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President Barack Obama walks on the South Lawn after returning to the White House in Washington, Sunday, May 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
News roundup: Scandals aside, Obama's approval rating unchanged

Obama's approval rating unchanged. Hatch votes for immigration reform. Herbert testifies before Congress.

Happy Wednesday. Charlie Cook, one of the best political handicappers in the nation, says Americans aren't changing their approval or disapproval of President Barack Obama because they might be fed up with the Washington cesspool and are more focused on an economic recovery than on the latest scandal du jour. [NJ]

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Topping the news: Sen. Mike Lee is renting a home from the friend who bought his short-sale from in 2011. The friend is also a federal contractor, though both deny any impropriety. [Trib]

-> The Senate Judiciary Committee advances the immigration reform legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch supporting the measure thanks to some concessions he fought for along the way. [Trib]

-> Hatch says IRS officials "lied" by omission when they didn't respond to direct questions about selectively targeting conservative groups. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @daveweigel: "Acting [IRS] Commissioner Miller must have watched the video of his last go-round. More camera-friendly groveling today."

From @DrewHampshire: "Yes. RT @jasonWSJ: If the NBA is going to let the Bobcats become the Hornets at least New Orleans become the Jazz again."

Happy birthday: To the Utah House's Joe Pyrah and Senate minority executive assistant Janeen Halverson.

In other news: Salt Lake County Councilman David Wilde has announced his big to replace outgoing Murray Mayor Dan Snarr. [Trib]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert told a congressional committee Tuesday that he backs Rep. Rob Bishop's "grand bargain" but still wants the feds to hand over public lands to the state. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch struck a deal Tuesday with Sen. Chuck Schumer on high-tech workers as part of his effort to tweak the immigration bill. [Trib]

-> Immigrants living in Utah were among those watching, with gleeful hope, the Senate Judiciary Committee debate the comprehensive reform measure. [Trib]

-> A Salt Lake City groundwater plume is the latest addition to the SuperFund site list. [Trib]

-> Sen. Mary Landreau scolded Sen. Mike Lee last night, arguing the nation doesn't have "dictators" and that his demands that Democrats not use budget negotiations to raise the debt limit is wrong. [Examiner]

-> Paul Rolly notes that the state's tourism office has dropped a Book of Mormon scripture from a video it was promoting. [Trib]

Nationally: A tear-jerking video from the Oklahoma hurricane when an elderly lady finds her dog during a live TV interview. [Sky]

-> And amazing, must-see before and after pictures of the hurricane's wrath. [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jim Matheson meets with the No Labels Problem Solvers group.
  • Rep. Rob Bishop attends a House Armed Services Committee meeting, sits down with officials from Lifetime Products, attends the Republican Study Committee weekly member meeting, meets with representatives from the United Egg Producers and attends a Rules Committee hearing.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends the Oversight hearing on the IRS, holds a fundraising luncheon, meets with Electronic Retailing Association reps, attends an immigration hearing, meets with the 419th Fighter Wing from Hill AFB and sits down with Dr. Clayton Christensen on the Campaign to Fix the Debt.
  • Rep. Chris Stewart spends time as speaker pro tem, attends a Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee hearing, hits a Natural Gas and Energy Market Discussion event, hits a Science, Space and Technology Committee markup and attends a reception for the King of Morocco.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert flies back to Utah, films a water issues video, meets with Chief of Staff Derek Miller, meets with Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and later attends a dinner for Goldman Sachs.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams hits the United Way of Salt Lake Board retreat and heads to a dinner with Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell and Justin Miller.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends a meeting of the Mayor's Committee on Homelessness and heads to a lunch with Economic Development Corporation of Utah President Jeff Edwards.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends a ribbon cutting for American Exteriors and ECHO and presents reading awards at Hunter Elementary.
  • President Barack Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and later hosts the "Performance 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

Twitter.com/thomaswburr



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