Reviews: Romney still doesn't get it. Dems want special prosecutor for Swallow. Sagebrush Rebellion II?
Happy Tuesday. "Meet the new Mitt Romney, same as the old Mitt Romney," reads one review out of the ex-presidential candidate's first interview since his White House loss last November. The National Journal notes that Romney still doesn't get why he lost, couldn't explain his 47 percent comment nor come across as the charitable man he wanted to be known as. [NationalJournal]
-> Mother Jones' David Corn, who broke the 47 percent story, says Romney's non-denial about such a comment -- even now -- shows that the former candidate can't take responsibility for his own actions. [MJ] In Romney's defense, a writer from The Daily Beast says Romney lost because he didn't offer up enough gifts to Americans. [DailyBeast]
Topping the news: Utah Democrats are saying they want a special prosecutor to investigate embattled Attorney General John Swallow and his predecessor Mark Shurtleff, but Gov. Gary Herbert wants to wait until the federal investigation of Swallow is completed. [Trib]
-> Sagebrush Rebellion II? There's an anti-federal fever in the Utah Legislature. [Trib]
-> On that note, state lawmakers declared their supremacy over the federal government when it comes to gun laws and restrictions, under a new bill that passed a House committee. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]
-> Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, says he opposes a ban on cockfighting because -- ready for this? -- why should the state ban chickens fighting each other when abortion is still legal. [Trib] [DNews] [UtahPolicy]
Tweet of the day: From @erikaminjarez: "It's all fun and games until you realize the session is almost over."
From @SpencerJCox: "DIRECT correlation MT @utpolcapitol: We request study to see relationship between terrible jokes made on floor and end of the #utleg."
Happy birthday: To Chrony editor in chief and former Trib intern Laura Schmitz and film maker Geralyn Dreyfous.
In other news: The U. could take a significant hit to research and scholarship funding under the federal government's sequester, which will strip 8,000 students nationwide of Pell grants and cut $38 million in federal research funding. [Chrony]
-> Policymakers, doctors and scientists gathered for the first Air Quality, Health and Society retreat at the U., to brainstorm solutions for Utah's air quagmire. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee says Girl Scouts should be eligible for the same tax benefits that Boy Scouts reap. [Trib]
-> Meet the Mormon musician who is mixing gospel, blues and country and apparently attracting interest from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. [TheBlaze]
Heard on the Hill: "I propose we move the prison to Sugar House." - Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, during debate on a prison relocation bill.
From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]
-> Parents and education activists hit the Hill to show support for a Senate bill that would bolster preschool programs for at-risk kids. [Trib]
-> House lawmakers gave a nod to a bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel that would ban federal agents, such as BLM officials, from enforcing state laws, lest they be charged with a class B misdemeanor for impersonating a police officer. [Herald]
-> The Senate shot down a bill that would have made not wearing your seatbelt a primary offense, saying that the legislation was similar to a House bill that failed last year. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers put their foot down against Agenda 21 -- a set of United Nations guidelines that critics say promotes socialism. [Trib]
-> Rep. Brian King will have more time to work on his public records bill after it was sent back to a committee for interim study. [Trib]
-> A bill that would provide taxpayer dollars for a "megahotel" in downtown Salt Lake City will be put to the test today. [Trib]
-> A House committee nixed a bill that would have upped taxes on the rich to bring in an estimated $113.8 million for education. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers upheld a ban on turning pigs loose to hunt them, with the state veterinarian saying that a feral swine population could have major consequences for agriculture and wildlife. [Trib]
-> Rep. Steve Eliason is pushing a bill that would incentivize online retailers by letting them keep a slice of sales tax. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick looks at how Sen. Curt Bramble's eminent domain bill went south -- mainly because it lacked support from the Utah Farm Bureau. [UtahPolicy]
-> Local foresters would be able to log and manage national forests if they pose a public safety risk, under a new bill that was introduced in a House committee. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers said farewell to outgoing state Department of Transportation director John Njord, who they honored with a standing ovation for his 12 years of service. [Trib]
Nationally: President Barack Obama held his first Cabinet meeting of the year yesterday, getting all members of his team -- including newly-minted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew -- on board with the impact of the sequester. [WaPost]
-> No more football game flyovers: Air Force officials announced that they'll be grounding the Thunderbirds -- their elite air show squad -- due to sequester cuts.
-> Chris Cillizza breaks down Ann Romney's statement on Fox News Sunday that the media is to blame for her husband's defeat last November, taking a look at the campaign's mistakes -- especially the "47 percent" debacle. [WaPost]
Where are they?