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Wow! The Salt Lake Tribune has endorsed Obama over Romney!

Here’s a surprise… the biggest Mormon area newspaper is endorsing Obama… here’s part of their editorial:

Obama has earned another term

Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state.

But it was Romney’s singular role in rescuing Utah’s organization of the 2002 Olympics from a cesspool of scandal, and his oversight of the most successful Winter Games on record, that make him the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son.

In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.

Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

In considering which candidate to endorse, The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

 

So what is Romney and his bunch thinking after this editorial? Certainly he must feel betrayed… or maybe he will start seeing himself the way the rest of us see him as he switches from character to character.

Thanks to Victoria Lamb Hatch for a clarifying statement on Republican actions…

I often quote other articles on this blog, but rarely do I repost other reader’s comments on posts. However, I was reading a Think Progress article on the Republican proposal to cut social programs but leave military funding alone and found this comment by Victoria Lamb Hatch:

Let’s see — we need to trim the budget. What to cut, what to cut? (thinking)

Should we eliminate military equipment that even the Pentagon says they don’t need? No.

Should we close some tax loopholes that benefit mostly the rich and large corporations? No.

Should we eliminate tax subsidies that go to corporations making billions of dollars in profits? No.

Should we take away school lunches from low-income children, and gut programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and other social services that benefit people who are struggling? Of course. They can’t afford high-priced lobbyists.

I can remember a time when I believed the GOP to be a party with a political ideology that differed from mine. Now I just see them as hateful and cruel.

See what I mean? A clear statement that you can carry to the bank.

If we don’t make cuts across the whole spectrum AND return to taxes on corporations and the wealthy to bring back our economic health, then we might as well toss the two-party system into the trash.

Advanced Sex Education Legislation in Utah…

A new Abstinence Only sex education bill brought a description from Fox 13 Salt Lake City:

A bill that would require Utah educators to refrain from the discussion of contraceptives in sex ed passed the Utah Senate Tuesday afternoon.

House Bill 363 passed with a vote of 19-10.

After the new bill goes into effect, the teaching of sex education in Utah classrooms has to be about not having sex before marriage and fidelity within marriage. Teachers cannot advocate the use of contraceptives anymore and they cannot talk about homosexuality, even if asked by a student.

HB 363 would also allow any Utah school to opt out of sex education and would ban students from talking to their teachers about pre-marital sex.

I always thought students learned things by asking questions. So if they have a question about gay marriage, or why do contraceptives exist anyway, their teachers will not be allowed to answer them.

This means at least one of two things:

1. by not learning answers to common questions, students will learn from other, not always accurate sources.

2. by being young and prone to experiment, students will try out experiences to see why they are being banned from education.

Utah… that’s Mormon country,no? Does Romney support this unfortunate bill? I guess he must, given his most recent campaign statements on birth control.

Ever wonder why the majority of Mormons are Republican?

Here are some clips from the Salt Lake Tribune:

The founders of the Republican Party saw Mormons as their enemies.

And the first Mormon leaders didn’t have much nice to say about the GOP, either.

You would never know it now — one recent poll showed three-quarters of LDS faithful lean toward the GOP — but the two groups had an acrimonious start, fueled largely by the early Mormon practice of polygamy.

So how does this affect Mitt Romney as he runs for the Republican nomination?

As Mitt Romney presses his bid for the Republican nomination for president, lost on many Americans is how his Mormon faith played an important role as foil in the early days of the Grand Old Party — and how its first candidates catapulted to power in part by whipping up anti-Mormon sentiments.

“If you like irony, you’ve got to love history,” says Utah historian Will Bagley. “Polygamy made Mormons into a national punching bag during the 1850s.”

The Republican Party launched in 1854 as an anti-slavery party and quickly seized on growing concern with Mormons in the Utah Territory taking on multiple wives.

Early Republicans did not distinguish between slavery and polygamy and attacked Mormons in their first Party Platform in 1856. Republicans elected to Congress used their influence to wipe away Church control over the Utah Territory and backed a law that disincorporated the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

LDS Church leaders, for their part, harbored ill will toward the Republican Party, urging followers to back the Democrats.

“We call upon you to stand firm to the principles of our religion in the coming contest for president,” read a letter from LDS Church President Brigham Young and other leaders as published in the abolitionist newspaper, The National Era, on Nov. 20, 1856. “Our duty is plain. There are two principal parties in the country — one is for us, the other against us.”

That doesn’t mean that Democrats were pro-Mormon… they weren’t. Senator Steven Douglas was notably anti-Mormon and spread the fear that they would separate Utah from the country under Church government.

If rumors of Mormon troubles are true, then “the Mormon inhabitants of Utah, as a community, are outlaws and alien enemies, unfit to exercise the right of self-government,” Douglas said, according to a New York Times account of his speech at the time.

Lincoln’s winning the White House in 1860 and the Civil War ending slavery, left polygamy as the one concern that still resonated with Americans. P Republicans over the next several decades attacked the LDS Church over polygamy and suspicions that Mormons were attempting to form their own sovereign country in the Mountain West. Oddly enough, this fight was driven by the members of Congress from Vermont, the birthplace of Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS.

Vermont Rep. Luke P. Poland later amended that law to order that all civil and criminal cases in the Utah Territory be handled by the U.S. District Court and dismiss any other judiciary system in the state that he feared were simply church puppets.

Poland’s hope was that the federal courts would then go after polygamists, but it wasn’t until the 1887 Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act — sponsored by Republican George Franklin Edmunds— and the subsequent Edmunds-Tucker Act that Mormons with plural

Jailed Polygamists

wives were prosecuted. Around 1,300 men were eventually jailed under that act.

The law also was successful in disincorporating the LDS Church, forcing Mormons to take their battle to court. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled against the faith but Congress took a step back when Mormon leaders issued a proclamation in 1890 banning polygamy. That also was a turning point for the icy relationship between Mormons and the GOP.

What started the turn away from the Democrats was their inaction in the establishment of Utah as a state. The Republican Party of Utah was founded in 1891 and became the leading organization pushing for statehood, which happened in 1896.

It wasn’t until the 1970s however that social issues like abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment and gay marriage (all of which they were against) drew the Mormons to conservatism.

Church apostle Ezra Taft Benson, who supported the right-wing John Birch Society and served as Agriculture secretary under President Dwight Eisenhower, helped further push his fellow Mormons into the conservative camp.

A report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in January showed that about 74 percent of Mormons lean toward the Republican Party and 66 percent of them call themselves conservative.

“Clearly, the Republican Party has taken the mantle of religious freedom and that bodes well for Mormons,” says Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who converted to the Mormon faith and the GOP.

“Principles of the Republican Party align with what Mormons believe,” the congressman added, though he quickly noted that there are many Democrats who are also devout Mormons.

Mitt Romney now assures everyone that there will be no influence of the LDS Church over his policies if he becomes the nominee. It is hopefully the case.

Ironic Marketing Humor

From The Week:

56 spoonfuls of sugar - how healthy!

A KFC franchise in Utah is asking customers to help fight diabetes — by purchasing an 800-calorie Mega Jug of sugary soda to wash down their meals. For every $2.99 half-gallon drink it sells, the chicken restaurant promises to give $1 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

The promotion has drawn criticism from anti-obesity activists, who still haven’t forgiven KFC for last year’s unveiling of the Double Down sandwich, which ensconces bacon and cheese between two fried chicken breasts. But Gary Feit, a JDRF spokesman, is defending KFC, pointing out that the Type 1 diabetes his organization researches is not caused by diet or obesity. Besides, he adds, only one franchise is involved.

 

Perhaps it is fortunate that Colonel Sanders is no longer with us. What would he have thought?

Adding to the Guns and Butter (see last entry) discussion:

This was in the LA Times in February:

In Utah, a plan to cut 12th grade

The proposal by state Sen. Chris Buttars would chip away at Utah’s $700-million shortfall. He’s since offered a toned-down version: Just make senior year optional.

At Utah’s West Jordan High School, the halls have swirled lately with debate over the merits of 12th grade:

Is it a waste of time? Are students ready for the real world at 17?

One day we could have a country that’s missing a year of education… but we’ll have soldiers in Afghanistan (and seventeen is a great age to recruit ’em!)