Comments about ‘Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Why is Utah's legislative session so boring this year?’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 26 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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David King
Layton, UT

Mr Pignanelli,
Your comments on the supposed "oddities" of the Republican candidates may have just been intended as throwaway lines for cheap laughs, but they represent the shallowness of current dialogue in our country. I fear that this column too often contributes to the hyperactive red vs. blue, left vs. right, R vs. D, my-team-vs.-your-team attitudes that we see damaging our country.

Let's examine your line about Ron Paul's "foreign policy of hiding in caves". You may have thought this was a clever way to portray Ron Paul's foreign policy as naieve, or backwards, or even a little bit crazy. Instead, you have demonstrated that you do not understand the practical applications of a foreign policy based on the Constitution, the Golden Rule, and the advice of the Founders. Ron Paul doesn't want to hide in caves. We should have a strong military, dedicated to the defense of the homeland, not nation building. If there is a legitimate threat to national security, Congress declares war as the Constitution requires. We fight the war aggressively, win it, and come home. We don't need troops in Korea, Japan, or Germany. We simply can't afford it. I don't call that crazy. That's common sense.

You see how in that phrase, you did something that you and Lavar love to accuse the "extremists" of doing? Speaking only in soundbites that greatly distort and lie about the position of the opposition. If you care at all about raising the level of discourse in this country, both of you should give up the cheap throwaway lines and the snide remarks. Realize that not all who disagree with your opinion are naive or extreme. Let's all look in the mirror to see if what we're doing contributes to healthy political discourse, or merely encourages partisan bickering and incendiary rhetoric.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

No news is good news when it comes to the legislature.

The more they stay out of education, the better.

EJM
Herriman, UT

@ Mr. King: I can tell that you do your fair share of reading but like the others who post on here about "following the Constitution" your interpretation of it, the history of the Constitution (and the ongoing process), and the Supreme Court's "history" with this document are all at odds. The powers granted to the President, any President, in Article 2 as Commander in Chief and the power granted to the legislative branch with declaring war in Article 1 have always been in conflict. Presidents consistently throughout history have authorized the use of military force without seeking the approval of Congress and Congress usually does not like it. Who is right in each case? That is open to interpretation but that is left to the Court of Last Resort, the Supreme Court. Not to guys like me and you.

As to Mr.Pignanelli's comments: I would rather read his half-hearted attempts at humor then hear the diatribes of Al Sharpton and Sean Hannity. Those are the examples on both sides of the aisle that you should be concerned about. All Mr. Pignanelli needs is a better comedy writing advisor. I would gladly serve in that capacity for the occasional free doughnut.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Because they don't tackle any important issues.

UTAH Bill
Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with the stance a quiet session is a good session. Every year I become more and more convinced our rights are in danger when ever the legislature is in session.

1conservative
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Mr. Pignanelli refers to "anti-immigration bullies".

Where are they?

Maybe he means LEGAL Utah citizens who would like immigrations laws enforced? None of the people I know are opposed to LEGAL immigration.
Once again, those who are SUPPOSED to be smart men get confused between "legal" and "illegal" immigrants.

BTW - IF both the "right and left" are opposed to the "solution" passed at last years legislature WHY do you consider that to be good legislation?

The Senate and House leadership are doing a GREAT job avoiding immigration enforcement legislation, but that won't necessarily mean those people will be re-elected, or even make it through caucuses.
We will be working towards replacing those representatives who put the interests of illegal immmigrants AHEAD OF legal American citizens.
No, we haven't forgotten enforcement measures are needed!!

David King
Layton, UT

@EJM

I understand that there are legitimate differences of opinion as to certain phrases and words found in the Constitution, but I believe the power to declare war only belongs to the people through their representatives, the Congress. Yes, the President is Commander-in-Chief and can move troops around and has authority that way, but I do not find the authority in the Constitution to wage war without the consent of the people. What negatives could possibly come from requiring both the President and Congress to address the matter? I believe we could avoid much of the pointless loss of life that has occurred in our undeclared wars since World War II. Instead of just holding votes on whether to fund military efforts, an up or down vote on a declaration of war would force representatives to be more hesitant I believe in engaging our troops everywhere around the world, and I think that would be a good thing.

Yes, you are right that Sean Hannity and Al Sharpton are good examples of bad examples, but I believe that local pundits also have a responsibility to keep dialogue enlightening and meaningful. I think your comment was a perfect example of a civil disagreement, stated logically and without name-calling, that furthers our discussion and improves our chances of finding the best possible solution.

richard s
salt lake city, utah

This legislature isn't really dead. A battle is going on to end/change the vehicle safety inspection program, an unnecessary and ineffective program that the wastes the time and money of all Utah motorists, and costs motorists 30.1 million dollars a year in inspection fees with over 1.7 million unnecessary vehicle safety inspections. When John Njord, head of the DMV himself, admits 4 surrounding states have lower accident rates than Utah, and 3 trend near Utah-and none of these states have a vehicle inspection program, then that's not boring-especially when you see the car dealers and mechanics scramble to keep their state mandated jobs program going. This is really a big story, but the powers that be want to keep it hidden.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Ya --

I kinda miss having Utah House Representatives showing up sporting a huge pistol, comments about ugly black babies, secret closed door meetings, and getting arrested for Drunk driving.

Just another session of Reagan Outdoor Advertising wanting to splatter billboards up everywhere - continuing making Utah look just another backwards 3rd world city like Tijuana or New Dehli.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I think for teachers it just livened up with the merit pay bill making it out of the senate committee. If this bill does pass it could really change the face of education and teaching in Utah, and I would predict not for the better.

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

Immigration was predicted to be a hot topic for this session and has been sidelined. Why?

The answer is the wealthy and political elite wanted it swept under the rug. They know that they are stuck with unconstitutional legislation, HB116, and they don't want to talk about it. They are hoping that they can get past the election and then they won't have to worry for a few months. By sweeping it under the rug they can pretend that they couldn't do anything about it, when constituents bring up the issue. They know that they are on the opposite side of the voters when it comes to illegal immigration.

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