State, National and World News

Photo Phiend via CC/Flickr

Wednesday, we’re talking with political commentator Norm Ornstein. He’s in Utah this week to speak at Weber State University, which gives us an excuse to get his thoughts on America’s current political climate. Unfortunately, his forecast isn’t reassuring. We’ll talk with him about the dour prospects for President Obama’s second term, the departure of prominent Congressional problem solvers, and the possible implications of a GOP takeover of the Senate. Political junkies, this show’s for you.

Katherine Hitt via Flickr CC,

Monday, we’re examining Utah’s evolving legal case against gay marriage and the focus on child welfare in the State's latest brief to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Observers note that Utah has dropped the argument that marriage is about creating children and is now focusing on the idea that children fare best in families with a mother and a father. Doug talks to guests about the State's strategy and what research is telling us about the outcomes of children in same-sex families.

Image by Tim Brown, Creative Commons via flickr,

  Every winter when gunk gets trapped in Utah's valleys, residents ask what we can do about our air. In a recent Salt Lake Tribune op-ed, activist Brian Moench pointed to the unlikely environmental example of Mexico City. Once known as "Mexsicko City," radical measures like moving a refinery and imposing driving restrictions have cut the city's pollution in half. Thursday, Doug is joined by Moench and by researchers Kerry Kelly and Randy Martin for a look at cities that could offer solutions for Utah's bad air.

Polygamy Decriminalized

Dec 15, 2013

Friday, federal judge Clark Waddoups delivered a ruling that essentially decriminalizes polygamy in Utah. It's still illegal to have more than one marriage license, but Waddoups overturned the part of the law that made it a 3rd degree felony to cohabit with someone while legally married to another person.  Attorney for the plaintiffs, the polygamist Brown family of Sister Wives fame, called this a victory for privacy in America. Monday, we're talking about the ruling and what it says about what makes a family.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Wednesday, we're talking about the LDS Church's new statement on the policy that banned black men from the priesthood for some 125 years. When it was lifted in 1978, there was little explanation why blacks had been excluded. This statement makes it clear though: it was a policy born of racial prejudice and the Church is clearly disavowing arguments that were used to support it. We'll explore some questions this is raising about the nature of revelation, the fallibility of leaders and the implications for other social issues.

Building Alliances

Oct 19, 2013

Monday, we're live from the Hinckley Institute of Politics with former Utah Governor and former US cabinet secretary Mike Leavitt and his Chief of Staff-turned-business partner Rich McKeown. They've published a book that uses their political experience to explore how problems can be solved through collaboration and alliance building.  And could the timing be better?  With the ongoing tumult in Washington, we'll ask Leavitt and McKeown for their take on the state of American politics and their suggestions for breaking the cycle of discord and deadlock.

Tuesday, we're looking at Utah junior Senator Mike Lee's role in the current stalemate in Washington. Lee has joined with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and others to lead a charge against the Affordable Care Act and many believe their tactics have contributed to the government shutdown. Recent poll numbers show 51% of Utahns have an unfavorable view of the Senator and even some Republican colleagues are distancing themselves. Doug is joined by a panel of experts to talk about Senator Lee's relationship with voters and the party.

Ordain Women, CC via Flickr,

Saturday, Mormon women made headlines as they sought entrance into the all-male Priesthood meeting at the LDS Church's General Conference. One-by-one, 130 women organized by the group Ordain Women were turned away. Gender roles were the topic of some talks from the pulpit, but there were also messages of inclusion for those who have left the Church and of compassion for people suffering from depression. Tuesday, we're gathering a panel of observers to talk about the conference – and what it tells us about today's LDS Church.

Image by <a href="">Michael Glasgow</a>/<a href'="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Thursday is the deadline for Salt Lake City voters to cast their ballot on this question: is a corporation a person? It's a resolution proposed by Move to Amend, a national campaign that says our system of government is broken because of the money and power wielded by big business. Their aim is a constitutional amendment that says corporations are not people and that money isn't speech. So we're looking at the legal history of corporations and asking what role they should play in our civic life.

<i>Image by <a href="">wabisabi2015 </a>/<a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Thursday, The Salt Lake Tribune announced the layoff of 19 employees and a major reorganization of leadership. It's the latest in a series of cuts for Utah's largest daily newspaper, which has seen its newsroom shrink from 143 just 2 years ago to a staff of some 94 now. It's part of the Tribune's effort to stay viable as newspapers around the country struggle with subscriptions and ad revenue.  Monday, we're asking what the loss of reporters in Utah means for the news that's delivered to your door.