. So, they are asking Utah Democrats to help pull the Republican party out of the ugly mess it has found itself in with the Tea Party. Utah Democrats should loudly say (in deference to LDS Dems) HECK NO. "

"The initiative is a pure power play by Mike Leavitt and the powerful lobbyist, the Exoro Group, led by ultimate GOP insider LaVarr Webb (Leavitt
speaking up front, Exoro manipulating from the closet) and a small group of others who are going after the Tea Party. "

"Democrats, do not be manipulated into into helping the GOP insiders in their internal war. DO NOT help the initiative–DO get involved in helping Utah Democrats decide own own future by getting involved in our review of our party’s process. "


Posted // April 17,2013 at 08:47

Perhaps you won't believe

http://www. fairelectionsutah. com/

but you should believe Party Chair Jim Dabakis:

http://www. fairelectionsutah. com/NewsletterLetterfromtheChairUtahDemocraticParty. pdf

but you have to admit the non related very funny

http://www. utahcountmyvote. com/