Mitt vows to restore US economy

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mitt Romney has vowed to restore the US economy by building new homes, for himself. Just a short distance downslope from his new Park City home, Mitt has filed building plans for a new 5900 square foot home in the Salt Lake City suburb of Holladay. Located only 29 miles from the home of Senator Mike Lee, or 20 miles as the vulture capitalist flies, the home will boast a secret room which Mitt will probably configure as a safe room to escape roving mobs with pitchforks. Good job, Mitt. Keep up the good work.

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.

Wallace Stegner

US 89 near Big Rock Candy Mountain

US 89 near Big Rock Candy Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wallace Stegner lived from 1909 to 1993 and was a writer of true distinction. He wrote about the American West as it was and as it is. His essays, novels and memoirs are not imagined tales of cowboys and indians, but of real people he knew and loved. He lived in Saskatchewan as a boy and then in Salt Lake City.  He recorded that period of his family’s life in the novel Big Rock Candy Mountain, my favorite Stegner book. I have not yet read all of his books, but I intend to complete reading his works during 2013. For a time, he taught creative writing at Stanford where one of his students was Larry McMurty of Lonesome Dove fame.He also taught Sandra Day O’Connor, Ken Kesey, Edward Abbey and many others.  Stegner was the lifelong friend of the great historian of the West, Bernard DeVoto.


Southwestern Utah Landscape

Southwestern Utah Landscape (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)

Saint George, in Southwestern Utah, is home to about 60,000 people and was founded by the Mormon church to supply the state with cotton and other warm weather produce. One of the founding families were Mitt Romney‘s ancestors. Bluff Street is one of a handful of major thoroughfares in the city. It possesses an interchange with Interstate 15, our gateway north to Salt Lake City and south to Las Vegas, an hour and a half away at 80 miles per hour. Mitt’s campaign bus drove through Saint George on its way to Las Vegas a few weeks ago. Mitt was scheduled to stop here, but at the last-minute, he flew to Sarasota, Florida instead. He rejoined the bus the next day in Las Vegas.

Bluff Street is well-marked at the interchange at mile post 6 and may have put the word in the minds of the campaign staff remaining on the bus. In any event, the Romney campaign has decided to bluff the media on the status of the race. They falsely claim momentum and that they are tied with or leading President Obama. It is a technique used by Karl Rove in 2000 and 2004 to fire up the GOP base and discourage Democratic voters. This time the technique will fail.

Foot in mouth disease

Olympic flame during 2002 Winter Games in Salt...

Olympic flame during 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. From the Navy website: Salt Lake City, UT (Feb. 8, 2002) — Members of the 1980 Gold Medal U.S. Olympic hockey team stand below the Olympic flame at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The team had the honor of lighting the cauldron to invoke the official start of the competition. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Poor Mitt, he has a bad case of foot in mouth disease. His comments on the London Olympics were not agreeable to the British. If he made similar comments in the US that received criticism, he would just change the comments and all would be well. That approach is not working well in London.

Before we decided to move to St. George, Utah, we spent a week in Park City, Utah, just before the Winter 2002 Olympics. I had a chance to examine the venues in person and I am acquainted with how much London differs from Salt Lake City.  David Cameron, British Prime Minister, made the implied comment that running a winter Olympic in an isolated city is much different from a summer Olympic in one of the world’s great metropolises. Let us hope that Mitt gets his act together for the more serious stops in Poland and Israel.