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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Western Editorial Sampler: Air, privacy, taxes ...

Utah air quality: New system is high-maintenance — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

... The Utah Division of Air Quality is rolling out a new air quality alert system, one that has the potential to be more proactive in reducing the amount of pollution that fouls our skies and our lungs. But because it is more complicated, or just because it is different, independent environmental activists are raising reasonable concerns that all the new system will really do is obscure just how nasty Utah’s air is. ...

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Surveillance snoops stymied — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

... law enforcement, including the Justice Department, hovered over a once pro-freedom bill — designed to toughen up a 1986 bill that only required police to swear a private communication is relevant to have access to it — and almost turned it into a law that would have lessened our privacy rights when communicating. ...

That inescapable feeling of being watched — Kevin Richert | The Idaho Statesman

... The Idaho Transportation Department has been pocketing a cool $5.4 million a year selling off this kind of information. When you renew your license or register a vehicle — compulsory acts, if you plan to drive legally in the state — you are, in so doing, adding to a valuable public database. ...

Don’t go big, fix taxes first — Santa Fe New Mexican Editorial

... President Barack Obama or the Democrats in Congress should be wary of striking too big a deal too fast. In fact, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-OK, had it right when he privately urged colleagues in a private session "to vote to extend the Bush tax rates for all but the highest earners before the end of the year — and to battle over the rest later." ...

Give nation fiscal certainty before Christmas — Billings (Mont.) Gazette Editorial

It’s over, Grover — Seattle Times Editorial

Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge has lost its political magic in the face of daunting budget, debt and election realities.

Grand Old Party? Nah -- GOP is the Same Old Party — San Jose Mercury News Editorial

Were Republicans’ postelection pledges to transform and modernize their party -- or at least their message — really just a bizarre fever dream? You might think so, judging from the news Tuesday that the 19 new GOP House committee chairmen are all white men. ...

GOP has ‘binders full’ of dudes, ignores women for leadership posts in House — Sacramento Bee Editorial

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