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Six Pack on the Dashboard

By on Oct 1, 2010 in Music, News, Politics | 2 comments

Above the Fold Ale: Dear Gov. Gary Herbert, I get it. I understand. Things are rough and never seem to improve. It’s like your stuck on the front 9 during a bad game of golf. Your tee shots are hitting the fairway and kicking into the rough. Approach shots are two-hopping through the green and into the sand. Putts are lipping out. To make matters worse, your opponent is getting balls to ricochet off trees and into the fairway. He hits a shot thin and it turns into a beautiful bump-and-run. It’s the kind of game that, personally, has driven me to get in losing sword fights with trees or break my big toe kicking my bag. It’s hard, days like these, and it only makes it harder when people tell you everything will be okay. You fear, in your gut, things are not okay. Here’s a tip, though: Play your game. Your opponent is counting on pushing you over the edge, and right now, it appears to be working. Every counter-punch you have thrown actually hurt your hand more than his face. News conferences have been derailed by aggressive supporters and surprise revelations. Your subordinates are flaunting their independence. Your best friends are having sex in your backyard. You requested an audit, but that only seemed to confuse people. So yes, it’s ugly and getting uglier. Questions are being raised, but the answers only create more questions. The questions are also eroding the confidence people have in you, because people are starting to cast you as either corrupt or incompetent. Remember July? That was a good month. Lots of vacation. Parades and picnics. No stupid memos or embarrassing questions. To fix what’s gone wrong, reassert your power. Make it clear that, as one of our greatest presidents said, that you are “the decider.” People need to be fired, demoted or otherwise taken to the woodshed. Everything, and I mean everything, needs to come through your office. Stand up and tell the people that the state is doing well, all things considered, and the only mistake was actually one made by the Legislature when they gave UDOT entirely too much power. Tell the people that if they re-elect you, the problems will get fixed, and then dismiss any accusations that you caused the problems as bald-faced lies. And, for God’s sake, stop meeting with big donors in your office to thank them for donating. Alternatively, do what I always want to do: Pack up, move out. Put on Atherton’s “Pale Summer” and play it loud. Start at the first track and play it straight through, like they did when people could actually take a long road trip without worrying about the environmental fallout. Drive fast, head west. By the time you’ve played the album twice — and yes, it’s that good — you’ll blow across the state line, where you can stop in Wendover, grab a six-pack of real beer and put money on the S.F. Giants to win the World Series. From there, find an empty road, crack one of those beers, and relish the freedom. Happy Friday, governor. Enjoy the weekend, such as it is, because you’re in for a slog of an October. Political Pocket Rockets: AG Mark Shurtleff spoke in D.C. this week, using testimony written by the macro-brew lobbyists. Morgan Philpot tries the failed strategy of referencing obscure procedural things for a political attack. Utah Beer: Two new TRAX lines opening next summer. Salt Lake City laying off 40 more people. Moab tailings continue to disappear. The Deseret News, apparently worried that people have forgotten its own incompetency, launches a new, even more ludicrous initiative. Mark my words: This type of thing won’t stop with arts coverage. Leisure Time Lager: Wondering what to do with the heavy wad of obsolete crap thrown in your yard this week? Pete Ashdown has an idea. Josh’s Java: The Giants are going to win the N.L. West pennant tonight or tomorrow, but they will still kick the shit out of the Padres on Sunday because of this idiot. It’s called free agency, dude. Your team should try it for somebody besides a washed-up shortstop. Weekly Weizen: Scott Renshaw reviews The Social Network. Ted Scheffler revisits the Metropolitan. The Big Gay Blog looks at the crazy assistant AG in Michigan who hates the gay student body president of U of Michigan. Just once, can a homophobic person not be so blatantly closeted? Come on. The Six Pack on the Dashboard update is published every weekday. To subscribe to an e-mail version, send a message to or visit here. For an RSS feed of the Open Container and all of the other City Weekly blog posts, visit the Salt Blog at...

Six Pack on the Dashboard

By on Sep 28, 2010 in News, Politics | 0 comments

Above the Fold Ale: As long as I’ve covered government agencies, officials have been trying to find ways to skirt the Open Meetings Act and the Government Access and Records Management Aca (GRAMA). Sometimes, the moves were blatantly illegal, such as a city council trying to meet behind closed doors when the matter was clearly public. Other times, the methods were more devious, such as “random” encounters between 3 or 4 city council members at a cafe. Officials also tried to skirt the law with new technology, ranging from e-mail to text messages, and I can only imagine what will happen when elected leaders figure out how to direct message on Twitter. This weekend, BYU professor Joel Campbell—now writing for The Salt Lake Tribune as an open records guru — detailed a new proposal from the Utah Judicial Council that would allow certain records to reviewed in private before a public body talked about them publicly. Courts administrator Nancy Volmer tells Campbell that the exemption would be used “rarely” but was needed. Quick tip: When anybody in government says that an exemption will be used “rarely,” start a pool for how long it will take for said exemption to be abused magnificently. For the most recent example, look to UDOT, whose exemption from having to get settlements over $500,000 approved allowed them to “quietly” settle with a construction for $13 million. Magnificent. Now, I’m not saying Volmer doesn’t believe in the “rarely” statement, or that the courts will abuse it. But if there’s a new exemption, somebody somewhere will abuse it. But here’s the really scary part: They will probably get away with it, because more than likely, nobody will watchdogging those government officials. Political Pocket Rockets: Morgan Philpot, you’ve already stuck your toe into the birther water. Please don’t start espousing even more crazy conspiracy theories. One gubernatorial candidate wants donations to charities, not politicians. If you’re bored, Robert Gehrke posted all of the documents the Corroon campaign has been demanding Herbert’s camp release about meetings with donors. Or, don’t read them and continue to demand they be released. Also, watch the Corroon-Herbert debate at 8 p.m. tonight on KUED. Utah Beer: UDOT=Kingpin, but not for long. If UDOT were an NFL team and John Njord a kicker, he would be looking for work. I don’t want to turn this blog post’s comment board into a debate about pit bulls, but let’s just say I never, ever want my child around one. So, kudos to Ogden. Utah’s air is getting better, which is kinda like saying Domino’s new crust is awesome. Better, maybe. But not good. Leisure Time Lager: Here’s a nice little ode to a Laramie bar. Josh’s Java: I would love to be a farmer, and here’s yet another inspiring story. My garden failures this year, however, suggest I should stay working as a writer. Weekly Weizen: Vernon Law and the 1960 Pirates is profiled in a new (and apparently very bad — we’re talking Pirates bad) book. Gilgal Gardens has been public for 10 years. Finally, The Ocho gives highlights for the Alice Cooper/Rob Zombie show. The Six Pack on the Dashboard update is published every weekday morning. To subscribe to an e-mail version, send a message to, or send a direct message on Twitter to @joshloftin. For an RSS feed of the Open Container and all of the other City Weekly blog posts, visit the Salt Blog at...