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Bird Brains on the Hill

Utah's Republican lawmakers are up in arms after Romney's vote. Yet another out-of-touch state senator. Plus, another blip on the road to science's demise.

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Bird Brains on the Hill
What a fine mess we're in—decrying partisanship, screaming against religious discrimination and yet happily participating in both. The Legislature wants Sen. Mitt Romney's head on a platter because ... they are acting as the Republican Party? Their little resolution would censure the senator for voting yea on one count of impeachment. Oh, and they also want to be able to recall their senators, something that's likely unconstitutional. Surely they don't want to recall Sen. Mike Lee, so it must be about Romney, who some on Twitter insist is "not a Republican." While the state GOP and a large part of the state adore the president, at least Gov. Gary Herbert recognized that it's inappropriate to heap scorn on Romney for a deeply held religious conviction. Now there are billboards hailing him as a patriot, a GoFundMe campaign for him and the undying hatred of the Republican monolith. Just goes to show there is diversity of thought.

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Survivalist Hobbies
Who even knew what "ratioed" meant until Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, became the poster child for it? "A person working at a job that does not pay a livable wage really only has a hobby," he tweeted. The Salt Lake Tribune explains that being ratioed means that replies far outnumber likes or retweets on social media. That Hillyard lives in a sheltered and entitled world goes without saying. "Fifty-three million workers ages 18 to 64—or 44% of all workers—earn barely enough to live on. Their median earnings are $10.22 per hour, and about $18,000 per year," the Brookings Institution notes. Two-thirds of those low-wage workers are in their prime working years and more than half are primary wage earners. To Hillyard, survival is a hobby.

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Benign Destruction
As the world welcomes the death of science, it's no small wonder that oil and gas drilling has become a clarion call for the Trump administration. It's the economy, stupid, the argument goes. So now, the Interior Department has finalized plans to open most of what's left of Utah's largest national monument to those beautiful oil, gas and coal companies, according to the failing New York Times. Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears monuments are shadows of their former selves for the good of the economy. And that's going to be good for your health, says famed junk scientist Ed Calabrese, whose theory has caught the interest of the EPA, a Hartford Courant story notes. Calibrese believes that low levels of toxic chemicals and radiation are benign—just like the destruction of public lands.

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