Friday, January 30, 2015

Breaking: Mitt Romney Is "NOT Running For President In 2016" (Wink-Wink,Nod-Nod)

2016 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney: "Down" but definitely not "Out"

Uh-oh peeps.  Bad news for Utah Mormons who believe that the US Constitution is "hanging by a thread." Seems that our indigenous  Utah Mormons' most prominent presidential contender, i.e. Mitt Romney, has "thrown in the towel," regarding the possibility of making a 2016 Presidential election run, (and "fulfilling 'the prophesy'"):'
Not to worry, Utah Mormons!  We're confident that the national GOP's #1 flip-flopper (Romney) will be back in the race, no later than May, 2015, once Tom Monson catches wind of this [wink].

Update 2/1/15 10:00 a.m.: The Standard is carrying this Friday, 1/30/15 A.P. story, which provides some local "flavor":
Tantalizing quotes from Utah GOP Party "boss," James Evans:
James Evans, the Utah GOP chair, said he is disappointed, but Romney is doing what the former Massachusetts governor believes will give Republicans the best chance of winning the White House.
“I happen to think that he’s the best possibility,” said Evans, who led a Utah-based “Draft Mitt” campaign to encourage Romney to run again.
Evans is still holding out hope that Romney could change his mind again and run after all.
“I still think there could be a possibility for him to run if none of the other candidates catch fire,” Romney Evans said. “Maybe everyone will come to Mitt Romney later this year and say, ‘We need you to do this.‘“
It gets "interestinger and interestinger," dunnit?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Return of the Dragon: Iconic Sign Goes Back Up On 25th Street

A Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat to the many dedicated Utah lumpencizens who participated in the preservation and restoration of this iconic downtown Ogden City landmark

Great news for Ogden historic preservation buffs this morning, via Standard-Examiner columnist Mark Saal. Here's the lede, folks:
OGDEN — The folks on Historic 25th Street haven’t been this excited since the repeal of Prohibition.
They’re calling it “Return of the Dragon,” and it’s not just a classic Bruce Lee martial-arts film. It’s also a well-deserved party for a long-very-nearly-lost friend.
The neon dragon sign that for more than 60 years loomed over the Star Noodle Parlor on 25th Street is finally back where it belongs. On Monday, crews from YESCO, the company that built the original sign, returned the dragon to its rightful place on the famed downtown Ogden street — whence it had been missing since 2008.
Read the encouraging full story here:
"And now, on Friday, Feb. 6, a 'Return of the Dragon' celebration is planned. At 5 p.m., refreshments will be served at the building at 225 Historic 25th St., including a “reinvention” of the famed shrimp salad that the Star Noodle Parlor used to serve. Then, at 5:30 p.m., comes the moment folks have been anticipating for more than six years: Following brief speeches by the appropriate dignitaries, the dragon will officially blaze back to life when a switch is thrown, exciting the dragon’s colorful neon tubes," Mr. Saal reports.

Thus ends the Star Noodle Dragon Treasure Hunt.

Here's a Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat to the many dedicated Utah lumpencizens who ever-so-stealthily participated in the preservation and restoration of this iconic downtown Ogden City landmark.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell Will Seek a Second Term

Granted, "he's not Godfrey" sets a pretty low standard for approving another term. But still, given a choice between Mayor Log and Mayor Stork, we'd prefer the former

Mayor Mike on His Mountain Bike
Interesting story this morning on the local Ogden City news front, as the Standard's Cathy McKittrick announces the first news development pertaining to the upcoming 2015 Ogden City Municipal election:
Our view? It makes perfect sense that Mayor Mike would throw his hat into the ring for a second go-round, inasmuch as recent City Council actions seem to be leaning toward making elected Ogden City offices even more pecuniarily attractive than now.

As for the prospect of Mike Caldwell serving a second Mayoral term of office, we're going to go along with Gentle Reader Bob Becker on this:
So, the question before this body is: does Mayor Mike "Ten Speed" Caldwell deserve another term? He claims in the interview accomplishments that are not his (e.g. the LDS temple redo and open house tours, etc.) But all politicians do that. No harm no foul. And as Ozboy notes, it's been a calm and quiet Caldwell administration compared to his predecessor's. Ten Speed has not, thank whatever gods may be, gone about playing Junior G Man, following the wives of police officers around the mean streets of Ogden to see if their husbands are political opponents. And he has not proposed selling Mt. Ogden Park to real estate developers to build a flatland public money pit gondola to WSU --- again, thanks whatever gods may be.
Granted, "he's not Godfrey" sets a pretty low standard for approving another term. But still, given a choice between Mayor Log and Mayor Stork, I'd prefer the former. [...]

We'll file this story as the first entry within the Weber County Forum topic heading, 2015 Municipal Elections.

Let the games begin!

And what say you, O Gentle Ones?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Prayer Reinstated to Open Weber County Commission

Looks like a job for the constitutionally-protected religious rabble-rousers, wethinks

Uh-oh!  Looks like starting this week, Weber County Commission sessions will start looking a whole helluva lot more like "bible-thumping" Mormon "firesides," and a whole lot less like serious official government functions, as our Weber County Commissioners honor the separation of  "church and state" "in the breach":
Here's the bible passage, by the way, that Mormon GOP Commissioners Bell, Ebert and Gibson may have overlooked:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Soon, Weber County citizens will not be allowed to address our "holy" Weber County Commission without proper "temple recommends," we'll suppose, thanks to "Mo-mo Brothers" Bell, Ebert and Gibson.

Looks like a job for the constitutionally-protected religious rabble-rousers, wethinks:
We'll be closely following the inevitable future developments in re this story, of course. [wink]

We'll be extremely surprised if some Weber County Jokester fails to pull this off, LOL!

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Call for Weber County Forum Citizen Action: Sign the Support Healthy Utah Petition

Call on state legislators to act now so 89,000 Utahns who are struggling will have access to affordable health coverage

In the interest of spurring a little much-needed Weber County Forum citizen action, we'll highlight this morning's strong Salt Lake Tribune op-ed, wherein AARP Utah state director Alan Ormsby sets forth why his organization supports Governor Herbert's "Healthy Utah" mini-Medicaid expansion plan, which, despite recent Utah legislative setbacks, still remains on the table, as we approach the upcoming 2015 Utah legislative session. Here's Mr. Ormsby's "pitch," in a nutshell:
[The Governor's plan would drive] down the cost of uncompensated care by providing more Utahans with access to affordable health coverage could save the state as much as $51 million a year.
Bottom line: The Healthy Utah Plan makes smart economic sense for our state, while giving tens of thousands of hard-working Utahns the opportunity to stay healthy and build financial security.
We applaud Gov. Herbert for his tireless work to find a Utah solution to this critically important issue — and we call on state legislators to act now so 89,000 Utahns who are struggling will have access to affordable health coverage.
Check out Mr. Ormsby's full guest commentary here:
It's in this connection that we present the below-linked online petition for your consideration, folks:
Please sign the petition and "urge the Utah Legislature to accept Healthy Utah. Help 146,000 of our most in-need citizens get health care, create thousands of new jobs, and bring back to our state $647,700,000 each year by 2021."

Is Utah a truly compassionate state as AARP director Alan Ormsby contends?

We guess we'll soon find out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ogden Canyon Transportation Use Study

Whatever you do today, please don't hesitate to throw in your own 2¢

Via Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell, who sez, "Very important opportunity to have your voice heard":
Please take this survey and support a safe Ogden Canyon path for pedestrians and cyclists!

Whatever else you do today, please don't hesitate to throw in your own 2¢.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Standard Examiner Letter: Keep North Ogden Amateurs Out of Ogden

Charlie Trentelman explains "how we roll in Ogden, a family-friendly town that can control itself."

Amusing development on the local news front, with the Standard-Examiner reporting earlier this week that "[North Ogden]Residents spent several hours Wednesday night expressing their dismay to city leaders over the proposed Monroe Boulevard extension, even though it may not happen for 20 years. A few were positive about the future road, but many were unhappy calling it a “road to nowhere” and expressing concerns of linking Ogden and North Ogden bringing more crime into the city," among other lame complaints:
Just like clockwork, former Standard-Examiner columnist Charlie Trentelman provides this most-excellent letter-to-the editor retort, expressing what has to be the overwhelmingly contrarian view of the vast majority  O-Town residents in re the "Monroe Boulevard expansion" issue. "Clearly, the residents of North Ogden are on the edge. They lack moral controls and are unable to resist temptation. The slightest nudge can set them off," Mr. Trentleman wryly observes:
Here's a Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat to Mr. Trentelman, for emerging from retirement, and explaining to the "morality challenged amateurs" of North Ogden exactly "how we roll in Ogden, a family-friendly town that can control itself."

Don't let the cat get your tongues...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Standard-Examiner Editorial: The Utah GOP attacks itself

Bizarre. That is the best word we can come up with
Bizarre. That is the best word we can come up with to describe the behavior of the Utah Republican Party leadership this week and their obsession with Senate Bill 54...
The efforts of the Utah GOP are comical, to say the least. Events are playing out like a Comedy Central Daily Show skit portraying a schizophrenic Utah GOP spokesperson simply arguing with himself by changing chairs back and forth....
The Utah GOP is making a mockery out of due governance by trying to stop a law the majority of its members agreed to. To paraphrase, the wise newspaper comic pundit, Pogo, the Utah GOP has met the enemy, and it is them.
Standard-Examiner Editorial Board
The Utah GOP attacks itself
January 8, 2015

Killer editorial from the Standard-Examiner in yesterday's hard-copy edition:
Here's a Weber County Forum Tip o the Hat to veteran newsman Andy Howell, who's now holding down the fort on the SE editorial pages as Editorial Editor, now that former (hard core Republican) Editor, Doug Gibson has now been reassigned to the  "Entertainent Editor" position(?).

Go figure.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Poll: Support for Caucus System is Below 20%

We'll be standing by with great interest during the upcoming 2015 legislation session, as extremist and ham-fisted Utah GOP legislators set the stage to thwart the"will of the people."

Concerning Utah's new dual-track political nominations system, we're delighted to present more startling Dan Jones polling data made available this morning, via UtahPolicy.Com,  Here's the lede, peeps:
The Utah State Republican Party has sued state government over a new law that provides a dual-track process for candidates to get on a party’s primary ballot, yet a new poll shows that only 19 percent of rank-and-file GOP voters want to keep the old caucus/convention system, favored by Republican insiders.
The new Dan Jones & Associates survey was discussed Friday morning at the 6th annual pre-legislative conference sponsored by the Exoro consulting group and Zions Bank.
Utah State University also participated in the new survey, which next week will be detailed in a number of UtahPolicy stories. So stay tuned.
Check out this morning's eye-opening story, O Gentle Ones:
That's right, folks!  Even rank and file Utah Republicans do not support the Utah GOP's SB54 Bait&Switch.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, reactionary Utah GOP crackpots.  We do believe the Salt Lake Tribune capably called it, with last week's strong editorial:
We'll be standing by with great interest during the upcoming 2015 legislation session, as extremist and ham-fisted Utah legislators, such as Weber County's own Senator Scott Jenkins set the stage to thwart  the "will of the people."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Weber County Hires Stuart Reid to $90,000 Consultant Position

Off to the barf bucket!

By: Smaatguy

Uh-oh. Looks like the good old boy club is in full swing, with Weber County bucking up $90k to have good ole Stuart Reid consult on Economic Development:
How long until Boss Godfrey pops up within County doings, like he recently did in North Ogden City?
Off to the barf bucket!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Salt Lake Tribune Op-ed: No More Lame Excuses for Not Funding Schools

One thing's for sure: a lone Utah Democratic Senator like Dabakis won't be able to pull this off by himself.

Via Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis:
Recently, an LDS Church leader told me that there was a significant difference between the performance levels of Utah missionaries in the Language Training Centers and that of missionaries from other places. He bluntly asked me what I was going to do about education in Utah. (I suggested a small comment at LDS Conference might be helpful.)
Jim Dabakis - Salt Lake Tribune
Op-ed: No more lame excuses for not funding schools
January 10, 2015

The funding numbers are grim. Of 50 states, Utah spends just $6,206 per child, dead last. The national average is $10,608 and our neighbor Wyoming is spending $15,897. Our classrooms are the most crowded in America. 28.7 children per classroom, with the rest of the country at 15.7. Can you imagine trying to teach geometry to a classroom with 38 or 40 students? Utah kindergartens average 28.3 children.
Our teachers are the poorest paid in America. They get $2,397 per student while the national average is $4,053.
Jim Dabakis - Salt Lake Tribune
Op-ed: No more lame excuses for not funding schools
January 10, 2015

"There are ways to fund this. Triple the severance tax on fossil fuels (we would still be below North Dakota and we would bring in billions). End the flat state income tax--a huge check from school kids to the Romneys and the Huntsmans. Billions more. Change back the Utah constitution to give all state income tax to K-12":
Here's the political downside, people:
We'll be eagerly awaiting that "small comment at the next LDS Conference," which indeed "might be helpful."

One thing's for sure: a lone Utah Democratic Senator like Dabakis won't be able to pull this off by himself.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Utah Medicaid Expansion News Roundup: It Ain't Quite Dead Yet - Updated

Our take concerning the suddenly defrocked Sutherland Institute spokesman, and  Utah's most famous BYU dropout? Go, Boys Go!

In the interest of proving that we're not "goofing off" in the news-lean aftermath of the Christmas/New Years holiday season, here are a couple of interesting and timely stories, focusing on Governor Herbert's "Healthy Utah" "Medicaid expansion plan."

This one's authored by former Sutherland Institute "mouthpiece" Paul Mero, who seems to have grown a little bit more sensible and "human," since the right wing nutcases of the Sutherland Institute "let him go,
"Conservatives might not like when government steps in to fill this gap but our philosophical dislikes do not trump nor diminish real human needs and our moral obligation (to both the needy and to freedom) to provide reasonable solutions," the miraculously newly-reformed Mr. Mero sez.

Welcome back to the "human race," Mr Mero, sez us.

Despite earlier indications that the "looniebird" Utah Legislature is intent on kicking Governor Gary'as Healthy Utah plan "to the curb" It appears the Governor Herbert hasn't yet totally given up:
Our take concerning the defrocked Sutherland Institute spokesman, and Utah's most famous BYU dropout? Go, Boys Go!

Update 1/8/15 8:38 a.m.: Uh-oh.  It appears that Governor Herbert's "Medicaid work requirement" is "off the table," according to this morning's Standard-Examiner story:
Perhaps it's now time for Governor Gary, to put the arm on his Republican colleagues in the Utah legislature, and talk a little "common sense":

Monday, January 05, 2015

Breaking: Utah Republican Party Poll Shows Public Support for Delaying SB 54 - Updated

Republican "Bait-and-Switch"?  "It’s starting to feel that way."

Hot off the press this morning, we learn from Utah and the Salt Lake Tribune, that the Utah Republican Party, eager to reneg on the on the 2014 SB54 legislative compromise which modified the process for Utah election nominations, and established a dual-track system for picking Utah political party election nominees, is working like a demon to toss a monkey wrench into the modified process which Utah's Republican Party-dominated state legislature enacted just last spring.  On the heels of December's poll, which revealed that a majority of Utahns support 'Count My Vote,' and oppose GOP effort to Stop SB 54, it seems that (surprise of surprises,) the Utah GOP has now come up with a "contrarian" poll of its own.
According to the [Utah GOP's most recent] survey, when asked if political parties should be given more time to comply with the law, 56% of Utahns support that idea as do 56% of Utah Republicans.
The survey also shows Utahns support that lawsuit against SB 54, insofar as allowing the courts to sort out any constitutional questions surrounding the legislation. 59% of Utahns and 67% of Republicans say they support letting the courts have their say about the law before it goes into effect.
Read up, folks:
Within each the above stories we find references to the the ongoing efforts of Weber County's own Senator Scott Jenkins, who'll be fighting like a badger during the upcoming 2015 legislative session, to retroactively "gut" or "kill" the SB54 compromise legislation.  And in that connection, we'll helpfully link yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune story, which fleshes out Senator Jenkins's obstructive efforts planned to date:
Here's a telling quote which we've plucked from the SLTrib story, folks, which neatly summarizes the Utah GOP's efforts in re this issue, wethink:
Does [Rich McKeown, executive co-chairman of Count My Vote, think Republican leaders are attempting a bait-and-switch to get Count My Vote to withdraw its efforts by passing SB54, with leaders now pushing to revoke that law? "It’s starting to feel that way," McKeown said.
The Utah GOP: You can trust 'em just about as far as you can throw 'em.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Readers.

Update 1/6/15 10:15 a.m.:  Utah Political Capitol provides further analysis and discussion of Senator Jenkins's above-referenced bill:

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Rolly: Rep. Ivory the King of Conflicts

Looks like a worthy project for Utah's various state ethics oversight agencies, wethink

As a followup to last Monday's WCF story, wherein we reported about how "Rep. Ken Ivory has perfected a way to turn his seat in the Utah Legislature into a money making racket," we'll shine the spotlight on this morning's Paul Rolly investigative journalistic gem.  Here's the lede, O Gentle Readers.
There are plenty of examples over the years of Utah legislators sponsoring or pushing legislation that directly or indirectly benefits themselves financially. Bills promoting charter schools, reforming trucking regulations, requiring certain sex education agendas and auto insurance mandates come to mind.
But when it comes to blatantly helping one’s self and one’s family through the legislative process, Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, must be going for some kind of record.
Ivory has generated unwanted publicity, including in this column, for his penchant for using his legislative position to promote causes and organizations that generate money for himself.
Now, he’s done it again.
Read the full story, folks:
Clearly, Rep. Ivory is "milking" the power of his legislative seat for all it's worth, don'tcha think?

Looks like a worthy project for the Utah House Ethics Committee. the Independent Legislative Ethics Commission, and the Utah Attorney General's office, wethinks.

All of these above-listed state agencies appear to have the political jurisdiction,  The sodden question, of course: Do any of them possess the political will?

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