News roundup: Nonbeliever adds to religious diversity of Congress; Hatch concerned about Hagel
Published: January 8, 2013 07:58AM
Updated: January 8, 2013 07:58AM
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President Barack Obama listens in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, where he announced that he is nominating Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, center, as the new CIA director; and former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, right, as the new defense secretary.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Hatch concerned about Hagel. More religious diversity in Congress. EnergySolutions sold to a N.J. company.

Happy Tuesday. Mormons make up seven percent of the more religiously diverse Congress and for the first time there is a Hindu and a member who described her religion as "none." The percentage of Protestant members of Congress has dropped to 56 percent. [Inquirer]

Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch, like many Republicans, expressed concern about President Barack Obama's selection of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the Department of Defense, specifically over Hagel's past comments on Israel, Iran and the U.S. nuclear program. Sen. Mike Lee, a member of the Armed Services Committee, was more circumspect. [Trib]

-> Hagel's nomination could lead to a major confirmation fight, while Obama's appointment of John Brennan for CIA director also may face some obstacles. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [FoxNews]

-> Hagel gives an interview to a Nebraska paper and says his record is being distorted. [JournalStar]

Tweets of the day: From @DeidreHenderson: "No security checks on the way into the Capitol this morning. A rare situation anymore. Can't even get into Disneyland w/o bag check."

Happy birthday: to Utah ex-pats Lauren Buchman and Ashley Diana, and to the Denver Post's Allison Sherry.

In other news: Gov. Gary Herbert takes the oath for a third time and tells Utahns who are still struggling financially: "Have courage. Have faith." [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [Fox13] [UtahPolicy]

-> Take a look at our photo gallery of Utah's governors from 1850 to now. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake County's new mayor, Ben McAdams, promises to work with all of the diverse populations within his jurisdiction. [Trib]

-> Jon Huntsman Jr. says he wants to wait at least another year before deciding if he'll make another run for the White House. [DNews]

-> Obama has four open slots on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, including one that will represent Utah. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley takes aim at NRA front man Wayne LaPierre. [Trib]

-> A New Jersey company buys EnergySolutions for $1.1 billion, but some say company leaders could have got more. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [Fox13]

-> The group pushing a ballot initiative to change Utah's caucus system is putting their effort on hold to accomodate other people interested in getting involved. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]

-> Blogger Glenn Reynolds -- creator of Instapundit -- called out the Utah County Republican Party for intolerance, after he was uninvited to speak at their annual Lincoln Day dinner. Party leaders say it was simply a misunderstanding. [Herald] [UtahPolicy]

-> The Goshute Tribe's attempt to create a nuclear rod storage facility meets its final demise, a political non-starter in Utah. [Trib]

-> Saratoga Springs faces a lawsuit alleging two City Council members held an unauthorized meeting that could have impacted a significant zoning change. [Trib]

-> Spring City, Utah is working on a resolution encouraging its 1,000 residents to own a gun and participate in gun training. [DNews]

Nationally: Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head in an attack by a mentally disturbed person, is creating a gun control organization in an attempt to counter the NRA's influence on the issue. [APviaCBS]

-> Last year, the Obama administration spent more on enforcing immigration laws — $18 billion — than all other major law enforcement initiatives combined. [NYTimes]

-> Getting to make the First Lady's inaugural gown is the dream of every dress maker, but it doesn't always work out so well. [WaPost]

Where are they?

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Matt Canham
Twitter.com/mattcanham