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News roundup: Congress more popular after Syria showdown

Published September 13, 2013 6:10 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Congress slightly more popular. The Tribune takes a big hit. Feds won't charge Swallow, Shurtleff.

Happy Friday. Congress' approval rating is on the rise — all the way up to 19 percent. Don't laugh. That's the highest it's been since October 2012. [Gallup] In contrast, President Barack Obama's ratings haven't improved, dropping to 45 percent. [Gallup]

Topping the news: Utah's Attorney General John Swallow will not be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, neither will his predecessor former AG Mark Shurtleff. Swallow said he expected this result because he didn't do anything wrong. However, Davis and Salt Lake County's district attorneys, along with a special committee created by the Legislature, said they'll continue their own probes. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [Fox13] [ABC4]

-> The state records committee sided with The Trib on Thursday requiring AG's office to hand over federal subpoenas related to Swallow and their internal emails about how to respond to those subpoenas. The office could appeal the decision. [Trib]

-> It was a devastating day at The Trib, as 19 journalists were let go and two top editors retired. The layoffs total almost 20 percent of the staff and were driven by falling advertising revenue, despite strong growth in our web and mobile audiences. We will miss our colleagues dearly. [Trib] [DNews]

Tweets of the day: From @RexHuppke: "Can't wait to see the photos of Vladimir Putin typing his New York Times column bare-chested atop a lion he punched to death."

From @MattLaslo: "Ahhh, 1 min. speeches in House: When they bloviate about random local issues after failing to tackle anything of national importance"

From @emilytandrews: "Today, I'm thinking about a poster that hung on the wall at my @SLTribPolitics internship: "The Salt Lake Tribune: Imagine Utah without it."

Happy birthday: To former Utah First Lady Norma Matheson, state Rep. Gage Froerer and Tribune legend Peg McEntee.

In other news: The White House is still aggressively reaching out to lawmakers who are critical of its plan to bomb Syria. Sen. Orrin Hatch, and Rep. Chris Stewart both attended separate briefings led by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. [Trib]

-> Hatch says its "very possible" Congress and the president headed for another debt ceiling crisis that could hurt the economy. And he blamed the Obama administration for a lack of leadership. [NationalJournal]

-> Hatch and Sen. Mike Lee were on opposite sides of a bill that would allow journalists the right to not testify or submit their notes in most cases involving confidential sources. Hatch voted in favor, while Lee voted no. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will now go to the full Senate for a vote. [Trib]

-> The state auditor released a performance audit of Utah's Division of Rehabilitation Services, citing negative findings and recommending a move from the state Office of Education to another department like Workforce Services. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The Utah Division of Environmental Response and Remediation has launched a new searchable database that the public can access information about environmental incidents. [Trib]

-> Farmington mayoral candidate John Bowker withdrew from the race saying his new job wouldn't leave him enough time to serve in public office. Bowker praised the only remaining candidate, the apparent future mayor, Farmington City Councilman Jim Talbot. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly discussed the glitches still going on with Salt Lake City's digital parking system, and now their new pay-by-phone mobile app. [Trib]

-> Pignanelli and Webb update an old column about who reads what Utah news source. [UtahPolicy]

-> Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott talk about the investigations into Swallow and a Democratic challenge to Rep. Chris Stewart. [UtahPolicy]

Nationally: The House is expected to cancel its September recess to work on a bill to avert a government shutdown. [Politico]

-> Obama, and Vladimir Putin have both discussed "American exceptionalism" in their outreach to the American people. Ever wonder what they are talking about? This will help explain the phrase of "American exceptionalism." [WaPost]

-> Secretary of State John Kerry begins talks with Russian counterparts in Geneva to test the viability of Syria's proposal. He insisted Syria give up intelligence of their entire chemical weapon arsenal and refused to take the possibility of a U.S. military strike off the table. Meetings will continue throughout the weekend. [NYTimes]

Where are they?

Sen. Mike Lee holds a fundraiser in Utah with Sen. Ted Cruz.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks at Furman University about the Benghazi investigation [AP] and meets with retired military personnel in South Carolina.

Gov. Gary Herbert holds a Health Summit discussion.

SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams speaks at Visit Salt Lake's retreat and to the Security Section of the Bar and dines at the Utah League of Cities and Towns annual conference president's dinner.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker goes to the National League of Cities Strategic planning meeting.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder participates in the Utah League of Cities and Towns conference.

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with the Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Shaykh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

— Matt Canham and Jordan Bailey Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/thejordanbailey