It’s official. Little Jason Chaffetz of U.S. Representative fame is not as dumb as editorial cartoonists would have you believe. He can add. He can tweet to the world and sleep on a congressional cot in the House, but it will earn him no brownie points in a Senate race where Sen. Orrin Hatch has amassed $3.4 million to demolish him. Chaffetz says he wants to focus on the budget mess, and surely looking for deep pockets to fund a Senate race would detract from that. So it’s best he stay put and take swipes at the aging senator—who, BTW, hasn’t ruled out a run in 2018! We guess that means he sees Rep. Jim Matheson as token opposition. And none of the tea party-esque challengers have the charisma and chutzpah of Chaffetz.
Michelle Hofmann, pediatrician and Breathe Utah board member, got it right when she bemoaned Utah’s damned dirty air, whose ozone is taking its toll on the health of Utahns. Asthma is just one of the effects. Another report warns that 19 of 322 sites in Utah yield fish with off-the-charts mercury levels. What’s the answer? Hold your breath and don’t eat the fish? Well, scientists are trying out a pump at Newcastle Reservoir that could interrupt the life cycle of bacteria feeding on mercury. On the air-quality side, Hofmann suggests “driving less, carpooling or taking public transportation when air quality is deteriorating” and getting government and industries to do their part. You know, like they did with immigration.
Speaking of immigration, let’s hear it for Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who had the temerity to side with our socialist president Barack Obama. Obama’s not going to deport the benign illegal immigrants—the ones who aren’t committing major crimes. It’s a waste of resources, he says, while jabbing at the tea party for co-opting the Republican Party with spurious arguments. Hey, the evangelicals even joined in Shurtleff’s missive. That didn’t stop Gov. Gary Herbert from barking the “party” line that Obama’s policy is “de facto amnesty.” Utah already has a guest-worker law, but it doesn’t reach out to newcomers, which Herbert says is the big difference. And the state doesn’t have the resources, he says. But, isn’t that what Shurtleff said? If it’s about resources, why not let the feds focus on the bad guys?