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News roundup: Lee pessimistic America will avoid 'fiscal cliff'

Top LDS leaders register Republican. McAdams keeps deputy mayor. Utah senator pushes for motorcycle helmets.

Happy Thursday. Sen. Mike Lee says he's becoming less optimistic that Congress will figure out a way to halt going over the so-called fiscal cliff after President Barack Obama rejected a vague offer from House Speaker John Boehner: "I'm growing less optimistic about the chances of their coming to a deal on that." [TheHill]

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Topping the news: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said during a CNBC interview that the Obama administration is "absolutely" prepared to go over the "fiscal cliff" if Republicans do not agree to tax the wealthiest Americans. [Reuters] [Politico]

-> The Tribune takes a look at the voter registration of the top leaders of the LDS Church and finds 11 of the 15 apostles are registered Republicans. [Trib]

-> As tradition, the top strategists from the presidential campaign sit down at Harvard post-voting and discuss what went right and wrong. [Slate]

Tweets of the day: From @TheFix: "'I can't believe you are already talking about 2016.' -- John Kerry to @mitchellreports. Never too early."

From @jbendery: "House voted today to strike the word "lunatic" from all federal laws. All but 1 lawmaker voted for it: Louie Gohmert."

In other news: Salt Lake County mayor-elect Ben McAdams announced he will keep Nichole Dunn as deputy mayor. [DNews]

-> Some great committee assignments at the state Legislature are going to newcomers. [UtahPolicy]

-> State Sen. Todd Weiler pushes a bill that would require motorcyclists to wear helmets. [Trib] [Fox13] [ABc4]

-> Sen. Mike Lee pushes for a flat tax with former presidential candidate Steve Forbes. [KSL]

-> Peg McEntee says that top LDS authorities shouldn't register with any party. [Trib]

-> Ever wondered what it's like to watch the president tweet? No? Well, now you don't ever have to. [BuzzFeed]

-> A visual history of presidential inaugurations: [WaPost].

-> And, of course, the story of Mitt Romney hitting Costco is making the rounds. [NYDailyNews]

Where are they?

  • Utah Governor Gary Herbert meets with Minister Wang of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, hits up the grand opening of Frontrunner, meets with former challenger Peter Cooke and heads to the retirement reception for Superintendent Larry Shumway.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon stays a second day in Washington for the National County Executives Association meetings.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker takes part in meetings with congressional members and federal agencies.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with the Hale Centre Theatre executive committee, participates in FrontRunner opening events, attends the Salt Lake Council of Governments legislative luncheon and later meets with city and county park officials.
  • President Barack Obama attends the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse.

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

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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