Town hall

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I attended a town hall here in Saint George to meet my newly elected US Representative Chris Stewart. Chris is a retired USAF pilot and a best-selling author and a member of the GOP. He represents the 2nd district in Utah which is geographically the largest of our four districts, stretching 320 miles from Saint George to Chris’s home in Farmington, north of Salt Lake City. Chris lives farther away from Saint George than do our two Senators, Orrin Hatch in Salt Lake City and Mike Lee in Alpine, a Salt Lake City suburb. I believe that Congressional districts should be compact and competitive so that my vote can make a difference. Only the 4th district is both compact and somewhat competitive, and it is now represented by Jim Matheson who was my representative in Congress before the 2010 census and subsequent redistricting.

I attended the town hall to see how many attended and the strength of the defund Obamacare movement. There were between 600 and 700 attendees, mostly elderly because of the 5:30 pm timing and all were white. They gave raucous support to defunding Obamacare. Chris stated his strategy was to defund or delay. Chris spoke for a short time before opening the floor to questions. He asked for short, focused questions, but most were long and rambling. Chris said that the sequester was a terrible law, but that he voted for it. As an excuse, he stated that the sequester was President Obama’s idea. That is false. In addition, if it were Obama’s idea, the GOP would not have voted for it, since they oppose the President at all costs.

I really do not understand the logic of opposing Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) by the vast majority of the attendees at the town hall. I assume the majority are on Medicare and will scarcely be affected by Obamacare at all. Perhaps more people are on Medicare Advantage than I thought. When I turned 65 and was eligible for Medicare, I investigated the choices and selected Medicare over Medicare Advantage because I was convinced that Medicare Advantage was a GOP plot to wean seniors from Medicare and then terminate Medicare and voucherize Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage costs the government more than Medicare and will be restructured under Obamacare to help fund extending insurance to 30 million of the uninsured.

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Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes speaks at the Get Motivated Semin...

Image via Wikipedia

I received a letter today from Steve Forbes, delivered the old- fashioned way, by letter carrier. In that letter was a solicitation for a donation to the Club for Growth. I visited their  website, www.clubforgrowth.org and the home page featured a picture of almost all of the GOP candidates for the presidency; it was like looking at the opening lineup for one of their multitude of debates. I decided then and there that if Steve wants to fund the organization, he can do so from his own deep pockets, needing no help from me or anyone else.

He should be very happy because when he ran for the GOP nomination in 1996 and 2000, he was the sole proponent of the flat tax which most of the GOP candidates now support. In addition, his cover letter rather shrilly decried Obama‘s rush to socialism. He had the nerve to include a form letter for me to sign and return with my contribution. The form letter was addressed to my representative, Jim Matheson, and requested making the Bush tax cuts permanent and repealing Obamacare. I oppose all that he requested and did not return the letter or make a contribution.

Please see FAIR tax not fair | 999 tax plan

Blue Dogs and ‘fraidy cats

Blue dog

Image by gelle.dk via Flickr

Blue Dog Democrats are moderate, self-proclaimed, Democrats from mostly red states. The Blue Dog coalition was formed in 1995 in reaction to the Republican gains in the 1994 election. They number only 26 in the current House of Representatives, and one of their number is Jim Matheson who represents me here in Southern Utah. I wrote to Jim today asking that he support Barack’s jobs bill, all 100% of it. The first thing I noticed at his official web site is that there is no category for jobs or the economy in the subject line choices. Not a good sign.

Jim is being targeted by the national GOP and the TEA Party for defeat in 2012. In addition, the state GOP here in Utah is making noises about redistricting Jim into another district, a sure way to defeat an incumbent. Jim has been a Congressman since 2001. Unless Barack wins a big victory in 2012, next year may be Matheson’s last year in office; he may be jobless starting in January, 2013. With that in mind, I think that Jim should do what is right for the millions of jobless and right for the country before he joins their ranks.

If the economy were better, I would expect Barack to carry 49 states and the District of Columbia. Even in that case, I doubt that he would carry Utah. With the economy heading back into recession, from which many have never escaped, the 2012 election is going to be difficult for Democrats. If I were handing out grades, I would give Barack an “A” for effort and a “C” for results. I think that he will do better in the next 14 months. The nation cannot afford another Republican President. It is no time for ‘fraidy cats nor timidity on the part of Obama’s supporters.

Please see All or nothing