News roundup: 'Bible' movie producers dismiss Obama as Satan rumors
'Bible' producers dismiss Obama as Satan rumors. Appointing the AG? Women to pray at LDS gathering.
Happy Tuesday. The producers of the new movie "The Bible" are dismissing Internet rumors that the Satan in the upcoming flick is made to look like President Barack Obama. To be fair, the resemblance is uncanny.
-> "Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our president, who is a fellow Christian," said Roma Downey, the "Touched by an Angel" star behind the new movie, referring to her husband, Mark Burnett. [CBSNews]
Topping the news: In an attempt to curb corruption and prevent another brouhaha like the one that's embroiled Attorney General John Swallow, a freshman state senator is proposing appointing Utah's top law enforcement official, instead of electing the office. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert says he won't decide on a Medicaid expansion without a state-sponsored study in hand though a final draft has been available for weeks. [Trib]
-> In a first in LDS history, women are being asked to give the opening and closing prayers at the faith's general conference in April. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @briangrimmett: "Monday morning and I don't have to go to the Legislature. Not sure what I'm supposed to do now."
Happy birthday: To our favorite vet, Melissa Lehmann.
In other news: With six backing banks signing on, a small business loan fund run by the Salt Lake County government is set to expand up to $7 million dollars this year, County Mayor Ben McAdams announced. [DNews]
-> With $10 million down the drain in an attempt to make it a success, Cedar Hills is reeling from its failing, taxpayer-subsidized golf course which voters narrowly approved in 2004. [Trib]
-> After being robbed of their cash box while selling cookies, a group of Girl Scouts was invited by Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach to hawk their treats at the Taylorsville City Hall to recoup some of their losses. Meanwhile, police say they've received some strong leads in the case and are narrowing in on their suspect. [Trib]
-> As demand for field space increases, Salt Lake City says they're planning on changing their field rental fee structure to accomodate the sports boom. [Trib]
-> Bryan Schott says Mia Love's hiring of Dave Hansen is impressive, though Schott notes that Rep. Jim Matheson has always been cool and collective heading into tough races. [UtahPolicy]
-> Pat Bagley reminisces on the early days of the Iraq War. [Trib]
Nationally: In a report released yesterday, the Republican National Committee laid out a battle plan for reclaiming the Party of the Big Tent, acknowledging that the party gives off the "stuffy old men" vibe to voters. Solutions include shrinking down the primary system, leading the charge on immigration reform and listening to middle-class economic anxieties. [Politico] [WaPost] [NYTimes]
-> President Barack Obama tapped Department of Justice civil rights division head Thomas Perez to replace outgoing Secretary of Labor Hilda Sollis. [WaPost] [NYTimes][Politico]
-> Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially came out in support of gay marriage in a Human Rights Campaign video, saying she supports it on a personal level and in the policy realm. [WaPost] [Politico] [NYTimes] [APviaTrib]
-> Clinton seems to be joining the political zeitgeist regarding same-sex marriage, as a joint ABC-Washington Post poll found that 58 percent of Americans think that marriage for gay and lesbian couples should be legal. [WaPost] [ABC] [Politico]
-> Budget resolution will be a hot topic on Capitol Hill this week, as lawmakers are working to pass a measure that will keep the government afloat for the next six months.[Politico]
-> As the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on several same-sex marriage cases, how will the marriages of each justice play into the mix? [WaPost]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz meets with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, has a briefing on cyber threats, hits a Judiciary Committee hearing and accepts an award from the Natural Products Association.
Rep. Chris Stewart hits a Public Lands subcommittee hearing and a Science, Space and Technology subcommittee hearing and then meets with the Salt Lake Community College Student Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Gov. Gary Herbert takes a personal day.
AG John Swallow is in Mexico for the Conference of Western Attorneys General, meeting with Mexican prosecutors and government officials.
SL Co. Ben McAdams hits a board meeting at the Unified Fire Authority, drops in on an editorial board meeting at the Trib and attends the County Council hearings.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker heads to a public services budget meeting and then the City Council meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends the City Council meeting.
President Barack Obama meets with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, hits a St. Patrick's day luncheon followed by a reception and later flies to Israel in the evening.
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Thomas Burr and Emily AndrewsTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/emilytandrews