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Tag Archives: Orrin Hatch

New West Daily Roundup for Jan. 13, 2017

bears ears

Today in New West news: Utah Senator pleads with Rep. Zinke over monuments, Idaho Supreme Court ponders reviving ACLU lawsuit against state’s public defense system, and Montana’s many bumble bee species.

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New West Daily Roundup for Aug. 5, 2016


Today in New West news: developing Bozeman’s skyline, Utah senators propose mountain bikes in the wilderness, and wild horses in Wyoming.

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New West Daily Roundup for Apr. 27, 2016

Boise, Idaho

Today in New West news: craft beer in the Treasure Valley, federal land bills before Senate subcommittee (including one about Owyhee wildernesses), and medical marijuana in Utah.

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Little Opposition in State to Nearly Completed Utah NSA Data Center

BLUFFDALE, UTAH—Even now, you’d have a hard time finding a politician in Utah opposed to the construction of the Utah NSA Data Center in Bluffdale.

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88 Fingers Orrin

I still can't get over this photo of Orrin Hatch with mafioso-turned-Mormon penitente Mario Facione (author of From Mafia to Mormon). The hilarity, naturally, comes from juxtaposing the picture of morality with a guy who may or may not have whacked a few guys in his day. Then again, not to invoke talk of the Mormon Mafia or the Danites, it's almost like Facione just used his free agency to switch teams. After all, there are parallels between both the LDS Church and organized crime. (I'll pause to give the knee-jerks time to compose hate mail.) Of course, I'm referring to the secrecy, the cliquiness, the notion of rank (does becoming a General Authority* mean you're "made?") and of course the warm, glow of fellowship. The Church is definitely a step-up: no whacking (of yourself or others), zero-interest loans, the skim cap (limited to 10%). But there are always drawbacks: Donny Osmond instead of Frank Sinatra, American Bush instead of the Bada-Bing!, no betting on the BYU Cougars. Do you think if Mario has given Orrin a mob nickname yet? How about 88 Fingers Orrin? Hatchione? Ah...seems like there should be better ones. Readers: whatcha got? *Facione, as far as I know, is not one.

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Some Elected Officials Singing the Broke-Ass Blues

Congressional financial disclosures, set to be released to the public in full this June, seem to suggest that it never really hurts to have a second job--even when you’re an elected official. Senator and "songwriter" Orrin Hatch is so far Utah’s only elected official who seems to be bringing home the bacon. Hatch reported earning nearly $40,000 in royalties this year from his (gag) music career. Our other congressmen are seriously in the red (financially).

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Brokeback Capitol Hill

Uptight conservative Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and bellicose liberal Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, despite their profound differences of opinion, are friends and have even cosponsored more than 400 bills. It sounds like a bad buddy cop film (and there's probably a Brokeback Mountain joke in there somewhere) but taken seriously, it warms the heart. Why wouldn't it? Bile is ping-ponging up and down the Beltway and across the country; this kind of story gives us a reprieve from the heaving. A temporary one, anyway. Despite such high-profile bipartisan yokings as Schwarzenegger-Shriver or Carville-Matalin, we're still a rent and polarized nation. If there is true friendship or love in any of these relationships, you'd think the people involved would work a little harder at mending the rift. Sure, teaming up on 400 bills is a helluva start--but how about teaching some of your peers to share and play fair?

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Dr. Strangelove (or How Orrin Hatch Learned to Stop Thinking and Blow Up the World)

Armageddon.”? That’s what Senator Orrin Hatch calls the upcoming battle over President Bush’s nomination of conservative Judge Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. What’s more, ol’ Orrin is threatening to pull the trigger himself by using the “constitutional”? or “nuclear”? option (thus enabling Alito to be confirmed by blowing his opponents out of the water).

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Hatch Plays Tourist During Roberts’ Hearing

When people get so bent out of shape about cell phone rudeness, how discourteous is it that Senator Orrin Hatch used his celly to take photos during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for John Roberts? Shouldn’t he be paying attention? To be fair, Hatch wasn’t the only guy distracting himself (and Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, to whom Hatch showed off his toy) at the time:

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Hatch Down With Flag Amendment

Memo to the Rocky Mountain Right: Please stop wasting our time on things that don’t really matter, like amendments to ban things you don’t happen to like. That means you, Orrin Hatch, Senator from Utah. Love the new blog. Hate the old position on a Constitutional Amendment to ban the bad people from messing with the American flag.

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