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Orrin Hatch
  • Americans Still Just as Prejudiced Against Mormons as 45 Years Ago

    Mormon Temple, UtahIn 1844, the first-ever Mormon presidential candidate was besieged by an angry mob in the Carthage, Illinois jail in which he was being held prisoner and shot several times before falling out of a window and having his limp body propped up against a well and executed by an ersatz firing squad.

    Since then, Americans' views of Mormon candidates have improved, but not by all that much

    Eighteen percent of Americans say they would not vote for a well-qualified presidential candidate who happens to be a Mormon, virtually the same as the 17% who held this attitude in 1967.

    The exact percentage of Americans who resist the idea of voting for a Mormon has varied slightly over the eight times Gallup has asked the question, typically when a Mormon was running for president, including George Romney (1968 campaign), Orrin Hatch (2000 campaign), and Mitt Romney (2008 and 2012 campaigns). The percentage opposed to a Mormon president has averaged 19% since 1967 — from a low of 17% at several points to a high of 24% in 2007. The current 18% is down from 22% a year ago.

    Well, if nothing else, at least we get points for consistency.

    Think about that! Nearly one-in-five Americans — 56 million people, the equivalent of the combined populations of California and New York — happily admit that they would discriminate against a person, based solely upon his or her personal lifestyle choices. Personally, I find that mind-boggling and embarrassing. And I'm sure the Mormon Church would agree with me.

    Not least of all Mitt Romney.

    Photo by George Frey/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Christianity, George Romney, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Orrin Hatch, Polls, Religion
  • Proof Barack Obama Is a Hipster

    barack obamaThis past Tuesday, Barack Obama delivered a fiery address to the United Auto Workers Convention, aggressively defending his administration's bailout of the auto industry. Only one problem. According to Senator Orrin Hatch, Obama is just being ironic

    "President Obama has traded in the hard hat and lunch bucket category of the Democratic Party for the hipster fedora and a double skim latte," said Hatch as he argued against the president's energy policy, which has delayed the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and limited and delayed the exploration and production of some domestic energy.

    It's a weighty charge coming from a senator who was into the war on reproductive choice way before the rest of his party thought it was cool, but a transcript of Obama's podcast interview with Bill Simmons does suggest the president is an insufferable hipster…

    Read More »

    Tags: Barack Obama, Environment, Orrin Hatch, Sports
  • New Old News: Orrin Hatch Supports Park51

    Utah Senator Orrin Hatch became the highest ranking GOP official to come out in favor of building the Park51 Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan today, officially adding the 21st to the list of centuries he's building bridges to.

    The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm/10c.

    Tags: Islam, New Old News, Orrin Hatch, Utah, Video
  • Senate to Elena Kagan: Put Us Out of Our Misery!

    So, the Senate should be voting on whether or not (or almost certainly yes) Elena Kagan will be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. So far, we know that Sen. Orrin Hatch is definitely not on Team Kagan. And we know that Sen. Arlen Specter is a chicken apparently. And we can make a lot of pretty good guesses about a lot of the other votes.

    But, you may wonder why a senator will be motivating the inevitable — if ineffectual — votes against Kagan. This might shed a tiny bit of light

    Over and over, Ms. Kagan reminded the senators questioning her of their own duty to pass cogent, sensible — and constitutional — laws. The Supreme Court, she said, was not created to strike down foolish measures…

    On Tuesday, for instance, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, asked what should happen if Congress enacted a law requiring Americans “to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day.”

    "It sounds like a dumb law," Ms. Kagan said. But she would not commit to striking it down. "I think that courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are senseless, just because they’re senseless," she said.

    Okay, but what if it was, like, really senseless? What if we enacted a law requiring Americans to place the toilet paper roll into the dispenser so that the paper falls over the roll instead of hanging behind it? Well, what if we enacted a law making it illegal to acknowledge that there is a biologically taxonomic difference between alligators and crocodiles? How about a law requiring Americans wear spaghetti with clam sauce on their heads between the hours of 4 and 7 pm on alternating Thursdays? Because — mark my words! — we will do that!

    Ms. Kagan repeatedly said she would show "great deference to Congress." Perhaps surprisingly, that was not what many senators seemed to want to hear. They appeared to want the Supreme Court to save them from themselves.

    Please! You don't understand what we're capable of! As a body, we are effectively a seven-ton, mentally-handicapped sociopathic 9-year-old with intermittent rage disorder! We will kill us all!!!!

    Tags: Arlen Specter, Elena Kagan, Orrin Hatch, Senate, Supreme Court, Tom Coburn
  • Introducing Elena Kagan, the Jewish Wise Latina

    This morning, Barack Obama announced his choice of Supreme Court nominee to replace that old guy, whatever his name is — George Paul Ringo or something — and she appears, at first blush, to be a woman

    President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court on Monday, picking her to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens…

    Kagan, 50, received her law degree from Harvard University, where she later served as dean of the law school. She previously served in the Clinton administration as associate White House counsel… As solicitor general, she is the administration's top lawyer before the Supreme Court and has argued several high-profile cases before the justices since taking the job in spring 2009.

    Wow! She seems really, really, really… woman-ish!

    A woman?! But, but, but… That would mean… Three out of nine Supreme Court Justices on the bench would be women! Why, that's almost one-third! That's never happened before. And I'm pretty sure it's statistically unrepresentative of Supreme Court Justices in everyday life.

    Will Republicans stand for such a travesty?

    "You have to admit, Elena Kagan is a brilliant woman," Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said during a radio interview a year ago when Kagan was being vetted for a high court seat. "She is a brilliant lawyer. If [Obama] picks her, it is a real dilemma for people"…

    Yep. Not just a brilliant woman, but also a brilliant lawyer. She can do both of those things very well. Often at at the same time. So, yeah, "the people" will have a real "dilemma" on their hands alright? Oh, what a pickle they'll find themselves in. Can you even imagine what a spot that would put "the people" in if such a brilliant lawyer were nominated for the bench. I feel so, so bad for "the people."

    Oh, did we forget to mention? Kagan is also a brilliant Jew…

    Her confirmation also would mean that the Supreme Court would have no Protestant justices for the first time in its history. Kagan, who is Jewish, would join six Catholic and two Jewish justices.

    Not to mention, possibly, a brilliantly closeted lesbian

    [I]t's suprsingly difficult to find information abotu Kagan's personal life. According to one (very, very sketchy) Internet message board , Kagan is "with a female former partner of another leading legal academic."

    Poor "the people." They're going to have a such a difficult time spending the next several months demonizing this brilliant woman/brilliant lawyer/brilliant Jew/brilliant possible lesbian. My heart just goes out for them.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Elena Kagan, Jewish, John Paul Stevens, LGBT, Men and Women, Orrin Hatch, Senate, Supreme Court