Hollywood on Obama's back over drug laws. Merrill Cook onUFO panel. How Margaret Thatcher changed England and made a big impact here.
Happy Tuesday. A group of more than 100 entertainers from Lil Wayne to Scarlett Johansson are pressuring President Barack Obama to change drug laws offering treatment instead of incarceration for non-violent offenders. [AP]
Topping the news: With a tough economic climate, some of Utah's rural counties are interested in becoming the future home of a new state prison and the county jails are arguing that it makes sense for them to house more state inmates as well. [Trib]
-> Former Rep. Merrill Cook will take part in a six-day mock panel on UFOs in Washington later this month – promising to keep an open mind despite saying he doesn't believe in aliens flying to Earth. [Trib]
-> An Ogden man who ambitiously billed the federal government for $53 trillion in legal damages is on his way to prison. [DNews]
Thatcher: Britain's "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher died Monday. The first and only female prime minister of Great Britain, she held office for 11 and a half years, overseeing the latter years of the Cold War, the Falklands War and transformed her country's political and economic life. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [APviaTrib]
-> Thatcher was a close friend and political ally of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Here's a look at the top five moments in Britain-U.S. relations during her time in office.
-> After news of her passing, see what three notable Utahns said about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. [Trib]
-> Thatcher came to Salt Lake City in 1996 to discuss politics and British-U.S. relations with high-profile Utahns. While in Utah, she toured local spots, received an honorary degree from BYU and even took in a Mormon Tabernacle Choir show. [DNews]
Happy birthday: to Salt Lake County Democratic Treasurer Alan Anderson.
Tweet of the day: From @TheFix: "President Obama scapegoating media for dividing the country. That is something both parties agree on. Bipartisanship!"
From @StevenTDennis: "Obama ratcheted up the rhetoric to full back-this-bill-or-you-don't-care-about-children-getting-shot mode. Sign things aren't going so well?"
In other news: Legislative sources say that an override of Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of a bill that would allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit is now unlikely due to shifting tides of opinion. [Herald]
-> Salt Lake County assessor Lee Gardner says he's leaving his post to serve a mission with his wife in Barcelona, Spain. [Trib]
-> Nobody has filed an ethics complaint against a state lawmaker since the Legislature create an ethics commission two years ago. [UtahPolicy]
Nationally: President Barack Obama made an impassioned plea for Congress to at least vote on gun control measures in a speech in Hartford, Conn., part of a last-ditch effort to implement changes after the Sandy Hook school shooting in nearby Newtown four months ago. [Politico] [WaPost] [NYTimes]
-> NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control group is taking a page from the NRA and producing its own congressional scorecard. [WaPost]
-> When you follow @BarackObama, you're not really getting a direct line to the President – instead, everything you see on Twitter (and on Facebook and Tumblr and in your email) is actually being formulated by Organizing for Action, ruffling the feathers of some federal campaign regulators. [AtlanticWire]
-> The results are in for the Washington Post's Sweet 2016 political bracket, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winning out with more than 80 percent of 3,700 votes cast. [WaPost]
Where are they?