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(AP file Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) House Speaker John Boehner said he’s not confident that Congress can reach a deal and avoid a downgrade. No serious negotiations are expected until after the November elections.
News roundup: How the Boehner-Obama 'Grand Bargain' collapsed

Behind the Grand Bargain's failure. Obama administration's top Utahn departs. Tea party power waning?

Happy Monday. A fascinating look in The New York Times Magazine about how close President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner came to finalizing a Grand Bargain to stave off the debt limit crisis and pass comprehensive tax reform -- and how it all catastrophically fell apart. You've heard the Democrats' talking points, and the Republicans, but The Times' Matt Bai digs into the real backstory. [NYTimes]

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Topping the news: The highest ranking Utahn in the Obama administration -- Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Larry Echo Hawk -- will step down to take a position as an LDS Church General Authority. [Trib]

-> LDS Church Presiding Bishop H. David Burton, widely lauded for his work creating the City Creek Center and handling myriad other tasks, was released from his post during this weekend's General Conference. [Trib] [ABC4]

-> Robert Gehrke notes that a flood of new caucusgoers, perhaps encouraged by the LDS Church, may have reduced the tea party's clout in Utah politics from its high two years ago. [Trib]

Today's news: Most Utah Policy insiders don't think that Sen. Orrin Hatch's support of an individual mandate in 1993 and subsequent fight against the one in the Democrat's health care reform is an effective ad against him. [UtahPolicy]

-> The fight in Utah to close a loophole in reporting unplanned pollution is likely to continue even as the state attempts to put a lid on the matter. [Trib]

Opinion section: Paul Rolly notes the challenges of registered lobbyists also serving in the Utah legislature. [Trib]

-> Chaffetz says the federal government needs to reduce its size and scope, aligning the federal staff's paycheck with the earnings of the private sector. [DNews]

-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb discuss the up-and-coming Utah elections, encouraging focus on more than just the Senate race. [DNews]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the Republican party's potential disappointment over a Mormon presidential nominee. [Trib]

-> Rolly argues that although Sen. Orrin Hatch might be correct in his claims that FreedomWorks is out to get him, the Utah senator supported the creation of such groups. [Trib]

-> Duane Keown urges Utahns to be mindful of population growth when attempting to preserve the landscape that makes the state beloved. [Trib]

-> Ray Diehl says he "wants his state back," reminiscing over a Utah that was more progressive and open that it is today. [Trib]

-> Maryann Martindale says the Sutherland Institute's top-ranked legislators are out-of-touch with Utah voters. [Trib]

-> Lee J. Peacock argues that refinery expansions won't be any more harmful to the air than daily pollutants. [Trib]

-> Wayne McCormack says he believes the Constitution supports the idea of social welfare than it does "cut-throat individualism." [Trib]

-> Larry Alan Brown says extreme right-wing lawmakers are damaging the LDS Church's missionary program and immigration work. [Trib]

-> Lynn Stoddard gives her take on methods to increase graduation rates among Utah youths. [Trib]

-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says no matter what the Supreme Court decides on the health care case, the law will not survive in its current form. [DNews]

Happy Birthday: State Reps. John Dougall and Julie Fisher.

Tweet of the day: From @HuntsmanLiddy: "I'm pleased to announce my new position as part of the Obama 2012 campaign. I thank you all in advance for your support. #hope #change" // She later tweeted that it was an April Fool's joke.

2012 watch: Mitt Romney gets backing from members of the Wisconsin delegation just days before the Badger State's primary, nabbing endorsements from Sen. Ron Johnson [HuffPost] and from Rep. Paul Ryan. [NYTimes]

-> A campaign group run by Romney donated $10,000 in 2008 to an organization fighting to overturn gay marriage in California just weeks before the state's constituents voted to pass the measure. [Trib]

-> The Romney that Democrats fear most? That would be Ann Romney, according to an interesting profile in Politico. [Politico]

-> Rick Santorum downplays Romney's growing list of endorsements, comparing him to "moderate" John McCain in 2008. [FoxNews]

-> Even presidential nominees don't escape pranks: Romney got conned by his staff on April Fools Day, after they ushered the candidate to speak before what turned out to be an empty audience. [APviaDNews] [WaPost]

-> Santorum epitomizes Ronald Reagan as the symbol of true conservatism at a jelly bean factory in California -- the outlet responsible for creating the late president's favorite candy. [LATimes]

-> Newt Gingrich admits Romney will "probably" win the nomination and vows to back the former Massachusetts governor if he drops out. [WaPost]

-> Ron Paul's supporters might soon be faced with the reality that their candidate will lose and his supporters have a clear decision about their second pick. [Reuters]

Weekend in review: Lynn Wardle looks to challenge Rep. Jason Chaffetz for the House seat in Utah's third district. [Herald]

-> Our D.C. Notebook notes that Rep. Jim Matheson says he will vote for President Barack Obama, that

-> The SL County auditor's office continues to shrink as more employees are shifted to the mayor's office. [Trib]

-> Utahns gathered in support of Trayvon Martin on Saturday, joining together in a "hoodie march" to honor the slain Florida teen. [ABC4]

-> County officials reluctantly agree to a study of the historic Utah Theatre to test the possibility of creating a film and media center across from the planned Broadway-style playhouse. [Trib]

-> Hill Air Force Base defends its handling of a Mercury spill four years ago that was allegedly mishandled and covered up. [Trib]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz appears on CNBC's Kudlow Report.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert makes an announcement in Rose Park about the housing recovery, and then meets with Steve Price, Jeff Robbins and with Christine Kearl.
  • Lt. Gov. Greg Bell greets the ambassador of Hungary to the U.N. and attends a meeting with the Commission on Immigration and Migration.
  • SL County Mayor Peter Corroon heads to a Cabinet meeting, then meets with Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn, CAO Linda Hamilton and Human Services Department Director Jean Nielson.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends a Capital City Education Initiative briefing and then hits a budget meeting.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with delegates in South Jordan.
  • President Barack Obama hosts Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico for the North American Leaders' Summit.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com.

-- Thomas Burr and Laura Schmitz

Twitter.com/thomaswburr



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