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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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They are writing about Utah, even though they don’t know it ...

Three commentary pieces that are about Utah. Even though they never use the word:

Obamacare works — in California — Paul Krugman | The New York Times

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" ... Now, California isn’t the only place where Obamacare is looking pretty good. A number of states that are running their own online health exchanges instead of relying on HealthCare.gov are doing well. Kentucky’s Kynect is a huge success; so is Access Health CT in Connecticut. New York is doing OK. And we shouldn’t forget that Massachusetts has had an Obamacare-like program since 2006, put into effect by a guy named Mitt Romney. ..."

But, of course, any attempt by The Best Managed State (Utah) to do online exchanges right would have demonstrated how the Affordable Care Act might actually help people. So we didn’t.

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The Common Core education reform package is something folks in Utah argue about a lot. Here’s an argument that, at least in some places, folks on both sides of the argument are off track:

Dumb versus dumber in Common Core debate — Ramesh Ponnuru | Bloomberg View

"... The real problem with the Common Core is not that it represents Big Brother in the classroom, but that it seems unlikely to do much to increase the amount of learning that students do. Perhaps that’s because there’s not much that can be done on the national level to make K-12 schooling better.

"A lot of education reformers find it hard to admit that. And so the debate over the Common Core is a dismal cycle of elite disdain and populist outrage, each side feeding the other’s worst impulses."

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Online gambling is a force that, like online retailing, is going to be hard to stop. Even in Utah. Here’s an argument that the federal government should not get in the way:

Online gambling deserves a nationwide chance — Bloomberg View

" ... People clearly like gambling. Letting them do so where they want would make them happy. Regulating it properly would keep them safe. And taxing it all will make lawmakers smile. A decent trifecta, you might say."



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