Who's To Blame for Washington Dysfunction?

Hatch & KennedyAt a recent family gathering, one of my ultra conservative relatives lamented how Washington is broken and does not do the people’s will. She added that she could not stand Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, citing his friendship with the late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy. She was flabbergasted that a Utah conservative like Senator Hatch could befriend the Liberal Lion of the Senate.

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I managed to catch a small part of the Republican debate last month. When I first turned it on Kasich(generally my favorite) was talking about congress acting on encryption.  This is an issue that splits across party lines, with many politicians seeming to switch their stance based off the party affiliation of the President. As a software engineer who contributes to a political blog I figured I would try and shred some light on the subject for those who may be trying to form an educated opinion.

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How Preventable Are Firearm Suicides?

Preventing Firearm SuicidesMost Americans have probably heard that there are over 30,000 gun deaths per year in the U.S. When confronted with that fact, opponents of gun safety law reform are quick to point out that approximately two thirds of that number are suicides (and they are correct). Their argument tacitly suggests that gun deaths by suicide are not preventable and therefore cannot be used to argue for new gun laws.

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Exploiting the Labor Participation Rate

One of my nieces is 16 years old and attends a local high school in Utah.  Her world is centered on books and boys and her free time revolves around extracurricular activities.  I have a nephew who is enrolled in college and enjoys any time away from his studies bonding with friends and creating memories that will last a lifetime. My wife stays at home and raises our four daughters, a luxury our family is able to afford. My mother spends time quilting and cooking or playing with her grandchildren. My father-in-law is retired and can be found catching up on the news and traveling. What is interesting about all these individuals is their impact on the labor participation rate.

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Climate change is evidence of the last days

The greatest witness of the last days?
Climate change.
We might slay that beast that through the ingenuity and innovation that God has blessed us with. And through negotiation that paves the way for change, as we recently saw at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
But what if we don’t figure out the issue in time?
Climate change is utterly perilous. The scientific community is all but at a consensus on that.
Check out the 10 following graphs and their summaries from even Business Insider, which, by very name, has an editorial focus on profit (coal, for some).

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What Liberals Should Read to Understand the GOP Primary

McKay Coppins' new book The Wilderness bills itself as a deep dive into the Republican Party's quest to take back the White House. Although my personal politics lean to the left, I found the book a captivating read that helped me better understand the current chaos in the Republican Party and the challenges we face in the United States regarding wealth, gender, and racial inequality.

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Muppets and Medicaid

As we do every year around Christmas time, we sat down as a family to watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol”. This is one of my favorite family traditions that helps us remember what Christmas is really all about. As I’ve gotten older and as different things are happening in my life, I have taken something new from the story each time I watch it. This year I couldn’t help but find some similarities between specific current events and the story Mr. Dickens told so well.

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Master, what shall I do? (Luke 10:25-37)

As I start this blogpost, I will apologize to Luke for my literary license.

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

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How sure are you about your party affiliation?

This morning I listened to the latest episode in the new NPR Politics podcast discussing “The Battle for Control of the GOP.” National Politics Correspondent, Mara Liasson reminded me of something I learned in my 12th grade AP Government class. You pick your party affiliation based on the “three legged stool”, in this order.

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LDS Dems on Syrian Refugees: "But let us not respond to these crimes with fear and paranoia which causes us to abandon the very humanity that has been attacked."

We join people all over the world in condemning the violence committed by terrorists in Paris and Beirut, and mourn for the innocent people so brutally murdered in these attacks. These attacks are crimes against humanity. But let us not respond to these crimes with fear and paranoia which causes us to abandon the very humanity that has been attacked. There is no evidence to connect the Syrian refugees to these attacks, and it is our moral duty to extend help to those fleeing violence and persecution. Let us not forget that our own pioneer ancestors were once refugees fleeing from violence.

(read more below)


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