Loser: Regardless what one might think of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's politics, she's entitled to free expression — even during the State of the Union address. Capitol Police ejected Sheehan and Beverly Young, the wife of Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young, R-Fla., from the visitors gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday for wearing T-shirts with war messages. Sheehan was arrested. Beverly Young's shirt read: "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom," while Sheehan's T-shirt alluded to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq. The women were removed from the gallery because the officers mistakenly believed they were enforcing a prohibition against demonstrating in the Capitol. The next day, Capitol Police apologized, saying neither woman should have been confronted about the "expressive T-shirts." Charges against Sheehan were dropped.
Winner: The Utah Science, Technology and Research initiative has encouraging momentum. On Wednesday, the Utah Senate unanimously passed the USTAR bill, which would commit $15 million annually to recruit and attract research teams. Another $200 million would build new laboratories and purchase equipment, develop technology innovation centers elsewhere in the state and accelerate getting new products and technologies to their respective markets sooner. If there's any hesitation about the price tag, lawmakers need only to consider how much Utah's neighbors are poised to spend on the same pursuits. Colorado plans to spend $4.3 billion over 20 years. California has committed $5.3 billion, and Arizona's plan envisions spending $1.4 billion. By comparison, Utah's proposed investment in USTAR is downright conservative.
Winner: Stu Morrill, coach of Utah State University's men's basketball team, quietly chalked up career win No. 400 when the Aggies convincingly dispatched the University of Hawaii Monday night. Although the Aggies lost to New Mexico State University on Thursday, they're otherwise enjoying a stellar season, including 14 straight home wins. Their success is largely due to Morrill's coaching talent.
Loser: Five small churches in Alabama were destroyed or otherwise damaged in a series of fires that investigators said were apparently set late Thursday or early Friday. The FBI is investigating. The fires destroyed both black churches and white churches, which distinguishes these crimes from a series of arsons in 1996 that damaged black churches in Alabama and elsewhere. Still, it's chilling that anyone would intentionally set fire to a place of worship.