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J. Scott Applewhite | AP file photo The Capitol in Washington, D.C.
News roundup: Cockroaches more popular than Congress

Cockroaches outpoll Congress. Hatch warns against radicals. Stewart grabs vice-chair seat.

Happy Wednesday. Colonoscopies and cockroaches are more popular than Congress, but the legislative body still remains more popular than the Kardashians and gonorrhea, according to a survey. Public Policy Polling found that only 9 percent of Americans view Congress favorably, while 85 percent say the opposite.

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-> Says the pollster, "The fact that voters like [Congress] even less than cockroaches, lice, and Genghis Khan really shows how far its esteem has fallen with the American public over the last few weeks." [NYDailyNews]

Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch warns that radical extremists could dominate the Utah GOP if the party isn't careful. [DNews]

-> Rep. Jim Bird wants 10 percent of alcohol profits in Utah to be earmarked for public education. [Trib]

-> An unearthed federal record describes the excruciatingly painful effects of GB nerve agent in an accidental exposure in Utah in the 1950s. [Trib]

-> If Electoral College votes were handed out by congressional district instead of mainly statewide, we would have President-elect Mitt Romney right now. [NRO]

Tweet of the day: From @RepPatriceArent: "Early morning meeting with SLC officials at the Tracy Aviary. Quite a tweet!!"

Happy birthday: To KUER's Elaine Clark!

Congrats: To newly-minted Rep. Chris Stewart for getting a spot as vice chair on the House environment subcommittee of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Inauguration: Are you going to be in Washington for President Barack Obama's inauguration? We'd like to hear from you. Please email us.

In other news: The Salt Lake City Council has elected first-term Councilman Kyle LaMalfa as chairman. [Trib]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch defends his friend Sen. Mike Crapo on the Idaho senator's DUI charge, with Hatch saying that he will "be there for him" as he "makes it right." The senator also said that Crapo's had a stressful workload prior to the incident. [WaPost]

-> Fewer Utahns tried to carry guns through airport security checkpoints in 2012 than in 2011, according to the TSA. [Trib]

-> Former AG Mark Shurtleff says Spring City isn't breaking state law by urging residents to arm themselves because the city isn't talking about requiring it. [DNews]

-> Pat Bagley suggests Utah lawmakers' solution to the inversion: guns. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly notes that the Utah County Republican Party had to scratch their Lincoln Day dinner guest because he supports gay rights. [Trib]

-> Legislation may be introduced this session in Utah to require the state to provide education for parents about how to explain the "birds and the bees" to their kids. [ABC4]

-> An initiative to give candidates a way to get onto ballots without going through the caucus and convention system has been temporarily delayed to sort out the language after a Trib story sparked public interest, according to pushers of the initiative. [Trib]

-> Peg McEntee owns up to a mistake in writing about Gov. Gary Herbert's year-old inaugural address instead of his current one. [Trib]

-> Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell apologized to the family involved in an accidental police raid last month that stemmed from a mistaken identity, and promised an investigation in a letter to the editor. [StandardEx]

-> Mia Love's campaign earned some national recognition when a consultant pulled in an award from Campaigns & Elections magazine. [UtahPolicy] (A phone company working for Rep. Jim Matheson also won a Reed Award.)

-> Rep. Todd Weiler says he plans to push severa reform bills this session, from ethics and required motorcycle helmets. [UtahPolicy]

-> An Iowa landlord was apparently successful in pawning off a 300-pound, steel sign shaped like the state, with Mitt Romney's campaign logo and slogan on Craigslist. [Trib]

Nationally: David Brooks argues that, if confirmed as defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck Hagel will preside over an era of military cutbacks. [NYTimes]

-> Members of Congress may be chatting over lunch with campaign donors in a congressional dining room, going against ethics rules that ban campaign work on House property, according to a report. [WaPost]

-> An interesting discussion with Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight about his formula and his predictions. [Reddit]

-> Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who returned to work Monday after being hospitalized for a blood clot in her skull, is slated to testify in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Jan. 22. Clinton was unable to testify at a previous date due to a concussion, which triggered the clot. [Politico]

Where are they?

  • Gov. Gary Herbert hits the Choose Health Challenge and Parents Empowered Month event, meets with Utah energy industry executives and attends a legislative review meeting.

  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with the Wasatch Front Regional Council's active transportation committee.

  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with SLC Councilman Soren Simonsen and attends an open house for outgoing Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall.
  • President Barack Obama host cast and crew members of the new television show 1600 Penn for a screening at the White House.

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 Emily Andrews

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/emilytandrews



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