News roundup: Obama wishes D.C. was like 'House of Cards'
Obama wishes Washington was like 'House of Cards.' Matheson done with House, may run for Senate, guv. Hatch, Lee split on budget deal.
Happy Wednesday. We all know that President Barack Obama is a fan of some hit TV shows like Homeland and House of Cards, but apparently he's trying to use his whole leader-of-the-free-world cred to jump ahead of us normal folks. During a sit-down with some of the nation's leading tech companies, Obama asked the head of Netflix if he'd brought advanced copies of House of Cards and then joked that he wished Washington was more like the show. (For the record, Obama didn't get to skip ahead) [ABCNews]
Topping the news: Rep. Jim Matheson shocked supporters and opponents alike Tuesday, announcing he wouldn't seek re-election to the House. He did, however, strongly hint he may run for Senate or governor. More reaction below. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [Fox13] [ ABC4] [Herald] [USAToday] [WaPost]
-> The Senate passed a procedural hurdle on a 67-33 vote to agree to the compromise budget deal and final approval is likely today. Sen. Orrin Hatch supported advancing the bill while Sen. Mike Lee opposed it. [Trib] [WaPost]
-> The White House has named a Microsoft executive to fix the much-troubled Healthcare.gov website. [Politico]
Tweet of the day: From @UTJolley: "Is it safe to say this has been the most eventful December in Utah political history?"
Happy birthday: To former state Rep. Holly Richardson.
In other news: Utah's graduation rates are on a slow climb, with last year some 81 percent of high school students obtaining their diplomas. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly notes that the Utah Republican Party chairman is advocating for a boycott of MegaPlex Theaters for allowing the County My Vote folks to gather signatures in their lobbies. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake County Council is facing a decision after the holidays on how to handle cows, chickens and other animals kept in unincorporated areas. [Trib]
-> Sen. Todd Weiler says that a UTA bus scratched his mirror in a minor sideswipe incident on Tuesday. [Trib]
-> Utah granted special privileges to the Tooele Army Depot to detonate a 17-ton cache of ordnance even though air pollution was at a high. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley takes on Utah leaders for their inaction on pollution. [Trib]
Matheson reaction: From President Barack Obama: "Jim Matheson has proudly represented the people of Utah for more than twelve years in the United States Congress. He has been a forceful advocate of our nation's veterans and worked to strengthen our economy through his support of key trade agreements. Michelle and I thank Congressman Matheson for his service and wish him, his wife Amy, and their two sons the very best in the future."
-> Minority Whip Steny Hoyer: "I am saddened that my good friend Rep. Jim Matheson has decided not to run for reelection next year. Jim has brought to the House of Representatives the kind of thoughtful, responsible leadership that this country needs to see more often."
-> Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah: "I was surprised to hear the news that Rep. Jim Matheson will be retiring next year. While we may not always agree on legislation, he is a public servant whom I respect and have enjoyed working alongside."
-> NRCC Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore.: "It's telling that Matheson, who didn't even vote for ObamaCare's original passage, knows he can't run and win in this climate. If it's this bad for him, imagine how bad 2014 will be for the vast majority of Democrats who actually supported ObamaCare from its start."
Nationally: Executives of the nation's leading tech companies told President Barack Obama that NSA eavesdropping is hurting their reputation and could have broader economic impacts. [WaPost]
-> Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says lawyers used to confuse her with colleague Sandra Day O'Connor but that doesn't happen now that there are three women on the high court. [WaPost]
Where are they?
Gov. Gary Herbert travels back to SLC from Washington and later meets with Evergreen Jr. High School students at the state Capitol.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams hits the Wasatch Summit Management Committee meeting, lunches with South Jordan Mayor-Elect David Alvord and then stops by the Valley Emergency Communications Committee Meeting.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker visits with SLC Finance Department employees, heads to the Wasatch Summit meeting, stops by the 4th Street Dental Clinic announcement, helps with the mayor's staff holiday volunteer project and meets with community liaisons.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with the Salt Lake Chamber's Lane Beattie, attends a holiday concert at Farnsworth Elementary and attends an open house for outgoing Taylorsville Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will meet with a group of moms in the Oval Office to discuss the Affordable Care Act.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]
Thomas Burr Twitter.com/thomaswburr