Romney says Mormon ban on alcohol, premarital sex is 'liberating.' Documents: Decorated vet's recent awards are fakes. Philpot vs. Herbert.
Happy Thursday and welcome to December. Can you believe it's already December? Starting off the news today is a preview of the forthcoming Parade magazine cover story on Mitt Romney where he says the Mormon church's restrictions on alcohol, premarital sex and caffeine are "liberating." In the same story, Ann Romney says that birth control is a "personal choice." [Globe]
Topping the news: Matt Canham does some investigating and finds that the awarding of some of the Air Force's highest military honors to a Utahn earlier this year appears to have been based on faked documents. [Trib]
-> The Concord Monitor's Ben Leubsdorf writes up a scene where New Hampshire's Democratic governor, John Lynch, shows up at a Jon Huntsman event and praises him. [Monitor]
Facebook update of note: From Lohra Flynn Miller: "I've had bad press in my time....thank goodness it was never a headline about my dog shooting me in the butt!" That's about this crazy story: [Trib].
Happy birthday: To Kallie Clark and Robert Resendes.
In other news: Environment and Energy reporter Mike Soraghan looks at the double duty federal officials do with regard to oil and gas drilling: regulate the industry while promoting it. [EENews]
-> Although one Federal Election Commission member opposes Sen. Mike Lee's proposed SuperPAC request, Lee is hopeful that the agency still gives him approval. [KCPW]
-> Rep. Dave Clark was looking at running for Congress before he became House speaker. [UtahPolicy]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on why Rocky Anderson wants to run for president. [Trib]
-> West Jordan has a lower percentage of residents older than 65 than any city of more than 100,000 in the nation. [Trib]
-> Attorney Robert J. Shelby of Salt Lake City has been nominated as the newest judge in U.S. District Court for Utah. [Trib]
-> On this World AIDS Day, some good news for Utah: New HIV infections and AIDS diagnoses have plummeted nearly one third between 2009 and 2010. [Trib]
-> Two new veterans nursing homes are in the offing in Utah. Ground's being broken today for an 108-bedroom facility in Ivins and another is scheduled Dec. 14 in Payson for a similar sized home. [Trib]
-> More than 100 economists say designating more protected lands in the form of parks, monuments and wilderness helps -- not hurts -- the economy. [Trib]
-> A Feb. 21 trial has been set for Mark Vreeland, the Orem man accused of impersonating a police officer when he detained a BYU student from Brazil. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake City Library earns a five-star rating. [Trib]
-> State regulators held an emergency meeting Wednesday to suspend the medical licenses of a Utah County plastic surgeon charged with felonies alleging he attacked his girlfriend. [Trib]
-> Rising prices are causing concern at Utah food banks and pantries that one of the most-requested foodstuffs will be in short supply: peanut butter. [Trib]
-> Patrick Byrne, CEO of Salt Lake City-based Overstock.com joins opponents testifying in Congress against legislation to allow sales taxes on online retailers. [Trib]
-> Opponents of Utah's enforcement-only immigration law file an open-records request with state attorneys to see how much the legal defense of the statue is costing. [Trib]
-> Sexual harassment is alleged against Salt Lake County by a former victim advocate. [Trib]
-> Big plans are afoot for the Feb. 18 anniversary of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. [Trib]
2012 watch: Presidential candidates have always glad-handed voters in living rooms and small settings in the early primary states, but that tactic may be on the wane as contenders opt for news media hits instead. [NYTimes]
-> Huntsman may have made a grave campaign error by trying to distance himself from more extreme conservatives in his party: "Voters don't necessarily need to like a candidate to vote for him, but they need to think that he likes them." [NYTimes]
-> Huntsman's three eldest daughters are at it again with a parody song of Justin Timberlake's "Bringing Sexy Back," now termed, "Bringing Huntsman Back." [BusinessInsider]
-> Romney has struggled to find a strategy to negate Newt Gingrich's rise. [WaPost]
-> But one possible Romney strategy would be to step up some negative ads. [Politico]
-> NJ Gov. Chris Christie says Obama's "henchmen" fear Romney. [Politico]
-> The Daily Show's Jon Stewart pranks Huntsman by suggesting his Twitter followers ask questions regarding Mad Men's Jon Hamm. [WaPost]
-> Huntsman and Rick Perry address the New Hampshire Legislature. [WaPost]
-> ABC News looks at the "Five Political Heirs" who have a ton of family money even as they fight for political power -- and Huntsman makes the list. [ABCNews]
-> Huntsman in New Hampshire may be boring but also dependable. [DailyCaller]
-> Turns out Huntsman was wrong when he said that countries with too high a ratio of debt to GDP don't grow anymore. [Bloomberg]
-> Romney goes on the defense as he gets slammed by Democrats. [Monitor]
Where are they?
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-- Thomas Burr
with editor Dan Harrie