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(File photo | The Associated Press) Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah
News roundup: Hatch questioned nonpartisan tax study

Obama, Republicans in tax crisis gridlock. Utah Republicans loyal to Grover Norquist. Former President George H.W. Bush. hospitalized.

Happy Friday. It's a case of the disappearing report. An email exchange between staffers for Sen. Orrin Hatch and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service might provide clues to why a CRS study about tax cuts for the wealthy and economic growth was pulled down from its website two weeks after its posting, reports Roll Call.

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-> Hatch's chief economist wrote, in part, that Hatch, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was "not entirely comfortable" with the report because of what he said were questionable methodologies and "tendencies toward particular theoretical and empirical results." [RollCall]

Topping the news: Neither President Barack Obama or Republicans will budge on their position regarding raising taxes on the wealthy. Surprise, surprise. [LATimes]

Utah's Republicans in Congress stay they're sticking with their signed commitment to Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge. [Trib]

-> Mitt Romney lunched with Obama on Thursday, but White House officials were mum on what was said during the private meeting. [WaPost] The White House did, however, release a picture. [Flickr]

-> In a related note, the Secret Service arrested a man who tried to halt Romney's SUV from entering the White House grounds on Thursday. [APviaHuffPost]

Tweets of the day: From @PoliticoRoger: "I think I just fell off the fiscal cliff: I paid $2.25 for a tiny Snickers bar in hotel gift shop."

Happy birthday: To Kallie Clark and Robert Resendes on Saturday, and belated birthday wishes to Eric Ethington.

In other news: Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen was upset by GOP claims that they weren't allowed proper scrutiny of disqualified ballots, saying that "it was disingenuous for that to be said after the fact." [DNews]

-> Paul Rolly weighs in on a soldier's Utah I.D. struggles, praying Democrats and IRS-credited bladder issues. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on Republican concern with the Benghazi attack. [Trib]

-> Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss the race to replace state Sen. Ben McAdams, the state's budget picture and ex-Gov. Jon Huntsman joining No Labels. [UtahPolicy]

-> Students from Salt Lake City's Woodrow Wilson Elementary helped decorate the Utah Governor's Mansion for the holidays. [Fox13]

Nationally: Former President H.W. Bush has been hospitalized for nearly a week for treatment of recurring bronchitis-related complications, but a doctor treating Bush says it isn't a life-threatening situation. [FoxNews]

-> Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus writes to a friend: "Team Petraeus will survive though [I] have created enormous difficulty for us. Holly is, however, once again demonstrating how incredibly fortunate I was to marry her." [WaPost]

-> Vice President Joe Biden helped open Washington's first Costco on Thursday. [WaPost]

-> Obama has a newly-discovered species of fish names after him -- similar to that of former Vice President Al Gore and ex-President Bill Clinton, too. [BuzzFeed]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Rob Bishop meets with Close-Up students, discusses federalism policies with staff and ends the day on a flight to Salt Lake City.
  • Utah Governor Gary Herbert phones San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, holds a flag protocol meeting and meets with the Western Governors Association in Arizona.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon dines at the 14th annual UTC Hall of Fame Dinner at the Grand America Hotel.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker is in Boston for the National League of Cities Congress of Cities and Exposition.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder cuts the "film" at Grand Opening of new Miller Megaplex at Valley Fair Mall and later heads to the "Festival of Trees" to see a tree in honor of his late mother.
  • President Barack Obama travels to Pennsylvania where he will tour and speak at The Rodon Group manufacturing facility.

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]

-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard



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