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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 Opinion Sampler: Hatch helps defuse the nuclear option ...

No nukes: Hatch was right to stand down — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch, perhaps emboldened by his successful defeat of a primary challenge last year and the political luxury of beginning a new six-year term, did the right thing Tuesday. He joined others in the Republican leadership to end a foolish filibuster against the highly qualified person President Obama had named to run a new consumer protection agency.

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Of course, Hatch did so while looking at the business end of the so-called nuclear option. That was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s threat to change Senate rules and remove the option of filibustering presidential appointments. ...

Thawing the Senate’s ‘deep freeze’— E.J. Dionne | The Washington Post/sltrib.com

WASHINGTON -- For all the railing against dysfunction in the nation’s capital, very little had actually happened to overcome it — until this week. That’s why the agreement to begin putting an end to Senate filibusters of presidential nominees is a very big deal. It is an acknowledgement that the only way to stop political bullying is to confront the bully. ...

Reid wins the day, at least for now — Steve Sebelius | Las Vegas Review-Journal

In Washington, there is no tomorrow or yesterday, only today, right now, this exact moment. What a person said in the last decade, the last week, even the last 24 hours is forgotten, and what you will have to say in the next week or month or year is irrelevant. Only now matters. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the king of the now. ...

Why is majority rule a crisis for the Senate? — Des Moines Register Editorial

It's time to end the confirmation gridlock

Deal doesn't negate need for filibuster reform — Sacramento Bee Editorial

... This temporary truce on seven nominations is fine, but it does nothing to end minority obstructionism on judicial appointments and legislation – or future appointments. This deal should be the last of its kind struck in the Senate. It is long past time to change the filibuster rules. ...

McCain saves the day with negotiation skills — Prescott (Ariz.) Daily Courier Editorial

In conversation, the subject of Congress most often elicits groans. Its approval rating is low, its progress can be glacial, and results are seemingly intangible. Let's face it - Congress is about as popular as photo-enforcement cameras in Prescott Valley. ...

Expand bipartisan U.S. Senate meetings — Kansas City Star Editorial

... Once upon a time the U.S. Senate was known as a genteel repository of thinkers. Leaders who pondered more than pouted, and who dined together. Today, most lunch hours are consumed by party caucus gatherings, keeping partisans separated and unable to work out compromises. Today’s cranky Senate has a long way to go to repair its reputation. As former longtime Missouri Republican U.S. Sen. Kit Bond told The Washington Post: "I miss it like an abscessed tooth." ...

Liz Cheney's Wyoming Senate run is divisive — Denver Post Editorial

Liz Cheney, if you can believe it, wants to be elected to the U.S. Senate in order to sharpen political divisions there. At a time when nearly everyone is sick of hyperpartisanship in Washington, Cheney pledges, in effect, to push it to a whole new level. ...

Hatch's pension plan offers good solutions — Deseret News Editorial

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