Herbert would fire Swallow. Bush's spike in popularity. Lee wants to publicize secret court's legal reasoning.
Happy Wednesday. For the first time since 2005, more Americans have a favorable view of former President George W. Bush than an unfavorable one, according to a new Gallup poll. His approval rating has even topped that of President Barack Obama. [Gallup] [WSJ] [CNN]
Topping the news: Gov. Gary Herbert says if it were up to him, he would fire AG John Swallow, but he would not call on Swallow to resign. Afterward Swallow released a statement that in part says: "I have admired the governor for speaking out that due process should be followed and I am saddened he has grown impatient with the process." [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews]
-> Former AG Mark Shurtleff, who is under investigation for his involvement in the scandal engulfing Swallow, has started his own government-relations firm. [Trib]
-> Sen. Mike Lee sees leaked NSA documents as an opportunity to reopen the debate on the declassification of FISA court rulings, a measure that would make the legal justification for government surveillance more transparent. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @MattLaslo: "'Eww,' is one female reporter's response to Sen. Hatch calling a group of reporters 'a good looking bunch.'"
From @KateNocera: "Sen Mike Lee on if he thinks Snowden is a traitor: 'from what I know, yes...the guy broke a whole bunch of laws.'"
Happy birthday: to Taylorsville City Engineer John Taylor and former Senate President Michael Waddoups.
Congrats: to Trib photo chief Jeremy Harmon and his lovely wife Amanda on the birth of their second daughter Emma.
In other news: Utah has a new political polling firm run by two BYU professors and the chief political strategist for Sen. Orrin Hatch and Mia Love. [UtahPolicy]
-> Paul Rolly reports that Salt Lake County Council Chairman Steve DeBry questions whether the state's gay pride parade is a political event and whether the county employees who marched together violated the law. [Trib]
-> The state's new prison boss has experience opening up new corrections facilities, which could be key if power brokers decide to move the state's main lockup out of Draper. [Trib]
-> SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams makes a few mid-year adjustments to the 2013 budget in an attempt to ensure the county remains in the black. [Trib]
-> National Sierra Club leaders came to Utah to launch a new campaign that highlights their desire for the government to create a new Greater Canyonlands National Monument. [Trib]
-> The latest partisan polls show Rep. Jim Matheson has a comfortable lead over Mia Love. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley's guest Steve Sack gives his take on Sen. John McCain's position on Syria. [Trib]
-> The state Board of Education wants a special Legislative session to drop a new law requiring that each school receive a letter grade for its performance and go back to a point system. [Trib]
-> An administrative law judge rules that the BLM has been systematically underreporting grazing impacts in Rich County, and if broadly applied, the ruling would have a major impact throughout the West. [Trib]
Nationally: As the Senate starts to cast votes on immigration reform, President Barack Obama reenters the discussion with a speech focused on the impact the bill would have on the children of undocumented immigrants. [NYTimes] [Politico]
-> Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy tries once more to advance gay rights through the immigration reform bill, filing an amendment that would allow a gay U.S. citizen to petition for permanent residency on behalf of their foreign, same-sex spouse. [Politico]
-> The American Civil Liberties Union, itself a Verizon customer, has sued the Obama administration over its "dragnet" collection of phone records on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> In an attempt to prove that it denies more government requests for personal information than it grants, Google asks the government to allow them to make these requests public. [NYTimes]
-> Nearly 5 million Americans have security clearance, making the likelihood of leaks remarkably high. [Politico]
-> Former Vice President Al Gore tells President Barack Obama that it's time to get serious about climate change, advising him to get a climate team in place to tackle the issue. [Politico]
Where are they?