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Political Cornflakes: Democratic bigwigs fear debates will devolve into horror show

Happy Tuesday! Are you ready? Tomorrow and Thursday, 20 Democrats seeking the White House will appear in the first debates of the election and there are many political bigwigs on the left worried about how it’ll turn out. Politico interviewed nearly 20 Democratic elected officials, party chiefs, labor leaders and operatives the past week and revealed an air of foreboding verging on alarm that the debates will degenerate into a two-night, bare-knuckle brawl. Also, President Donald Trump is planning to live-tweet it. Y’all got your popcorn ready? [Politico]

Topping the news: Rep. John Curtis called conditions at migrant detention facilities “unacceptable” and stated that unaccompanied children need access to soap and toothbrushes. Rep. Ben McAdams said, “We are better than this as a country.” [Trib]

-> A migrant boy who was previously held at a border detention facility was treated for typhoid fever when he arrived in Utah last month. He has since recovered. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is seeking an injunction to prevent the development of the inland port while a court considers her lawsuit. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The Utah Republican Party’s new chairman, Derek Brown, announced that the party is no longer in debt. [Trib]

Tweets of the day: From @validate_me_plz: “I want every country to institute economic sanctions against the U.S. until we end child concentration camps”

-> @KristinMinkDC: “A reminder that Anne Frank didn’t die in gas chambers. She died from sickness due to unsanitary conditions, specifically typhus — a disease spread by lice.”

Happy Birthday: to Mike Gehrke and USU’s Ted Pease.

In other news: Salt Lake City voters can learn about the eight mayoral candidates though the Tribune’s “Meet the candidates” page. [Trib]

-> A Navajo student at Lehi High School was told she could not wear eagle feathers on her graduation cap. [Trib]

-> A Utah judge has ended his oversight on the United Effort Plan, a trust which once owned most of the properties in towns populated with members of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [Trib]

-> The Utah Transit Authority has a new board and wants to partner with private businesses on new projects. [Trib]

-> Mayor Biskupski said Salt Lake City will not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids. [KSL]

Nationally: Migrant children have been removed from a Border Patrol station in Texas after reports of maltreatment caused national outrage. [NYT] [APviaTrib]

-> President Donald Trump announced new sanctions for Iran on Monday. [NYT]

-> Trump signed emergency funding for Puerto Rico into law two weeks ago, but the territory might not be able to use its promised food stamps until September. [WaPo]

-> On Monday, Trump signed an executive order requiring the disclosure of prescription drug prices. [WaPo]

-> Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of many presidential candidates, announced Monday a plan to cancel student loans by taxing Wall Street. [Reuters]

-> The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the United States may not deny registration to trademarks it finds “immoral or scandalous.” [WSJ]

-> American farmers are expected to have nearly $427 billion in debt this year. [Politico]

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven’t already, sign up here for our weekday email to get this sent directly to your inbox.

-- Thomas Burr and Sara Tabin

Utah is America’s 4th most patriotic state, study says. But if more Utahns would vote, it easily might be No. 1.

Just in time for the flag-waving July 4 holiday, a new study ranks Utah as America’s fourth most patriotic state. But it likely could have been No. 1 if more Utahns voted — or chose to serve in the military.

The study released Monday by Wallethub compared the states on what it considers 13 key indicators of patriotism.

Utah ranked No. 1 in four categories: volunteer rate, volunteer hours per resident, share of residents who participate in groups or civic organizations and its civics education requirements. It also ranked No. 2 in AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.

Where it really fell down is a category considered as extra important, which was triple-weighted to award a quarter of all possible points: the share of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Utah ranked No. 23 in that category, after 62.68% of adults cast a ballot.

Source: WalletHub

Of course, that was a controversial year when the major candidates were not overly popular in Utah. While GOP presidential candidates in recent decades have won overwhelming majorities in Utah, Republican Donald Trump won only a plurality in the state, with 45.5% of the vote. Democrat Hillary Clinton followed with 27.5%, independent Evan McMullin won 21.5% and 18 other candidates split 5.5% of the vote. Many Utahns simply didn’t vote.

It wasn’t just low voting rates that hurt Utah in the new rankings.

"Aside from the share of residents who voted in the last presidential elections, there are other metrics in which Utah could use some improvement,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.

“For example, the state has very few veterans. The average number of military enlistees is also among the lowest in the country, as is the number of active duty military personnel and the number of Peace Corps volunteers."

Utah ranked No. 46 for veterans per 1,000 adults; No. 38 for the rate of military enlistees over the past five years; No. 32 for its rate of active duty military personnel; and No. 38 for Peace Corps volunteers. It did manage to rank a respectable No. 9 for its share of adults who serve in the military reserves.

New Hampshire was ranked the nation’s most patriotic state, followed by Wyoming and Vermont.

At the bottom of the rankings, New Jersey was considered the least patriotic followed by New York and California.

Kirby: Home is where the fun is. Celebration shows Herriman is all grown up.

Last week was Fort Herriman Towne Days, the annual celebration of a city that went from nearly zero mph (multitudes per hectare) to 45,000 mph and climbing in the space of a few years.

There were 777 residents here in 1999. It was several thousand when we moved here in 2003. Today the city is pushing 50,000.

Everything about this place is on steroids. Where there used to be rabbits and sagebrush, we now have a recreation center, library, police department, shops and traffic congestion to prove it.

Of all the places I’ve lived (24), I like this city the best. My family is here. My extended tribe is here. And it’s just a short distance to a genuine artillery range. What more could a crazy old man ask for?

On Friday, my entire clan went to Butterfield Park and walked around the Fort Herriman Towne Days fair.

What was just a few sketchy carnival rides and craft booths a few years ago is now a fairly well-managed riot, complete with screams, shouts, bullhorns and disoriented people. The big difference is that it smelled of caramel corn and cotton candy instead of tear gas and human excrement. Also, I didn’t see anyone bleeding.

It was close, though. I saw Herriman Officer Skyler Zobell loose his K-9 partner on some poor soul. Imagine, if you will, a man running about, screaming with what appears to be a hairy alligator attached to his back.

It turned out that the “poor soul” was, in fact, Herriman Detective Jose Lopez. He had volunteered to wear a bite suit for a public demonstration of his department’s K-9s. He wasn’t hurt (too badly).

Even so, Davo the K-9 was not screwing around. Officer Zobell spoke a word that alerted his partner to the possibility of someone in need of serious dental work. When the second command was uttered, Davo obliged.

Hondo is the other Herriman K-9, and is equally serious about finding drugs and tuning up the uncooperative. This time it was Detective Marcus Beckstead in the suit. With a running jump from six feet out, Hondo hit him in the back and took him down.

Keep in mind that these dogs are highly trained. So even though I kept yelling at Hondo to bite Marcus on his unprotected head, the dog ignored me and listened only to his partner, Officer Ben Ricks.

Saturday morning was the big parade. The celebration’s earlier parades were anemic and not well organized due to growing pains. Saturday’s parade lasted two hours and was enjoyable from beginning to end. My kids dragged home bags of asphalt-scratched candy.

Speaking of candy. I got a free eye exam, courtesy of Paul Hulet of Family Focused Eye Care. While pulling a float featuring his business, Paul drilled me in the chest with a full 3-pound bag of taffy that knocked me flat. My grandkids and others nearby found that hilarious.

It was an effective form of advertising. I really should make an appointment.

The best part of the parade were the entries that featured my granddaughters — Lyndie in a volleyball league and Faith on an all-girl tackle-football team. I told everyone within earshot that they were mine.

The only complaint I heard was from the guy who had to clean up after the horses. He told me that he wished his manure cart was motorized. Maybe next year. These things keep getting better.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.

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