Road to Poverty 

Also: Mean What You Say, Red on Red

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Road to Poverty
Who are we trying to kill? "If these legislators get their way, the only hope that working single moms have is to develop a heroin addiction," notes a missive from Voices of Utah Children. The Salt Lake Tribune editorialized against the heartless dismissal of Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah plan, too, calling the legislative task force "the Scrooge who hoped that poor people who are in danger of dying would just do so, 'and decrease the surplus population.' " But apparently no amount of denigration will sway those self-righteous lawmakers who think it's OK to take a $750,000 federal highway grant for safety signs, but not OK to take money for health care. To listen to Rep. James Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, it's all about the feds "foisting ... this mess" on Utah. Indeed, human beings are messier than highways, and they do break down differently.

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Mean What You Say
Well, oops. The LDS Church, which has one of the slickest public relations divisions, misspoke just ever-so-slightly enough to create momentary joy at Christmastime for the LGBT community, followed quickly by the cynicism that accompanies disappointment. On the website MormonsAndGays.org, a simple statement spoke to "sincere outreach by the church within the gay community, including support in Utah for nondiscrimination protections of employment and housing." No, they didn't mean Utah, just Salt Lake City and their support of a nondiscrimination ordinance from 2009.

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Red on Red
Speaking of anticipation, the website Politico posits that Sen. Mike Lee might have some serious competition from establishment Republicans like Jon Huntsman Sr., who apparently has joined other influential business types who find Lee "an embarrassment" to Utah. Huntsman was unhappy when Lee joyfully helped shut down the government at the cost of millions of dollars to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The center right should not rejoice too early. Lee has significant support among conservatives, and as his campaign chair says, "If you believe the country is headed in the right direction, you probably are never going to be an enthusiastic supporter of Sen. Lee." That, in essence, is why Lee won in the first place. It doesn't seem to matter that most Utahns want Congress to build consensus.

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More by Katharine Biele

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