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.

The gang of 3

Cover of "Three Amigos!"

Cover of Three Amigos!

In the US Senate, the gang of three is composed of Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. They sometimes are referred to as the Three Amigos. In the film by the same name, Ted Cruz is played by Chevy Chase and in real life by Donald Trump. In the film, Mike Lee is played by Martin Short and in real life by a younger Orrin Hatch. Rand Paul is played by Steve Martin and in real life by his father, Ron Paul.

Full Ryan

Benefit Security Card .. HALF of the U.S live ...

Benefit Security Card .. HALF of the U.S live in households that receive government benefits (26 May 2012) …item 2..Brevard man gets 4 years in Social Security fraud case (Jun 1, 2012 ) … (Photo credit: marsmet481)

“Nobody knows whether it’s going to be the full Ryan plan or not,” cautioned Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare. “Mitt Romney will carefully go over every aspect of it.” from Republicans on the Ground By Jonathan Weisman, The New York Times News Service. Full Ryan, half Ryan, 2% Ryan, anything like the full Monty?

Republicans are finding the Ryan budget plan to be toxic to their hopes of election or re-election. I think that is great news. Mitt can’t abandon his VP pick, or can he? McGovern was 1000% behind Eagleton until he wasn’t, and Eagleton was replaced by Sargent Shriver.

Shame on you, Orrin Hatch

Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dave Camp (R-Michigan)

Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dave Camp (R-Michigan) (Photo credit: Michael.Jolley)

Orrin Hatch, echoing Mitch McConnell, has just blamed Barack Obama for obstructionism. I had hoped that Hatch would retire this year, and I was prepared to vote against him at the local caucus. That question was never put before the caucus attendees, but I had a chance to vote on Hatch during the runoff election. However, I voted for Orrin, reluctantly, because I did not want Utah represented by two TEA Party Senators. I will vote for his Democratic opponent in November, but Hatch is almost certain to be re-elected. This should be Hatch’s last term and I had some hope that he would begin to speak and vote his own mind, as Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is beginning to do. No such luck.

Dan Liljenquist

Dan will be in town for two events tomorrow. Maybe I will go and see him. I have already attended an Orrin Hatch event. I think that I will vote for Hatch although I think it is time for him to retire. I really don’t want either man as my US Senator, but….