Washington • In the crush of social media traffic following President Barack Obama’s re-election, there were some incredibly racist comments floating out in cyberspace.
Most are unprintable in a family newspaper but suffice to say some used the n-word while others argued “it’s called the White House for a reason.”
And apparently Utah was a hotbed for the verbal sewage.
A group of geography academics called Floating Sheep charted the location data embedded in tweets sent about Obama’s win and ranked states based on which were sources for the most racist comments.
Utah tied with North Dakota as fourth worst.
Alabama led in racist tweets sent out about Obama’s victory, followed by Mississippi and Georgia.
New tactic • Obamacare is here to stay and Republicans seem to be begrudgingly accepting it.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, predicts there will still be GOP attempts to repeal Obama’s signature health care law, but they may be half-hearted since Obama was re-elected and Democrats gained seats in the House and Senate.
“It seems like [repeal] is going to be impossible,” Lee said. “Yet it remains the fact that it is really dangerous to the economy.”
He predicted a change in opponents’ tactics.
“It may be we see more surgical efforts to undo some of the scarier components,” Lee said, pointing to a new tax on medical devices. Utah and Minnesota are the two main hubs for the medical-device industry and politicians from those states, Democrats and Republicans, want the tax increase eliminated.
Matheson confident he’ll stay on top • Some Republicans, including Mia Love, are holding out hope that thousands of absentee and provisional ballots in the 4th Congressional District may erase Rep. Jim Matheson’s narrow lead.
Matheson thinks they are dreaming.
“I’m not concerned,” he said this week about his 2,646-vote lead with an estimated 28,700 ballots left to count. “It’s going to hold. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to come in pretty much like the regular votes did.”
Those ballots are among the 72,000 left to be counted in Salt Lake, Utah, Juab and Sanpete counties. The official county tallies will take place on Tuesday.
Learning Washington’s ways • Congressman-elect Chris Stewart survived his first week of congressional boot camp, but was a little stunned at the pace of the meetings the House forced new members to endure.
“It has been very, very busy,” he said. “You feel like you are trying to grasp what is impossible to grasp in three or four days.”
He sat through lectures on ethics, legislative rules and how to set up a congressional office, while also trying to get to know some of his colleagues and mingling with the incumbents who were in town to kick off this post-election session of Congress.
Stewart, R-Utah, reported that the freshmen were a little wide-eyed at the beginning of the week, but a few of their bolder members spoke up more in a private Republican gathering on Thursday.
“It was nice to see everyone get acclimated a little bit,” Stewart said.
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Burr and Canham report from Washington, D.C. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or via Twitter: @thomaswburr or @mattcanham.