News roundup: Country stars mock Obamacare in awards show
Country stars mock Obamacare. Herbert concerned about missing Swallow files. Romney backs primaries over caucuses and conventions.
Happy Thursday. Poking fun at the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as everyone knows it, has been easier and easier as time goes on, and even country music stars are jabbing at the health care law's glitches. At last night's Country Music Awards, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley joined up to sing a duet that puts Obamacare as the butt of the joke. [Politico]
Topping the news: Gov. Gary Herbert says that he is concerned about the missing files and emails from Attorney General John Swallow's computers. Herbert says he's not passing judgment and hopes there is a rational explanation. [Trib]
-> Swallow's attorneys say that he didn't delete his emails or files for any nefarious reasons or to try and hide anything. [DNews]
-> Mitt Romney says that he favors primary elections over caucuses or conventions, and he might get involved in changing Utah's system. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @RexHuppke: "I'm beginning to think the Tea Party has nothing whatsoever to do with tea."
Happy birthday: To West Valley City Mayor-elect Ron Bigelow, state Sen. Howard Stephenson and Connor Boyack.
In other news: Bigelow says one of the first things on his agenda as the incoming mayor is to reform the city's troubled police department. [DNews]
-> Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified that hundreds of fixes are needed for the Obamacare insurance marketplaces, and reiterated her promise to have healthcare.gov fully functional by the end of the month. Sen. Orrin Hatch criticized Sebelius for not being more forthcoming with information, and that he doesn't want any more excuses just the truth. [Trib] [WaPost] [Politico] [NYTimes]
-> Officials from four southern Utah counties want the state to assume control of national parks so that another federal shutdown doesn't cost millions of dollars in lost revenue. [Trib]
-> The UTA is asking for the public's opinion on how it should spend millions of dollars of the taxpayers money. [DNews]
-> Bryan Schott suggests Gov. Gary Herbert is waiting to decide on a Medicaid expansion until after the legislative session this Spring so as not to let state lawmakers mess it up. [UtahPolicy]
-> Herbert, meanwhile, is inching closer to calling for a hike in the state's gas tax. [UtahPolicy]
-> Pat Bagley hands out a circle of Pinocchios to Obama and his critics. [Trib]
-> Residents in Hyde Park can now buy their beer within city limits, but will still have to drive to Logan to get spirits at the state liquor store. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Summit Community Solar installed 327 kilowatts of solar panels to power 59 homes; that bests Salt Lake County's 232 kilowatts of solar power. [Trib] [ParkRecord]
Nationally: Virginia's gubernatorial race proved to deepen the divide between mainstream Republicans and tea partiers. Ken Cuccinelli's camp began pointing fingers at the national party for abandoning them while the party elders said Cuccinelli failed to raise enough money. [WaPost]
-> Two senators are calling for the resignation of acting Homeland Security Inspector General Charles Edwards for allegations of misconduct and abuse of powers. [WaPost]
-> Vice President Joe Biden called and congratulated the wrong Marty Walsh for winning Boston's mayoral election. The less-famous Walsh said that several other political figures from around that nation accidentally called him. [Globe]
Where are they?
Rep. Chris Stewart speaks at the Salt Lake Kiwanis Club Lunch and tours the Exelis, C7 Data Systems and Trinity Highway Products facilities.
Gov. Gary Herbert sits down with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and state Rep. Jim Dunnigan, holds a Cabinet meeting and participates in the Utah Sports Commission Executive Committee meeting.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams holds a Twitter chat on the county's 2014 budget, attends the Council of Governments meeting, sits down with SLC Mayor Ralph Becker and speaks at the Pitch Nic premiere.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker unveils the Sustainability Dashboard website, has lunch with business leaders, attends the Salt Lake County Council of Governments and sits down with S.L. Co. Mayor Ben McAdams.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends the Salt Lake County Council of Governments meeting.
President Barack Obama meets with Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and hosts the cast and crew of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at the White House.
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Thomas Burr and Jordan Bailey Twitter.com/thomaswburr Twitter.com/thejordanbailey