News roundup: Sci-Fi writer Orson Scott Card compares Obama to Hitler
Happy Friday. Science Fiction writer Orson Scott Card, a one-time Utah resident, BYU grad and former Deseret News columnist, is jumping back into national controversy again. This time it's not over his stand on gay rights but a "thought experiment" column in which he envisions the Hitler-aspiring Barack Obama as conspiring to cling to power after his term-limited presidency by using gangs of "out of work urban men" to beat and murder his enemies and ensure that Michelle Obama succeeds him. [Slate] [OrneryAmerican]
Topping the news:
-> North Carolina State University has won a $60 million federal contract to partner with the NSA on a new center dedicated to researching the challenges of collecting, sorting and storing massive amounts of computer data, like the kind being stored in Utah. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @daveweigel: "*wipes tear* God bless you, WH press corps RT @FreeBeacon: Travel pool report #4: 'The president is golfing.'"
Happy birthday: to Rep. Jason Chaffetz's legislative director, Mike Jerman, and former state Sen. Brent Goodfellow, and on Saturday to Rep. Jim Matheson's press secretary, Jessica Gail.
-> Over 6,000 Utahns applied for "deferred action for childhood arrivals" status in the last year, with most already receiving approval. Depending on the details of a congressional immigration reform bill, DACA status may speed up the process of eventually gaining U.S. citizenship. [Trib]
In other news: Paul Rolly talks Sen. Mike Lee's attempts to dodge Salt Lake County in his town hall schedule during the congressional recess. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the military-led Egyptian government's crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters. [Trib]
-> State Sen. Curt Bramble has been elected VP of the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Famous anti-pollution activist Erin Brockovich has joined the campaign to shut down the Stericycle medical-waste incinerator in North Salt Lake. [Trib]
-> At a forum sponsored by an advocacy group associated with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Sen. Orrin Hatch voiced his support of immigration reform, arguing that it would help boost the economy by bringing in top brains that businesses need to expand. [Trib] [DNews]
-> A new poll conducted by Heritage Action for America has found that Republicans would shoulder a fair amount of the blame if a government shutdown to block funding for Obamacare was to happen. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake City Council has voted to finalize its $221 million budget, which includes and $8 million property tax hike. Taxpayers will face paying an additional 13.8 percent. [Trib]
-> Four Utah agencies have been chosen as "navigators" to help the uninsured find their way through the new insurance market places under the Affordable Care Act. The groups will share more than $806,000 in grants from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. [Trib]
-> The Utah AG's office is defending the state's ban on same-sex marriage, arguing that it is not a constitutionally protected fundamental right or privilege. [DNews] [ABC4]
Nationally: In protest over the military-led Egyptian government's crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters, which has resulted in more than 500 deaths so far, President Barack Obama interrupted his vacation on Martha's Vineyard to announce he is canceling a joint military exercise with Egypt scheduled for next month. The $1.3 billion in American military aid remains in place. [WaPost] [NYTimes] [CNN]
-> Former President George W. Bush's daughter Barbara is keen to see Hillary Clinton make a run for the presidency in 2016. She didn't, however, go so far as to say she would vote for the former first lady. [TheHill] [Politico]
-> While the Obamas are on vacation this week solar panels are being installed on the White House as part of an energy retrofit, three years after the administration first promised to do so. [ABCNews]
-> The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $67 million to be shared among 105 groups nationwide to pay for "navigators" to help the uninsured sign up for health coverage. [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-> An internal NSA audit shows that through its surveillance programs the agency has broken privacy rules thousands of times each year since 2008. [WaPost] [Politico]
-> The chief judge of the FISA court says its ability to police the government's surveillance programs is limited and it must rely on the government itself to report when it improperly spies on Americans. [WaPost]
Where are they?
Gov. Gary Herbert meets with Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx and Sen. Orrin Hatch and attends the Draper TRAX grand opening.
President Barack Obama remains on vacation at Martha's Vineyard.
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Thomas Burr and Isobel MarkhamTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham